Word of the day: brazen

The FBI is annoyed.

Three years ago, the FBI launched an unprecedented investigation focused on one question: Did President Donald Trump’s campaign help a foreign power interfere in the 2016 election?

Now, just months after that investigation was formally closed, FBI officials are stunned the president is openly calling for another country to intervene in another presidential election.

Well when you put it that way…

It does seem a tad brazen, doesn’t it. “NO COLLUSION!! Now, get me Ukraine on the phone.”

One special agent, who spoke with Insider on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press, said officials were “rattled” not just by the nature of Trump’s actions but also by his brazenness.

“You walk down the halls and there was this sense of dread, and everyone’s kind of thinking, did the president really do this?” the agent said.

Brazen. The very word.

The agent was one of four current and former officials Insider spoke with about the matter. In addition to feeling undermined by the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into the Russia probe’s origins, sources also said FBI officials were frustrated with how the Justice Department handled a criminal referral related to a whistleblower’s allegations against Trump, saying it added to a sense that the bureau was being “neutered.”

Only if you think Trump is a criminal and a very bad man. If you adjust your thinking so that he becomes a hero and savior, then the bureau is simply helping him save us all.

What happened, to review, is that Michael Atkinson, intelligence-community inspector general, and Joseph Maguire, acting director of national intelligence, sent the whistleblower’s complaint to the Justice Department, and the DoJ “reviewed” the report and decided there was nothing to see here. Of course, the DoJ is part of the Executive Branch…

The Justice Department’s actions were a departure from the norm because typically, in such cases, the FBI investigates if there was criminal wrongdoing and makes a recommendation to the Justice Department on whether or not to press charges.

But this time they just passed it around among themselves, didn’t talk to witnesses or do anything else to investigate, and called it a day.

Here, the US official said, “the DOJ made the decision right off the bat, and that was viewed by many as a slap in the face and usurping the FBI’s independence and judgment.”

Not to mention the whole letting Trump do crazy shit problem.

Complicating matters is the fact that all this occurred against the backdrop of Attorney General William Barr spearheading a separate investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.

When he’s not too busy raging at “secularists.”

“There’s a lot of anger and frustration that this is still going on,” Frank Montoya Jr., a former FBI agent who retired in 2016, told Insider, referring to the continued focus on the bureau’s handling of the investigation. “There’s a lot of concern among officials that they’re going to get thrown into the blender, that they do all the work and then are ridiculed for it, and accused of facilitating a coup or doing the bidding of the deep state.”

Montoya added that one official told him they believe “this thing’s going to be open until Trump is no longer president because they want to find something even if there’s nothing there.”

That said, intelligence veterans warn that the president’s apparent lack of awareness of the quicksand he’s in could be his undoing — it was Trump who ordered the release of the Ukraine phone-call memo that confirmed he’d pressured Zelensky to open an investigation.

Right now, House Democrats are in the middle of a brewing impeachment inquiry examining Trump’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden and his son. The White House has responded by stonewalling Congress at every step by refusing to turn over documents and blocking witnesses from testifying.

But by obstructing the inquiry, legal experts told Insider last week, the president is giving Congress more reasons to impeach him.

Montoya agreed.

“He’s fanning the flames of his own political demise,” he said. “The rope is tightening around his neck, and he doesn’t realize it because he’s too busy enjoying the high.”

Here’s hoping.

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