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Is the Investigation of President Trump Legitimate?
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This past weekend, President Donald Trump and the most visible member of his legal team, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, fired up their campaign against special counsel Robert Mueller. They attacked people at the Department of Justice whom Trump appointed. They smeared career DOJ lawyers and FBI agents by offering allegations without showing any supporting evidence. And they purported to challenge the legitimacy of Mueller’s office itself.

The legitimacy question is an opinion Giuliani offered six times to my colleague Bill Hemmer on “Fox News Sunday.” Surely, Giuliani is entitled to any opinion on any matter, but he must know that his illegitimacy opinion is baseless.

Mueller’s work, though a constant irritant to Trump, is quite legitimate. It is authorized by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which were approved by Congress. It was created by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee. It has been ratified by six different federal judges.

The president himself has even accepted the legitimacy of some of Mueller’s work. Trump unilaterally imposed financial sanctions on the Russian intelligence agents whom one of Mueller’s grand juries indicted for computer hacking and other crimes allegedly committed during the 2016 election.

The recent claim by Trump and Giuliani that the investigatory process is rigged against Trump betrays insincerity by Giuliani and an effort to gin up the base by Trump. From his years as a federal prosecutor, Giuliani knows the prosecutorial mindset. It is not one of patiently examining law and facts to ascertain guilt or innocence. That is the judicial mindset.

Prosecutors target folks they believe are guilty and then look for enough lawfully acquired evidence to prove guilt. That is a legitimate use of government assets — a use geared to charging defendants, not evaluating their moral worth for high office.

One of the tools available to prosecutors — and often used in white-collar cases — is to dispatch a friendly person to chat with those at the periphery of an investigation to see whether any spoken words can lead prosecutors to credible evidence. This process of using an informant to gather evidence is so stunningly normal that it ought not even be of note. That’s often how criminal investigations of nonviolent crimes begin — with conversations between intermediaries who spill the beans.

One of the most successful practitioners of this technique was a U.S. attorney in Manhattan named Rudy Giuliani. Today, as the spokesman for Trump’s defense team, Giuliani is condemning this process he once perfected — a process he knows to be lawful — and he is doing this by calling the intermediary not an informant but a spy. Calling an informant a spy depends on where you sit. When he is your guy, he’s an informant. When he is the other side’s guy, he’s a spy.

ORDER IT NOW

The Giuliani claim — unsupported by any public evidence — is that the Obama administration sent an unnamed FBI undercover agent to inveigle the inner circle of the Trump campaign. If this is true and if it was done without a search warrant, it was a monumental violation of the civil rights of Trump campaign officials, including those of the man who would become the president. But Giuliani has shown no evidence for this.

How did we get here?

All of this spying and informing — this mishmash of law enforcement and intelligence gathering — is today the byproduct of the federal government’s post-9/11 mentality. Before 9/11, the CIA gathered intelligence from outside the U.S., and the National Security Agency gathered intelligence from inside the U.S. The FBI constitutionally, for the most part, gathered evidence of crimes.

Pre-9/11, the intelligence community and the law enforcement community were prohibited from communicating with each other, for well-grounded historical and practical reasons. Because the intelligence community uses unconstitutional and often unlawful means to acquire data and because law enforcement must use constitutional and lawful means to acquire evidence for a court not to suppress it, they did not exchange notes.

But pursuant to the commands of the wildly unconstitutional Patriot Act (six federal judges have held portions of it unconstitutional), the intelligence community and law enforcement began blending their work.

FBI agents soon realized that by portraying their work as intelligence gathering and not emphasizing the law enforcement aspects, they could go to a different court — the FISA court, with its unconstitutionally low bar for obtaining a search warrant (namely, probable cause of speaking to a foreign person) — to get search warrants. This proved far easier than obtaining a constitutional search warrant, which requires probable cause of a crime. An easier warrant means less work. That was a temptation too great to resist.

The intelligence community soon realized it could share with law enforcement what it found by spying on Americans, in return for law enforcement’s looking the other way at the lawlessness of domestic spying. All of this produced a cowboy culture of utter disregard for constitutional norms in much of federal law enforcement and domestic intelligence gathering.

This is a form of corruption — the knowing governmental violation of constitutional norms and the intentional toleration of it, set below the radar.

Now back to Trump and Giuliani. If they are successful, they will have assaulted the rule of law by persuading the public to accept innuendo and known untruths. I am often on the side of the individual against the government, but if legitimate law enforcement has been or is undermined for political purposes, whether by President Barack Obama in 2016 or by President Trump in 2018, all of us will suffer from more corruption.

