It won’t be “full and thorough” and Democrats will continue to look for political payoff from Russia-gate, writes Patrick Lawrence.
By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News
Last week gave us mounting indications that Robert Mueller has finished his two-year probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections and is about to issue his long-awaited report.
But those who hope to read the results of the “full and thorough investigation” promised when Mueller was appointed special counsel should adjust their expectations. After spending upward of $12 million, Mueller is almost certain to hand Attorney General William Barr a light-on-evidence document that dodges many more questions than it resolves. Neither is it clear whether the AG will make all, part, or none of the Mueller report public.
There are two certainties we can rely upon as we await Mueller’s final word, none a cause for relief.
- The special counsel’s office did not undertake a credible investigation of the two core charges related to the 2016 elections—that Russian intelligence hacked Democratic National Committee email servers while colluding with Donald Trump as he sought the presidency. Mueller failed to call numerous key witnesses, and failed to pursue alternative theories, a duty of any investigator in Mueller’s position. These omissions are more or less fatal to the legitimacy of Mueller’s work.
- Among the mainstream Democrats who have incessantly hyped the “Russia-wrecked-our-elections” story, there is no remorse for the damage it has done to our governing institutions, our foreign policy, and our national security. Russia-gate has consolidated Cold War II. The chance to rebuild mutually beneficial relations with Moscow has been damaged.
Sequence of Events
There is a sequence of events leading up to the completed Mueller report that is important to follow. Earlier this month the House Judiciary Committee announced that it has requested documents from 81—yes, 81—government agencies, entities such as Wikileaks, and (mostly) individuals. These last include the president’s two sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr.; Jared Kushner, his son-in-law; Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer; former AG Jeff Sessions, and former White House Counsel Douglas McGahn.
The committee purports to be looking for obstructions of justice, collusion with Russia, and other possible transgressions—this after Mueller spent two years investigating the same things. It is not hard to read this for what it is: the first indication that the Democrat-controlled House wants enough grist to keep the post–Mueller Russia-gate mill running for its political advantage.
“Russia-gate,” in short, is not about to pass into history. It looks now as if this political spectacle will be sustained as long as President Trump remains in office.
Numerous other signs that Mueller is folding his tent have followed. Various members of his investigative team have either left or will do so soon. Last week Mueller relieved Michael Flynn, once and briefly Trump’s national security adviser, of further questioning. A federal judge then gave Paul Manafort, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, his final sentence: He gets seven and a half years in prison on financial fraud charges. This now looks like the biggest fish Mueller has caught—and never mind that Manafort’s crimes had nothing to do with either the Trump campaign or allegations of Russian interference.
Last Thursday the House voted 420–0 (with four abstentions) to back a resolution calling for Justice to make the full Mueller report public once it goes to Barr’s office. “Mission accomplished” is the only way to read all this. Now what?
It is not yet clear what Justice will do with Mueller’s report. In the Republican-controlled Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not saying whether he will back a make-it-public vote. He blocked a bipartisan resolution similar to the House’s earlier this year. Barr is obliged only to show some of what is in the Mueller report to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
For his part, Trump has been all over the place as to what Barr should do. Last Friday he insisted Mueller “should never have been appointed and there should be no Mueller report.” A day later the president claimed he told House Republicans to back the make-it-public resolution, as they did. “Makes us all look good and it doesn’t matter,” the president said in a Twitter message Saturday.
The Mueller report is in for endless spin no matter what is in it. In a weekend opinion item carried in The Guardian, the usually sensible Robert Reich, a former U.S. Labor secretary, suggested the impending report leaves the president trapped and desperate. “So what does a cornered president do?” Reich asked. “For starters, he raises the specter of violence against his political opponents.”
Setting aside such paranoiac hyperbole, Trump’s second thought—publish it all—is the wiser. It is next to impossible that Mueller found hard evidence to support either of the two primary allegations that have driven the special counsel’s investigations.
First and very conspicuously, Mueller’s investigators never consulted those who could have shed light on these assertions. These include Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder; Christopher Steele, who wrote the now-infamous dossier purporting to establish evidence of Russian collusion, and prominent technical and forensic scientists who have done extensive work on the digital trail left by those responsible for the theft of email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee.
Second and yet more persuasively, the just-noted technical and forensic experts have demonstrated that the mail operations in mid–2016 were not hacks — by Russians or anyone else — but leaks executed by someone with access to the Podesta and DNC emails who used a storage device such as a memory key. Mueller’s office has never examined this work in pursuit of alternative evidence in the email case. There is no legitimate justification for this dereliction.
Last week Consortium News published the latest report from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which does its own forensic work while also coordinating with various independent forensic investigators. There are now three layers of evidence indicating that the 2016 mail compromises were an inside job: the speed of the downloads, the manipulation of files to implant Russian “fingerprints,” and — this most recently — the numerical codes on the stolen files, which demonstrate that the probability of a remote hack via the internet is 1-in-2 to the 500thpower.
None of those working on the stolen mail’s metadata, including Bill Binney, formerly a technical director at the National Security Agency and the lead scientist at VIPS, has ever been contacted by the special counsel’s investigators. “Nobody wants to talk about evidence,” Binney said by telephone over the weekend. “What Mueller’s doing now is clearing the report of anything that conflicts with the forensics already produced. Given this work has been done, he can’t afford to allege collusion or Russian involvement, so there’ll be nothing substantive in the report about either.”
If Binney is right, the Mueller report will resemble the “Intelligence Community Assessment” published in January 2017. Virtually devoid of evidence, the ICA was more or less fraudulent in its reliance on loosely reasoned inferences and innuendo.
