On Investigating Presidents

  • June 12, 2023
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Patrick G. Eddington

As you probably have heard or otherwise know by now, the 37‐​count indictment against former President Trump has been released (WARNING: large file). I’ve highlighted a number of sections in yellow that I think are particularly telling.

For the benefit of those who are not fluent in Intelligence Community (IC) speak, I offer the following translations regarding certain key acronyms contained in the indictment:

HCS = Human intelligence Control System. Think confidential, foreign national sources.

TK = Talent‐​Keyhole. That’s satellite imagery‐​derived information.

And I doubt I need to explain that FISA stands for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but this info is clearly derived from the FISA Section 702 program that’s up for renewal/​expiration on New Years Eve this year.

What nobody on the leftist cable ecosphere is talking about right now is the ongoing Biden Documentgate investigation. And as I noted almost six months ago:

In contrast, President Joe Biden will not be indicted, much less prosecuted, because of a 1973 Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel opinion that categorically asserts, “The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.”

It may well be that Special Counsel Robert Hur will determine that President Biden should not be prosecuted for having classified documents in his possession after leaving government service. I personally don’t understand how that conclusion could be reached, but I also don’t have access to Hur’s investigative findings to date, so I am withholding judgment for now. However, unless Attorney General Merrick Garland rescinds that 50‐​year‐​old internal Justice Department opinion—and he should—it will be difficult for many people not to conclude that there is, in fact, no possibility of equal justice under the law when a former president can be prosecuted and a sitting president cannot be for committing exactly the same offense.

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