FBI, President and Justice Department discussed on Diane Rehm: On My Mind

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Information. The FBI uses a lot of informants that make valuable contributions to both intelligence and law enforcement. And I think the point that gets missed here, and I think perhaps deliberately by the president is this is not about spying on his campaign. This is about determining what the Russians were up to were they attempting to infiltrate and gain access, gained influence whatever to the campaign. So I would argue that. What they were trying to do is actually protect our our our political system by using in an informant, and whether it was his campaign or anybody else's campaign because this is about the Russians which is the focus, the target, not not campaigns per se. You know, the name of this informant has now been widely publicized them not every news organization is choosing to use it. Well, this have an effect you think on efforts to recruit informants down the road, or do you think it's just one of those things that'll be seen as kind of a one off controversy potentially it. It could be very chilling, not only for informants who some of whom have been doing this for many years, but they do so with the promise of confidentiality and protection of their Dimity. So I think perhaps some of them are thinking twice about a continued relationship with with the if they're going to be outed. And I think it would potentially have a very chilling effect on pewter informants who may want to come forth and cooperate with with the FBI, and that's a loss of potentially valuable information. And in a sense will could make the country less safe and secure. We've had a big dispute here in town in Washington about whether House Republicans are able to get some of this information from the Justice department about exactly how that worked in the Justice department has now agreed to let congressional Republicans see some of these classified documents. Is that the right thing to do? Do you think? No, I don't. I think this is further erosion of the independence of the bar, majestic and the FBI. And I think it's not a good for the country when the president appears to violated longstanding norm to protect and sustain. Pain, the independence even make them uncomfortable. But that is a time honored principal, attendant of our of our system of government. I think long term it could be the beginning of slippery slope. It's clear that there's a conscious effort to undermine the investigation and by the special counsel. So I think under the circumstances was perhaps all my compromise to agree to refer the allegation to the inspector general. But I just think president involving himself in investigations is not a good thing might be the beginning of slippery slope. Where does that slippery slope in? Where does that slip? Don't know, but where one way it could end, I suppose is in firing of the deputy attorney general and ending of the. The Muller investigation. That's that's one path down a slippery slope, but I don't know that go that way. In your mind, would that be a kind of crisis of government or that you would think it? I think it would be. I was around during Watergate. I was in intelligence community then, and I never felt at the time that our institutions were

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