Recently, we have had to endure a series of reminders that “no person is above the law” from a batch of folks, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Republican Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio.
But that is not really true, is it?
There are many, many people who are and have been, at least so far, above the law. Here’s a very short list:
• Hunter Biden, and the “big guy,” aka President Biden, assuming he really did profit from whatever Hunter was doing with the communist Chinese, the Ukrainians or the Mexicans.
• The honorable Hillary Clinton.
• The FBI agents who offered whatever wound up being necessary for the FISA court to issue warrants to surveil the Trump campaign in 2016.
• BLM rioters/“mostly peaceful” protesters.
• “Mostly peaceful” pro-abortion protesters, either picketing outside the homes of Supreme Court justices or tossing the occasional firebomb through the windows of a pregnancy center
• The folks who gave you the wholly fabricated Steele dossier.
• The 5 million people who have crossed the southern border in contravention of American law since Mr. Biden became president.
• Everyone in the Bush administration who was absolutely certain and completely wrong about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
• Everyone in the Obama administration involved in the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen (Anwar al-Awlaki).
• Everyone who has committed or is committing crimes that local district attorneys in places like New York City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles don’t feel like prosecuting.
• Medical professionals who perform gender-transition surgery on those too young to give consent.
• The federal government teams at Ruby Ridge or the Branch Davidian ranch near Waco, Texas.
So, it turns out that quite a few people are above the law.
Maybe everyone who is busy telling us no one is above the law have other folks in mind.
For example, the legal system in the United States seems most concerned about the 500 or so remaining defendants from the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot. The Department of Justice is hiring more than 100 new prosecutors just to prosecute them.
The legal system is also paying close attention to American taxpayers, who are about to face the prospect of 87,000 new IRS agents.
Finally, the legal system seems especially interested in former President Donald Trump. It was so interested that someone (not sure who just yet) swore out an affidavit (not sure what’s in it) for the warrant that allowed the FBI to execute a raid at Mar-a-Lago, looking for, depending on which version of the story you believe, special access program (nuclear weapons) secrets, some random things related to the Presidential Records Act, or something tenuously related to the Espionage Act.
Probably the best indication that all of that is completely or mostly fictive is that the raid took almost 10 hours. Trained law enforcement agents who know what they are looking for (the raid was originally said to be based on information from an inside source who knew where the documents in question were) don’t usually take 10 hours to find it.
If retrieving misplaced or inappropriately removed nuclear secrets were the objective, it seems odd that the government took 18 months to get around to it, and even more unusual that Mr. Garland took a few weeks to decide whether or not to seek the warrant.
Given all this, it is small wonder that Mr. Trump’s followers are skeptical of the idea that no one is above the law. The legal system itself — like all other American institutions — with the possible exception of their church and local law enforcement — has proved to be a hollow and cynical shell. Federal law enforcement, rule of law and equal application of the law? Government? Schools? Medicine? The media? The military?
Consequently, federal officials telling pleasant fictions about no one being above the law only serve to highlight the distance between the elites and the people, between stated aspirations and ugly truths.
• Michael McKenna, a columnist for The Washington Times, co-hosts “The Unregulated” podcast. He was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House.