My Mueller madness series regularly features New York Times stories. These stories come in two subsets. One subset breathlessly advances the Mueller project by taking the latest development and projecting the path to President Trump. The other subset plays defense by rewriting history bearing on the genuine scandals underlying the Mueller investigation.
If you are familiar with the primary documents and the related facts, the Times will drive you out of your mind as the Times. Mollie Hemingway offered a useful antidote to the rewriting in her Federalist column “Media Gaslighting Can’t Hide Fact Trump Campaign Was Spied On.”
The story underlying Hemingway’s column shows how the Obama administration put the instrumentalities of the federal government — the FBI and the Department of Justice — to work opposing Donald Trump. One trail leads to the DNC and the Clinton campaign itself — from Clinton campaign counsel Perkins Coie to Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS to Christopher Steele and Steele’s dossier on Donald Trump. Taking Steele’s dossier at face value, those in search of campaign collusion with Russian intelligence can find it in Steele’s work. The only question is whether Steele acted as a knowing tool or a clueless dupe of Russian intelligence. See, for example, Eric Felten’s Weekly Standard column “The Romanian ruse.”
In rewriting the relevant history, the Times must come to the defense of former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr and, by extension, Christopher Steele. This is the project of Ken Vogel and Matthew Rosenberg in “Agents Tried to Flip Russian Oligarchs. The Fallout Spread to Trump.”
Julie Kelly offers one key to the story in the American Greatness column “N.Y. Times Throws Up a Smokescreen for Bruce Ohr.” A friend also notes that the story reeks of desperation to impose a veneer of respectability to the collaboration of Ohr with Steele. But the information that the Times adds to what we already knew is damning. The Times seems to reveal (while downplaying) Steele’s long-time work for Russian oligarchs along with Ohr’s custom of working with Steele on investigations.
What is happening here? Return to Mollie Hemingway for the antidote.