A Coup Against Our Institutions

The systematic campaign to undermine an incoming presidential administration through politicized investigations is a true constitutional crisis…….


Matthew Spalding, a scholar of the Constitution and dean of Hillsdale College’s Van Andel Graduate School of Government in Washington, D.C., has written an important essay on the troubling possibility that the treatment of General Michael Flynn by the Obama administration and, later, by holdovers in the FBI, the Justice Department, and the CIA, represents not just a personal disaster for Flynn—who was, for a week or so, President Trump’s national security advisor—but also a brewing constitutional crisis for the United States.

Many commentators, myself included, have described the whole “Donald-Trump-was-a-Russian-Asset” caper as the biggest political scandal in U.S. history. We were ridiculed or condemned by the Left and the NeverTrump fraternity alleged to be on the Right for saying that, but time has proven us right. We were right, too, that this scandal was less a “hoax,” as it was sometimes called, than an attempted, if slow-motion, coup. It was an attempted coup because it aimed to disrupt the peaceful transition of presidential power from one administration, and one party, to another.

That sounds pretty dramatic, I know—aren’t “coups” things that happen in South American banana republics, not the United States? But as I wrote in May 2019, “coup” 

accurately expresses the deliberate effort by actors in the Obama Administration, including by President Obama himself, to assure Hillary Clinton’s victory by destroying the reputation of Donald Trump. “Most Presidents leave office,” the commentator L. J. Keith recently wrote, “and essentially step back from public life. Not Barack Obama. Shellshocked by Hillary Clinton’s loss, Obama, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and Clinton set in motion a series of events that will forever tar his presidency, and decimate the concept of a peaceful transition of power.”

I returned to Keith’s point last September, noting that “the Obama administration’s actions threatened not just Trump and his presidency, but the very processes and protocols by which the peaceful transition of power has been effected in the United States.”

This troubling truth is Spalding’s theme, and he brings together the threads of the argument in masterly fashion. 

As the cocoon of deep-state lies surrounding Michael Flynn has unravelled, we can see the extent to which he stands at the very origin of the attempted coup against Donald Trump. The Russian-born historian Svetlana Lokhova, a British citizen who met Flynn at a conference dinner in 2014, was smeared by the Obama operative Stefan Halper as Flynn’s mistress who was taking orders from the Kremlin. It was a complete and vicious fabrication, every piece of it, as Lokhova shows in her new book Spygate Exposed. Lokhova, in fact, was the only relevant Russian in the whole “Russian collusion” fantasy, and it turns out that she was totally innocent of the accusations made against her, just as was Flynn. 

But while the case of Michael Flynn stands at the beginning of the multi-pronged attack against Trump and his administration, the effort by the FBI to frame Flynn is only one piece in a much more complex puzzle. 

As Spalding observes, what happened to Michael Flynn was part of a much bigger initiative, namely a “systematic campaign to undermine an incoming presidential administration through politicized investigations.” And this, Spalding notes, is not just “another political scandal, but threatens a true constitutional crisis.”

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