Show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime.” So said Lavrentiy Beria, the head of the Soviet secret police, to his boss Josef Stalin. The remark underscores the disposition of totalitarian states to their unfortunate subjects. There, an investigation often starts with the undesirable persons the state wishes to find guilty of a crime instead of with the legitimate business of discovering who is guilty of an actual crime.
Remember why we can’t simply “lock her up”? Because we don’t want to be a “banana republic.” The peaceful transition of power is the hallmark of a stable, successful, and mature democracy. The winner of an election should never be allowed to turn the prosecutorial apparatus of the state against the losing party.
But this admirable principle of justice takes for granted that the duly elected administration will be taking over control of the executive branch of the country, including the intelligence and prosecutorial apparatus. No one imagined that holdovers from previous administrations would be allowed to act independently and apart from democratic control.
The United States Constitution contains no provision that allows for an independent prosecutor to act as a check on the president. Moreover, it is ridiculous to suggest that the president, who is vested with all of the executive power under the constitution, can be charged with obstructing an agent of the executive branch. The Sheriff does not obstruct his deputies by redirecting their efforts.
This is not to say that any president is above the law. Obviously, he isn’t. But our constitution provides that the authority to check the president belongs to Congress and, of course, to the people who elected him.
There is no legitimate governing principle that entrenched government employees, once upon a time known as civil servants, should have a free hand to thwart the winning party’s efforts to govern, much less, undo the election by forcing the duly elected administration from office.
Likewise, there is no legitimate reason for the FBI to question any member of the president’s transition team regarding their contacts with Russia. Speaking with representatives of another government is absolutely part of what a government does. Additionally, a new government is allowed to go a new direction in foreign policy with Russia or any other nation if it believes it is wise and prudent to do so. Our foreign policy is not dictated by the opinions and views of the careerists and their “expertise.”
Almost a year into this investigation and there is still nothing of substance relating to supposed “Russian collusion” in the 2016 election. Mueller’s agents are resorting to the well-worn federal tactic of charging otherwise innocent people with obstruction by manufacturing a “lie” during a suggestive interview. That is, a federal agent will strongly suggest you should deny doing something they already know you did, by strongly implying it would be a problem for you if you did that thing.
While I’m not suggesting it is okay to lie to an FBI agent, is there such a shortage of real crime out there that they have to manufacture crimes?
The evidence is already out there. Russia’s activities in the election 2016 were, according to our own Intelligence Community’s report, “the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order.” To the extent that Moscow seemed intent on undermining Hillary Clinton’s credibility, it was due to their belief, shared with the vast majority of the worldwide media, the pollsters, and the experts that Clinton would win the election. Why spend time undermining the opposition in that case, especially when what you really want is to sow discord between your adversaries’ various factions?
While our Intelligence Community’s report concludes that Russia had a “preference” for candidate Trump based on classified information they will not show us, one can look at Russia’s activities on the internet and judge for himself.
Russia’s political ads were on both sides of various controversial issues. Russia did everything from trying to stir up a secession movement in Texas, to fueling the fire of the “Black Lives Matter” versus police supporters debate. At other times, one can find them supporting Bernie Sanders or promoting feminism and LGBT activism. The activity supports the view that Russia simply wanted to sow discord between the American people and undermine the government of the United States regardless of who is in the Oval Office. It does not support the conclusion that Moscow really hoped to help Trump win.
More important, the same report indicates that Russia did not in any way change the vote tally or “hack” the election. No reasonable person, or prosecutor, could conclude these Tweets and Facebook ads had any effect on the outcome of the election. Consider, for example, a typical example of the content “helping” the Trump campaign: the Jesus arm wrestling the devil meme, suggesting that if Hillary Clinton wins the devil wins. The ad implores you to share it and “help Jesus win.”
Why do we need the FBI, the CIA, and an independent prosecutor tying up resources in order to investigate these political memes that look like a chain email somebody’s shut-in grandparent would forward?
So many people were “with her” until Russia stole their votes with Facebook ads like this:
As the primary purpose of the Mueller investigation has become to provide justification for Congress to impeach the president, Robert Mueller has exceeded his authorization to investigate Russian influence. We cannot let biased careerist holdovers in the federal bureaucracy undo a legitimate election result.
The president’s party in Congress should join him in thanking Mueller for his services—and showing him to the door.