By Jefferson Morley—AlterNet—January 17, 2017—
“You take on the intelligence community and they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you,” said Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer to Rachel Maddow last weekend. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”
Schumer’s candid comment was a rare admission of how things really work in Washington. If a president crosses a powerful agency, that agency’s officials may fight back with a diverse playbook of “off-the-record” tactics. Weapons in the interagency wars include leaks, threats of prosecution, bureaucratic sleight of hand, and “slow-walking” urgent directives.
(One would have to be, in Schumer’s words, “really dumb” to dismiss the more sinister possibilities—violence, black bag burglaries, and blackmail—but they occur far more often in Hollywood screenplays than in Washington reality.)