Americans may have thought they had heard all there is to know about “Crossfire Hurricane,” the shadowy investigation of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign supposed conspiracy with the Kremlin to discredit his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Information has surfaced that the official account may be missing an important plot twist: Hillary not as victim, but perpetrator. Fact or fiction, it’s a new chapter in this unprecedented political drama that deserves to be written.
Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of investigators probed the Trump-Russia conspiracy claim for more than two years before finding no criminality on the part of President Trump and his campaign associates. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed the exoneration.
Case close, right? Maybe not. On Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe informed Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham by letter of newly declassified documents based on Russian sources alleging in July 2016 that Candidate Clinton “approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.” Distracting attention from her own private email server scandal was her purported aim.
Further, Mr. Ratcliffe wrote that then-CIA Director John Brennan had informed President Obama of the allegation and that U.S. intelligence officials had referred the information to FBI Director James Comey and his deputy, Peter Strzok, for investigation.
To be sure, allegations can just as easily amount to a molehill as a mountain, as the “Crossfire Hurricane” debacle demonstrated. The question that demands an answer: Did the FBI give the damning charge against Hillary attention commensurate with the flip-side file alleging Trump team mischief?
Mr. Graham, in essence, posed that query Wednesday to Mr. Comey during a Judiciary Committee oversight hearing. Disturbingly, the former FBI director failed to recall being informed of the allegations against Mrs. Clinton. He also refused to address the contents of the Ratcliffe letter, only allowing, “I read the contents of the letter which, frankly, I had trouble understanding.”
Politico reported that a spokesman for Hillary described the allegation against the former Democratic Party standard-bearer as “baseless” bull-hockey, more or less. He could be correct, or he could be covering for his boss. He could also be as clueless about the veracity of the shocking charge as the American public, or Mr. Comey himself.
By all appearances, the Obama FBI failed to treat the purported Clinton scheme with even a sliver of the scrutiny given the bogus charges lodged against Trump personnel. Not to mention that Mr. Obama, who is said to have been briefed on the dirty trick, might not be as free from “even a smidgen of corruption” as he liked to claim.
Americans deserve a full reading of this final foul episode in the Russia collusion tale.
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