It’s bad enough that Democrats have attempted to exploit the coronavirus pandemic in order to sneak pet projects into stimulus bills, but apparently they’ve also been conducting another impeachment inquiry without garnering much attention.
Democrats are trying to convince the Supreme Court that redacted material from Robert Mueller’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia must be turned over to them because of the “ongoing presidential impeachment investigation” they are currently undertaking.
Redacted information in the Mueller report fell under four different categories: (1) grand jury information that cannot be made public, (2) information that could compromise ongoing investigations aka, “harm to ongoing matter,” (3) information that could expose intelligence-gathering techniques, and (4) privacy infringement of nonessential third- parties.
Democrats were blindsided after the Mueller report concluded that there was never any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, yet some held onto the belief that the smoking gun that would prove Trump guilty of a crime was somehow within that 7.25 percent of redacted material, and became obsessed with seeing it. They even voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for not releasing the entire unredacted report. A less-redacted version of the Mueller report was made available to 12 members of Congress, but, reportedly, none of the six Democrats it was made available to made any effort to review it.
What exactly are Democrats after?
“The [House Judiciary] Committee’s investigation did not cease with the conclusion of the impeachment trial,” the Democrats explained to the Supreme Court. “If this material reveals new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the articles adopted by the House, the committee will proceed accordingly — including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment.”
According to analysis from Vox, a mere 7.25 percent of the Mueller report was redacted. Forty-five percent of those redactions were made because revealing them would result in harm to an ongoing matter, and 38% percent was secret grand jury information. Ten percent was redacted to protect investigative techniques, and just 7 percent to protect the privacy of individuals.
Democrats claim they are looking into “the possible exercise of improper political influence over recent decisions made in the Roger Stone and Michael Flynn prosecutions, both of which were initiated by the special counsel.”
Mueller prosecutors recommended nine years in prison for Stone, though that recommendation was reversed by the DOJ for being too harsh. The judge in that case later sentenced Stone to three years. Flynn’s case was dropped after evidence surfaced indicating that FBI agents set up a perjury trap in order to get Flynn fired as Trump’s national security adviser.
The entire Mueller investigation was based on the allegation that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign. Recently declassified testimony of top Obama officials revealed there was never any empirical evidence to support this theory.
Once again, it seems Democrats are holding an investigation in the hopes of finding a crime. That they’re doing so in the middle of a pandemic tells you just how out of whack their priorities are.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis