The pathetic attempts to undo Donald Trump’s victory are signs of desperation, not strength, in the Deep State.
SLL, “Desperation,” 12/21/16
The Deep State’s worst nightmare was never that Donald Trump would improve relations with Russia. What keeps it awake, shaking and screaming in the darkness, is the prospect of exposure and prosecution for decades of criminality. For the first time since John F. Kennedy, the Deep State is being challenged. An inflection point may have been reached. If so, legal developments will take on a life of their own, ultimately beyond the control of congressional committees, Sessions, Trump, or anyone else.
Trump has expressed skepticism about US military interventions, NATO’s usefulness and funding, and the US’s hostile posture towards Russia. However, he says and tweets a lot of things, most of which are best ignored.
Instead, look at what he’s done, which should never be ignored. He has:
1. Significantly increased the already bloated military and intelligence budgets
2. Increased troop levels in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq
3. Increased US special forces operations around the world, especially in Africa
4. Given US military field commanders more latitude to conduct operations
5. Encouraged NATO forces to increase strength and display force around Russia’s western perimeter
6. Sent arms to Ukraine’s corrupt government so it can better harass eastern Ukrainian separatists, who are supported by Russia
7. Strengthened US ties with Israel and Saudi Arabia, supporting the latter’s vicious war in Yemen
8. Threatened to abrogate the Iranian nuclear agreement
9. Threatened preemptive war in North Korea
10. Brokered billions of dollars worth of US arms sales
Trump ticks virtually every item on the Deep State wish list. Although scores of commentators say otherwise, the few and minor policy differences between them do not explain the Deep State’s fear and loathing of the president.
Imagine you’re a long time, paid up member of the Deep State. You’ve got a gold-plated résumé, an extensive network of useful contacts in both government and the private sector, and money in the bank. You also know a lot of secrets. Your knowledge of those secrets makes you complicit in a fair amount of criminality. But you consider them your protection, because everyone in your world is complicit in something. You go down and they go down too. And you can’t imagine everyone going down.
Then Trump—an outsider—runs for president on his own dime and captures the Republican nomination. An alarm goes off. The Deep State, the Democrats, never Trump Republicans, and the media do everything they can to get something on Trump, but all they came up with is grabbing pussy. Trump’s apparently clean and not beholden to anyone. As a successful and sophisticated businessman, he’s undoubtedly aware of systemic rot and corruption in Washington. What if he wins and starts turning over the rocks? That’s a remote but real danger. Who cares about his policies? Something has to be done.
And so Russiagate was born.
It was predictable that a probe based on nothing would at best go nowhere and at worst backfire spectacularly (see SLL, “Plot Holes,” 2/26/17). It’s backfired. There are ongoing congressional committee, FBI, IRS, and Department of Justice investigations of Uranium One, the Trump Dossier and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse, the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and the FBI’s investigation of those emails. An indictment against Mark Lambert has been returned in Uranium One.
A “bombshell” Republican-authored report is circulating in the House of Representatives that has members and government officials openly speculating on the removal of senior FBI and Department of Justice personal, and possible prosecution. House Republicans are agitating for the report’s public release, and after jumping through various procedural hoops, they’ll probably get it.
The rolling snowball got more momentum recently as the FBI revealed that five months of emails between Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page had been “inadvertently” destroyed. Whoever destroyed the emails will probably cause the FBI, Strzok, and Page more trouble than the actual evidence would have. The presumption is that destroyed evidence is construed in the most unfavorable light to the party or parties responsible for its destruction. This means the trier of fact (jury or judge) is generally free to assume the worst. The destruction of evidence itself can be a crime if it is intentional, reckless, or negligent.
It’s official: you can call them scandals now.
Since the day Trump took office there has been internet speculation and predictions of imminent, Gordian Knot-types of legal strokes: mass indictments that will drain the swamp and vanquish the Deep State once and for all. Such “revelations” reveal only their authors’ ignorance of the law and legal process. In real life, competent and thorough investigations are grinding, meticulous, and mostly secret, only occasionally leading to headline worthy disclosures and developments. You’re watching paint dry, not a Hollywood legal thriller. Even if the House report lives up to its bombshell billing, it won’t speed up the legal process.
You can be sure that potential defendants are already making quiet inquiries and arrangements, lawyering up. Top criminal attorneys are probably raising their rates, anticipating a flood of new business. They’re paid to delay, obstruct, and stymie. The highest profile potential defendants—Comey, the Clintons—can afford them and they’re not going quietly or quickly into that good night. Constitutional safeguards and the legal system’s procedural maze will be facts of life.
However, not even the best attorneys can counter the hard-wired desire to save one’s own skin. Once the investigations are really rolling, it’s every man and woman for himself or herself. (Will Bill Clinton turn state’s evidence against Hillary? Will she turn state’s evidence against him?) That’s when things could get explosively unpredictable. The prospect of jail time concentrates the mind and prompts a reconsideration of past friendships and alliances. When prosecuting authorities dangle reduced charges and suspended sentences in exchange for ratting out, ratting out becomes the order of the day.
Washington is a vast trove of illicit secrets. Good investigations unearth secrets. It may be a pipe dream, but present investigations, taking on uncontrollable lives of their own, could start unraveling the secrecy that has protected the government, its string pullers and their cronies, and the complicit mainstream media for too long.
This sick nation has no hope of healing until hidden truths—stretching back to at least World War II—are revealed. It’s a remote possibility, but never say never. In a perfect world, the guilty would be punished and restitution made to their victims. That prospect, unfortunately, doesn’t even qualify as a pipe dream.
Deep cynicism is warranted when it comes to the Deep State and the US government. However, those of us who want to see criminality exposed and prosecuted can do more than just watch the scandals unfold with our fingers crossed.
WikiLeaks and Judicial Watch have been at the forefront of private efforts to shine the light. WikiLeaks’ role is well-known. Judicial Watch has toiled in comparative obscurity, but its work has been just as important. It has issued a barrage of Freedom of Information Act requests to various federal agencies. Refusing to take no for an answer, it goes to court every time those requests are delayed or stonewalled. It usually wins. The documents it’s uncovered have led to progress in a number of these
If you have the money and want to fight the good fight, consider donating to WikiLeaks and Judicial Watch. Every little bit helps. The links: