American Progressives want to be above the law and the Constitution, while treating Trump and his supporters as below the law and the Constitution. This can’t end well.
By Wolf Howling
We live in two Americas today, two parts that are in a cold civil war. The divide is between progressives who believe their moral superiority makes them above the law and the rest of us, whom progressives strongly believe should be subordinate to the law and the Constitution. To this end, progressives believe the Constitution, both its mandates and its limitations, are an obstacle that they can dispense with when any provisions do not redound to their benefit. If Trump does not return us to an America in which the law is applied equally to all people, ending the progressive’s raw will to power and reuniting the two Americas, the current situation will spell this nation’s end.
I. Trump and Charges of a Cover-up of the Ukraine Affair v. Hillary Clinton and her Private Server
Once the auditors to the Trump phone call with Ukraine’s president finalized and consolidated their notes from the call, the Trump Administration stored that document on a government top secret server for a few weeks — just as Trump’s predecessor, President Obama, did so with many of the memorializations of his phone calls with foreign leaders. However, when congressional Democrats said that they wanted to see the transcript from the call, the Trump Administration immediately produced it. Nevertheless, the Democrats in Congress and in the media are now claiming that merely placing the document on that server is one of the grounds for impeaching Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr for a “cover up.” It is ludicrous.
Hillary Clinton ran a private server out of a bathroom to hide her communications as Secretary of State for years, placed thousands of secret and top secret emails on the server, and then used “bleach bit” to wipe her server months after receiving a subpoena. The Obama DOJ and FBI then engaged in the single most obscene travesty of justice in this nation’s history to exonerate her and they did so with the whole-hearted support of every progressive in and out of Congress. The progressive left, repeatedly claiming her innocence, is only angry that she didn’t win the presidential election to which they — and she — felt she was entitled.
II. Interpreting Campaign Finance Law One Way For Republicans, Another Way For Progressives v. Trump, Clinton & The DNC
Progressives interpret campaign finance laws differently depending on the needs of the moment. The campaign finance laws, as stated in the IG IC letter that accompanied the Ukraine Whistle Blower Complaint, are:
U.S. laws and regulations prohibit a foreign national, directly or indirectly, from making a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election. Similarly, U.S. laws and regulations prohibit a person from soliciting, accepting, or receiving such a contribution or donation from a foreign. national, directly or indirectly, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election.
Information may be valuable, but information, particularly information that is not itself bought and paid for, is still not within the ambit of the actual law that Congress passed. Information is not a “contribution of money or other thing of value.” Seeking and receiving “dirt” does not violate the above laws, nor is it, standing alone, foreign interference. As Andrew McCarthy points out at NRO, to hold otherwise would interpret the law in a novel way that no court opinion supports. Thus, when the DOJ analyzed the complaint and the actual memo of the July 15 phone conversation:
The Department of Justice declined to investigate the July call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that prompted a formal presidential impeachment inquiry into allegations of a quid pro quo scheme.
“Relying on established procedures set forth in the Justice Manual, the Department’s Criminal Division reviewed the official record of the call and determined, based on the facts and applicable law, that there was no campaign finance violation and that no further action was warranted,” read a Wednesday statement from Justice spokesperson Kerri Kupec.
“All relevant components of the Department agreed with this legal conclusion, and the Department has concluded the matter,” she added.
Yet it seems that conservatives have elected to run with this wholly novel interpretation of the law. This impeachment is not criminal; it is political. It is not to punish a crime; it is to erase an election.
The Trump / Zelenskyy phone call became an impeachable “high crime and misdemeanor,” not because Trump violated the law, but because, when it comes to Trump, if merely seeking information from a foreign source implicates a progressive, it’s automatically deemed unlawful. Adam Schiff spoke for all progressives the other day when he called the phone call’s contents “dirt” — they potentially harmed a progressive (Biden) are thus tantamount to unlawful foreign interference in an election.