If this proves the outcome after Mueller’s two-year effort, we may never know who was responsible for the 2016 email thefts or the role of U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence agencies since then; countless other questions will go unanswered. “The sole objective is to perpetuate ‘Russia-gate,’” Binney said last weekend. That will come at a high price when measured by the distortions of our political institutions, our judiciary and our foreign policy priorities.
Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is www.patricklawrence.us. Support his work via www.patreon.com/thefloutist.
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$25 million spent, not $12. Where do you get your “facts”. Did you read the AGs letter to Congress? More rocks turned over here than any previous special prosecutor. Very thorough job if you ask me. Let’s start focusing on improving infrastructure, education, health care and put an end to wastfeul partisan BS.
” The chance to rebuild mutually beneficial relations with Moscow has been damaged. ”
Why else was this nara time initiated by the Coporate Democrats?
Expecting the person who lead the cover up of the crimes of 9/11 was great comedy, indeed.
Russiagate is looking like this generation’s WMD – a catastrophe for the reputation of the news media:
Is it even possible to ahve any sense of NUANCE to debating investigations of Trump & his “Russian connections”? It’s actually possible to OPPOSE Cold War II with Russia and yet, still be suspicious of Trump’s dealings with foreign powers–including Russia (how about all the MONEY LAUNDERING for Russian OLIGARCHS Trump’s done by selling them real estate?) How do any of the nay-sayers of investigating them feel about Trump’s (seemly obvious) CORRUPTION of campaign & post-election trolling for Putin’s permission to build his decades long dream of a TRUMP TOWER MOSCOW? or Son-In-Law-In-Charge-of-Middle-East-Peace Jared Kushner’s attempts at “back channel” (NON-transparent) communications with Russian government? or Trump himself making sure there’s NO RECORD of any of his one-0on-one conversations with Putin? At the very least, it appears thta Donald Trump has more interests in HIS MONEY than in U.S. foreign policy. That any progresisve/leftist could see Trump as a “peace activist” is a joke! He’s had TWO YEARS to bring the troops home from Iraq & Afghanistan & the other 5 countries that President Obama started wars on…& he hasn’t done it. Trump has RAISED Pentagon budget & put people with ECONOMIC CONFLICTS OF INTEREST into his Cabinet–like the BOEING executive now as Sec. of Defense.
I DISLIKE Hillary Clinton & did NOT vote for her–or Trump. I think there are MANY reasons she lost the election—not the least of which is her long terrible record when it comes to EVERYONE–except the 1%. The rooted-in-PRESERVING-SLAVERY/Antiquated Electoral College was another reason. James Comey’s announcements in both JULY & OCT. 106 didn’t help—nor did, what looks like Russian targeting of specific white working class Midwest voters. But, REGARDLESS if “Russian interference” had ANY role in the 2016 Election, Donal;d Trump is being revealed as a CORRUPT LIAR who raises the WORST elements in American life: to quote a famous witness: he’s a racist, a con man and a cheat.
If you had disconnected yourself from the 2 party system, what do you see?
You will see one party, not two, that associates itself with the elites, not the regular voters.
The regular voters are just pawn pieces on the political chess board that is played with or removed.
I see a corrupt system that both parties belong to, and its members serve it for their own interests.
If both parties were good, where are the business, military, educational, political, financial, legal, and medical reforms that apply to everyone?
Why are most government politicians above the law?
Why do executive-level government get executive healthcare while the majority of its citizens get
less than this?
Why is the U.S hated by some countries?
Why is the U.S. government so corrupt? If you look at the corruption index, the U.S. is negatively trending downwards over time.
Why does the U.S. still have so much debt from the past, the present, and going towards the future?
For our government system, it does not make a difference who is in charge after this president and its congress.
If you had watched the movie Matrix, don’t be a battery.
Everyone is, of course, free to spend their day(s) on social media insisting the evidence is so clear & overwhelming that Trump family members & officials conspired with Russia to influence the election. The question they have to confront is: why did Mueller not indict them then?
Robert Reich proved his allegiance to Hillary Clinton back in 2015-2016. That sounds like bad judgment to me. His present words are meaningless to me, and they are published in a filthy lying rag that lost its formerly significant credibility years ago.
Mueller’s failure to interview the absolutely vital witnesses is obvious to those who have kept up with related events and information
since the beginning. This, however, amounts to such an extremely small number that it is fairly obvious that the truth about “Russia
Gate” will be as quickly forgotten as the Bush administrations lying us into war with Iraq.
Is there a reason why my comments on this thread have disappeared?
excellent essay, thank you.
Well, Pat is “upset” at Meuller’s “dereliction of duty” and the report has not even been made public yet. Something tells me Pat will need a Safe Space by Sunday afternoon as the report has just been presented to Barr Friday evening.
What report??? Oh yeah Mueller’s stick figure drawings and hypothetical musings. Too bad he can’t dig up the dirt but then many fossils in Washington would be found himself included.
The corrup people that are and will continue to do the never ending investigations make a lot of money.
By do the investigations they protect the guilty which are the investigators themselves.
They also insure that the Clinton Cartel will never get caught . Think about that.
Did you see James Comey let the public down gently and try to quell the riots ahead of time with the seal of his authenticity?
“At last, our long national nightmare is over!”
Right. But that was circa 1974.
Now we walk in troubled dreamscapes without seeming end, but for the almost-welcome release “into that dark night.”
My God, how we’ve lost it in this age of miracles and wonders…
Patrick, I always like seeing your analysis of things and you’ve nailed it again.
Unfortunately going through the comments I find the worst dearth of brainpower I have ever witnessed on a Consortium News thread. Almost unbelievable, but one just never knows what’s going to show up anymore.
You stuck it. Bullseye. Ignore the “morans.”
That’s morons not morans, so u must not be talking to me.
