Let’s make something clear from the start: The Russians! have nothing to do with Hillary Clinton’s current round of legal troubles.
Clinton’s political star is falling, perhaps in fatal fashion with the 2016 presidential election just days away, because of information from FBI investigations currently ongoing and recently restarted leaking to the media. And those investigations have nothing directly to do with The Russians!; it’s Hillary Clinton, not Vladimir Putin, who caused this implosion.
Anthony Weiner is not Russian, and his laptop was in New York City. Not Moscow or Rostov or Novosibirsk. When Weiner surrendered his laptop, complete with some 650,000 emails he collected, many of them from his estranged wife Huma Abedin, the professional and personal intimacy of whose relationship with Hillary Clinton could well be something for a grand jury to examine soon, to law enforcement investigating him for having sent lewd messages to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, it had nothing to do with The Russians!
It’s important for everyone to recognize this, because for all her tired and shopworn presentation and rhetoric, Hillary Clinton is actually something new in American presidential politics. And no, the something new is not her God-given plumbing.
It’s that today’s Democrats are the first people stupid enough to nominate a presidential candidate under criminal investigation by the FBI.
Strike that — under multiple criminal investigations by the FBI.
She was, was not, and now is under investigation for the likely mishandling of government documents with respect to her e-mails. When FBI director James Comey prematurely, and mistakenly, cut her loose from that investigation in July, the conventional wisdom spun by her sycophants in the major media was that she was no longer under investigation, which they alleged was tantamount to an exoneration.
But at no time in 2016 was Hillary Clinton not under FBI investigation, because the FBI was also probing the Clinton Foundation for allegations of pay-to-play public corruption, bribery, and fraud. The presence of that investigation only became public this week thanks to acts of journalism committed by the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and others.
And these problems long predated the arrival on the scene of WikiLeaks, which has dumped out two sets of highly damaging material the Democrats would much rather not have made it into the public eye; the Democratic National Committee’s emails and those of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
The DNC cache was fairly devastating stuff, to be sure, as it exposed to a large extent the collusion between the party and its allies in the mainstream media — not to mention the corrupt manner in which it rigged its primary process in order to freeze out any competition for Hillary by other Democrats and specifically to freeze Bernie Sanders out of the nomination. Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a slavish minion to the Clinton machine, was forced out of her post as a result of those disclosures; she was replaced by the more-recently disgraced Donna Brazile, who lost a lucrative talking-head gig at CNN after WikiLeaks revealed she had fed the candidate questions to be asked at CNN-hosted debates on multiple occasions.
But the Democrats have suffered most from the dumping-out of the Podesta emails — a disaster which is ongoing, as WikiLeaks continues to drip them out daily in batches that seem to be successively more damaging. It should be mentioned that as of this writing — though perhaps not as of our readers’ seeing this column — no emails have surfaced between Podesta and Hillary Clinton; one can imagine very reasonable fear within the party that if and when such emails surface it could be cataclysmic for all involved. WikiLeaks front man Julian Assange continues to promise that soon it will be obvious that Clinton will be indicted thanks to the material he is firing out into cyberspace, and it isn’t difficult to imagine this is what he’s driving at.
It is within that realm of understanding, then, that we should view the otherwise clownish statements earlier in the week by Democrat high-rollers Harry Reid and James Carville. Reid sent a rather outrageous letter to Comey after the FBI director notified Congress the Clinton email investigation would be renewed, demanding the Bureau come clean about evidence it had of collusion between The Russians! and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Shortly thereafter came a statement from the Bureau to that bastion of conservatism the New York Times that there was no such direct connection.
The New York Times also apparently rejected a submission by the “respected” former New Republic editor Franklin Foer which purported to detail the link between The Russians! and Trump; that piece ended up at the left-wing online rag Slate, and the Times piece poo-poohing the Trump-Russian connection largely debunked Foer’s accusations.
None of this would faze Carville, who followed Reid’s carnival barker act with a hum-dinger of his own. Appearing on MSNBC Monday afternoon, Carville bellowed and wheezed about not only Trump and The Russians! — and specifically the long-defunct KGB — but included in the new formulation of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Comey and the “House Republicans” — apparently because Comey’s letter to Congress made its way into the public eye thanks to House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz’s releasing it.
It’s fair to note, as an aside if nothing else, that escalating Hillary’s problems into the realm of conspiracies and attempted coups is not a particularly intelligent bit of political strategy this close to an election. For one thing, doing so is sure to keep her legal problems at the head of each news cycle leading up to the election. And for another, wildly alleging dark conspiracies at crunch time carries the signature of failure — just ask Captain Queeg how the mutiny trial went, for example.
Reid and Carville aren’t morons, and it takes very little effort to recognize that The Russians! don’t have anything to do with the laptop formerly residing at Chez Danger, so why the screaming?
That’s easy. WikiLeaks, to them, is worse than the FBI.
Carville and Reid don’t fear the FBI for Hillary’s sake. They believe whatever problems the FBI investigations might pose to her can be defused once she’s president. Comey can be gotten rid of, efforts to appoint special prosecutors can be thwarted, Loretta Lynch atop the Justice Department, or friends planted in the right positions, can smother any prosecutions. They believe raw political power trumps the rule of law, and always have believed so.
But what they fear is what WikiLeaks can do to the Democratic Party. They fear the release of all of Podesta’s emails — and those 30,000 emails Hillary deleted. They fear the internecine warfare among Democrat colleagues which may come from various slights or accusations in those emails. They fear another Doug Band Teneo/Clinton Foundation memo — or worse. They fear what the release of candid, thought-to-be private communications between Hillary and Podesta could set loose.
And that’s why it all must be blamed on The Russians!, and anyone who traffics in material stolen by The Russians! has to be branded as a traitor and a spy. The truth has to be colored with a varnish of anti-Americanism, so that the public might refuse to look at it.
That The Russians! might have nothing to do with WikiLeaks, as Assange insists, then becomes all the more interesting. What if it isn’t The Russians! at all but rather a cadre of “rogues” in the intelligence or law enforcement community trying to do an end run around the corrupt Justice Department?
Shut up, Carville says. It’s The Russians!, stupid, and maybe Republicans in the House.
And Comey. Him, too.