Talkin’ Liberty is the segment of Liberty Nation Radio where Tim and Scott focus on a few of the week’s stories affecting our liberty that deserve a little more focus or may have been overlooked in part or whole. Here is the latest episode where we discuss Special Counsel Mueller’s very appointment as well as his targeting, and gun control after Sutherland Springs. Listen here.
Tim Donner: Let’s talk Russian collusion and who Special Counsel Robert Mueller, or some sort of special counsel, should or should not be investigating, and there was an interesting piece by Greg Jarrett on the Fox News site this week, that sort of broke the thing down to its basics.
This is some of what he wrote. He said, “It’s not a crime to talk to a Russian. The left has never been able to point to a single statute that makes colluding with a foreign government in political campaign a crime, likely because there is no such crime in the criminal code,” and then goes on to say, “It is against the law for the Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee to funnel millions of dollars to a British spy, and to Russian sources in order to obtain the infamous and discredited Trump dossier,” and points to a federal campaign act, that prohibits foreign nationals and governments from giving or receiving money in US campaigns.
So, does Special Counsel Robert Mueller have his sights set on the wrong target?
Scott Cosenza: Well, yes, in a word. I think Mueller’s appointment, and all the arguments that are made here, … It’s outrageous. I mean, the idea that you can investigate your friends.
Tim Donner: You’re referring to Mueller’s relationship with James Comey.
Scott Cosenza: Certainly, yeah, and we know that Comey’s cozy with the Clintons. I think that it’s an abomination. The thing that I thought was interesting from the piece … From the legal perspective, what the piece talks about, that is new and interesting, is that there are now people who have standing to challenge that appointment, the appointment of Mueller. It goes on to talk about how Manafort and Gates, pursuant to the criminal charges that are now levied against them, can say that the appointment of the special counsel itself was done improperly, and in violation of the federal law and that Rod Rosenstein, when he did so, he didn’t charge the special counsel investigator to investigate particular crimes, and that that’s the only reason why special counsel is authorized in the statute, and then therefore, that appointment is void. And that’s where he’s sort of trying to attack the appointment from an oblique angle.
Tim Donner: Do we have any history of special counsels that have been appointment previously, to look for a crime that had not been alleged, or has it always been-
Scott Cosenza: Not that I’m aware of, Tim.
Process Crime < Treason
Tim Donner: All right, so it’s always been for a specific crime that was alleged. Now, in the case of Manafort, all of his crimes, unfortunately for the left, occurred before he was involved with the Trump campaign, and this guy-
Scott Cosenza: And they involve only, to the extent that we know of, an attempt to avoid paying for taxes, and then lying about it. That’s all.
Tim Donner: I think it’s pretty straightforward.
Scott Cosenza: Yeah.
Tim Donner: Not reporting income.
Scott Cosenza: Nothing treasonous, you know?
Tim Donner: So the left was disappointed in that, but they probably were disappointed to learn that the other guy, that they thought would be the guy who would unearth these smoking guns against Trump, this guy George Papadopoulos, and by the way, wouldn’t you like to see Papadopoulos interviewed by Stephanopoulos? That would be something. The Greeks would cheer. But Papadopoulos … I mean, they’ve charged him with making a false statement, which is a very low level felony, punishable by very little prison time.
Scott Cosenza: So many people make false statements when they’re under investigation. This is one of the reasons why, as an attorney, you just tell people to not talk to investigators, because inevitably, people lie, because what happens is investigators uncover … They have massive powers to uncover private facts of people, and then when they’re confronted with those facts, people often lie, to cover up the true nature of things, that may not even be criminal, so Martha Stewart is the famous example of this, where-
Tim Donner: Process crime.
Scott Cosenza: Martha Stewart, we don’t … There’s no evidence that she committed any federal crime, except for the crime of lying to a federal investigator, and that was it, and plenty of people lie for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with them doing something really bad, or in violation of criminal law. It’s just that they wish to be private about financial transactions, sexual affairs, all sorts of things like that.
So, it is a weak kind of a charge, and one that I think most libertarians believe should not and cannot be a crime, morally speaking, or under a fair reading of our Constitution. Free speech includes lies.
Tim Donner: Yes. Well, isn’t it fair to say that, in the absence of quote, “Real crimes,” that a 17 team investigation, largely we Democrats and leftists that were hired by Robert Mueller, are going to find the process crimes, like the one with Papadopoulos?
Scott Cosenza: Let me add that my previous statement was only when there’s not an oath involved.
Tim Donner: Right.
Scott Cosenza: So they didn’t swear to tell the truth. They just said, “Where were you on Tuesday night?”
