Russian collusion in the 2016 election, once called the biggest political scandal in US history, turns out to be just a loose thread in something much larger and more sinister — an attempted coup. [ The Plot Against The President credits: Dir: Amanda Milius/ 92 min/ Documentary/ Abuse of Power, Corrupt Government/ 2020]
This is a bombshell documentary and essential viewing for anyone who gives a damn about the US. Director Amanda Milius — daughter of director/screenwriter John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry, etc.) — has produced a persuasive and even at times suspenseful exposition of events surrounding the Russian collusion, etc. scandal, revealing in her skillful telling something much bigger. That this film has just been released before the 2020 election makes it of potentially pivotal consequence.
What it reveals is not simply that the Russian collusion charges against Trump were false, that’s already known from the failure and abandonment of the impeachment proceedings; not simply that former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn is innocent, that’s already known from the revelation that FBI agents secretly edited his testimony to insert incriminating statements; not simply that the Trump campaign was spied on through the use of a false FISA warrant, that too has been outed. What it reveals is something much more, through the sheer constellation of evidence presented: in 2016, for the first time in US history, the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next was nearly thwarted by US intelligence agencies in collusion with the Democratic Party. That should scare the hell out you. It did me.
That is, of course, a rather bold allegation, but the people in this film testifying to this charge are not your usual talking heads — these are very high-ranking people intimately involved with events who speak soberly of what they witnessed.
The Plot Against the President is based on the book by the same name and centers around the experience of Congressman Devin Nunes, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, who led the charge in uncovering the truth. One thing that comes through in this telling is how much hinged on the heroism of Nunes and just a handful of other people: Ezra Cohen, Senior Director for Intelligence Programs, who first discovered illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign and raised the alarm; Kashyap Patel, Senior Director of Counter Terrorism in the NSC, a political detective worthy of Sherlock Holmes who ferreted out much of truth so adeptly covered up by the cabal behind these events; and a few others within the intel community who secretly and at personal risk offered information to Nunes.
There have been so many twists and turns in the now four-year ‘Russian collusion turned impeachment turned Russiagate turned intel agencies treason’ story that not one American in a hundred really understands what happened. The Plot Against the President is a first-rate corrective, tracing events from 2016 on through a combination of relevant news clips and the testimony of those involved. All the loose threads of events that alternately dominated headlines, each a momentary sensation forgotten in the public mind as soon as the next was released, are woven together by Director Milius to reveal a sinister collective pattern that few up to this point have discerned.
What has happened over the last four years is the Watergate of our time, though much worse inasmuch as it involves our most trusted government agencies and those on who we rely to investigate this very kind of thing, and worse too because so few really know the full scope of what has passed. But if you care about this country there is at least one thing you can do: watch this film and tell your friends.
“This film captures the story directly from the people who lived it, including interviews with sources who won’t provide interviews on this topic to any other film or media.”