Saturday, March 17, 2018

SHOCKWAVE: FBI Deputy Director McCabe Fired By AG Sessions!

Former FBI official Andrew McCabe.  (Associated Press)

Trump calls fired McCabe ‘choirboy’, suggests FBI corruption ‘at the highest levels’

President Trump called Andrew McCabe a 'choirboy' as he lauded the former acting FBI Director's firing, suggesting multiple federal reports show “corruption at the highest level.”

“Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!” Trump tweeted hours after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the dismissal.

McCabe was fired just days before he would have been eligible for a lifetime pension after it was determined that he lied to investigators reviewing the bureau’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

"Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately," Sessions said in a statement.

He went to say that after reviewing the reports, it was “McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions.”

"The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, 'all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand,'" Sessions said.

Soon after his firing, McCabe hit back in a fiery response of his own.

"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally," McCabe said. "It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.”

McCabe said he and his family have been the targets of unrelenting attacks on their reputation and his service to the U.S.

"Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us,” he said. “The President’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing. He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service. And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about us. No more."

McCabe's firing marked a stunning fall for a man who was No. 2 at the bureau for a time under former FBI Director James Comey, ran it and even was reportedly on Trump’s short list for the directorship.

But McCabe has also been mired in controversy in recent years.

Sessions’ decision to fire McCabe came as Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded a bureau oversight investigation, with a report expected to be critical of McCabe’s handling of the Clinton email probe, his handling of the bureau during the early months of the Russia investigation, and his ties to the Democratic Party.

Horowitz determined that McCabe hadn't been forthcoming in regard to the handling of the FBI’s probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state in the Obama administration.

The inspector general’s finding sparked an FBI disciplinary process that recommended McCabe’s firing.

Horowitz’s investigation, which landed McCabe in hot water, faults the former deputy director for the way he answered questions about his approval for interactions between an FBI official and a reporter about the bureau’s investigation into the nonprofit Clinton Foundation.

McCabe was “removed” from his post as deputy to FBI Director Christopher Wray in January, setting in motion a plan to leave the bureau after months of conflict-of-interest complaints from Republicans — including President Trump.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that the decision was entirely up to Sessions, but that McCabe was a "bad actor."

"That's a determination we [left] up to Attorney General Sessions, but we do think that it is well documented that he has had some very troubling behavior and has been a bad actor," Sanders said.

“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!” Trump tweeted in December, before McCabe’s removal.

McCabe became acting director of the FBI after Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017. McCabe led the bureau, independently, until Aug. 2, 2017 — during the early months of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates.

Republicans have also long criticized McCabe for his ties to the Democratic Party — his wife received donations during a failed 2015 Virginia Senate run from a group tied to a Clinton ally, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe — all while the Clinton email probe was underway.

“How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” the president tweeted in December.

The president was “not a part of the decision making process,” when McCabe was removed from the bureau in January, press secretary Sanders said.

McCabe returned to the white-hot spotlight when Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released its memo on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses in connection with the Russia probe, saying that McCabe signed a FISA warrant targeting former Trump campaign volunteer adviser Carter Page.

“McCabe testified before the committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the [FISA court] without the Steele dossier information,” the memo read. The Steele dossier was unverified, and financed as opposition research by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

And recently uncovered text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page revealed a new timeline in the Clinton email probe, apparently showing McCabe’s knowledge of the investigation.

The text messages suggest that as of Sept. 28, 2016, Strzok, Page and McCabe were aware of new Clinton emails found on the laptop of disgraced former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, spouse of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

“Got called up to Andy’s earlier … hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner’s atty to sdny, includes a ton of material from spouse. Sending team up tomorrow to review…this will never end …” Strzok wrote in a text message to Page.

But it wasn’t until Oct. 27, 2016 that Comey was briefed on the newly discovered emails — meaning McCabe kept the director in the dark for a month.

Horowitz is specifically investigating McCabe and whether he wanted to avoid taking action on the laptop findings until after the presidential election, in which Clinton lost to Trump.

According to testimony obtained by Fox News from an Office of Special Counsel interview with former Comey Chief of Staff James Rybicki, McCabe’s office did not notify him until the night of Oct. 26, 2016.

