by WorldTribune Staff, May 24, 2017
When it comes to Washington scandals, party is everything. Republicans go to jail. Democrats walk.
“During the eight years of one of America’s shadiest presidencies, not one Obama administration official went to prison … or was convicted of a crime … or was even indicted,” Steve Baldwin and Deroy Murdock wrote for The American Spectator on May 22.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held plenty of hearings and called countless press conferences, but “not one Democrat ever was held accountable for the numerous crimes exposed by this and other Republican-controlled congressional panels.”
During the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, Senate Democrats created a committee to investigate. Chaired by Democratic Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, it uncovered information that led to 69 people being charged with various crimes. Among them, 48 were found guilty and 16 served prison time, including Attorney General John Mitchell, top presidential advisers John Ehrlichman and H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, White House Counsel John Dean, Special Counsel to the President Charles Colson, Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) official James McCord, and “Plumbers” E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy.
“Without diminishing the severity of Nixon’s crimes, it bears mention that the Watergate break-in did not compromise national security,” Baldwin and Murdock noted. “No secrets were stolen or exposed. And the campaign documents obtained by the Plumbers were inconsequential; had the break-in not been exposed, the information from these documents most likely would have had little impact on the result of the pending presidential campaign: a massive re-election landslide for Nixon.”
During the Reagan administration, Democrats also succeeded in making Iran-Contra a major scandal.
A three-judge panel appointed Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh to investigate Contragate.
Walsh’s probe “slashed and burned Republicans for six years,” Baldwin and Murdock wrote. “Indeed, Walsh’s final report implicated dozens of people and groups that had nothing to do with Contragate. Numerous anti-Communist organizations said they were harassed, accused of crimes they did not commit, and forced to surrender thousands of documents.”
Walsh criminally charged 14 Republicans. Eleven were convicted, but two saw their convictions reversed on appeal. Among those convicted, President George H.W. Bush pardoned Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, former CIA official Duane Clarridge, CIA Covert Operations Chief Clair George, Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, CIA official Alan Fiers, Jr., and National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane.
Oliver North also was convicted and sentenced to a three-year suspended prison sentence, two years’ probation, and a $150,000 fine. North performed some of the 1,200 hours of community service to which he was sentenced. However, with the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union, his case was dismissed.
“Critics correctly were appalled that anyone in Reagan’s White House gave the ayatollahs anything …. The good news was that support for the Contras weakened Fidel Castro’s Mini-Mes in Managua. Crippled by the Contras, the Sandinistas finally held free elections, which they lost. Thanks to President Reagan, Nicaragua was liberated, and the Soviets yielded a strategic foothold in the Americas, from which they hoped to undermine the USA,” Baldwin and Murdock wrote.
By comparison, the writers contend, the Obama administration’s “crimes battered U.S. national security and constitutional freedoms far more than did Watergate or even Contragate.”
Bill and Hillary Clinton launched a foundation “that operated as a massive funds-for-favors exchange.”
Peter Schweizer documented in in his book, “Clinton Cash”, that on more than a dozen occasions, “foreign entities paid money to the Clinton Foundation contemporaneously with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s approval of or non-interference with policies or regulations favorable to those overseas donors.”
Hillary Clinton also illegally installed a private computer server in her New York home to handle her State Department duties and, apparently, “conduct her crimes outside the reach of inquiring minds,” Baldwin and Murdock note. “When investigators finally came calling, Clinton erased some 30,000 e-mails and then lied about this over and over and over again. Moreover, Clinton and her chief of staff, Huma Abedin, left classified information recklessly exposed to foreign hackers.”
Baldwin and Murdock continued: “If not for the ethically compromised former attorney general Loretta Lynch — who famously entertained Bill Clinton on her official airplane just days before the FBI interrogated his wife — and the alternately accusatory and accommodating former FBI chief James Comey, Hillary and Huma likely would have faced felony charges under the Espionage Act and federal bribery statutes.”
Still, “with America’s foreign policy up for auction, and state secrets fluttering around Washington like confetti on New Year’s Eve,” Republicans could not figure out how to investigate, the writers say. “Incredibly, these probes, such as they are, remained in the hands of Comey, who mumbled something six months ago about how the FBI was continuing to investigate Hillary’s foundation.
“However, now that President Donald J. Trump has fired Comey, no one seems to know if Hillary ever will be investigated.”
Even though Republicans control of all three branches of government, “the only serious investigation is focused on Trump and the Russkies, while the Democrats’ real crimes apparently are ignored,” Baldwin and Murdock wrote. “Does anyone believe that if the Dems wield this much power after the next presidential elections, they would allow some flimsy anti-Democrat conspiracy to go under the microscope while almost energetically refusing to pursue real crimes by the GOP?”
Also writing for the Spectator, Ben Stein wondered why the only special prosecutor appointed is investigating President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
“First of all, now that we know we can have Special Prosecutors without there being any meaningful evidence of a crime, or in fact any evidence at all of a crime besides gossip and endless political campaigning, let’s have a Special Prosecutor for Maxine Waters,” Stein’s May 20 op-ed said . “She’s the screaming voice of the most anti-Trump, shrillest slice of the Democrat party. She’s been a civil servant all of her life, earning a modest wage. Somehow, she has a $4.5 million dollar home and other property here in L.A. True, there’s no evidence so far that’s she’s taken bribes. But under the logic of Rod Rosenstein, that only means she’s all the more guilty and needs a Special Prosecutor to investigate every aspect of her whole life.”
Said Josef Stalin: “The more innocent, the more guilty.”
Stein continued: “There’s no longer any need for an obvious crime. Just the allegation of a crime is now enough under the Rosenstein doctrine. So let’s also go after former Democrat Senator from Sunny Cal, Barbara Boxer. She’s a long-time Civil Servant, too. But she flies first class (I know because I’ve been yelled at by her in that cabin). Plus, she has a house in a posh Rancho Mirage community near mine. How could she have gotten that except by bribes? We need a Special Prosecutor.”
Former President Barack Obama “earned peanuts for years and now he’s in a mansion in Kalorama and looking for a home also near us in Rancho Mirage. Where did that money come from? Yes, you’ll say it’s from a book advance and maybe it is. But maybe not. He met with diplomats from dozens of foreign powers. How do we know he didn’t get paid off? How do we know he wasn’t paid off to NOT bomb Syria after they crossed “the red line” in gassing their own civilians? Yes, there’s no evidence of it, but why should that stop anyone? I have now alleged that it’s a possibility that Mr. Obama took a bribe not to bomb Syria. How can we know if I’m right or not without a Special Prosecutor?”