by Gary Fouse
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler
As I write this piece, we are still awaiting Robert Mueller’s report on the Trump-Russian collusion investigation to be handed over to the attorney general, possibly sometime this week. Even the Democrats seem to know that Mueller has found no evidence that Trump had anything to do with the Russians’ attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
No matter. Already, the House Democrats (who are now in charge of the House of Representatives) are signaling their intentions to launch numerous investigations of every aspect of Trump’s life and career. They want his income tax returns. They want to subpoena members of his family to testify. They want to subpoena his past associates to testify. They want to subpoena former White House staff to testify. Even diplomatic interpreters who sat between Trump and Vladimir Putin. Already, they have dragged in discredited lawyer Michael Cohen to tell them and the nation that Trump is a “racist, a con-man, and a liar,” It is clear that the Democrat controlled House under committee chairmen like Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff are determined to either impeach the President or at the very least, make him unelectable in 2020.
Partisanship aside, here is where they are going wrong, and I say this based on my experience as a retired federal agent (Drug Enforcement Administration). Law enforcement’s job is to investigate crimes. That is, when a crime is committed, it is the job of law enforcement to determine who committed the crime. We investigate individuals based on information that they may have committed a crime. What the Democrats are now doing is taking an individual (Trump) and trying to find out everything they can about him in the hopes of finding something -anything- that he has done wrong in his life and career both prior to and during his political career. That is against the very spirit of the law in a free society. There are very few of us who could undergo such scrutiny, and I say this as someone who not only enforced the law but who has obeyed the law. That said, most all of us have something in our past that at the very least, would sink our chances if we were running for elective office.
What the Democrats in Congress are now saying is this: “Here is the individual (Trump). Let us find the crime.” To that, I say, “What is the crime?” Answer (and I have heard this said)? “That’s why we need to investigate.”
What if we turn all this around and say, “Let’s investigate every aspect of Rep. Nadler’s life-or Adam Schiff’s life. We’ll find something eventually.” How about Maxine Waters seeing that she has gone off unhinged again at Trump this week? How quickly would we find dirt on her if she were put under the microscope? One day of hearings would be all it takes, but that’s not going to happen.
This is not to suggest that Trump is a choir boy-far from it. I could be proven all wrong if tomorrow, Mueller hands over convincing evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians even though even the Democrats seem to know that will not be the case. If that is, indeed, the result of Mueller’s investigation, then the Democrats in Congress are reduced to going back to square one and launching multiple investigations against an individual in the hopes of finding a crime. That is not what our criminal justice system is supposed to be about. That is a KGB tactic, whether done by police or political parties in charge of one branch of government.
I also want to address the issue of Trump’s tax returns. The Democrats are demanding that he turn them over because they are convinced that a thorough examination of his multi-billion dollar business dealings will eventually reveal something. That is possible, but not the point. The point is that tax returns are private and Trump is under no obligation to show them to anybody. Let me give you an example. When I was a DEA agent-and US Customs agent before that, I had occasion to work often with IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division. They were an effective tool in tracing the financial dealings of drug traffickers. However, I never had the ability to gain access to IRS tax returns (unless under specified and very limited circumstances). Were an IRS agent to share someone’s tax returns with me, we would have been both liable to prosecution. So Trump should basically give the middle finger to those demands. Is he hiding something? Who knows? He is, however, within his legal rights, and at the moment, legal rights are more important than ever.
Why? We have already witnessed the abuses of the FBI in whitewashing the crimes of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and manufacturing a case against candidate Trump. A cabal at the highest levels of the FBI and Justice Department have abused their powers and tried to interfere in an election because they could not abide the thought of Trump actually defeating Clinton. It is arguably the biggest political scandal in our nation’s history. And it isn’t over yet. The Democrat party is actively trying to overturn the results of an election. Plan A was to tie Trump to the efforts of the Russian government to influence our election. With that effort apparently about to fail, Plan B is to start with the individual (Trump) and find a crime-any crime. That is not what our criminal justice system is all about.