‘Political rivals’ run amok while Trump faces multiple probes

Rep. Christopher Collins, a Republican from New York who was an early supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential run, is pleading guilty to insider trading this week to the delight of Democrats and the media.

He was charged last year with trading on non-public information about Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., an Australian biotechnology company. He was arrested in August 2018 along with his son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron’s fiancée.

The Left has been outraged about many ‘crimes’ over the last three years committed by Trump, Republicans or anyone affiliated with them. Yet these same ‘crimes’ don’t seem to warrant investigation and prosecution when committed by Democrats.

The kid-glove treatment of so-called political rivals like Hillary Clinton in the Trump era has led to the unleashing of demons on our democracy due to lack of accountability. The administrative state has been emboldened to continue efforts to subvert Trump’s presidency and there is no deterrent to stop them.

In May 2018, three Democrats, Senators Robert Menendez from New Jersey, Richard Durbin from Illinois and Patrick Leahy from Vermont, wrote a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general urging the foreign office to cooperate with the Mueller investigation into Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election. Ukraine had reportedly frozen investigations into four open cases there.

“We are writing to express great concern about reports that your office has taken steps to impede cooperation with the investigation of United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller,” they wrote.

“If these reports are true, we strongly encourage you to reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation,” they added.

Yet Democrats are now threatening to impeach Trump for asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate allegations that their frontrunner for the presidential nomination, former vice president Joe Biden, and his son Hunter may have been involved in alleged corruption in Ukraine.

 They allege that Trump was engaging in public corruption for withholding $400,000 in aid from Ukraine in a July phone call to Zelensky, using the funds to pressure the Ukraine president for ‘dirt’ on a political rival. When the transcript of the conversation was released there was no reference to a quid pro quo. All he did was ask for Ukraine’s cooperation in the Biden probe, but these revelations have not quelled their attacks. They accuse Trump of inviting foreign interference in the 2020 elections. There is no outrage among them regarding a similar request to Ukraine from their own senators.

They have rebuffed concerns regarding Biden, who bragged about strong-arming then-President Petro Poroshenko by threatening to withhold a $1 billion loan unless he fired Prosecutor Viktor Shokin. He was investigating Ukraine natural gas firm Burisma Holdings while his son Hunter Biden was a board member. Biden even implicated former President Barack Obama in the deal.

 “And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t. So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars,” Biden said.

“They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” he claimed.

Hunter Biden was being paid $50,000 a month to serve on the board, while the company, which was drilling for gas in Ukraine, was losing $1.8 billion it had received in aid funding.

Trump also accused Hunter Biden earlier this month of involvement in a billion dollar pay-for-play deal with China. “Well not only Ukraine, take a look at China. They took a tremendous amount of money out of China. Now, if they ever took over the China negotiations he would sell us out. Look at all the money he made in China. The son, he knew nothing. The son is a stiff. He knew nothing and he’s making hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars. And he did the same thing to Ukraine,” said the president.

Democrats aren’t even remotely interested in these accusations, even though there are reports of documentary evidence which they should want to examine.

Chris Davis wrote an article in The National Interest last October claiming: “Unfortunately, vague criminal laws are becoming the sword wielded by political elites and passionate lobbyists. Nearly every day there are accusations of the violation of politically-neutral laws that provide great flexibility to prosecute behavior of political rivals even when such behavior does not necessarily equate to criminal activity.”

Are the laws really vague, or are they not being applied with the same rigor and specificity based on the political affiliation of the target of the investigation?

Characterizing former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and manhandling of classified information as “extremely careless,” former FBI director James Comey decided not to prosecute her in 2016. By describing her actions in legally ambiguous terms he justified his decision, even though the statutes governing such material were always clear cut when prosecuting many other, less powerful individuals.

A 35-page dossier financed by her campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, claimed Trump had questionable encounters with Russian prostitutes in a Moscow hotel rigged with cameras.

 Democrats argued that Russian intelligence could have used this to blackmail the president. There were also allegations that Trump and his campaign aides engaged in collusion with Russians to steal the 2016 elections.

The FBI probe, led by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, was supposed to examine these claims. It turned into a no-holds-barred criminal investigation into Trump, his administration his associates and his business interests leading to several indictments.

Mueller was authorized to probe collusion, not just in the form of criminal conspiracy, but in whatever form. None of the allegations were proven, but Democrats have never acknowledged the legal culpability they have for using DNC funds to buy dirt on Trump, nor have they sought an investigation into conspiracy or collusion with Russia.

