Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. No One, Other Than Trump Supporters, Is Going to Jail: Change My Mind

 

Sorry, but that is likely true, to the deep peril of our constitutional republic. I appreciate Attorney General Barr’s willingness to step up, knowing he would be trashed, yet I doubt he has the sort of strength and clarity of purpose to enforce equal justice. Susan Quinn was right on point about the detestable Andrew Weissmann, who should have been disbarred long ago. So what is to be done?

As another writer here on Ricochet observed earlier this year in “Barr Sets the Bar:”

At least 10 years now, maybe 20, we’ve needed an ethical, tough son-of-a-gun with the mental acuity of a SCOTUS justice in the AG chair. Boys and girls, I think we’ve got one, one who will do the right thing at the right time for the right reason. An AG who can balance what the law requires with what the country needs to know, no more and no less…all of which makes him an AG I can believe. Here’s hoping we can keep him long enough to finish the much-needed clean-up on Aisle 9.

I’m thinking everyone will be disappointed. AG Barr painted a scenario several times in the interview of self-deluded members of government sincerely believing they were justified but being horribly wrong. So, unless you get to criminal statutes without an intent component, all you get is an oh-so-stern finger-wagging and maybe referral for bar committee discipline. Fat chance the relevant lawyers would not politically rule for their fellow #resistance members.

Perhaps even Barr does not get that anything short of predawn raids and at least equal legal coercion, with the aid of sympathetic judges, is actually license for the next assault on our constitutional republic. Yet, he has clearly identified the threat of a “Praetorian Guard.” He made that point repeatedly in the CBS interview.

Norman Podhoretz has made the stakes of the 2020 election clear, speaking from his long decades of bitter experience with our political class. From an electoral politics perspective, holding off on the institutional house-cleaning for a few more months makes the issue fresh for the 2020 election. However, the institutional players are strongly motivated to avoid any real accountability, any real blame attaching to their beloved organizations. So, President Trump should immediately give two clear, simple points of guidance to Attorney General Barr.

First, the president should write that the American people deserve the full story, and have got less than half of it, before the 2020 election season. That is, the Democrats deserve to know all the cards that could possibly come out on their own party and partisans in the institutions. Accordingly, the Department of Justice, with 100% cooperation from all agencies, must deliver completed investigations and recommendations for prosecution or other disciplinary action no later than 1 January 2020.

To accomplish this, all vacation days, all weekends, must be canceled. No conferences, no workshops, not trips for “professional development,” not until the work is done. All personnel with any competence in the relevant areas of law must be pulled in from around the country. Work must be carried out 24/7 in shifts. There are no days off in the face of a terrorist threat, and now there must be no days off in the face of this clear and present danger to our election system. No more running out clocks, as every delay is time away from FBI and DOJ members’ families.

Second, the president should write that William Barr will, in the end, sit in front of a camera with graphics and walk through the decisions to investigate or not, to prosecute or not, to raid or not, for the whole mess. He will expressly address how he, as the one man responsible in the end for ensuring his agency truly applies justice equally, has equaled out the decisions made since 2016. Either he orders the same treatment for the Democrats team or he compensates the targets of Mueller, or Andrew Weissman.

Either he bankrupts Democrats with legal fees, after catching them in perjury traps, or he unilaterally offers to have the government make President Trump’s supporters like General Flynn whole. Either he rolls heavy teams, with body armor and automatic weapons in dawn raids, or he fires FBI and DOJ personnel who “just followed orders” and publicly apologizes to Paul Manifort and his wife. Equal justice must be visible and seen as such by the American public.