Those are quotation marks encapsulating ‘morans,’ which makes the word a specific irony, but only to those aware enough to ‘get’ its implied meaning. Also known as ‘wit.’
Try observing things in a different light. Or maybe don’t if it pains ye.
Which I would find surprising in that your comment “It is clear the author & responders do not understand geo-politics….” comes across as cogent and quite similar to my own take on matters.
Thanks, I think I learned something.
The USA has become a theater state. Concrete achievements, concrete evidenve, do no matter. All that matters is theatrical statements, dramatic actions.
When the Pharoah’s inner circle said that the Pharoah was God on earth, it was, in essence, a media lie. In Europe leaders coined the term “by the Grace of God” or “God’s will”. The perceived threat of Gutenberg was that people who could read could read contrary versions of truth. Town criers did not last in the job if they weren’t repeating the party line.
Mueller released his report last June, concluding that Russia played no role in the 2016 election. Few who noticed, were surprised when Mueller was sent back in, apparently to “find something.” He was scheduled to release another report in November, 2018. My guess is that it will actually be released next summer, just prior to the election. The Clinton wing will not be satisfied with anything that doesn’t support their claims against Russia, but after two years of searching for it, the evidence simply isn’t there. What is so peculiar about this obsession with Russia? The fact that, in spite of so much Dem voter opposition to the Clinton wing, Hillary Clinton got the most votes (Google it). Trump is president because he got the most electoral votes — something a foreign country couldn’t steal, influence, manipulate, etc., etc.
Truth is Donald Trump is a tool. Like a weedeater or a vacuum, except in reverse. His job is to make a mess like a chaos snowmachine. Crap all over the Oval Office, the military, and any coherent notion of policy and government as being for good of the people.
With Russia (and all other simmering wars), Trump does whatever the neoconservatives tell him to do because he has no foreign policy or ideology of his own. Don’t overthink it. There’s no 4D chess going on here, just pissing on things, marking his territory.
In fact, Trump has no economic, domestic, or foreign ideology other than “Me.” Therefore, any benefit to anyone not named “Me” which may come from anything he does is coincidental. Collateral damage, so to speak. Inadvertent to the hoisting of the Great Leader’s social status.
Trump is against blacks because he is white. He is against women because he’s a man. He’s against the regular people because he’s an oligarch. Simple.
Agree, and take a look at what Trump did. He reinforced economic sanctions against Russia, increased US “meddling” in Ukraine, increased US/NATO troops near the Russian border, and we’ve been subjected to two years of anti-Russian propaganda. And yes, Trump is about Trump. Period.
Yes O’S, as I’ve noted a number of times before, the ‘Occam’s razor’ POV here (which I and some others subscribed to) is that Trump basically ran for office as a PR event, to help his always shady/chronically financially troubled scam empire by getting name recognition to help fool potential investors. His stated political views were by and large entirely opportunistic and irrelevant —- for instance, he supposedly used to be a liberal Democratic supporter who reportedly supported abortion rights and advocated for Hillary Clinton. Trump was more stunned than elated when he won on election night (you could almost see him thinking ‘Oh crap, NOW I might actually have to do some WORK, and it’ll be in the public eye, where I can’t con people as easily as I do investors’), and his wife reportedly cried, but not tears of joy. To impute any serious political policies to the man is to vastly exaggerate his interest in politics. He never previously held any elected office, which tells us a lot.
It is clear the author & responders do not understand geo-politics. As US imperialism continues its hegemonic actions, like the expansion of NATO, it is clear the Russians need to foil this aggression. How do they do it short of nuclear war? They need to disrupt bourgeois democracy in order to maintain & spread real democracy, i.e., socialist democracy. It doesn’t matter that the October Revolution was destroyed which Putin said recently is the worst thing that happened in the 20th century. There is still a desire to reestablish socialism. In addition the US doesn’t want that nor will it tolerate a powerful capitalist Russia. Writers at Consortium don’t seem to understand this facet of geo-politics. Why? Because writers & readers here are of the bourgeoisie & are not Marxists even though they seem to be defending Russia & speak about preventing a Cold War II.
I HAVE A QUESTION (!)
What’s the purpose of Consortiumnews and Certain Analyst, (both professional and commenters) Presenting Opinions FAVORING TRUMP ! ? !
I’m in desperate consternation in view of the Clear and Present Sleaziness of this absolutely Fraudulent Person finding Safe Harbor on this Robert Parry channel that, seemingly ought to be opposed to the OBVIOUSLY (politically) AMORAL/ AMORPHIC / DETACHED Donald Trump.
Mild, I know you are likely sincere in your question. What is perplexing is why you think certain articles here and certain comments from CN readers, are “favoring Trump.” Though there are a tiny sprinkling of commenters who seem to like our Current Occupant Moron, the vast majority don’t feel any such emotion towards this truly repulsive joke of a president. I think you may be suffering from too much MSNBC and CNN watching. Think critically. Read widely. Don’t allow your repulsion to color your ability to critically evaluate articles. And remember, America was quite the shit-show before the electoral college won it for him. Remember, he is a symptom of our worsening societal sickness. Now, take two reality pills and call me in the morning.
Well put, ML. Mildly has an acute case of TDS. Trump is merely a symptom, not the disease.
To Starky, Skip, and David, thank you. I see it as my civic duty….:))
Thank you, ML.
If offered a choice between arsenic and cyanide, I would pick “neither.” Criticizing the current Dem Party doesn’t mean support for the Republican Party.
Early in the Trump tenure there were well-schooled, otherwise morally upstanding liberals in my circle who were willing to accept a military coup to take out Trump.
