In his terrific online WSJ Best of the Web column “Google visits the Resistance Factory” (accessible via Outline here), James Freeman homes in on a candid camera moment in which prospective House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler interrogated Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the House Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this week. Nadler sought to keep Democrats’ hope alive — hope in the Russia collusion hoax, or some version thereof, however shrunken, like Nadler himself.
Part of the strategy, Freeman noted, involves convincing people that the Russians ran a significant disinformation campaign via American digital media companies. Here Freeman goes to the tape:
NADLER: Does Google now know the full extent to which its online platforms were exploited by Russian actors in the election two years ago?
PICHAI: We have — you know we undertook a very thorough investigation, and in 2016, we — we now know that there were two main ad accounts linked to Russia, which — which you know, advertised on Google for about $4,700 in advertising. We also found other limited…
NADLER: Total of $4,700?
PICHAI: That’s right, which was, you know — no amount is OK here, but we found limited activity, improper activity. We learned a lot from that and we have, you know, dramatically increased the protections we have around our election offerings.
You can understand why the Democrats and their media adjunct might (emphasis on might) be moving on from the Russia collusion hoax to the great Cohen conspiracy.