Victor Davis Hanson‘s latest National Review Online column focuses on the deceptive use of language to downplay D.C. scandals.

There are lots of strange things throughout Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s massive report on the Hillary Clinton email investigation. One of the weirdest is the extent to which the FBI went to make up words and phrases to disguise reality.

An early draft of the 2016 FBI report on the email scandal was reportedly subjected to linguistic surgery to exonerate the former secretary of state, who at the time was the Democratic nominee for president. Clinton was originally found to be “grossly negligent” in using an illegal email server. That legalistic phrase is used by prosecutors to indict for violation of laws governing the wrongful transmission of confidential government documents.

Yet the very thought of a likely President Clinton in court so worried the chief investigator, FBI director James Comey, that he watered down “grossly negligent” to the mere “extremely careless.”

FBI investigators also had concluded it was “reasonably likely” that foreign nations had read Clinton’s unsecured emails. Comey intervened to mask such a likelihood by substituting the more neutral word “possible”: It was merely “possible” her emails had been read by foreign nations.

Barack Obama, while president, was found to have improperly communicated with Clinton over her illegal server while she was in a foreign country. …

… [T]he FBI deleted Obama’s name from its report. In its place, the FBI inserted the laughable “another senior government official” — as if the president of the United States were just another Washington grandee who had improperly communicated on an illicit email server.