The classic 1954 movie “The Caine Mutiny” crescendos with a court martial. Charged were crewmembers that had relieved Captain Queeg of command during a storm, citing as their defense their fear that his mental state had impaired his decision-making, and they feared loss of the ship and, possibly, all hands on board. The court martial did not appear to be going well for our mutineers. But then, as the cross examination of Queeg proceeded in earnest, he began rolling steel balls in his hand, and increasingly displayed the subtle cues evidencing a serious mental health problem lying below. The mutineers were not convicted.
In 2008 John McCain sought command of the United States, and the electoral crew relieved him of command before he’d even assumed it. Mutinous were many Republicans of the base who stayed home rather than vote for “John McAmnesty.”
Fast forward to the 2016 election, and the voters, and particularly Republican base voters (many of whom had long-since registered as “Independents”) elected a man whose platform was a rousing repudiation of the results a President McCain would have intended – “build the wall” trumped the lead Gangster of Eight and his stillborn amnesty.
For one who may feel entitled to the office, and robbed of it, and to see his agenda so publicly repudiated, it must feel like … like … like a mutiny against the legitimate leadership. And how to handle the mutineers? Why, a mutiny against their leader to restore the rightful order. And how to do that? Well, how about the political equivalent of a court martial: an impeachment?
But first we must have evidence to bring charges and then obtain a conviction, though we need not be too picky about its sources or validity. This from The Daily Caller on April 25, 2017:
McCain has acknowledged that he provided a copy of the document to FBI Director James Comey in December. The Republican has said that he did not know whether the information in the dossier was accurate but that he wanted to turn it over to federal authorities in order to check out Steele’s claims.
After learning about the dossier at an event in Canada in November, McCain dispatched David Kramer, a former State Department official and senior director of the McCain Institute, to meet with Steele in England to obtain a copy of the document.
Kramer flew to London at the end of November to meet with Steele. He returned to the U.S. with a copy of the dossier and gave it to McCain. McCain then gave a copy to Comey during a meeting the next month.
Let us assume for the moment that the foregoing is completely accurate. At least to the extent that the truth can be determined at present, we now know that “Republican” donor Paul Singer initially funded the “opposition research” on Donald Trump – Breitbart reporting that the funding was laundered through The Washington Examiner – but that once Trump won the nomination that “Republican” funding stopped. Reports indicate that hedge fund operator Singer is a quintessential Establishment Republican, promoting Wall Street agendas, LGBT and open borders – which would explain why he was funding this “opposition research” – for during this period Singer was supporting McCain’s fellow Gang-of-Eighter Marco Rubio in the primaries. As we now know, once Singer dropped the funding baton it was picked-up and run with by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.
Then this from that same Daily Caller story:
The FBI reportedly made an informal deal with Steele in October to pay the former spook $50,000 to continue his research. But The New York Times reported that the deal fell through, possibly because Steele was unable to corroborate his research. The FBI also cited the dossier in its application for a surveillance warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
So the FBI intended to pick up the “opposition research” funding baton from the DNC, or supplement it, before the election? What’s wrong with this picture?
This leads to several questions for, and about, Senator McCain and his involvement:
Was McCain involved with, or at least aware of, Singer’s efforts from the beginning – to what extent was McCain coordinating with the Rubio campaign?
What was McCain doing in Canada at which place or event he supposedly “first learned” of the dossier? With whom was he meeting, and who informed him about the dossier? Did this Canadian foray occur before or after the election, when was it first scheduled, and by whom?
If McCain first learned of the dossier in November, and then handed a copy over to the FBI in December – why did he risk a potentially critical delay by not just informing the FBI about what he learned in Canada, and then leave it to the FBI to apply its expertise after that?
Why the big rush to have an associate fly to London, ultimately to physically pick up a copy – e.g., to avoid leaving an electronic trail?
Why send an associate from the “McCain Institute?” So that the FBI’s or McCain’s Senate office fingerprints wouldn’t be on the effort? To avoid FOIA disclosures? For accounting and tax purposes, how did the “McCain Institute” categorize the travel expenses?
And since the author (Christopher Steele) was having everyone pay for his “research” – the “Republican donor,” the DNC and Clinton campaign (directly and/or through their proxies Attorney Marc Elias and Fusion GPS) – would he have given a free copy to some guy from the “McCain Institute,” or did it also have to “pay to peruse.” (And again, how were these sums treated for accounting and tax purposes by the McCain Institute?) Conversely, if Steele provided it for free, why this special treatment for the “McCain Institute?”
Was this retrieval of “opposition research” an “in kind” contribution to the DNC or Clinton campaign, in violation of campaign finance laws such as <ahem> McCain-Feingold?
If the reports are true that McCain informed FBI Director Comey about the dossier and shared a copy with him last December, yet the FBI in the previous October had sought to help fund Steele and his research – when did the FBI first learn of it, and who made the decision to (try to) open the FBI’s federal money spigot for Mr. Steele? And why? And what did Director Comey say to Senator McCain when offered the dossier in November-December?
As said, there is much to inquire about with Senator McCain – under oath. Then let’s see if the steel balls come out.