Gerald Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee report on the constitutional grounds for impeachment says in part (page 6):
Fourth, we address whether the House must accept at face value President Trump’s claim that his motives were not corrupt. In short, no. When the House probes a President’s state of mind, its mandate is to find the facts. That means evaluating the President’s account of his motives to see if it rings true. The question is not whether the President’s conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the President’s real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate. Where the House discovers persuasive evidence of corrupt wrongdoing, it is entitled to rely upon that evidence to impeach.
If there were “persuasive evidence of corrupt wrong-doing,” why is it necessary to claim to read the President’s mind?
“[W]hether the President’s real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate” is the very same thing the report calls persuasive evidence. And it was the Democrat’s forgone conclusion before Donald Trump was even inaugurated. The impeachment articles are tautological.
Here is Nadler’s justification for impeachment translated, ‘The President’s real reasons are those we divine from the speculations of rabidly partisan witnesses, ignorant of any actual evidence by their own admission, in hearings we called based on a hearsay complaint we solicited from an anonymous political operative formerly employed by the Obama administration.’
Let’s pause briefly to recall that the push for impeachment began the day after the 2016 election, and was able to hit the ground running because of the conduct of the Obama administration. The FBI is not alone in the Obama administration’s abuse of power, let’s recall the tea party and Lois Lerner IRS, lies about “Fast & Furious” gun running, the unmasking and leaking to intimidate opponents of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, the entrapment and persecution of Michael Flynn by hiding exculpatory evidence, and much else.
Apparently reading Barack Obama’s mind was more difficult for Nadler than reading Trump’s. This feat of telepathic legerdemain is in marked contrast to the report on FBI misconduct by DOJ Inspector General Horowitz.
James Comey’s declaration of vindication notwithstanding, Horowitz did not say there was no political bias in the FBI’s inappropriate handling of FISA requests. As he testified, while he couldn’t prove it, he couldn’t rule it out:
QUESTION: “Can you say it wasn’t because of political bias?”
HOROWITZ: “On, on decisions regarding those FISA matters, I do not know their state of mind.”
Minds are not to be read. Thought crime is out of bounds.
Horowitz did savage the FBI for using Christopher Steele’s dossier as the primary tool to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. He quotes the FBI admitting that ‘the dossier’ was the “single source” (p. 132) justification given to the FISA court. The FBI knew this dossier was nothing but gossip, that its author was virulently biased, and that it had been paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Those are all political considerations. Which the IG felt had to be ignored.
Horowitz did, however, conclude that Operation Crossfire Hurricane just barely managed to stay above the abysmally low boundaries required to start an investigation (predication): Which is – “articulable facts.” Here’s an articulation of the fact used to start the investigation: “Christopher Steele wrote a report alleging Donald Trump was a Russian agent.” It is a fact and I just articulated it.
So the lines of predication are as easy to avoid as the lines painted on a tennis court. Horowitz could not identify blatant political bias because it wasn’t written into official FBI memos.
But, whatever judgment one might make about the predication, one has to wonder about the continuing and widespread falsification of evidence in pursuit of a connection between Trump and Russia. One has to give full benefit of the doubt to the FBI’s disgraced lead investigator in both the Hillary Clinton email scandal and the Donald Trump Russian collusion – Peter Strzok – to conclude no political motivation could be found in virulent opposition to the President found in texts with his like minded DOJ lawyer paramour. One would also need to accept his smirking attitude under House questioning as normal human behavior. If that doesn’t say “Nyah, nyah. You can’t prove my bias affected my work,” nothing could.
One then has to wonder, given the venue and seriousness, whether Strzok is familiar with the term “self control.” With his career on the line, his public, self-righteous arrogance is incandescent. What is he capable of in private? So, to consider FBI bias – as an agency – one would have to wonder about how his colleagues handled this if they were unbiased, since he wasn’t shy about his hatred for Trump. Then you’d probably wonder about Comey’s deliberately truncated briefing of the President on the dossier.
All this must have occurred to IG Horowitz. He had to wonder about motivations (“state of mind”) after the FBI started the investigation, and he had a lot more to go on than Chairman Nadler.
After initiation of the investigation, Horowitz also has to accommodate the FBI’s dogged pursuit of a case it knew to be non-existent, using ‘evidence’ it knew to be tainted – not least because the FBI had tainted it. A brief recap:
In the summer of 2016 an application for a FISA warrant on Carter Page is turned down. It is approved in October when the “Steele dossier” is included to justify the wiretap application. The FBI will later lie that the dossier was a tiny part of the renewed FISA application.
That FISA warrant, which was reauthorized three times, contained false and misleading information about Page. It omitted that his Russian contacts had long been known to a government agency who regularly debriefed him; it overstated the government’s confidence in Steele and his dossier; it never mentioned that Page claimed he and Paul Manafort had “literally never met;” and it did not reveal exculpatory information FISA rules required to be submitted. Very similar to what was done to Mike Flynn, by the same pemople.
IG Horowitz, in testimony to Nadler’s committee:
QUESTION: “Christopher Steele, is it fair to say that he had a political bias against Donald Trump?”
HOROWITZ: “He, given who he was paid for, there was a bias that needed to be disclosed to the court.”
If Steele was politically motivated, does hiding him from the court inherit that bias? “Fruit of the poisoned tree?”
And the FBI’s persistent prevarication may lead many to recall Ian Fleming: ”Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”
IG Horowitz had to use a different standard: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity or incompetence.”
Horowitz could not justify referral for criminal prosecution those who withheld exculpatory evidence from the FISA court and used unverified information written by a spook they knew was unreliable. Who, moreover, was paid by the Clinton campaign to write it. Horowitz could not absolutely prove partisan bias despite the FBI’s inability to verify the basis of the request to that court for extraordinary surveillance of American citizens in an attempt to remove a sitting President. This is a case where minds didn’t need to meld.
Chairman Nadler, on the other hand, would have no case at all without his telepathic powers.
Maybe it wasn’t malice. Maybe it was incompetence and stupidity. I’ll wait for Durham’s investigation.