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'Nothing Short of Treasonous'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Rob Carr/Pool Photo via AP, File

Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Susan Rice's conduct in the waning days of their administration in 2016 and 2017 was nothing short of treasonous. It wasn't treason, per se, but surely it was nothing short of treason. 

Confused? Let me explain.

In July 2018, former CIA Director John Brennan accused President Donald Trump of actions that were "nothing short of treasonous."

The next month, MSNBC finally got around to challenging Brennan on the divisive and volatile rhetoric (see how long a Democrat is able to squirm around the neighborhood after accusing a sitting president of betraying his country?).

Rachel Maddow (of all people) pushed back on Brennan's claim, and his response was, there's no other word for it. Nonsense. 

"And for Mr. Trump to so cavalierly dismiss that, yes, sometimes my Irish comes out and in my tweets," Brennan said. "And I did say that it rises to and exceeds the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and nothing short of treasonous because he had the opportunity there to be able to say to the world that this is something that happened. And that's why I said it was nothing short of treasonous. I didn't mean that he committed treason. But it was a term that I used, nothing short of treasonous."

Even Maddow had to follow up with, "If we diagram the sentence, nothing short of treasonous means it's treason." No matter. Brennan got away with it. He's an elder statesman and an MSNBC contributor. "Nothing short of treason" doesn't mean what you think it means. Move along—nothing to see here.

The issue that raised Brennan's "Irish" was a press conference Trump held with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where Trump cast doubt on an Obama-era intelligence assessment claiming Russia had interfered with the 2016 election for the sole purpose to favor Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. We have learned that the IC assessment was deeply flawed and included highly suspect information that has since been debunked.

Brennan, the key author and architect of the FBI counterintelligence investigation into Trump that used the Clinton campaign's fictional oppo research known as the "Steele Dossier," had every reason to deflect attention from his nefarious actions during the campaign and his obedient execution of the Obama/Biden/Rice scheme to undermine the incoming president.

It makes sense that he would hysterically scream at the other side of the room about "treason" and the like. The last thing Brennan wanted was any attention paid to his actions on behalf of Obama.

But now we have plenty of years behind us, and with that time comes perspective. We know much more now than we did then. Let's look at all we know and cast it through the Brennan lens of "nothing short of treason."

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Susan Rice coordinated an effort to investigate, surveil and spy on members of the Trump campaign, members of the Trump Administration, and President Trump himself. And, to carry out the plan, they required members of the new administration to continue carrying out the directions of Obama, the former president, at the expense of Trump, the new president.

They surreptitiously coordinated an effort to spy on the Trump campaign and to continue the clandestine investigation into the Trump presidency. They directed holdovers like FBI Director James Comey and acting Attorney General Sally Yates to initiate an investigation into the new National Security Director Michael Flynn under bogus Logan Act charges and instructed everyone in their scheme to withhold information from the newly elected president.

They created a condition at the onset of the Trump presidency that demanded members of the new administration to continue obedience and fealty to the former president at the expense of the new administration. They turned the idea of a peaceful transition of power from one presidency to the next on its ear and crippled the new administration with investigations, leaks, and turmoil.

It was nothing short of treasonous. Now, to be clear, I am not accusing Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Susan Rice of treason. No, that would be reckless and irresponsible. Their behavior was nothing short of treason, which is an entirely different thing.

I invite Ms. Maddow to diagram the sentence. It would force her to actually cover this story, and that would be a very good thing.

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