‘Shame’: Victor Davis Hanson delivers scathing indictment of failed ‘coup’
By World Tribune on February 20, 2019
The first “coup” in U.S. history in which government bureaucrats sought to overturn an election and to remove a sitting U.S. president has failed, a columnist noted.
“Not thugs in sunglasses and epaulettes, not oligarchs in private jets, not shaggy would-be Marxists, but sanctimonious arrogant bureaucrats in suits and ties used their government agencies to seek to overturn the 2016 election, abort a presidency, and subvert the U.S. Constitution,” Victor Davis Hanson wrote on Feb. 17 in an op-ed titled ‘Autopsy of a Dead Coup’ for the Center for American Greatness.
‘A host of the Washington hierarchy lied under oath, obstructed justice, illegally leaked to the press, unmasked and leaked names of surveilled Americans, and misled federal courts under the guise of a ‘higher loyalty’ to the cause of destroying Donald J. Trump.’
“And they did all that and more on the premise that they were our moral superiors and had uniquely divine rights to destroy a presidency that they loathed,” Hanson wrote.
The effort by the Hillary Clinton campaign “to create, disseminate among court media, and then salt among high Obama administration officials, a fabricated, opposition smear dossier failed,” Hanson noted.
“So has the second special prosecutor phase of the coup to abort the Trump presidency failed. There are many elements to what in time likely will become recognized as the greatest scandal in American political history.”
Hanson continued: “The deep state is by nature cowardly. It does not move unless it feels it can disguise its subterranean efforts or that, if revealed, those efforts will be seen as popular and necessary – as expressed in tell-all book titles such as fired FBI Directors James Comey’s Higher Loyalty or in disgraced Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s psychodramatic The Threat.
“In candidate and President Trump’s case that prepping of the battlefield translated into a coordinated effort among the media, political progressives and celebrities to so demonize Trump that his imminent removal likely would appear a relief to the people. Anything was justified that led to that end.”
Hanson noted that “Journalists themselves consulted with the Clinton campaign to coordinate attacks. From the WikiLeaks trove, journalistic grandees such as John Harwood, Mark Leibovich, Dana Milbank, and Glenn Thrush often communicated (and even post factum were unapologetic about doing so) with John Podesta’s staff to construct various anti-Trump themes and have the Clinton campaign review or even audit them in advance.
“Some contract ‘journalists’ apparently were paid directly by Fusion GPS – created by former reporters Glen Simpson of the Wall Street Journal and Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post – to spread lurid stories from the dossier. Others more refined like Christiane Amanpour and James Rutenberg had argued for a new journalistic ethos that partisan coverage was certainly justified in the age of Trump, given his assumed existential threat to The Truth.”
Or as Rutenberg put it in 2016: “If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, non-opinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable. But the question that everyone is grappling with is: Do normal standards apply? And if they don’t, what should take their place?”
Hanson wrote: “I suppose Rutenberg never considered that half the country might have considered the Hillary Clinton presidency ‘potentially dangerous,’ and yet did not expect the evening news, in 90 percent of its coverage, to reflect such suspicions.”
CNN “soon proved that it is no longer a news organization at all – as reporters like Gloria Borger, Chris Cuomo, Eric Lichtblau, Manu Raju, Brian Rokus, Jake Tapper, Jeff Zeleny, and teams such as Jim Sciutto, Carl Bernstein, and Marshall Cohen as well as Thomas Frank, and Lex Harris all trafficked in false rumors and unproven gossip detrimental to Trump, while hosts and guest hosts such as Reza Aslan, the late Anthony Bourdain, and Anderson Cooper stooped to obscenity and grossness to attack Trump,” Hanson wrote.
“Both politicos and celebrities tried to drive Trump’s numbers down to facilitate some sort of popular ratification for his removal. Hollywood and the coastal corridor punditry exhausted public expressions of assassinating or injuring the president, as the likes of Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Robert de Niro, Peter Fonda, Kathy Griffin, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, and a host of others vied rhetorically to slice apart, shoot, beat up, cage, behead, and blow up the president.
“Left wing social media and mainstream journalism spread sensational lies about supposed maniacal Trump supporters in MAGA hats. They constructed fantasies that veritable white racists were now liberated to run amuck insulting and beating up people of color as they taunted the poor and victimized minorities with vicious Trump sloganeering – even as the Covington farce and now the even more embarrassing Jussie Smollett charade evaporated without apologies from the media and progressive merchants of such hate.”
During the 2016 election, “the Obama Department of Justice warped the Clinton email scandal investigation, from Bill Clinton’s secret meeting on an airport tarmac with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, to unethical immunity given to the unveracious Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, to James Comey’s convoluted predetermined treatment of “likely winner” Clinton, and to DOJ’s Bruce Ohr’s flagrant conflict of interests in relation to Fusion GPS,” Hanson wrote.
“About a dozen FBI and DOJ grandees have now resigned, retired, been fired, or reassigned for unethical and likely illegal behavior – and yet have not faced criminal indictments. The reputation of the FBI as venerable agency is all but wrecked. Its administrators variously have libeled the Trump voters, expressed hatred for Trump, talked of “insurance policies” in ending the Trump candidacy, and inserted informants into the Trump campaign.
“The former Obama directors of the CIA and National Intelligence, with security clearances intact, hit the television airways as paid ‘consultants’ and almost daily accused the sitting president of Russian collusion and treason – without cross-examination or notice that both previously had lied under oath to Congress (and did so without subsequent legal exposure), and both were likely knee-deep in the dissemination of the Steele dossier among Obama administration officials.”
Hanson continued: “John Brennan’s CIA likely helped to spread the Fusion GPS dossier among elected and administrative state officials. Some in the NSC in massive and unprecedented fashion requested the unmasking of surveilled names of Trump subordinates, and then illegally leaked them to the press.
“The FISA courts, fairly or not, are now mostly discredited, given they either were willingly or naively hoodwinked by FBI and DOJ officials who submitted as chief evidence for surveillance on American citizens, an unverified dossier – without disclosure that the bought campaign hit-piece was paid for by Hillary Clinton, authored by a discredited has-been British agent, relied on murky purchased Russian sources, and used in circular fashion to seed news accounts of supposed Trump misbehavior.”
The “Crown Jewel” of the coup, Hanson noted, “was the appointment of special counsel Robert Muller to discover supposed 2016 Trump-Russian election collusion. Never has any special investigation been so ill-starred from its conception.”
Mueller’s team “soon discovered there was no Trump-Russian 2016 election collusion – and yet went ahead to leverage Trump campaign subordinates on process crimes in hopes of finding some culpability in Trump’s past 50-year business, legal, and tax records.”
While it has failed to prove “collusion,” the Mueller probe “succeeded brilliantly in two ways,” Hanson wrote.
“The ‘counterintelligence’ investigation subverted two years of the Trump presidency by constant leaks that Trump soon would be indicted, jailed, disgraced, or impeached. As a result, Trump’s stellar economic and foreign policy record would never earn fifty percent of public support.
“Second, Mueller’s pre-emptive attacks offered an effective offensive defense for the likely felonious behavior of John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok, and a host of others. While the Mueller lawyers threatened to destroy the lives of bit players like Jerome Corsi, George Papadopoulos, and Roger Stone, they de facto provided exemption to a host of the Washington hierarchy who had lied under oath, obstructed justice, illegally leaked to the press, unmasked and leaked names of surveilled Americans, and misled federal courts under the guise of a ‘higher loyalty’ to the cause of destroying Donald J. Trump.”
Hanson concluded: “Shame on all these failed conspirators and their abettors, and may these immoral people finally earn a long deserved legal and moral reckoning.”
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