By Perry Hicks
Donald J. Trump arrived in Washington with so many long knives arrayed against him, one would think he would have been more cautious about just who he would retain. Astonishingly, he was not.
Consider two of Obama’s holdovers: FBI Director James Comey and U.S. Attorney Dana Boente. Together, these men could well form the perfect storm to take down the entire Trump administration.
It was Boente who prosecuted former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, without having a scintilla of evidence.
Sure, the McDonnells’ behavior was tawdry, just as SCOTUS opined while overturning their convictions. However, Boente did not produce any evidence at trial, such as spreadsheets correlating cash and gifts to any act made by the governor. Ergo, the government couldn’t point to even a single quid pro quo requisite to constitute a “bribe.”
Boente actually went so far as to charge wife Maureen as a “public official.” This would be laughable if the cost of the McDonnell defense had not been well north of $9 million.
Frankly, this is how lesser citizens dependent on indigent defense attorneys are treated: Overcharge, offer a plea at a lesser charge, and if married, coerce by threatening the defendant’s spouse with serious jail time.
All this was done to a sitting governor and his wife.
Essentially, the plea bargain process punishes the defendants for exercising their right to a trial by a jury of their peers. The notion that government bears the burden of proof is sheer fantasy. All are considered guilty as charged by virtue of the fact they have been charged.
To close a deal, the prosecutor need only to lean over the table and cite the government’s conviction rate. The near certainty of incarceration invariably brings submission.
The McDonnells’ ordeal effectively began with the embezzlement case of Executive Mansion Chef Todd Schneider. His trial was heard by Richmond City Circuit Court Judge Margaret P. Spencer just a year before her retirement and the McDonnell indictments. Schneider avoided prison and a felony by taking a plea deal.
Spencer’s husband, U.S. District Court Judge James R. Spencer, heard the subsequent case against the McDonnells even though it was Bob who, as a delegate back in 1997, opposed wife Margaret’s appointment to the Supreme Court of Virginia.
A conviction was assured when federal Judge Spencer issued his jury instructions: Regardless of the constitutional requirement of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, he instructed the jury that the government need not prove its case in order for them to render a guilty verdict.
The U.S. Supreme Court rebuked the lower courts by overturning the convictions even as it left open the possibility for retrial. This would prove to be a public humiliation for Boente when he could not meet the Supreme Court’s legal expectations.
Boente could not recharge the McDonnells because he did not have the requisite evidence.
Dana Boente’s prosecution was a gross violation of the American Bar Association’s Special Rule 3.8 wherein prosecutors are instructed to be “ministers of justice and not advocates.” It is also an ethical violation to knowingly prosecute innocent defendants.
With this history alone, one would think President Trump would have gladly accepted Dana Boente’s letter of resignation. Inexplicably, he refused it.
Director Comey spoke out both sides of his mouth when he announced to the House Intel Commitee that the FBI had been investigating Trump’s associates since July, just one month after bloviating about the imprudence of prosecuting Hillary.
Comey and NSA Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers also insisted that they knew of no wiretapping as Trump’s tweet had insinuated.
This is clearly a Clintonesque parsing of words on par with Bill’s infamous deposition quip, “It depends what the definition of is, is.”
Obama didn’t have to personally order the tapping of Trump Tower, nor would he need to personally request Briton’s GCHQ to do the same. Washington has plenty of minions eager to do that.
However, the most blatant falsehood from Comey was when questioned at 1:39 p.m. on March 20 by Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio. “The FBI does not provide advisory opinions,” Comey claimed.
If this is so, what would one call Comey’s proclamation last June that “no credible prosecutor” would charge Hillary Clinton for ostensibly keeping classified material on a wholly unprotected private email server, closeted in her New York home, and obviously purposed to facilitate the sale of her former office as secretary of state?
That wasn’t an “advisory opinion”? Really?
This should come as no surprise in that James Comey has a history of pulling the Clinton’s bacon out of the fire. As WND reported in 2016, Comey, when deputy attorney general, limited the theft investigation of classified documents to former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger. These thefts from the National Archives unquestionably involved multiple felonies.
As WND noted, Berger, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Clinton aide Cheryl Mills all had formerly worked for a Washington law firm that prepared the Clinton’s tax returns, Hogan & Hartson.
Mills was notably one of Bill Clinton’s defense attorneys during his impeachment trial.
It was also Lynch that met privately with Bill Clinton in June 2016 as the controversy over Hillary’s missing emails became a campaign issue of then-candidate Trump.
Given their histories, retaining Comey and Boente defies reason. In lawyer parlance, both men lack “candor” and otherwise have debased their offices in service of the Clintons.
Both men warrant removal lest at a future time they combine to parse, deny, or obfuscate facts in a way harmful to the president.
There would rise a raucous clamor from Democrats to impeach based on their claims of “Russian hacking” that – like Boente – carry not a chard of evidence. They will do this even as they express no concern for just what evil had been revealed.
Like a thief exposed, their only regret will be to have been caught.
Perry Hicks is a retired private instigator. His investigative career began in Mississippi with the old Gulfport Star Journal, breaking stories on the infamous Sherry Double Murder.