Welcome to Pay Dirt—exclusive reporting and research from The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay on corruption, campaign finance, and influence-peddling in the nation’s capital. For Beast Inside members only.
Democrats hoping for a silver bullet against President Trump in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian-election meddling were sorely disappointed when Attorney General Bill Barr reported no conclusive and prosecutable evidence that the Trump campaign had conspired with Kremlin agents during the 2016 campaign.
But prominent Democrats have nevertheless found a way to make lemonade out of this lemon. As they publicly call for the release of Mueller’s full investigative report, they’re using that rallying cry to beef up their email and social-media lists through sham “polls” and “petitions” pegged to the special counsel’s findings and the need to release them publicly.