This week, former President Barack Obama reemerged from hibernation to lecture Americans about the threat to rule of law posed by the Trump administration. After Attorney General Bill Barr announced that the Department of Justice would be dropping its case against President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who had pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, Obama told his former aides, “our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.” He explained, “There is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. ... And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”

In reality, of course, Flynn was never charged with perjury. He was charged with lying to the FBI in the course of an investigation, a separate and far lesser offense, particularly given the fact that his alleged lie was immaterial to any underlying crime. In fact, as America found out over the past two weeks, Flynn wasn’t supposed to be the subject of any investigation at all: The FBI had decided to close an investigation into Flynn in January 2017, even after supposedly nefarious calls between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok — the same man who pledged to lover and former FBI attorney Lisa Page that Donald Trump would never be president and suggested an “insurance policy” against that possibility — then intervened to keep the investigation open. The next day, during an Oval Office meeting, President Obama himself asked then-FBI Director James Comey about the Flynn-Kislyak communications. Next, Comey upped the ante: He avoided following normal FBI-White House protocols in order to interview Flynn, and Comey’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, avoided informing Flynn of his rights. Nonetheless, the FBI agents who conducted the interview suggested that they did not think Flynn was lying during that interview. As it turns out, notes between top FBI officials at the time said, “What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” Flynn would later plead guilty to one count of lying to the FBI — at least in part because the FBI was threatening his son with prosecution.

This should be a massive scandal. It should be a massive scandal because, at the very least, it demonstrates the nation’s chief law enforcement agencies, prompted by political actors at the very top of the government, racing to bend the rules in order to pursue a case they were convinced they would make: the case that the Trump campaign had conspired with the Russian government. From the purposefully botched Carter Page Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to the absurdly conjured prosecution of Flynn, the most powerful institutions in American life violated the protocols meant to restrict abuse, firmly secure in their own feelings of moral rectitude.

That’s the best-case scenario.

The worst-case scenario is far darker: that by early January, with no evidence of Russian collusion, leaders of the nation’s political and law enforcement agencies decided that guilt was irrelevant, and that the Trump administration had to be strangled in the crib. This seems like a major stretch, but in a highly partisan era, such a narrative will have legs.

Meanwhile, blithe in the knowledge that they were on the side of the angels, members of the Obama-era government continue to chide Attorney General Bill Barr for ending a charade of a case. Their incredible inability to see how their conduct looks beyond the echo chamber of sycophantic media sources only undermines their credibility further. As it turns out, President Obama isn’t wrong — at least not entirely. Our basic understanding of the rule of law is at risk, not because Bill Barr stepped in to prevent an unjust prosecution but because our institutions under the Obama administration were politicized in ways that should shock the American conscience.


Ben Shapiro is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller “The Right Side of History.” He lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles.  

(7) comments

E pluribus

“Obamagate” has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? A lot catchier than “Benghazi” and much more succinct than “the socialists are coming!!”

Mr. Shapiro and his ilk are desperately casting about for a narrative to cover their lawless mad emperor now that his incompetence has already cost 85,000 Americans their lives.

Possibly this distraction will work. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and in America if you can fool enough of them the Electoral College may hand our Very Stable Genius four more years.

Keep your 🤞 fingers crossed 🤞, Ben that’s your road to victory.

Larry Skow

E pluribus: You miss the point. What would the tone of the country be today if democrats hadn't started their under handed ways the very next morning after Mr.. Trump won? Think about if they had said "let's work toward a unified approach to our issues". An don't kid your self Republicans had a hand in this or some did. Trump shocked the establishment with the upset. Hillary whined like a stuck hog for 2 plus years. The swamp needs to be drained an restocked. Was the FBI running the country? Where is this democratic server they say disappeared/ Odd how that is in a former communistic country. Odd Hunter Biden got a $50,000 month consulting job with a gas company---who by the way Nancy Pelosi done a commericial promoting it in that country. Maybe if the daily distractions were not there on impeachment an phony sexual assault charges on judge nominee this virus would not of gotten here. Stop an think what if. a lot of states have democratic governors they could of stayed open. But the economic downturn was coming/oil was going to go down. The virus was kick in the butt. But look how ALL the counties of the world missed the signs. good old China our bestest buddy in the world surely couldn't of done anything to hurt a world competitor. NAAAA surely you jest


Sadly it’s just not true that “ALL the countries of the world missed the signs.”

Mr. Skow, I grew up thinking America was exceptional. I thought we were “Number One.” A “Shining City on a Hill” to use Reagan’s words.

Now we’re just first in the bodycount competition with all the other losers who ignored the scientists’ warnings about the coming pandemic. But there were those who saw what’s coming.

The South Koreans, for instance, reported their first Coronavirus case on the same day as the US did. They responded immediately with massive testing and contact tracing. Now they’re safely reopening their economy. But in America we heard little but reassuring cheerful talk while our government did nothing.

As of today the South Korea government has kept their total deaths down to 260. That's compared to 86,603 in the USA - the highest body count by far of any nation on the planet. If you adjust for the population difference, we’d have only 1690 deaths from the virus if we were competitive with South Korea.

Instead we’re well on our way to more deaths from incompetence than from all the violence of all the wars we’ve fought since WWII. We’re that far behind the curve.

Whatever our differences may be, if we can’t agree that we expect our President to prevent unnecessary deaths of Americans on that scale, then perhaps we’ll not agree on anything.

The numbers are undeniable. If they are ignored, then the Cult of Trump becomes the Cult of Death.


OfftheFence. In looking back as most people are now it is very easy to blame a president. How about your local county, city or state officals? They could have sure done more than they did to help slow the spread of this nasty virous. But no lets all point the finger at president Trump. He should have never handed out free money to everyone who was placed on unemployment. The state pay around $600 a week in benifits if you worked long enough. He gave away another $600 a week for a toal of $1,200 a week!! $4,800 a month!! That is a job paying $30.00 an hour. So my point is if people what to complain he hasnt done anything for them, send your money back and make due. This virous will ruin our econemy and it will not matter if you are Democrate or Republican, broke is broke. Then whose fault is it? If we would have done what South Korea did and put everyone in there homes for how ever long and stopped all business do you think we would be any better off? People in this country would not have stood for that and been protesting about the goverment telling them what to do. How do you plan for something like a virous that didnt seem to exsist until it is on you? Seems like you are playing defence instead of offence against an unknown.


It's so funny when people refer to taxpayers dollars as the President's money. Also, OffTheFence is spot on. Tronald Dump's incompetence is responsible for over 90,000 American deaths.


It’s well documented, Ar223. Trump had plenty of warning from the previous administration, his health experts and the intelligence community. He ignored them all.

So now we can boast that we have almost 90,000 deaths from the virus, or 30 percent of the world’s total Covid-19 deaths. Join me in that Trumpster chant, Ar223. We’re number one‼️ We’re number one‼️ We’re number one‼️

And you’re right, you Trumpsters will defend to the death your freedom to be stupid and endanger everyone else.

So now we just have to change that outdated line in the Declaration of Independence to “DEATH, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Jolly Roger

Uhhh… OK, Ar223. You and your self-declared “war time President” want the states to fight all the battles. Correct?

So under this foolishness, FDR could’ve had South Dakota organize and equip the Normandy landing. And maybe Nebraska could’ve taken on Hitler's forces at the Battle of the Bulge. Maybe California could have undertaken the Manhattan Project. Have I got this right, pal?

No wonder the world pities us as we lose this deadly war against a 🦠 virus 🦠 . Meanwhile, we’re led by your mad king who tells us we’re his “warriors” as he sends us off to battle unarmed. ☠️💀☠️

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