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Conservative writer debunks pro-Trump FBI conspiracy theory in devastating rebuke of the Republican Party

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In their desperation to insulate President Donald Trump from the fallout of the Russia investigation, the Republican Party has woven an elaborate counternarrative in which the act of investigating Russia is the real scandal. And David French, writer for the arch-conservative National Review, is finally calling out this mentality on the Right.

“It’s time to put a conspiracy theory to rest,” writes French in a new column. “It’s time to debunk a hoax.”

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The GOP narrative goes that the investigation, first started by the FBI and taken up by special counsel Robert Mueller, is a “witch hunt” manufactured by Obama administration officials to bring down Trump; that the investigation of the campaign was illegal and the warrant to surveil it obtained using partisan material; that Trump officials are being prosecuted over “perjury traps” rather than anything of substance; and that Mueller’s team is saddled with conflicts of interest that will render any findings tainted. There is no evidence to support any of this. But not only is Trump and the Fox News punditry spreading this narrative, it has formed the basis for a series of frivolous investigations by House Republicans with time and resources that could have been spent to pursue Russia.

French lays bare how insane all of this is.

“The idea that the FBI used the Russia investigation to intervene in the election to hurt Trump and help Clinton has always strained credulity,” he writes. “After all, the Russia investigation remained secret during the election while the FBI not only public reopened the Hillary email investigation, it also confirmed the existence of an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation and exposed rifts with the Obama Department of Justice — casting the FBI as heroically resisting Obama-administration pressure to avoid any ‘overt steps’ in the Clinton Foundation investigation during the campaign.”

Furthermore, notes French, contrary to the idea that Mueller is using “perjury traps,” the investigation has already uncovered damning information — including Trump’s former attorney lying to Congress about Trump’s Russia contacts, Trump’s son having a meeting in Trump Tower with a lawyer linked to the Kremlin during the election, Trump’s campaign manager having ties to a known Russian asset, and two campaign advisers allegedly having backchannels to Russia via foreign sources. And all of this took place against the context of Trump saying, “I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.”

“In less partisan times,” writes French, these contacts would “generate far more bipartisan concern. Even now, they should at the very least demolish the worst of the pro-Trump conspiracy theories.”

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“As in all investigations, the FBI and every other relevant arm of the federal government should be held to account when it departs from law or policy,” French says. “If elements of the Trump investigation were tainted by partisan bias, we need to know. But, at this point, claims that the investigation itself is inherently illegitimate should be dismissed.”

“The Trump team has surrounded the truth of its dealings with Russia with a bodyguard of lies,” concludes French. “Not a single American should find that acceptable or excusable. Let’s find the truth and confront it fearlessly. No other approach will provide the justice and transparency America needs.”


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2020 Election

HBO’s Maher taunts Trump fans over president hiding in a bunker from protesters: ‘Is America great enough for you yet?’

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In his opening monologue on Friday night, HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher both ridiculed Donald Trump and taunted his fans over reports the president was whisked away to an underground bunker to protect him from anti-police brutality protesters.

According to the HBO comedian, "As soon as some shit started outside the White House he went straight to the bunker, five floors below ground. He says he wasn't hiding, he said, I love this, it was more of an inspection -- and he didn't piss himself, he was watering his shoes."

"I tell you, deranged authoritarians and bunkers, always a winning combination," he added.

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Bill Barr and Trump desperately want to blame Antifa for violence — but they’re coming up dry so far

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President Donald Trump has turned his wrath on Antifa during the George Floyd protests, demanding Antifa be labeled a terrorist organization and accusing the movement of committing acts of violence at demonstrations. But journalists William Bredderman and Spencer Ackerman, in the Daily Beast, threw cold this week on efforts to blame the leftist group.

They found that “none of the 22 criminal complaints representing the first wave of protest charges mention Antifa in any way.”

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2020 Election

Fox News poll spells doom for GOP in Arizona

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The GOP's chances in Arizona have not looked this bad in years.

This article first appeared in Salon.

A new Fox News poll of registered voters in the Grand Canyon State shows Democrat Mark Kelly miles ahead of Republican Sen. Martha McSally — 50% to 37% — with 8% undecided.

Further, McSally's problems appear to come from within her own party. While Kelly enjoys the support of nearly 90% of Democrats, only 73% of Arizona Republicans back McSally.

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