The Democrats demanded the testimony of Robert Mueller with regard to his two-year investigation of President Donald Trump in which he found that there was no collusion between Mr. Trump (or members of his campaign team) with Russia with regard to the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Mueller initially declined to testify telling Congress and the world that all he had to say was contained in his 448 page report. Most of the Democrats have never bothered to read the report because its conclusions did not support the narrative that they and their allies in the mainstream media have been peddling for over two years. Initially the Democrats said the report was insufficient because it contained redactions – some required by law and some based upon national security concerns. Given that, the Justice Department cleared members of Congress to view, under strict rules, the entirety of the report with only those redactions required by law (grand jury testimony). Even fewer Democrats in the House bothered to read the new unredacted reports.
That still wasn’t good enough because again it did not support the narrative that the Democrats have been peddling. However, under subpoena by two House committees (controlled by Democrats, neither of the chairs of which have read the unredacted report) Mr. Mueller agreed to appear but noted that he would not testify outside of the four corners of the report. In large part he did just that much to the chagrin of the Democrats and particularly the two chairmen (Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) – both of whom had concluded that Mr. Trump was guilty before the special counsel was even appointed.
And yet the Democrats had the hearings judging that the Mueller report was too boring to read and that a live hearing could provide the “movie” for a “base” that was less than motivated to read anything. Some – well me – also wonder whether the Democrats were worried that those forced to endure a teachers union led education in the public school systems of the larger cities (including Portland) would not be able to understand the “legalese” of the report – or in fact any word consisting of eight or more letters. But I digress. The hearings were a bust. If the Democrats proceed with their plans to make the “movie” it will rival Glitter for banality.
But Mr. Mueller’s responses to several questions about Fusion GPS, Natalia Veselnitskaya (the Russian lawyer famous for her meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. but more importantly a link between Fusion GPS and Moscow) and Christopher Steele (the former British agent who used Russian intelligence sources to concoct the phony “dossier” on Mr. Trump) was that it was “outside his purview.”
Hold it Newt! That’s not right! Did Mr. Mueller even read the charge in his appointment?
Mr. Mueller’scharge as special counsel was to investigate whether and to what extend Russia sought to interfere with the 2016 general election:
20530ORDER NO. 3915-2017
APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE WITH THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND RELATED MATTERS
By virtue of the authority vested in me as Acting Attorney General, including 28 U.S.C.§§ 509, 510, and 515, in order to discharge my responsibility to provide supervision and management of the Department of Justice, and to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, I hereby order as follows:
(a) Robert S. Mueller III is appointed to serve as Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice.
(b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:
(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
(iii) Any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
(c) If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.
(d) Title Sections 600.4 through 600.10 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations are applicable to the Special Counsel.
The key words here are “. . . ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”
The only indictments by Mr. Mueller’s team that concerned Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election were of sixteen Russian nationals affiliated with the so-called Russian Troll Farm. But they are safely tucked away in Mother Russia beyond the reach of the United States courts – a fact of which the Mueller team was well aware. (There is some credible speculation that these indictments would be hard to prove and that they were brought on the belief that they would never have to prove the case. And while these individuals will never appear in the courts, lawyers for several of them are challenging the indictments and Mueller’s lawyers, much to their chagrin, are scrambling to assemble evidence in support of their allegations of probable cause.) Again, these are the only persons linked to Russian interference indicted by the Mueller team.
All the rest of the indictments related to other criminal matters (financial crimes, lying to the FBI lying to Congress, etc.) but nothing related to collusion with Russian operatives relating to interference with the 2016 election. Not a one. In fact, Attorney General William Barr in his summation of Mr. Mueller’s report stated:
“As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.” [Emphasis supplied]
None of the indictments of United States citizens, (Flynn, Manafort, etc.) involved conspiracy or collusion with the Russians regarding the 2016.
But Mr. Barr misspoke. He misspoke because Mr. Mueller and his team did not follow the plain directive of the charge to Mr. Mueller – ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Instead Mr. Mueller limited his investigation to only the possible involvement of Mr. Trump and his friends, associates and campaign officials – no one else. It wasn’t that Mr. Mueller’s team didn’t look at other matters beside collusion – thus the indictments for unrelated matters referenced above – rather it was that Mr. Mueller’s team didn’t look at anyone else that might have been involved in collusion with the Russians to effect the outcome of the 2016 election.
And while no evidence of collusion by Mr. Trump and his associates was found, there is a wealth of information relating to collusion by Hillary Clinton and her campaign with the Russians – all of it surrounding creation, funding, and distribution of the infamous Steele dossier. Let me summarize:
- The Clinton campaign hired Fusion GPS to tie Mr. Trump to the Russians prior to the general election.
- Fusion GPS in turn contracted with former British spy Christopher Steele to gather the information.
- Mr. Steele utilized members of the Russian intelligence agencies in his effort to gather such information and he, thereafter, utilized that information to create the infamous Steele dossier alleging amongst other things that Mr. Trump engaged in Bacchanalian trysts with Russian prostitutes during visits that, in fact, never occurred.
- The Clinton campaign then utilized the Washington DC law firm of Perkins Coie to launder the transfer of funds from her campaign to Fusion GPS and then on to Mr. Steele.
- Fusion GPS funneled the dossier to members of the FBI’s hierarchy utilizing Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official whose wife worked for Fusion GPS.
- The FBI then used the Steele dossier to obtain FISA warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign
- The dossier was also leaked to former Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who could reliably be depended upon to use it to the detriment of Mr. Trump.
None of this information was developed by Mr. Mueller and his team although all of it was available to them. Most of it was developed by congressional committees, lawsuits by private parties and, to a small degree, members of the press. Even when it was presented to Mr. Mueller and his team they steadfastly refused to pursue it. Why?
One is left to wonder whether Mr. Mueller and his team were inept or, in fact, they engaged in a “witch hunt”* by limiting their investigation to Mr. Trump and his associates instead of “full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”
These are creatures of the “swamp” and this is how they act. They brought the whole power of the federal government to bear in order to deny one side (Mr. Trump) the election and, having failed, to thereafter seek to de-legitimize Mr. Trump’s presidency. People that corrupt need to go to jail – including Mr. Mueller if he was a witting party, unless, of course, he was just an aging figurehead manipulated by others in the Justice Department, the FBI and others who actually ran this “witch hunt”
* I use the term “witch hunt” advisedly. There is no question that the Russians attempted to interfere in the 2016 election and there ought to have been an investigation to “– ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.” But when you ignore that mandate and instead focus on a single person (and his associates) a legitimate investigation becomes an illegitimate abuse of government power.