Opinion by Paul Plante
The first takeaway, of course, at least for me as an older American, is just how disgusting this whole “process,” if it can be called that, has been since the Democrats started screeching in 2016 about the Russians interfering in our “democracy” because their queen Hillary Clinton lost to Trump, which was never supposed to happen according to all the pundits and all the polls.
The last time I remember something like this taking place in the TEN MILES SQUARE was back when “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy was in the U.S. Senate conducting his famous hearings into how far the Communists had managed to infiltrate the Democrat party in this country, which makes it ironic for the Democrats to be accusing Trump of being a Russian agent, which is the second of many takeaways from the Mueller Hearing on 24 July 2019, a day that will go down in infamy in American history as the day a sitting United States president was stripped of due process of law and was literally lynched, something I find quite reprehensible as an American citizen dedicated to RULE OF LAW, which clearly did not exist in that hearing on 24 July 2019.
Which takes us back to February 6, 2018, a bit less than a year AFTER Jimmy Comey gave his famous testimony to the Democrats on 20 March 2017 about Trump and the Russians, to a book by Lanny J. Davis entitled “The Unmaking of the President 2016: How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency Hardcover,” which review on Amazon states thusly:
During the week of October 24, 2016, Hillary Clinton was decisively ahead of Donald Trump in many polls and, more importantly, in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Then FBI Director James Comey sent his infamous letter to Congress on October 28, saying the bureau was investigating additional emails that may have been relevant to the Hillary Clinton email case.
In The Unmaking of the President 2016, attorney Lanny J. Davis shows how Comey’s misguided announcement — just eleven days before the election — swung a significant number of voters away from Clinton, winning Trump an Electoral College victory — and the presidency.
Davis traces Clinton’s email controversy and Comey’s July 2016 appearance before Congress, in which he said the Clinton email matter was effectively closed.
From that moment until Comey’s late October letter to Congress, Davis says, Clinton was destined to be elected president by substantial popular and electoral vote margins.
But the decision to send his October 28 letter, so near to the election, not only violated long-standing justice department policies but also contained no new facts of improper emails at all — just pure speculation.
Davis shows state by state, using polling data before October 28, and on election day, how voter support for Hillary Clinton eroded quickly.
He proves that had the election been held on October 27, Hillary Clinton would have won the presidency by a substantial margin.
Despite so many other issues in the closing days of the campaign — Trump’s behavior, the Russian hacking, reports of Clinton momentum in marginal states such as Georgia, Arizona, even Texas — after the October 28 Comey letter, everything changed.
References to “Clinton emails” and “new criminal investigation” dominated media coverage virtually round-the-clock through election day November 8.
Now Davis proves with raw, indisputable data how Comey’s October surprise cost Hillary Clinton the presidency and changed American history in the blink of an eye.
Forget all of that, because the narrative has changed!
It’s now Trump and the Russians who caused Hillary to lose.
Which brings us to an op-ed by Lanny Davis on 24 July 2019, entitled “Advice to House Democrats: Mueller is right to stick to the facts – don’t ask him to imitate Starr and Comey,” as follows:
There are three reasons why House Democrats during Wednesday’s public hearings should support, not criticize, former special counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to stick to the facts and evidence and to refuse to offer his own opinions on the evidence of Trump’s apparent attempts to obstruct justice.
First and foremost is the Due Process clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Prosecutors violate it by offering any opinions at all without a published indictment and a trial with due process rights to the accused.
Second, the U.S. Justice Department’s long-standing rules and policies under Democratic and Republican administrations forbid a prosecutor publicly expressing his opinion on the evidence – again, based on due process principles.
And third, by following these two principles, Mr. Mueller avoided the historic ignominy of being compared to Ken Starr and James Comey, who ignored both of them.
Lest we forget, Starr’s public comments on Whitewater and his report to Congress on impeachment were improperly filled with opinion and innuendo of guilt.
