If collusion is the twin of conspiracy, then there are lots of colluders running around Washington.
Robert Mueller was tasked to find evidence of Trump and Russia collusion that might have warped the 2016 campaign and thrown the election to Trump. After a year, his investigation has found no concrete evidence of collusion. So it has often turned to other purported Trump misadventures. Ironically, collusion of all sorts — illegal, barely legal, and simply unethical — has been the sea that Washington fish always swim in.
Christopher Steele, hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign through a series of firewall intermediaries, probably paid Russian sources for gossip and smears. If there is a crime of collusion, then Clinton-campaign contractors should be under investigation for seeking Russian help to find dirt on Trump, to spread smears around throughout the DOJ, FBI, and CIA, and to make sure that the dirt was leaked to the press in the final weeks of the campaign — for the sole “insurance” purposes of losing Trump the election.
Some sort of collusion likely occurred when the Obama DOJ and FBI sought FISA-court requests to surveille Carter Page and, indirectly, possibly many other members of the Trump campaign. On repeated occasions, they all made sure the FISA-court judges were not apprised that the Steele dossier, the chief basis for these requests, was paid for by the Clinton campaign, that the dossier was not verified by the FBI, that the dossier was the source of media stories that in circular fashion were used to convince the FISA judges to grant the surveillance requests, and that the FBI had severed relations with Steele on the basis of his unreliability. Such a collusion of silence was similar to James Comey’s admission that he apprised President Trump of every iota of lurid sexual gossip about him — except that his source was a dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton and written by a campaign operative hired to find dirt on Trump and who had been working with Comey’s FBI to get FISA approval to spy on Trump’s own aides.
Apparently, a number of government officials must have been in cahoots to get all their stories and agendas straight ahead of time. They certainly agreed on talking points to keep embarrassing facts from FISA judges, and they did so on a number of occasions. Does that behavior fall under the definition of some sort of colluding obstruction?
Who set up the ruse in which an FBI director types up confidential notes of a meeting with the president and passes them to a friend to ensure a firewall conduit to the press, to publish as a “leak” from an “unidentified source” to damage the reputation of the president? All that would require a degree of collusion to leak a classified FBI document that is so sensitive that House Intelligence Committee members with security clearances cannot see what the media and a personal friend of Comey’s already have.
James Comey himself was quite a colluder. Somehow, he managed to mislead Congress by assuring them that he had not written his assessment of Hillary Clinton before he interviewed her and supposedly had not been the source of or approved leaks to the media. He has contradicted what both Loretta Lynch and Andrew McCabe have said. He has deliberately misled a FISA court by withholding information from it, vital to any evaluation of the veracity of his writ. He probably lied when he was messaging the media that Trump was under investigation while simultaneously assuring Trump in person that he was not. He has admitted that he warped an FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server because he assumed she’d win the presidency — an admission of politicized interference into a criminal investigation, if not a blatant confession that the FBI in felonious fashion was manipulating investigatory evidence to affect the outcome of a U.S. election. For Comey to escape legal exposure from all that required some sort of colluding help in high places.
Former attorney general Loretta Lynch seems to have been involved in all sorts of collusion. Given that there are more than 5,000 airports in the United States, two jets — one carrying the attorney general, the other the ex-president and spouse of a presidential candidate of the same shared party currently under investigation by Attorney General Lynch — do not just accidentally bump into each other on the tarmac of the Phoenix airport. There was no more chance of that than of investing $1,000 in cattle futures and reaping a $100,000 profit ten months later. And after elevating the FBI director from investigator to prosecutor with the final say on whether to prosecute Hillary Clinton, why was the supposedly quasi-recused Lynch then quibbling over the vocabulary of Comey’s report on Clinton?
Imagine the following possible ethical collusion. What if both ABC News and CBS News were now running mostly favorable news accounts about Donald Trump’s administration, rather than the media’s 90 percent (on average) negative coverage. And imagine that one of Donald Trump’s chief advisers and a deputy national-security adviser was the brother of the current CBS News president, while the sister of the ABC News president was another one of Trump’s top national- security and energy advisers.
What would the media say of such apparent incestuousness that involved two-thirds of the networks’ nightly newscasts? Yet that was precisely the case of the Rhodes and the Sherwood siblings during the Obama administration.
I imagine it was supposed to. However, bureaucracies have a nasty habit of keeping copious records, in copious duplication and covering tracks, as the Nazis found out at Nuremberg, is quite difficult. They had put all their confidence on Hillary winning. Giggle.
And where is all that classified information they scarfed up? Is it being properly secured? I kind of doubt it.
It is fantastic that some who frequent these pages (those who only consume what the left wing media wants them to consume are understandable) can still argue that anything but a left wing coup against Trump, the duly elected President of the United States, is ongoing.