This week we witnessed yet another august civil servant, Ambassador William Taylor, immolate a hard-earned reputation over a 50-plus year career on the altar of the Deep State.
Both Ambassador Taylor and former Special Counsel Robert Mueller began their public service careers as nobly as any American can - in the uniform of our country’s Armed Forces. Ambassador Taylor, a graduate of West Point and Mr. Mueller, a graduate of Princeton and Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, would lead men in combat as young officers on the battlefields of Vietnam. They would both be awarded Bronze Stars for their valorous deeds and Mr. Mueller a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat.
Following military service, they would go on to pursue careers in government, Mr. Mueller taking a legal path and Mr. Taylor primarily a diplomatic one, each reaching lofty heights in their respective fields.
But something happened on the way to the Deep State country club. They were enlisted by a desperate establishment suffering paroxysms in the face of a Trump administration determined to expose its massive corruption. Messrs. Taylor and Mueller were asked to man the ramparts anew, this time to defend an ossified, decrepit system of cronyism, pay-for-play, and sketchy family-enriching relationships between foreign governments and elite Americans politicians. Oh, the humanity!
In the case of Mr. Mueller, of course, he was to lead (ostensibly) a James Comey-engineered Special Counsel investigation that was to explore alleged “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, as well as purported “obstruction” by President Trump to thwart inquiries into his supposed nefarious activities in what amounted to a fishing expedition. Or a witch hunt, to use the president’s preferred term.
Those who roped Mr. Mueller, about whom a halo of impeccable integrity had been cast, into this role had such high hopes. They were sure that his team of crack Trump-hating, Hillary Clinton-loving legal beagles would find something that could be used to destroy Trump and his odious presidency.
Alas for the Deep State, such was not to be. In a Thud Heard Round the World, Mueller’s investigative report landed like a telephone book on the Deep State’s stoop, and with a comparable amount of excitement contained within. They found nothing. No Russian-Trump collusion and no obstruction (though deftly trying to leave the door open on that score with spurious claims that it was up to Congress to determine whether obstruction occurred.) The wailing and gnashing of Adam Schiff’s teeth were audible for miles.
But not ones to give up the USS Destroy Trump ship, the Democrats in Congress demanded that Mueller appear before them on July 24 to testify as to his team’s findings. In a sad display of mental decline, and clearly demonstrating little grasp of the findings of the investigative team that he putatively led, Mueller revealed that he could not have located shoes in a shoebox.
As I wrote in these pages back in June, that was because Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s long-time legal henchman and poster child of prosecutorial misconduct, in former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell’s terms, really ran the show.
But Robert Mueller carried out his final mission - defending the Deep State - and will forever be defined by this sad final episode in a long career.
Hardly had Mueller’s seat from his July 24 congressional testimony grown cold when, the very next day - like magic, a new opportunity presented itself. On July 25, President Trump had an innocuous telephone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in which Mr. Zelensky raised the issue of both leaders having to confront “the Swamp” in their respective countries. One thing led to another and President Trump asked Mr. Zelensky of doing him the favor of meeting with Attorney General William Barr and prosecutor John Durham who are carrying out a duly constituted investigation into the provenance of a fraudulent counterintelligence operation mounted by the Obama administration against the Trump presidential campaign. Trump also asked for Zelensky to assist his private attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who was looking into the shady dealings of then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who miraculously landed a gig pulling down $83,000 a month from Ukrainian oil and gas company Burisma Holdings in a no-show job, while dad Joe got the prosecutor who was looking into corruption at Burisma fired by threatening to withhold over $1 billion in US aid from the Ukraine government.
Aha! The Establishment found a new basis to attack the president, they thought. They “found” a “whistleblower” who heard from someone who heard from someone else about this telephone call and claimed it represented some kind of impeachable offense. A quid pro quo! He then filed a “whistleblower complaint” - after conveniently meeting with Adam Schiff’s staff for advisement. Nancy Pelosi then began her “formal impeachment inquiry” in Star Chamber proceedings in the sub-basement of the Capitol which were magically transformed through a party-line House vote into pseudo-formal open impeachment hearings taking place this week.
Enter Ambassador William Taylor, whose testimony has been something to behold. It would be hilariously parodic if the goal of the Democrats - removing a sitting US president - were not so serious.
Taylor readily confessed under questioning by Republican congressmen that he did not take part in the call between the presidents, had not seen the call transcript until President Trump publicly released it, had never in his life spoken with Trump, had not discussed any quid pro quo requiring Zelensky to investigate the Bidens in exchange for US military aid in three meetings that Taylor had with Zelensky after the July 25 phone call, and derived all of his concern over the call from information he obtained from third- and fourth-hand sources.
Rep. Jim Jordan’s recounting of how Ambassador Taylor came to his “clear understanding” of President Trump’s supposed quid pro quo demand of Zelensky reads like something out of Monte Python. Reciting the words of US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Jordan said: “Ambassador Taylor recalls that Mr. Morrison told Ambassador Taylor that I told Mr. Morrison that I conveyed this message to Mr. Yermack on Sept 1, 2019 in connection with Vice President Pence’s visit to Warsaw and a meeting with President Zelensky.”
Follow? And the funny thing was that Taylor agreed with this characterization of his telephone game acquisition of knowledge in how he came to see evil in President Trump’s call with President Zelensky.
Ambassador Taylor made a mockery of himself and of the impeachment hearings. As Rep. Jordan noted, Mr. Taylor was supposed to be Adam Schiff’s “star witness.” ‘Nough said.
In the same way that Robert Mueller’s legacy will now forever be defined by his role as a tool of a decrepit kakistocracy seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election, Ambassador Taylor’s final turn on the national stage was a humiliating fiasco. He sacrificed himself in thrall of his beloved Democrat establishment.
The high priests of the Deep State must be asking themselves, “Where do we find such men?”
William F. Marshall has been an intelligence analyst and investigator in the government, private, and non-profit sectors for more than 30 years. He is a senior investigator for Judicial Watch, Inc., the host of the JW podcast Inside Report, and a contributor to Townhall, American Thinker, and The Federalist. (The views expressed are the author’s alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.)