Three little words that change everything: quid pro quo
Even casual observers of politics-as-sports realize that the Latin expression quid pro quo (“this for that”) signifies an important legal standard – a red line, if you will. Courtroom dramas, congressional hearings, and coverage of scandals all reinforce the gravity of crossing the line that in the sand.
Thanks to the appearance of the three little words in an FBI summary of a conversation between State Department undersecretary for management Patrick Kennedy and an unnamed FBI agent, the media narrative’s focus on Donald Trump’s alleged boorishness long ago has been disrupted. Even CNN took notice:
A top official at the State Department repeatedly sought to have the FBI back down on classifying the contents of an email from Hillary Clinton's private email server, documents released Monday revealed.
According to notes from interviews conducted during an FBI investigation into Clinton's email practices, Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy personally tried to convince FBI officials that the email should be declassified. One interviewee described feeling "pressured" by another FBI official at Kennedy's request.
Chris Cillizza’s headline today in the Washington Post sums up the problem facing the media/Democrat alliance:
Hillary Clinton’s email problems just came roaring back.
If the media has its way, the interruption will be brief. No doubt further operations will be executed in the coming days to drive the narrative toward bad things about Trump. But there is potential criminality here. Those three little words make all the difference in the public's mind.
Donald Trump has the perfect opportunity tomorrow to make this a centerpiece of his contention that “rigging” is how the political system operates. Charles Krauthammer made the point yesterday that the State Department and FBI responses that this was business as usual, just agencies trading views, is perfect for Trump. Rigging is how the game is played by insiders. Nothing at all unusual about quid pro quo when you're talking about the Clinton Machine.
I love the thought that Dr. K may be providing crucial help to Trump, whose candidacy he scorned for a very long time.