Watergate comparisons are in the air but a big difference is overlooked. Only a few days elapsed between news breaking of anonymous whistleblower allegations against Donald Trump (the actual report hadn’t even been seen yet) and Nancy Pelosi’s opening of an impeachment inquiry.
No Ben Bradlee. No weeks and months as the story developed to ponder and reflect on what it might mean. Luckily, media ranks today are overflowing with people who don’t need to labor their minds over the matters that come before them. They instantly know the answer because Twitter tells them.
And yet, once again, their rush to judgment is getting ready to blow up in their faces.
Numerous press accounts claimed falsely, even with the evidence in hand, that Mr. Trump had asked for a “favor” from Ukraine’s president in the form of “dirt” on Joe Biden. The plain words of the available transcript show the “favor” he sought was cooperation with the Justice Department’s perfectly proper investigation of the 2016 election.
Now come reports in the Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post that, at the behest of Attorney General William Barr, the administration has reached out in similar fashion to other governments, including Italy’s, Britain’s and Australia’s.
House Democrats, of course, are free to impeach over any charge that can win 218 votes, including a claim Mr. Trump sought foreign interference in the 2020 election. But they didn’t bargain on the Russia-collusion fiasco forcing its way into the drama they are trying to create. Even a daily email blast from the Trump-unfriendly Columbia Journalism Review acknowledges that the “Trump-Ukraine story, it’s safe to say, is now about much more than Trump and Ukraine.” . . .
But more important is the new outpouring of reporting that sets these questions in the broader context of a legitimate inquiry into the actions of U.S. intelligence agencies in the last presidential election. The implications are not small. Democrats may have to reconsider their selection of Adam Schiff as impeachment frontman because of his role in promoting the Russia-collusion canard. Questions will have to be asked about the motives of the whistleblower—a CIA official who dropped his highly polished bomb on the eve of a Justice Department inspector general’s report that will begin opening the lid on FBI and CIA actions during the 2016 campaign.
At least by the public, questions should also be asked about the mainstream media’s conspicuous reluctance to look into Democratic and Obama administration behavior in the Russia-collusion matter. Why, it’s almost like the press doesn’t want the subject investigated, for fear of what might be learned about the press.
Stay tuned. Flashback, March 2017: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction.”