Tim Donner: What you’re saying is, and this is important, there’s a difference between perjury and making a false statement to federal investigators.
Scott Cosenza: Yes, there needs to be and there should be.
Tim Donner: But there is, is there not?
Scott Cosenza: Oh, yes there is, but both are punishable crimes in the United States, but only one of those acts are what we would say defensible crimes, under a libertarian or small government mindset, which is to say that if you’re not under oath, you can lie, according to the morality of those of us who think that it’s not the government’s business to restrict our speech, and Tim, you know, getting back to that if you can’t find a real crime you get to the process crime, by these Democrat-
Tim Donner: It’s not nearly as painful as it is for me.
Scott Cosenza: By the way, just as an aside, a lot of them are movement Democrats as well. It’s not just that they’re a registered Democrat.
Tim Donner: Right. They’re active.
Scott Cosenza: You know, they’ve been giving money for a long time.
Tim Donner: Active Democrats.
Scott Cosenza: Yeah, it’s a kind of different animal than just somebody out there, who may be a Democrat. Of course, you could be unbiased, because you’re not … That’s not part of your identity, and for this, it’s people’s part of their identity, so that motivates the process crimes, as well as just a general, bureaucratic need to justify one’s existence does it, so there’s even an apolitical motivation to bring forward these process crimes, because it’s like, well you spent all this money, and after-
Tim Donner: Right, you have to find something.
Scott Cosenza: … months and months, or years of work, to show for it, what do you have? Well-
Tim Donner: You mean to tell me that you don’t think Robert Mueller will get up there and go, “You know, other than Paul Manafort, and Mr. Gates, and Mr. Papadopoulos-”
Scott Cosenza: Whoopsie.
Gun Control Does Not Work
Tim Donner: “… all clear. All clear, no problems anywhere.” It’s just not the way things work, which is why so many people are opposed to the concept of a special counsel in so many instances. Okay, well the left has got a problem. The anti-second amendment left has a problem with the fact that the man that unloaded on those 26 people that he killed, and the others who were injured down in that small town in Texas, should not have had a gun. He was not permitted to have a gun. He did not pass background checks, but it was the government themselves, and the person at the Air Force, in this case, that actually didn’t apply the laws that they’re so anxious to have, so they’re kind of in a bind right now, aren’t they?
Scott Cosenza: It would seem to be troubling, logically, to tell the electorate that we have these gun control laws on the books, which would have prevented that man from getting this particular gun … Now, I think it’s ludicrous to say that he wouldn’t have been able to get a gun, because if you can get crack cocaine, or you know-
Tim Donner: Well, what I mean is he wouldn’t have been able to legally-
Scott Cosenza: No, no. No. I take your point. No, but what I’m saying is-
Tim Donner: Yeah, right. Big difference. Yes.
Scott Cosenza: So the point is, it would have prevented that purchase from happening, the particular purchase he used to get the AR-556 that he used to massacre the people in Sutherland Springs. But the point is, this is why gun control laws do not work. It wouldn’t have mattered if he didn’t get it that way. He would have got it anyway, and the proposal now, by the way … I don’t know if you saw this, Tim, Jeff Flake, actually, tweeted out, I think, that he was working on some bill to prevent … Not knowing that-
Tim Donner: Prevent criminals from getting guns illegally.
Scott Cosenza: Which is already covered under what’s called the Lautenberg Amendment, which is what made these cases, these domestic abuse type cases, make somebody ineligible for firearms ownership, and there are lots of problems with that law, that we don’t have to get into right now, except to say that it is a law already on the books. I don’t know if you knew this or not, but Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill, a renewal of her longstanding bill, that just lists guns, and guns, and guns by name, to prohibit them, as if … Can you imagine if there were people mowing down people with cars, like there have been in terrorist attacks, and in response, instead of going after the terrorists, they just listed the names of the cars that the terrorists preferred, so you can’t have a Honda Accord anymore, but you can have a Toyota Camry? This is the exact and functional equivalent of what we have with the Feinstein bill.
Tim Donner: The other problem that the left has had is the fact that a guy, a good guy with a gun, eventually showed up and limited the damage to 26 people-
Scott Cosenza: Yes, an AR-15.
Tim Donner: An AR-15 assault-
Scott Cosenza: An assault rifle.
Tim Donner: An assault-
Scott Cosenza: Assault weapon.
Tim Donner: The kind they’re trying to ban.
Scott Cosenza: Right.
Tim Donner: And he shows up, so a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun, which is an uncomfortable truth for the left, but nevertheless one that they persist with, and with that-
Scott Cosenza: It blew up their meme.
Tim Donner: We did. Trouble for the left.