The 2016 election cycle produced one of the unlikeliest of all presidential contenders, then nominee, then president-elect in billionaire businessman and reality TV star Donald J. Trump, but there was no shortage of people along the way who pulled out all the stops in their effort to derail him.
At the same time that all of the presidential politics were unfolding, the country learned more than it had ever known about a former first family, the outgoing first family, members of Congress and the operatives who are loyal to them.
Now that the smoke has cleared and voters have produced clear winners and losers, it is time to take stock of the process itself and hold to account those who violated our trust and our laws. The following is our list of the top 10 politicos who should be punished, sanctioned or put on trial and jailed for their role(s):
1. President Barack Obama: You cannot say anything at all about anyone else loyal to the Democratic Party without naming the ringleader, and that person is, without question, the current, though outgoing, president.
Throughout his tenure, Obama played fast and loose with the law and with the Constitution, even earning criticism from a preeminent constitutional scholar and avowed supporter of Obama’s policies, Prof. Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law expert at Georgetown University. He testified in 2014 that Obama’s abuse was going unchecked to the point that he worried about the Legislative Branch becoming irrelevant.
But that’s not all. Obama aided and abetted illegality as well, committed by his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who would leave his administration to make her second unsuccessful bid for the presidency. He knew she was using a personal, private email server to conduct State Department business, which included handling ultra-sensitive and secretive information, according to published reports. We know Obama knew because he emailed her at her private email address, using an alias – which also indicates he knew what she was doing was wrong, otherwise why hide his own identity? In fact, that’s probably why the FBI did not recommend that Clinton be indicted, because agents discovered the president was involved and knew what she was doing.
“If Obama himself had been e-mailing over a non-government, non-secure system, then everyone else who had been doing it had a get-out-of-jail-free card,” wrote Andrew McCarthy at National Review.
Obama plans to stick around Washington, D.C., after he formally leaves office Jan. 20, so that he can be a thorn in the side of the Trump administration. He should be shunned and sanctioned at the very least, by all, but he won’t be by his adoring sycophantic supporters and the discredited “mainstream media” that protected him while in office.
2. Hillary Clinton: There is so much wrong that the former Democratic presidential nominee (allegedly) did during her tenure as secretary of state, that it is difficult to know where to start. So let’s start with the obvious: her private server.
We already know that she was enabled by the president. But what really makes what she did a criminal act (and what Obama did, too, by allowing it to occur) is her blatant violation of specific statutes for the handling of classified information. As reported by The Daily Caller, she violated at least four felony statutes contained in Title 18 of the United States Code of the Espionage Act. In fact, FBI Director James Comey, in discussing her case in July, essentially laid out all of the laws she broke.
Then, of course, there is the matter of her using the Clinton Foundation to provide access and special favors to foreign governments who just happened to donate millions while paying her husband, former President Bill Clinton, exorbitant fees for “speeches.” It was the prototypical pay to play, as laid out in detail in The Hillary Files, a special report published by News Target.The Washington Times published a list of the top pay-to-play scandals in October.
Unlike Obama, Clinton can still be indicted for a great many things, not the least of which is her mishandling of classified materials, unless the current president grants her a preemptive pardon. It’s likely Obama will do so. But what’s less likely is whether she’ll accept it, because that would be a tacit admission of guilt.
3. Bill Clinton: Before taking office for his first term, then-candidate Bill Clinton told America that if he was elected, we’d get “two for the price of one.” Bill and Hill have been a political team all their lives, and that didn’t change during her last presidential campaign.
Or before. While she was serving as secretary of state, Bill was the bag man, collecting hefty fees for speeches from foreign governments with business before the U.S. government. With Democrats and other political opponents already accusing Trump of using his office for personal gain (though he’s turned his businesses over to his family), the Clintons were feathering their family nest for years using the foundation as cover.
In fact, as The Washington Examiner and the nonprofit Judicial Watch uncovered, Bill Clinton raked in some $48 million giving 215 speeches paid for by foreign governments and foreign interests, with Hillary’s State Department approving every single request.
4. John Podesta: The one person most damaged by the WikiLeaks releases of confidential emails and other documents obtained from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee is longtime Clinton aide and confidante, as well Democratic operative, John Podesta.
As her campaign chief, Podesta’s fingerprints are all over everything – from colluding with the mainstream media to get Clinton’s message personified and perfected, to being well aware of all the “pay to play” that was occurring between the Clintons, their foundation and foreign interests. Podesta was more than just an operative and campaign flack; he was an enabler for the Clintons and, in particular, for Hillary Clinton to violate ethics rules and, possibly, federal statutes.
5. Huma Abedin: This longtime Clinton adviser and aide was double-dipping – actually triple dipping – receiving paychecks from the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and a Clinton-affiliated consulting firm, all at once.
As reported by Town Hall, that puts her in legal crosshairs for perjury:
Huma Abedin may be in the legal crosshairs for possible perjury after new emails relating to the FBI’s probe into Clinton server were found on her estranged husband’s laptop. Anthony Weiner, who is under investigation for illicit online interactions with an underage girl, shared this device with Abedin. Abedin swore under penalty of perjury at a June deposition for a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch that she had turned over all devices to her lawyers that contained State Department materials. In February of 2013, she signed a routine form saying that all State Department-related documents had been turned over. That’s obviously not the case.
Again, there are major ethical, conflict-of-interest type concerns associated with her overlapping employment, given her special status within both the State Department and the Clinton Foundation all at once. What’s more, there is that legal issue about perjuring herself.
