What Would Pierre Delecto Do?

This week Mitt Romney confessed that he was posting on Twitter under the absurd moniker Pierre Delecto and set up himself for some serious online satirizing.

It’s way overdue. The #NeverTrumpers in the Republican party have exposed themselves as Democrat Me Tooers. They do themselves, their party, and the nation no favors. As the Russian collusion nonsense fades into the ether absent any fact basis and the Schiff-Pelosi impeachment funhouse proceedings head in the same direction, some congressional Republicans, like the brave band that shut down the Miami-Dade vote harvesting charade in the Bush-Gore election, stood up at last for fair play. Mollie Hemingway is dead right.

What we are facing now is not partisan warfare, it’s not a mystery novel, it’s not politics-as-usual. We are facing an attempt to tear down the foundations of our republic by corrupt, unelected bureaucrats who have decided the will of voters is subordinate to their will to power. It represents a fatal threat to our system of government, and if this coup succeeds — whether through impeachment proceedings, or through an election that (if the last three years are any indication) the other side is clearly willing to steal by hook or by crook — the nation will cease to be a constitutional, democratic republic.

This isn’t about Trump, or Republicans, or conservatives. It is about Washington needing to learn that political differences have to be settled at the ballot box lest they instead be settled with an undermining of our constitutional norms and institutions.

If you are puzzled by this psychotic derangement of the ruling class of the media, bureaucrats, academy and the Democratic party, perhaps this wonderful interview of Angelo Codevilla in the Tablet  offers some clarity.

He argues that since the 1930s when the administrative -- that is to say, bureaucratic state -- was birthed, we have moved into a new form of government in which the Constitution’s power vesting in the voters was largely done away with to be replaced by a self-perpetuating ruling elite of whom Republicans like Mitt (Pierre Delecto) Romney are avatars.

Under whatever professional job titles, the people who populate the institutions that exercise direct power over nearly all aspects of American life from birth to death are bureaucrats -- university bureaucrats, corporate bureaucrats, local, state and federal bureaucrats, law enforcement bureaucrats, health bureaucrats, knowledge bureaucrats, spy agency bureaucrats. At each layer of specific institutional authority, bureaucrats coordinate their understandings and practices with bureaucrats in parallel institutions through lawyers, in language that is designed to be impenetrable, or nearly so, by outsiders. Their authority is pervasive, undemocratic, and increasingly not susceptible in practice to legal checks and balances. All those people together comprise a class.

Another thing that residents of the broad North American expanse between Canada and Mexico have noticed is that the programs and remedies that this class has promoted, both at home and abroad, have greatly enriched and empowered a small number of people, namely themselves -- while the broader American population continues to decline in wealth, health, and education. Meanwhile, the American Empire that the ruling elite administers is collapsing. The popularity of such observations on both the left and the right is what accounts for the rise of Donald Trump, on one hand, and of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the other hand, among an electorate that has not been historically distinguished by its embrace of radicalism. Add those voter bases together, and perhaps 75% of Americans would seem to agree that their country, however you think of it, is in big trouble, and that the fault lies with the country’s self-infatuated and apparently not-so-brilliant elite.  

He warns that as this elite ruling class grows ever farther from the beliefs and interests of those they rule, resentment against them grows. History shows, he argues, that as this resentment grows, the ruling elites focus their attentions more exclusively on protecting their wealth and power until finally it’s clear they lack the genius they pretend to, and their rule collapses.

Freed from the laws of gravity, the elite turns from the hard work of correct strategizing and wise policymaking to the much less time-consuming and much more pleasant work of perpetuating its own privileges forever, in the course of which endeavor the ruling elite is revealed to be a bunch of idiots and perverts who spend their time prancing around half naked while setting the territories they rule on fire. The few remaining decent and competent people flee this revolting spectacle, while the elite compounds its mistakes in an orgy of failure. The empire then collapses. 

The coming weeks, I predict, will reveal that our ruling elite “are a bunch of idiots and perverts” who have spent the past three years setting the nation on fire with false tales of “collusion” and “impeachable” offenses because the competent voters refused to continue endorsing their numerous follies. Follies ranging from open borders, cancelled college debt, sanctuary cities, free medical care for all -- including illegal aliens, absurd rules on “gender” and “environmental protection,” to preposterous foreign-policy initiatives and naked corruption in which foreign aid has been redirected to their pockets and those of their families, friends, and donors.

Inspector General Horowitz’ largely unredacted report on corruption in the Department of Justice and FBI’s handling of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the spying on the Trump campaign is due to be released shortly. Attorney General William Barr and prosecutor John Dunham are pursuing criminal investigations of those involved in the “Russian collusion” scam and we expect indictments to follow, indictments which will lay bare the unlawful efforts of the ruling class to hang on to power in the face of Hillary Clinton’s loss.

