Andrew C. McCarthy
That supposed FBI investigation of collusion with the Russians? Never mind . . .
"They’re in retreat now. You may have missed it amid President Trump’s startling Saturday tweet storm, the recriminations over president-on-candidate spying, and the Jeff Sessions recusal — a whirlwind weekend. But while you weren’t looking, an elaborate narrative died.
For months, the media-Democrat complex has peddled a storyline that the Putin regime in Russia hacked the U.S. presidential election. There is, of course, no evidence that the election was hacked in the sense that the actual voting process was compromised. Rather, there is evidence that e-mail accounts of prominent Democrats were hacked months before the election, and thousands of those e-mails were published by WikiLeaks in the months leading up to the election.
"Into this misleading “Russia hacked the election” narrative, the press and the Dems injected a second explosive allegation — or at least an explosive suspicion that they’ve wanted us to perceive as a credible allegation meriting a serious investigation. The suspicion/allegation is: Not only did Russia hack the election, but there are also enough ties between people in the Trump orbit and operatives of the Putin regime that there are grounds to believe that the Trump campaign was complicit in Russia’s hacking of the election.
"Transparently, the aim is to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s election victory.
Finally, the third prong, without the support of which the stool would collapse: the impression that the FBI has been feverishly investigating what is said to be the Trump campaign’s collusion in what is said to be the Russian hacking of the election. This reporting is designed to get you saying to yourself: “Why would there be such a zealous investigation by FBI agents — in addition to several other intelligence and law-enforcement agents — unless there really were grave reasons to believe the shocking election-hacking conspiracy narrative?”
"Thus, details about investigative activity have been leaked to the media. The press and the Democrats then exploit the leaks to spin the “Trump complicity in Russian election-hacking” story. It seems not to matter how objectively ill-conceived the Russian election-hacking claim is, or how woefully insufficient the purported Trump–Russia ties are to support an inference of campaign collusion in the hacking. The specter of an investigation — breathless media reports of FISA-court applications, wiretaps, surveillance of agents of a foreign power, and mysterious servers; painstaking analysis of shady financial transactions involving Russian banks and funding streams — seems to make the outlandish conspiracy impossible to dismiss out of hand." . . .
"Now that they’ve been called on it, the media and Democrats are gradually retreating from the investigation they’ve been touting for months as the glue for their conspiracy theory."