James Comey thought it was OK to offer his negative opinion of the evidence regarding Hillary Clinton’s email practices — yet then said she had committed no prosecutable crime.
The DOJ’s independent inspector general harshly criticized Comey for this and other misconduct.
And then, Mueller and the Democrats did exactly that – violating Trump’s right to due process by having Mueller offer opinions without a published indictment and a trial with due process rights to the accused, which violates the U.S. Justice Department’s long-standing rules and policies under Democratic and Republican administrations which forbid a prosecutor from publicly expressing his opinion on the evidence – again, based on due process principles.
But really, people, and truly, who gives a damn?
We’re talking about Trump, and everybody in America knows now that Trump is a reprehensible racist and criminal who is a dupe of Putin and the Kremlin, so why should trump be entitled to any kind of due process of law?
Which brings us to the third takeaway, which is that the Russians are going to interfere in the 2020 presidential election to keep their dupe Trump in the White House, so that if we want to beat the Russians at their own game, then we need to elect anybody but Trump in 2020, which means VOTE DEMOCRAT IF YOU LOVE AMERICA AND HATE PUTIN!
And what a victory for Putin that would be, which is the fourth takeaway here in rapid-fire order, with a whole passel of takeaways waiting in the queue for their chance to see the light of day, which takes us to the fifth takeaway, and that is how canny Robert Mueller was in hiding the origins of just how it was that he came to be appointed by Rod Rosenstein back in 2017, fifty-eight (58) days AFTER the 20 March 2017 Congressional Hearing where FBI Director Jimmy Comey gave testimony along with evasive answers about Team Trump and the Russians before the 2016 presidential election.
And before we go further, and incidentally, there are twenty-seven takeaways in here because reviewing everybody else’s numbers, with Fox News having five “big” takeaways, and NBC having six, and CNN having ten, I thought it appropriate to have a bigger number than any of them, and 27 seemed just about right, although in the end, even 27 might be far too small a number, indeed, let’s go back to where this all began with a WALL STREET JOURNAL article entitled “Mueller concludes Russia probe, delivers report to the attorney general” by Aruna Viswanatha and Sadie Gurman published Mar 22, 2019, where we had as follows, to wit:
Special counsel Robert Mueller presented his long-awaited report to the Justice Department on Friday, ending his nearly two-year investigation that has roiled the Trump presidency and likely setting up a battle with Congress over what he has found.
No details from the report on the investigation, which examined Trump campaign connections to Russian election interference and whether the president himself tried to obstruct justice, were immediately made public.
Attorney General William Barr said in a letter to Congress that he may advise lawmakers of any conclusions from the report “as soon as this weekend.”
Barr has previously said he would bring as much transparency as possible to Mueller’s findings but stressed that Justice Department policy prevents officials from disclosing much about investigations that didn’t yield criminal charges.
That means a swath of Mueller’s probe—especially as it relates to President Trump—may not be revealed any time soon.
Just days before that, REUTERS had an article entitled “Trump says he doesn’t mind if public sees Mueller’s Russia probe report” on 20 March 2019, which informed us as follows, to wit:
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he does not mind if the public is allowed to see the report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is preparing about his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any possible links to the Trump campaign.
Trump has denied collusion and obstruction.
Russia has denied interfering in the election.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 420-0 last week on a nonbinding resolution calling for Mueller’s report to be released both to Congress and to the public, but it is not clear how the measure will fare in the Senate.
Answering questions from journalists at the White House, Trump said he had no idea when the report would be released, adding, “no collusion, no collusion” and “we’ll see if it’s fair.”
Asked if the public should be allowed to see the report, Trump said: “I don’t mind.”
“Let it come out, let people see it, that’s up to the attorney general … and we’ll see what happens,” he added.
Prophetic words, those, and here we are, four months later, and we are indeed seeing what happened, which is that Trump just got lynched.
