The ‘Russia Hacked the Election’ Narrative Battle Continues—Are Republicans Paying Attention?

Sessions testifies at his confirmation hearing, January 10, 2017. (Reuters photo: Kevin Lamarque)

Sessions testifies at his confirmation hearing, January 10, 2017. (Reuters photo: Kevin Lamarque)

A Democratic attempt to force Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from investigating Russian meddling in the election is a ploy to make him concede a conflict where none exists.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, January 18, 2016:

I contended in last weekend’s column that the Justice Department’s inspector-general investigation, focusing on statements by FBI director James Comey in the stretch-run of the presidential campaign, is part of a carefully orchestrated Democratic scheme to win the narrative battle over the 2016 election. The inquiry into whether Director Comey’s disclosures about the Clinton e-mails investigation violated DOJ standards is merely a pretext. The real objective is to bolster the claim that Donald Trump’s triumph was illegitimate, thus undermining his presidency.

The same strategy informs the Democrats’ continued repetition of the theme that “Russia hacked the election.” Notwithstanding that Putin’s regime did not tamper with the actual voting process and that the embarrassing information released by WikiLeaks (mostly e-mails from the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta) was true, Democrats are determined to depict President Trump not as elected fair-and-square by Americans but as maneuvered into the White House by Russian “cyber-espionage.”

Now it’s the same old wine in a different bottle.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently considering Trump’s nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) to be attorney general. On Tuesday, all nine Democrats on the committee signed a letter demanding that, if confirmed, Sessions recuse himself from any investigation of efforts by Russia to interfere in the election.

Let’s once again take a step back and understand what’s going on here.

If Russia merely tried to interfere in an American election, there is no basis to call for Sessions’s recusal. There is no reason to question Sessions’s motivation and commitment to investigate and prosecute espionage by Putin’s regime. The purported conflict of interest would arise only if we accept the narrative — i.e., the fiction — that “Russia hacked the election.” Had that actually happened, then it could be credibly claimed that Trump owes his presidency, and Sessions his stewardship of the Justice Department, to Russian espionage. That would be a major conflict of interest. Thus, Democrats want Sessions to concede, in effect, that he has a powerful motive to conceal Russia’s espionage — such that he must recuse himself because we cannot trust him to lead a fair and impartial investigation. Implicitly, Sessions would be conceding — and thus cementing — the fiction that “Russia hacked the election.”

In other words, the Democrats’ latest recusal ploy has nothing to do with Sessions, just as the IG investigation has nothing to do with Comey. The objective is to engrave a story on the election: The Democrats lost not because their candidate was terrible and their policies unpopular; they lost because Russia stole the election for Trump — rendering Trump illegitimate, and implicitly obliging Americans to resist him as a Putin puppet.

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— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

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Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell gives the facts of Russian “active measures” –

One thought on “The ‘Russia Hacked the Election’ Narrative Battle Continues—Are Republicans Paying Attention?

  1. I think there is little doubt that the republican establishment not only knows, but actually a partner to it. The democrats will petition for impeachment of Trump and the republican establishment will go along with it. McCain, Rubio, Flake, and Graham will be in the lead while Mitchell and Ryan work behind the scene.

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