Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
We are all aware that Robert Mueller has a feather in his cap with the recent verdict on eight counts against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort for things he did that had nothing to do whatsoever with that which Mueller is tasked. Yeah for Robert Mueller for convicting a known sleaze for something sleazy. The other big news is the plea deal with former Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, regarding alleged campaign finance violations. Given the labyrinth FEC rules and conflicting and confusing guidelines, chances are someone violated some campaign finance regulation somewhere along the line. The 2008 Obama campaign was fined a significant amount for violations.
But, the experts tell us, what the Obama campaign did wrong is distinguishable from what the Trump campaign did. The former is a civil violation (and under the purview of the FEC) while the latter is a criminal violation (under the purview of the DOJ). The Cohen plea deal stems from payments Trump, or his lawyers, made to porn star Stormy Daniels and/or Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal in order to keep alleged affairs Trump had with these women quiet during the campaign in 2016.
Let me state here up front that virtually everyone with an ounce of gray matter in their skull knew Trump was a serial philanderer. To many, that was a reason to vote against him in 2016 while many more thought the other option was just as bad, or worse. To this writer, the personal sexual proclivities- unless illegal (like rape)- mean little to my reason to vote one way or the other (Note: I voted for neither Trump nor Clinton). Likewise, I cared little about about a stain on a dress or the cigar-smoking habits of Bill Clinton just as I care little about how many affairs Kennedy had. Neither do I care about Thomas Jefferson siring offspring with a slave or how many kids Warren Harding had as a result of an affair while in office.
For at least two years now, we have heard nothing but how Russia is the bogeyman. You remember them- the original focus of the Mueller probe? In the current instance as CNN and every mainstream media outlet is portraying the most recent events as the “gotcha” moment leading to the downfall of the Trump presidency, they all seem to forget about Russia. Now, it is campaign finance violations. Hell- even “obstruction of justice” has been wiped off the blotter of alleged infractions.
Meanwhile, there is ample evidence and a money trail proving that the Clinton campaign and the DNC actually paid for dirt on Trump from Russian sources. They will claim that it was a British spy who was eventually paid, but that British spy based his entire now-famous dossier on Russian sources. Imagine the uproar if Michael Cohen had paid GPS Fusion with campaign money to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton? Does anyone believe the media wouldn’t cover that story 24/7?
Thus far, as concerns the Trump campaign, the only “evidence” of obtaining dirt on Clinton from Russian sources is an ill-advised Trump Tower meeting with Trump, Jr. and others where a political novice was duped. Stupidity is not a crime and telling the go-between, “I love it” isn’t either. Compare this with Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon who said he would have gone to Europe to help find dirt on Trump and laments the fact things in the dossier could not be verified during the campaign (very few “facts” have yet to be verified and some are contradictory). In other words, this was Fallon’s “I love it” moment, yet crickets from the media.
Trump allegedly approved payments to Daniels and McDougal for their silence regarding these affairs. In January, 2017, Buzzfeed published the contents of the Steele dossier. However, it was not until October 24, 2017- nine months later- that we learned the Clinton campaign and the DNC financed the Steele investigation. In other words, why the silence from Clinton and the DNC for nine months? What were they covering up?
So what if the Trump campaign used funds to buy the silence of a porn star and a Playboy model? Is that now worse than the Clinton campaign using campaign funds to obtain dirt on Trump from Russian sources?
Putin and Russia may have preferred that Trump won the election, a fact confirmed by Putin himself at the Helsinki news conference. But, every indication from the very intelligence community we are told to respect and take their word was that Putin and Russia were preparing for a Clinton victory. The Russians are nefarious actors on the world stage. But, they are also smart nefarious actors who played both sides in the campaign.
Instead of focusing on campaign finance violations and “obstruction of justice” charges over Tweets and the firing of a sleazy FBI Director, Mueller needs to refocus his investigation on the original task: Russian collusion. If he did that basic duty, he may just discover that the real collusion was with the Clinton campaign. Something tells me that if Clinton had won in 2016, Robert Mueller would still be in private practice.