When a man who’s in a position to know as much about Democratic smears of Donald Trump as Marc Elias offers an opinion about the FBI’s decision to raid the former president’s home, it’s worth taking a moment to listen.
And when he published the idea in a Twitter post virtually while the news was still breaking across the country, it’s even more worth taking a look at.
Because a guy who was general counsel of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and a partner in the law firm that facilitated the whole “Russia collusion” hoax that bedeviled years of the Trump presidency, just might know a thing or two about the potential political motive behind the raid.
In two Twitter posts starting about 8 p.m. Monday, Elias made it clear that he thought the operation — which was announced by Trump only an hour earlier — was about one thing only: Stopping Trump from mounting a presidential bid in 2024.
Yes, I recognize the legal challenge that application of this law to a president would garner (since qualifications are set in Constitution). But the idea that a candidate would have to litigate this is during a campaign is in my view a “blockbuster in American politics.”
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) August 9, 2022
“The media is missing the really, really big reason why the raid today is a potential blockbuster in American politics,” Elias wrote in the first tweet, including an image of the U.S. Code dealing with the handling of public records.
With legacy media outlets like NBC reporting that the raid was linked to allegations that Trump had taken classified materials from the White House to Mar-a-Lago after his presidency ended, Elias highlighted one of the punishments for such an action.
Besides potential fines and imprisonment, anyone found guilty of such an offense “shall forefeet his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States,” the code states.
One obvious problem with this is that it’s the Constitution, not federal law, that sets the qualifications for the president. Those qualifications are simply being an adult who has attained the age of 35 and is a “natural born citizen.” (The Founders, bless them, did not include compliance with U.S. Code 2071 or any other damn thing.)
In his follow-up tweet, Elias acknowledged the authority of the Constitution — always reassuring from a Democratic lawyer — but noted that “the idea that a candidate would have to litigate this is during a campaign is in my view a ‘blockbuster in American politics.’”
It’s important to point out here that even having the discussion would require an actual conviction. But why would Democrats let a little thing like due process of law get in the way of their fantasies?
The sheer cynicism on display is bad enough, but what’s worse is the exuberance that comes through in the posts. The reader can practically hear Elias laughing as he brags about how the oh-so-smart lawyers on the staff for Attorney General Merrick Garland have come up with a way to abort a Trump campaign before it’s even born. (There are few things Democrats love more than the idea of abortion.)
Even worse than that were some of the approving responses — many by accounts boasting a flag of Ukraine, naturally.
Woohoo. Thank you for your expertise and keeping us informed!
— Jayne (@smilingoutloud2) August 9, 2022
If — a big if — it goes all the way to a guilty verdict, I will dance an Irish jig in the buff.
— Paddy O’Furniture (@ropeynes) August 9, 2022
(Just as an aside, “Paddy O’Furniture” doesn’t include a pic with his or her bio, but it’s a pretty good bet that the handle alone is an indication that the willing audience for that particular dance would be fairly limited.)
There were also, fortunately for the country’s sanity, a few even on the Elias thread that weren’t as enthusiastic.
Is this about Hilary’s emails?
— MetaPraxis (@PraxisMeta) August 9, 2022
Elias, obviously, wasn’t the only one offering an opinion. At National Review — no ideological ally of Elias and his ilk — commentator, author and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy published his take that the hunt for “classified” documents was nothing more than a smokescreen, with the real purpose of the raid being a search for evidence to tie Trump to the Capitol incursion of Jan. 6, 2021.
“The Democratic base badly wants Trump to be charged with felonies. So does the House January 6 committee, heavily amplified by the media-Democrat complex,” McCarthy wrote. “I am also quite sure that within the Justice Department, high-ranking officials are urging Attorney General Merrick Garland that the equities favor indicting Trump because he persists in the stolen-election claims — arguing that a successful prosecution would put these divisive claims to rest …
“In a powder keg, AG Garland is trying to turn up a smoking gun. Unless he can make a convincing violent-crime case against Trump, though, an indictment based on extravagant theories of fraud or mishandling of classified documents will blow up on the Justice Department.”
And on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” on Tuesday, former Trump White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, no shrinking violet when it comes to confronting the left, explained how the pattern of the FBI targeting Trump associates was impossible to ignore — and pointed to politicization of the bureau:
The raid on President Trump’s home is unprecedented.
But this is not the first unprecedented action by the DOJ and FBI to appear increasingly political… pic.twitter.com/Yb81Fayu0b
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) August 9, 2022
Considering Nancy Pelosi’s select committee of ideologically driven Democrats and two pet Republicans hasn’t exactly come up with a smoking gun to tie Trump to the Capitol incursion, the Biden administration, Democrats and the legacy media are desperate for something, anything to make Trump go away.
This response to Elias said it all:
Why are you do afraid of Trump?
— TBrad (@TBAuburn) August 9, 2022
There were some replies that included nonsense about Trump being a threat to democracy and the usual leftist tripe, but the real answer is simple: Trump’s term scared Democrats, the legacy media and the morass of Washington that makes up the deep state.
Before the pandemic struck, the economy was booming, unemployment was low among traditional Democratic demographic groups, there was actual progress toward peace in the Middle East and, whatever the delusions of the legacy media, the country was respected. (The unregrettable demise of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani probably had a good deal to do with that.)
For Democrats now — stuck with the morass of the Joe Biden presidency, a shrinking economy, sky-high gas prices and international impotence from Afghanistan to Ukraine to our own southern border — the truly terrifying nightmare is that Americans will remember what life can be like with a competent man in the White House.
Cutting that possibility off at the knees, by any means necessary, is the party’s best hope. And operators like Marc Elias know it.
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