Here’s something constructive Trump could do before leaving office at noon
on January 20: he could order – demand, insist – that all classified intel
and other documents related to the origin of the Russia/election investigation
be declassified and released to the public forthwith – unredacted. From what
has already gotten out, we know that Russiagate was not a good-faith probe into
possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election, much less outright collusion
with the Trump campaign. All the evidence that has actually been obtained tells
the story of a partisan and otherwise self-interested campaign to undercut or
constrain an elected president who upset the foreign-policy establishment (although
I can’t can’t fathom why), if not drive him from office altogether.
For example, only this year we learned that in 2017 the company that originally
and allegedly confirmed that “the Russians” hacked the DNC server and leaked
unflattering emails about the Clinton campaign to WikiLeaks actually did not
know that that was the case. As Ray McGovern wrote
exactly five months ago, on May 7, 2020, House Intelligence Chairman Adam
Schiff was forced to release sworn testimony
by former FBI official Shawn Henry, head of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike,
that there is no technical evidence [emphasis added] that the DNC emails
published by WikiLeaks were hacked — by Russia,
or by anyone else.
Adding insult to injury, Schiff was able to hide Henry’s testimony
from Dec. 5, 2017, until May 7, 2020.
Why did Schiff and the former Intel officials, some of whom now have lucrative
TV commentator gigs, lead the American people all those years to believe that
Russia hacked the server, which the FBI never even took possession of or examined?
The answer won’t suggest good faith, I suspect.
Trump’s out. (I’m not sorry about that.) He could now do something decent and
leave the stage after exposing those who, to protect their political and financial
status, insanely played with fire by aggravating Russian-American relations.
Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The
Libertarian Institute, senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center
for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.
He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane
Studies, former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation
for Economic Education, and former vice president at the Future
of Freedom Foundation. His latest book is Coming