by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Imagine someone told you that in the run-up to a U.S. presidential election, the FBI tried to undermine a candidate at the behest of the opposing campaign by cooking up a false narrative of collusion with Moscow.
And let’s say this conspiracy implicated not just the FBI but also the White House, Justice Department, and CIA — and that nearly the entire corporate press went along with it, gleefully spreading the false narrative that this candidate was a Russian agent, running story after story of fabricated nonsense in a coordinated effort to ensure the opposing candidate won.
In normal times, you’d scoff at such an outlandish story, dismiss it as the plot of some half-baked Tom Clancy novel. That could never happen in America, you’d say, where we have free and fair elections, the rule of law, and so on. And anyway, the media would never allow it to happen. They’d be too invested in exposing the conspiracy and claiming, rightly, a Watergate-type story of their very own.
But you’d be wrong. All of that really happened in 2016, recounted in all its jaw-dropping detail in Special Counsel John Durham’s 306-page report, released Monday after nearly four years in the making. The big takeaway from the report is that the Obama-era FBI launched a full investigation of the Trump campaign, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane, in the summer of 2016 despite having zero evidence of any collusion between Trump and Russia.
Not only that, but officials at the highest levels of the U.S. government, including President Obama, knew that the entire false narrative that Trump was colluding with Moscow was completely made up by the Clinton campaign in an effort to weaponize the federal government against Trump and distract from Hillary Clinton’s own email server scandal.