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Robert Mueller’s political document

Numerous pundits have commented in great detail and with far greater expertise than I on the indictments (pdf) last week issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against thirteen Russians for wire and bank fraud, identity theft, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. (See here and here for two thoughtful conservative takes.)

As an American who cares about our democracy, however, I decided it was essential I read the indictment myself to form my own opinion about it. I advise every American to do the same, using the first link above to download it. My own personal take-aways are as follows:

1. It is a very good thing that Mueller indicted these Russians. Based on the evidence summarized by the indictment, they clearly committed crimes against Americans and the U.S. government. Moreover, those crimes were committed with the intent by foreigners to interfere with our political process, something we must never allow if at all possible, and punish if we can.

2. Still, I am very curious to learn how Mueller’s team obtained the evidence in these indictments. Reading the document suggests that they must have either had extensive wiretaps, or inside information. Unfortunately, as it is very unlikely that any of these Russians will ever go to trial (having apparently all fled back to Russia long before the indictment was announced), this is information we are likely never to get.

I am therefore also very puzzled by the timing of the indictment. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to issue it as soon as possible, and in a way that might have allowed the authorities to detain these individuals so they might be put on trial? Instead, the slow timing seems almost intended to allow them to escape, and thus prevent an actual trial from ever occurring. I wonder why, though I have my suspicions.

3. Despite the correctness of and the need for these indictments, Mueller’s indictment is first and foremost a political document. If you read it, it is quite obvious that its purpose was not to bring these Russians to justice, but to imply that Russia was working with Trump to get him elected, even though a careful analysis of everything the Russians did shows that this is not the case.

Why do I say this? The indictment spends numerous pages describing in incredible detail every single pro-Trump action taken by these Russians, from organizing social media campaigns to anti-Clinton protests to pro-Trump rallies, while providing only one or two very short summaries of the anti-Trump actions they took, thus giving the impression if you do not read the indictment closely that they were essentially a Trump operation. This however is false. Not only does the indictment lack any evidence of any links between the Russians and the Trump campaign, the details indicate strongly the non-partisan nature of the Russian strategy. While prior to the election it appears they favored Trump, once he was the candidate they shifted tactics to attack both him and Clinton. The goal was not so much to get Trump elected but to cause the most negative disruption to the American election process as possible. The indictment itself admits this, though almost as an aside. The first paragraph quote below shows the Russian strategy before Trump is the candidate, with the second showing their strategy afterward.

“By 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used their fictitious online personas to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.

…After the election of Donald Trump in or around November 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used false U.S. personas to organize and coordinate U.S. political rallies in support of then president-elect Trump, while simultaneously using other false U.S. personas to organize and coordinate U.S. political rallies protesting the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. For example, in or around November 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators organized a rally in New York through one ORGANIZATION-controlled group designed to “show your support for President-Elect Donald Trump” held on or about November 12, 2016. At the same time, Defendants and their co-conspirators, through another ORGANIZATION-controlled group, organized a rally in New York called “Trump is NOT my President” held on or about November 12, 2016. Similarly, Defendants and their co-conspirators organized a rally entitled “Charlotte Against Trump” in Charlotte, North Carolina, held on or about November 19, 2016.

Mueller’s apparent effort to imply a false Russian-Trump alliance is why I consider this document political. Mueller had good cause to indict these Russians, but his manner for doing so reveals that his real goal was to taint the Trump presidency, not protect the American election process from foreign interference.

This is my impression. It is partly formed because I have a very low opinion of Mueller’s objectivity. Not only is his entire investigative team comprised of Democrats, including many who have given campaign donations to many Democratic politicians, but because of his clearly biased and corrupt actions as head of the FBI in connection with the IRS scandal. This was clearly illustrated when he was questioned about it during congressional hearings. Click on the link, and watch again his testimony, as it starkly reveals the dishonest and partisan nature of Robert Mueller.

Others can obviously form their own opinion. Read the indictment. Decide for yourself.

One last bit of irony. Mueller’s whole investigation was prompted by the repeated insistence by Democrats and the mainstream media (I repeat myself) that Trump was colluding with the Russians to get elected. Yet, when these Russians organized their pro- and anti-Trump rallies after Trump was elected, it appears the ones who colluded with them the most to attack Trump’s legitimate election were mainstream media sources like CNN and MSNBC.

A check of their November 12 coverage showed both CNN and MSNBC gave enthusiastic coverage to the Russian-organized anti-Trump rally that day, with live reports every hour. Correspondents celebrated the idea that it was “a love rally,” and repeated the marchers’ anti-Trump mantras, such as: “We reject the President-elect.”

