The Hezbollah crime syndicate that was let off the hook by pressure and slow-walking or stonewalling by the Obama administration. At least until the Iran Deal was in place.

Next to nothing in mainstream media.

The evidence that is slowly accumulating on the very real possibility that the “insurance policy” FBI agent Peter Strzok mentioned in a text message to then FBI lawyer Lisa Page in a conversation about a meeting almost definitely held in Deputy Director McCabe’s office in the summer of 2016, was quite possibly the very Steele Dossier that they had started to receive at the FBI?

Mainstream media? Next to nothing.

The fact that the House Select Committee on Intelligence is demanding evidence from the FBI and the DOJ to clear up the role that various members of Mueller’s team have played? Now that’s big news. Why?

It’s the anti-Mueller feedback loop!

You guys decry Ben Rhodes for his echo chamber (that was Rhodes’ language by the way: he’s the one who coined the phrase)? Well we’re (CNN’s Brian Stelter to be specific) going to coin a phrase too! And we’ll get Perry Bacon Jr. to write about the evil plan in the wonkish fivethirtyeight’s blog. And use phrases like:

It’s not clear that the anti-Mueller campaign is coordinated, in the sense that Congressional Republicans, White House officals and Fox News executives sat in a room together and planned how to attack Mueller and his team.

Of course not Perry, you’ll just let that image sit uncomfortably in your readers mind as you inevitably make comparisons to Nixon’s attempts to discredit Watergate investigators, because it’s basically the same, right? Sorry this is way worse, right? Russia is involved!

Keep it about process. Imply nefarious motives at every turn. And avoid actually talking about the evidence that Mueller’s team has so far failed to turn up, or at least disclose. And especially avoid talking about the evidence that Mueller’s team appears very much biased in favor of the Democrat Party establishment. Ignore further evidence like:

  • The Steele Dossier it turns out was opposition research paid for by the DNC and Hillary’s campaign and contracted out through Fusion GPS who likely helped leak details of its existence and then of its contents.
  • The evidence in the Dossier is often second or third hand heresay. Andrew McCarthy hi-lites this gem from the Dossier: Another source, apparently Russian, told Steele that an official “close to” Putin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov had confided to “a compatriot” that Igor Diveykin (of the “Internal Political Department” of Putin’s Presidential Administration) had also met with Page in Moscow.
  • And apparently Divekin at that supposed meeting had told Carter Page that Russia had kompromat (compromising material) on both Hillary and Trump so they should make a deal with Russia on sanctions.
  • Follow the bouncing ball: Igor tells a friend of Sergei that he talked to Carter Page. Sergei’s friend tells an unknown Russian. The unknown Russian tells another unknown Russian. Unknown Russian #2 tells Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy. Steele’s dossier then possibly becomes, in part at least, the basis for a FISA court order to surveille Carter Page – perhaps continuing into the transition period.
  • Nellie Ohr, wife of then DOJ associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr, was working for Fusion GPS as a Russia expert, probably on the opposition research being conducted on the Trump campaign. The Ohrs seemed to be friends with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson.
  • Did James Baker – FBI top lawyer who’s now been reassigned – lead Mother Jones reporter David Corn to the Steele Dossier?

But why talk about any of this? Stick to process. Talk about the anti-Mueller feedback loop and use the word “echo” in your reporting. Never mind careful attention to detail – like Andrew McCarthy at National Review; Byron York at the Washington Examiner; or Josh Meyer at Politico. Even if Meyer covered the Iran Deal rather than the Russia story. Woodward and Bernstein didn’t write a few hot stories about the Watergate investigation. They persistently and over many months wrote a series of detailed articles – with the help of their FBI source – that helped reveal the truth about Watergate.

Because the facts are still being revealed and because some of the key players involved are using stonewalling tactics or partisan posturing – on both sides – it will be a while before the final truth about the Russia story is revealed. But the partisan divide is so strong, that I doubt either side will agree with the other side when the evidence is completely revealed.

In other words, there may never be closure on this, because neither side wants it. Democrats pushed by their base seem to want nothing less than impeachment on the basis of character seeing no real evidence of collusion with Russia has as of yet been revealed.

Republicans are increasingly seeing the Russia story as a Democrat-Hillary scandal rather than as the feared Trump scandal. And they don’t yet want – in their majority at least – for President Trump to fire Mueller. Nixon analogies are inevitable on this point, (Nixon’s firing of key Watergate investigation officials backfired on him), even if these are two very different situations.

So the risk here is that a discredited or unfairly attacked (choose your side) Mueller probe will leak further details about it’s own problems along with further details that may or may not compromise former Trump campaign officials or even Trump administration officials. It will then become a zombie investigation, lacking real integrity but still alive and issuing subpoenas.

That’s a scary thought, but special counsels or special prosecutors in Washington D.C. may just no longer (or ever have been) be a viable way to run an investigation. There may not be any viable, trusted way of running any investigation, in many voters eyes. Because Mueller’s – or Comey’s – worth seems to depend on who he makes life miserable for.

And that is hardly justice.

 

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