Imagine you work in an office – the Bureau of International Organization Affairs – at the State Department with around 500 employees, and imagine you are one of two Trump appointees. Soon after starting your job, you take a trip to Europe with your boss in order to attend a conference – the World Health Assembly – in Geneva, Switzerland.

While you are away, back at the office senior career officials gather in a meeting to take down complaints against you. People attending the meeting feel pressured to say something negative. Lo and behold, these complaints become the basis of a story first leaked to Foreign Policy in an apparently exclusive report. You apparently have been demanding “loyalty” to the President and his administration, and vetting people for said loyalty. Plus, you’re secretive and homophobic, the anonymously-sourced article reports.

The article’s source in turn quotes around a dozen other anonymous sources. Senate Democrats send a letter to the Secretary of State, demanding an investigation. The Deputy Secretary of State indeed launches an investigation against you and you reportedly come within a hair’s breadth of being fired by the Secretary of State this past June before he’s convinced not to do so by an unnamed GOP lawmaker.

Another State Department appointee (the other one in the 2 out of 500) is also apparently subject to an investigation by the Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security who can’t comment on ongoing investigations. But people at State sure can leak.

Your name?

Mari Stull, senior advisor at the State Department’s Bureau of International Organizations, according to a recent story at Breitbart. Stull is someone put there in order to re-evaluate America’s role in organizations like the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) whose members include or have included countries like Venezuela and Cuba. America withdrew from the UNHCR this year, angering many in the foreign policy establishment. Precisely the type of career officials like the disgruntled bureaucrats who launched this vicious whisper campaign against Mari Stull.

Aside from disgruntled State Department career officials who are often openly hostile to many of the goals of the Trump administration, there is another actor in this smear campaign to remove Trump appointees from Foggy Bottom.

American Oversight is a watchdog group that seems to be associated with the Obama administration and whose goal, according to their website, is:

filling the void and holding this administration accountable by focusing on executive branch agencies and high-level government officials.

And this is because:

There’s a perfect storm for corruption and scandal brewing in the administration—and Congress has completely abdicated its responsibility to provide oversight.

In other words, 2 Trump appointees are a menace to the Obama administration’s foreign policy legacy and to the foreign policy establishment in general because they won’t necessarily accept the assumptions this establishment holds sacred. The slurs and innuendo have been terrible and some officials and members of Congress have stepped forward to defend Mari Stull.

Sound familiar? Sound like what’s happening with Kavanaugh, with Professor Ford now apparently not willing to testify this coming Monday, having done the damage necessary to perhaps sabotage Kavanaugh’s confirmation?

This may be the future of all appointments when administrations from opposing political parties are supposed to effect a peaceful transfer of power after an election. A peaceful transfer of power that’s central to America’s republic and it’s democratic institutions. We now are establishing a precedent of what seems to be a dirty transfer of power. Peaceful in the strict sense perhaps, but hardly edifying. And like a war zone of innuendo and slurs to those caught in the crossfire from an opposition still unwilling to consider that transfer of power as legitimate.

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