Former FBI Director Robert Mueller arrives for a court hearing at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco on April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
How are we supposed to take the myriad leaks coming from Robert Mueller's special investigation of what I guess we could call "The Russian Matter"?
You would think that on the day Rep. Steve Scalise was shot the lava-like flow of illegal and frequently inaccurate leaked information being promulgated ad infinitum by the Washington Post, the New York Times, and CNN (among others) would stop for a moment's respectful pause, but no -- at least not at the Washington Post.
That very day they were "reporting" [scare quotes deliberate] that five, count 'em five, needless-to-say unnamed "officials" [scare quotes again deliberate] were saying Donald Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
In Thursday's WaPo"exclusive," it's son-in-law Jared Kushner under the leak-o-scope. This article, like the one before, is accompanied by the paper's typical boilerplate that they seem to have in macro. (Do they teach this in j-school now?):
The officials who described the financial focus of the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
I thought they weren't "authorized" to speak at all. I thought it was against the law to leak -- naive me.
Obviously, the Post doesn't care. A scoop's a scoop to these denizens of digital Grub Street who seem to have to sprung virtually unchanged from the pages of Boswell's "London Journal," or is it Evelyn Waugh?
These leaks have appeared only days after this supposedly confidential investigation began. Where did they come from? Inside the FBI? If so, that organization (with five leakers!) is seriously corrupt and should be disbanded. Yes, you read that correctly. If serial leaks are coming from the FBI, our leading law enforcement agency is betraying the America people and is staffed with a number of criminals of the most despicable entitled sort. They think they know what's best for us hoi polloi, so they are allowed to break the law with impunity when the rest of us poor schmucks have to toe the line on a parking ticket. Over such things are civil wars and revolutions fought (taxation without representation, etc.) -- with justification.
That is a big story, bigger even than Trump/Russia (well, that wouldn't be hard). Whether or not Trump obstructed justice we have no way of knowing (though Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley are skeptical), but we do know that illegal leakers are all over our government from intelligence agencies to the FBI. This is quite simply totalitarianism on the march, the subversion of the rule of law in a democratic republic.
What we are witnessing is a cross between "Animal Farm" and Ugo Betti's "Corruption in the Palace of Justice" as produced by Jeff Bezos. It also resembles the techniques employed during Stalin's show trials when "information" was leaked to the reliable press to assure the discrediting of defendants in advance of their testimony. Considering what we have seen in recent days, I have no doubt that some of these leakers would love to see both Trump and Kushner sent to the Gulag, if only we had one.
Anyone looking at this investigation with even a tad of objectivity can see that it has been tainted before it has barely started. Leave aside the optics (apologies for the already tired cliché) of the close relationship with Comey and the three Democratic donors in key positions. This leaking is on another level altogether. It is obstruction of justice, in its pure Stalinist form. If I were Robert Mueller, I would be humiliated. If I were not able to find those leakers and prosecute immediately, I would recuse myself.
There is no other way. With the leakers unpunished, Mueller's decisions will not have convinced half the country of what has been referred to by others as their "fairness." They will only exacerbate an already bad situation. And that is -- given the dreadfully divided state of our nation at the moment -- a recipe for civil war.