The partisan witch hunt being conducted against President Trump, his family, and supporters is a good example of the principle, “The best defense is a good offense.” Have you ever been falsely accused of something? Defense is difficult at best. No matter what you say or do in response, it always makes you sound guilty to your accusers, or worse, a whiner to the undecided.
Why? Because innocent people and guilty people both declare their innocence. Of course, facts should matter. But facts are slippery creatures. I am tempted to qualify that with “nowadays,” but thus has it always been. Do you think false accusations are something new? It was a serious enough problem 3000 years ago, that “Do not bear false witness” made it into the Ten Commandments. Even, maybe especially, if you do not believe in the divine origin of that Commandment, you can still infer that false allegations have always been a serious problem.
Why are we Americans obsessed with due process -- even to the point of paranoia? It is because we know how easily the innocent can be persecuted by determined enemies, in or out of government. The Salem witch trials are burned into our collective memories, as are the excesses of early English kings. Yet it is easy to believe the worst about our enemies, especially our political enemies.
The current disgraceful witch hunt being perpetrated against President Trump is a good example of why special prosecutors (or counsels) are a bad idea. No crime has been charged against anybody. No specific wrongdoing has been alleged. All we have heard are vague hints of collusion with Russia to meddle in an election. How, one might ask? Silence. A few lucky people who have been shown classified facts opine that there was some kind of Russian “meddling.” Yet investigating through ordinary channels is said to be inadequate. The Attorney General was virtually forced to recuse himself because he had a couple of trivial encounters with Russians during the campaign.
Make no mistake about it. The “honorable” Mr. Mueller seems to think his job description is to destroy the President by any means possible. That is wrong. That is un-American. That is an affront to the Constitution. It is hard enough to defend oneself against a concrete accusation. Here there is not even a potential accuser to bear false witness. Even unscrupulous fascist regimes usually come up with trumped up (sic) charges, but not our special prosecutor. Oh no, not him. He is too high and mighty to keep the public informed, other than by self-serving leaks. But then, there is no suspected crime being investigated. He ought to be ashamed of himself for participating in this farce. One can only hope that the federal bench scrutinizes subpoenas issued to Trump and his family for random information unrelated to Russian involvement in the election.
No wonder President Trump is angry and upset. There is nothing he can say or do to quickly clear his good name. His enemies don’t care about the truth. In frustration, he lashes out at AG Jeff Sessions, who is a loyal friend. First, he criticizes him for recusing himself, or for not informing the President of his intention to do so, if appointed. The latest complaint is that Sessions isn’t being tough enough on Hillary, Obama, and other miscreants from the previous. Administration.
I am loath to disagree with the President, even mildly, but I wish he would stop publicly attacking his friends. It merely plays into the hands of his enemies, who are also enemies of America. Jeff Sessions may have erred but he is a loyal American and has been a loyal friend to Trump. Let Trump say anything he wants to Sessions in private, but no more public discussion of it. It does a lot of harm and no compensating good.
The most valid complaint against Sessions is that perhaps he is not pushing hard enough to investigate Hillary and the other true criminals. I say “perhaps” because I really have seen no public information on this topic. I will not rehash the charges, which are solid, tangible and based on hard evidence. Let me just describe the worst one. In return for financial compensation to her, her husband, her daughter, and her foundation, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed off on the sale of some 20% of U.S. uranium reserves to Russia. Bribery, espionage, treason, oh my! I think a law student from a mediocre law school with a rookie police officer could prove that case in court. Let alone the U.S. Department of Justice with the resources of the FBI at its disposal. If Sessions is literally refusing to pursue that case, it would be a grave error. I suspect that it is being pursued. Certainly, Sessions did not recuse himself from that!
So, we come back to the initial observation that a good offense is the best defense. Now two wrongs do not a right make, but context is everything. Hillary in an orange jumpsuit would be a good antidote to the phony allegations that Trump did anything wrong. Indeed, it would be evidence that Putin actually preferred doing business with Hillary.
I do not know if all the corruption in the Obama Administration can be handled in normal channels or not. But appointing a special counsel would send a powerful message to one and all. That person would have to be a loyal Trump backer, who could be counted on to follow the disgraceful example set by Mueller by appointing Trump donors to his team. After all, turnabout is fair play. Right? What a laugh!
No, actually it should be an honorable prosecutor who could stand in sharp contrast to Mueller by conducting a fair, impartial, and open investigation. Did you catch that word, “open?” It means regular briefings instead of leaks. Too bad if that embarrasses anyone. Rudy Giuliani stands out for the job, but surely there are many good choices.
The story evolves as some congressional Republicans are now echoing the call of the Base to appoint a second Special Prosecutor to investigate the prima facie corruption and criminality of the Obama/Clinton gang. If Hillary in an orange jumpsuit would be helpful, imagine if she were joined by Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power. A lovely foursome for bridge to pass the time! And there are plenty of men involved too.
In fact, it appears that Jeff Sessions actually has been going after leakers. AG Sessions has also been working hard to thwart sanctuary jurisdictions. On the flip side, he seems to like civil asset forfeiture way too much. Don’t he and the President realize that due process applies to everyone? In order to protect the President from his enemies, we may have to protect petty criminals from greedy law enforcement agencies. This is a serious and timely issue, deserving of an article in its own right.
Not that the AG is asking for advice, but my advice is to uphold the Constitution as his top priority. After that, loyalty to the President and ruthless opposition to the Democrats should be next on his mission list.
A public mutual re-affirmation of confidence and trust between President Trump and AG Sessions would do a lot to strengthen both men and America. Please, President Trump. I can think of no single move you can make right now which would do more to further your agenda and help to Make America Great Again.