There is nothing more grating than the constant sanctimonious carping by partisan Dems, beltway lifers and their mainstream media megaphones about upholding the "rule of law". Robert Mueller is held to be the very quintessence of it – meaning that his bully-boy prosecution must be permitted to grind to a conclusion unimpeded and unchallenged come hell or high water.
We beg to differ. Profoundly.
The real U.S. election meddling event was conducted at the highest levels of the Obama Administration by rogue elements of the FBI, CIA and DNI, and was designed to thwart Donald Trump’s election and then to undermine his presidency once the voters had spoken. So the entire RussiaGate/Mueller witch-hunt is not merely an affront to the rule of law; it’s an attack on the heart of America’s constitutional democracy itself.
After all, the essence of the latter is free elections and the absolute neutrality of the organs and agencies of the state during the course of their conduct.
Needless to say, the very opposite has transpired. Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies have weighed in blatantly and heavily against Donald Trump every step of the way.
That includes the utterly unjustified opening of an FBI investigation of the Trump campaign in July 2016 based on virtually nothing but hearsay; the subsequent embrace of the Clinton funded oppo research embodied in the groundless Steele dossier; the abuse of the FISA courts to conduct an illegal wiretap of Carter Page and the Trump campaign; and the orchestrated Brennan and FBI leaks about alleged Russian influence to the press in the run-up to the election.
It also encompasses the framing of General Flynn for doing his job speaking with the Russian Ambassador during the transition; the attempted sabotage 0f the President-elect at the infamous Trump Tower "briefing" by Clapper and Comey on the eve of the inauguration; the launching of the counterintelligence investigation in May 2017 by unaccountable permanent bureaucrats at the FBI and DOJ; and the opening of the Mueller investigation itself essentially on the grounds that the permanent government apparatchiks involved loathed the duly elected president and wanted revenge for his exercise of his constitutional authority to fire FBI director Comey.
What we are saying is that the entire narrative is upside-down and rotten; and that it therefore obfuscates what is important while legitimizing and exaggerating the trivial minutia and irrelevancies that have formed the entirety of the Mueller investigation to date.
For instance, Baby George Papadopoulos is an irrelevancy and would have been so even if he was Putin’s houseboy. That’s because he was a no-count volunteer drafted from the phone book to fill a campaign advisory committee that Trump had no intention of listening to and that was essentially disbanded after its initial photo-op launch in March 2016.
We have shown the same thing to be true elsewhere about Carter Page, the St. Petersburg troll farm, the alleged Russian security service hackers and the whole Paul Manafort contretemps. Indeed, the latter not only had nothing to do with Russia, but involved standard beltway influence-peddling, which in this case was actually designed to bring the former government of Ukraine into the NATO/EU/Washington orbit rather than its historic fealty to the Kremlin.
But now comes the final farce of it: An absolutely pointless process crime case against a long ago discredited beltway stuntman and self-promoter who actually had no role in the Trump campaign after August 2015 – which is to say, he was booted out of the Trump campaign just weeks after its improbable start.
True to form, however, Roger Stone colorfully described the hideous dawn raid by a FBI SWAT team. Appearing in court last Friday, following this show of force on his manicured lawn, Stone said,
This morning at the crack of dawn, 29 F.B.I. agents arrived at my home with 17 vehicles with their lights flashing, when they could simply have contacted my attorneys and I would have been more than willing to surrender voluntarily.
They terrorized my wife, my dogs.
After a two-year inquisition, the charges today relate in no way to Russian collusion, WikiLeaks collaboration or any other illegal act in connection with the 2016 campaign.
I am falsely accused of making false statements during my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. That is incorrect.
Any error I made in my testimony would be both immaterial and without intent. I find it disturbing that the special counsel’s office released a press release prior to informing my attorneys that I would be charged today.
He’s right about the triviality of the charges, and also about the FBI wasting more money arresting him that the judge actually thought appropriate for his bail. As Alan Dershowitz aptly stated on Newsmax TV shortly thereafter,
“You arrest this guy in a dawn raid, handcuff him, put him in shackles, and then you don’t even ask the judge to raise the bail. $250,000, which is nothing bail. Clearly, this was just a show, an attempt to put pressure on him.”
For crying out loud, it was actually just a signature bond. Stone did not have to put up any money at all or even pay a bail bondsman. He simply promised to pay it if he does not show up for court later.
That the Mueller hit squad thought this raid-style arrest is an appropriate use of DOJ resources tells you all you need to know about the pure theatrics which underlies this so-called ‘investigation."
As Georgetown law professor Jonathan Turley put it:
Despite the breathless news coverage, the indictment is underwhelming and far from what many predicted. As for the media, it seems to be only counting heads of Trump associates indicted, as opposed to what they were actually charged with. The media has long described Stone as the possible Trump campaign conduit to WikiLeaks and the Russians, citing his presumed communications with Julian Assange and his advance knowledge of the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign email hacks.
