- - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There are two sides to every coin and maybe that goes for the Russian collusion epic, too. So far we’ve seen only one side of that coin. The Mueller investigation goes merrily along trying to find evidence that Donald Trump conspired with Moscow malefactors to put the 2016 presidential election on ice.

The Justice Department will soon release the results of the department’s investigation into the Clinton email scandal, and it promises to provide at least a hint of what lies on the other side of the coin. If the department’s Democratic partisans are found to have bent the law into a shape they thought would preserve Hillary’s electability, it would be only fair to go deeper to see whether there was Justice Department collusion with Hillary Clinton. Everyone who owes a debt to the piper must pay up.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on whether Justice and FBI officials handled the Clinton email investigation above-board could be a “yuuuuge” gift to President Trump when it is released Thursday, on the president’s 72nd birthday. Mr. Horowitz has already produced evidence that fishy things happened. He issued a criminal referral in April that led to the firing of deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe for his “lack of candor” about whether and how he leaked to the press. (When regular folks fall short of candor, it’s called “lying.”)

The president has seared the Twittersphere with the incessant mantra that there was no collusion with Russia — at least not on the part of himself or his people. Well-mannered Washingtonians who complain that such mouthy tongue-lashing is unbecoming of his office forget that champions of the ring and ballot box don’t often throw in the towel without putting up a fight.

James Comey, the former director of the FBI, and Loretta Lynch, the former U.S. attorney general, are expected to be in for rough criticism for enabling Mrs. Clinton to escape prosecution for her use of a secret email server while secretary of State. They looked the other way when her team destroyed 30,000 emails and smashed their electronic devices, lest they reveal something incriminating. Mr. Horowitz has spent a year interviewing dozens of witnesses and combing through more than a million pages of documents tracking back to the 2016 election campaign.

No one can say for certain that Mr. Comey’s contradictory announcements that at various times condemned and exonerated Mrs. Clinton, and Mrs. Lynch’s manipulation of what the investigation turned up, would have cost Hillary a return to the White House. Nor can anyone say she played by her own set of rules.

The fiasco has lifted the lid on malevolent characters within officialdom, those now called “the deep state,” attempting to substitute their own choice for the choice of the American people. It has metastasized into Robert Mueller’s desperate search for evidence of Trump collusion with Russia. So far it appears that Mr. Mueller would have had better luck looking for the Loch Ness Monster in the Washington swamp where so many strange critters prosper.

Mr. Mueller’s search for wrongdoing has turned up evidence of collusion, but not by Donald Trump. Accounts of such evidence, some of it leaked to reporters who were trusted to put the right spin on it, have revealed among other things that Mrs. Clinton’s campaign paid for the discredited dossier that told of all manner of naughty indiscretions of the president. The dossier was important to getting authorization by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to spy on Mr. Trump’s associates. When truth will out, as it usually does, the evidence might show that Hillary, not the Donald, was the villain.

It’s important to remember that the election-year mischief occurred on Barack Obama’s watch. Rather than order his secretary of State to shut down her unauthorized email channel, he used it himself to communicate with her. Americans expected better from the man who was going to transform America once and for all.

There will be no final conclusion to the collusion narrative until the Clinton associates and their hidden assets in the Obama administration get the same hard scrutiny to which Mr. Trump has been subjected. Allowing the rest of the story to be swept under a rug of deceit, obfuscation and calumny would confirm suspicions that the rule of law, the coin of American liberty, was squandered.


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