The Bolton Leak — So What? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Bolton Leak — So What?
John Bolton (Michael Vadon/Creative Commons)

You are on a jury. It is a capital murder trial. The punishment for the accused, if found guilty, is the death penalty. But you are not a softie. If the guy committed the murder with premeditation, you not only will vote “guilty” but even will volunteer afterwards to pull the switch yourself. Here is the government’s case:

  1. Jones was given $100,000 in unmarked bills by his dying mother.
  2. He was told by his dying mother to give that money, her life’s savings, to Smith because Smith had been the one to care for her all the past years.
  3. Jones knew for a fact that Smith never had cared for the dying mother. Rather, Smith once tried to sell her a vacuum cleaner 10 years earlier. And she did not buy it.
  4. Jones decided not to hand the cash over to Smith. Instead, Jones told his closest friend, Adams, that he instead would kill Smith and keep the cash.
  5. Jones went out to buy a gun to kill Smith.
  6. He applied for the firearm and bought it.
  7. Jones then went to Smith, gun tucked in his belt under his shirt on the right side.
  8. Jones rang the doorbell, and Smith answered the door.
  9. Jones reached under his shirt, grabbed at his belt, and pulled a moneybag he had secured there on the left side.
  10. In the moneybag was $100,000 in unmarked bills given to him by his dying mother.
  11. Jones gave the $100,000 cash to Smith.
  12. Adams called the police and told them what Jones had told him he was going to do with Smith and the cash.
  13. The police arrested Jones and charged him with murder and grand larceny.
  14. Smith told anyone who asked him about it that he had no idea Jones contemplated killing him.
  15. Smith told anyone who asked about it that he had received the $100,000 from a smiling Jones, that Jones later took him out to a very fancy and expensive dinner, and that Jones sends him a Christmas card every year.
  16. Adams wrote a book about what Jones told him he was going to do.
  17. In their closing argument, the prosecution read Adams’s book to the jury on which you sit.

You are the jury: Death penalty? Guilty? Of what?

Let’s try it another way: A rabbi, a priest, and a pastor meet in a dark back alley in 1920s New York to play an illegal poker game. Think “Guys and Dolls,” only without the songs. The police get tipped off and crash the secret game. They see the cash on the table. As they explain their presence, the priest says, “I wasn’t gambling. I was just collecting some kind donations from my two fellow clergy to help feed some orphaned boys.” The cops then turn to the pastor, who says, “I wasn’t gambling or playing cards. I was just collecting some kind gifts from my two friends here to start a soup kitchen for the hungry.” The frustrated cops next turn to the rabbi and say, “Well, what about it? What’s your alibi for gambling and playing cards here for money?” And the rabbi answers, “Gambling? Playing cards? With whom?”

This whole Pelosi Stillborn Impeachment is turning into a bigger circus every day. Let’s just hypothesize that President Trump said to John Bolton that he would not give Ukraine any funds authorized by Congress until they investigated Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Moe Biden, Larry Biden, Curly Biden, Sneezy Biden, Sleepy Biden, Grumpy Biden, Doc Biden, Bashful Biden, Happy Biden, and of course Dopey Biden. So what?

Seriously, so what? As a matter of undeniable fact, Trump gave the money to Ukraine. He gave it within the time assigned to dispense it. He gave it even though Ukraine did not investigate the Biden Billion Bribery Buying Burisma. Ukraine did not even perceive that Trump had held up any money until Politico wrote it a month later. What’s the problem?

Again — it is all another Democrat smokescreen, coordinated with their Corrupt Journalist Corps. Who cares what Bolton wrote? If he even wrote it. Even if it is true. What’s the difference? Since when do we Americans put people on trial for what they were thinking? They did that in Nazi Europe and in the Soviet Union. Do we do that here? Who cares what Trump wanted to do — but never actually did? Do you know how many men in this country today would be in prison on rape or sexual harassment convictions if they could be tried for things they thought about doing or wanted to do? Jimmy Carter lusted in his heart — how many years’ imprisonment did he get? Do you know how many spouses today would be in prison for murder if they could be convicted for what they contemplated doing before, during, or after divorce proceedings? Do you know how many New York Mets fans would be in prison today if they could be convicted for what they thought of doing or wished they could do — or still would like to do — to Mets management?

Pat Cipollone is too professional when he calls it all “ridiculous.” It is not merely ridiculous. It is crazy. It is insane. (Are people allowed to say it is retarded?) It really is, uh, retrograded.

Every single day some new completely irrelevant issue arises to attack President Trump. For a week, the Corrupt Journalist Corps listened and reported with bated breath to every word that Adam Schiff had to speak, an entire week that was full of Schiff. In my home, in the background, every time Schiff is on TV, I change the channel, go to YouTube, play a bar or two of Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” and then write an op-ed article. For an entire week, the Corrupt Journalist Corps promoted his cheating heart and the weighty comments of Jerrold Nadler. Morbidly weighty. By week’s end, Nadler was calling President Trump a “dictator.” Really crazy, insane, retrograded. A world in which words have absolutely no meaning. Does Nadler even know what a dictator is? They say that people like him never forget. Stalin was a dictator. Hitler was a dictator. Mussolini was a dictator. Mao was a dictator. Pol Pot, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro were dictators. If Trump were a dictator:

  1. We now would have the entire wall erected because Trump simply would have taken the money as he liked, disregarded the Obama Judges, and built all of it.
  2. CNN would be off the air permanently. As would be MSNBC. As would be half the guests on certain Fox News shows.
  3. The New York Times and Washington Post either would no longer be publishing or their new editorial staffs would be publishing only articles that idolize Trump.
  4. Schiff would be sentenced to a punishment so severe that it is hard to fathom: 20 years of speaking only the truth.
  5. Nadler would be, by order of the dictator, on a diet.

