Something that has been quite obvious for a long time came to an undeniable head on Tuesday when a jury of Michael Sussmann’s friends — er, peers — found him not guilty of lying to the FBI over the origins of the Trump–Russia hoax:
The jury on Tuesday found Michael Sussmann not guilty of making a false statement to the FBI in September 2016 when he said he was not working on behalf of any client, when he brought information alleging a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
After a two week trial, and more than a day of deliberations, the jury found that Special Counsel John Durham’s team had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Sussmann’s statement was a lie, and that he was, in fact, working on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and technology executive Rodney Joffe when he brought two thumb drives and a white paper alleging a Trump-Russia connection.
Sussmann was charged with one count of making a false statement to the FBI during his meeting with then-FBI General Counsel James Baker on Sept. 19, 2016.
In remarks following the verdict, Sussmann said that he had been falsely accused.
“I told the truth to the FBI, and the Jury clearly recognized this in their unanimous verdict today,” he said. “I’m grateful to the members of the jury for their careful thoughtful service. Despite being falsely accused I believe that Justice ultimately prevailed in my case. As you can imagine this has been a difficult year for my family and me. But right now we are grateful for the love and support of so many during this ordeal.”
Durham issued a terse statement expressing his office’s disappointment.
“While we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank them for their service,” Durham said. “I also want to recognize and thank the investigators and the prosecution team for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth and justice in this case.”
The jury included one federal government employee who told the judge they donated to Democrats in 2016 and another government employee who told the judge they “strongly” dislike former President Trump. Both of those jurors told the judge they could be impartial throughout the trial.
The jury also included a teacher, an illustrator, a mechanic and more. One juror had a child who was on the same high school sports team as Sussmann’s child.
The overwhelming majority of jurors selected told Cooper they had not heard of the case prior to jury service.
Nobody was surprised by this verdict. Everyone knew it was coming. Not because Durham didn’t have a case. His case was rock-solid. He had Sussmann lying to the FBI in writing, and he had Sussmann’s records billing Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the lie. Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook testified, more or less defiantly, that Hillary Clinton herself approved the dissemination of the Trump–Russia hoax propaganda.
Was John Durham’s office simply incompetent in picking a jury? No. That the Sussmann jury was more of a joke than the worst county court in hayseed Appalachia could hope to provide was not the product of his office’s poor jury selection.
This was literally the best jury you could hope for in trying to convict the swamp rats of corruption in the swamp that is Washington, D.C.
The last time I was up there was in October of last year, for The American Spectator’s annual banquet. It was a quick in-and-out trip; I only stayed two nights. The night before the banquet I’d asked around of my friends living in the area if anybody wanted to get together. Nobody wanted to go into the city.
“Come out to Alexandria,” one said. “DC is where I work. When I’m done I come back across the river. You literally have to pay me to enter Washington, DC.”
So I was on my own, and I figured I’d wander around a little around the Trump International Hotel, where I was staying (and where the event was to be held). I happened to find a bar a couple of blocks from the hotel called Harry’s Pub, which looked like the kind of comfortable watering hole worth having a drink in and chatting up the locals.
Interestingly enough, the place was full of normal people. I found that interesting and did a search for it, and found this unintentionally hilarious write-up at the snooty Washingtonian magazine:
Harry’s in the Hotel Harrington downtown is a go-to drinking spot and gathering place for Trump’s supporters, including the Proud Boys. On Saturday, as the President’s fans gathered to protest the election results, clashes between the far-right group and anti-Trump protestors erupted nearby, resulting in four stabbings with serious injuries.
Harry’s has become a popular hangout for the younger MAGA crowd over the last few years, in part because it’s close to the Trump hotel but has much more affordable drinks. The pub was packed with Trump supporters after the Million MAGA March in November, with patrons singing “God Bless the USA” and waving a big blue lives matter flag in the street out front. Few wore masks.
The dive-y watering hole has repeatedly violated DC’s Covid safety restrictions. Harry’s was socked with $2,000 in fines for unsafe conditions on the weekend of the MAGA march, including insufficient table spacing and “unmasked patrons standing and talking and no social distancing,” according to the inspection report. A month earlier, the District issued two separate warnings to Harry’s for similar offenses after President Trump retweeted a video showing maskless supporters in the bar cheering and fist-bumping police. No further warnings or citations were issued over the past 24 hours. If the bar faces a third mask violation, its liquor license will be reviewed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control board.
Oh, no. Not “God Bless the USA” maskless!
Washington is the kind of place Versailles was just before the French Revolution. It is a sewer full of arrogant statist cretins who so hate the people the city governs that they actively pervert the founding American principles just to get at us. Protecting Michael Sussmann was a foregone conclusion.
