Julie Kelly: The FBI won’t let Facts get in the way of a 'Good Story'
FBI won’t let Facts get in the way of a Good Story
"Either the commissars prevail at great expense to the safety and liberty of the nation or they are defeated. And the closing chapter is being written right now."
By: Julie Kelly
We have a saying in my office. "Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.”
So said FBI supervisory agent Henrik Impola to one of the FBI informants working the FBI-inspired, organized, and executed scheme to “kidnap” and “assassinate” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
That comment, made in December 2020, just a few months after several men were arrested for their alleged role in the plot, was repeated by a defense attorney during opening statements Wednesday morning in the retrial of two remaining defendants in the federal case. A Grand Rapids jury in April handed the Justice Department a shocking and rare defeat when jurors failed to return a single guilty verdict in what the government considers one of its biggest domestic terror investigations in decades. Two men were acquitted on every count after lawyers convinced the jury the men had been entrapped by the FBI; jurors couldn’t reach a verdict on alleged ringleader Adam Fox and Barry Croft, Jr. Both men now face a new trial.
Impola’s warning should be the FBI’s new motto; he also could be the poster boy for the modern-day FBI. Not only did he handle the main informant in the Whitmer operation, Impola worked out of the Detroit FBI field office when a man named Steven D’Antuono was in charge. The purpose of the caper, one with D’Antuono’s fingerprints all over it, was to produce negative news coverage for Trump while millions of Americans were voting for president in 2020; the president was accused of inspiring “white supremacist right-wing militias” to take out one of his most loathed political adversaries.
One week after the arrests in the Whitmer plot were announced on October 8, 2020, FBI Director Christopher Wray invited D’Antuono to take over a plum assignment—head of the FBI field office in Washington, D.C. The promotion gave D’Antuono control of the most powerful FBI office in the country several weeks before the events of January 6.
D’Antuono currently handles the criminal investigation into the Capitol protest, which so far has resulted in the arrest of more than 850 Americans on mostly nonviolent offenses. D’Antuono’s agents also participated in the raid on Mar-a-Lago on Monday evening. Impola, for his part, was removed as a government witness in the Whitmer fednapping trial amid accusations he committed perjury in a separate trial.
Impola, Wray, and D’Antuono are just a few of the actors responsible for the agency’s “good story” related to Donald Trump. For six years and running, the bureau has portrayed Donald Trump as a public menace who must be destroyed at all costs. Trump and those around him are the villains in the FBI’s “good story” while any number of FBI officials and assets—James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Christopher Steele, Michael Sussmann to name a few—are victims and martyrs.
Props and optics such as an FBI-endorsed dossier, an FBI-drafted FISA warrant, an FBI-fabricated threat assessment on domestic violent extremists, and the FBI-executed raid of Mar-a-Lago on Monday all serve to bring the “good story” to life. Facts, as Impola boasted, to the FBI are quickly branded “conspiracy theories” or “disinformation” if any pesky realities get in the way.
Dramatic performances animate the FBI’s “good story.” In response to widespread outrage over the unprecedented raid of Trump’s residence, Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland dug in their heels, warning that threats against law enforcement—i.e., social media posts and commentary critical of the FBI—would not be tolerated.
Admitting during a very brief public statement Thursday afternoon that he authorized the raid on the former president’s home, Garland quickly changed the subject to angrily condemn the “unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors.” Garland promised he “would not stand by silently” if the alleged attacks continued. In a press briefing on Wednesday, Wray described threats against law enforcement—threats to which he offered no proof—as “deplorable,” a word he surely did not use by accident. The public is still supposed to believe, facts be damned, that the FBI is populated with fine men and women devoted to the Constitution and loyal to the rule of law. Whether it’s a pair of FBI lovebirds talking about an “insurance policy” to take down Trump or a top analyst warning Republican senators that any reporting on the content of Hunter Biden’s laptop is the result of a “foreign disinformation” campaign, the regime demands respect and fealty. Or else.
And don’t ask about the whereabouts of Hunter BIden’s laptop. Or the identity of the so-called January 6 pipe bomber. Or the number of FBI assets involved in the Capitol protest. Or why the FBI director needed to cut short a public hearing to take off on his taxpayer-paid jet for an extended weekend respite. Those questions do not require answers because the idea that the FBI is an accountable agency working in the best interests of the American people and not a secret police force devoted to imposing the will of an oligarchy is over—and that is precisely how the FBI wants it.
That might work for now, but it’s not sustainable. The most powerful law enforcement agency in the country, in the world, cannot continue to exist for much longer without some modicum of public trust. And the consequences of lost trust ironically played out during jury selection in the Whitmer retrial as numerous prospective jurors told the judge they could not be impartial due to a deep distrust of the government. One wonders how the FBI raid of Trump’s property on Monday will figure into the trial taking place in deep Trump country in western Michigan.
Regardless, there is no happy ending for the FBI’s autobiographical “good story.” Either the commissars prevail at great expense to the safety and liberty of the nation or they are defeated. And the closing chapter is being written right now.
About Julie Kelly Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of January 6: How Democrats Used the Capitol Protest to Launch a War on Terror Against the Political Right and Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of the “Happy Hour Podcast with Julie and Liz.” She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.