As reported yesterday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ruled that the affidavit presented to him by the ‘Justice’ Department to get a warrant for the search of Mar-A-Lago should not be sealed in its entirety but partially unsealed after they’ve had a week to redact it. I can just imagine the version that’s going to be unsealed a week from now, mostly just big black rectangles.
This relentless lawfare is leading just one way: to the indictment of President Trump. Believe me, they wouldn’t be going to all this trouble on so many different fronts if that weren’t the goal they were ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED to achieve. And if they can indict the former President of the United States for something that was within his authority as President to do, they can surely figure out how to indict anyone who gets in their way. Why stop with Trump, when they can go on to “get” those running in his stead (“Trump proxies”), and then anyone who even dares to “come out” as Republican. After all, as Gen. Michael Hayden said, today’s Republicans are a bigger threat to our country than even the worst terrorist groups around the world! He knows --- and he ran the CIA!
Fortunately, we’ll have an army of 87,000 new IRS auditors who can get ‘em on tax charges.
Think I’m exaggerating? This is how the Washington bureaucracy operates. The great Margot Cleveland has been looking at how they engineered the Mar-A-Lago raid, and she sees major similarities to the way they built the Russia Hoax. It doesn’t even matter to them that “Russia!” was shown to be a frame-up; they’re just doing the same thing again. It’s what they know how to do.
First of all, in both cases the intel community warns us that there is a veeeery serious national security concern, a “clear and present danger” to America. With the Russia Hoax, it was control by the Russian government, by Vladimir Putin himself. With the Mar-A-Lago raid, it’s highly classified documents, even dangerous nuclear secrets that could fall into the hands of...who knows? Russians?? This is why the government simply HAS to take measures that might seem extreme to us, but are warranted under the circumstances. They really have no choice.
(I would add that another element common to both is, “Besides, it’s TRUMP!!!”)
The next step in both of these created scandals is the building of a narrative, and that’s where the media come in. With the Russia Hoax, every possible connection to Russia was explored, whether involving Trump or any of his associates. (Of course, we now know most of this wasn’t even real; it was made up, leaked to the media, and then, over and over, reported as fact.) With the Mar-A-Lago raid, it’s the “classified materials” narrative. Never mind that the President gets to declassify material at will; they’re using the media to pound over and over the idea that Trump was in possession of very sensitive, highly classified material. The narrative that it was just pages that needed to be returned to the National Archives wasn’t urgent enough.
Both scandals also depend on strategic leaks from the FBI. Starting in 2016, they started leaking stories that furthered the Russia Hoax. (And their friends in the media got Puliltzers.) Once again, they’re leaking to Maggie Haberman at THE NEW YORK TIMES and their other buddies at the WASHINGTON POST and NEWSWEEK to get the desired narrative out there.
But to me, the similarity that’s most striking is the individuals involved. The same cast of characters pops up. We’re seeing the same journalists --- I mean, “journalists” --- and the same Democrat politicians, such as California Rep. Adam Schiff, justifying the Mar-A-Lago raid.
Something else the two fake stories have in common: the idea that you better not criticize the FBI. With the Russia Hoax, anyone who questioned their tactics in investigating Trump or even defended Trump in any way was lumped in as “an agent of Putin.” Now, with the Mar-A-Lago raid, anyone who questions the raid is “attacking the dedicated rank-and-file FBI agents,” even though we’re not.
Another similarity Cleveland has noticed is the changing narratives. The intel community will turn on a dime to give us a new justification if they sense the old one isn’t working. Over the past couple of days, we’ve been going over the evolution of the excuse for conducting the Mar-A-Lago raid.
Another factor common to both: the secrecy of court filings. Just ask Tom Fitton at Judicial Watch how long and hard he’s had to work to pry any information out of the government regarding Crossfire Hurricane. Those FISA requests just sat in a corner for...literally years. And now, with the Mar-A-Lago raid, the ‘Justice’ Department is fighting tooth-and-nail to keep parts of that affidavit hidden. Cleveland says we should have learned our lesson from the Russia Hoax, and “realize that the secrecy surrounding the affidavit raises serious concerns that the basis for the search of Trump’s home would not withstand public scrutiny.”
Another similarity between the Russia Hoax and the Mar-A-Lago raid: both stories involve the “confidential human source.” We learned during the Russia Hoax: this is just another word for SPY. The FBI had a “mole” in the White House and, apparently, a “mole” at Mar-A-Lago.
Also, both scandals feature, as Cleveland calls it, “a partisan bureaucrat with a disdain for Trump.” Of course, with the Russia Hoax, there was a long list of anti-Trumpers in the government. Probably the first ones we heard about who were directly involved in “Crossfire Hurricane” were Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. With the Mar-A-Lago raid, we have the head of the National Archives, David Ferriero.
The last similarity Cleveland notes is that both the Russia Hoax and the Mar-A-Lago raid are marked by immediate denials in the media by the feds, followed by a downplaying of what we found out they’d actually done. With the Russia Hoax, it was “We were NOT spying on Trump,” followed by “We might have unwittingly gathered information.” With the Mar-A-Lago raid, it was “We did NOT take Trump’s passports,” followed by “Well, it was an administrative mistake, the passports were returned, and besides, two of them had expired.”
In showing all these similarities between the two game plans, Cleveland makes the point that the ‘Justice’ Department is going to have a problem doing the same thing again. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on ME. We’re wise to them now. At least, I think enough of us are.
In a follow-up, Cleveland assumes that, given the FBI is following the same M.O. as it used for the Russia Hoax, the affidavit for the Mar-A-Lago raid probably has the same issues going on as the FISA warrants to spy on Carter Page. She says that from those, we “can infer that the unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s home rested on circular reporting, material omissions, misleading assertions, informers of unproven reliability, and an investigation undertaken by partisan agents.”
Whew! And yet, they got their warrant.
I disagree with Cleveland when she argues the affidavit should remain sealed. Yes, it’s rare to unseal one of these during an ongoing investigation, but in this particular case, given what has happened, I think it just cannot remain secret. But she does say that keeping it sealed will be “a hollow victory” for the administration, “because the systemic abuse by the DOJ of the Carter Page FISA warrant process will leave Americans convinced that the latest sequel in the get-Trump franchise followed the same pattern seen with Crossfire Hurricane.” That doesn’t say much for our justice system, does it?
A new Rasmussen poll reflects that cynicism...
Cleveland’s piece is quite detailed, but for when you have time, it’s highly recommended.
IN RELATED NEWS: Investigative journalist Paul Sperry thinks it’s likely that the ‘Justice’ Department committed fraud on the court by omitting in its affidavit evidence of President Trump’s prior cooperation. If that’s the case, I’d assume it would be a major reason for not wanting the affidavit unsealed.