Category Archives: Hillary

Bookworm Beat 9/3/19 — the Second Amendment reinforcement illustrated edition

Every time some crazy, criminal person does an evil thing, Americans need to be reminded that the problem is not guns and that the Second Amendment matters.

That’s why this illustrated edition, once again, focuses on the Second Amendment, its inextricable connection to liberty, and the things that really kill in America — along with detours into other things such as Democrat candidates, Stupid Leftists, silly stuff, and more.

(By the way, sorry for the silence yesterday. I made an unplanned 250 mile round trip to visit a friend who, life being what it is, I may not see again for a very long time. I tried to put up this post yesterday but, after that drive, was just too darned tired.)
































Be sure to read the following poster all the way to the end:








The post Bookworm Beat 9/3/19 — the Second Amendment reinforcement illustrated edition appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Part II of the Mueller Report is a singularly dishonest political document

This post offers you five reasons to view Part II of the Mueller Report as a purely political document without any supporting legal rationales.

Part I of the Mueller Report conclusively found no evidence that President Trump or anyone close to him ever conspired with, or attempted to conspire with, the Russian government to affect the outcome of the 2016 election. That should put the matter to bed.

Those who say that the Mueller report also doesn’t find affirmative proof that President Trump did not conspire with the Russians need to go back and study their basic American jurisprudence. In America, individuals do not have to prove their innocence; it is the prosecution that bears the high burden of proving their guilt. Case closed.

With Russian Collusion a dead-in-the-water talking point, the President’s critics have swung to Part II, which implies that the president of obstructed justice, whether it came about in the form of fulminating against what he knew was a witch hunt, debating with his attorney whether it was possible to fire the chief witch hunter, issuing orders to keep quiet about those discussions, or refusing to appear for an oral deposition.

See that, say President Trump’s critics. President Trump clearly had bad motives, which makes him unfit for the office he holds.

But for presidents, just as for everyone else, having bad motives doesn’t matter unless they’re followed by conduct. The fact that I put myself to sleep at night, not by counting sheep but by figuring out different ways to poison my enemies is irrelevant if I never poison my enemies or inflict any other criminal harm on them. My motives also do not make it a crime if someone later catches me sneering at one of those enemies, because sneering, while rude, is not a criminal act.

The record shows that Trump did not fire anyone and that his subordinates spoke freely to investigators. As for refusing to appear for a deposition, Mueller acceded to Trump’s request that he be subject only to written questions. That was a bargain, not an obstruction.

I’ve also noted before that it’s questionable whether one can claim “obstruction of justice” when there was no actual justice going on. The laws about obstruction of justice posit a known, actual crime; a prosecutor honestly investigating who did that crime; and a person, even an innocent one, deliberately engaging in affirmative acts (destruction of evidence, silencing of witnesses, etc.) to block that investigation.

In this case, however, the facts we know argue against “justice” having any part in this farce. Instead, a continuously emerging stream of new information tells us that government investigative agencies under Obama used illegal means to spy on the Republican presidential candidate. Then, when Trump won, he was accused of doing something bad with the Russians, although no one could quite finger what the precise illegality was. Trump’s FBI director then illegally leaked classified material to the media to trigger a special prosecutor. Although Mueller lacked evidence of an actual crime, he zealously spent two years and $35 million hunting for a crime, any crime, that he could pin on Trump.

That’s not justice. That’s Soviet-style political persecution.

So, is it “obstruction of justice” to fulminate against political persecution (because Trump knew at all times that he had done nothing wrong) and to explore avenues to make it stop, but then, at the end of the day, to cooperate completely with the farce? I say no, but I’ll freely admit my bias on this one.

But there’s more wrong with Part II than just the fact that Trump fulminated about but did not block investigators or that there was no justice present here. The public recently got to see a letter from Emmet T. Flood, Trump’s new White House counsel. (In addition to embedding the actual letter at the bottom of this post via Scribd, I’ve included the full text in this post, as I find Scribd documents hard to read.)

I highly recommend reading Flood’s every word. He details how Mueller’s office deviated from the special prosecutor’s mandate in order to write a blatantly political document intended to give Democrats an impeachment road map. It also explains how Mueller & Co. violated the special prosecutor’s law when they refused either to recommend indicting Trump for obstruction of justice or to state that he should not be indicted. Instead, they spelled out all sorts of things that prosecutors are never supposed to make public . . . only to punt.

By the way, what Mueller did is the fun house mirror of how James Comey screwed Hillary in July 2016 — only instead of punting after telling all the illegal things she did, Comey shoved aside AG Lynch and unilaterally and improperly decided that she should not be prosecuted. That is, Mueller detailed that Trump did nothing criminal (see below) he nevertheless refused to say Trump should not be prosecuted, while Comey detailed textbook criminality but refused to say Hillary should be prosecuted. Both Comey and Mueller are political hacks of the highest order.

Before you read the Flood letter, though, I want to direct your attention to one more thing, which was Bill Barr’s recently revealed quarrel with Mueller about the applicable federal statute for determining whether someone obstructed justice. The part I want to focus on is something that Scott Adams, a very astute observer, misunderstood because he’s not a lawyer. I realized then that a lot of people might not understand it.

The whole matter came out thanks to an excellent post that Will Chamberlain wrote for Human Events, entitled Checkmate. How President Trump’s Legal Team Outfoxed Mueller. A large part of that outfoxing boils down to a statutory quarrel that’s central to Part II of the Mueller Report, the part regarding obstruction:

At the end of Volume II of the Mueller Report, however, there were 20 pages of genuinely new material.

There, the former FBI director turned Special Counsel Robert Mueller defended his “Application of Obstruction-Of-Justice Statutes To The President.”  These overlooked 20 pages were dedicated to defending Mueller’s interpretation of a single subsection of a single obstruction-of-justice statute: 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2).

Before Mueller issued his report, way back in June 2018, the White House got wind of the peculiar interpretation Mueller and his team intended to put on the statute. William Barr got wind too and, in his capacity as a private citizen he wrote an entire letter to Rod Rosenstein expressing his concerns about what he was hearing. You can read the whole debate in Chamberlain’s article, but I just want to focus on the core issue, which is the language in 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2):

(c) Whoever corruptly—
(1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or
(2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so,
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Read literally, the above statute says that whoever intentionally messes with records, documents, or other objects so as to interfere with an investigation is subject to a fine and a long prison sentence. In addition, whoever intentionally does anything else to interfere with an investigation is subject to a fine and a long prison sentence. This is how Scott Adams understood the statute. It is not the law’s way of understanding it and, moreover, had Adams drilled down, with his fine mind he would have realized that his instincts are completely illogically.

