By Mollie Hemingway
Originally published by TheFederalist
For more than a year and a half, the media have gone all-in on reporting every possible angle of President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia. No story update has been too small, no encounter with a Russian too inconsequential, and no anonymous source too sketchy to generate outsize coverage and histrionic claims from major media.
But as the Russian collusion story disintegrates, another interesting story ascends. Investigations by multiple congressional committees as well as an investigation by the inspector general of the Department of Justice have shown irregularities in the handling of the most politically sensitive probes in recent memory: the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information while secretary of State and the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged nefarious ties with Russia to meddle in a U.S. election.
These investigations have resulted in the firing, demotion, and reassignment of at least six top officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice. And all of those personnel changes were made before even the first official reports and memoranda from these investigations were made public.
In recent weeks, however, some official documents have come to light. These are statements made by elected members of the U.S. government on the record, not selective and political leaks from anonymous sources. So how have the media responded to these official statements regarding wrongdoing? Mostly by downplaying, mocking, and ignoring them.
When the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s majority memo was made public last week, many journalists highlighted Democratic talking points against it or otherwise rushed to defend the agencies credibly accused of abuse of power. As soon as they could, they dropped the story, despite the dramatic claims in the memo.
Two nights ago, a criminal referral by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was published with far fewer redactions than an earlier version of the referral. The less-redacted letter was significant. For one thing, it confirmed all of the major claims from the House memo authored by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).
A Clinton campaign document formed an essential part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to spy on a Trump campaign affiliate. The application failed to note that the campaign document was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The dossier wasn’t corroborated so much as taken in faith based on the supposed credibility of its author, even after the FBI discovered he’d violated his working agreement with them. A top Justice official’s wife also worked on the Clinton campaign effort. The official funneled her information into the investigation.
The FBI hid their relationship with the Clinton operation from the court. The principal creator of the dossier revealed that he was “desperate” to keep Trump out of office, and the FBI knew this but didn’t tell the court about his extreme political bias. A news article obviously sourced to the dossier author, Christopher Steele, was presented in the application as separate from and corroborating the dossier.
In addition to supporting the major claims of the House Intelligence memo, the criminal referral also said that Clinton associates — elsewhere reported to be the extremely sketchy Cody Shearer and Sid Blumenthal — funneled information to Steele and he took it seriously, itself completely discrediting for someone working with the FBI.
You can read more here.