There is nothing more dangerous, chilling, and threatening to our system of government than the obvious political abuses within our intelligence and law enforcement agencies likely to be uncovered by federal prosecutor John Durham. Attorney General Bill Barr appointed Durham this week to investigate the justification, motivation, and execution of the Russian investigation into the campaign and presidency of Donald Trump.
Don’t worry, though. This isn’t going to be a column explaining every nitty-gritty detail and naming every one of the dozens of names involved in this scandal. There are wonderful journalists and hosts like Sean Hannity, Dan Bongino, Sara Carter, Gregg Jarrett, John Solomon and others who can recite those facts chapter and verse.
My objective is simpler. As I listen to those who are skilled in recalling every moment of the last three years and all the many players inside two campaigns, our government, foreign governments, etc. – I think to myself, “Do my apolitical friends and family understand how serious this is? Are there Americans who’ve stopped paying attention to this story because it’s too complex? Is the severity of what happened getting lost in the weedy, episodic details?”
I’m paid to follow it and my eyes frequently glaze over. But the most important and alarming things about this story can be easily summarized and should be widely disseminated by the GOP, the Trump administration, and any other American who agrees our republic is in real trouble. Not just a president, or a party – but our entire system.
Our legal and intelligence communities – at the highest levels – actively sought to assist one candidate for president while targeting another. This must be exposed, understood, and with one voice unambiguously denounced and punished if our nation is to remain in tact.
For anyone who wants to understand the simple severity of this story and avoid the complexity of specifics, I think I have it boiled down to its irrefutable and dangerous essence.
Mrs. Clinton was supposed to win the 2016 presidential election. Everyone assumed it was her destiny, save a few. She had a problem, though. She’d skirted laws about her emails, among other infractions, as Secretary of State. It had to be publicly investigated, and it was.
The conclusion of that investigation was she’d clearly violated standards, practices, and norms for handling classified information. It would have landed any other government employee in jail. This is not in dispute.
Nevertheless, the Director of the FBI took the unprecedented step of providing her political cover during a campaign and publicly concluded she “didn’t intend” to break the law. As if intent matters when laws are broken.
This decision was a flagrant violation by an FBI director. It’s simply not done. If, in fact, you investigate and find no violations or laws broken, protocol is to say nothing. There is nothing to say. But instead, he held a public press conference, laid out a list of wrongdoing, and then absolved Mrs. Clinton of all guilt. That’s not the job of the investigator. It was the job of then Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Obviously, the Obama administration wouldn’t have pursued charges. So, the FBI Director – trying to get public credit for looking tough and fair while still ultimately saving his chosen candidate and party from trouble – played investigator, judge, and jury. It wouldn’t ultimately matter he and others likely concluded because after all, Mrs. Clinton was going to become the next president of the United States.
But Donald Trump happened.
As Trump became a real threat and the ultimate GOP nominee, our intelligence and law enforcement leadership in D.C. went into overdrive with the Clinton campaign to stop him at all costs. They created phony “intelligence” and a fictitious storyline Trump’s campaign was working with Russia to win the election.
This is the most deceitful and important part of the entire story, in my mind. That fraudulent information was used as a justification to obtain the most sacred and supposedly rarely used investigative tools available to our government – a FISA warrant. This is a warrant that is supposed to be hard to get as it allows our government to spy on American citizens legally. In order to get it, the government has to prove there’s potentially treasonous behavior afoot.
Of course there wasn’t, but the corrupt investigators figured by the time they’d seen behind the curtain of the Trump campaign they would certainly find something dirty enough to stop him from winning. But they didn’t.
Even after Trump won, they were still confident they’d uncover something to not only protect their hides from punishment, but usher Trump right out of Washington via impeachment, if not jail. But they still didn’t.
Trump grew more sophisticated and began identifying and calling out the bad behavior in his midst. Despite being well within his rights and the law to fire people like the FBI director for bad acts, our deep state officials branded this “obstruction” to insinuate Trump was still hiding something and was trying to stop investigators from getting too close.
This led to the two year Mueller investigation that ultimately confirmed neither Trump nor any of his associates colluded with Russia to win the election. The charge of obstruction also wasn’t substantiated. Why would Trump obstruct an investigation into something he didn’t do?
Now, Attorney General Barr has correctly called for an investigation of the investigators who likely abused their authority to protect themselves, defeat Donald Trump politically, and oust him from office even after his election. In short, a coup attempt on a duly elected president by hostile government insiders.
There are many more layers and far more people and specifics to this story than I have space, time, or frankly interest in discussing. I’ll leave that to some of my aforementioned colleagues in cable news and talk radio.
As for me, I believe we must again say clearly and in one voice that our government agencies must be purged of political actors who would abuse their power for political gain. Especially those who are charged with protecting the laws of the land and our Constitution.
It doesn’t matter what you think of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton if we don’t have law enforcement and intelligence agency leadership committed to blind, apolitical justice no matter who’s president or running to be president.
This doesn’t have to be complicated to explain or understand. This is the future of our country as we know it.
It’s that simple.