Five Years Later

Five Years Later. By Julie Kelly.

Five years ago this week, Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, boarded a train in Washington, D.C. bound for Philadelphia. The Democratic National Convention was in chaos after WikiLeaks released emails that showed party officials rigged the primary process in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders supporters were mutinous; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then-head of the Democratic National Committee, resigned on July 25, 2016.

Simpson and his business partner hightailed it to the City of Brotherly Love to woo the media away from the escalating scandal. The well-connected pair met with top journalists and editors, including New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet, to spin a dark tale about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia including rumors of prostitutes in a Moscow hotel.

It worked like a charm. …

That last week of July 2016 exposed the seamless and shameless web of paid political operatives, top news organizations, Democratic Party honchos, and the upper tier of the most powerful government agencies in the country. It culminated with the official launch of Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016, an investigation ostensibly about four campaign associates’ collusion with Russia but which, in reality, targeted Trump himself. …

Five years of boiling frogs:

The five-year arc from July 2016 to July 2021 is stunning.

It took less than five years from the time the Justice Department told a secret court that Carter Page was a foreign agent to the Justice Department telling a federal judge that a working-class Trump supporter from Florida is a domestic terrorist.

It took less than five years from the time the FBI ambushed National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the White House to the FBI ambushing Iraq war veterans and Alaskan spa owners in their own homes.

And it took less than five years from the time Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was placed in solitary confinement under a pre-trial detention order to dozens of Trump supporters languishing in solitary confinement conditions in jail under pre-trial detention orders for mostly nonviolent crimes.

Differential law enforcement, depending on your politics:

Meanwhile, those protected by the legal system and the news media roam free — and continue to rake in the dough.

Hunter Biden for years acted as a pass through between corrupt foreign regimes and the Biden family’s flush bank account. But while Biden still faces no criminal charges related to his overseas grift, … Tom Barrack, the chairman of Trump’s 2016 inaugural committee, was indicted on July 20 for several counts of foreign lobbying violations and obstruction of justice.

Hunter Biden worked as an unregistered foreign lobbyist disguised as a “board member” for years, pocketing millions while his father was vice president and continuing after the “Big Guy” left office; he now collects steep fees for his artwork. …

It’s unclear how Barrack, a billionaire, profited from his alleged lobbying activity, or even if the accusations laid out by prosecutors represent legitimate “lobbying.” But none of it matters. The only thing that matters is Barrack’s longtime friendship with the Beltway’s bogeyman, Donald Trump.

Just ask Rudy Giuliani or Roger Stone or Mike Flynn or anyone in Trump’s inner circle how that works. …

Changing the topic:

And, like five years ago, when Glenn Simpson and the Democrats used Trump-Russia collusion to obscure a legitimate scandal and then destroy Donald Trump, the Capitol breach probe and January 6 select committee are the diversion from a real American scandal: a rigged presidential election that gave Joe Biden the White House. The media, as usual, is playing along, insisting January 6 was a terror attack comparable to 9/11 while claims of election fraud are a “Big Lie.”

At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a lady asked Dr. Benjamin Franklin “Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A republic . . . if you can keep it.”

Not much longer.