People carping about “a vast, right-wing conspiracy” fit the profile of those who orchestrate vast, left-wing conspiracies.
Psychologists call this projection.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign hired an attorney, Marc Elias, who hired a firm, Fusion GPS, which hired former British intelligence officer and student radical Christopher Steele, who secretly produced the infamous “Russian dossier” defaming Donald Trump.
The green paper trail actually appears more meandering than that, but, for simplicity’s sake, it works best to keep it super complex rather than super-duper complex. Some super-sleuths at the Washington Post connected the dots. But the Clinton campaign purposefully kept those dots far enough apart to confuse anyone who looked into it. In fact, the trail looks a lot like money laundering in reverse, clean cash filtered through several ostensibly legitimate outfits before making its way into the dirty hands of a political hatchet man.
Of course, campaign-finance laws guard us against such shenanigans—as it turns out, not well. Reading the Federal Election Commission filings of the Clinton campaign, we see that it paid $5.6 million to Elias’s firm Perkins Coie. It does not indicate how that law firm spent that $5.6 million.
The people who received much of that money, Fusion GPS, look about as keen as the Clinton campaign to fess up to where the money went. Executives cite confidentiality agreements in refusing to say who, precisely, supported hatchet-man Steele’s “investigation.” They resist a subpoena to turn over financial records to the House Intelligence Committee. When company brass went before that committee, they took the Fifth Amendment.
One unabashedly secretive group, not heretofore regarded as an auxiliary of the Democratic National Committee, supporting Steele’s work was the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“After the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence about Trump and Russia,” The Washington Post reports, “but the bureau pulled out of the arrangement after Steele was publicly identified in news reports.”
Like the Clinton Campaign, Marc Elias, and Fusion GPS, the FBI wanted to fund Steele’s efforts. They just did not want anyone to know it. The FBI’s involvement evokes When a Stranger Calls: “We’ve traced the call… It’s coming from inside the house.” When did the bureau’s director begin imagining himself as bag man for partisan muckrakers?
Remarkably, the smear-file created at the behest of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party made its way into a briefing for President Barack Obama and resulted in its author gaining an audience with former FBI Director Robert Mueller in his ongoing investigation of Donald Trump. The media continued to refer to the gossip as a “dossier” and its contents as “intelligence” when it constituted opposition research bankrolled by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
And this appears as the clear reason why the Democrats went to such lengths to distance themselves from their dirt-digging expedition. They wanted Americans to greet the information they paid for as information independently gathered, not by bought hacks but by intelligence agents. They wanted Americans to believe their wild charges, and to accomplish this they could not reveal that they produced the “evidence” that supposedly vindicated those charges. And for almost a year, Democrats mostly succeeded in this endeavor.
It sometimes takes a village to raise a child. It sometimes takes a conspiracy to launch a conspiracy theory.