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May 18Liked by James Lewis

Thank you for this excellent piece. One suggestion: I'd encourage you not to ascribe beliefs to the GOP. The party and the far-right faction in particular are highly manipulative in their use of propaganda language, something that's come into full view since 2016. In your next to the last paragraph, you write that their campaign to undermine the FBI is based on their false "belief" that the FBI is a puppet of Democrats. They may or may not actually ascribe to that belief. But they certainly have a coordinated campaign to make the public believe—falsely—that the FBI is a puppet of Democrats. It's a subtle but important distinction. The GOP attack on the FBI is yet another right-wing disinformation campaign using many of the now familiar information warfare tactics, including the absurd gaslighting that the historically right-leaning FBI somehow suddenly turned liberal in 2016, as you point out. It is fundamentally an attack on the rule of law, to weaken rule-of-law institutions so those very institutions are incapable of or unwilling to hold the GOP accountable.

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