Nothing about Harry’s Pub is unusual in any other city in America. There are analogs of Harry’s Pubs in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Boston, which exist perfectly well without rioting outside or nasty write-ups about the “Trump bar” in the local society rag. But in Washington, it can’t be allowed without comment.
We cannot be governed by people like this, and a change must be made. Here it is:
All the federal agencies must be moved out of Washington, D.C., and scattered in a wide diaspora across the country. Every one. Back during the Trump administration, it was proposed that the Bureau of Land Management would relocate its headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado, and the Department of Agriculture would move some of its offices to Kansas City. That created an uproar, and of course Team Biden is now ending that experiment.
Trump didn’t go far enough. This Republican majority supposedly coming to power in this November’s elections ought to be willing to go to war with the Biden administration, using the federal budget process, to forcibly drain the Swamp by displacing the 280,000-plus federal employees in Washington elsewhere around the country. Some six in seven federal employees already live and work outside Washington — but those are not the people in charge. The generals must now live among the troops.
The Department of Defense is across the river in Virginia, and even that’s probably too close.
Absolutely all of the others must move. Except Education and Homeland Security — those must be disbanded. Zero their funding, and propose moving some of their functions to other agencies, which would then move out of Washington.
If you want to clean out the Swamp and prevent travesties like what happened in the Sussmann case, the only way to do it is to move the people responsible out and force them to live among regular Americans. (READ MORE: Michael Sussmann Remains Silent)
The Department of Transportation can move to Detroit, where there is cheap office space and large swaths of land suitable for redevelopment to house Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his family, as well as his employees. The Department of Energy could be in New Orleans or Houston or Oklahoma City, or perhaps even better in Midland or Odessa, Texas, places where the production of energy is a significant part of the local economy and the culture in those places is favorable to things like drilling for oil.
The Department of Justice can go somewhere like Philadelphia or Chicago where the corruption is at its worst.
The Department of Commerce should go to Charlotte or Miami or Atlanta, where commerce is valued, or maybe someplace like Newark where there isn’t enough of it.
The State Department should absolutely be in Newark or maybe Jersey City. Or even the Bronx. Those are close enough to the United Nations. But State absolutely cannot continue to be in D.C.; if it is, that would continue the problem of the State Department believing its job is to represent the rest of the world to the United States rather than the reverse.
All of the USDA should be in Kansas City. Or perhaps Topeka. Or Ames, Iowa. Maybe Kearney, Nebraska. The Department of Labor seems like a good candidate for relocation to Flint, Michigan, as the agency and the town deserve each other. If not Flint, then perhaps a different locale, like perhaps Las Cruces, New Mexico, or Del Rio, Texas, where the agency’s management could get a good look at what importing cheap Third World labor through a porous border looks like.
Health and Human Services? Maybe Memphis (FedEx) or Bentonville, Arkansas (Walmart), so that the managers and employees could see what a tightly run ship that doesn’t waste money or provide bad service looks like. Housing and Urban Development? I don’t care where — but make sure it’s in the suburbs. You know all those partisan Democrats working there who insist on stealing your money and redistributing it to their friends in the urban socialist political machines don’t live inside Washington. But if that’s a no-go, then put HUD in St. Louis, Baltimore, or Jackson, Mississippi, so that its people can see the effect of HUD’s policies up close.
The EPA needs to be relocated to Akutan. Where’s that? The Aleutian Islands. It’s a little nippy there in the winter, but what better place to appreciate the environment?
The Department of the Interior should be somewhere like Cheyenne or Helena or Sioux Falls, where the interior of the country is palpable. Not Washington, D.C., where the interior may only be viewed by looking down one’s nose. And the Office of Management and Budget should move to Omaha, where some of America’s best pencil-pushers reside. Either that or Las Vegas, where they really know how to turn a dime into a dollar.
Maybe put the Treasury Department at Fort Knox so they can finally answer for why there hasn’t been any gold there since the James Bond flick came out. And Veterans Affairs should go where there are veterans. San Diego, perhaps, or Killeen, Texas, or maybe Columbus, Georgia.
But get them out of D.C. D.C. needs to become a ghost town where office space and housing is cheaper than anywhere else in the country and the cocktail parties are full of startup entrepreneurs who just moved in to take advantage. Rather that than government bureaucrats who all think alike and can’t find a single thing wrong with anything the Clinton or Obama machines have ever done.
Merely opening this discussion will outrage those 280,000-plus federal princelings. When Trump sought to move BLM and Agriculture to flyover territory, more than half of those affected promised they’d quit.
And that’s a feature, not a bug, considering what the work of the federal government that pays them has done to the rest of us — and what they seem happy to continue doing.