The republic can survive the truth, but the FBI and CIA probably can’t.

WSJ, By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Nov. 26, 2019 6:50 pm ET
James Comey, former director of the FBI, speaks in Salzburg, Austria, June 21. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg News
A forthcoming report by the Justice Department inspector general will look into the FBI’s formal handling of the Steele dossier and its launching of a counterintelligence investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign. Far more consequential, though, was the FBI’s informal role in allowing itself to be used to inject the dossier into the political sphere to spark the Russia collusion folly.
And where is the similar report on the CIA under John Brennan ? His promotion of the Russia collusion canard was bad enough. Unexamined is his role in promoting the still-secret Russian "intelligence" used to justify FBI Director James Comey’s chaotic intercessions in the matter of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The story is worth retelling. Mr. Comey’s rationale, not disclosed until after the election, we may suppose was of crucial importance to somebody who makes himself out to be such a stickler for doing the right thing. Yet his public explanations have been a tissue of absurdities. He claims the secret Russian intelligence might have leaked and discredited a Justice Department decision to clear Mrs. Clinton, but how did his usurping the DOJ’s decision improve matters? The information still could have leaked. Plus didn’t his own actions discredit the DOJ?
He says he was protecting the FBI, that an FBI decision would be more credible than a Justice Department decision. This is laughable. On the eve of the convention, the FBI was going to deprive the president’s party of its nominee even as the reviled Mr. Trump was storming to the GOP nomination? It would have been institutional hara-kiri. Nobody believes the FBI’s decision was any less foreordained than the Justice Department’s.
Making further mincemeat of Mr. Comey’s rationale, the inspector general has revealed that his FBI colleagues judged the Russian intelligence to be "objectively false" and possibly a Kremlin plant. If the Russians can fake one email chain to discredit the Justice Department, they can fake another to discredit the FBI. Again, how did Mr. Comey fix any problem?
This still-hidden Russian intelligence, we know from leaks, referred to a presumably intercepted Democratic email chain. The email chain, in turn, referred to an alleged conversation in which Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch promised the Clinton campaign she would defuse the email investigation.
The testimony on this point is murky, but it does not appear Mr. Comey or the FBI made any serious effort to establish whether such a conspiracy to obstruct justice took place. We’re left with the possibility that Mr. Comey and his intelligence brethren manufactured out of flotsam an excuse to fix the Hillary email case themselves—or knowingly exploited a false pretext gifted by the Russians to do so.
If not for his first intervention, he wouldn’t have committed his second—reopening the case shortly before Election Day. So we’re left with the possibility that Mr. Comey’s actions in response to dubious Russian danglings accidentally elected Donald Trump.
The Obama administration, after Mrs. Clinton’s defeat, shifted overnight from downplaying Russian meddling to highlighting it. We’re left with the possibility that the collusion canard was deliberately promoted to distract from what otherwise would have been the story of the century—the FBI’s harebrained intervention in a presidential election.
Mutely, and without admitting it to themselves, the permanent liberal establishment preferred insinuating that Mr. Trump was a Russian mole to looking at the truth of 2016. And yet even Rep. Adam Schiff, when pressed by the New Yorker, admitted that, if Mr. Comey’s account of his actions is accurate, it represents the "most measurable" and "most significant" way Russia influenced the election.
Wafting above all is an odor of 1963, when the press deliberately ignored Lee Harvey Oswald’s communist affiliations in favor of a distracting talking point about right-wing extremism in Dallas. Do I think the republic today can survive a full airing of the U.S. intelligence community’s inept actions in the 2016 race? Yes, and with minimal shock at this point. It’s the FBI and CIA that are unlikely to survive without undergoing a sweeping institutional housecleaning.
Which brings us to the latest inspector general’s report due in a couple weeks, itself a down payment on a criminal investigation now in the hands of U.S. Attorney John Durham. Because Washington is seldom keen to prosecute even plainly illegal leaks when Republicans are the victims, and because unprofessional credulousness in the face of dubious "intelligence" (like the Steele dossier) is not about to become a crime, the cathartic prosecutions of Obama intelligence officials that some Trump loyalists crave are unlikely to happen.
Many of us avidly await the coming revelations for a different reason: to see if the mainstream media will finally interest itself in the truths of 2016. Looming over the fourth estate is a quietly important question: whether continuing to collude in a coverup can remain consistent with commercial survival.