What went wrong with the FBI is not the doing of its rank and file. It was a failure of leadership.
To fix the FBI, we need to understand what went wrong with it. It is now beyond debate, and should be a bipartisan concern of the first order, that something was very wrong with the FBI’s most senior leadership in 2016-17. It is clear that Donald Trump’s election was the catalyst for that leadership to take one of the most important organs of our government completely off the rails. The conduct of former FBI Director Comey personally, and the FBI senior leadership in his tenure, has emerged as a history of repeated conduct that now demands examination. It starts, but unfortunately does not end, with failed leadership at the bureau that in turn facilitated the bureau’s unmistakably taking up a politically driven agenda. The facts that we already know about senior FBI leadership in the Flynn case are shocking, meeting the “shock the conscience” legal standard that justifies the rare step of dismissing a criminal case due to government misconduct. But those facts and other acts by the same cabal also meet a rule-of-evidence standard that allows consideration of a pattern of acts to show “signature” conduct, that is, that an intent to act on one occasion may be demonstrated by evidence showing similar conduct on other occasions.