Last week, John Durham, the U.S. Attorney investigating possible crimes related to the FBI’s probe into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and misconduct after the 2016 election, interviewed former CIA director John Brennan.
This week, James Comey, Brennan’s sidekick and partner-in-potential-crime, will join alleged NeverTrump “conservatives” in a counter-convention to protest the reelection of President Trump.
The permanent coup, as writer Lee Smith details in his new book, continues. And Trump-haters on the putative Right continue to abet the Democrats’ subversive but so far failed crusade to crush the president and everyone around him.
Despite attempts to portray him otherwise, there’s nothing conservative about Joe Biden or the Democratic Party—but the groupuscule known as NeverTrump wants to help drag the Biden-Harris ticket across the November finish line. Apparently ideas such as fixing the “racial wealth gap,” forcing farmers to grow crops without carbon emissions, repealing the Hyde Amendment, and reversing the imagined ills of “systemic racism,” all key planks in the party’s 2020 platform, are considered “conservative” by NeverTrump.
Now, with Trump’s reelection chances on the upswing—Biden’s lead in must-win states is slim and Minnesota now is considered in play—NeverTrump hopes its losing playbook for the past four years will finally secure a long-awaited victory.
NeverTrump’s counter-convention is laughably called the “Convention on Founding Principles.” The virtual gathering features a roster of scorned Trump aides, defeated Republican congressmen, and heretofore unknown “conservative” consultants and commentators. Comey, who misled a secret federal court among other offenses, will participate two days out of the four-day confab. (Comey, by the way, is an avowed Democrat.)
Other men of great principle, including Anthony Scaramucci and Mark Sanford, the former Republican representative best known for disappearing with his Argentinian lover in 2009, will join the Trump-bashing festivities.
A Coordinated Effort
To the untrained political eye, it might appear that a significant swath of influential Republicans oppose Donald Trump. And NeverTrump is working hard to create that phony impression thanks to millions of dollars in funding not from conservative donors but rather left-wing interests.
In an effort to distract from the Republican National Convention, NeverTrump is staging plenty of well-worn theatrics. Last week, dozens of “former Republican national security officials” signed a letter condemning Trump as a threat to global peace—refusing to launch another dead-end war in the Middle East and daring to call NATO “obsolete” is verboten in Foggy Bottom after all—and pledging to back Biden.
Miles Taylor, a ready-for-prime-time former official at Trump’s Department of Homeland Security, is NeverTrump’s latest media darling. After leveraging his stint in the Trump White House to land a sweet gig at Google, Taylor now is turning on his former boss in a series of op-eds and network news interviews.
“What we saw, week in and week out, for me after two-and-a-half years in that administration, was terrifying,” Taylor claimed in a video for the NeverTrump outfit, Republican Voters Against Trump.
Even though Taylor stayed at DHS as it was besieged by accusations of “kids in cages,” Taylor slammed the president for separating families at the border. “He had a deliberate policy of ripping children away from their parents to show those parents they shouldn’t come to the border in the first place,” Taylor said.
The media is covering these stories as separate events organically sprouted from the fertile soil of anti-Trumpism in the Republican Party—but of course, that’s not the truth.
The counter-convention, the letter signed by bored Bush-era war architects, and Taylor’s video are all part of a coordinated campaign led by Bill Kristol, the de facto leader of NeverTrump.
Funded by a Left-Wing Tech Billionaire
Kristol’s nonprofit, Defending Democracy Together (DDT), has initiated several anti-Trump projects over the past few years including Republican Voters Against Trump, the producer of Taylor’s faux-grievance video; much of DDTs funding, however, comes from a left-wing tech billionaire opposed to Trump.
Pierre Omidyar is the co-founder of eBay and a very wealthy man; he also detests Donald Trump. Since 2018, his foundations have poured millions into NeverTrump nonprofits including Kristol’s front groups. In 2018 and 2019, Omidyar donated at least $3.6 million to Defending Democracy Together.
Figures for 2020 are not yet available, but Sarah Longwell, DDT’s executive director and head of Republican Voters Against Trump, recently told the Washington Post that they will spend at least $20 million to air ads in swing states featuring alleged Republicans who plan to vote for Joe Biden. Since DDT has no known conservative donors, according to one watchdog group, it’s very likely that largess is at least partially provided by Omidyar.
DDT also is responsible for organizing the letter signed by “former Republican national security officials.” Last Friday, DDT ran a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal to publish the neoconservatives’ temper tantrum.
Kristol’s group also is participating in this week’s counter-convention; Christine Todd Whitman, Mona Charen, and Jennifer Horn, all DDT directors, are scheduled to speak.
Other Omidyar-backed groups are involved in the “Convention on Founding Principles.” Stand Up Republic, headed by the failed 2016 presidential ticket of Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn, is a key organizer of the event. Stand Up Republic has received at least $1.5 million since 2017 from Omidyar. (Again, 2020 figures aren’t available.) Finn and McMullin also serve as advisors to Protect Democracy, another shell organization populated by NeverTrumpers. Omidyar has dumped at least $2 million into Protect Democracy since 2017.
Amanda Carpenter, a contributor for The Bulwark, also is speaking this week. The Bulwark is partially funded by an Omidyar nonprofit. Mona Charen, in addition to her directorship at DDT, is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, which has received nearly $700,000 from Omidyar since 2016.
The Perfect Poster Boy
The country’s former top G-man is no slacker when it comes to profiting from his government service. Comey, among his many grifts, is a contributor to Lawfare, a blog operated by the Brookings Institution; both served as reliable organs of Trump-Russia collusion propaganda. Omidyar’s nonprofit contributed $600,000 to Lawfare between 2017 and 2019 and an additional $450,000 directly to Brookings.
“Seeking truth and embracing facts are essential duties to maintaining liberty and justice.” That’s one of the core “principles” that delegates to the Convention on Founding Principles will be asked to ratify this week.
It appears, however, that the pursuit of truth and fact doesn’t apply to the NeverTrump conventioneers. There’s nothing principled about boosting a lawless FBI director and being paid millions from a leftist tycoon to perform the role of a Trump-hating conservative while concealing the truth from the public.
To that extent, Jim Comey is the perfect poster boy for NeverTrump. Lordy, as Comey might exclaim, do they all deserve each other.