Unbelievable hypocrisy with Trump, Clinton, FBI documents


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Mike Flynn and the rest of the crew chanted “Lock her up!” for years. The affidavit for the Mar-a-Lago search is dispiriting and disturbing.

Mike Flynn and the remainder of the crew chanted “Lock her up!” for years. The affidavit for the Mar-a-Lago search is dispiriting and disturbing.


But her emails, although.

You do not forget that chorus from the 2016 presidential marketing campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, proper?

It was about all anybody might discuss anytime the political press went in search of “stability” in a marketing campaign that featured one contemporary outrage after one other on the Trump aspect of the aisle. If Trump generated adverse protection for 5 days in a row, then you could possibly wager your final greenback that Clinton’s foibles — and he or she was not with out them — would get featured time and again.

The emails and the personal e-mail server. Her speeches earlier than Goldman Sachs. Her dealing with of Benghazi, regardless of hours of candid testimony. Her position within the Clinton Foundation’s international philanthropy. Her hawkish assist of Libyan rebels. Again and once more these tales can be featured alongside one scandal after one other by Trump.

All within the identify of “equity.”

But it was the chanting — the “lock her up” chorus — that represented the nadir of the entire sorry marketing campaign for me. And all of that got here again in a rush Friday afternoon because the Department of Justice, performing on a decide’s order, launched a closely redacted affidavit laying out its justification for the extraordinary step taken final month when it secured a warrant to raid Trump’s dwelling and personal workplace in Florida.

The doc makes clear that among the many 15 bins of supplies improperly eliminated by Trump from the White House, and returned earlier this 12 months after months of negotiations, 14 contained a complete of 184 distinctive labeled documents.

Of them, 25 had been high secret, outlined as info that poses a grave danger to the nationwide safety of the United States.

More alarming is that the FBI’s sworn assertion to the decide stated it had purpose to consider different, equally secret documents weren’t returned. The sworn assertion stated brokers anticipated to search out proof of obstruction of justice on the compound.

To learn the affidavit was dispiriting within the excessive. That it got here to this, to a raid on a former president’s house is, properly, unbelievable.

That’s the phrase retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn utilized in July, 2016 when he stood on the podium on the GOP conference in Cleveland. He was talking about Clinton, who would make historical past the following week when Democrats made her the primary girl to be nominated for president by a serious social gathering.

“We don’t want a reckless president who believes she is above the regulation,” Flynn stated, emphasizing the pronoun and touching off a chant by the gang that will turn out to be a signature phrase of candidate Donald Trump’s marketing campaign that fall: “Lock her up! Lock her up!”

At the rostrum, Flynn smiled. “Lock her up. Yes, that’s proper. Lock her up. I’m going to inform you what. It’s unbelievable.”

Indeed. Unbelievable {that a} retired three-star basic can be standing in entrance of an intensely partisan crowd screaming to have a candidate for president put in jail.

Even extra unbelievable then was that Flynn himself would in lower than a 12 months be caught mendacity to investigators — and to Vice President Mike Pence — a few dialog with the Russian ambassador earlier than Trump took workplace. He’d later plead responsible, then withdraw the plea, after which obtain a presidential pardon.

Trump pressured him to resign after 22 days.

Called Clinton’s emails disqualifying

Six years after his speech, what’s unbelievable is that very same rank hypocrisy that was behind Flynn’s smug chanting in Cleveland is resurfacing with such depth as Trump’s latter-day defenders reply to Friday’s launch of the affidavit.

They loudly accuse the FBI of unfairly, even corruptly, focusing on the previous president. And Trump himself? He who usually referred to as the investigation of Clinton’s sloppy dealing with of emails disqualifying for the Oval Office? He resorted on Friday to his favourite response to unhealthy information within the courtroom. He attacked the decide.

“Judge Bruce Reinhart ought to NEVER have allowed the Break-In of my dwelling,” Trump fumed. “He recused himself two months in the past from one among my circumstances based mostly on his animosity and hatred of your favourite President, me. What modified? Why hasn’t he recused himself on this case? Obama should be very pleased with him proper now!”

I doubt anybody — particularly a former president — is pleased with any a part of this story.

Clinton’s dealing with of her emails was sloppy, and her choice to put in a personal server was a grave mistake. But criticism on that entrance was wildly out of proportion in 2016. And by no means on her worst day did she take away labeled documents after which search to hinder the investigation into their mishandling, because the FBI claims occurred at Mar-a-Lago.

Nor did she vilify the FBI when it sought these information.

And all these years later, it’s nonetheless the hypocrisy that rankles probably the most.

Michael A. Lindenberger is vice chairman and editorial web page editor of the Kansas City Star, and a member of its editorial board.

This story was initially printed August 26, 2022 1:58 PM.

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Michael Lindenberger is vice chairman and editorial web page editor of The Kansas City Star, and a member of its editorial board. A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, he has labored as a reporter or editor at The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The Courier Journal and TIME.com, the place he was the longtime nationwide authorized affairs contributor. A 2013 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, Lindenberger is a 2006 graduate of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, and an adjunct professor of media regulation and ethics. He joined The Star in August 2022 after 4 years as deputy opinion editor at The Houston Chronicle.


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