Remember how the Internet was going to revolutionize public discourse and make us smarter? Citizen journalists were going to bring all sorts of exciting local stories to light, since they were close to developing news the big outlets might miss, and democracy would flower as the voices of everyday folks would be welcomed into the mainstream. Oops, except that citizen journalists turned out to be crazies demanding answers about chemtrails and finding evidence of a massive pedophile ring in email mentions of pizza, and now we learn that a congressional aide went to a bunch of Trump-humping trolls on Reddit to ask for help in drafting an amendment calling for an investigation of Hillary Clinton’s many crimes. Wired has all the bizarre details of how one very excited young aide to Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz sought expert input — from a bunch of goobers in a Reddit forum — on actual legislation.dropped our jaws in wonderment as the House Judiciary Committee took a Democratic resolution requesting White House records on the firing of James Comey and added an amendment changing the bill into a request for documents on a laundry list of supposed Clinton “scandals” as filtered through Sean Hannity and Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. It was a weird dick move, but not all that out of the ordinary as procedural fuckery goes in Congress, where the majority can play all sorts of fun games. The bizarre list of demands was dumb, but well within House Republican abnorms, requesting documents on Loretta Lynch’s criminally calling her airport meeting with Bill Clinton a “matter” instead of The Crime Of The Century, as well as information on the bogus “Hillary colluded with Ukraine” story, any possible “immunity deals” offered to Clinton by James Comey, and so on.
But now we know why the list of crimes in the amendment — you can see it here — sounds like a litany of crazy shit from a rightwing message board. Because it is! Late last week, several Twitter users — they go by @regress_ceej, @espressoself, and @TrashWeightlift — noticed that a staffer for Gaetz, one of the bill’s sponsors, had asked for help brainstorming a list of Clinton crimes in the subreddit r/The_Donald, one of the main online homes for the Pepe People. An r/The_Donald user with the name “Devinm666” posted this request in a thread that has since been deleted, but has been archived here:
r/The_Donald fans were skeptical, but began helping out, and Rep. Gaetz confirmed to Wired that “Devinm666” was indeed a legislative aide named Devin Murphy, of whom the congressman is quite proud. In an email, Gaetz told Wired,
Yes, Devin is a staffer in our office […] It is the responsibility of our staff to gather as much information as possible when researching a subject and provide that information for consideration. We pride ourselves on seeking as much citizen input as possible.
That’s citizen input from an online hive of scum and villainy full of conspiracy theories, alternative facts, and lots of people whose usernames include this hilarious Pepe the Frog version of a Nazi naval flag, for laughs:
Once the Twitter detectives had more or less outed him, Devinm666 started deleting his posts from Reddit, and eventually his whole account, but screenshots and archived threads are forever. Before he left, though, he let his pals at r/The_Donald know that he had indeed made use of their suggestions (and later deleted that post too):
In another, also-deleted post, Devinm666 explained to the collected deplorables that legislation going after Crooked Hillary was
Actually quite abnormal within this Congress. Cucks abound, and they have not been defending the president. Hopefully that stops now.
Yes, he’s pretty sure the House has been Redpilled. He seems like a really fun guy, all in all. Wired found posts in which he called Barack Obama “Barry o’Islama” and a “Kenyan Muslim,” called Syrian refugees in Germany “raping savages,” and referred to the Senate Minority Leader as — get ready for some wit! — “Cuck Schumer.”
So it’s no surprise that such a fine young man would go to r/The_Donald for help with his legislative-aide homework. Along with the 4Chan board /pol (for “politically incorrect”), it’s one of the top gathering places for Trump fans, and has been a breeding ground for conspiracy theories including Pizzagate and the notion that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was the real source for all the DNC materials sent to Wikileaks, so there was obviously no Russian hacking.
And gosh, they were helpful, once they were convinced Murphy was who he said he was. So much Clinton crime!
And all of it is TRUE! Especially all the people the Clintons have killed. Oh, and also, Obamacare, which is apparently Hillary Clinton’s fault, too. And as it turns out, Wired estimates that about two-thirds of the issues in the amended document overlap with suggestions from r/The_Donald, including that list off the top of “Bigkr88’s” head (don’t worry, that “88” is absolutely benign):
The amendment also asks whether Comey had any knowledge of “the role that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice played in the unmasking of these individuals” on Donald Trump’s campaign team. This would correspond to bigkr88’s “susan rice unamsking [sic].” “Lynch obstruction” can be found in the amendment’s first point, which asks that a special counsel investigate “then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directing James B. Comey to mislead the American people.” “Falsifying/manufacturing evidence for FISA warrants” would fall under the amendment’s description of “efforts made by any Federal agency(i) to monitor communications of then-candidate Donald Trump.”
The amendment also calls for a prosecutor to investigate the origins of the “Steele Dossier” at research outfit Fusion GPS, and whether Hillary secretly colluded with Russia to spread that dossier to the media, another idea taken straight from bigkr88. The amendment passed the House Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote of 16-13, but there’s no telling whether the House will take it any further.
In the meantime, the denizens of r/The_Donald are pretty excited about their role in making history:
Yep, they’re sure the Founders are very pleased with them for being such great patriots, and also the liberals at Correct the Record are quaking in fear, because Hillary’s finally going to jail, and so is everyone who voted for her, just like the Founders wanted. Or maybe the request for documents will go nowhere and nobody will remember the time Reddit Saved America. But it happened.
Now it’s time for goofballs on the internet to really influence lawmaking: Wonkette readers must convince the House Agriculture Committee, which oversees food safety, to look into the dangers posed by canned clams in linguine.
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