The job of our intelligence agencies is to protect the US against enemies, both foreign and domestic. We can usually expect them to do a pretty good job of this, and we can also expect them to be loyal to the nation and its elected government. That might have changed, though — and now senior Republicans are demanding an investigation, amid allegations that renegade intelligence officers are trying to undermine the president.
Following a series of incriminating text messages, leading Republicans are calling for a probe into leaks from inside America’s leading intelligence agencies. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, says emails between former FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page suggest a culture of anti-POTUS leaks inside agencies that are supposed to be on our side.
- Johnson, along with Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), says the investigation into collusion with Russia has been plagued with leaks aimed at harming the president and adding credibility to the allegations against him — which we now know were false all along.
- For example, in December 2016, Strzok texted Page to say “Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried and political, they’re kicking in to overdrive.”
- The senators want to know who Strzok meant by “our sisters” — but the smart money is on it being the CIA. Despite its right-wing reputation among many Democrats, the truth is the CIA is just as much a hotbed of liberalism as any other branch of government stuffed with college graduates. Both Obama-era CIA director John Brennan and intelligence chief James Clapper have been loud critics of the current president.
- Johnson and Grassley have written to the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael K. Atkinson, to ask what’s being done to identify the source of the leaks. So far there hasn’t been much sign of Atkinson doing anything — but as political pressure mounts, he might find it hard to stay inactive.
- Last week, under questioning from Grassley, attorney general Bill Barr confirmed that the Justice Department is already running multiple criminal investigations related to the Russia inquiry.
- Catching the leakers isn’t just a question of revenge for their attacks on President Trump; it’s also vital to our national security. There’s a long and grubby history of government employees who put their own political beliefs ahead of their duty to the American people. From Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs to Aldrich Ames and whoever leaked to the press about the Russia investigation, traitors have tried to harm our country — and they need to be rooted out.