The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewPat Buchanan Archive
Will Russiagate Backfire on the Left?
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

The big losers of the Russian hacking scandal may yet be those who invested all their capital in a script that turned out to based on a fairy tale.

In Monday’s Intelligence Committee hearings, James Comey did confirm that his FBI has found nothing to support President Trump’s tweet that President Obama ordered him wiretapped. Not unexpected, but undeniably an embarrassment for the tweeter-in-chief.

Yet longer-term damage may have been done to the left. For Monday’s hearing showed that its rendering of the campaign of 2016 may be a product of fiction and a fevered imagination.

After eight months investigating the hacking and leaking of the emails of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta and the DNC, there is apparently no evidence yet of Trump collusion with Russia.

Former Director of National Intelligence Gen. James Clapper has said that, as of his departure day, Jan. 20, he had seen no evidence of a Russia-Trump collusion.

Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell also made that clear this month: “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.” Morell was a surrogate for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

But while the FBI is still searching for a Trump connection, real crimes have been unearthed — committed by anti-Trump bureaucrats colluding with mainstream media — to damage Trump’s presidency.

There is hard evidence of collusion between the intel community and The New York Times and The Washington Post, both beneficiaries of illegal leaks — felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

While the howls have been endless that Trump accused Obama of a “felony,” the one provable felony here was the leak of a transcript of an intercepted conversation between Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador.

That leak ended Flynn’s career as national security adviser. And Director Comey would neither confirm nor deny that President Obama was aware of the existence of the Flynn transcript.

So where do we stand after yesterday’s hearing and eight-month FBI investigation? The Russians did hack Podesta’s email account and the DNC, and while the FBI has found no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians, it is still looking.

However, the known unknowns seem more significant.

How could DNI Director Clapper and CIA Director Morell say that no connection had been established between Trump’s campaign and the Russians, without there having been an investigation? And how could such an investigation be conclusive in exonerating Trump’s associates — without some use of electronic surveillance?

Did the FBI fly to Moscow and question Putin’s cyberwarfare team?


More questions arise. If, in its investigation of the Russian hacking and a Trump connection, the FBI did receive the fruits of some electronic surveillance of the Trump campaign, were Attorney General Loretta Lynch, White House aides or President Obama made aware of any such surveillance? Did any give a go-ahead to surveil the Trump associates? Comey would neither confirm nor deny that they did.

So, if Obama were aware of an investigation into the Trump campaign, using intel sources and methods, Trump would not be entirely wrong in his claims, and Obama would have some ‘splainin’ to do.

Is the FBI investigating the intelligence sources who committed felonies by illegally disclosing information about the Trump campaign?

Comey would not commit to investigate these leaks, though this could involve criminal misconduct within his own FBI.

Again, the only known crimes committed by Americans during and after the campaign are the leaks of security secrets by agents of the intel community, colluding with the Fourth Estate, which uses the First Amendment to provide cover for criminal sources, whom they hail as “whistleblowers.”

Indeed, if there was no surveillance of Trump of any kind, where did all these stories come from, which their reporters attributed to “intelligence sources”?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any role in the Russian hacking scandal. But the Justice Department should demand that the FBI put the highest priority on investigating the deep state and its journalistic collaborators in the sabotage of the Trump presidency.

If Comey refuses to do it, appoint a special counsel.

In the last analysis, as Glenn Greenwald, no Trumpite, writes for The Intercept, the real loser may well be the Democratic Party.

If the investigation of Russiagate turns up no link between Trump and the pilfered emails, Democrats will have egg all over their faces. And the Democratic base will have to face a painful truth.

Vladimir Putin did not steal this election. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lost it. Donald Trump won it fair and square. He is not an “illegitimate” president. There will be no impeachment. They were deceived and misled by their own leaders and media. They bought into a Big Lie.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Russia 
Hide 34 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. MEexpert says:

    Republicans are their own worst enemy. In a case like this Democrats always unite to try to bury a Republican. In Monday’s hearing several crimes surfaced. These crimes were committed by the intelligence community. Yet not one Republican pushed James Comey to investigate these crimes.

    Several questions come to mind. If there were no surveillance of Trump campaign, how did the intelligence community know of these conversations and deals and who leaked them to the press. Both felonies. Republicans failed to push James Comey on that. Isn’t it odd that the intelligence community can deny categorically that the previous administration did not surveil Trump personally, or Trump Campaign, in such a short time. Yet the investigation of interference by Russia in the 2016 campaign has been going on for the past eight months and still no conclusion. Obviously, the intelligence community is working for the Democrats , not against them.

