Update: Who colluded with Russia? Hillary, that’s who

By Marc A. Scaringi

 

Who colluded with Russia? Hillary, that’s who

So it’s Hillary Clinton – and not Donald Trump – who “colluded” with the Russians to throw the 2016 presidential election.

Hillary’s campaign employed a foreign ex-spy to dig for dirt in Russia that Hillary could use against then candidate Donald Trump.

The foreign spy wrote a series of 18 memoranda detailing “information” provided to him by unidentified Russian sources, some of whom he paid with Hillary’s money, including the salacious falsehood about Trump and peeing prostitutes. None of the dossier’s allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials have been verified.

That didn’t stop Hillary from trying to destroy Trump with it. Six weeks prior to the election, as Hillary railed against Trump and his alleged Russia connections, her spy met with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News and The New Yorker and urged them to publish what had become known inside the beltway as the “dodgy dossier.”

Hillary hoped the dossier, if published by one of these news media, would vindicate her accusations and help her win the White House.

It was Hillary’s October surprise that never was. The dossier was so fake even those news organizations – all of which are left of center and pulling heavily for Hillary – would not risk their reputations by publishing it.

Trump survived Hillary’s baseless attacks and won the election. But he could not rest easy. Barack Obama was still president at least for a while and his FBI Director was James Comey, a member of the Deep State who despised Donald Trump. So, the dodgy dossier would continue to dog Trump.

After the election Comey travelled to Trump Tower to brief then President-Elect Trump on its existence. When Trump asked Comey to investigate the source of the dossier Comey oddly declined claiming he wanted to “minimize potential embarrassment” to Trump. How could revealing that Hillary paid for the dossier embarrass Trump? Nonsense. Why not investigate?

Perhaps Comey was covering for Hillary again like he did during her e-mail scandal. Or, perhaps he was worried an investigation would reveal his FBI met with Clinton’s spy and agreed to pay him to continue digging for dirt on Trump.

Isn’t the FBI curious about the Clinton campaign soliciting and receiving a “thing of value” (i.e. “opposition research”) from a foreign national in connection to a federal election, which is a violation of federal election law?

Or, how about Hillary failing to disclose in her FEC filing that her campaign paid for the dossier? Or, how about falsifying the FEC filing by claiming the payments were made to her law firm for “legal services?”

Or, how about running payments to a foreign national, in exchange for campaign work, through her law firm? More potential violations of the law.

Why isn’t the FBI interested in Hillary? Perhaps because Comey thought he had something of great value in this dossier.

Comey testified before the US Senate he was concerned the dossier could be used to blackmail the president and that would be “the basis for opening a counterintelligence investigation,” which is exactly what he had already done.

CNN reported the FBI used information from the dossier to convince a FISA court judge to approve its warrant to wiretap Trump campaign associates. And, now the FBI could go fish and not for counterintelligence; instead they would go fishing far beyond the limits of their warrant.

Meanwhile Hillary and her team launched a vigorous effort to blame her loss on “collusion” between Trump and Russia. Why just read her new book and this dodgy dossier.

Yet Hillary’s team had the gall to deny knowing anything about the dossier. Even the liberal New York Times called out the Clinton campaign for its “sanctimonious” yearlong lie that it was not involved in funding the dossier. Hillary beat the collusion drum furiously in the weeks and months after the campaign. Her efforts paid off with the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a Comey mentor and leading figure in the Deep State, who began a massive investigation into all things Trump.

Mueller has caught his first few fishes. He has indicted Trump’s onetime campaign manager, Paul Manafort, for “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Just kidding, the indictment isn’t for “collusion;” it’s for crimes that have nothing to do with Trump, Russia or the 2016 election.

Mueller has also hauled in a low-level Trump campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulous. Even though it’s not a crime for a Trump volunteer to communicate with a Russian about improving US-Russian relations, even with one who claims to have dirt on Hillary, lying about it to the FBI is. That’s why he’s charged with making false statements – the crime charged when there is insufficient evidence of any underlying offense.

Notably, neither indictment alleges any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia on alleged Russian interference into the 2016 US presidential election. So, what’s the underlying offense

Special Counsel Mueller is spending millions of taxpayer dollars investigating? Is it the election law offense of soliciting or receiving a “thing of value” (i.e. “opposition research in the form of the dodgy dossier”) from a foreign national (i.e. Hillary’s British spy) in connection to a federal election?

That’s the offense Mueller apparently couldn’t prove against the Trump volunteer, but most certainly can against someone in the Clinton campaign. Will Hillary skate free once again?

My money is on Hillary.

 

Marc A. Scaringi, an attorney, is a PennLive Opinion contributor, whose work appears biweekly. He writes from Camp Hill.