Wednesday on his nationally syndicated radio show, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh argued former President Barack Obama “actually did” what New York Times report has accused President Donald Trump of doing regarding an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
According to Limbaugh, Obama had the FBI back off of an investigation into Hillary Clinton.
Partial transcript as follows (courtesy RushLimbaugh.com):
All right, here’s (among many things) what’s going on. Here’s what Trump is alleged to have done here vis-a-vis the Comey memo. Comey memo says that Trump asked him to let it go. Let the Flynn investigation go. I can hope you see your way to let this go. He didn’t do anything. The guy… I love the guy, honest guy. Comey said, “Yeah, I can tell you honest guy, good guy.” And what Trump is alleged to have done is actually no different than what Barack Obama did in April last year when he made it known that he didn’t want Hillary prosecuted.
In fact, the Obama situation is actually worse. While Trump indicated he didn’t want Flynn charged, he did not order the case dropped, because it’s still going on. Trump indicated that he wanted Flynn not to be charged, but he did not order the case to be dropped. And the case continues. Grand juries have been impaneled now. In contrast, the FBI and the Department of Justice dropped the Hillary investigation just as Obama wanted them to, and they used exactly the rationales Obama used when he made his public statements.
Well, Obama, was saying there was no intent to harm the U.S., the degree of classified emails that Mrs. Clinton was trafficking in is very exaggerated. Obama went public with all this! He went public with his own exoneration and thought that the investigation should be brought to a screeching halt. And it was! Comey got together and they stopped the investigation, and that allowed them and Hillary — for the rest of the campaign — to say she had been cleared. That’s why they got so mad at Comey when he did the July 5th press conference, because back in April, Obama thought he’d taken care of this.
The July 5th press conference was essentially to announce that there wasn’t going to be a prosecution of Hillary because there wasn’t any intent. This is what Obama had set up with public statements the previous April, and I know you don’t remember the media being jacked up about this. I know you don’t remember any anonymous sources leaking information to the media that looked bad for Hillary and Obama. You just greeted this with, “It’s the usual Democrat-media corruption.” And they’re saying that this is what Trump was trying to sneak through here. He was trying to get Flynn to be cleared so that he could run around and say, “Flynn didn’t do anything. See? I’m clear!”
RUSH: Here’s what the allegation is gonna be, if it hasn’t already appeared the Drive-By Media. The allegation is gonna be that what Trump wanted to do was to have the FBI clear Michael Flynn, and then use the FBI’s clearing him to argue that a thorough investigation had proved nothing bad happened here. All right? Now, why did they think that’s what Trump would do? They’re gonna say that Trump’s plan was to rig the investigation and then exploit the fact that there had been one. By exploiting it, I mean, “Hey, look, man! Look at this detailed investigation! It happened, and my buddy Flynn’s clear.”
The Democrats would know exactly how to do it because that’s exactly what Obama did with Hillary. If you’re scratching your heads about this, maybe you remember in April of 2016, when everybody was wondering, “Is Hillary gonna be indicted?” Remember there was a drip, drip, drip? Every day there seemed to be more news about Hillary’s illegal server and classified documents flying around, and every day people speculated who was behind this, and everybody concluded that Obama was. And remember the debates, the questions?
“Is Obama trying to take her out? Is Obama trying to destroy her? Is it Obama does not want her to be president, doesn’t trust her with this?” Remember all of this stuff? And on the other side of it people were saying, “Maybe Obama’s trying to inoculate her. Maybe Obama’s trying to just dribble this stuff out so that it doesn’t end up hurting her — a little bit here, a little bit there.” But the conventional wisdom was that if he was doing anything, he was trying to hurt her, because it just prolonged everything.
I offer those simply as reference points. You might remember those things being discussed at the time. This is April of 2016. And that’s why the Democrats would know how to accuse Trump. There’s no evidence this is what Trump was trying to do. There’s no evidence for anything here. We have allegations. We have a memo that may or may not exist. We have a memo that may exist without any context. We don’t have anybody that can tell you what crime Donald Trump has committed yet to this day.
But Obama actually did, with Hillary Clinton, exactly what they are accusing Trump of trying to do through Comey at that dinner (where Comey only got one scoop of ice cream) to protect Flynn. If you think back to April 2016, there was no way they were ever gonna have Hillary Clinton indicted. Obama ran the DOJ, and he was running Loretta Lynch, and Obama was running Comey, and there was no way Hillary was ever gonna be indicted. You know it and I know it. But they used the fact that the FBI had ostensibly done a thorough investigation in order to clear her.
That was the purpose of the drip, drip, drip. The purpose — in retrospect — of the drip, drip, drip was to get all the evidence out there and then claim that it had been investigated, and then Comey magically appears on July 5th to list all this stuff that everybody knew. There was some of it that we didn’t know, but he gets it all out there; then says, “No reasonable prosecutor would proceed,” and, bam! She’s cleared! The difference between Obama and Trump is very simple. Obama’s pressure on the FBI to wipe the Hillary investigation off the map appears to have worked.
