Collusion? In Washington, D.C.? Let’s count the ways

by WorldTribune Staff, April 18, 2018

Special counsel Robert Mueller, not for lack of trying, has yet to find any evidence that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign. If you want to find actual collusion in the nation’s capital, though, it’s not that hard, an analyst at the Hoover Institution said.

“Ironically, collusion of all sorts – illegal, barely legal, and simply unethical – has been the sea that Washington fish always swim in,” Victor Davis Hanson noted in an April 17 analysis for National Review.

Collusion? Let Hanson count the ways:

  • 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 surveil Carter Page and, indirectly, possibly many other members of the Trump campaign.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Another Obama holdover, Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G. Ohr, met with the architects of the Fusion GPS dossier. Ohr apparently did not disclose that meeting to his superiors. His wife, a Russia expert, had been hired by Fusion GPS to help find damaging information about Donald Trump. Ohr deliberately — and probably unlawfully — hid that fact on a federal disclosure form. Who thought up that trick?
  • How much collusion was necessary to coordinate destroying 30,000 Hillary Clinton emails, smashing hard drives, and finding the proper Washington counsel to ensure that the now-quite-incestuous FBI never charged the perpetrators with a federal crime?
  • Why, after the election, did Samantha Power request surveillance of Trump campaign aides, and why was she allowed to have their names unmasked, and how did those names get leaked to the press? Does an outgoing ambassador to the United Nations usually concern herself with the intelligence agencies’ surveillance of a past presidential campaign? Would she have made those requests if Trump had lost? Who organized the various requests to view FISA-ordered surveillance, and who complied with the unmasking requests? Did all that require some degree of collusion?

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