Can the president hire an FBI agent?

Donald Trump and the FBI: The power struggle has been going on for 40 years

The conflict between Donald Trump and the FBI - it began long before Trump became US President. An ARD documentary looks back and explains the background.

Documentary • October 28, 2020 • 11:10 pm

For the liberal part of the US population, the election of Donald Trump as president was a deep-seated shock, combined with the hope that advisors would slow down the impulsive politician. But shortly after he was sworn in in January 2017, Donald Trump set an example: he dismissed the then FBI chief James Comey without any warning. Trump declared the Federal Bureau of Investigation to be his personal enemy, suspected that the agency was involved in conspiracy theories against him, and even spoke of a "witch hunt" against him. On November 3, US citizens will again go to the polls, this time to decide whether the Republican will be re-elected or replaced by Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Less than a week earlier, the documentary "Trump and the FBI" on ARD recalled the power struggle between the US central security agency and the controversial president.

The film by director David Carr-Brown and author Fabrizio Calvi shows the enormous mistrust that prevails between the two US authorities. It is about nothing less than the repeal of democratic control mechanisms. In addition to well-known American journalists and other experts, former FBI agents who had already dealt with the then businessman Trump in the 80s and 90s have their say.

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The FBI, which is organized as a dense network of bureaucrats, secret service agents and lawyers, is seen as a national security guarantor. The organization has nothing less than the task of defending the American Constitution - in such a patriotic country the importance of that duty is immense. "Loyalty, courage, righteousness" is the authority's motto. - Donald Trump sees the nature of the FBI a little differently. He told NBC News about Comey and Co.: "They were dirty cops at the top of the FBI." His remedy for the agency's investigation is to give Attorney General William Barr, who reports to the FBI, a completely free hand.

The problems didn't just start in the 2016 election campaign or even with Donald Trump's appointment as president, no, he's been an issue at the FBI for 40 years. For years, possible connections between the now 74-year-old and the Italian mafia or the Russian gangster milieu have been observed. There is even said to have been a kind of "deal" between the two parties: Trump was not watched closely, but the FBI was able to monitor the criminal activities of his business partners.

Source: teleschau - der mediendienst GmbH