Thursday, September 20, 2018


Politico reports that some Democrats are worried about an October surprise:
Democratic operatives are growing anxious that Republicans working to undermine the FBI’s Russia probe are teeing up a series of document dumps meant to gin up GOP voters ahead of the midterm elections.

After weeks of hand-wringing, President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the declassification of a slew of documents related to the FBI’s long-running investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential connections to Russia. The move came on the heels of top House Republicans revealing that they may also release documents related to their probes into Trump-Russia ties, as well as anti-Trump bias at the FBI and Justice Department.

... Democrats see a more sinister plan: to taint special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe, while simultaneously motivating Trump’s political base on the precipice of an election in which Democrats are favored to make gains....

“Oh, God,” said Jennifer Palmieri, former communications director for Clinton’s campaign. “Trump could be setting the stage for the same kind of manufactured October surprise designed to help boost his standing and undermine Mueller.”
Could Republicans release something that has a significant impact on the midterms? I suppose it's possible -- but I agree with Yastreblyansky that's there's a lot of self-gaslighting going on:
A good con man always believes the spiel, at some level, as in the thing I wanted to talk about, the plan Trump announced Monday for declassifying a host of Mueller-relevant documents, where I think they've really gaslit not just their followers but themselves—Nunes and Gaetz and Trump himself in particular. Once again, as with the Glenn Simpson testimony and the Peter Strzok testimony and the first unveiling of the Carter Page FISC application, they're going to open up a box without knowing what's in it, because they've gone and persuaded themselves, for at least the fourth, fifth, and six times during this circus, that they do know.
It's been reported that Trump hasn't read the material he just ordered released, and we know that Devin Nunes didn't read the FISA application for surveillance of Carter Page before seeking its release. But I'm not sure it matters -- even if they read the documents, they're incapable of imagining how a person who doesn't live in the right-wing bubble will react to them. They just know that the FBI and the Mueller investigation are evil, and everyone they know is equally certain of this, so the only possible reason everyone doesn't know this is that some people just don't have all the facts. All information leads to one conclusion because no other conclusion is possible! So release more information and everyone will agree!

How damaging will the upcoming document dumps be? Let's go back to the Politico story:
Trump’s directive was in line with requests from Nunes and other congressional Republicans. And it also came just days after Nunes announced his own upcoming document dump. The Intelligence Committee head said he would release hundreds — perhaps thousands — of pages from interviews the panel conducted.

The closely linked timing of the Nunes and Trump announcements raised eyebrows among Democrats, as they had spent months pleading with Nunes to release the very same transcripts.
(Emphasis added.)

Nunes thinks he's going to nail the Democrats and the Deep State by going public with documents whose release Democrats have also requested? That makes no sense.

Yes, they're gaslighting themselves.

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