Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) asked a question on behalf of several other senators and himself during the Q&A session of the Senate impeachment trial yesterday:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democrat National Committee hired a retired foreign spy to work with Russian contacts to build a dossier of opposition research against her political opponent Donald Trump. Under the House managers’ standard, would the Steel Dossier be considered as foreign interference in a US election, a violation of the law, and/or an impeachable offense?
I loved the question, but it didn’t quite go far enough since Steele used Russian sources for part of the information that was compiled in the dossier, so there are at least two foreign countries involved in supporting the Clinton/DNC gambit to interfere in the 2016 election. Let us now compare and contrast the responses from the House managers versus the President’s team.
Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY): The analogy is not applicable to the present situation because first, to the extent that opposition research was obtained, it was opposition research that was purchased. But this speaks to the underlying issue of the avoidance of facts, the avoidance of the reality of what President Trump did in this particular circumstance. Now, I have tremendous respect for the President’s counsel, but one of the arguments that we consistently hear on the floor of this Senate – this great in America’s democracy – is conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory. We’ve heard about the Deep State conspiracy theory. We’ve heard about the “Adam Schiff is the root of all evil” conspiracy theory. We’ve heard about the Burisma conspiracy theory. We’ve heard about the Crowdstrike conspiracy theory. We’ve heard about the whistleblower conspiracy theory. It’s hard to keep count. This is the Senate. This is America’s most exclusive political club. This is the world’s greatest deliberative body, and all you offer us is conspiracy theories because you can’t address the facts in this case that the President corruptly abused his power to target an American citizen for political and personal gain? He tried to cheat in the election by soliciting foreign interference. That is an impeachable offense. That is a crime against the Constitution. That is the reason that we are here. That is what is before this great body of distinguished senators.
Me: Jeffries thinks that the Democrats’ “purchasing” of part of Steele’s time and effort makes the meddling okay? Somehow, he forgets Steele’s work beyond the money he received from Perkins Coie (Clinton and the DNC) in shopping the dossier and refining it with Fusion GPS. A complete misdirection. The dossier caper was clearly “foreign meddling.” Is he seriously implying that the Democrats would have been okay with President Trump if, rather than making a joke about it, his campaign had actually “purchased” Russian assistance in obtaining Hillary’s emails back in 2016? You know exactly what they would have done. Jeffries then offers lukewarm praise to the President’s team before accusing them of presenting a string a “conspiracy theories” in lieu of a real defense of the President’s actions. Au contraire, Hakeem’ the President’s team did both, as careful watchers of this Senate trial learned this week. Every single one of those “conspiracy theories” was detailed with supporting evidence and facts. They’re all real. Do you really claim that Adam Schiff has not been a serial liar throughout this entire impeachment farce after even fact checkers at the Washington Post (a Democrat house organ) afforded him four “Pinocchios” for egregiously lying about aforehand knowledge of the whistleblower?
Let’s now turn to Jay Sekulow’s response to the question for comparison purposes.
Jay Sekulow: I guess you could buy … it’s what it sounds like … you can buy a foreign interference … if you purchase opposition research, I guess it’s okay. So, let me try to debunk the conspiracy. There is not a conspiracy theory that Christopher Steele was engaged in to obtain and prepare a dossier on the presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Donald Trump. It is not a conspiracy that Christopher Steele utilized his network of assets – including assets apparently in Russia – to draft the dossier. It is not a conspiracy theory that the dossier was shared with the Department of Justice through Bruce Ohr who was the number four ranking member of DoJ at the time – because his wife Nellie Ohr happened to be working for the organization – Fusion GPS – that was putting the dossier together. This is also not a conspiracy. It sounds like one, except it’s real. And it’s also not a conspiracy that that dossier – purchased dossier – was taken by the FBI, submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain a foreign intelligence surveillance order on an American citizen. It is also not a conspiracy that that court issued an order – two of them now – condemning the FBI’s practice and acknowledging that many of those orders were not properly issued. None of that is conspiracy theory; that is just the facts.
I loved Sekulow’s response, but even it did not go far enough in exposing the Democrats’ hypocrisy with respect to foreign interference in the 2016 election because consider this: had Hillary won in 2016, we would never have learned ANYTHING about the Steele dossier and its origins, Crossfire Hurricane and FISA abuse, or Ukraine election meddling and Democrat corruption there. James Comey would still be sweeping Democrat corruption under the rug with his able assistant-crook Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates would be the attorney general, John Brennan might still be CIA director, Victoria Nuland would be secretary of state, and Peter Strzok and company would be deep in illegal surveillance schemes to take out Hillary’s challenger in the 2020 election.
Thanks to President Donald J. Trump, the motives of the Democrats and their Deep State allies (NOT a conspiracy theory, Jeffries) are more transparent to Americans than they have ever been before.