A Select Committee to Look under the Rocks?

Millipede-IMG_7046_sm

Actually, this Virginia millipede is harmless, but you’ll find them in the muck and under rocks if you have the temerity to look.  The kids like the tickle when they crawl on your skin.

 

The ‘Insurance Policy’

What happens when an ‘insurance policy’ fails?  That’s what FBI agent Peter Strzok called the plot to tie Donald Trump and his campaign to Vladimir Putin and the Russians in the unlikely event that the evil Trump should win the Presidential election.  He said as much in a text to his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, on 15Aug16:

I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.

Andy was Andrew McCabe, Assistant Deputy Director of the FBI (reporting to Director James Comey).  A writer called ‘Sundance’, who maintains a blog called The Conservative Treehouse (CTH), defines the context:

Let us be clear on what the “insurance policy” was.  The insurance policy was, in totality, the entire fraudulent Russian Conspiracy Narrative; and all of the accompanying –and subsequent– FBI and DOJ collaborative actions that were taken, under the auspices of an FBI counterintelligence operation, in order to generate an entirely false premise. The goal of using the “insurance policy” was to destroy, and possibly impeach, President Trump.

Revelations into the origins of the Russia-Trump ‘collusion’ story have been coming thick and fast since I suggested in October (‘Topsy-Turvey’) that the Special Counsel should be investigating the real Clinton-Obama machinations, rather than Mr Trump’s putative ones.   It was obvious, even back last March that the ‘collusion’ story was a fabrication, an attempt to shift the Wikileaks releases of hacked DNC email to fictituous Russians in league with the Trump campaign, and to hide Obama administration spying on Mr Trump and his associates (see ‘The Easter Bunny Cover-Up’).  The public face of the Collusion Myth was the Obama Intel establishment, mainly James Clapper and John Brennan, and Queen Hillary herself.  It’s the role of the FBI in all of this that is new.

The factitious ‘Steele Dossier’ that used dubious sources to implicate Donald Trump in unsavory activities in Russia turns out to have been commissioned by an opposition-research firm called Fusion GPS, and paid for by the Clinton campaign via the DNC’s favorite law firm, Perkins Coie (which also hired the CrowdStrike IT firm that claimed the Russians hacked the DNC servers).  When a FISA judge turned down a request for additional spying on the Trump campaign in July (they were already being ‘unmasked’ by the White House, it seems) the fake ‘Dossier’ was likely massaged to get new approval in October.  After the election, Admiral Mike Rogers at the NSA, one of the few good guys left in the lame-duck Obama adminstration, alerted Mr Trump that he was being spied on, whereupon the President-elect moved his entire transition team out of Trump Tower to one of his resorts.  Sundance analogizes his role to that of ‘Condor’ in the 1975 movie, “Three Days of the Condor.”

Once he assumed office, the new President summarily fired FBI Director James Comey, which unfortunately led to Congressional calls (Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans) for a ‘Special Prosecutor’ (Counsel) to investigate not only ‘collusion’ with Russia (never mind that collusion is not a crime) but also for obstruction of justice (as if a President cannot fire anyone in his administration).  The Assistant Attorney General Rob Rosenstein, acting because Jeff Sessions had recused himself from anything related to the campaign, hired Mr Comey’s old friend and colleague, Robert Mueller.  Never mind that all three of these nominal Republicans (Comey, Mueller, Rosenstein) had been involved with burying the Uranium One investigation a few years back, when then-Secretary-of-State Hillary Clinton OK’d the sale of 20% of our uranium to the Russians, in return for a $130 million ‘donation’ to the Clinton Foundation, and a speaking engagement for Bill that paid $500k. These folks are no strangers to real Russian Collusion.

There is a Rogues Gallery cast of characters working in concert at the FBI and the DoJ.  The FBI kindly shipped over Agent Peter Strzok  to work for Special Counsel Mueller; his girlfriend Lisa Page was already on loan from the Justice Department; DoJ Attorney Bruce Ohr and Agent Strzok worked with ‘Dossier’ compiler and former British spook Christopher Steele, along with Ohr’s wife Nellie Ohr, who works for. . . Fusion GPS!  It’s all one big, happy family, and like a mob Family, they are engaged in sinister and nefarious activity with one overriding aim: to overturn the election of Donald Trump.  It’s now become more than a Cabal of Intel chiefs; it’s a bona fide Conspiracy with a host of underlings and operatives.  For some helpful graphics and discussion of this Rogues Gallery, with extensive documentation, see The Conservative Treehouse HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Is the Plot Unravelling?

Only now there are signs of increasing concern among the principals.  The Inspector General of the DoJ, Michael Horowitz, is reportedly investigating politicization, and his releases have already led to revelations—first that Strzok had changed the report on Madam Hillary’s private email server from ‘gross negligence’ (a crime) to ‘extremely careless’ (not a crime), and then the damning text message from Strzok about an ‘insurance policy’ if Mr Trump actually won the Presidency.  Now with Rep. Devin Nunes putting pressure on Justice to release the October application to the FISA Court, there is a scramble for anonymous leaks to send the ersatz ‘journalists’ of The Washington Post and The New York Times in other directions: it wasn’t the Dossier, but a drunken conversation between a Trump campaign hanger-on and an Australian diplomat that got the ‘Russia’ inquiry started.  Moreover, there are shifts: Agent Strzok back to an obscure office in the FBI, Andrew McCabe announcing his resignation. . .  Could it be that the President is gaining the upper hand and even the politically untouchable Mueller operation may be vulnerable?

