The Special Counsel law is a bad one. It essentially creates a temporary fourth branch of government that is unaccountable to anyone.
But if it is going to be used — and the Democrat/Media establishment have been howling for it for months — then there are some real, known, evidential scandals and crimes for which it should be used. Of course, those happened in the Obama Administration, and Obama could act with virtual impunity with the media curled up, purring in his lap.
First, the Trump “collusion” charge does not require a special counsel because collusion is not actually illegal. It’s unethical, but there is no law against it. So what would actually be prosecuted? It is meant to undermine, distract and provide ammo for impeachment.
Second, and more importantly, there is no evidence of collusion. At all. There is billowing dust spun up from the media doing donuts in the dirt that looks like smoke — and where there is smoke there is fire! Right?
Yes. But not where there is dust. And right now, there is zero evidence of collusion. Just media spinning up dust that everyone is choking on.
Even famed Pulitzer Prize winning Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, one of the few careful journalists left in Washington, said on Fox News Sunday: “There are, you know, a thousand questions and they should be answered, but there’s no evidence President Trump at this point was somehow involved in collusion here. That’s important,” Woodward said. “This is not yet Watergate — not a clear crime.”
But there have been many recent scandals where we know crimes were committed — and continue to be committed — and there was not only no special prosecutor, there was no serious investigation.
Here is the short list of those.
IRS targeting conservative groups
In 2013, the IRS inadvertently revealed that they had been targeting conservative groups trying to get non-profit designations ahead of the 2012 elections. Groups with Tea Party and Conservative in the title were among those targeted. While most groups get their designation within a few months, these took years and effectively blocked them from being a part of the election process. Truly election tampering.
Further, there were overt violations of federal law, including leaking confidential taxpayer information to partisan liberal groups.
But to no one’s surprise, the Obama Justice Department investigated the Obama Internal Revenue Service and concluded no charges should be filed. This came after a series of shifting stories from the White House first denying, then blaming a rogue office in Cincinnati and eventually finding no criminal wrongdoing.
The Obama Justice Department said former IRS official Lois Lerner and others were merely guilty of “mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia.” Of course, she and others were obviously supporters of Obama and their actions materially helped his re-election campaign. It would be untoward to charge such loyalists.
Naturally, the media had no real stomach for the chase in this scandal — a recurring theme. It was their man in the White House and it was Tea Party conservatives being targeted. Just perfunctory coverage.
A classic case of an administration investigating itself. Congress found much more, but Democrats uniformly opposed anything. This really could have used a special prosecutor.
“More flexibility” and Obama’s gifts to Russia
In 2012, President Obama infamously — well, for those not purring on his lap — told Russian President Medvedev that after the November election, he would have more flexibility to negotiate with (cave to) the Russians on missile defense.
After asking generally if his mic was hot, Obama apparently thought it was not and spoke truthfully:
Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”
Medvedev: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”
Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you.”
Turns out it was not about negotiations with the Russians. It was unilateral disarmament on Obama’s part — something Americans would never have gone for. He reduced and continued to reduce spending on research and implementation of missile defenses, thereby making us militarily weaker vis-a-vis Russia.
This was overt collusion with Russia, caught on mic, and then followed with actions.
But not only was there no special prosecutor, the whole episode and following created barely a ripple of interest among the press corps. Yes, we are all shocked. Recurring theme.
In fact it was so little covered that a recent interview by MSNBC anchor Katy Tur revealed in February Tur didn’t even know what a Congressman was referring to when he mentioned the “more flexibility” affair. Tellingly, her ignorance has since been pulled down from the Youtube channel where it was being shared.
Stuxnet leak endangers national security
In a scandal that also received almost no media coverage, the Obama administration leaked information about a computer virus called Stuxnet that had been developed to destroy Iranian nuclear centrifuges. And it was successful, setting back Iran’s nuclear ambitions for years.
This was a hugely damaging leak because it meant that not only could the U.S. never use it again, it may have risked the lives of operatives within Iran. The huge question is what did the U.S., or the Obama administration, have to gain from the leak?
Further however, the Obama administration later negotiated (which means giving the Iranians everything they wanted) the nuclear deal with Iran that set them on the path to creating a fully functioning nuclear weapons program. It also lifted sanctions on Iran and flushed their terrorism coffers with at least $400 million — cash.
