Four recent developments drive home the unsettling nature of our situation:
First, Charles Lipson writes how Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) “is making a deeply troubling allegation: An official investigation was mounted against an American presidential campaign with no official information to support it. If so, then U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies were weaponized for partisan purposes.”
Andrew McCarthy, on the implications for equal justice under the law: “Too many Trump critics have abandoned all pretense of respecting due process.” Byron York adds: “…the generally accepted standard of justice has been turned on its head. Now, the question is: Can the accused prove the charges false? Increasingly, the president’s critics argue that the dossier is legitimate because it has not been proven untrue.”
Second, a redacted version of the House Intelligence Committee’s final report appeared on Friday, clearing Trump’s campaign of colluding with Russia but describing three troubling matters: First, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn did not lie to FBI special agents. Instead, what Michael Walsh calls the Left’s “Star Chamber of Horrors” apparently forced Flynn to accept a guilty plea to stanch his financial bleeding, which included selling his home.
Also, Sean Davis reports Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “leaked details of a [Steele] dossier briefing given to then-President-elect Donald Trump to CNN’s Jake Tapper, lied to Congress about the leak, and was rewarded with a CNN contract a few months later.” The chronology of Clapper’s and CNN’s behaviors is a damning tale of intentional deep state sabotage of a president. Finally, a group of wealthy individuals has funded $50 million for a new effort by Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele, and a former staffer of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) to continue a Russian investigation.
Think about it. The Clinton campaign funded political opposition research that nobody anywhere has proven to be true, but the same players who generated these unverified tales are going to keep trying for more. Call it what it is: yet another attempt to overturn the 2016 election.
Third, this week also saw the unjustified character assassination of White House physician Admiral Ronny Jackson. The Left’s lies worked again. Neverending “lawfare“ is how the Left will make things too costly for anyone to affiliate with Trump, thereby neutering the president’s ability to govern. No end is in sight there, either. Ask Scott Pruitt.
Fourth, there was Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan’s brazen threat to Trump in response to the president’s tweet, saying “A highly partisan, incomplete, and deeply flawed report by a broken House Committee means nothing. The Special Counsel’s work is being carried out by professional investigators—not political staffers. SC’s findings will be comprehensive & authoritative. Stay tuned, Mr. Trump….” Stunning words, but not new behavior.
These recent developments feed into an even more frightening bigger picture, as Victor Davis Hanson writes: “We are entering revolutionary times. The law is no longer equally applied. The media are the ministry of truth. The Democratic party is a revolutionary force. And it is all getting scary.”
Dennis Prager describes the underlying differences: “We’re in a fight over basic values . . . The Left . . . is opposed to every . . . core principle of liberalism,” adding “If the Left is not defeated, American and Western civilization will not survive. But the Left will not be defeated until good liberals understand this and join the fight. Dear liberals: The Left is [your enemy].”
Daniel Greenfield outlines the battle lines: “[The Left] wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The Left has rejected all forms of authority it doesn’t control . . . their first and foremost allegiance is to an ideology, not the Constitution, not our country or our system of government. All of those are only to be used as vehicles for their ideology. That’s why compromise has become impossible . . . This is a primal conflict between a totalitarian system and a democratic system. Its outcome will determine whether we will be a free nation or a nation of slaves.”
The Possum Stirs
With some factual basis and no small amount of hope, 2018 will prove to be the year that we discover Attorney General Jeff Sessions played possum and fooled many people. Why would he act that way? With weaponized agencies, few to trust in an often-hostile Justice Department, and most likely only one try possible to take down the well-entrenched deep state rogues who are trying to unseat a president, no missteps can occur. Furthermore, Trump and Sessions have known for months now what everyone is only lately realizing: there is nothing to the Russian collusion charges. So if they knew they were clean, then they could set traps and be patient.
Sessions’ recusal from the Russia probe drove many people on the Right crazy. But the timing was essential. It followed the start of the inspector general’s investigation prior to Trump’s inauguration, and so has given Sessions “plausible deniability” for partisan maneuvering until the first IG report comes out in May. Then Sessions will have the credibility in the months ahead of the November midterm elections to root out the deep state with the same intensity he pursued and destroyed the Alabama KKK. It is even possible that Trump’s repeated public criticisms of Sessions have been meant to further enhance Sessions’ perceived independence.
Sessions won’t be beginning from a standing start when the inspector general’s final email investigation report (the first of several remaining reports) appears next month. He greatly ramped up leak investigations throughout 2017, personnel changes have already occurred, and some remaining staff may be cooperating witnesses. In December, Sessions made three important decisions:
- He re-opened an investigation into Obama’s squashing of the DEA’s Hezbollah drug-dealing investigation in order to keep his Iran deal on track.
