Guest Editorial by Shadowman
In light of recent events, I find myself feeling obliged to put my thoughts and feelings to paper. Many of you know me from here, from elsewhere, many of you do not know me.
What I want to get out of the way first and foremost, is that there is a fundamental duty that Americans have in order to preserve our country, and our society: to uphold the laws of the land, protect the innocent, ensure the guilty face consequences, and protect this idea that is the United States of America from those entities which would seek to do us harm.
With that being said, I believe there is an immutable difference between how the #MAGA/GOP right views the investigations into Donald Trump, his family, his friends, his associates, and his administration, and how most of America views them. For #MAGA/GOP right, these investigations are partisan hackery, politically motivated “witch hunts” as they so profusely like to exclaim.
But they really aren’t, as I will explain.
In 2016, Donald Trump won election with the help of a compartmentalized wing of the Russian government, Wikileaks, who saw not only his general election opponent, Hillary Clinton, as a threat, but also his GOP primary challengers and independent/Libertarian opponents.
This state sponsored hacking entity released reams of (many unsubstantiated or outright fabricated) documents with the intent of curating a president who would not pose a threat to the country of Russia.
This was an undeniable attack on our ability to hold elections free from influence and an attack on our democracy. Fast forward to 2019:
Special Counsel Robert Mueller ran a criminal and counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump and his sphere of associates for 22 months. In that time, Donald Trump repeatedly attacked the investigation, the investigators, and told egregious lies with the help of his congressional supporters and media punditry.
What sparked the investigation, was Donald Trump firing without a justifiable cause, the director of the FBI, James Comey. He did this because Mr. Comey did not back down from allowing an investigation into Michael Flynn, a National Security Council member, who has been proven to attempt the kidnapping of Fethullah Gulen, and attempted to sell state secrets and technology to the Saudi Arabian and Turkish governments.
Donald Trump then fired the acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, for continuing that investigation, despite the president’s ultimately unproven and fruitless case of “partisan bias” against his administration.
In December of 2017, the New York Times reported that the president ordered Robert Mueller fired due to his displeasure with the investigations into him and his associates. Mr. Trump only relented when the White House counsel, Donald McGahn, was so perturbed that he threatened to resign.
Fast forward to late 2018. Donald Trump orders the firing of his attorney general Jeff Sessions (couched as a resignation as Mr. Sessions did not actually offer his resignation, only acquiesced upon the realization that Mr. Trump would have fired him regardless), because the attorney general recused himself from the investigations, and therefore would not be in a position to obstruct said investigations.
The president then installs a non-senate confirmed henchman, Matthew Whitaker (Jeff Sessions’ Chief of Staff), who had previously indicated the investigations into the administration were politically motivated and unjustified, and was accused by others in the White House of feeding important information on these investigations back to Donald Trump and his inner circle.
Mr. Whitaker denied under oath in congressional testimony, that he had any conversations with the president about shutting down the investigation by the Southern District of New York into the president, or had discussions about firing the United States attorney for that region, Geoffrey S. Berman, a Trump appointee whom had recused himself from that investigation to the president’s deep dissatisfaction.
Mr. Whitaker may have committed perjury. The chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, informed the public that upon calling Mr. Whitaker back for questioning, he told a very different story than the one he told in the public setting, and that these discussions did indeed occur.
Fast forward a few weeks: Matthew Whitaker leaves the justice department as Donald Trump nominates a new attorney general, William Barr, to fill the position left by the former AG, Jeff Sessions.
Mr. Barr previously held discussions with Mr. Trump about acting as his defense attorney. Mr. Barr claims he turned this down without serious thought.
Trump met privately with Barr in the spring of 2017 and asked if he would serve as his defense attorney to defend him against special counsel Robert Mueller‘s ongoing investigation, according to the news outlet.The Hill
Barr reportedly said he had other obligations, indicated his answer was no, but said he would think about it.
William Barr auditioned for the job of attorney general by pointedly attacking the special counsel investigation, arguing the investigation into obstruction of justice was “fatally misconcieved” and that a president “cannot obstruct justice”. This unsolicited, 20 page memo, was received with adjulation by those in the president’s orbit.
William Barr, President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, sent an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department in June calling the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into obstruction of justice “legally unsupportable” and “potentially disastrous,” The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.Business Insider
It is now March of 2019. Mr. Barr has been on the job barely over a month, and the special counsel investigation has ended, which is something Matt Schlapp, the head of CPAC, and a close confidante of the president, whose wife works for the administration, insinuated in this tweet:
Mr. Barr had refused to commit to recusing himself in his nomination hearing, and refused to commit to releasing the full report by special counsel Robert Mueller.
On March 24th, 2019, William Barr sends congress a 4 page summary of what his thoughts are on the special counsel’s investigations. In it, Mr. Barr declares that there “was no established evidence” on any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
It has been reported that Mr. Mueller was not consulted on AG Barr’s summary letter.
This is highly problematic for many reasons.
First, the word “established” is doing a lot of heavy lifting. Evidence does not need to be established to actually exist. It is highly possible had the special counsel had more time, this puzzle would have indeed been established.
Second, this summary remains mum on collusion/conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks, which brands itself as an independent actor, or with individuals who had access to the campaign, had left the campaign, were not formally with the campaign, and the actions of the campaign in the general election and the inauguration committee.
Mr. Barr, in his apparent rush to absolve the president who appointed him, did not actually confirm no collusion and conspiracy.
Moving on to the obstruction portion, Mr. Barr states “the report does not reach a conclusion on the question of obstruction, but neither does it exonerate him”. Mr. Barr claims that “the special counsel declined to make a traditional prosecutory judgment” on the matter of obstruction.
Mr. Barr goes on to say that he, not the special counsel, along with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (who drafted the justification for firing James Comey and in public speeches has said the DOJ does not reveal information on individuals they cannot personally charge beyond a reasonable doubt), have made the call that it did not constitute obstruction.
Mr. Barr, for all the reasons listed thus far, is not an impartial actor. He was a man selected for the singular purpose of defending the president against the justice system.
Mr. Barr overruled the special counsel when he decided to make his own judgment call on the evidence Mueller uncovered regarding obstruction. As such, Mr. Barr is complicit in the actions the president and his circle have taken to escape justice, just as John N. Mitchell did for president Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.
See the difference between the #MAGA/GOP right and the rest of America?
Americans want, and deserve the truth, no matter how inconvenient. We want justice, proof that our system is not forever broken and that a president is subject to the same laws any other citizen of this country is.
William Barr’s word means nothing.
Our founders fled one corrupt monarchy. We do not want another.