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Victor Davis Hanson on Mar-a-Lago Raid: “I never thought I would say this… The FBI is beyond redemption”

Victor Davis Hanson on Mar-a-Lago Raid: “I never thought I would say this… The FBI is beyond redemption”

“when you start to do that, you don’t have a democracy anymore, and I don’t think we do”

Victor Davis Hanson recently appeared on FOX News and was asked about the FBI raid on Trump’s Florida home. His response should be heard by everyone, especially our leaders in Washington, DC.

He does not believe the FBI should continue to exist in its current form.

As a professor of history and celebrated writer, Hanson is one of the most serious thinkers of our time. He is not a man who engages in careless rhetoric. When he speaks in this way, people should sit up and take notice.

CNS News provides a transcript:

Victor Hanson: ‘We Don’t Have Rule of Law in Washington … FBI is Beyond Redemption’

When asked about the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Fla., professor, author, and political commentator Victor David Hanson said, “right now, we don’t have the rule of law in Washington,” and added that, “The FBI is beyond redemption.”

Hanson, who was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President George W. Bush, made his remarks on the Aug. 9 edition of FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, guest-hosted by Will Cain.

Cain asked Hanson why the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago and why were they targeting Trump.

“Well, they’re afraid in the short term,” he said, in reference to the Democrats and the left, “but in the long term they believe they’re morally superior to America, and therefore any means necessary or justifiable for their morally superior ends.”

“And right now, we don’t have the rule of law in Washington,” said Hanson. “Whether you’re targeted or exempt depends on your ideology.”…

“Now we go after a president and go to his house with 30 agents,” said Hanson. “In the past, when a high official was called for a congressional subpoena, Eric Holder just said, ‘I’m not going and I’m not turning over any of this fast and furious.'”

“The idea that you would put him in shackles or you confront him with his family and grab his phone is just ridiculous,” said Hanson. “But this is what we’re doing on an ideological basis.”

“And when you start to do that, you don’t have a democracy anymore,” he added. “And I don’t think we do.”…

As for the FBI, Hanson remarked, “I never thought I would say this: The FBI is beyond redemption. It is — all of its bureaus and its institutions that have to be farmed out and broken up. If you have a warrant, an FBI warrant, there is no guarantee that that has not been altered. If you subpoena and you want FBI records on phones … they will be wiped clean.”

Watch the whole segment below:

Hanson expanded on his thoughts in a recent column.

From Real Clear Politics:

FBI, R.I.P.?

The FBI is dissolving before our eyes into a rogue security service akin to those in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

Take the FBI’s deliberately asymmetrical application of the law. This week the bureau surprise-raided the home of former President Donald Trump — an historical first.

A massive phalanx of FBI agents swooped into the Trump residence while he was not home, to confiscate his personal property, safe, and records. All of this was over an archival dispute of presidential papers common to many former presidents. Agents swarmed the entire house, including the wardrobe closet of the former first lady.

Note we are less than 90 days out from a midterm election, and this was not just a raid, but a political act.

Read the whole thing here.

I have to echo Hanson’s point. In the same way that he never thought he would say this, I never thought I would hear him say this.

His point should be taken very seriously.

Featured image via YouTube.


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Been following VDH since 2008.
He is always spot-on.

And a whole bunch of RINOs like Hutchison are STILL out there defending this insanity.

Perhaps all Republicans should refuse to cooperate with the FBI on anything …. take the 5th on any question asked.

Well, VDH, your only about 30 years late to the party, but better late than never.

    maxmillion in reply to Barry. | August 14, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    30 years is generous. The FBI was complicit with the even worse CIA in taking out JFK and framing Lee Harvey Oswald (“I’m just a patsy”) for it.

      The murder of JFK was the first coup in American history. A second coup occurred in 2020.
      That’s a lousy record for a nation less than 300 years old.

