Evening Edition - July 17

July 17, 2018

Hopping into the Way-Back to answer reader's question about Mueller

In response to my commentary about Trump’s ample justification for distrusting his own intelligence community, reader Mary S. Rowan asked a question:  How was Mueller chosen to be special counsel?  What process was used to choose him?

That inspired me to get in my Way-Back machine and revisit that appointment, with the benefit of all we’ve learned since.

Here we go!  But first, a quick pit stop, to March 21 of this year:  Alan Dershowitz makes the case that no special counsel should have been appointed in the first place.  “There was no probable cause,” he says, “at that point, to believe crimes had been committed…As I’ve said from day one, there should have been a special investigative commission, non-partisan, appointed by Congress, with subpoena power to look into the role of Russia in trying to influence American elections and do something about preventing it in the future.”  He says what we have now is a lot of “finger-pointing” and “the criminalizing of political differences.”  (Of course, he has no idea on March 21 how horrible this is going to get.)

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/03/21/dershowitz_trump_100_right_there_never_should_have_been_special_counsel_no_probable_cause.html

 Okay, let’s keep going, to June 8, 2017:  Fired FBI Director Comey testifies under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee and admits under oath that he leaked FBI work product (personal notes of his meeting with Trump) to a professor friend, who later turns out to be a “freelance” FBI employee, with the EXPRESSED PURPOSE of getting a special counsel appointed.  In his notes he had recorded that Trump said of the Michael Flynn investigation, “I hope you can let this go,” which to me doesn’t sound anything like obstruction.  But that’s how Comey decided to interpret it.


OUR TOP STORY: Why SHOULD Trump express confidence in his intelligence agencies?


Now, let’s go all the way back to May 17, 2017:  The White House, given only 30 minutes’ notice, is “surprised” by the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate Russian “meddling” and possible “collusion between Russian agents and associates of President Trump.”  In making his announcement, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (Jeff Sessions is recused) says he has made no determination that crimes had been committed, but that a special counsel is necessary “for the American people to have full confidence” in the outcome of the investigation.”  Translation:  even though there’s no evidence of a crime (when that is supposed to be required), the appointment of a special counsel is in the public interest, so I am just going to do it.

As related by the LA Times, Mueller is “a former federal prosecutor who served as U.S. attorney in San Francisco under President Clinton and was named FBI director by President George W. Bush” and “well regarded as a nonpartisan figure.  He was FBI director for 12 years, kept on by President Obama.”  It goes on to say, “Mueller worked closely with James B. Comey, his successor as FBI director, who was fired last week by Trump.”

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-russia-comey-20170517-story.html#

A Washington Post story provides interesting context by saying, “The decision to appoint a special counsel comes A DAY (emphasis mine) after revelations that notes taken by Comey in February recount a conversation with the president in which Trump asked him to drop an investigation into his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn.”  (Wrong, WaPo.  Trump only said he hoped that would happen.)

By the way, I turned up a potential conflict of interest for Mueller that may or may not be significant in light of Paul Manafort’s legal travails.  The law firm which employed Mueller, WilmerHale, had represented Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Mueller hired away WilmerHale colleagues James Quarles and Aaron Zebley.  That doesn’t seem kosher, in that they represented him before they prosescuted him.  No one thinks about that now, except (one hopes) Manafort’s current lawyers.

 Anyway, Mary, I hope this little journey back in time has helped clarify what was going on when Mueller was appointed.  As for “process,” I don’t think there was one.  Sessions was recused, Rosenstein had huge conflicts of interests but didn’t recuse, Democrats were screaming for a special counsel, Rosenstein (wrongly) thought it was in the public interest to appoint one (though a convincing case has since been made by Steven Calabresi and Mark Levin that it was an unconstitutional abuse of power), Rosenstein did so, he made the choice, and he chose someone who was praised at the time for impartiality.  Democrats cheered triumphantly and ordered drinks all around.

Importantly, we now know that when Comey intentionally leaked information to trigger a special counsel, he had in mind that Mueller would be the likely choice.  If that sounds like a set-up to you, you’re not alone.

