There is no formal policy in the Department of Justice that governs the filing of politically-sensitive criminal charges during an election year. There does seem to be an unwritten but widespread agreement that it would be a bad idea to do so within 60 — some would say 90 — days of an election.
We can therefore reasonably expect that if United States Attorney John Durham is preparing to charge high-level figures from the Obama Administration with crimes related to: the use of government surveillance capabilities to conduct political opposition research against the opposing party’s candidates and their campaigns; or the use of law enforcement powers to obstruct and sabotage the incoming Administration, Durham will most likely do so before August 1.
The weeks and months that follow will be an extremely interesting period in American history. Roughly two-thirds of the American people are going to hear for the first time that a great deal of what they thought they knew about the last three years is wrong. Many of the “law enforcement officials” they were encouraged to believe and admire were in fact duplicitous criminals, putting on a charade. Many of the “criminals” — even those who have been tried and convicted — may have been railroaded by false testimony, forged documents, and FBI agents who lied under oath and withheld evidence from the courts.
Many, many people will be speechless… stunned. They will feel as if they have been living in a digital simulation — in a Matrix — where a manufactured false reality was presented to them, day after day, for years. And this occurred at the hands of the very journalists they had trusted to keep them informed. Could this be true? Can this even happen? Could virtually every newspaper and news program in the country have been reporting things that are not true? For years? What happened here? Did the news people not know what they were talking about? Did they deliberately lie to the entire nation to advance a political agenda? How did something like this happen?
Think about what it’s going to feel like in the moments after the “red pill” kicks in. Nothing is what it seems. Things that many people thought they knew aren’t even true. People they trusted are liars, or at a minimum, the stooges of liars. Which might be worse. Nothing like this has ever happened before in this country. Not on this scale. This is something right out of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, where huge numbers of people were fooled… sometimes by con artists, sometimes just because people wanted so badly to believe that something was true.
What gets trusted in an environment like that? Where do people turn to get their bearings? To find out what is real? Certainly not “the news.” And not the news people.
Our society does have one obvious place to turn: the courts. Everyone speaking is under oath. Everything produced as evidence has been vetted, its provenance verified. We now know that some FBI agents, at least, may not be truthful in this environment. But everyone else — the judges, the prosecutors, the defense — comes from a culture and tradition where falsehood is not to be tolerated. Not here. It’s not a system designed to deliver facts as rapidly as people might want them. But at least what it does deliver is likely to be true.
We already know how half of the newly red-pilled, roughly a third of the adult population, will react to these events. The arrival of unpleasant reality is not new to them. They will go back inside their media bubble, close the door, and continue living in the fantasy world they’ve been enjoying for the last three years. In their world, Hillary Clinton really won the election; she’s the real President. In the Reality-based Community, as they call themselves, Donald Trump is a usurper, a Russian secret agent who somehow mesmerized a universe of idiots and buffoons into voting for him.
There probably isn’t much we can do for those people. If they haven’t faced reality in the last four years, I don’t know why they would start now. If someone is testifying otherwise in a court of law, they won’t care. If the prosecutor has the receipts, they won’t want to see them. We’ll just have to accept that we have a cohort of crazy people living among us. So long as they don’t get violent, I suppose we can just leave them alone.
It’s the others that will be fascinating to watch. They are likely to pay great attention to these trials, while maintaining a very healthy skepticism toward everything they hear. “News” people will be attempting to curate and interpret the trials, but “news” people will be dismissed out of hand. Until these folks are satisfied that they have a handle on what’s real and what isn’t, on who is telling the truth and who isn’t, they will be going directly to sources and forming their own opinions.
Some will inevitably conclude that what they had been hearing for the last three years is the truth, and that these trials are the false reality. That will certainly be a lot easier for them to swallow than admitting to themselves that they were fooled that completely, for so long.
I’m betting that most come to understand exactly what happened. And how. And why. And they will never be the same.