The OSC also interviewed FBI Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson, who testified that Comey was first briefed on the material found on Weiner’s laptop on Oct. 27, 2016.

Anderson noted that the director’s office decided to “urgently” address the situation.

“Given the significance of the matter, um, uh, that we had to proceed quickly,” Anderson told investigators. “It was just too, too explosive for us to sit on.”

So it wasn’t until Oct. 28, 2016, that Comey sent a letter to Congress announcing the “recent developments” of the discovery of the Clinton and Abedin communications found on the laptop —which he had just been briefed on a day before. That letter reopened the Clinton email probe just a week before the election. The inspector general is investigating McCabe’s involvement in this timeline.

Several Republicans also have pointed with alarm to the Strzok-Page texts and their references to McCabe in relation to an “insurance policy” to prevent Trump from being elected president, and a “secret society” within the bureau.

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lessons From the Rise of America’s Irish

By Jason L. Riley 

They arrived dirt poor and uneducated in the 1840s. After decades of struggle, they achieved prosperity.

Every year in the runup to St. Patrick’s Day, the Census Bureau releases a demographic profile of Irish-Americans. 

For anyone familiar with the arduous history of the Irish in this country, the progress report is an annual reminder of America’s ability to assimilate newcomers in search of a better life.

It was the potato famine that began driving large numbers of Irish to leave home in the late 1840s. This migration, along with mass starvation and disease, would eventually cost Ireland around a third of its population. Some went to Great Britain, but the overwhelming majority came to America. 

Today the number of Americans of Irish descent (32.3 million) is nearly seven times as large as the population of Ireland (4.7 million).

The peasants fleeing Ireland had a shorter life expectancy than slaves in the U.S., many of whom enjoyed healthier diets and better living quarters. Most slaves slept on mattresses, while most poor Irish peasants slept on piles of straw. 

The black scholar W.E.B. Du Bois wrote that freed slaves were poor by American standards, “but not as poor as the Irish peasants.”

The Irish who left for America were packed into the unused cargo space of wind-driven ships returning to the U.S., and the voyage could take up to three months, depending on weather. These cargo holds weren’t intended to carry passengers, and the lack of proper ventilation and sanitation meant that outbreaks of typhus, cholera and other fatal diseases were common.

Emigrants slept on 3-by-6-foot shelves, which one observer described as “still reeking from the ineradicable stench left by the emigrants of the last voyage.”

In 1847, 19% of the Irish emigrants died on their way to the U.S. or shortly after arriving. By comparison, the average mortality rate on British slave ships of the period was 9%. Slave-owners had an economic incentive to keep slaves alive. No one had such an interest in the Irish.

The 19th-century immigrants from Europe usually started at the bottom, both socially and economically, and the Irish epitomized this trend. Irish men worked as manual laborers, while Irish women were domestic servants. 

But not all ethnic groups rose to prosperity at the same rate, and the rise of the Irish was especially slow. They had arrived from a country that was mostly rural, yet they settled in cities like Boston and New York, working “wherever brawn and not skill was the chief requirement,” as one historian put it. In the antebellum South, the Irish took jobs—mining coal, building canals and railroads—considered too hazardous even for slaves.

In the 1840s, New York City’s population grew 65%. By midcentury, more than half of the city’s residents were immigrants, and more than a quarter of those newcomers had come from Ireland. At the time, half of New York’s Irish workforce and nearly two-thirds of Boston’s were either unskilled laborers or domestic servants. “No other contemporary immigrant group was so concentrated at the bottom of the economic ladder,” writes Thomas Sowell in his classic work, “Ethnic America.”

It wasn’t just a lack of education and urban job skills that slowed the progress of the Irish in America. So did social pathology and discrimination. The Irish were known for drinking and brawling. Irish gangs were common. 

When an Irish family moved into a neighborhood, property values fell and other residents fled. Political cartoonists gave Irishmen dark skin and simian features. Anti-Catholic employers requested “Protestant” applicants. Want ads read: “Any color or country except Irish.”

