The Clinton can is as full of worms as her harshest critics ever imagined it was, and now the worms are turning. Washington is agog, liberal and conservative alike, as the details of the spreading story of confusion, chicanery and crime in Hillary’s campaign for president emerge from the dark and fetid places so abundant in the capital.
Hillary thought she had the presidency in the can, as her friends in Hollywood might have put it, but it turns out that there was no room in the can for a mere presidency. There were too many interesting worms.
It’s turning out that there was in fact Russian meddling in the election last year, and it was not meddling in behalf of Donald Trump, as Hillary and the Democrats have been so loudly decrying for months, but meddling in behalf of the little lady late of Little Rock.
Two tales of chicanery are hotly pursuing Hillary and prominent figures in her campaign. The first is the uranium scam, the purchase of certain assets, arranged and managed by Canadian “facilitators” who greased the path of these assets to the Russians with enormous donations (the grease) to the Clinton Foundation, and even a speech for Bubba in Moscow. He pocketed a cool half-million dollars for reworking an oldie and not even necessarily a goodie. This was a transaction that had to be approved by the State Department, and who better to approve it than a secretary of State.
The FBI discovered this grease moving back and forth in a vast bribery scheme — bigger even than the vast right-wing media that could make up sleazy stuff about a president and a White House intern. The existence of this vast bribery scheme was not disclosed to the agencies of the government examining the details of a transfer in 2010 of American commercial nuclear assets to Russia.
There was no attempt by the FBI to break up the bribery scheme, and five years later, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and President Obama’s Justice Department disclosed a plea bargain to settle the case with the Russian managing the bribes on a convenient Friday afternoon when the story could be put quietly to sleep, where it slumbered until the Hill, a daily newspaper on Capitol Hill, shook it awake last week.
Conveniences, if not conspiracies, had to be served. Mr. Obama and his secretary of State were hard at work “resetting” U.S.-Russian relations, and the FBI, then under direction of Robert Mueller, was going easy on the investigation. Hillary and her campaign were saved from exposure lest national interests be compromised. What was good for Hillary was good for America. It’s a continuing source of amazement how coincidences like this work in a swamp.
Not that Mr. Mueller, a rampart of rectitude in the nation’s capital, famous as the lawyer who never emasculates an ethic, would suffer anything questionable, but as Holman Jenkins Jr. observes in The Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Mueller has the means, motive and opportunity to obfuscate and distract from matters embarrassing to the FBI, while pleasing a large part of the political spectrum. He need only confine his focus to the flimsy, disingenuous but popular (with the media) accusation that the shambolic Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.” And so it came to pass.
The uranium scam, which requires concentration to follow all the twists and turns, leads inexorably to “the dirty dossier,” which, being about sex, does not require such concentration, because sex is never about technicalities.
This is the dossier retailing lurid tales about naked ladies cavorting with the Donald without interruption even when nature called. Just as Bubba educated inquiring minds about the mechanics of oral sex, so Hillary now educates a later generation about golden showers that require no plumbing.
Hillary’s campaign had a high old time with the tales, spinning them along to eager media just before the inauguration of President Trump. Hillary and the Democrats were outraged, of course, aghast at details of the Russian romp, with endless tut-tuts at Donald Trump for so defiling traditional values with such untraditional behavior. Distraught Democrats hardly knew what to say, but said it anyway.
But such stories rarely survive the light of day, and it turns out that Hillary’s campaign lawyer, one Marc Elias, brokered a deal between the Hillary campaign and the Democratic National Committee and Fusion GPS, a Washington dealer in campaign dirt, to make up the smarmy stuff. Now a lot of reporters, some at The Washington Post and some at The New York Times, are complaining that Hillary’s lawyer lied to them. Heaven forfend!
Did somebody say collusion with Russians?
• Wesley Pruden is editor in chief emeritus of The Times.
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