- Ordered a new look into the Clinton Uranium One collusion deal, which has real Russian players and a Mueller connection.
- Launched a new inquiry into the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play corruption.
The fact patterns behind these various scandals are generally known; it is only a matter of when to pounce.
Sessions recently directed Inspector General Michael Horowitz to expand his investigation into FISA abuses, building on a March 15 Senate request and the January 18 House Intelligence Committee report which cited sources not interviewed by the committee. That suggests prior coordination of efforts and information-sharing.
We have also learned Sessions appointed two key people:
- U.S. Attorney John Huber was appointed some time ago to work closely with Horowitz, operating from his home base of Utah. This appointment creates a potentially powerful tag-team able to move rapidly from the inspector general referrals identifying evidence of bad behaviors to criminal indictments.
- U.S. Attorney John Lausch was appointed to work closely with congressional oversight committees on document production, a longstanding problem in prior times and one that can better be addressed as the inspector general’s work is nearing completion. Lausch’s work will help keep Huber focused on his job and allow indictment-related documents to remain secret until legal referrals and indictments actions are prepared.
If you think Trump is a piece of work now, wait until he has public ammunition about an ongoing soft coup attempt against a legitimately elected president. Part of his power comes from reacting at just the right time and making other people look foolish or worse.
An Action Plan for the Fight of our Lives
Wretchard T. Cat tweets: “The fight for the control of Washington, after a ton of preliminaries and battlespace preparation, is now truly underway.”
First, recognize that we are already in a war for America’s future and, so far, we are losing. The Left’s ongoing refusal to accept the results of the 2016 election and live according to the rule of law, along with their willingness to destroy people’s lives, are irreconcilable with a constitutional republic of self-governing people. There can be no negotiated settlement over such fundamental differences. We must boldly reclaim the righteousness of liberty and equal justice under the law on behalf of all Americans.
Second, winning the war will require unprecedented courage. It is highly likely that the deep state is already engaged in blackmail and bribery to neutralize opponents. We should expect such efforts only to increase and those efforts should be called out. Yet, we know that only a small number of Americans—acting like NSA Director Mike Rogers, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, and Inspector General Michael Horowitz—can change the momentum and get the liberty flywheel turning.
Third, frame the 2018 election as an existential moment in our country’s history, as a choice between being a free people who rule themselves versus life as subjects ruled by and dependent upon a rogue ruling class. Openly call the latter out for the evil they are doing—a slow-motion coup d’etat. Reclaiming the promise of self-government will be a multi-generation war.
The definition of winning the short-term 2018 battle is to swing election outcomes by holding the 2016 Trump base and persuading at least 7 percent (1 in 14) of the non-Trump 2016 voters (like Alan Dershowitz and even President Clinton’s pollster Mark Penn) who, regardless of specific policy preferences, place a high value on retaining traditional liberal values such as civil liberties and equal justice under the law.
Fourth, let the American people learn the jarring truth by rapidly declassifying every relevant Obama Administration document that highlights abuses of power by Obama, Clinton, Brennan, Clapper, Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Holder, Lynch, Yates, Rice, Power, Jarrett, Podesta, Wasserman-Schultz, and various other Justice Department and FBI personnel. Take the public debate beyond “he said, she said” talk. Promote the inevitable black hat infighting as they increasingly turn on each other once the spotlight is on their wrongdoing.
Fifth, indict and punish every one of the rogues based on those facts. This, with no plea bargains for any higher-level people, is a crucial step toward rebuilding the confidence of the American people that equal justice under the law can be recovered. Then radically restructure the Justice Department, FBI, and intelligence community.
Sixth, after the IG reports come out, pardon those who have been subjected to prosecutorial abuses. Insist Congress impeach Rosenstein—assuming he doesn’t resign first. All of this will neuter Robert Mueller, eliminating the need to fire him.
Seventh, make a clear case to the American people every week of every month, trusting they will recognize the choice before us is a stark one and rise to the occasion. Trust in their desire to see all Americans treated equally under the law and to live as a free people.
Reinhold Niebuhr described what we face: “There are historic situations in which refusal to defend the inheritance of a civilization, however imperfect, against tyranny and aggression may result in consequences even worse than war.”
Victory over this powerful enemy is uncertain. But we learned from our fight with Communism that evil’s Achilles’ heel is hubris and history teaches us they are vulnerable to the weapons of truth and courage. In these dark times, how can we be anything but Americans, and accept the character call to rise to the challenge and be a heroic people?
Image credit: James Montgomery Flagg