In sum, we have endured a two-year ordeal in which the president of the United States was forced to govern under a cloud of suspicion — suspicion of being a traitor, of scheming with a foreign adversary to steal an election. This happened because the Obama administration — which opened the probe of the Trump campaign, and which opted to use foreign counterintelligence spying powers rather than give Trump a defensive briefing about suspected Russian infiltration of his campaign — methodically forced its suspicions about Trump into the public domain.

It is not just that FISA warrants were sought on the basis of the Steele dossier, an uncorroborated Clinton-campaign opposition-research screed that the Obama Justice Department and FBI well knew was being peddled to the media at the same time. There was a patently premeditated stream of intelligence leaks depicting a corrupt Trump-Russia arrangement.

After Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, Obama, after doing virtually nothing about Russian aggression for most of eight years, suddenly made a show of issuing sanctions, seizing Russian assets, and expelling Russian operatives. He then rushed the completion of an intelligence assessment that would ordinarily have taken months to complete, so that it would be issued on his watch; and presto: The public was told not only that Russia interfered in the campaign, but that Russia did so because Putin was trying to get Trump elected. (Of course, the public was not told that Obama had known what Russia was doing during the campaign, but concluded it was too trivial to warrant a response; and the public was not reminded that, just days before the election — when Russia’s perfidy was well known to the Obama administration — both Obama and Hillary Clinton chastised Trump for daring to suggest that an American presidential election could be rigged.)