Trump's Accusers Harmed Us All. Hold Them Accountable.
“Our government,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, “teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”
Would that Brandeis could rise from the dead to oversee the investigation and likely prosecution of those whose determination to oppose Donald J. Trump was so fierce that they conspired to create a narrative of treason that has now been revealed to be a charade.
Let the reckoning begin.
I’m not talking about settling scores with the dozens of mainstream media figures who spent the last two years “informing” their viewers/listeners/readers that President Trump and his campaign had broken the law to conspire with the Russian government to fix the 2016 election. They were wrong, and they now have been proven wrong, by the very man in whom they placed their deep and abiding faith.
If, as we were reminded repeatedly during the last presidential administration, the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, those charlatans will lose their audiences, their sponsors, and, eventually, their livelihoods.
I’m talking instead about the reckoning for the current and former government officials – holders of a public trust – who deliberately abused that trust to lead their fellow citizens on what they knew from the beginning was a wild goose chase. They knew it was a wild goose chase because they were the ones who created it in the first place.
I’m talking specifically about former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, among others.
These are the people who, together, spun a fable about corruption and treason and international intrigue that led to horrific damage – damage to individuals caught in the cross-hairs of the “investigation” they launched, damage to their government, damage to their country.
Example: As I sat to write this, it occurred to me that President Trump’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday was the first meeting Trump had had with a foreign leader who didn’t have just cause to wonder if and when Trump would be leaving office early as a result of the investigation.
That is, for more than two years now – in fact, for the entire duration of his presidency – President Trump has been handicapped in his conduct of foreign policy by the inevitable doubts among foreign leaders who couldn’t help but wonder about the value (and duration) of a deal struck with Trump, or a threat made by Trump.
That handicapping of our president doesn’t just hurt him, it hurts our entire nation.
It must not be allowed to happen again. To that end, a reckoning must ensue – not for reasons of revenge, but because punishing criminals for their criminal behavior is the best way to head off future criminal behavior, both by them and by others encouraged to behave criminally after seeing earlier criminal behavior go unpunished.
Congressional Democrats now insist that the entire Mueller report be handed over to them and made public, even though they know there are parts of it that must be redacted. Fine. I agree. Scrub the document and remove the national security information and any information that would violate grand jury secrecy, and let us see the rest of it.
But while we’re releasing the Mueller report, let’s also release the FISA warrant applications. Let’s release the testimony from the secret hearings. Let’s release the memoranda memorializing the opening of the investigation, and the “scope” memorandum Rosenstein issued in August 2017, months after he appointed Mueller (when he failed to cite a crime to be investigated by Mueller, as Justice Department guidelines require).
Let’s appoint a new special counsel to investigate those former FBI and Justice Department officials – along with Brennan and Clapper – who created this entire narrative. Have them interrogated by FBI officials. Let them hand over their new-found post-government cable TV pundit earnings to white-collar defense attorneys to help them maintain their innocence.
Wrote one of them recently, “The rule of law depends upon fair administration of justice, which is rooted in complete and unbiased investigation. We are best served when an investigation finds all relevant facts and illuminates the fullest possible view of the truth.”
I agree. I would add that we are best served when those upon whom we rely for the administration of justice actually do their jobs without fear or favor, and follow the law as written without regard to the last name of the subject of their investigation.
Just FYI, that quote was from Comey, writing last week in The New York Times. Like the blind squirrel, even he can find an acorn every now and then.