by Daniel Greenfield, Freedom OutPost:
Dirty tricks are part of politics. But few presidential candidates have the spite and hubris to create a dirty trick that blows up the presidency even when it can no longer benefit them in any obvious way. Hillary Clinton never made history the way she wanted to. But she made history anyway.
The Steele dossier, a document produced by Christopher Steele at the behest of the Clinton campaign is ground zero for the Russia conspiracy theory that is tearing apart the country. Even the Mueller investigation has its ultimate roots in the eavesdropping carried out by the Obama administration using the dossier as evidence and the dubious and unverified claims made by Steele in the dossier.
But why did the Clinton campaign ever set out to create such a document?
The Steele dossier has been described as opposition research and it was certainly circulated among reporters in order to spread the Russia conspiracy theory in the media, but its contents were circulated more in the Obama era FBI and the DOJ, and its media rounds seemed more geared to creating stories that would justify a FISA warrant than to any serious effort to sway the electorate with its attacks.
The dossier was never convincing opposition research because its central claim, that Trump was a Russian agent, was too farfetched and detached from election issues to ever connect with voters. It required the complicity of the FBI and the DOJ, and Mueller’s sanction, to give it any credibility.
The dossier’s real role was legal, not political. It wasn’t meant for the tabloids, but to create a pretext for an investigation of Trump and his associates. And so it’s easy to see its usefulness to the Dems today.
But why create a pretext for a secret investigation of Trump before the election was even done?
The FISA warrants had always raised the possibility that the investigation was used to collect information on a rival campaign. And, because of the slow pace of declassification and the lack of a thorough release of information about exactly what was done and who was responsible, that remains a real possibility. But a recent statement by Christopher Steele raises an even more disturbing possibility.
Steele had been hired by Fusion GPS, a smear firm, which in turn had been hired by the Clinton campaign through Perkins Coie.
In response to a lawsuit, Steele admitted that, “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.”
“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”
The Steele dossier would have been mostly worthless in a conventional legal challenge of the election outcome, but it was used to launch a very different brand of “legal challenge” that is more often seen in banana republics in which police powers are abused to target the political opposition.
It is highly implausible that the Clinton campaign had hired a firm to investigate the possibility of Russian election tampering as far back as April or June. But it could have been laying the groundwork for a variety of scenarios, including a doomsday scenario in which Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump.
It’s a matter of faith among both Democrats and Republicans that Hillary Clinton never expected to lose. And there’s certainly plenty of evidence of arrogance and complacency by the Clinton campaign. But Steele’s reply offers evidence that some people in the Clinton campaign had a doomsday plan.
To understand why, consider the unique natures of both the Clinton and Trump campaigns.
The Clinton campaign wasn’t just a candidacy thrown together a year or two before an election. It was Clintonworld, a political network going back decades, an interface between government, charity and political campaigns, with loyalists whose entire careers had been built around the Clintons. There’s been nothing quite like it in American history. And it all depended on one unappealing politician. Hillary.
Clintonworld had been badly burned by Hillary’s loss to Obama. The Clinton Foundation wasn’t just about Bill and Hillary. It gave Clintonworlders their own embassy with an international presence, employment opportunities and networking. It was the royal court in exile of the Clintons and it allowed them to maintain an army of loyalists to launch yet another bid for the White House.
A second defeat would be catastrophic because it would kill Clintonworld leaving behind an army of unemployed and unemployable Clintonites with egg on their face after having lost yet another expensive election and burned through another vast fortune of donor cash. And few in the golden halls of Clintonworld wanted to take the fall for Hillary’s poor people skills and lack of popular appeal.
They needed a potential election defeat to be illegitimate even before it happened.