The debate over Spygate currently comes down to the claim that it was an investigation of the Russians rather than Trump. Some Republicans listened to their briefing and came out insisting that it was all about the Russians.
And maybe if that had been the only thing that happened, "We were just looking at the Russians" would be a plausible excuse.
The context however kills that excuse as dead as disco. There's no reason to give FBI officials loyal to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt when you look at the context.
Spygate was part of a larger effort against Trump. That effort linked together the Clinton campaign, the media and assorted government agencies.
The dismissal of Spygate treats it as an isolated event. If it's an isolated event aimed at the Russians, how are we in the second year of the Mueller investigation? Why was Clinton campaign opposition research at the heart of an investigation of Trump officials?
You can't interface with Fusion GPS, an arm of the Clinton campaign, on Trump and then claim it wasn't about bringing down Trump.
The claim that Trump was being protected equally doesn't hold up when you look at the context. Instead it's fairly obvious that a dirty tricks campaign morphed into everything from eavesdropping to targeting Trump associates for criminal investigation. Now it's morphed into the Mueller investigation, an effort to create perjury and obstruction of justice traps by exploiting Trump's response to the dirty tricks campaign and treating it as a cover-up..
The context makes the claim that Trump was being protected from a Russian scheme fall apart. You don't protect a candidate with opposition research from his opponent. Nor do you then try to provide grist for impeachment proceedings to protect him.
The height of cynicism is to then follow up the defense of the FBI's actions with, "President Trump asked them to find out if it was true."
That's Orwellian gaslighting that merits even less than contempt.
When you launch a dirty tricks operation, you exploit your target's reaction to tighten the noose around him. Apply pressure, watch what happens. The investigation wasn't to protect Trump. Nor was it serving his desire to find out what was going on.
It was an effort to destroy him.
If you doubt that, don't listen to me. Or any conservative. Listen to the breathless coverage of Russiagate in every media outlet accompanied by the expectation that it will bring Trump down.
The opposition will lie to your face. But it will serve its base.
Obama Inc. wasn't going after Russia. Its administration appeased Russia. Before Hillary pivoted, she was toting a Reset Button for a deal with Russia.
It wasn't Russia they were after. It was Trump.