Hillary Clinton’s campaign memoir rests on an astonishingly audacious lie: that the very FBI director who made her campaign possible by improperly sparing her from an indictment doomed it. A normal pol who had mishandled classified information as egregiously as Hillary would have felt eternal gratitude to Comey. Only an entitled ingrate like Hillary would have the gall to cast her savior as the chief thorn in her side.
Nor does Hillary acknowledge another in-kind contribution to her campaign from Comey: his willingness to serve as a cog in Obama’s campaign of political espionage against Trump. Obama’s team of Hillary partisans, which included among others John Brennan, Susan Rice, and Loretta Lynch, wanted Comey to snoop on Trumpworld and he duly did.
It was reported this week that the FBI had until as recently as earlier this year been intercepting the communications of Paul Manafort, one of Trump’s campaign chairmen. This means that Comey, contrary to his lawyerly denial of Trump’s wiretapping claim, had the means to eavesdrop on any communications between Manafort and Trump.
Even at this late date, quibbling partisans in the media say that is insufficient proof of Trump’s claim. But could anyone imagine the Maggie Habermans bothering with such pedantry if George Bush’s FBI director had been snooping on David Axelrod? The same generation of reporters who watched All the President’s Men breathlessly now shill for the propriety of political espionage. They rush to offer what they consider high-minded reasons for wiretaps of Trump campaign officials. But those reasons, at least as this point, amount to nothing more than the haziest gossip. One of the supposed reasons for the wiretaps, rich in irony given Hillary’s complaint that foreigners interfered in the election, is that an ex-Brit spy, probably on Comey’s payroll (the FBI still won’t address this matter) and certainly on the payroll of pro-Hillary partisans, told U.S. government officials that Manafort was colluding with the Russians.
Here Hillary benefited from the election-tipping of a foreigner, whose idiotic whisperings entertained by the FBI would turn up on the front pages of the New York Times at crucial moments in the campaign. This, by the way, throws light on another outrageously dishonest Hillary claim: that Comey never told anyone of his investigation into the Trump campaign. Of course, he did — through leaks. That was bad enough but Comey made the leaks worse by not telling reporters that the investigation into the Trump campaign excluded Trump as a target. Comey let reporters think that Trump was one. Again, no gratitude from Hillary.
Another recent revelation is that Susan Rice, one of Hillary’s most fervent supporters, spied on a post-election meeting between a prince from the United Arab Emirates and Trump aides. The media shrugged at the revelation, as if such snooping falls within the bounds of a blameless norm. An even slightly curious press, were it not in the tank for the Dems, would be agog at the news that one administration was spying on an incoming administration and demand an accounting of such an abuse of power. Had the George Bush administration, out of post-election spite, spied on pre-inauguration meetings between Obama’s people and officials from a Middle Eastern country, the press would still be talking about it as a historic abuse of power. But in Rice’s case, they hastily inform their audience that “such unmaskings are perfectly legal.”
The media’s customary double standard for Democrats, combined with its treatment of Trump as a singularly monstrous Republican candidate (and then incoming president), served as a safety net beneath such high-wire political espionage. Rice knew that even if she fell in her attempt to nail Trump the media would catch her.
The scandal at the center of the 2016 election was not that Trump colluded with Russians to win but that the media and the Obama administration colluded with Hillary to defeat him. The loudest cries of “foreign influence over the election” came from Hillary partisans who sought it, whether it was John Brennan running off to England and Estonia to collect dirt on Trump from their spies or deep-state clowns at the FBI who wanted to turn Christopher Steele into an asset. The villain, in this sorry fable, turned out to be the victim.