The Tyee has published my article True or False, Trump Charges Have Ruined Him. Excerpt:
On the afternoon of July 16, 1973, I was watching the Watergate hearings and learned that Richard Nixon had routinely taped his conversations in the Oval Office. In the four decades since then, I cannot recall any other day that compares with the political earthquake of the afternoon of Jan. 10, 2017.
CNN broke the news that both Donald Trump and Barack Obama had learned from U.S. intelligence agencies last week that a private investigator was reporting Russian sources claimed to have deeply compromising information about Donald Trump’s finances and personal behaviour.
Then Buzzfeed published the full 35-page report that prompted the intelligence briefing, a compilation of memos said to be written by a former British intelligence agent now running a private agency. The agency allegedly had been hired originally by Trump’s Republican adversaries to dig up information on him. Then the Clinton campaign had used the agency for the same purpose.
The rumours had been flying all through the months leading up to the election, fuelled by Trump’s kind words for Vladimir Putin and reports of his Russian business dealings. (Trump says he has none; some of his adversaries say they’re extensive). But the U.S. media seemed far more obsessed with Hillary Clinton’s emails, and then with FBI director James Comey’s late intervention in the election with his announcement that he was again looking into those emails.
True or just truthy?
In this post-truth era, it was hard to tell if this was even truthy, let alone true. The website Lawfare asked its readers to take a deep breath and withhold judgment for the time being, and offered good reasons for doing so. The charges have not, after all, been corroborated.
But Lawfare also noted that it has had the same document for a couple of weeks, and others have known about it for much longer. That, in turn, implies that a small group of politicians, bureaucrats or others — what Glenn Greenwald calls the “deep state” — have been engaged in their own campaign against Trump.
True or not, the charges have enormous implications for U.S. and world politics for at least the next four years.
This evening The New York Times has published an article on the background of the "dossier." I don't think this story is going to die.