Friday, September 13, 2019

McCabe: More innocent than a ham sandwich

One of the most ominous developments in recent times is the Administration's decision to bring charges against former FBI leader Andrew McCabe, who displeased Trump and thus became the target of a nonstop hate campaign. He was fired over what appears to be an unimportant, nonsensical brouhaha over authorizing two FBI agents to speak to a Wall Street Journal reporter. McCabe claims that the whole thing was just a misunderstanding.

I've never had a moment's doubt that these charges are bullshit, and that McCabe's persecution is nothing more than a characteristically Trumpian vendetta against a perceived enemy. Yet over on the right, McCabe has received the worse-than-Ted-Bundy treatment. It's absolute mob hysteria over there -- torches, pitchforks, chanting: Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in! Whenever I see the rightists in full frenzy, I'm reminded of the climactic scene of Ken Russell's The Devils, except Ken was more subtle.

Trump has literally accused McCabe of treason. On what grounds? God knows.

In a development both amusing and astonishing, it now appears that Barr could not even get a Grand Jury to indict McCabe. For more details, see Lawfare.
Did a federal grand jury refuse to hand up an indictment of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe?

No media organization has reported that this is what happened Thursday, but something clearly happened when the grand jury met—and that something wasn’t the McCabe indictment that everyone was expecting.
Is it true? Is such a thing even possible?

If so...hilarious! We've all heard the saying: A prosecutor's office can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Apparently, your average ham sandwich is a bigger sinner than Andrew McCabe.
Without saying a word in defense of McCabe’s conduct—which, if accurately described by the inspector general, is condemnable—there are good reasons to be anxious about a case that both seems far from the sort normally prosecuted and involves someone the president has singled out for persecution. There have also long been reasons to doubt the strength of the case, not the least of which is that two of the prosecutors who supervised it have dropped off the matter.
Hey, I'll defend McCabe's conduct. And I refuse to stipulate the impartiality of the inspector general's work. I've argued for a while now that we cannot trust the DOJ Inspector General, Michael Horowitz.

If I may repeat a few paragraphs from an earlier post...
It seems very likely that the Inspector General of the Justice Department -- Michael Horowitz -- has been compromised. I seem to be the only one who has repeatedly pointed out something that should be more widely discussed: As recently as last January, the Alt Right and Russian trolls waged all-out war against Horowitz. Even though he was little-known to the public at large, even though the average person never thinks about the DOJ's IG, the online brownshirts and made him the target of a vicious hate campaign.

Suddenly, suspiciously, the hate stopped. By the end of January, Horowitz had joined the campaign to demonize Hillary. The IG, formerly considered close kin to Comey, is now the Justice Department's answer to Devin Nunes -- and the Alt Righties no longer have a problem with Michael Horowitz.

Kompromat? Threats? Some other form of pressure? Hard to dismiss such ideas. That's how Trump and Putin do business.
Here's an important fact that you need to know: Although 99% of the American population does not know his name, there was a time when Russian trolls fixated on Horowitz. The same sites that spread Pizzagate stories have also accused Horowitz of being a Soros stooge. This, despite the fact that he was actually something of a thorn in the side of the Obama administration, even though Obama appointed him.

The Russian propaganda attacks on Horowitz came to a sudden stop some months ago. Suddenly, tellingly, he's a good guy again -- the one Obama appointee that the Trumpists have decided they like. Compare this propaganda broadside from last December to this one, published in February. Within that short span of time, something changed. Something clicked into place.
It was Horowitz who bestowed the Peter Strzok texts upon the world, giving the propagandists an enormous supply of ammunition. Remember when the Trumpist media rewrote the same outraged articles day after day for weeks, always pretending that the Strzok texts were a new story?
The right-wing hate machine is a very revealing device. When the machine pinpoints an individual, you know that said individual poses a possible threat to Trump's power. When the machine suddenly stops, you know that said individual has been either recruited or rendered harmless.

Barr is Beria to Trump's Stalin, and Horowitz is Barr's creature. With guys like that in charge of the Justice Department, we're all in trouble.
Its really just a cautionary tale, I think. Regardless of what happens to McCabe, all of the trashing of Comey, McCabe, Ohr, the weather service guys, etc is a signal to everyone else -- stay in line and do what you're told or else Trump will destroy you next!
They don't care whether McCabe is actually guilty, or even whether he is found guilty sometime in a year or so. They just want him to have to spend a hundred thousand dollars on lawyers to fight the case.

In August, McCabe filed suit against the Trump administration for "unlawful" termination, claiming that it was the result of Trump's vindictive vendetta against him. A grand jury rejecting the Justice Department's push to prosecute should help McCabe's case immensely. And it will all play out for the nightly news during the 2020 election campaign.

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