That is a development devoutly to be wished.  But with AG Sessions still recused, and Assistant AG Rosenstein in thick with Mueller, short of the President firing Mueller, creating a political storm amongst the opposition and in the dominant media, how can the public learn about the Conspiracy?  Only conservative political junkies read the estimable Andrew McCarthy in National Review, or the PowerLine Blog, and even fewer The Conservative Treehouse.  The Congressional committees (Intelligence, Judiciary) are finally beginning to stir the foetid waters of Justice and the FBI and the former administration.  But committee hearings, where each member has only five minutes at a time, offer no opportunity for cross-examination, and usually devolve into speechifying by the Congressmen, one party attacking, the other defending—and nothing happens.

A Special Committee

There have been calls for a new Special Prosecutor (or Counsel), and conceivably Jeff Sessions could rise from his recusal stupor to appoint one.  But this will confuse the public even more, and raises the specter of two Special Counsels doing taxpayer-funded battle across the political landscape.  What if the second indicts the first?  As entertaining as this might be (even I would succumb to the Popcorn Futures joke at that point), prosecutors and grand juries operate in the shadows.  I think we need to bring the Cabal cum Conspiracy out into the light for all to see and appreciate the depth of criminality to which the Obama/Clinton administration sank, before pretending to turn over the reins to Donald Trump.  I think we need a Select Committee of the US Senate, or maybe of the House and Senate combined.

There are ample precedents, dating back at least to the Army-McCarthy hearings of the 1950s.  I still remember seeing bits of those on a small black-and-white television set.  My parents were transfixed, and many moments of those hearings became part of the political folklore of the nation.

ThompsonWatergate

Photo from U.S. Senate Watergate hearings. From left to right: minority counsel Fred Thompson, ranking member Howard Baker, and chair Sam Ervin of the Senate Watergate Committee.  Courtesy of The Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. Library and Museum, Western Piedmont Community College.  Via Wikipedia.

Then there were the interminable Watergate hearings in 1973, which led to the astonishing resignation of a President of the United States. Who didn’t watch those famous interrogatories by Sam Dash (the Chief Counsel), Fred Thompson (Minority Counsel) and Senators Sam Ervin and Howard Baker (“What did the President know, and when did he know it?”)?  Who can forget President Nixon’s sad and awkward farewell to his staff, and his departure on a Marine helicopter?

That’s the advantage of a Select-Committee hearing.  While the members can still make speeches, and question witnesses, the real work is done by the Majority and Minority Counsels, relying on staff research, who can drill down with intense cross-examination in a way that ordinary Congressional hearings never can.  And unlike a Grand Jury proceeding, which a Special Counsel would use, the Select Committee hearings would be public, and carried gavel-to-gavel on national TV.  If the subject were Conspiracy to Overthrow the Presidency of Donald J. Trump, even the blatantly pro-Democrat broadcast networks would have to carry them.

Fast foward to Ronald Reagan’s second term, and the Iran-Contra hearings.  I remember listening to those on a small boombox at Coles Creek State Park on the Saint Lawrence, where we were visiting my wife’s parents with our kids and canoes.  The family probably thought I was nuts.  Col. Oliver North became a hero in my eyes, though he was convicted of obstruction of justice and destroying evidence, which conviction was overturned because he had been granted immunity by the Joint House-Senate Iran-Contra Committee.  His attorney Brendan Sullivan’s defense of his role, “I’m not a potted plant,” has become a standard riposte in legal circles.

The disadvantage of a public Select Committee hearing, of course, is that the Congress has limited ability to punish; it must refer miscreants to the Executive Branch, namely the Justice Department, for indictment, trial, and punishment.  But under the circumstances, the value to the American public of seeing the faces of a plot to overthrow the President, put on public display for hours and hours on television, may be greater than any punishment the courts could inflict.  The chance, moreover, that a modern Alexander Butterfield (the White House aide who revealed the existence of the Nixon tapes) would emerge, enhances the drama and possibility of real consequences for the miscreants.

A Select Committee investigation should not be confined to the 2016 election campaign and the ‘Russia Collusion’ conspiracy.  The roots of the Cabal lie in the unrestrained growth and power of the Intelligence agencies, numbering 17 or so in the sprawling web of bureaucracies (even the Justice Department has a ‘National Security Division’), in the Obama Administration’s deliberate placing of political acolytes in them, and to rampant corruption at high levels, especially the State Department led by the Clinton Family.  The unexpected election of Donald Trump represents not only the loss of power for Obama, Clinton, and their leftwing followers, but loss of the ability to funnel boatloads of cash to ersatz ‘non-profits’ like the Clinton Foundation.  The Committee should be empowered to turn over all the rocks embedded in the Swamp, and catch whatever scurries out of the muck.

/LEJ

UPDATES: Joseph diGenova on the Conspiracy and on Special Counsels. <- Click

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