These leftwing news sources might not have known the Russians had organized the rallies, but while they practically ignored the Russian-organized pro-Trump rally, they made sure to favor, highlight, and publicize the anti-Trump rally, Since Trump had already been elected, this choice did just what the Russians hoped, sowing the most disruption to the American election process. One must therefore ask: Who were the real Russian colluders?

Posted over the Atlantic Ocean on my way home from Israel.

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  • Cotour

    I think in the end we will all agree about what was what and about what in the Mueller “special” investigation, Russian disinformation and disruption program aside.

    In about one month or so Inspector General Horowitz will release his report, which the Democrats initiated because of Comeys actions towards the Hillary operation, and things should take a very different direction and interpretation.

  • BSJ

    Just think of how bad it would have been if Trump hadn’t surrounded himself with so many witless Americans.

  • Cotour

    Count me in as “witless” and lets throw in “deplorable”, I am more than proud to be both.

  • NormD

    Normally a prosecutor would get these indictments issued “under seal”, ie, secret so they could arrest the target. With this release, there is no chance any of the targets will ever be arrested or tried and thus no chance the claims in the indictments will ever be challenged, so who knows if the story they tell is even correct. Purely a political move by Mueller.

  • Kirk

    Have you folks seen this story in the Dutch paper de Volkskrant:

    It discusses a Dutch intelligence agency’s penetration of a Russian Foreign Intelligence Service hacking unit in which, in addition to having access to the Russian computers so that they were able to monitor attack efforts real-time, they were even able to gain access to a hallway security camera and identify the Russian staff as it came and went. Interesting, real-life, Spy vs. Spy stuff.

    The story is about a month old, and I must have missed related coverage when it first came out.

  • m d mill

    NormD is exactly correct, well said.
    To reiterate …it is likely this was done to scare them off, so that he would not have to prosecute, and lose with
    evidence that was tainted or specious. In this context, what Mueller did makes perfect sense.

  • wodun

    How are we supposed to tell what foreigners are acting illegally? On social media, foreigners run their mouths about American politics all the time. How are these sites supposed to police speech?

    Russia took it a step further and helped organize events in meatspace and this is a problem. It is also very common as our friends to the left are often part of international movements. Is the DOJ going to start arresting transnational activists?

  • Dave B

    Two observations:
    First, Mueller’s emphasis on Pro DJT activities is because he was narrowly directed to investigate DJT and Russian collusion, The real crime is that Rosenstien and DOJ wrote it that way with the full knowledge that they (DOJ) had been “had” by Russia and the blindness of partisans in DOJ.
    Second, Mueller has interpreted his objective as impeachment rather than criminal indictment. Thus a trial of actual Russians would flush out the bipartisan/limited nature of their work and the weakness in American society; namely partisanship in DOJ/FBI and 90% press coverage.

  • Orion314

    I think the only question that matters, above all else, Is Bob Mueller a man of integrity? If not the rest doesn’t matter. I have yet to see a modicum of honor in this man.

  • Laurie

    Thank goodness there are US NGOs like the National Endowment for Democracy operating in foreign countries to counter such interference on the part of foreigners …

  • Cotour

    Political document? Absolutely, especially when it comes to investigating anything other than those pesky Russians.

    Mueller is loath to investigate anything that rips open the communal criminality of the Democrat / Hillary Clinton crime syndicate. WHO MURDERED SETH RICH AND WHY MR. MUELLER? One hell of a good question.

  • David

    Mr. Zimmerman, three questions sir…

    1. You say that his entire team is comprised of democrats. Would you provide a link(s) to illustrate that is a fact? I can’t even find the names of all his investigators. I know Mueller is a republican, but couldn’t find anything that provides the political affiliations of all the other lawyers on this investigation.

    2. Seems to me if memory serves me that he currently has 16 or 17 investigators working for him. And that is not counting the two folks he dismissed last fall. Do you have access to anything that shows anything negative in how these investigators have conducted themselves during the now or prior to this investigation (besides the two already dismissed for their improper conduct)?

    3. I read that the DOJ had to review and approve each of these lawyers. Do you think that in the future, an individual’s political leanings should be used during the DOJ approval process on whether they are qualified to join an investigative team?

    Thank you as always for this site and in this case, adding the link to your previous essay from last June. It was interesting to review comments made at that time in light of what has come to pass in the subsequent 8+ months.

  • David: I will be glad to answer your questions, but you apparently haven’t desired to do much work in asking them. For example, I actually provide links in my very essay above, documenting these points.

