According to multiple sources, the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into the origins of the Russia inquiry has shifted into a criminal probe.
When news of this major development broke, it was clear the investigation had taken a more serious turn. Of course, some people didn’t take kindly to this news.
In a joint statement on Twitter, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, used news of the criminal probe to attack President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr, and the DOJ.
The statement, while predictable, was nothing more than an unsupported opinion oozing with hypocrisy.
Schiff and Nadler’s Twitter statements read:
“These reports, if true, raise profound new concerns that the Department of Justice under AG Barr has lost its independence and become a vehicle for President Trump’s political revenge.”
“If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election, the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage.”
These reports, if true, raise profound new concerns that the Department of Justice under AG Barr has lost its independence and become a vehicle for President Trump’s political revenge. https://t.co/0xxZ8se4Yp via @nytimes
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) October 25, 2019
In other words, Schiff and Nadler seem to be suggesting that, if the investigation has truly become criminal in nature, it’s likely due to the DOJ and Barr’s alleged partisanship and quest for revenge, and the failure to follow the rule of law. As discussed below, there’s no substantive evidence to support any of these conclusions.
To date, there has been no evidence to support the conclusion that the DOJ or Barr has handled the pending investigations in a partial or partisan manner, nor have Democrats produced any.
On the contrary, the personal attacks on Barr started shortly after he was appointed by Trump. For example, when Trump gave Barr the authority to declassify any documents related to the surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016, Schiff criticized the move and stated on Twitter:
“While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice, Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies. The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase. This is un-American.”
While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice,
Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies.
The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase.
This is un-American.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 24, 2019
Moreover, after Barr cleared the president of obstruction following his review of the Mueller report, Nadler stated on CBS:
“Remember, he [Barr] is a biased person. He is someone who is an agent of the administration … a political appointee of the president, whose interests he may very well be protecting here. … I dismiss what he said. He’s a biased defender of the administration, and he’s entitled to be a defender of the administration, but he’s not entitled to withhold the evidence from Congress.”
While there are many other examples, the common nexus between these statements and the most recent joint statement is that they are all void of any factual support. As Schiff, Nadler, and any other lawyer undoubtedly knows, personal opinions (including whining) don’t constitute facts.
Here, Schiff and Nadler sound like two grown men who are unhappy with Trump’s decision and Barr’s conclusion. Yet, just because they’re unhappy doesn’t make their opinions about Barr (i.e., that he is weaponizing law enforcement, is a biased person, or that he doesn’t follow the rule of law) factual in nature. On the contrary, they’re merely soundbites with no probative value whatsoever.
The last portion of the joint statement is perhaps the most unbelievable and hypocritical. There, Schiff and Nadler appear to suggest that the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage if the DOJ is utilized to effectuate political retribution or to help the president with a political narrative for the next election.
First, other than the fact that Schiff and Nadler are unhappy about the direction (and possible outcomes) of the pending investigations, there’s no evidence that any of the pending investigations are being utilized or conducted for the purpose of helping the president’s reelection campaign, even if they ultimately have this effect.
There is, however, ample evidence that certain individuals within one or more departments spied on the Trump campaign and participated in a “coup” to try to prevent Trump from being elected. Despite this, Schiff and Nadler have failed to take any action against those who might have been involved in this effort.
Moreover, Schiff and Nadler’s alleged concern about the rule of law cannot be taken seriously given the nature of the ongoing “impeachment inquiry.” To date, this inquiry has violated basic tenets of due process and established congressional precedent. It has also included false statements as to when House Intelligence Committee staff first had contact with the alleged whistleblower and the substance of the telephone conversation between Trump and the president of Ukraine.
These instances appear to suggest that the right to abuse certain powers or disregard the rule of law hinges on who is in power and whether or not it helps them.
What’s most unusual about the joint statement is that it appears premature. In other words, when news broke that the investigation into the origins of the Russia probe had shifted from an administrative to a criminal one, there was no mention of who could possibly be implicated.
Why, then, would Schiff and Nadler issue a statement condemning Barr and the DOJ before they knew who was possibly being investigated and without any other proof of bias?
The fact that they did so suggests that they are concerned with the eventual findings of the investigation and are attempting to “control the damage,” or to get ahead of the potential political fallout.
In reality, the joint statement was nothing more than a predictable soundbite and another poor attempt to deflect the attention away from the pending investigatory findings by attacking Barr and the DOJ. Notwithstanding these efforts, the American public will eventually learn about what happened during, and leading up to, the 2016 election.
Schiff and Nadler are right about one thing: We cannot jeopardize the rule of law, which must always be sacred. Fortunately, we have the right team in place now to ensure this happens.
Elad Hakim is a writer, commentator, and attorney. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Algemeiner, The Western Journal, American Thinker, and other online publications.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.