Obama does not seem to have confidence that Biden can make the case against Trump, so Obama staged the leak of a “private” call denouncing Trump and Barr.
Within moments of the recent Russiagate documents release and the DOJ recommendation not to pursue the case against Michael Flynn, the left and MSM chorused nearly the same thing almost in unison: this is a travesty of justice!
And they weren’t talking about the wretched excesses of the state apparatus regarding the framing of Flynn, they were talking about the Barr DOJ and its suggestion regarding Flynn. James Comey’s tweet was a good example of this:
The DOJ has lost its way. But, career people: please stay because America needs you. The country is hungry for honest, competent leadership.
— James Comey (@Comey) May 7, 2020
All that was left was for Obama to get into the act, which he promptly did via the “leak” of a “private” phone call between Obama and some unnamed people who had worked in his administration. In an article written by none other than Michael Isikoff, who had his own role in Russiagate as one of the first to write about the infamous Steele dossier, Obama’s call conveys the ex-president’s opinions about the recent DOJ actions regarding the Flynn prosecution.
And guess what? It’s all about the violation of the “rule of law” – not the egregious and audacious violations committed by Obama’s own minions, of course, but the decision by the DOJ to cease pursuing any of the dubious ginned-up charges.
Obama had this to say:
Former President Barack Obama, talking privately to ex-members of his administration, said Friday that the “rule of law is at risk” in the wake of what he called an unprecedented move by the Justice Department to drop charges against former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn…
“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama said in a web talk with members of the Obama Alumni Association.
“And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”
Perjury? A first-year law student ordinarily learns the definition of perjury, and knows the difference between supposedly lying to the FBI – in a matter in which there is no evidence of any crime, and the target is not allowed to have a lawyer or be read his rights or even informed he’s being interrogated as a target – and perjury. Obama almost certainly knows the difference, too, so why did he use the word? Perhaps he believes it makes a good talking point because it sounds really bad.
But as Jonathan Turley writes:
The Obama statement is curious on various levels. First, the exhaustive search may have been hampered by the fact that Flynn was never charged with perjury. He was charged with a single count of false statements to a federal investigator under 18 U.S.C. 1001…
Second, there is ample precedent for this motion even though…such dismissals are rare. There is a specific rule created for this purpose. Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(a) states the government may dismiss an indictment, information or complaint “with leave of the court.” Moreover, such dismissals are tied to other rules mandating such action when there is evidence of prosecutorial misconduct or fundamental questions about the underlying case from the view of the prosecutors…
Third, there is also case law. In Rinaldi v. United States, 434 U.S. 22 (1977) which addressed precedent under Petite v. United States, 361 U.S. 529 (1960) dealing with the dangers of multiple prosecutions. There are also related cases in Bartkus v. Illinois, 359 U. S. 121 (1959), and Abbate v. United States, 359 U. S. 187 (1959)…
Fourth, there are cases where the Department has moved to dismiss cases on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct or other grounds touching on due process, ethical requirements or other concerns. One that comes to mind is United States v. Stevens where President Obama’s own Attorney General, Eric Holder, asked the same judge in the Flynn case to dismiss that case. That was just roughly ten years ago. As with Flynn, there was an allegation of withheld evidence by prosecutors.
If Turley was Obama’s law professor and Obama his student, Obama would probably be getting a solid “F.” But Obama is no longer in school; he’s now the mostly-respected ex-president, speaking regretfully of all the sad things that have been happening under Trump’s watch, and lamenting the abandonment of the Obama-type “rule of law.”
What really is without precedent – at least in the U.S., although not in certain countries usually referred to as “banana republics – is the way in which the Obama administration used the DOJ and the FBI and the entire state apparatus to spy on and destroy an incoming president of the opposing party. Watergate was a tea party compared to this.
And indeed, as Obama pointed out (and he should know) “when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”
Here’s an audio of that “leaked” “private” call:
The last passage on the tape is fascinating, too. Obama says:
So I am hoping that all of you feel the same sense of urgency that I do. Whenever I campaign, I’ve always said, ‘Ah, this is the most important election.’ Especially obviously when I was on the ballot, that always feels like it’s the most important election. This one — I’m not on the ballot — but I am pretty darn invested. We got to make this [a Democratic victory] happen.
“Pretty darn invested” – well, that’s certainly an understatement. He’s “pretty darn invested” indeed; seeking not just to protect his legacy, to be able to tell President Joe Biden what to do, to have Biden choose as aides and cabinet members the old Obama crew and implement the old Obama agenda (only carrying it further than Obama ever had time for), but also to protect himself from further revelations at the hands of Barr and Trump. If Biden is elected, all of the remaining investigations into Obama’s role will be dropped like a radioactive potato.
[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]DONATE
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