Editor’s Note: Say What? is the segment of Liberty Nation Radio where we unveil some of the most wacky, astonishing, and damnable things uttered by politicians and the chattering class.
Tim Donner: We start with just the third impeachment of a president in American history, and the first along strictly partisan lines. Every Democrat except three voting for, every Republican against, but it was followed by a massive disconnect. After claiming it was vital to rush through a partisan impeachment because Trump is an imminent threat to the Constitution and national security, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) then refused to answer questions about impeachment from the media and threatened to not even send the impeachment articles to the Senate, knowing an exoneration of Trump is all but certain. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pulled no punches on what he expects to happen once the process arrives in his upper chamber.
Mitch McConnell: The Senate must put this right. We must rise to the occasion. There’s only one outcome that is suited to the paucity of evidence, the failed inquiry, the slapdash case, only one outcome suited to the fact that the accusations themselves are constitutionally incoherent. Only one outcome will preserve core precedents rather than smash them into bits in a fit of partisan rage because one party still cannot accept the American people’s choice in 2016.
Tim: So one way or another, Democrats have obviously squeezed every ounce of blood they’re going to get from their impeachment crusade, but they’re staring down the barrel of another gun at the same time. The IG report released last week from Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed almost unspeakable corruption at the highest levels of Barack Obama’s FBI and their surveillance of the Trump presidential campaign, with a more comprehensive report from Attorney General William Barr to follow in the weeks or months ahead. And yet James Comey, the disgraced director of the FBI, actually went on TV and claimed exoneration, despite the Inspector General’s remarks that it was the opposite.
CNN questioner: Do you think this is vindication?
James Comey: It is. I mean, the FBI’s had to wait two years while the president and his followers lied about the institution. Finally, the truth gets told.
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA): Does your report vindicate Mr. Comey?
Michael Horowitz: It doesn’t vindicate anyone at the FBI who touched this, including the leadership.
James Comey: The FBI was accused of treason, of illegal spying, of tapping Mr. Trump’s wires illegally, of opening an investigation without justification, of being a criminal conspiracy to defeat and then unseat a president. All of that was nonsense.
Tim: Isn’t it remarkable how detached from reality and transparently corrupt you can become when you’re a creature of the insular bubble known as the D.C. Swamp? But Comey was hardly finished with his whoppers. Here are his comments last year on the warrant they tricked the FISA court into granting, followed by the Horowitz assessment and then Comey explaining it away as sloppiness.
James Comey: Total confidence that the FISA process was followed and that the entire case was handled in a thoughtful, responsible way by DOJ and the FBI.
Michael Horowitz: We identified significant inaccuracies and omissions in each of the four applications. Seven in the first application and a total of 17 by the final renewal application.
James Comey: I was overconfident in the procedures that the FBI and Justice had built over 20 years. I thought they were robust enough. It’s incredibly hard to get a FISA. I was overconfident in those because he’s right. It was real sloppiness. Seventeen things that either should have been in the applications or at least discussed and characterized differently.
Tim: And Comey just kept on lying on how vital the phony Steele dossier funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign was to the FISA application.
James Comey: My recollection was it was part of a broader mosaic of facts that were laid before the FISA judge to obtain a FISA warrant.
Michael Horowitz: … we concluded that the Steele reporting played a central and essential role in the decision to seek a FISA order.
James Comey: I’m not sure he and I are saying different things. What his report says is that the FBI thought it was a close call until they got the Steele report, put that additional information in and that tipped it over to be probable cause. It’s a long FISA application and includes Steele material and lots of other material. It was one part of the presentation to the court. It was not a huge part of the presentation to the court.
Tim: I’m not sure we’re saying different things. Yeah. Yeah. Horowitz said black. You say white. Not very different. And he lied, Comey did, about how difficult it is to get a FISA warrant. They’re granted like 99% of the time. But to show you how weak their case was for spying on the Trump campaign, their first FISA application was actually rejected and then they came back with the fraudulent Steele dossier and got their warrant and three renewals.
When an incumbent administration spies on its political enemies, it is, as Bill Barr has said, a big deal. And believe me, we have hardly heard the end of this.
Meanwhile, though hardly anyone noticed, seven presidential candidates took the stage for the Democrats’ sixth presidential debate Thursday night, and the guy with a target on his back was the latest frontrunner in the first contest in Iowa, young Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was attacked by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for hosting a high-dollar fundraiser at a so-called wine cave in, where else, California.
Elizabeth Warren: Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president.
Pete Buttigieg: This is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass. Senator, your net worth is 100 times mine … If you want to talk about the capacity to win, try putting together a coalition to bring you back to office with 80% of the vote as a gay dude in Mike Pence’s Indiana.
Tim: So there you go. An aggrieved candidate and the latest punching bag, but Mayor Pete turned the attack on the three senators on the stage and their committee meetings in D.C. and was met with a stinging putdown from Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
Amy Klobuchar: You basically mocked the 100 years of experience on the stage, and I have not denigrated your experience as a local official.
Tim: That is hilarious. The Senate is a great body. You don’t hear me criticizing your record as a lowly local official. Translation: You’re way too small for the job.
Meanwhile, a comment made by Chris Wallace of Fox News has drawn a lot of fire lately. The anchor of Fox’s signature program, Fox News Sunday, made a speech at the Newseum just two weeks before the shutdown of that Washington-based edifice of media self-glorification, apparently meaning to ingratiate himself to elite media, which detests Fox News, by making a declaration that not even the elite anchors have made.
Chris Wallace: I believe that President Trump is engaged in the most direct sustained assault on freedom of the press in our history. He has done everything he can to undercut the media to try to de-legitimize us. And I think his purpose is clear: to raise doubts when we report critically about him and his administration that we can be trusted. Back in 2017, he tweeted something that said far more about him than it did about us. Quote, “The fake news media is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people.”
Tim: Did Mr. Wallace even notice that Trump was attacking fake news? Not the media, the press in general, but that distinction is lost on Swamp rats who so desperately want to be embraced by the deranged anti-Trump media.
You know what? I was around for the heyday of Chris’s father, Mike Wallace, a real investigative journalist. And, Chris, you’re no Mike Wallace. Not even close.
Read more from Tim Donner.