by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann crossed a critical threshold Friday when a key witness uttered the name “Hillary Clinton” in conjunction with a plan to spread the false Alfa Bank Russian collusion claim before the 2016 presidential election.
For Democrats and many in the media, Hillary Clinton has long held a Voldemort-like status as “She who must not be named” in scandals. Yet, there was her former campaign manager, Robby Mook, telling a jury that Clinton personally approved a plan to spread the claim of covert communications between the Trump organization and the Russian bank. It was one of the most successful disinformation campaigns in American politics, and Mook implicated Clinton as green-lighting the gas-lighting of the electorate.
The mere mention of Clinton’s name sent shockwaves through Washington. In past scandals, the Clintons have always evaded direct responsibility as aides were investigated or convicted, from the Whitewater land dealings to cattle futures. Even when long-sought documents in Whitewater were discovered outside of the family quarters and bearing Hillary Clinton’s fingerprints, Washington quickly moved on.
Clinton was not supposed to be the object of the Sussmann trial, because Judge Christopher Cooper, an Obama appointee, issued a series of orders limiting the scope of the trial and its evidence. The orders were vuewed as “spar[ing] the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee … potential embarrassment.”
Yet, even after winning such limiting orders, it was the defense that called Mook to the stand — out of order, in the midst of the prosecution’s case, because he was scheduled to leave on vacation — and he proceeded to confirm that Clinton herself approved of the tactic.
It was Washington’s worst-kept but least-acknowledged secret. …
… There is a strikingly familiar pattern in both the Steele dossier — which became the basis for the Russia collusion investigation — and the Alfa Bank tale. Campaign associates developed both claims while actively seeking to conceal their connections from the public and the government. …