- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Conservatives cheered the premier of “Obamagate,” a “verbatim theater” production about the FBI Russia collusion investigation from Irish filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney.

The 71-minute production released Tuesday on YouTube features Dean Cain and Kristy Swanson reprising their roles as star-crossed FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and former “Dynasty” star John James playing ex-FBI director James Comey.

Like previous McAleer-McElhinney projects, all the dialogue comes from actual sources — emails, testimony and text messages — with humor mixed in through the music and staging.

For example, Mr. James wears a Boy Scout uniform, while Paul Michael Nieman, actor playing ex-CIA director James Brennan, carries a teddy bear.



Those involved with the film contrasted it with the Comey-friendly Showtime limited series “The Comey Rule,” which the Media Research Center’s Alexis Moutevelis said “twisted the facts and included dialogue counter to written transcripts.”

“Showtime is spending tens of millions of dollars to tell this lie and that’s why we’re creating Obamagate, to set the record straight,” Mr. McAleer told MRC. “Whereas Showtime and ‘The Comey Rule’ rely on dramatic fiction written by left-wing Hollywood writers, Obamagate is non-fiction … We are giving viewers the word-for-word facts so they can decide for themselves.”

The filmmakers raised $150,000 through crowdfunding to pay for the production, which was filmed onstage at the Hudson Theater in Los Angeles.

The conservative legal group Judicial Watch, which obtained through public-information requests some of the records used in the script, signed on as co-producer.

Mr. Cain and Ms. Swanson previously starred in the 2019 play “FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers,” another McAleer-McElhinney project.

Hollywood in Toto film critic Christian Toto praised the film in his review for the Daily Wire.

“Strzok and Page spoke so fluidly about their Trump rage, never worrying their texts could come back to haunt them,” he said. “Those less familiar with the FBI’s negligent behavior regarding collusion, and that’s being kind, may be aghast at what they see. That’s on purpose.”

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