An unnamed person operating from within Congress made edits to the Wikipedia entry on important cases relating to “Obstruction of Justice,” listing President Donald Trump among the “notable examples.” (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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An unknown person operating from within Congress made edits to the Wikipedia entry on important cases relating to “Obstruction of Justice,” listing President Donald Trump among the “notable examples.”
Other notable examples already posted on the Wikipedia page include President Richard Nixon, “Scooter” Libby and baseball legend Barry Bonds.
“Donald Trump” was added to the list, along with a link back to his Wikipedia page, on Thursday afternoon, the same time former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
While it’s common for Wikipedia pages to be changed, what makes this instance particularly interesting is that it was made by an anonymous poster in a congressional building. Media were alerted to the change by a Twitter account, @Congressedits, which automatically posts a tweet whenever someone using a congressional IP address makes changes on Wikipedia.
Initially, it was believed the change came from Rep. Mike Coffman’s (R-Colo.) office, but Gabriel Malor, a writer for the Federalist, said this claim was shot down by a “House Security Specialist.”
“UPDATE: Via Rep. Coffman's office, a House Security Specialist has told them this is an IP address open to the public for wifi use,” Malor wrote on Twitter.
UPDATE: Via Rep. Coffman's office, a House Security Specialist has told them this is an IP address open to the public for wifi use.
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) June 9, 2017
Why does this matter? Because speculation has since been flying over whether the change was made as part of some larger media strategy by a congressional office preparing to go on the attack against Trump. This is precisely the theory right-leaning Mediaite promoted on Saturday evening.
“Trump’s name was mostly likely added to preempt the major news that was bound to come out of James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee,” Ken Meyer wrote for Mediaite. “The former FBI director spoke about his interactions with Trump, though the question of whether Trump tried to interfere with an active investigation is still being debated.”
The change also raises additional questions about the trustworthiness of Wikipedia. If Wikipedia is being actively edited by politicians and their staffs, how reliable could it possibly be?
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Justin Haskins is the director of the Socialism Research Center at the Heartland Institute and the co-author of the New York Times best-seller "Dark Future: Uncovering the Great Reset’s Terrifying Next Phase."