As Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline (a Democrat) forges a path decrying the FBI’s firing of an employee who is easily one of the top 10 agents to have brought public disrepute to the bureau, Sharyl Attkisson’s question is worth pondering: “What would the intelligence community’s ‘insurance policy’ against Trump look like?”
Assume, for the sake of argument, that powerful, connected people in the intelligence community and in politics worried that a wildcard Trump presidency, unlike another Clinton or Bush, might expose a decade-plus of questionable practices. Disrupt long-established money channels. Reveal secret machinations that could arguably land some people in prison.Please consider a voluntary, tax-deductible subscription to keep the Current growing and free.
What exactly might an “insurance policy” against Donald Trump look like?
The “insurance policy” phrase comes from one of the tweets that have gotten agent Peter Strozk in trouble for the disturbing partisanship they reveal from somebody investigating a political subject. Anonymous sources have whispered context to reporters that they insist shows Strozk was simply using the phrase as an example of taking care of something before an unlikely event makes it too late. Attkisson’s hypothetical treats it as less accidental — that is, as reference to a program agents were putting in place in case Trump was elected.
As with everything else in our divided country, we face two plausible realities:
- Partisan bureaucrats used their positions to stack the deck against a much-hated political figure (who happened to be the candidate of the party they despised) and allowed themselves to overstep to a previously inconceivable degree in part because they were so sure that their candidate would ultimately win and nobody would ever be the wiser.
- A long-shot candidate, with decades in the public eye as a sleazy businessman and reality show star, looked for help anywhere he could get it, even with a hostile government, and worked with foreign agents to manipulate the American public and possibly even cheat directly in an election.
Let me correct my phrase above: These two possibilities are both implausible realities in the sense that, whichever one you pick, the other seems like an unprecedented danger to our society that nobody would have thought possible in the United States.
My view is that the currently available evidence leans strongly in favor of option 1, but picking one or the other isn’t my purpose, here. Rather, my point is that reasonable people can go in completely incompatible directions in their understanding of this controversy, and it doesn’t help us bring our country closer to either the truth or a reconciliation when a congressman is so clearly invested in the division.