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There is nearly universal agreement by legal scholars that impeachment and removal of a president is a solemn procedure that must not be a partisan attack for merely disliking the president and his administration. Our Constitution established the separation of powers and assigned separate and specific powers to the executive, Congress, and courts to check the potential abuses of power by the executive and other civil officials. Our Founders specifically rejected a parliamentary system in which parliament elects the executive and may remove the executive by a vote of no confidence.
What America is observing is an extreme partisan impeachment of President Trump which clearly began at the moment he was elected and probably many months before the 2016 election. As the Washington Post headline on January 20, 2017 read, “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.” That was nine minutes after he was sworn in as President.
Eli Lake has recently written “The FBI Scandal,” which is a very thorough review of the people and events leading up to the issuing of electronic surveillance of Trump campaign officials and concludes that the FBI did spy on the Trump campaign. Obama’s “…FBI did spy on Trump’s campaign. That fact is no longer in dispute. The question is whether the FBI was justified in treating the Trump campaign itself as a suspect in this crime against the 2016 election.” Lake opines that “The answer is messy,” and concludes that there were grounds originally to spy on members of the Trump team, but the FBI soon had exculpatory evidence that they intentionally hid from the court, the media and the public.
Lake concludes that the FBI committed a major scandal “…the FBI relied on lurid, sketchy and sleazy opposition research generated by former British spy Christopher Steele…And it used that information in a specious, circular, and misleading manner to keep that investigation afloat and active into the first two years of the Trump presidency.”
Lake also recites the conclusion of the Muller report. “On the question of the underlying crime, though, Mueller’s final report says flatly that the investigation did “not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Needless to say, a complete investigation of the FBI is mandatory, and, fortunately, is being pursued by Attorney General Barr and prosecutor John Durham. Very important, Durham has the power to subpoena witness testimony and documents, to impanel a grand jury and to file criminal charges. This is substantially more than the power of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz, whose report also found serious wrongdoings by the FBI.
Very interesting in Eli Lake’s report is the interaction and veracity of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who had the same opportunity to review the actions of the FBI and DOJ. In February 2018, Nunes questioned the evidence and procedure used to surveil Carter Page of the Trump campaign and made his concerns known without citing specifics. The Democrats on the committee and the FBI strongly attacked Nunes and convinced most of the press that he was very wrong. A year later Horowitz proved Nunes to have been very correct.
Additionally, Lake claims that Schiff and Nunes had a good working relationship until the investigation of the FBI had commenced. This raises the question of what terrible wrongs are the Democrats attempting to hide from We the People. Fortunately, prosecutor Durham has an excellent reputation and the power to ascertain the truth.
This FBI scandal is far from being fully exposed.