Giuliani’s job is not to be Trump’s lawyer; rather, it is to effect public sentiment. For the government, as Abraham Lincoln once said, with public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Trump and Giuliani understand that better than they understand the rule of law.

Copyright 2018 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Constitutional Theory, Donald Trump 
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  1. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    SOS, Same Old Comment.

    Before accepting anything Mr. Napolitano says about RussiaGate as credible, please take an hour to read critically a few of his columns published here since last November in light of my and others’ comments. Our resident “Freedom Watcher” is a waterboy for the Establishment who should stick to TV if he wants to remain an effective propagandist.

    1. Mr. Napolitano this week is again Big Lying:

    “… the Russian intelligence agents whom one of Mueller’s grand juries indicted for computer hacking and other crimes allegedly committed during the 2016 election.”

    * “Judge” won’t — because they aren’t — specify those “Russian intelligence agents.”

    * “Judge” won’t —because he can’t — specify that “computer hacking.”

    Last week, he spoke of “Russian intelligence officials” and “serious and demonstrable evidence of Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election.” Never any evidence, not even a linked source. He knows that most people are too lazy to read or too ignorant to understand the indictment.

    2. Mr. Napolitano, since the breaking of the scandal over actual election interference by FBI, DOJ, and other American government agents, has been running cover and fawning over his feds. This week’s nugget: “They smeared career DOJ lawyers and FBI agents…” Sacrilege!

    3. Mr. Napolitano presents as a principled guardian of the Constitution and the natural rights it has largely failed to protect. Every third or fourth column does that pretty well, in the abstract or safely selected applications. (He uses a portion of this column in that way, noting the unconstitutional legislation that has further empowered his beloved feds.) But his smears of and with Russia and flak for his St. Mueller show that his higher loyalty is to those who want to run this country and the world from Washington.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @RadicalCenter
  2. “Prosecutors target folks they believe are guilty and then look for enough lawfully acquired evidence to prove guilt.”

    Sorry, Judge, but that is hardly the rule of law; it is nothing short of Stalin’s NKVD Chief Beria’s famous quote, “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.”

    That is the MO of the Müller investigation.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  3. So Andrew Napolitano is a Deep State operative now. In other words, the entire Department of Justice (with the current cast of characters) was corrupt and crooked a month ago going back a couple of years, but now all of a sudden, this morning, Deep State is in the clear and Trump should just shut UP. Because saying mean things about this monster we created is mean.

  4. Mueller’s work, though a constant irritant to Trump, is quite legitimate. It is authorized by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which were approved by Congress. It was created by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee. It has been ratified by six different federal judges.

    This is the fallacy called “appeal to authority”. Russia gate is a hoax. A lie. And the Mueller investigation is a soft coup attempt against an elected President. Mueller is a traitor and so is Napolitano.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  5. In Italy there is an old axiom stating that it is less dangerous to stick your head in the jaws of a Lion than to entrust your fate to a judge, attorney or doctor.
    Italians see things clearly and the crazy–ass Germans worship these scoundrels : judges.

    I never could stomach these pompous, hypocritical, power-mad assholes, and this guy, who is nothing more than a DNC agent, simply validates my standpoint.

    Authenticjazzman, “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.

  6. Also notice how this guy who calls himself a judge completely ignores the points brought up by Mark Levin a few days ago, which were vaguely that Mueller has apparently been appointing his own Federal prosecuters? This is not Constitutional and is just one of the many many reasons that Mueller’s “mandate” is invalid.

    This idiot who calls himself a judge is clearly protecting Mueller for reasons that are completely unknown to anyone who has a brain.

    Something weird is afoot with this fake judge.

  7. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    Re #2 – I noticed this morning that Mr. Bharara, in commenting on the pardon of Mr. D’Souza, invoked the same holy order: “The career prosecutors and agents did their job. Period.”

    “Career.” As though they’ve renounced worldly rewards to serve some higher calling.

    Look for more of the same if the clay feet of Mr. Napolitano’s federal gods continue to crumble.

  8. Not just legitimate, but, um…Quite legitimate?

    Which crime is Trump accused of committing? US Code is quite specific, so please reference which crime. If you’re a quite legitimate judge, you’ll understand what I mean. Thank you.