Certainly one of the most significant exposures of the elite’s wrongdoing is to be found in General Michael Flynn’s filing this week, in which his lawyer Sidney Powell sets out the corrupt practices used to ensnare, demonize and prosecute Flynn.

A number of analysts have commented on it. Powerline blog is a handy reference.

In seeking dismissal of the case and contempt findings against those officials involved, Powell makes a compelling case that the Deep State framed Flynn, most likely because he exposed the idiotic and corrupt actions and threatened their power.

“The Flynn prosecution has lifted the lid on corruption at the Department of Justice and the FBI that few could have imagined. The anti-Trump FBI conducted itself in a way we might associate with a totalitarian state, not the United States of America. For the most part, the people involved have been fired in disgrace. I am no expert in criminal law, but it seems that some of what happened here -- for example, the falsification of the Form 302 -- must be a crime. If crimes were committed, they should be prosecuted. The prosecution of General Flynn should be dismissed, and those involved in it should be, if not prosecuted, censured.”

Margot Cleveland offers a more detailed analysis focusing on the timeline of the corruption in framing Flynn and denying him exculpatory evidence in its possession, in violation of the Brady Act compelling such disclosure and Judge Sullivan’s ruling that they comply with the Act’s requirements.

What is most striking, though, is the timeline Powell pieced together from publicly reported text messages withheld from the defense team and excerpts from documents still sealed from public view. The sequence Powell lays out shows that a team of “high-ranking FBI officials orchestrated an ambush-interview of the new president’s National Security Advisor, not for the purpose of discovering any evidence of criminal activity -- they already had tapes of all the relevant conversations about which they questioned Mr. Flynn -- but for the purpose of trapping him into making statements they could allege as false.[snip]

 A sealed statement from Strzok confirmed that the “agents did three briefings the day of the interview,” and that Strzok had reported that Flynn “had a sure demeanor, and he was telling the truth or believed he was -- even though he did not remember it all.” This led the FBI and DOJ to then write “an internal memo dated January 30, 2017, exonerating Mr. Flynn of acting as an ‘agent of Russia’”…[snip]

 “On February 10, 2017, the news broke -- attributed to ‘senior intelligence officials’ -- that Mr. Flynn had discussed sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak, contrary to what Vice President Pence had said on television previously.” Following this leak, “overnight,” Flynn’s 302 was changed -- and substantively so. “Those changes added an unequivocal statement that ‘FLYNN stated he did not’ -- in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote.”

“This is a deceptive manipulation” Powell highlighted, “because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on this issue. [snip]

But the agent’s notes do not include that question or answer, Powell stressed, yet it was later made into the criminal offense charges against Flynn. And “the draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not,” Powell added.

We do not know how Judge Emmet G. Sullivan will dispose of this motion, but he was deeply offended at the prosecutorial misconduct revealed only after the conviction and death of Senator Ted Stevens and his inability to  punish those FBI agents and Justice Department lawyers involved. Let’s hope that his outrage there was not simply imposture, but a sincere sense of outrage at the Deep State’s doings and that he will not allow himself to be hoodwinked again in furtherance of their aims. Deeply involved in the framing of General Flynn is Andrew McCabe, and with regard to him there was an interesting development this week. He dismissed his lawsuit against the Department of Justice challenging his firing, He did this as news broke that a criminal investigation of the department’s handling of the surveillance of the Trump campaign was underway. 

The dismissal’s timing suggests that the two events were not unrelated. He reportedly has turned down a plea agreement offered by Durham and it is likely that the existence of his civil suit might be considered a waiver of his right to invoke the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination in any criminal proceeding against him.

In the meantime, in addition to storming in protest Adam’s Schiff’s basement secret Star Chamber proceedings, some Republicans seem to have had spinal implants. All but three Republican senators (Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski) have signed on to Senator Lindsay Graham’s resolution condemning the Schiff proceedings and demanding a House vote on impeachment. (Three prior House moves to impeach have already been defeated and Nancy Pelosi knows a fourth would have the same result.) 

A spokesperson for Collins didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about whether or not she would back the resolution, which formally opposes the impeachment inquiry and urges House Democrats to hold an official vote on it. 

A spokeswoman for Romney noted that he said on Thursday that he would look at the resolution. 

"I’d like to see a vote taken in the House to decide whether there is support for impeachment. I’d love to see a more open process," Romney said. 

Murkowski also told reporters on Thursday that she hadn't yet read the resolution.

Both Romney and Murkowski are certainly among the class described by Codevilla as elites by inheritance. You may recall she is the daughter of Alaska’s deceased Senator Frank Murkowski and filled her father’s unexpired term. She then secured her position in the Senate in 2010 after losing a Republican primary and running on a write-in vote, and yet was allowed to retain her Republican seniority by Senator Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans. In 2016, she beat the Libertarian candidate who supported the President, though she did not.

