Friday, February 22, 2019
Jussie Smollett's character has been removed from the final two episodes of the upcoming season of Fox's "Empire," the show's creators said Friday.
"The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our EMPIRE family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out," executive producers Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer told Fox News.
"We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season," the statement continued.
This is a developing story.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
The mug shot of Jussie Smollett after he was arrested by Chicago police. (Chicago PD)
Chicago cops laid out their case against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett Thursday morning, accusing the TV star of orchestrating an elaborate hoax involving two "bogus" hate crimes -- one involving an alleged attack, and one involving a threatening letter -- all in order to get a pay raise.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett orchestrated a "phony attack" in order to take "advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career."
Johnson said at a news conference Thursday that Smollett, 36, also sent a racist and homophobic threatening letter to himself at the Fox studio lot before the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary.
"I'm left hanging my head and asking why," a visibly upset Johnson told reporters. "Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol...how can an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city by making this false claim?"
He added, "Bogus police reports cause real harm."
Following three weeks of mounting suspicions, Smollett, who is accused of filing a false police report, was charged Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct. He turned himself in at central booking early Thursday. If convicted, he is facing up to three years in prison. A judge set Smollett's bond for $100,000 later on Thursday.
Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said the masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled "This is MAGA country" — an apparent reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again" — before fleeing.
But that isn't how police say it all went down.
Johnson said police found the "check that [Smollett] used to pay [two brothers]" to fake the beating, adding he paid them $3,500 "for the two of them in total, and then $500 upon return."
He said the attack "was staged, the brothers had on gloves during the (air quotes) 'staged attack' where they punched him a little, but as far as we can tell, the scratching and bruising that you saw on [Smollett's] face was most likely self-inflicted.”
Johnson was also incensed at the spotlight the incident put on his town for the past three weeks.
“This is shameful because it painted this city that we all love and work hard in, in a negative connotation," he said. "To insinuate and stage a hate crime of that nature when he knew that as a celebrity he’d get a lot of attention… It’s despicable. It makes you wonder what’s going through someone’s mind.”
"As a black man, who spent his entire life living the city of Chicago, I know the racial divide that exists here. I know how hard it's been for our city and our nation to come together," he said. Johnson added that "absolute justice would be an apology to this city that he smeared....admitting what he did and then be man enough to offer what he should offer up in terms of all the resources that were put into this."
"Empire" is shot in Chicago and follows a black family as they navigate the ups and downs of the recording industry. 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment told Fox News on Thursday, "We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options."
In less than a month, the 36-year-old changed from being the seemingly sympathetic victim of a hate crime to being accused of fabricating the entire thing.
The felony charge emerged on the same day detectives and the two brothers, who were initially viewed as suspects, testified before a grand jury. Smollett's attorneys met with prosecutors and police, but it was unknown what they discussed or whether Smollett attended the meeting.
In a statement to Fox News on Wednesday, Smollett's attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson said the actor "enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked." They did not provide further comment when contacted by Fox News on Thursday.
Police say the investigation shifted after they questioned the two brothers who were in the area that morning. Police said Thursday that Smollett spoke to the brothers an hour before and an hour after he says they helped the actor stage last month's attack.
Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki said at the news conference that after questioning the brothers for nearly two days last week, they were released and investigators no longer viewed them as suspects.
The brothers, who were identified by their attorney as Abimbola "Abel" and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo, were initially held for nearly 48 hours on suspicion of assaulting Smollett. Police said one of the men had worked on "Empire," and Smollett's attorneys said one of the men is the actor's personal trainer, whom he hired to help get him physically ready for a music video. The actor released his debut album, "Sum of My Music," last year.
Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?
— Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson
Investigators said they have phone records that show there were extensive communications between Smollett and the brothers.
Wodnicki said the brothers testified before a grand jury before prosecutors charged Smollett on Wednesday. Smollett was charged by prosecutors, not the grand jury. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the brothers appeared before the panel to "lock in their testimony."