MF – most readers on this site dislike most of Trump’s policies as much as anyone, but we generally believe there are 3rd or 4th ADDITIONAL options beyond the Democratic Party which has effectively been co-opted into the lite-wing of the Republican Party, esp as concerns economics and international relations. I for one don’t believe that if Hillary has been elected, or if Trump disappeared tomorrow, that MAJOR policies in those two areas would be significantly different, and for the record I voted for the Green Party candidate (Jill Stein) in the 2016 POTUS election here in Wisconsin (and I don’t even have a Facebook account, so those evil Russians must’ve duped-me in some other nefarious way, damn them and omniscient knowledge!)
There’s a clear pattern in Donald Trump’s life, as well as the life of his father, and his father before that.
They’ll steal and lie and scam and defraud the public, and get away with it.
We all know that’s how the American Fairytale ends: He shat all over the place and someone else cleaned it up. Again.
As per your link to the article by Nomi Prins, and other similar articles going back to the 80’s, Trump is easily the most financially corrupt POTUS we’ve seen in our generation (I was born in ‘49), possibly the worst ever, at least on a personal-business basis (things like the Teapot Dome scandal were more ‘political-financial’ corrupt, a somewhat different category, though in the end it’s obviously all CORRUPTION*). It’s sad that the US has gotten to this point politically —- to have someone so ill-suited and corrupt as our POTUS —- but maybe as some critics have said Trump IS an appropriate symbol of the crass country we’ve become..? If that’s true or not, maybe he’ll serve as a ‘bottoming-out’ signal to enough of the US electorate to examine our overall culture and start a correction to more humanistic policies.
* Side note: Zephyr Teachout (quoted in the link) wrote an excellent book “Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United”, which is a very readable, informative book on that timely subject.
Who’s P. Lawrence? What’s his credibility based on?
Like anyone, it’s based on his statements, reasoning, and evidence. Do you have a problem with any of his evidence or reasoning?
lawrence, show us the facts, if you know better. I’am afraid you don’t possess them either, otherwise you would have given them.
Try reading the article.
.. well gee Stan,
We must remember, that art is art.
Well, on the other hand, water is water, isn’t it?
And east is east, and west is west.
And if you take cranberries and stew them like apple sauce,
they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.
… Now uh…now, you tell me what you know.
~ Captain Spaulding (Groucho) in Animal Crackers; 1930 ~
Hey, look everybody, it’s the first day of Spring and the furry trolls have emerged from hibernation.
Good one. Or sprouts of ignorance.
Since dump has held the reigns of our country, there seem to have been countless investigations to quell public agitation over one crisis and then another. Nothing substantial is revealed by the investigations and the uproar is supposed to be sufficiently subdued, but leaving more unanswered further questions. It’s frustrating and frugh5ening. What’s going on?
I’m looking forward to reading Woody Allen’s non-fiction version of the Mueller Report.
I am looking forward to the outrage against the US’s interference in elections around the world. The gall of deciding that someone other than the elected president is someone the US suddenly says is president of a sovereign country (this time Venezuela) is staggering. Yet Americans accept that propaganda without blinking and rag on about Russian interference that never happened. How sick is this country? Sick enough to die by it’s own hand.
I’m looking forward to seeing responses to my comment, which has not been posted by/at Consortiumnews. …
YOur comment is at the top.
You make a fundamental and very serious category error in assuming that standing up for a valid process means “supporting Trump.” You must be a liberal with Trump Derangement Syndrome.
And if you stop to think with your head instead of your knee, as in “knee-jerk,” you will see that falsely accusing and pursuing Trump has hurt the country by, actually, helping Trump. It is not sites such CN that are helping Trump. It is this mendacious “investigation” that clearly is out to get Trump for *something,* *anything, * that is helping Trump and hurting the country. HOw can a CN reader be so clueless? Haven’t you been following the exacting, thorough coverage of this ane related issues such as the fate of Julian Assange on this site starting with robert Parry and continues by his son and others.
Go back and do your homework. Regarding the state of the investigation itself, I suggest that you go to The Duran and check out the recent interview of Alexander Mercouris, in which he lays out very clearly the deceit and twisting of so-called “evidence” that lies at the heart of this whole absurd, ridiculous mess. The Steele dossier has just ripped its own credibility apart. The whole thing is ludicrous. you must have the brains to understand that this is not really about Trump but about the Dems. About what they did to stop Trump any way they could. Including throuigh illegl and scurrilous means and men. Men just as sleazy as Trump.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK before wh inging and hining on this site and acting like someone here owes you something.
Amen, Llitchfield. Amen.
You can’t believe the president. You can’t believe anything anyone says about the president either.
Whomever had the bright idea to make sure no one believes anything coming out of Washington DC for the foreseeable future…
Ding! Ding! WINNER WINNER chicken dinner!
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”
CIA Director William Casey
And what he”ll end up with is: “the American public believes everything we say is false.”
OH, America is so over. Like a marriage where the spouses no longer trust each other.
What we learned from the Mueller investigation report last summer, which stated that there was no evidence of “Russian interference/collusion” in the 2016 election, is that the powerful Clinton wing won’t be satisfied unless Mueller “finds” something to support their allegations. The important thing is to keep the tale spinning until (at least) after the 2020 election.
The real purpose of Russia-gate was to falsely entrench Russia as the number one enemy of the U.S. once again for our trillion dollar war industries.
Y’all know the whole system is built on fraud and scams, right? Even the sacred “Support Our Troops” patriotism red, white, and blue Department of Defense is nothing but a gigantimous boondoggle to fund fat rich parasites like Donald Trump and Dick Chaney and Erik Prince.
We’ve been had and we can prove it!
How about we bring in Bill and Hillary Clinton for formal questioning. Place electrical shock collars around their necks. Set the intensity to medium. When they answer questions with a lie the intensity of the shock will make them piss their pants.
