Russiagate is dead. Long live Russiagate.
We have no doubt seen this statement broadcast; there is even a news / opinion piece in existence with a very similar title. The Narrative is dead! Long Live the Narrative! Its writer, James Howard Kunstler made an astute set of statements:
The Narrative is dead! Long live The Narrative!
That’s what played on CNN, NBC, and The New York Times yesterday as they struggled to digest the parting meal Robert Mueller served to the RussiaGate lynch mob: a nothingburger with a side of crow-flavored fries. Mr. Mueller was careful, though, to leave a nice red poison cherry on top with his statement that “…while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Mr. Mueller, who ought to know better, could not be more in error on that too-fine-a-point. The official finding that no crime was committed is, ipso facto, an exoneration, and to impute otherwise is a serious breach of his role in this legal melodrama.
What actually happened with RussiaGate? A cabal of government officials colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign to interfere in the 2016 election and, failing to achieve their desired outcome, engineered a two-years-plus formal inquisition to deflect attention from their own misconduct and attempt to overthrow the election result.
There are two poles of what is now shaping up to be the new narrative for the Democrats.
The first pole is the poison cherry of innuendo – that the implication is that something must be there; something must have happened in order for Mr. Mueller to not be 100% clear on this point. And of course, even though Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is not perceived as a friend to Donald Trump, he is overshadowed by William Barr, the Attorney General, who was hand-picked by the President himself.
It does not matter that Mr. Barr and Mr. Rosenstein together agreed that there was no ground for indictment or further inquiry in the matter of obstruction of justice. Indeed, the logical argument proceeds that with no collusion evidence, there was nothing to obstruct.
But that is logic, and we in America don’t work that way. God forbid (Oh, wait a minute, we cannot talk about God – he doesn’t exist, anyway!) we would rely on logic! Not when there is someone who needs to be taken down!
The second pole is only touched upon – it is categorized as the desire of Hillary Rodham Clinton to win the Presidency, but this bears further examination on the question of Why?
This question is deserving of its own study and will be approached in a forthcoming piece. For now, it is sufficient to understand that there was far more than mere personal ambition involved, even for someone as reputedly addicted to power as Hillary Clinton.
Those poles remain in place. The fervent, neé irrational-appearing desire to remove President Trump from office suffered a hit, but that hit appears to have stirred up the already angry hornets’ nest into an even angrier one, with a new revised narrative:
We know you are hiding something. Therefore we must have all the documents so we can find it.
This shows in the taunting, triumphalist attitude Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats took when, in a fiery statement, she declared AG Barr’s summary to be condescending and arrogant:
“Mr. Attorney General,” she said, “show us the report and we’ll come to our own conclusions.” She asked what Trump and the Republicans were afraid of and mocked them as “scaredy-cats.”
The Dems are asking for the entire Mueller report, a surprisingly small report given the 22 month length of the investigation. The report’s size is reported to be in the neighborhood of 300 pages or so. However, it contains information that, by law, cannot be disseminated, such as grand jury testimony. Apparently this is of no concern for the narrative, because the Democrats appear to be determined to keep the Russiagate ball rolling, and the insinuation is that they will find something in the original report that they can use to further their goals.
The divide on this issue is more bitter than ever, and it provoked even the usually weak-willed GOP to make some fire of its own. California Democrat Representative Adam Schiff has not backed down one bit on his claim that there is “substantial evidence” of collusion, though he has never spoken clearly about exactly what he knows, even now. This prompted what some people have noted as a remarkable exchange in the House Intelligence Committee, in which the committee demanded him to resign the chairmanship of that body.
Mr. Schiff acted like he was correct, calling on the issue of a meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. with Russian Attorney Natalya Veselitskaya in the New York Trump Tower, as “proof” of collusion. He certainly appears here to be a compelling actor, for his response is impassioned and even sounds sincere. But he is also completely consumed by what he thinks, and this may be just a revelation of how insane the man has actually become.
In summary, the Democrats are digging in. So are the Republicans, though in a companion piece here, we noted that even one of the most highly respected Republican senators still subscribes to the notion that Russia is so powerful that they can “turn Americans against one another”, showing that the narrative about Russia as threat is deeply embedded among the political class.