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I Preminisce no Return of the Salad Days

October 31st, 2017

I Know How Don Quixote’s Windmills Felt

In the past, I wondered how it was possible for the Nazis to brainwash the Austrians and Germans and convince them of things that were untrue and even absurd. Now I’m seeing the same thing happening here in America. Leftists are in a state of delusional euphoria over Robert Mueller’s “proof” that Donald Trump colluded illegally with the Russian government in order to get elected. There is no evidence of that, whatsoever, but leftists are all over the web saying idiotic things like “smoking gun” and “treason.”

Paul Manafort has been indicted for activities that had nothing to do with the presidential election. Apparently he violated some relatively obscure laws regarding registering as a foreign agent, and he may be guilty of some sort of highly technical tax violations which may have been inadvertent. According to Alan Dershowitz, who is only a former Harvard law professor, the general policy of the United States government is to refrain from investigating and prosecuting such offenses, if they are offenses, but Mueller is exercising his discretion to single Manafort out in order to pressure him and other Trump associates to sing.

Look at it this way. I have bought a lot of Cuban cigars. That’s illegal. No one has ever bothered me about it. No one ever will. When the government finds out a box of Cuban cigars is on its way to your house, they confiscate it and send you a letter, and that’s it. They don’t subpoena American Express to find out if you ordered them. They don’t sift through your emails in order to find evidence that you knew you were buying illegal cigars. There is no indictment. There is no fine. They don’t care. It’s trivial, and the embargo was an embarrassing joke to them. But what if Robert Mueller had been after someone I practiced law with? If he had found out about the cigars, and the statute of limitations hadn’t run, he would have done his best to indict me. It’s the closest thing to torture a prosecutor can do, so he would have done it.

It wouldn’t mean I was a bad person or that my associate was guilty of anything.

The government doesn’t care about the things Manafort did, and he probably won’t be convicted of anything, but by ruining his life and forcing him to bankrupt himself paying lawyers, Mueller may be able to coerce him into incriminating other people. Mueller may get some scared people to tell the truth or even to tell useful lies which would enable him to issue subpoenas and go fishing in ponds that would otherwise be off limits to him.

When I was in law school, they taught me that a prosecutor has a responsibility to a defendant. He is obligated to protect the defendant’s rights and make sure the defendant is not treated unfairly. I don’t know if Mueller cares about that. Ginning up Rube Goldberg charges to destroy the reputations and livelihoods of law-abiding people doesn’t seem consistent with a desire to protect the rights of the innocent.

Anyway, Manafort’s “crimes” are unrelated to the election, but liberals don’t care. I saw one genius on the Internet claim that Manafort had been charged with “conspiracy against the United States” because he was working with the Russians to get Trump elected. No, bright boy. No. “Conspiracy against the United States” relates to the obscure “violations” involving his taxes and foreign agent status. It has no connection to the election.

As for Papadapoulos, whom I never heard of until this week, he is charged with lying to the FBI. This is something prosecutors love. You find an innocent person, you scare the crap out of him, you ask him questions, and while he’s under pressure, he tells a self-serving lie he thinks you can’t disprove. Then you disprove it. Now it doesn’t matter that he was innocent before you went after him. Now he is truly a criminal. That’s how they got Scooter Libby. It comes close to entrapment. It turns people who would otherwise have gone their entire lives without being charged with anything into bona fide lawbreakers who can be destroyed by criminal courts.

The pundits say Papadapoulos is guilty. Maybe he is, but lying to the FBI is not illegal collusion with the Russians. Liberals don’t care. It proves Trump must be impeached!

Papadapoulos hasn’t committed any other crimes. Had he done so, you can be sure he would have been charged.

It’s scary how little leftists care about the truth. One day we will not have a conservative president and congress, along with a conservative-dominated Supreme Court. When that day comes, the garbage we’re hearing from people of limited power will be coming from people who run the country. It’s like the line from Schindler’s List: “That’s not just good old-fashioned Jew-hating talk. It’s policy now.”

When the Nazis ran Germany and Austria, idiots and losers who had been marginalized before Hitler suddenly had nice uniforms and unlimited power. You had to take them seriously. You had to bow and scrape. If they felt like carting your kids away for medical experiments, you had to stand by and watch. We may laugh at our idiots and losers now, but in a few years, they’ll be riding around in black limos and SUV’s, and Americans will be terrified of them.

In a hostile interview with non-lawyer George Stephanopoulos, Jay Sekulow had to point out something obvious: there is no crime called “collusion.” If it turned out Trump ate blintzes with Putin every morning, and they plotted Hillary’s downfall, it would not be a criminal offense. It wouldn’t even ground impeachment. Liberals don’t care. Treason! Impeachment! Execution!

Think what our lives would be like right now if these nuts ran things. Man. And that’s our future! If I weren’t a Christian, I’d advise people to buy cyanide capsules.

I don’t recall other special prosecutors acting this way. Did they? I can’t say I’m an authority. I don’t recall Ken Starr or Archibald Cox charging people with obscure demi-crimes in order to torture them into playing ball. Maybe they did, but I can’t help thinking I would remember it.

Some pundit–maybe it was Dershowitz–claims that special prosecutors go after lame indictments like these in order to justify their appointments and their budgets. That would not surprise me. Egotists are capable of anything. How many prosecutors are humble and honest enough to say, “We spent a few million dollars, and I didn’t find any problems”? People in law enforcement tend to measure their success in terms of arrests and prosecutions, which is stupid, because proving a suspect is innocent is much more important than proving one is guilty. That’s not just my opinion. That’s a fundamental principal on which our criminal justice system is based. Convicting the guilty is not as important as refraining from tormenting the innocent.

It may be that Dershowitz is wrong about the nature of Manafort’s offenses. It may be that a renowned Harvard law professor made no effort whatsoever to research the law before giving an opinion, and maybe he doesn’t care if law students and hack lawyers all over the US make him look like a fool this week. My guess is that this is not the case. I think he did his homework.

Trump will not be impeached. Liberals need to quit whipping that horse. The only way he will be impeached is if he, like Papadapoulos, does something stupid in response to being investigated over nothing.

Compared to what’s coming, these are the salad days. Enjoy them if you can.

3 Responses to “I Preminisce no Return of the Salad Days”

  1. Ken Says:

    Use the Clinton response; ” I don’t recall or remember”. If you ever listened to either one of them answering questions, that was the standard response.

    They’re not saying yes or no, so no way the cops or courts can get them for lying.

    Now Scooter Libby was a real dirt bag, made his fortune as a mob lawyer for Marc Rich. But he got nailed when they got Tim Russert to testify Libby was lying about outing Valarie Plame. The jury believed Russert more than Libby….

    Don’t get suicide pills; get more guns and ammo and learn how to shoot. It’s not going to be very far into the future before the Civil War starts. It’s been 150 years, lots of bad blood has built up and needs to be ‘vented’.

  2. Stephen Says:

    An American lawyer I follow on Twitter (@Sethabramson) seems to think that Papadopolous will lead the prosecutors to Trump (And others), which seems to me to be wishful thinking & extrapolation.

  3. Rick C Says:

    “Papadapoulos hasn’t committed any other crimes. Had he done so, you can be sure he would have been charged.”

    When Martha Stewart went to jail, someone said “she was convicted for not telling the truth about something that wasn’t illegal.” I always thought that was an excellent framing of the “making false statements to the Feds” law, and make sure to point it’s not a “lying to the Feds” law.