Mid-Day Digest

May 30, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man.” —James Madison (1787)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Mueller’s Disgraceful Exit

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in remarks that demonstrate how once-admirable FBI directors become power drunk on Potomac political water, declared that his investigation was over and that he was closing his office and retiring. And not a minute too soon…

Mueller used his Wednesday press conference to take a few final partisan digs at President Donald Trump, encouraging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) to move forward with their obstructionist impeachment charade based on some conjecture about obstruction of justice. Again, “obstructing” something neither Mueller nor his water carrier, Clinton-supporting FBI Director James Comey, nor his coup co-conspirators could find.

Of course, the latter is a key element of the Demos’ 2020 campaign strategy to undermine Trump’s MAGA economic success.

Responding to Mueller’s dog whistle, Pelosi said, “We do want to make such a compelling case, such an ironclad case [for impeachment] that even the Republican Senate would … be convinced of the path that we have to take as a country.”

Nadler insists, “Special Counsel Mueller reaffirmed his report … that the president sought to obstruct Mueller’s investigation over and over again. He also confirmed three central points: he did not exonerate the president of the United States of obstruction of justice, obstruction of justice is a serious crime that strikes at the core of our justice system, and the Constitution points to Congress to take action to hold the president accountable.”

“Nothing changes,” Trump responded. “The case is closed!”

The Wall Street Journal editorial board thoroughly rebutted Nadler’s nonsense:

Mr. Mueller’s analysis of the obstruction evidence in his own report makes clear that no investigation was obstructed. Not the FBI’s counterintelligence probe, and not his own. No witnesses were interfered with, and Mr. Mueller was allowed over two years to issue nearly 500 search-and-seizure warrants and interview anyone he wanted, including anyone in the White House.

Mr. Trump sometimes showed his exasperation, and bad judgment, in suggesting to more than one adviser that Mr. Mueller be fired, but no one acted on it. The special counsel probe rolled on without interference.

According to Mark Alexander: “In Mueller’s statement, he noted up front that his charge was ‘to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,’ including ‘investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.’”

“In fact,” Alexander continues, “the origin and motives of Mueller’s investigation were based on a fake dossier funded by the Clinton campaign. The resulting investigation was an attempt by a handful of Barack Obama’s corrupt deep-state actors at the top of the DOJ and CIA to set Trump up for a takedown in the unlikely event he was elected. But, in the final analysis, as made clear by Attorney General William Barr in his summary upon releasing Mueller’s report, there was no Trump/Russia collusion. A rookie beat cop could have determined that on Day One of Mueller’s political hit job masquerading as an ‘investigation.’”

Alexander concludes, “As it turns out, there is a much better case for Clinton/Putin collusion with the complicity of Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan — which should be the subject of a legitimate special prosecutor investigation. And the greatest of ironies: The result of this investigative subterfuge is that, by several orders of magnitude, it did more to undermine the integrity of American elections than Vladimir Putin’s puppets could ever have hoped to achieve. Or, in the end, perhaps that is exactly what he achieved.”

On the foundational question of American criminal justice, Thomas Gallatin says, “Innocent until proven guilty? Mueller may have paid lip service to America’s bedrock principle of justice, but it was clear that his view of jurisprudence is quite the opposite. After admitting that his team found no evidence that Trump committed a crime, Mueller dropped this twisted statement: ‘If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.’ He then equivocated, ‘We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.’ In other words, Mueller believes Trump is guilty but could not find sufficient evidence to support such a charge, so he instead declared him ‘not exonerated.’ This is not how our justice system works.”

Moreover, Gallatin argues, “What may be the most disconcerting aspect of this whole fiasco is that our nation’s past two top law men — Comey and Mueller before him — blatantly display such a flawed view of jurisprudence. The two men have done more to sow public distrust in the FBI than anything Trump or the media have ever said.”

As Alan Dershowitz keenly notes, Mueller’s statement “is worse than the statement made by then-FBI Director James Comey regarding Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.” How? “By putting his thumb, indeed his elbow, on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias.” Moreover, Dershowitz said, “I cannot imagine a plausible reason why Mueller went beyond his report and gratuitously suggested that President Trump might be guilty, except to help Democrats in Congress and to encourage impeachment talk and action. Shame on Mueller for abusing his position of trust and for allowing himself to be used for such partisan advantage.”

So where do Democrats go from here? Nate Jackson predicts, “Democrats will simply continue to imply Trump is guilty without ever actually impeaching him. At least not until 10 minutes after his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021. After all, the Demo objective is to keep Trump on the ropes to make him beatable in 2020.”

Mueller teed them up nicely, however they wish to proceed. “The Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” he said. He gave no discernible wink and nod, but Mueller could only mean for Congress to take up impeachment.

