How the Obama Administration Shattered the Rule of Law

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, 36, 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. 

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14 thoughts on “How the Obama Administration Shattered the Rule of Law”

  1. Americans have had enough Deep State and Shadow Government. Susan Rice’s bid to be Joe Biden’s VP is another effort for Obama to worm his way back into our politics.

  2. Now does anyone here ever look at the entire picture of Flynn’s crimes. Now originally Flynn was charged with 4 major crimes, and made adeal with the prosecutor to drop all the other charges, some which involved Flynn’s son for one charge of lying under oath. Now even if they drop the charges on lyijng which Flynn was getting off easy, the other charges are still up there to be brought at any time within th 7 years fom 2016. Now on top of the Federal Charges there are state charges which they agreed to drop if the Federal prosecuted. This si not some cloak and daggar it is sound legal charges.

    1. You are right Robert — it is not “cloak & dagger” — it is total BS !!!!!!! The fbi and the odumbo administration are as guilty of misuse of power as Al Capone was guilty of tax evasion.

    2. Let’s see, an individual is supposedly charged with 4 major crimes [must be considerable assurance that there is sufficient evidence to convict, if he was actually charged], however the prosecutor decides that it is better to drop all such charges in favor of that individual pleading guilty to lying (not under oath), during an interview (questioning)? What sort of prosecutor would ever keep their job for long doing that? Especially when it is revealed that the “lie” was a fabrication by the authorities?

  3. IT’S ALL TRUE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE WENT THROW WATERGATE, NOW IT’S TIME TO GO THROW OBAMAGATE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AT LEAST NIXON HAD THE SMART’S TO LEAVE OFFICE.

  4. All roads about the Russian Hoax that wasted $30 million dollars investigations, made most of Pres. Trump’s advisers and aides their lives turned to pieces POINTS TO OBAMA.
    Atty Durham should start prosecuting him and all the ACTORS, put them in jail.

  5. Now that this information has come to light, can we, the American people make a case against Barak Obama for his abuse of power which is having violated his sworn oath of office?

  6. What should we expect from a bunch of pompous Ivy League Lawyers. Why do they call it the Fat Boys Institution? Because they do what they are told, little robots, trained by Ivy League wannabes and hangers-on who think nothing of Justice, or even the law, as long as they have their measly jobs, and keep their pensions, so they can send their kids to the same cheesy stupid look alike schools and produce the same type of people. Ha Ha, rule of law my ass. This is rule of Lawyers, who make the rules they want and defy those they don’t. They get away with it because the Judges that rule for them came from the same pathetic, nose in the ass, Ivy League schools. Destroy the Ivy League and save the country. What is the matter with our school system? What is happening to the Family? Why are we killing babies left and right? Ask Hollywood, ask the Ivy League thug group, ask the cheap Ivy League trained ‘so called’ Journalists. Call me Navigator.

    1. Thank You, LynnApple…I just love the “nose in ass” meme…I can actually, in my minds-eye see Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton’s nose stuck deep, and secure up Obama’s ass…thanks for the laugh, darling!

  7. LAWS? What LAWS? The Obama Administration broke so many LAWS, and shredded the very under-pinnings of our Constitution, with their continous refusal to abide by them. Fast and Furious, DACA, Dreamers, UraniumONE, the Clinton Foundation, Quid Pro Quo(even discounting Joe Biden’s Ukrainian “bribery” deal)just to name a very few. Obama knows his “indiscretions” will not “allow” him to see jail time, but they will show the American People how his “transparent” Administration was corrupt from the top, all the way to the dry, rotten core…

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