In my post last Friday I called it "How To Spin The Most Extreme Corruption To Make It Seem OK." Yesterday, John Hideraker at PowerLine calls it "The Scandal Hiding In Plain Sight." Glenn Harlan Reynolds of Instapundit asks yesterday in USA Today whether Obama's illegal spying was "worse than Watergate"?
[W]e now know for certain that the Obama administration weaponized the intelligence agencies in order to use them against political opponents, in a manner that is unprecedented, highly dangerous to our democracy, and criminal.
And yet somehow I just keep reading the New York Times story of the day on the supposed "Trump/Russia" scandal and marveling at the fact that they don't have a clue -- or pretend not to have a clue -- as to what the real scandal is. Here is yesterday's lead article, "Investigation Turns to Kushner’s Motives in Meeting With a Putin Ally." And by "lead article," I mean that it occupied the top right-hand spot on page A1 of the print edition.
The article is about a meeting between Jared Kushner -- Trump son-in-law and close advisor -- and one Sergey N. Gorkov -- a Russian banker allegedly "close" to Putin -- that took place in "mid-December." Mid-December is well after the election, when Donald Trump was the duly-elected President-Elect of the United States and had every business and right and indeed duty to have his close advisors reaching out to representatives of the major countries in the world in order to get up to speed to implement foreign policy promptly on January 20.
What is important in this story, according to Pravda, is Kushner's "motive" in reaching out to Russia, or perhaps his "motive" in trying to establish some kind of "back channel" to communicate through pathways outside the control of the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence establishment:
The reasons the parties wanted a communications channel, and for how long they sought it, are also unclear. Several people with knowledge of the meeting with Mr. Kislyak, and who defended it, have said it was primarily to discuss how the United States and Russia could cooperate to end the civil war in Syria and on other policy issues. They also said the secure channel, in part, sought to connect Michael T. Flynn, a campaign adviser who became Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser, and military officials in Moscow.
Scary! Actually, the reasons why Kushner and Russian contacts might want a "back channel" are painfully obvious. It's because the existing Obama administration diplomats and intelligence officers were clearly intent on destroying Trump by any means at their disposal, and everything that went through channels to which they had access would promptly be leaked. It would have been completely incompetent for Trump and Kushner not to seek to get around this criminal conduct of the prior administration that was still fully in place.
Then, you need to read on carefully, and in part between the lines, to discover this:
Yet one current and one former American official with knowledge of the continuing congressional and F.B.I. investigations said they were examining whether the channel was meant to remain open, and if there were other items on the meeting’s agenda, including lifting sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed on Russia in response to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its aggression in Ukraine.
OK, a congressional investigation is one thing -- they can investigate whatever they want. But what in the hell is the FBI doing "investigating" the conduct of the foreign policy of the United States by the duly elected President? What possible business of the FBI are the items that may be on the "agenda" for a meeting between representatives of Russia and of the incoming administration?
- The FBI's mission is to investigate crime. There isn't the remotest suggestion of any crime being committed by a representative of the President-Elect meeting with a representative of Russia. And it literally doesn't matter what their "motives" were.
- The FBI's mission is domestic and not foreign. The FBI has no role and no say as to what the foreign policy of the United States ought to be or how it ought to be implemented.
So, New York Times, how is it not a scandal -- a gigantic scandal -- that the FBI (not to mention other intelligence agencies) got involved in "investigating" how an incoming administration was engaging in foreign policy? And then, of course, leaked everything about the "investigation" to the New York Times.
Boy, did that Comey guy need to be fired. My question is, how many more FBI partisans-in-the-guise-of-criminal-investigators need to be fired along with him. Why is it taking so long?
I certainly have not pulled my punches in my own criticisms of Trump. But this is ridiculous. Keep this up, and I'll become his biggest defender.