Kyle Cheney and Elana Schor prepare readers of Politico for the disappointment to come when the congressional probes of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign wind down. You can almost feel the heartache, but they have this consolation. They’ll always have Mueller.
Over at the New York Post Paul Sperry concisely sketches the reversal of the past few days. Sperry writes: “The irony is, it may have in fact been Hillary who came closer to colluding with the Russians in smearing Trump as a Russian traitor than anything Trump did in trying to beat Hillary. The information in the dossier she bought for millions came from Russian intelligence sources, and her lawyers brokered the deal with a Kremlin-tied lobbyist. When it failed to stop Trump, the Russia paymaster turned into the Russia spinmeister.” As Victor Davis Hanson would point out, what we have here is a major league case of peripeteia.
Well, this cannot be. We learned this week that those congressional investigators have been looking for collusion in all the wrong places. Now we know that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the Trump Dossier compiled by Fusion GPS during the campaign. The Trump Dossier itself represents collusion with the friends of Vladimir Putin, and it came courtesy of Team Clinton. The friends of Vladimir Putin disseminated disinformation intended to sow confusion and the friends of Hillary Clinton extended their hand to help out.
Payments to Fusion GPS were laundered through the Perkins Coie law firm; Perkinis Coie partner Marc Elias served as general counsel to the Clinton campaign. Yet Clinton campaign manager John Podesta proclaims that he knows nothing. Then DNC Chair Deborah Wasserman Schultz proclaims that she knows nothing. Hillary Clinton has clammed up.
A strange silence has descended. CNN’s Democratic friends aren’t talking. Manu Raju & Jeremy Herb report “In Hill interviews, top Dems denied knowledge of payments to firm behind Trump dossier.”
Visualize the scene depicted by Raju and Herb:
Podesta was asked in his September interview [by the Senate Intelligence Committee] whether the Clinton campaign had a contractual agreement with Fusion GPS, and he said he was not aware of one, according to one of the sources.
Sitting next to Podesta during the interview: his attorney Marc Elias, who worked for the law firm that hired Fusion GPS to continue research on Trump on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC, multiple sources said. Elias was only there in his capacity as Podesta’s attorney and not as a witness.
On Tuesday, that law firm, Perkins Coie, wrote in a letter that it had retained Fusion GPS as part of its representation of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. The disclosure of the Democratic funding source for Fusion GPS is raising new questions for the congressional Russian investigators. The Perkins Coie letter suggested its clients — the Clinton campaign and the DNC — did not learn about the matter until recently.
It’s eerie. Nobody knows anything.