The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Secret Societies

Rich Galen

Thursday January 25, 2017

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  • There appears to be a concerted, coordinated, and continuing effort on the part of some - many - Republicans to protect Donald Trump by, if necessary, destroying the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


    As I was typing that, it occurred to me that I wasn't certain if the "I" in FBI stood for Investigation or InvestigationS.

    I looked it up. It is singular.


  • The latest move was a statement by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis) Tuesday night on Fox News' "Special Report" that there is a "secret society" at the FBI and the Department of Justice to, as the Daily Beast reported, "undermine the Trump administration."

  • Johnson went so far as to claim he had an informant claiming this society was "a group holding secret meetings off-site."

  • The genesis of this was a series of texts between a DoJ lawyer and and FBI agent who were having an affair.

  • In any event, by Wednesday, Johnson was "walking back" (that's the current Washington, DC jargon meaning "He had no idea what the hell he was talking about") saying, he did not know "what they meant" in the exchange.

  • That is current Washington, DC jargon for "I had no idea what the hell I was talking about."

  • Also, no further mention of the mystical "informant."

  • Then, taking "walking it back" to a new speed, CNN's Manu Raju Tweeted that Johnson had just told him: "It's a real possibility" the text was written in jest.

  • Even before that, the phrasing of the alleged proof of a dedicated group of Executive Branch employees plotting the overthrow of the Trump administration as having an "off-site" meeting seemed, at a minimum, odd. That's exactly the phrase used by many of the younger staff around me when they want to sneak out early for a beer.

  • I have accompanied them on a few - alright, all - of these clandestine meetings and the most subversive language usually has to do with who got a raise or bonus that they clearly did not deserve.

  • Then there is Memo-Gate. As nearly as I can tell, some Republican staffers drew up a memo suggesting there was serious skullduggery under the Obama Administration regarding Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court subpoenas. Iowa Republican Steve King Tweeted:
    "I have read the memo. The sickening reality has set in. I no longer hold out hope there is an innocent explanation for the information the public has seen. I have long said it is worse than Watergate."

  • Some thoughts: First, the memo was written by GOP staffers, so we have no idea what (or whose) agenda might be in play. When you are touting a conspiracy, everything - everything - can be twisted to fit into your theory.

  • Second, when it comes to sheer brainpower, Steve King makes Ron Johnson look like the Senator is the chairman of the Congressional Mensa Caucus.

  • Third, the "Washington Examiner" reports that "Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence efforts are providing a large boost to the "ReleaseTheMemo" hashtag on Twitter."

  • So, fourth, the Russians are helping to turn Steve King's brain into borscht, a tactic the Russians should approach with great care.

  • Russia? Don't say we didn't warn you.

  • The turning up of the heat on the Conspiracy Stove leads me to believe the Trump White House and its supporters on Capitol Hill must think the Special Counsel is closing in on someone, or some people.

  • Trump said that, with the permission of his lawyers, he would be willing to meet with Robert Mueller's team. That does not mean Trump is the target Mueller is aiming at.

  • Nevertheless, Trump's allies on the Hill are throwing everything they've got at the DoJ, the FBI, and the Special Counsel to innoculate supporters in case any further charges are brought against anyone close to (or named) Trump.

  • Democrats seem to be happy to sit on the sidelines and watch Republicans bluster and bristle in their growing frenzy to get the White House off the hook.

  • By the way. In my long association with Secret Societies, Rule #1 has always been: Don't mention it in writing.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Ron Johnson story, to the WaPo's listing of the various conspiracies, and to the Washington Examiner's piece on the Russian interest in the House memo.

    The Mullfoto is of a disappointing display at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

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