Regardless of what Trump may have said to Comey, the investigation of Flynn continues. The investigation of the collusion of the Trump campaign in Russia continues. So where is the obstruction? They’re whispering impeachment, obstruction of justice, violation of this and that. Where is it? The investigations are ongoing elsewhere. The House Democrats announced a new one today! Pencil Neck went out there, Adam Schiff, and said, “You know, we’re not gonna wait for a special counsel. We’re gonna do a special commission here in the House!”
So they’ve launched another investigation. Investigations aren’t being shut down. Some people, as I was saying, don’t want to sit around and wait for impeachment. They want whatever is gonna happen here to happen before the 2018 midterms. So there are people suggesting — and one of them is Ross Douthat of the New York Times, quote-unquote, “conservative columnist” there. His suggestion — and many have now echoed it — is (paraphrased), “Well, use the 25th Amendment! That’s how we get rid of Trump. “We don’t have to worry about whether Republicans will join us now.
“Just use the 25th Amendment.” What’s the 25th Amendment say? The 25th Amendment says that the cabinet, the president’s cabinet can certify the president’s insane — mentally deranged, deluded, mentally unsound — and get rid of him on the basis that he’s not all there. On the golf course over this weekend and the whole subject of impeachment came up. I said, “I don’t necessarily think that although I wouldn’t be surprised. I wouldn’t be surprised with the way they’re all setting this up. They’re trying to claim, ‘Trump is unbalanced anyway! He never has been all there.’”
So there are many areas here at which they’re aiming at Trump. Now, Andy McCarthy has written a column about this Obama precedent that I just talked about, and I want to give you a couple of paragraphs of this piece here just to batten this down because this is important. What they’re accusing Trump of doing has already happened, and it was Obama protecting Hillary and clearing her in the campaign year 2016.
“April 10, 2016 — President Obama said Sunday that Hillary Clinton showed ‘carelessness’ by using a private email server, but he also strongly defended his former secretary of state, saying she did not endanger national security…” Again, intent is not an element of the criminal statute. It’s been totally made up by Comey. The statute does not require intent in order for it to be violated. Comey just made it up and attached it, and Obama used it before Comey did. On April 10, 2016, Obama said publicly Hillary had not intended to endanger national security.
Of course not!
She’s a great Democrat. She’s a secretary of state. She’s from the Clinton dynasty. There is no way Hillary Clinton would intend to endanger national security. “Come on, people,” Obama said (paraphrased), “Who are we talking about here? Are we serious? Mrs. Clinton, Huma Abedin would want to purposely damage national security?” That’s the route they took. Obama suggested that in the greater scheme of things the importance of what Hillary had done here had been way, way overestimated; way, way too amplified.
She wasn’t trying to traffic in national security! She wasn’t trying to endanger the United States of America. She wasn’t doing half the stuff she’s been alleged to do. He said all this publicly — and next thing we knew, July 5th, Comey publicly stated (in almost exact words that Obama had used back in April) that Clinton had been “extremely careless.” Obama said she had “shown carelessness.” Comey said Hillary had been “extremely careless” in using a private email server to handle classified information.
But Comey insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security — which, again, is not an element of the statute. So you see the pattern? Obama goes public. (paraphrased) “Hey! She didn’t intend anything here. She was just… She showed carelessness.” July, Comey: Hillary was “extremely careless,” but she didn’t “intend” to endanger national security. “Comey acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via her server, but he suggested that in the greater scheme of things, it was just a small percentage of the emails involved.” Just like Obama said, “It’s been so overstated.”
So if anybody’s been working together here to clear a perp, it is James Comey and Barack Obama in April and through July of 2016 — and since that is what happened, the Democrats and the media are now projecting on Donald Trump that which they did. And they are accusing him of wanting to do what they did and claiming that Trump’s desire and effort to try to do this constitutes obstruction of justice and is thus an impeachable offense.
And yet at this very moment, nobody can detail for any of us a single crime Trump has committed, other than winning an election that he was supposed to lose in a landslide, unseating the popular (snorts) Hillary Clinton, whose turn it was — and who openly, in his inaugural address, threatened the Washington establishment and told them their days were over. There’s no mystery why we are here today. It’s been one of the easiest things to predict.
And I have to tell you, I’ve been saying all week that one of the major things about this that troubles me is that either Trump or his people didn’t even understand the scope of what they had done and what they were doing in terms of being able to accurately predict the establishment’s reaction. They were just not gonna roll over. These are not the people that accept the results of an election. They just don’t. And this is not the first time in our history that they have acted this way. Florida 2000. They just don’t accept the results of elections when they lose them.
So, anyway, July 5th, the case against Hillary is dismissed. Could there be a more striking set of parallels, asks Andy McCarthy? “A cynic might say that Obama had clearly signaled to the FBI and the Justice Department that he did not want Mrs. Clinton to be charged with a crime, and that, with this not-so-subtle pressure in the air, the president’s subordinates dropped the case — exactly what Obama wanted, relying precisely on Obama’s stated rationale.”
And the media could not have cared less about actual obstruction, about actual interference. And of course they couldn’t have cared less, because this is the outcome they wanted. Mrs. Clinton cleared, free as a bird, as the nominee of the Democrat Party.