In his online Wall Street Journal Best of the Web column, James Freeman asks “Who is Kevin Clinesmith?” The column explores the media’s extreme lack of interest in Clinesemith since the publication of the Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA abuse in the matter of Carter Page and the Trump 2020 presidential campaign. The headline poses a good question, but Freeman closes his column with an even better one:
Others may have a different view, so perhaps a survey is in order. In the comments section below this column, readers are invited to opine on which one of the following scenarios represents the greatest threat to American liberty:
A) After identifying a U.S. citizen volunteering for the U.S. presidential campaign of the party out of power, the FBI makes false claims and persuades a federal court that the citizen may be a Russian agent and should be subjected to electronic surveillance.
B) After observing a U.S. citizen obtain a Ukrainian company board seat for which he was manifestly unqualified while his father was running Ukrainian policy for the U.S. government—and in which capacity the father would later demand the firing of a local prosecutor investigating the son’s business associates—the U.S. President urges the government of Ukraine to investigate.
Referring to the FBI’s FISA abuse in the surveillance of Carter Page and the Trump campaign, Freeman provides this helpful clue to the correct answer: “This column is struggling to recall a more serious allegation of abuse of our democratic process by officials of the federal government.”