Re-read the statute and ask yourself this: Why would subjection (1) focus tightly on a very specific type of interference if subsection (2) says any type of interference is criminal?

Let me simplify things by giving a more relate-able example. Imagine reading the following two-part statute:

(1) Any person who owns a Chihuahua, a Pomeranian, or a Toy Poodle shall be fined $100 a day.

(2) Any person who owns any other dog shall be fined $100 a day.

Again, you find yourself asking why subsection (1) goes to the effort of singling out three types of dogs when subsection (2) fines owners for any and all types of dog. Given that subsection (1) is obviously a subset of subsection (2), subsection (1) is redundant, pointless, meaningless, and confusing.

The same goes for the Mueller team’s preferred reading of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2). Mueller desperately wanted to say that, in addition to criminal penalties for destroying documents or other tangible objects in a way that interferes with an investigation, a personal is also subject to criminal penalties for anything and everything else that interferes with an investigation.

But here is where the rules of statutory interpretation come to our aid. (And this is what Barr argued, although I’m doing so in more user-friendly and less lawyerly fashion.)

There is a very old doctrine (we know it’s old because it’s a Latin-named doctrine) called ejusdem generis. Per the Black’s Law Dictionary’s definition of ejusdem generis:

Of the same kind, class, or nature.  In statutory construction, the “ejusdem generis rule” is that where general words follow an enumeration of persons or things, by words of a particular and specific meaning, such general words are not to be construed in their widest extent, but are to be held as applying only to persons or things of the same general kind or class as those specifically mentioned. Black, Interp. Laws, 141 ; Cutshaw v. Denver, 19 Colo. App.341, 75 Pac. 22; Ex parte Le- land, 1 Nott & McC. (S. C.) 462; Spalding v. People, 172111. 40, 49 N. E. 993.

To go back to our canine example, let me show you how ejusdem generis works:

(1) Any person who owns a Chihuahua, a Pomeranian, or a Toy Poodle shall be fined $100 a day.

(2) Any person who owns any other dog shall be fined $100 a day.

Logic tells us that subsection (1) delineates a very specific class of dogs: toy or miniature dogs. Under the doctrine of ejusdem generis, subsection (2) must mean “any other dog that falls within the class of toy or miniature dogs.” That means those who own Labbies and and German Shepherds can breathe a sigh of relief, but people owning Miniature Pinschers, Italian Greyhounds, etc., had better decide whether to start paying or give up their doggies.

The same holds true for interpreting 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2). Subsection (1) manifestly describes someone deliberately destroying or manipulating tangible evidence, since as documents or records or other “objects.” It does not refer to talking to people or engaging in behavior other than destroying or manipulating tangible evidence.

Once we have classified the type of wrongdoing described in subsection (1) we know that subsection (2) is a catch-all to describe any deliberate destruction of similar types of evidence. For example, when 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) was originally enacted in 1982, there was no such thing as being able to wipe out a hard drive using BleachBit. By using the catch-all, the legislators didn’t have to amend the statute every time new technology for storing or erasing data came along. Subsection (2) effectively sweeps in newer technology that’s clearly within the same class of tangible evidence as old-fashioned paper documents.

Finally, please read Andrew McCarthy’s latest post, Mueller’s Preposterous Rationale for Tainting the President with ‘Obstruction’ Allegations. Here’s just a snippet, but you must read the whole thing:

In gross violation of Justice Department policy and constitutional norms, a prosecutor neither charges nor recommends charges against a suspect, but proceeds to smear him by publishing 200 pages of obstruction allegations. Asked to explain why he did it, the prosecutor says he was just trying to protect the suspect from being smeared.

This is the upshot of the Mueller report’s Volume II. It might be thought campy if the suspect weren’t the president of the United States and the stakes weren’t so high.

The smear-but-don’t-charge outcome is the result of two wrongs: (1) Mueller’s dizzying application of Justice Department guidance, written by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), holding that a president may not be indicted while he is in office; and (2) the media-Democrat complex’s demand that only laws they like — those that serve their anti-Trump political purposes — be enforced.

The rest of this post is Emmet T. Flood’s letter. I hope that all these things give you a new way of thinking about Part II of the Mueller Report.

*****************************************

The White House
Washington

April 19, 2019

Via Hand Delivery

The Honorable William P. Barr
Attorney General of the United States
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington D.C. 20530

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

I write on behalf of the Office of the President to memorialize concerns relating to the form of the Special Counsel’s Office (“SCO”) Report (“SCO Report” or “Report”) and to address executive privilege issues associated with its release.

The SCO Report suffers from an extraordinary legal defect: It quite deliberately fails to comply with the requirements of governing law. Lest the Report’s release be taken as a “precedent” or perceived as somehow legitimating the defect, I write with both the President and future Presidents in mind to make the following points clear.

I begin with the SCO’s stated conclusion on the obstruction question: The SCO concluded that the evidence “prevent[ed] [it] from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred.” SCO Report v.2, p.2. But “conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred” was not the SCO’s assigned task, because making conclusive determinations of innocence is never the task of the federal prosecutor.

What prosecutors are supposed to do is complete an investigation and then either ask the grand jury to return an indictment or decline to charge the case. When prosecutors decline to charge, they make that decision not because they have “conclusively determin[ed] that no criminal conduct occurred,” but rather because they do not believe that the investigated conduct constitutes a crime for which all the elements can be proven to the satisfaction of a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Prosecutors simply are not in the business of establishing innocence. any more than they are in the business of “exonerating” investigated persons. In the American justice system, innocence is presumed; there is never any need for prosecutors to “conclusively determine” it. Nor is there any place for such a determination. Our country would be a very different (and very dangerous) place if prosecutors applied the SCO standard and citizens were obliged to prove “conclusively . . . that no criminal conduct occurred.”

Because they do not belong to our criminal justice vocabulary. the SCO’s inverted-proof-standard and “exoneration” statements can be understood only as political statements, issuing from persons (federal prosecutors) who in our system of government are rightly expected never to be political in the performance of their duties. The inverted burden of proof knowingly embedded in the SCO’s conclusion shows that the Special Counsel and his staff failed in their duty to act as prosecutors and only as prosecutors.

Second, and equally importantly: In closing its investigation. the SCQ had only one job — to “provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). Yet the one thing the SCO was obligated to do is the very thing the SCO — intentionally and unapologetically — refused to do. The SCO made neither a prosecution decision nor a declination decision on the obstruction question. Instead, it transmitted a 182-page discussion of raw evidentiary material combined with its own inconclusive observations on the arguable legal significance of the gathered content. As a result, none of the Report’s Volume II complied with the obligation imposed by the governing regulation to “explain[] the prosecution or declination decisions reached.” Id.

