The following was an editorial published in the Staten Island Advance:
It takes a special kind of arrogance for a crook to take shots at the FBI.
But that’s exactly what Michael Grimm did in these pages last week.
It’s disgraceful. Yet, he’s not alone. The National Republican Party likes to thump its chest that it’s the party of law-and-order. But now they spend every day attacking law enforcement and our institutions.
We know why they’re doing it. Instead of waiting for the Special Counsel Mueller to finish his investigation, they want to poison the well and that means smearing the FBI, The Justice Department, and anyone who they see as a threat.
They want voters to think that the president was the victim of some nefarious conspiracy.
Dan Donovan, a former prosecutor, knows better. But if you’re waiting for him to do something about it, don’t hold your breath. Taking a stand when it matters has never been his strong suit.
Meanwhile former Congressman Grimm is running around telling everyone that not only was the president the victim of a vast conspiracy, he was too. To hear him tell it, he was so important that the FBI, Justice Department, President Obama, and local law enforcement launched a massive plan to remove a back bench, no-name congressman.
Talk about delusional.
All of this is not just embarrassing behavior by grown adults, it’s dangerous.
We’re in the middle of an opioid and heroin epidemic, our infrastructure is crumbling, and healthcare costs are soaring. But instead of doing something about it, the GOP launches one attack after the other at the FBI.
This Congress hasn’t done one thing to move the ball forward on the problems we as Staten Islanders and South Brooklynites face. Every day they wake up, collect a paycheck we pay for, and do nothing except fight, tweet, and embarrass all of us here at home.
The coordinated attacks on career public servants can also have implications for our criminal justice system on a local level.
If the FBI and Justice Department are viewed not as impartial investigators, but as political agents, it can erode the ability of prosecutors to convict dangerous criminals and keep us safe.
Now, this is not to say that our justice system is perfect. To the contrary, criminal justice reform at all levels of government is vitally important. But these efforts must be made with the goal of improving trust in our law enforcement agencies, not further denigrating them.
The smears by the president and his allies are not only unacceptable and selfish lies, but they do the opposite, eroding trust and denigrate the system of checks-and-balances that have made this country the leader of the free world.
We should be working together to improve our system and restore trust between law enforcement and the communities they protect, not trying to widen the divide.
As a combat veteran, I fought and bled for the values and institutions that have always made this country great. That D.C. Republicans are willing to throw law enforcement and our democratic institutions under the bus to stay in power is an insult to all those who have put on the uniform and kept us safe here on Staten Island, in South Brooklyn, and across the country.
We need elected officials – in both parties – with the courage to stand up and say enough is enough.
Enough with the tweets, smears, and playing the victim. Enough with the attacks on law enforcement officials for doing their jobs. In Afghanistan, I saw what this country was capable of in the men and women who I served with. Every day, they put everything on the line to strengthen America, because that’s what our country asked of them.
It’s time we had members of Congress willing to do the same. Dan Donovan and Michael Grimm both had their chance. They’ve failed. It’s time for new leadership.