Tag Archives: Benghazi

Due process anyone? Anyone?

Hey, what happened to due process, the presumption of innocence, the, um, rule of law?

Ted Cruz, the Republican running for re-election to the U.S. Senate in Texas, fired off a real knee-slapper Tuesday night in response to a supporter yelling “Lock him up!” in reference to Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.

“Well, you know, there’s a double-occupancy cell with Hillary Clinton,” Cruz said. “Y’all are gonna get me in trouble with that,” he added at a campaign rally in Georgetown, Texas.

Doesn’t that just crack you up? That guy is hilarious, man!

Hillary Clinton was the object of GOP mobs yelling “Lock her up!” during the 2016 presidential campaign. They were just so darn angry over that email matter, Benghazi and other assorted fabricated crimes that they were ready to send her in shackles to the nearest — or farthest — penitentiary possible.

Now it’s Beto O’Rourke feeling the Republicans’ burn as he campaigns against the Cruz Missile.

I am unaware of anything in O’Rourke’s history that would prompt such a ridiculous shout-out from a Cruz clown.

Oh, but hey. That’s just politics … I guess.

Hillary talked for hours; now it’s Trump’s turn

Evan McMullin, who ran for president as an independent in 2016, poses an interesting thought via Twitter.

McMullin wrote: Hillary Clinton testified to the House Benghazi Committee in public for 11 hours and won’t even sit with the special counsel for a minute. Now, why is that?

He might have posed his question rhetorically, but I think I can answer it for him.

I believe it’s because Donald Trump doesn’t want to get trapped into lying under oath, which I believe is entirely possible, if not probable.

You should recall that the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton in 1998 for lying to a grand jury. He took an oath to tell the truth. He didn’t. The House used perjury as the basis for its impeachment.

Special counsel Robert Mueller might want to summon the president to talk about whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russians who interfered in our election. Trump, in my view, cannot tell the truth. He is not wired for truthfulness.

It’s dangerous for him to talk to a meticulous lawyer, such as Mueller.

Let the Mueller probe continue … and conclude

Congressional Republicans keep harping on the length of time special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating whether the Donald Trump presidential campaign “colluded” with Russians who meddled in our 2016 election.

They keep saying it’s gone on too long. They want Mueller to wrap it up now.

Hold on here.

Mueller’s probe hasn’t lasted as long as the Whitewater investigation that ended up with President Clinton’s impeachment; or as long as the Iran-Contra probe; or as long as the Benghazi probe that looked for years to find criminality against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Mueller has been given the opportunity to find the truth to a highly complicated set of issues. The president keeps saying there was “no collusion.” He keeps calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”

If that’s the case, then let the probe continue to its conclusion.

And has anyone noticed that Mueller’s team has been water tight? There have been zero leaks? Can the president’s team make that claim? No.

Let the special counsel reach his conclusion at his own meticulous pace. Then let the man deliver his report to the nation.

And stop griping, Republican partisans, about the length of time he’s taking.

No, Mr. VPOTUS, it’s not yet time to ‘wrap it up’

Uh, this note is for Vice President Mike Pence.

Mr. Vice President, pardon this disagreement from a blogger out here in Flyover Country, but it’s not yet time for special counsel Robert Mueller to conclude his investigation into what Donald Trump once called “the Russia thing.”

Indeed, sir, he needs to continue pursuing all the angles, leads and hunches he has in order to reach a conclusion that we all can presume is fair — and complete!

I get that it’s been a year, as you noted in your recent interview, since this investigation began. Do I need to remind you, Mr. Vice President, that the probe into Hillary Clinton’s email matter lasted far longer? Or how about the Benghazi probe that went on for two-plus years? Nothing came of either of those congressional probes, Mr. Vice President — which I’m sure you’re aware of, right?

Did you or your fellow Republicans join Democrats then in calling for an end to those fruitless investigations? Of course you didn’t! Y’all wanted it to go on forever. And ever. And then some!

The special counsel has a lot more ground to plow regarding that lawyer of the president’s, Michael Cohen. He also wants to talk directly to the president himself, who keeps changing his mind on whether he wants to submit to questioning from the special counsel.

