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Political bias causes ‘fight between US legislative & executive branch'

Political bias causes ‘fight between US legislative & executive branch'
If the US intelligence community withholds information on its “special investigations,” it will show the wall that appeared between them and the DoJ and the Congress after 9/11 is still in place, says foreign policy attorney Jennifer Breedon.

The FBI and the Department of Justice were given ultimatums by the US House Intelligence Committee to provide critical details from two investigations into alleged US-Russia collusion and Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server while secretary of state.

The deadline was until the end of Monday, and it seems the intelligence community hasn't complied with the demands.

The head of US House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, said in a statement that the committee will move on a resolution by the end of the month mentioning “a months-long pattern by the DoJ and FBI of stonewalling and obstructing this committee’s oversight work.”

RT: So the deadline has passed, and it seems the agencies haven't complied. Will the Intelligence Committee go through with their threats?

Jennifer Breedon: It is very possible that they could. They are stonewalling these facts, and they are going to continue to do that. Back after 9/11, we had this wall of separation between the intelligence community and the Department of Justice and the Congress. By withholding this information, by withholding what it is, the Congress wants to see how many people are politically biased against President Trump and pro and in favor of Hillary Clinton have taken part of some of these “special investigations” or “independent counsels.” And if the intelligence community refuses to hand over this information, it is going to show that this wall still remains between the Congress who is the voice of the people of the US and between the intelligence community and the Department of Justice.

RT: Does the Intelligence Committee have the power to punish the agencies for non-compliance?

JB: Yes. This is one of those things: in the US we have this balance of powers, the separation of powers between the legislative, the judicial and the executive branches. And right now, this is basically a fight between the legislative branch and the executive branch. It is called the checks and balances system which means there is some measure of authority over certain things: there is a measure of authority from the legislative to the executive, and the executive to the judicial. But it just depends, it is very narrow in this. It would be a very minuscule punishment, but it would be something indeed. Because Congressional reports from the Intelligence Congressional Committee that is trying to get this information could certainly put a damper on what is happening right now and it will become immediately public record.

RT: What circumstances could there be for the Department of Justice and the FBI not to disclose the information?

JB: Frankly, it is an embarrassment to not only the Department of Justice but the FBI. We are talking about just one guy, Peter Strzok. But there could be more people. This would be an embarrassment to show that for all this time, for all the hours and months of CNN coverage of “Russia collusion” which there still has been no evidence between Donald Trump himself and Russia and any kind of election collusion. If you only look at all this coverage and stories that have surfaced, the DoJ reports and finds out that it has all been started, two of these investigations - such as Hillary Clinton’s emails being kind of ignored by James Comey, but also this Trump-Russia investigation - it has been started by somebody that hated Donald Trump and loved Hillary Clinton. That is not only embarrassing, it really puts everything at risk that the DoJ and the FBI claimed they wanted to do just as an investigative body that tries to be independent. It just really puts that all in jeopardy. And it makes not only the American people, but the rest of the world say: “What kind of justice department is using these people who you should have vetted, who you should have known is so politically motivated and politically biased that they can’t actually look at the laws?“

RT: The Intelligence Committee was only allowed to speak to two witnesses, is that enough?

JB: Of course, it is not enough. Because you are talking about this dossier, this person Peter Strzok has been caught having multiple phone conversations with a mistress of his who was also in alliance with multiple not only ethical violations, but legal violations which probably cross… paths of many people not only in the Department of Justice but within the FBI. We are talking thousands of people in both of these branches. Having two people here is certainly not enough. They have to furnish more people, and I know the Congressional Committee on Intelligence is going to continue to subpoena witnesses, and they do have a duty to bring more people forward that have probably seen this and have knowledge of this evidence.

RT: Does this incident represent an increasing rift between the government in general and the specific branches of it?

JB: I think it could get worse if the president doesn’t take more serious action. Unlike many countries, in the US when a new leader is in power, many of the people in these departments remain the same from the last administration. Unless Donald Trump’s cabinet takes action to really make sure that their political bias is out of his executive branch, it is where the DoJ and the FBI are, it will get worse. But unfortunately, the rift in the political biases between the Republicans and the Democrats in the US is growing very strong, and it will continue to get worse.