Don’t look now, but…

In another must-read column on the “election hacking” narrative force-fed to us incessantly by the Democrat/Media Axis, Andrew McCarthy proclaims its collapse. For his text he takes the January 19 New York Times story “Intercepted Russian communications part of inquiry into Trump associates.” Carrying the byline of four prominent New York Times reporters, the article is a masterpiece of innuendo that goes poof in one paragraph “after the sensational conspiracy mongering,” as Andy puts it.

Here is Andy’s analysis of the narrative as it bears on President Trump’s nuclear tweetstorm:

[T]he media and Democrats have always had a serious vulnerability here — one they’ve never acknowledged because they’ve been too swept away by the political success of the fantasy narrative [that Trump colluded with Russian “election hacking”]. It is this: At a certain point, if compelling evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to steal the election did not materialize, the much more interesting question becomes “How did the government obtain all this information that has been leaked to the media to prop up the story?”

The most plausible answer to that question: The Obama administration, through the Justice Department and the FBI, was investigating the associates of the opposition party’s presidential nominee, and perhaps even the nominee himself, during the campaign. Otherwise, what explanation can there be for all of the investigative information — much of it classified, and thus illegal to disclose — that has been funneled to the press? Now that they’ve been called on it, the media and Democrats are gradually retreating from the investigation they’ve been touting for months as the glue for their conspiracy theory.

In short, the media and Democrats have been playing with fire for months. The use of law-enforcement and national-security assets to investigate one’s political opponents during a heated election campaign has always been a potentially explosive story. Let’s not kid ourselves: If the roles were reversed, and a Republican administration had investigated officials tied to the campaign of the Democrats’ nominee, we would be drowning in a sea of Watergate 2.0 coverage.

Well, this weekend, the potentially explosive story detonated. It happened in the now familiar way: jaw-dropping tweets by President Trump.

Given the abundance of indications that the Obama Justice Department scrutinized his campaign, or at least his associates, it was odd that the president chose to tweet the one allegation in the whole mess that appears insupportable — viz., that President Obama had had candidate Trump wiretapped. To my knowledge, no such suggestion has ever been publicly reported. At most, it has been reported (but not proved) that there was a FISA application in June that “named Trump” – but, as I’ve pointed out, saying someone was named in an application does not mean that person was targeted for eavesdropping. And, in any event, the reporting tells us that if there was such an application, the FISA court denied it. Thus, I know of no basis to believe that Trump himself was wiretapped; and if the president’s objective was to sensationalize the story, it would surely have been enough to tweet out a colorable fear that surveillance of him — as a Russian agent — had been proposed.

Here he optimistically declares the collapse of the narrative:

Now that they’ve been called on it, the media and Democrats are gradually retreating from the investigation they’ve been touting for months as the glue for their conspiracy theory. It’s actually quite amusing to watch: How dare you suggest President Obama would ever order surveillance! Who said anything about FISA orders? What evidence do you lunatic conservatives have — uh, other than what we media professionals been reporting — that there was any investigation of the Trump campaign?

You will hear more righteous indignation in the coming days, no doubt. The first brushback pitches came this weekend: the claim that if President Trump dares to demand that the FBI and Justice Department show him the supposed FISA applications, he will be engaged in unprecedented political interference in the independence of law enforcement. It’s a silly assertion; as I explained over the weekend, FISA surveillance is not law enforcement, it is national security. A chief executive who demanded to review FISA information (obtained by exercise of the executive’s power) would be doing his main job — to protect the country — not interfering in a judicial proceeding.

But have you noticed? While all this head-spinning legal jibber-jabber goes back and forth, the foundation of the false narrative we’ve been hearing since November 8 has vanished. Now that we’re supposed to believe there was no real investigation of Trump and his campaign, what else can we conclude but that there was no real evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia . . . which makes sense, since Russia did not actually hack the election, so the purported objective of the collusion never existed.

Read the whole thing with Andy’s links and emphases here.

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