By Charlie Johnston
I watched Rudy Giuliani’s lengthy interview with Sean Hannity last night with a politician’s eye. It was HUGE (or YUGE as a fellow big on the public scene might say). This is the beginning of President Trump’s serious assault on the Deep State. This, I think, may well be the month when the Deep State starts out with the same cockiness as always, but ends up in dazed confusion wondering what happened as they survey the rubble around them. I waited to survey news stories about it and was not surprised to see that practically none of the press, left or right, understood what happened last night. Let me explain why:
A) It is astonishing that a member of the president’s legal team should agree to any substantive interview at all. To do one of this length and breadth while the matter is pending is practically unprecedented. That it was Giuliani, an accomplished prosecutor and politician – and a national hero for his response to 9-11 as Mayor of New York meant that this was the opening gambit of a large legal, political, and formal communications effort. Even before the interview began, just knowing the terms and length of it, reporters should have known this was something big.
B) Giuliani loaded up the interview with “chump bait,” a technique that uses the over-aggressiveness of opponents to lure them into traps – or to give a story-line they don’t understand but actually cuts your way longer play. I know that technique well, for it is a technique I used frequently. I was notorious for it in Illinois. Somewhere between 70 to 80 percent of my “blunders” had traps embedded in them. If an opponent (or sometimes the press) struck, I had them. Politicians eventually figure out the danger in it: the press very rarely does. They’re like feral dogs snapping at any piece of meat thrown their way without sniffing it to see if it is loaded with poison.
A very simplified explanation of how you do it is to make apparent errors that are not actually errors at all, hoping that an opponent who is always looking for a way to get you will jump on it. Alternatively, you act a little muddled about something that seems salacious but actually has no real consequence. Giuliani had this interview loaded with such material. Sure enough, today I read in the left-wing press about how many “factual errors” Giuliani made. The Daily Beast was my favorite, as the smug reporter, certain of his own intellectual superiority, condescendingly dismissed Giuliani as either a lightweight or not ready for prime time. He gave as an example Giuliani’s assertion that it is illegal to subpoena a president. Okay…but that’s not what Giuliani said. He said it is unconstitutional to subpoena a president on a criminal matter while he is president. You have to wait until he leaves office. Giuliani did note that sometimes a president CAN be subpoenaed in some civil matters, even citing the example of Bill Clinton. This served two purposes – tying observers up in knots in a way that will clearly delineate that you CAN subpoena and indict a president for criminal matters that happened while he was in office after he has left office. The leftist echo chamber, in trying to show how smart it is, may well hoist a petard that will be very useful. Hello former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Giuliani’s seemingly muddled talk on Stormy Daniels was inspired. It is amazing how many people, even knowing you to be very smart and dangerous, will think they have got you if you act a little tired and muddled as you throw out the chump bait. The Stormy Daniels stuff is salacious – and some networks have been absolutely obsessed by it – so they are almost guaranteed to make a big deal about it. But it is a box canyon for the left. People knew they were electing a man who spent most of his life as a millionaire playboy: to find that over a decade ago he acted as a billionaire playboy shocks no one. Meantime, having already established the two-tiered system of justice for Democrats and Republicans, the leftist echo chamber is going to have a hard time justifying why it was no one’s business when Democratic Bill Clinton did such salacious things WHILE in office, but demands removal when Trump is found to have done something sexually salacious over a decade before running for office.
Ah, you might argue, but Giuliani spilled that Trump knew what the $130,000 was for – and it could be a violation of campaign finance law. In your dreams, lefties. I’ll go out on a limb here and speculate that Trump paid Cohen a hefty retainer; that Cohen used that BEFORE telling Trump what was going on and then got reimbursement on the retainer. Giuliani suckered the left (and some of the right) into a box canyon, guaranteeing they will scream about something useless, both revealing their ignorant impotence AND distracting them from the substance of what happened.
Most of the press is made up of lazy C-students (or at least that is the best they could do in a real intellectual era rather than at “social justice” propaganda mill colleges) who try to make up for their witlessness with inflated self-regard. What kind of witless wonder looks at Rudy Giuliani, one of the most gifted and shrewd prosecutors and politicians of his era and thinks, “What a dunce! I’ve got him now,”? Hint – it’s someone easily taken in by chump bait.
C) Leftists constantly do outrageous and criminal things with wild abandon because they are never held to account. They think it’s their special super-power. Giuliani was letting them know, in subtle political terms, that the accounting begins now. He was ambivalent about Robert Mueller, but absolutely savaged James Comey, making clear that, if a Grand Jury is not already quietly parsing the former corruptocrat’s crimes, it soon will be with indictments to follow. The message was clear to any serious politician: Mueller can escape with his reputation intact by putting an end to this…OR…he can have a Grand Jury begin doing a deep dive into his long history of misfeasance and malfeasance in office. I am convinced this was a signal that over the next two months, Democrats and leftists are going to be shocked to find that they will be held to account to common legal standards. Don’t be surprised to see various leftist minions at the top of the Justice and Intelligence communities indicted. California Atty. Gen. Javier Becerra will probably be charged, both for his defiance of federal law AND his involvement in the Congressional IT scandal. This will be accompanied by heavy consequences for several other egregious “sanctuary” city and state defiers of federal law. Watch for the Justice Dept. to open up indictments against Planned Parenthood for illegal trafficking of baby body parts. For decades, being a leftist has meant never having to say you’re sorry for the most ugly, egregious and criminal behavior. A raft of high-profile indictments will change the calculations on that, as lefties start to think, whoa, we could be the next ones going to jail when our “resistance” uses criminal means. Once that is established, watch for the White House to start demanding Congress open up impeachment hearings on judges who act like little oligarchs who can decide anything, rather than remaining confined to their Constitutional limitations. Don’t be surprised if, after a little while, the White House openly defies judges who issue orders that are beyond their Constitutional authority.
Up until now, the president has responded to Deep State outrages mainly with howls. That has been useful to draw the left fully out into the open, revealing the two-tiered standard of justice and the hollowness of its charges against Trump. It has revealed their malice. Giuliani served notice that now the battle is joined – and that leftist criminals will be hoist on the very petards they have raised in that shrieking malice. We have at least two months worth of serious fireworks coming that will change the public debate and political landscape. It will either spark civil war or re-establish a single standard of justice for all. It would be good if our politics were reformed through this process – but we still have a very long slog to resurrect a healthy culture. If we do not work seriously to once again become a “religious and moral people,” whatever gains we win will be ephemeral. But the Giuliani interview was not just a provocative one-off; it was a declaration of real war against the Deep State left.
Here is the link to the interview for you to watch for yourself: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/05/02/full_interview_hannity_talks_to_rudy_giuliani_about_trump__mueller_clinton_stormy_daniels.html