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When Americans think of government corruption, it is government officials getting the public’s money confused with their own money. Maybe a politician takes bribes to do the bidding of someone with interests before the government. It can also be a civil servant taking bribes to do someone a favor. Alternatively, it can be the government insiders colluding with outside players so that the insiders make money from a government contract or a government program.
While those are examples of corruption, the problem goes beyond people in government stealing from the public. In the general sense, corruption is an indifference to the rules that supposedly govern society. The corrupt do not see the rules as limits on their behavior, but as obstacles to overcome in pursuit of their goals. They have no respect for or allegiance to the spirit of the law. More important, they have no respect for the morality that lies behind the law.
This contempt for the spirit of the law is on display in the ongoing trial of Clinton lawyer Michael Sussman. He is charged with lying to the FBI about his relationship with the Clinton campaign. He brought the phony Russian collusion hoax material to the FBI claiming he got it as part of his work on cyber security. According to the FBI, he said he was not representing anyone with regards to the issue. In truth he was working for the Clinton campaign on exactly this issue.
Charging someone with lying to the government is usually a way to leverage a lawyer or public official into cooperation. The charge itself is relatively minor, but it has serious career consequences, so it is a good tool to use on a lawyer. In this case, it appears the prosecutor is using it as a way to build a larger narrative to explain how the biggest hoax in American history was perpetrated on the public. This trial provides the general plot structure for the rest of the story that will come later.
That plot structure is this. Sussman was running a group of dirty tricks people for the Clinton campaign back in 2016. Using a lawyer for this provides them with some confidentiality in the event things go wrong. Sussman hired a group called Fusion GPS and some other freelance operators to manufacture dirt on Trump. They would then feed this to reporters on their payroll. Franklin Foer is someone they used to put these fake stories into the mainstream media.
The way this fraud worked is Sussman went to the FBI with fake documents alleging a secret channel between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. As a partner in a connected Washington law firm, he gets priority access to senior officials in the FBI and the Department of Justice. Meanwhile, others are planting the story with their people in the media with the claim the FBI is already looking into it. The media hacks then call the FBI for comment and add that to the story.
There is nothing new here. Political actors have been using friends in the media since the dawn of the printing press. The reason we have the Sally Hemmings fable is that opponents of Jefferson slandered him in the media of the time with the claim that he was having sex with his slaves. In this age, when all of the mass media is in the pocket of the uniparty, the fake news is mostly about promoting the aims of the party and distracting people from that which is bad for the party.
An interesting wrinkle in this case is that Sussman got the fake documentation for the Trump-Russia link from one of the goons on his dirty tricks squad. That trickster was a person named Rodney Joffe, who was some sort of IT consultant. He was the guy who allegedly created the fake documentation. He was also an FBI informant, according to the various filings in the case. This raises an obvious question about who actually concocted the Russian collusion hoax.
That may be the point of this trial and the long running Durham investigation, which promises to continue for many years. By pinning the scandal on Sussman, they can also pin the scandal on Hillary Clinton. That serves the interests of the uniparty by making sure she does not run again on 2024. More important, it paints the FBI as the innocent party, hoodwinked by those dastardly Clinton people. Sussman has been paid to take the fall, which is why he is not cooperating.
That may seem a bit Machiavellian, until you remember that the senior staff of the FBI were engaged in wholesale spying on the Trump campaign. There is no question that two dozen or so characters involved in the Spygate scandal defrauded the courts and violated their oath of office. One guy was charged in that for doctoring an e-mail that was used to defraud the court. Otherwise, the rest have sailed off into lives of comfort, having done their part for the cause.
Then you have the Mueller investigation. This was engineered by people in the Department of Justice and the FBI who knew at the time that the claims about Russian collusion were manufactured by the Clinton campaign. That is something else that has come out in the Sussman trial. The FBI knew the documents provided were fake and they knew the source of them. Since the source was a confidential FBI informant, it is possible that the real source was the FBI all along.
All of this sounds like the grubby political intrigue that has distinguished the Clinton era of politics, but it also highlights the depravity of the political system. Across the upper reaches of the political system is a deep contempt for the rules. The claims made about Nixon fifty years ago have now become the culture of Washington. The charge against Nixon was that he corrupted the institutions for personal gain. Today the institutions corrupt anyone unfortunate enough to have contact with them.
Corruption has consequences. Once a ruling class stops respecting its own rules, the rest of society soon follows. For example, it was the Russophobia created by the Clinton dirty tricks campaign that opened the door for the neocons. Five years of demonizing Putin and Russia to attack Trump made it easy for the usual reptiles to launch this pointless war against Russia. Every time you buy gas or food, you can thank Hillary Clinton for the sticker shock.
Another example to consider is the media. One of the things revealed in the trial thus far is the degree of collusion between members of the elite press and the people running the dirty tricks campaign. Fusion GPS was founded by journalists. None of the “reporters” who participated in this hoax have been punished. Many of them have been given awards for their “reporting” on the story. The media is every bit as mobbed up as the people on the political class.
One final note on the Sussman trial. The judge in the case is connected to the FBI gangsters exposed during Spygate. He also used to pal around with Sussman when they were learning how to be crooks together. The jury has several Clinton donors, to make sure the jury remains impartial. For those old enough to remember, the trial now has this level of objectivity and probity. Anyone thinking Sussman gets convicted should calibrate their expectations accordingly.
The lack of public interest in this case is due, in part, to the media organs of the party being told to ignore it. The bigger reason is that the staggering level of corruption in the ruling class has been normalized. People are no longer shocked or offended by the lying from Washington. It is the rare times when someone speaks honestly that grabs the attention of the public. The Sussman trial confirms the obvious. America is a kleptocracy run by a thoroughly corrupt ruling elite.
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