2 weeks ago
A most amazing thing!
A few months ago, Donald Trump Jr. was found to have had one meeting with a Russian lawyer that might have led to negative news on Hillary Clinton. The Dems erupted with horror at the thought. Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, described it as “potentially treason.” Congressman Moulton tweeted, “If this isn’t treasonous, I’m not sure what is.” Hours of media time were filled on this topic.
Now we learn that the Clinton-Kaine campaign and the Democratic National Committee went far beyond allowing one random visit. They apparently paid over $12 million to the law firm Perkins Coie, in part to gather salacious rumors from many Russians in the so-called Steele Dossier. It appears that President Obama’s committee, Obama for America, contributed as well.
The payments for the dossier were made by Perkins Coie lawyer, Marc Elias, to Fusion GPS who hired Steele. Elias then sat before Congress alongside his client, Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, as Podesta claimed he knew nothing about such payments.
Democrats in the House heard the testimony. And who is their lawyer? Marc Elias of Perkins Coie, who represents the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Democrats in the Senate will review the matter, and who is their lawyer? Marc Elias of Perkins Coie, who represents the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
The use of Russian ads on Facebook will be part of the hearings. And who has been Facebook’s lawyer to prevent the disclosure of such ads? Marc Elias of Perkins Coie.
The FBI may have acted improperly by relying on the dossier’s salacious rumors to launch secret FISA surveillance on Trump and his team, even as it overlooked the potentially improper transfer of 20 percent of all American uranium reserves into Russian hands under Obama-Clinton. And who will review if the FBI acted properly? Robert Mueller, who ran the FBI.
The attacks on Donald Trump Jr. for treason were nonsensical from the beginning. Ever since Aaron Burr was found innocent by John Marshall’s Supreme Court in 1807, treason under the Constitution has been narrowly defined to require “levying war,” or acts intended to aid or comfort actual “Enemies” at war.
It will be fascinating, however, to watch the hypocrisy as those who made those overwrought attacks wriggle off the hook they themselves have set.
It will be fascinating to see the hypocrisy of Marc Elias’ clients as they either excuse their own lawyer or abandon him to take the fall alone.
And the most harmful hypocrisy is the one that began on Election Night 2016 and has never ended: the attempt to explain away Hillary Clinton’s loss by portraying Trump’s victory as the result of illegitimate collusion with Russia, rather than as an honest choice of the American electorate.
“Putin did not win the election. Hillary Clinton – and her advisors like John Podesta and Marc Elias – lost it.”
During the campaign, Trump was asked if he would accept the election returns if he lost. The idea that he might complain of a rigged election was described by Hillary Clinton as “horrifying.” “This poses a direct threat to our democracy,” she said. “It’s appalling that a presidential nominee of a major party is undermining the pillar of our democracy just because he hates losing.” Democratic Party grandees from Harry Reid to Nancy Pelosi to David Boies all repeated the same opinion.
But then Clinton lost and the Dems — in the most damaging form of political hypocrisy — have been seeking to delegitimize the election ever since, with half-baked McCarthy-style Russian collusion theories that they themselves cooked up through secret payments to Fusion GPS.
Was the Fusion GPS work just normal opposition research? If so, then why have Clinton, the Clinton campaign and the Dems been so embarrassed that they kept silent about their Fusion funding for a year until forced to admit it now? Why would Marc Elias not tell his own clients about the payments he made for them on their behalf, even as they were about to testify before Congress regarding these payments? The news all smacks of “modified limited hangout” from the days of Nixon. Or as a scene from an episode of Veep.
The process and the prosecutors will grind on. Now, to no one’s surprise, Paul Manafort and his business partner Richard Gates are facing accusations. Rumor has it that accusations against General Flynn may not be far behind. The accusations appear to be for private actions, outside of authorized campaign activities and unrelated to the Trump-Russia collusion theory itself.
Still, whatever happens to yesterday’s indictment of Manafort and Gates, let’s cut through the hypocrisy and say it plainly.
Hillary Clinton was an awful candidate, who did not have the political skill to visit the State of Wisconsin.
Putin did not win the election. Hillary Clinton – and her advisors like John Podesta and Marc Elias – lost it.
As their hypocrisy and obfuscation drags into its second year, they make increasingly clear that they deserved to lose.
K.S. Bruce writes the “In This Corner” column of opinion for RealClearLife.