This week Mitt Romney confessed that he was posting on Twitter under the absurd moniker Pierre Delecto and set up himself for some serious online satirizing.

It’s way overdue. The #NeverTrumpers in the Republican party have exposed themselves as Democrat Me Tooers. They do themselves, their party, and the nation no favors. As the Russian collusion nonsense fades into the ether absent any fact basis and the Schiff-Pelosi impeachment funhouse proceedings head in the same direction, some congressional Republicans, like the brave band that shut down the Miami-Dade vote harvesting charade in the Bush-Gore election, stood up at last for fair play. Mollie Hemingway is dead right.

What we are facing now is not partisan warfare, it’s not a mystery novel, it’s not politics-as-usual. We are facing an attempt to tear down the foundations of our republic by corrupt, unelected bureaucrats who have decided the will of voters is subordinate to their will to power. It represents a fatal threat to our system of government, and if this coup succeeds — whether through impeachment proceedings, or through an election that (if the last three years are any indication) the other side is clearly willing to steal by hook or by crook — the nation will cease to be a constitutional, democratic republic.

This isn’t about Trump, or Republicans, or conservatives. It is about Washington needing to learn that political differences have to be settled at the ballot box lest they instead be settled with an undermining of our constitutional norms and institutions.

If you are puzzled by this psychotic derangement of the ruling class of the media, bureaucrats, academy and the Democratic party, perhaps this wonderful interview of Angelo Codevilla in the Tablet  offers some clarity.

He argues that since the 1930s when the administrative -- that is to say, bureaucratic state -- was birthed, we have moved into a new form of government in which the Constitution’s power vesting in the voters was largely done away with to be replaced by a self-perpetuating ruling elite of whom Republicans like Mitt (Pierre Delecto) Romney are avatars.

Under whatever professional job titles, the people who populate the institutions that exercise direct power over nearly all aspects of American life from birth to death are bureaucrats -- university bureaucrats, corporate bureaucrats, local, state and federal bureaucrats, law enforcement bureaucrats, health bureaucrats, knowledge bureaucrats, spy agency bureaucrats. At each layer of specific institutional authority, bureaucrats coordinate their understandings and practices with bureaucrats in parallel institutions through lawyers, in language that is designed to be impenetrable, or nearly so, by outsiders. Their authority is pervasive, undemocratic, and increasingly not susceptible in practice to legal checks and balances. All those people together comprise a class.

Another thing that residents of the broad North American expanse between Canada and Mexico have noticed is that the programs and remedies that this class has promoted, both at home and abroad, have greatly enriched and empowered a small number of people, namely themselves -- while the broader American population continues to decline in wealth, health, and education. Meanwhile, the American Empire that the ruling elite administers is collapsing. The popularity of such observations on both the left and the right is what accounts for the rise of Donald Trump, on one hand, and of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the other hand, among an electorate that has not been historically distinguished by its embrace of radicalism. Add those voter bases together, and perhaps 75% of Americans would seem to agree that their country, however you think of it, is in big trouble, and that the fault lies with the country’s self-infatuated and apparently not-so-brilliant elite.  

He warns that as this elite ruling class grows ever farther from the beliefs and interests of those they rule, resentment against them grows. History shows, he argues, that as this resentment grows, the ruling elites focus their attentions more exclusively on protecting their wealth and power until finally it’s clear they lack the genius they pretend to, and their rule collapses.

Freed from the laws of gravity, the elite turns from the hard work of correct strategizing and wise policymaking to the much less time-consuming and much more pleasant work of perpetuating its own privileges forever, in the course of which endeavor the ruling elite is revealed to be a bunch of idiots and perverts who spend their time prancing around half naked while setting the territories they rule on fire. The few remaining decent and competent people flee this revolting spectacle, while the elite compounds its mistakes in an orgy of failure. The empire then collapses. 

The coming weeks, I predict, will reveal that our ruling elite “are a bunch of idiots and perverts” who have spent the past three years setting the nation on fire with false tales of “collusion” and “impeachable” offenses because the competent voters refused to continue endorsing their numerous follies. Follies ranging from open borders, cancelled college debt, sanctuary cities, free medical care for all -- including illegal aliens, absurd rules on “gender” and “environmental protection,” to preposterous foreign-policy initiatives and naked corruption in which foreign aid has been redirected to their pockets and those of their families, friends, and donors.

Inspector General Horowitz’ largely unredacted report on corruption in the Department of Justice and FBI’s handling of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the spying on the Trump campaign is due to be released shortly. Attorney General William Barr and prosecutor John Dunham are pursuing criminal investigations of those involved in the “Russian collusion” scam and we expect indictments to follow, indictments which will lay bare the unlawful efforts of the ruling class to hang on to power in the face of Hillary Clinton’s loss.

