Federal abuses on Obama's watch represent a growing blight on his legacy



In all of the discussions about the political weaponization of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI, alleged corruption at the highest echelons of those agencies and serial abuse of the secret FISA process surrounding the 2016 election, one name has been conspicuously absent: President Barack Obama.

High-ranking officials and other major players in those agencies — which Obama oversaw — are increasingly embroiled in the growing scandal: James Comey, Loretta Lynch, Andrew McCabe, Andrew Weissmann, Sally Yates, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr.

Given the tight control Obama exercised over every part of his administration and agenda, the idea that any of these appointees and loyalists freelanced their activities without at least his tacit approval or that of his White House strains credulity.

These kinds of abuses of power were nothing new, given the Obama team’s long history of this type of misconduct on everything from the Benghazi terror attack to the political misuse of the IRS. They weaponized the most fearsome government agencies to target, monitor and presumably illegally unmask political opponents, including members of Congress, journalists reporting unfavorable stories, Trump allies and average Americans.  

These dark institutional offenses didn’t just materialize out of thin air. One of the criticisms of President Nixon was that even though he wasn’t aware of the Watergate break-in, he had created an environment in which such an action was acceptable.

Decades later, Obama created a climate in which the potentially criminal misuse of the DOJ and the FBI, as currently being unraveled, was not just acceptable but perhaps encouraged, thereby giving rise to what could be the most dangerous scandal in American history.

It’s increasingly apparent that these recently exposed abuses of power served two ostensible purposes: to secure Hillary Clinton’s candidacy by shielding her from prosecution stemming from the use of her unauthorized private server, and to derail the candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump.

But something else, something more profound, drove their efforts: their urgency to preserve what Obama once called “the fundamental transformation of the nation” — a grand project much bigger than Obama himself or any other single figure. He largely fulfilled the long-held progressive ambition of changing the nation’s course, only to see Trump threaten to change it once again: not to return it to where it was pre-Obama, but to smash the corrupt existing order that had made their progressive advances possible.

Obama and the leftist movement over which he has presided could not tolerate a reversal of their gains (by Trump, no less!), so they got to work.

On the offensive side, these Obama officials — who obviously loathe Trump, as demonstrated by the glaring antipathy in the Strzok–Page texts and others’ communications — set out to damage him. Trump, they thought, gave them much material with which to work, plus they enjoyed a compliant media that stood ready to amplify spoon-fed narratives, regardless of their veracity. The acquisition of multiple FISA warrants — now known to be largely based on an unverified dossier prepared by a foreign spy, using anonymous Russian and close Clinton associates and paid for by her campaign and the Democratic National Committee — to subvert and impair Trump and his associates, succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

On the defensive side, Herculean efforts were made by the Obama DOJ and FBI to stonewall the Clinton investigation, not out of any real love for Hillary but because they needed to ensure a Democratic win and the continuance of their “transformative” agenda. Further, with Clinton at the helm, evidence of all of their previous abuses would never see the light of day.

Thus, the forward march to safeguard her.

In October 2015, Obama told “60 Minutes” that, while Clinton made a “mistake” using a private server, “this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” The signal to his law enforcement lieutenants to back off could not have been clearer.

As the National Review’s Andrew McCarthy has reported, Obama knowingly and repeatedly sent communications to Clinton via her nongovernment, unsecured email and server. One assumes those emails involved classified information, not yoga schedules. That meant if Clinton were guilty of committing felonies, so was Obama. Because they were joined at the hip over this and other toxic controversies, such as Benghazi, she required protection in order to protect him. To this day, they survive or fall together. Hence, Obama’s support of her candidacy over his preferred choice, Joe Biden, and the necessity of the email cover-up.

He and his allies have never taken their eyes off the prize. They cannot allow their progressive gains to be erased (and replaced by far more successful economic and national security policies) and their history of abuses to be exposed. Having never expected a Trump victory, the Obama and Clinton squads have been throwing the kitchen sink at him in an effort to protect themselves — and to try to backstop their hard-won “transformative” achievements.

Restoring the progressive revolution is also why loyal Obama soldiers such as Biden and Eric Holder are considering White House runs. In the meantime, they must try to destroy Trump, his agenda, and the investigations that are quickly turning against them. After all, if Trump doesn’t just endure but succeeds, Obama, Clinton, their brigades and the larger decades-long radical movement have everything to lose.

Monica Crowley is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

The past few weeks have been devastating for the Democratic Party, its reputation and its standing among the American people.