The SCO instead produced a prosecutorial curiosity — part “truth commission” report and part law school exam paper. Far more detailed than the text of any known criminal indictment or declination memorandum, the Report is laden with factual information that has never been subjected to adversarial testing or independent analysis. That information is accompanied by a series of inexplicably inconclusive observations (inexplicable, that is, coming from a prosecutor) concerning possible applications of law to fact. This species of public report has no basis in the relevant regulation and no precedent in the history of special/independent counsel investigations.

An investigation of the President under a regulation that clearly specifies a very particular form of closing documentation is not the place for indulging creative departures from governing law. Under general prosecutorial principles, and under the Special Counsel regulation’s specific language, prosecutors are to speak publicly through indictments or confidentially in declination memoranda. By way of justifying this departure. it has been suggested that the Report was written with the intent of providing Congress some kind of ” road map” for congressional action. See, e.g., Remarks of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, 4/18/19 (Press Conference).[Fn 1] If that was in fact the SCO’s intention, it too serves as additional evidence of the SCO’s refusal to follow applicable law. Both the language of the regulation and its ” legislative” history make plain that the “[c]losing documentation” language was promulgated for the specific purpose of preventing the creation of this sort of final report.[Fn 2] Under a constitution of separated powers, inferior Article II officers should not be in the business of creating “road maps” for the purpose of transmitting them to Article I committees.

[Fn 1] Some commentators have pointed to the so-called Watergate “Road Map” as precedent for giving Congress a prosecutor’s report containing no legal conclusions. That “Road Map” is shrouded in a bodyguard of myths, and the many separation of powers problems presented by its transmission remain largely unexplored. But the idea that it was a straightforward. just-the-facts type summary is easily dispelled. As two top Watergate prosecutors wrote years after the events of 1973-74, the Watergate Task Force created the “road map [to] serve as a do-it-yourself kit for the Judiciary Committee, helping it reassemble the individual pieces of grand-jury testimony and other evidence into a coherent theory of a criminal case as we and the [grand] jury saw it.” Ben-Veniste & Frampton. Stonewall: The Real Story of the Watergate Prosecution 242-43 (1977) (emphasis added).

[Fn 2] At the time of the Special Counsel regulations’ creation in 1999. it was widely understood that Section 600.8(c) was not intended to provide for “a report which discusses the evidence at length,” much less its public dissemination. The Future of the Independent Counsel Act: Hearings before the S. Comm. On Governmental Affairs, 106th Cong. 236 (1999) (letter from Robert B. Fiske, Jr.); see also id. at 252 (prepared statement of Janet Reno, Att’y Gen. of the United States); Reauthorization of the Independent Counsel Statute, Part I: Hearings Before the Subcomm. On Commercial and Admin. Law of the H. Comm. On the Judiciary, 106th Cong. 36 (1999) prepared statement of Eric H. Holder, Jr., Deputy Att’y Gen.).

With the release of the SCO Report and despite all of the foregoing, the President has followed through on his consistent promise of transparency. He encouraged every White House staffer to cooperate fully with the sea and, so far as we are aware, all have done so. Voluntary interviewees included the Counsel to the President, two Chiefs of Staff, the Press Secretary and numerous others. In addition, approximately 1.4 million pages of documents were provided to the SCO. This voluntary cooperation was given on the understanding (reached with the SCO) that information (i) gathered directly from the White House or White House staffers and (ii) having to do with Presidential communications, White House deliberations, law enforcement information, and perhaps other matter may be subject to a potential claim of executive privilege and, for that reason, would be treated by the SCO as presumptively privileged. Volume II of the report contains a great deal of presumptively privileged information, largely in the form of references to, and descriptions of, White House staff interviews with the SCO. It also includes reference to presumptively privileged documentary materials.

The President is aware that, had he chosen to do so, he could have withheld such information on executive privilege grounds, basing such an assertion on the established principle that to permit release of such information might have a chilling effect on a President’s advisors, causing them to be less than fully frank in providing advice to a President. Notwithstanding his right to assert such a privilege, and with a measure of reluctance born of concern for future Presidents and their advisors, the President has in this instance elected not to assert executive privilege over any of the presumptively privileged portions of the report. As a consequence, not a single redaction in the Report was done on the advice of or at the direction of the White House.

The President therefore wants the following features of his decision to be known and understood:

(1) His decision not to assert privilege is not a waiver of executive privilege for any other material or for any other purpose;

(2) His decision to permit disclosure of executive-privileged portions of the report does not waive any privileges or protections for the SCO’s underlying investigative materials such as, for example, FBI Form 302 witness interview summaries and presumptively privileged documents made available to the SCO by the White House.

(3) His decision does not affect his ability as President to instruct his advisors to decline to appear before congressional committees to answer questions on these same subjects. It is one thing for a President to encourage complete cooperation and transparency in a criminal investigation conducted largely within the Executive Branch; it is something else entirely to allow his advisors to appear before Congress, a coordinate branch of government, and answer questions relating to their communications with the President and with each other. The former course reflected the President’s recognition of the importance of promoting cooperation with a criminal investigation. The latter course creates profound separation of powers concerns and — if not defended aggressively — threatens to undermine the integrity of Executive Branch deliberations. The President is determined to protect from congressional scrutiny not only the advice rendered by his own advisors, but also by advisors to future Presidents.

A great deal is said these days about the rule of law and the importance of legal norms. In that spirit, and mindful of the frenzied atmosphere accompanying the Report’s release, the following should not be forgotten. Government officials, with access to classified information derived from a counterintelligence investigation and from classified intelligence intercepts, engaged in a campaign of illegal leaks against the President. Many of those leaks were felonies. They disclosed the identity of a U.S. person in violation of his civil rights; they misused intelligence for partisan political purposes; and they eroded public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of our intelligence services. The criminal investigation began with a breach of confidentiality executed by a very senior administration official who was himself an intelligence service chief. This leak of confidential information, personally directed by the former Director of the FBI, triggered the creation of the SCO itself – precisely as he intended it to do.

Not so long ago, the idea that a law enforcement official might provide the press with confidential governmental information for the proclaimed purpose of prompting a criminal investigation of an identified individual would have troubled Americans of all political persuasions. That the head of our country’s top law enforcement agency has actually done so to the President of the United States should frighten every friend of individual liberty. Under our system of government, unelected Executive Branch officers and intelligence agency personnel are supposed to answer to the person elected by the people — the President — and not the other way around. This is not a Democratic or a Republican issue; it is a matter of having a government responsible to the people — and, again, not the other way around. In the partisan commotion surrounding the released Report, it would be well to remember that what can be done to a President can be done to any of us.

