by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For well more than a year, we’ve heard about the “Did Trump Collude with Russia” storyline that the special counsel Robert Mueller is pursuing. In recent months, a parallel narrative has been developing. In this account, for which a case is slowly building, figures inside the Obama administration and in the Hillary Clinton campaign may have actively spied on and tried to undermine Trump’s presidential campaign.
But anyone who broaches the thought that there might be two stories relating to 2016 campaign skullduggery rather than just one is viciously attacked. When radio and TV host Mark Levin stitched together mainstream-media reports to allege that FISA-court warrants had been sought by the Justice Department to investigate Team Trump, he was branded a conspiracy theorist by Trump critics. He has since been vindicated. …
… [I]t’s [Devin] Nunes who has faced the most vitriolic attacks. Nunes believes that the American people deserve to know whether or not their intelligence agencies have followed the law. “Someone has to watch the watchers,” he told me recently. “The Constitution vests Congress with oversight powers over the executive branch.”
But that’s not how the media see it. Last month, Jason Zengerle of the New York Times wrote a scathing profile of Nunes, whom he dismissed in a tweet as someone “who’s been propagating (and/or falling for) conspiracy theories since before the Deep State was even a gleam in Donald Trump’s eye.”