Multiple major news outlets have reported today that federal prosecutors have recommended that former FBI official Andrew McCabe be indicted for making “conflicting statements” to investigators. This obviously isn’t above-board on any level. So what’s really going on here?
This is, clearly, an attempt by the Trump regime at distracting from today’s start of the impeachment process against Donald Trump. The House Judiciary Committee voted to make it official today, and Trump is now in the process of being impeached. It’s now fairly apparent that the Trump regime had been sitting on this indictment news so it could leak it once Trump was inevitably impeached. But now what?
On its face, the case against Andrew McCabe is absurd. There’s virtually no chance a jury will convict him. The odds are fairly strong that a judge will throw these charges out before it can even get to trial. Failing that, McCabe could ask for a speedy trial to make sure he’s acquitted before the election, just to prove that Trump’s “deep state” conspiracy theory is fiction. In fact McCabe is currently suing to get his old job back, which tells you roughly how afraid he is of these charges.
Donald Trump isn’t going to gain even one vote over these charges. Try to imagine a single person saying, “You know, I wasn’t going to vote for Trump in 2020, but now that some former FBI guy I’ve never heard of has been indicted on procedural charges I don’t even understand, I think I’ll go ahead and vote for Trump.” It’s not going to happen.
The best Trump could hope for here is a chilling effect, where his most prominent detractors start backing down from their criticism of him, for fear they’ll be the next to get indicted on false charges. But that seems unlikely. If anything, this will cause former U.S. intel community leaders to speak out against Trump more loudly and urgently.
The only thing Trump is likely to gain here is some petty, temporary revenge on the people he blames for his presidency being such a failure. Andrew McCabe won’t be magically convicted on anything. Nor will any other intel community leaders who end up being falsely targeted by the Trump regime. This looks like it’s just a matter of Trump’s corrupt Attorney General Bill Barr trying to keep Trump from going completely into a funk, now that he’s in the process of being impeached.
Speaking of Bill Barr, if he wasn’t already going to prison once Donald Trump is out of office, the false charges against Andrew McCabe should serve to fully seal Barr’s fate. Federal prosecutors don’t tend to bring charges unless they’re at least 90% certain of a conviction. The odds of McCabe being convicted are close to zero. So it’s clear that Barr is forcing prosecutors to bring charges they don’t think are valid. Unlike McCabe, Barr actually will go to prison, as will Trump. It’s just going to get very ugly, and very absurd, in the meantime.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report