The Deep State ignores the rule of law in attacks on Trump

Adam Mill:
Donald Trump, we are told over and over and over again, threatens the “rule of law.” To pick a piece at random, I note that Joel Mathis of The Week recently wrote, “When we talk about Trump and the rule of law, mostly we talk about how he’s flouting and evading the constraint of laws he doesn’t like: His newly declared state of emergency to circumvent Congress’ refusal to appropriate funds for a Mexican border wall is just the best recent example.” You don’t have to take my word for the absurdity of this claim that the emergency declaration flouts the rule of law; read the New York Times: Trump has, at a minimum, a colorable legal claim for this emergency declaration.

In the Mathis example, as in most of these cases, the “violation” generally amounts to a policy difference or the departure from a “norm” like the one used to buck presidential oversight of powerful federal agencies.

The suffocating sanctimoniousness of the “Trump-is-threatening-the-rule-of-law” crowd is exceeded only by their hypocrisy. Don’t believe me? Here is a list of 18 actual violations of the law and Constitution done in service of removing Trump from office. I’ll bet you can’t find a single objection from any of these “rule-of-law” hand wringers to these flagrant and unpunished transgressions of the law.

Unmasking: Obama Administration officials “unmasked” hundreds of Americans who were caught up in government surveillance of foreign nationals. It’s illegal for the government to spy on Americans without a warrant. So when an American is heard speaking to a target of a legal foreign wiretap, the government is supposed to take action to shield the American from the effect of the surveillance. Without those safeguards, it’s just the government spying on an American citizen without a warrant. Hundreds of Americans were outed (unmasked) by former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power and other Obama officials in the closing months of Obama’s tenure, despite the fact that Power as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. had no reason to be perusing the private conversations of American citizens.

Clinton and DNC money laundering during the 2016 campaign: In a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission in 2017, the Committee to Defend the President (CDP) alleged “about $84 million was funneled illegally from the DNC through state party chapters and back into the war chest of the Clinton campaign. The political action committee claims that even though the FEC acknowledged receipt of the complaint and claimed that an investigation would be conducted, the needle has barely moved.”
The Sally Yates insurrection: Shortly after President Trump assumed office, he issued an executive order citing his power under the Immigration and Nationality Act to place a travel moratorium on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Sally Yates, the Obama-era holdover who temporarily served as acting attorney general, oversaw a vetting of this executive order and the Department of Justice issued a legal opinion confirming the order was legal and proper. Nevertheless, Yates used her authority to instruct the Department of Justice to defy the president. She clearly violated the president’s authority under Article II of the Constitution as the chief executive by refusing to carry out an order she acknowledged was legal. Unfortunately, this appears to have set the tone for the Justice Department’s continued resistance to the president ever since.

Andrew McCabe makes repeated false statements to FBI investigators: In February 2018, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General issued a report finding numerous instances of false statements and/or lack of candor to FBI investigators concerning leaks from the FBI to the media. As I recently pointed out, not only has McCabe not been prosecuted, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has relied upon McCabe’s statements to reach a conviction of Michael Flynn (who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI).
Leak of the wiretap of Flynn’s conversation with the Russian ambassador: In the early weeks of the Trump Administration, the Intelligence Community illegally leaked accounts of their surveillance of the Flynn conversation to the press. In addition to violating rules regarding the handling of classified material, the leak severely undercut the president’s ability to conduct foreign affairs as contemplated by Article II of the Constitution.

Leak of President Trump’s conversation with the Russian foreign minister in which the president revealed classified information: Under Article II, the president is the elected head of the executive branch and is in charge of foreign policy. This leak is another example of vigilante bureaucrats usurping that constitutional authority. Also, this leak may violate a federal law against unauthorized disclosure of classified information. Such leaks undermine the ability of the elected president conducting foreign policy through candid discussions with foreign leaders (which is essential to this constitutional role). The leak also undermined the president’s absolute constitutional authority to determine how to use classified information.
Trampling Trump’s attorney-client privilege: Michael Cohen blatantly violated attorney-client confidentiality by testifying against his former client before Congress.
There is more.

The coup plotters showed a propensity for illegal leaks as a strategy to undermine Trump and used the media in an attempt to undercut his support with voters.  This was part of their attempt to drive down support for the President so they could proceed with impeachment.  The media became co-conspirators in this coup attempt.


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