By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) Former Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced a novel idea during an interview with Fox Business Network’s Gregg Jarrett on Saturday: Let’s “term limit” the deep state bureaucracy that is impeding President Donald Trump’s agenda.
In a response to House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes’ (R-Calif.) comments on Friday that the “deep state” is “much worse than even” he thought it was, Chaffetz noted he had a former Trump Cabinet official make a remarkable observation to him once when he was still in Congress.
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To Nunes’ point, Chaffetz noted, “I had a Cabinet secretary who’s no longer a Cabinet secretary under Donald Trump tell me, he said, ‘It’s like you get elected, you’re then in charge of a department, but you have to play with the other team’s players. And you don’t exactly get the support, and the back up, and the execution of the game plan that a new president puts in place.'”
Chaffetz said that kind of deep institutional resistance is “pervasive” and is president at all levels of the federal bureaucracy and in all departments — Justice, intelligence, and the various agencies.
“There have to be some changes,” he said.
Jarrett brought a historical perspective to the discussion. He noted he was currently reading a book about President Andrew Jackson, who — even in the late 1820s — also dealt with institutional push-back from the then-very small “Washington bureaucracy.”
He then noted that even though Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, there were scores more “just like them” waiting in line behind them.
“You know, a lot of talk is given about members of Congress having term limits,” Chaffetz said. “If you really want to solve this problem” of institutional pushback from deep state bureaucrats, “what you need to do is have term limits on the bureaucracy.”
That way, the former lawmaker said, there would be more turnover within agencies and far fewer opportunities for bureaucrats to become entrenched in agencies at various departmental levels who could ‘slow-walk’ or simply ignore Executive Branch directives.
“You know, an FBI agent is not allowed to go serve in a city for more than a few years, and they move to the next city so they don’t get too ingrained,” Chaffetz said.
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“But at the home office, at headquarters, they don’t do that,” he continued. “You get this incestuous group of people whose intent may be nefarious and may have a political agenda that is not conducive to law enforcement with a blindfold and equal application of justice.”
Like, say, Spygate.
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