While President Trump was getting on board the peace train in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday, there was a slow-motion train wreck happening on Capitol Hill.
Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, the illustrious Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman, insisted on exhibiting former Trump attorney Michael Cohen on the SAME DAY Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un for peace talks, even though he still has two months to go before starting his three-year-prison sentence for, among other things, lying to Congress.
This may be the worst stunt anyone in Congress has ever pulled, at least in my memory. Let me get out my Roget’s Thesaurus...this was a travesty, farce, mockery, perversion, sham, caricature, absurdity, horror, disaster, shame, mockery, folly, foolishness, insanity, idiocy, and...train wreck. There were other synonyms, but they weren’t emphatic enough.
There was Michael Cohen, sitting in a three-shot with his two lawyers behind him, one of whom is, unbelievably, longtime Bill-and-Hillary attorney/crony/BFF Lanny Davis. Cohen read an opening statement probably penned or co-penned by Davis that was everything Trump’s opponents could have wished for in their wildest dreams: Trump is a racist, a liar, a con man. But when pressed on any knowledge of “collusion” with Russia to win in 2016, he had to admit he had none.
If THIS GUY doesn’t have knowledge of it, and won’t even claim to, that’s as conclusive as it gets.
So, of course, the Democrats had to focus on other things, like the payment to Stormy Daniels. This guy is so shady, it’s impossible to know if anything he said is the truth. (I would hope by now that Trump has completely rethought his hiring practices from his days in real estate and show biz.) Just to cite one example of Cohen's lying, his account of not being interested in a White House position is directly at odds with other records and recollections. He also provided clear evidence to all that his disbarment was warranted by showing his willingness –- eagerness, in fact –- to violate attorney-client privilege. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz called him “a bad witness,” which is an understatement.
But perhaps the most shameful thing of all was the timing of this circus. (Circus! That’s one the thesaurus missed. Also, embarrassment.) As I said, Cohen has two more months before he has to begin serving his sentence; could they not have waited just a few more days? Are the Democrats so stupid --- or sociopathic; it’s got to be one or the other --- that they would work deliberately to sabotage the President at an event like the one in Vietnam this week? Do they have any idea what goes into this kind of diplomacy, how much groundwork has been laid, how many moving parts there are, how much focus it takes, how many chances there are for things to go wrong? Do they realize what’s at stake, how critical this is to the entire world? My God, they hate Trump so much that they’ll risk our long-term safety for a chance to undermine him today.
They are disgusting. (Grotesque, loathsome, vile, monstrous…) And Roger L. Simon seems to have the same impression…
At this writing, it’s about noon Thursday in Vietnam, and all seems to be going very well. But there’s something else about the timing of the Cohen hearing that brings home what the Democrats have been trying to do. On the same day we watched the Democrats reach desperately for ANYTHING they can possibly use against President Trump, we also found out more about the special treatment Hillary Clinton got from the Justice Department and FBI after flagrantly violating the law by setting up her private email server.
Jeff Carlson, who's done some blockbuster reporting on this, has traced it back to then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who decided early on (must’ve been before the tarmac meeting with Bill) to set such a high threshold for prosecution that she effectively ensured Hillary would not be charged. Do you recall that evidence of “intention” isn’t a requirement in the “gross negligence” statute? Well, Lynch apparently decided that, for Hillary, it would have to be.
It seems obvious that Hillary intended to set up the server to evade rules that applied to all her email communications, including her classified material, but “intent” is very hard to prove. About the only way they could do it would be to find an email or obtain an admission from her that she knowingly set up the server to send classified information. Otherwise, Hillary could just say, “I was just trying to keep my personal email private and didn’t think about the classified stuff,” and they’d say, “Okay, Hillary, you can go. Sorry we inconvenienced you.”
When Comey changed his prepared statement to read “extreme carelessness” instead of “gross negligence,” he was being consistent with the DOJ’s directive. So it’s curious that in making the announcement exonerating Hillary, he made such a big deal about no one knowing in advance what he was going to say. What he said was a shock to us, of course, because it violated our sense of justice and made absolutely no sense, but the exoneration was just what Lynch wanted and expected. The FBI was not really acting independently of the Justice Department. I would add that doing it this way allowed Lynch to distance herself from the decision.
This also could explain why Comey went ahead and drafted an exoneration for Hillary so early in the process. He knew they weren’t going to find “intent,” so her case would be dropped, even though the statute isn’t supposed to require intent. The fix really WAS IN.
Carlson found this out by reviewing closed-door testimony from high-ranking FBI officials that has not been released publicly. (This guy has some really good sources.) Here’s the stunning testimony from Lisa Page, speaking before congressional investigators on July 13, 2018: “Everybody talks about this as if this was the FBI investigation, and the truth of the matter is there was not a single investigative step that we did not do in consultation with or at the direction of the Justice Department.”
Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe asked Page about “intent” as it pertains to the “gross negligence” charge. She said they had “multiple conversations” with the DOJ about charging gross negligence in which they were told there would not be accompanying proof of intent. As Carlson puts it, “The word ‘intent’ drove the entirety of the FBI’s investigation into the Hillary email server.” A comparison between Page’s testimony and that of Trisha Anderson, the number two lawyer at the FBI, reveals a lot of legal hair-splitting about intent. (Full details and infuriating testimony at the link below.)
They also discussed whether the number of instances would be “a proper consideration” (yes), noting that the State Department had identified 22 top-secret emails and 1,300 classified emails on Hillary’s server. Then-House Majority Counsel Ryan Breitenbach said at the time, “I think there might be many who would question whether people in this room would still be in this room if we had hit 1,300 [classified] emails on our personal Gmail service.”
Page named names of people at the DOJ (besides Lynch) who were involved in the decision to require intent as part of a gross negligence charge. These people were handling the case with kid gloves. It’s all there in the story. Carlson notes that all but three of the individuals mentioned have either been fired or resigned, and that most of them faced congressional interviews. One of three still at the DOJ was the person responsible for reading and managing the FISA application and renewal for spying on Carter Page.
As a way of coming full circle, here’s Hillary’s comment on Trump’s negotiation-in-progress with Kim Jong-Un: “I don’t see a deal there that is a verifiable, enforceable deal. I don’t know what Trump will claim. If he can put lipstick on a pig and he can say ok this is what we’re going to do with North Korea and he keeps saying over and over again and FOX News says it over and over again and other outlets say it over and over gain and the so-called mainstream media does their both sides, ‘well he says this but’ --- he wins the news cycle. That’s really what he lives for.”
Sometimes it’s hard to be a Christian when you just so dearly want to say some things that Jesus wouldn’t say.