Speaking outside the courthouse where the grand jury met on Wednesday, the brothers' attorney said the two men testified for about two and a half hours.
"There was a point where this story needed to be told, and they manned up and they said we're going to correct this," Gloria Schmidt said.
She said her clients did not care about a plea deal or immunity. "You don't need immunity when you have the truth," she said.
She also said her clients received money from Smollett, but she did not elaborate.
Smollett has been active in LBGTQ issues, and initial reports of the assault drew outrage and support for him on social media, including from Sen. Kamala Harris of California and TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
But several hours after Smollett was declared a suspect and the charges announced, there was little reaction from celebrities online.
Smollett, who has a record — one that concerns giving false information to police when he was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to records, he was also charged with false impersonation and driving without a license. He later pleaded no contest to a reduced charge and took an alcohol education and treatment program.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Liberal actor Jussie Smollett is accused of staging a racist and anti-gay attack on himself, which Smollett blamed on supporters of President Donald Trump.
Smollett’s alleged fake “hate crime” appears to be the latest instance of liberals manufacturing hate crimes for attention in the Trump era.
The Daily Caller News Foundation compiled below some of the most outrageous fake hate crimes since Trump was elected, in rough chronological order:
ANTI-MUSLIM HATE CRIME IN MICHIGAN TURNS OUT TO BE A HOAX (NOV. 2016)
A Muslim woman at the University of Michigan received national attention from national outlets like The Washington Post in November 2016 after she claimed a drunk 20-something man threatened to light her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab. The university condemned the “hateful attack,” which turned out to be a hoax.
BISEXUAL STUDENT FAKES TRUMP-INSPIRED HATE CRIME (NOV. 2016)
Taylor Volk, an openly bisexual senior at North Park University claimed to be the target of hateful notes and emails following Trump’s election in November 2016. Volk told NBC News that “I just want them to stop.” But the “them” referenced by Volk turned out to be herself, as the whole thing was fabricated.
GAS STATION RACISM GOES VIRAL — THEN POLICE DEBUNK IT (NOV. 2016)
Philadelphia woman Ashley Boyer claimed in November 2016 that she was harassed at a gas station by white, Trump-supporting males, one of whom pulled a weapon on her. Boyer claimed that the men “proceeded to talk about the election and how they’re glad they won’t have to deal with n—–s much longer.” Boyer deleted her post after it went viral and claimed the men had been caught and were facing criminal charges. Local police debunked her account.
WHITE MEN ROB MUSLIM WOMAN OF HER HIJAB AND WALLET — EXCEPT IT NEVER HAPPENED (NOV. 2016)
An 18-year-old Muslim woman in Louisiana claimed in November 2016 that two white men, one of whom was wearing a Trump hat, attacked and robbed her, taking her wallet and hijab while yelling racial slurs. She later admitted to the Lafayette Police Department that she made the whole thing up.
CHURCH ORGANIST VANDALIZES OWN CHURCH (NOV. 2016)
A church organist was arrested in May 2017 after he was found responsible for spray-painting a swastika, an anti-gay slur and the words “Heil Trump” on his own church in November 2016. When the story first broke, media outlets tied the hoax to Trump’s election. “The offensive graffiti at St. David’s is among numerous incidents that have occurred in the wake of Trump’s Election Day win,” The Washington Post reported at the time.
“DRUNK WHITE MEN” ATTACK MUSLIM WOMAN IN STORY THAT ALSO NEVER HAPPENED (DEC. 2016)
Another 18-year-old Muslim woman, this time in New York, was the subject of breathless headlines in December 2016 after she claimed to have been attacked by a group of Donald Trump supporters on a New York subway while onlookers did nothing. The woman, Yasmin Seweid, would go on to confess that she made the whole thing up.
WHITE GUY SETS HIS OWN CAR ON FIRE, PAINTS RACIAL SLUR ON HIS OWN GARAGE (DEC. 2016)
Denton, Texas, resident David Williams set his own car on fire and painted “n***** lovers” on his home’s garage, in an apparent attempt to stage a hate crime. Local police investigated the arson as a hate crime. Williams and his wife, Jenny, collected more than $5,000 from Good Samaritans via a GoFundMe page before the hoax was exposed.
