Victor Davis Hanson Pronounces the Coup Against Trump Dead, Then Performs an Autopsy

American Greatness’ Victor Davis Hanson wrote an excellent piece in which he looks at how government bureaucrats were able to perpetrate and maintain their plan to destroy Donald Trump’s candidacy and, once elected, his presidency. Hanson begins with a declaration that all phases of their highly coordinated coup have failed. He believes their plot to overturn a fair election and to remove a sitting president, will one day be recognized as the greatest scandal in American political history.


Hanson writes:

The deep state is by nature cowardly. It does not move unless it feels it can disguise its subterranean efforts or that, if revealed, those efforts will be seen as popular and necessary—as expressed in tell-all book titles such as fired FBI Director James Comey’s Higher Loyalty or in disgraced Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s psychodramatic The Threat.

In candidate and President Trump’s case that prepping of the battlefield translated into a coordinated effort among the media, political progressives and celebrities to so demonize Trump that his imminent removal likely would appear a relief to the people. Anything was justified that led to that end.

FBI officials, like Andrew McCabe, found that the media was more than willing to oblige. Correspondents would happily publish any “leaks” officials were willing to provide and even worked directly with members of the Clinton campaign to coordinate attacks against Trump. Hanson wrote:

From the Wikileaks trove, journalistic grandees such as John Harwood, Mark Leibovich, Dana Milbank, and Glenn Thrush often communicated (and even post factum were unapologetic about doing so) with John Podesta’s staff to construct various anti-Trump themes and have the Clinton campaign review or even audit them in advance.

Some contract “journalists” apparently were paid directly by Fusion GPS—created by former reporters Glen Simpson of the Wall Street Journal and Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post—to spread lurid stories from the dossier.


This was by no means business as usual. Then-DNC official Donna Brazile contacted the Clinton Campaign with advance knowledge of a primary debate question. Hanson reminds us of  “CNN’s consultation with the DNC about forming talking points for a scheduled Trump interview.”

Celebrities even joined the fray. Recall Madonna’s comments about blowing up the White House and Johnny Depp asking, “When is the last time an actor shot a president?” At every opportunity, Robert DeNiro would go off on profanity-laced rants about Trump. And there were so many more.

Liberal television co-hosts tried to outdo each other in their negative coverage of Trump and all worked (and continue to work) to portray him as racist, evil, perverse, unrefined and stupid.

At the same time, liberal attorneys, foundations, Democratic politicians, and progressive activists variously sued to overturn the election on false charges of rigged voting machines. They sought to subvert the Electoral College. They introduced articles of impeachment. They sued to remove Trump under the Emoluments Clause. They attempted to invoke the 25th Amendment. And they even resurrected the ossified Logan Act—before focusing on the appointment of a special counsel to discredit the Trump presidency. Waiting for the 2020 election was seen as too quaint.

Hanson noted that the existence of a highly weaponized FBI set the stage for the conspiracy which was to follow. In 2016, the FBI had been tasked with investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. Officials, convinced that Clinton would win the election, did their best to scuttle the investigation.


About a dozen FBI and DOJ grandees have now resigned, retired, been fired, or reassigned for unethical and likely illegal behavior—and yet have not faced criminal indictments. The reputation of the FBI as venerable agency is all but wrecked. Its administrators variously have libeled the Trump voters, expressed hatred for Trump, talked of “insurance policies” in ending the Trump candidacy, and inserted informants into the Trump campaign.

The former Obama directors of the CIA and National Intelligence, with security clearances intact, hit the television airways as paid “consultants” and almost daily accused the sitting president of Russian collusion and treason—without cross-examination or notice that both previously had lied under oath to Congress (and did so without subsequent legal exposure), and both were likely knee-deep in the dissemination of the Steele dossier among Obama administration officials.

John Brennan’s CIA likely helped to spread the Fusion GPS dossier among elected and administrative state officials. Some in the NSC in massive and unprecedented fashion requested the unmasking of surveilled names of Trump subordinates, and then illegally leaked them to the press.

Hanson’s piece provides details of the aftermath of Comey’s firing, the appointment of the special counsel, and Robert Mueller’s team.

The thinking of the conspirators, Hanson said, was based on three assumptions. First, they all assumed that Hillary would be the next president and any “FBI and DOJ unethical and illegal behavior would be forgotten if not rewarded.” Second, the content of the dossier was so “vile and salacious,” they could do “whatever they damn well pleased.” Third, “the general contempt in which he was held by the bipartisan coastal elite, celebrities, and the deep state, meant that even illegal means to continue the campaign-era effort to destroy Trump and now abort his presidency were felt to be moral and heroic acts without legal consequences, and the media would see the conspirators as heroes.”


All of the participants believed their actions were justified because Trump was such a bad man and did not deserve to win the presidency.

Hanson writes that the Mueller team learned early on that there was no Trump/Russian collusion, “yet they went ahead to leverage Trump campaign subordinates on process crimes in hopes of finding some culpability in Trump’s past 50-year business, legal, and tax records.”

Following three years of investigations, President Trump is still standing. The Senate Judiciary Committee last week announced they have found no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia and Democratic lawmakers and journalists are finding it hard to come to terms with it. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), one of Trump’s most virulent critics, told CNN yesterday that “you can see evidence in plain sight on the issue of collusion, pretty compelling evidence. There is a difference between seeing evidence of collusion and being able to prove a criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt.”

It will be hard for them to accept that they’ve lost. It will be even more difficult for those whose unethical behavior crossed the line into illegal behavior for which they may be held responsible one day. Those who were involved in obtaining the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page might fall into this category as well as those like McCabe who lied to investigators and leaked stories to the press without authorization.

Hanson is correct that the coup has failed. Too much has been revealed for Democrats to continue the ruse – though they will try.


It’s your move, Mr. Barr.


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