Update: ABC News is reporting that Trump associates Paul Manafort and Rick Gates have been indicted.
A grand jury convened by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has indicted an unidentified person on unspecified charges in Mueller’s off-the-rails investigation into the Trump campaign’s hypothesized electoral collusion with Russia, according to media reports.
The indictment could be unsealed as soon as today. Three congressional committees are also investigating the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theory.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a former federal prosecutor, said the person concerned probably already knows what’s on its way. “Believe me, if you’re the person, you know,” Christie said on a public affairs show Sunday.
“If you’ve been told you’re a target, believe me, you’re not sleeping well anyway.”
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, speculated yesterday that the indictment could name former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort or former U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, both of whom quit their posts over ties to foreign governments. The two men may be at the top of Mueller’s list because foreign entanglements are what his probe is supposed to be about.
Meanwhile, it was reported over the weekend that the FBI has been investigating more than $3 million in suspicious wire transfers made in 2012 and 2013 by offshore companies linked to Manafort. The theory is that Manafort, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, may have helped the Ukrainian regime close to Russian President Vladimir Putin launder money.
Trump defenders say Mueller has too many serious conflicts of interest to be leading the probe and that the president should fire him. Mueller “has so many conflicts of interest it’s almost an absurdity,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said previously.
Mueller, whose investigative team is chock full of Democrats, may himself end up being implicated in the Russian uranium scandal.
As Peter Berkowitz, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill newspaper reported recently that in 2009 the FBI “gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States.”
The FBI kept that information from Congress and the public … even as Hillary Clinton’s State Department in 2010 approved a deal that transferred control of more than 20% of America’s uranium supply to a Russian company. The Hill also reported the FBI had documents showing that during this period Russia engineered the transmission of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
An informant is said to be ready to testify that a $500,000 fee a Russian concern paid to Bill Clinton for a single speech, along with the millions of dollars of so-called donations to the Clinton Foundation constitute a “quid pro quo” given in exchange for Hillary’s help.
“My client can put some meat on those bones and tell you what the Russians were saying during that time,” the informant’s lawyer, Victoria Toensing, told Fox News.
The FBI director at the time of the Uranium One transaction was now-Special Counsel Mueller, which, Berkowitz opined, “can only heighten anxieties about Mr. Mueller, the FBI and the rule of law.”
Mueller’s 15-year friendship with ousted FBI Director James B. Comey is a massive conflict of interest. Comey may have broken the law when he failed to surrender to investigators his notes about conversations with President Trump. The notes are considered a work product and therefore property of the U.S. government. Additionally, Comey have committed a crime when he leaked the notes.
Comey went suspiciously easy on Hillary Clinton during the investigation into classified documents being sent through her hacker-friendly illegal private email system that she set up to defeat freedom of information laws and keep the shady dealings of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation secret.
Despite the gravity of the matter—military service members can be court-martialed and discharged for sending classified information on nonsecure systems—Mr. Comey mostly avoided issuing subpoenas and cooperated with the Obama Justice Department in obscuring the investigation’s criminal character. He permitted Mrs. Clinton and her team to destroy evidence and granted generous immunity deals to her advisers. He drafted a statement exonerating Mrs. Clinton months before the FBI interviewed her. And his FBI neither recorded the interview nor compelled her to answer questions under oath.
Comey bent over backwards to clear Hillary Clinton’s name, Berkowitz added. In July 2016 Comey “usurped the authority of Justice Department prosecutors by publicly exonerating Mrs. Clinton.”
In the process, he confused the pertinent legal issue by asserting she did not intend to violate the law. But intent wasn’t a necessary condition for a crime. Federal law criminalizes “gross negligence” in mishandling classified information. By Mr. Comey’s own account, Mrs. Clinton had been “extremely careless.”
Because Mueller was FBI head for more than four years under President Obama he cannot be expected to investigate his former boss and those around him. Clearly the role that the Obama administration and the so-called Deep State played in the ongoing rolling coup attempt against President Trump need to be examined.
As of today there is still no publicly available evidence that Trump or his campaign committed a crime or tried to obstruct justice but that hasn’t stopped the Left’s witch-hunt from growing and the goalposts from being shifted over and over again.
Perhaps Mueller’s people are hoping Trump’s associates will commit perjury. The longer the investigation goes on, the greater the likelihood that someone will innocently contradict himself in a deposition, giving evidence that doesn’t mesh with what was originally said to an FBI investigator. Suddenly an otherwise honest person goes to the hoosegow for perjury.
With the election of Donald Trump, the longtime Russophiles of the morally flexible Left flipped on their traditional friends in Moscow faster than you can say Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact or Operation Barbarossa. Ignoring its own history of rampant seditious collaboration with Russia, the Left has now managed to convince many that any past or present connection a Republican has or had to Russia, however trivial, now constitutes evidence of treason against the United States.
Americans learned last week that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid Fusion GPS to create the explosive, far-fetched dossier that attempted to smear President Trump by falsely linking him to Russia. The character-assassination file is the unvetted, salacious, 35-page report written by British former spy Christopher Steele and published by cat-video and gossip website BuzzFeed. The dubious package of documents dubbed the “piss-gate dossier” claimed, among other things, that Donald Trump hired prostitutes to urinate on a hotel room bed in Moscow in front of him. Some of the information in the dossier is said to have come directly from the Kremlin.
Further complicating matters, the FBI has never denied reports that it came to close to hiring Steele to continue his work after the election.
“If the bureau did use the dossier to seek FISA warrants to intercept communications involving the Trump campaign,” Michael Goodwin writes at the New York Post, “it would mean the FBI used a dirty trick from the candidate of the party in power as an excuse to investigate the candidate from the opposition party.”
So if anyone was colluding with Russia to influence the U.S. election, it was Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, not Donald Trump.
Interestingly, the right-leaning news website Washington Free Beacon hired Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research against Donald Trump. During the “2016 election cycle we retained Fusion GPS to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary, just as we retained other firms to assist in our research into Hillary Clinton,” the WFB acknowledged. The media outlet is run by Never Trumper Bill Kristol’s son-in-law Matthew Continetti.
The Fusion GPS dossier was just one of many dirty tricks Hillary Clinton’s campaign used in an effort to undermine her opponent’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. Clinton also personally authorized the illicit efforts of felon Bob Creamer and organizer Scott Foval who fomented violence at Trump campaign rallies, as James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas group revealed in undercover videos.
We cannot count on Robert Mueller to get to the bottom of any of this. He is part of the Washington swamp, corrupted by power, and compromised by his relationships with people who figure in the investigation.
He is part of the problem.