PRANKSTER TRICKS LIBERAL JOURNALIST INTO SPREADING ANTI-TRUMP HOAX (DEC. 2016)
As tales of Trump-inspired “hate crimes” were spread far and wide by liberal journalists after Trump’s election, one online prankster decided to test just easy it was to fool journalists. The prankster sent Mic.com writer Sarah Harvard a fictitious story in which a Native American claimed to have been harassed by an alleged Trump supporter who thought she was Mexican. Despite no evidence backing up the claim, Harvard spread the fake story, emails the prankster shared with The Daily Caller showed.
STUDENT WRITES ANTI-MUSLIM GRAFFITI ON HIS OWN DOOR (FEB. 2017)
A Muslim student at Beloit College wrote anti-Muslim graffiti on his own dorm room door. The student was reportedly motivated by a desire to seek attention after a Jewish student was targeted with an anti-Semitic note.
ISRAELI MAN BEHIND ANTI-SEMITIC BOMB THREATS IN THE U.S. (APRIL 2017)
Media outlets didn’t wait to find out who was behind a string of bomb threats targeting synagogues and Jewish schools before linking the threats to Trump. A U.S.-Israeli man was charged in April 2017 and indicted in February 2018 for the threats. A former reporter for The Intercept was also charged in March 2017 with making several copycat threats.
HOAX AT ST. OLAF (MAY 2017)
Students at St. Olaf college in Minnesota staged protests and boycotted classes in May 2017 after racist notes targeting black students were found around campus, earning coverage in national media outlets like The Washington Post. It later came out that a black student was responsible for the racist notes. The student carried out the hoax in order to “draw attention to concerns about the campus climate,” the university announced.
FAKE HATE AT AIR FORCE ACADEMY GOES VIRAL (SEPT. 2017)
The Air Force Academy was thrown into turmoil in September 2017 when horrific racist notes were found at the academy’s preparatory school. “Go home n***er,” read one of the notes. The superintendent, Lt. Gen. Jay B. Silveria, went viral with an impassioned speech addressing the racist notes.
“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect–then you need to get out.”-Lt. Gen. Jay B. Silveria, Superintendent
Two months later, authorities determined that one of the students targeted by the notes was also the person responsible for writing them.
K-STATE FAKE HATE CRIME (NOV. 2017)
A student at Kansas State University filed a police report in November 2017 over racist graffiti left on his car. “Go Home N***** Boy” and “Whites Only,” read the racist graffiti, which the the student later admitted to writing himself.
RACIST GRAFFITI CARRIED OUT BY NON-WHITE STUDENT (NOV. 2017)
Another instance of racist graffiti that same month also turned out to be a hoax. A Missouri high school investigated after racial slurs were left on a bathroom mirror in November 2017, only to find that the student responsible was “non-white.”
WAITER FAKES NOTE CALLING HIMSELF A TERRORIST (JULY 2018)
Texas waiter Khalil Cavil went viral after posting a Facebook picture of a racist note that he claimed a customer had left on the receipt, in lieu of a tip. The note described Cavil as a “terrorist.” Saltgrass Steak House, where Cavil worked, initially banned the customers for life, before their investigation revealed that the waiter had faked the racist note. “I did write it,” Cavil later admitted. “I don’t have an explanation. I made a mistake. There is no excuse for what I did.”
WAITRESS FAKES RACIST NOTE, BLAMES LAW ENFORCEMENT (JULY 2018)
A Texas waitress apologized in July 2018 after blaming local law enforcement for an offensive note targeting Mexicans. She later admitted to writing the note herself.
NEW YORK WOMAN’S HATE CRIME THAT WASN’T (SEPT. 2018)
A New York woman was charged in September 2018 after police determined she fabricated a story about white teens yelling racial slurs at her and leaving a racist note on her car.
