After reading Kyle Cheney’s piece in POLITICO that mentioned my commentary about Trey Gowdy, I was left with one question: where to start?
Maybe we should take a look at the very first paragraph, specifically the phrase “the President’s unsupported claim...” One has to have been living in a pretty deep cave –- or be in deep denial –- to dismiss the President’s claim as unsupported. On the contrary, we’re finding out more almost every day that lends support to the President’s claim –- so much support that it’s hard to keep up with it all. We KNOW the spy was there, who he is and essentially what he was doing, along with a growing cast of supporting characters. We now have a timeline that is at odds with the evolving story from the FBI/DOJ. From the Strzok-Page texts, John Brennan’s crazed anti-Trump tweets (hard to believe this person actually ran the CIA) and much more, we can glean the motivation. And we have stonewalling like there’s no tomorrow.
No, a phrase like “the president’s unsupported claim” is meant to slide through the reader’s eyes and embed itself in his or her brain without any pesky thinking taking place along the way. I recall the phrase “discredited swift boaters” being used to similar effect when John Kerry was running for President.
As far as we know, Gowdy still hasn’t seen those key documents that have been under subpoena since last August. No one who was at that meeting has said they were produced; as I recall, Mark Meadows said none were offered. Devin Nunes called for them again on Sunday. Gowdy is apparently just taking the bureaucrats at their word. And that --- not the political question of whether or not Gowdy is a loyal Republican – was the focus of my piece. It wasn’t “Wow, Trey Gowdy isn’t thinking like a Republican! Why won’t he support the President?” It was, “Wow, Trey Gowdy isn’t thinking like a prosecutor! What is going on with him?” Other comments cited along with mine in the POLITICO piece were mostly about political loyalty; my commentary was not. Rather, it was about trying to figure out what’s going on, to make sense of something that seems nonsensical.
With all the partisan spin happening on both the left and the right, I’ve tried very hard to stick to facts and not make this about politics. (Keep in mind, pointing out the partisanship of others in my analysis is not, in itself, partisanship.) It’s easy to point fingers at the usual suspects; we can get that anywhere these days. I’d like to think my readers come to me because they’re trying to escape the spin and find out what’s really been happening. I’ve come out in favor of declassifying everything possible without damaging legitimate sources and methods –- operative word: “legitimate” –- and letting the chips fall where they may, regardless of who might or might not be implicated as a result. I was part of Trump’s campaign myself, and, believe me, if I had had any inkling that something nefarious was going on with Russia, I would have been outta there faster than you can say “the President’s unsupported claims.”
I know from personal experience what it’s like to be on the receiving end of partisan wrath (being “in the doghouse,” as Cheney would put it) for deviating from the party line on occasion. Although the quote he chose from my commentary reflects my view, I felt out of place being included in a piece that was primarily about loyalty to the Republican side. There should be no “side” here; if Gowdy has good reason for his odd behavior, okay. But let’s see it.
Cheney --- and Gowdy, too, come to think of it --- might want to read this article by D. C. McAllister. It lends even more support to the conclusion that this investigation was hardly business-as-usual for FBI officials, who deviated from their own guidelines to conduct it the way they did. It was NOT by the book. The FBI has set-in-stone policy regarding the steps of an investigation and the appropriate use of “intelligence agents” (spies) and “confidential sources” (spies) along the way, and the emerging timeline for this case is all wrong. Evidence of a serious threat to national security must be present, and she makes the case that it was not.
For Gowdy to be ignoring that now is truly mystifying, and I’d say the same of any respected prosecutor regardless of party affiliation.