Has the smoking gun of this January 5th, 2017 meeting exposed the REAL Obama? And will he be called upon to explain himself under oath?
It’s been the elephant in the room from the moment we knew about this quiet coup attempt against Trump: Where Did Obama fit in this drama?
With the obvious direct involvement of so many Presidential Appointees in the Flynn and Spygate scandals from the beginning, many of us have long assumed that Obama was right in the thick of things. It wasn’t clear whether he was calling the shots, or merely looking on approvingly, but there was no way all of this was happening without his knowledge.
What’s more, the Page/Strzok texts have proven to be a goldmine of damning conversations. Some of them are particularly interesting.
“The White House is running this,” for one.
“POTUS wants to know everything we are doing,” for another.
It brings us right back to that infamous question, “What did the president know, and when did he know it?”
Obviously, Obama isn’t worried about getting ousted from the White House. But that doesn’t change the fact that political malfeasance — if it did occur — requires some sort of a remedy to set it right. Otherwise, we risk political malfeasance becoming acceptable as the new normal.
If a crime was committed, a price must be paid.
Trump has some thoughts on that topic:
If I were a Senator or Congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama. He knew EVERYTHING. Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2020
There’s a new hashtag and everything: #SubpoenaObama
What are the odds of it happening?
Judging by Lindsey Graham’s reaction: the odds are ‘slim and none’. (And slim’s outta town.)
Graham says he will conduct hearings on Flynn, "unmasking," the Carter Page case and whether Mueller should ever have been appointed in the first place. But he says he is worried about the precedent of calling Obama to testify, as Trump has demanded.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) May 14, 2020
Here’s the key quote:
Graham: “Both presidents are welcome to come before the committee and share their concerns about each other. If nothing else it would make for great television. However, I have great doubts about whether it would be wise for the country.”
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) May 14, 2020
There’s a good chance that crossing that Rubicon of pressing charges against a former President is a bridge too far for many in D.C. — They fear setting a dangerous precedent. They may fear opening up the possibility of every president from now until the end of time being bullied in the courts after their time in office as a punishment for pushing the ‘wrong’ political agendas.
It seems like this is a dead end. But there might be other ways to settle the matter.
Once the Durham investigation has run its course, we’ll have a much more detailed picture of who did what, to whom, and when. This opens up a couple of other options.
The obvious first option is civil litigation on the part of wronged parties — Flynn, Papadopoulos, Page, Stone, and perhaps even Manafort could have potential standing for such a suit. It wouldn’t be political in nature, it would be an explicit redressing of wrongs suffered.
The second possible option, (if there is legal provision for it) would hinge on Republicans getting a big win in November. Use the Durham investigation findings (if they are as damning as we suspect they are) as the basis for a formal impeachment so that his name and legacy would be forever marred by having his wrongdoing indelibly connected to his office in a way that no amount of historical revisionism could obscure.
Going this route, some of the other abuses that the press refused to cover — for example, weaponizing IRS against his political rivals, Fast and Furious, spying on the Senate, his mistreatment of journalists, and Project Cassandra — could be included among the articles of impeachment, giving his malfeasance the airing the Press refused to report at the time, and exposing their malfeasance in the process.
Finally, the third option is kind of a longshot. Supposing that evidence of a conspiracy is established, proceed with criminal action against Obama’s lieutenants and other top-tier offenders in conspiracy charges. (Perhaps RICO, if conditions are met.) If anybody flips on Obama, that might draw him into the larger set of charges in righting this wrong without setting out to build a case against him per se.
Do you like one of these options? Can you think of another one?
Let us know in the comments below!