We are constantly being lectured to by the media and Democrats that there is no “deep state.” That Trump and Republicans are just making up conspiracy theories to cover their own nefarious deeds.
Most people who do not imbibe only quasi-propaganda outlets such as the New York Times or CNN, understand there is a deep state, or permanent state, or some ongoing cabal of government bureaucrats that pre-date and outlast presidential administrations and have their own agenda. And they understand that agenda for three years has included getting rid of a duly elected American President.
The #resistance has included seemingly boundless denizens within the federal government. We will never know the full scale of the leakers — the primary weapon of the deep state against Trump — but we can identify dozens of people who have publicly acted, or been caught acting, in precisely a deep state sort of way.
Publicly, the resistance deep state probably starts with one of its heroes: Sally Yates.
Yates was Deputy Attorney General under Obama’s AG Loretta Lynch. When Trump was sworn into office, Lynch resigned and Yates became acting AG. When Trump signed an executive order temporarily restricting travel from a select few Middle Eastern and African countries to the United States, Yates went full resistance.
She ordered DOJ lawyers not to defend Trump’s executive order in court because she personally believed it was not consistent with the DOJ’s responsibility and questioned its lawfulness. Of course, defending it in court is what would determine its lawfulness. Yates did not hide the ball.
“For as long as I am Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order,” she wrote. Trump fired her the same day.
Yates’ action was about more than the particular EO she didn’t like. It was a banner being waved in front of the pre-existing deep state to rally more bureaucrats to the cause. It’s important to remember that the permanent state long precedes Trump and resides on the ideological left. People throughout the George W. Bush administration decried how the State Department continuously undermined Bush policies abroad. For eight years.
In Yates’ case, she was clearly violating her oath and job description, which was to defend the executive order. If she could not, she should have resigned. She was an unelected federal hire. Not one American voted for her. But her renegade approach had the desired effect.
According to the inestimable Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal: “The Yates memo was the first official act of the internal resistance — not only a precedent but a rallying cry. Subordinates fawningly praised her in emails.”
Judicial Watch filed Freedom of Information requests and found a treasure trove of other deep staters doing that fawning through emails to Yates. One federal prosecutor called her his hero, another thanked her profusely for fighting against an unlawful president.
Perhaps the most enlightening came from Andrew Weissmann—a career DOJ lawyer and head of the Criminal Fraud Division, who wrote: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much.” Weissmann was later hired by Robert Mueller as part of the team investigating Trump-Russia collusion. Another face of the deep state.
According to a Washington Post story a few weeks after Trump’s inauguration, 180 federal employees had signed up for a workshop to learn how to “successfully express civil disobedience.” The Post’s story revealed that bureaucrats were in “regular consultation” with Obama appointees to create strategies for opposing the administration, including work slowdowns for any policies they opposed.
The story seemed meant to paint a picture of federal employees righteously standing up against an unlawful, illegitimate and dangerous president. They were heroes like Yates, and underminers secretly following her like Weissmann. But the story actually revealed the reality of the deep state and the lengths to which it would go to stop Trump.
Another identifiable deep stater is Walter Shaub, whom Obama appointed in 2013 as head of the Office of Government Ethics, an oxymoron if there ever was one. The office is simply mandated to advise and assist the presidential administration in office and is not to be confused with being a watchdog, as the name may imply. This office was perfectly situated to actually help Trump, who never held elected office before, to avoid ethical pitfalls. That was its mandate and its purpose. That’s not what Shaub did.
The Wall Street Journal’s Strassel writes of Shaub:
“…within weeks of the election, Mr. Shaub was mimicking the president-elect from an official Twitter account: “@realDonaldTrump OGE is delighted that you’ve decided to divest your businesses. Right decision!” “@realDonaldTrump Brilliant! Divestiture is good for you, very good for America!” When Mr. Trump released his plan for his assets, Mr. Shaub blasted it at a public event with press in attendance. At one point Mr. Shaub sent one of his critical missives to hundreds of government ethics officials, every inspector general, and the chairmen and ranking members of numerous congressional committees. When administration officials began to call him out on his behavior, he loudly resigned and immediately landed a job at the liberal Campaign Legal Center.”
Of course the acts of people like James Comey, John Brennan and James Clapper are now legendary. But they are political appointees. The deep state is the permanent, unappointed and unelected bureaucrat class that also enjoys civil service protections that make firing them virtually impossible.
Deep staters have filed an enormous number of official internal complaints — perhaps as part of that civil disobedience training, or on the advice of the former Obama officials — in attempts to have the authority to define policies for their own fiefdoms, which is the sole prerogative of the executive. The Washington Post ran an infamous guest column by an Interior Department employee named Joel Clement titled: “I’m a Scientist. I’m Blowing the Whistle on the Trump Administration.”
His beef was that Trump policy was endangering some native populations in Alaska. How? Climate change. A scientist blowing the whistle! There was no merit, nor did he have standing. But, as we have seen repeatedly, it allowed eight Senate Democrats to demand an IG investigation and that, certainly, was part of the purpose, along with publicly damaging Trump.
The pattern is pretty clear in that Clement is now a senior fellow with the activist, leftist Union of Concerned Scientists.
Of course we see these patterns repeating themselves right up to the “whistleblower” on the Ukrainian phone call, but instead of IG investigations or a special counsel, we now have impeachment proceedings, or something. It’s not really clear.
Everything Trump did, from meetings, to internal memos to private phone calls with heads of state, were leaked to an eager media accurately or inaccurately.
One study by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs found that in just the first 18 weeks in office in 2017, the Trump administration “faced 125 leaked stories — one leak a day — containing information that is potentially damaging to national security under the standards laid out in a 2009 Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama.”
The report summarized it this way: “Under President Trump’s predecessors, leaks of national security information were relatively rare, even with America’s vibrant free press. Under President Trump, leaks are flowing at the rate of one a day.”
About 100 of the 125 dealt with Trump-Russia collusion, and the majority of those contained classified information. Which means not only were they potentially damaging to national security, they were felonies. By the time of this writing, the number of leaks must be north of 1,000 — too many for the Senate committee to even try to study. That is a lot of felonies committed by the deep state.
Virtually all of those leakers remain unknown to the public and are likely still toiling away in the bowels of the deep state, ready to leak and otherwise undermine President Trump and the security of the nation in any possible way.
The deep state is real, and provably so. They are protected and acting in concert with each other and with Democrat lawyers and lawmakers. Re-electing President Trump is one of the greatest bulwarks against this continuing. If it works, it will become enshrined in D.C.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.