These leaks and this investigation also caused immense and continuing interference with the functioning of the Executive Branch. Our constitution makes the President the sole constitutional officer “for whom the entire Nation votes. and [who] represent[s] the entire Nation both domestically and abroad.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 711 (1997) (Breyer, J., concurring). As a result, “[i]nterference with a President’s ability to carry out his public responsibilities is constitutionally equivalent to interference with the ability of the entirety of Congress, or the Judicial Branch, to carry out its public obligations.” Id. at 713. It is inarguable that the now-resolved allegation of “Russian collusion” placed a cloud over the Presidency that has only begun to lift in recent weeks. The pendency of the SCO investigation plainly interfered with the President’s ability to carry out his public responsibility to serve the American people and to govern effectively. These very public and widely felt consequences flowed from, and were fueled by, improper disclosures by senior government officials with access to classified information. That this continues to go largely unremarked should worry all civil libertarians, all supporters of investigative due process, and all believers in limited and effective government under the Constitution.

I respectfully ask you to include a copy of this letter in the Department’s records relating to the SCO investigation.

Sincerely,

Emmet T. Flood
Special Counsel to the President

*****************************************

Flood letter to Barr by on Scribd

The post Part II of the Mueller Report is a singularly dishonest political document appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

The collusion and obstruction investigation indicts others, not Trump

Officially, Mueller investigated Trump’s alleged collusion and obstruction. We now know that there was collusion and obstruction — but not by Trump.

The investigation into Trump’s campaign began with the ludicrous hearsay (in some cases, multiple levels of hearsay) allegations compiled by Michael Steele, paid for by the DNC, provided to the FBI before the 2016 election, and briefed to every major media outlet as part of an “October surprise” that failed to derail Trump.  It is worth quickly reviewing what those allegations were.  To summarize the charges in the original Buzzfeed “report”:

  1.  Trump was a Russian intelligence asset who had been working for Russian intelligence for at least seven years.
  2. Trump, who had no business interests in Russia, was being paid in Russian prostitutes for his services.
  3. Russian intelligence has a tape of Trump inviting prostitutes to his hotel room during the 2013 Miss Universe contest held in Moscow and so they could perform a “golden shower” on the bed.
  4. Trump was handling the payment of Russian assets in New York through a complicated money laundering scheme.
  5. Trump coordinated with Russian intelligence through Paul Manafort, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and his private attorney, Michael Cohen.
  6. Carter Page’s business trip to Russia in 2016 was cover for a meeting with Russian intelligence.
  7. The Trump campaign coordinated with Russia for the release of DNC emails hacked by Russian intelligence.  Papadopoulos admitted to knowing this information in near real time, before it was made public by the DNC.
  8. Michael Cohen was subject to Russian influence through his Russian wife (she is not Russian, by the way).  Cohen traveled to Prague to coordinate with Russian intel on behalf of Trump once Russian involvement in the campaign became public knowledge.

All involved denied those allegations. Moreover, Mueller’s $30 million-plus, two year-plus investigation either affirmatively disproved them or was unable to find any facts that might prove them.  None are supported in the Mueller Report.  And indeed, Mueller makes only passing reference to the Steele Dossier.

Now recall that, once it became apparent that the Steele Dossier did not provide probable cause for anything, because all of its wild allegations were affirmatively false or incapable of proof, a story appeared in the NYT  on Dec. 30, 2017, based on a leak, that the investigation was warranted because Papadopoulos in fact knew of the theft of DNC emails before that theft was made public.

There’s only one problem with the NYT’s “bombshell of the moment”: Reviewing the FBI affidavit that supports charging Papadopoulos with the crime of lying to investigators, it is readily apparent that Papadopoulos had said nothing at all that tied the hacked DNC emails to Russia. As I wrote at the time, anyone paying attention to the Hillary email scandal suspected that Hillary’s emails had long before been hacked by foreign intelligence from her time as Secretary of State.

Yet, “even in the FBI’s indictment against Papadopoulos for lying, the “FBI” seems to go the extra mile not to clarify precisely which emails Papadopoulos was talking about.”  In other words, the FBI was assuming without reasonable justification, that Papadopoulos was talking about the Wikileaks emails, not her emails from Secretary of State. The implication then, is that Papadopoulos was in on the Russian hack into the DNC, which he knew about before it went public, rather than his referring to Hillary’s own unsecured server.”

And that factually unsupported indictment was the basis for three years of investigating Trump and placing a millstone around his ability to execute his duties as president?

I wrote the above quoted paragraph when the NYT published its December 30, 2017 report. Since then, the Mueller Report did nothing at all to challenge my conclusions. And today retired DOJ attorney Andrew McCarthy sums up what was really going on — The FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation Was Formally Opened on False Pretenses:

There is no evidence whatsoever, including in the 448-page Mueller report, that Papadopoulos was ever told that Russia intended, through an intermediary, to disseminate damaging information about Clinton in a manner designed to hurt Clinton’s candidacy and help Trump’s. There is, furthermore, no evidence that Papadopoulos ever said such a thing to anyone else — including Downer, whom he famously met at the Kensington Wine Rooms in London on May 6, 2016.

The claim that Papadopoulos made such a statement is a fabrication, initially founded on what, at best, was a deeply flawed assumption by Downer, the Australian diplomat.

On July 22, 2016, the eve of the Democratic National Convention and two months after Downer met with Papadopoulos, WikiLeaks began disseminating to the press the hacked DNC emails. From this fact, Downer drew the unfounded inference that the hacked emails must have been what Papadopoulos was talking about when he said Russia had damaging information about Clinton.

Downer’s assumption was specious, for at least four reasons.

1) In speaking with Downer, Papadopoulos never mentioned emails. Neither Downer nor Papadopoulos has ever claimed that Papadopoulos spoke of emails.

2) Papadopoulos did not tell Downer that Russia was planning to publish damaging information about Clinton through an intermediary. There is no allegation in the Mueller report that Mifsud ever told Papadopoulos any such thing, much less that Papadopoulos relayed it to Downer. Mueller’s report says:

Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had met with high-level Russian government officials during his recent trip to Moscow. Mifsud also said that, on the trip, he learned that the Russians had obtained “dirt” on candidate Hillary Clinton. As Papadopoulos later stated to the FBI, Mifsud said that the “dirt” was in the form of “emails of Clinton,” and that they “have thousands of emails.”