That is an interesting take on things given what the DNC and Clinton campaign paid the retired British agent Christopher Steele to solicit information from inside of Russia. The DNC and Clinton Campaign didn’t merely seek out information, they then spread their paid-for, demonstrably-false information to the FBI in order to start investigating Trump, then sought to swing the election to Hillary by publicizing both that information and the FBI’s investigation into the information a month before the election. And then of course, when this sordid tactic failed, the progressive left did not call for Hillary, the DNC, or Perkins Coie to be investigated and prosecuted for campaign finance violations. To the contrary, they demanded that Trump be investigated and impeached on the basis of the “dirt.”
And what of the three Democratic Senators who, last year, wrote to Ukraine demanding an investigation of Donald Trump? Do the same rules not apply to them? To have to ask the question is to answer it.
III. Seeking Foreign Information as a Campaign Finance Violation – Hunter Biden v. Trump Jr.
During the campaign, after the DNC / Hillary campaign had started the bogus charges of criminal Russian collusion, Don Jr. was invited to a meeting with Russians at Trump Tower to receive embarrassing information about Hillary Clinton. That became a cause célèbre among progressive for two years when they touted it as a campaign finance law violation. It instantly became the subject of hundreds of front page MSM articles, and a full investigation.
Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been using his father’s position in government for years to enrich himself, all with his father’s knowledge. As the NY Post recently laid out, “Wherever Joe Biden Went, Son Hunter Cashed In,” to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars from Ukraine, Iraq, and China. The left has no interest whatsoever in looking at any of that, whether as it pertains to Hunter Biden or implicates his father.
This double standard is too much even for left wing comedian Bill Maher:
“The more I read about this- no, I don’t think he was doing something terrible in Ukraine, but it’s just- why can’t politicians tell their f—–‘ kids, ‘Get a job, get a godd–n job!”” Maher told the panel. “This kid was paid $600,000 because his name is Biden by a gas company in Ukraine, this super-corrupt country that just had a revolution to get rid of corruption. It just looks bad.’ . . .
[I]f Don Jr. did it, it would be all Rachel Maddow was talking about. . . .
Biden corruption in the Ukraine was such an obvious issue that even the NYT ran a major article on it in 2015, at a time when Trump was not yet elected President and progressive strategists were advising Joe Biden to step aside to let the Hillary juggernaut advance. But now, for the NYT and rest of the MSM, it’s the mafia law of omertà.
IV. Extortion Using American Aid – Donald Trump v. Joe Biden.
Donald Trump is about to be impeached merely for requesting that Ukraine finish its investigation into the 2016 election mess, locate the DNC server, and finish investigating Bursima, and then noting in passing that what Joe Biden did was outrageous. There was no quid pro quo in the July 25 conversation between the American and Ukrainian presidents nor, according to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, did Trump pressure him in any way. At the Pentagon’s request, the administration had in place a temporary hold on American aid, but Ukraine was not aware of that hold at the time of the July 25 phone call. Yet Trump stands accused of committing a campaign finance violation regardless.
National Review has done the definitive time line on Joe and Hunter Biden. It is not pretty. Joe Biden knew about Hunter Biden’s business interests in Bursima. The Ukrainian prosecutor had two ongoing investigations into Bursima. One of these investigations was for corruption and targeted, among others, Hunter Biden at the exact time Joe Biden arrived in 2016 and then extorted Ukraine to fire the prosecutor as a precondition for receiving a billion dollars in American aid. Then, in typical Biden mock-heroic fashion, he boasted about his conduct.
Biden did what Trump stands accused of doing. Yet for the progressives, the only one of the two who should be in any legal peril is Trump.
As Andrew McCarthy states at NRO:
There was no impropriety in President Trump’s asking Ukraine’s president to assist the Justice Department’s investigation of Russiagate’s origins. Okay, you say, but what does that have to do with Biden?
Well, Biden was the Obama administration’s point man in dealing with Kyiv after Viktor Yanukovych fled in 2014. That course of dealing came to include Obama administration agencies leaning on Ukraine to assist the FBI in the investigation of Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman. So, Biden’s interaction with Ukraine is germane: The fact that he had sufficient influence to coerce the firing of a prosecutor; the fact that, while Biden was strongly influencing international economic aid for Kyiv, a significant Ukrainian energy company thought it expedient to bring Biden’s son onto its board and compensate him lavishly — although Hunter Biden had no experience in the industry.
