Streetwise Professor

May 5, 2018

Coup by Pretext

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 6:04 pm

The Fourth Branch of Government (the professional bureaucracy, especially its law enforcement and intelligence branches) seems incapable of doing anything in a forthright manner, acting instead like a cast of sidling crabs.  This perhaps reflects the fact that it has arrogated to itself this status, it being found nowhere in the Constitution, thus making it necessary to act by indirection.

The battle between the bureaucracy and the president, ostensibly over the “Russia investigation” is an ongoing (and going and going and going) illustration of this phenomenon.  Virtually every action undertaken by various bureaucrats that has advanced the investigation has been justified by a pretext that has nothing whatsoever to do with the real motives:

  • A supposed violation of the hoary–and never enforced–Logan Act was a pretext for Sally Yates to order the unmasking of  Michael Flynn. (Hey Sally–no doubt if you were still in office you’d be siccing the dogs on John Kerry, right? Right?)
  • The same supposed violation was a pretext for Yates to order the FBI to conduct an ambush interview of Flynn.
  • The inconsistency between Flynn’s statement to the FBI and the NSA intercept of his conversation with the Russian ambassador was a pretext to prosecute him, in the hope of getting him to roll on Trump, and at the very least, give Mueller a scalp to justify his investigation.
  • The dossier, with its farcical claim that Igor Sechin had offered Trump via Carter Page either (a) a 20 percent stake in Rosneft, or (b) a brokerage fee on the 20 percent stake (which is hard to say, given the idiotic wording of the dossier) was used as a pretext to get a FISA warrant on Page. (By the way, as @soncharm points out to me on Twitter, how could Qatar buy a stake in Rosneft if it had been promised to Carter Page? Great question! :-P)
  • The FISA warrant on Page was a pretext to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign.
  • The Comey briefing of Trump on the dossier was a pretext to leak it to the media.
  • Comey’s memos to himself, and the leak thereof, were a pretext intended to lead to the appointment of a special counsel.
  • As US District Court Judge T.S. Ellis scathingly noted in a hearing yesterday, Mueller’s prosecution of Paul Manafort for crimes bearing absolutely zero connection with the ostensible purpose of the Mueller inquiry is a pretext to pressure him into rolling on Trump.
  • Mueller’s apparently focus on obstruction of justice is a pretext to continue an inquiry that has apparently failed to find any evidence of the turpitude he was charged to investigate.
  • Stormy Daniels was used as a pretext to conduct a raid on Trump’s lawyer.
  • Rob Rosenstein’s and the FBI’s repeated claims of national security to justify refusal to produce documents or the heavy-handed redaction of the documents that they grudgingly do produce are merely pretexts to cover up their dubious behavior. (By the way, I am more convinced by the day that Rosenstein is the Iago in this entire affair.  On Thursday, I asked how given his involvement in many aspects of case–such as his involvement in the Page warrant–Rosenstein did not recuse himself.  Judge Ellis asked the same thing on Friday.  The guy is conflicted out the wazoo.  Recusal is required at a bear minimum.)

Indeed, the entire Russia collusion investigation is merely a pretext for the Fourth Branch’s rebellion against the elected president.

The repeated reliance on subterfuge and pretext is prima facie evidence of dishonorable motives and conduct by public “servants” who believe themselves to be rightfully masters, accountable to no one.  The pervasiveness of this conduct demonstrates that the importance of this issue transcends Trump.  It calls into question whether the federal government is in fact accountable, and subject to Constitutional checks and balances.  Indeed, it is worse than that: it largely answers that question, and the answer is disturbing indeed.

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  1. The professional bureaucracy has total contempt for their political overlords, they will do as they feel is appropriate and suits their personal agenda.
    That English comedy “Yes Minister” really is an excellent take on their superior attitude to all but themselves.

    Comment by Peter — May 5, 2018 @ 10:10 pm

  2. From where I sit, and for what it’s worth, the whole Mueller thing is vile, vicious, unwarranted, unbelievable and a huge waste of taxpayer expense.

    It looks to me like:
    1) they want to find out how to get wealthy, by “investigating” Trump
    2) they want to find out how to get sex

    “Her” – Cankles the Cackling Hippo in a Pandersuit – and Soros and the rest of the left who want to turn this country into a “managed democracy” – just like what Putler has – lost. They have invented a gazillion and one excuses for why “her” lost. Trump exploded their lies and mythology, and they can’t stand it. The best example of that – Fauxcahontas.

    Everything they have thrown at the presidency – because this is not just about Trump, as you point out – has not worked.

    But – the latest wet dream of the left is that Stormy Who will “cause” the resignation of Trump see – actually don’t see – the opening of SNL for May 5. SNL has not been funny since Garrett Morris was on the show.

    Is the federal government accountable? According to the Constitution, Congress has oversight responsibilities, as you point out, SWP.

    If that is thwarted, then this country will turn into something worse than “managed democracy” – and it will have an unelected Politburo running everything, complete with 3 am raids by the FBI on lawyers and citizens.

    Just like the NKVD/KGB used to do.

    By the way, Ukraine, a former sovok republic, passed a law outlawing such middle-of-the-night raids.

    Comment by elmer — May 6, 2018 @ 7:54 am

  3. This is the best and most succinct analysis of this shameful episode.

    Bravo, SWP!

    Comment by marco — May 6, 2018 @ 3:21 pm

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