« Commentary Magazine Podcast

Bad Arguments and Bad FBI

2020-01-21 | 🔗
Guest podcaster Eli Lake is with us to talk about the opening of the impeachment trial, the inability of the New York Times to make a decision, and his own blockbuster article, "The FBI Scandal," which you should read. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the Commentary magazine podcast today is Tuesday January. When he first twenty twenty, the first day of the trial of damage Tromp in the Senate. I am John Words the editor of Commentary magazine these seventy five year old monthly of intellectual analysis, political probity in cultural criticism from a conservative perspective, we invite you to join us. As always a commentary magazine that calmer. We give you a few free, reeds and ask subscribe one. Ninety ninety five for a digital subscription.
Twenty nine ninety five for an all access obsession, including our beautiful monthly magazine in your mailbox eleven times a year we ve had some hang keenness on the site of the. A couple of days. I hope that hasn't impeded your enjoyment of it and that we won't have much of it going forward. If we do please bear with us, as we are trying to fix some stuff in the back where behind the curtain, you know where, where we work in the store so we're doing some new today is with me, as always, is senior editor, a Greenwell high aid. I jump Associated nor Rossman. I Noah John in Washington, Senor redder, pristine, Rosen High, Christine John, and I guess thing for the first time: a guest appearance on Commentary Magazine podcast. No, no, not the first I'm Christine rose it
preferring ray I guest before she became a member of our staff, and but we have with us today Bloomberg columnist, Eli Lake author of the February, twenty twenty commentary led article, the be ice scandal which we will get to later in the pot cast hello, Eli Lake great to be her long time listener. First time guest so ok, so we we have a lot to get to Some of us have been watching the opening of this sum foregone conclusion impeachment trial with Adam Schiff, for the prosecution and Patsy Bologna and J secular. Fourthly, defence with opening motions its banana now for about two hours, as we record this
there is a little of interest, but not an enormous amount of interest. Schiff is making made. I think his best perform had his best performance over the last, three or four months, somehow much less obnoxious them. He usually is quite eloquent making the best case possible for his argument. That whatever it is that much Mcconnell is doing and whatever rules that are going to govern this aren't fair. He see to be very insistent on the notion that a fair trial is really important oddity is that he is the prosecutor is not. I would just say it slightly unusual for the prosecutor to complain about the process should not getting a fair trial since the provisions that a person is required to get a fair trial
actually deal with the rights of the defendant now to call witness to not be unfairly prosecuted. That would generally, de what a fair trial requires, not that not that the political partisan. The enemy of the person in the dock, because he is being supported by a majority of the body in which he is being tried that that the that the Parson enemies get a fair shot at the at convicting and is not uncommon for a prosecutor to lecture the jury about their obligations to be fair and impartial, jurors, right. But that is going to raise that they have, and we know the market test phrases right, because they they keep. They kept Changing the terminal do they were using during the run up to impeachment and then in impeachment what it was that they were doing and they clearly hit on fair trial, what they
On a do is made, the american people believed that what proceeding in the Senate is not going to be legitimate and What they are saying is you deserve a fair trial, meaning we who wish to remove a now have trump convicted. Ever will from office. All I'm saying is that is an unusual characterisation of what a trial How a trial functions when you are actually prosecuting you are. It is tempting to convict the person because he's the one who will suffer the consequences: you're not going to suffer anything. It's just your job to prosecute. Well, what what's the endgame? If you're going to make it about mean they dont have the votes. So if your end game is to just make the whole thing seemed illegitimate than their undermining Congress right and we what what is their endgame trump is gonna, be acquitted. Yet they're gonna just sit there and scream at its not been a fair trial in their assuming that as
action, your issue, that's gonna, work. I don't I don't. I'm not sure. That's gonna stay well, it's one. At the end, there also serve further framing living call for a fair trial as in larger sense, being the only Fair with Bee. Fair to the american people. They deserve this, but what but the Democrats consider to be a free trial right which Ok, so that is a better. I would just say that is a better formulation, but that is not What it sounds like when, when the can plant is being made on the second floor that the centre, you now requires a fair trial that that somehow it's it's shift that deserves fair I mean that's what it sounds like Maybe I'm being unfair. Well, that's why trumps layers of repeatedly said today this
it's on trial they're, putting you on trial in others, this they're they're. Trying to twist that argument is they ve been doing some market testing of phrases on their own right. Well ok, so so that so that shift and then simple, only the White House, counsel and secular, the lead outside I counsel and made the longer longer presentations and what struck me about it is that they have zero, then on an interesting aspect, something that no one has been talking about in terms of how the Democrats may mishandled the impeachment proceedings in the house, which is that the house didn't trust the courts to rule in the way that it's gonna be helpful to their goal of impeaching Trump and therefore they ignored the house and that so president's cases. The house
because it had its. If you know it already have formal inclusion didn't want to wait to have a jury? the question of whether or not our witnesses the word not allowed to testified by the president should be compelled to testify in court proceedings that that the House was dismissing the judicial branch. Third browser government and there is Christine's that that's our fifth deserve our various participant. It's ok thy Christine's, Christine's dog. We don't have a dog here at the commentary offices, because this is a jewish magazine were afraid of dogs but so that this to me is my question, which is so is that just basis- or in other words like trumpet, want them to appear they. Didn't appear without transmission, copper