That aside, I do not understand why there has not been more public discussion of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in light of the instances of Hunter Biden conveniently cashing in with foreign firms while his dad was shaping American policy toward those firm’s governments. As we saw with the collusion caper, it does not take much evidence of any crime for the FBI and the Justice Department to open an investigation and scorch the earth in conducting it. And if it would have been legit for the Justice Department to open an FCPA investigation of one or both of the Bidens, then it was appropriate for President Trump to ask President Zelensky to help the Justice Department determine if an FCPA crime took place – even if doing so could have affected the 2020 fortunes of Biden and Trump.
Democrats have been silent about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act because laws apply only to non-progressives. There’s been lots of talk about the Emoluments Clause though.
V. Selective Prosecution Under Campaign Finance Laws
Campaign Finance laws only seem to apply to punish conservatives, whether it be the very selective prosecution of Dinesh D’Souza or the ludicrous non-crime that Michael Cohen confessed to as part of his plea agreement (namely, that his paying Stormy Daniels from private funds that Trump then reimbursed from his own private funds constituted a campaign finance violation).
No one in the Deep State, though, blinked when it became clear that the DNC and the Hillary Campaign paid for Christopher Steele’s explosive, and completely fake, opposition research by laundering their funds through the Perkins Coie law firm. This was illegal and forced the government to expend countless dollars and months in litigation to learn what should have been information in the public realm. It also added greatly to the Russia Collusion Hoax / Coup attempt that this fact was hidden from the public for two years.
D’Souza was fined and jailed. Cohen is in jail. No one associated with Perkins Coie, the DNC, or the Hillary Campaign has even been investigated for blatantly violating campaign finance laws.
VI. False Statements At A Congressional Hearing – Michael Cohen v. Adam Schiff
Michael Cohen was charged with lying to Congress. Adam Schiff also lied to Congress. Thus, he sat before Congress and the television cameras and began a formal hearing by horrendously falsifying the July 25 conversation between Donald Trump and Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy, describing their conversation thusly:
“[I] reads like a classic organized crime shake down. In essence, what the President Trump communicates is this: We’ve been very good to your country. Very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what, I don’t see much reciprocity here. You know what I mean? I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you though. And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of dirt, on this and on that. I’m going to put you in touch with people, and not just any people. I’m going to put you in touch with the Attorney General of the United States — my Attorney General, Bill Barr — he’s got the whole weight of American law enforcement behind him. And I’m going to put you in touch with Rudy, you’re going to love him. Trust me. You know what I’m asking, so I’m only going to say this a few more times, in a few more ways. And don’t call me again. I’ll call you when you’ve done what I asked.”
The actual transcript says no such thing. The “favor” in question was Trump seeking Ukraine’s assistance with the Department of Justice’s probe into the previous Ukrainain government’s meddlng in the 2016 election. Only 540 words after raising this issue did Trump suggest (not demand, but suggest) that Ukrainian officials could further root out corruption in their country by looking into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter for their shady business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company. Both Trump and Zelinskyy understood that this aside referred to the fact that, while he was overseeing the administration’s policy toward Ukraine, then-Vice President Biden played a role in firing the Ukrainian prosecutor going after the Ukraine company on whose board Hunter sat for $50,000 a month, even though he lacked any experience working in the industry.
Later in the hearing, and only after he’d been called out for his fabulism, did Schiff admit that his opening statement was pure fiction, belatedly calling it a “parody.” That was anything but a parody. It was designed to set in stone a narrative for the country. What does it say about the strength of the progressive’s case that they have to lie in order to make it. As George Stephanopolous (of all people) asked Schiff, after playing a snip of his lies before Congress, “That was you making up dialogue, putting it in the president’s mouth. If the facts are as damning as you say, why make up dialog for dramatic effect, . . .?”