  9. Let’s name things as they should be.

    If Obama and his bootlicking apparatchiks initiated a “counter-intelligence” investigation to “spy” on a presidential candidate then they used “spies” to do so.

    If it had been a “criminal” investigation then it would have been “informants”.

  10. @anonymous

    Agreed.

    And aren’t “career DOJ lawyer” and “career FBI agent” already smears?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  11. Corvinus says:
    @WorkingClass

    “This is the fallacy called “appeal to authority”. Russia gate is a hoax. A lie. And the Mueller investigation is a soft coup attempt against an elected President. Mueller is a traitor and so is Napolitano.”

    No, there is no “hoax” here. Just apparent malfeasance by Trump and his team.

    Just employ this simple test. Replace Trump with Obama’s name every time a new accusation comes out. Would you feel that the investigation would be a “witch hunt” or an exercise in justice? Be honest with yourself. The truth will set you free.

    Furthermore, educate yourself on the ongoing criminal investigation.

    https://investigaterussia.org/timelines/everything-we-know-about-russia-and-president-trump

    https://twitter.com/SethAbramson?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

    And, finally, why is the normally NOTICING Mr. Sailer not regularly chiming in on this matter? Answer: He does not want any of his insight to come back to haunt him. Smart on his behalf NOT to make say that the investigation is other than legitimate.

  12. Corvinus says:
    @RadicalCenter

    “And aren’t “career DOJ lawyer” and “career FBI agent” already smears?”

    Patently false. There is no “smear” here, just men and women who work diligently to make our nation safe. Hopefully nothing ever happens to you and your kin that requires involvement of federal law enforcement.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  13. @Corvinus

    ” Men and women who work diligently to make our nation safe” :

    You must be German by descent, the Germans being the most stupid, naive authority-worshiping “Untertanen” on planet mirth.

    In Germany , they worship : Judges, Medicos, Attorneys, Clergy, Doktor Titles, Journalists, Social workers, States attorneys, in other words all of the most profound BSers, and demogogues of society.

    In Italy a common greeting amongsts friends and aquaintences is “Bon giorno” dottore, or “Bon giorno Professore”, in other words the employment of these titles as a form of greeting, as a common greeting.
    In Germany nobody would dare to say “Guten Tag Herr Doktor” to someone who doe not hold such a title, which to the simple-minded German would constitute a “desecretion” of said title.

    All of your postings indicate that you are a bloody fool, and this one not being any different.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, amnd pro Jazz artist.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  14. Corvinus says:
    @Authenticjazzman

    “You must be German by descent, the Germans being the most stupid, naive authority-worshiping “Untertanen” on planet mirth.”

    Not authority worshiping, it’s observing authority. And the Founding Fathers were of that mentality as well. Furthermore, your assertion as Germans being stupid is patently false, as evident by their contributions from physics and chemistry to cars and consumer products.

    “In Germany , they worship : Judges, Medicos, Attorneys, Clergy, Doktor Titles, Journalists, Social workers, States attorneys, in other words all of the most profound BSers, and demogogues of society.”

    You are committing a categorical error here. Ensuring that there is law and order in a society is not the work of demagogues, but of learned men and women.

  15. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Corvinus

    I like how you spackled your last two in this thread with “men and women.” Like the word “career” I’ve already noted above, “men and women” is soft propaganda that helps to keep in line the Tom Parsons and other Outer Party types that you deftly mock.

    Congratulations, too, on hooking a Mensant. Do you give yourself extra trolling points for that?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  16. @Corvinus

    ” Not worshiping authority, it’s observing authority”

    Look I lived in Germany for forty-plus years , was married to three “upper-class” German women, a “Von”, an MD, and my current german wife, a retired Teacher. I know what I am talking about and the Germans most definitely can be classified as profound “Authority worshippers”.
    This first occured to me back in the sixties while sitting in a doctors waiting room and observing with amazement the entire group of waiting patients stand up as he, the MD, entered the room, as if the pope of a commanding general had just arrived.

    ” Is not the work of demagogues, but of learned men and women”. If you think for moment that people who graduate from law school are somehow then “Learned”, you are beyond naive.

    ” From physics and chemistry to cars and consumer products”.

