Trump and Barr Aren’t Waiting for October to ‘Surprise’ Us.

Lu Hanessian
Breakthrough
Published in
6 min readAug 1, 2020

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In the middle of a deadly pandemic, devastating recession, and long overdue national reckoning on racial injustice, we are witnessing a coordinated effort to undermine First Amendment freedoms, voting rights, and our national postal service. But, can anything surprise us anymore?

Lu Hanessian, MSc

Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash

The “October Surprise”, a term coined by Reagan campaign manager William Casey, forever stamped our last national election with not one, but three consequential shockers. The leaked Access Hollywood tape in early October 2016, the Podesta Leaks which would unfold over two months, and an 11th hour letter and public announcement by James Comey that would irreversibly alter the course of Hilary Clinton’s presidential career — and swing the election to Donald Trump.

Comey’s letter and choice words for Clinton provoked a wild media brushfire sparked by a false declaration via tweet. Comey would later explain, in interviews and the pages of his bestselling book, that he was concerned about how it would look if he didn’t say anything, whether people would think the fix was in, that the FBI was up to no good.

Before the Mueller investigation would wrap, the country would discover just how starkly different James Comey and William Barr would be.

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Lu Hanessian
Breakthrough

Adjunct Professor, Journalist, Former NBC Network Anchor/Discovery Health Channel Host, Host & Exec Producer of “The Foreseeable Now” podcast.