Michael Cohen is in prison for lying to Congress. Adam Schiff blatantly lied not just to Congress, but to the entire American public, in order to set a false narrative in the public mind — yet he will not suffer a penalty. Instead, he will be lauded for opposing the President. The rules don’t apply to him.
VII. Due Process Can Be Dispensed With When It Is To Progressives’ Advantage
Procedural due process is a foundation of our government and our legal system. Without it, no nation, including ours, can remain free. Yet the progressive left, determined to make victims of women and oppressors of men, has declared war on the latter. To this end, academia is riddled with systems that dispense with due process as part of kangaroo courts designed to “believe all women.”
Sadly, what starts on college campuses provably does not stay on college campuses. Progressives have been happy to abuse any legal government process if they thinks it advantageous.
For example, take how Dianne Feinstein maneuvered around due process to keep Justice Kavanaugh, an originalist, off the Supreme Court. Senator Diane Feinstein received Christine Blasey-Ford’s complaint in July 2018, over a month before the September Senate Judicial Committee Hearing to decide on Justice Kavanaugh’s fitness for office. Rather than submit the complaint to the committee or to the FBI where it could be vetted — it was so weak no one believed it could withstand even the most superficial scrutiny — Feinstein held onto it so that she could release it at the hearing’s conclusion, hoping to gin up a public outcry that would defeat Kavanaugh’s nomination without actual investigation. What she did was underhanded and, at the cost of slandering and destroying an innocent man’s life and reputation, designed to thwart a fair public process because the outcome would not have favored progressives.
VIII. Court Packing To Insure Permanent Progressive Dominance Of The Supreme Court
For the last near century, progressives have dominated the Supreme Court, working fundamental changes to our nation outside of the ballot box and with nothing but derision for the original meaning of the Constitution and its amendments. Their efforts have included forcing the Judeo-Christian religions out of the public square, as well as creating out of whole cloth a Constitutional right both to abortion and, most recently, gay marriage.
Now that it appears that originalists who would interpret the Constitution in accord with original intent may form a majority on the Court, thus forcing the left to try to achieve through the ballot box what it cannot achieve through an activist Supreme Court, the left no longer wants the same rules to apply. Numerous progressive politicians have come out in favor of packing the Supreme Court to assure that the Court will henceforth have an entirely progressive ideology. Progressives don’t believe that the same rules by which America has played for over a century continue to apply when they do not work to progressives’ benefit.
IX. Challenging Elections & Changing The Rules To Insure Progressive Victories
Elections themselves are only valid when progressives win, whether that be Al Gore, Stacy Abrams, or Hillary Clinton. Indeed, Trump’s true impeachable offense in progressive eyes was winning the 2016 election. Progressives have been trying to overturn that election since December, 2016, a full month before Trump took office. And if the progressives don’t win an election, it is always for some illicit reason — Supreme Court interference, imagined malfeasance , or Russian interference (with hysterics over tens of thousands of dollars and a blind eye to Hillary’s entire corrupt scheme).
Moreover, any Constitutional system that does not redound to progressives’ benefit is illegitimate because of . . . slavery, misogyny or some other specious justification . . . and must be nullified, from the electoral college to the Senate’s composition to the First Amendment’s protections for speech and religious conscience. And no worries if progressives do not have enough votes to enact their preferred laws or to alter the Constitution. If they cannot achieve their goals through fair means, then foul will work, whether that be by governing around Congress through the regulatory bureaucracy; using a progressive president’s executive orders, which progressive courts then rule have the power of law if a conservative president tries to reverse them; having courts rewrite laws and new Constitutional provisions; or simply enacting laws that, if successful, would serve to nullify the electoral college process set forth in Article II Section II of the Constitution.
XI. Progressives’ Belief That They Are Entitled To Break or Manipulate The Law To Resist Non-Progressives In Office, or Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump & Michael Flynn
Progressive bureaucrats believe that they have the right to exert extra-constitutional and, at times, unlawful veto power over American policy and the composition of this nation’s government. These bureaucrats went to extraordinary lengths to obstruct justice and protect Hillary Clinton. These same bureaucrats, as Neo opines:
Right after the 2016 election, I read some articles describing people in government who had decided to stay put and secretly sabotage Trump. These articles weren’t exposes written by the right; they were proud confessions from the left, part of the righteous Resistance. We are seeing the fruit of that today.