and of the National Security Council actually took this to the courts. To say, can I be compelled to appear not to appear and though and it was all withdrawn because the house and in peace, before the courts could come to a final resolution of this matter. Are they withdrew the government testing subpoenaed November courts, just kind of ignore them right, contained litigating it and when the venue closed they would have compelled any testimony that which was no, which was that special, maybe some impeachment right. Ok, so is that is that a good argument, or is that dick I mean is that it is that it is a good argument. It's the only one. I heard I didn't listen to the beginning of pets, abalone Testa opening remarks, so I can't characterize them, but I heard a secular and insipid ponies, replies? I guess you call it. I don't know it was. It was their response to shifts
yeah resounded sounded a lot like a reprisal using the term reserved for musical theatre very specifically here, because I did hear anything that amounted to an argument. I heard a lot of emotional manipulation. I heard a lot of appealing to the president's preferred line of argument, which is bluster and front great, feigned effrontery, but I didn't hear a compelling rational fur. Twiddle in part, because it's like arguing with an earthbound meteor. This thing is decided you're, not arguing for anything They weren't arguing over and can be compelled. This was not the opening statement. This was this is a series of discussions about the rules that were established were presented to chief Justice Roberts after the the proposed rules that there must be voted on after two hours of arguments about them and an so shift the
If a case was that the rules are unjust because they will force us to hurry this process and its terrible that were hurrying this process, whereupon so Bologna and secular, to some extent secular much less, because he really was just sir like being Trump central sounding like tromp talking like Trump suppose argument was this entire procedure is based on the behaviour and conduct of the House and the House sped this through the house, didn't wait for things the house didn't do anything and therefore you know we're, there's nothing fair. I had no reason to think that they were going to a favourable rulings of the court. The court ruled in their one court ruled in their favour an subpoena and was in the appeals court when articles past Christine
well, I think I was you- have seen a few poles over the weekend about what the american people think about allowing the introduction of new evidence into the Senate. Part of this and people are fairly supportive. I mean there, I guess, that's where they're getting the fair trial rhetoric and it is persuasive to say that a lot of the evidence, the memo that's come out that show that what was it? blank on it, not only be that the member that said that actually Trump do. I owe the jury. I wrote right report about this impoundments law that he did violate federal law and you know what we ve heard. You know just in the press, whether its reliable or not but from partners. So I think you know if the american people feel like Mcconnell and the Republicans are stifling important evidence. That's not great for the Republicans trot. Yours is a great la robbery. It has to act as a nugget on a GEO thing. So reading the White House, a memorandum on the trial and
there's a lot to go into them. We should but one of the things that it doesn't addresses. In fact, that makes quite a few references to the fact that there is no underline crime here. No law has been violated and report ass, the White House. Well, what about the gene I was finding that the Congressional Empowerment ACT was violated with us as well. What does not in the articles were responding only to the articles that the house passed and the right they are right, and why are they right? Because- and this is where things get interest being in this weird Washington, Internal Democratic Party, psycho drama related to impeachment witches, House believed star bring in October or November that they had to do this as quickly as possible, so that there would be an impeachment by December. So there could be a trial in January so that it could be over by the time Democrats had to vote in.
That was what essentially we were told on. You know in the background that was what was looming, so they do it go through with the impeachment they impeach, as What's going on, it turns out that there is very little political change that is being affected by the impeachment process and pull oh see gets this idea that she will with hold the articles of impeachment for a while. Until whatever Ah, the Senate is sitting there right so seven issue murmur and shoe, merge them mature. The minority ascended, the saying we need to call witnesses. We need to do this to do that, all of which would of course, push the proceedings. Beyond the eye or Caucasus, which are in two weeks there in two weeks. So, ok, so we're told her this thing has to be sped through right in order to not
have a material effect on the you know on on Democrat, primary voting and in the Senate, because the art that aren't whatever it is, has gone the way that they wanted demo in the senator now arguing that we need to slow the process down. We were saying: other people were saying who are those of us who you know? I mean it's kind of don't exactly have organ this fight, we're saying why can't wait until the courts of Judah Cape, whether or not former White House until dawn began can be compelled to testify before the house. So that there will be some some we'll be asked directly. The question did the poor as it say, acts did the president do why in your hearing, because nobody who testified was present with the president,
we also got a gourd someone on the phone. I got an update to the question that we were pondering in this room: the day about whether or not calling new witnesses in the Senate would have to go back to square one. If the president were to invoke executive privilege and try to block it, they would have to go to a judge. We work whether or not that whole process. We did want to bring this up. As I look bad, oh I'm your trying to make me look, no, not at all, not at all it's trying to keep our audience and yet form that, apparently, according to Adam White, over heritage, drawing on no area a knowledge eyes, poligized both of you could think tanks that that does essentially goes where one that no Republicans would have to appeal to a federal judge, and then it would go to the normal appeals process. So democratic right. I had said it makes no sense because the how the there's a Supreme Court has ruled Supreme Court be a jury, caving these central questions and
I'm said now, there's no reason to believe that the classic procedure of out of court to a pellet court to spring Court would not old in the most archangels Everett right, I mean that's all I meant was that may be. This could be put on it. Ass track, which I suppose I could, but anyway, thanks for bringing up my might might might my confident assertion. Gonna, go it was erected in Adam White will be, you know, will roast and health for contradicting me anyway. South so now that I have to somehow get back on track here. The point is that the house said: let's do this fast and now, all of a sudden, the Senate, which is by the way where the People are who need to be in Iowa right, that's club, which are worn and em, and Sanders and in New Hampshire, and God knows where else Are now
the arguments we made that they need to be held their longer now, maybe this is our argument is all being made in total bad faith. Cuz Schumer knows he's not going to win on any of these points. They have gotten any daylight really with any of the four Republicans. They would need to vote with them to change the rule that Mcconnell has proposed, so that witnesses would be deposed and everything would be slowed down right, so maybe shimmers only make this case of what they ve size. The best they can do is gonna be acquitted, and they can say that the acquittal was a sham and the whole process they were publicans are guilty of it. Of a hoax of a trial that was rigged right, try to use trump in language against him, trumpet Mcconnell the trial, and that was that the acquittal was a hoax and you now and
Shift said, look at the best, our chief made to good arguments. One was that every impeachment proceeding. He named all these impeachment procedures, where there were witnesses during the impeachment in the Senate. So to say you can't have witnesses were is ridiculous, which I think is preach. And then the other argument he made is that eventually all of this is going to come out and if it all comes out- and it says Trump said this in trump- said that trumpeted clearly, you know like removable. You're gonna sit in shame in the eyes of history that you that you went along with this sham, but I dont think for a second that the Democrats or banking on of new smoking gun here, Well, I don't know I mean, I think they think that there and they think that there are documents have been withhold from oh and be withheld from oh and be things conversations the present might have had with his with his closest advisers
would reveal that he said I dont care whether or not you now were not allowed to withhold the money I'm gonna, do it until he he. Doing the atom shift, fake phone right of fake phone call, you know, but I dont care. We're gonna do this anyway and the hell with money and then, if you love, Bolton or or upon pale or somewhere compels testified, said that then, basically, that would be the smoking gun Pretty clear from what Michael Cone and others have said, the Trump is very aware that he doesn't say the thing. That is the thing that you're not supposed to say right, that that he was of the country how he he makes. You know what he wants you to do without having to say what he wants you to do self cones write them. Then he never actually did that, and there will never be that smoking gun that they want to. The question is- and this is what Christine was getting out, what is it
in the worst way possible in a funny way, so that he can say this whole process was rigged. Yet I am more inclined to believe letter way possible in a funny way so that he can say this whole process was rigged. I am more inclined to believe the letter. Precisely. What do you think I think so, but it's bizarre to me that he would think that that's a great strategy for the Democrats. Right now I mean you honestly, the american people's tolerance or attention level, for you know Watching Democrats, preen on the moral high ground, however, briefly, is, is gonna be small, because this is again. This is an election year and unless he's doing it with an eye towards internal pulling that suggests that this will help Democrats and twenty twenty and harm Republicans. It doesn't really make sense immediately staking ones future ones, behaviour in impeachment, trial on on history, as the Democrats have been doing from from the beginning nowadays with the way the
media and the new cycles work? It's it's almost it's a parody of itself, five minutes after they make their. You know this somber Events in one place he was doing, and it was so I'm just not sure, except for the fact that we have seen a few polls that show that the american people think that they do want to see this new evidence? I'm still curious to see how Chief Justice Robert will behave when he's asked to rule on any of this, because renquist during the Clinton trial was very hands off. He would he was a manager in the least metal. Way and whether or not Roberts is gonna behave. That way will be. You will find out Soon. I don't know why Democrats wouldn't be earnest in believing that there is some sort of evidence out there that implicates the president at least what he wanted to do with the sullen behold. We know there is a paper trail. We know, I'm omby officials were saying in writing that the president directed thus emails have since come out. We know it. Resigned over it. There's paper trail and oh ambient, rightly weakened,
The count on in Washington is Buck, passing on the idea that somebody had only would take it upon themselves to do this thing that everybody was very discomfited by seems highly unlikely. Ok, though, the problem here is that goes ultimately to to this complicated point, which is, I think that we are all pretty much sure that the president's intent was to withhold money from Ukraine until the linsky did what he wanted and announced investigation into. Four is Man Hunter Biden right and that this is bad and that what we know happened, is that it was his intent and it was where we think it was his intent of it was probably you know, policy or had been to withhold the money until such time as he got wind of the fact that people
we're onto him and that there was somebody had told you know the house that there were whose hygiene is going on here at which point he would relented and them and and lifted the hold and the aid went through without any difficulty right. So then that what it goes to a complication is right. The complication is very simple that the money went through so does it matter that Trump had evil intent or it would you know, is that the sort of thing you read his brain. You hear what he said, but that in the end no harm no foul and that's where I dont know that you can ever get to the bottom of it Eli, sorry, Eli Lake. Please try men. Why
I just wanted to say that I think the Democrats may have missed the bigger issue, which is that there appears now that the american ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Ivanovitch, was fired at the behest of corrupt Ukraine. And who had then offered to in exchange for removing her. You know provide more evidence of Joe Biden, corruption, and as opposed to the withholding of the aid which was eventually released, and there was a venture they meeting and there was no investigation. That is an actual quid pro quo that happened and yet that's not really. I guess in the impeachment articles am I wrong. I know it's nowhere in the future articles so! That's me, it strikes me much bigger deal, and the irony, of course, is that you know we had you know.
Nearly three years of russian influence at american politics, but here is a pretty clear cut example of wrapped ukrainian influence, one american politics and its On that. I dont know that there is any defence of because she was fired. We never got a good explanation for it and, if I mean love, poorness is a problematic witness for out of reasons, but what he says is that you know it was part of a pretty direct exchange that this prosecutor was willing to. Give up more information on the buttons in Greece if they could remove an impasse. Who was going after this corrupt prosecutor, you know for good reason. So I mean I just the part of it that I don't understand is, and I don't think that mutual final really wants to do this, but you know that the thing that makes sense to me as it seems like you guys, really rush this impeachment in the house. Maybe you should go back,
Annie Mccarthy made this point about a week ago in one of his columns, go back in and file new articles of impeachment and get your stuff together, because, instead of asking the Senate, the remedy. The problem Chief has an answer to that end. It is the worst of his answers and it is the answer where what he said as they were impeaching revealed the truth behind his motivations. He said we had to do this fast, because there's an election make up, and we couldn't allow Trump to cheat to win the election again, that that's what you said today, but when they were, impeaching. He said we can't let him do it again, meaning dollars, two and a half years attempting to establish and failing to establish the collusion between trust, the Russians that cheated and won him. The twenties
steam election. The fact that that we had this enormously long investigation and so investigations and house investigations? That did not prove that to be the case shift said it basically said it did happen, and if we don't do something it'll happen again now he was clever enough. Not say again today, when he was making this argument that we had, they had to do it fast because the election, the idea that we could let the american people adjudicate this break as it's an election year and trumps coming up before the american people, good enough, because Hill cheat with the Ukrainians are with somebody else and then he'll win the election and the election will have been fraudulent. So Yes, he stopped before they can even vote. Then you know our system will collapse and that's
now there's all these weird data points that come out after the impeachment would suggest either they did rush it in its stupid way or that they knew more about partners than we know and that they didn't think he was a good witness and they didn't want to use them, which is say: there's the evocative thing you mention there, some other stuff and then of course, there's this J O report and the FAO. That nobody ever said Don Mccann must testify. Orb, you know or or or Coppermine bolt must testify somewhere, that which might have happened now. He then, then, then shift says. Well, then there would be an appeal them of this is that this is the best case now That's the bologna made, which is that chief says by using the court's tromp was about obstruct, was, was a boy
losing power and obstructing justice, because he would he forbade people to testify, and then they went to the courts to two too require them to testify, and so using the courts in this way wasn't as part of the abuse of power. Will that cannot possibly be. You cannot say that a president asserting privilege over unconfirmed white house staffers. Even if you formally assert executive privileges effectively cervix. Privilege, and then the whole matter goes to the courts. Is an abuse so power. I mean I can't Stan how it can look that way, but the president doesn't work for the house present. Doesn't work for the legislator brand. She has, he has his own independence or is one of one of which, by the way, is the absolute right to
dismiss any ambassador that he chooses to the ambassador. An ambassador plenipotentiary is his personal representative mothers and advice and consent of the Senate and who gets to be an ambassador, but in ambassador The personal representative of the President himself, if he says I don't want that person representing mean Ukraine, that person goes away. Doesnt have independent standing which, president didn't have the spine to do? Will eventually do after a concerted campaign, was smeared defame into jeopardy eyes. Have anybody of a? U S, M by air marking on foreign, soil the behest at least tacit consent of the state Department. Grotesque assault, on this day when I should be providing and got his his firing of her is within his rights at will. That is that's just there is oh there is now an opera, could a janitor, but he knows
it was doing well, but we don't know but if he knew what he was doing, that we don't know why we combine. Well, we don't I who knows what he knew. Who knows what Rudy and partners and these universe. This bizarre, but what is it? Somebody made this great comparison, I'm tramping who was Oh Jim Garrity said that partners than from analysis was like Jeff Julie and Sean Eckart, the guys have kneecap is nance, arrogant and a pro partners even looks like also the weird thing that harnesses suddenly. Every one of partners is answers is perfectly fits any question that Rachel Matthau has to ask him. You know it's like it's like, having been rubies cats, paused, suddenly he's now flipped and gone and he's some everybody and that's why you can't that
it tells you gotta be a little to suspect that I am sure that in the large picture, when he is drawing, which is this weird thing going on between broody for whatever reason in him and is real okay. So if we we need to move on from here and talk about the fact that we are two weeks away from the ILO caucus behind the Times endorsement. We need to do the times. Guess I'm I'm of two minds about? Yes. Yes, without people people may people podcast obsesses, who listen to conservative podcast radio may recognize Elaeis Voice as the voice behind a duck. Leonard Pond driver of the is it the day. Gerda Institute for excellence in by partner
excellence, if I partisanship, and so if you would just put on your excellent bi partisanship, hat doktor upon driver and tell us of the virtues of the New York Times simultaneously endorsing a radical and a moderate, in the same race that only one of them can can win. What want to be honest. The gherkin institute we were were somewhat disappointed. We felt that the time should have endorsed least seven candidates in the whole spectrum of, what's on offer from hard socialism to sort of status quo, liberalism and now and that way we could just sort of a new approach to endorsement, which is to sort of give Varick voters. You know different endorsements to look at an end and then that way and I'll provide you know what sort of or even handed approach collaboration building as opposed to
That is a one sided sort of takes all. That's beautiful! Thank you very much for that about now. So here's the question: either we have If we ask you either we have the partition. Asian trophy model of endorsement, in which your boss, oh good. I just can't pick between you, so I just you go and you do what you do best and thank you so much and you'll both you know when the trophy right to let the princess patient trophy bottle where everybody gets trophy and then the other is they were just chicken bleep. They were check Bleep either they wanted to endorse a club which are because they think moderate has the best chance of beating Trump or I wanted to endorse Elizabeth worn and they were too scared to a dorsal is worn because Asia's probably not gonna, win and be she. You know like that, they would say she was indirectly they were endorsing the liar. What our own
so I assume that it's kind of closer to aid that they I endorse clover char, but we're fearful of their audiences wrath out. I gotta go. I got an already look for absolutely now. Oh wow. I can imagine that this vision is everybody. We know it across the street over. There were a bit where we can see the Times tower from our office. That's what I mean they're they're, pretty much in in the tank for Elizabeth warrant, I mean we ve been followings covered for years old wine and ate their habits are so while is their essential so that article thirteen to buy for creating visions for society. That you know would merit serious evaluation or whatever they said and done and decline to evaluate, but it I was really the rationale than they endorsed the two most viable, most popular representatives of those differing views in the reigning Sanderson Pipe right. They didn't do that right because they like Elizabeth when they want to endorse a list.
More than one to endorse a woman in one under some white man and that led them down this road, but they couldn't. I don't think they could endorse Elizabeth warring outright after her behalf if you're in that interview, I just was certainly are times in absolute. Our knowledge of the interview, the endorsement interview that they take. They taped all the interviews so insulted and watch them so irritating. I think just that, generally form, I think fear is entirely the right waited to frame it, but I think really and this the inability- to decide stemmed from its deep insecurity on left specially among its taste makers about this question at this cop on the podcast? billion time to the past four years, which is so just how strong. How influential how widespread Is this far left, as opposed to, though the damage stand?
liberal take that went where at what point do do you risk something real in opposing the twitter mob. And where do you not- and I think it's a serve paralyzing fear that that badly them to better, not be able to choose, but the twitter mob is inside the house just like it's like that, I'd sooner right, when a stranger calls, it's like, you know the kill, all is coming from. So that's who was it who abuse deemed a cat right during a big me, its people, at the times, which is why I think they wanted I endorse clover, char and we're tooth air, to endorse cool? We even gotten a hint of any affection from times editorial staff I just wanted to understand why they didn't then just endorse war, and if they were gonna endorse more in that's endorsing which was the weird desist unless I will say this so I'm the
I think, I'm the only person here who actually had to endure have worked at a job where I had to endorse candidates. I was I was the actual pages in your times and we had to do in doors wants post pulse expressive ties. Jesus now, certainly, not yes than your post ninety Monday, seventy, ninety, ninety, nine and- and you know the classic rule of thumb. Is that the smaller the race, the more potent your endorsement might be, particularly that's, particularly through the Times You know like assemblymen, races and stuff like that, like if you can get that endorsement, when nobody knows who anybody is that's up. That's it that's a killer, dorsal right, but, generally speaking, you endorse, because that's what at a toilet pages do and that sort of why your owner owns you and that's why you exist as an avatar open. It is to make clear, is to attempt this is the one moment when you can say we are attempting directly to effect an elections, outcome
by telling you you should vote for this guy. We don't do it all that often, but here you know with tears. We do it and not choosing, is ridiculous It's it's that's all it is, is a choice like you know, it's crazy. It's craziness, and it reminds me of something in reverse when my first job in journalism was as an adult was as a researcher time magazine and time, you know had this we're Dick illicitly laborious process for choosing man of the year and, of course, the always. The big question was. Could you pick a man of the year? Who is a bad guy? Could you pick the Ayatollah Khomeini you now? Could you pick Hitler in o in the form of Hitler? Was one because you're readership would say you are good, Your garland, your garland, doing this evil person with this trophy and then times answer would be if it there,
did this. We are not. This is not a value judgment. We are pointing out who most important person was in the world in the calendar year that just proceeded, sometimes that's a wonderful person. Sometimes it's a terrible person right. So it's not an endorsed. That's, that was the saving argument for whenever somebody didn't like the time magazine choice, it's not an endorsement is an interpretation of who is the most important person. This is endorsement you can endorse. Two people in
came face- were only one person can win, so I think I think, aims onto something when he when he talks about the kind of institutional institutional timidity of the times I mean, I think it's two things. I think I think you're absolutely right that they could not have endorsed a white male so that takes Bernie invite and who are the obvious choices off the table, but it's kind of like they just castrated themselves. I mean it doesn't make any sense. There is some posted on Twitter, this interesting video of an african american elevator attending to the Times building or someone who worked at the Times building, obviously not as a times reporter seen Joe Biden in just a whole. Hey you know, is widened and just so excited to see him such said Tal Biden that dinner she has support and comparing that to the endorsement, which I think was actually pretty accurate, I mean the idea that the editors of York Times you or you live in fear of the
fleeting twitter mob are going to give a legitimate gung. Ho assessment of these candidates was always ridiculous and Noah's right. They, you know more in Spain in the bag. For then, the whole time- but I was totally baffled by the closure I have to admit. I mean, besides these self castrating choosing to people for a single endorsement. I'm just the admission that we all seem to be pretty you're, saying explicitly others implicitly that day, cannot be seen to be backing a candidate to regardless of their ideas based on their demographic traits and accidents. A birth is so extremely bankrupt, but it's become just casually understood. Now this is how we do business now that that much they feel comfortable certain ripe than anything any choice, speak on that their fear of being cancelled. I mean, literally end and something became explicit over the last eighteen months that was implicit, has been implicit and has been a controversial aspect.
Of the kind of liberation is civil rights philosophy of the last fifty or sixty years, which is we're going you know everything's gonna, be opened up to all race this creates colors M genders and and sexual preferences and everything is going to be opened up. So that the best person can prevail and all and the law, mutations on a socially that have kept. Minorities and women and others you know from being able to grab the the great brass ring will be eliminated, so the best people can rise right. So That was always. Then you had institutions that wanted to say where great, because look, we have five black people on staff. For you know, we have three women on our board of directors or whatever, and then you that was generally called tokenism. That was like you trot out
You are right, minority representatives- and you say this is proves that were virtuous and you shouldn't attack us. Well now, and you saw some Kemal Harry. You saw this in what Elizabeth Worn said about how the women one elections on that stage in the last debate and the men didn't in all this now you have candidates, people who want things want to win things and want to get things who want to win by being chosen for being tokens, That is a new thing. That's like Gretta girl, which should be nominated for an Oscar because she's, a woman. This is terrible aren't being nominated and she should be now they cause she's. A woman in Gretta Berwick said that they whoa whoa whoa. I don't be nominee, because I'm what she actually said you know, I'm really happy the movie got nominated for best picture, you know, don't say, should be nominated. For I understand I don't want you the wanted that damage her pictures chances for best picture, but it is this like
