Shireen Ghorbani is a bright young woman who is running for Congress from Utah’s 2nd District.

(Another Democrat, Randy Hopkins of Farmington, has also filed. As has Jan Garbett of the United Utah Party.)

As has become the drill for such things, Ghorbani posted a photo of herself filing the appropriate papers at the Utah Elections Office.

The best caption for this picture would be:

“Help me, Robert Mueller. You’re my only hope.”

As overwhelmingly Republican as the gerrymandered district clearly is, Ghorbani’s hope of ousting incumbent Chris Stewart is small. Though it might have gotten a little better Monday evening.

That’s when Stewart threw himself all in with most of the other Republicans on the House Intelligence (sic) Committee in declaring that “the CIA just got it wrong” on the conclusion reached by the entire U.S. intelligence community that Russian internet trolls were out to not just monkey around with the credibility of our election process but also help our Dear Leader get elected president.

The CIA, NSA and FBI released a report in January 2017 that said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a cyberassault on the election and had a “clear preference” for Trump. One month earlier, Stewart dismissed such reports, calling Russian meddling “BS.”

The general reaction from knowledgeable people was summed up in this commentary from one of The Washington Post’s conservative — stress, conservative — writers.

It’s official: The House Intelligence Committee is a joke — Jennifer Rubin | The Washington Post

When Mueller finishes his investigation, House Republicans’ dereliction in their constitutional oversight obligations will become evident, we suspect.

Also this, from Utah native, former CIA operative and presidential candidate Evan McMullin.

Everyone needs to keep an eye on this:

Representative K. Michael Conaway, the Texas Republican who is leading the investigation, said committee Republicans agreed with the conclusions of American intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered with the election, but they broke with the agencies on one crucial point: that the Russians had favored Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

It is, of course, still possible that Mueller’s investigation and/or the more trustworthy bipartisan probe being carried out by the Senate Intelligence Committee could confirm:

1) No Russian interference.

2) Russian interference for the sake of mischief, with no favoritism or collusion with the Trump campaign.

Or

3) A full-on alliance between Trump and Vladimir Putin to hijack the presidential election and put a person who is, in effect, a Russian asset into the Oval Office.

If the answer is 3), then Stewart will look a right fool and Ghorbani — or Hopkins or Garbett — will be in a good position to pick up the pieces, in the same way that no-chance Democrat Doug Jones was able to leapfrog into the Alabama Senate seat when heavily favored Republican Roy Moore was credibly accused of being a serial creep with young women and girls.

Mueller has been running, by Washington standards, an incredibly tight ship. Almost no leaks and no indication that he is either dragging the investigation out or hurrying to wrap it up before the November elections.

If there are indictments and an impeachment referral to Congress before then, both she and we will be glad that someone else is in the race. One of them could almost immediately go from no-prayer to the very welcome safe harbor for all the 2nd District voters who will be looking for an alternative if and when it turns out that Stewart was acting as the local stooge for Putin’s most important stooge.

Keep reading.


(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Tribune staff. George Pyle.

George Pyle, The Tribune’s editorial page editor, is proud of his classical education: “Star Wars,” New Yorker cartoons and “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.” gpyle@sltrib.com