Two years into Trump’s term.
We are two years into the term of President Donald Trump. We are also two years into multiple investigations concerning the mad accusation that the President and Vladimir Putin somehow conspired to throw the 2016 election and deny Hillary Clinton her birthright and a seat behind the big desk in the Oval Office. The Senate, while still technically not finished with its investigation of the allegations, has already made clear that after interviewing 200 witnesses and reviewing more than 300,000 pages of documents it has found nothing that would substantiate the claim that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. The Mueller investigation continues to drag on, but the writing there is on the wall as well.
At tremendous taxpayer expense the independent counsel has managed to determine that a handful of people associated with the Trump campaign failed to tell the complete truth in all interactions with federal law enforcement authorities. No evidence that any such lack of veracity was connected to a plot to steal the election has been shown. None of the individuals in question are members of the administration today.
Mr. Mueller has also demonstrated that Paul Manafort and some of his associates violated a number of laws in acting as agents for the government of Ukraine many years before Donald Trump even thought about running for President. There has been not even the slightest suggestion that those lobbying efforts have any connection whatsoever to what may or may not have happened in the 2016 election. There is no word on whether or not Mr. Mueller, having determined conclusively that there are people in Washington acting on behalf of foreign governments and special interests and not fully complying with all applicable federal laws and regulations, intends to now work his way through the hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals in K Street firms who are doing this same thing every day.
A number of Russians officials and intelligence officers have been identified and charged with meddling in the 2016 election in various ways, thus establishing what we have known for decades, which is that the Russians are engaged in covert action on U.S. soil all of the time. Nothing to connect those Russian actions to Donald Trump or his campaign has been found.
What we have learned.
In short, what we have learned after massive expenditure and huge delay is what anyone with common sense knew from the moment this entire episode began. There is no evidence that Donald Trump is President because of a secret Russian plot. He is President because Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate and she paid no attention to the growing tide of anger and anti-government sentiment sweeping this nation. There is to use the current expression “no there – there.”
Much to the contrary, however, we have learned a very great deal in the last two years about the actions of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party and senior officials in our law enforcement and intelligence agencies which ought to give us pause.
We have found collusion – just not Russian collusion.
Memos, emails and texts now in Congress’ possession show that before and after the 2016 election, Justice Department and FBI officials worked together with Fusion GPS, a company working on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, to create the false narrative that Donald Trump was stealing the election. The Clinton campaign paid for the creation of a false dossier on Trump claiming all sorts of misconduct and suspicious activities in Russia. Using that dossier, and hiding its origin, senior government officials then obtained FISA warrants and undertook to “investigate” baseless allegations whose point of origin was in effect the Democratic National Committee.
The media, aware from the outset of what was occurring, said nothing and joined in to lend credence to the accusations being levied.
This false narrative, of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia has been kept alive now for two years by a press corps that despises the President (and his supporters) and a hostile Democratic Party establishment, despite the total lack of any concrete evidence to substantiate it, for the express purpose of delegitimizing a sitting President and if possible removing him from office. If we are to believe the recent statements by former FBI official Andrew McCabe, this effort generated such frenzy within senior governmental circles that there was at some point at least discussion about the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment and trying to formally remove Donald Trump from office.
As the investigations into alleged Russian collusion wind down we will be tempted to respond in one of two ways. Many of us will quite naturally simply want to close the door on this sordid chapter in our political history and move forward. Others, more partisan, will be so inflamed as to look for every opportunity to respond to Democratic misconduct in kind, launch counter investigations and “get even.” We must resist the urge to do neither.
Instead, we must stop, ponder the implications of what just happened, and move forward – resolved to never let it happen again.
Since the founding of this republic we have prided ourselves on our respect for the rule of law and our tradition of the peaceful transfer of power. It is what separates us from the “banana republics” of the world. We contest elections mightily, then we accept the results, shake hands, get about the people’s business and move ahead as Americans.
Operating “outside the law.”
In 2016, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party National Committee and senior officials within our government determined that they knew better than the American people who should rule. Acting completely outside the democratic process and the law, they undertook to tear down and, if possible, topple from power a duly elected President. The vast majority of the so-called “mainstream media” watched, approved and did what they could to assist.
This should terrify every American, regardless of political persuasion. The implications are monstrous.
Let’s assume that the Democratic National Committee had been a little quicker on the uptake. Let’s assume that Hillary had been a little less sure that it was her destiny to be President. Let’s think about a situation wherein at some point, well before election day, it became crystal clear to the Clinton campaign that Hillary was going to lose, and that Donald Trump was virtually assured of becoming the next President.
Knowing what we know now about the lengths to which individuals were prepared to go to pay for and fabricate “evidence” against Donald Trump, the willingness of senior officials to engage in activities which at least skirt the margins of treason and the complicity of a news media long since divorced from any semblance of impartiality, can we really say that it would have been impossible for more forceful and direct action to have been taken?
Can we say now that it is inconceivable that President Obama might not have simply declared the election results invalid based on allegations of “Russian interference?” That he might not have simply refused to leave office? That he might not have declared Trump disqualified and handed power to Hillary Clinton?
How far are we now from the day when we may see two candidates, each claiming to have won, each claiming to be President and each claiming to now command the military and the entire governmental structure?
I think in reality not very far at all.
In 1917, the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia. They did so claiming to be acting on behalf of the people of Russia and to have only the best of intentions. Over the succeeding years their overwhelming belief in their own infallibility drove them to take ever more radical and ruthless actions -all grounded in the belief that the ends justified the means and they had a monopoly on wisdom. What was billed as a revolution to free men’s souls became the nightmare of the totalitarian Soviet Union.
We are not there yet, but we are at a dangerous and significant watershed. If the results of elections are no longer respected and final, if Presidents can now be toppled by any means available, if government officials can act as partisans and against a sitting President, we are on the precipice.
What the Democratic Party attempted with its false dossier and the campaign to smear Donald Trump was to delegitimize and topple a sitting President. In the Third World they have a word for that; its’ spelled C-O-U-P.
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