(Vol. I, p. 89 & n. 464). In neither the Mueller report nor the “Statement of the Offense” that Mueller filed in connection with Papadopoulos’s plea (pp. 6–7) have prosecutors claimed that Mifsud told Papadopoulos what Russia was planning to do with the “dirt,” much less why. And, to repeat, Mifsud denied telling Papadopoulos anything about emails; Mueller never alleged that Mifsud’s denial was false.

3) Papadopoulos says the emails he claims Mifsud referred to were not the DNC emails; they were Clinton’s own emails. That is, when Papadopoulos claims that Mifsud told him that Russia had “dirt” in the form of “thousands” of “emails of Clinton,” he understood Mifsud to be alluding to the thousands of State Department and Clinton Foundation emails that Clinton had stored on a private server. These, of course, were the emails that were being intensively covered in the media (including speculation that they might have been hacked by hostile foreign intelligence services) at the time Mifsud and Papadopoulos spoke – i.e., April 2016, when neither Mifsud nor Papadopoulos had any basis to know anything about hacked DNC emails. . . .

The State Department and the FBI Distort What Papadopoulos ‘Suggested’

Downer’s flawed assumption that Papadopoulos must have been referring to the hacked DNC emails was then inflated into a Trump-Russia conspiracy theory by Clinton partisans in the Obama administration — first at the State Department, and then in the Justice Department, the FBI, and the broader intelligence community — all agencies in which animus against Donald Trump ran deep.

There is much more, so I would suggest that you read McCarthy’s entire article.  The main takeaway is that the Fourth Amendment requires probable cause before law enforcement can conduct the type of investigation launched against Trump and his associates. In the absence of probable cause, the Trump investigation was unlawful — a political dirty trick that broke the law, involved misuse of the police power of government on a scale not seen outside a police state, and resulted in a scandal that dwarfs the facts of Watergate.  It also makes the push to punish Trump for “obstructing” this investigation utterly surreal.

If you want to see obstruction in action, look today at what the Left is doing to try and savage Barr and Trump.  Rep. Jerry Nadler has scheduled a vote of contempt against AG Barr for failing to appear before the House Judicial Committee.  Virtually every Democrat is screaming to the rafters that AG Barr lied to Congress and now needs to resign.

Then there is Jim Comey, who is also criticizing Barr.  Let’s not forget him because, if the facts are as I suspect they may be, he is dirty as the day is long.  This from Victor Davis Hanson today:

Comey seems to be prepping his own defense by a transparent preemptive attack on the very official who may soon calibrate Comey’s own legal exposure. Comey should at least offer a disclaimer that the federal prosecutor he is now attacking may soon be adjudicating his own future—if for no other reason than to prevent a naïf from assuming that Comey’s gambit of attacking Barr is deliberately designed to suggest later on that prosecutor Barr harbored a prejudicial dislike of likely defendant Comey.

How ironic that Comey who used to lecture the nation on “obstruction” and the impropriety of Trump’s editorializing about the Mueller prosecutorial team, is now attacking—or perhaps “obstructing”—the Attorney General before he has even issued a single indictment.

Three, Comey somehow remains seriously delusional about the abyss between his sermonizing and his own unethical and likely illegal behavior.

Remember, James Comey assured the nation that the Steele dossier, contra the testimony of his subordinate Andrew McCabe (already facing criminal referrals) was not the chief evidence presented to a FISA court. That is likely untrue. And if it is not, Comey’s other evidence he presented is likely to be just as compromised.

Comey also misled a FISA judge by not admitting 1) that his submitted dossier evidence was compiled by a contractor paid by Hillary Clinton; 2) that ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s work was unverified; 3) that Steele’s relationship with Comey’s FBI has already been severed due to Steele’s unprofessional behavior; and 4) that submitted news accounts of “collusion” were in circular fashion based on the dossier itself. Had Comey’s behavior ever become standard procedure in FISA applications, there could be no longer a FISA court.

Comey also misled about his meetings with President Trump, as memorialized in his now infamous memos. He briefed the president on the Steele dossier—without telling Trump that it had been paid for by Hillary Clinton.

Comey likely also lied in telling Trump he wanted to brief him on the dossier in worries that the press might otherwise report on it first. In fact, his meeting with Trump by design was the necessary imprimatur the press had been waiting for to leak information from the dossier, which shortly followed. . . .

The post The collusion and obstruction investigation indicts others, not Trump appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Bookworm Beat 5/5/19 — Venezuela is socialism illustrated edition

In Venezuela, maybe today being Cinco de Mayo will magically strengthen citizens in their fight against tyranny. Meanwhile, in the U.S. we’ll keep our guns.





Venezuela socialism guns

























(Unless, of course, you’re the French president. To me, it looks very, very French.)





















The post Bookworm Beat 5/5/19 — Venezuela is socialism illustrated edition appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Hillary Clinton’s Deplorables Strike In Rural North Carolina

The minivan slows to a crawl, then dies. The Latina driver with her daughter unbuckled in the front seat frantically tries the starter but the engine refuses to turn over. Within seconds she is surrounded by white men. Again she tries the engine, pumping the accelerator furiously, beads of sweat appearing on her forehead as she mumbles for the car to start. It refuses. She is stuck and on her own.

One of the men shakes his head. “Sounds like your battery’s dead. You need a jump.” The shoppers exiting Walmart smile benignly as the traffic moves slowly around the stranded minivan. No one honks. Honking is considered extremely rude unless you are using it to get the attention of someone you know.

I return to my SUV with the “Hillary For Prison 2016” bumpersticker and pull up in front of her and pop my hood as she exits. “What happened,” I asked.

“I was waiting,” she said, “Then the car stop.”

“That’s not the battery,” I said to the old man who became the de facto leader of our group of Deplorables. “The alternator should have kept it running.”

But I had cables so we popped the minivan’s hood and I attached them. Resetting them several times and gunning my engine failed to make any difference in the sound coming from the minivan’s engine. The thing was dead.

I put away the jumper cables as the Deplorables considered what to do next. The car had died right in front of the entrance, blocking traffic passing in front of the store as well as foot traffic into it. The old man decided the safest bet was to push the car in reverse and turn the wheels so that she backed into a parking aisle and into a parking spot marked with stripes.

Using simple English and gestures I tried to explain to the woman what I needed her to do, but when our group of Deplorables attempted to push her car, she didn’t turn the wheel, so we ended up pushing her along the front of the store.

One of the big Deplorables, a well-built man in his fifties with tattoos shook his head and sighed “Women drivers.” He pointed out to a young man with a slight build, “Why don’t you get in there and drive?”

