Republican Rep. Liz Cheney publicly read texts from Fox News anchors to the Trump White House as some glorious Jan. 6 investigative find that will vanquish the former president and his followers. What it really did was typify what has been going on in Washington since skyscraper man took command.
Two-term Republican President George W. Bush returned in 2009 to Texas, where in retirement he plays golf, paints and raises money for wounded veterans. However, he left behind thriving alumni who reside and plot in the comfortable, mega-wealthy confines of Washington. Former President Donald Trump called the town of revolving-door politicians, lobbyists, consultants, nonprofits and lawyers, the “Swamp.” He wasn’t just talking about Democrats.
Candidate Trump had treated former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the planned third Bush president, rudely. (An “embarrassment to his family.”) Mr. Trump was a crass Twitter fanatic. The W. Bush alumni became some of the town’s most sensitive Trump-offended.
Then, the gift to the Bushes. The ill-fated “Stop the Steal” movement that convinced a band of working-class Trump loyalists to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to stop election certification. A totally screwy idea. Mr. Trump was his own worst enemy, relying on a pillow salesman to convince him the election was swiped.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly assembled a hard-partisan select committee to milk Jan. 6 for all its delights. Who better to become its outspoken Republican member than a Bush loyalist, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. He and his daughter were the only two Republicans to attend Mrs. Pelosi’s one-year anniversary bash of anti-conservative speeches, a musical cast and candlelight vigil.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, whose husband Philip Perry held political appointments in the W. Bush administration, can gleefully riffle through the committee staffs’ collection of Republican texts, emails and phone numbers as punishment for supporting Mr. Trump. And then bask on little-watched liberal TV.
Fellow panel member Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat, is a pro at this. Look what he did to committee colleague Devin Nunes who outmaneuvered him on the Democratic Party-funded dossier that Mr. Schiff nurtured — with no apologies. Mr. Schiff obtained Mr. Nunes’ phone records and released them. They were nonconsequential.
Mr. Trump’s legacy is overshadowed by Jan. 6. It’s still an impressive list: a secured southern border, combating violent Mexican cartels and their killer drugs and child sex traffickers; energy freedom; terror state Iran in a box; a new paradigm to make real Middle East peace; confronting our enemy China for its lies, thefts and cheating.
President Biden blew up all of this.
Mr. Trump also bolstered Ukraine; denied thug and Russian President Vladimir Putin his West-dominating natural gas pipeline; convinced NATO to spend more on defense to make the alliance more invested and stronger; and rebuilt the U.S. military while not subjecting our troops to a “woke” revolution.
Mr. Biden also blew up all of this.
Mr. Trump labored under the infamous Schiff-supported dossier that Democrats and liberal media repeatedly unleashed to harass and dethrone him.
The dossier was 35 pages of Kremlin-planted lies about Trump-Russia. No president should be forced to contend with such hoaxes day in, day out. There has never been a dirtier political trick. Did the Bush-Cheney alumni association ever point out that perhaps relying on Mr. Putin’s treachery was a “threat to Democracy?” — to quote a Pelosi et al. theme?
Perhaps the leading anti-Trump Bush alumnus is George W. Bush’s former speechwriter David Frum. He now reports for The Atlantic, the site that sprung the disputed story at election time about how Mr. Trump supposedly said something insulting about D-Day veterans that everyone around Mr. Bush denies.
That’s a liberal theme these days. Democracy is over unless you do what we say, which involves packing the Supreme Court, bringing in more Democrat-leaning territories to join the union, taking over state elections and fortifying the Justice Department to go after Mr. Biden’s detractors — whom DOJ calls “domestic terrorists.”
Mr. Bush’s former CIA director, retired Gen. Michael Hayden, tweeted the starkest criticism.
Gen. Hayden likened Mr. Trump’s southern border crackdown to Nazi death camps. He posted a photo of one of Hitler’s industrial mass-death sites. He said he drew on the horrible image because he disagreed with the administration separating border-jumping children from families.
(The media showed photos of “kids in cages” that were actually from 2014 under former President Barack Obama.)
Former FBI Director James B. Comey was Mr. Bush’s deputy attorney general. Later Mr. Obama appointed him FBI director, just in time for Mr. Trump. Mr. Comey liked the dossier and put the entire Trump campaign under investigation, he announced in March 2017 at a House hearing in Mr. Trump’s second month in office.
Mr. Comey’s successor at the FBI is Christopher A. Wray. He, too, served as a Bush appointee at Justice. As FBI director, he has testified that Antifa, which the mayor of Portland says is trying to destroy his city, is just an idea.
Under Mr. Wray’s watch in 2017, the FBI told Republican targets of attempted mass murder of them by a Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporter that the episode was simply “suicide by cop.” Two years later, under Republican pressure, Mr. Wray changed the classification to “domestic terrorism.”
Nicolle Wallace was Jeb Bush’s press secretary in Florida and later joined his brother’s White House staff, rising to the senior post of communications director.
Her communication these days is as an MSNBC anchor where she regularly spewed anti-Trump analysis. In April 2020, she talked of a COVID-19 “silver lining” because it supposedly exposed Mr. Trump’s previous three years in office. (Mr. Biden has seen more COVID-19 American deaths in his first year than did Mr. Trump in all of 2020.)
The book “A Warning” by former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor (as Anonymous) struck gold.
To sell the book to a publisher, the press and the public, Mr. Taylor relied on a PR firm called Javelin. It was founded by two George W. Bush-era operators, Matt Latimer, former White House speechwriter, and Keith Urbahn, a Pentagon aide to Donald Rumsfeld.
J.D. Gordon, a former Trump national security adviser, told me, “Some Bush Republicans have fallen into the trap of bashing Trump so harshly over things proven false or misleading, they become persona non grata to both the political right and ultimately the left, which just enjoys the spectacle.”
We know what’s coming next if Republicans take the House. There will be a special committee to investigate the Russian-sourced dossier and how Mrs. Pelosi, Mr. Schiff and other liberals brandished it to try to destroy Trump and democracy at the same time. That will require requests for texts and phone records. I can already hear the screaming.
• Rowan Scarborough is a columnist with The Washington Times.
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