Yet none of these obstacles proved insurmountable. Charitable organizations, such as the Irish Emigrant Society, emerged. Temperance societies formed to address alcoholism. 

The Catholic Church took a leading role in tackling poverty, illiteracy and other social problems through the creation of orphanages and hospitals and schools. For millions of Irish immigrants, the church was not simply a place of worship. It was the focal point of the community.

According to the Census Bureau, today’s Irish-Americans boast poverty rates far below the national average and median incomes far exceeding it. The rates at which they graduate from high school, complete college, work in skilled professions, and own homes are also better than average. 

What’s so remarkable about this social and economic trajectory among the Irish is how many times it has been replicated among other immigrant groups.

Whether this kind of upward mobility is still possible today given the changes to our economy and culture is an open question. My guess is that it’s still possible but more difficult—not because of our modern economy, but because of our modern attitudes toward assimilation. 

The type of Americanization of newcomers that once was encouraged is now rejected by activists who push for bilingual education, Spanish-language ballots and the like. The multiculturalists have turned assimilation into a dirty word. Perhaps they’re the ones we should be deporting.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

BREAKING: Tragedy In Miami - Footbridge Collapses and Causes Death


Russia Scandal: Did Obama Tutor Hillary Clinton In Electoral Conspiracy 101?

Investor's Business Daily Editorial

Trump Dossier: With each new revelation, a picture of the Russian scandal emerges: Not only were Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee up to their necks in collusion with Russians to undermine then-candidate Donald Trump, but President Obama was in on the action, too. Is this where collusion becomes conspiracy?

See if this sounds familiar: Democratic presidential campaign pays international law firm Perkins Coie, which then turns around and pays left-wing opposition research firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on the campaign's political opponent.

Sounds just like what Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee did in 2016, right?

In fact, Hillary was a Janey-come-lately to that ploy. Obama did it first in 2012. Using his Obama for America campaign front, Obama paid Perkins Coie close to a million dollars, which was reportedly used to pay — who else — Fusion GPS to find salacious stuff about Obama's foe in the 2012 election, the ultra-square Mitt Romney.

But, according to a new book by progressive journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn, "Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and Donald Trump's Election," not only did Fusion do opposition research, something every campaign does, it also did aggressively hostile opposition donor research.

"In 2012, then-President Obama had an 'enemies list' on his campaign website with the names of Mitt Romney's biggest donors," noted PJ Media's Debra Heine.

That enemies list was placed on the Obama campaign's Orwellian "Truth Team" web site. The site called them a "group of wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records. Quite a few have been on the wrong side of the law, others have made profits at the expense of so many Americans..."

That kind of vilification of decent, law-abiding, successful Americans is bad enough. But to drive home the intimidation, each of the names on the list was subsequently tweeted out from the @TruthTeam2012 twitter feed, along with their supposed misdeeds, most of which really amounted merely to tough or unpopular business decisions they had to make.

Obama "relied on a vast grassroots network to coerce, bully, boycott and vilify individuals lawfully taking part in the political process, just as his own donors and supporter are freely allowed to engage," wrote the Daily Signal back in 2012.

Imagine for a moment the chilling effect that would have on a political foe's campaign — calling those who fund another campaign's candidate "enemies," with all that entails. The IRS, the SEC, the FBI, the Justice Department, all with active prosecution arms, all headed by Obama loyalists. To say it's an act of political and personal intimidation is an understatement.

Obama's fingerprints go beyond that, however.

The Isikoff-Corn book suggests that the infamous relationship between former British spy Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS and the FBI  was forged by Obama officials at the State Department — in particular former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, who gave permission to the FBI to talk to Steele in London, and former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jonathan Winer, who "worked as a middleman to bring Mr. Steele together with Sidney Blumenthal, a fierce Hillary Clinton defender. Mr. Winer spoke with Ms. Nuland, who gave a heads up to Secretary of State John Kerry."

How much do you want to bet that Kerry, a cabinet member, reported all this to former President Obama?

By the way, both Nuland and Winer worked for Clinton at the State Department, and both have since left. 

