The Russia Scandal that President Trump brought back up from the deep with his now infamous tweets this past weekend has left his ship of state between two deadly shores, as Andrew McCarthy has pointed out:

  • President Obama personally ordered (leaving aside the legal parsing of the term ordered and the chain of events that have to proceed according to FISA and involving the DOJ) a wiretap – including electronic surveillance – of candidate Trump last year. OR
  • Trump’s team was knowingly and actively complicit with Putin’s regime in somehow undermining the American electoral process, including the elections themselves, in order to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and place a Kremlin ally in the White House.

A reasonable person looking at the lack of evidence supporting either outrageously disturbing claim would say neither is true. A conspiracy buff feeding on the media frenzy would pause a moment from his (or less often, her) browsing of UFO websites and say: Yes! They’re both true! Awesome! When do the little green men appear??

But neither President Trump nor the media are in any mood to be reasonable with each other, nor with this scandal, which so far is not supported by any concrete evidence. And the Democrats who have all but said they will disrupt and even end the Trump administration’s term by any means possible, except hired guns triangulating at Mar-a-Lago, are also calling for a special prosecutor.

Both Schumer and Pelosi agreed to let the special prosecutor legislation die in 1999, very conveniently for then President Bill Clinton. Now they want to bring it back, like a zombie from the grave, to ghoulishly pour over the scandal from the deep. And they will surely find a way to justify disarming any special prosecutor act once a Democrat is safely in the White House.

Has Putin sent flowers to Schumer and Pelosi yet? And most every other player in Washington DC? Or is even he slightly troubled by what is starting to spin out of control? These are deadly serious accusations that in the end do merit a congressional investigation with some sort of credible neutral panel, as Carl Cannon has suggested.

Good luck. Any investigating commission will have every member pulled and pried apart by the media or by Trump himself or by leaks even from the intelligence community who has a lot of skin in this dangerous game. Any commission’s credibility will inevitably be undermined by one or other powerful D.C. player. And the public will likely be as partisan as ever in judging any commission or any of its individual members.

Cannon also suggests immunity for those investigated, because as he rightly says, the focus has to be on the integrity of America’s electoral process. Not whether contacts by former or current Trump associates might have been unseemly and therefore – in the logic of today’s divided, venal, and outraged environment – treasonous.

Because there has so far been a lack of evidence supporting either of the two scenarios outlined above – as even articles in the NYtimes usually admit somewhere near the last paragraph – the truth is likely that FISA wiretaps may have been ordered but nothing suggesting a conspiracy has been found. And they likely had nothing to do with Trump himself. Or possibly nothing to do with his campaign, even if they did look at some former associates like Stone, Page, and Manafort.

So we will have an investigation – whether by normal congressional committees or by some special committee charged with the task. Let it investigate everything then, including the illegal leaks of classified information to a press hostile to the new administration.

Will it calm the waters? Will it even be allowed to do its work? Let us pray, for the sake of America, that the answer to both those questions is yes.

Comments