Last night at our DC event I picked up on a question someone had been asked on the panel: Basically, how bad can it get? To me it’s already gotten that bad and in a way and place that is at once front and center and yet oddly invisible. Virtually everyone closely involved in the origins of the Russia probe has either been fired, had their career ended or in key cases face real threats of imprisonment: Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Baker, Ohr … I could list off at least half a dozen other names. Some of these folks will be fine. And in most cases the criminal jeopardy is probably somewhat notional. But it’s not about the individual people. It’s the warning it sends to everyone else through the federal bureaucracy – law enforcement, intelligence and everywhere else – that the real law is power. This is how autocrats discipline and destroy civil institutions and the rule of law. One of these people, former FBI general counsel Jim Baker spoke out for the first time this afternoon at an event at Brookings. Tierney Sneed was there.
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