Obama’s Guilt?

What if Obama did it? What if he directed the FBI to extralegally exonerate Hillary Clinton and to find or make excuses to spy on the Trump campaign? Should he be prosecuted?

There is evidence for these horrifying possibilities in text exchanges between Lisa Page, a now-former FBI lawyer and her then-lover Peter Strzok, who had leading FBI roles in both the Clinton “exoneration” and the investigation of the alleged, but nonexistent, Russian collusion by the Trump campaign.

The first of these revealing texts shows that, contrary to Comey’s testimony, he had given then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch advance notice of his intention to let Hillary off the hook (or perhaps she had ordered him to do so):

On July 1, two days before Comey addressed the Clinton email case, the two” (Page and Strozk) discussed Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s public statement that she would accept whatever conclusions the FBI recommended. ”It’s a real profile in courag[e] since she knows no charges will be brought,” Page wrote.”   (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/fbi-texts-obama-wants-know-everything-we-re-doing-n845531)

Further, on September 2, 2016 (i.e., in the election’s final stretch), Page texted Strzok – who was then obsessed with defeating Trump and had leading roles in both the server investigation and “crossfire hurricane” – that “potus wants to know everything we’re doing”.

It’s difficult to read these text exchanges as anything other than evidence of highest-level co-ordination of at-least-improper behavior that would inevitably beget illegal behavior by members of the Obama Administration. Such co-ordination might have covered only the matter of Hillary’s illegal server, or it might have extended to the surveillance of the Trump campaign; the vaguer of Page’s two texts – the potus wants to know everything one – could refer to either or both of the investigations in which Strzok had leading roles. (The earlier text is both clearer and slightly less incriminating of the Obama Administration. It shows Lynch and Comey to be liars and manipulators of both the legal process and public opinion, but let’s be honest: none of us is surprised by those revelations).

I am persuaded that at a minimum, senior members of the Obama Administration – doubtless including the Trump-despising Strzok (he also hated, and claimed he could smell, Trump supporters) – acted illegally to exonerate Hillary and to both spy on and slime Trump. The FBI’s supposed A team didn’t make the 17 “errors” (that Horowitz found – I’m guessing there were plenty more that Horowitz, acting without subpoena powers, didn’t find), all pointing in an anti-Trump direction – on the most serious matter any of them had ever addressed – by mistake. Sorry: I wasn’t born yesterday, and neither were you.

Right now, John Durham is looking for evidence of provable criminality, and unlike Horowitz he can issue subpoenas and look outside the Department of Justice, presumably beginning with Brennan and Clapper.

Durham has convened a grand jury and is sifting through what is known or possibly knowable about “crossfire hurricane”. He is talking to witnesses who are not targets, including Admiral Mike Rogers, who, as then-head of the NSA, warned Trump that he was being surveilled during the presidential transition (https://www.redstate.com/elizabeth-vaughn/2019/12/26/digenova-calls-mike-rogers-cooperation-durham-team-biggest-single-development-heres/).

My guess is that many of the former officials who committed the Horowitz-highlighted “mistakes”, including Rod Rosenstein, who signed the last and least-defensibly-legal of the FISA applications, then went on to “oversee” the Mueller investigation, are now sweating.

As these people know all too well, the prosecutor’s usual strategy is to lean on the most junior participants in any presumptively illegal joint activity to get them to implicate the higher-ups who were probably pulling the strings. They also know that the power of the state is much to be feared – the legal costs of defending oneself can ruin almost anybody, and, of course, prison is possible. They’re staring at what they did to General Flynn, and wondering if that’s what’ll be done to them.

Will they talk? I would think so – if they have anything to say that will get them off the hook. Strzok will point to Comey, Comey will point to Brennan, some may point to Lynch … and even to Obama himself. What will – and should – be done if that happens?

The prosecutorial discretion questions get interesting even before we reach the question of whether Obama ordered illegal acts or made his desires clear to sycophantic followers through comments of the “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” variety. How does the state potentially prosecute – i.e., treat as a likely criminal – somebody like Brennan who, as head of the CIA, knew and doubtless still knows so many of our most sensitive secrets? We cannot simply have him executed, as Krushchev did Beria.   

But the broader question is if, as seems increasingly likely, there was a conspiracy among the FBI, the “intelligence” services and the senior-most members of the Obama Department of Justice, and maybe even the Administration as a whole, to illegally rig the 2016 presidential election, and then, when that effort failed, to hobble its surprise winner, we can’t very well just ignore that, can we? Burying such a conspiracy would set the precedent that if you’re a big enough player in the political scene, you really are above the law.

Unless you’re a Republican, of course.     

***

Meanwhile, the headline on the front page of today’s New York Times, focuses the attention of that paper’s readers on the burning questions around the 84-day Trump-initiated delay in military aid to Ukraine. Were Trump’s intentions nefarious, as the Democrats allege and The Times so clearly wants us to believe, or innocent, as he insists? And by nefarious, they mean horrifying because Trump might have had an ulterior motive – investigating a political rival – for delaying military help that the Obama Administration had refused to give.

Even though the Ukrainians didn’t know that he had delayed the assistance or feel pressured to announce or commence an investigation, The Times wants us to be more concerned about what might have been going on in Trump’s head during the 84 days and in that brief phone call than they are about the possibility that there will be no accountability for the all too evident trampling on our laws by the FBI, the “intelligence” services and maybe the senior-most members of the Obama Administration.  

In other words: oh look, a squirrel!

***

OK, so I’ll give my suggested answer to the question I posed at the start of this post: if it becomes clear that Obama initiated and/or approved plainly illegal behavior designed to benefit Democrats and harm Republicans, he should be charged with those crimes – then immediately pardoned by Trump, who will probably be in his second term by then. Just as Ford pardoned Nixon, and for the same reasons.

M.H. Johnston              

4 comments to Obama’s Guilt?

  • Doug McCaig  says:

    Mark, Another thoughtful and cogent piece. As far as the 84 day delay goes, anyone who knows people like Trump in Real Estate (and you perhaps better than others, you having been a real estate developer) knows that their stock and trade is withholding payments until all of their conditions are met. Not saying that is what is at work here but even if it were, so what. That can include any little thing – “your subcontractor did shoddy work and I even though he made it right, it annoyed me so I will pay you when I get around to it” type of thing. Many wait until legal proceedings are threatened or begun to secure a more favorable one-time renegotiation of terms. You, for sure, have seen it all. The ELECTORATE HIRED TRUMP to do a job. I didn’t question my pilot’s political persuasions or route map when I got on the plane yesterday. I trusted that the airline hired someone who could do their job…to get me home safely. Keep plugging. Happy New Year

  • Vivian Wadlin  says:

    Living in New York (aka New York Times Neverland), I have very few acquaintances that have ever read anything that so clearly points the finger at the Mueller tribe and Obama/Clinton supporters within the US intelligence services. I would pass along your missive, but I am pretty sure it would not see the light of day! Thanks for your rational appraisal of this mess.

  • Peter J. Lefeber  says:

    Mark –

    Your post reinforces my long-standing suspicions as to why Obama and Clinton(s) have been so silent on these subjects – deep complicity.

    Peter

    • M Johnston  says:

      Excellent point. The dogs that didn’t bark, if you will.

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