Scandal Questions Never Asked, Much Less Answered

Sometimes the hysteria of crowds causes them to overlook the obvious. Here is a series of 12 questions that do not seem to trouble anyone, but the answers to these should expose why so many of the people today alleging scandals should themselves be considered scandalous.

1) Had Hillary Clinton won the election, would we now even know of a Fusion GPS dossier? Would assorted miscreants such as Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Lisa Page, Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele, or Peter Strzok now be under a cloud of suspicion? Or would they instead have been quietly lionized by a President Clinton grateful for noble services in the shadows rendered during the campaign?

2) If Clinton had won, would we now know of any Russian-supplied smears against Donald Trump? Would a FISA judge now be complaining that he was misled in a warrant request? Would likely Attorney General Loretta Lynch be reassigning Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr for his consultations with Fusion GPS operatives? Or would Russian operatives alone be likely, at an opportune moment, to threaten to leak to the media that they had given salacious material to Clinton operatives to ensure her election, and thus they were to be owed for their supposed help in ensuring a Clinton victory? Would anyone be now listening to a losing candidate Donald Trump making wild charges that he had been smeared in the closing days of his campaign by leaks of a Clinton cabal that drew on Russian help?

3) Are any Russian related interests currently still donating millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation? Why is Bill Clinton not being asked to speak by various groups—including those with Russian-ties—for $500,000 and above per talk? Is he now less persuasive than he was between 2009 and 2015?

4) Why did Andrew McCabe believe that two Democratic political action funds, one controlled by Clinton “best friend” Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, donated a total of $675,288 to his wife’s campaign for a rather obscure state senate post? What percentage of Jill McCabe’s actual campaign budget did the $675,288 comprise? And why after her defeat would Andrew McCabe still not recuse himself from directing FBI inquiries into allegations of (likely next president and past generous benefactor) Hillary Clinton’s prior improper use of an email server while Secretary of State? Does quid pro quo refer really more often to simultaneous benefactions or rather sequential ones?

5) What is the qualification for lying or giving false information to FBI investigators, and did the information supplied to the FBI by Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin concerning their knowledge of the use of Hillary Clinton’s private server qualify? Did Christopher’s Steele’s false pledges not to leak any information shared with the FBI to news sources qualify—at least at the level by which the FBI charged Michael Flynn for allegedly lying to their own investigators? Did Andrew McCabe qualify when he told his FBI superiors that he had not been a background source for news stories? What is the FBI’s own internal criminal bar of lying to or providing false information to Congress or government agencies or courts or leaking classified information? Did James Comey qualify when he testified that he had himself never given background interviews (a.k.a., anonymous leaks) to news organizations nor known other FBI agents to do so, or when he testified to Congress that he certainly did not draw up a memorandum exonerating Hillary Clinton from criminal indictment before he interviewed her or when he deliberately leaked several memoranda, possibly classified, taken from confidential conversations with the president?

6) What would have happened had the FISA court justices been apprised by the FBI and the Justice Department that the submitted Steele dossier was a) paid for by Hillary Clinton, b) impossible to verify by the FBI, and 3) the sole source for news stories that were being used in circular fashion to corroborate the dossier’s veracity?

7) Why did Bruce Ohr not disclose to his superiors that he had met with the compiler of the anti-Trump dossier, Christopher Steele, as well as Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, who had hired Steele? Why did not Ohr disclose on government-mandated ethics forms that his spouse, Nellie, had worked for Fusion GPS on the anti-Trump dossier during the election? What are the criminal and civil penalties for deliberately misleading auditors, if any? Why has Ohr not been put on notice by authorities that he violated such statutes and could face charges?

8) Why is Christopher Steele not under indictment and facing extradition as a foreign agent for a) interfering in a U.S. election, b) colluding with Russian interests to obtain information deemed damaging to a U.S. presidential candidate, c) lying to the FBI about his own disclosures of FBI sensitive material related to the dossier to news organizations? Did Steele’s collusion efforts and interference in a U.S. campaign differ much from, or exceed, the attempts of Russians currently indicted by Robert Mueller?

9) Why did Mueller, at the beginning of his special counsel investigation—to ensure against even the appearance of partisanship or conflicts of interests—not insist of potential hires: a) that they had not donated to either 2016 political campaign, b) that they had not represented past clients who were involved either with the Clinton or Trump organizations or were even tangentially involved with ongoing scandals concerning either Clinton or Trump, c) that were not from his own law firm WilmerHale, which was currently representing, or had in the past, individuals who may well be caught up in future special counsel investigations?

10) Why did Samantha Power, in a non-intelligence affiliated job as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, request classified surveillance of American citizens and others to be sent to her office with the names unmasked, eventually at a rate, on average, of one request per day in 2016? And why and how could she testify that some of those daily requests for unmaskings made in her name were not in fact made by her? If not, then by whom and for what purpose and why with such frequency? And why did the requests continue after the 2016 election and during the transition?

11) Why were the major figures—James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, and Peter Strzok—who have in the past investigated, or are currently investigating or overseeing investigations of collusion charges against Donald Trump, all previously involved with investigations of Hillary Clinton? Have they exercised the same methods in the Trump collusion investigation that they used in the past in which Clinton was exonerated?

12) Which members of the Obama administration were aware of, or gave orders to, members of the Obama Justice Department and the FBI to use the Steele dossier to obtain FISA court orders to surveille American citizens? And who had access to transcripts of such surveillance, and why were the names of particular American surveilled then unmasked and how were they later disclosed to the media?

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Photo credit: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004, and is the 2023 Giles O'Malley Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson is also a farmer (growing almonds on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author of the just released New York Times best seller, The End of Everything: How Wars Descend into Annihilation, published by Basic Books on May 7, 2024, as well as the recent  The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump, and The Dying Citizen.

Photo: President Trump and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images)