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Big Lie About Opposition Research

Don Rose 2 November 2017 3 Comments

In an administration where lying seems  to be a normal bodily function like eating, breathing and eliminating, the current big lie, promulgated by the Liar in Chief, his megaphone Sarah Huckabee Sanders and their media echo-chambers, is really huge and actually has some Democrats and other anti-Trumpers confused or wondering.

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It was emitted soon after the report that an agent for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee had hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to continue seeking negative information on Trump after a conservative website, The Washington Free Beacon, which originally hired Fusion, quit after he locked up the nomination.

It was during the second phase that the so-called “dossier” compiled by a former British intelligence agent was circulated. It describes a series of events–some of them pornographic–showing various relationships between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to intervene in the election on his behalf. Several portions of the dossier have proven true, a few untrue and many neither proven nor dismissed.

While it was long known that Fusion was originally hired by a Republican and then rehired by a Democrat, the exact identities of both were unknown until this past week. Trump and Co. immediately jumped on the issue and said in so many words that this proved Clinton and the DNC were the ones “colluding” with Russia and she should be investigated and prosecuted for hiring the firm that produced the “dossier.”

It’s utter and complete nonsense, clearly intended to muddy the waters around the Mueller investigation–which just produced its first indictments, of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman and a lesser-known associate on multiple charges .

Here are the facts: Even if Hillary herself hired the British spy to investigate Trump-Russia ties it would neither be illegal nor collusion, regardless of the quality of the dossier. It’s plain old opposition research, which virtually every major campaign of both parties engages in, hoping to find accurate, damaging information about the opponent and getting the word out. We see political “oppo” almost every day somewhere–exposing a misdeed, a lie, a sex scandal, whatever. Usually the campaign that uncovers the information doesn’t want to be associated with it so they find different ways of leaking it .

Remember Barack Obama’s 2002 US Senate campaign when the messy divorce details of both a Democratic opponent and a GOP candidate, helped him win? That’s oppo.

Most oppo does not cost millions nor involve professional spies, as did Fusion. Most firms providing the service charge less and sometimes the campaign itself does the research, which involves combing through news reports, legal cases, divorce records, interviews, personal tips and other leads. In short a glorified, intrusive, hyperdetailed Google search.

It’s legal, fair and universal–though many years ago it might be considered “dirty politics.” Well, dirty or not, it is negative politics, which, like it or not, is the norm–though it damn well better be accurate.

Love her or hate her, Clinton is not culpable. It’s up to Mueller to determine the truth in the dossier. Maybe he has already.

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Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

See and hear Johnny Cash singing The Big Light

3 Comments »

  • Observant said:

    Could just let it go already or as the Clintons would say “Move on” for pity’s sake?

    Hillary Clinton was the most seriously flawed and venal nominee in recent memory? She carried more baggage than a luggage carousel at O’Hare Airport. She had a history of trading public influence for cash dating back to Arkansas. She never articulated a coherent message as to why anyone ought to support her candidacy.

    As David Axelrod said, “Did the Russians prevent her from campaigning in Wisconsin and Michigan?”

  • Mike Buck said:

    Yeah, I agree with Mr. Observant; give it up Don. Your obsessive-compulsive rants are sounding more and more like the left-wing version of a 5 year old kid’s wish list to Santa:”It’s up to Mueller to determine the truth in the dossier. Maybe he has already.” Sure he has. And maybe Hillary Clinton will stop howling like Mishka The Talking Husky (of Blessed Memory).Not likely.

    Go back to blaming the hurricanes on Trump. At least meteorological lysenkoism is entertaining in a Serlingesque sort of way.

  • Observant said:

    Since you seem to be obsessed with Russians rigging elections, are you equally outraged by the Clintons rigging the 2016 Democratic nomination process during the primaries? Donna Brazile has claimed that the Democratic National Committee was taken over by the Clintons and the process was rigged against Bernie Sanders.

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