She has also not yet been pardoned by Obama but certainly could be. The incoming Trump administration is not showing its hand yet as to what it will do, and that’s smart play.
6. House Speaker Paul Ryan/Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: This one gets a tag-team designation.
You may be surprised to find these two political figures on our list, but together they represent the top leadership in the Legislative Branch. Therefore, it is their duty to hold the president and his Cabinet members accountable for their actions. And when those actions fall outside the realm of their offices, run foul of the Constitution or measure up to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, one of the legal tools at their disposal is impeachment.
Yes, political watchers will say that there weren’t enough votes in the Senate for a conviction, even if the House had voted to return articles of impeachment, since it takes two-thirds of senators present to actually convict (and we all know it was probable that not a single Democrat would vote to convict a president in their own party). But that does not give the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader an excuse not to bring legitimate charges against legitimate violations of law (in Clinton’s case) and of the Constitution (in Obama’s case)
By permitting Obama and Clinton to get away with what they did they have empowered future presidents and Cabinet members to attempt similar breaches of law and the Constitution.
7. Donna Brazile: Another longtime Clinton and Democratic Party operative, Brazile, as a contributor to CNN, was caught leaking debate questions to her former associate’s campaign before a debate her network was hosting took place, as noted in the WikiLeaks data dumps.
Did she regret what she had done? Not one bit. In fact, as the Washington Post reported, the only thing she did regret was not having better knowledge of how to protect electronic data.
The paper reported:
“‘My conscience — as an activist, a strategist — is very clear,’ the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee said Monday during a satellite radio interview with liberal activist and SiriusXM host Joe Madison. She added that ‘if I had to do it all over again, I would know a hell of a lot more about cybersecurity.'”
What’s more, her host agreed. “‘The one thing folk need to understand at CNN, MSNBC and all of this: When you hire folk who are, as you say, the, you know — their responsibility is to their candidate and their party,’ Madison said, ‘they’re going to do whatever they can to win. That’s just — that’s the nature of the beast.'”
Yes, of course … the ends justify the means, even if it means being patently dishonest and soiling your employer’s reputation in the process.
8. Republicans who would not support Trump as the nominee – even those who said they would: There are a slew of RINOs – Republicans In Name Only – who not only didn’t support Trump publicly, but very likely voted for the criminal candidate instead.
And that includes one-time GOP presidential contenders whom Trump bested and who said early on would support the eventual party nominee, no matter who it was (when they all thought Trump didn’t stand a chance).
Prominent Republicans who publicly opposed Trump include action star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (who even took over Trump’s reality show, The Apprentice); the Bush family (Jeb Bush, vanquished candidate, refused to support Trump); deposed GOP presidential contender Sen. Lindsey Graham; deposed GOP presidential contender Gov. John Kasich of Ohio; former Massachusetts governor and two-time failed GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney; former “centrist” mayor of New York City and billionaire founder of a top financial news network that bears his name, Michael Bloomberg; and former U.S. senator and Navy secretary John Warner, among others. Here’s a comprehensive list from The Atlantic.
Hopefully voters will exact a toll on those RINOs still in office come election time.
9. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Since this former top Obama aide took over the helm of the president’s adopted home city, Chicago has been in steady competition to become the deadliest city on earth.
For the past few years, murders in the country’s third-largest city have become a staple. There are parts of the city that are wonderful, modern and idyllic, but there are other parts that are more deadly than war zones in Afghanistan or Iraq.
The mayor bears much responsibility for this chaos and mayhem, but thus far, Emanuel has rejected all reasonable efforts at bringing law and order to the deadliest parts of town, including calls to deploy the Illinois National Guard. Even the city’s liberal newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, has called for the Guard’s deployment.
But these calls and others to change the way the Chicago Police Department approaches patrolling those parts of the city have been ignored, and now, the city’s experiencing its deadliest period in the past two decades. And nobody seems to have any answers, including the mayor.
10. The mainstream media: Complicit in every single criminal and subversive event this year was the now-thoroughly discredited “mainstream” media legacy papers like The New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Miami Herald and all the cable news networks save Fox News for a) covering for Obama; b) publishing lies, innuendo and fabrications about Trump; and c) under-reporting, purposely, or spinning major news stories that would have negatively impacted Hillary Clinton and her former boss.
And since the election, the MSM has helped create, and then spread, the notion that all of its alternative media competitors are purveyors of fake news that helped Trump defeat Clinton, with the aid of Russian propaganda. The Washington Post started that tinfoil hat conspiracy theory.
As the founder/editor of Natural News (which was named as one of the alleged Russian propaganda organs) Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, noted, that was nothing short of treason:
The Washington Post has finally committed its most desperate act of credibility suicide, publishing a blatantly false, fabricated story that now claims Russia directly interfered with the election to deliver a victory to Donald Trump.
The WashPost story does not name a single source for the accusation … .
Ditto for The New York Times, which claimed that Russian hackers accessed both the DNC and the Republican National Committee, but only chose to release information damaging to Clinton and Democrats. Then-RNC spokesman Sean Spicer – now chosen as Trump’s press secretary – said that was a bogus claim and the Times knew it, but claimed it anyway, citing “U.S. intelligence” sources.
“The intelligence is wrong,” Spicer told Smerconish. “It didn’t happen. We offered The New York Times conclusive proof that it didn’t happen. They ignored it. They refused to look at it because it didn’t fit the narrative.”
So there you have it, our comprehensive list of persons (and organizations) who should be sanctioned, punished or jailed this coming year as a lesson not to intentionally harm or otherwise denigrate the United States and Americans in the future.