The Slatest

Trump Hires Fox News Legal Pundit Who Claims That the FBI and Mueller Have Conspired to Frame Him

Joseph diGenova in a January Fox News appearance.
Joseph diGenova in a January Fox News appearance.
Screen shot/Fox News

Well, will you look at this:

President Trump has decided to hire the longtime Washington lawyer Joseph E. diGenova, who has pushed the theory on television that Mr. Trump was framed by F.B.I. and Justice Department officials, to bolster his legal team, according to three people told of the decision.

That’s from the New York Times, and if you have looked at the picture above or read the headline to this post or lived in the United States during the last three years you will be able to guess where on television this theory was promoted.

Here’s specifically what diGenova has said about the Deep State conspiracy against Trump:

There was a brazen plot to illegally exonerate Hillary Clinton and, if she didn’t win the election, to then frame Donald Trump with a falsely created crime. Everything we have seen from these texts, and from all the facts developing, shows that the FBI and senior DOJ officials conspired to violate the law, and deny Donald Trump his civil rights.

Among the empirical problems with this theory:

• DiGenova was specifically arguing that the existence of disparaging texts about Trump sent between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page prove his theory about FBI bias. But Strzok and Page also sent disparaging texts about Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, and Chelsea Clinton.

• Strzok helped draft the FBI’s infamous 2016 letter about the reopening of the Clinton email investigation. And of course it was James Comey, who diGenova has called “America’s most dirty cop,” who made the decision to release that letter just days before the election.

• The Trump campaign’s publicly documented, non-fabricated connections to Russian government figures and/or Russian election sabotage include the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower to discuss Russia’s “dirt” on Clinton, foreign policy adviser George Papadolpoulos’ May 2016 boast that he’d been told Russia had hacked Clinton’s email, the conversations between Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador that Flynn later lied about, and many more. There were/are abundant reasons aside from political bias for the FBI and Mueller to investigate the issue.

• Mueller’s investigation has already resulted in five guilty pleas. Hell of a thorough frame job, if it is one!

In the big picture, here, the lesson is probably that you really can’t take anyone around Trump seriously when they say he’s not considering firing Robert Mueller. White House attorney Ty Cobb and White House spokesman Hogan Gidley have both claimed in recent days that the option is not on the table; Trump, meanwhile, has now gone and hired someone who argues that Mueller’s entire investigation is fraudulent, which would certainly cut against the idea that he has no problem with letting it play out in full because he believes it will find the truth.