The Asinine Coup

There is a trope in many stories and even popular songs concerning the idea that, inasmuch as a soul is priceless, the devil delights in persuading it to be given up in exchange for something of no value, an exchange which is nothing if not asinine. For instance, in the delightful old BBC production of The Box of Delights, the devilish villain offers an informant, who has the appearance of a rodent but who may once have been a man, moldy old cheese as payment for, well, everything. The trope, albeit not the rat, can also be found in Nobel laureate Bob Dylan's song, “When You Gonna Wake Up.”

In order to believe that the Deep State has been acting legitimately in regard to President Donald Trump, in order to believe in the narrative pitched by the legacy media, one would have to willingly exchange if not one's soul then one's capacity to think for… moldy cheese.

For instance, a sitting president cannot be indicted. Obviously, this means no investigation can be conducted against him. This is the conclusion of the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel. “The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.” Obviously, any investigation would “unconstitutionally undermine” the president.

Yet we have a “special counsel” whose investigation is doing just that. A “special counsel,” let it be remembered, is a prosecutor. In order for one to be appointed, a crime must be identified to serve as the investigation's predicate. Both logic and DOJ regulations (28 CFR 600.1) affirm this.

But Rod J. Rosenstein appointed one without establishing a criminal predicate.

Two months down the road, Rosenstein belatedly supplied one. But guess what? It's secret.

Prosecutors, whether they are called “special counsel” or not, do not perform intelligence investigations, which are conducted by intelligence officers. Prosecutors... prosecute crimes. Investigations as such belong to the province of the FBI and other agencies, not the prosecutors. Indeed, all this is confirmed by the testimony of acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, taken after Comey had been fired. McCabe testified no one had interfered with the FBI's investigation, that the White House had never even contacted him. And most tellingly, when asked by Senator Marco Rubio whether he needed to have this investigation taken away from the FBI, he replied succinctly: “No, sir.” (And in this, at least, McCabe performed a great service to the American people.)

Yet Rod J. Rosenstein's appointment of the “special counsel” specifically referenced the taking over of an FBI counterintelligence investigation.

Ostensibly, the “special counsel's” investigatory remit does not include the person of Donald J. Trump. Supposedly also he is not the “target”; it's supposed to be about the Russians and the campaign.

But everyone knows it is Trump who is being investigated. Here is the tagline of a recent article in National Review: “These days, a number of people seem to be under the impression that investigating President Donald Trump is the most vital project undertaken by this nation since its founding.” And as U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, in a hearing concerning charges brought by the “special counsel” against Paul Manafort, stated, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort. What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution, or impeachment, or whatever.” Moreover, the “special counsel” wants to question Trump. Does anyone who has not had a lobotomy doubt that the object of such questioning would be to trick Trump into perjuring himself? This investigation, purportedly not about Trump, is about Trump as much as impeachment procedures against him would be.

Congress has legitimate investigative and oversight authority over agencies of the executive branch. This has been acknowledged even as far back as the Constitutional Convention. It is clear as a bell that  the DOJ and FBI have acted, at the very least, curiously, in regard to Mrs. Clinton's dangerous mishandling of national security information, in regard to the increasingly strange -- and secret! -- appointment of a “special counsel” to investigate a president, and in regard to so many other related matters. Documents related to these matters, requested multiple times and now subpoenaed, are clearly legitimate matters of interest to the Congress. It has been widely reported how Rosenstein has resisted providing these documents, defying Congress.

But when informed that some in Congress have drafted articles of impeachment for this defiance, Rosenstein openly mocked them and described this as “extortion.”

The FISA court was put in place in order to protect American citizens from being spied upon in the same manner that we spy upon the intelligence operatives of enemy nations. Specifically, probable cause that there is good and reasonable evidence that the person to be surveilled is an agent of a foreign power must be demonstrated. The FISA process was used to electronically surveil Carter Page, a Trump campaign associate, and apparently the campaign in general. The warrant was extended four times.

But as the Nunes memo demonstrates, the “good and reasonable evidence” the warrant was based upon consisted of merely the so-called Steele dossier. The information therein came from unnamed Russian sources and no information was provided which would have lent those sources credibility. (As any lawyer knows -- or should know -- information must be provided to the judge concerning why an informant is to be believed; either a track record must be described or circumstances related which would make the information credible: neither was provided in the dossier.) Even James Comey admitted that the information was not verified. Nor was it disclosed to the FISA court judge that the dossier had been paid for by the Clinton campaign.

It's completely insane. But we are supposed to accept it.

But it's not just about Rosenstein.

Former FBI Director James Comey infamously leaked a memo which was directly quoted by the New York Times to influence Rosenstein to appoint a “special counsel” to investigate Trump. As we know, Comey's gambit succeeded: Rosenstein did appoint a “special counsel.” This is supposed to be accepted by us as legitimate and normal procedure followed by principled men.

But Rosenstein was Comey's “boss” while Comey was FBI director; the director reports to the Associate Attorney General. Comey could have provided the memorandum to Rosenstein. Indeed, if he was concerned that the president was committing an offense, he had a legal duty to report it -- to Rosenstein, not the press.

But Comey's leaking is curiouser and curiouser. Even CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper expressed astonishment when, during an interview with Cooper,  Comey first claimed he did not leak anything since he went through a friend (Alan Dershowitz described this maneuver as cowardly), and then he provided a definition of “leaking” which no one else has, restricting it to unauthorized disclosure of classified information. By Comey's definition, an FBI director who provided information to the criminals of impending raids or arrests (none of which is classified) would not be guilty of leaking. Obviously, that's nonsense. Andrew McCabe, former acting FBI director, got in trouble for leaking unclassified information.

As momentous the decision was to appoint a “special counsel,” one would imagine that the decision-making process would bear scrutiny. For instance, the DOJ (in the person of Rosenstein) resisted disclosing the contents of Comey's memoranda. As Andrew McCarthy recently wrote, “When the memos were finally disclosed, we learned that there was no investigative or national-security reason to have concealed them.”

So, despite all of this asininity (and there is much more than that touched upon herein), we are to believe in the legitimacy of the Justice Department's decision-making process in regard to their having taken such a momentous action -- the appointment of the “special counsel” -- and in the integrity, legitimacy and constitutionality of the “special counsel's” investigation.

If you experience technical problems, please write to