May 22, 2022

Jack Sparrow, that is, the movie pirate played by Johnny Depp, whose defamation suit against his ex-wife Amber Heard is full of the kind of meaningless salacious nonsense CNN’s declining viewership is capable of focusing on. For grownups, another trial in nearby Washington, D.C. is of far greater import, the trial of Michael Sussmann, but as Professor Charles Lipson notes on Facebook:

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I scanned through 2 hours of CNN coverage. No mention of the Sussmann trial at all (as usual) and no mention of Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook’s unexpected revelation that Hillary herself approved spreading the false Alfa bank story….  If CNN covered the revelation on other shows, please let me know. Otherwise, it looks like they are news undertakers, not reporters.

For those whose local press is as focused on nonsense as CNN, let me recap the significance of this week’s proceedings instituted by special counsel John Durham after a lengthy investigation into the origins of the Russian hoax, which was generated and promoted by Hillary Clinton to advance her election and which, after she lost, served to tie up President Trump and his administration with investigations and impeachments. The indictment was a detailed 26-page outline indictment of the case which is now ongoing. It is precise and limited — Sussman is accused of lying to the FBI’s General Counsel in September 2016 when he asserted that he was not representing a client at the time he claimed that Russia’s Alfa Bank was a direct conduit between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. 

Hot Air summarizes the week’s revelations — “revelations” may not be the word exactly, as there was plenty of evidence already that this is what occurred, but this week, it was nailed down in documentary and sworn testimonial evidence:

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Prosecutors asked Mr. Mook about his role in funneling the Alfa Bank claims to the press. Mr. Mook admitted the campaign lacked expertise to vet the data, yet the decision was made by Mr. Mook, policy adviser Jake Sullivan (now President Biden’s national security adviser), communications director Jennifer Palmieri and campaign chairman John Podesta to give the Alfa Bank claims to a reporter. Mr. Mook said Mrs. Clinton was asked about the plan and approved it. A story on the Trump-Alfa Bank allegations then appeared in Slate, a left-leaning online publication.

On Oct. 31, 2016, Mr. Sullivan issued a statement mentioning the Slate story, writing, “This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow.” Mrs. Clinton tweeted Mr. Sullivan’s statement with the comment: “Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.” “Apparently” is doing a lot of work in that sentence.

In short, the Clinton campaign created the Trump-Alfa allegation, fed it to a credulous press that failed to confirm the allegations but ran with them anyway, then promoted the story as if it was legitimate news. The campaign also delivered the claims to the FBI, giving journalists another excuse to portray the accusations as serious and perhaps true.

Marc Elias, another Democrat election lawyer who was then general counsel for the Clinton campaign, admitted that the Russian hoax was a Clinton operation — orchestrated from the top and without any factual basis.

James Baker, at the time the FBI’s general counsel, testified that he trusted Sussmann’s statement that he was not there on behalf of a client because of Sussman’s background and their own friendship.  He added that had he known Clinton was behind the Sussmann visit he’d have made a different assessment of the credibility of the claim and “he would have rethought his dealings with the news media,” that he was ”aware of and wary of’ the fact that the existence of an F.B.I. investigation could be used by reporters as a way to report  on something that is ‘flawed or incomplete.’

Well, that is exactly what happened, by Clinton design.