A bombshell report by the Washington Post indicates that a suspected fake document created by agents of the Russian Federation played a significant role in influencing FBI Director James Comey’s decision to preemptively announce an end to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails without consulting with the Department of Justice, which set in motion the events that would lead to his infamous letter to Jason Chaffetz a week before the election that changed everything.
That public announcement — in which he criticized Clinton and made extensive comments about the evidence — set in motion a chain of other FBI moves that Democrats now say helped Trump win the presidential election.
But according to the FBI’s own assessment, the document was bad intelligence — and according to people familiar with its contents, possibly even a fake sent to confuse the bureau.
The Russian document, received by the FBI in March 2016, referenced an alleged email from then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz to Leonard Benardo of the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundation, which claimed that Attorney General Loretta Lynch had been in contact with Clinton advisor Amanda Renteria and that Lynch had promised the Clinton camp that she “would not let the FBI investigation into Clinton go too far.”
The referenced email – a copy of which has never been obtained and appears to have never existed – prompted Comey to go forward with his public statement criticizing Secretary Clinton but still decline to press any charges, fearing that if the Russian document came to light it would compromise the integrity of the investigation and the FBI in general.
But by August, the FBI had determined that the document was unreliable. The named parties all said in separate interviews that they had no idea who the other person was and never had any communication with them.
Soros, Clinton, the DNC, and an Obama official. All the ingredients of a Breitbart conspiracy theory or an Alex Jones fever dream bought hook, line, and sinker by the Director of the FBI.
While it’s impossible to know how the election would have played out if Comey hadn’t taken this document seriously, it just goes to show that the Russian Federation’s efforts to tilt the 2016 election in the favor of Donald Trump were much more intense and wide-ranging than we once believed.
From the hacking of the DNC servers to the phishing of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails to the enormous social media trollbot disinformation campaign to the feeding of fake documents to the FBI, it’s obvious that Russia did everything in its power to get Trump elected – and now we’re paying the price.
This news makes it even more imperative – if that were possible – that the investigation into President Trump and his potentially treasonous ties to Russia proceeds unhindered. If he and his cronies were involved in this attack on the integrity of our democracy, the punishments must be swift and severe.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.