        MattMusson in reply to | August 15, 2022 at 8:24 am

        Actually, JFK stealing the Presidency with manufactured votes from Chicago and Duval County Texas was the first documented coup in modern times.

          henrybowman in reply to MattMusson. | August 15, 2022 at 4:44 pm

          To me, it’s not a coup unless you’re displacing somebody with a right to that office.
          Biden’s cheating was a coup because it displaced Trump. JFK’s wasn’t, because Eisenhower was term-limited out and Nixon had no more claim to the office than JFK did.

      henrybowman in reply to maxmillion. | August 14, 2022 at 11:48 pm

      I’m not aware of theories that the FBI was more than incidentally involved at Dealey Plaza — my understanding is that it was CIA/MIC.

      But it was clear to me that the bureau was irredeemable the minute they gave Hillary a pass for her classified information. “Oh she didn’t mean anything by it.” What utter bullshit. Their handling of the Hunter laptop just reconfirmed it.

        maxmillion in reply to henrybowman. | August 15, 2022 at 11:52 pm

        No, the FBI didn’t shoot JFK, but they took the investigation away from the Dallas PD who had exclusive jurisdiction over the it in that era, then stifled any question of a conspiracy, and framed Oswald for it. DO SOME READING!

      My timeline for understanding there was no value in the FBI, that it’s agents were now all corrupt, begins in 1992, Ruby Ridge.

      Perhaps the CIA/FBI killed JFK, but that is just speculation. The murder and perfidy of the FBI at Ruby Ridge is documented. There is copious amounts of FBI corruption prior to 1992 of course. Hoover himself was deeply corrupt and abused the constitution.

      Hoover was not only corrupt, but a petty and vindictive asshole. He destroyed the most famous agent of all time, Melvin Purvis. Purvis was the man that got Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and others. He became the press darling, something Hoover couldn’t stand. Purvis took his own life Feb 29, 1960.

      The FBI is corrupt and has always been corrupt. There was a time though when the rank and file were hard nosed lawmen like Melvin Purvis, going after real criminals, not chasing down political opponents of the marxist party.

        maxmillion in reply to Barry. | August 15, 2022 at 8:11 am

        It’s not speculation about who killed JFK. Get out of your bubble and do some reading, and you will find that it’s “case closed” that the CIA did it. Two books, both available on Amazon: Crossfire by Jim Marrs and Mary’s Mosaic by Peter Janney, spell it out in minute detail.

          Milhouse in reply to maxmillion. | August 15, 2022 at 9:31 am

          They are both certifiable nutcases, and so are you for believing them.

          “…and you will find that it’s “case closed” that the CIA did it.”

          I’m sorry that you are as ignorant as a pig. There are holes, big ones, in every theory I have ever read regarding anything other than the official narrative. JFK may well have been murdered by someone else, or Oswald may have acted for someone else, but:

          1) There is no proof of any of this and most of what you read is an outright lie
          2) 60 years later and nada, zilch, zip from anyone involved. That means that IF it was a conspiracy it was a very small one, a handful of people
          3) It is not impossible that Oswald did this on his own, in fact relatively easily as is quite clear. Any reasonably practiced shooter could make that shot.

          4) what I believe or wish to believe is immaterial. Proof, real proof is required. I don’t trust the government at all. I assume they are lying whenever they speak. I’m skeptical and have studied everything publicly available, and nothing. Just questions.

        henrybowman in reply to Barry. | August 15, 2022 at 4:57 pm

        The thing that muddies both Ruby Ridge and Waco is that the FBI didn’t start either. Both were touched off by clowns from F-Troop (BATF) poking a tiger they couldn’t handle, and they ran crying back to the FBI to take care of it for them. I attributed the results more to one bunch of cops affording another bunch the “hard blue line” benefit of the doubt, regrettable but SOP for the period. And any corruption uncovered still lacked the feeling of being national in scope (other than Janet Reno outright lying to the public as well as possibly the FBI). But it’s clear now that the org is corrupt all the way to the top, and independently so.

          While that is certainly true, there is more than one corrupt agency in the government, and more than one should be shut down.

