May 8, 2018

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Trump Land Mine.

After the 2016 election, the so-called deep state was confident that it had the power easily to either stop, remove, or delegitimize the outlier Donald Trump and his presidency.

Give it credit, the Washington apparat quite imaginatively pulled out all the stops: implanting Obama holdover appointees all over the Trump executive branch; filing lawsuits and judge shopping; organizing the Resistance; pursuing impeachment writs; warping the FISA courts; weaponizing the DOJ and FBI; attempting to disrupt the Electoral College; angling for enactment of the 25th Amendment or the emoluments clause; and unleashing Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley, and many in Wall Street to suffocate the Trump presidency in its infancy.

But now the administrative state’s multifaceted efforts are starting to unwind, and perhaps even boomerang, on the perpetrators. If a federal judge should end up throwing out most of the indictments of Paul Manafort on the rationale that they have nothing much to do with the original mandate of the special counsel’s office, or if Michael Flynn’s confession to giving false statements is withdrawn successfully because the FBI politicized its investigation and FISA courts were misled in approving the surveillance of Flynn, then the Mueller investigation will implode.

Indeed, the Mueller investigation would likely lose so much public support that the Department of Justice could probably dismiss it with impunity. So, in an ironic sense, Mueller’s overreach might well end once and for all the absurdities of the special counsel/prosecutor law that for nearly half a century has plagued the nation.

Until recently, deep-state apparatchiks such as John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe seemed immune from accountability after lying either to Congress or to federal authorities. In a perverse sort of way, the more Robert Mueller plays the role of the obsessed but impotent Inspector Javert, the more he demonstrates that there is no Russian-Trump collusion. Meanwhile, he is establishing precedents that those whom he exempts from his own zeal will inevitably have to account for their own lawbreaking. One cannot justifiably hound Michael Flynn for supposedly misleading FBI agents, when agency investigators were told by Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills that they had known nothing about Hillary Clinton’s private server during her tenure as secretary of state — despite evidence that they themselves had communicated over it (as had the former president of the United States).

Let us hope.

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