All of this should be in a clearly written presidential directive, a real legal document that compels action, not a series of tweets and verbal rants. If this seems a bit much, consider the Norman Podhoretz interview. He, not a “Trump pom-pom boy,” plainly called the 2020 election a culminating, decisive battle in what he called a [cultural/political] war. His current assessment aligns with the Flight 93 election thesis. If this seems a bit extreme and too risky, consider Michael Barone’s assessment in “Sometimes Parties Have to Change to Thrive or Even to Survive:”

Increasingly, the split now is between what the British analyst David Goodhart calls the Anywheres and the Somewheres. The Anywheres are the high-education metropolitan elites…and their less affluent neighbors, plus racial minorities. Somewheres tend to be less educated and located in the heartland countryside, where their families have been for generations.

…It may be that, by nominating and now almost unanimously supporting Trump despite his break from party ideology on immigration and trade, Republicans have enabled their party to transition beyond the old 1990-2010 alignments and adapt to the emerging division between Anywheres and Somewheres.

President Trump is a symptom, a consequence, not in himself a cause, of changing politics both here and abroad. If he is possibly to win reelection, or not, he needs to follow his brand of keeping his political promises. He got in to deal with dysfunctional, gridlocked government. He has time and again done things that politicians promised or mouthed support for over the decades. Now he has a chance to actually clean up powerful agencies that were last cleaned up after Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War (see the Church Committee reports). Once again, President Trump might go well by doing good.

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  1. RightAngles Member

    I can’t exactly say it will do any good to write to our senators, but I know one thing: If we don’t see some perp walks, the Republic is gone. The Rule of Law is dead. I don’t know if the Dems have something on Barr or if he’s just another neocon Bush guy or what, but the fate of the country is in his hands. I hope he knows that.

    • #1
    • August 31, 2019, at 7:47 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  2. Skyler Coolidge

    I’d be almost content if the malefactors were simply fired. I’m not sure how so many people stay in their positions while working against the administration. Civil Service laws are a perversion of our government. Trump should simply fire such people en masse and pay the fines and penalties for not doing it properly.

    But what we really need is to just get rid of the positions they fill.

    Putting them in jail would be really nice, but no one seems to have the stomach for it; They’re willing to allow our republic to be undermined instead.

    • #2
    • August 31, 2019, at 8:54 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Boss Mongo Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    I can’t exactly say it will do any good to write to our senators, but I know one thing: If we don’t see some perp walks, the Republic is gone. The Rule of Law is dead. I don’t know if the Dems have something on Barr or if he’s just another neocon Bush guy or what, but the fate of the country is in his hands. I hope he knows that.

    Let’s wait and see what Durham (sp?) turns up. Everything I’ve read, he’s a quiet badass that gets to it. Barr pulled him in. My understanding is that he’s already empaneled a grand jury (talking out of my tookus, here, I could be totally wrong about that).

    Barr et. al. get the benefit of the doubt for now. I think he’s going to drop the shithammer on some folks in the near future. We’ll see.

    • #3
    • August 31, 2019, at 9:05 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  4. Randy Webster Member

    I think the title of your post is totally correct.

    • #4
    • August 31, 2019, at 9:59 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  5. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Justice delayed is justice denied. It took McCabe a few hours to open an official obstruction on Trump after Comey was fired. The FBIs can work really fast, when they are covering their own asses.

    • #5
    • August 31, 2019, at 10:00 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  6. Steve C. Member

    I’ve girded my loins for disappointment for the last two years.

    The only hope on the horizon is a lot of people will be torqued up over the lack of justice. I don’t think the elites have any idea how important people view equal treatment under the law as a national ideal.

    • #6
    • August 31, 2019, at 10:23 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  7. Guruforhire Member

    Prosecutions or resignations.

    The legitimacy of the state is swirling the toilet bowl and Barr/Trump need to start taking it seriously.

    • #7
    • September 1, 2019, at 4:20 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  8. I Walton Member

    If the first guys put on the block for one of many issues get off does that help with cooperation or hurt? I don’t know. But Barr knows more than the rest of us and lesser folks, especially from among this bunch, may feel more vulnerable. We have to make noise, just in case, but shouldn’t go too far.

