By Ernest Reynolds III

The Department of Justice has been weaponized. This is not a recent development, and it was not perpetrated by Republicans.  Any suggestions to the contrary are simply wrong, and may constitute part of a disinformation campaign instituted to smother current news and support the political operations of certain hard-eyed, hard-left partisans who appear to be using the DoJ as a weapon.

The DoJ was first weaponized in 1961 at the start of the Kennedy administration. In order to put a leash on the DoJ and prevent it from looking too closely at John F. Kennedy and those close to him, presidential brother Robert Kennedy was made attorney general.  The initial impulse was defensive, to prevent FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and other elements of the DoJ from bothering the activities of the JFK inner circle, all Democrats; but soon there developed a pattern of using DoJ assets to offensively operate against political opponents.  One early effort involved columnist Igor Cassini, prosecuted and convicted of “not registering as a foreign agent” (the real offense was embarassingt he Kennedy family). Another more famous prosecution involved Billie Sol Estes.  He was targeted, prosecuted, and villainized by the DoJ and liberal press assets of the Democrat party not because of a real desire to jail him, but in order to try to force him to “roll over” on LBJ, the real target of the Estes prosecution. In fact, that prosecution was a political operation meant to discredit then-vice president Johnson so that the Kennedy partisans could remove him from the 1964 presidential ticket. After Estes was charged and while he was being pressed hard by the DoJ, RFK asked him to come to Washington for a meeting, and Estes did so. At the meeting Estes was told that what was really wanted was for him to let the DoJ write an affidavit for Estes to sign, and then his prosecution would end.  That affidavit would have been critical of LBJ.  Estes refused to play the game, and as a result he was eventually tried and sent to prison.

This should sound familiar. Its similarity to present-day prosecutions of General Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort is not merely coincidental.

Democrats have not stopped using the DoJ as a partisan weapon since Camelot.  In fact, they have found more ingenious ways to use the Justice Department as a weapon.  These include entrapment, so-called “process crimes”, and media “leaks” that no legitimate prosecutor would use, the use of close friends in the media to spread disinformation, the pursuit of partisan political agendas by hard-left partisans embedded within DoJ, and even thuggish midnight raids on homes to intimidate victims and others..

Through the years, Democrats have used these techniques with increasing boldness, in operations to influence foreign policy, and now even in an apparent operation to undo the results of a national presidential election.

While the Carter administration is not particularly noted for this sort of improper DoJ conduct, it is clear that left-leaning partisans embedded within the DoJ in what people these days call the “deep state” were actively using criminal prosecution as a political tool and weapon during the Reagan administration to try to undermine policy initiatives of that Republican president. One recalls how Colonel Oliver North was hounded, and how Admiral John Poindexter was improperly railroaded, prosecuted, and convicted. His conviction was later overturned on appeal.

During the Clinton administration Hillary, who much to her frustration could not become attorney general due to a post-JFK federal anti-nepotism law, was de facto in charge of the DoJ, with Janet Reno installed as a puppet and Webster Hubbell conveying instructions from Hillary to Reno. Without going into detail, it is certainly fair to say that during the Clinton administration, the DoJ was controlled to try to prevent embarrassment to the Clintons while being used as a weapon against opponents.

Misdeeds of the DoJ in the Obama administration probably would never have seen light of day if Hillary had become president, but now they are one by one being unearthed.  It is too soon to know what may emerge, but it seems clear that neither Eric Holder nor Loretta Lynch were saints. They left behind a cadre of left-leaning partisans who, under the present leadership of Robert Mueller, are abusing the law, using the DoJ as a weapon, and playing a game of hardball in an apparent effort to undo the result of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Somewhere along the way since 1961, those who have weaponized the DoJ have seized upon a new weapon, the so-called “process crime.” It permits bringing a baseless charge for a crime committed during the process of an investigation, such as not telling the truth when speaking to an FBI agent, and getting a conviction, or better yet a plea deal, for the prosecutors to publicize as some sort of great victory for justice.

Sound familiar? It should. This technique was introduced during the CIA leak investigation to convict Lewis “Scooter” Libby in 2007 and has more recently been used to entrap Michael Flynn.

This type of prosecutorial misconduct is unacceptable and ought to be stopped now.  President Trump has the authority to end this evil circus, and in order to fulfill his constitutionally mandated presidential duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” President Trump should do so.  Mueller and other persons working in league with him should be fired, immediately, and not replaced; and all funding for their misguided witch-hunt should be withdrawn, now, and permanently.

Mr. Reynolds is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the internationally circulated American Journal of Criminal Law. Prior to and during law school, he was a college-level teacher of both Texas and American government.  Reynolds is a close observer of state and national politics, and is a member of the Civil Rights Division of the Federal Bar Association. He maintains an office for the private practice of law in Fort Worth.