PHILIP KLEIN: Confessions of a Russiagate agnostic.
Being agnostic about Russiagate is challenging for a political commentator. Russia has dominated the news for the past two years, and people on each side have passionate and confidently held views. It seems either they’re convinced that Trump colluded and attempted to cover it up, or they’re convinced that it’s all a nothingburger cooked up to delegitimize the Trump presidency.
On such a polarizing issue that’s played a central role in our political debate, it’s been difficult to take a wait and see approach before forming a strong opinion. But it’s also hard to feel confident about any narrative without knowing more.
In the absence of any report from special counsel Robert Mueller, much of the commentary involves speculation about what he does or doesn’t know. Those convinced Trump is being railroaded assume Mueller just keeps dragging out the investigation because he’s found nothing, while those convinced of his guilt assume Mueller is slowly and carefully building a case that will corner Trump.
I’ve been reluctant to get too far ahead of my skis in either proclaiming Trump’s innocence or declaring his guilt.
What’s made me particularly wary is that there has been a steady stream of stories that have been promoted as being “bombshells,” that either end up being corrected, and/or turn out upon further analysis and with the benefit of context, to be less dispositive than initially advertised.