Come on is basically saying vote for me because I'm a woman right that was an implicit matter, sometimes in certain types of things, and certainly in politics, when minority candidates runnin majority minority this but that was always the part that was not spoken allowed. What's weird about this. Is that basically the New York Times all but said they were privileged king clover turn worn because of their gender. At this pathology just doesn't extend to democratic voters who do not care, what appeared? Well, I'm sure it extends to a great many of them. It just doesn't extend to all of them right. That's that's the important thing I I mean this is the big question about Bernie and Biden bright if let's say are the two most likely possible. You know, fighters for the trophy right, so neither of them,
African American, the African American, though the race did not content good, did not connect with african Americans, so if you are going head from here on in who would you think was going to win the guy? Who has like fifty percent that African Americans say they support by enormous margins or- a guy who doesn't connect african Americans at all apparently advantages One point, though, that in the case of Bernie the most woke of the jacket ends on this point are all like only four Bernie, but so far, Bernie that, if you, if you slight leak besides anything, that he says they jump on you and say that you're, a real action airy and all these other bad things. So it's weird dynamic that this old, you know white guy is seems to have. That lane of the Democratic Party locked up that you would think would be. You know for the
the woman or the apartment of color. Something like that. You think, but I mean that maybe it I'll the light doesn't pander to woke sentiment is surrounded by the worst of the worst and then in that sense I will just say that generally give you, though, the biscuit you're, my baby, I'll, think he'd. He he is totally. If you ask him, he'll give the proper Her answer, you know it's like he'll, sits like saying your pro life and probably in primary he'll, say you know, Trans there then he'll say whatever it is. You have to say, including of course, I've never said the woman couldn't couldn't be elected president, offer unsolicited that the worst degradation that we are experiencing today on this debate stages, there's no trans women of color. Here, but otherwise I think there's a lesson in that which is that that's not what the crowds looking for Elizabeth warned us that right and as with the Times likes right we have never had any more in it in in the the warring Bernie thing
that happened at that debate. The Bernie fans were, I mean the weakest. People were upset with warrant for even suggesting that burning wood harbour that you know, Counter revolutionary view? colonel paradox and I I think that that hurt her in the end, because the people who are going to always be as woke as anyone else, are already for Bernie and how dare you say they are guy harbours the cept. So I mean I don't know it's an internal paradox, and I just I it's this. That's the strange thing to me is that the left side that is most a tune to this very real phenomenon that you
it ain't afraid about these cultural politics are all in four Bernie and you can't even say that he deviates from that because, of course he's with them a hundred percent rather than sets the weird way of these definitional terms and trying to solidify them were hardened them in place, which, as you know, is, is birdies. Following a class struggle, six sort of updated class struggle following you know dating back to, Henry Wallace and God knows who else and and then woken this. The real sir progressive social agenda stuff, that's not people. His people want to send rich people to prison, that's what they want. They would like to Frog March out. You know the heads hedge funds and take yet you know too yet tearing burg and have them shot and thrown into up into a pit of line like that's. That's what them and you know, Elizabeth Warren wants a wealth tax, but she at cheap,
instead should go to jail also, but it's much more imports, to her that you now, whatever whatever it is important to her, which is much more socially progressive. But not the you know Thank you don't, but I think that speaks to Rio. The Mensheviki he's a bolshevik. You know I don't know right now, but I noticed the speaks to an accurate picture of the left which is that the wealth inequality, people sort of mean it and the identity Arians on some of them undoubtedly mean it. But there is a much stronger, performative quality to it. It's much more theatre then in that all these factions. These are activists who make their bones on. You know, shaming of their people, for I mean they play that all the time and there are their offer Bernie except wearing on a presley who is also from Massachusetts, and you know Linda source or another big identity, Marian type
all in four Bernie, I mean that I'm just saying that all these factions, these are activists who if their bones on you know shaming other people for Why not? Let me that's a good in itself or then they're out there, so that Super Bernie Famines and that's that's the weird portentously actually point about the the wealth that you know that that they want to redistribute everyone's wealth and anchor suppressed to buy. So, let's move on because we need to talk about Elaeis, blockbuster piece in the February issue, which is available. I believe I hope, is available on my now. Ok, we were had gathered. We having Hank Innocent was doing extremely well. It's doing certainly well in art, no no, the jug yes, so Eli has, A comprehensive article simply called the FBI scandal and it is a history of the investigation into the Trump campaign beginning
in the summer of twenty sixteen and all of the missteps that went that way, no ill. I let me just ask you this question to start, which is when we were first digging. Until all these matters- or we know when the country was digging into all these matters you had an open mind. Let's just say too the idea that the FBI I had a serious interest in and a proper interest in trying to make sure that the election twenty sixteen had not been infiltrated em. You now that the that the that the elections had not been infiltrated by the Russians and that the term campaign had not somehow been colluding with the Russians right you, you thought That was a matter that needed to be looked into. I mean, I think
it was one of the first colonists to write about the russian role and the hacking of the day, and I mean you can check my anyone can me I've been I pipeline. I think a pretty strong Russia HAWK, as everyone commentary has also been, and I was as baffled as anybody else at some of the things that Trump openly said and people you were saying about everything from NATO and I thought that he was his sick infancy with Putin. There was an inner if you remember, on the superbowl half time with Sean hat. I think you're right Billow Riley, where he sort of Chiquita Well, you know we ve got a lot of people to be kind of equated Russia's pollutants, journalists and all of that war. Disturbing at the same time. I would just say that I thought that you know anybody who covered the intelligence community knows that a counter intelligence.
