Since the election there has been an unprecedented attempt to unwind the election result. Events have accelerated on several fronts lately with attempts from outside and within to paralyze the Trump administration.
What started as a collective media freakout on Election Night 2016 quickly progressed to an unprecedented attempt to intimidate Electors into changing their votes. Some Democrats announced, even before Trump took office, plans to impeach him, and Democrat politicians fed media-driven Russia collusion conspiracy theories for which they knew there was no evidence.
Chuck Schumer, for example, used the alleged fact of Donald Trump being under FBI investigation as an argument against confirming Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, even though Schumer (but not the public) knew from intelligence briefings that Trump was not personally under investigation.
All the while, the permanent bureaucracy, particularly in the intelligence community, started an unending and almost daily series of leaks meant to paralyze the administration.
Then FBI Director James Comey refused to tell the public what he privately told Trump on three occasions, that Trump personally was not under investigation, thereby aiding and abetting this false media attack on the administration. Comey then himself leaked non-public government information, after his termination, to manufacture an excuse to have a Special Counsel appointed. That Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, turns out to be a good friend of Comey, and is building a massive prosecutorial infrastructure in the attempt to find a crime.
At the same time, there has been unprecedented obstruction of Trump’s ability to staff his administration. Even non-controversial nominees are slow-walked by Democrats. Vast swaths of the federal bureaucracy remain under the sway of Obama holdovers and those who consider Trump illegitimate.
The purpose in all this has been to freeze and paralyze the Trump administration. If Trump could not be prevented from taking office, and cannot be physically removed from office, he will be prevented from functioning as president.
Trump, because of his own personal and administrative volatility, unpredictability and inconsistency, was a vulnerable target for such an effort.
The effort to paralyze the administration was advanced significantly today with the release by The Washington Post of leaked full transcripts of Trump’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia soon after he took office. There had been leaks about those conversations previously, but never the full transcripts.
The leak is being celebrated and the transcripts quoted (often out of context) for the purpose of scoring political points against Trump. But more than that, this represents yet another dangerous example of how leaks have been weaponized to try to paralyze the Trump administration.
David Frum, a harsh critic of Trump, writes at The Atlantic, Why Leaking Transcripts of Trump’s Calls Is So Dangerous
Leaking the transcript of a presidential call to a foreign leader is unprecedented, shocking, and dangerous. It is vitally important that a president be able to speak confidentially—and perhaps even more important that foreign leaders understand that they can reply in confidence.Thursday’s leak to The Washington Post of President Trump’s calls with the president of Mexico and the prime minister of Australia will reverberate around the world. No leader will again speak candidly on the phone to Washington, D.C.—at least for the duration of this presidency, and perhaps for longer. If these calls can be leaked, any call can be leaked—and no leader dare say anything to the president of the United States that he or she would not wish to read in the news at home.
The collective attempt to paralyze the Trump administration has been termed a slow-motion coup d’etat. And it is picking up steam. I discussed these developments today on the Tony Katz show:
Well again, I don’t level what level of classification – if any – these had. This may just be leaking something that was not an illegality itself, but I think there’s a bigger problem, which is that the attempt to subvert the administration from within the administration is continuing unabated. And it really is unprecedented. It’s an attempt to essentially have a coup to overthrow the election results, not by a new election, but by completely subverting the existing government.
I first addressed this concept of a coup on December 12, 2016, about the attempt to undermine the Electoral College, The one thing you must understand about the unfolding media-Democrat Electoral College coup attempt:
We are witnessing nothing short of an attempt to steal the election by some Democrats and a very supportive mainstream and leftwing media, by causing Electors in the Electoral College to go rogue and vote for Hillary, or at least not vote for Trump.
That concept of a silent of slow-motion coup would be picked up as the effort against Trump accelerated, as I wrote on May 18, 2017, Some dare call the anti-Trump feeding frenzy a “coup” attempt.
Among those speaking of such a coup was the normally reserved Victor Davis Hanson:
James Downton at The Federalist wrote, We Are Watching A Slow-Motion Coup D’etat
It’s nearly incontrovertible that a slow-motion coup d’etat is now taking place. Since November 9, 2016, forces within the U.S. government, media, and partisan opposition have aligned to overthrow the Electoral College winner, Donald Trump.To achieve this they have undermined the institutions of the Fourth Estate, the bureaucratic apparatus of the U.S. government, and the very nature of a contentious yet affable two-party political system. Unlike the coup d’etat that sees a military or popular figure lead a minority resistance or majority force into power over the legitimate government, this coup d’etat is leaderless and exposes some of the deepest fissures in our system of government. This coup d’etat represents not the rule of one man or even many, but by the multitude of our elites.
This coup mentality is expressed in a desire of Trump opponents to have the permanent bureaucracy, not the elected President, run the executive branch. John Hinderaker at Power Line writes of how The Administrative State Declares Independence:
Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama holdover, recently authored one of the most pernicious columns within memory in the New York Times. Her column was titled, “Protect the Justice Department From President Trump.” Yates argued, in essence, that there exists an Executive Branch that is independent of, and superior to, the President–at least as long as that Executive Branch is staffed pretty much exclusively by Democrats. This is, of course, a boldly unconstitutional theory….Yates argues for a permanent bureaucracy in Washington that is impervious to the wishes of the voters, who may occasionally be so imprudent as to elect a Republican president. In Yates’s view, that must not be an obstacle to the liberal policies of the Justice Department or, by analogy, any of the dozens of other federal agencies that are manned nearly exclusively by liberal Democrats….The administrative state is by far the greatest contemporary threat to the liberty of Americans. The appalling Sally Yates urges that the Constitution be left in the dust, and that unelected bureaucrats be elevated above the president whom they ostensibly serve. It is hard to imagine a theory more at odds with our Constitution or our political traditions.