So the woman got out and the Deplorable kid got in. The rest of the group pushed the car forward a bit, then gently pushed it backward, shepherding it into the spot where it was out of the way of traffic yet with easy access to the engine or for towing. I noticed the woman was on her cellphone, and I assumed she was calling for help.

And just like that, with no word of thanks, our little group of Deplorables dissolved into the crowd of larger deplorables here in rural North Carolina, a place where Hillary Clinton will never visit populated with people she hates. And though they will never say it (because it involves public swearing) none of them gives a damn what Hillary Clinton thinks.

Brilliant campaign email from Trump

I tend to submit my name to various political campaigns, both Republican and Democrat, so that I can see their emails. Most of the emails are open begs for money, and they are predicated on fear — the other side is winning, we’re cornered, we need your help. As Scott Adams points out, fear is a very good motivator and Hillary, especially, likes to use it. The problem with fear is that one eventually gets inured to it.  For example, if you read diaries from people who experienced the bombing campaigns in either London or Berlin, what you see is a gradual transition from blind panic to something akin to zen resignation. Eventually racing to bomb shelters just doesn’t seem worth it. All you can do is hope that the next bomb isn’t meant for you.

In terms of Hillary’s fear campaign, I don’t think that her most devout, ideological followers are going get inured to her warnings that Trump is a mad man. I do think, though, that they’ll cease to remain enthused for her. At a certain point, they’ll say in a robotic monotone, “Yeah, he’s crazy and I’m going to vote for Hillary, but I really don’t like Hillary very much. . . .”  That is, fearing Trump doesn’t transform into liking Hillary and, to the extent voter enthusiasm matters, this isn’t a good thing.

Going back to the Scott Adams link above, Adams says that Trump had a very good week. He did three smart things:  He gave calm, normal speeches; the calm, normal speeches contained core truths that most Americans (even loosey-goosey Lefties, if they’re honest with themselves) recognize as true; and he hired very media savvy campaign advisors — and this is true even if Ben Shapiro is correct in his claim that Stephen Bannon is the demonic Mephistopheles to Trump’s Faust.

Apropos Shapiro’s J’Accuse! to Bannon, I admit to being troubled. I admire greatly Shapiro’s wicked good intelligence, strong moral core, ideological courage, and great communication skills, so I’m most certainly not going to dismiss what he says. Having said that, his accusations against Bannon are so strong that, to me, they’re a bit self-defeating.  Despite believing that there are evil people out there, it’s difficult for me to believe that Bannon is that evil. And if he’s not that evil, how evil is he? Also, to the extent Shapiro is a NeverTrumper, and I’ve concluded that Hillary will be so dreadful that it’s worth taking the risk that Trump will be less dreadful, I have to factor Shapiro’s anti-Trump bias into the equation. But I digress….

My point is that fear is a useful weapon up to a point. It excites strong emotions, but those emotions cannot stay excited. Also, while it most certainly drags the opposition down, it’s not a great tool to build yourself up. That is, I don’t think Hillary makes herself look any better by saying that Trump is scary, especially when he’s not behaving in scary ways.

So if the fear-based campaign email is a little bit of a dead-end, what else can a candidate do?  Well, I just received a very different email from the Trump campaign and, frankly, I thought it was brilliant.

Before I get to that email, let me back up a minute and talk about campaign slogans and rhetoric. Hillary’s slogan is “I’m With Her,” which is just a meaningless statement of allegiance. Paul McCartney twisted to “She’s With Me,” which should certainly get out the aging British rocker vote, but isn’t much of a get-out-the-vote slogan either.  (And honestly, I really wish he’d kept his mouth shut because I love the Beatles’ music but now, every time I hear a song, I think to myself “It’s such a shame that McCartney matured into being an idiot” — which kind of spoils the music.)

Trump did a beautiful bit of rhetorical jujitsu and, instead of insisting that voters line up behind him, sheep-like, announced to the voters “I’m With You.”  There’s a world of meaning in that. I’m supporting your values, I’m your man in the fight, I care about the things you care about, I am your servant, not your master.

Taking that powerful statement one step further, Trump’s campaign sent out a wonderful campaign email, which I’ll quote in full here:

Trump Pence Logo
In less than three months, you get to vote for the next president of the United States.

But in order to make sure Trump wins, we need YOUR immediate input on his critical general election strategy moving forward.

Take the Trump Campaign Strategy Survey now. >>

Without you, this campaign would be NOTHING.

Our landslide victories, our momentum, and our massive rallies are all thanks to supporters like you who were ready to Make America Great Again!

But now we face the fight of our lifetime. We The People are going up against Hillary Clinton’s monstrous machine of elites, lobbyists, and special interests who have sent our country down a very dark road.

To win this fight, Trump is turning to his most trusted advisers: the American People.

That means you.

Please – consider it your duty to take the Trump Campaign Strategy Survey now. >>

Thank you,

Team TRUMP

TAKE THE SURVEY

This was good for my lizard brain. He’s not telling me what he thinks I need to know. He’s asking me what I think he needs to know. Okay — I’ll bite. I followed the “survey” link and, rather than being told to give money first, actually got a real survey asking for my opinions about things important to conservatives. The survey ticks off most of the true conservative boxes, which should help allay suspicion amongst those who think he has no idea what conservative voters care about. As you look at the questions, which are a laundry list of the desires of frustrated conservatives, you will see that the Trump campaign has engaged us in his platform. We now have ownership.

