Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, excitedly told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that last Monday’s raid on Michael Cohen’s home, office and hotel room was “seismic.”
“It’s a little bit like a nuclear strike with multiple warheads,” said Blumenthal. “First remember that it had to go through multiple levels of review, all by Trump appointees.”
Yes, Mr. Blumenthal, it certainly was seismic. It made many Americans gasp. But not for the reasons you believe. It has shone a light on how despicable and unjust Mueller’s investigation has become. It may have finally made Americans pause and see for the first time how this President has been mistreated and yes, even feel the first stirrings of sympathy for him.
It’s the stuff of authoritarian dictatorships. Michael Cohen had been cooperating with Mueller’s team. This type of raid is normally carried out as a last resort after other more reasonable means of obtaining information have been exhausted.
Clearly, Mueller wanted to provoke. He hoped that this Gestapo inspired tactic would make Donald Trump appear guilty in the eyes of the world. Maybe if we treat Trump and his advisors like criminals, the world will believe they are criminals. Mueller also anticipated that Trump’s impetuous nature would cause him to act foolishly. (Can you say entrapment?) And what a treasure trove of confidential information he would discover in the process! Surely, he would be able to find some evidence of a crime in all that.
Immediately after the raid, news coverage turned very negative for Trump. After all, only those who break the law have their homes raided by the FBI. Mueller must have some very good reason for raiding the property of the personal attorney of the President of the United States.
But as the shock wore off and Americans had a few days to think it over, there has been a shift in sentiment. Did Mueller go too far this time? Might this overreach have been an abuse of power? Why does he have so much power? How did the focus of his Trump-Russia collusion investigation become so broad?
We need to look no further than DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who may become the first casualty of Monday’s raid. On Thursday, President Trump met with Rosenstein at the White House and rumors that he would be fired began swirling on Friday.
Rosenstein has told people he believes he will be fired. Why does he think that? Look at his actions. First, he laid out the case to fire FBI Director James Comey for which he was widely criticized by many of his colleagues. Since Comey had been in charge of the FBI investigation into possible Trump-Russia collusion and Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself, it was up to Rosenstein to decide how to move forward. It was then that he gave into heavy bureaucratic pressure to appoint a Special Counsel. “Former colleagues said Rosenstein’s move may help restore his battered reputation among current and former government lawyers…I think this move, as so often happens in Washington, where there is the opportunity to wash away your sins, was a thorough scrubbing,” said a former Obama administration appointee.
Then, Rosenstein appointed his buddy Robert Mueller to be the Special Counsel and gave him overly broad powers. As overseer of the investigation, Rosenstein has not required Mueller to seek permission to broaden the scope of the investigation, which is against DOJ regulations.
Rosenstein has several major conflicts of interest in this case. His wife is a Freedom of Information Act attorney and her law firm has represented Hillary and Bill Clinton, Robert Mueller, Barack Obama, and the FBI on numerous occasions. He signed off on one of the FISA renewal applications knowing it was based on the discredited Trump dossier. He has obstructed justice by holding back on document requests from Congress. We could go on.
J. Christian Adams, a former DOJ attorney and founder of the Election Law Center, believes Rosenstein should have been fired months ago. He said, “This is third world stuff.” He believes that “the legal process is being used to ‘terrorize’ Trump… Rosenstein has allowed this investigation to get way out of control. He has allowed Mueller to hire a bunch of clearly partisan investigators and allowed the team to leak.”
He points out that it’s gone way beyond its original purpose of investigating any Trump collusion with Russia to “Did Paul Manafort launder money through a rug store?” Mueller has too much power and Rosenstein has not tried to rein him in.
Long-time Washington attorney, Joe DiGenova, said, “they’re using a grand jury to terrorize people.” (About 3:50 on the video above.)
What they have done is they’ve weaponized, in an unconstitutional way, the criminal investigation process which should be sacrosanct…They are conducting something called an in terrorem grand jury. They’re using a grand jury to terrorize people. That is an abuse of power. Mr. Rosenstein is responsible for it.”
Even Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder and Campaign Strategist David Axelrod think it’s a bad idea to give a special counsel this much power. It sets a dangerous precedent. A prosecutor can look into your life until he finds a crime, then the House of Representatives can use this crime as the basis for impeachment.
“They want their liberal allies to shut up about impeaching President Trump. They fear that threats to drive the president from office will boost voter turnout – not among Democrats, as some on the left hope, but rather among Republicans.
Axelrod tweeted recently: “Dems should NOT commit to impeachment unless and until there’s a demonstrable case for one…. If we “normalize” impeachment as a political tool, it will be another hammer blow to our democracy.”
Holder tweeted in response: “Ax is exactly right. Midterms can be, among other things, a referendum on this Administration, its policies and its supporters – at federal and state levels. Midterms should not be centered around questions of impeachment.”
Other news of the week gave Trump supporters some hope that truth might ultimately prevail.
Friday gave us DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the misconduct of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. It outlines McCabe’s history of lying to cover-up his self-serving leak to the Wall Street Journal in October 2016, among other things. The following statement “This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath)” appeared repeatedly throughout the report, which can be read here.
Also last week, excerpts from former FBI Director James Comey’s memoir “A Higher Loyalty” were released. As expected, it was highly critical of President Trump on a very personal level. Comey criticized everything from Trump’s marriage to the “white half moons under his eyes” from the goggles he wears for spray tanning. He compared Trump to former mob boss “Sammy the bull.”
Fox anchor Chris Wallace called the book “bitchy”! Many people said it was what you might expect from a fired, disgruntled employee.
There was one takeaway from the excerpts worth pursuing. Comey made veiled references to some damaging, non-public information about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, suggesting that she may be hiding something. Many politicians believe Lynch is lying about her part in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
And, of course, any day now, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz will release his full report on how the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation. USA today said this could be “a land mine for Robert Mueller.” I certainly hope so.
Courtesy of Freedom Outpost
Elizabeth was born and raised in southern Connecticut where she currently resides with her husband and two golden retrievers. She worked as a financial consultant at Merrill Lynch in New York City prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom of three. She has since earned her MBA and become an options trader.