That raises a rather profound question: Who runs our government? Our elected officials or the faceless bureaucrats who feel their morality is so superior that see themselves as justified to commit sedition? We are in the midst of finding out.
Let’s go back to 2015 and 2016, when the FBI and DOJ were working to exonerate Hillary for committing thousands security violations and destroying government records. The FBI and DOJ required that everyone who worked on her case sign strict non-disclosure agreements:
FBI agents involved with the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring them from discussing the case with anyone else unless called to testify.
Agents who spoke with the New York Post said they had never heard of the “Case Briefing Acknowledgement” form before working on the Clinton email probe. Signing the form prevented personnel from speaking about the investigation publicly.
“This is very, very unusual. I’ve never signed one, never circulated one to others,” a retired FBI chief said.
FBI sources close to the case also were reportedly disappointed with Director James Comey’s decision not to recommend that Clinton be charged for a crime, according to the New York Post.
Another source said that “FBI agents believe there was an inside deal put in place after the [Attorney General] Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton tarmac meeting,” referring to when the two met on Lynch’s plane in Phoenix, Arizona days before Comey’s announcement to not recommend charges.
Now when it comes to Trump — or Michael Flynn for that matter — bureaucrats who are politically motivated feel free to exercise their veto on our democratic republic. When the bureaucrats failed to take down Trump over Russia or a process crime, despite help from a group of rabidly partisan progressives in the special counsel’s office and with access to general warrants (the most powerful search warrants available) as part of a counter-intelligence — not criminal — investigation, the Deep State still had “resistance” left in it. This Ukraine Whistle Blower Complaint is the Deep State’s second attempt to politically assassinate President Trump. It comes from the same Deep State resistance and manipulation of the rules and laws, this time with a bit of steaming Schiff thrown in. As Professor Jacobson opines:
It’s not so much a whistleblower complaint as a closing argument crafted by lawyers [including, at least one former CIA agent believes, Adam Schiff and his staff] based on information the complainant never witnessed in order to create a pretext for impeachment, or at a minimum to damage Trump’s 2020 prospects.
The complainant, by his or her own account, is but a figurehead for a broader community within the government united against Trump. . . .
The question becomes, how in the world did the Intelligence Community Inspector General even entertain this whistle blower complaint given that it is entirely based on hearsay evidence coupled with speculation, bald assertions and improper statements of the law? The story of the Assistant IG IC’s handling of this complaint is set out in a letter released to the public along with the whistle blower complaint.
Here’s a quick primer for non-lawyers: Speculation and bald assertions are never allowed into evidence. Hearsay means that the person stating the evidence has no first-hand knowledge of the facts he’s asserting. He heard someone say something that he is reporting as true. Such hearsay evidence is never credited in a courtroom — subject to a few age-tested, well-defined exceptions, none of which apply to anything in the whistle blower complaint — because hearsay information is inherently unreliable. All of that is itself a part of the due process of law.
With that primer in mind, never before has anyone been able to submit an actionable whistle blower complaint through the Inspector General without it being based on his own knowledge. And neither should this one. It appears that this whistle blower complaint was pushed through by someone in the Inspector General’s Office, who only in September went back to revise the standards requiring first hand knowledge in order to allow this complaint based on hearsay. And to classify it as raising a matter of “urgent concern” even though it did not meet that legal definition since it did not concern intelligence, but rather foreign policy. With that in mind, this letter from Devin Nunes to the IG IC raises all of the proper questions. It appears that there has been more than a little chicanery.
