Originally published at National Justice.
In the last 24 hours, activist Jewish judge James Boasberg has defied prosecutors to protect Big Tech and the corrupt FBI. These decisions represent a massive setback for forces inside the state attempting to rebuild public trust in American institutions.
Yesterday, Boasberg refused to give FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith jail time for his role in framing Trump campaign aide Carter Page as a Russian spy.
In 2017, Clinesmith altered an email intended for a FISA court to exclude Page’s service as a CIA source. The goal of the lie, which violated Carter’s rights by putting him under strict surveillance, was to help set the stage for the Russiagate investigation of Donald Trump.
Clinesmith is broadly hailed as a “resistance” hero, but an inspector general report selected him to take the fall for what appeared to be the systematic abuse of the US government’s intelligence apparatus to undermine a political opponent. He pled guilty in August 2020, while prosecutors in his case demanded he serve prison time for the abuse of his office.
By refusing to punish Clinesmith, Boasberg, who is an Obama appointee, guarantees that abuses in the FISA court will continue.
Earlier today, the White House did not deny reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) was spying on Tucker Carlson’s private communications in order to find something that could get his show taken off the air.
Attempts At Busting Tech Monopolies Thwarted
Boasberg also issued a ruling today that dismissed two lawsuits demanding permission to regulate social media company Facebook.
The two lawsuits — one filed by the Federal Trade Commission and another by a collection of bipartisan Attorney Generals — were dismissed by the judge on legally questionable grounds.
According to Boasberg, the FTC took too long to declare Facebook’s acquisition of competitors like Instagram and WhatsApp as abusive. He also said it was illegitimate for litigators to argue that Facebook had a monopoly just because Myspace and Friendster were defunct, and agreed with the social media giant’s argument that Youtube, Twitter, and Apple’s iMessage could be counted as Facebook competitors despite the latter providing a different service.
Boasberg’s decision is part of a systematic problem where federal judges are biased in favor of big capital. Attempts to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger, the growth of 1-800-Contacts, and Qualcomm’s deals represent recent attempts to regulate monopolies that have been blocked by federal courts.
By defending monopoly capital’s rigging of the market and letting off individuals accused of framing American citizens so that they can open up frivolous investigations into them is certain to infuriate the public on both sides of the aisle.