By Robert Laurie
If you have a hazy recollection of the name Mark Penn, congratulations. You’ve been following politics for at least two decades. Penn was a pollster, and high-level advisor to Bill Clinton throughout the 90’s. When Bill left office, he continued to work for Hillary Clinton through her time in the Senate. In fact, he was part of the Clinton machine right up until the mid-way point of her first failed Presidential campaign in 2008.
Now, he’s written an article for The Hill that has Democrat heads imploding. It’s a scathing indictment of the Mueller probe, a laundry list of its abuses and failures, as well as a call to end the witch hunt to “protect us all.”
The “deep state” is in a deep state of desperation. With little time left before the Justice Department inspector general’s report becomes public, and with special counsel Robert Mueller having failed to bring down Donald Trump after a year of trying, they know a reckoning is coming.
At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton“matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a year-long investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.
With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.
But it is backfiring.
Penn goes on to run through a litany of Mueller’s failures, missteps, embarrassing canards, and empty threats, before finally calling for an end to the whole ugly mess. As you read this, remember, he’s a Democrat and a longtime ally of the woman Trump defeated…
This process must now be stopped, preferably long before a vote in the Senate. Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again.
Its prosecutions have all been principally to pressure witnesses with unrelated charges and threats to family, or just for a public relations effect, like the indictment of Russian internet trolls. Unfortunately, just like the Doomsday Machine in “Dr. Strangelove” that was supposed to save the world but instead destroys it, the Mueller investigation comes with no “off” switch: You can’t fire Mueller. He needs to be defeated, like Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Clinton.
…Stopping Mueller isn’t about one president or one party. It’s about all presidents and all parties. It’s about cleaning out and reforming the deep state so that our intelligence operations are never used against opposing campaigns without the firmest of evidence.
So, what’s the takeaway here? Sure, it’s fun to place a spotlight on a solitary Democrat who dares reject the “collusion” orthodoxy, but this feels much bigger than a petty opportunity for finger-wagging. This feels like something is changing on the broader political landscape.
I’d wager that, however much they may be loath to admit it, the left is starting to come to a place of realization. Mueller’s probe is not going to bring Trump down. Their phony Russian conspiracy is going down in flames, and they’ve started to notice that it’s taking the Democratic Party with it. Trump’s numbers are up, their donations have cratered, their “blue wave” isn’t coming, and the country is sick of the endless drumbeat of Trump-hate.
In short, they’ve realized that they made their own bed – and they’re desperately searching for a way to avoid lying in it.