You said the administration has provided “millions of documents.” Do you think Mueller and his team can read all that paperwork over a weekend? It takes time, Mr. Vice President, for the legal eagles to pore through all that stuff.

So, give it to them. Let them finish their work on their schedule, not yours, or the president’s or any of your supporters.

I’m not one of them. I want a thorough investigation to reach a conclusion under its own power.

With that, sir, I’ll close with this. I didn’t vote for you in 2016, but you still work for me, as well as for the 65 million-plus Americans who voted for Hillary.

Therefore, as your boss, I implore you to, um … keep your trap shut!

Nothing to this probe? Check this out

Matthew Dowd is no squishy liberal, a “snowflake.” He’s a long-standing Republican political operative.

He also serves as a broadcast and cable news “contributor” and, yes, he is a Donald J. Trump critic.

He sent out a tweet just a while ago that reiterated something he said this morning on ABC News’s “This Week” program: As i said on to give some perspective: “Benghazi was a 4 year investigation, there were zero indictments. The Clinton emails was a 2 year investigation, there were zero indictments. The Mueller investigation has been 14 months, there have been 23 indictments.”

“Benghazi” involved a terrible firefight that occurred at a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on the watch of then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; the “Clinton emails” also involved the former secretary’s use of her personal email account while serving in the State Department.

The Mueller investigation? Well, it’s that probe that is occurring at the moment to explore questions relating to Trump’s presidential campaign and its possible relationship with the Russian government … among other things.

GOP hardliners want Robert Mueller’s probe to end. Now! They forget about the length of time they insisted on maintaining while GOP members of Congress looked at Hillary Clinton’s conduct.

All that time, money and effort produced zero indictments. None, man!

Mueller — who, by the way, also is a Republican — so far has harvested a much healthier crop of criminal complaints.

And, no, this isn’t a “witch hunt.” It is a serious investigation being conducted by a serious public servant.

Memo to GOP: Remember ‘Benghazi’?

Republicans in Congress and their friends in the media are now singing loudly from the same political hymnal.

They want special counsel Robert Mueller to either be fired or they want him to conclude his investigation into the “Russia thing.”

Oh, they have such short memories.

I feel compelled to remind them all of one word: Benghazi.

The GOP conducted an investigation with seemingly no end. It involved then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and whether she committed some sort of crime in relation to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The attack killed four Americans, including the nation’s ambassador to Libya.

They held hearings. They brought Clinton before congressional panels. They quizzed her, berated her, threatened to “lock her up!” over the chaos that ensued from that tragic event.

It went on for years. From 2012 until 2016. It cost millions of dollars of public funds.

Now we have Mueller on the hunt for the truth behind another highly sensitive matter: whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russian government officials who sought to meddle in our 2016 presidential election.

They now are alleging bias in the Mueller team. They point to two staffers who exchange pro-Hillary email and text messages — before Mueller fired them when their antipathy toward Trump became known.

Some in the conservative media are pressuring the president to fire Mueller. Big mistake, folks! The president says there’s no evidence of collusion. Fine. Then, let Mueller’s team reach that conclusion on its own.

As for the calls for the special counsel to wrap up his probe, Republicans on Capitol Hill and around the country need to examine their own conduct during another probe involving a prominent Democratic politician.

If we’re going to demand a thorough probe into alleged wrongdoing, then it must apply to everyone.

Isn’t that only fair?

Sen. Paul backs off on investigations … seriously?

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said the following on Fox News Radio. Pay attention, please.

“I think that might be excessive. I think it looks like the President has handled the situation and unless there’s some kind of other evidence of malfeasance, this sounds like something that was internal White House politics and it looks like the President’s handled it. … I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing Obamacare if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

The Kentucky Republican is talking about whether Congress needs to investigate allegations that former national security adviser Michael Flynn met with Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. These meetings lie at the heart of the swirling controversy that threatens to engulf the Trump administration.

Republicans who run Congress do not need to investigate the Republican president, Sen. Paul said.

Investigations take up too much time he said, distracting lawmakers from more important matters.

Wow! I guess he forgot about all the Benghazi hearings involving former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that, um, turned up nothing. Zero!

