The New York Times broke the story late Thursday night with this headline: “Justice Dept. Is Said to Open Criminal Inquiry Into Its Own Russia Investigation.”
Then came the front page sub-headline: “The move is likely to raise alarms that President Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies.”
When one follows the lead to the actual story inside the paper, the headline remains the same, but the subheadline shifts to a slightly different version, although making the same charge, reading: “The move is likely to open the attorney general to accusations that he is trying to deliver a political victory for President Trump.”
Move now over to this story from Fox, with a report on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. The story says of a clearly shocked Maddow:
This is the news that honestly, we've been sort of expecting for some time or thinking that if things got really bad, it might come to this,” Maddow told her viewers. “As of tonight, according to The New York Times, it has come to this.”
The liberal opinion host dismissed Durham's investigation, criticizing what she described as a “frame job” and a "false flag operation" of the Trump campaign.
“That is the conspiracy theory that the attorney general of the United States appears to have been going around the world trying to prove,” an almost out of breath Maddow continued, later calling Durham's probe “embarrassing.”
This, mind you, from the MSNBC conspiracy-theorist-in-chief who has spent the last two years insisting on the Trump-Russia collusion fairy tale. Now, confronted with the real possibility of criminal wrongdoing by the Obama administration and the use of the FBI, CIA and Department of Justice to target an Obama/Clinton political opponent - Donald Trump - Maddow gulps and, but of course, accuses the Trump Justice Department falsely of doing exactly what the Obama Justice Department actually may have done.
So too does The New York Times play this game.
Amazingly, The Washington Post refrained, merely citing this statement:
These reports, if true, raise profound new concerns that the Department of Justice under AG Barr has lost its independence and become a vehicle for President Trump’s political revenge,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement. “If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election, the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage.
Got that? Hyper-partisans Schiff and Nadler are accusing Barr and Durham of doing what in fact they themselves are doing - using the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees as a “tool of political retribution” against Donald Trump for having the audacity to win an election.
And right on cue, The New York Times and MSNBC take the Schiff/Nadler talking points and run with them.
Truth? Justice? Hard facts of what did and did not happen? Who needs that when you can run a Star Chamber “impeachment” trial denying due process to the President of the United States and, effectively, half the country?
Interestingly, Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera, himself a lawyer, went on Fox & Friends the morning after the bombshell news of the now-criminal investigation broke and said this:
I predict in the next week or two, you're gonna see a run on criminal defense attorneys in Washington, D.C. by people further up the food chain in the previous administration.
Did Barack Obama know that the intelligence agencies were seeking to delegitimize his successor? At what point did he know? What did he authorize? What role did he play?
Which is to say: What did Obama know and when did he know it? Geraldo also took notice of the way the Times tried to play the story with those sub-headlines, saying this, again as reported by Fox:
Rivera took issue with the New York Times's reporting about Durham's probe on its front page Friday. He said that below the headline, the Times "minimizes" the story by writing that there is "fear that Trump is using the Justice Department to chase perceived enemies.
"Immediately they undercut the motive for the investigation. They don't care about the fact that the power of the intelligence agencies was used to undermine the President of the United States. They care that they're going to get caught for the exaggerations and the lies," he said, stressing that the Mueller probe did not find that Americans colluded with Russians to interfere in the 2016 election.
It is safe to say that we are in for a series of “breaking news bombshells”, and that based on their performance thus far, the Trump-hating media will be out there frantically trying to discredit them. Not to mention, as those stories out of the Times and MSNBC indicate, will Attorney General Barr and U.S. Attorney Durham now be dragged through the mud and slimed with charges of doing what in fact Obama officials appear, to have actually done.
Buy the popcorn and settle in.