Here’s something constructive Trump could do before leaving office at noon on January 20: he could order – demand, insist – that all classified intel and other documents related to the origin of the Russia/election investigation be declassified and released to the public forthwith – unredacted. From what has already gotten out, we know that Russiagate was not a good-faith probe into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election, much less outright collusion with the Trump campaign. All the evidence that has actually been obtained tells the story of a partisan and otherwise self-interested campaign to undercut or constrain an elected president who upset the foreign-policy establishment (although I can’t can’t fathom why), if not drive him from office altogether.
For example, only this year we learned that in 2017 the company that originally and allegedly confirmed that “the Russians” hacked the DNC server and leaked unflattering emails about the Clinton campaign to WikiLeaks actually did not know that that was the case. As Ray McGovern wrote recently that
exactly five months ago, on May 7, 2020, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff was forced to release sworn testimony by former FBI official Shawn Henry, head of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, that there is no technical evidence [emphasis added] that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks were hacked — by Russia, or by anyone else.
Adding insult to injury, Schiff was able to hide Henry’s testimony from Dec. 5, 2017, until May 7, 2020.
Why did Schiff and the former Intel officials, some of whom now have lucrative TV commentator gigs, lead the American people all those years to believe that Russia hacked the server, which the FBI never even took possession of or examined? The answer won’t suggest good faith, I suspect.
Trump’s out. (I’m not sorry about that.) He could now do something decent and leave the stage after exposing those who, to protect their political and financial status, insanely played with fire by aggravating Russian-American relations.
Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute, senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest book is Coming to Palestine.