The official start of Hurricane Season seems like an appropriate time to take a hard look at “Crossfire Hurricane” –- the FBI’s investigation into alleged “collusion” with Russia that led to the unchecked travesty that is the Mueller probe –- and to just come out and call it what it is.
That's even if we have to put a few quarters in the swear jar. This may be one of those times when it’s impossible to avoid using a few bad words to describe a very bad thing. God forgives.
For it’s now perfectly clear, even before we see that long-awaited IG report, that “Crossfire Hurricane” was the weaponization of the intelligence community to ensure the expected victory of the presidential candidate who’d been anointed as the successor to the outgoing President. The FBI did this by sabotaging the campaign of her challenger, with input from the head of the CIA. They used unverified garbage from a British ex-spy that was paid for by his opponent, hid that fact from the FISA judges who approved their applications for warrants to surveil associates of his campaign, and used at least one SPY (yes, that is the word) to pick around the edges of the campaign and get the “Russia” investigation off the ground even before they’d opened an official counterintelligence case.
They chose not to inform the candidate of their so-called concerns. They also chose not to similarly infiltrate the candidacy of the Anointed One, even though she and her husband had received a great deal of money from Russians and appeared to have been running a pay-for-play scheme at the State Department (hard to prove, though, because of all the evidence she’s destroyed).
When her opponent won anyway, the FBI investigation into his campaign became an all-powerful special counsel probe, designed to “persist” until some evidence of a crime –- any crime –- could be found. The new President’s associates were indicted on years-old allegations that had nothing at all to do with Russian collusion, in the hope, as one presiding judge pointed out, that one of them might “sing,” or even “compose” to get a deal. Complicating all this is that the attorney general is mysteriously missing in action and his deputy has too many conflicts of interest to be overseeing it.
The plan also included strategic leaking to friends in the media (some of the leakers are now working as contributors for those very news outlets) while stonewalling the Senators and members of Congress whom the Constitution directs to oversee their actions. They denied the committees’ requests for interviews. They ignored subpoenas for key documents. They redacted mightily, to hide their own actions. They threatened the President with charges of obstruction of justice if he ordered them to comply or moved to declassify documents they were hiding.
And this is where we are now, with an investigation that no one can stop and threats of impeachment when there has been no crime.
To make a point, I’ve deliberately described what “Crossfire Hurricane” was –- and what it became –- without including people’s names, particularly the name of the target of all this: President Donald J. Trump. That’s because for many people, something about the name “Trump” excuses anything directed at him, no matter how dishonest, unconstitutional or downright crazy. It excuses fake “dossiers,” fraudulent FISA applications, criminal leaks of classified material, “confidential informants” (spies), and even bloody severed heads. If I were to describe all of the above as happening to TRUMP, “anti-Trumpers” would just read along, nod their heads and say, “Yeah, get him!” Take Trump’s name out of this scenario, though, and anyone, even the most rabid anti-Trumper, should be able to see just how horrific and obviously dangerous to America it is.
As Kim Strassel points out in her most recent column in the Wall Street Journal, the actions of the Justice Department are the real constitutional crisis here, not those of Trump in ordering the Justice Department to do what it’s supposed to do; namely, comply with investigative committees and pony up the documents in question. Also, the President should use his authority to declassify everything to the fullest extent possible. That move would not be taken to undermine the investigation but to get to the truth, which is what an investigation is supposed to reveal.