A Starbucks in suburban Virginia. Maybe one of the ones near Arlington National Cemetery. Five men in their forties and early fifties in jeans and windbreakers huddle in the parking lot. The tallest one – really tall – tells a worried-looking younger man, the youngest of the group:

I swear to God, I will never, ever forget. Do you understand now?

The worried younger guy gulps and says

Yes.

But it doesn’t work that way, does it? So, the point being that according to Texas GOP Rep John Ratcliffe – who’s also Chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity – there is a reference to a “secret society” within the FBI, in the texts exchanged between FBI Agent Strzok and former FBI Attorney Page. Of which now there appears to be a few months of missing texts – from mid December 2016 to May 2017, when Mueller was appointed special prosecutor. Close to 50,000 texts apparently, gone, missing in action. Due to a glitch.

Let’s take a leap of conspiratorial speculation and assume for a moment there may have been (or still be) a rogue group within the FBI, and this is what the words “secret society” refer to.

We have no idea at this point what evidence there may be of their purpose. We can guess, however, that it would involve spreading incriminating information – or disinformation – on the Trump campaign, then on the Trump transition team, and finally, on the Trump administration itself. All in order to prevent, and then frustrate, and perhaps resist an elected administration. Or even help overturn it.

Do they have secret codewords and rotate their meetings between parking lots around Northern Virginia and D.C.? Uh, no, surely not. In other words, the evidence that any supposed group of FBI employees might have or might still exist will have to be parsed from convoluted, bureaucratic procedures, and mountains of partial evidence that on it’s own may appear trivial at times but within a larger context may prove damning.

But why do we have to go looking for a secret society? When former intel chiefs are in the media warning of the dangers of President Trump? When Sally Yates – Deputy Attorney General and Acting Attorney General for 10 days in January 2017 – defied her new boss over the first travel ban, rather than resign. She sided with the 9th Circuit rather than the White House, stating:

For as long as I am the acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of th[is] executive order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.

Did you applaud? Would you care if I pointed to Scalia’s dissent in Morrison v. Olson in 1988, and how it illuminates the entire special counsel/independent counsel dilemma? If you applauded you don’t care about Scalia’s theory of the “unitary executive” of which the Department of Justice is part. Trump shouldn’t be president and Sally Yates was right to display undue deference to the lower courts’ doubts about the ban.

So why should we unduly worry about a secret society in the FBI? When former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper states:

Having some understanding of the levers of power that are available to a president if he chooses to exercise them, I found this (Trump’s speech in Phoenix last August) downright scary and disturbing.

Never mind that he lied to Congress about the NSA surveillance program, Trump’s the scary one.

When the much of the media agrees with Clapper, should we be shocked and disturbed that some members of the FBI might have worked more as an opposition research team, aiding and abetting Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, along with the DNC and Hillary’s campaign team, than as impartial agents of the law? Yes, it is troubling. And yes, #Resistance may involve far more than just disgruntled EPA employees. But surprising?

Sure, conspiracy can be fun to watch on Netflix. At least before Kevin Spacey’s fall from grace. But this “secret society”, if it indeed exists, will be far more confusing and muddled and layered than any episode of House of Cards. And if it does indeed exist, those of you who applauded Sally Yates will justify and rationalize it’s actions. And that’s the truly troubling part.

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