Glenn Greenwald: Indictment of Clinton lawyer is also indictment of the ‘Russiagate Wing’ of mainstream media

Media top headlines September 20

Journalist Glenn Greenwald scolded the press in a withering article Sunday, writing that the indictment of a prominent Democratic lawyer is an “indictment of the Russiagate Wing” of the American media. 

Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann was accused last week of lying to the FBI by the John Durham probe investigating the origins of the “fraudulent Russiagate story he helped propagate,” Greenwald wrote. 

Glenn Greenwald scolded the press, writing that the indictment of Hillary Clinton’s lawyer is an "indictment of the Russiagate Wing" of the American media. 

Glenn Greenwald scolded the press, writing that the indictment of Hillary Clinton’s lawyer is an "indictment of the Russiagate Wing" of the American media.  (Fox News)

The indictment accused Sussmann of hiding the fact that he was working for the Hillary Clinton campaign while pushing for an investigation into supposed ties between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, via a computer server backchannel. 


“In the context of the 2016 election, in which the Clinton campaign had elevated Trump’s alleged ties to the Kremlin to center stage, this secret communication channel was peddled by Sussman — both to the FBI and to Clinton-friendly journalists — as smoking-gun proof of nefarious activities between Trump and the Russians,” Greenwald wrote in his Substack. “The FBI went on a wild goose chase to investigate Sussman’s conspiracy theory. But the Bureau quickly concluded that there was no evidentiary basis to believe any of it.”

Greenwald, a longtime critic of the sprawling Russia probe and the media’s feverish promotion of it, then noted that while it’s been “long been known that the Trump/Alfa-Bank story was a fraud,” the tale managed to help shape media coverage of the 2016 election.

“Spurred on by Hillary Clinton herself, the liberal sector of the corporate media used this fake claim to bolster their narrative that Trump and the Russians were secretly in cahoots. And the story of how they spread this disinformation involves not just the potential criminality outlined in this indictment of Hillary’s lawyer but, even more seriously, a rotted and deeply corrupted media,” he wrote. 

“The indictment reveals for the first time that the data used as the basis for this fraud was obtained by another one of Sussman’s concealed clients, an ‘unnamed tech executive’ who ‘exploited his access to non-public data at multiple internet companies to conduct opposition research concerning Trump,’” he continued. “There will, presumably, be more disclosures shortly about who this tech executive was, which internet companies had private data that he accessed, and how that was used to spin the web of this Alfa Bank fraud. But the picture that emerges is already very damning — particularly of the Russiagate sector of the corporate press.”


Greenwald feels the role media played “with the goal of manipulating the election outcome” is difficult to overstate, citing an Oct. 31, 2016, Slate piece written by Franklin Foer headlined, “Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?” as a prominent example. 

“There was, needless to say, no disclosure from Slate that it was Hillary’s own lawyer — the now-indicted Michael Sussman — who was pushing this story and providing the data to support it,” Greenwald wrote. 

“Journalists who lied most shamelessly and frequently in service of the CIA and DNC’s Russiagate narrative were the ones most rewarded by the industry,” he added, with a link to an April story he wrote slamming CNN for hiring Natasha Bertrand from Politio after she pushed the Russiagate story for The Atlantic. 

“Bertrand produced dozens of Russiagate articles for the site that were so unhinged that they made Rachel Maddow look sober, cautious and reliable,” Greenwald wrote. 

Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed to this report.

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.

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