There, I fixed it for you folks
We can also observe that the constant push to find the messenger for the “leaked emails” to Podesta never concentrated on their content, which was devastating for the Dems including Obama’s “choice” of cabinet dictated by the banksters. The huge reduction in Democratic seats in Congress and State houses during the 8 Obama years easily explains the loss of POTUS in 2016, even dismissing the terrible candidate in Hillary Clinton.
The very fact that the servers were never inspected by the FBI but a private company that has a history of being anti Russia completely ruined the investigation and chain of evidence that breached their own laws and never sought any interview with Ambassador Craig Murray who said he knows who leaked the evidence says it all.
Craig Murray is banned from the USA.
Assange stated on at least two occasions, ( a Dutch TV interview and another televised interview that Seth was his source.) Assange also offered a $10,000 reward for Seth’s murderer.
Ambassador Craig Murray knows who leaked the emails
Assange never actually said that Seth Rich was the source and always repeated that Wikileaks never reveals its sources. He did offer a reward of $20,000 to find Rich’s killer, which clearly implies that Rich was the source but Wikileaks can still claim that they will never reveal their sources. Kim.com claimed to know that Rich was the source and sent letters to the FBI saying that he would come and testify in the U.S. if he was assured that he would not be arrested (for cyber crimes alleged by the U.S.). The FBI never even responded. The FBI is not looking for the truth, their mission is to target Trump, nothing else. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud of Mueller’s corruption.
Some of you may be interested in my long summary regarding some of these issues, and in particular clarifying what Ambassador Craig Murray has alleged, which appears under last week’s VIPS’ memo here: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/03/13/vips-muellers-forensics-free-findings/
James Clooney: I’m curious to know the second televised interview you are referring to, in which Assange implies that Seth may have been the WikiLeaks DNC source.
Norumbega, I returned to that thread and appreciate your thorough investigation. Many thanks.
think t was $25,000.
Thank you Zim, you answer the question: “who downloaded onto a thumbdrive the DNC computer?”
I was quite interested in the early reports of supposed foreign influences and hacks of the 2016 election, because to some extent computer security has been part of my métier. I soon realized that very little actual evidence was being presented in comparison with the wild stories being circulated. So I don’t think it’s surprising that Mueller appears to be coming up with nothing substantial (unless there’s a big surprise awaiting us all). Mueller did not call a number of the obvious witnesses (as noted above) because he knew they could not offer anything.
The House investigation is motivated by two things: (1) Democrats promised that if they got control of the House they would investigate and maybe impeach Trump; (2) CYA procedures. The main effort of the Democratic Party leadership is keeping the Left down; Russiagate was supposed to distract people from concerns like climate change, health care, education costs, and so on; the Democratic leadership’s donor class wants this sort of thing to be stopped or diverted. Hence the constant focus on Trump and the conspiracy fables associated by them with him. They have now made a number of gaffes, not just Russiagate, which have to be covered up and put out of mind if possible.
Those who went along with all this, especially those who indulged in McCarthyism, should be reminded of it frequently.
The key to the Democrats’ reasons for keeping Dem voters/liberals distracted (by any means possible) actually isn’t related to the leading c0ncerns of liberals (environment, etc.). Much time and effort goes into avoiding discussion about h0w successfully Democrats split apart their own voting base by class, middle class vs. poor. This matters because, as research has consistently confirmed, most votes come down to economic issues, and we’re over 20 yrs into the Democrats’ war on the poor. The consequences of that class war have been effectively disappeared from the media. This is essential to ensure the continued upward redistribution of the country’s collective wealth.
It is clear the author & responders do not understand geo-politics. As US imperialism continues its hegemonic actions, like the expansion of NATO, it is clear the Russians need to foil this aggression. How do they do it short of nuclear war? They need to disrupt bourgeois democracy in order to maintain & spread real democracy, i.e., socialist democracy. Writers at Consortium don’t seem to understand this facet of geo-politics. Why? Because writers & readers here are of the bourgeoisie & are not Marxists even though they seem to be defending Russia & speak about preventing a Cold War II.
Oh and the Russian ruling elite is Socialist this is real news … Gary You are deluded Russia is a Conservative religious society with a Conservative leadership and a Neo-Liberal Economy… they are not going to spread Marxism or even democratic Socialism in the U.S or anywhere else …. I’m afraid Americans will have to do that themselves….very afraid!
Whatever you say, comrade.
Touché —- you got me —- I’m NOT a Marxist. I’m probably a ‘bourgeois capitalist’ on some level, at least by the strict standards of most Marxists I’ve encountered in-print/on-line. From what I’ve read (and not just MSM stuff) about the Marxist experiment in USSR, it too had several major problems (vicious infighting, totalitarianism, purges, famines, etc) just as our capitalistic system has also had its problems. Maybe a modern-day Marxism could work in the US, but our long history of depredation and ‘hucksterism’ would have to somehow be erased, and the impulse of human greed greatly reduced before I would find that plausible. It’s easier to envision something like democratic-socialism coming about and benefiting the vast majority in the US than foreseeing a Marxist state ever happening here, at least in the next 100 years…
Concerning the first charge, Russian intelligence hacking the DNC computers, there is one more witness whom Mueller never contacted, although he sent a message to Mueller and volunteered to be interviewed:
Kim Dotcom / Twitter 8. Aug. 2018
“I certainly know that Wikileaks didn’t get it from Russia. I know who was the Wikileaks DNC source. I was involved. The Mueller indictment of 12 Russians will never be tested in Court, it’s a scam, initiated by Hillary Clinton. Mueller is a political hitman tasked to end Trump.”
It seems that both sides are steering the discussion to another dimension, being frustrated in advance of the coming Mueller report. The Democrats are starting new investigations on other issues on Trump, not pushing the impeachment project further, the other side is worried that the Mueller report will leave the question open, undecided, so that everyone can stick to their original suspicions, and the country is left in turmoil.
It was reported some time ago that the DNC servers hadn’t been hacked at all. It was determined that someone who had direct access to the computers had simply downloaded a huge number of files onto ordinary thumb drives, and these were passed along, ultimately to Wikileaks.
I hadn’t been aware of Kim Dotcom’s 2018 Tweet, but he is one of several potential witnesses to the matter in whom Mueller has shown zero interest in interviewing.
I discuss this matter in a long post under last week’s VIPS memo. In combination this witness evidence further underscores that what Mueller is doing cannot by any stretch be considered an honest investigation:
Paranoiac hyperbole, is it?
Yes, it’s pretty clear that the Democrats want to do to the Republicans what the Republicans did to the Democrats under Clinton and Obama. Hobble the president that they don’t want to consider legitimate. The Democrats have a couple of problems. One is that when there was no there there in Clinton’s case special persecutor Starr was able to get salacious bits on Clinton and essentially trap him into a formal form of perjury because Clinton didn’t want to admit that he had had sex with “that woman”. Trump doesn’t give a sh*t. God and the gang know who he’s been sleeping with and he doesn’t care so the prudish, hypocritical sanctimony of the evangelicals won’t get him. The other problem is essentially that impeachment isn’t really the vehicle to remove presidents you don’t like. That’s what elections are for. You can’t impeach him for something he did five years ago.
It really is too bad that he didn’t depose Christopher Steele. Christopher Steele gives new meaning to the line out of the Charlie Daniels hit where Uneasy Rider says, “he may look dumb, but that’s just a disguise. He’s a mastermind in the ways of espionage”. So, not only aren’t today’s Democrats very competent, they can’t hire competent help, either.
It’s not clear to me what the country does when neither political party is competent.
Jeff Harrison, you vote for Jill Stein, that’s what you do.
Donald Trump is nothing more than an aristocrat. He got his family millions from his dad, Fred, whose own mother, Elizabeth, started him in real estate. It’s a family of rich grifters.
Yet the Democratic party doesn’t go after all the Trump’s financial fraud and scams. It’s all Spy vs. Spy Russia baloney instead. Why?
Because he was a democrat since 1999 and huge Hillary supporter ?
If there was any there there you think they wouldn’t have used it already?
Oh, I think we all know Trump is as crooked as a stick in water. There’s mountains of corruption in his family, at least a century’s worth of fraud and scams to hold up in the sunlight.
The so called “meritocracy” – aka aristocracy, oligarchy, elite, plutocrats, etc – don’t want to turn over rocks looking for Trumps financial corruption because they’re all hiding fraud and scams of their own.
Meritocracy itself is a fraud. These aren’t our best and brightest and most worthy running things, they’re celebrities and vampires, just like Trump is.
Are you ready to expose how the selfish bastards rig the game to keep the rest of us from getting any of their so called “merit?”
The first rule of Rich Club is you don’t talk about Rich Club!
The US is a bizarrely corrupt dysfunctional country.
The two countries that (past and present) interfere the most in US politics and elections are Israel and Britain. The corrupt FBI didn’t include them in its politicized “investigation”.
Due to Hillary’s incompetent attempts to hide her emails from examination via FOIA requests by using her own insecure servers, Russia and all other countries with competent computer intelligence capabilities likely have all her emails dealing with State Dept. classified and unclassified info. They also likely have her emails dealing with the corrupt Clinton “charity” foundation dealings.
Despite the above, the evidence indicates Wikileaks got the DNC emails showing corrupt activities, not from Russia or any other country, but from a DNC onsite data transfer to a USB thumb drive, which was later physically transferred to wiki (involving Craig Murray) . Seth Rich, a DNC employee whose subsequent murder remains unsolved, has been all but named by Assange as the DNC source.
Big Russian money flowed to Bill Clinton for speeches. Big Russian money flowed to the obviously corrupt Clinton foundation as “donations”.
Bill Clinton said: “I left the White House  $16 million in debt”. A Forbes magazine analysis of Clinton tax returns had them pulling in $240 million over the ensuing 15 years.
What do the Clintons have to offer in books and speeches that would pull in that kind of money?
And yet, all the legal and press attention goes to supposed Trump corruption.
So far at least, nobody has been able to point to any any dirt on Trump that could have been used as blackmail leverage, which is somewhat amazing for an operator who was involved in New York real estate, casinos and hotels.
Russiagate has been a smashing success. It has turned the bulk of the liberal Democratic voting bloc into Russiaphobic cold warriors who don’t seem overly concerned with the almost certain dire consequences of such insanity. They seem eager to see their freedoms set aside so the rebranded Democratic Neocons can protect them from boogeymen. It’s never been easier in all of human history to inform oneself, yet we find ourselves surrounded by astonishing ignorance as sites like this see their traffic from search reduced by tricks done by the corporate providers of the search engines. I foolishly thought that Trump would cause a leftward movement in the population, and to a limited degree it has. I’m just shocked at how many of my friends and family are totally sucked in by Russiagate and surrounding manipulations. I see no sign that they learned anything from the 2016 debacle.
I don’t know where you live or who you talk to, but the Democratic Party types I’ve talked to haven’t been very interested in Russiagate. Those who are have also heard the criticisms of it from both the Left and the Right, which pretty much vitiate the hysteria the Democratic Party leadership have tried to provoke. I believe (as I said above) that a large part of what is going on now among the D.P. leadership is CYA maneuvering.
