Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, is pretty sure that Russia’s Vladimir Putin is behind the email hack at the Democratic National Committee. According to the conspiracy theory, Putin sent the intelligence to WikiLeaks that the Democratic National Committee was plotting against Sen. Bernie Sanders to ensure Clinton’s nomination. Why would the president of Russia want to do this? To ensure the election of Donald Trump. Trump has expressed admiration for Putin as well as skepticism of NATO, the alliance that has kept Russia at bay in Europe since the late 1940s.

The theory has a degree of plausibility. Intelligence analysts are pretty sure that at least two Russian intelligence agencies penetrated the DNC computer network and rooted around inside it for weeks. WikiLeaks is either a front for Russian Intelligence or is a willing accomplice.

The theory falls down when one bores down to the question of which candidate would benefit Putin the most.

To be sure, Trump seems to admire Putin and is skeptical of NATO. But he is a mercurial, unpredictable man who can turn on anyone on a dime for any reason.

Sen Tom Cotton, a Trump ally, is pretty sure that the Republican candidate will turn on Putin the moment he starts getting intelligence briefings that, as a presidential candidate, he will begin to receive momentarily.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is morally and legally compromised. Russia almost certainly penetrated her unsecured email server and had everything that is on it, including files that she thinks has been deleted.

Clinton is, in effect, in the pocket of Vladimir Putin, who can blackmail her at any time. The release of the DNC files is an unmistakable signal to Clinton and her people that should she become president, she must follow Moscow’s lead in all things or suffer the consequences.

The irony is that Clinton is entirely capable of losing to Trump due to her incompetence and arrogance. The chaos that has followed in the wake of the #DNCLeaks affair even before the Democratic National Convention proves that.

Putin may have been too clever by half.

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