Category Archives: History

The Mueller Farce

It’s time to end it:

n a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 7, current FBI Director Christopher Wray consistently deflected questions regarding these types of conflicts by deferring to ongoing investigations being conducted by the Justice Department’s inspector general. He also continued to stonewall on providing information on the FBI’s use of the Steele dossier and the FISA warrant it helped generate, citing vague national security concerns.

We are left with an appearance of an unacceptable degree of political prejudice and a troubling series of unanswered questions. It is dangerous to subject the office of the president to a gravely biased investigation undertaken with a reckless spirit. Should further evidence of untoward bias emerge, Americans may conclude that the justice system itself is illegitimate, with all that entails.

The most prudent move would be to suspend the special counsel investigation until the Justice Department inspector general’s office and other watchdogs can conclude their investigations into possible illegitimate or illegal actions taken by members of Mueller’s team. Then Congress must be given time to review the conclusions of the internal investigations as well as conclude their own ongoing inquiries. The stakes are too high to allow a clique of politicized government agents to destroy the integrity of the investigative apparatus, and damage the office of the presidency.

I wish this were something new, but I think this kind of corruption goes back a quarter of a century, when the Clinton gang came into national power.

The FBI’s Obvious Bias

Yes, at a minimum, those texts have to be released to the public. There can be no question now that there is rot and corruption at the bureau (and I think it goes back to the nineties, with the Clintons). It may be that it is institutionally incapable of policing itself, and it’s the FBI itself (including Mueller) that needs an independent investigator.

But this should cause us to look back at the 90s scandals, in which the Clintons got away with so much, in a new light. I’ve been looking for the entire original Starr report on the Vince Foster “suicide” from an original source (i.e., a government web site) and cannot find it. All I see is this from the WaPo. Which (conveniently) doesn’t contain footnotes or appendices. Including the Knowlton appendix.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Well, well, well…Clinton aides went unpunished for making false statements to the FBI.

Punishment is for the little people, like Republican lieutenant generals.

[Wednesday-morning update]

Hugh Hewitt: Time for an independent investigation of the Justice Department and FBI.

It’s long overdue.

[Bumped]

[Update a couple minutes later]

Aaaaaand, a Mueller deputy was Ben Rhodes personal attorney, and represented the Clinton (Crime Family) Foundation. But I’m sure he can be completely impartial in the investigation of Republicans.

[Update a while later]

And then there’s this.

[Update a while later]

Peter Strzok’s story will hurt the credibility of the federal government at the worst possible time. He’s like the Zelig of the whole thing. Everywhere you look, he’s there:was increasingly politicized under Mueller and Comey

Yes, it’s good that Mueller removed Strzok when he discovered the text messages. No, Strzok is not solely responsible for the conclusions reached in either investigation. But his mere presence hurts public confidence in the FBI, and it does so in a way that further illustrates a persistent and enduring national problem: America’s permanent bureaucracy is unacceptably partisan.

Unfortunately, it’s only unacceptable to one party. The other one thinks it’s exactly the way it should be.

[Update late morning]

The FBI was increasingly politicized under Mueller and Comey. You don’t say.

[Update a few minutes later]

The double-crossing FBI agent must be held accountable.

He’s no rogue; it’s not just him.

Ken Starr

Ross Douthat asks “What if he was right?” But he still gets it wrong, as does everyone:

But with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, we know what happened: A president being sued for sexual harassment tried to buy off a mistress-turned-potential-witness with White House favors, and then committed perjury serious enough to merit disbarment. Which also brought forward a compelling allegation from Juanita Broaddrick that the president had raped her.

The longer I spent with these old stories, the more I came back to a question: If exploiting a willing intern is a serious enough abuse of power to warrant resignation, why is obstructing justice in a sexual harassment case not serious enough to warrant impeachment? Especially when the behavior is part of a longstanding pattern that also may extend to rape? Would any feminist today hesitate to take a similar opportunity to remove a predatory studio head or C.E.O.?