The 2020 Democrat presidential candidates each ran for the nearest microphone to pontificate on their solemn duty to do so. Cory Booker called it a “legal and moral obligation.” Elizabeth Warren invoked the Constitution, which “leaves it up to Congress to act.” Kirsten Gillibrand likewise insisted, “We can’t let the president defy basic accountability measures built into our Constitution.” Such cynical appeals to the Constitution are par for the course with Democrats. And this whole sorry affair is exactly why so many Americans wanted Trump to drain the swamp.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • OBAMA OVERREACH NULLIFIED: “[Wednesday] night, in Texas v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a federal district court in Texas held that the Obama Administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it adopted a revised definition of ‘waters of the United States’ in 2015, and remanded the so-called WOTUS rule back to the federal agencies from whence it came.” (The Volokh Conspiracy)
  • COCHRAN, RIP: “Thad Cochran, a Mississippi Republican who brought Southern gentility to Washington and Washington largesse to the South over nearly four decades in the U.S. Senate, where he was a past chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, died May 30 in Oxford, Miss. He was 81.” (The Washington Post)
  • LOUISIANA ABORTION BAN: “The Louisiana House of Representatives passed an abortion ban on a 79-23 vote Wednesday that would prohibit women from terminating a pregnancy once a fetal heartbeat has been detected. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has indicated he will break with his party and sign the ban if it crosses his desk.” (NBC News)
  • GEORGIA FALLOUT: “Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos vowed to ‘rethink’ the company’s investments in Georgia if the state’s recently passed ban on abortions past the point where a fetal heartbeat can be detected is not ultimately struck down by the courts,” National reviews reports. Similarly, according to Reuters, “Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Iger … [said] it would be ‘very difficult’ for the media company to keep filming in Georgia if a new abortion law takes effect because many people will not want to work in the U.S. state.”
  • CONVERSION THERAPY BAN: “Maine banned gay conversion therapy for minors on Wednesday, joining more than a dozen other states that have outlawed the controversial practice.” (The Associated Press)
  • POPE FRANCIS WASHES HIS HANDS: “After nearly a yearlong silence, Pope Francis has officially addressed allegations that he knew about the sexually abusive Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and lifted sanctions that were imposed on him by Pope Benedict XVI. … ‘I have said it many times, I knew nothing, no idea,’ he said.” (The Daily Wire)
  • TROUBLE IN ISRAEL: “Exactly one month after the 21st Knesset was sworn in, a majority of the Knesset voted late Wednesday night to disperse and initiate an unprecedented repeat election on September 17. It was the first time in Israeli history that a candidate for prime minister failed to form a coalition after being given the task by the president after an election.” (The Jerusalem Post)
  • POLICY: $19.1 billion “emergency” relief bill is a disaster of waste (Issues & Insights)
  • POLICY: Mueller’s final statement turns jurisprudence on its head (Issues & Insights)
  • HUMOR: Robert Mueller assures leftists he will one day return to judge Donald Trump before being taken up into Heaven (The Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Victor Davis Hanson: “When the Mueller report found no collusion and no indictable grounds for obstruction of the non-crime of collusion, for a moment progressives suffered an identity crisis. The temporary paralysis was prompted by the terror that without a crusade to remove Trump, they might have to offer an alternative vision and agenda that would better appeal to 2020 voters. The Democratic establishment has become something like novelist Herman Melville’s phobic Captain Ahab, who became fatally absorbed with chasing his nemesis, the albino whale Moby Dick. The great white whale once ate part of Ahab’s leg, and he demands revenge — even if such a never-ending neurosis leads to the destruction of his ship and crew. Democrats can never forgive Trump for unexpectedly defeating supposed sure winner Hillary Clinton in 2016 and then systematically — and loudly— undoing the eight-year agenda of Obama.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “By asking the executive to investigate itself, it was guaranteed — yes, guaranteed — that we’d have a fight over ‘obstruction of justice.’ For the architect of that investigation to keep saying ‘We aren’t exonerating our target’ is extraordinary. Innocence is the default position in this country. If a person doesn’t have enough evidence that someone committed a crime to contend that a crime was committed, he is obliged to presume his innocence. ‘Not exonerated’ is not a standard in our system, and it shouldn’t be one in our culture, either.” —Charles C.W. Cooke

Leftmedia principles: “Neutrality for the sake of neutrality doesn’t really serve us in the age of Trump.” —CNN’s Jim Acosta

Impeachment hyperventilation I: “Robert Mueller’s statement makes it clear: Congress has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.” —Sen. Cory Booker

Impeachment hyperventilation II: “I think it’s a fair inference from what we heard in that press conference that Bob Mueller was essentially referring impeachment to the United States Congress.” —Sen. Kamala Harris

Impeachment hyperventilation III: “Mueller leaves no doubt: 1) He didn’t exonerate the president because there is evidence he committed crimes. 2) Justice Department policy prevented him from charging the president with any crimes. 3) The Constitution leaves it up to Congress to act — and that’s impeachment.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Impeachment hyperventilation IV: “It’s time for Congress to begin impeachment hearings and follow the facts. Robert Mueller clearly expects Congress to exercise its constitutional authority and take steps that he could not. We can’t let the president defy basic accountability measures built into our Constitution.” —Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Impeachment hyperventilation V: “Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump — and we will do so. No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law.” —House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler

Impeachment hyperventilation VI: “Mueller is playing a game of Taboo with Congress. His word is ‘impeach.’"—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Impeachment buzzkill: "Many constituents want to impeach the president. But we want to do what is right and what gets results. … But we do want to make such a compelling case, such an ironclad case that even the Republican Senate would — at this time [it] seems to be not an objective jury — will be convinced of the path that we have to take as a country.” —Nancy Pelosi

And last… “Robert Mueller said ‘it would be unfair to accuse someone of a crime when there can be no court resolution.’ So why did he spend the entire second half of his report accusing the president of committing a crime without evidence?” —Charlie Kirk

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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