The Evening Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
Let’s dissect a tweet issued by President Trump earlier today. Here it is:
Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018
Attorney General Sessions issued the following statement a bit later:
“We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary,” Mr. Sessions said in his statement. “As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.”
So, sounds like the Attorney General is back in the President’s doghouse, and that he’s pretty irritated with being called out by Mr. Trump in that way, right? On the surface, that’s exactly what it sounds like.
But let’s think about what lies beneath the surface in this situation.
First, why not use Justice Department lawyers to investigate the…well, the Justice Department? After all, that’s who was abusing the FISA process, at least according to the findings published by the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. That would be sort of a conflict of interest, wouldn’t it? Don’t you think the President, who spent 50 years in the business world, understands the concept of conflict of interest? Of course he does.
Second, those DOJ lawyers have a pretty big investigation load going on already related to abuses during the Obama era. Remember, over a 3-week period in December and January, AG Sessions announced his DOJ lawyers would be investigating Uranium One, the FBI’s sham investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email servers, the Clinton Foundation, and the Obama Administration’s refusal to prosecute members of the terrorist group Hezbollah in the interest of propping up its deal with Iran. Don’t you think the President is aware of all of those ongoing investigations? Of course he is.
Third, the IG is already investigating FBI and DOJ abuses in the investigation of the Clinton email scandal. Oh, and by the way, the Hillary Clinton email scandal is directly linked to the FISA abuse scandal, given that both involve several of the same players at FBI, guys with names like Strzok, McCabe and Comey. It is extremely likely that, during the course of his year-long investigation, IG Michael Horowitz has already been investigating the abuse of the FISA process – he could hardly help coming across evidence of wrongdoing in that case. Don’t you think the President is aware of all of that? Of course he is.
Fourth, yes, the IG does not have prosecutorial powers. However, he does have the power to make criminal referrals to the Attorney General. What is going to have more public credibility – indictments issued by the Republican DOJ attorneys working for a Republican AG, or indictments sought by the Republican AG on the advice of an IG who….
Fifth, yes IG Horowitz was appointed by Barack Hussein Obama, as the President conveniently reminds us in his tweet.
Sixth, while the fake news media and #neverTrump people who have been wrong about everything for the last three years always claim that the President just belches these things out on Twitter without giving them a moment’s thought, the truth is that we have found out repeatedly that there is pretty much always a method to his seeming madness; and
Seventh, there is this passage from the Sessions statement: “… this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.” What could be more fair and impartial and in accordance with the law than relying on an Obama appointee with a spotless reputation for fairness and impartiality to conduct these investigations? And who, by the way, every Democrat talking head on TV will spend the next week defending, precisely because of the President’s exchange with his Attorney General today.
Let me speculate what the method behind this particular tweet and the AG’s response might be:
- I expect we are about to see IG Horowitz issue his report on his 14 month investigation into the Clinton email scandal soon, as in no later than a week from now;
- I expect we are going to discover that his 14-month investigation covered a lot more ground than just the email scandal, and will likely include findings related to Uranium One, the Clinton Foundation and other matters that were very interrelated to the email scandal;
- I expect the report will contain a raft of criminal referrals, and that AG Sessions will promptly act on those referrals;
- I expect the fake news media is going to wail in protest and will naturally go after Horowitz, but is going to have a pretty hard time convincing the public that the guy who was appointed by Barack Obama just spent 14 months dummying up a report at the behest of Donald Trump;
- I expect that the President is actually pretty pleased with Sessions, and that if he was really as upset with his AG as he has pretended to be over the last 14 months and as mercurial as the fake news media like to portray him as being, he’d have fired Sessions in a fit of pique long ago.
That’s a lot of expectations out of a single tweet and a one-paragraph response, but as I said above, the President really doesn’t just toss stuff like this out onto his Twitter account for no reason.
That is all.
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