Legal scholar accuses media of 'willfull blindness' to Obama spying on Trump

GWU law professor Jonathan Turley says unraveling of Russia probe 'one of biggest stories in decades.'

Updated: July 27, 2020 - 8:53am

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Legal scholar Jonathan Turley, a self-described liberal who testified against President Donald Trump's impeachment, is scolding the media for "deliberately ignoring the facts" showing the Obama administration used false Russia collusion allegations to justify spying on his campaign.

"Willful blindness has its advantages," the George Washington University law professor wrote in a weekend column for The Hill. "The media covered the original leak and the collusion narrative, despite mounting evidence that it was false. They filled hours of cable news shows and pages of print with a collusion story discredited by the FBI. Virtually none of these journalists or experts have acknowledged that the collusion leaks were proven false, let alone pursue the troubling implications of national security powers being used to target the political opponents of an administration."

Turley is one of Washington's most respected legal voices, the only scholar to testify at both Bill Clinton's and Trump's impeachment proceedings and one who has represented and taken the side of Democrats and Republicans alike depending on the case.

He's also been a favorite of cable news shows and news interviewers for three decades, which makes his sharp criticism of the current media all the more telling.

"The Washington press corps seems engaged in a collective demonstration of the legal concept of willful blindness, or deliberately ignoring the facts, following the release of yet another declassified document which directly refutes prior statements about the investigation into Russia collusion," he wrote. "The document shows that FBI officials used a national security briefing of then candidate Donald Trump and his top aides to gather possible evidence for Crossfire Hurricane, its code name for the Russia investigation."

"It is astonishing that the media refuses to see what is one of the biggest stories in decades," Turley added. "The Obama administration targeted the campaign of the opposing party based on false evidence."

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