Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


It's The Cover-up That Should Get Them Convicted

By Rob Tenery, MD on November 6, 2017

In 2003, home decorating mogul, Martha Stewart was initially charged with ‘insider trading’ in the stock market, but the federal authorities were not able to make that case against her. Instead, she was charged with lying to the authorities and convicted of obstruction of justice. Her sentence was five months in prison, five months under house arrest and two additional years of probation after that.

Early in the 2016 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, the conservative news website The Washington Free Beacon hired the political research firm, Fusion GPS, to do 'opposition research' on several of the Republican candidates. Once Trump won the nomination, the website claimed they dropped the project but it was picked up by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign. With funding from the DNC and the Clinton campaign, the firm commissioned former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele who went on to produce what's been called the 'Steele dossier’ on Trump.

Reported on CNN on October 26, 2017, Hillary Clinton claimed that she was unaware of the Trump dossier before it was published, as did the past leaders of the Democratic National Committee.

Findings by the Campaign Legal Center state, “that the Clinton campaign made 37 payments to Perkins Cole law firm totaling $5.6 million, and the DNC made 345 payments totaling $6.7 million,” to pay for the dossier created by Steele.

Although it turned out to be fake, the dossier served as the focal point to institute investigations into Trump and his election team’s connections to Russia. Natasha Bertrand reported in Business Insider on January 24, 2017, “the investigations appear to have begun as early as last spring, when the CIA established a U.S counter intelligence task force to investigate whether the Trump campaign received funds from Russia.”

The task force consisted of the FBI, the Treasury, the Justice department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency. “Trump's potential ties to Russia came under increased scrutiny amid allegations contained in a 35-page dossier from a former British intelligence officer. The unverified claims contained in the dossier include that his campaign colluded with the Kremlin during the election to undermine Hillary Clinton,” continued Bertrand.

If the allegations that the Hillary Clinton campaign organization and the DNC funded the Trump dossier are correct, then obstruction of justice charges, similar to those for which Martha Stewart was convicted, should eventually be filed. Sadly, as with the numerous violations Clinton could be charged that are related to her server, it is unlikely she will be brought to trial because of who she is.  

The problems with the fake Trump dossier are even of more concern since they possibly involve collusion, abuse of power and obstruction of justice by several arms of the intelligence community. When did these agencies first learn of the dossier? When did they first suspect it was fake? If the dossier was suspect, what power did these agencies have to get a FISA warrant to investigate Trump and his team for any Russian connections?  Once these agencies determined it was fake, why did they continue to assert that their investigatory actions were within the law?

Politics is the methodology of governance when there are conflicting ideas. It’s been described as ‘dirty’ because rules are often bent to win.

Our system is broken when the intelligence agencies participate in activities that clearly violate their Constitutional authority. Hopefully, these illegal activities reflect only on a few individuals who think they are above the law and try to subvert our electoral process.

Even if those who were involved don’t go to prison, they must be held accountable for their actions. The American public is owed that much!





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