STUDENT FAKED RACIST NOTES (DEC. 2018)
Several racist notes at Drake University were actually the work of one of the students who had been targeted by them. “The fact that the actions of the student who has admitted guilt were propelled by motives other than hate does not minimize the worry and emotional harm they caused, but should temper fears,” university president Marty Martin said afterwards.
THE COVINGTON CATASTROPHE (JAN. 2019)
National media outlets pounced on a selectively edited video from the March for Life that showed Native American activist Nathan Phillips beating a drum in front of a boisterous group of boys from Covington Catholic High School.
The exterior of Covington Catholic High School Dennis Griffin stadium is pictured in Park Hills, Kentucky, U.S., January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Madalyn McGarvey
Phillips originally told The Washington Post the students swarmed him while he was preparing to leave the Indigenous People’s March scheduled for the same day. Phillips originally said one student, who later identified himself as high school junior Nick Sandmann, blocked his path from leaving as he tried to do so. The extended video shows that wasn’t the case: Phillips approached the high school boys during their cheers, not the other way around. Some of the people with Phillips were directing racially charged language at the students, not the other way around.
Phillips told a second variation of his story to the Detroit Free Press. Phillips claimed he was playing the role of peacemaker by getting between the students and four “old black individuals,” whom he claimed the students were attacking. “They were in the process of attacking these four black individuals,” Phillip tolds the Michigan paper. “I was there and I was witnessing all of this … As this kept on going on and escalating, it just got to a point where you do something or you walk away, you know? You see something that is wrong and you’re faced with that choice of right or wrong.”
“These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that,” he added. Extended video shows that account also isn’t accurate. The four individuals Phillips referenced were members of the Black Hebrew Israelites and they launched racist and anti-gay slurs at the high school students, not the other way around.
Anti-Semitic vandalism in New York City turned out to be the work of a Democratic activist, according to police. It wasn’t a hoax — the anti-Semitic vandalism was real — but the suspect wasn’t the right-winger some had assumed him to be. The man police arrested, based on surveillance footage, was 26-year-old James Polite, who had actually interned for City Hall on anti-hate issues.
BONUS II: TRUMP-INSPIRED RACIST BLAZE AT BLACK CHURCH WAS CARRIED OUT BY BLACK CHURCH-GOER (NOV. 2016)
This hoax occurred one week before Trump was elected, but TheDCNF is including it as a bonus because it was so egregious. Leftist media outlets ran headlines like “A Black Church Burned in the Name of Trump” after a black church in Greenville, Mississippi, was set on fire and spray painted with the words “Vote Trump.” The Washington Post’s original coverage of the incident read in part,” Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the fire a ‘hateful and cowardly act,’ sparked by the incendiary rhetoric of GOP nominee Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.” But the church was set on fire by one of the church’s own congregants, who is black.
Monday, February 18, 2019
By Victor Davis Hanson| American Greatness
PHOTO: (Left to Right) Disgraced Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Acting DOJ Attorney Rod Rosenstein
The illegal effort to destroy the 2016 Trump campaign by Hillary Clinton campaign’s use of funds to create, disseminate among court media, and then salt among high Obama administration officials, a fabricated, opposition smear dossier failed.
So has the second special prosecutor phase of the coup to abort the Trump presidency failed.
There are many elements to what in time likely will become recognized as the greatest scandal in American political history, marking the first occasion in which U.S. government bureaucrats sought to overturn an election and to remove a sitting U.S. president.
Preparing the Battlefield
No palace coup can take place without the perception of popular anger at a president.
The deep state is by nature cowardly.
It does not move unless it feels it can disguise its subterranean efforts or that, if revealed, those efforts will be seen as popular and necessary—as expressed in tell-all book titles such as fired FBI Directors James Comey’s Higher Loyalty or in disgraced Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s psychodramatic The Threat.
In candidate and President Trump’s case that prepping of the battlefield translated into a coordinated effort among the media, political progressives and celebrities to so demonize Trump that his imminent removal likely would appear a relief to the people. Anything was justified that led to that end.
