When I was young, ‘you chose out’ was a fairly common refrain from parents across the land. Back in those days, children were allowed to play outside…unsupervised! (I know!) I wrote “allowed.” I meant “forced.” Once you chose to go outside, you stayed outside until dinner – for which you’d better not be late. It was a kind of “you made your choice, now live with it.” I’ve got to offer that same advice to conservatives, these days…
It seems they’re all worked up over these ongoing investigations into our National Embarrassment and the swamp creatures that surround him. There’s this District Judge in Virginia, T.S. Ellis, whose head is WAY too far up a Fox “News” hole, who decided to defend his President. He repeatedly expressed his opinion that the prosecution of Paul Manafort, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, was really about Mueller’s investigation into Trump. Mueller’s investigation has alleged criminal wrongdoing by Manafort. According to CNN, ‘Manafort has asked the judge to review Mueller’s authority to bring charges in an investigation that began well before the special counsel’s appointment and focused on actions years before the campaign.’ Ha, ha…good one! I’ve got just one word for you.
Whitewater was a failed land development deal in which Bill and Hillary Clinton lost money – in 1979. In 1992 (13 years after the fact) a Resolution Trust Investigator named Laura Jean Lewis was looking into a Savings and Loan owned by Jim and Susan McDougal – friends of the Clintons and co-investors in the Whitewater deal. She submitted a criminal referral to the FBI. Both the Arkansas District Attorney (sure, possibly biased) and the FBI concluded that the referral lacked merit but that didn’t stop Lewis from pursuing the matter. After all, when has “lacked merit” ever mattered to conservatives?
Lewis continued to issue referrals for another couple of years and in 1995, testified before the Senate Whitewater committee – because the Senate had convened a Whitewater committee to look into charges that lacked merit from now 16 years prior. Initially, a guy named Robert Fiske was appointed to investigate as special prosecutor. In may of 1994, Fiske issued a grand jury subpoena to the sitting President and his wife. (The subpoenaed documents were reported as “missing.”) In June, 1994, Fiske made an announcement that no criminal charges should be brought and that he was about to conclude his investigation. So, the GOP fired him – they accused him of having a conflict of interest because he’d been appointed by Clinton’s Attorney General – and replaced him with Kenneth Starr.
Starr seemed to have had an agenda. He enlisted the testimony of a guy named David Hale. Hale was in trouble for embezzlement from his own insurance company. He received a reduced sentence after suddenly “remembering”, in 1993, that the Clintons had pressured him to make a loan to Susan McDougal – a remembrance he hadn’t made during his initial testimony in the original FBI investigation in 1989. Susan McDougal refused to answer questions about the investigation. Starr held her in prison on contempt charges for 18 months. McDougal has always maintained that Starr offered her “global immunity” from other charges if she would cooperate with the Whitewater investigation.
By April of 1998, Starr had pretty much concluded the Whitewater deal was a non-starter. In September of that year, Starr issued his infamous “Starr Report” which mentioned Whitewater only in passing. But they had found a blowjob. Even THAT didn’t stop the GOP. They appointed yet another “independent” counsel, Robert Ray, who, in September, 2000 (and 60 MILLION dollars later) issued a report that said, “This office determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that either President or Mrs. Clinton knowingly participated in any criminal conduct.”
So…do special prosecutors use little fish to try to catch big fish? Heck yes, they do. Is investigating charges from YEARS prior “out of bounds”? It doesn’t seem so. CAN someone continue to investigate even after multiple “final” reports state no factual basis for the charges exists? Yep. Might a sitting President be subpoenaed? Absolutely! Might that same sitting President be charged with offenses that have nothing whatsoever to do with the charges that launched the initial investigation? Ask Monica Lewinsky…
I’ll tell you this: ALL of these lovely little legal niceties regarding a sitting President were established by conservatives in their “witch-hunt” against Bill Clinton. Do conservatives now get to change their own precedents because the target of an investigation is a Republican? No. No, you don’t.
You chose out…