Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?
Commentary by J. Peder Zane originally published by RealClearPolitics and RealClearWire
Special Counsel John Durham may have issued his final report last month, but the Russiagate scandal is far from over. This is not because there is no more to learn about the years-long effort by the Democratic Party, the FBI, CIA, and major news outlets to advance the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump teamed with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election.
Rather it’s because Russiagate never ended. Unlike political scandals of the past – from the XYZ Affair to Watergate and Iran-Contra – it is not a discrete set of events with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead, it has become a form of governing in which the entrenched forces of the Washington bureaucracy punish their enemies, protect their friends and interfere in elections with impunity.
A continuous thread connects the schemes to deny the results of the 2016 election, to cover up the Biden family’s influence-peddling schemes during the 2020 election, and the ongoing effort to tar President Biden’s opponents as extremists or racists.
Ironically, all of this is especially dangerous because it is out in the open. The profound misdeeds are not hidden in the dark web; they are part of the public record. And yet, none of the major malefactors – including Joe Biden, former President Obama, Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James B. Comey, and former CIA Director John Brennan, among others – have been held to account. Rather, they are lionized, and in some cases employed, by leading media organizations.
The breadth of these machinations is so extensive that I would need a book, rather than a column, to detail it. But here is a brief recap that can serve as a reminder of key events of this dark period of our history.
On July 28, 2016, then CIA Director John Brennan informed President Obama about intelligence reports indicating Hillary Clinton’s campaign “plan” to tie Donald Trump to Russia in order to distract the public from the growing controversy over her use of a private email server while Secretary of State. Notes in the margin – “JC,” “Susan,” and “Denis” – almost certainly refer to then FBI Director James Comey, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough.
On July 31, Comey’s FBI launched a counterintelligence probe into whether the Trump campaign was conspiring with Russia to damage Clinton through the release of her emails.
On Jan. 3, 2017, Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer warned the president-elect not to challenge the intelligence community’s claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”
Read the entire commentary here.
J. Peder Zane is a RealClearInvestigations editor and columnist. He previously worked as a book review editor and book columnist for the News & Observer (Raleigh), where his writing won several national honors. Zane has also worked at the New York Times and taught writing at Duke University and Saint Augustine’s University.
This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.