Everyone continues to minimize Bill Clinton’s malfeasance and obstruction of justice. His defenders take it to the extreme, saying he “lied about a blowjob,” which of course ignores the fact that he did it under oath. But he didn’t just perjure himself.

I’ve repeated this many times, but I’ll do so once again: He obstructed justice by suborning perjury with bribes and physical threats to a witness’s family, in order to prevent a young woman whom he had sexually harassed from getting a fair trial. And he did so as someone who had taken a solemn oath to see that the laws of the land were faithfully executed. He was a corrupt man, unfit for the office of the presidency, and his party was corrupt in not removing him. And not only corrupt, but politically stupid, because contra the insane talk about it being a “coup” by the Republicans, the result would have been President Al Gore, who would likely have won reelection two years later.

Now, I personally wouldn’t have been happy with that particular political outcome, but Clinton should have been removed on principle, and we’d be a much healthier polity, as we were after Nixon, had that happened.

I would also note, though, that Ken Starr was an incompetent boob, who severely botched both the Vince Foster and Whitewater investigations. That job required an experienced prosecutor with experience in dealing with the mob, not a mild-mannered judge, and if it had been done properly, the Clintons would have been out of power much sooner.

[Late-morning update]

Related: I thought this was a stupid argument at the time, and I still do:

Central to Clinton and his defenders’ argument was the implication that anyone who judged him was guilty of puritanism and outrage, a quintessentially American obsession with sex that belied an inability to greet sexual misconduct with a Gallic shrug. In a New York Times op-ed, feminist writer Gloria Steinem reserved most of her ire for “the media’s obsession with sex qua sex,” which she considered “offensive to some, titillating to many and beside the point to almost everybody.” Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes dismissed the accusations against Clinton as “sex, puritanism and trivialization,” implying in a Spanish-language op-ed that the media fascination with Clinton could be traced back to the sexual morality of Puritan settlers.

Which is ironic, considering that the American left are the political descendants of those people.

[Update early afternoon]

Also related: Hillary’s people threatened the family of an intel watchdog over the email probe. What was old is new again. Thugs then, thugs now.

[Wednesday-morning update]

As a reminder about the last item, note this CNN story from nineteen years ago, which almost no millennial is aware even happened:

Linda Tripp believes her onetime friend Monica Lewinsky threatened her days before Tripp filed an affidavit in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case about Lewinsky’s affair with President Bill Clinton.

The threat, in the form of a list of people close to the Clintons who have died in recent years, was placed on Tripp’s Pentagon chair by Lewinsky, according to a sworn deposition that Tripp provided a Washington watchdog group Monday.

Tripp considered the list a threat because, at the time, Lewinsky knew Tripp was planning to testify about Lewinsky’s affair with Clinton, according to a source close to Tripp.

The source says Tripp believes it was Lewinsky who left her the list because Lewinsky later telephoned Tripp asking if she found it.

And there’s this as well:

Mrs. Tripp also said in the “Today” interview that she had received death threats for herself and her children, and that “Monica made those threats and passed them along to me, I believed, from the president. I believed I was in jeopardy.”

Jamie Gangel, the NBC correspondent conducting the interview, then asked Mrs. Tripp if she believed the president had threatened her life.

“I believe that was the message I was supposed to receive,” Mrs. Tripp said. “‘Be a team player or else.’ Here’s what I got: ‘I’m going to lie, he’s going to lie, we are all going to lie. If you don’t lie, you are being set up for perjury and jail, and who’s going to believe you?'”

This is the same Clinton gang that threatened the IG.

[Bumped]

Linda Tripp

Her thoughts on the reassessing of Bill Clinton by the Democrats. She was the only person in that whole sorry episode who told the truth.

But the Democrats still refuse to admit that it wasn’t about the sex, or sexual harassment, or sexual assault. It was about the corruption, and obstruction of justice to prevent an innocent woman he’d sexually harassed from getting a fair trial.

