The Bulwark did a review of Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-CA) new book Midnight in Washington, in which the House Judiciary Chairman cites "chapter and verse of the nefarious behavior, taking the reader through one sketchy episode after another" in Donald Trump's campaign and White House.
The review of the book calls it a "gripping inside story" behind the Russia investigation and the first impeachment involving Trump's extortion of the Ukraine president for a political favor.
The Republicans attacks and simultaneous Fox News commentaries have turned Schiff into a kind of supervillain and "the boy who cried Russia." Trump's affinity for calling the Democrat "shifty Schiff" dominated his Twitter feed. But as the Bulwark review points out, that Robert Mueller and the truth revealed by his report had no chance up against the entire GOP, Fox News, the White House and attorney general.
"Mueller's findings, released in April 2019, should have been devastating to Trump but the potential explosiveness was defused by the machinations of Attorney General Bill Barr, who, serving as the president's Roy Cohn, skillfully misled the public about what Mueller had found," wrote the Bulwark recalling the skillful way in which Trump managed to evade accountability.
Mueller's team documented the Trump campaign's crimes to be "more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other's actions or interests."
"But of such informed and responsive interplay between Russia and the Trump campaign there was plenty, as Mueller's report makes clear," the review assessed.
He recalled Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and the "midnight run" to the White House. The following day Nunes revealed the completely legal surveillance of Trump's transition team as they spoke to international leaders prior to being sworn in. "Unmasking" became the buzzword for weeks with very few fully understanding what it meant, but it sounded sinister.
The whole Nunes press conference did nothing to vindicate Trump, much less prove his claim that former President Barack Obama spied on his 2016 campaign. Nunes even made that fact clear in his press conference, the Bulwark recalled. But it perfectly distracted from any legitimate investigation in the House Intelligence Committee over Trump's Russia links by allowing Republicans to claim all motivations by Democrats were deceitful.
The book then moves into the discussion of the bribery case and the first impeachment of Trump. While the effort began as a bipartisan search for truth," the Bulwark explained that it became clear Republicans had to make another effort to "conceal Trump's misconduct."
As Schiff writes, "not just conceal it, but to construct a counternarrative that would devastate every truth in its path."
That would then continue throughout the rest of Trump's presidency, all the way through the COVID-19 crisis.