Calls on one side for a Trump impeachment vs calls on the other side for Hillary Clinton’s imprisonment. Isaac Newton Farris Jr. analyses the difference.
Calls on the left for a Donald Trump impeachment are steadily growing, calls on the right for Hillary Clinton’s imprisonment have been steady since the days of candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign rallies. But there is an important difference between a Trump impeachment and a Clinton imprisonment, it is America’s commitment to that difference that makes the United States, America, and every other country in the world, not America.
President Trump injected new life into calls for a Trump impeachment. By his reply to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos’s question on whether his campaign would accept damaging information from foreigners like China and Russia, or hand it over to the FBI.
President Trump said, “I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, and said, we have information on your opponent, oh, I think I’d want to hear it. It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” Trump said.
“If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo (opposition) research, right, they come up with oppo research. ‘Oh, let’s call the FBI.’ The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to Congressmen, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”
When Stephanopoulos asked whether Donald Trump Jr. should have taken the Russians’ offer of “dirt” on 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton to the FBI, President Trump doubled down by saying, “Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,’ do you call the FBI? I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. You don’t call the FBI. You throw somebody out of your office, you do whatever you do,” Trump continued. “Oh, give me a break – life doesn’t work that way.”
Stephanopoulos responded by reminding the President that FBI Director Christopher Wray has said, “the FBI would want to know about” any foreign election meddling. “The FBI director is wrong... because frankly, it doesn’t happen like that in life,” President Trump said. “Now, maybe it will start happening, maybe today you’d think differently.”
The fact that an American President said that it was ok to take “oppo research” from a foreign government was so radical, that even normally, bend-over-backwards to President Trump Republican Senators, took a step forward and stated publically that unlike President Trump they would immediately call the FBI.
“All of us know, if you were to ever be contacted by a foreign entity, your first call is the FBI, I don’t care if it’s Russia, Norway, China, whomever,” said die-hard Trump supporter Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn.
More of a spiritual brother to President Trump than he ever was to John McCain, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, “If a foreign government comes to you as a public official and offers to help your campaign, giving you anything of value — whether it be money or information on your opponent — the right answer is no.”
Both these Senators taking a step forward and expressing their disagreement, are examples of how the majority of Senate Republicans felt about President Trump’s approval of foreign governments interfering in American elections. Unfortunately, they are also examples of Senate Republicans taking a step forward followed by half of a step backwards to make sure they avoid Trump impeachment territory. Die-hard Trump supporter Sen. Blackburn took her half of a step backwards on the Senate floor when she used her power as a Senator, to unilaterally block legislation.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, introduced the Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections Act (FIRE), to force campaigns to notify the Federal Election Commission and the FBI about attempts by foreign governments to influence an election. Under Warner’s bill, campaign officials would have to report contacts with foreign governments or anyone representing them who are trying to make campaign donations or coordinate with the campaign to the Federal Election Commission, which would, in turn, notify the FBI.
Senate rules allow any one senator to ask for unanimous consent to pass a bill or approve a nomination, as Sen. Warner attempted to do. But any one senator can object and block the request, as Sen. Blackburn did with Warner’s bill saying the reporting requirements within the legislation go “overboard”. In reality, this was Sen. Blackburn going “overboard” to avoid giving legitimacy to anything that might justify a Trump impeachment.
Senator Graham’s half of a step backwards was almost simultaneous with his one step forward. After his saying no to foreign government help and call the FBI response to the question of President Trump’s rightness or wrongness, he then in the same breath went on to say, “The outrage some of my Democratic colleagues are raising about President Trump’s comments will hopefully be met with equal outrage that their own party hired a foreign national to do opposition research on President Trump’s campaign and that information, unverified, was apparently used by the FBI to obtain a warrant against an American citizen.”
Sen. Graham’s half a step backwards remarks are a popular talking point among Senate Republicans because it sets up a false comparison between Trump impeachment and Clinton imprisonment. It’s also a dog whistle to the “lock her up” Republican base. According to the FALSE narrative: The Mueller Report found that there was no collusion between foreigners and President Trump so, therefore, no need for a Trump impeachment, but there was a collusion between former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and foreigners so, therefore, there needs to be a Hillary Clinton imprisonment.
Republican Senators and “lock her up” Trump supporters base their Clinton collusion delusion on the following: In April 2016, Marc Elias, a top Democratic campaign lawyer, retained Fusion GPS, a research for hire company that was co-founded in 2011 by Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch, and Thomas Catan, three former Wall Street Journal journalists. Fusion GPS was originally retained by the conservative Washington Free Beacon in 2015 to research then 2016 candidate Donald Trump’s background for negative information, a common practice known as “opposition research” in politics. The Free Beacon ended the relationship after President Trump won the Republican nomination.
Elias then retained Fusion GPS through his law firm of Perkins Coie on behalf of both Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, to continue their opposition research through to the end of October 2016. After Elias retained them for the Democrats, Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele, a retired MI6 British intelligence officer, to use his expertise on Russian matters and contacts in Moscow to find what he could about candidate Trump’s connections to the Russian government.
Steele’s research led to the infamous Steele Dossier written up in the style of an intelligence report and based on unnamed sources that contained a variety of serious charges against Trump. Steele shared his dossier with the FBI who combined it with their own intelligence as justification for their Russia/Trump surveillance and investigation activities.
The fact that a private company (Fusion GPS) is hired to produce information and it then hires a private individual who used to be a foreign government official (Christopher Steele) to do the research, is the flimsy distortion of the facts/LIE that Republicans and “lock her up” Trumpers use to justify Clinton imprisonment and deny Trump impeachment. This lie/comparison continues even though a 2018 report from the then-Republican-led House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence clarified that hiring Steele or other non-citizens to do opposition research was within the bounds of existing constitutional law.
In other words, it’s legal for a campaign to pay, directly or indirectly, a foreign company or foreign individuals to perform a service. It’s illegal for a campaign to receive, directly or indirectly, free or paid services from a foreign government or foreign government official. And in other, other words the difference between a Trump impeachment and a Clinton imprisonment is:
After Republicans spent millions on Republican-controlled investigations into Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, and Hillary Clinton’s personal server and emails Republicans themselves couldn’t find enough illegality to rig a conviction, so they joined the self-delusion of “lock her up” Trumpers and are now basing their Clinton imprisonment case on a fake collusion narrative that even if it were true would be legal.
After non-partisan Special Counsel, Robert Mueller spent millions on investigations into whether or not Russia and the Trump campaign worked together, and whether or not President Trump obstructed justice by interfering or attempting to stop the investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election. He found 10 creditable instances of possible obstruction of justice that the U.S. House and Senate need to analyze, debate and decide if a Trump impeachment is appropriate.
As a wise old man I knew would say about the difference between a Trump impeachment and a Clinton imprisonment, “It’s the difference between chicken salad and chicken sh*t!”🔷
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