    One of the Democrats brought up the question of foreign agents, since some people received payments. However, no Republican had any courage to bring up about people being Israeli or Saudi agents. AIPAC should have been brought up. Clinton Foundation was used as a conduit for these illegal donations to the Clinton campaign.

    Unless all Republicans speak with one voice, the establishment will keep beating up on them. They also have to look out for McCain and Graham.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Joe Franklin
  2. David says:

    “The Russians did hack Podesta’s email account and the DNC…”

    I’m surprised Mr Buchanan believes that.

    It seems like a kind of barter. The Russian-hating side tells 5 tons worth of lies, and Pat Buchanan buys a few pounds just to make them feel better.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  3. Karl says:

    I read Patrick J. Buchanan to be noting that a federal law was broken.

    I sincerely suggest that Mr Buchanan write out the facts he sees, and further make an allegation that this-or-that specific federal law was broken by persons unknown – and sign the allegation under penalty of perjury, and pay a notary’s fee to get the paper turned into a pro forma piece of evidence.

    Then, put the said affidavit into an envelope (with mint postage in amount of 49 cents) addressed to the Foreman of the Currently Empaneled Federal Grand Jury, typically at Federal District court building. A local lawyer might assist Mr Buchanan with advice about mechanical details.

    the Grand Jurors are in the business of running such allegations to ground, Mr Buchanan. And they have very broad powers of investigation.

    And almost unlimited autonomy.

  4. LondonBob says:

    Trump should have fired Comey, he should have appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton foundation. Been naive, normally he knows to fight tooth and nail.

  5. In Monday’s Intelligence Committee hearings……………..

    There was no truth, no honor and no intelligence anywhere in that room.

  6. KenH says:

    Is the FBI investigating the intelligence sources who committed felonies by illegally disclosing information about the Trump campaign?

    Comey would not commit to investigate these leaks, though this could involve criminal misconduct within his own FBI.

    Then this constitutes dereliction of duty and a conflict of interest with director Comey and Trump is within his rights to fire him.

  7. I think It is almost certain that Obama requested Britains GCHQ to tap Trump and turn over the data.

  8. JD says:

    There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the Russians are the source of the Podesta hacks. Assange has denied it. Now that the CIA has expressly admitted that they can make hacks appear to come from Russia, there’s no reason at all to believe it.

    On the other hand, NSA documents prove that Trump WAS under electronic surveillance, at least during the first of the Obama years—and there’s little reason to believe that that ended.

    Buchanan still puts way too much faith in The Official Narrative and the testimony of demonstrated liars who have been caught red-handed saying things that aren’t true. I’m surprised to see him still so naive.

  9. Everyone plays their assigned role.

    For a century American citizens increasingly turned to Washington DC for the stories and Narratives on which lives are based.

    That trend is over.

    Now, everywhere we look we see evidence of pettiness, of naked arrogation of power, of frank incompetence and criminality. The harder the Left tries to paint Trump as a buffoon, the more their own “leaders” look like graduates of Clown College.

    From “affirmative action ‘hires’” like Maxine Waters to open crooks like Nancy Pelosi (whose husband’s business has profited wildly by crony capitalism), and from the Washington Post to the New York Times (and ABCNNBCBS,, they all increasingly make themselves look like idiots.

    The future is smaller and local. For that to happen, John Q Public has to be taught that Uncle Sam isn’t his omnipotent buddy, and Jane Q Public has to be taught that Uncle Sam isn’t her surrogate bread-winner who doesn’t demand sex or a beer.

    Sooner or later, Uncle Sam’s Mastercard will be declined at the cash register and the transition will be complete. When the denizens of Mordor-on-the-Potomac can no longer borrow with impunity, their currently plunging aura of omnipotence, omniscience and omnicompetence will “explain” their achievement of irrelevance.

  10. I guess it just has to be said over and over and over again…the principle architect of the Democratic Party’s electoral debacle in 2016 was not Assange, Roger Stone, Putin or the Russian intelligence community. Neither was it the leakers / hackers, nor, the GOP nor Trump himself.

