The Pious Theatrics of the Treasonous Left - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Pious Theatrics of the Treasonous Left
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Morning Joe on Aug. 30, 2022 (MSNBC/YouTube)

Hillary Clinton, unlike Donald Trump, didn’t possess the power to declassify top secret documents as Barack Obama’s secretary of state. But the ruling class shrugged at her careless handling of them. Former FBI Director James Comey pompously and unilaterally declared that “no reasonable” prosecutor would bring a case against her. Now, this same elite is hysterically shrieking over an alleged foot fault of even less significance — that Trump, while enjoying the power to declassify documents, didn’t follow the exact protocols for doing so. This, we’re told, is a sufficient reason for a nation-roiling criminal trial against a former president.

Baying liberal pundits tell us that America can’t “survive” unless the Justice Department criminally hounds a former president over a murky presidential records issue.

The pious theatrics over this trivial technical dispute — from the solemn chin-wagging on MSNBC to the empty hype on the Drudge Report — are impossible to take seriously unless you accept the partisan premise underlying them, namely, that Trump is a uniquely illegitimate president. Out of this demented partisanship has come such breathless headlines as: “Was Trump Selling Access to Top Secret Documents?”

Once again, the least patriotic Americans — the liberals who cheer boycotting of the flag and want America to surrender its sovereignty to the United Nations and global leftists — are accusing the most patriotic president since Ronald Reagan of treason. They still haven’t apologized for the wildly tendentious Mueller probe, which upended American politics for almost two years, and now demand a national ordeal over this feeble matter.

Not so long ago, the chattering class, led by the aging bores Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, was praising the late President Gerald Ford for stopping any Nixon-related prosecution in the 1970s. Woodward called Ford’s pardon of Nixon an “act of courage” that spared America needless and crippling division. Now baying liberal pundits tell us that America can’t “survive” unless the Justice Department criminally hounds a former president over a murky presidential records issue.

Former President Bill Clinton blatantly lied under oath and obstructed justice during the Ken Starr investigation. But anyone back then who suggested prosecution of him was accused of “criminalizing political differences” and told that “lying about sex” is no big deal. To watch these same apologists knit their brows over the dire consequences of “not indicting Trump” is a joke. If the Biden administration is stupid enough to follow this mau-mauing and prosecute Trump, America will officially enter into its banana republic phase and the “criminalization of political differences” will become the norm.

It is almost as if the Left, itching to complete its fundamental transformation of America, wants a civil war. President Joe Biden’s feverish rhetoric — he is now accusing half the country of “semi-fascism” — lends itself to that interpretation. He is ratcheting up the bellicose rhetoric to justify his mistreatment of Trump supporters. He ran on promises of “unity,” but the unity he has in mind is that of a one-party state.

Even if one were to grant for the sake of argument that Trump did deviate from classification protocols, he is at worst guilty of the same sloppiness that FBI agents and Justice Department officials exhibit every day. They couldn’t even observe proper protocols during the raid on Trump’s house, seizing passports and privileged documents foolishly. Politicized and incompetent FBI and Justice Department officials are in no position to be persnickety about minor transgressions.

The unsealed search warrant affidavit is underwhelming and makes the raid look like nothing more than a frenzied fishing expedition. Against any other former president, such treatment would be unthinkable. As former FBI official Kevin Brock notes, the affidavit conspicuously fails to establish how Trump as a former president violated the law by possessing documents he had the power to declassify.

“The unredacted parts of the affidavit make no attempt to articulate cause that Trump was not authorized to have these documents in his home. The reason is that, as president, he had broad, legally intimidating authority, established by law and court determinations, to declassify any and all documents and to determine what is and is not a presidential record,” Brock writes. “Trump and his legal team have asserted that this authority was exercised while he was still president. Therefore, a violation of these fairly low-level and seldom-prosecuted document-oriented statutes cannot be proven.”

Implicit in all of the harrumphing over Trump’s behavior is that the presidential benefits of the doubt given to his predecessors don’t apply to him. Even as president, he couldn’t exercise the most basic executive powers without endless coverage treating his mere possession of such power as a scandal. The New York Times specialized in such stories, gaslighting Americans into thinking that it is improper for the chief executive, rather than the Deep State, to control the executive branch.

Beneath this latest sham controversy lies the same outrageous claim of an undemocratic elite — that Trump should never have had the power to declassify documents in the first place. Since any stick will do against Trump, they are pretending that this is a matter of “grave national security,” not a prosaic tussle over presidential records. The same sanctimonious frauds who praised Comey for protecting Hillary against an indictment and grow misty-eyed about Gerald Ford’s end to America’s “national nightmare” clamor for Biden to start a new one.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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