If you read the newspapers, tuned into the cable TV pundits or received an email from one of the Democrats running for president, you’d swear Donald Trump was back to his treasonous ways.
The Hill reports,
All that was missing was an annoying OMG text exclamation punctuating the unfounded claims that Trump might violate the law in 2020 by accepting intelligence on a political rival from a foreign country. The inference, of course, is that it would come from a hostile power such as Russia or North Korea or Iran.
Actually, what Trump told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos was that he’d consider taking intelligence dirt about a rival from a friendly ally. (Norway was the actual example he used.)
Sound familiar? That is EXACTLY what the Obama administration did in 2016. It’s something no one in the media or the political space grasped during the tsunami of breathless reaction that followed the interview.
In July 2016, the Obama administration accepted unsolicited information from Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat who just happened to have helped arrange a $25 million government donation to the Clinton Foundation years before. Downer said that he had witnessed a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, bragging about some dirt that the Russians supposedly had on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Though Downer’s claim was reported two-plus months after the alleged event, and was only hearsay gathered at a London tavern, the Obama administration gave it to the FBI which, in turn, thought it was weighty enough to justify opening a counterintelligence case against the lawfully elected Republican nominee for president.
In other words, the Democratic administration accepted dirt from a foreign friendly and used it to justify investigating its GOP rival.
And then, OMG, they did it again just a few weeks later.
In October 2016, less than three weeks from Election Day, the Obama Justice Department approved a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to spy on the Trump campaign through its former adviser, Carter Page. The primary evidence supporting the warrant? A dossier written by a foreign friendly named Christopher Steele, a retired MI6 intelligence agent from Great Britain. Of course, the Justice Department and the FBI forgot to tell the courts that Steele actually was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign, but that’s a small detail for the purpose of this column.
For the second time in three months, the Obama administration took dirt on Trump from a foreign ally — this time, from one in Europe — and weaponized it for a criminal investigation.
No offense, but the media really are giving Trump way too much credit for the idea he floated on ABC News. The real scandal is that he’s just plagiarizing a playbook already used by Obama, Clinton and those 2016 Democrats.
And every Democrat and media pundit who accuses Trump of treason for considering taking dirt from, say, Norway in 2020 has now, by extension, accused the Obama administration of committing treason in 2016.
Of course, you’d never know that from the way the media and politicians have treated it.
Continue reading at The Hill: