BREAKING NEWS : Bluffton man pleads guilty to murder, resisting arrest after Walmart attack killing Damarcus Walker Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Rep. Gowdy discredits Trump's spy claims

CNN's Don Lemon speaks to David Axelrod about Rep. Trey Gowdy's (R-SC) recent appearance on Fox News, where he said he believes the FBI acted how citizens "would want them to ... and it has nothing to do with Donald Trump."

Posted: May 30, 2018 4:02 PM
Updated: May 30, 2018 4:04 PM

Following last week's unfounded claim from the White House that the FBI illegally spied on the Trump campaign for political purposes, the Department of Justice took the unprecedented step of meeting with lawmakers in two classified sessions to discuss the details of the bureau's original counterintelligence investigation.

The silence from House Republicans since the briefings has been deafening. Until now.

Immediately following the meetings, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff (D-CA) addressed the press, saying he saw no evidence the FBI acted improperly. House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) finally echoed those claims Tuesday on Fox News, going so far as saying the FBI responded precisely in the manner the American people would have expected of them, and that the investigation was not about Trump but was instead responding to a national security threat.

After the men and women of the FBI were unfairly labeled crooks, isn't an apology in order?

To make sense of the damage being brought to the agency's reputation, it is important to revisit exactly how the latest assault on the FBI came into existence. Just when our institutions of justice seemed to be enjoying a temporary cessation of hostilities from a White House seeking to defend itself from allegations of impropriety, the President unloaded a fresh salvo on Twitter -- his preferred method of communication -- and accused the FBI of criminal activity.

His information appeared to stem from media reports indicating a bureau informant had been used to collect information for a lawful counterintelligence investigation seeking to determine whether Russian agents had worked to influence an American election.

What followed was a coordinated campaign to unearth the identity of the informant, with House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes even going so far as to subpoena the Justice Department for information about the source, thereby bulldozing the long-standing norm that congressional officials would respect the intelligence community's need to protect sources and methods.

Ever the marketing maven, President Trump sought to rebrand this informant with the pejorative label of "spy," even going so far as to announce his own freshly minted scandal he would theatrically name "Spygate."

The problems with this recent episode are twofold. The most serious is the chilling effect these actions will have on the government's ability to convince individuals with access to information to risk their own safety and privacy in the service of our country. Put simply, these actions will make our country less safe because it will be harder for FBI agents and CIA officers around the world to convince potential sources that their identities will not be exploited by politicians with partisan agendas.

The second problem with this political war being waged on the FBI is that it is simply grounded in falsehoods. The FBI does not run "spies," but, rather, human sources, who are the most highly regulated and scrutinized investigative tools in the FBI's arsenal of techniques used to identify and neutralize national security and criminal threats.

Labeling someone working for law enforcement as a spy is simply a creative way of manipulating public opinion and casting doubt on a revered institution. You can have a witch hunt without witches, but you can't have a Spygate without spies.

When I served as an FBI special agent, I was responsible for identifying, recruiting, and handling sources who collected invaluable intelligence that was necessary to prevent threats posed by extremists and hostile foreign intelligence services.

In order to use a source, an FBI special agent must continually navigate a complex oversight system responsible for ensuring sources are used legally and add value to investigative efforts. The approval process for utilizing a source to further an investigation involving a presidential candidate would have immediately skyrocketed to the top levels of FBI and Justice Department leadership.

So, why then do we see this continued campaign against the FBI? As I wrote in The New York Times in February, many inside the FBI believe the constant stream of political attacks is simply meant to undermine the credibility of the organization. Doing so will presumably help soften the blow in the event that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who now leads the government's efforts to investigate Russian interference following the firing of my former boss James Comey, ultimately finds wrongdoing on the part of White House.

This is nothing short of a political campaign to discredit those doing the investigating, in order to render their eventual conclusions questionable.

Let's be clear. To date, there has been zero evidence the FBI acted improperly in its investigation. The actions by the White House and Republicans on the House Intelligence committee will only further strain an already fractured relationship with those in law enforcement charged with upholding the rule of law. They don't take kindly to being called criminals.

The only appropriate way forward is for those elected leaders who have been castigating law enforcement and violating sacred norms involving sources and methods to immediately cease in their efforts and publicly apologize for these baseless claims. Doing so might in some small way help repair the damage to a law enforcement agency that must maintain public support to be effective.

An apology will also possibly signal to potential human sources around the world that this entire unfortunate episode was simply an aberration, and exposing sensitive sources and methods in this instance was merely an ill-advised exception and not some dangerous new rule.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
Unassigned0425

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 958153

Reported Deaths: 16968
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1109381191
Cuyahoga944201702
Hamilton72486944
Montgomery46927869
Summit39637941
Butler35004461
Lucas34724755
Stark29011826
Warren22137269
Lorain21738385
Mahoning19251533
Lake18178300
Clermont18172206
Delaware16261128
Licking14820194
Fairfield14378157
Trumbull14136454
Greene13470209
Medina13188218
Clark12121332
Wood11384193
Portage10829152
Allen10710231
Richland10165198
Miami9937179
Columbiana8049179
Muskingum8036123
Tuscarawas7974233
Pickaway795898
Marion7936134
Wayne7791216
Erie6783181
Ross6065135
Geauga5978129
Hancock5941110
Scioto5867105
Ashtabula5811140
Lawrence519073
Union505052
Darke5006122
Belmont484787
Sandusky472393
Jefferson4709107
Huron4701116
Seneca4620103
Athens456231
Mercer4559101
Auglaize453896
Washington451286
Shelby438867
Knox397884
Putnam3964101
Madison388747
Ashland374594
Fulton374364
Defiance3670101
Brown366742
Crawford354296
Preble350570
Logan349757
Clinton336162
Highland323652
Ottawa318467
Williams299578
Jackson287056
Guernsey283234
Champaign282545
Fayette265642
Perry265239
Morrow256624
Henry242665
Hardin241856
Holmes2416104
Coshocton230246
Van Wert227749
Gallia219446
Adams213732
Pike212025
Wyandot207652
Hocking192148
Carroll178828
Paulding158423
Meigs133536
Noble127842
Monroe114936
Harrison99132
Morgan98834
Vinton76215
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 34°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 36°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 39°
Fort Wayne
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 34°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 40°
Warm Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events