Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, author most recently of books including "Bullies" and "Primetime Propaganda" has a new book out this week titled "The People Vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration."
In the book, Shapiro makes the case that the Obama administration has effectively acted as a criminal cabal, necessitating criminal prosecution by individual Americans in lieu of impeachment.
In an interview with TheBlaze Books (Facebook, Twitter), we spoke with Shapiro about this strategy, in which he argued for a legal remedy that could prompt a Constitutional crisis that in Shapiro's view is long overdue.
Noting that "it’s important to start seeing the Obama administration as a criminal enterprise," whose lawlessness represents a "criminal problem," Shapiro argued that the strongest remedy for those damaged by the administration is under a law created to prosecute members of the Mafia, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
By adding language to RICO enabling individuals harmed by the executive branch to pursue legal action against the executive branch (up to and including the president) -- a realistic though highly challenging proposition in Shapiro's estimation -- the conservative commentator believes Americans could cut "the Achilles heel of the executive branch." Such a move would allow the public to bypass a legislative branch that has heretofore proven derelict in its duty to constrain the president.
In "The People vs. Barack Obama," Shapiro lays out a number of criminal actions of the Obama administration consisting of seven criminal counts including: Espionage, Involuntary Manslaughter, Violation of Internal Revenue Laws, Unauthorized Disclosure of Information, Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law, Bribery and Obstruction of Justice.
The scandals encompassed under these counts range from Benghazi, to damaging and often politically motivated government leaks, to harassment by the IRS, under which there are identifiable individuals harmed by the administration who Shapiro argues would have legal standing and could win cases against individual U.S. officers in court under an amended RICO statute.
Were the Obama administration to attempt to try to "run out the clock" if criminal action was brought against President Obama or other members of his administration, Shapiro argues that you would have:
"a Constitutional crisis, which I think is necessary. We need it. It's about time. I think that what's so funny is that every time the legislature runs up against the executive branch, we keep hearing from folks, "Well it's a Constitutional crisis." "No. That's how the Constitution works. That’s how it was designed to work, with gridlock and the branches bashing the crap out of each other."
[sharequote align="center"][The Constitution] was designed to..[have] gridlock and..branches bashing the crap out of each other[/sharequote]
Why would Congress amend the RICO law to allow action against President Obama, Attorney General Holder (who Shapiro refers to as "the lead criminal in the Obama administration") and others in the executive branch? Shapiro gives two reasons:
"The first is, there are a lot of folks who I’m sure wanted to sue the Bush administration, and number two, the truth is that if there’s one thing the Democrats love more than anything it’s trial lawyers. They’re pretty litigious folks, so getting folks to sign off on new legislation that would allow for more heavy spending trials is usually not something difficult to pass [even] in a Democrat controlled legislature."
When asked if Shapiro had spoken with any legislative officials about implementing the strategy proposed in his book, he told us:
"I’ve been reaching out to folks this week since the book came out. And I’m looking forward to having some discussions with some relatively high-level members of Congress about it. But it’s a serious change. I mean what we’re talking about is basically hamstringing – it’s cutting the Achilles heal of the executive branch. And so there’s a lot of hesitation and there’s a lot of trepidation, but there always is going to be from a legislative branch that prefers to delegate its powers to the executive branch to avoid accountability. This is the dirty little secret of American government. The legislature doesn’t police the executive because the more power the executive has, the less the legislature is held accountable.
[sharequote align="center"]Let the American people be the protectors of their own liberty[/sharequote]
So what I’m trying to do and the reason I’m talking about delegating to the American people is to take it out of the hands of the legislature as well. Take it directly back to the American people, let the American people be the protectors of their own liberty. And by the way, you’ve seen some of this happen already: Larry Klayman’s lawsuit, which was at least partially successful, with regard to the Obama administration’s violations of the Fourth Amendment under the Edward Snowden information."
On a separate but highly noteworthy point, in a growing chorus now of conservative figures hypothesizing that President Obama may use presidential pardons to grant mass amnesty for illegal immigrants, Ben Shapiro also believes that such a scenario will occur:
"Impeachment really would come in if President Obama does what I think he’s going to do, which is, let’s say that he does a “Jimmy Carter blanket amnesty” of everybody. Not even he waives prosecution, let’s say it’s just blanket amnesty…he does what Carter did for draft dodgers…then you’ve got a serious Constitutional crisis on your hands, because that really does not count as a high crime or misdemeanor under the Constitution. It’s actually an exercise of authority granted the president under the Constitution, but it’s so wildly beyond what the Founders even thought possible from the president, that you’d probably have impeachment hearings, and then you really would have a political crisis because here’s the problem: impeachment doesn’t really solve that problem. Because how do you undo that order? How do you get rid of it? Presumably you could have an act of Congress. Can an act of Congress override the amnesty, or is that now an ex post facto law? So Obama on the immigration issue has the country a little bit by the shorts."
Be sure to read the full interview, in which we touch on the IRS scandal's personal impact on Shapiro, President Obama's illegal arming of terrorists, the prospect of mass amnesty via presidential pardon, and much more here.