With tedious regularity over the course of the Russiagate scandal a new ‘revelation’ appears which on close examination turns out to be no sort of revelation at all.
The purpose behind its appearance is not to report ‘news’, since the ‘revelation’ more often than not is not truly ‘news’ . Rather the purpose is to keep the Russiagate story alive by any means possible, thereby creating the appearance that the Russiagate story has evidence behind it when in reality it has none.
The latest publication of emails that passed between Wikileaks and Donald Trump Junior is a case in point.
I am not going to waste time analysing this foolishness, but I will say the following:
(1) none of the emails touch on the Russiagate collusion allegations in the slightest way or give the slightest grounds for believing them to be true or suggest any degree of collusion between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks let alone between the Trump campaign and the Russians;
(2) the vast majority of the emails were from Wikileaks to Donald Trump Junior. He appears to have replied on just three occasions, doing so moreover rather briefly;
(3) Wikileaks’ purpose – understandable enough in a news/campaigning organisation – appears to have been to ensure that its publication of the DNC and Podesta emails got maximum publicity, whilst also keeping the story going by getting Trump to release his tax returns and to contest the election result when (as everyone expected) Hillary Clinton won;
(4) Wikileaks failed on all counts, with Donald Trump Junior and his father – who may or may not have known about the emails – refusing or failing to take the bait on any one of them; and
(5) none of the activity set out in the emails is of a remotely criminal nature and all the emails had already been previously disclosed by Donald Trump Junior to Congressional investigators and presumably to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
One further point I will make about this singularly silly episode.
This is that at least in the previous instances of ‘no-news’ we have had throughout Russiagate – eg. Michael Flynn’s conversation with Russian ambassador Kislyak, Jeff Sessions’s meeting with Russian ambassador Kislyak, Jared Kushner’s meeting with Russian ambassador Kislyak, Donald Trump Junior’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, and the indictments against Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos – it has been necessary to spend time and energy explaining why they are in fact ‘no-news’.
The Wikileaks/Donald Trump Junior email correspondence is different. This time the ‘no-news’ event is so thin that it is actually non-existent. There is therefore no need to waste time on it.