    Regarding Physics, Germany does not and, never has had a monopoly in this field, Chemistry yeah we can thank them for Heroin , and regarding cars : Nobody, including the Germans, has ever matched the innovations and aesthetics of the Italians : Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Ferrari, Maserati, all works of Italian art, including unique propulsion conceptions.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US army vet, and pro Jazz musician.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  17. Forgot to mention the fervent love of politicians exercized by the crazy-ass Germans.
    This is amongst all of their other perverted reasons for hating DT : They claim that because he is not an authentic ” politician” he is unqualified to be president, meaning to their abberrated minds, that a “genuine” politician is someone to respect and venerate, instead of to take with a huge boulder of salt, and justified suspicion.
    I really had a temendous laugh reading Kinky Friedman’s take on term limits for politicians: He said he is all for two terms for politicians : four years in office and four years in the slammer.

    AJM

  18. Corvinus says:
    @anonymous

    “I like how you spackled your last two in this thread with “men and women.” Like the word “career” I’ve already noted above, “men and women” is soft propaganda that helps to keep in line the Tom Parsons and other Outer Party types that you deftly mock.”

    There is no propaganda here telling the truth that men and women have careers as judges, journalists, social workers, state attorneys, etc. Why are you denying this fundamental fact?

  19. Corvinus says:
    @Authenticjazzman

    “Look I lived in Germany for forty-plus years , was married to three “upper-class” German women, a “Von”, an MD, and my current german wife, a retired Teacher. I know what I am talking about and the Germans most definitely can be classified as profound “Authority worshippers”.”

    Anyone on the Internet is able to puff up their credentials. And if true that you have been divorce twice, there is a high probability that you have a knack for telling other than the truth.

    “This first occured to me back in the sixties while sitting in a doctors waiting room and observing with amazement the entire group of waiting patients stand up as he, the MD, entered the room, as if the pope of a commanding general had just arrived.”

    That is simply respect, and is often seen in American hospitals by people who are other than German.

    “Regarding Physics, Germany does not and, never has had a monopoly in this field, Chemistry yeah we can thank them for Heroin , and regarding cars : Nobody, including the Germans, has ever matched the innovations and aesthetics of the Italians : Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Ferrari, Maserati, all works of Italian art, including unique propulsion conceptions.”

    We are not talking about comparing innovations between Germans and other Europeans. You made the claim that Germans were “most stupid”. You tacitly admit that the Germans, while they allegedly never had a monopoly in physics, have contributed to this challenging field, which would simply prove Moreover, since you gave your personal opinion regarding Italian car innovations, while downplaying Germany’s role, you are also reluctantly acknowledging German skill in this area.

    Like a woman caught in a lie, you are lashing out. How unbecoming of a supposed veteran.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  20. @Corvinus

    ” And is often seen in American hospitals”

    Bullshit, you are lying, nobody ever stands up in an American hospital because a doctor enters the room, doctors who’s mistakes are often fatal, are not venerated and deified in the US such as they are in Germany where they are labeled as “Götter in weiss” : Gods in white.

    As I said, and I don’t care whether you believe me or not: I was married to a german MD for four years, plus right now my niece and her husband are both surgeons, plus my brother-in-law is a retired internist , and I KNOW what I am talking about

    “Like a woman caught in a lie, you are lashing out”.

    And now you attack me with totally unfounded sexist garbage.

    Look man you are out of your mind, and I do not care to communicate with you any longer, period.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  21. Corvinus says:
    @Authenticjazzman

    “Bullshit, you are lying, nobody ever stands up in an American hospital because a doctor enters the room…”

    Losing one’s cool on a blog is a sign of inferior intelligence. In addition, when you use the term “nobody”, that is a rather bold assertion. Because it a person is sitting down, and a person walks into a room, it is part of the normal conversation process, as well as a sign of respect and dignity, to stand up, meet face to face, and establish eye contract. This is elementary stuff here.

    “doctors who’s mistakes are often fatal, are not venerated and deified in the US…”

    Certainly there are physicians who’s medical decision for patients results in death or additional injury, but the track record for how doctors perform their job at a high level is quite good. And, of course, families whose loved ones were saved by doctors would regard them in high esteem.

    “such as they are in Germany where they are labeled as “Götter in weiss” : Gods in white.””

    Perhaps some Germans use their terminology, but is truly uttered by most or all Germans on a regular basis? I’m sure you have a source or an article that is able to offer proof of how Germans employ this widespread label, right? Right?

    “And now you attack me with totally unfounded sexist garbage.”

    I’m merely using the strategies offered by the Alt Right. And you have the audacity to label it as “sexist”? Wow, just wow.

    “Look man you are out of your mind, and I do not care to communicate with you any longer, period.”

    Typical SJW response when he/she/it is getting verbally trounced.

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