Where is the evidence of President Trump’s collusion with Russia?
The Wall Street Journal – no particular fan of Trump – characterizes the DOJ charge to Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, as fatally open-ended, vague, and flawed. His instruction lists no federal statutes and invites a fishing expedition into trivial matters. Journalists covering the story appear to disagree on what Mueller is supposed to do: Is he to “oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials” or “investigate possible coordination between President Trump’s associates and Russian officials?”
The political feeding frenzy has, to date, brought forth the following facts of Russiagate: Persons associated with the Trump campaign had contacts with Russians, some unsavory. Trump businesses, like other luxury property developers, had dealings with wealthy Russian buyers. Trump did not condemn Putin during the campaign and expressed a hope (shared by many across the political spectrum) of improved relations.
These facts shed little light, if any, on collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian state to throw the election to Trump, as is evidenced by the deafening silence of anti-Trumpists. As Jim Geraghty writes in National Review:
The FBI counterintelligence guys presumably track Russian agents on our soil as much as possible. You figure the NSA can track just about any electronic communication between Russians and figures in the Trump campaign. If there was something sinister and illegal going on…the U.S. government as a whole had every incentive in the world to expose that as quickly as possible.
there is no evidence or indication of Trump/Russian “collusion”. The indictments and guilty pleas speak for themselves.
Trump’s former national security adviser, a retired general who had led the Defense Intelligence Agency, was the first White House official charged in Mueller’s probe. The plea on Dec. 1 to one count of lying to the FBI requires Flynn to cooperate with prosecutors. The favorable deal suggests that prosecutors thought Flynn’s cooperation was key to other parts of the probe. Flynn was a national security surrogate during the later parts of the campaign.
Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide whom the White House has described as a low-level volunteer, became a major figure in Mueller’s probe when he pleaded guilty on Oct. 30 to lying to the FBI. Papadopoulos was arrested in July and has been interviewed repeatedly by authorities, according to court documents. After entering his guilty plea, he was ordered not to contact other Trump officials and prohibited from foreign travel.
The California man had the misfortune to unwittingly sell bank accounts to Russians meddling in U.S. elections. Richard “Ricky” Pinedo pleaded guilty to using stolen identities to set up bank accounts that were then used by the Russians. The U.S. government acknowledged that Pinedo did not know that he was dealing with Russians.
ALEX VAN DER ZWAAN
The 33-year-old attorney pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his interactions with Gates. Van der Zwaan was fired last year by law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. A Dutch citizen who lives in London, he is the son-in-law of a Russian billionaire. Van der Zwaan admitted to lying to federal investigators while they questioned him about the production of a legal report that Paul Manafort and Gates are accused of secretly funding.
Federal conspiracy and false-statements charges. Related to Paul Manafort indictment.
Indicted in October in Washington, DC on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, false statements, and failure to disclose foreign assets — all related to his work for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign. He’s pleaded not guilty on all counts. Then, in February, Mueller filed a new case against him in Virginia, with tax, financial, and bank fraud charges.
13 RUSSIAN NATIONALS AND 3 RUSSIAN COMPANIES
Indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign. The companies involved are the Internet Research Agency, often described as a “Russian troll farm,” and two other companies that helped finance it. The Russian nationals indicted include 12 of the agency’s employees and its alleged financier, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
None of the above is even remotely related to Trump/Russian “collusion”.
CONTEXT is important: Flynn was indicted on 1 COUNT of making a false statement to investigators:
AFTER he was indicted he plead guilty to the same 1 COUNT. There were no other charges.
McCabe lied under oath no less than 2 times.
““You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” Judge T. S. Ellis III said during a court hearing in Alexandria. “You really care about getting information that Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment or whatever.”
Mr. Trump immediately seized upon the judge’s comments as proof that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is out of control. In a speech on Friday afternoon to the National Rifle Association in Dallas, he cited the judge’s critique. “I’ve been saying that for a long time,” he said. “It’s a witch hunt.””
He said that the crimes described in the indictment “manifestly don’t have anything to do with the campaign or with Russian collusion.” Some of the allegations, he noted, date to 2005 or 2007.
“I don’t see what relation this indictment has with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate,” he said, according to a transcript of the hour long hearing on a defense motion to dismiss the charges. He added, “What we don’t want in this country is we don’t want anyone with unfettered power.”