 


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Senator Paul defends President Trump

Sen. Rand Paul is one of the few Republicans in Washington defending President Trump against the avalanche of criticism for being too nice to Vladimir Putin.  Paul says the over-the-top “treason” and “impeachment” talk is just the rantings of pro-war critics who have been persistently opposed to Trump anyway, and that “it’s gotten so ridiculous that someone has to stand up and say we should try to engage even our adversaries and open up our lines of communication.”  Paul had previously downplayed the outrage over Russian meddling in the US elections by noting that the US meddles in Russia’s and other nations’ elections, and it’s being going on for years with the media not caring until Trump won. 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/17/rand-paul-sides-with-trump-on-russia-says-critics-motivated-by-dislike-president.html

I think maybe it’s hard for some of us to get carried away by all the harrumphing because we’ve lived too long and seen too much.  We’re expected to get up in arms over Trump being conciliatory to Putin after living through eight years of Obama letting him do whatever he wanted and the media barely saying a word.  We’ve lived through half a century of leftists apologizing for Russia (Bernie Sanders honeymooned in the USSR, for gosh sakes), demonizing Republicans for wanting to fight instead of engage our enemies, slamming the CIA for its alleged sneaky colonialism and for “lying us into war in Iraq” with bad intelligence about Saddam's WMDs and attacking the FBI for any number of things, even mocking its longtime leader J. Edgar Hoover as a transvestite (which if true, would today make his critics irredeemably politically incorrect.)  Now, all of a sudden, they’re yelling that it’s “treason” to disparage our intelligence agencies and engage with Russia?  That’s funny, when they did it, it was “patriotism.”    

 For all the Democrats going berserk over Trump being too nice to Putin, consider this: Maybe Trump had no choice because, when they were behind closed doors, Putin pressed that “Reset” button Hillary gave him. 


OUR TOP STORY: Why SHOULD Trump express confidence in his intelligence agencies?


Nothing new from Democrats

If you think the Democratic “OUTRAGE” machine is anything new, I’m indebted to an anonymous poster at the Free Republic message board who found this: It’s an article from Rolling Stone, slamming the Republican President for “flubbing” his big meeting with Russia’s President, depicting him as a out-of-his-depth little boy who was completely outfoxed by his Russian counterpart.  Except this was about Ronald Reagan’s summit with Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1986.  Yep, our poor, outmatched Republican President sure was taken to the cleaners by Russia.  Say, how did things work out for Russia after that? 



This article is well worth revisiting, not only as a reminder that smug liberals never, never learn not to underestimate Republican Presidents, but also as a reminder of just how wrong a self-satisfied liberal “journalist” can be.  This article fairly drips with scorn and condescension for Reagan and his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), sneeringly nicknamed “Star Wars” and mischaracterized as putting weapons into space.  The writer, William Grieder, treats it as a "pie in the sky" fantasy but because of Reagan’s foolish childlike belief in it, he refuses to do the sensible thing and give it up to get the USSR to agree to a nuclear arms reduction deal.

Grieder quotes Democrat Les Aspin as saying it was “cuckoo” for Reagan not to agree to give up SDI as a bargaining chip:  “Trading SDI for a ten-year, fifty-percent reduction in nuclear missiles was worth it. But the president’s got this idea in his head — like no tax increases — that SDI is going to protect the world and that’s it. SDI is not going to protect the world. It just isn’t.”

Would anyone like to run that statement by Israel to see what they have to say about it?

Wow, these people never get tired of being wrong or get any less smug when they are consistently proven wrong.  And yet, they keep telling us that we’re on “the wrong side of history.”  I don’t think they’d know the right side of history if there were a neon sign pointing at it.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/reagan-flubs-reykjavik-summit-118796/

 

 GoFundme.com

GoFundMe.com is one website that really has helped make the Internet a worthwhile invention.  By giving a worldwide stage to small, local charities and needy families, it’s helped harness the power of many small donations to make a big difference.  The problem is, the site now has so many fundraisers that it’s hard to decide which ones deserve support.

In some ways, that depends on your interests.  There are families seeking help with medical bills or groups trying to help veterans and their families (search for VFW, and you’ll find many worthy pages seeking to help renovate or keep local VFW halls open.)  There are fundraisers to help eradicate just about every disease or to help with recovery from natural disasters. There are countless pages to help rescues for abused and abandoned animals (a good friend of mine supports this one, so I’ll give them a plug: https://www.gofundme.com/rickiesrescuefund) With so many worthy causes, how do you choose who to help? 