Certainly one of the most significant exposures of the elite’s wrongdoing is to be found in General Michael Flynn’s filing this week, in which his lawyer Sidney Powell sets out the corrupt practices used to ensnare, demonize and prosecute Flynn.

A number of analysts have commented on it. Powerline blog is a handy reference.

In seeking dismissal of the case and contempt findings against those officials involved, Powell makes a compelling case that the Deep State framed Flynn, most likely because he exposed the idiotic and corrupt actions and threatened their power.

“The Flynn prosecution has lifted the lid on corruption at the Department of Justice and the FBI that few could have imagined. The anti-Trump FBI conducted itself in a way we might associate with a totalitarian state, not the United States of America. For the most part, the people involved have been fired in disgrace. I am no expert in criminal law, but it seems that some of what happened here -- for example, the falsification of the Form 302 -- must be a crime. If crimes were committed, they should be prosecuted. The prosecution of General Flynn should be dismissed, and those involved in it should be, if not prosecuted, censured.”

Margot Cleveland offers a more detailed analysis focusing on the timeline of the corruption in framing Flynn and denying him exculpatory evidence in its possession, in violation of the Brady Act compelling such disclosure and Judge Sullivan’s ruling that they comply with the Act’s requirements.

What is most striking, though, is the timeline Powell pieced together from publicly reported text messages withheld from the defense team and excerpts from documents still sealed from public view. The sequence Powell lays out shows that a team of “high-ranking FBI officials orchestrated an ambush-interview of the new president’s National Security Advisor, not for the purpose of discovering any evidence of criminal activity -- they already had tapes of all the relevant conversations about which they questioned Mr. Flynn -- but for the purpose of trapping him into making statements they could allege as false.[snip]

 A sealed statement from Strzok confirmed that the “agents did three briefings the day of the interview,” and that Strzok had reported that Flynn “had a sure demeanor, and he was telling the truth or believed he was -- even though he did not remember it all.” This led the FBI and DOJ to then write “an internal memo dated January 30, 2017, exonerating Mr. Flynn of acting as an ‘agent of Russia’”…[snip]

 “On February 10, 2017, the news broke -- attributed to ‘senior intelligence officials’ -- that Mr. Flynn had discussed sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak, contrary to what Vice President Pence had said on television previously.” Following this leak, “overnight,” Flynn’s 302 was changed -- and substantively so. “Those changes added an unequivocal statement that ‘FLYNN stated he did not’ -- in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote.”

“This is a deceptive manipulation” Powell highlighted, “because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on this issue. [snip]

But the agent’s notes do not include that question or answer, Powell stressed, yet it was later made into the criminal offense charges against Flynn. And “the draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not,” Powell added.

We do not know how Judge Emmet G. Sullivan will dispose of this motion, but he was deeply offended at the prosecutorial misconduct revealed only after the conviction and death of Senator Ted Stevens and his inability to  punish those FBI agents and Justice Department lawyers involved. Let’s hope that his outrage there was not simply imposture, but a sincere sense of outrage at the Deep State’s doings and that he will not allow himself to be hoodwinked again in furtherance of their aims. Deeply involved in the framing of General Flynn is Andrew McCabe, and with regard to him there was an interesting development this week. He dismissed his lawsuit against the Department of Justice challenging his firing, He did this as news broke that a criminal investigation of the department’s handling of the surveillance of the Trump campaign was underway. 

The dismissal’s timing suggests that the two events were not unrelated. He reportedly has turned down a plea agreement offered by Durham and it is likely that the existence of his civil suit might be considered a waiver of his right to invoke the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination in any criminal proceeding against him.

In the meantime, in addition to storming in protest Adam’s Schiff’s basement secret Star Chamber proceedings, some Republicans seem to have had spinal implants. All but three Republican senators (Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski) have signed on to Senator Lindsay Graham’s resolution condemning the Schiff proceedings and demanding a House vote on impeachment. (Three prior House moves to impeach have already been defeated and Nancy Pelosi knows a fourth would have the same result.) 

A spokesperson for Collins didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about whether or not she would back the resolution, which formally opposes the impeachment inquiry and urges House Democrats to hold an official vote on it. 

A spokeswoman for Romney noted that he said on Thursday that he would look at the resolution. 

"I’d like to see a vote taken in the House to decide whether there is support for impeachment. I’d love to see a more open process," Romney said. 

Murkowski also told reporters on Thursday that she hadn't yet read the resolution.

Both Romney and Murkowski are certainly among the class described by Codevilla as elites by inheritance. You may recall she is the daughter of Alaska’s deceased Senator Frank Murkowski and filled her father’s unexpired term. She then secured her position in the Senate in 2010 after losing a Republican primary and running on a write-in vote, and yet was allowed to retain her Republican seniority by Senator Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans. In 2016, she beat the Libertarian candidate who supported the President, though she did not.