While speaking to a tech conference this week in Las Vegas President Obama repeated a claim he and many members of the media have made since his presidency came to an end.
“I didn’t have scandals, which seems like it shouldn’t be something you brag about,” Obama said. “But actually,” he said, “if you look at the history of the modern presidency, coming out of the modern presidency without anybody going to jail is really good. It’s a big deal.”
The notion is obviously absurd on the face of it, for anyone who paid unbiased attention over the eight years of his presidency. Mark Hemingway and Hans Von Spakovsky have gone through the labors of detailing many (but not all) of the scandals of the Obama years. The short list includes Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS targeting, Solyndra, the Veteran Administration… how much time do you have?
The fact that these troubling episodes have not risen (in some people’s minds) to the level of the multiple “Generic-Gate” scandals that crippled presidencies of the past is less a testament to Obama’s ethics than it is commentary on the two institutions charged with monitoring and exposing these dramas.
In the past, journalists have led the way in exposing and uncovering scandals, usually with the help of a disgruntled executive branch employee illegally leaking morsels of data for their own selfish purposes. The media churns the sea with chum, leading the DC sharks into a feeding frenzy until an administration can no longer function without a full-blown investigation.
That’s when the second institution steps in: The Justice Department. The DOJ will either directly (or through some form of independent inquiry) investigate the scandal and the issue will either result in convictions or with no charges being filed and only the reputation of the media’s target in the frenzy being damaged forever.
During the Obama years, both of these institutions were corrupted to such an extent that the multiple episodes of government incompetence or abuse went virtually ignored by the media or swept under the rug by a politicized DOJ.
But, not so fast.
Make no mistake, Spygate is an Obama scandal and it involves Barack Obama, himself, in a very personal way.
First, the Spygate story is inexorably linked with the Clinton email drama, another Obama-era scandal that for some reason he gets to duck any responsibility for. Andrew McCarthy has been very thorough in explaining these very important links.
The most damning aspect of Obama’s involvement in the Clinton email part of Spygate is the bald-faced lie he told at the height of the drama over Mrs. Clinton’s un-secure and unauthorized server. He claimed he knew nothing about it, yet he had sent and received emails on Mrs. Clinton’s server. It was a lie meant to cover-up his involvement and it is prove-able beyond any doubt.
It was so blatant that long-time Clinton consigliere Cheryl Mills raised alarms in an email to John Podesta as soon as she learned of Obama’s public obfuscation. “We need to clean this up — he has emails from her — they do not say state.gov,” Mills wrote to Podesta.
This spirals directly into Spygate and Obama’s involvement in this is palpable.
The politically charged environment in the Obama Justice Department may have allowed the temporary history books to pretend as though Obama’s years were scandal-free, but the Holder/Lynch era is now being fully exposed in the Spygate scandal. A scandal we were never supposed to learn about because President Hillary Clinton would have kept Attorney General Lynch in office.
After all, Lynch and expected First Dude Bill Clinton are old friends. They loved catching up in little tarmac chats about golf and grand kids. Remember?
But that plan didn’t work out. And the American people are, finally, learning just how political the Obama DOJ was. So political that no one seemed to blink an eye when the idea was floated to use electronic surveillance and a confidential human source (a spy) to eavesdrop and investigate the actions of the presidential campaign of Mrs. Clinton and President Obama’s political enemy, Donald Trump.
From everything we are learning (and we have just begun to scratch the surface) one of the most disturbing aspects of Spygate is that, it appears, at no time did anyone in any position of authority in the DOJ, the FBI, the White House or the intelligence community raise an objection or even a concern over the actions they were taking. This tells you just how programmed these stalwart institutions had been in their blind allegiance to the political goals of President Obama and the Democratic Party.
The question that needs to be asked - and still has not been - is what did Presiident Obama know about the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into his political enemies presidential campaign and when did he know it?
It defies any credulity to think that President Obama was not aware of this operation.
- If he didn’t, the scandal is that he was an aloof and disinterested executive as his DOJ, FBI and spy agencies ran amok with no oversight.
- If he only knew the broad strokes and not the full extent of the surveillance, then the scandal is that his Attorney General, FBI Director and DNI felt emboldened under the political culture created by the Obama White House to take such unprecedented actions without needing any approval. A rogue DOJ and IC is not a good look for a president who projected stern control, integrity and transparency.
- And if President Obama knew all there was to know about this scandal, well, he owns everything that comes of it. Including any crimes that might be prosecuted.
Of all of the scandals, abuses of power and miscarriages of justice seen during the eight years of Obama’s lackluster (and shockingly unmemorable) presidency, the biggest and most outrageous one is still in its infancy. Let’s let Spygate play itself out before we start polishing up the marble for President Obama’s monument.