The Impeachment Dog Bites Orange Man Scam

Dogs biting humans being naturally unremarkable, any attempt to convince us to regard accounts of their biting as noteworthy events leads one to ask whether the person advancing that position is ignorant of nature, or is toying with us. By nature, instances of bureaucrats speaking ill of their elected superiors are equally unremarkable and lead us to ask the same questions.

For the past month, the Democratic Party and the media (excuse the redundancy) have demanded that the American people be shocked (shocked!) by stories of multiple bureaucrats who express (choose your weapon) “concern,” “dismay,” “abhorrence,” etc. at the mode and substance of President Trump’s communication with Ukraine’s president. The substance of what they had to say about those communications has been by far the lesser part of the story. As each bureaucrat has “come forward,” the Democrats and the media largely have dropped attempts to explain what, exactly, may have been bad about Trump’s communications, and found the officials’ disgust with the president to be sufficient cause for impeaching him.

But since bureaucratic disdain cannot lead the Senate to remove Trump from office, impeachment is merely a pretense to lead the American people to pay attention to smears based in no reality beyond the animus of a ruling class frightened by the voters.

A Special Breed

Usually, there is no more reason to pay attention to establishment bureaucrats opposing a president elected to oppose them than there is to dwell on dogs biting whomever frightens them. But now the Democratic Party is using what little remains of the intelligence agencies’ credibility as the sword with which to strike Trump and the claims to secrecy of those agencies as the shield from behind which to do it. In other words, it is doing just what it did during the Russian-collusion scam. That is why the scam itself is the story.

Specifically, the Democrats and their kept media use the apparatus and reputation of what it calls “intelligence” to veil the fact that the canines who are biting Trump are not run-of-the-kennel bureaucrats acting on their own account and motivated merely by policy views different from his. The secret—the news that the Democrats and the media are hiding in plain sight—is that the attackers are a special breed that attacks as a coordinated pack.

As RealClear Investigations has shown, these bureaucrats were part and parcel of the Obama Administration. Some of them were key players in the Russia hoax starting in 2016. They include the Intelligence Community’s inspector general, career employees of CIA, and Democrats on staff with the House Intelligence Committee, as well as White House personnel. Some even have personal connections with the Biden family and with Ukraine.

How it came to pass that the Trump White House and the CIA are employing leftist activists is another story in itself.

The Substance

A dispassionate glance at the substance of the anti-Trump complaints is enough to show that the complaints themselves are pretenses.

Trump used his personal attorney to deal with Ukraine’s government? Entirely true—and entirely proper. Nothing in the Constitution, law, or precedent obliges any president regarding any channel whatsoever through which to carry on foreign affairs. Franklin Roosevelt used Bill Donovan, and Ronald Reagan used Vernon Walters just as Trump uses Rudy Giuliani. The lawful power to deal with foreign nations rests with the president, who may use or not use the bureaucracy as he sees fit.

In the absence of the president’s proper stewardship of the national security establishment, the American people’s sense of smell is its last defense against biting canines.

What did Trump request of Ukraine’s president that was improper? The transcript of their communication is in the public domain for anyone to read: Trump asked Ukraine’s president for help in unraveling whatever unlawful things Ukrainians did to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and to look into Hunter Biden’s possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This would have been proper under his general authority over foreign affairs. But such requests are well-nigh mandated by the 1999 U.S.-Ukraine Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

That should be enough to understand why the Democratic Party and the media’s insistence we credit their bureaucratic allies’ complaints against Trump has zero to do with the complaints’ substance.

Intelligence: Bastion of the Resistance 

The real ground of the unending attacks on Trump is the ruling class’s decision to resist the 2016 election’s outcome. It is a revolution from which the Republic is unlikely ever to recover.

The role of the intelligence agencies in that resistance is one of that revolution’s principal parts. Indeed, only the vestiges of these agencies’ mystique, plus their legal claims to secrecy, have enabled the Democrats and the media to pretend the American people should regard partisan bureaucrats as wise and expert stewards of national security. They are no such thing.

The bureaucrats who have launched their attacks on Trump from behind the intelligence agencies’ shield of secrecy, and through the Democrat-controlled House Intelligence Committee’s hearings are part and parcel of the Democrat-led ruling class. We are asked to believe that the nation is being saved. In fact, some very dirty dogs are biting American voters.

The modus operandi is as follows: Democratic politicians assert that Trump committed crimes. They do so by re-assertion, without explaining what the criminality might be.

They feed these assertions to their media collaborators through bureaucrats as if these assertions resulted from authoritative, professional judgments.

They protect their bureaucratic allies from cross-examination by asserting the privileges of national security. Then they use the very media accounts they generate as the basis for more frankly political accusations.

The spectacle of a CIA official who bundled together the anti Trump resentments of some of his friends in the agency, in the White House, and in Congress and then got a friend at the agency to shield them all from cross-examination by changing its regulations regarding “whistleblowers”—all that and more—is possible only because President Trump has appointed to positions of power in the national security agencies lots of people committed to his destruction and has been prevailed upon to fire the good ones.

For example, Trump has never stepped off the fateful path on which he set himself when he let the bureaucratic pack scare him into firing his first national security advisor, General Michael Flynn. That too is a major story unto itself. Trump rails loudly against what is being done to him. But he does not use his absolute authority over classified information to remove the shield behind which it is being done.

In the absence of the president’s proper stewardship of the national security establishment, the American people’s sense of smell is its last defense against biting canines and scams.

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About Angelo Codevilla

Angelo M. Codevilla was a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He was professor of international relations at Boston University and the author of several books including To Make And Keep Peace (Hoover Institution Press, 2014).

Photo: Getty Images

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