Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Flaw in Trump's Russiagate Excuse That the FBI Set Him Up

Satan is sometimes referred to as the "Lord of Lies."  In 2018 America, the name also applies to the occupant of the White House who - like his evangelical supporters - must be assumed to be lying if his lips are moving.  Sadly, the same applies to most of the Republican leadership in Congress.  The latest lie being circulated is that somehow the FBI plotted to "entrap" Trump and his minions in a scandal of Russian collusion.  Never mind the issue that if one has no criminal or sinister intent, it is hard to be entrapped in the first place.  Plus, as a piece in New York Magazine lays out, the key to the supposed plot - an "October surprise" - never occurred.  If anything, James Comey's baseless letter in October about reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton, shows that Trump and devin Nune' latest manufactured conspiracy theory is absolutely ridiculous.  Not, of course, that Trump's mindless base of support will ever be swayed but the baselessness of the newest effort to undermine the FBI and the Russiagate investigation.  Here are article excerpts:

There has been no more barometrically reliable insight into the Trump administration’s defense strategy on Russia than Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel. Her weekly missives, essentially transcribed straight from the fevered mind of Devin Nunes, bring the readers up to date on every twist and turn in the developing conspiracy theories about the nefarious Deep State plot to frame the innocent president.
Strassel’s latest missive brings into view the latest working theory. It holds that James Comey planted a spy in the Trump campaign, in order to set in motion an investigation that would be used to smear Trump as a Russian tool, and thereby to hand the election to Hillary Clinton. This is the theory Trump is referring to when he rages about a plot that is “worse than Watergate.”
Put aside for a moment whether it is actually scandalous for the FBI to use an informant to uncover evidence of criminal conduct. The argument is that the clear purpose of this maneuver was to influence the 2016 election.Except there’s one tiny flaw in this theory: They never sprang the October surprise. The FBI kept a tight lid on the investigation — so tight, in fact, they floated a misleading story in the New York Times conveying the false impression that they saw no ties to Russia. Clinton did help finance Christopher Steele’s investigation, but also did not publish his reporting. And the Obama administration also kept a tight lid on the disturbing details that emerged. The farthest Obama went was to ask leaders of both parties to join in a bipartisan statement warning Russia not to interfere with the election — and when Mitch McConnell refused, they did nothing. When voting took place in November 2016, as far as the public was concerned, Clinton had been under FBI investigation and Trump had not.
This alleged secret plan to smear Trump only works if you actually let people know about it.
The details of the FBI investigation and Steele’s report did begin to leak out in January 2017. But there’s a reason the trick is called “October surprise” and not “January After the Election surprise.”

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