The administrative state is also asserting its dominance at the National Security Council through a purge of Trump loyalists by H.R. McMaster, reports Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon, McMaster, On ‘Warpath,’ Purges Key Trump Allies From White House NSC:
An ongoing staffing purge being conducted by White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has thrown the West Wing into chaos, according to more than half a dozen Trump administration insiders who told the Washington Free Beacon that McMaster has been targeting long-time Trump loyalists who were clashing with career government staffers and holdovers from the Obama administration.The purge is part of a larger drama unfolding inside the administration, between veteran Trump staffers committed to the president’s campaign vision of “draining the swamp”‘ in Washington and entrenched bureaucracies seeking to maintain control over policy decision-making, according to these sources, who said that many of these actions against his supporters are being conducted without Trump’s knowledge.The Trump staffers fired by McMaster had repeatedly clashed with career government staffers and holdovers from the Obama administration on issues as diverse as military strategies for Syria and Afghanistan, whether to tear up Obama’s landmark Iran deal, the controversial détente with Cuba, the U.S. role in confronting Islamic radicalism, and the Paris Climate Accord, according to these sources.More purges are said to be on the way, according to multiple insiders who described a list of at least four other senior NSC officials McMaster intends to target. Other sources confirmed the likelihood of more purges, but disputed some details on that list.”McMaster basically has this list and over the next two weeks he’s going to phase out” more senior officials loyal to Trump, said one administration insider intimately familiar with the upheaval occurring at the White House National Security Council. “They’re taking out people who were chosen to best implement the president’s policy that he articulated during the campaign.”The latest victim of this purge is Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a senior NSC official originally hired by ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The White House acknowledged in a statement late Wednesday evening on Cohen-Watnick’s departure that McMaster viewed him as in conflict with his vision for the NSC….
According to Kredo, the administrative apparatus being assembled is designed to eviscerate Trump policy positions, particularly on the Iran nuclear deal:
One of the central flashpoints in this internal battle has been Iran and the future of the nuclear accord, multiple sources independently confirmed to the Free Beacon.NSC officials such as Cohen-Watnick, Harvey, and others had been making the case that Trump should scrap the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal over increasingly aggressive Iranian ballistic missile activity and mounting evidence Tehran is breaching the accord. McMaster, as well as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and top Obama-era State Department officials who worked on the deal, have aggressively urged maintaining it.”That’s why they took him out,” explained one source, referring to Harvey, who is said to have constructed a comprehensive plan on how to scrap the nuclear deal.Another source described the Trump administration’s Iran policy as “completely gutted” in the aftermath of these firings.
Caroline Glick writes on Facebook of the threat this assemblage presents to promised Trump policy on Israel
The Israel angle on McMaster’s purge of Trump loyalists from the National Security Council is that all of these people are pro-Israel and oppose the Iran nuclear deal, positions that Trump holds…McMaster disagrees and actively undermines Trump’s agenda on just about every salient issue on his agenda. He fires all of Trump’s loyalists and replaces them with Trump’s opponents, like Kris Bauman, an Israel hater and Hamas supporter who McMaster hired to work on the Israel-Palestinian desk. He allows anti-Israel, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Iran Obama people like Robert Malley to walk around the NSC and tell people what to do and think. He has left Ben (reporters know nothing about foreign policy and I lied to sell them the Iran deal) Rhodes’ and Valerie Jarrett’s people in place.And he not only is remaining at his desk. He is given the freedom to fire Trump’s most loyal foreign policy advisers from the National Security Council….If McMaster isn’t fired after all that he has done and all that he will do, we’re all going to have to reconsider Trump’s foreign policy. Because if after everything he has done, and everything that he will certainly do to undermine Trump’s stated foreign policy agenda, it will no longer be possible to believe that exiting the nuclear deal or supporting the US alliance with Israel and standing with US allies against US foes — not to mention draining Washington’s cesspool – are Trump’s policies. How can they be when Trump stands with a man who opposes all of them and proves his opposition by among other things, firing Trump’s advisers who share Trump’s agenda?
Sara Carter at Circa reports how Susan Rice has received special treatment, A letter from H.R. McMaster said Susan Rice will keep her top-secret security clearance.
While The Atlantic reports how the national security purge has taken down a Trump loyalist who wanted to expose the Obama administration’s conduct towards the Muslim Brotherhood.
Eli Lake at Bloomberg notes how leakers forced the President’s hand on Russia sanctions:
One senior Senate staffer who worked on the legislation told me this week that there was no doubt that the lurking questions around the Trump campaign and Russia spurred Republicans in particular to support a bill with no waiver.It’s possible that nothing will come from the special counsel’s investigation or the various committees in Congress looking into the matter, but “it’s better to be safe than sorry,” this staffer said.And while this is good for U.S. foreign policy, it sets a dangerous precedent. U.S. intelligence agencies are not supposed to interfere in our politics. But they clearly have. They have not only succeeded in creating the conditions under which Trump fired Flynn. Leaks forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself on Trump-Russia investigations. They also spurred acting attorney general to appoint a special counsel, Robert Mueller, to run the probe.Now intelligence leaks have contributed to the atmosphere that led Congress to force Trump to effectively violate one of his campaign promises to seek a new relationship with Moscow, not to mention a new precedent for Congress to abrogate the executive branch’s foreign-policy dominance.
Not only is the Trump administration under unprecedented attack from outside, the foxes are inside the henhouse, and are gutting it from the inside out.
The attempt to unwind the 2016 election through paralyzing the Trump administration is a serious threat to our liberty. Our most basic of institutions, the transfer of power through elections, is under attack.