C all me crazy, but I think it’s all about Obama.

Not only did the former president set in motion the investigation probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, his administration also leaked a trail of evidence that may or may not implicate a Trump campaign employee. Call me crazy, but I think that’s using law enforcement and intelligence agencies to punish political opponents. Call me crazy, but I think Obama and his team should be investigated for using the levers of government to undermine the next president of the United States.

Let’s recap for a moment. Paul Manafort, the short-lived campaign manager for Trump? Robert Mueller and his team found that he was a shady political operator who may have violated tax law by stashing away some of his money in the Grenadines. But he worked for an unsavory Ukrainian politician! And that guy was an ally of Putin! Is there a law that political consultants must only work for saints and would-be political messiahs? A similar law would preclude a number of attorneys from making a living.

What about George Papadopoulos, the pentasyllabic “foreign policy advisor” who somehow latched on to the Trump campaign and then tried to make the most of it by setting up “meetings” with “Russian officials” that never actually came to pass? He’s been charged with lying to the FBI about meetings with certain Russian operators. It is impossible to know, but from the outside it looks like he may have been the target of a Russian intelligence operation. One gets the impression that Papadopoulos was a novice who got in way over his head and then fibbed in a panic.

Mueller’s latest catch is former national security advisor Michael Flynn. He’s been charged with doing his job — and then lying about it. As a member of Trump’s transition team, when Flynn discussed new sanctions imposed by the outgoing Obama administration with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, he was doing his job. When he asked Kislyak to vote against a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements, he was doing his job. Why he lied about doing his job is the question du jour. Wait for the book in the fall. But only rank partisans argue that Flynn was doing anything but his job.

So Mueller and his team have got nothing. As Andrew McCarthy, the former federal prosecutor who put the 1993 World Trade Center bombers behind bars, points out in the National Review, it is customary for prosecutors to charge defendants with the “most serious readily provable charge” and then negotiate to reduce the charge if the defendant cooperates. That Mueller has charged Flynn with only a “process crime” (lying to the FBI) means the special counsel has uncovered no “major scheme” (i.e., Trump campaign collusion with the Russians).

So, again, the outgoing Obama administration scatters crumbs to the FBI and its media echo chamber about nefarious dealings the Trump campaign may have had with Russian interlocutors, dealings that assuredly led to the stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton. (I mean, how else could it have happened?) Then those same bureaucrats keep the flame hot when the Trump team moves into its new offices, leaking “dossiers,” and raising false flags, while their friends (and sometimes soul mates) in the media make Paul Manafort’s toupee look really gauche on the evening news. I’m no great Trump fan, but that’s playing politics with government. (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 689)