I can't answer that, but I will say this: If you are one of the people who actually went to GoFundMe.com and not only contributed to paying the cost of hauling that stupid Trump Baby balloon around America (a stunt that’s a far bigger embarrassment to the childish nimrods who thought of it than it will ever be to President Trump) – and who not only gave more than double the original goal, forking over $10,000 so far that could have fed the homeless or paid veterans’ medical bills or paid abused animals’ vet bills – then please do not ever try to tell me that you are a member of the party of compassion and intelligence.  You’re actually a member of the “A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted” Party.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/trump-baby-blimp-set-to-follow-president-around-us


 RELATED READING:  Evening Edition - July 16


 Simple question

You’d think that if someone took time off work to go out into the streets and protest the policies of the leader of a country that isn’t even their own, that they would at least know what his policies are.  But you’d be wrong on two counts:  (1.) They had no idea what policies they were protesting (one seemed to think Trump is responsible for the weather); and (2.) You’re assuming they have jobs to take time off from.

https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/watch-hannity-goes-london-exposes-anti-trump-protesters-simple-question/

 


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Corporate Virtue-signaling

John Hinderaker at the Powerline blog identifies today’s virtue-signaling “progressive” company doing something stupid that they seem to think will save the environment and animals -- but will actually make virtually no difference to the environment, simply result in microscopically fewer animals being bred, and annoy their clients.  I’ll let their new policy be a hilarious surprise, but here’s a hint: if you’ve got a lunch meeting with one of their representatives, order the fish or the veggie plate, because if you order a burger or a chicken sandwich, you’ll be picking up your own check.  Now, there’s a great way to win over new clients!   

 http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/07/a-new-low-in-corporate-virtue-signaling.php

 Protocol

While we’re on the subject of bowing to foreign leaders, no, President Trump and the First Lady did not violate protocol by shaking Queen Elizabeth’s hand instead of bowing.  We settled that issue in the 1700s.  Maybe “progressive” schools don’t teach that in history class anymore.

https://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2018/07/14/the-telegraph-asks-did-trump-forget-to-bow-to-the-queen-here-are-some-great-answers/

 

 Hacks

A reminder: while Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) are in full meltdown mode over the “assault on our democracy” represented by Russian hackers allegedly getting into the DNC email server, Donna Brazile’s upcoming book “Hacks” reveals that the Dems weren’t always so concerned about security.  In fact, she claims the DNC already knew at the time that its servers were being hacked by Russians, but they kept on using them anyway because taking them down to fortify security when Bernie Sanders was already dealing blows to Hillary in the primaries might have led to her suffering even more humiliating defeats.

This suggests two things that all the rest of us should already know:  (1.) The DNC was under the control of Hillary and working on getting her elected, not keeping the primaries fair and honest; and (2.) the intensity of Democratic OUTRAGE over Russia “assaulting our democracy” depends entirely on whether they think it might have cost them some votes. 

https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/clinton-insider-to-keep-hillary-from-losing-dnc-quietly-let-russia-hack-dnc-steal-data/

 


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 Why are they?

Have you ever noticed how much liberals like to cast aspersions of homosexuality on Republicans?  It’s as if they think being gay is something shameful and disgusting.  Why are liberals so homophobic?

http://freebeacon.com/politics/new-york-times-runs-cartoon-depicting-trump-putin-gay-lovers/

 

 Soros funding protests?!? Say it isn't so

Wait, you mean George Soros’ money is financing these hysterical leftist protests against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court?  I’m so shocked, you could knock me over with a hummingbird feather!

https://dailycaller.com/2018/07/15/demand-justice-george-soros/

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Comments 1-21 of 21

  • Anita Mule

    07/19/2018 09:29 PM

    When a relative posted the GoFundMe about bringing the blimp to America, on Facebook, I was sorely tempted to respond, "Go fund yourself". I resisted, though someone egged me on. I just had to tell someone. I am proud of my restraint.

  • Frank E Dufek

    07/19/2018 04:30 PM

    Mr Huckabee, Something that I would be interested in is your take on and even you always when talking about our form of government is that we are a Democracy. I wish people would remember their education if they had history. We are a Constitutional Republic with a democratic form for representation that our Constitutional Government when electing people who are sworn to uphold the Constitution of these United States will follow what they have sworn to do. A democracy in itself is the worst form of government because it flows with the whims of the people which it seems to me is what is going on today, because many of our leaders are making us out to be a democracy as opposed to a Constitutional Republic which can only survive in a Christian nation. What are your thoughts?
    I hope that people can enjoy a country like Venezuela , we may be headed towards that type of a situation if we continue on our present course.

  • Cheryl Jongeneel

    07/19/2018 02:09 PM

    Your trip to the past in response to Mary, are very helpful. It all happened so fast that no one but them,really knew what happened.I remember many objections, but I do not remember anyone getting serious about the illegal part of this whole investigation into nothing! I will save you comments into my files. thanks!

  • barbara miller

    07/18/2018 05:09 PM

    if illegals are not allowed in the country who is picking all the fruits and vegetables i california and other produce states?

