Anyone who hates the phrase “deep state” should ponder how it can be defined by anonymous leaking from inside the government. The media elite love to try to run the country between elections, especially as they use scandals to damage Republican candidates for president.

On Sunday’s “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Fox News, Mark Levin pulled out a sheaf of papers representing all the CNN, New York Times and Washington Post stories that detailed what’s going on inside special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of Donald Trump. He laid out the anonymous sourcing that gives these stories life. He made a list that underlines that Merrick Garland’s shop has a leaking problem.

No. 1: CNN on July 7: “Exclusive: Special counsel prosecutors question witnesses about chaotic Oval Office meeting after Trump lost the 2020 election.” The five (!) reporters on this story insisted “multiple sources” supported their tale.

No. 2: CNN on June 29: “Former Trump campaign official cooperating with special counsel in 2020 election interference probe.” Mike Roman is cooperating, “two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.”

No. 3: CNN on June 27: “Exclusive: Rudy Giuliani interviewed in special counsel’s 2020 election interference probe.” Says who? “Multiple sources familiar with the meeting.”

No. 4: The New York Times on May 22: “Prosecutors sought records on Trump’s foreign business deals since 2017.” Who vouches that Jack Smith issued a subpoena to seven countries? “Two people familiar with the matter.”

No. 5: The New York Times on June 29: “Investigation of Trump documents case continues after his indictment.” They found the federal grand jury was still investigating, “according to people familiar with the matter.”

No. 6: The Washington Post on June 26: “Justice Department asking about 2020 fraud claims as well as fake electors.” The Smith probe is “barreling forward on multiple tracks, according to people familiar with the matter.”

We can’t prove that all of these leaks came from Smith — or that Garland’s people pulled a James Comey and leaked it to some intermediary leaker. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? Anonymity provides plausible deniability, which breeds cynicism.

Levin’s point is that the American Bar Association has declared that a prosecutor has special responsibilities. They should “refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of a heightening public condemnation of the accused, and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting … from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making.”

We can guess from Levin’s list that this ethical rule has been stomped into a paste. “Heightening public condemnation of the accused” is all the rage. Levin says all this taints the jury pool and denies the former president due process. He urged Trump’s lawyers to raise a stink.

In a media sense, this shows the Smith probe is a sequel to the Robert Mueller investigation. Every little detail is treated like a big story. The goal back then was to keep everyone on the liberal channels yammering day after day about all the legal peril that Trump was in, and keep the dark clouds perpetually over his head for years — until it turned out that Mueller didn’t indict Trump.

Then, the liberals can’t understand why multiple politicized indictments are helping Trump keep a lead in the early Republican polls.

Meanwhile, what about Robert Hur, the special counsel on Biden’s misuse of classified documents? Guess how many Washington Post stories have spilled about Hur? Four, if you include the appointment itself. None of these pro-Biden outlets will be knocking that door down.

Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


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