All through the 2016 campaign and during the first two years of the Trump presidency the media’s treatment, according to liberal adjudicators of press coverage, ran about 90 percent negative toward Trump—a landmark bias that continues today.
Journalists themselves consulted with the Clinton campaign to coordinate attacks.
From the Wikileaks trove, journalistic grandees such as John Harwood, Mark Leibovich, Dana Milbank, and Glenn Thrush often communicated (and even post factum were unapologetic about doing so) with John Podesta’s staff to construct various anti-Trump themes and have the Clinton campaign review or even audit them in advance.
Some contract “journalists” apparently were paid directly by Fusion GPS—created by former reporters Glen Simpson of the Wall Street Journal and Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post—to spread lurid stories from the dossier.
Others more refined like Christiane Amanpour and James Rutenberg had argued for a new journalistic ethos that partisan coverage was certainly justified in the age of Trump, given his assumed existential threat to The Truth.
Or as Rutenberg put it in 2016: “If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional.
That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, non-opinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable.
But the question that everyone is grappling with is: Do normal standards apply? And if they don’t, what should take their place?”
I suppose Rutenberg never considered that half the country might have considered the Hillary Clinton presidency “potentially dangerous,” and yet did not expect the evening news, in 90 percent of its coverage, to reflect such suspicions.
The Democratic National Committee’s appendages often helped to massage CNN news coverage—such as Donna Brazile’s primary debate tip-off to the Clinton campaign or CNN’s consultation with the DNC about forming talking points for a scheduled Trump interview.
So-called “bombshell,” “watershed,” “turning-point,” and “walls closing in” fake news aired in 24-hour news bulletin cycles.
The media went from fabrications about Trump’s supposed removal of the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office, to the mythologies in the Steele dossier, to lies about the Trump Tower meeting, to assurances that Michael Cohen would testify to Trump’s suborning perjury, and on and on.
CNN soon proved that it is no longer a news organization at all—as reporters like Gloria Borger, Chris Cuomo, Eric Lichtblau, Manu Raju, Brian Rokus, Jake Tapper, Jeff Zeleny, and teams such as Jim Sciutto, Carl Bernstein, and Marshall Cohen as well as Thomas Frank, and Lex Harris all trafficked in false rumors and unproven gossip detrimental to Trump, while hosts and guest hosts such as Reza Aslan, the late Anthony Bourdain, and Anderson Cooper stooped to obscenity and grossness to attack Trump.
Both politicos and celebrities tried to drive Trump’s numbers down to facilitate some sort of popular ratification for his removal.
Hollywood and the coastal corridor punditry exhausted public expressions of assassinating or injuring the president, as the likes of Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Robert de Niro, Peter Fonda, Kathy Griffin, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, and a host of others vied rhetorically to slice apart, shoot, beat up, cage, behead, and blow up the president.
Left wing social media and mainstream journalism spread sensational lies about supposed maniacal Trump supporters in MAGA hats.
They constructed fantasies that veritable white racists were now liberated to run amuck insulting and beating up people of color as they taunted the poor and victimized minorities with vicious Trump sloganeering—even as the Covington farce and now the even more embarrassing Jussie Smollett charade evaporated without apologies from the media and progressive merchants of such hate.
At the same time, liberal attorneys, foundations, Democratic politicians, and progressive activists variously sued to overturn the election on false charges of rigged voting machines.
They sought to subvert the Electoral College.
They introduced articles of impeachment.
They sued to remove Trump under the Emoluments Clause.
They attempted to invoke the 25th Amendment. And they even resurrected the ossified Logan Act—before focusing on the appointment of a special counsel to discredit the Trump presidency. Waiting for the 2020 election was seen as too quaint.
Weaponizing the Deep State
During the 2016 election, the Obama Department of Justice warped the Clinton email scandal investigation, from Bill Clinton’s secret meeting on an airport tarmac with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, to unethical immunity given to the unveracious Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, to James Comey’s convoluted predetermined treatment of “likely winner” Clinton, and to DOJ’s Bruce Ohr’s flagrant conflict of interests in relation to Fusion GPS.