  • CARMEN PRICE

    07/18/2018 11:58 AM

    Governor
    I wish more of America knew who George Soros was, if they did I would think they would be appalled to know this evil person is undermining our Government. Someone aught to do an interview with him to out him for what he is. And not being born in America is more reason to out him. I don't care about how rich he is I just wish he would go away and stop meddling in our politics.
    Carmen

  • Amelia Little

    07/18/2018 10:50 AM

    Thanks for the stroll down yesteryear about the special counsel. There is just so much wrong with there even being one, let alone one being led by mueller, and for the group to consist of liberal donors (especially to hilary) and those who have made some pretty bad decisions as judges in the first place. But, I guess, if you are wanting a particular outcome, you choose people who are most likely to give you that outcome.

    There are three FOX shows I used to watch--not all three every day, but at least one, maybe two. Lately, I don't worry about whether or not I tune in. The opening monologues are usually interesting, the rest? Not so much. Fair and balanced is one thing, but too often, it seems the most unbalanced persons are the ones being interviewed--I do admire the hosts for being able to sit through utter non-sense with a straight face, but I can't stomach the content. Then, it seems the current fad is to have montages of msm reporters or whatever they are to carry on about the outrage of the day. If I wanted to watch these clowns, I would tune into their shows. To report on obama critiquing about the Putin meeting, and what Donald Trump had to say was way too much. Mostly I can't deal with his sanctimonious, better than thou, condesending tone--didn't like it when he was President, and even less now. Thank goodness for the remote!!! Like he did so well. BUT, I do think everyone should have to listen to Mark Levin's listing of all that former Presidents did in their dealings with other world leaders (and it is lengthy and not even complete) and his listing of all that President Trump has accomplished in the short amount of time he has been in office. Make every congress person sit in chambers, no phones, no napping (don't suppose we can keep pelosi from grinding her teeth and making faces) no getting up and walking out (it was maybe 5 minutes, they can sit still that long) just to remind them. But, it's too much like history, and many don't want to think about history. I don't remember all the outrage and non-stop screeching on the news channels or even from congressmen about things that aren't so different from how other Presidents did their jobs. Or when they or maybe their VP (like Biden) made gaffes.

  • Terese Pace

    07/18/2018 09:33 AM

    Good morning!
    First of all, thank you for being the voice of reason and sanity in this era.
    I cannot imagine, nor do I want to try, what our country would be like without men and women of God who serve this country with grace, honesty, and integrity. Thank you, thank you, and I give thanks to our Father in Heaven for you!
    Secondly, I would like to hear what your opinion is on the Supreme Court's decision about the anti-trust legislation. I truly want to hear what you have to say, because I like to pray in accordance with The Word of God, and, quite frankly, I am not sure what I should believe or need to pray concerning this issue.
    Thanks again, and may God richly bless you and your family, and may God continue to bless The UNITED States of America! Praise to The LORD Who daily loads us with His benefits!
    Sincerely, Terese Pace


  • Doug

    07/18/2018 08:40 AM

    Does anyone really think that the cabal in DC would have expressed satisfaction with anything POTUS did in Helsinki? If he had played hardball with Putin, the swamp cabal of RINOS, Democrats and the Mainstream Media would have criticized him for being confrontative and "missing a historic moment". It's PAST TIME for the establishment of TWO more political parties to drain the swamp because the Tea Party movement has revealed that if there is only ONE, the RINOS and Democrats will work together to neutralize their common opponent which threatens their place at the trough.

  • Vickie Fiorentino

    07/18/2018 07:45 AM

    "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer".

  • Barry Spinka

    07/18/2018 01:05 AM

    Mike, I love your commentaries! Please, don't ever stop. You have so much insight. Of course I thought so back in 2008 when you first ran for President. Again, thanks for reminding us that civility does not indicate weakness. One last comment, I think your daughter is one of the best Press Secretaries we've ever had in my lifetime and I'm almost 74.

  • Cynthia Z

    07/18/2018 12:56 AM

    I hope they don't bring that dumb balloon to Tennessee, I am sure my good neighbors would have a blast using it for target practice!

  • George M Houchens

    07/17/2018 11:15 PM

    Dear Mike;
    You give Rosenstein more consideration than I think he deserves. Rosenstein was and still is a Hillary crony and never wanted Trump as President. And more about this witch hunt by Mueller. Have you read the background of Peter Strozek, the FBI agent that led much of the Trump collusion investigation. Grew up in Iran, worked as representative to Iran, Father a devotee of Iran, selected by Obama to negotiate with Iran, ……… and on and on. Early in his first term, Obama talked about growing his own army. Now we know he meant it.