Navigation, almost by definition, has to remain a secret until you were ready to press charges in order to, at the very least, to keep the targets of the investigation from knowing that they're being surveilled, but also because, when she sort of. We let the allegations become public without you know getting your evidence in order, or not even knowing of your evidence is correct. That is the best old days of the red scare, and I know that we can achieve Lee. You know you can get into the details, given what we knew about Paul Manifold they were all wrong, but we tend to you. I think correctly view the period that we sometimes call Mccarthyism and the red scare before that in the nineteen twenty years as a period of mass hysteria. That was very bad for the country. So, but I agree that was perfectly reasonable to ask the question partition. You know you can get into the details, given what we knew about Paul man afford hoo hoo briefly, was the campaign manager and with an adviser all of those were fair,
open questions in twenty sixteen and fair political questions. But it's the fact that those two dreams cross. That, I think, was where we really getting a lot of ok I bring that up. Only to say that what you have written here is a devastating portrait of miss behaviour of up of of an agency that is both an talents gathering agency, anyone enforcement agency and its roles in these matters. I would say require the FBI to behave with care, clarity and circumspection because of the author empowered hold not only to gather information but also to basically, you know, serve kit collected, can do and then make and then make a make a case for it and and so that the peace begins with the crossfire hurricane investigation into
some staffers moves on to twenty seventeen and the beginning of the Mueller Investigation and the signing of FBI agents to that investigation and then concludes with the report play the inspector General Michael Horowitz, which is so damning that it's it it's her. It's the sort of thing that in a different era or different, the danger. I think you suggest at the end of the pieces, that you could almost use this to say that the FBI itself has has gotten to a point where it is beyond salvation when you walk against that right, but it's not an open and shut case. Your warning is, you know that we need the FBI, but the absent. Yeah. I mean the problem with. I think that the people criticise the deep state have
very strong argument about the abuse of investigative power and the coverage of the FBI, which was a big part of it, well, which is that every revelation in them mower investigation, was treated as like. You know that the shoes are dropping in the walls are closing in and think it in some ways, paralyzed from presidency. I think in kind of made him even more crazy. It did real damage, and so I can understand the position of people whose who have adopted what used to be a far left, NOME Chomsky line about a kind of deep state that you know operated almost as a collective hive, mind and that it didn't really matter who's.
A top these agencies, because they were always go and act in a certain way, and that, I think, is an accurate portrayal of these institutions and as a right in the piece it lets. Individuals like James Comin, Andrew MC off the hook for the terrible decisions that they made so I think it's dangerous sites and I've seen it. I mean it's kind of amazing to say that in twenty twenty you know conservatives are having a serious debate about the deep state in some ways lead the president and that's not a great place to be in If you want to avoid the inevitable conclusion of a deep state critique which has just get rid of these agencies, together will then there has to be real. Significant reform, which seeing the beginning of, but we have to see a lot more than just that. I would say
So reform in this case is the only way to save these institutions at this point, because I don't think there have, I think that there really losing that that legitimacy that makes them makes it possible to have an FBI in in a democratic society. Ok, so one other so much of the peace centres on this very complicated issue that turned out to be a lot less complicated than we thought of this foreign intelligence survives records warrant against the american unpaid Trump adviser Carter, page right, who was rather object to this war, which is its witches,
unusual for an American to be subject to the kind of surveillance, intelligent surveillance, electronic surveillance that he was pretty too, and when this came up and people started saying, including people around Devon, newness, love house intelligence can be directed at the time that there was something untoward going on here. People, like me, said not allowed it. It can't be this, it's so serious. And then the standard for getting this warrant is that, basically, the area has to know that the guy's, a foreign agent, like Hasta high evidentiary standard, just even to request the intelligence because you're actually not even going after him, really you're trying to see who is associates were, and so you have to go to the court with this I evidence yields very serious evidence that is almost unimpeachable, and so it can't just be that it was the FBI saying Carter Pages, a bad guy.
And yet it turned out. That's exactly what it was right. Well in some ways, it's even worse than that, because, initially, when the agents wanted to apply such a warrant. They were, rebuff by lawyers and the justice department- and you don't have it- you can't do it, and so they they went out in and they used opposition research, which was flimsy and more than flimsy it was. It was totally false and they use that to bolster the case. They taste they did so many things where were they didn't tell the court that it was opposition research and who had paid for it? They didn't include information as they renewed the warrant that they had accumulated, suggested that this guy, had no idea what he was talking about. The interviewed his sub sources who didn't stand up is going to mean Christopher steal. The preservation of a former am I sick, and I mean
I am I'm not. I don't generally do press criticism, but should be said that in this period started off when this is opposition research, so it is brief to reporters and for the most reporters sort of said, I dont know what to do with this. It's totally unconformably. Well I, how am I supposed to right? This is before the election as soon as it is included in materials to grief. Oh papa and Trump during the transition. Then the story, instead of you, know, doing the hard work of trying to confirm a lurid conspiracy theory about Trump AIDS working with Russians to get dirt. You know to the Trump card which would be horrendous. It became the FBI is interested as thinks it's important enough.
