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The Withered Branches on Mueller’s Poisoned Tree
George Neumayr
by

The civil libertarians of the press — those card-carrying ACLU members who toss and turn at night worrying about the diminution of “privacy” — all rushed to the defense of the FBI after the release of its disgracefully flimsy FISA warrant on Carter Page. The hypocrisy of it all takes one’s breath away, as reporters and commentators, normally so censorious of privacy violations, coldly cheered the government’s harassment of Page.

The evidentiary basis for the warrant was nil. It rested upon nothing more than Hillary’s opposition research and partisan articles in the press, some of which were fed to the reporters by Hillary’s opposition researcher. Were anyone other than a Trump campaign associate the target of such an outrageously unfounded and biased warrant, the media would be crying McCarthyism. Instead, anchors continue to shill for the smears, doubling and tripling down on surveillance that yielded no charges. Taking victim-shaming and nativist paranoia to new heights, they are saying to Page essentially: Well, it serves you right for talking to foreigners.

Did you know that “bragging” about talking to foreigners entitles the government to subject every inch of your life to surveillance? So say those citizens of the world in the press, who cited approvingly Marco Rubio’s idiotic comment about Page’s “bragging,” as if that constituted a form of evidence itself. “Little” Marco has never seemed so little.

That the FBI could ransack Page’s communications on the basis of such sophomoric dreck should scare everyone. The partisan hacks who assembled the FISA application — note that the liberal activist Sally Yates signed it — even made use of an opinion piece asserting falsely that the GOP had weakened its platform position on Russia. This is hackery on a staggering scale, and it is impossible to explain apart from the arrogance of the Obama administration, whose sense of entitlement grew in proportion to the media’s protection of it.

This farcical FISA warrant is one more withered branch on Mueller’s poisoned tree. He inherited a hopelessly biased investigation and has managed to make it worse. His “collusion” probe is looking at everything but collusion. The careerist weasel Rod Rosenstein, who is the Dr. Frankenstein in this political horror show, created a monster in Mueller and that monster is now rampaging through Manhattan, looking for the black books of madams and the filched phone calls of crooked lawyers.

Mueller’s supposedly impeccable reputation is a joke. He is just a garden-variety abusive prosecutor, whom Rosenstein hired to give official Washington what it wanted, an unfolding coup against a reviled outsider. As the ruling class’s battering ram against Trump, Mueller is working feverishly to magnify Trump’s political mistakes into quasi-impeachable offenses. But that tack won’t work. The tree that Mueller is plucking, weakened by too much poison in its roots, will collapse in the end on top of him.

His probe will peter out in a pathetic political food-fight. Does anybody really think that Trump would quit before Congress reached the incredibly high bar necessary for impeachment and conviction, if things even got to that? In the end, this is all just empty noise — a hobbling political problem for the Trump presidency, to be sure, but not its final chapter.

Trump, after all, is adept at driving the stake through monsters and has been poking Mueller with it for months. By treating his probe as an open-ended search for dirt of any kind on Trump, Mueller has conformed perfectly to Trump’s description of him as a partisan witch-hunter. That Mueller is giving immunity to John Podesta’s brother, while nailing Paul Manafort for identical offenses, sums up the shamelessly one-sided character of his probe. It is obvious that Mueller has picked up some very bad prosecutorial habits over the years, exhibiting the special arrogance and obtuseness of a canonized mandarin. Such figures in Washington could once count on a docile public. Not anymore. The rise of Trump has exposed Washington’s entitled frauds, whose hurled boomerangs now fly back at them.

What Trump once said to the media now applies to all of official Washington: “No one believes you anymore.” From Strzok to Brennan, from Yates to Comey, from Rosenstein to Mueller, they all assume that the day of reckoning approaches. What they don’t realize is that the wrath will befall them. A public fed up with phony FISA warrants and partisanship that masquerades as “professionalism” will not see Trump as the villain in this sorry tale but its victim.

George Neumayr
George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author of No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.
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