The special councel's special cruel and unusual punishment in search of a crime

Roger Kimball:
The point is, when you have carte-blanche to torment someone, why stop when you’ve got him locked up for life? Like a cat toying with an injured mouse, the modern major prosecutor keeps batting his prey about till he stops moving altogether. What might have been justice for a serial killer is gleefully applied to someone who fudged his tax returns or tripped over himself answering an FBI agent. Then we have sadism, not justice.

When it comes to our legal system, they say that the process is the punishment. But that leaves out the other side of the equation: that for the system, for wretched power-drunk commissars like Robert Mueller, the process, because of the punishment, is all the fun. They enjoy tormenting people.

But the thing that makes this long-running entertainment so confusing for most of us is that none of the crimes we’ve seen so far have anything to do with the title of the show.

Remember: we crowded into the theater to see “The Great Russian Collusion Drama.” But all of the skits we’ve seen so far—from Manafort’s and Michael Cohen’s tax evasions all the way down to whatever it is that Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos are supposed to have done—are like warm-up acts. Russian dressing might be slathered over the salad—everyone knows that in this election, as in previous U.S. elections, the Russians meddled and endeavored to sow discord. (And of course, we do the same thing: just ask the Brits or the Israelis.)

But the main course—evidence that Donald Trump “colluded” with the Russians to affect the outcome of the election—about that there has been a Godot-like absence in the very center of the narrative.

As many wits noted back when the the Russian Collusion Investigation was in its early decades—I mean, its early months—this was a Russia investigation with no Russians. We had Flynn and youngsters like Papadopoulos entrapped by the FBI, but for what people call “process crimes,” i.e., more process than crime.

Stepping back from the details of this expensive, divisiveness-spreading machine that is the Mueller Investigation, what is the central crime being investigated? What is the raison d’être of this beltway spectacular?
The crime at the center of this deep-state initiative is the election of Donald Trump. The tort? He was elected without the permission of the ruling class, its jesters and its scribes and moralists. Pete Wehner does not approve of Donald Trump. Bill Kristol thinks he is infra-dig. Psychiatrists are still trying to figure out what Mad Max Boot and Jabbering John Brennan think.

But this, Ladies and Gentlemen (and unlike the MTA and the London Tube, we still use the phrase “Ladies and Gentlemen” here), this is the crime: Donald Trump was elected. That’s it. That’s the crime. It’s not in the statute books, but a little thing like that never stopped a diligent bureaucrat, especially one armed with a phalanx of partisan prosecutors and an unlimited budget.
When Mueller was appointed the DOJ was supposed to set out the crime that he was to investigate.  They could not admit that it was that Trump got elected so they went in search of a crime and decided the only way to prove one was to take hostages and torture them with legal fees and criminal penalties until they made one up for the Mueller commissars.


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