And the notorious Trump dossier that resulted from putting Steele together with the FBI, Fusion and the Clinton campaign led to a wiretap of the Trump campaign and also now serves as the centerpiece of a year-and-a-half long Mueller investigation into Trump — one that has now spilled over its boundaries, looking into things that have nothing to do with Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The genius of it all is that, at the same time they were using spurious Russian contacts to smear Trump's name, they were also launching the FBI investigation into phony allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians in 2016. 

The only collusion, in short, was between the Clinton campaign, Steele and the Russians.

But what we now see clearly is this entire scheme wasn't just cooked up by a Nixonian Hillary Clinton, trying her best to destroy her political foe. 

No, it was part of a pattern set by President Obama and copied by his able student, Hillary. 

The Obama-adoring media knew what Obama had done in 2012, but barely bothered to report at the time.

This goes beyond mere creepy political collusion, or dirty campaign capers. It suggests a broader Democratic scheme to use government resources to hamstring opposition political campaigns and, now, to destroy a presidency.

And this conspiracy spans two presidential campaign cycles and two separate opposition presidential candidates, using remarkably similar tactics and even the same law firm and research operation. With a number of government officials knowingly involved, this, in short, reeks of conspiracy to subvert the election process.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Meghan McCain Calls the Clintons 'A Virus' Over Hillary's Latest Remarks on Trump Voters

By Lauretta Brown | Townhall

Meghan McCain called the Clintons a “virus” on “The View” Tuesday in response to remarks Hillary Clinton made in India Monday calling Trump voters racist and sexist. 

McCain also said Clinton’s messaging is maybe not the best for the Democratic party coming into the midterm elections.

"His whole campaign: 'Make America Great Again' was looking backwards,” Hillary told a crowd in Mumbai of Trump. “You know, you didn't like black people getting rights, you don't like women, you know, getting jobs, you don't want to you know see that Indian American succeeding more than you are, whatever your problem is, I'm going to solve it.' So it was a symptom."

“She ran one of the worst campaigns ever,” McCain said in response to Clinton’s remarks, “she didn’t do the kind of ground game in Wisconsin and North Carolina that she should have. I think at this point if you can’t stop making this about virtue-signaling and race, a lot of it was about poverty, a lot of it was about the economy, a lot of it was this anti-Washington sentiment, anti-establishment sentiment that we should’ve seen growing within the Tea Party.”

“Honestly, I have to tell you,” she added. “It’s one thing to lose to President Obama. It’s an entirely other thing to pull off losing to President Trump. And you gotta come up with a better excuse than this.”

McCain warned that Hillary’s messaging could backfire in the upcoming midterm elections.

 “If your messaging is that you want to go back in time, that women can’t think for themselves, that our husbands, and our bosses, and our sons tell us what to do, that’s quite the message going forward into midterms and [the] general election,” she said.

“The Clintons are a virus in the Democratic Party. You have to move on,” she said.

"View" host Joy Behar partially agreed with McCain.

“Well I thought that it was time for them to back off right now,” Behar agreed, “I don’t think that they’re helping the party right now.”

Democrat Adopts Trump Agenda To Win In Pennsylvania


Also In the News

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Swamp Things in the Russia Investigation

“The Swamp” usually refers to the vast federal bureaucratic machinery of mostly unelected top officials who exercise influence and power without worry about the appearance of conflicts of interest. 

They are often exempt from the consequences of the laws and regulations that affect others. 

The chief characteristics of the swamp are the interlocking friendships, business relationships, marriages and partnerships in Washington, and their immune response against anyone who challenges them.

Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has proven the locus classicus of a dysfunctional and highly incestuous Washington culture—so much so that it borders on being a caricature of a Washington investigation.

The Origins of the Robert Mueller Appointment
How did it come about?

Mueller’s acquaintance, former FBI Director James Comey (Mueller and Comey were lauded dating back to the Bush Administration as “brothers in arms”), has testified that he was so exasperated with the president that he leaked his own confidential and likely classified memos of presidential meetings to the press via a friend in order that it “might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.” 

It certainly did that. 

And mirabile dictu, the special counsel was soon none other than Robert Mueller with whom Comey had had a professional relationship in a variety of contexts for nearly 20 years. At some point, will one of Mueller’s staff have to depose him to ask whether he ever discussed the possibility of a special counsel appointment with Comey prior to Comey’s firing?