As a result of an endless stream of news reports and congressional actions, the American people have learned that the Democratic Party, in collusion with Hillary Clinton and Russian operatives, fabricated a dossier as a guarantee to keep an American citizen from being elected President of the United States. They learned that the FBI and the Department of Justice, while under the leadership of President Obama, promoted those fabricated misrepresentations while simultaneously protecting Clinton from prosecution of her gross violations of federal secrecy laws in her mishandling of classified electronic information.  

And as the milieu of corruption and malfeasance revealed itself, no evidence of the collusion Democrats claimed to have taken place between Russian operatives and the Trump Campaign appeared. On the contrary, the deeper Congress peeled into the issue, the more it appeared that the Democrats were colluding with the Russians to defeat Trump rather than the obverse.

On another front, Democrats worked to oppose a tax cut that would place millions of dollars back into the pockets of average Americans and their businesses. More offensively, they recurrently minimized the importance of those newly found cash savings. Even as the Democrats foolishly decried the effects of the tax package as inconsequential, or painful to America’s middle class, the nation’s largest employers announced bonuses and increases in entry level wages. In response, Democrats took to the airwaves and social media, decrying the magnitude of those bonuses as “crumbs,” while the middle class they so adamantly claimed to defend considered those crumbs hugely significant.

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The Democrats did not have to take such contrarian positions on any of these issues. In so doing, however, they positioned themselves as defenders of the Deep State and of its corruption. Worse yet for the Democrats, they showed themselves to be the very elitist ultra-rich against whom they claim to be advocating.

The fact is that the positions recently taken by Democrats are the result of a faction that has taken control of the Party’s direction and has steered it well away from the views of mainstream America; the Obama Wing of the Democrat Party. And what we are witnessing with every misguided Democratic argument, every attempt at stopping corruption because of its own protectionism, and every demeaning slight at the intelligence of the American people is the slow, protracted, and howling death cries of that Obama Wing.

The Obama Wing of the Democratic Party is a decidedly anti-American faction that has conflated its calls for workers’ rights and social mobility with a rabid anti-capitalistic position that disparages self reliance. It is a Wing claiming that nothing you can do is achievable on your own, (“It takes a village”), but rather is facilitated and made possible only by the presence of government. It is a faction that effortlessly moves beyond the constraints of the law to suit its own self-propagation, doing so for two reasons. First because the law ought not apply to them since they know what’s best for the rest of us, and second, because above all, it is important that they protect themselves against attacks from their political enemies.  

You say these views are antithetical to the United States Constitution and to those foundational principles giving rise to the most exceptional nation in the history of earth? Why, yes! But since when are those documents and principles more important than the self-righteousness of the positions espoused by Obama Democrats?  

From this attitude, we get a President who believes it is within his authority to decide when the Senate is or is not in session just so he can make a recess appointment. We get a President who shamelessly says that if Congress doesn’t solve a particular policy problem, he will — even though the Constitution never gave the President of the United States the authority to pass this nation’s laws. And we get a faction believing it is okay for the federal government to force people to purchase a product, even if the people don’t want it or believe they need it.

So far, the Obama Wing of the Democratic Party merely sounds like a typical liberal faction. But there’s more! This faction believes the United States is the source of great evils in the world rather than its most hopeful solution. In its Orwellian stance, it believes there is such a thing as leading from behind, and that such a thing ought not to be construed as cowardice. And it believes it is okay to abandon America’s allies in an attempt to appease its most rabid enemies.

It is also a faction believing that every social strife ought to be properly seen through the lens of blacks versus white. There can be no justice, says the Obama Wing of the Democratic Party, unless “white people” are struck down at the expense of “people of color” — concepts irreconcilably antithetical to human rights and civil justice.

Strangely, ever since the rise of the Obama Wing of the Democratic Party, the rank and file Democrat has felt it necessary to defend these espoused concepts. Instead of acknowledging the misguided and inherently hateful positions of this terrible epoch in American politics, they instead continue to defend it, hastening their descent into the quicksand of their amorality.

There is only one outcome for this wing and the path it has charted. But as long as the Democrats continue to defend it, we will continue to see its demise as a party of influence in the United States.  Oh yes, it may make some progress in a midterm election here and there, and it will continue to make noise. But overall, its sphere of influence will continue to shrink, and its voice will become increasingly shrill.  

The only question is, how painful and protracted will this stubborn and egoistic demise be. Maybe we can ask Congressman Gutierrez.