About a dozen FBI and DOJ grandees have now resigned, retired, been fired, or reassigned for unethical and likely illegal behavior—and yet have not faced criminal indictments.
The reputation of the FBI as venerable agency is all but wrecked.
Its administrators variously have libeled the Trump voters, expressed hatred for Trump, talked of “insurance policies” in ending the Trump candidacy, and inserted informants into the Trump campaign.
The former Obama directors of the CIA and National Intelligence, with security clearances intact, hit the television airways as paid “consultants” and almost daily accused the sitting president of Russian collusion and treason—without cross-examination or notice that both previously had lied under oath to Congress (and did so without subsequent legal exposure), and both were likely knee-deep in the dissemination of the Steele dossier among Obama administration officials.
John Brennan’s CIA likely helped to spread the Fusion GPS dossier among elected and administrative state officials.
Some in the NSC in massive and unprecedented fashion requested the unmasking of surveilled names of Trump subordinates, and then illegally leaked them to the press.
The FISA courts, fairly or not, are now mostly discredited, given they either were willingly or naively hoodwinked by FBI and DOJ officials who submitted as chief evidence for surveillance on American citizens, an unverified dossier—without disclosure that the bought campaign hit-piece was paid for by Hillary Clinton, authored by a discredited has-been British agent, relied on murky purchased Russian sources, and used in circular fashion to seed news accounts of supposed Trump misbehavior.
The Mueller Investigation
The Crown Jewel in the coup was the appointment of special counsel Robert Muller to discover supposed 2016 Trump-Russian election collusion. Never has any special investigation been so ill-starred from its conception.
Mueller’s appointment was a result of his own friend James Comey’s bitter stunt of releasing secret, confidential and even classified memos of presidential conversations.
Acting DOJ Attorney Rod Rosenstein appointed a former colleague Mueller—although as a veteran himself of the Clinton email scandal investigations and the FISA fraudulent writ requests, Rosenstein was far more conflicted than was the recused Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Mueller then packed his investigative team with lots of Clinton donors and partisans, some of whom had legally represented Clinton subordinates and even the Clinton Foundation or voiced support for anti-Trump movements.
Mueller himself and Andrew Weissmann have had a long record of investigatory and prosecutorial overreach that had on occasion resulted in government liability and court mandated federal restitution. In such polarized times, neither should have involved in such an investigation.
Two subordinate FBI investigators were caught earlier on conducting an affair over their FBI-issued cell phones, and during the election cycle they slurred the object of their subsequent investigation, ridiculed Trump voters, and bragged that Trump would never be elected. Mueller later staggered, and then hid for weeks the reasons for, their respective firings.
The team soon discovered there was no Trump-Russian 2016 election collusion—and yet went ahead to leverage Trump campaign subordinates on process crimes in hopes of finding some culpability in Trump’s past 50-year business, legal, and tax records.
The point was not to find who colluded with whom (if it had been, then Hillary Clinton would be now indicted for illegally hiring with campaign funds a foreign national to buy foreign fabrications to discredit her opponent), but to find the proper mechanism to destroy the presumed guilty Donald Trump.
The Mueller probe has now failed in that gambit of proving “collusion” (as even progressive investigative reporters and some FBI investigators had predicted), but succeeded brilliantly in two ways.
The “counterintelligence” investigation subverted two years of the Trump presidency by constant leaks that Trump soon would be indicted, jailed, disgraced, or impeached.
As a result, Trump’s stellar economic and foreign policy record would never earn fifty percent of public support.
Second, Mueller’s preemptive attacks offered an effective offensive defense for the likely felonious behavior of John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok, and a host of others.
