The quiet dismissal of an ethics probe into former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao fueled speculation Wednesday of a deep-state quid-pro-quo arrangement between some of the Trump administration’s greatest traitors.
money quote comes at the very last paragraph – “Chao resigned on Jan. 11, days after a mob of then-President Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol…” obvious to make it seem as a cause/effect
DOJ declined to take up Chao ethics probe https://t.co/vOZTiC6bJB
— Liberate gulag inmate #5659468 Ziiggii (@realZiiggii) March 4, 2021
In the tumultuous final weeks of 2020, as the ground began to shift underfoot for President Donald Trump, the national focus on vote-fraud challenges allowed former allies whose support was most needed to instead broker back-room deals, according to the Last Refuge (formerly the Conservative Treehouse).
PRELUDE TO A BETRAYAL
The presumption may have been that the two—both of whom were signaling public support for Trump at the time—were discussing ways to assist the president with fighting the sham, which was still in progress as states like Georgia undertook their recounts and audits.
Barr issued a memo that Monday directing DOJ investigators to prioritize fraud claims on matters that might impact the election, rather than wait until after certification.
But in the weeks that followed, he would undercut Trump’s efforts, publicly dismissing them by telling the Associated Press, “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”
In early December, during a meeting with Trump, he reportedly told the president that the vote fraud claims were “bulls**t.”
By mid-December, he had resigned.
Barr’s announcement of his pending departure coincided with the Electoral College vote, which formalized Democrat Joe Biden’s status as “president-elect.”
McConnell congratulated Biden the following day on the Senate floor.
As with Barr, whom Trump had called a “disappointment” after DOJ failures to follow-up on several top priorities—Trump’s displeasure with McConnell quickly spilled out into the public sphere.
He second-guessed the “pathetic” $600 stimulus checks passed by the Senate, calling for $2,000 checks instead.
Biden went on to rally voters by promising to have the $2,000 checks “out the door” if Democrats won in Georgia, where two runoff elections would decide the Senate majority.
They won, costing McConnell his gavel. However, Biden ultimately failed to deliver on his end of the bargain.
A day after Senate losses in Georgia assured Democrat dominance in Congress, the Joint Session of Congress met to count—and object to—the Electoral College votes.
But the fateful Jan. 6 uprising at the US Capitol proved to be a game-changer in many ways.
In the immediate aftermath, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao—McConnell’s wife—was the first of several high-profile Trump officials to resign while denouncing the pro-Trump insurrection.
The criticism helped redirect the Capitol narrative at a crucial time. Rather than portraying an expression of public outrage over a stolen election, media focused on Trump’s alleged “incitement” of violence.
It also triggered leftist backlash, including a second impeachment of Trump.
Although McConnell voted against conviction—and likely helped steer other diffident GOP senators in the same direction—he followed with a vicious rebuke of the former president.
Trump answered back, ratcheting up the public spat and relegating McConnell to the bubble of the very party in which he remains the highest-ranking official.
The true motives of Barr, McConnell and Chao have perplexed many.
They have maintained that their attacks on Trump were all ethically upright acts of conscience.
Yet, that appears inconsistent with the reality of Democrat malfeasance during and after the election, which now poses an existential threat to American democracy as we know it.
If these powerful Republicans were true to their oaths to serve and protect the interests of the country—having exhibited no reason to question their loyalties in the past—they would have recognized the stakes of their inaction.
But Wednesday’s disclosure, regarding the dismissal of a 2019 ethics investigation against Chao, offered the first glimpse of a possible ulterior motive.
Rumors surrounding Chao’s family shipping business, the Foremost Group, have long plagued both her and McConnell.
Most notably, the New York-based company’s ties with the Chinese communist government have been widely reported—and are increasingly under scrutiny in light of China’s aggressive involvement in US politics.
Much of McConnell’s private wealth, reported to be worth tens of millions of dollars, has come as the result of gifts and inheritance from his in-laws, Schweizer revealed.
A less-reputable account surfaced during the 2014 midterm election cycle that attempted to link McConnell to a drug bust by the Colombian navy on a Foremost-owned freighter bound for the Netherlands.
Don Blankenship, an anti-Establishment Republican campaigning in the West Virginia primary, went on to dub the Senate leader “Cocaine Mitch,” as the Washington Post reported.
“Hidden aboard a company ship carrying foreign coal was $7 million dollars of cocaine and that is why we’ve deemed him ‘Cocaine Mitch,’” Blankenship explained in a campaign ad.
The Post and and other so-called fact-checkers went to bat for McConnell; and the senator himself, during his re-election bid that year, even sold “Cocaine Mitch” T-shirts capitalizing on the ironic innuendo’s stark contrast with his notoriously stodgy demeanor.
Even so, the suspicions stuck around, and they resurfaced during McConnell’s 2020 re-election bid, when House Democrats demanded what was likely a politically motivated ethics investigation into Chao’s alleged abuse of office while heading the Transportation Department.
THE TRUTH REVEALED?
House Transportation Committee Chair Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., called for the DOT inspector general to probe Chao’s “potential conflicts of interest and favoritism,” according to a recent report from the IG’s office.
The allegations specifically related to meetings with Kentucky officials and federal grants to the McConnells’ home state, as well as “actions relating to her family’s shipping business” and another company Chao had investments in.
Here are some of the Elaine Chao emails:https://t.co/dYlElZxeo5
— BenjaminT (@BenjaminT0001) March 4, 2021
“Based on our preliminary review, we concluded that there was not a sufficient basis to initiate a formal investigation into grant awards or the Secretary’s financial interest in Vulcan Materials,” wrote Deputy Inspector General Mitch Behm. “However, we concluded that a formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted.”
The IG report found four potential areas where Chao had committed ethics violations by blurring the lines between her public duties and personal interests or those of her family business.
It referred its findings to separate branches within the DOJ on Dec. 16, 2020 and again the following day. However, Justice Department officials in both branches declined to prosecute.
DeFazio and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, chair of the House Oversight Committee, expressed dismay that Barr’s office had failed to act in a timely manner.
“The DOT Inspector General’s report, in addition to documents we obtained, demonstrate that Secretary Chao used her official position and taxpayer resources for the benefit of herself and her family,” Maloney said in a statement, according to The Hill. “Secretary Chao’s flagrant abuse of her office provides further evidence that additional ethics and transparency reforms are needed.”
RIGHT AND LEFT UNITE
Meanwhile, in a rare show of unity with the corrupt Left, Trump supporters from the Right also questioned the timing and outcome.
“[W]hen you overlay the post election meetings between AG Bill Barr and then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one has to wonder if the dropping of this investigation was not part of the meeting that also never had a purposeful explanation,” wrote the Last Refuge.
“In hindsight the appearance of some sketchy quid-pro-quo then takes on another level of sketch when we remind ourselves what Elaine Chao did to support the Deep State ‘insurrection’ narrative after January 6, 2021,” it added.
Questions, no doubt, remain as to what benefit it would have served the DOJ to pivot from a good-faith effort to investigate election irregularities to a full-fledged promotion of the “Big Lie” that Trump planned a coup d’etat.
But given the outcome, a self-serving arrangement between members of the DC political Establishment and powerful Chinese interests does a far better job of explaining what motivated key anti-Trump stakeholders than the patchwork of cover-stories offered by the official narrative.