  1. Which issues are most important to you?
  • Securing the border
  • Stopping radical Islamic terrorism
  • Economy/jobs
  • Fair trade
  • American energy independence
  • Protecting the life of the unborn
  • Religious liberties
  • Upholding the Constitution
  • Preserving a conservative Supreme Court
  1. Should Trump spend more of his time going after Hillary’s record and her positions on the issues?
  • Yes
  • No
  • No Opinion
  1. Should Trump invest more time and resources in YOUR state?
  • Yes
  • No
  • No Opinion
  1. Should Trump focus more on positive or negative advertising?
  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Both equally
  1. Our tax system must be simplified to help working families and reduce IRS corruption.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. America must become energy independent to strengthen our economy and end dependence on our enemies for oil.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Term limits should be imposed on congressmen and senators.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortions.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. A wall must be built along the southern border of the United States to stop the flow of illegal immigration.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Trade deals must be renegotiated into terms that put America first.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Hillary Clinton’s plan to increase the number of refugees America takes in by 550% would be disastrous.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Taking proper care of our veterans must be a cornerstone of the Trump administration.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. The Second Amendment must be protected
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Republicans are correct to wait until Trump becomes president to confirm Justice Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. The federal government should return much of its power to state and local governments.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Businesses have been crushed by burdensome regulations that stunt growth.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. We cannot tax our way out of debt. Instead, we must stop wasteful spending to reduce our $19 trillion debt.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Our next president must roll back regulations that have forced companies to relocate overseas.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Repealing and replacing ObamaCare should remain a top priority.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. A Republican House and Senate will best empower Trump to pass necessary reforms for our country.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Political correctness has gone too far. It now threatens our national security.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. School choice policies are critical to empowering American families.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. We must end government regulations that have cost Americans jobs in states like Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Obama’s executive orders must be rolled back on Trump’s first day in office.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Trump must put an end to Obama’s military spending cuts.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Veterans should be able to choose their own health care providers.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Under Obama, the powers of the presidency have been abused.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Our country has strayed too much from what our founders outlined in the Constitution.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Law and order should remain a centerpiece of Trump’s platform.
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • No Opinion
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  1. Which of the following are your biggest concerns personally? (Select as many that apply)
  • Job security
  • Mortgage payments
  • Social security
  • Saving for children’s education
  • Saving for retirement
  • Social issues
  • Terrorist threats
  • Cost of living
  • Increased crime
  • Veteran aid
  • Other

Cross-posted at Bookworm Room

Link:  

Brilliant campaign email from Trump


Article written by: Tom White

Politicians’ external behaviors do not prove whether they have a strong moral core

I don’t particularly like a friend one of the Little Bookworms has, although I feel quite sorry for the young woman. She’s in her late teens, with staggeringly low self-esteem that she buries by indulging in drugs, alcohol, and gender fluid sexual engagements. I don’t worry, though, that she’ll be a bad influence on my child who has – thank goodness – a solid moral core that resists this type of depressing debauchery. In any event, my child is a legal adult and can consort with whomever she likes.

The reason I mention this unhappy young woman is that my Little Bookworm met the young woman’s latest boyfriend. Of that young man, my Little Bookworm had this to say: “He’s a really interesting guy in his early 20s. He’s a total straight arrow. He doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs.”

I asked the logical question: “What’s he doing with your friend then?”

The answer surprised me. “He’s a drug dealer.”

Well! I immediately told Little Bookworm that, while I have no legal control over her social life, she would do well never to socialize with either the friend or the boyfriend again. I reminded my children ad nauseum when they were growing up that San Quentin (which we can see from our home, so it’s a very real place to them) is filled with prisoners whose primary mistake was to have the wrong friends. If the boyfriend gets arrested while my Little Bookworm is in the same apartment he is, Little Bookworm will find herself in an adjoining jail cell.

Having delivered myself of this practical advice, I begin to think about the difference between apparently moral trappings and genuinely moral conduct. After all, other than the small problem of drug dealing, the boyfriend sounds great – clean cut and clean-living. The package looks good, but the core is rotten.

Looking back in time, we all know about that famous dog-loving, non-smoking, teetotaling vegetarian who sent six million Jews to the gas chamber and started a war that claimed 40 million or so lives within just six years. Hitler, like the boyfriend, was a mass of objectively virtuous behaviors that hid another rotten core.

The opposite can be true too. That is, there are people whose lives appear superficially vice-ridden, but who nevertheless have a strong moral compass. Take Winston Churchill, who was in so many ways Hitler’s opposite during WWII.

Churchill was undoubtedly an alcoholic. He showed exceptionally bad judgment during WWI, leading to the Gallipoli disaster. Many have credibly accused him during WWII of promoting plans that led to unnecessary loss of life, whether of his own troops or German civilians. In addition to loving his wife, mother, and daughters, he had a strain of misogyny that revealed itself in some of his most brutally memorable insults to women who got under his skin.

Despite all those behavioral problems, Churchill had a rock-solid inner morality, one that allowed him immediately to take Hitler’s measure and to be a sure compass during the dark, dark days of WWII. He was Hitler’s light-filled antithesis.

We grow them like that at home too – people whose external behavior is at odds with their true moral (or immoral or amoral) center. Jimmy Carter is Southern Baptist who has always lived a life of traditional rectitude – he is a committed husband, a devout church-goer, and someone who regularly donates his time and energy to building housing for the poor.

I should admire Carter, but I don’t. I loathe him because that pious mantel is wrapped around a man who is a committed anti-Semite, one who routinely sides with the debauched death cult that is Hamas and its followers, a group of people who seek Jewish genocide, murder homosexuals and Christians, suppress women, and use children as shields for their children. No matter how conventionally pretty Carter’s little acts of selflessness, he is (to my mind, at least) a fundamentally bad man.

And of course there are the Clintons. What can we say about the Clintons? Hillary has been married to only one man (although he did allegedly tell an adulterous girlfriend that she cheated on him constantly . . . with women). She’s stood by her man through thick and thin, which seems like the act of a solid, faithful spouse. Still, one cannot help but suspect that her decision to stick it out was driven, not by a commitment to her marriage vows, but by her understanding that she would need someone whose charisma could pole vault her from one job for which she was unqualified and in which she did badly to another job for which she was unqualified and in which she did badly, a pattern that Hillary planned (and plans) to repeat right up until she sits behind the desk in the Oval Office.

To those of us who don’t respect Hillary, the fact that she’s held positions of importance (in all of which she’s conducted herself badly) or that she pays lip service to every Leftist political shibboleth of days past and present does nothing to hide her toxic soul: Hillary is a compulsive liar, a user, a shamefully unindicted felon, and a person motivated by a greed so deep and pure that many of us cannot even begin to contemplate what drives her from one act of crime and corruption to another.

You’d think that after having grubbed in $150,000,000 over a sixteen-year period, Hillary’s greed would be satiated and she’d lie low, but she can’t. Hillary is compulsively greedy and dishonest, a manifest fact that shocks those who believe core morality matters and a fact that, even more shockingly, couldn’t matter less to the legions of Leftists who will do anything to get her into the White House.

Bill is in a class by himself too. He’s such a charming, compassionate man, who really does seem to feel everyone’s pain. A more naturally gifted politician it’s hard to imagine. While I suspect most Americans would cringe at the thought of having Hillary seated next to them at a dinner party, I’m pretty sure most Americans, even those who hate the Clintons – both their politics and their corruption – would have a good time if they ended up with Bill as their dinner partner.

These superficial virtues, though, cannot should never allow us to forget that Bill is almost certainly a rapist, he’s definitely guilty of sexual assault short of rape, he’s a workplace harasser, he’s best buddies with a pedophile, he’s a perjurer and, like his wife, he will do absolutely anything, including selling out his own country, to fill his coffers. His soul is black. But there’s that charm. . . .

