One of the basic principles underpinning the idea of justice is that the same rules apply to everyone. In practice, that often isn’t the case. Hence a Jussie Smollett walks with a 16-count felony indictment and someone less well-known, and not as gay, does jail time. A Beto O’Rourke drives while drunk, wrecks a car, and runs from the cops and gets…nothing because his father is a prominent judge. While if you did it… As a society, we sort of internalize what in the Army we called “different spanks for different ranks.” Just as you might fine and confine to barracks a private who is late for formation, you would probably let a noncommissioned officer off with a verbal reprimand. We understand that the transgressions by people who have lived productive lives and perhaps accomplished something don’t necessarily require the same punishment for the same offense. This is why a lot of people were appalled by the decision to treat Martha Stewart as though she was a professional pump-and-dump operator.
Where the whole thing breaks down is when people of the same prominence are given wildly disparate treatment because they are targeted for retaliation. Such is the case of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton knowingly held thousands of classified emails on her private server. At one point, she seemed to direct a subordinate to remove classified markings from a document so it could be sent to her private phone without raising eyebrows if seen. When the DNC server was hacked, the FBI was never allowed access to the server and relied upon the analysis conducted by a private contractor hired by the DNC. When Hillary Clinton was questioned, she was allowed to be accompanied by her “lawyers” who were also subjects of the investigation. Despite mishandling classified information, some of it holding the very highest classifications, and lying to the FBI, James Comey arrived at the decision that Hillary Clinton’s ample posterior was just too big to jail.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, was targeted for investigation based on nothing that approaches evidence. Members of his campaign have been convicted and jailed. Apparently, the FBI and/or the CIA aimed agents provocateurs at his campaign to try to create facts to justify an investigation. A “dossier” created by Hillary Clinton’s opposition research efforts was successfully converted by the FBI into evidence supporting the eavesdropping on a US citizen and, through him, the transition team of the president-elect.
Perhaps, there is change on the spring breeze.
On Sunday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was on “Sunday Morning Futures” and he let it be known that this issue was in the forefront of his agenda as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This is via Washington Examiner
“So it seems to me that she was interviewed not under oath. She had a couple of her staff people with her. People in her campaign were given immunity without anything in return. Nobody in the Clinton investigation went to jail for lying about the process because there was no process,” Graham told host Maria Bartiromo.
“I know Bill Barr pretty well, and he’s pretty upset about the way all this was handled,” he added, noting he’s not sure how Barr will act.
“I don’t know if he’s going to have a special prosecutor to look at the probability of criminal misbehavior,” Graham said. “I’m going to look at what happened from an oversight role. But I hope there’s a special counsel appointed to look at DOJ corruption and political bias, you know? Because Mueller did his job against Trump. Nobody’s really looked at the Clinton campaign, the FISA warrant abuse or the counterintelligence investigation for criminality yet and somebody should.”
Asked if he thinks the Clinton emails investigation will be reopened, Graham demurred.
“I’m not so much worried about retrying her, but I want to make sure that the public understands that she got away with something they wouldn’t get away with,” he said. “I think it’s important to understand that political bias probably drove the Clinton outcome, not the facts. I really don’t believe that Comey just took over the investigation from [former Attorney General Loretta] Lynch based on a tarmac meeting. I just want the American public to know that the standard used against Clinton is an outlier. It’s not the way business is done. And why did they choose that path? I think they had a political bias. They wanted Clinton to win, Trump to lose. And here’s the point. How could she win if the Department of Justice indicted her? I think that’s what drove the decision not to indict. They wanted her to win.”
He’s also interested in the investigation of the Trump campaign:
“When it comes to the counterintelligence investigation, I want to find out why they never went to Trump to tell him he may have a problem with people in his campaign working for the Russians. They told [Sen. Dianne] Feinstein she had someone in her office working with the Chinese, why didn’t they do that with Trump?” Graham asked.
“And the last thing is the FISA warrant — how could this document, this dossier, be used to get a warrant against an American citizen four times, and it is still unverified to this day… I hope there’s a special counsel appointed to look at DOJ corruption and political bias because [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller did his job against Trump,” Graham said. “Nobody’s really looked at the Clinton campaign, the FISA warrant abuse or the counterintelligence investigation for criminality, yet somebody should.”
These are all valid questions that are in need of answers. Based on what we saw of the abuse of the FISA process, it calls into question whether that power should be available to US law enforcement to direct at US citizens.
Regardless, Graham is up for reelection and he has taken on the role of Trump ally in the Senate. Both of those factors indicate that he will want his investigation to have a national impact going into November’s election. And Graham is smart enough and diligent enough to make it happen.
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