Current Page: Opinion | Monday, February 05, 2018
House Intelligence Memo Requires Another Special Counsel

House Intelligence Memo Requires Another Special Counsel

The release of the House Intelligence Committee memo has raised grave constitutional questions. Did officials at the highest levels of the justice department and the FBI collude with operatives of the Clinton presidential election campaign to employ scurrilous opposition research furnished by foreign intelligence operatives (i.e., "spies") and paid for by the Clinton campaign to obtain warrants under false pretenses to spy on individuals in the Trump election campaign? And, once President Trump won, did they then use the same tactics to spy electronically on the Trump transition team as an "insurance" policy to try to keep the duly elected president from fulfilling his term in office?

These are questions the American people have a right to know the answer to, and their government has an obligation to provide the answers in the most transparent way.

Let's be clear — this justice department "FISA-gate" controversy, absent any compelling evidence uncovered in the future — has nothing to do with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Harvard law professor and famed civil libertarian Alan Dershowitz underscored the essential truth at the heart of this justice department controversy — "FISA-gate" — when he said, "Every American — liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican — has a stake in making sure that the FBI remains accountable and follows the law and follows the Constitution."

I believe it is now time for the appointment of Alan Dershowitz as a new special counsel to investigate the apparent unconstitutional abuses of Americans' civil liberties by rogue officials in the justice department and the FBI.

Why Alan Dershowitz? While Mr. Dershowitz is a longtime supporter and friend of Hillary Clinton, and a Democrat, he is also a deeply committed civil libertarian whose only client is the Constitution of the United States and its ironclad protections of American citizens from violations of their freedoms by their government.

This is one conservative Republican who is also deeply committed to the constitutional protections of those God-given freedoms, and who believes this could well be Alan Dershowitz's finest hour.

Mr. Dershowitz would go wherever the evidence led him, whatever the consequences, and no one could accuse him of partisan bias, a political vendetta or an establishment cover-up.

Unless the government is willing to take such extraordinary measures and give Mr. Dershowitz, or someone of similar stature, the power to investigate, prosecute and root out rogue actors in our justice system, then our constitutional rights are in grave danger.

Our Constitution declares that the government gains its authority from the consent of the governed. If these grave matters are not thoroughly investigated and addressed, then I withdraw my consent. For starters, the FISA courts and all the extraordinary legal apparatus that accompanies them must go.

What about the terrorist threats, you may ask? Benjamin Franklin, at another crisis point in our history, declared, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

If the abuses indicated in the House memo are substantially true, then we face a greater threat to our freedoms from our own government than we do from the terrorists.

Frankly, as for me and my house, unless these apparent abuses can be rooted out and fixed, we'll take our chances with the terrorists rather than an out-of-control justice department and its power to trample Americans' liberties on a daily basis.

Dr. Richard Land is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and executive editor of The Christian Post.