Yet, none of that was confirmed or even suggested in the indictment. There was no charge of collusion. No hint of meetings or arrangements with Assange. Not even a charge as an unregistered foreign agent of the Russians. Just collateral crimes with nary a mention of collusion and a defendant who alternatively presents himself as the tragically comic and the comically tragic figure mired in the special counsel investigation.
In fact, Stone’s purported crimes all happened long after Trump was duly elected President and had sworn the oath. But for the Russia collusion hoax itself, Stone’s crimes wouldn’t have even happened because they stem from his appearance before a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) investigation in September 2017 – long after the fact.
This 12 month time gap is of crucial importance because Mueller’s charges are based on Stone’s recollections of phone calls and emails during the final few months of the 2016 election – not anything he did or any one else did at the time.
That is, he’s not charged with colluding with the Trump campaign or any Russians – just allegedly "lying" about his interaction with two absolutely marginal figures – a comedian and a whacko right-wing conspiracy theorists – who had exactly zero impact on the 2016 election.
Indeed, the only reason these two bit players – Credico and Corsi (see below) – show up in Mueller’s comic book prosecution is that they were peripherally involved in one of Stone’s self-promoting publicity stunts during the campaign.
To wit, Stone had publicly claimed that he was in direct communication with WikiLeaks and its editor Julian Assange. It turns out, however, that he wasn’t and that his claims were based on brief communications with Credico and Corsi about second hand knowledge they may have obtained from WikiLeaks or Assange about further leaked materials from the DNC.
In short, it is plainly evident to anyone who reads the indictment that the ballyhooed "Roger Stone" link to the Russians never happened; his campaign period statements to that effect were merely Stone’s own self-promoting bombast of the type that he had practiced in Washington for more than four decades.
But rather than just admit that the Stone Connection was a dead-end like most of the rest of Mueller’s investigation, his legal thugs plowed forward attempting to muddy the waters by teeing-up a link to Steve Bannon, who was then part of the Trump campaign.
Upon reading about Stone’s bogus claims to be in touch with WikiLeaks, Bannon apparently contacted Stone and urged him to find out if WikiLeaks would be releasing new batches of emails that had been obtained from the Democratic National Committee.
But so what?
By that point WikiLeaks had already claimed public credit for publishing the initial batches of emails and hinted that it had much more. So why wouldn’t the Trump campaign be interested in more DNC dirty laundry that would undermine Hillary Clinton?
That’s what campaigns do. That’s why there is a multi-ten million oppo research industry.
In any event, nothing ever came of the Bannon contact because Stone didn’t have any secret relationship with WikiLeaks. His entire contact with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign was via the two aforementioned passersby, who were even more peripheral players than Stone.
It appears that New York comedian Randy Credico and right-wing birther and conspiracy theorist, Jerome Corsi, might have had some contact or insight into WikiLeaks. But it certainly couldn’t have been malign because the indictment says nothing at all about their relationship to WikiLeaks. It, too, was another Mueller dead-end.
In fact, it was a completely ludicrous dead-end. For example, Stone was charged with false statement because he had testified 12 months after the fact that he and Credico communicated by phone but not by email. According to Mueller, they communicated by both phone and email, and for that lapse of memory Stone gets handcuffed and shackled!
On the other hand, there is apparently much in Stone’s congressional testimony that contradicts the mainstream narrative about the illicit Stone-to-WikiLeaks-to-Kremlin back channel. Yet on those matters Mueller is absolutely silent.
For example, on Aug. 21, 2016, Stone had famously tweeted "Trust me, it will soon be the Podesta’s time in the barrel…."
That has long been held to be the smoking gun by the CNN style prosecution. Yet it turns out Stone was referring to the Podesta brothers’ hugely crooked lobbying operation, which was involved in some of the same kind of nefarious influence peddling in which Paul Manafort specialized, and for which he was forced to resign as head of the Trump campaign in August 2016 when it had become a public scandal.
As reporter Byron York explained:
According to the House GOP report, Stone denied that he "knew in advance about and predicted the hacking of…Podesta’s email," noting that Stone said his tweet "makes no mention whatsoever of Mr. Podesta’s email." Stone told the committee his motive was anger about the treatment of former partner Paul Manafort, saying the tweet was posted "at a time that my boyhood friend and colleague, Paul Manafort, had just resigned from the Trump campaign over allegations regarding his business activities in Ukraine. I thought it manifestly unfair that John Podesta not be held to the same standard."
Mueller did not charge Stone in connection with his testimony about the "time in the barrel" matter.
Finally, Mueller charged Stone with witness tampering with respect to the comedian Credico due to the fact that he urged the latter not to cooperate with the special counsel investigation. But as York also notes, that’s exactly what Stone was saying publicly about his own posture on any cable channel which would give him the time.
That witness (Credico) also was speaking to Stone about his testimony, but Stone was the one making outlandish statements to stonewall Mueller. The witness, identified as “Person Two,” is believed to be New York comedian Randy Credico. In 2017, Stone told Credico to pull a Frank Pentangeli, the character from “The Godfather II” who refused to incriminate the mob boss and declared, “I don’t know nothing about that.”