Glennn, you are so right and it’s a sad commentary on the state of the Democratic electorate. Nearly every single one of our friends have been taken in by this ruse. It’s disturbing to watch them spout this propaganda. And even if you refer them to CN and ask them to read this site for a few weeks to see what real journalism is, they still look at you blankly and laud the likes of Rachel Maddow, recording MSNBC shows so they can “watch them every day!” It’s beyond depressing. Thank goodness for CN. It helps to know there is other intelligent life out there… Cheers.
Yeah, and take it from me that it’s a little dicey when your spouse is one of those Maddow-ites…
“I’m just shocked at how many of my friends and family are totally sucked in by Russiagate and surrounding manipulations. I see no sign that they learned anything from the 2016 debacle.”
Amen. First they loved Russiagate, and then the same people supported the Maduro coup.
These are symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome that has it the putative left and basically destroyed it.
“Big Russian money flowed to Bill Clinton for speeches. Big Russian money flowed to the obviously corrupt Clinton foundation as “donations”. ”
A NYT article from 2013
Yes, there would be at least as much “meat” examining the Clintons’ finances as there is in examining Trump’s.
By your wording I’m not sure if you realize that you are talking about two different sets of emails. Hillary’s emails for while she was SoS have no doubt been obtained by the Russians and the Chinese, and any country with an interest in monitoring US foreign policy that has hacking capability. That she got away with that without being prosecuted is astounding. The DNC emails could also have been hacked, but all evidence supports a leak being the source for Wikileaks. As Putin said, why would they bother to try to influence the election, when US foreign policy never changes no matter who is president. If the DNC and Podesta were hacked by foreign powers, it was likely just done for information.
(I just re-read your comment more carefully and see that you are likely aware that we’re talking about separate sets of emails.)
>By your wording I’m not sure if you realize that you are talking about two different sets of emails.<
The DNC servers, Hillary's home servers, and even the House Democrat's servers that Imran Awan had access to for years had little or no protection.
I have little doubt that the Russians and the Chinese (and probably others) scooped up whatever they could, just as we do. Like you say, there wasn’t much, if any, protection. Hillary should be in prison just for the mishandling of classified information as SoS, not to mention all her other provable crimes. That said, I don’t think there was any real motive, and much risk, for the Russians to have supplied Wikileaks. Putin isn’t dumb, and he was as surprised as the rest of the world when Hillary lost.
“Despite the above, the evidence indicates Wikileaks got the DNC emails showing corrupt activities, not from Russia or any other country, but from a DNC onsite data transfer to a USB thumb drive, which was later physically transferred to wiki (involving Craig Murray) . Seth Rich, a DNC employee whose subsequent murder remains unsolved, has been all but named by Assange as the DNC source.”
Craig Murray’s allegations have been widely misunderstood. I discuss the key points and implications of what Murray has alleged in a long comment under last week’s VIPS memo: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/03/13/vips-muellers-forensics-free-findings/
In short, Craig Murray’s meeting in Washington was clearly with the Podesta leaker and involved no physical transfer (the files were already safely with WikiLeaks at that point, according to Murray). The meeting itself occurred on September 25, 2016, well after Seth Rich was killed. The latest study by Binney and Johnson (summarized in the VIPS memo) indicate that the Podesta WikiLeaks files do NOT have the signature of having been downloaded to an external storage device prior to WikiLeaks receiving them – in contrast to the WikiLeaks DNC files, which do have such a signature. This corroborates Murray’s contention that the two sources were different people.
Craig Murray has a statement on the Hillary info that Wikileaks got on his blog:
Murray: ” As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks – there is a major difference between the two. And it should be said again and again, that if Hillary Clinton had not connived with the DNC to fix the primary schedule to disadvantage Bernie [ ] ”
Murray: ” Very, very few people can be said to definitely have access to the source of the leak. The people saying it is not Russia are those who do have access. “
Scott Horton’s interview with Craig Murray, which was in follow-up to that blog entry by Murray, clarifies a number of additional issues, such as that the DNC and Podesta leaks involved two different American sources: https://scotthorton.org/interviews/121316-craig-murray-dnc-podesta-emails-leaked-by-americans-not-hacked-by-russia/
The Mueller investigation’s report had, by last summer, resulted in a long list of indictments for business-related crimes/perjury. But what it did not do was support the “Russian collusion” tale. Until Mueller “finds something” to support the conclusion sought by the Clinton wing, it will be called “inc0mplete.” Expect a “bombshell” weeks prior to the 2020 election. If it does’t spark a catastrophic war, then the tale itself will fade away after the election.
Also not investigated is the role of the Clinton forces, including Obama, in perpetuating the myth of collusion as cover action for a) a failed election b) problems with The Clinton Foundation. Further on the not emphasized includes the ICA of January 2017 relying on Crowdstrike, a dubious intelligence service to begin with in the employ of Hillary Clinton. The earmarks of a fantastic propaganda scheme, involving supposedly reliable agencies of the US government, are clear and demonstrable under the noses of those who still clamor there must be something legitimate about Mueller and his investigation fiasco. If we needed further indications of corruption in high places, following the Democratic Party’s lead in fixing the 2016 presidential nomination for Clinton, it came speedily along thereafter, with an apparent, “Oh, gee, those nasty Russians are responsible!” response from a heavily brainwashed public. It would seem we need an official investigation of the investigation to join the enquiries of Mr. Lawrence, William Binney, et al.
As to Robert Reich, he was “paranoiacally hyperbolic” back in 2016 and has only added to the TDS hysteria.
Was Robert Reich “paranoiacally hyperbolic” before Trump said that he had the army, the police, and Trump-loving motorcycle gangs” to punish his enemies, or after?
