Saturday, August 13, 2016

Electoral Politics, What a Surprise!

I'm not a political scientist, only an interested observer, and I follow politics intermittently.  But, I've been a cop for a long time, a local cop, and I know how investigations work, having been involved in several (hundreds) investigations during my career.

In the mid '80s I helped take down a corrupt sheriff.  It was a very careful investigation, because we had to work with Sheriff's deputies while not tipping our hand that an investigation was on-going.  And if you know police organizations, you know that there are very few secrets in police organizations.  Police talk to one another, it's an integral part of our nature.  Those of us on the investigative team had to work very quietly, among multiple agencies (we even had to get an FBI warrant for Interstate Flight) and keep the investigation very compartmentalized before we had the evidence we needed to get the final warrant.  You've got to have your ducks in a row before you walk into the Sheriff's Office with a warrant for the man himself.  But, we did.  I wasn't there for the final act of the play, at that point I was working on another investigation, but I was there for the fallout, and it was impressive.  'Nuff said about that.

After I wrapped up my post from yesterday, I started thinking about police-related stuff, and thinnking about the corruption investigation delving into the Clinton Foundation in New York City.  And I started thinking... what if?  Some very implausible scenarios come to mind.

Shifting gears for a minute, we have to look at the Presidential race.  The Republicans had some very good men in the race early on, and I'd have been happy to vote for any of them, Cruz, Rubio, Jeb Bush, are all very capable, but Trump latched on to the discontent in the nation, at least on the Republican side and rode a wave of populism to the nomination.  Now, we're stuck with him.  And that's about the best I can say about Trump.  I'll vote for him.  He's made a pile of money over time, and in many ways he's been successful without being in government.  But, in the last several weeks, he's been shooting himself in the foot, over and over again.  Eventually, he'll cripple himself and it's hard to be elected if you've alienated every voter who originally supported you.

On the Democrat side, it's Hillary Clinton.  There was never really any doubt.  The only big opponent she had was a socialist who is beloved in his home state, but is not a good match for the rest of the country.    So, that's the state of our presidential race.

Those of us who oppose Hillary Clinton believe her to be a serial felon.  Maybe it is my cop's mind, but when I see smoke, I believe that there is fire, and Hillary's smoke-trail is legendary.  Hillary would probably have been okay, if in 2000, she and Bill had gone gracefully into retirement, but Hillary wanted more.  More power, more money, more influence, so she and Bill started the Clinton Foundation.  Charitable works around the world.  Large donations, more influence.  Then she decided to run for President in 2008.  She got beaten, of course, by Obama.  And, became his Secretary of State.  Huge power, huge prestige, and money.  Lots of money available to a sitting Secretary of State, who also happens to run a worldwide charitable foundation.

Corruption investigations take time, and I know that.  Lots of time.  All the balls have to line up just right.  Corruption investigations have to be done in secret for a number of good reasons.  First, we don't want to besmirch someone if the balls don't line up just right.  Second, we don't want to tip our hand to the target of the investigation.  Evidence is easily destroyed, or witnesses silenced, and before the investigation becomes public, you have to have everything you need.

Back to the "what if"?  The Daily Caller broke a piece yesterday that I alluded to in my earlier post.  The Feds in the Southern District of New York are knee-deep in a corruption investigation, and Hillary is at the center of it.  She is now the Democratic nominee for the Presidency of the United States.  What if, in October, the prosecutor decides he has enough evidence, iron-clad evidence of multiple serious felonies, and impanels a grand jury?  Or, if the final pieces don't fall into place until December?  Or, God forbid, until February?  Would the Secret Service arrest a sitting president on the evidence of a federal court warrant?  What are the constitutional implications?  How would the fallout affect the political parties?  All of these are interesting questions.

Roger Simon asks that very question this morning, and the answers aren't easy.  These are interesting times to be an American.  Our choices for President are stark.  We have, on the one hand, a potentially indictable career criminal, and on the other hand, a buffoonish career businessman.  This isn't an easy decision, and I fear that we may be on our way to a constitutional crisis that historians will argue about for years.  The American experiment is about to get infinitely more interesting.

I fear that Comey, last month, had his opportunity to derail this election.  He walked tantalizingly up to the line, then walked away.  Surely he knew that these other investigations were on-going.  Either way, his mid-morning press conference was a discredit to him, the FBI, and the nation.  Given the opportunity, I intend to spit on his shoes.

Let Freedom Ring.

1 comment:

Old 1811 said...

I think you have to read between the lines on Comey's statement. In his press conference, he laid out all the elements of the crime, and proved that Herself's actions satisfied every one of them. Then he said there was no "intent," which isn't even an element of the crime.
Then, before Congress, he laid out the circumstantial case for "criminal intent."
My take? He was trying to tell us something he'd been ordered not to tell us.