Saturday, February 17, 2018

Mueller Gets His Ham Sandwiches

. . . said district attorneys now have so much influence on grand juries that "by and large" they could get them to "indict a ham sandwich."
First in with the new,  Wombat-sochos "In The Mailbox: 02.16.18", American Power: Grand Jury Indicts 13 Russians For Election Interference, The big Friday afternoon news dump was Rod Rosenstein announcing that Special Counsel Robert had Indicted 13 Russians, 3 Entities For Conspiracy To Interfere In Election.
The indictment accuses Yevgeny Prigozhin, a crony of Vladimir Putin, of running the operation — an accusation that will no doubt have diplomatic consequences in both directions. The Russians spent 2014 and 2015 setting up front organizations and researching American voters and the candidates, according to the indictment. By 2016, they had the interference effort well under way. But what was their motivation? They wanted to support Donald Trump — but also Bernie Sanders

In fact, when reading through the indictment, it becomes clear that the conspiracy cared more about Hillary Clinton than either Trump or Bernie Sanders. Don’t forget that the overwhelming conventional wisdom — right down to Election Night — was that Hillary would win the presidency. The Russian interference campaign appears intended to rattle confidence in that result, as well as stoke a lot of conspiratorial thinking in the meantime.
Conspiratorial thinking that has been fueled and stoked by democrats and the Mueller probe.

"The indictment is odd, to say the least."
"Its very first paragraph recites that it is against the law for foreign nationals to spend money to influence US elections, or for agents of foreign countries to engage in political activities without registering. But no one is charged with these crimes. Instead, the indictment is devoted mostly to charging a 'conspiracy to defraud the United States.' Normally, that would refer to defrauding the U.S. out of, say, $10,000 in Medicare benefits. Its application to the 2016 election seems dubious. Beyond that, the indictment charges relatively minor offenses: bank fraud (opening accounts in false names) and identity theft.... The indictment says nothing about how effective the Russians’ efforts were, but their magnitude was rather small. At the height of the campaign in September 2016, the campaign’s budget was only $1,250,000 per month. Compare that with the $100 million that Jeb Bush spent, or the $1.2 billion that Hillary Clinton reportedly ran through."

So any Mexican citizen living in the US who works to support a candidate who supports DACA is committing a crime. But . . .
There is no allegation that the Russians colluded with anyone in the Trump campaign. On the contrary, the indictment describes any communication between Russians and any Trump campaign officials as “unwitting.” Specifically, it refers to two emails that Russians sent to state-level Trump campaign staffers.
"The special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations on Friday with illegally using social media platforms to sow political discord..."
Individuals involved in the conspiracy traveled to and around the United States, visiting at least eight states, court papers show, and worked with an unidentified American. That person advised them to focus their efforts on what they viewed as “purple” election battleground states, including Colorado, Virginia and Florida, the indictment said.

Ha! The "person" forgot Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan — just like the Clinton campaign.
Rosenstein: No Evidence Interference Altered Outcome Of 2016 Election

Sanders silent on claim that Russians backed him in 2016 To be fair, he has always backed the Russians. TheDaily Caller notes that the Russians continued on to fund the anti-Trump resistance: Mueller Confirms: Russia Used Anti-Trump Resistance To Stoke Division
Russian operatives organized a rally titled “Trump is NOT my President” in New York City on Nov. 12, 2016, less than a week after the election, the indictment states. (RELATED: Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ Groups Spreading North Korean Propaganda)
Which pretty much makes all Democrats unwitting collaborators with the Russians.

In fact, the Russians were working as they always do, to divide the country.  Something that Mueller has now apparently decided to help them with.
How you ask?

Oh, by getting children, leftists and low-information voters (yeah, I know, I DO like to repeat myself) to believe that “indictments were handed down” and it’s therefore proven that Trump had Russian help.  By the time the court throws these out on the basis of “First Amendment, morons,” everyone who is very young or on the left, conditions that are often covalent, will be convinced that Trump was in fact helped by Russians and bewildered that he is not being impeached.  And no one on the right will be able to talk to them because Mueller’s propaganda coup will have convinced them that Trump is guilty of collusion, and therefore that the right in the country is in foreign-enemy hands.

Tell me how this doesn’t make Mueller an accomplice in the Russian attempt to divide the U.S. and subvert our system.   Even better, I demand that Mueller explain what other possible purpose he can have in handing down meaningless indictments.
Rod Rosenstein On Russian Indictments: There’s Nothing In These To Suggest Any Americans Were “Knowing Participants” In Illegal Activity; Update: No Collusion, Says WH Adam Schiff hurt worst.
If Trump’s associates were “unwitting,” i.e. unaware that they were cooperating with Russians, what’s left of “collusion”? Maybe there’s a charge to be uncorked if Team Trump didn’t know it was talking to Russians but did believe that it was talking to other people who’d obtained the DNC and Podesta emails, like Wikileaks. The hacking is an underlying crime here, irrespective of whether the people responsible were foreign or domestic actors. But typically under U.S. law it’s not a crime to receive information that you’re not legally allowed to access, only to steal it in the first place. That’s why leakers can be imprisoned but the reporters to whom they pass their info can’t. If Team Trump coordinated with people who possessed the hacked emails in order to release them at critical moments during the campaign, is that in itself a crime? I’d guess not.
Today's Indictments Were a Nothingburger, and If You Disagree, Your Name Must Be Adam Schiff
Good digest of what's in the indictments and, criticially, what's not in them, like any allegation of the non-crime of collusion.

I mentioned Adam Schiff in the headline because someone leaked to Bloomberg that progressives and NeverTrumpers (but I repeat myself) shouldn't give up hope yet because Mueller might still be looking into the non-crime of "collusion," and John Sexton snarks that that anonymous source is probably just Adam Schiff with a big stupid fake mustache and a little boy-sized t-shirt that says TOTALLY NOT ADAM SCHIFF.
Bloomberg: Source Says Mueller Is Still Investigating Collusion Keeping hope alive.

When do the trials start? Seeing as how all 13 individuals are in Russia?

And without further ado, the rest of the Russia-gate links I'd saved over the day, before Rosenstein let the cat out of the bag:

The Media Stopped Reporting The Russia Collusion Story Because They Helped Create It

What Did Comey Tell President Trump about the Steele Dossier? Long, but a good read.

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