Is there something in the water down there in Weston? Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Democratic National Committee endgame simply won't end.
Another tortuous week for the Florida congresswoman. She finds herself smack in the middle of the newest Democratic National Committee scandal -- the DNC helping to fund a dossier compiled by a British spy. The dossier contained monstrous accusations about Donald Trump.
What did Wasserman Schultz, forced out as DNC chairwoman at the party’s national convention in 2016, have to do with this? She has been pushed since Tuesday to answer for what her role was in the Trump-Russia Dossier.
Not surprisingly, over and over again she robotically claims she knew nothing about it. See the video clip on this page.
Washington Post reported Tuesday that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC paid millions to the law firm Perkins Coie, where Democratic lawyer Marc Elias worked with the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to construct the fake memo, compiled by British spy Christopher Steele.
Yet Clinton and Wasserman Schultz are somehow both innocent?
Former Clinton officials kicked back at the controversy via Twitter and cable news on Wednesday, arguing that compiling opposition research is standard for all political campaigns.
Former Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said on CNN that Clinton “may have known” about the dossier, but “the degree of exactly what she knew is beyond my knowledge."
The memo is at the center of several investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and it may have been used by the FBI as part of its investigation into allegations that Trump campaign officials had improper contacts with Russian officials. Former FBI Director James Comey has said none of the allegations in the memo have been verified.
The bombshell report from The Washington Post has emboldened Trump, who Wednesday lashed out at the “fake dossier” and described it as the cornerstone of “the whole Russia hoax.”
In fact, The Washington Times made a case Thursday for major collusion with the Russians -- not the Trump camp colluding, but the Democrats. Said the Times, "Virtually all of Mr. Steele’s sources are Russian, meaning Democrats have been indirectly colluding with Moscow disinformation to bash the Trump team ... Since the dossier’s first memo hit town in June 2016, none of its core collusion charges against Donald Trump has been proved. There has been no confirmation by any public pronouncement or a leak from Congress’ two intelligence committees or from special counsel Robert Mueller."
Said DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa, “Tom Perez and the new leadership of the DNC were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization. But let’s be clear, there is a serious federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and the American public deserves to know what happened.”
Wasserman Schultz's short, rehearsed denial hasn't taken her out of the woods, because unlike Perez, as we know from her hacked email, she was up to her neck in DNC decision-making.
David Damron, a spokesman for Wasserman Schultz, also denied knowing about the arrangement. “She was not aware of anything related to this research arrangement,” Damron said.
Democratic officials have said the national party was not empowered to make campaign decisions, particularly at a time when it was racked by controversy over leaked emails and while its chairwoman was being forced out.
Trouble is, Wasserman Schultz's involvement in Clinton's campaign is speckled through those leaked emails like spots on a trout.
Trust me, her DNC reign is doomed to haunt her at least a while longer.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith