Mark Tapson is the Shillman Fellow on Popular Culture for the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
If you haven’t yet seen The Plot Against the President, the recent documentary about Russiagate, and think you know the whole story of what some argue was the biggest political scandal in American history, don’t wait any longer.
Very capably directed by the courageous Amanda Milius, daughter of director/screenwriter John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry, Conan The Barbarian), The Plot Against the President stems from the book of the same title by investigative journalist Lee Smith, published in late 2019. The 90-minute documentary, released a year later, is available for rental at Amazon.com.
The must-read book and riveting, fast-paced movie tell the true story of how relentlessly diligent Congressman Devin Nunes uncovered the Democrats’ “Deep State” operation to undermine the incoming administration of then-President Donald Trump. It features interviews with such principals as Trump’s former Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka, former Trump national security official Michael Anton, Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump, Jr., Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, former Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, and Nunes himself, among others.
The plot actually began in the summer of 2016 with the FBI’s purported investigation into Russian infiltration of Trump’s presidential campaign. But in truth, it was an operation to sabotage that campaign, and the conspirators included political operatives, law enforcement and intelligence officials at the highest levels, and of course, the collusive news media.
The film begins by establishing that previous transitions to incoming presidential administrations had always been managed peacefully and cooperatively between the two Parties. This segues immediately to the Democrats, after losing in 2016, not assisting the incoming Trump team, but rather, undermining it: hyping claims of Russian election manipulation, and specifically targeting new National Security Advisor Gen. Mike Flynn, whose integrity was a threat to the Deep State.
Flynn was aware that the intelligence community was no longer serving the country, but servicing the Obama regime instead. Viewing Flynn as a consummate disruptor, the intel community realized that under Trump, Flynn was going to challenge their lack of accountability and clean house. “Of all the people who came into the White House,” declares Sebastian Gorka in the film, “Mike Flynn was the most dangerous to the Swamp.”
The film then details the FBI’s underhanded, successful attempt to squeeze Flynn out. Once he was forced to resign, the Deep State then granted itself carte blanche to launch other secret investigations into nearly everyone associated with the Trump team, including hundreds of “unmaskings” of the names of citizens under investigation.
The heightened tension of the film never flags as Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, smells a rat and begins digging beneath the surface of the FBI investigation, assisted primarily by the street-smart Trump official Kash Patel, who was giving Nunes the roadmap to uncover the Deep State plot. They began to understand that the target of the operation, carried out by what Gorka calls “Trump-hating, anti-American Democrat cabal operatives,” wasn’t only Trump, but the very institutions and legal procedures that sustain our republic.
The plot then shifts to the lurid, wholly fanciful “Steele dossier,” which became the central document for Robert Mueller’s ginned-up, years-long Russia collusion investigation. Mueller eventually provided absolutely zero evidence that Russia helped Trump win the election (indeed, it was subsequently revealed that Deep State traitor John Brennan buried evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin actually wanted Hillary Clinton to win in 2016).
The investigation was a way of trying to cover the plotters’ tracks and simultaneously damage President Trump. “The goal,” as political activist Jack Posobiec explains in the film, “was never to prove collusion. The goal was indictments, convictions, and then impeachment.”
Nunes’ and Patel’s persistent unraveling of the plot led to personal attacks against them, of course, as the Democrats and their media enablers sought to discredit the pair personally and professionally. Neither man backed down in the face of this pressure.
In fact, if the film could be said to have a hero, it is clearly Devin Nunes. “Had it not been for Congressman Nunes, had he not been willing to do this, had he not had this particular team with Kash Patel… we would not have known what happened,” states another interviewee. The film’s primary villain is Adam Schiff, who repeatedly spread the false narrative in the media that he had seen damning but classified evidence of Trump wrongdoing – evidence that never materialized, because it never existed.
Nunes states in the film, “The thing that they were investigating the Trump camp for colluding with Russians is what they themselves were doing. Not just the Democratic Party and its operatives, but the FBI.”
“We’re entering into a new era of information warfare,” adds journalist John Solomon. “The very tactics that our defense intelligence agency, the NSA, the CIA, used for years to create misinformation and propaganda, the ability to create false reality on social media and news organizations, they’ve now been turned inward on the American people.”
Regarding the state’s weaponization of false narratives against its political enemies, Michael Anton concludes in his interview, “We don’t live in the United States of America as any of us would like to understand it. I don’t live in that country anymore, and the realization of that is maybe the saddest thing I’ve ever gone through in my life.”
The Plot Against the President closes with a condemnation of the fake news outlets, the journalist-advocates, that supported the perpetration of this treasonous hoax. Donald Trump, Jr. confesses in the film that even as Flynn was being railroaded, the younger Trump still clung to a faith in American institutions like the FBI and the news media. He assumed that where there was smoke, there must have been some fire, and that Flynn must have been guilty of something or compromised somehow. Later, when he himself was smeared as treasonous, Trump Jr. realized just how misplaced and illusory his faith in these institutions had been.
Corey Lewandoski sums up the movie’s theme: “These guys have perpetrated the greatest crime against the American people ever seen. It was a coup d’état. It was an attempt to take over a duly-elected president for their own personal gain.”
It’s crucial for every American who cares about the present and future of our republic to watch The Plot Against the President. Indeed, I recommend owning a hard copy on DVD because in this current atmosphere of creeping totalitarianism under a Democrat regime, one never knows what book or film will be “cancelled” next and pulled offline by the leftist Big Tech overlords whose agenda aligns with that of the Biden administration. Don’t miss it.