There was an unspoken question as Donald Trump mounted the podium for last night’s State of the Union message: Is Robert Mueller’s endless investigation aimed at impeaching the wrong President?
The breathless back-and-forth news reporting from the nation’s capital last week focused on the four-page memo — long classified and unreleased — written by GOP members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). That memo and three major congressional investigations, according to University of Chicago professor Charles Lipson, “center on credible allegations that the FBI and DOJ fixed the investigation of Hillary Clinton to clear her and her top associates, and then launched an investigation of Donald Trump for partisan political reasons.”
Among the possible constellation of federal crimes: high-level corruption and obstruction of justice; using a fraudulent “Russian dossier” to obtain FISA warrants to wiretap incoming Trump administration personalities; the equally illegal unmasking and leaking of their identities; and the free-swinging use of “sources and methods” by the nation’s intelligence agencies to go after political opponents of the deep state.
All of these are, at best, unproven allegations to this point. Former CIA director and defense secretary Robert Gates appeared on NBC News last weekend to dismiss lurid allegations of cabals and secret societies as the inventions of “rogue politicians.” To no one’s surprise, CNN dismissed all such speculation as distractions from Robert Mueller’s investigation.
But because the locus of those crimes points squarely back at the person of Barack Obama, it is understandable that Democratic stalwarts like Rep. Adam Schiff, HPSCI Ranking Minority Member, strongly attacked the GOP memo as “political” and “profoundly misleading.” But what astounded many was that Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd promptly came down against release of the HPSCI memo without prior DOJ approval. As Kimberly Strassel observed pointedly in The Wall Street Journal, “…it is Mr. Boyd’s position that that the Justice Department gets to provide oversight of Congress. The Constitution has it the other way around.”
Why such stalwart opposition from an assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice? Former FBI agent and Marine John Ligato had an ominous answer: “The FBI is experiencing its greatest crisis…J. Edgar Hoover may have kept intel files on enemies but never attempted a government coup.”
Other fissures suddenly widened in DOJ’s crenelated institutional armor with the publication of voluminous text messages between two FBI agents, Peter Strzok and his paramour Lisa Page. In their passion, neither partner remembered the basics of operational security nor any notion of professional ethics. As with any treasure trove of signals intelligence, the carefully guarded insights of deep-state motivations were suddenly laid bare for all to see.
A former prosecutor, Andrew McCarthy, was first to connect the dots, revealing that former President Barack Obama had his own “pseudonymous email account” and had “repeatedly communicated with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her own private non-secure email account.” Therefore, the guilt or innocence of Hillary Clinton was equally that of Barack Obama, meaning that the former president was compelled to be a deeply involved co-conspirator in an ‘exoneration’ that contradicted every fact.
Deception piled upon deception, from James Comey’s serial reviews and round-robin editing of a “finding” he claimed was solely his own to the scandalous airport tarmac meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton (allegedly to discuss their grandchildren). The non-prosecution of Hillary meant that Obama’s role was covered up, too. “It all worked like a charm…except the part where Mrs. Clinton wins the presidency and the problem is never spoken of again.”
When Donald Trump unexpectedly won instead, Team Clinton and Team Obama, together with their co-religionists in the mainstream media, Hollywood, academe and establishment elites, moved quickly to Plan B. Hillary’s election had not been lost but stolen through Russian manipulations with the complicity of Donald Trump. The Plan B strategy was carried out through the subtle but devastating dirty tricks presumably laid out by that GOP/HPSCI memo. But with an assist from James Comey, the stage was set for the Robert Mueller Show, a scene-stealing diversion that Richard Nixon would have admired.
But the crimes of Barack Obama will occupy a unique place in American history, from the serial lies surrounding Benghazi to Operation Fast and Furious and the weaponization of the Internal Revenue Service. Just ask former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson. When her investigative journalism uncovered the truth behind those events, her personal computers were subjected to systematic penetration and manipulation — like something you might see on “The X-Files.” But her enemies were not fictional but bureaucratic, subtle calling cards of deep-state manipulators empowered by a rogue White House.
The true state of the union right now is confused, deeply conflicted and mutually suspicious.
Colonel Kenneth Allard is a former Army intelligence officer, West Point professor and military analyst for NBC News.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.