It has become apparent by now that what is happening with special counsel Robert Mueller is an attempt to undo the 2016 presidential election.
At first they checked for Russian collusion with the president.
When they found none they gave obstruction of justice a shot.
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And when that did not give them what they want they started talking about campaign finance violations.
This is generally something that has been traditionally met with a fine but now they want it to be good enough to impeach.
If they succeed it won’t destroy President Donald trump, it will destroy the presidency itself, Real Clear Politics reported.
Justice Department careerists, led by special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, have now served notice that they are targeting the presidency of Donald J. Trump.
Not over his behavior regarding Russians, which was their legal rationale for rooting through the business dealings and personal lives of his campaign manager, lawyer, and family. No, prosecutors are seeking to criminalize Trump’s extracurricular activities with American women, two in particular: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.
This would be laughable if people weren’t going to prison as a result, not to mention its subversion of democratic self-government. If it succeeds in driving Trump from office, it will set not merely a grim precedent for future elections. It will be a clear and present danger to every person in this country.
Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford), the porn star with a problematic attorney, claimed a single sexual encounter with Donald Trump in 2006, before he entered politics. Trump apparently took up the same year with Karen McDougal, a former preschool teacher who posed nude for Playboy magazine. McDougal said she had a nine-month affair with the future president.
There is no reason to doubt either account, and in 2016, both women sensed an opportunity to profit from the experience. McDougal was paid $150,000 by Trump crony David Pecker, owner of the National Enquirer, the pro-Trump supermarket tabloid, which never ran her story. Daniels’ deal was more direct: She was given $130,000 to keep quiet.
Although both women took the money, as Trump became a viable presidential nominee, they decided they’d missed the art of the deal. Apparently thinking they’d settled for too little, they started singing. For his part, the president retreated to the wayward husband’s default position, which is to say, he lied. His lawyer, Michael Cohen, joined in these denials, notwithstanding that he was the bag man who paid the ladies off.
What, you ask, does this have to do with Russian interference in the 2016 election? Well, nothing, but there are people who care deeply about the technicalities of election spending. One of them, liberal activist Paul S. Ryan of Common Cause, complained to the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission that Trump had violated campaign finance laws by paying off Daniels. This constituted a campaign contribution, he said. If it came from Michael Cohen, it exceeded the legal limit of $2,300. Even it came from Trump, he added, under federal expenditure rules it should have been reported to the FEC because it was done to help a candidacy. Kind of defeats the purpose of non-disclosure agreements, doesn’t it?
Even if this was a violation, it could have, and should have, been handled by the FEC in a civil enforcement action, as violations of Barack Obama’s campaign were. But if you thought Mueller was going to ignore it and keep his eye on the ball – remember, he’s supposed to be looking at a possible conspiracy between the 2016 Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin – you don’t know his record…
Now a new precedent has been set, with troubling ramifications. For starters, prosecutors and judges are now expanding the criminal law on their own volition. Justice Department prosecutors tried this gambit once before and a jury laughed it out of court. It happened in the 2012 trial of John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential candidate. Edwards had orchestrated payments from wealthy donors of $1 million to his girlfriend who’d had a baby — while Edwards wife was dying of cancer. Not content to let Edwards’ derailed career be his punishment, federal prosecutors charged him with six felony counts. A jury acquitted him of one count and deadlocked on the others, with most jurors favoring acquittal.
Prosecutors had asserted that Edwards violated a “very simple” campaign law limiting donations to $2,300 per person. But even though the woman was on Edwards’ campaign staff, the money she was paid was not used for political ads, funding polls, or hiring campaign staff, which is what the law is really regulating. “The jury saw right through it,” campaign finance expert Ken Gross told reporters.
Thanks again to our friends at The Federalist Papers for permission to republish.
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