While the Mueller lawyers threatened to destroy the lives of bit players like Jerome Corsi, George Papadopoulos, and Roger Stone, they de facto provided exemption to a host of the Washington hierarchy who had lied under oath, obstructed justice, illegally leaked to the press, unmasked and leaked names of surveilled Americans, and misled federal courts under the guise of a “higher loyalty” to the cause of destroying Donald J. Trump.
The Palace Coup
All of the above came to a head with the firing of the chronic leaker FBI Director James Comey (who would lie to the president about his not being a target of an FBI investigation, lie to House investigatory committees by pleading amnesia and ignorance on 245 occasions, and repeatedly lie to his own FBI bureaucrats).
In May 2017, acting FBI director Andrew McCabe took over from the fired Comey.
His candidate wife recently had been a recipient of huge Clinton-related campaign PAC donations shortly before he began investigating the Clinton email scandal. McCabe would soon be cited by the Inspector General for lying to federal investigators on numerous occasions—cynically stooping even to lie to his own New York FBI subordinates to invest scarce resources to hunt for their own nonexistent leaks as a mechanism for disguising his own quite real and illegal leaking.
The newly promoted McCabe apparently felt that it was his moment to become famous for taking out a now President Trump.
Thus, he assembled a FBI and DOJ cadre to open a counterintelligence investigation of the sitting president on no other grounds but the fumes of an evaporating Clinton opposition dossier and perceived anger among the FBI that their director had just been fired.
In addition, apparently now posing as Andrew McCabe, MD, he informally head counted how many of Trump’s own cabinet members could be convinced by McCabe’s own apparent medical expertise to help remove the president on grounds of physical and mental incapacity under the 25th Amendment. This was an attempted, albeit pathetic, coup against an elected president and the first really in the history of the United States.
At one point, McCabe claims that the acting Attorney General of the United States Rod Rosenstein volunteered to wear a wire to entrap his boss President Trump—in the manner of Trump’s own attorney Michael Cohen’s entrapment of Trump, in the manner of James Comey taking entrapment notes on confidential Trump one-on-one meetings and leaking them to the press, and in the manner of the Department of Justice surveilling Trump subordinates through FISA and other court authorizations.
McCabe was iconic of an utterly corrupt FBI Washington hierarchy, which we now know from the behavior of its disgraced and departed leadership. They posed as patriotic scouts, but in reality proved themselves arrogant, smug, and incompetent. They harbored such a sense of superiority that they were convinced they could act outside the law in reifying an “insurance policy” that would end the Trump presidency.
The thinking of the conspirators initially had been predicated on three assumptions thematic during this three-year long government effort to destroy Trump:
One, during 2016, Hillary Clinton would certainly win the election and FBI and DOJ unethical and illegal behavior would be forgotten if not rewarded, given the Clintons’ own signature transgressions and proven indifference to the law;
Two, Trump was so controversial and the fabricated dossier was so vile and salacious, that seeded rumors of Trump’s faked perversity gave them de facto exemptions to do whatever they damned pleased;
Three, Trump’s low polls, his controversial reset of American policy, and the general contempt in which he was held by the bipartisan coastal elite, celebrities, and the deep state, meant that even illegal means to continue the campaign-era effort to destroy Trump and now abort his presidency were felt to be moral and heroic acts without legal consequences, and the media would see the conspirators as heroes.
In sum, the Left and the administrative state, in concert with the media, after failing to stop the Trump campaign, regrouped. They ginned up a media-induced public hysteria, with the residue of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s illegal opposition research, and manipulated it to put in place a special counsel, stocked with partisans.
Then, not thugs in sunglasses and epaulettes, not oligarchs in private jets, not shaggy would-be Marxists, but sanctimonious arrogant bureaucrats in suits and ties used their government agencies to seek to overturn the 2016 election, abort a presidency, and subvert the U.S. Constitution. And they did all that and more on the premise that they were our moral superiors and had uniquely divine rights to destroy a presidency that they loathed.
Shame on all these failed conspirators and their abettors, and may these immoral people finally earn a long deserved legal and moral reckoning.
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Victor Davis Hanson is an American military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He was a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict was Fought and Won (Basic Books).