Good interview/chat with a brilliant, insightful man.
Victor D. Hanson: Well, in the book (The Case For Trump—M) I think I concluded in my chapter Mueller that was written a year ago, the greatest irony in Trump’s presidency when he was falsely accused of colluding with Russia by people who were actually colluding with Russia. And I think that assessment that came out well before that Mueller was validated. I think we’re gonna get the Mueller report today or tomorrow. But if you were to summarize the Mueller investigation, there’s a lot of ways to look at it, but I think the best is that there were people within the United States government–the director of the FBI, James Comey; the director of the CIA, John Brennan; the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper; the deputy director; and an array of others; and then NSC and the DOJ who felt A: that Hillary Clinton was going to win. They had followed the analytics and the polls–90 percent surety. But they felt as an insurance policy that Donald Trump for a variety of reasons–culturally, politically, socially–was unacceptable as president. And the very thought that he could be president was so foreign and disruptive that they felt they had a higher duty, a higher loyalty to stop that. So what did they do? They started to surveil his campaign, and they put informants we know into his campaign. In October of 2016, they went to a Federal Surveillance Court–FISA court–and deluded that court by not telling the true nature of opposition research from Hillary Clinton’s campaign which was unverified. And then they used that to surveil Carter Page who had work for Trump, but they were able to go back in time to a time when he was actively in surveils communications and then reverse target that by tapping all the people that he had talked to.
They, in the case of the National Security Council, they requested names that came up in these surveillances that be unmasked and then they leaked them. How did this translate in real terms? If you and I were reading newspapers in September, October 2016–Mother Jones, Yahoo News–they were printing things that Trump was involved with the Russians, and that permeated the press. We forget that now. Then when Trump did the unthinkable, he won both in anger at that fact but also as a preemptive defense of their behavior. You see, because you’ve got to remember the dialectic would have been “President Clinton, look at all I did for you. I should be rewarded. I went beyond the call of duty.” And now the mentality went “My gosh, I’ve got legal exposure. So we’ve got to press further.” So then it was a methodology of getting more FISA requests and disrupting the transition. And then finally the act that resulted in the Mueller commission, and then to dethrone. And then finally the larger context of this was when he was elected there was an effort to sue three states for the voting machines and nullify the election. There was a sustained effort to give the Steele dossier to the electors and to persuade the electors not to vote according to their constitutional mandates. Then there was almost immediately 60 representatives that voted for impeachment the week he was inaugurated. Then there was an effort to sue on the emoluments clause of the constitution to remove him. Then there was the 25th Amendment psychodrama that went on for … And then finally there was Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe meeting to see if they could pull cabinet members to remove him. This is in addition to the Stormy Daniels psychodrama, the Michael Cohen, the tax returns–so there’s been a sustained effort not to wait until 2020, but to remove the president of the United States under the idea that we are so moral and anointed unelected officials, we have a duty to somebody higher than the American people. And boil that down and it was a coup attempt to destroy the presidency before its tenure had expired.
Jan Jekielek: So, basically, it was any means necessary where we’re OK to try to remove the sitting president.
Victor D. Hanson: I think so. I think these unelected bureaucrats, call them what you want–Deep State, members of the administrative state–they were analogous to people in history that worked in the Byzantine court, or the El Escorial in the Spanish Empire, or the people at Versailles. They were a permanent cast of unelected representatives that felt that the liberal progressive project under Obama would be continued for a 16-year interlude. And that somebody who didn’t deserve to be nominated under no circumstances should have been president and when he was elected should fail. That was not happening. So they called upon themselves to remove him. And I’m not trying to be overdramatic. Because remember on September 5 of 2018 we had an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times that was geared, by the way, to come out at the same time as the Bob Woodward book. … is a one-two punch in which a person said, “I am a Republican Deep State bureaucratic appointee within the administration, and I’m trying to stop what I think are wrong decisions by the president. I’m a member of the resistance.” That’s what he said. That was—trim away the imprimatur of the New York Times—it was basically a call for insurrection.
That’s by way of an introductory tidbit snipped from a long, wide-ranging interview. I’ve only gotten partway through it myself, so you can safely bet I’ll be updating this post with more as I wade further into it—or just starting a new post entirely, maybe.