Congressional Democrats are engaged in a series of secret hearings as part of an impeachment-style process, attempting to manufacture the political conditions for an actual impeachment and potential election-year removal of a sitting president.
Those who object to calling this a coup might imagine that coups must involve people in uniforms hauling bedraggled deposed politicians from their offices, tanks in the streets, perfunctory announcements read by nervous journalists, and so forth, all the panoply of coups in the developing world. But coups can take other forms, and the term is appropriate whenever entrenched interests work actively against the will of the people and Constitutional processes to overthrow a government.
We have seen this coup process unfolding since even before President Trump took office. The first stage was during the 2016 election, when the plotters such as former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tried to ease the installation of Hillary Clinton as president by ensuring she paid no price, political or otherwise, for her sketchy dealings as secretary of state, and how she kept everything secret through the use of her illegal home-brew email server. They were also working hard to undermine Trump’s campaign through an unprecedented campaign of domestic and international spying, abusing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, collecting information on Trump and his associates and circulating the discredited, Clinton-funded Steele dossier.
This stage failed spectacularly, in part through blunders from the plotters themselves, most noteworthy being James Comey reopening and then closing the Clinton “matter” in the week before the election. That was back when the Democrats wanted Comey’s scalp; his elevation to sainthood would come later. (RELATED: Gorka: My Exclusive Interview With President Donald Trump)
The second stage of the plot took place during the transition, when Obama administration officials engaged the “insurance policy” mentioned by anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok, unmasking the names of American citizens in NSA databases, spreading unverified, raw information from intelligence sources around the government, leaking the Steele dossier, embedding Obama/Clinton loyalists at high levels in the White House professional staff, and using transition interviews to continue to collect information with a view towards setting up President elect Trump and others in entrapment schemes. This was how they took out Michael Flynn for example.
The third stage took place in the first months of the Trump administration, when you saw various nutty schemes like former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe opening a counter-intelligence operation aimed at the president; seeking to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office (where former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to wear a wire to collect information on the president, a bizarre act of insubordination); and most seriously James Comey illicitly engineering conditions for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the president.
This set up the fourth stage, the Mueller investigation, a two-year witch hunt costing millions of dollars that ultimately failed in its mission to make the case that President Trump “colluded” with Russia during the 2016 election and obstructed justice in the investigation of the crimes that did not exist. The Mueller period spawned countless “bombshell” headlines that turned out to be baseless, saw journalists win major awards for reporting that turned out to be flawed, and generally served to distract and hobble the Trump administration in its day to day duties. In the end the Mueller investigation was a spectacular failure on the part of the coup plotters, and Mueller himself in his Congressional testimony did not come across as the steely-eyed avenger the left had hoped for, but a befuddled man past his prime with a poor grasp of the facts of the case.
Any reasonable person might have thought that this would be the end of the plots to remove the president, but we are not dealing with reasonable people. Now we have the fifth stage of the coup, in which Democrats, led by Adam Schiff of California, have perverted and weaponized the whistle-blower process to create a supposed scandal to justify an unprecedented impeachment-style proceeding that is purposefully being kept secret from the American people. Anti-Trump operatives inside the government have been enlisted to work with Democratic Congressional staff to manufacture rationales for this circus, based on a harmless July 25, 2019 conversation between President Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.
This stage has produced tremendous impeachment buzz – with the cooperation of wiling media outlets such as CNN, whose president Jeff Zucker has decided that impeachment is the story regardless of the facts. And it is likely that Democrats will keep this process going well into next year, using secret testimony from prepared “witnesses” and badgering administration officials at every turn. We even have Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib threatening that White House officials who resist this sketchy process will be arrested and detained, which would bring us measurably closer to the kind of Third World coup that fits the stereotype.
Polls show people getting tired of the endless investigations, seeing this as an inside-the-beltway exercise, divorced from the actual concerns of the American people. Democrats are setting up an unprecedented election-year impeachment which paradoxically could become a kind of campaign ad for the Trump reelection effort. Democrats think they can control the process, but they cannot. (RELATED: I Worked On The Clinton Impeachment — And Trump Is Not Impeachable)
We also still have actual bombshells coming, such as the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on FISA abuse, the ever-expanding investigation by John Durham into the origins of the Russian collusion hoax and declassified documents awaiting release. The deep state is furiously trying to get ahead of these revelations, which will expose more fully the inner workings of coup attempts.
Democrats at this stage could simply go to the polls with their best candidate and trust the American people to decide whether Donald Trump should remain president. But Democrats don’t trust the American people, who disappointed them so severely in 2016. And the Trump presidency has been remarkably successful despite the best efforts of those who have been trying to take him down. So the coup must continue.
Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch, a nonprofit watchdog group. He previously worked as a counterintelligence case officer.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.