It was a Google Alert that notified me I was part of what was then the latest Republican conspiracy theory.
The message, in mid-January, pointed me to a column by Rep. Jim Jordan, a very conservative Republican from a very Republican district in Ohio, posted on the very conservative site Newsmax. Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach before entering politics, had drawn up a list of “18 top questions to be answered about Russia and the FBI.” I was Question No. 16.
In his introduction to this list, Jordan noted, “The American people deserve to know the extent of Russian interference into our free elections.” Yet for weeks, Jordan had been one of the leading Republicans decrying the investigation of the Trump-Russia scandal led by special counsel Robert Mueller. His 18 questions contained not one query about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s covert attack on the 2016 election, nor did they consider any of the multiple interactions between the Trump campaign and Russians.
Jordan’s main focus was a very different claim: that the FBI had secretly plotted to keep Donald Trump from winning. It was a manifestation of what has become the dominant line of attack as conservatives seek to torpedo the Trump-Russia investigation.