Muftic: GOP conspiracy theories take a licking
I am a great fan of Dan Brown’s books, “The Da Vinci Code” being the most famous. His novels are a delight for those who love conspiracy theories. They are full of secret societies using obscure codes to conspire against some power center or other. There is a difference between fact and the fiction of conspiracy theories in real life and keeping those two straight is a challenge in today’s partisan media that promotes such theories.
The last chapter of the Russian connection novel has not been written, but there is an overt attempt by some to write the story’s ending full of conspiracy theories. Both the GOP Congress, Donald Trump’s supportive media and the Trump administration attempted to convince us, the voting public, that the fiction they create is political reality as part of their coordinated campaign to destroy the FBI’s credibility.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) claimed the proof of some FBI conspiracy society in text messages sent between FBI agent Peter Strzok and an FBI lawyer girl friend. The text criticized Trump and references a conspiracy society. Were they joking? Only the context could tell.
Trump media went ballistic claiming more conspiracies because the texts were missing, but on Thursday, the Justice Department found them.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) claimed he had an informant with knowledge of some secret society meetings of FBI agents who are planning a coup. Johnson walked back his claim when challenged to give the informant’s name, times, place, date of, the meetings. Trump ultra-loyalist Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was circulating a memo to GOP House Intelligence members charging the FBI’s misconduct in seeking a FISA warrant. Nunes received a slap-down by the Department of Justice as “extraordinarily reckless,” harmful to national security, in releasing the memo since it contained classified information. Russian bots were encouraging the release as was Trump TV.
Should Special Counsel Robert Mueller find convincing evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” including obstruction of justice, that result in serious attempts to impeach the president, Trump and his backers’ defense will be anything Mueller reports should be discounted because his findings have been corrupted and contaminated by anti-Trump FBI agents engaged in anti-Trump conspiracies.
It is no small coincidence that also FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and others in the FBI have come under fire from the GOP since they are the ones who have copies of former FBI Director James Comey’s contemporary notes of his conversations with Donald Trump that included how the president tried to get him to pledge loyalty and to go lightly on an investigation of Mike Flynn. The notes may not be Nixon’s tapes, but they are the next best similar evidence Trump tried to obstruct the FBI’s Russian connection investigation when he fired Comey.
One GOP charge is that Comey’s then-deputy, Andrew McCabe, influenced Comey to conclude that there was no criminal wrongdoing in the Clinton email investigation because there was not enough evidence to prove her intent. Those two FBI agents in high positions in the investigations into the Russian connection, Strzok and McCabe, will not be able to influence Mueller’s final report anyway since Strzok was moved to Human Resources last summer and McCabe has announced his retirement.
Ironically, Comey had appeared biased against Hillary Clinton in 2016. Twice Comey broke FBI rules causing Clinton’s poll numbers to drop when he announced she was under criminal investigation for misuse of emails. At the same time, Comey kept it a secret per rules that the FBI also had the Trump campaign’s Russian connection under investigation.
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