How the Trump-Russia story was buried - 2020-09-16
The biggest political story of 2016-19 was largely wrapped up this August, and it only made a blip in the news. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) published the final volume of its enormous investigation into how the Russian government influenced the 2016 election, this time focusing on how the Trump campaign was involved (what has become known as "Russiagate"). Remarkably, the committee is led by Republicans due to their Senate majority — a reasonable sign it was a credible investigation. Since then, there has been a steady drip of reporting about Russia's apparent effort to influence this year's election, like President Trump's own Treasury Department sanctioning a Ukrainian friend of Rudy Giuliani for allegedly doing just that.
This volume of the report is nearly 1,000 pages long, but at bottom the story is pretty simple. Essentially, the suspicion your average ordinary liberal had from the start was correct. The Trump campaign did conspire in secret (as well as openly) with Russian intelligence. The Trump campaign knew Russia was behind the email hacking of Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee, and very likely coordinated with WikiLeaks about the emails being dribbled out in a fashion calculated to inflict maximum damage to Clinton.
It's peculiar that the resolution of this story — which dominated front pages for months on end — has not gotten more attention. Part of the explanation, no doubt, is the coronavirus pandemic, ongoing economic crisis, and looming election. But another is how the Russiagate story hits the blind spots of practically every American political faction. Many liberals and conservatives succumbed to paranoia about the story, while many leftists took that paranoia as proof the story was nothing. So it was buried.