From whichever side of the political divide, no one who went through the seemingly endless Democratic Congressional committee hearings and the Muller investigation should relish the prospect of the upcoming Republican Senate committee hearings and Durham criminal investigation into the conduct of Trump’s inquisitors.
Their antics came to monopolize the public arena and overshadow all else, pushing to the periphery of the mind’s eye many important issues we Americans have on our plate. And there is little to suggest that we are not in for more of the same, although we expect that more concern for due process and basic fairness will be in play given the excesses we have just witnessed.
Having said that, Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden and several of his fellow Democrats were just wrong the other day when they charged that the investigations are designed to distract the public from any criticism of the Trump Administration’s responses to the coronavirus pandemic in the run up to the November 2020 presidential elections.
Politics is politics, but it is just too hard to take their point. After all, the Mueller probe ended with a “there was no there there” finding on the collusion allegations and no conclusions on obstruction. And it is hard to identify anything to the contrary having emerged from the Nadler/Schiff hearings except for the smoke and mirror leaks.
Yet, the public record now contains countless compelling piecemeal evidence of prima facie abuse by senior FBI and other governmental officials, just begging to be pursued and placed into context.
We were thunderstruck by that newly released Susan Rice “memo to the file” describing the notorious January 5, 2017 meeting chaired by President Obama and attended by Rice, then Vice President Joe Biden, then FBI director James Comey and then Acting Attorney General Susan Yates: “President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”
Was President Obama telling those present not to end the existing probe of President-elect Donald Trump? Sounds to us like classic, exquisitely nuanced executive direction to subordinates to engage in nefarious action while providing the director cover and deniability.
We do know that the investigation continued well into the Trump presidency and Comey misled Trump about him not being a subject of the probe. We also know about irregularities regarding the treatment of Carter Page, General Mike Flynn, and the abuse of the FISA court. There is also strong prima facie evidence that public officials persisted in their probes despite learning that there was no basis for them.
As American citizens, we must be told what happened here. And trying to find out is the main event, not a distraction.