Yes, after Stone’s 40 years as Washington’s leading prankster, the stuffy Mueller didn’t even get the gangster joke!
So what the whole Roger Stone indictment amounts to is that he misremembered, contradicted or lied about several utterly trivial and irrelevant details related to his own false claims about the WikiLeaks matter during the 2016 campaign. That’s all she wrote.
He also asked Randy Credico to lie to the committee. Those are the only issues the indictment is about. It is about the lies of a notorious liar which became process crimes when he repeated them during an investigation. Stone himself denies emphatically that he committed any crime and promises to defend himself in court.
Nowhere does the indictment say that this has anything to do with the Trump campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks or the nonexistent relations between them.
The irony, of course, is that the entirety of Mueller’s charges are based on the written transcript of Stone’s testimony before Congress.
That is, Stone is charged with making false statements to Congress – something committed day in and day out during the testimony of Deep State officials and beltway bandits alike.
Indeed, if lying to Congress was a cause for officials to be charged there would have been no Russian meddling hoax or Mueller investigation in the first place. Its major perpetrators – Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe et. al – would have been in the slammer themselves.
Moreover, the transcript of Stone’s mostly uninteresting and irrelevant testimony on the Russia-collusion issue:
- Is classified – so no one has even seen it except some members and staff of the committee and selected portions which have been leaked to the press; and
- Was pursued at the 11th hour out of desperation because Mueller’s thugs had come up empty on the entire Roger Stone file, and therefore only got around to fly-specking it last month looking for something – anything – to hang an indictment upon .
Nevertheless, the hideous Mueller witch-hunt just keeps it going from one absurdity to the next ridiculous overreach.
In addition to this final Roger Stone farce, can there be anything more pitiful after 17 months of nothingburgers on the phony Russian collusion file than Mueller’s list of indictments. These include:
- 13 Russian college kids for essentially practicing English as a third language at a St. Petersburg troll farm for $4 per hour;
- 12 Russian intelligence operatives who might as well have been picked from the GRU phonebook;
- Baby George Papadopoulos for mis-recalling an irrelevant date by two weeks;
- Paul Manafort for standard Washington lobbyist crimes committed long before
he met Trump;
Michael Cohen for shirking taxes and running Trump’s bimbo silencing operation;
- Michael Flynn for doing his job talking to the Russian Ambassador and confusing the confusable Mike Pence on what he said and didn’t say about Obama’s idiotic 11th hour Russian sanctions;
- Rick Gates for helping Manafort shakedown the Ukrainian government and other
oily Washington supplicants.;
Sam Patten, another Manafort operative who forget to register correctly as a foreign agent;
- Richard Pinedo, a grifter who never met Trump and got caught selling forged bank accounts on-line to Russians for a couple bucks each;
- Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyers who wrote a report for Manafort in 2012 and misreported to the FBI what he told Gates about it.
That’s it and it’s about as pathetic as it gets. If nothing else, the fact that Mueller hasn’t been guffawed out of town on account of this tommyrot is a measure of the degree to which the Imperial City has fallen prey to the Trump Derangement Syndrome.
At the end of the day, the whole Mueller Gong Show goes back too the "hacked" versus "leaked" issue with regard to the DNC and Podesta emails, and the now completely discredited notion that the Russian GRU hacked the DNC emails and handed them off to WikiLeaks.
The so called intelligence community report of January 2017, which was actually written by Brennan’s hand-picked partisans, is the source of that myth. It falsely claims,
"We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations…..We assess with high confidence the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks…."
No, not at all,
William Binney, who is the father of modern NSA internet spying technologies, says that the DNC emails were leaked on a thumb-drive and couldn’t have been hacked as a technical matter due to the download speeds stamped on the documents; and equally competent analysts have shown that Guccifer 2.0 is almost surely a NSA contrived fiction based on the oldest trick in the police precinct station house – planting evidence, in this case telltale Cyrillic letters and the name of a notorious head of the Soviet secret police way back in 1918.
Yet that’s all they’ve got. To wit, an "assessment" that the Russian state caused some Democrat political skullduggery to get into the public domain based on "classified" evidence that they are not sharing, but if made public would easily disprove the charge.
And that gets us to the meat of the matter. If the Donald had had the experience and good sense to understand that the phony Brennan report – that was thrown in his face on the eve of his inauguration – was a political attack document, not an intelligence community product, he would have released the classified version in its entirety on January 21, 2017.
That would have been the end of RussiaGate then and there because, as the Roger Stone caper once again underscores, there is absolutely no there, there.
Indeed, the entire Russia collusion hoax is really nothing more than a dimwitted attempt to conjure up a Russian assault on American democracy that absolutely did not happen; and to cover-up the most egregious breach of constitutional government that has ever been endured by what remains of the American Republic.
David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He’s the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… And How to Bring It Back. He also is founder of David Stockman’s Contra Corner and David Stockman’s Bubble Finance Trader.
Read more by David Stockman
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- Good Riddance to General Mattis and the Rest of Washington’s Mad Dogs of War – December 25th, 2018
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