It all is absolutely outrageous. Lies, damned lies, more damned lies. No end to the daily lies, the daily exaggerations. Who cares what Bolton wrote? It makes no difference what the president says to his advisers behind closed doors, as he fulminates, contemplates, hypothesizes. Ronald Reagan once was caught on a “hot mike” saying that he would nuke the Soviet Union in a matter of moments. So what? The reason a president has advisers is so that he can confidentially bounce ideas off other people, some who think like him and some who think differently, in order to benefit from a synthesis of perspectives. There is an understood, deep trust akin to the attorney–client privilege when a president speaks his mind to his national security adviser and to others on that team.

The problem is that the modern-day 24-hour news cycle forces cable “news” outlets to lie and exaggerate shamelessly, nonstop, to try to keep viewers from changing the dial. Cable news income is generated by selling ads, and the prices they can charge for ads depend on the number of people watching. So, even though I will not be watching the Super Bowl when it is played in a few weeks, or whenever, enough others will be watching to justify charging Gillette megabucks to run an ad or two to emasculate America’s men. The more who watch, the more you can charge. By contrast, if no one watches CNN or MSNBC or Fox News, then they lose major bucks. So Fox News has this nonsense that sees their hosts proclaiming “Fox News Alert!” accompanied by a clanging chime, every three minutes. “Fox News Alert [clang!]: Today is Tuesday.” Three minutes later: “Fox News Alert [clang!]: Yesterday was Monday.” And the other two, CNN and MSNBC, do it instead by declaring that we are under a constant blitzkrieg and air attack, like the nightly Nazi bombing of London. That is, every three minutes, their “analysts” and “reporters” declare either that “Washington has been ROCKED!!!” or “This story is EXPLOSIVE!!!” or “Today a BOMBSHELL!!!” With them, everything is a “BOMBSHELL!!!” Omarosa. Avenatti. Michael Cohen. Mueller. Russian collusion. BOMBSHELL!!! EXPLOSIVE BOMBSHELL!!! And EXPLOSIVE BOMBSHELL ROCKS WASHINGTON!!! Just like Dresden during World War II or Hiroshima. The viewer is left with no air cover and must either race to a civil defense shelter … or change the channel.

It all is nothing. None of it matters. Obama denied Ukraine the lethal aid it desperately begged for, and he whispered to the Russians that he would be even more forthcoming to Putin after the inconvenience of the 2012 election was done. By contrast, Trump gave Ukraine the money and the javelin anti-tank lethal weapons they begged for. The Bidens collected a million-dollar bribe or more from Burisma, at $83,000 a month passed along to Hunter, and in return the Other Biden released a billion dollars to the Ukrainians. Even if Trump had held up the money authorized by Congress and refused to release it, the president alone is empowered under the Constitution to conduct foreign policy. Congress has the power to withhold foreign-aid funds or to authorize their release, but it is in the purview of the president as to when or whether to release authorized funds. Trump ran on that pledge — to stop forking over our tax dollars to corrupt regimes without a full accounting.

Amidst all the nonsense, Trump — because he is so utterly annoying to those whom he annoys — also inadvertently has exposed the character of people on the Republican side of the aisle. He was vicious and nasty to Ted Cruz during the 2016 primaries, even taking cheap shots at Cruz’s father and wife. What have we learned of Ted Cruz? That man is even finer than many of us perceived initially. He is a solid Trump backer. He knows what matters. He has kept his eyes on the prize. Same with Rand Paul. Trump went after him in a personal way, even after his looks. Trump went after Lindsey Graham, even revealing the guy’s phone number. Remember? And yet both of them, Paul and Graham, have emerged among the strongest of Trump allies, focused on what matters, what counts for the country’s best interests.

And then there are the others, the Grudge Holders, the moral midgets. Hillary Clinton still hates Bernie Sanders for running against her; she cannot stop her invective. John McCain did not want Sarah Palin at his funeral. And Mitt Romney — what a small, small man! When he was our alternative to Obama — not our choice, but our alternative— we nevertheless dutifully voted for him. And now Trump inherited his voters and won the presidency that Romney blew. With each passing day, we learn more and more about how small he is. As for John Bolton, many of us really valued him in many ways, so disappointment looms. Yet, in all fairness to Bolton, that jury still is out. Let us see what transpires with him. Even so, no matter how it transpires — in the end it all comes down to the same two words:

So what?

Dov Fischer
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Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., is Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values (comprising over 2,000 Orthodox rabbis), was adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools for nearly 20 years, and is Rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review and clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before practicing complex civil litigation for a decade at three of America’s most prominent law firms: Jones Day, Akin Gump, and Baker & Hostetler. He likewise has held leadership roles in several national Jewish organizations, including Zionist Organization of America, Rabbinical Council of America, and regional boards of the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. His writings have appeared in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Federalist, National Review, the Jerusalem Post, and Israel Hayom. A winner of an American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Legal Ethics, Rabbi Fischer also is the author of two books, including General Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine, which covered the Israeli General’s 1980s landmark libel suit. Other writings are collected at
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