When the Supreme Court ordered the National Archives to turn over approximately 700 documents relating to the Capitol Hill riot, it was with the understanding that they could not be revealed to the public. Of course, everyone knew that was absurd. Leaking documents for political purposes is a common occurrence– regardless of the law. No one ever gets investigated, much less charged. In fact, the first documents hit the compliant press hours after they were received to Pelosi’s kangaroo Select Committee.
It was an alleged draft Executive Order that would have called on the military to seize ballot boxes and machines that Trump may have believed to have contained fraudulent ballots.
The left-leaning press immediately declared that this was the “smoking gun,” proving – beyond all doubt – that President Trump was engaging in an unlawful conspiracy – a coup – designed to overthrow the 2020 election. That was the verdict in the Trump/Republican/conservative-hating media — serving as the prosecutorial press in the court-of-public-opinion.
The first issue is the fact that it was illegally leaked. Someone associated with the Committee broke the law. That, however, will not even get much media attention, much less law enforcement – proving that America does not always operate under a strict rule-of-law and that no man (or woman, I presume) is above the law.
Also leaked with the draft Executive Order was a blog statement by businessman Patrick Byrne, who suggested that controversial – arguably whacko — attorney Sydney Powell should be named Chief White House Counsel and General Mike Flynn become “field marshal”.
But what about the draft Executive Order?
In a typical hyperbolic screed, CNN’s Anderson Cooper called the document “batshit” – with a modest apology for using that word. “Excuse me, I actually didn’t mean to say that. It is. It’s insane.” Of course, he did mean it because he said it.
(If he wanted to stay within the cable news standards, Cooper could have called it “guano” – but calling it “guano” would diminish the impact in the non-Hispanic community. Also, not sure why Cooper needed to apologize on behalf of a news network that has guests routinely saying they are “pissed off.” Of course, living in Boca Raton, Florida, I understand the problem of translation. Who wants to say they live in Rats’ Mouth, Florida. But I digress.)
Cooper went on to say:
“Consider waking up one morning back in December of 2020 to this. The former president ordering the military to seize voting machines, empowering the Defense Department to decide whether the election he just lost was fair or not. Also, direct from the Justice Department to name a special counsel to oversee this effort, including the prosecution of potential election-related crimes which his outgoing attorney general, as you may remember, had just said were inconsequential, if not nonexistent.”
“Wow, Sidney Powell, special counsel, Gen. Flynn, field marshal. He would probably get to wear a uniform that he could design himself or maybe his son.”
Cooper concluded with, “Can you IMAGINE that?” I put “imagine” in all caps because everything Cooper said never happened. None of it. It was all conjured up by Cooper as an imaginary scenario.
The proposed Executive Order was never signed by Trump. It is not even known if Trump ever saw it. Upon further inquiry, it is not known who drafted it – although some reporters “believe” that it “may have been” Sidney Powell. Some real solid reporting … eh?
The Byrne blog suggestion was never part of the draft Executive Order. It was some guy with a freelance suggestion – and not a very good one, in my estimation. But not proof of a coup – or even an attempted one.
Had Trump issued it, THAT would have been newsworthy – and damning. There were a lot of problems with the draft – not the least of which was the proposed using the American military for a domestic operation. But we already know that Trump never attempted to use the military in conjunction with the 2020 election results – and if you believe General Milley, the military would not have responded. And that is a good thing.
Making Powell Chief White House Counsel would be nutty. Making Flynn a field marshal even nuttier. That rank does not even exist in our military, as far as I know. The British have that rank, but we have not been part of Britain for more than 200 years.
The leaked draft of an Executive Order has about as much credibility as evidence of a coup attempt as the old Russian dossier was proof of a Trump/Russian criminal conspiracy. The draft Order smacks of some overzealous folks on the fringe playing mind games. The fact that it was not a document requested by Trump, not signed by Trump, makes it largely irrelevant – not proof of a coup, as the leftwing makes spins it. One might say those folks associated with the draft Order and blog post were just … imagining … like Cooper.
So far, we have seen some evidence of Trump and his team going to extreme measures to get a recount even on the eve of the Inauguration. Extreme, yes … even outrageous … unprecedented … foolish … but so far nothing illegal. You cannot say Trump illegally used the military based on an Executive Order he never signed and issued. He cannot be accused even of bad judgment for NOT naming Powell as White House Counsel – or NOT naming Flynn field marshal.
That is the difference between the court-of-public-opinion and a court-of-law. The events surrounding the Capitol Hill riot – and the motivations and roles of folks that were not storming the Capitol Building are yet to be discovered. But so far, the claims of coups, coup attempts are only political accusations in the court-of-public-opinion. There is a lot of real evidence missing that would hold up in the all-important court-of-law.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper – and all those other media personalities so eager to rush to judgment – are doing a great disservice to the profession of journalism – and the public when they report their imagined scenarios as news. Come on, man.
So, there ‘tis.