    • #8
    • September 1, 2019, at 5:07 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Stad Thatcher

    This is a tough one. I’d like to think Barr isn’t going to prosecute unless he’s sure he can get a conviction. However, a trial itself would be punishment enough for anyone who uses his office to advance a political agenda, and especially if that agenda is to overturn the outcome of an election.

    I say Barr should prosecute . . .

    • #9
    • September 1, 2019, at 5:50 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Skyler Coolidge

    Stad (View Comment):

    This is a tough one. I’d like to think Barr isn’t going to prosecute unless he’s sure he can get a conviction. However, a trial itself would be punishment enough for anyone who uses his office to advance a political agenda, and especially if that agenda is to overturn the outcome of an election.

    I say Barr should prosecute . . .

    Yes, it’s for a jury to decide, in the end.

    • #10
    • September 1, 2019, at 5:57 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. philo Member

    If only there was a principled and vocal subset of at least one party that truly was for defending democracy and the rule of law. Alas, these twits are really nothing more than opportunistic, conspicuous posers. Their silence [is] deafening….

    • #11
    • September 1, 2019, at 6:24 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  12. PHCheese Member

    I think a whole bunch of people are guilty of treason but could you ever get a jury to convict? Half of the jury would see these scum as heroes. Another problem is the plot is very complex. Finding 12 people to even follow would be monumental.

    • #12
    • September 1, 2019, at 6:29 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. Skyler Coolidge

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    I think a whole bunch of people are guilty of treason but could you ever get a jury to convict? Half of the jury would see these scum as heroes. Another problem is the plot is very complex. Finding 12 people to even follow would be monumental.

    It’s not a complicated story that lies were submitted to the FISA court. But then, the judge in that court is free to take action all by himself.

    • #13
    • September 1, 2019, at 6:36 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I simply will not give up on some kind of punishment. I admit that jail is unlikely, but losing pensions, losing jobs, being de-barred–that should be the very least in outcomes.

    I have a hard time understanding why more won’t happen. Barr indicated a while ago that he wanted this challenge–that was why he returned. He personally shouldn’t care about the political or personal consequences. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he resigned after it’s all over. And why can’t he go for jail time if they broke the law? Yes, it will cost us a great deal of money when people fight it, but don’t we need to send the most powerful message that what they did is unconscionable? Will Barr really say that he couldn’t do any more than a slap on the hand? How will this man, who seems to be a man of conscience, do any less than the most he can do??

    • #14
    • September 1, 2019, at 7:34 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  15. Boss Mongo Member

    @susanquinn, you’re a cockeyed optimist. But that’s a good look for you.

    • #15
    • September 1, 2019, at 7:51 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. Boss Mongo Member

    DonG (View Comment):
    Justice delayed is justice denied. It took McCabe a few hours to open an official obstruction on Trump after Comey was fired. The FBIs can work really fast, when they are covering their own asses.

    @dong: Yes, and things move slower when you’re acting correctly, within the bounds of the law, regulations, and policy. There’s a friction between acting in a timely manner and assuring that all appropriate oversight and supervisory measures are in play. Err on one side of that spectrum and you’ve set conditions for accusations of going rogue, cowboy, or over zealousness. Err on the other side and it’s sloth, apathy or negligence.

    • #16
    • September 1, 2019, at 7:58 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. Skyler Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I simply will not give up on some kind of punishment. I admit that jail is unlikely, but losing pensions, losing jobs, being de-barred–that should be the very least in outcomes.

    I have a hard time understanding why more won’t happen. Barr indicated a while ago that he wanted this challenge–that was why he returned. He personally shouldn’t care about the political or personal consequences. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he resigned after it’s all over. And why can’t he go for jail time if they broke the law? Yes, it will cost us a great deal of money when people fight it, but don’t we need to send the most powerful message that what they did is unconscionable? Will Barr really say that he couldn’t do any more than a slap on the hand? How will this man, who seems to be a man of conscience, do any less than the most he can do??