Will Mueller need to investigate Comey for leaking what may have been a classified memo and thus a likely felonious act? 

If the investigation touches upon the strange exemptions granted Hillary Clinton in the Uranium One scandal, will Mueller investigate his own prior investigation—a Mueller v. Mueller special counsel probe? 

Is the U.S. legal community so impoverished in former federal attorneys that we cannot find special counsels without any prior relationships with those knee-deep in the proposed investigations? Is there one former prosecutor in Washington who is not somehow involved in these scandals?

Lisa Page and Peter Strzok

The two FBI investigators had a long-concealed amorous relationship characterized by an overriding antipathy for Donald Trump and a desire to ensure that he was not elected president or, barring that, did not prove a successful president. 

Strzok interviewed Michael Flynn, Huma Abedin, and Cheryl Mills. Both Page and Strzok communicated concerning the “insurance” idea that might suggest efforts to stop Trump’s election or thwart his presidency, with deputy director Andrew McCabe.

When the inspector general released evidence of their prejudices and romantic involvement, they were dismissed. 

But Mueller apparently did not announce exactly why they were taken off his investigation. 

Their staggered departures were reported in the press as normal reassignments and not as connected, as if to inform the public why they were leaving would somehow not be in the Mueller investigation’s interest.

Will Page at some point be deposed about Strzok’s behavior or vice versa? Would she or he plead paramour privilege?

Andrew McCabe

The former deputy director of the FBI should never have been assigned to the Clinton email scandal and should have had no further assignments into anything tangential to charges of Russian-Trump collusion. 

His wife was once a candidate for statewide office in Virginia and a recipient of large amounts of money (sometimes reported as $670,000) from a Clinton-related PAC.

Yet from the Page-Strzok archive, McCabe was a likely anti-Trump partisan.

His presence in any investigation involving either his wife’s patron Clinton or Clinton’s campaign rival Trump should never have been permitted and should be seen as suspect.

Rod Rosenstein

Rosenstein never should have been allowed to appoint the special counsel Robert Mueller. 

Barring that, he long ago should have recused himself from all matters relating to the Mueller investigation. 

Rosenstein while in the Obama Department of Justice was once a supervisor of the highly controversial Uranium One investigation headed by then FBI Director Robert Mueller—an investigation that may be revisited by or is currently connected with efforts to find Russian collusion with American elected or appointed officials.

Rosenstein signed on behalf of the Obama Justice Department at least one of the surveillance requests to a FISA court, an application currently under a cloud for allegedly not disclosing the unverified nature of the Steele dossier, the departure of Steele from FBI associations, or the circular nature of news accounts concerning the dossier. 

Will Mueller at some point reexamine the nature of the FISA applications and thus the official who appointed him?

The Team

At least four of the Mueller team worked as lawyers at the Washington law firm of WilmerHale. Robert Mueller should never have recruited so many of his former associates. 

Some of them may be investigating former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump’s daughter Ivanka and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, who are also supposedly represented by WilmerHale attorneys. Of the initial 15 appointed lawyers, at least seven are known to have contributed money to the Democratic Party or to Hillary Clinton or both.

In such a politicized investigation, would it have been difficult to find greater diversity, either defined by geography, ideology, or former employment? 

Will a Clinton cash supporter soon be deposing a former Trump campaign official, or will one former WilmerHale attorney be in court facing another former WilmerHale colleague?

Andrew Weissmann

Weissmann should never have been appointed to the Mueller team. 

He is another former partner at WilmerHale where Mueller worked, and had emailed applause to Obama DOJ holdover Sally Yates, when as an Obama holdover acting attorney general, she tried to block her then boss’s President Trump’s targeted immigration moratorium. 

Like other Mueller team members, Weissmann was a donor to Democratic causes and a Hillary Clinton partisan. The idea that he can investigate Trump, after donating and patronizing his political opponent and applauding renegade efforts to block his executive orders, is not credible. 