Moreover, how the hell did the IC IG forward this complaint and mark it as a matter of “urgent concern” without reviewing or, by the IC IG’sown admission, even asking to review the contents of the 25 July conversation? This is a breathtaking political hit. But progressives are fine with that. Some would like to see many more:
Of course, this also has parallels to the political assassination of Michael Flynn, another Deep State operation, though the FBI and Sally Yates (in the DOJ), not the intelligence community, coordinated the Flynn take-down. As with Trump, the operation run on Michael Flynn was ideological and had no basis in an actual crime. As with Trump, bureaucrats manipulated the system to leak classified information ensuring that Michael Flynn would be driven from office.
So at any rate, this could not be a more obvious double standard. When progressives are involved in wrongdoing, they are protected by the bureaucrats. When people whom the progressives view opponents hold office, the bureaucracy feels justified to sidestep due process and exercise a veto on our democratic choices.
XII. The Move To Impeach Trump & Barr Is Aimed At Ensuring Progressives Are Not Held Accountable For Any Of Their Criminal Acts In the Coup Attempt That Was The Trump Russia Hoax
I’ve saved the worst and most important for last. The bum’s rush to impeach Trump — as illustrated by the fact that progressives have planned minimal hearings, intend to have the articles of impeachment prepared by the end of October, and want to bootstrap into that an impeachment against Attorney General Bill Barr — is not merely meant to overturn the results of the 2016 election and ensure Trump is not reelected in 2020. Instead, it is every bit as much aimed at making sure that the progressive left is not subject to being held accountable for the failed Trump-Russia coup attempt. This from Thomas Lifson:
Lost in all the frenzy over impeachment . . . is the trio of ticking time bombs that Democrats know are about to detonate in their faces.
The three time bombs have names: Horowitz, Huber, and Durham. When the Department of Justice inspector general issues his report, then John Huber and John Durham, the U.S. attorneys tasked with investigating crimes suspected in the Clinton Foundation; Uranium One; and the FISA warrants used to spy on the Trump campaign, transition, and presidency will be free to start seeking indictments, or to unseal indictments that may have already been issued by their grand juries. The reports and the unleashing of the two U.S. attorneys are coming soon, as those mentioned in the I.G. report are currently submitting their responses for inclusion in the final report.
One poker tell of the Dems’ panic is the demand that Attorney General Barr recuse himself, or even be impeached. Having left his lucrative law practice and returned to the attorney generalship out of a sense of duty to correct the corruption that has spread through the Justice Department and its subsidiary, the FBI, William Barr will not flinch in going after miscreants once they are indicted. That’s why they desperately want him out of the game. . . .
That really is the ultimate double standard. With their attempted coup, progressives engaged in sedition. Having failed, progressives want to ensure they pay no price at law. They know that the price won’t merely include long jail sentences; it will also see the Democrat party being painted as a collective of immoral criminals who used unlawful means to destroy this nation and overturn an election. That poses a mortal threat to the progressive movement. It is the reason for the attack on Barr. And it’s the reason the NYT and all other Lefitst media who are on a tear to discredit that investigation. As Kimberly Strassel tweets:
It is possible that Barr, as an honest broker, will find nothing criminal in what happened. He has, after all, already let Comey off the hook for repeatedly leaking confidential information and violating FBI regulations. But the progressives don’t believe that will be the case (nor do I), or we wouldn’t be seeing this utterly ludicrous charge being made to impeach Barr as part of the Ukraine narrative, nor the push to insure that the investigation itself is portrayed as illegitimate.
It is long past time for a reckoning. Bottom line: If progressives manage to subvert Barr, so that he is unable to reassert equal rule of law, that spells this nation’s eventual end.
I don’t see how any of this ends well. Either rule of law is restored in this country and the law applies equally to everyone — something progressives will fight tooth and nail — or this nation descends into chaos with blood in the streets. I’m reminded of Thomas Jefferson’s famous letter of 1787 which seems quite applicable in the midst of the progressive push for dictatorial rule of our country at any cost, an effort that comes immediately on the heels of an unsuccessful coup attempt and some 154 years since the end of our last Civil War:
. . . The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong . . . will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. . . . What country before ever existed a century and [a] half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.
Let the progressives succeed in two or three of their efforts above and it may well destroy this nation. Let them succeed in all of them and we will be in a civil war.