Masters of Corruption: The Drill Down Interviews a Whistleblower

Show Notes

The Deep State is real– a swamp full of disease regardless of who is in office. Like any swamp, it festers because it doesn’t move.

But when reformers are appointed to run offices or agencies within the swampy backwaters of the Deep State, swamp creatures move like lightning. They go after the reformers. The Drill Down’s guest on the most recent episode, Prof. Mark Moyar, has the scars to prove it.

Moyar, a career academic and military historian, was appointed by President Trump in 2018 to run the Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation, a division of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Almost immediately, he began to uncover corruption: evidence of waste, fraud, and abuse within the office. He investigated and reported multiple instances of wrongdoing to his agency’s inspector general, an Obama administration holdover. In retaliation for this, Moyar then became the subject of charges himself.

He was anonymously accused of abusing his travel allowance. When that didn’t stick, he was next accused of using his work computer for personal business. Nothing there, either. Then, he was accused of revealing classified information in a scholarly book he had published the previous year. Without being able to defend himself, he was forced out.

Schweizer responds, “It’s sort of like Trump, where they just throw a bunch of stuff against the wall to see what sticks.”

Today, Prof. Mark Moyar teaches military history at Hillsdale College and joins Peter Schweizer and Eric Eggers to discuss his run-in with the Swamp, and the book he has just published about his experience wading through the Swamp, called Masters of Corruption: How the Federal Bureaucracy Sabotaged the Trump Presidency.

What type of corruption did he uncover? “Some was minor, like toxic leadership styles, bullying, and people not showing up for work,” Moyar says. “But one person, who was my deputy for a short time, was simultaneously serving on the board of directors of a for-profit company getting contracts from both USAID and the Defense Department. That’s a clear conflict-of-interest.”

But Jack Ohlmeyer, the department’s Assistant General Counsel for Ethics and Administration, who remains there today, allowed it.

That wasn’t the only example of conflict-of-interest Moyar found in his time at USAID. The Assistant Administrator of USAID at the time was Bonnie Glick, whose husband, Paul Foldi, is a registered lobbyist for companies that do contracting with many federal agencies, among which is USAID.

Moyar’s book shows not only how career bureaucrats and political appointees work together to maintain the power of the Deep State, but how they do it by selectively attacking whistleblowers. Those who do come forward, like Moyar, are attacked and hounded with protection from the bureaucracy, while others who commit security or ethical breaches are tolerated or protected. A 2020 article in RealClearPolitics by Susan Crabtree noted the double standard in his case, contrasted with the kid glove treatment given to Alexander Vindman, who reported to Congress, second-hand, about Trump’s infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The job of protecting whistleblowers at every agency is supposed to be done by its Inspector General, but Moyar’s experience gave him little confidence in their competence, or trustworthiness.

“One thing I learned in this is just how bad a lot of the [Inspectors General] are at their jobs,” Moyar tells Schweizer and Eggers. “They’re not watchdogs. They are lapdogs.”