Tags: James Comey | Hillary Clinton | Russia | Russia Probe | inspector general | mccabe

Trump, Critics Can't Both Be Right on Collusion Allegations

Trump, Critics Can't Both Be Right on Collusion Allegations
Then-FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe, right, accompanied by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, second from left, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, took the podium at a news conference to announce an international cybercrime enforcement action at the Department of Justice, July of last year, in Washington, D.C. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

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Monday, 19 March 2018 02:50 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It's been said that we're living in a "post-truth" world. The meaning of this provocative assertion is that sophisticated academic thinkers have shown us that there is no such thing as objective reality, values, or morals; that one can decide such things for one’s self.

In the words of a notorious U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the purported constitutional right to abortion, "[a]t the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

This view, associated with Justice Anthony Kennedy, the presumed author of the passage, which has come to undergird much of American Constitutional law, and which prevails not only in the law schools, but in academia generally, in the mainstream media, and in the progressive ideology of the Democrats, is, of course, complete nonsense.

Truth, meaning, and a sense of right and wrong are not elusive chimeras. They are ultimate realities each of us grasps with an innate understanding. Nevertheless, the appeal of this so-called "mystery passage" is strong, authorizing, as it does, a limitless amount of individual freedom, and a powerful belief that one is the master or one’s own destiny.

Yet, the world doesn’t work that way. Untrammeled individualism, which the passage endorses, leads to anarchy and chaos. Indeed, as the late Justice Antonin Scalia remarked about the passage, it was a doctrine that "ate the rule of law," since it implies that society should make no rules about behavior infringing any individual’s private views about proper conduct. The "mystery passage," or something like it, nevertheless now undergirds a whole set of progressive developments which fly in the face of older legal and moral conceptions.

The older view, that of the Framers of our Constitution, and the view that swept President Trump into the Oval Office, is that it is the purpose of government is not to reorder our existence according to some post-modern academic theory, but to permit us to live our lives pursuant to traditional ideas of order, morality, and religion. This fundamental disagreement, between progressives and traditionalists, between rival wings of the Supreme Court, and between our two political parties, now dominates public discourse,

Additionally, the continuance of this cultural war (which the progressives thought they had won with the election of Barack Obama) continues apace. This is a war not just about academic theory, but for the very soul of the United States. It's no wonder that it is a heated one, and that rival sides view their opponents not just as misguided — but as truly depraved and evil.

The latest battle in this war is the skirmish over the firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions of the FBI’s second-in-command, Andrew McCabe. McCabe was the hand-picked deputy of the recently cashiered head of the FBI, James B. Comey, whom President Trump dismissed on the advice of a brace of former attornies general and deputy attornies general, because of Comey’s misconduct in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s alleged misdeeds involving classified information when she was secretary of state.

Mr. Trump exulted over McCabe’s firing, with a pungent tweet, "The Fake News is beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars was given to wife’s campaign by Crooked H friend, Terry M, who was also under investigation? How many lies? How many leaks? Comey knew it all, and much more!"

But McCabe had his defenders, for example James B. Comey, who took to Twitter to blast, "Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not."

And, even more extraordinarily, former Obama CIA Director John Brennan, whose tweet, directed at the president was, "When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America . . . America will triumph over you."

The president and his critics cannot both be right. He believes that McCabe, Comey, Brennan and others at the Department of Justice and in Mrs. Clinton’s campaign were engaged in a malicious conspiracy to concoct the Russia collusion story to excuse Mrs. Clinton’s criminal misconduct and her inept campaign, and to hobble and eventually destroy his presidency. Trump’s enemies believe that he is a danger to America.

There is truth here, however, and the Americans who supported and still support the president believe it lies with him. We await the soon to be delivered Justice Department’s inspector general’s report, the report that was instrumental in the decision to fire McCabe, which should explain to the American people who is suffering from delusion and who is living in reality.

Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, the Legal Affairs Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and a contributor to The University Bookman. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and has taught at Rutgers University, the University of Virginia, and University College, London. He has often testified on constitutional issues before committees of the United States Congress, and is the author of "Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered" (Regnery, 1994) and "Law Professsors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law" (West Academic, 2017). Presser was recently appointed as a Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado's Boulder Campus for 2018-2019. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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StephenBPresser
The president and his critics cannot both be right. The soon to be delivered Justice Department’s inspector general’s report should explain to the American people who is suffering from delusion and who is living in reality.
inspector general, mccabe
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2018-50-19
Monday, 19 March 2018 02:50 PM
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