          OTOH, russia/russsia/russia is on the FBI and DOJ, as is the latest atrocity, the raid on Trumps home.

          They are the face of corruption currently and need to be eliminated as a federal agency in the case of the FBI, and in the constitutionally justified DOJ, completely revamped.

          DaveGinOly in reply to henrybowman. | August 16, 2022 at 11:52 am

          The FBI could have de-escalated both situations, and did not. They just carried on that which the ATF had botched. Indeed, they compounded both messes.

          For instance, on the last night before the FBI assaulted the Branch Davidians, they played the sounds of gunfire over the loudspeakers they had been blasting at them for days. I believe this was a last-ditch effort to provoke fire from the Davidians, by making them believe they were being fired upon, in order for the FBI to claim they assaulted in “self-defense”. But the Davidians didn’t bite. The very next morning the FBI assaulted the compound. I don’t think the timing of the two events (gunfire sounds & the kinetic assault) were a coincidence.

A sad day for the People, Country and the Republic

    Dimsdale in reply to TimMc. | August 15, 2022 at 9:01 am

    Remember “truth, justice and the American way” from the old Superman TV series from the 50s?

    The leftist have stomped all over that, set it on fire, then spit on it.

All good things must come to an end. But to lose our country so stupidly…

But for Jeff Sessions, William Barr and other sh*t in the GOPe, we are at the precipice.

The greatest failing by DJT was his casual approach to presidential appointments. Chris Christie was just the most visible of the swampy characters who caused great pain to the American people, but DJT reduced staff coming in to the White House and made the near fatal mistake trusting family and former friends, You can trust no one who wades into the Swamp.

You can count on one hand the dependable conservatives in the US Senate.
The selection isn’t much better in the House.

Once you wade into the Swamp the stink just never seems to wash off….?

    Barry in reply to WISteve. | August 15, 2022 at 1:03 am

    “casual approach ”

    His approach was anything but casual.

    How about you provide us your list for all the cabinet positions for the next R president, ones that can be confirmed by a republican senate. Yea, I know, you can’t.

    taurus the judge in reply to WISteve. | August 15, 2022 at 6:22 am

    Thats both unfair and largely untrue.

    There is no question some of trump’s appointments range from “weak” to what I believe were deliberate swamp plants. Some may even have been good but were ‘gotten to’ and compromised.

    That being true and indisputable, lets dig deeper.

    Trump is just a man ( no “Q” like insight or knowledge) and a political “virgin” unlike 99.9% of the swamp. He had to rely on the recommendations ( and possibly other considerations) of people who were deliberately and deceptively secretively trying to destroy him.

    Its no wonder these things happened. I question what human being ( IN IDENTICAL CIRCUMSTANCES) would or could have done any better given what we now KNOW Trump was up against?

    I can forgive the first administration because Trump found out too little too late and it has cost him and us dearly.

    I expect him to do much better on his 2nd term

      wsot23887 in reply to taurus the judge. | August 15, 2022 at 8:16 am

      You could get a better Cabinet and all the Secretaries by randomly picking names out of the phone book. Maybe we should start doing that.

        taurus the judge in reply to wsot23887. | August 15, 2022 at 8:53 am

        Easy to say behind a keyboard from one who never has or will be in the same situation facing the same obstacles

        Barry in reply to wsot23887. | August 15, 2022 at 11:59 am

        I gave you an upvote as I agree. The average American is quite competent and doesn’t suffer the baggage of most politically connected types.

        Of course, you would have to fire quite a few and throw the dart repeatedly at the phone book…

          taurus the judge in reply to Barry. | August 15, 2022 at 12:20 pm


          That “average American” you say is so “competent” is the reason the left and GOPe/RINO was voted in to begin with- they didn’t vote themselves in ( prior to 2020 anyway)

          Not a vote of confidence on that “competence”

          Barry in reply to Barry. | August 15, 2022 at 1:46 pm

          I make no assumption that elections are not being rigged.
          In fact, I know they are rigged and have been since at least 1960.