As they do with Hillary, the Left so desperately wants to ignore that black soul and forgive Bill his sins, never mind that he has no interest in forgiveness. It’s that need to pin atonement upon him, when he hasn’t really atoned at all, that resulted in one of the most perverse posts I’ve ever seen at the Wonkette blog, home to a hardy, and somewhat . . . um . . . intellectually esoteric collection of rapidly Leftist feminists.

A Leftist named Rebecca Schoenkopf gamely, and rather admirably, decided to tackle head-on an interview that Katie J. M. Baker did for Buzzfeed with Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who has claimed for almost forty years that Bill Clinton raped her.

The interview is a good one and deserves to be read. Broaddrick has never changed her core story in the 38 years since she alleges that Bill trapped her in a hotel room and raped her. Moreover, she’s mostly kept out of the limelight, so she cannot be accused of having made a profitable or high-profile career out of slandering Bill Clinton. Indeed, she might have stayed quiet still were it not for Hillary’s “feminist” insistence that “every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”

For the 73-year-old Broaddrick, whom Hillary did everything possible to silence and discredit, these assertions were a bridge too far. Suddenly, on Twitter, she started speaking out. “I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73….it never goes away.”

Broaddrick comes across as a credible woman who was used badly by both Bill and Hillary and who never got the justice she deserved. But I want to return to Ms. Schoenkopf who, having read the interview, felt compelled to address it.

To her great credit, Schoenkopf has to concede that Broaddrick’s story is credible. To those who challenge Broaddrick, whether because her story has become more detailed over the years or because she speaks with right-wing organizations, Schoenkopf points out that (a) rape survivor’s do that as they grapple with the event and (b) Broaddrick hates Hillaru so she’ll naturally be drawn to those who support her as she speaks out against Hillary. Schoenkopf notes that, once one addresses these points:

that’s pretty much all the “I don’t believe Juanita” crowd has. Her friends found her with bruised lips, crying, right after the rape allegedly occurred. That’s what we call “contemporaneous evidence” when we believe women.

Once having accepted Broaddrick’s story as true, however, Schoenkopf seeks to rehabilitate Bill without any help from Bill himself. She first says that it was probably just an 80s power thing that had him respond to a woman’s repeated noes by assaulting her so badly she was left bruised and bleeding.

No.

I lived through the 1980’s in America. They were not like the 880’s in the Muslim Caliphate nor are they like the 2016’s in any ISIS-controlled region. Even back in those benighted times 35 years ago, men understood that trapping an unwilling woman in a room and using brute physical force as a way to have intercourse with her was a criminal act, no just macho posturing.

Bad as that bit of historical rewrite is, the worst thing Schoenkopf does it try to cleanse Bill’s criminal, blackened soul without demanding that he make any effort himself in that direction:

To sum up, I think Bill Clinton could very well have raped Juanita Broaddrick; that it doesn’t make him an evil man, or irredeemable (I’m Catholic; we’re all forgiven, if we’re sorry, and Broaddrick says Bill Clinton personally called her up to apologize). It doesn’t even necessarily make him a bad feminist — you know, later, once he stops doing that.

Sorry, but stopping committing crimes is not good enough. There’s no indication that he stopped because of conscience. There’s every indication that he stopped only because the higher his profile, the harder it became to get away with rape and other forms of sexual assault. In addition, the higher his profile, the easier it was to get women to bed him without his having to make any effort. He has no remorse. He has never repented.

Bill – charming, brilliant, even lovable – is a rotten apple who can be forgiven only if one re-writes entirely the definition of remorse and repentance so that those concepts have nothing to do with the actor’s soul and everything to do with his sycophants’ desire to resurrect his credibility.

The last joker in this deck of presidents and president wannabes is Donald Trump? It’s actually hard to get a grip on Trump’s behavior because of the foul miasma that the drive-by media has created around him. After a youth and midlife spent womanizing (but not raping), he seems to have settled down to marital fidelity. He’s also temperate in his behaviors, because he doesn’t smoke nor drink, and apparently has never done so. One could characterize him as an older man who, having sown his wild womanizing oats, has settled down and has the external morals of an elder statesman.

The Left, however, cannot accept a temperate, normal Donald Trump. The fever swamp that passes for a media today insists that (a) he’s an amphetamine addict and (b) that he’s a NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) devotee. The last is especially funny because this is put forward as the reason he’s hiding his tax returns – as if an internationally known businessman would place front and center in his returns a charitable write-off to a pedophile organization.

The media derides Trump as a monster who tries to boot old ladies out of their homes, while his supporters (many of whom have known him personally for decades) characterize him as a generous, spontaneous, compassionate man who doesn’t hesitate a moment to help out people in need. He’s either a corrupt, inept businessman who’s sued constantly, or a pragmatic man who takes minimal risks, turns real profits, and has a knack for cutting through the red tape and getting the job done. He’s a bully or a warrior. He’s a genius or a fool.

The real question, though, is whether any of the above tell us about the real Trump, the man beneath the weird hair, the crazy outbursts, the crude attacks, the savvy business deals, the generous charitable contributions, the teetotaling (and tweaking?). I don’t think so. Everything I’ve described is window-dressing, none of which is an insight into the man’s soul.

I do have some hope, though, that Trump is one of the good guys and that’s for a reason personal to me: Just as I immediately recognized Obama because he was identical in affect and behavior to a handful of malignant narcissists who have been in my life and made me quite unhappy, Trump reminds me strongly of a dear friend.

Trump and my friend have so many traits in common: quirky, original, often brilliant minds; explosive tempers; mountains of eccentricities; pit bull-like fighting instincts, that include the inability to walk away from an argument or insult; loyalty; and great charm. That’s my friend’s outer shell, just as it’s Trump’s outer shell.

With my friend, this shell is a difficult, prickly one, but the rewards of calling him a friend are tremendous. He has such a deep, strong moral core. You can rely on him for insights about difficult times and help during times of need. He knows what is right and what is wrong. For now, until proven otherwise, I’m going to hope that, once one wipes away the slime the media throws at Trump, he’ll be just like my friend: brilliant, difficult, brave, and truly worth the effort.

[It occurs to me that someone who ought to be included in this post is Oskar Schindler, a ne’er do well who had one of the strongests consciences to emerge in Nazi Germany.]

Cross-posted at Bookworm Room

Source: 

Politicians’ external behaviors do not prove whether they have a strong moral core


Article written by: Tom White