A response to Adrian Vermeule
FBI Goes Rogue
The regime has its man—all it needs now is the crime.
A week after the invasion and nine-hour occupation of former President Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, it is becoming clearer every day that there was no plausible legal reason for it.
It may have been, as has been widely alleged, a fishing expedition to try to find something useful for Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 kangaroo court inquiry into the “insurrection,” but if so, this was a desperation play, and since no such objective was specified in the warrant nor presumably mentioned in the affidavit supporting the warrant, such a fishing expedition is not legal, though on recent precedent, legal relevance is the last criterion this regime would take into account.
These are, if not the identical authors, certainly kindred spirits in the law enforcement bureaucracy of those who inflicted upon the much-wronged and disserved people of the United States the Trump-Russia collusion fraud, the whitewash of Hillary Clinton’s destruction of 33,000 subpoenaed emails and reckless and illegal use of a home server for confidential official information, the two spurious impeachments, and the scandalous mishandling of the Biden family’s financial shenanigans, and many other triumphs of malice and incompetence.
The burden of the deluge of semi-official leaks pipelined through the docile Trump-hating media last week gradually back-pedaled from the lofty insinuations of those elusive “high crimes and misdemeanors” equivalent to treason, to an archival dispute of the kind that all departing presidents have. The climb-down spiked briefly with the absurdity of misuse of nuclear military information in contravention of the Espionage Act, and wound up the week as a toothless, general-purpose, normal legal precaution. The normal Democrat practice in this kind of perversion of the prosecutorial apparatus is to rely upon the docile and rabidly partisan national political media to transmit a Niagara of dishonest official leaks. The New York Times, usually reliable as an administration source, has revealed that President Biden pressured the attorney general to prosecute Trump. The best he could do, apparently, was this burlesque of due process, with a feeble and belated acknowledgment that he had approved the invasion and that, of course, the fact of an investigation in progress prevented him from saying anything about it.
In this case, the spigots of leaks shut down after a few days, and in an agile act of improvisation, the anti-Trump media has taken to accusing the former president and his followers of inciting disrespect for the justice system and betraying a sense of unease at having Trump’s papers and conduct closely examined, thus inciting the inference that he must have been guilty of something. This is the familiar reasoning of people so possessed by hate that they wish to charge somebody with something, and in failing to find any useful evidence, they cite the absence of the evidence as illustrative of the fiendish cunning of the targeted person, in hiding or destroying the evidence.
This was the basis of the late Christopher Hitchens’ accusation against Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger of being responsible for the death of Chilean president Salvador Allende in 1973. And it was the essence of journeyman historian Michael Beschloss’ comments that while it was true that what was being done to President Trump was unprecedented, that was only because Trump was so obviously more criminally dishonest in his behavior than any previous American president, and so there was no need to elaborate upon it.
The fact that there is no evidence against Trump of having done anything illegal, despite years of obsessive and frequently illegal official persecution of him to unearth such evidence, merely confirms the satanic depths of his wickedness. Next we will have historian-for-hire John Meacham give us another chorus about Joe Biden’s resemblance to Franklin D. Roosevelt (who in four terms as he led the country out of the Great Depression and to the brink of victory in World War II never had one day of a negative public approval rating).
The Wall Street Journal, which has been quite professional and even-handed in its treatment of Donald Trump as a politician, warned on the weekend that it would damage his credibility if he objected to the publication of the warrant for the intrusion at his house. They need not have worried: Trump was happy to have it made public and the shoe was now on the other foot, as the Justice Department is reduced to lame excuses for not releasing the affidavit on the basis of which the judge-shopped, professedly Trump-hating, magistrate to whom the affidavit was submitted, authorized the intrusion.
Legally, it need now hardly be pointed out that the execution of the search warrant at Trump’s home was an outrage. Justice should have proceeded by subpoena, and cannot explain why it waited for 19 months since Trump left office, during which Trump claims he cooperated entirely with it, to take this step. Even if there was some dispute on the matter of the subpoena, one hardly needs to launch a major raid to handle the disposition of such a non-urgent matter. Since a president can declassify anything he wants, the regime’s media apologists are reduced to claiming he must have declassified some things incorrectly.
This is all of a piece with six years of perversion of the highest legal and intelligence offices to persecute a political opponent. The seizure of the former president’s three passports is the crowning imbecility: that the most famous person in the world is a flight-risk is a hard sell-even to the most pathological Trump-haters, and the passports are being returned, (with extensive executive and lawyer-client privileged material it is implicitly acknowledged was also seized improperly).
The only conceivable explanation for this action is not to be found in the farrago of nonsense in the deluge of official leaks; it is that the Democratic strategists believe that their only hope for retaining control of the U.S. Senate at the midterms is to shift the conversation from the fiasco of the Biden administration and focus it on the chaos that regularly erupts around Trump, even though that chaos is usually generated by his enemies and not by him. The former president seems to have recognized the intention behind this impotent pseudo-legal nonsense and has been relatively restrained in his response and has called for the de-escalation of overheated spirits.
The Democrats, who until recently subscribed to the wishful fantasy that Trump’s support was melting away, have effectively confirmed him as commander of the Republicans. They may also have finally generated some independent voter empathy for him, and enabled him to appear in a more generous light than he has had at any time in the last six years. The legal farce is de-escalating, and it will be a real challenge even for the totalitarian legions of media Trump-haters to maintain a straight face and unwavering inflection as they try to provide a legal justification for this preposterous flim-flam job.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.