Proving that what’s old is new again, here is how the late William Safire began his New York Times column of Jan. 8, 1996:
“Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady — a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation — is a congenital liar.
“Drip by drip, like Whitewater torture, the case is being made that she is compelled to mislead, and to ensnare her subordinates and friends in a web of deceit.”
Safire detailed a series of situations where Hillary Clinton was caught in obvious lies, and there is a straight line to the Hillary Clinton whose shadow hangs over the Michael Sussmann trial in Washington. Once again, Clinton is being exposed as “compelled to mislead” and ensnaring “her subordinates and friends in a web of deceit.”
And to think she almost got away with stealing the presidency.
It is in keeping with her history that she is portrayed as the off-stage chief conniver at a trial that is, like her, something of a throwback. Coming six years after the 2016 presidential campaign, the Sussmann trial inevitably carries an air of anti-climax.
After all, we have known since the Robert Mueller report in 2019 that the charge that Donald Trump colluded with Russia was fake news. And we have known for almost as long that Clinton’s campaign secretly funded the smear merchants at Fusion GPS who hired Christopher Steele who fabricated a “dossier” that was long on lies and gossip and short on facts.
Dirtiest of dirty tricks
Finally, we have known that Jim Comey’s FBI was punch drunk on power and some of its top officials were foaming at the mouth to help Clinton defeat Trump. They were so dirty they used the rancid dossier to get court approval to spy on Trump’s campaign.
That sequence adds a strange dimension to the Sussmann case in the sense that the only charge against him — that he lied to the FBI in denying he was working for Clinton in trying to peddle Russia trash — makes the agency look innocent, when it was, in its own way, as guilty as Clinton.
Still, there is value in special counsel John Durham’s tireless effort to reveal the secrets of the dirtiest dirty trick ever. His assignment was to probe how and why the FBI took the unprecedented step of spying on the campaign of the opposing party’s presidential candidate and while the going has been slow, he is adding important details to a major stain on our national history.
The Biden administration would surely love to shut Durham down, but convicting Sussmann likely would give the prosecutor new impetus and save his probe from the Democrats’ ax.
It is vital that he continue because, although it failed to elect Clinton, the hoax was sensationally successful in capturing the media’s attention and implanting a deep distrust of Trump, thanks in part to the Deep State’s anonymous sources who fed media hysterics.
Democrats, especially Nancy Pelosi, insisted Trump was an illegitimate president for his entire term. One result was that the party refused to negotiate with him, robbing America of any meaningful bipartisanship even on issues like infrastructure.
Another outcome was the 2018 midterms, where the hoax surely played a role in the public’s decision to hand control of the House to Dems, who instantly began their Russia, Russia, Russia investigation and soon turned to impeaching Trump.
The Clinton lies, then, did enormous damage and, as Trump immodestly but correctly says, a weaker president would have reacted to the false attacks by curling up into a fetal position.
Meanwhile, the related misconduct of the media, the FBI and other government agencies resulted in an incalculable loss of credibility that continues to grow as new facts emerge.
In that sense, the most redeeming feature of the Sussmann case is the proof that the Steele dossier wasn’t Clinton’s only effort to fabricate so-called “evidence” about Trump and Russia. Testimony is revealing that the pattern the two efforts followed was almost identical.
First her campaign concocted a lie, then secretly peddled it to Trump-hating media and the Trump-hating FBI. In both cases, it concealed the funding as “legal services.”
In the Sussmann case, the part of Christopher Steele was played by tech executive Rodney Joffe, who produced data purporting to show Trump computers communicating with a Russian bank. It was regarded as bunk even by the FBI.
It was nonetheless Sussmann’s job to get The New York Times to run a story on the claim, an effort Clinton herself approved, according to testimony from her former campaign manager, Robbie Mook. Although the Times didn’t bite on that one, other media outlets did, and Clinton herself tweeted about the stories to magnify their impact as she hoped for an October surprise.
One of her aides then, Jake Sullivan, was also pushing the fake story as a national security threat, and he is now Joe Biden’s national security adviser. How comforting.
The pattern raises the question of whether there were still other fabricated attempts by Clinton to paint Trump as a traitor that we don’t know about yet. Never underestimate her venality.
Lousy and lazy
What we do know is more than enough to condemn her for all time. She was a lousy, lazy presidential candidate who made up slanderous tales about her opponent to cover up her own unpopularity and failures.
As proof, the trial resurrected declassified notes from September of 2016 written by John Brennan, then CIA director. It said intelligence officials learned Clinton planned to tar Trump with Russia ties “as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”
The notes suggest Brennan briefed then-President Barack Obama on the finding, yet Obama still went along with the FBI probe of Trump and told Comey how to brief the president-elect in January of 2017 on the most salacious parts of the Steele dossier.
Assuming Durham is able to continue, his real challenge will be finding someone in her circle who was not ensnared in Clinton’s web of deceit.
Disinfo blame game
Nina Jankowicz, the kook chosen by the White House to run its sinister “Disinformation Governance Board,” blames her quick demise on … disinformation.
She says there was “malign intent’ in criticizing her and the board, which is why she resigned.
Her reaction proves she was unfit and even dangerous. She considers anything critical of her as having “malign intent.”
Good riddance to her and hopefully the anti-free-speech board will be next on the chopping block.
Proof you can be prez
Reader Collette Curry sees a bright side in the stumbling and fumbling of Joe Biden. She writes: He has given hope to all under-achieving students that someday they can grow up to be president.”
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