While Democrats claim that Donald Trump Republicans are the biggest threat to the republic, their party is guilty of weaponizing federal agencies and then militarizing them to the hilt.
According to a report from the fall of 2015, during the waning months of the Obama regime, a watchdog group known as Open the Books found that the Environmental Protection Agency had spent millions of taxpayer dollars arming up with weapons, ammunition, body armor, camouflage gear and even night vision goggles -- ostensibly to terrorize environmental polluters, The Spectator reported, adding:
The Illinois-based investigative group examined thousands of checks totaling more than $93 billion from 2000 to 2014 by the EPA, and its auditors indicate that about $75 million is authorized each year for “criminal enforcement” of America’s clean air and water laws. This includes cash for a cadre of 200 “special agents” that engage in SWAT-style ops.
“We were shocked ourselves to find these kinds of pervasive expenditures at an agency that is supposed to be involved in clean air and clean water,” said Open the Books’ founder, Adam Andrzejewski, a former gubernatorial candidate in Illinois. “Some of these weapons are for full-scale military operations.”
Indeed, some of the military-style ops carried out by EPA teams had already been reported in the media. Two years earlier, an EPA team conducted an armed raid in a small Alaska town where miners had been accused of polluting some local waters. Fox News noted then that the EPA's "armed agents in full body armor" took part in the raid.
The EPA’s website at the time described the mission and activities of its criminal enforcement division as “investigating cases, collecting evidence, conducting forensic analyses and providing legal guidance to assist in the prosecution of criminal conduct that threatens people’s health and the environment.”
The Spectator added then that Obama was not completely to blame, noting that the agency first obtained police powers in 1988, at the close of the Reagan administration. But by the time of the outlet's report, EPA was engaged in what a separate media outlet described as “environmental crime-fighting.”
“For more than 30 years, there has been broad, bipartisan agreement about the importance of an armed, fully-equipped team of EPA agents working with state and federal partners to uphold the law and protect Americans," the agency's website said then.
But Open the Books found more. For instance, supporting the armed EPA SWAT-style teams is a legion of highly paid attorneys and other staffers.
The whistleblower group found that seven of 10 EPA workers earn in excess of $100,000 (again, in 2015) while the agency's then-$8 billion budget also financed the salaries of 1,000 lawyers, making the agency one of the country's largest law firms.
The Specator noted further:
The EPA is hardly going solo in this armed adventure against America, however. The agency has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and a recent report by the U.S. Department of Justice indicates that more than 40 federal agencies, with 100,000 officers, carry guns and make arrests.
As for the EPA's authority, the U.S. Supreme Court's Trump-imposed conservative majority gave Americans some respite in its latest session, which ended in June.
The court's 6-justice conservative majority dramatically curbed the agency's power.
The ruling stated "that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot put state-level caps on carbon emissions under the 1970 Clean Air Act. Such authority would, in effect, steer states away from coal and toward other types of power sources that emit less carbon," Harvard University's School of Public Health noted in an online assessment.
"The Court said that, instead, the authority to decide how power is created in the U.S. must come from Congress," the explainer added.
Anytime a federal agency loses power, that's a good thing.