President Donald Trump had a very interesting exchange with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday.
The Trump tweet and the Sessions statement in response give the untrained eye the impression that Sessions is on the outs with the White House, an impression we’ve been encouraged to adopt on several other occasions since Sessions assumed the AG post 13 months ago.
But I don’t think that’s what is going on here at all, and will explain why.
First, here is the text of the presidential tweet in question:
“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!”
And here is the response Sessions issued a bit later in the day:
“We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary. As long as I am the attorney general, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.”
That all seems fairly straightforward, doesn’t it? The media want you to believe the president just burped that tweet out in a fit of pique, and that Sessions, irritated about being once again attacked publicly, just fired off that terse reply to his boss.
But we have seen repeatedly over the past three years that the president doesn’t just toss this stuff up on his Twitter feed for no reason — there is almost always a method behind the seeming madness. To understand what that method is, you have to read between the lines.
So, why not use Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers to investigate the … well, the Justice Department? After all, that’s who was abusing the FISA process. Don’t you think the president, who spent 50 years in the business world, understands the conflict of interest that would create? Of course, he does.
Those DOJ lawyers already have a pretty big investigation load going on related to abuses during the Obama era. Remember, over a three-week period in December and January, Sessions announced his DOJ lawyers would be investigating Uranium One, the FBI’s sham investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email servers, the Clinton Foundation, and the Project Cassandra scandal. It’s safe to assume the president is fully aware of all of these ongoing investigations.
The president is also very much aware that Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz is already investigating FBI and DOJ abuses in the investigation of the Clinton email scandal. That email scandal is directly linked to the FISA abuse scandal, given that both involve several of the same players at FBI, guys with names like Strzok, McCabe and Comey.
It is extremely likely that, during the course of his year-long investigation, Horowitz has already been investigating the abuse of the FISA process — he could hardly help coming across evidence of wrongdoing in that case.
The president correctly states that the IG does not have prosecutorial powers. But he does have the power to make criminal referrals to the Attorney General. What is going to have more public credibility, indictments issued by the Republican DOJ attorneys working for a Republican AG, or indictments sought by the Republican AG on the advice of an IG who, as Trump also reminds us, was appointed by former President Barack Obama?
Then there is this passage from the Sessions statement: “… this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.” What could be more fair and impartial than relying on an Obama appointee with a spotless reputation for fairness and impartiality to conduct these investigations? And who, by the way, every Democrat talking head on TV will spend the next week defending, precisely because of the president’s exchange with his attorney general today.
I think that what we saw on Wednesday from the president and his AG is a bit of Kabuki theater. That exchange was designed to produce exactly the reaction in the Establishment news media that ended up taking place, i.e., a knee jerk among all the Democrat talking heads to defend and praise IG Horowitz as an upright and impartial arbiter of the facts.
The report will likely also include numerous referrals to the attorney general and his staff for prosecution of Obama-era officials.
Why? Well, because it’s likely that we are about to see the release of the IG’s report related to his 14-month investigation, and by that, I mean within the next week. It is likely that that report is going to contain numerous findings of criminal wrongdoing, not only related to the FBI’s fake investigation of the Clinton email server, but to related scandals like Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation. The report will likely also include numerous referrals to the attorney general and his staff for prosecution of Obama-era officials.
The news media, which is just the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party, will have an initial knee-jerk response to go after Horowitz and try to destroy him personally, but that’s going to be pretty hard to do, given that they will have just spent a week praising him to the rafters in their never-ending efforts to try to harm Trump.
That’s a lot of expectations out of a single tweet and a one-paragraph response, but as I said above, the president really doesn’t just toss stuff like this out onto his Twitter account for no reason. There is a method here, and we will find out soon enough what it is.
David Blackmon is a longtime public policy professional who correctly predicted the Trump victory to his clients in 2016, and who has spent the past 18 months providing analysis of the Trump campaign and administration with his Daily Campaign Update.
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