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ElectionGate: the Putin-Assange-Comey-Trump conspiracy



I hate to play the “I told you so” game, but as far back as Oct. 30, I describeda conspiracy…hatched in darkness and anonymity, [whose] leaders are the foursome of Donald Trump, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, Vladimir Putin and James Comey,” the latter being, of course, the discredited head of the FBI.

Their little plot was designed—by whom? When? We already know why: to defeat Hillary Clinton. It worked: Trump was indeed elected President, at least by the Electoral College, if not by the American people, who preferred Hillary Clinton by a wider margin—approaching 3 million votes—than ever before given to a losing Presidential candidate. (And by the way, another Trump lie: as recently as yesterday, he still was insisting that his victory was “an electoral landslide” when, in fact, his 302-232 margin ranked 46th out of 58 U.S. presidential elections.)

At any rate, over the weekend this thing has erupted. What shall we call it? #ElectionGate? At first, my worry was that the media was barely taking notice. But on Friday the HUUUGE news broke: “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House,” the Washington Post reported. That same day, the New York Times put it in equally stark terms: “Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says.” The article explains: American intelligence agencies have concluded with ‘high confidence’ that Russia acted covertly in the latter stages of the presidential campaign to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances and promote Donald J. Trump…”.

Once upon a time, Russian meddling in an American Presidential election would have been considered a casus belli by Republicans and Democrats alike, back in the days of “Politics stops at the water’s edge” when patriotism, not politics, motivated Republicans. As this story unfolded in October and November, initial Republican tactics were their usual brew of obstruction and denial. GOP leaders have refused to support efforts by Democrats to investigate any possible Trump-Russia connections.”

But what a wild ride it’s been since last week. It started when the Washington Post reported that “Republicans [are] ready to launch wide-ranging probe of Russia, despite Trump’s stance.” What was that stance? “Trump mock[ed] American intelligence assessments that Russia interfered with the election on his behalf.” Now, as the war between Trump and the Central Intelligence Agency escalates, senior Republicans finally are getting nervous. Senator John McCain, the party’s 2008 nominee, “called for forming a select [Senate] committee…to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.” This is interesting. Some of us have been waiting for disgruntled Republican “moderates,” i.e. the non-Tea Party, less insane wing of the GOP, to strike back at Trump, whom they loathe and fear; but we knew it would take something extraordinary. #ElectionGate could be it. The President-elect, meanwhile, is doubling down on his mockery, telling Fox “News” yesterday the CIA’s finding was “ridiculous” and repeatedly insulting the agency. Now, we need to revert to the FBI’s head, the unfortunate James Comey, against this background: the FBI has always been a Republican-leaning outfit, ever since the conservative (and closeted) J. Edgar Hoover started it, in 1935.

That Comey illegally interfered with the election, there can be no doubt; as I pointed out on Nov. 2., Comey violated the Hatch Act law by “interfering with or affecting the result of an election,” a crime punishable by “remov[al] from his position.” Now, whether you think the U.S. should or should not shift its focus towards Russia and become friendlier—which is a political question about which reasonable people can disagree—you should nonetheless be concerned when a country of the size, power and ideological persuasion of Russia hacks into the emails of both political parties, conceals those of Republicans, forwards the Democrats’ to the Republican Julian Assange, who then sends them, albeit indirectly, on to the Republican James Comey, who then announces, a mere 10 days before the election, that his agency was re-opening its investigation of Hillary Clinton, a bulletin that he knew, and Assange knew, and Putin knew, and Trump knew, would destroy Hillary’s chances of getting elected.

Therein lies the commotion of this past weekend. Look: We, the American people, Republican and Democrat alike, have got to get to the bottom of this Putin-Assange-Comey-Trump conspiracy. Something horrible has happened that’s far beyond mere dirty politics. This has been an assault on our Constitution, our elections, our freedoms, our democracy, on America itself. If Hillary Clinton had been implicated in such a scheme, Republicans would be demanding her head on a pike. Are Republicans like McCain merely feigning outrage and hoping this storm blows over, as most storms do in our twitterized news cycle? Or are they serious about standing up to their President-elect and getting to the bottom of this? We’re about to find out.

  1. Russ Jordan says:

    The United States attempts to influence elections around the world all the time. Should we be shocked that another country should try to influence ours?

  2. Russ Jordan: Yes. And not only “shocked,” but scared, especially when it’s Russia. And when you factor in the role of fake news, and the tendency on the part of Republicans to have kneejerk reactions instead of thinking things through, you should be terrified.

  3. Russ Jordan says:

    As far as I have read, there is no allegation of tampering with the voting machines. The only allegation is in in information released from hacked sources. The truthfulness of the information released has not been contested. What is the impact of the wiki released emails? Primarily that certain journalists were running stories but the Clinton campaign for verification? What do you think was the actual impact on the election?

  4. Russ Jordan: Comey got Trump elected. That was his intention. The Hatch Act (look it up) prohibits government employees from interfering with the results of an election. That is what Comey did. He was enabled by Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange. This is not complicated stuff.

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