Should we defund the FBI for "stonewalling"?

The FBI seems to have concealed Hunter Biden's laptop, holding on to information that may have validated Trump's turning to Ukraine. Op-ed.

Mark Langfan ,

Trump's impeachment trial
Trump's impeachment trial
Reuters

At first glance, the word “stonewall” seems like such a simple word, with a simple meaning: i.e. a stone wall, but, in history, “stonewall” has taken on a much greater meaning.

For instance, the great Confederate General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, who stood and defended the South like a “stone wall.” Or the “Stonewall Riots” in New York City in 1967, when Gay activists rioted in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.

Perhaps the most infamous use of the word “stonewall” was when then-President Richard Nixon attempted to cover up his campaign’s involvement in the criminal break-in of the Democratic Campaign offices at the Watergate Office Complex, by “stonewalling” the ensuing criminal investigation.

In essence, “stonewalling” became synonymous with criminal “obstruction of justice.” Pres. Nixon resigned in disgrace, and President Ford pardoned Nixon of any crimes. Today it seems as though we have, perhaps, a greater and more insidious “stonewalling” and obstruction concerning President Trump’s Congressional impeachment proceeding.

Pres. Trump was, essentially, impeached for investigating Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s financial dealings in Ukraine. It appears that the day before the House vote to impeach President Trump, or sometime in December 2019, the FBI was given hard physical evidence of Hunter/Joe Biden's questionable dealings, and the FBI buried the evidence and never told the Department of Justice or President Trump of its existence.

It is unimaginable that the FBI’s active concealment of Hunter Biden laptop could have been approved by anyone other than the Director of the FBI, Christopher A. Wray. If so, FBI Dir. Wray and any FBI agents involved, not only may have “stonewalled” any FBI investigation into possible Biden criminal corruption, but also appear to have violated 18 USC 1505, “Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees,” and 18 USC Sec. 1512 (c), “Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant”.

18 USC Sec. 1505 states in its pertinent part, “Whoever corruptly, . . . obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress—Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.”

18 USC Sec. 1512(c), in its pertinent part states, “(c)Whoever corruptly—(1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

The two legal words or terms in these two statutes that need further defining are the words, “corruptly” and “proceeding.”

With regard to “corruptly,” because a criminal conviction had been previously overturned by the vague meaning of the word “corruptly,” the DOJ’s Criminal Resource Manual states that “Congress enacted a clarifying amendment regarding obstructing Congress. Section three of the False Statements Accountability Act of 1996 amended 18 U.S.C. § 1515 by adding a new subsection defining the term 'corruptly' as used in section 1505 to mean 'acting with an improper purpose, personally or by influencing another, including making a false or misleading statement, or withholding, concealing, altering, or destroying a document or other information.' Pub. L. No. 104-292, § 3, 110 Stat. 3459, 3460.”

As for the word, “proceeding,” the DOJ’s Criminal Resource Manual, in pertinent part, states that “Congress limits the coverage of § 1512 to official proceedings. 18 U.S.C. § 1515(a)(1) defines 'official proceeding' as: . . . B. a proceeding before the Congress; . . This definition is in large part, a restatement of the judicial interpretation of the word 'proceeding' in §§ 1503 and 1505.

However the case law interpreting these provisions also required that the proceeding had to be pending. See this Manual at 1722 and 1727. 18 U.S.C. § 1512 does away with the pending proceeding requirement for judicial matters and matters within the jurisdiction of Congress and Federal agencies. In the words of § 1512, "an official proceeding need not be pending or about to be instituted at the time of the offense." 18 U.S.C. § 1512(e)(1). See United States v. Scaife, 749 F.2d 338 (6th Cir. 1984). See also United States v. Shively, 927 F.2d 804 (5th Cir. 1991).”

That being so, the first legal question is whether President Trump’s Impeachment was a “proceeding under 18 USC 1512(c)). The answer is in the positive. What could be more of a “proceeding” in front of the Congress than President Trump’s impeachment? And if the Hunter Biden laptop was given to the FBI in December 2019 and the Senate Impeachment trial lasted until February 5, 2020., there was a full month for the FBI to have disclosed the Hunter Biden evidence to the Trump legal team or the Department of Justice. The fact that the Impeachment proceeding was “pending” when the alleged concealment likely took place satisfies the statutes.

The second legal question is the satisfaction of the word “corruptly.” Here, the legal bar is very, very low in that the motive need only be “improper.” It remains to be seen what motive the FBI agents and FBI Director Wray ascribe to their alleged concealment of the Hunter Biden laptop. However, what “proper”
The fact that Joe Biden went on to become the Democrat nominee for President without this being disclosed and investigated only heightens the FBI’s possible failure.
motive could there possibly be in actively concealing probative evidence relating to highly relevant and exculpatory evidence of Hunter/Joe Biden activities during a Presidential Impeachment proceeding?

The evidence could have been exculpatory for Trump because it is alleged to have proved that where Trump smelled smoke, there was, in fact, fire, and that would have validated Trump’s investigation of the smoke. The fact that Joe Biden went on to become the Democrat nominee for President without this being disclosed and investigated only heightens the FBI’s possible failure.

If the FBI agents and/or FBI Director Wray knew of the existence of the evidence on the Hunter Biden hard drive, and failed to alert the Department of Justice and the President, such actions would constitute clear “concealment” under both 18 USC Sec. 1505, and 18 USC Sec. 1512.

And finally, Hunter Biden’s laptop contained explosively exculpatory evidence vital to President Trump’s defense of his impeachment proceeding. The Hunter Biden laptop evidence could have shown President Trump had every right, and possibly obligation, to allege corruption in the Hunter/Joe Biden dealings with Ukraine. In that case, Pres, Trump’s requesting Ukraine to assist the United States in investigating the Hunter Biden Ukraine dealing was not an illegal “quid pro quo,” but would be action of the highest imperative for the national security of the United States.

In conclusion, the FBI’s concealment of the existence of the Hunter Biden laptop during the President Trump Impeachment proceeding appears to facially and satisfy both 18 USC Sec. 1505 and 18 USC Sec. 1512. The FBI is clearly conflicted out of any investigation, and the Department of Justice must immediately authorize a special investigative unit to probe what could be the greatest criminal cover-up in the history of the United States.

Perhaps until this is fully probed we should take our cue from modern parlance and demand to "Defund the FBI."

Mark Langfan is Chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) and specializes in security issues, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com.



top