    I think the reason is that both parties can be found to be complicit to some degree.

    • #17
    • September 1, 2019, at 8:27 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Nobody is going to jail. Maybe some low level nobody loses a job. But nobody of consequence is going to jail.

    • #18
    • September 1, 2019, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Clifford A. Brown: So, unless you get to criminal statutes without an intent component, all you get is a oh-so-stern finger wagging and maybe referral for bar committee discipline.

    The espionage law that Hillary and her server violated are just such a statute.

    • #19
    • September 1, 2019, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Jim George Member

    Clifford A. Brown: President Trump is a symptom, a consequence, not in himself a cause, of changing politics both here and abroad. If he is possibly to win reelection, or not, he needs to follow his brand of keeping his political promises. He got in to deal with dysfunctional, gridlocked government. He has time and again done things that politicians promised or mouthed support for over the decades. Now he has a chance to actually clean up powerful agencies that were last cleaned up after Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War (see the Church Committee reports). Once again, President Trump might go well by doing good.

    This is an excellent piece of invaluable analysis and is very much appreciated. While I do not have a high-powered polling apparatus at my beck and call, I do try to read a lot and, based on what I am seeing, there is forming a real wave of resentment against our so-called “Elite betters”, with apologies to Dr. Sowell, who not only never seem to pay a price or be held even to the slightest degree accountable, but also seem to profit, in some cases enormously, from offenses which are right out there for all to see. For a long time I thought maybe I was just being a “gloom and doom” pessimist seeing shadows everywhere, but if my powers of observation have not completely failed me, I see more and more evidence that many share my, and your, concerns.

    Thanks again for this fine piece of writing. 

    Sincerely, Jim

    • #20
    • September 1, 2019, at 9:14 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  21. DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… Coolidge

    Steve C. (View Comment):
    The only hope on the horizon is a lot of people will be torqued up over the lack of justice.

    How about a march on Washington? An Equal Justice march instead of a silly “social justice” march. Think we can get two million down there?

    • #21
    • September 1, 2019, at 9:31 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  22. DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… Coolidge

    philo (View Comment):

    If only there was a principled and vocal subset of at least one party that truly was for defending democracy and the rule of law. Alas, these twits are really nothing more than opportunistic, conspicuous posers. Their silence if deafening….

    If only they would be silent. Instead they’re just carrying water for their Democrat pals.

    • #22
    • September 1, 2019, at 9:33 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    DonG (View Comment):

    Justice delayed is justice denied. It took McCabe a few hours to open an official obstruction on Trump after Comey was fired. The FBIs can work really fast, when they are covering their own asses.

    Precisely.

     

    • #23
    • September 1, 2019, at 4:16 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  24. Al Sparks Thatcher

    What I would rather see is some changes to the criminal statutes and give federal prosecutors less discretion, especially in the area of obstruction of justice.

    I’d go so far as to say that there should be no penalty for lying to a law enforcement officer, unless you are the one to approach him (e.g. filing a wrongful police report, or causing a SWAT team to invade your neighbor’s home through a false report).

    You can only be criminally charged for perjury, where you are placed before a judge to testify and you lie.

    It’s significant that the Mueller investigation consisted of 6 months determining there was no collusion, and a year and a half investigating obstruction of justice. That sounds too much like revenge for not getting the desired outcome.

    Federal law enforcement, including prosecutors in the justice department have shown they are not worthy of our trust. They should collectively pay for that as an institution.

    • #24
    • September 1, 2019, at 6:30 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  25. Skyler Coolidge

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
     

    What I would rather see is some changes to the criminal statutes and give federal prosecutors less discretion, especially in the area of obstruction of justice.

    Amen.

    • #25
    • September 1, 2019, at 6:42 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    I think a whole bunch of people are guilty of treason but could you ever get a jury to convict? Half of the jury would see these scum as heroes. Another problem is the plot is very complex. Finding 12 people to even follow would be monumental.

