The House vs. Donald Trump

In January 2019 the newly elected House of Representatives will begin its work.  The Democrats will demonstrate what a legislative branch is capable of doing even though it is in control of only one house of the legislature.  Adam Schiff will chair the House Intelligence Committee, Jerrold Nadler will chair the House Judiciary Committee, Maxine Waters will be the chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, and Elijah Cummings will be in control of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  They will be united in one task: destroy President Trump.

Rep. Adam Schiff claims that he will be doing a 'deep dive' into Saudi Arabia’s dealings with the President.  He claims, "There are a whole set of potential financial conflicts of interest and emoluments problems that Congress will need to get to the bottom of.”   There is quite possibly a connection here with the CIA’s claim that they have information on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Multiple outlets have reported that the CIA concluded “with high confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing. On the question of whether the crown prince knew in advance about the slaying, Trump said: "Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!"  The Intelligence Committee will be looking into what U.S. intelligence services knew about Khashoggi's death, as well as Trump's response to it.  Apparently, the President does not share the CIA’s “high confidence.”

The actions of the House under Nancy Pelosi’s leadership will illustrate how ineffective the leadership of the House was under Paul Ryan and his protégé Kevin McCarthy.  The House Intel Committee under Chairman Devin Nunes was repeatedly stonewalled by the Department of Justice.  Nunes was informed by the DoJ that the “basic investigatory documents demanded by the subpoenas… did not exist.”  He reported, “As it turns out, not only did documents exist that were directly responsive to the committee’s subpoenas, but they involved senior DoJ and FBI officials who were swiftly reassigned when their roles in matters under the committee’s investigation were brought to light.”  Nunes wrote Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, “Unfortunately, DoJ/FBI's intransigence with respect to the August 24 subpoenas is part of a broader pattern of behavior that can no longer be tolerated.”  But in fact DoJ’s behavior was met with more tolerance.  Nunes reportedly instructed committee staff to begin drawing up a contempt of Congress resolution for Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray unless their demands were met.  Without support of the House leadership, Nunes got nowhere.

James Comey, John Brennan, and James Clapper have all perjured themselves before Congress without consequences.  Pro-Trump witnesses will not be that fortunate.  They will face charges even if they tell the truth.  People who are completely innocent and decide to fight charges will be vilified and convicted in the press and will be destroyed financially trying to pay their legal fees.  People like Paul Manafort will go to jail on unrelated charges.  As President Trump wrote,  “I feel badly for some people because they have gone back 12 years to find things.”  Targets will be offered plea bargains if they will testify against the President. The judge in Manafort’s Virginia case, T.S. Ellis III, claimed the prosecutors were simply pursuing the case against him as a way of pressuring Manafort to provide evidence that could implicate  Trump.  He stated, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud. You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment or whatever.”  If you are targeted, you can expect to be the subject of a pre-dawn raid.  With guns drawn your wife will be searched for weapons concealed in her nightgown like Manafort’s.  You can also expect to be held in solitary confinement -- for your own safety of course.

If nothing can be found, crimes can be created.  Cardinal Richelieu reportedly said, “If you give me six sentences written by the most innocent of men I will find something in them with which to hang him.”  In a Commentary article, John Steele Gordon asserted, “with today's broad and vague criminal statutes at both the state and federal level, everyone is guilty of some sort of crime.” He cites a work by Harvey Silverglate that claims, “Criminal statutes have proliferated to such an extent that the federal government doesn’t even know how many federal criminal statutes there are. People break laws all the time without knowing it. So a prosecutor investigating an individual can often find evidence of dozens, even hundreds, of “crimes” and charge the individual with them.”  Competent and honest people must think twice before accepting a position in the Trump Administration.  They will be targets.

John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing).  He has a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from St. Mary’s University.  He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

In January 2019 the newly elected House of Representatives will begin its work.  The Democrats will demonstrate what a legislative branch is capable of doing even though it is in control of only one house of the legislature.  Adam Schiff will chair the House Intelligence Committee, Jerrold Nadler will chair the House Judiciary Committee, Maxine Waters will be the chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, and Elijah Cummings will be in control of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  They will be united in one task: destroy President Trump.

Rep. Adam Schiff claims that he will be doing a 'deep dive' into Saudi Arabia’s dealings with the President.  He claims, "There are a whole set of potential financial conflicts of interest and emoluments problems that Congress will need to get to the bottom of.”   There is quite possibly a connection here with the CIA’s claim that they have information on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Multiple outlets have reported that the CIA concluded “with high confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing. On the question of whether the crown prince knew in advance about the slaying, Trump said: "Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!"  The Intelligence Committee will be looking into what U.S. intelligence services knew about Khashoggi's death, as well as Trump's response to it.  Apparently, the President does not share the CIA’s “high confidence.”

The actions of the House under Nancy Pelosi’s leadership will illustrate how ineffective the leadership of the House was under Paul Ryan and his protégé Kevin McCarthy.  The House Intel Committee under Chairman Devin Nunes was repeatedly stonewalled by the Department of Justice.  Nunes was informed by the DoJ that the “basic investigatory documents demanded by the subpoenas… did not exist.”  He reported, “As it turns out, not only did documents exist that were directly responsive to the committee’s subpoenas, but they involved senior DoJ and FBI officials who were swiftly reassigned when their roles in matters under the committee’s investigation were brought to light.”  Nunes wrote Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, “Unfortunately, DoJ/FBI's intransigence with respect to the August 24 subpoenas is part of a broader pattern of behavior that can no longer be tolerated.”  But in fact DoJ’s behavior was met with more tolerance.  Nunes reportedly instructed committee staff to begin drawing up a contempt of Congress resolution for Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray unless their demands were met.  Without support of the House leadership, Nunes got nowhere.

James Comey, John Brennan, and James Clapper have all perjured themselves before Congress without consequences.  Pro-Trump witnesses will not be that fortunate.  They will face charges even if they tell the truth.  People who are completely innocent and decide to fight charges will be vilified and convicted in the press and will be destroyed financially trying to pay their legal fees.  People like Paul Manafort will go to jail on unrelated charges.  As President Trump wrote,  “I feel badly for some people because they have gone back 12 years to find things.”  Targets will be offered plea bargains if they will testify against the President. The judge in Manafort’s Virginia case, T.S. Ellis III, claimed the prosecutors were simply pursuing the case against him as a way of pressuring Manafort to provide evidence that could implicate  Trump.  He stated, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud. You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment or whatever.”  If you are targeted, you can expect to be the subject of a pre-dawn raid.  With guns drawn your wife will be searched for weapons concealed in her nightgown like Manafort’s.  You can also expect to be held in solitary confinement -- for your own safety of course.

If nothing can be found, crimes can be created.  Cardinal Richelieu reportedly said, “If you give me six sentences written by the most innocent of men I will find something in them with which to hang him.”  In a Commentary article, John Steele Gordon asserted, “with today's broad and vague criminal statutes at both the state and federal level, everyone is guilty of some sort of crime.” He cites a work by Harvey Silverglate that claims, “Criminal statutes have proliferated to such an extent that the federal government doesn’t even know how many federal criminal statutes there are. People break laws all the time without knowing it. So a prosecutor investigating an individual can often find evidence of dozens, even hundreds, of “crimes” and charge the individual with them.”  Competent and honest people must think twice before accepting a position in the Trump Administration.  They will be targets.

John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing).  He has a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from St. Mary’s University.  He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.