Even though the Mueller report, published in April, indicated that by December 2017 the FBI had exhausted all possible leads regarding collusion and came up empty, the probe dragged on for over two-and-a-half years. Mueller even requested that the investigation be widened to look at obstruction and other crimes.  What was the president obstructing, if there was no evidence of a crime?

 National Review contributing editor Andrew McCarthy wrote in an August article, “The most alarming aspect of the Trump–Russia investigation, and of the stark difference between the aggression with which it was pursued and the see-no-evil passivity of the Clinton emails caper, is the way the investigative process was used to influence political outcomes.”

“The way to right that wrong is to prevent it from becoming the new normal, not to turn the tables of abuse when power shifts from one side to the other. We can only make things worse by losing the distinction between rebuking errors in judgment and criminalizing them,” he argued.

Comey, and other ousted FBI bosses like former deputy director Andrew McCabe were all implicated in the use of the unverified Steele dossier to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, against  Trump’s former aide Carter Page. The public has been urging Attorney General William Barr to issue indictments, but he has been very judicious in the use of his prosecutorial discretion.

 There has still not been any successful prosecution of any former FBI official, or anyone from the Obama administration, despite their rampant abuse of power. Barr’s defenders say he carefully weighs the pros and cons of prosecuting alleged government misconduct and believes it is important to resist the politicization of law enforcement.

The Justice Department declined to prosecute Comey in August over his handling of a series of memos he wrote that documented conversations he had with the president. The Office of the Inspector General report released that month stated that Comey violated DOJ and FBI policies, as well as the FBI’s employment agreement, by keeping copies of four of his memos in a personal safe and asking a law professor friend to describe the contents of one of the memos to the news media after Trump fired him in May 2017.

As the FBI director, he should have been aware that his conversations with the president or any top national-security officials are highly sensitive and covered under executive privilege.

He acknowledged orchestrating the leak of a portion of one of the memos to The New York Times. He also openly bragged that he hoped his leak of the memo would trigger a special counsel investigation, and it did.

Andrew McCabe was deputy director of the FBI when he allegedly lied during an internal probe of a leak related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation. He is awaiting his fate, but legal experts doubt he will ever be successfully tried in court.

Constitutional lawyer Allan Dershowitz is a well-known proponent of the view that if you don’t like what your political adversaries have done, run against them. Don’t use the criminal justice system.

 “I don’t like the criminalization of political differences,” Dershowitz told New York radio station AM 970’s John Catsimatidis earlier this month.

 “Look, what McCabe did is very questionable. But did he cross the line into criminality? I just haven’t seen the case made for that. And I would like to see us pull back on using the criminal law against political figures who one disagrees with. I didn’t like it when they went after Hillary Clinton. I didn’t like it when they went after President Trump. I didn’t like it when they went after the people in the FBI. I think we overuse the criminal law. And we have weaponized it as part of our political system. And that poses serious questions for the rule of law and democracy.”

He added, “My hope is let’s criticize McCabe — maybe some civil penalties. But I would be very reluctant to use the criminal justice system against him.”

Trump’s opponents have been merciless and relentless in their pursuit of crimes to oust him from office. When Democrats won the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, five committees were charged with probing the president.  Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform; Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca.), chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence; Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Richard Neal (D-Ma.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.), chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee have issued over one hundred subpoenas and more than one hundred requests for documents.

There are currently at least 29 pending investigations of the president, including over 10 federal criminal investigations, eight state and local investigations by attorneys general and state financial agencies, and 11 constitutional investigations. These are continuations of the now concluded first House Intelligence Committee investigation, the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation, the first FBI counterintelligence investigation and the Mueller investigation.

 House Republicans had announced plans to look into the Obama administration’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails and its decision to give a Russian-controlled company, Uranium One, control of some American uranium reserves. The public has still not been informed of any findings.

News broke this week that State Department officials have renewed their investigation into millions of emails sent to Hillary Clinton’s illegal server as standard protocol, and already Democrats are balking. One former official told the Washington Post last Saturday, “It is such an obscene abuse of power and time involving so many people for so many years. This has just sucked up people’s lives for years and years.”

The same people who went soft on Hillary and Comey are quick to jump on board when Trump is the accused. They backed a special counsel investigation and have thrown their support behind a formal impeachment inquiry. As long as Trump is in the hot seat, Congress turns into a Roman Colosseum. Blood thirsty lawmakers on both sides are eagerly waiting to see Trump devoured by his ruthless opponents.