For those of us who know the inside dope on the Clinton years, the pursuit of President Trump on collusion charges with Russia is pure Keystone Cops.

The Democrats in Congress are beyond embarrassment. That’s a given, but the media’s failure to gain perspective on the Trump charges by reflecting back just 20 years subverts the very word “journalism.”

In a nutshell, to finance what Sen. Fred Thompson and his committee would accurately call “the most corrupt political campaign in modern history” – the campaign of 1996 – President Bill Clinton colluded with the People’s Republic of China in many and spectacular ways.

Although not the most consequential of the betrayals – that honor belongs to Sandy Berger and Loral for their efforts in refining China’s Long March 3B rocket – the White House’s dealing with a character by the name of Wang Jun was the most entertaining.

The sheer bravado of Wang Jun’s petition and the brazenness of the Clintons in welcoming him leave one awestruck. At the time, Wang Jun chaired Poly Technologies, a company controlled by the People’s Liberation Army.

According to a Rand Corporation report forced from the U.S. Department of Commerce by a federal lawsuit, one of Poly Technologies’ profit centers was the “importation and distribution of semi-automatic rifles for the U.S. domestic market.”

Between 1987 and 1993, the company and its affiliates sold more than $200 million worth of these guns in the United States. When Clinton piously signed into law the banning of certain semi-automatic weapons in 1994, Poly Technologies exploited export loopholes to circumvent the ban and ultimately resorted to old-fashioned smuggling.

In the mid-1990s, as the White House knew, these weapons were flooding the inner cities of California. That knowledge did not deter the president from welcoming Wang Jun to the White House on Feb. 6, 1996, to talk about satellite export controls.

This proved to be an only-in-America kind of moment. Wang Jun, who had cut arms deals with Chinese allies in places like Libya, Iran, Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan, now found himself at a cordial private coffee with – of all people – the president of the United States.

Clinton pal Charlie Trie had greased the Wang Jun meeting with a $50,000 payment. To the president’s humble credit, as the Thompson Committee would later report, Clinton did admit that the meeting with the PLA arms dealer and satellite broker, Wang Jun, was “clearly inappropriate.”

The president did not apologize, however, for signing waivers for four more satellite launches by Chinese rockets on that same February day. The president approved these waivers despite reports the month before that China continued to export nuclear technology to Pakistan and missiles to Iran, the latter deal Wang Jun was suspected of brokering.

In their relentless drive to raise money, the Clintons were fully prepared to aid and abet these satellite launches. In March 1996 Berger pressed on and managed to finesse a compromise that sent satellite control to the deeply compromised Ron Brown at Commerce and cost the Pentagon its veto power.

Said an attached memo, ”Industry should like the fact that they will deal with the more ‘user friendly’ Commerce system.”

The treasonous Loral story merits its own book, but Wang Jun deserves at least a chapter in any honest accounting of of the Clinton years.

On May 23, 1996, CNN breathlessly reported “the largest seizure of smuggled automatic weapons in U.S. history.”

The San Francisco Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had infiltrated a smuggling ring and confiscated 2,000 fully automatic AK-47 rifles imported from China.

The weapons were found on board a COSCO ship, the enterprise that had been trying to secure the Long Beach Naval Station. CNN traced the rifles to – where else?–Wang Jun’s Poly Technologies.

Wang Jun, however, had not wasted his investment. Someone in the know did the arms merchant a solid by leaking the news of the BATF gun smuggling investigation well before it was wrapped up. The Bay-area bust was premature. The BATF was not able to nail the operation’s ringleaders, Wang Jun chief among them.

OK, enough of this folderol; let’s get back to meatier questions: Just how many hundreds of dollars did Russia invest in Facebook ads, and did Don Jr. really not know?

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.