DimWit Politics

So … who is doing the vetting?

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So … who is doing the vetting?

So … who is doing the vetting?
July 17
20:17 2019

It would be difficult, if not impossible, to argue that President Trump’s administration has not had a more than average problem with its major appointments.  Sometimes they are controversial because the media beats up on them for partisan political reasons —  White House Foreign Policy Advisor John Bolton is a prime example.

For sure, the elitist media is applying a double standard in judging and reporting on presidential appointees.  Trashing everyone who works for Trump or even refuses to join the #NeverTrump Resistance Movement is what the left-wing media passes off as journalism.  They make proverbial mountains out of political mole hills – with the confirmation hearings for Justice Bret Kavanaugh as one example.

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(The sound you hear are liberal feminist heads exploding because I compared the accusations of Professor Blasey Ford to a molehill issue.  It was not by accident.  This is a woman who was vague on who, what and where something happened decades before and at a time when she and Kavanaugh were teenagers – and it was even questionable if they even ever met socially.  Ford’s only corroborating non-witness could not recall anything about the alleged incident. Yep.  An ancient mole hill served up politically as an Everest-size mountain.  But I digress.)

In the spirit that all bad news must be tied to Trump, the jaded media claims that it is the White House (Trump) with a vetting problem.  There may be some truth to that, but not exclusively.

Having served for a brief time in the Nixon White House, I can say from experience that it is not always the White House Personnel Office that does the vetting.  I was vetted via a background check conducted by the FBI.  That was it.  Of course, my position was far below that of a Cabinet member, but still, the White House relies on the FBI as the primary investigator.

Also, my appointment was not subject to Senate confirmation, so once the FBI was done with me – and gave their report to the White House Personnel Office – I was hired.

In the case of Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, he was vetted by the FBI and approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. As part of that process, Acosta was investigated by Committee staff – most notably the Democrats, who were looking for anything that would derail the nomination.

In fact, Acosta’s role in the decade-old Jeffrey Epstein case was not only well known, but it was also brought up at the hearings.  He explained his role in Epstein’s overly lenient sentencing deal and how that incredibly light sentence was agreed to. Following the hearing, Acosta was confirmed by the Senate in a bipartisan 60 to 38 vote – including seven Democrats and one Independent (aligned to Democrats) — Angus King of Maine.

Taking cover in the fog of time and politics, several Democrats, who voted to confirm Acosta, now claim that they were unaware of the details of his role in the Epstein case.  They are either lying (what?) or slept through the hearings.  They can check out the recordings of the hearings to refresh their memories.

Even the Democrats who voted against Acosta did not make a big deal of the Epstein issue – and neither did the news media that is now making the issue they ignored a couple of years ago the biggest news of the day.

This commentary should not be seen as a defense of Acosta.  The facts on the surface – and the tepid attempt at an explanation – leave no doubt that Acosta is minimally guilty of one of the worst examples of prosecutorial discretion.  It was an unnecessarily favorable plea deal for the defendants and the fact that the victims were insulated from any knowledge of the unholy bargain is criminal – perhaps literally.

Three of the eight Senators on the Democrat side of the aisle who voted to confirm Acosta were defeated in 2018.  One can only wonder if the vote in favor of Acosta will be a career-ending issue for the other five – although none are up for re-election in 2020

Acosta had to step down.  In fact, he should never have been appointed.  But the vetting process was not exclusively a White House failure.  In fact, the White House may have been the least culpable in the process – with the FBI and the United States Senate holding the primary responsibility of advising the White House and determining the fate of the nomination respectively.  That is where the vetting process failed.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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  1. ScranunSlim
    ScranunSlim July 18, 18:26

    National Review magazine commented in its “The Week” section, that it looks as if this White House can’t even collude with itself.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Defiant One
    Defiant One July 18, 18:30

    Unrelated but sorely needed!
    Their must be a concerted effort made known to all that the red states WILL man state militias as our trampled on constitution permits “US” to do; why this strategy is not employed confounds me! We have been afraid of the lying-ass politicians for decades which = TYRANNY! They now must be made to start fearing “US” = FREEDOM! This message needs to be heard by the Godless, Satan worshiping, power-mad NWO-elitist ghouls that are posing as Democ-RATS and RINOS and their suicidal useful idiots that support them and their sycophants of their propagandist media! I value your work but it must become a national movement supported by the Right instead of an Oathkeepers movement! The chicken-shit Right had better learn how to fight ASAP! I say Armr===============================? – – – – – – – – – – – – – those states that support freedom! This is the movement needed in these turbulent and treacherous times! STATE RUN MILITIAS is not an option but a modus operandi! The Right must convey to the Left that their TOALITARIAN WET-DREAM of making life a LIVING NIGHTMARE for everyone but them will face dire consequences in no uncertain terms! Cut the PC BS and install the fear of God in these demonic bastards – anything less than what I have suggested will result in the sheeple and dumb-(m)asses living a life of misery, squalor and servitude to Them while they go on living lavishly ( as they are now) as queens and kings on the public’s dole!

    If you truly mean business than it is past time to be mean and not timid or apologetic! Politics as usual is passé! We need politicians, religious leaders, business representatives academia, law enforcement and groups such as Oathkeepers to work together towards establishing State Militias for the reasons that I have just given! The party is over, we have had a 200 plus year run of freedom, now it’s done and it is time to clean up the mess! Get serious!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Voice of Reason
    Voice of Reason July 18, 19:30

    God, this country has become a divided morass of hatred and divisiveness unlike any since the Civil War. We are weakened in power and influence across the world and have left ourselves open and vulnerable politically and economically to the evil empires in China and Russia. They are getting stronger in influence where we are getting weaker every day. Trump is chasing allies away and embracing enemies and evil despots in North Korea and Saudi Arabia. We need leadership that represents the best interests of the people of the United States, not the 1% that rule us for their enrichment. If we do not wake up NOW this country may never never recover!

    Reply to this comment
    • Larry Horist
      Larry Horist July 20, 02:02

      You obviously did not live during the Days of Rage in the 1960s, The social unrest was far worse — bombings by home grown terrorists, massive violent demonstrations and riots, lynchings, assassinations of leaders (and attempts), students killed on campus by National Guard. No, these are not the worst of times by far. You might also study the era of labor unrest — Haymarket Riots, etc. Not saying we will not get there, but these days are not as bad as a number of times in the past.

      Reply to this comment

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