What I heard when I listened to that hearing was Mueller answering in the affirmative in a setting where Donald Trump was not present to present a defense a question posed to him as to whether Trump was engaged in “criminal activity,” a very serious allegation, and that is very dirty pool, indeed, as well as being a reversal of Mueller’s original reason for not charging Trump with a crime.
So color it anyway you wish, but Trump got slimed and smeared big time in that hearing by the Democrats and to his shame, Robert Mueller was a part of the game, which takes us to a POLITICO article entitled “Pelosi tells Dems she’ll reject highly classified briefing on Mueller findings” by Andrew Desiderio, Heather Caygle and Kyle Cheney on 23 March 2019, where we have the following background, to wit:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats on Saturday she’ll rebuff any efforts by the Justice Department to reveal details of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in a highly classified setting — a tactic she warned could be employed to shield the report’s conclusions from the public.
Two sources who participated in a conference call among House Democrats said Pelosi (D-Calif.) told lawmakers she worried the Justice Department would seek to disclose Mueller’s conclusions to the so-called Gang of Eight — the top Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate — which handles the nation’s most sensitive secrets.
The substance of Gang of Eight briefings are heavily guarded.
“Everyone pounded the transparency drum continuously,” said a source who was on the Saturday afternoon call.
Pelosi said it was her belief that the findings of the report should be unclassified, a consistent theme from Democrats who said they wanted Attorney General William Barr to share virtually every scrap of paper connected to the Mueller report with Congress.
Democrats repeatedly compared their demands for transparency to Republican efforts to obtain intricate details of the FBI’s handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
GOP lawmakers succeeded in obtaining thousands of FBI officials’ text messages connected to the Clinton probe, as well as agent notes, internal emails and thousands of files.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) both cited the Clinton precedent as evidence to support their calls for complete transparency.
Democrats conferred as they awaited a high-level summary of Mueller’s findings from the Justice Department, which top Democrats said they expected to be delivered to Congress on Sunday or Monday.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who is likely to get the first indication from Barr when a summary is being delivered, said he would notify colleagues immediately.
Without details of Mueller’s conclusions about Russian contacts with associates of President Donald Trump in 2016, the lawmakers leaned heavily into calls for the release of the full report.
During an earlier conference call with Judiciary Committee Democrats, Nadler said the committee would ask the Justice Department to preserve all documents from the special counsel’s investigation, according to a source familiar with the call.
And from there we go to another POLITICO article, this one entitled “Schiff: There is still ‘significant evidence of collusion’” by Quint Forgey on 03/24/2019, to wit:
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, defended his assessment Sunday that there exists “significant evidence of collusion” between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Kremlin — despite word from the Justice Department that special counsel Robert Mueller will not be recommending any further indictments in his investigation into Russian election interference.
“There’s a difference between compelling evidence of collusion and whether the special counsel concludes that he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt the criminal charge of conspiracy,” Schiff told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”
“I leave that decision to Bob Mueller, and I have full confidence in him,” Schiff continued, adding that Americans owe Mueller “a debt of gratitude” for conducting his 22-month-long probe “as professionally as he has.”
“I trust in his prosecutorial judgment,” Schiff said.
“But that doesn’t mean, of course, that there isn’t compelling and incriminating evidence that should be shared with the American people.”
And I am going to pause here to let all of that background sink in, and especially that last sentence by Adam Schiff above here, where he stated, “But that doesn’t mean, of course, that there isn’t compelling and incriminating evidence that should be shared with the American people.”
Think about that, people, if anyone out there can actually decipher that statement to figure out just what it means, but what it seems to mean is that if Mueller did not uncover the dirt on Trump Schiff wanted him to uncover, then Schiff would come up with it on his own, because that is the name of the game being played here by the Democrats as we head into the 2020 presidential election – GET TRUMP AT ANY COST TO GET A DEMOCRAT INTO THE OVAL OFFICE!
And after hearing what went on at the Mueller hearing, they might just have succeeded.