THE acquittal verdict in the Sussmann trial is causing dismay among those who persist in believing in the Rule of Law. Former US Attorney General William Barr has stated the entire Russiagate scandal has been nothing short of ‘seditious’.
According to James Baker, former general counsel to the FBI, his friend Michael Sussmann lied when providing damning confidential information to the FBI, namely that Donald Trump was in cahoots with the Kremlin-connected Alfa Bank and by extension was a Putin stooge.
Further testimony from Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook confirmed the story was personally approved by Hillary Clinton even though her campaigners were unsure if it was true. Clinton also commissioned the now-discredited Steele dossier, which they went on to ‘sell aggressively’ to the FBI, the Department of Justice, the State Department, and most importantly, the press. Their objective was to distract the media from Clinton’s own misuse of her private email server containing classified documents, and to stymie Trump’s election prospects.
The subsequent Sussmann trial was a very big deal, coming after a two-year $32million investigation by Robert Mueller. He concluded that Russia did interfere in the 2016 presidential election, but that involvement by the Trump campaign had not been established. However, it served to cover up Hillary Clinton’s alleged sedition, even though trial testimony would later on directly tie her to the smear.
The Clinton campaign has since been described by commentator Charles Lipson as ‘the biggest political dirty trick in modern American politics’. At every turn, the press played down any significance, and even ignored it. The FBI handled it ‘with a mixture of incompetence and malign contempt’. The falsity of the material, well known to the FBI from the outset, did nothing to stop them continuing to spy on Trump in an effort to establish a Russian connection.
Yet, after all the misconduct, cover-ups and deceit by individuals within the Washington administration, and even as the facts of the scandal began to emerge into the public domain, Clinton was given the all-clear and senior FBI personnel have yet to be held to account. Dramatically, while the trial has served to expose the extent of the scandal, malfeasance in public office and grossly biased reporting by the MSM, the jury found Sussman not guilty.
Commentators have raised very serious concerns about all this. Kash Patel, former White House national security official, has called on the Department of Justice to move any subsequent Russiagate trials out of Washington DC to avoid any further instances of potential ‘tainted jury’ proceedings.
He claims that the federal court system allowed three pro-Hillary Clinton Democrat donors to serve on the jury, and the judge was himself a Democrat appointee who wrongly allowed to remain on the jury a woman whose daughter shared the same high school crew team as Sussmann’s. ‘The DC tainted jury pool showed its political stripes, and barely deliberated. It is beyond unethical. They violated the law and they violated the oaths they took to sit on the jury.’
William Barr also concluded that the US legal system is rigged against Republicans, although he claims the trial managed to do something important by ‘crystallising the central role played by the Clinton campaign’ in driving up the narrative against Donald Trump.
Not surprisingly, Trump himself has called the entire legal system corrupt. ‘Our judges, and justices, are highly partisan, compromised, or just plain scared.’
In the Epoch Times, Roger L Simon is even less generous. He concludes that ‘American justice is not just dead, it’s decomposed.’ Following the jury’s decision to close their deliberations almost immediately, he lamented: ‘Au revoir, American exceptionalism. We are China, we are Putin’s Russia, we are Orwell’s Animal Farm, and then some. Most of all, goodbye to the Rule of Law.’
This is the same Rule of Law which all US government officers, including the President, judges, legislators, and members of Congress pledge to uphold first and foremost through the Constitution. It has also been considered one of the key dimensions that determine the quality and good governance of any country. It implies that every person is subject equally before the law, including all the lawmakers and law enforcers, and without which a state will descend into tyranny or oligarchy.
No doubt, old hands at analysing the political shenanigans of previous administrations will shrug and say this is just par for the course, and what politicians do. The difference this time round is that none of the alleged offenders actually seems to care. As with aspects of the lockdown scenarios, the main personae are openly confident of ‘getting away with it’.
We heard this same phrase more recently from No 10 apparatchiks caught up in their own scandalous Partygate affair. Events including ‘invites to bring your own booze to the Downing Street garden, suitcases wheeled in full of alcohol, raucous karaoke, vomiting and broken swings, and involving up to 40 or 50 people’ clearly broke the rules which these very same administrators had drawn up. These rules banned families holding hands at funerals, and kept children from visiting their dying parents. They signed off a campaign featuring an exhausted nurse, exhorting the rest of us to ‘Look into her eyes and tell her you never bend the rules!’
The Prime Minister has been fined trifling sums. All he has done is apologise and say he is truly sorry. Ordinary people have been fined thousands of pounds for much less. And the Queen attended the funeral of her beloved husband, and sat in St George’s Chapel, alone and uncomforted.
So the emergence of possibly deep corruption at the heart of any other administration might have served as a warning to UK counterparts. Indeed on Friday, Boris Johnson, with apparent humility, read the words from Philippians 4 at Her Majesty’s Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving: ‘Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure . . . think about such things. Put it into practice.’
The irony of it! The chutzpah!
Meanwhile, our own MSM, instead of informing people of the emergence of this scandal in high American places, has largely played it down, preferring to headline that other trial, the Depp-Heard pantomime, showcasing the unedifying spectacle of self-important celebrities laundering their distastefully dirty linen in court. The public have lapped it up, just as the emperors of Ancient Rome would have suggested: Give them bread and circuses to keep them compliant.
As far as the bread is concerned, that might prove a little tricky at the moment, what with the Ukraine crisis blighting the distribution of much of the world’s wheat supplies. But the circuses don’t appear to be at risk. There’s certainly no shortage of clowns.