Oh, wait! It’s OK for Congress to launch interminable investigations looking for dirt on someone from the other party.

Is that correct, Sen. Paul? Well … Senator?

‘You’d be in jail’ … except that Hillary won’t go there

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Donald J. Trump spoke a lot of trash during his winning campaign for the presidency.

He turned to Hillary Rodham Clinton during a presidential debate and said “You’d be in jail” in response to a statement she made about his lack of understanding of the rule of law.

Then he talked about appointing a special prosecutor to look for proof that she was as “crooked” as he said she was.

Except that now he’s not going to anything of the sort.

That is a very good call from the president-elect.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-political-calculus-behind-trump%e2%80%99s-decision-not-to-push-for-a-clinton-prosecution/ar-AAkm2l0?li=BBnb7Kz

Trump says now he wants to focus on the fixing the country. He doesn’t want any distractions, such as a futile special prosecutor’s probe into matters that already have been determined to be out of reach for any prosecutor.

The e-mail controversy? The alleged “pay for play”? Benghazi?

It’s all been settled. The FBI determined there was no criminality involved with the e-mail server Clinton used while she was secretary of state. Pay for play has been nothing more than a political talking point. A congressional select committee has been unable to prosecute Clinton for anything involving the Sept. 11, 2012 fire fight at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

I wonder now if Trump is going to offer any expressions of “regret” or — dare I say — an actual apology for defaming Clinton with the “crooked Hillary” label.

Actually, there’s no need to wonder. The president-elect has told us already he never regrets anything … ever.

Moderator deserves a good word

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Elaine Quijano has earned a good word on this morning after the vice-presidential “debate.”

The CBS News correspondent/anchor didn’t do a great job refereeing the exchange between Democratic nominee Tim Kaine and Republican nominee Mike Pence.

As I look back on it after a good night’s sleep, my conclusion is that it wasn’t totally her fault. She sought to reel in the fellas, sought to keep them answering the questions, she sought to avoid the constant interruptions that were initiated by the amped-up Kaine.

She got caught in a buzzsaw of campaign rhetoric, throwaway lines, talking points, insults and, oh yeah, the occasional policy differences that emerged from the candidates.

I want to echo something I heard last night from the post-“debate” analysis about the best question of the evening. It dealt with candidates’ religious faith and how it informs their public policy.

Both men exhibited clear understanding of faith and explained in clear and concise language how it works for them in their public life. Bravo to them both for ending the evening on somewhat of a civil note — and bravo to Quijano for the question.

As we’ve been seeing, though, in these joint appearances, the media moderators are becoming a bit of a distraction. Dating back four years ago when CNN’s Candy Crowley corrected GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s incorrect assertion that Barack Obama didn’t call the Benghazi attack an act of terrorism, media and politicians have been waiting for future moderators to interject themselves into the political dialogue.

Quijano, unfortunately, became part of the story again last night.

From my perch out here in Flyover Country, though, I believe she delivered a creditable effort at staying above the fray. I only wish the candidates would have done a better job of focusing on the issues at hand.

When in doubt, go with your gut

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A young friend of mine is going to vote this year for the first time in her life.

She is 23 years of age. She is torn over this election. Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? After visiting with her for a few minutes Tuesday, I concluded she is likely to vote for Trump.

But she said something I want to share here.

My friend said she is reluctant to vote for anyone without knowing all there is to know about the candidates, their views on public policy, their philosophy or their world view.

“I just don’t know what to do,” she said.

Her biggest concern about Clinton? Benghazi. My friend believes Clinton was responsible for the deaths that occurred there during that fire fight on Sept. 11, 2012. We tussled a bit over what Hillary knew in the moment, what she should have known and what she could have done to prevent it.

I told her later I’ve been voting for president since 1972. I cast my first vote that year with great pride and anticipation. That vote — the first one — still means more to me than all the other ballots I’ve cast.

“I voted for the guy who lost … big time,” I told her, “but it meant a great deal to me.”

When in doubt, I ended up telling my friend, “go with your gut.”

It doesn’t really matter that voters get their arms around every detail of every issue. All that matters, in my view, is that they feel comfortable in their own gut and heart with the choice they make.