If anyone doubted that the denizens of Swampland would not only “resist” the Trump agenda but use every means to abort his presidency, those doubts should be vanishing over the horizon.
The day after the appointment of the special prosecutor, I got this missive in my mailbox from a group called Stand Up Republic:
….Stand Up Republic has started a petition to demand an investigation that reports to the American people, not to the Trump Administration. We’re calling on Congress to launch a bipartisan select committee or independent commission—and I hope you’ll add your name now.
That group is all obsessed with the “Russia connection,” but if that investigation doesn’t lead to impeachment, another path must be found. Right away, the political assassins have grabbed onto the firing of FBI director James Comey as an obvious “obstruction of justice,” which was, after all, the first count in Nixon’s bill of impeachment in 1974.
After the firing of FBI Director Comey, the campaign to remove the president has moved into high gear. It is broad, deep, deadly serious, and will not be restrained by ordinary constitutional rules. The appointment of a special prosecutor is only a first step, and other steps are already being proposed. To the Trump-must-go lynch mob, nothing is out of bounds and no avenue will be left unexplored.
On Wednesday of this past week, a special prosecutor was appointed by the Deputy Attorney General. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed to the post, and his job is supposedly to investigate allegations of improper “collusion” between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government.
The appointment of Robert Mueller is raising some alarm bells because the Mueller and Comey are thought by many to be close friends. Will Mueller be fair and objective and sift out fact from fiction, or will he be pursuing a “get Trump” agenda?
Regardless, the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the “Russian connection” was met immediately by criticism and skepticism.
- Respected conservative legal scholar John Yoo, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, thinks it is the wrong vehicle for an investigation and will lead nowhere.
- And noted liberal scholar Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University has been saying since February that Democrats calling for a special prosecutor are making a big mistake.
But the ink was hardly dry on the announcement of that appointment when a chorus of disappointment arose in the Washington echo chamber. Since it is increasingly acknowledged that there is no actual evidence yet of any crime to be investigated, Trump’s enemies are aware that project will probably not lead to a criminal indictment.
Horrors! If there is no indictment likely from the special prosecutor investigation of the “Russian connection,” what can be done? The campaign to remove the President is already moving to agitate for additional investigations — maybe an independent commission with a broader charge and expanded powers. POLITICO began promoting this idea back in March and others are now joining the parade.
Respected legal academics John Yoo and Alan Dershowitz, discussed above, have suggested that option as well, saying the Iran-Contra congressional investigation is a better model for getting at “the truth.” But only Trump’s harshest critics in Congress, like California’s Maxine Waters, are suggesting an impeachment panel.
A month ago, anticipating a dead-end to any criminal investigation, NBC News was already discussing the congressional commission gambit.
What is really going on here? So far there is no evidence of criminal behavior by the Trump campaign team or evidence of pervasive Russian involvement in the 2016 election, so Trump’s enemies are mounting a broad effort to find enough evidence of “wrong-doing” to get him removed. Last week, the Washington Post gave a soapbox to Harvard’s Lawrence Tribe to call for impeachment.
Well, some may call this a shot in the dark, but to me, it looks and smells like an attempted coup. Trump’s opponents can’t wait until 2020 on the hope he will be thrown out of office by the voters. To save the nation, he must be removed by impeachment or driven to resign.
We have all seen the allegation of pervasive Russian manipulation of the election repeated day and night for months. The fact is, despite an ongoing FBI investigation that is now over six months old, there has not been one iota of evidence produced to support the allegation, other than a few intelligence claims. In early November, FBI Director James Comey reported that the FBI investigation had found no evidence to link the Trump campaign to Russian operatives, and no such evidence has been revealed since then.
Unfortunately, facts never get in the way of a Big Lie whose time has come, but the facts were available to anyone who would listen. Even Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who had access to all intelligence material gathered by all government agencies, has said publicly that he has seen no evidence to support the claim of “collusion.”
Yet, that lack of evidence is only a mild embarrassment and not an impediment to the constant repetition of the slander. Liberal late-night TV comedy hosts, including Stephen Colbert, found a perfect vehicle for ridicule.
To my mind, President Trump was not exaggerating when he called the appointment of the special prosecutor a “witch hunt.” However, we need to remember that when people who believe in witches launch an energetic witch hunt, they are very much committed to finding and punishing witches. Failure is not an option: witches will be found and punished!
We now have an almost inexplicable paradox. At the very moment a newly appointed special prosecutor is gearing up to launch his investigation to dig up the presumed evidence of the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russians, we see a growing acknowledgment that, first, in all likelihood, no such evidence exists, and second, if someone related to the Trump campaign did talk to some Russians somewhere, sometime, about something, such conversations are not only probably not criminal, they did not rise to the level of influencing the election outcome.
No evidence, and no crime? What a bummer!
It is no secret that a few establishment Republicans share that goal of blocking the Trump agenda on several policy issues. How else to explain the bizarre spectacle of Republicans whispering about using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump?
Never mind that such an abuse of the 25th Amendment would not only not be consistent with the purpose of the 25th Amendment, it would probably trigger an open revolt by the party’s base and the death of the Republican Party– death by suicide!
The irony of this whole “Russian collusion” allegation is that it is well known by historians and journalists that BOTH the United States and the Soviet Union tried to influence elections in many countries over several decades, and moreover, both countries have continued those activities after the end of the Cold War.
To millions of Americans who elected President Trump, this picture is depressing and alarming– but let’s be honest: what did we expect? If you announce a plan to “drain the swamp,” you should expect the swamp creatures to fight back. In the capital city of swampland, Washington, D.C., fighting back against an arch-villain like Donald Trump means more than magazine articles, blog posts, and petition campaigns. Simply put, it means all-out war, with no rules and no time-out.