This was a horrific scandal when taken altogether. But the Stuxnet leak alone was a felony and an overt threat to national security.
True to form, the White House rejected calls for a special counsel or special prosecutor. Retired Marine Corps General James E. Cartwright was eventually found guilty, but a pardon came from President Obama during his lame-duck period.
There is every reason to think that this set a dangerous example for those who want to leak national secrets for political gain — as we are seeing right now.
In the Stuxnet scandal, where the Obama administration again was making decisions on investigating itself, no special counsel was appointed.
Fast and furious gun smuggling
Early in the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder (the same one who later did nothing on the IRS) ran a program to smuggle weapons across the Mexican border. The idea was to trace their path through drug cartels.
That is a thin pretext, it is still illegal even if the true motive. The Obama administration was not particularly interested in the Mexican drug cartels. Many people see the program as a pretext for pushing gun control laws as the weapons would inevitably make it into the U.S. in the hands of criminals — which some did.
If that was not enough, Obama used executive privilege to cover up related documents. Holder was held in contempt of Congress in relation to an illegal operation that killed a U.S. border agent But it was Holder’s assistant at Justice that announced there would be no charges against his boss.
Obama covered up all details, presumably damning details, with executive privilege and the media quickly moved on in search of a real scandal — hopefully one involving a Republican.
Unmasking Political Opponents
Most recently, we discovered that Obama loyalist, partisan, serial liar and National Security Advisor Susan Rice was busy in 2016 requesting the unmasking of Americans, apparently fishing for Trump associates in hopes of finding enough to damage Trump’s transition — which has successfully occurred.
Unmasking is when an American is at the other end of a phone call or email from someone national intelligence is surveilling — from Russia, China, Iran, ISIS or wherever. The Americans are typically caught up in the surveillance incidentally and their names are masked because they are not a target and Americans cannot be surveilled without court warrants. Unmasking them reveals their names and often times much more personal information and is expected to be done rarely.
This is exactly the abuse of power Americans feared with domestic surveillance; that powerful politicians would use it for their advantage.
According to a chart in the National Intelligence Agency’s “Statistical Transparency Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities” released in April, there was a 200 percent increase in unmasking of Americans last year.
The identities of 1,934 Americans were unmasked upon requests made by the Obama administration in 2016. That was nearly triple the 654 that were unmasked in 2015. Of course, 2016 was an election year.
Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom said “the unmasking could be one of the biggest scandals ever in the United States.”
You’d never guess that from the utter media disinterest. No special counsel was appointed and precious little media coverage after the first round of obligatory stories.
And still more scandals…
There are still more scandals that could rise to the level of a special counsel to investigate:
- Holder (again) was under oath before Congress when he lied about whether he had discussed or even thought about prosecuting journalists, after he had signed the order to wiretap Fox News reporter James Rosen.
- Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also lied to Congress about data collection on U.S. citizens, claiming under oath it was not being done. Edward Snowden’s leaks revealed it was being done on a mammoth scale.
- The Obama administration targeted media members using the state surveillance apparatus, named Fox News reporter James Rosen a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917 to gain access to his personal emails and phone records, and subpoenaed phone records from the Associated Press.
Obama’s Department of Justice declined to appoint a special counsel to investigate either of these.
Total lack of Washington interest
The fact that none of these were deemed important enough to warrant special prosecutors just demonstrates how justice in Washington is an actual sham, of how the law is not equally enforced — generally when it comes to Democrats and specifically when it came to Obama.
This is driven and enabled by a dishonest media. They are not dishonest for being biased. They are dishonest by claiming they are not biased. It is not hard to imagine the media coverage had Trump done any one of these — let alone all of them. But most people barely remember any of these other than perhaps Benghazi.
Democrats will always be Democrats. They are the opposition party and in a real sense are supposed to act in opposition. Understood. But not the media.
Let’s go to Woodward, the dean of the D.C. press corps, one more time. He told MSNBC that too many members of the press are “binge drinking the anti-Trump Kool-Aid,” and that they need to “dial it back.”
But instead, they are engorging themselves on Kool-Aid and now we have a special counsel investigating something which according to a mountain of evidence did not happen, and is not a crime if it did.
A swamp, indeed.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.