    The overarching truth about why the Democrats were so soundly beaten in the 2016 electoral college and why we now have a erratic, frequently unhinged and often worrisome man like Trump in the presidency is simple…Hillary Clinton herself was sufficiently unpalatable to enough Americans that they couldn’t hold their noses and vote for her. Couple that with the DNC’s corrupt nominating process which alienated progressives and made them either stay home or vote for the Green Party candidate, Ms. Stein, and you have a Trump presidency.

    Trump simply would not be president today but for the erstwhile and malignant efforts of Hillary and the DNC. End of story.


    • Replies: @Stonehands
  11. LondonBob says:

    If the Russians were doing their job then they certainly hacked them, as did many other actors. The question is whether the Russians handed the information to Wikileaks or did someone else. Of course many seek to influence foreign elections, including the US, so why only focus on Russia’s?

  12. @MEexpert

    Rand Paul has already spoken out about known IC crimes:

    PAUL: I think that we know one thing for sure, that the Obama administration did spy on Flynn. Now, whether it was direct or indirect, somebody was reading and taking — a transcript of his phone calls and then they released it.

    It is very, very important that whoever released that go to jail, because you cannot have members of the intelligence community listening to the most private and highly classified information and then releasing that to The New York Times.

    There can only be a certain handful of people who did that. I would bring them all in. They would have to take lie detector tests. And I would say, including the political people, because some political people knew about this as well.

    But we need to get to the bottom of who is releasing these highly classified conversations. And if the president was surveilled, he probably wasn’t the target. I don’t know that he was or wasn’t. But if he was, they probably targeted someone in a foreign government, but then they listened to the conversation with Americans.

    But our government’s talking to foreigners all the time. We can’t allow people in the intelligence committee to release the contents of that informing to the media.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  13. virgile says:

    Trump should have brought Hillary to justice by re opening the email issue. He had pity for her after her failure and did not want to humiliate her further. He was mistaken. Hillary is back in force manipulating all her high level contacts to get her revenge.The trouble is that if the FBI finds no link between Trump and the Russians, this time she may bring the whole democratic party down.
    Trump should immediately order the re opening of the Hillary’s case and hopefully have her locked up for good. A witch is only neutralized when she loose her broom.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Eagle Eye
  14. utu says:

    Where is DOJ and Sessions? I thought that once Trump takes over DOJ he would be able to get things done on this front. Like Clinton’s email or legal or illegal surveillance by Obama. If Trump wants to survive he must start using power he got with the office. So how do we explain this:

    Now Trump’s White House follows Obama’s lead telling court NOT to locate more of Clinton’s emails

    • Replies: @MEexpert
  15. MEexpert says:

    Now Trump’s White House follows Obama’s lead telling court NOT to locate more of Clinton’s emails

    As I have said many times, instead of draining the swamp, Trump is drowning in it.

  16. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Allegations of Russia doing the hacking is a deliberate media distraction from what was hacked i.e.

    1) Saudi Arabia funded Isis (and the CIA gave them AA missiles).

    2) Clinton groveling to the banks in exchange for campaign funding.

    3) weird cults at the heart of the political elite used to control politicians through blackmail

    Whenever someone mentions Russia and hacking mention one of those three things depending on what you think the person you’re talking to would be most effected by.

    • Replies: @KenH
    , @Eagle Eye
  17. If the investigation of Russiagate turns up no link between Trump and the pilfered emails, Democrats will have egg all over their faces. And the Democratic base will have to face a painful truth.

    This is wishful thinking. The Republicans kept a long investigation of Hillary on Benghazi that lead to nothing in that particular area. Did it leave any eggs on the face of Republicans? No. The fishing expedition did lead to the discovery of the private email server, which help did Clinton in. So if the Democrats found nothing in this investigation, it will have no negative consequences for them. As a Trump fan, however, it would be prudent to worry about what this investigation could accidentally unearth.

  18. KenH says:

    In Monday’s Intelligence Committee hearings, James Comey did confirm that his FBI has found nothing to support President Trump’s tweet that President Obama ordered him wiretapped. Not unexpected, but undeniably an embarrassment for the tweeter-in-chief.

    Perhaps Obama did not order it, but how else can Clapper and Michael Morrell definitively state that there was no collusion between Russia and Trump if not from information gleaned from wiretaps? There’s simply no other way unless Trump’s communications became an open book to certain members of the Obama administration and it couldn’t become an open book without wiretapping.

