What About All Those Stories Democrats Ignored Because They Were ‘Distractions’ From Russian Collusion?

By Rachel Alexander Published on April 5, 2019

How many times in the past two years did you hear the phrase Trump or the Republicans did or said something “to distract from the Russia investigation?” Trump calls out some fake news story, it’s “to distract from the Russia probe.” The GOP uncovers a sleazy act by someone like James Comey and it’s “to distract from the Special Counsel.” Melania wears a gorgeous outfit, it’s to “distract from the Trump Tower meeting.” (We made that one up, but Google related phrases and you’ll see how often it turns up.) 

Well, now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finished his report, we know there was nothing to the accusations of Russian collusion. Trump and his campaign team had nothing to hide. In other words, nothing to distract from. 

This raises a question: What about those stories the Democrats blew off using this phony excuse? Since they weren’t actual diversions, perhaps there is something to them. Maybe it’s time to look closer at them.

The Sleazy Dossier

Many of the stories had to do with Hillary Clinton and the Clinton-funded phony dossier. Take House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). In January, Nadler claimed GOP efforts to seek emergency interviews with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI Chief of Staff Jim Rybicki and FBI counsel Lisa Page were “a desperate attempt to distract from the Russia investigation and discredit the FBI.”  

But congressional Republicans were merely trying to look into the sleazy way the dossier was obtained and used. High-ranking Trump haters at the FBI and DOJ submitted a FISA application to the court that used the dossier in order to get a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. They used it to spy on Carter Page, a Trump adviser. They didn’t find anything because there was no collusion with Russia. They claimed Page was a Russian spy. Mueller didn’t even charge him with jay-walking. 

In March 2017, Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, accused Trump of “cloak and dagger” tactics for distracting from the Russian probe. He was referring to the White House helping then-Republican House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes examine classified material. Nunes wanted to get to the bottom of the spying on the Trump campaign.

But those concerns about spying ended up being valid. The FBI admitted it spied on Page. The DOJ said it would look into the spying to see if there was any wrongdoing. GOP members of Congress objected because they didn’t like the DOJ looking into itself. Democrats said their objection was meant to distract from the Russian probe. Now that we know that’s not true, why isn’t a special counsel appointed to remove the appearance of bias? The DOJ shouldn’t be investigating itself.

The amazing irony? How many times was trying to find out how the Trump-Russia collusion probe started called a distraction from the Trump-Russia collusion probe?

Trump’s Tweeting

In November of 2017, The Guardian claimed that Trump’s tweeting about Hillary Clinton and the DNC was a distraction from the Russian probe. Trump “attempted to switch the narrative” by bringing up Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state and giving Russia 20 percent of our uranium production.

“What about the deleted E-mails, Uranium, Podesta, the Server, plus, plus … People are angry,” Trump tweeted. “At some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper. The American public deserves it!”

Why isn’t a Special Counsel looking into Clinton’s wrongdoing? Her ties to Russia? She sold 20 percent of America’s uranium production to Russia. At the same time, the Russian government gave $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. For that matter, her operatives were using Russians to help create the Trump-Russia hoax. Again, bringing up Russia was called a distraction from Russia.

Ironically, Trump was using his Twitter to distract, not from the probe, but the media. Byron York reveals in a fascinating new article how Trump was playing was playing the media and his opponents. Trump’s ranting and raving about Mueller and the “witchhunt” was understood by both Mueller and Trump to be political necessity. All the while Trump was going far out of his way to provided Mueller whatever he needed from whomever he needed, even material that was covered by executive privilege. 

If Trump was trying to distract people from the probe, why did he bring it up constantly to complain about it?

Warren’s Tripping

What about Hillary’s use of a private server for her secretary of state communications? The classified information she sent and received? Information Russia (and other countries) likely accessed thanks to her carelessness, according to Comey. If Mueller was investigating Russia’s interference in the election, how could asking why he isn’t investigating her be “distracting” from his investigation?

Interfering with an election is a serious crime.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on CNN in November 2017 that Democrats rigged the primary in favor of Clinton. Trump seized on that and repeated her claim over Twitter. Trump tweeted that Donna Brazile’s claim about the DNC throwing the election to Clinton and away from Bernie Sanders should be looked into.

Warren responded, tweeting that Trump was trying to “change the subject.” This makes no sense, because Warren brought up the rigging herself. 

The Seth Rich Murder

Rod Wheeler, a detective who looked into the murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich, accused Fox News in a discrimination lawsuit of trying to distract people from Russian collusion by running a story about Rich’s murder. Media outlets picked up on Wheeler’s claim and ran with it. And ran with it.

Sure, they dismissed anyone who discussed Rich’s murder as a conspiracy freak, but they shouted from the rooftops that the GOP and Sean Hannity were pushing the Seth Rich story to draw attention away from Trump-Russia. 

But again, there was no Trump-Russia collusion. And there’s still no arrests in Rich’s murder. 

It’d be a surprise to anyone who listens to the mainstream media, but it wasn’t even Trump or the GOP who first suggested Rich’s murder was no street mugging gone wrong. That was Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. He implied Rich leaked the DNC emails and John Podesta’s emails to Wikileaks and paid with his life. Two others involved with Wikileaks backed him up.

Remember, Clinton campaign manager Podesta did say in an email, “I’m definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it.” And it was former DNC chair Donna Brazille who said her book she was so rattled by Rich’s murder that she kept the blinds in her office closed to ward off snipers. Rich’s death a random street crime? She didn’t think so. And nobody’s going to accuse her of wanting to divert attention from Trump-Russia. (Well, then again, now that she’s a Fox News contributor … ) 

However, mention Brazille’s comments about Rich’s murder in 2017 and you were shouted down by “Russia, Russia, Russia.” The irony? Brazille thought the Russians might have been behind the murder.  

The point is: The Rich story and Brazille’s admission was dismissed with a wave of the Trump-Russia wand. Wouldn’t it be nice if the media looked into the story on its own merits? 

If Trump was trying to distract people from the probe, why did he bring it up constantly to complain about it?

Why Not Look at All the Stories That Were Overlooked

Now that the mainstream media has no more Russian collusion stories to cover — at least not without looking like idiots and digging themselves into a deeper hole — they could turn their sights on these stories and so many other stories they overlooked. After all, if you’re no longer covering Russia-Collusion 24/7 there’s plenty of time.

But we all know they won’t. Those stories don’t make Trump look bad.

 

Follow Rachel on Twitter at Rach_IC. Send tips to rachel.alexander@stream.org. 

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