One symptom of a society in crisis is the unreliability or even corruption of its own auditors.
After all, when the watchmen have lost moral authority to watch, who can be believed or trusted? Or, as the Roman satirist Juvenal famously put it, “Who will guard the guardians?”
It was recently reported that FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith altered an email to bolster a suspicious FBI effort to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant authorizing the surveillance of Carter Page, a onetime employee of the Trump campaign.
If true, Clinesmith helped the FBI successfully delude the court into granting what was likely an illegal request to spy on the Trump campaign. Clinesmith was reportedly expelled from special counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team for cheering on opposition to the Trump presidency by writing “Viva la resistance!” in a text message discussion.
After FBI director James Comey was fired, he leaked his own memos of private and confidential conversations with the president. Whether Comey would go to jail hinged on how the FBI would categorize his memos post facto — as merely “confidential,” or as “secret” or “top secret.”
Two of the adjudicators were Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, former Comey friends and FBI subordinates. The FBI eventually ruled that the leaking of the memos was not felonious. Page and Strzok, who were involved in an amorous relationship, were later dismissed from Mueller’s team for exchanging texts that showed bias and hatred toward Trump, the object of their team’s investigation.