    In general, juries are very professional. 

    • #26
    • September 1, 2019, at 8:05 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. RightAngles Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    I think a whole bunch of people are guilty of treason but could you ever get a jury to convict? Half of the jury would see these scum as heroes. Another problem is the plot is very complex. Finding 12 people to even follow would be monumental.

    In general, juries are very professional.

    I agree with this. I think that as much as people joke and complain about jury duty, once they’re serving on a jury and have been sworn in by a judge, they take it very seriously, and they have pride in what they do.

    • #27
    • September 1, 2019, at 9:09 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  28. Judge Mental Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    I think a whole bunch of people are guilty of treason but could you ever get a jury to convict? Half of the jury would see these scum as heroes. Another problem is the plot is very complex. Finding 12 people to even follow would be monumental.

    In general, juries are very professional.

    I agree with this. I think that as much as people joke and complain about jury duty, once they’re serving on a jury and have been sworn in by a judge, they take it very seriously, and they have pride in what they do.

    My experience as well.

    • #28
    • September 1, 2019, at 10:11 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Consider Byron York’s assessment of what the IG memo revealed, and what Barr chose to let slide:

    Yes, Comey did leak classified information

    The new report from the Justice Department inspector general proves beyond any doubt that fired FBI Director James Comey leaked sensitive law enforcement material in the Trump-Russia investigation. Doing so set a “dangerous example” for the bureau’s other employees, Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote.

    Still, Comey’s supporters have claimed exoneration on one front: that Comey did not leak classified information. Some reacted angrily when President Trump tweeted that Comey had done so.

    But Comey did, in fact, leak classified information. It’s right there in the report. It wasn’t much classified information, and it was perhaps not terribly important, and Justice Department officials concluded it was not worth prosecuting. But Comey leaked classified material.

    Then consider Scott Johnson of Power Line’s larger assessment, with extensive links:

    Trump was FBI Target

    Even worse, taken at face value, the Steele Dossier rather obviously appears to constitute Russian disinformation. Did Barack Obama, John Brennan, and James Comey take it at face value? I doubt that they really believed that Christopher Steele picked up the phone and got the lowdown on Trump from the friends of Vladimir Putin. You have got to be kidding me.

    In my view McCarthy’s analysis of the dossier in the book belies the good faith he attributes to Comey et al. McCarthy nevertheless provides the reader all the information necessary to arrive at his own conclusion on this poin

    • #29
    • September 2, 2019, at 1:08 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  30. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    I can’t exactly say it will do any good to write to our senators, but I know one thing: If we don’t see some perp walks, the Republic is gone. The Rule of Law is dead. I don’t know if the Dems have something on Barr or if he’s just another neocon Bush guy or what, but the fate of the country is in his hands. I hope he knows that.

    Let’s wait and see what Durham (sp?) turns up. Everything I’ve read, he’s a quiet badass that gets to it. Barr pulled him in. My understanding is that he’s already empaneled a grand jury (talking out of my tookus, here, I could be totally wrong about that).

    Barr et. al. get the benefit of the doubt for now. I think he’s going to drop the shithammer on some folks in the near future. We’ll see.

    The problem is Durham’s a badass on the clock, in that he only has 15 months to get the job done, and where cooperation of any of those targeted could depend on Trump’s re-election chances.

    They’re going to hold out if they think the Democrats are going to win next November, and will probably be sending Durham back channel messages letting him know his career as a federal prosecutor is over if he fast-tracks the investigation (if he’s a true badass, any threat like that might actually speed things up, but then it depends on how fast his investigators go, and there may still be some career people at the FBI who see no problem in slow-walking the probe, so that any action against Comey, McCabe, Brennan and the others can’t possibly be taken until 2021).

    • #30
    • September 2, 2019, at 4:13 AM PDT
    • 3 likes

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