    1. You doubt Mueller’s investigation is partisan? I addressed this point, with many links to other articles, in this post: A weaponized and partisan Justice Department and FBI

    Your job, should you decided to take it, is to read this material with an open mind, and not immediately focus on the handful of weak spots that you and I both know are there. The sum is what is important, and that sum is that Mueller, along with the upper management at both the DOJ and FBI, has become partisan Democrat, and is acting improperly.

    2. The first link above covers some of your question here, but so does this post: Background of Mueller’s lead investigator confirms it is a witch hunt With this post I link and comment on a detailed description of the illegal behavior of Mueller’s lead investigator, Andrew Weissman, who has been found numerous times to have abused his power as a prosecutor. (As an aside, I embed at this link Mueller’s congressional testimony concerning his fake IRS investigation. You should watch it. It illustrates how corrupt and partisan Mueller is.)

    Once again, you need to read the long article I link to on Weissman. The string of abusive cases he prosecuted, almost all of which eventually got thrown out because of his misbehavior, is chilling. Why he still works as an attorney appalls me.

    I should add that this issue has nothing to do with Donald Trump. I know you despise him, and think he is a disaster. In many ways, I agree, though I also find much of what he has done (not said) to have been very worthwhile.

    The point here is that there has been an on-going partisan effort in the Justice Department and the FBI, beginning before the election and continuing thereafter, to weaponize those agencies as tools of the Democratic Party in order to invalidate the legal election of an American president.

    3. I do not think a person’s political leanings should be considered for Justice Department hirings. However, the Clinton administration made such a position moot. Until Clinton, presidents respected the objectivity of who was working there when they came in office, and left them alone. Bill Clinton however fired everyone immediately so he could install his own partisan lawyers. Worse, George Bush did little to correct that partisan action when he was president, which meant that he had a hostile Justice Department to deal with. Obama continued Clinton’s approach, in that he made the political leaning of any appointee crucial, removing Bush-era appointees when he could.

    In order to restore balance here we have to once again allow both sides the right to fire everyone in Justice, when a new party takes office. After the agency gets cleaned out enough times we shall once again be ready to hire objective attorneys, and leave them alone.

  • Cotour

    A test, an experiment :

    Q: 1. Is Robert Muellers investigation politically based and biased against Trump?

    Q: 2. Is Robert Mueller a disinterested and objective party related to what he is investigating I.E. the Russians and corruption related to the 2016 presidential election which involved Hillary Clinton who has by evidence received up to $145 million in “donations” to her personal foundation in an on going schedule of “donations” to her foundation for what clearly appears to be the facilitation of the Russians receiving control of Uranium One and a chunk of Americas natural resources by the “Next president of the United States? What a sentence!

    I suspect that the answers to these two questions will roll out in about September or October of 2018, just before the November mid term elections? That is unless Jeff Sessions after the releases of the I.G. Horowtiz report arrests most involved players and indicts them all.

    Could happen, I can have fantasy’s.

  • David

    Mr. Zimmerman, thank you for your reply. I know your time is valuable. I always do my research, probably not as well as you, but I do try.

    Have a nice day sir.

  • Cotour

    Some more things for other people to be “Concerned” about.

    John Ratcliffe to be the head of ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence).

    I just found this out, its on page two of his book. George Papadopolous while in Europe was given $10K in an envelope by someone who apparently had intent to do business with him. He had a feeling about this and left the envelope in Europe with his lawyer. When he arrived in the U.S. as he deplaned he was taken by the FBI into a room and was searched thoroughly, and he had no idea why.

    Why would they do such a thing? The only thing he could think of was that they were looking for that $10K, a sum that would be illegal to transport in cash between country’s. A set up. A set up by Special Investigator Mueller employee Weinstein or someone in the FBI attempting to set off the “Russia Collusion” story? The FBI knew what they were looking for, they did not just pick Papadopolous out by random.

    So, who needs to be even more “Concerned” then they are at the moment if Mr. Ratcliffe is made DNI? St. James Comey the pious, Mr. Clapper and of course, CIA shifty eyed and mad as hell that Trump won, John Brennann.

    Lots of concern to go around and it will grow even more so.

  • wayne

    The Mark Steyn Show
    George Papadopoulos, (part one)
    May 2019

    “Mark talks with George Papadopoulos, the first Trump campaign member to plead “guilty” in the Mueller investigation. Mr Papadopoulos has set down his account of what happened these last four years of his life in a new book called Deep State Target – about how a Beltway think-tank wonk was set up as the “mark” of multiple high-level well-connected figures from America, Britain, Italy, Australia and elsewhere.”

  • Cotour

    Between Bill “Everyone dies” Barr and John Ratcliffe (who also does not seemed concerned about his legacy in government other than taking care of business) there will be few places to hide.

    And that as Martha says, is a good thing.

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