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to wsot23887. | August 15, 2022 at 12:45 pm

        Who picks the phone book?

      henrybowman in reply to taurus the judge. | August 15, 2022 at 5:01 pm

      The next R president needs to have a superpower that lets him look at McConnell and McCarthy and see Littlefinger instead. This can do nothing but help.

    What is the point of repeating this lie every time Trump’s name is brought up? Move on! Trump was relying on many “conservatives” that most of us idiots here thought were reliable “conservatives”. Most of us admit that and have moved on. But now that the masks have dropped and there is no longer a need for depending on a “unified” GOP for suggestions on the hundreds of appointments a non-politician business man had to make, Trump now knows who his core staff is going to be. He doesn’t have to be re-elected either. Do you not understand that? Drop the subject already. Move on and get into the fight.

I hope for the sake of the country DJT’s next appointments will be carefully made.

What is needed is an Eliot Ness type character who can go through the political and law enforcement agents to pull together a team to go after the corruption within the FBI to root out the leaders and the followers once and for all!

JackinSilverSpring | August 15, 2022 at 8:11 am

I agree 100% with Professor Hanson. The FBI is unsalvageable. The only part of it I would preserve is the forensic investigation part. As for the rest I would dissolve it. Moreover, I would disallow any of the personnel to ever again be involved in Federal law enforcement in any way shape or form.
The DOJ is also unsalvageable. I would dissolve it too with the same proviso for the civil service employees as for the FBI. I would replace it with an Office of Attorney General having a limited number political appointees who would subcontract cases to private lawyers sworn in for specific cases. Of course, this Office would be all political, but that’s what it is today. There is no reason a President should have to fight a hostile civil service in DOJ. Let him have the kind of replacement Office he wants even it politicizes justice, because it’s politicized any way, but only for one party.

Steven Brizel | August 15, 2022 at 8:24 am

VDH is a very thoughtful writer-The FBI has become the enforcement arm of the Democratic Party

Elections have consequences, and stolen, fraudulent elections have bad consequences.

The Venezuelization of America has begun under the Biden Regime. Well, okay, continued after the Obama regime did its damage.

The FBI is beyond redemption

I’ve kind of been saying that since Waco. The FBI’s function is clearly necessary, but the actual FBI is severely compromised and is probably not reformable in its current instance. It needs to be dissolved and a new bureau created, preferably with a different name, which should hire people from the old one only with extreme caution. Having worked for the old bureau shouldn’t be an absolute disqualifier for employment in the new one, but it should be presumed to be one.

Ditto for the IRS. Some kind of revenue service is obviously needed, but not the current one. Though in that case it’s not just the service that needs an overhaul, but also the code that it administers.

    CommoChief in reply to Milhouse. | August 15, 2022 at 9:36 am

    Maybe some of the retired Agents who didn’t seek to serve in the HQ hierarchy could be the nucleus of a replacement leadership cadre. Basically fire all the DC HQ types and the SACs. Then fire any agents involved in rank stupidity operations; Nasser investigation as an example.

    Several changes must be made no matter the details. First no more of this ‘independent agency’ BS. They are accountable to Congress and don’t get to brush off questions with impunity. Second the ‘image’ of the FBI and DoJ isn’t worth protecting from criticism. Circling the wagons to protect the institution instead of publicly firing and if warranted seeking criminal prosecution against their own Agents should be grounds for termination.

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to Milhouse. | August 15, 2022 at 9:46 am

    Millhouse, I am going to respectfully disagree with you regarding employment of (all) FBI employees when it is disbanded. That’s because I don’t its possible to separate the good people from the bad people. Also, as I have stated, not only would current (and past) personnel be barred from employment in any successor agency, but from any future involvement in any federal law enforcement activities whatsoever. Let them work for state and local governments, but not the feds. BTW I find it difficult to envision what kind of successor agency would be set up that would not lead to the same problems we have today. That is to say, I can’t see how to prevent any successor agency from being captured by one or the other political parties.

      henrybowman in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | August 15, 2022 at 5:21 pm

