President Trump Provides Some Early Morning Insights On Mueller's Russia Probe

Caricature by DonkeyHotey

Caricature by DonkeyHotey

Perhaps the only saving grace of Twitter is that it allows for people using it to say things unfiltered. It has been a boon for bloggers, like me, and today is no exception. This morning, President Trump let fly on the investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller. Sad to say, it is much more right than wrong.

This refers to the article the NYT ran yesterday indicating that Mueller is now looking at efforts by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to help Trump win. We don’t know what those efforts were or if they were tried or if they were successful. We probably won’t know until Mueller is forced to hand over 1.5 terabytes of tweets in Arabic during discovery.

I actually think that this is part of Mueller’s strategy. He’ll drag the investigation out through the election and perhaps drop some indictments on people close to Trump in October because if the House flips he has leverage. And if the House doesn’t flip he’s out of business.

This is a key point. The hacking of the DNC server is the single verifiable event in the entire Mueller investigation. Without the DNC hack the entire case is reduced to alleged Russian trolls producing bizarre ads as well as ads that targeted just about every grievance anyone of any political stripe might have. The problem is there is zero actual evidence that the DNC servers were hacked. This is from Andy McCarthy:

It has now been confirmed that the Trump campaign was subjected to spying tactics under counterintelligence law — FISA surveillance, national-security letters, and covert intelligence operatives who work with the CIA and allied intelligence services. It made no difference, apparently, that there was an ongoing election campaign, which the FBI is supposed to avoid affecting; nor did it matter that the spy targets were American citizens, as to whom there is supposed to be evidence of purposeful, clandestine, criminal activity on behalf of a foreign power before counterintelligence powers are invoked.

But what was the rationale for using these spying authorities?

The fons et origo of the counterintelligence investigation was the suspicion — which our intelligence agencies assure us is a fact — that the Democratic National Committee’s server was hacked by covert Russian operatives. Without this cyber-espionage attack, there would be no investigation. But how do we know it really happened? The Obama Justice Department never took custody of the server — no subpoena, no search warrant. The server was thus never subjected to analysis by the FBI’s renowned forensics lab, and its evidentiary integrity was never preserved for courtroom presentation to a jury.

How come? Well, you see, there was an ongoing election campaign, so the Obama Justice Department figured it would be a terrible imposition to pry into the Democrats’ communications. So, yes, the entire “Russia hacked the election” narrative the nation has endured for nearly two years hinges on the say-so of CrowdStrike, a private DNC contractor with significant financial ties to the Clinton campaign.

In Investigations 101, using foreign-intelligence authorities to spy on Americans is extraordinary, while taking custody of essential physical evidence is basic. By the way, the government’s failure to ensure the evidentiary integrity of the DNC server by taking possession of it and performing its own rigorous testing on it makes it practically impossible to prosecute anyone for “colluding” in Russia’s cyber-espionage. It’s tough to prove that anyone conspired in something unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the something actually happened the way you say it happened. To do that in a courtroom, you need evidence — a confident probability analysis by your intelligence agencies won’t do.

And he has a valid point. Armed agents broke in, literally, to Paul Manafort’s home before dawn. But they’ve never had enough balls to take the email server from the DNC. How does that work?

This may be a heads up. It is pretty strange that Mueller’s focus on Manafort’s Ukrainian lobbying seems very peculiar. He hasn’t gone after Oleg Deripaska, even though Paul Manafort is suspected of engaging in a large scale money laundering operation on his behalf. We now know that Mueller, himself, has a history with Deripaska and that the FBI was instrumental in getting Deripaska visas to come to the US even though he was under sanctions. Manafort and Podesta worked closely on Ukrainian lobbying and yet there is no evidence Tony Podesta, or his associates, have drawn the attention of Mueller. Perhaps stocking your team with Democrat donors and choosing as your deputy a guy who went to Hillary’s “victory celebration” might have something to do with it.

Sooner, rather than later, President Trump needs to bring this farce to a close. Mueller is a temp employee, not a constitutional officer. He’s lost interest in his original charter, investigating alleged collusion with Russia, and is now dead set on simply collecting scalps from Trumps inner circle. While he can’t indict Trump, he can indict Donald, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump and that seems to be his goal

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