    The Russians did hack Podesta’s email account and the DNC, and while the FBI has found no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians, it is still looking.

    From reports I’ve read a number of intelligence agencies hacked Hillary’s private server, including Russia, but I know of no ironclad and incontrovertible proof that Russia hacked John Podesta and the DNC and funneled it to Julian Assange. All we have are allegations which Pat B disappointingly considers hard evidence.

    Talk radio says that the ongoing investigation trying to find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia is just the establishment’s way of telling Trump he’s not the boss and better think twice about draining the swamp and implementing his populist agenda.

    Comey is obviously doing the bidding of the deep state apparatus.

  19. KenH says:

    1) Saudi Arabia funded Isis (and the CIA gave them AA missiles).

    Not air to air missile? ISIS has no air force unless the CIA gave the Saudis air to air missiles.

    • Replies: @Richard S
  20. Richard S says:

    Anti-aircraft, or ground to air, I think

    • Replies: @KenH
  21. KenH says:
    @Richard S

    Oh, then that makes sense. Sounds like surface to air missile (SAM) batteries.

  22. ya says:

    What’s even more disturbing is the Clitonista mafia colluding with CNN and all other extremist new sources to rig the Primary Election for Cliton. If any cares to look back, all respectable polling data showed Tmp beating Cliton. I son’t like Trump at all, but revile the Clitons and their snobby minions. Trump won, and I will defend Democracy against the Democrats lies and anti-American attempt at regime change.

    Cliton and Snob-Left are the liars and losers and THEY gave Trump the Presidency.

  23. El Dato says:


    While the FBI continues to struggle with its efforts to find evidence of direct connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign, they are continuing to branch out into ever more tentatively linked matters.

    Today, it’s social media bots, with investigators looking into the question of whether sites publishing pro-Trump news, of which Breitbart News and InfoWars were singled out by sources, were “assisting Russia’s operatives” in getting Trump elected.

    This will go on a looong time.

  24. El Dato says:

    Also a reminder that tit makes scant sense for Hollowed-Out-Volcano-Dwelling-White-Fluffy-Cat-Stroking Putin to influence Winner-Take-All Presidential Elections (as opposed to influencing parliamentary elections):

    The other problem with the Democratic narrative is that it always assumes that Putin could foretell that Trump would rise in 2016 to win the U.S. presidential election and thus there was value in corrupting Trump and his entourage with money and other favors.

    The fact that almost no political pundit in the United States shared that prediction even last year would seem to demonstrate the kookiness of the Democratic assumptions and the flaws in the U.S. Intelligence Community’s “assessments” about alleged Russian “hacking” and distribution of Democratic emails.

    Those “assessments” also assume that Putin’s motives were to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign, boost Trump and – as FBI Director Comey added on Monday – turn Americans against their democracy.

    But there is a counter-argument to that thinking: Assuming that Putin read the polls like everyone else, would he risk infuriating the likely next President of the United States – Hillary Clinton – by embarrassing her with an email leak that would amount to a pinprick? Clinton herself blamed her surprise defeat on FBI Director Comey’s decision to briefly reopen the investigation into whether she endangered national security by using a private email server as Secretary of State.

    Unless one assumes that Putin’s Ouija board also predicted Comey’s actions or perhaps that Comey is another Russian mole, wouldn’t it be a huge risk for Putin to anger Clinton without ensuring her defeat? There’s the old saying that “if you strike a king, you must kill him,” which would seem to apply equally to a queen. But logical thinking no longer applies to what’s going on in Official Washington.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  25. Trump is a transition figure.

    Humpty Dumpty is already smashed on the ground. All roads lead to Washington DC becoming irrelevant, and we should wrap our minds around what that implies while there’s time to stock up on what will likely become difficult to find in coming years.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  26. @Joe Franklin

    THAT’S the Rand Paul I know and support.

    • Agree: JL
  27. Realist says:

    “Will Russiagate Backfire on the Left?” It matters not, the left will just move on to the next bullshit. This will continue through Trump’s term

  28. The hacking claims never made any sense, and change daily. The claim that Russians hacked voting machines and altered the vote is just stupid, and who should care if Hillary’s illegal server were compromised? I am thankful for whoever spilled the beans on the crooks running the country. That person performed a public service, and should be rewarded. It’s a sign of how crooked this nation is that Hillary Clinton and her cronies are not in prison and are able to show their faces in public, and whoever made the info public has to hide, and would likely be jailed if he were outed. And if Trump thought Hillary Clinton is so crooked, why isn’t he going after her?

  29. @El Dato

    Similarly, its never been clear to me that the revelations about how the DNC was colluding with the Clinton campaign to stop Bernie Sanders would necessarily hurt Hillary Clinton. The ability circumvent rules and get away with it was a feature and not a bug to a large portion of Hillary Clinton’s constituency. The Clinton’s were rarely stronger than when they were coming off scandals.

  30. @dc.sunsets

    I’ve had thoughts along the same lines: who will play Lenin to Trump’s Kerensky.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  31. @Diversity Heretic

    My wild guess is that instead of Lenin, we get Bismarck or some other hard rightist.

    I’m not sure what to make of that. We also might get William Tecumseh Sherman. THAT wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

    You know, as do I, that history doesn’t repeat but it does rhyme. I think the last 100 years were One Long Left Turn, a corkscrew if you will. I think the next 100 years are going to be a 180 degree reversal of that, and no one will be more surprised than the commies in the USA/Europe and the Fabians in the UK.

  32. @Longfisher

    Trump single handedly destroyed the globo/homo media…what a great, amusing, frolick it was!..and is!

    The democrap party and the GOPe abandoned the white working class, that’s why they both lost..

    …ahh, but this wont be settled with the ballot box.

  33. Eagle Eye says:

    Pizzagate (which has recently gone suspiciously quiet – too many Republican afficionadoes?), Uraniumgate, incestuous NPR/PBS (also involving Pizzagate players?), the entire Clinton “Foundation” operation, Barry’s fundraising during his second term (!), Democrat fat cats’ tax and regulatory issues helpfully “overlooked” by administrative cronies, blatant anti-trust violations by Democrat propaganda machines like Facebook, Google, etc. in the U.S. and particularly in Europe (which also violate U.S. laws) etc. – the list of high crimes, misdemeanors and civil violations to be investigated is legion, and it should not be hard to “roll” a few individuals quickly.

    It is important to understand the dynamics – even if an investigation cannot be assured of resulting in convictions or adverse findings against its large corporate target, the process will immediately put the opposition on the back foot and sow mistrust within the ranks of Deep State operations.

    Ironically, Trump’s team themselves may not fully realize or have internalized the sad truth that Trump’s team is the LAST BEST HOPE for democracy in the world.

    Similarly, Team Trump themselves may not quite believe the amount of sheer criminal malfeasance and contempt for the constitution among their adversaries. The Left is NOT a mirror-image of the Right in terms of its religious (yes) doctrines, end-justifies-the-means doctrine and practice, etc. For one thing, the Left consciously models itself on National Socialist and Communist precursors in Continental Europe and openly detests and derides the “bourgois” English traditions and the U.S. Constitutional system that embodies those traditions and cannot exist without them.

    This is the time where the Deep State is finally trying to “break out” to rule untrammeled by even a semblance of democratic process.

  34. Eagle Eye says:

    3) weird [Pizzagate child rape and murder] cults at the heart of the political elite used to control politicians through blackmail

    Reading historical annals from almost any country or era, one is struck by the theme of royal favorites whose peculiar lives, attributes and personal foibles – well-known to contemporaries – would have spelled ruin if perpetrated by ordinary subjects not enjoying special favor. Similar “flawed courtiers” are commonly encountered in the retinue of senior corporate managers.

    Often, the nature of their personal flaws and/or other personal attributes (e.g. foreign citizenship, religious affiliation, physical handicaps, etc.) are such as to preclude the “flawed courtier” from challenging the ruler’s position directly, thus further guaranteeing undying loyalty.

    What at first seems like a paradox – why would a king allow his hard-won image to be tainted by the shenanigans of “flawed courtiers”? – makes eminent political sense upon further reflection. Flawed courtiers depend on ongoing protection from the ruler which in turn gives the ruler a “handle” ensuring unquestioning and symbiotic loyalty that could not be expected in an upstanding official not afflicted with such personal “flaws.”

    The minute the flawed courtiers go “off the reservation,” protection from the top would cease and they would find themselves exposed again to the bitter winds of social opprobrium and exclusion.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Pat Buchanan Comments via RSS
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement
The Surprising Elements of Talmudic Judaism
The Shaping Event of Our Modern World
Becker update V1.3.2
How America was neoconned into World War IV