  • Tom Willis

    07/17/2018 10:01 PM

    In reading your comment about the upcoming book “Hacks”, I’ve seen other stories about the DNC being hacked. Can’t remember hearing the RNC being hacked. So I offer that DNC can be pronounced phonetically but it makes more sense if I buy two vowels from Vanna..... so we have DuNCe! Give them a pointy hat and set them in the corner!

  • william fuhrer

    07/17/2018 09:33 PM

    President Trump should show budgets of NSA CIA FBI and challenge all three to stop foreign subversion of United States elections

  • Sarah Menne

    07/17/2018 09:27 PM

    I understand that Mueller's investigation was set up in such a way as to make Trump look bad if he personally fires Mueller and stops this fruitless probe/investigation that never should have even begun. Since it never should have begun, why then cannot Congress step in and stop this wasteful and political investigation? I'm 100% sick of Mueller and I'm tired of the lives he's destroying in his obvious hope of bringing down Trump. MUELLER NEEDS TO BE FIRED! I just wish there was a PEOPLE's PETITION allowed to get him dismissed and the fruitless investigation ended.

  • Lee Kania

    07/17/2018 09:11 PM

    My only regret with Trump is when he backtracked his comment on his confidence in our intelligent services, I am highly suspicious of our intelligent services. After studying the JFK assassination. i"m well aware of what they are capable of. There are many things that just doesn't add up in all of this. We know from WikiLeaks download of CIA files. That the malware of foreign countries had been hacked and available to everyone else. So lets say a whistle blower with a grudge against Hillary uses Russian malware and leads them to Russian military agents. It's possible. Right? And if it was the Russians, why didn' they use malware that didn't lead back to them? It' s like a professional burglar with a record doing a heist without using gloves. Why did it take the Muellar investigation 14 months for indictments against the 12 Russians? Why weren't the main DNC servers examined to get a forensic fingerprint? Maybe I'm overly suspiciouis, but there are a lot of questions and I will be surprised if the American public will ever be able to take a look at all the hard evidence for their conclusions. Why would the FBI lie? If anything to save face. Can you imagine the outrage from the American public, if they discovered there was no Russian interference, but it was an inside job,the work of a whistle blower? If I learn one thing from investigating our intelligent services is their drive for self preservation.

  • Charles Moore

    07/17/2018 08:32 PM

    So disappointed in "my" President at the Helsinki summit with Putin!!...have supported him from the beginning but his comments were "way over the top"!

  • Dr. Diane M. Schneider

    07/17/2018 08:09 PM

    Mr. Huckabee, Nothing political about this comment! but I was so delighted to see your support for your friend's GoFundMe today (7/17), as yesterday I had to endure the ridicule of my brother for my posting a GFM for little Fiona Jr., a homeless, starving and very ill Siamese cat handed to me in March by a neighbor. Somehow my bro. thinks it's embarrassing and inappropriate to ask for money for a sick animal, and this drove me a bit crazy. So I sent him your quotes. I'm a Roman Catholic theologian and a therapeutic harpist for end of life care who reads your letters for inspiration, comfort, and a quiet sense of joy at the kindness, hope, and sanity they always embody. Thanks for the balance; thanks for your sincere spirit of inquiry without fearing to go where the questions lead. I do wish we had more theologians informing the scene--where are we all? Gratefully, Diane Schneider (and--could I ask you to send up a prayer for Fiona Jr.? trying to get a diagnosis)

  • Dorothy shepherd

    07/17/2018 07:57 PM

    Right on as usual! I heard nothing treasonous in trumps speech with Putin . I would distust some of the government agencies around me after we been watching what’s been happening with the exposure of emails and such. How in the world The left thinks that’s treason is I don’t know. I think they were ready to call anything he said with Russia treasonous so that they could get the ball rolling on impeachment.

  • Barbara Sproull

    07/17/2018 07:39 PM

    Thank you for putting all of this mess together, I personnaly thought that the President has done great things for this country. I prayed for years,asking the Good Lord for a President we could trust,and bring this country back to the America Ideals that this country stands for.! The ugliness and rudeness expressed by the liberals about President Trump is beyond disgusting. When did America become the trash mouths of the world. They have forgotten that we all answer to Our Lord, Jesus Christ, on Judgement Day. Thank you for listening to me, Barby Sproull, The Woodlands, Texas.

  • Kay Dodds

    07/17/2018 06:25 PM

    Mike, why does this go on and on. Is there no hope of ever Hiliary being held accountable for all the crimes she has committed? If it was a normal person like me I would have been I. Jail long ago. I am not a lawyer, just an everyday person but if I did any one of the things Hiliary did I would be sitting in a jail cell. Why is she still free? Why can she do no wrong? I understand how very busy you are but could someone in your office help me understand., Please!
    Kay Dodds at [email protected]