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Democrats Don't Trust 'the Police,' but They Do Trust the FBI, Provided It Is Targeting Donald Trump

Added 08-11-22 05:21:03pm EST - “Response to the FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid shows that Democrats and Republicans are both selective in their concerns about law enforcement abuses.” - Reason.com


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Democrats don't trust 'the police,' but trust the FBI, provided it is targeting Donald Trump”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

To obtain the warrant that it used to search Donald Trump's home at his Palm Beach resort on Monday, New York Times reporter Peter Baker says in a "news analysis," the FBI would have been "required to meet a high level of proof of possible crimes." That is a strange way to describe probable cause, an ill-defined standard that falls far short of the evidence needed to convict someone of a crime.

Baker's mischaracterization of probable cause reflects the misplaced deference to the FBI that Trump's opponents tend to display in cases involving the former president. Journalists who would be critical of the FBI in other contexts, such as the investigation of Hillary Clinton's email practices as secretary of state, abandon all skepticism when the bureau targets Trump or his associates. Baker, whose (correct) thesis is that Trump criticizes politicized law enforcement only when it works to his disadvantage, seems blithely unaware of the corresponding hypocrisy among people who despise Trump.

Baker acknowledges the FBI's "history at the intersection of politics and investigations," which is a pretty polite way to put it. "Under J. Edgar Hoover, its longtime director, the bureau bugged and pursued domestic opponents of the federal government, at times serving as a political tool of various presidents of both parties," he writes. But he implies that such abuse is a thing of the past.

"With revelations of past abuses after Hoover's death in 1972, Congress and the F.B.I. sought to cast off the bureau's history and transform it into a more professional, politically neutral organization," Baker writes. Thanks to those reforms, he says, "the bureau earned the respect of both parties and many Americans in the last half-century."

Sadly, Baker adds, "that built-up store of public credibility has eroded significantly in the Trump years. The proportion of Americans who told Gallup pollsters that they thought the F.B.I. was doing a good job fell from 57 percent in 2019 to 44 percent in 2021." The blame, Baker thinks, lies with Trump: "In Mr. Trump's first year in office, as he attacked the F.B.I. over the Russia investigation, the share of Republicans who had a favorable view of the bureau fell to 49 percent from 65 percent in surveys by the Pew Research Center while remaining steady among Democrats at 77 percent."


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