[Ed. – Guilty till proven innocent.]
When a political figure is accused of wrongdoing, a conversation begins among journalists, commentators, and public officials. Are the charges true? Can the accusers prove it?
That’s the way it normally works. But now, in the case of the Trump dossier – the allegations compiled by a former British spy hired by the Clinton campaign to gather dirt on presidential candidate Donald Trump – the generally accepted standard of justice has been turned on its head. Now, the question is: Can the accused prove the charges false? Increasingly, the president’s critics argue that the dossier is legitimate because it has not been proven untrue.
It’s an argument heard at the highest levels of government, academics, and media.
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“Not a single revelation in the Steele dossier has been refuted,” noted Sen. Dianne Feinstein, top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, in February.
In late December, Laurence Tribe, the Harvard law professor, tweeted a message about the allegations against Trump to his followers: “Retweet if, like me, you’re aware of nothing in the [Trump] dossier that has been shown to be false.”
“The dossier has not been proven false,” said MSNBC anchor and former George W. Bush aide Nicolle Wallace in February.