Anonymously sourced “news” has struck again: Long-time FBI chief and now-Special Counsel Robert Mueller is prowling around the US intelligence community, “as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.” The unnamed sources told the Post that the investigation into Trump began after former FBI director James Comey was fired.
When Comey had America’s attention before the Senate, he willingly outed himself as the leaker of a now-famous memo, in which Trump told Comey “I hope you can let this [probe into fired NSA Michael Flynn] go;” accused the president of defaming him and the FBI; and said he believed he was fired because of the Bureau’s investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and sneaky Russian operatives.
In other words, Comey did not pull any punches. But the experienced law enforcement official and former prosecutor refused to say that Trump had “obstructed justice,” as the Post now alleges in their latest bombshell report.
When asked whether he thought Trump had obstructed justice, Comey told West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, “I don’t know. That’s Bob Mueller’s job to sort that out.”
Of course, until Mueller actually tells the world the president committed a crime, the Post’s reporting based on the accounts of “five people … speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly,” is still basically hearsay.
“We briefed the congressional leadership about what Americans we had opened counterintelligence investigation cases on,” Comey testified, “and we specifically said the president is not one of those Americans, but — that there was no other investigation of the president that we were not mentioning at that time. “
Mueller’s track record is as close to flawless as it gets. After receiving the Purple Heart for his time in the Marines during the Vietnam War, he served in the US Attorney’s office for a dozen years, and was selected to work in President George H.W. Bush’s Justice Department before eventually being nominated to lead the FBI by another Republican, President George W. Bush, in 2001. The Senate confirmed his appointment 98-0. ‘Seems unlikely, in other words, that Mueller would let slip any hot details about his quest to loose-lipped “officials” who might turn around and leak to the media.
A spokesman for one of Trump’s attorneys fired back at Wednesday’s fresh round of allegations: “The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal.”
Comey himself even blasted anonymously sourced mainstream media reports, including those from the New York Times that claimed Trump confidants were in cahoots with the Russians, as “not true.”
The Post and the Times have published their own fair share of fake news articles. The Post, for example, wrote that Russian hackers had breached the Vermont electric grid. It would’ve been a big story if it weren’t for the minor hiccup that it was hugely overblown. Similarly overblown was a Post “scoop” that individuals in Trump’s inner circle were “persons of interest” in an FBI probe, which could mean any number of things, including that the person was someone “mentioned once speculatively.”
While the Washington Post basks in the glow of praise from establishment Trump critics desperate for cause to impeach the 45th US president, the rest of us will have to sit idly by — in the dark.