Bill Clinton, Reconsidered

Well, this is refreshing. Caitlin Flanagan excoriates feminists for letting him off the hook for decades for his sexual abuse. I wonder if this also means that the truth will finally come out about all their other corruption and crimes, now that they seem to have been defenestrated?

[Update mid-morning]

Hell has frozen over. The NYT has defended Juanita Broaddrick.

[Update at noon]

The thing is, going after him now — when they don’t need him anymore, and when they’re trying to hustle Hillary off the political stage for 2020 — doesn’t make up for what they did then. Rather, it underscores it.”

[Wednesday-morning update]

The dam seems to be bursting. Now Democrats are saying that the years of defending Bill Clinton were morally indefensible. Gee, ya think? That’s why I swore never to support another Democrat two decades ago. Even Matt Yglesias now realizes he was wrong, and that Clinton should have resigned. But he still has this wrong:

In the midst of the very same public statement in which he confessed the error, Clinton also mounted the defense that would see him through to victory — portraying the issue as fundamentally a private family matter rather than a topic of urgent public concern.

“I intend to reclaim my family life for my family,” he said. “It’s nobody’s business but ours. Even presidents have private lives. It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life.”

To this line of argument, Republicans offered what was fundamentally the wrong countercharge. They argued that in the effort to spare himself from the personal and marital embarrassment entailed by having the affair exposed, Clinton committed perjury when testifying about the matter in a deposition related to Paula Jones’s lawsuit against him.

What they should have argued was something simpler: A president who uses the power of the Oval Office to seduce a 20-something subordinate is morally bankrupt and contributing, in a meaningful way, to a serious social problem that disadvantages millions of women throughout their lives.

But by and large, they didn’t. So Clinton countered with the now-famous defense: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” Ultimately, most Americans embraced the larger argument that perjury in a civil lawsuit unrelated to the president’s official duties did not constitute high crimes and misdemeanors.

It’s wrong on two levels. First, both things were terrible (and as Flanagan notes above, the behavior with Lewinsky destroyed the credibility of the feminist argument against relationships in the workplace of disparate power). Second, he (as do and did most Democrats) continues to minimize what Clinton did legally. No, he didn’t merely “commit perjury.” He suborned perjury from others, including Betty Currie, Monica Lewinsky, and Linda Tripp, via bribes, and physical threats to the family of the latter. This was a major obstruction of justice in order to prevent another woman upon whom he had predated with the power of the state, from getting a fair trial. And he did this after having taken an oath to see that the laws were faithfully executed. As George Will wrote at the time, Bill Clinton may not have been the worst president, but he was probably one of the worst men to ever be president.

I’m glad that the scales are finally falling from some eyes over this, but some of the blindness persists.

[Update a while later]

If Roy Moore wins, it will be because of Democrats.

[Update a few minutes later]

Michelle Goldberg struggles to figure out what to say.

That can be a problem when you’ve been a lying hypocrite for decades.

[Update late morning]

Flash from the past: Democrats standing and applauding Bill Clinton after his impeachment in 1998. They had no shame. Most of them still don’t.

And “liberals'” sudden condemnation of Bill Clinton is cynical and self serving. No kidding.

Roy Moore

A lot of people are calling him a pedophile. He’s an awful human being, but he’s not that. I got into a stupid Twitter war this morning on that issue.

A pedophile is someone who has a desire for sex with actual children (and by children, I mean people who have not attained puberty, not teenagers). We have seen no evidence of that. But for simply pointing that out, I was accused of being one myself for “defending” him (I’m not, and I didn’t defend him, other than to point out that his attempted statutory rape is not pedophilia). And because I have a mustache.

Contra what so many confidently and ignorantly informed me, pedophilia has nothing to do with the age of the perp. It doesn’t matter how old Moore was when he attempted sex with these young women (and yes, a female who has started menstruating is a young woman, not a “child,” though she may be emotionally). All that matters is the age of the victim.