Peter, you are exactly right! I’m not a fan of Robert Reich, but he was NOT being hyperbolic. “Hetro” and this author, need to read Paul Street’s recent essay where Trump was quoted on Breitbart News recently saying there will be bad, bad trouble when “his people” get “tough.” With the police, the military, and Bikers For Trump on his side, he’s implying there will be blood in the streets if anyone tries to remove him from office or does defeat him in the next dog and pony show of 2020. That’s not hyperbole. When this country finally gets its fuse lit, it’ll go up in a fireball with all Trump’s thuggish supporters and their “blood and soil” torches.
This article is a concise description of what is wrong with American politics and governance.
Come to think of it, there is an even more concise description of what is wrong the American politics and governance.
Of course, the Mueller investigation was never intended to definitively answer any serious questions, including why the FBI never insisted upon taking charge of the DNC computers allowing, instead, the allegations of a private firm to stand as “evidence”.
As you say, the harm done by the “Russia did it!” claim is immense and will have increasingly dire consequences as time goes on.
The point and purpose of the Mueller spectacle is to allow evidence-free speculation to entrance the political system, not just to excuse Hillary and the financial class Democrats of any responsibility for their loss in the election of 2016, but also to shift attention away from the dismal failure of perpetual warfare and neoliberal austerity, in the service of military empire and global capitalist extraction, even as the capacity of the planet to support human existence is daily diminished.
As long as the many can be kept distracted, the existential issues of nuclear war and environmental collapse may be avoided by the political class.
Even such ideas as genuine health care or a more sane, humane, and sustainable economic system can be kept from ever becoming something that people ought think and talk about.
If all problems may be attributed to Trump and Russia, then getting back to the Clinton-Bush-Obama daze of “business as usual” will drone on most happily and a new Cold War may be heated up as the next thrilling adventure.
Of course, the US Empire is waning, its capacity to dominate gone, it will behave rather badly. However, if sufficient fervor may be stirred, the populace may yet embrace an end-times crusade and rally round the flag, once more, to deal with foul and evil Russia, with China thrown in, just for good measure.
There is lots of great mileage in Russuagate.
It might yet be all to end all.
But what else have the desperate elite got?
This is certainly an accurate view of the problem. He mentions Robert Reich, who along with the rest of the ‘mainstream” Democrats jumped the shark long ago on this issue, which has destroyed the legitimacy of the democratic party. Reich lost any claim on rationality by following the conventional wisdom. Meanwhile, Trump’s defense against the false charges bolstered the neocon element in the Republican party. I don’t see how this ends well.
I tend to agree with your assessment…
If the Mueller Report provides no conclusive evidence of Russian interference with the 2016 election, as I highly doubt it will, what happens next?
I also believe I read somewhere that Mueller himself is under some form of investigation himself for going beyond the scope of the warrant he was provided to do this work.
What people notice, they often forget unless media work to remind them. The end of the Democrats began as far back as the 1980s, with the Reagan Dems — a handful of conservative Democrats who represented “sensible politics.” These merged with the Clinton right wing, which successfully took over the Democratic Party in the 1990s. Just as the Reagan administration obtained significant “influence” over the MSM, the Clinton administration obtained significant “influence” over the new (online/cable) media marketed to middle class liberals. Media shapes broad public opinion. Robert Reich has been a valued player (effective propagandist) on the Clinton wing since the ’90s.
Trump will come through this mess just fine. My impression is that the role of media during this administration is to keep public focus off of what’s actually happening in DC by amplifying the Russian Tale and every delicious scandal that can even vaguely e connected to it. It keeps the public preoccupied, chasing ghosts, so that those who are in power can do what they’re doing without interruption.
While Reich often writes-about & supports liberal/progressive issues, I still recall how he effectively caved to Bill Clinton and his ‘Republican-lite’ programs, notably ‘free-trade/globalization’, which undercuts Reich’s stated support for unions. I lost most of my modest respect for him at that point — he apparently felt it was more important to be ‘an insider’ in a presidential administration than to stand up for his reputed viewpoints.
RIP Seth Rich. I find it interesting that of all the murders committed in D.C. in 2016, all those of Caucasians were solved except Rich’s.
How do you know that? The “everything is all about race” meme has been exploited to keep public attention off of the virtual militarization of US police. The key is to perpetuate the notion that police (many of whom are black) are so myopically focused on targeting the black community that white middle classers don’t need to worry about them. If we didn’t do this, people might start worrying about, say, the work being done to establish a police state. And dictatorships require a strong police state.
DH Fabian, “everything is all about race” is NOT a meme. Do not use a word unless you know its meaning.
“I find it interesting that of all the murders committed in D.C. in 2016, all those of Caucasians were solved except Rich’s.”
— We can be sure that this murder was designed to stay unsolvable. The murder of Seth Rich is a gravestone for the rotten Democratic Party of the US.
It’s rather grotesque that the indecent profiteer Mueller & the neo-Nazi collaborator Nuland-Kagan have defined the ongoing period in US history.
True Zim, and the press never pushed for answers because Seth’s parents pleaded with them to lay off due to their raw feelings. So feelings take precedence over a full investigation with the potential for short-circuciting the whole Russia-gate mess. Propaganda for the masses. My guess is that some unofficial official was told to approach the parents and put them up to that. If my theory is wrong, I blame the powers that be for not leveling with us.
Zim, do you have the documentation for this? That is a startling observation. It could be just a coincidence, but highly unlikely.
And RIP Shawn Lucas who served DNC with litigation for undercutting Sanders.
Roger Ailes Fox news founder died “falling down stairs” within a week of Fox News publicizing that Seth Rich was the leaker.
Reich has always been and still is a ship dog for the Dem party.