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cer David Priess said that the laptop story, just as the letter asserted, had “all the classic earmarks” of Russian disinformation. That didn’t mean it was disinformation, just that it had the earmarks.

That’s not how the letter was promoted at the time, though. Nick Shapiro, a prime mover behind the missive and a former top aide under CIA director John Brennan, told Politico, “The real power here however is the number of former, working-level IC officers who want the American people to know that once again the Russians are interfering.”

No weasel words there. And the press coverage leaned heavily on the suspicions of the intelligence officials, not their lawyerly caveats.

Even more than the former management of Twitter, the letter-writers have shown they never should be trusted again.

Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review.

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