See, Simpson’s got nothing. Even if we had not learned that the dossier is a partisan opposition-research screed, the Trump–Russia narrative it spouts is a house of cards. But here’s the thing: Good investigative journalists who dabble in partisan politics can be great at making nothing look like something.

I know this from my former life. All trial lawyers must be versed in this dark art — hopefully more to guard against than practice it. It is a particular danger with prosecutors. That is why the law builds in due-process safeguards like reasonable doubt, the presumption of innocence, and the right to counsel. The ability to make nothing look like something sinister is why it is famously observed that a prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich in the grand jury, where these safeguards do not apply.

You know where else those safeguards have no application? In the black hole we call “counterintelligence investigations” — such as Trump–Russia. And in investigative journalism.