Is investigating these allegations and that really does remove the burden from the journalists to actually confirm any of these allegations. They can just say the FBI is looking into it and that really was a failure of the press as well, because if it had just been the FBI that was looking at it, but it had stayed kind of in the cone of The intelligence community would not have had the political effect it did. It was because they were all of these stories in that transition, including the saying that there was an investigation into the trunk campaign that it made. It seem like that this steel report, the seal ass? He was more, was sturdier than it really was, and so that both of failure, of the FBI and a failure of the press and particularly The cable news that when you know we were all there, they were reporting it breathlessly, and you know four to this day
you will find people who will defend seal dossier because it was sort of rammed down our throats too. To last things up both which are suggested in the peace, but are not are not sir major lines in this remarkable serve history. This recent history, three year, history of of FBI, malfeasance one as you point out that that James call me went to brief trump on the findings of the steel dossier and an ovum right, and he went to brief trump similarly around, not at the same time. But in a slightly the fresh you, the F B, I went to brief. Why am I
knocking on than human rights. This is unlike Rick Perry here, the first National Security Visor Michael Flynn, Michael Pfizer. They went to brief Michael Flynn on the question of conversations of much of the russian ambassador and that, in both of these cases, the interview that the Flynn briefing was actually an interrogation, and Flint did not know, and that ready- and that call me went to brief trump because he was in estimating trump, not because he wanted to. Let trump know that there was the as he said, salacious and uncorroborated report. The trump needed to be aware was being circulated and have some have reason to fear for his reputation. Leading trump. You know in an honest way to say what can you do to clear my name here Call me saying: well, that's not what we do, because what apparently we call me does is black and people's names. You know Hillary Clinton and shrubs rather them rather than
hear them, but that in both These cases be the process, The transition was used as an as soon as a me, a surreptitious means of investigating people who had no reason to that they were being sir veiled and investigated and I think here it's worth noting a kind of irony of our modern history James Combing becomes a national figure and is sort of beloved by liberals, because in the George W Bush administration he the one who blow the whistle on war it an essay surveillance and he's the one who says he will not get an ailing John Ass companies in a hospital bed to sign off on this programme of dubious constitutionality. He is the one that that active, you know, brave civic defiance and in the name of civil liberties, is basically what
oh god, it's so that you know, Obama would make him the FBI, director funds, so waiter five years later until the end of his career. Is this extraordinary violation of a surveillance powers, the abuse of his surveillance powers in a lot of ways? I think the Flynn thing is a little bit different in the case of the Flynn. It was, I think, presented to Flint as a sort of routine couple questions about his conversation, The russian ambassador and Flynn did not know that you know he was being using target orders. He was a tall. Of another investigation, and I think, the case of tromp, I mean Comey tells Trump you're, not a don't worry about it. This isn't about you. It's a few bad apples and Trump, then says, are able to do what you got to do. But could you clear my name on this terrible thing with the salacious that golden showers and, The irony, of course, is that in a coma says, that's not really with the FBI does, but it's exactly what the F
I was doing at that time trying to verify this particular story, among others, in the seal dossier and of course they found out that there was no basis for it. So I mean it's possible and I I wrote it very carefully, because we are still a lot of things we don't know, and we should say that James Commie did not renew his security clearance, so he could review at the time you know his class. I know it's, which is an interesting thing, but we no I've come. He was aware of the effort to try to corroborate that in that particular moment, but it was it's it's he must have known that there was an effort that this was in the page. He signed the page, five a warrant, so he must have known that there was an effort to try to corroborate this sort of stuff and for him to just sort of say this to the poor. I mean I just think it's pretty clear that he was. He was trying to sort of set him up for an obstruction trap something like down the line
it's really not what the FBI director is supposed to do, and you know it's it's again. I think that combing came to this position because he really believed that Trump was a terrible danger to the republic, but its doesn't excuse the fact that he clearly You know violated all of these procedures and norms that we sort of took for granted that we expect some one in its position to adhere to play devils at Sure pretend that I am the most paranoid of anti deep state activists and yet in your piece you lay out you know these. Successive abuses, evolved in the supply of investigation. And are you say, though, that the deep state- real? It's not really mean it,
you're, saying now during this podcast that too to blur a deep state is to lead individuals off the hook, and what we are really talking about is different individuals who got hysterical and made, different decisions on the round that lead to bad choices and that that resulted in those days Oliver Investigation, I think, use the word debacle in their yes. If, if all that leads up to the without its necessary for institutional reform, then Isn't that sort of like saying well that the kind of sounds like there's? A deep state problem. Well, I don't There is a deep say problem because I think that there are all these institutions are comprises of human beings and they, then disagree I mean we know also- that there were FBI agents, especially in the New York Field Office, that work
rooting for Trump and there was probably one of them- was leaking information to the Trump campaign through Rudy Giuliani, at least that's what it looks like for now. So there isn't a kind of unit I view in the entire FBI and So we know- and this is a very important detail- the crossfire Hurricane Investigation was done, and this is unusual out of their headquarters. And the team was picked their within their postal railed office, Mere, where are almost always they're supposed to be a field office that looks into it, and this was, and the teams were handpicked by Andrew Mackay, deputy director of the FBI, who is the deputy director
and they all you know and and and they all sort of made errors in the same direction, which is the error that you know trumpets guilty and what we ve got to find this information, but that is to me is that it a question of sort of an institutional problem and all I can give you other examples to the deep state usually means more than just the FBI Means intelligence community as well. We know that the top analysed the CIA when confronted with the sealed ass. He said this is all internet rumour. Why are we including it in this intelligence assessment of what the Russians did? That's how you tell their own system of that old bomber asked for that was delivered, to whom like the two weeks before the election before about whether, before that inaugural right now, if there was an if there was a deep state, you know how did this analyse into this position? you know where you can offer this pretty obvious descent, and- and there are others well. That's why I'm in there were lawyers who come out looking pre, good and Horowitz report, because they were deceived and they were asking for the information about harder pages. You know former
cooperation with the CIA when it came to his russian contacts, which is a key reason. Why? I think you could. I have to say that Carter page with smeared in process. So there were individuals in these institutions that were true to kind of continued to it. Here too, the rules and the norms, I do think, though, that the argument get stronger if you widen the aperture slightly to include all of these former officials who go on you know CNN and MSNBC, and they are Oh repeating almost from this him. No, it's the same talking point. This could never have happened. There's plenty of evidence. This is a really bad. Walls are coming in. And all of those people, I think, look ridiculous, but I would still saying that there were enough examples of Indonesia within these institutions that it's not more complicated. I think its deep state is an is alive. Easy kind of analysis, but it also leads to some pretty bad positions that it really is based.
It is an argument that you would associate with like the gnome Trotzky with Bernie Sanders supporters, which is why many of them include. I mean I should point out the matter. You be favourably tweeted, my article southern so delight. Thank you very much. Much go out behind the magazine. Dot com read the FBI scandal by Lake, which is currently a top on site, we'll stay very. It is the first second and a word on this matter with all the information that we have and for Christine. Even now, I'm John Homewards keep the cavalry.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-25.