      Gee, I guess it’s totally unthinkable to conduct federal law enforcement in the only way that the founders explicitly wrote into the constitution: by using the militia of the whole, who aren’t likely to enforce any law that oppresses themselves. What genius, how did anyone ever think of it? And of course that’s the first mechanism that a tyrannical government wants to unconstitutionally replace with its own in-house stooges. Then they have the resources to prosecute and enforce hundreds of thousands of made-up federal crimes instead of just the three or four specifically delegated to them in the constitution. And after all that innovation and efficiency… mirabile dictu, look what happens! Tyranny Police! Why, whoever could have predicted this?

      There’s an apocryphal story about Washington explaining to Jefferson that the Senate was purposely designed to be inefficient, to “cool” legislation before it could pass via high emotion (the “coffee saucer” story). I choose to believe that federal law enforcement was purposely designed to be inefficient to keep the federal government focused only on issues of highest national urgency, and prevent them from the temptation of micromanaging the citizens’ lives.

    Panhandle Frank in reply to Milhouse. | August 15, 2022 at 10:22 am

    Haha. You said “revenue SERVICE” … haha.

    In a republic where wages were NOT taxed, no such “sErViCe” would be necessary.

      First of all, every government needs revenue. Something has to be taxed. And if something is taxed, why not wages?

      Note that the sixteenth amendment was not needed in order to tax wages. There was never a constitutional problem with that. The 16th amendment’s only purpose was to allow the taxation of income generated by property, such as rent and dividends. The supreme court at the time said that taxing the income from property was the same as taxing the property itself, which the federal government can’t do without apportioning the tax’s burden among the states in proportion to their population, which would be incredibly complicated to do. But wage income was never a problem; it’s not based on property, so it can’t be likened to taxing that property.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | August 16, 2022 at 2:00 pm

        “Wages” are not taxed. Earnings are used as the measure by which the levy is determined. The tax is actually on the activity that produces the income. That’s an indirect tax, as SCOTUS labeled the income tax (Stanton v Baltic Mining Co, 1916).
        In Title 26 there’s an exemption for state revenue-raising activities. Note the exemption isn’t on the money such activities produce, but on the activities themselves. It’s activity that would be taxed, absent the exemption. The amount of tax owed is determined by the profit generated by the activity (it is the “measure of the tax”).
        Indirect taxes are taxes upon revenue-taxable activities, occupations, and events. There are only two classes of tax identified in the Constitution, direct and indirect. The only direct tax contemplated by the Constitution is a head or poll tax. Direct taxes must be apportioned. The income tax isn’t apportioned. For it to be constitutional (and it is), it must be an indirect tax. SCOTUS said as much in Stanton, and said it quite plainly.

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to Milhouse. | August 15, 2022 at 10:50 am

    Dissolved sounds like overkill. Firing everyone on the 7th floor of the Hoover Bdlg and replacing them is probably called for though. That is what Trump’s “Schedule F” was all about.

      mbecker908 in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 15, 2022 at 11:10 am

      There is NO employee of the FBI – or the ATF for that matter – who should not be terminated and forbidden from ever working in any government position. There is not one whit of integrity, honesty, or patriotism in either of those agencies.

      And those two are just at the top of my list.

      Nothing the FBI is chartered to do can’t be done by a state or local agency.

        TrickyRicky in reply to mbecker908. | August 15, 2022 at 11:39 am

        And that is the crux of the matter. The swamp is (and has been since Obama) feverishly undermining local law enforcement, as in Defund the Police, meanwhile feeding steroids and ammo to the IRS and other federal agencies. Federal law enforcement hegemony will be the end of our republic.

    txvet2 in reply to Milhouse. | August 15, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    As with the demands by a few that we convene a constitutional convention to rewrite/replace the original, the basic flaw in your argument is that there is literally no way that you could trust anyone much less any group to do the job, much less trust this or any other Congress to write the enabling legislation.

      Milhouse in reply to txvet2. | August 15, 2022 at 7:24 pm

      But can you trust them less than the current FBI?

        DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | August 16, 2022 at 2:05 pm

        We can be fairly sure that the same forces that have corrupted the FBI will compromise a constitutional convention. The last thing we want such people able to do is to to claim that the Constitution was lawfully re-written and that it also just so happens that it supports all of their claims of authority.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | August 16, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    The FBI has become necessary because of the proliferation of federal laws.

The FBI is not only not a constitutional requirement, the founders clearly did not want a national police fore of this type.

It should be disbanded and never re-instituted. It was a political force form day one with a corrupt and vile leader in Hoover. His first job? Gather any and all dirt on politicians.

It was always like this but it was more even from administration to administration. No longer true.

The FBI is now an outright enemy of Americans.

The FBI is inherently, and by design, corrupt. Look no further than DOJ’s insistence that witness & suspects NOT be video or audio recorded when interviewed. Instead, FBI uses “302s” which are simply forms that one agent writes down what supposedly is happening when the witness or suspect is being interviewed by a second agent. These don’t even have to be filled out contemporaneously. Obviously, and certainly in this day and age, with cheap reliable universally available methods to audio and video record, the ONLY possibly reason for the use of 302s is to make it easier for FBI agents and DOJ prosecutors to commit perjury and frame the innocent. It’s their S.O.P. What competent law enforcement agent would NOT want the complete accuracy of audio and video recording? ONLY the DOJ, FBI, and I guess some corrupt racist sheriff’s departments.

    Barry in reply to Marco100. | August 15, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    “…the ONLY possibly reason for the use of 302s is to make it easier for FBI agents and DOJ prosecutors to commit perjury and frame the innocent.”

    That is the reason it’s always been that way.

    Scooter Libby.

Okay people, let’s take a deep breath and remind ourselves: THE FBI HAS ALWAYS BEEN CORRUPT, and almost always incompetent.

J. Edgar Hoover’s use of surveillance, keeping dossiers on EVERYBODY, which he used to help manipulate various presidents. This included usage of Counter Intelligence work against the NAACP, Anti-War protestors, MLK Jr., among others.

White Bulger and tipping him off to keep him out of jail because he had been a good informant.

Waco siege, and what a clown fiesta that was.

Ruby Ridge, shootings over failure to appear.

All of this prior to the current round of pre, concurrent and post Trump shifty behavior. I’m not sure why we all act like it was a noble body of virtue previously, it’s been bad since its founding.

    henrybowman in reply to aivanther. | August 15, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    “Ruby Ridge, shootings over failure to appear.”

    And that was the US Marshals Service, doing what the average LEO would consider their honest duty, at the mercy of bad information given them by an incompetent local judiciary. Again, I don’t even believe the FBI was involved in Ruby Ridge until after this. At that point, to give blame where it is due, they proceeded to cock it up way, way further.

    Barry in reply to aivanther. | August 15, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    ” I’m not sure why we all act like it was a noble body of virtue previously, it’s been bad since its founding.”

    Well, I’m not sure very many here have insinuated the FBI was previously a virtuous organization. I don’t think any really have.

    The opposite is more the flavor I get.

From yesterday’s Instapundit:

Anyone remember Gary Lee Sampson, a bank robber from Abington [MA]? Back in 2001, he wanted to turn himself in to the FBI. It was, again, a summer Friday afternoon. He called the Boston office and told them who he was, where he was, and that he wished to surrender. The feds hung up on him — it was Friday, Date Night Number One. Who could be bothered driving to Abington?

Sampson waited around for a couple of hours, but no FBI appeared to make the collar. So he went on a murder spree that weekend.

After he was arrested for the three killings, Sampson told local cops he’d called the FBI office. But everyone in the Boston office denied that Sampson had called — they lied, in other words, just like they did on those FISA warrants on Carter Page in 2016.

More recently we saw the same dynamic with the Broward County school shooter.

Indeed, it seems like the only mass shootings the FBI is willing to make an appearance at is the ones that they organize and arm themselves.