Sally Yates reportedly cosigned one of the FISA court requests to monitor Trump campaign associates; if the duplicity surrounding those applications becomes an issue, will Weissmann then recalibrate his former high-five for Yates as he investigates her?

Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G. Ohr

He may be the most conflicted of all government attorneys associated with past and present investigations. 

Ohr had met with the architects of the fusion GPS dossier and likely did not disclose that meeting to his superiors. 

His wife, a Russian expert, was hired by Fusion/GPS to help find damaging information about Donald Trump—a fact Ohr deliberately and likely unlawfully hid on a federal disclosure form. 

Whom did Bruce Ohr talk to about Fusion/GPS and to what degree did he interact with Rosenstein, Comey, or the authors of the FISA court requests?

Almost any interaction with Ohr that pertains to Fusion GPS and the Mueller investigation is now the fruit of a poisoned tree. At some point would Ohr have been consulted about Ohr co-produced research?

Aaron Zebley

He was Mueller’s chief of staff while Mueller was FBI director, and yet another former partner at WilmerHale. 

In the past, Zebley had represented Justin Cooper, who has testified that he set up Hillary Clinton private server and then destroyed with a hammer some of Clinton’s mobile devices, when there was already investigatory interest in their contents. Indeed, the Clintons’ email server in question—the domain clintonemail.comused by Hillary Clinton was in fact registered to Cooper himself, not to Bill or Hillary Clinton, while she was secretary of state.

To reiterate: Mueller selected a lawyer to help investigate Trump who had recently defended a former Clinton aide in the midst of the Hillary Clinton scandal. 

Was the idea that Zebley could always plead attorney-client relationship if his own investigation butted up to matters of the Clinton email scandals? Would Zebley at some point have deposed his former client?

Jeannie Rhee

It might be one thing to have one member of a team investigating Trump who had represented an employee or foundation of the Clintons, but quite another with two incidents. 

Yet Rhee—another WilmerHale alumna, and another sizable contributor to the Clinton campaign—was yet another attorney who had represented someone deeply involved in a recent Clinton scandal.

She had recently been hired not only by the Clinton Foundation but also by Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes during the investigation of the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack and its relationship to the Clinton tenure as secretary of state. 

If the Mueller investigation turns to the areas involving the misuse of FISA court-approved surveillance and improper unmasking and leaking of the names of American citizens, will Rhee depose her former client Rhodes? 

Will she advise Mueller about the nature of the Clinton Foundation she defended if the matter of his own past investigations of Uranium One-associated donations to the foundations arises.

Mueller Keeps Feeding the Beast

A special counsel investigation is by nature an object of singular scrutiny. Fairly and not, it is constantly subject to charges of partisanship, and government pressure. 

It was the duty of Robert Mueller to appoint attorneys who were not just immune from charges of conflict of interest but exempt from the very thought of charges of conflict of interest—as well as recusing himself and his attorneys from any past associations that might have conflicted with his own investigations. 

He knew from his original directive that he had latitude to pursue any illegality that arose from his collusion investigations; he has just done that in the tangential matters of alleged tax and lobbying crimes. 

He may likely have to again when he collides with defective FISA court requests, illegal unmasking and leaking of surveilled citizens, past Russian collusion in the Uranium One and Fusion/GPS Steele dossier, and obstruction of justice concerning the Clinton emails.

Instead of preempting these conflicts of interests, he has managed to feed a veritable beltway octopus whose tentacles are so deeply wrapped around the players and financing of the 2016 campaign, the dubious FISA court applications, a Washington blue-chip legal firm on both sides of the current collusion allegations, and the assorted past scandals of Hillary Clinton from Uranium One to the email debacle, that if it had not earned legitimate criticism, it would have had to be invented.

It is the Washington habit to praise Mueller for his unquestionably sober and judicious legal career and long and admirable public service. 

The giddy media has nonstop fed the public the stunning resumes and often past patriotic sacrifices of his legal team. All that is a fine and noble thing. 

But local attorneys in Boise, prosecutors in Memphis, and FBI investigators in San Jose know how to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest.

The Mueller team either does not or believes in its case it simply doesn’t matter.


About the Author: Victor Davis Hanson

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).