by John Ward
Special Counsel Mueller is not in a good place this morning. He is filibustering in an attempt to delay the legal proceedings that, effectively, accuse President Trump of conspiring with the Putin régime (to influence the 2016 White House race in his favour) by the use of fake news and false social media assertions. The fatal flaw in his case against Trump is that, for once, the President is innocent.
The man who was Time magazine’s runner-up for Man of the Year in 2017 looks to be trailing in last position today. Whether he was simply duped, or US rogue elements set up the “Putin” NGOs to discredit the Russian leader in the first place, Robert Mueller is coming face to face with one certain reality: the alleged Kremlin social media black ops organisation (known variously as Fancy Bear or Big Bear) was in fact set up and run by anti-Putin groups which, while they are part of the Russian Federation, obviously do not have Russian as their first language.
Mueller’s embarrassment is now turning into an odd mélange of time wasting and desperate accusation. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort – indicted earlier this year – was yesterday accused of attempting to tamper with potential witnesses, Mueller said in a court filing. But the indictments against Manafort have no relevance to the 2016 election at all: they involve allegations of tax and bank fraud stemming from his past work as a political consultant in Ukraine. These too raise doubts because they suggest a fraud with such minimal gain, even the virulently anti-Trump New Yorker was forced to admit ‘this is not a savvy criminal enterprise, this is confusing’.
All Mueller has to show for his work is action, not progress. His latest accusation against Manafort is that he coached witnesses in a trial accusing him of lobbying fraud. Again, the charge is immaterial to the Russian conspiracy theory. The Special Counsel is playing for time, and it shows: at rallies, placards have started to appear saying “Hurry up Mueller” and “Mueller, what are you waiting for?”
As long ago as early April, a US judge dismissed Mueller’s plea to delay the start of his “case” charging three Russian outfits and 13 Russian citizens with ‘using social media and other means to foment strife among Americans in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election’.
Mueller sought a delay for the obvious reason: the people involved in the companies don’t check out as Russian military intellligence, and two of the three concerns aren’t registered at all.
He has boobed, and he knows it.
Robert Mueller and James Comey were early players in the Stop Donald game. From the moment that Trump began to look like a credible Presidential candidate, they’ve been on his case. Ably assisted by the American media, these two FBI lifers have depicted Donald Trump as a predatory male, a sex pest, a pervert with odd tendencies filmed by the Russian GRU, a debtor in the pay of Putin, and a man who used his Russian contacts to “steal” the 2016 Presidential Election from Hillary Clinton.
While a substantial proportion of the allegations have the tell-tale ring of Truth to them, the main focus (especially since his victory) has been on extolling the evidence of Trump aide collusion with Russia, and Putin’s culpability on charges of “interfering in the US democratic process”.
Given the long and heavily-documented CIA history of interference in the politics of Cuba, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Greece, the Ukraine, France and now India, this is a bit steep. But two wrongs don’t make a right, so let’s set all that to one side, before offering a simple conclusion: Comey having been summarily fired by the President he tried to trip up, Robert Mueller is now the sole standard bearer for the Russian Plot army. And Mr Mueller’s “case” is falling apart.
The thing with Donald Trump is – well, one of the many things he radiates if we’re being honest – one can’t help but see him as the chubby kid at the back of the class with no mates. The gauche child nobody wants on his footie side, the one who keeps putting worms down the girls’ tops and cracking unfunny jokes about poo before snorting with laughter. The one whose broad, smug smile so obviously hides a profoundly unhappy person whose right brain just won’t stop telling him what a jerk he is really.
But none of that makes him a member of the Alt State Club – and I still doubt that he has ever been a member. He’s just a rich kid who screwed a lot of victims, borrowed a lot of money, and eventually blagged his way into the realm of the super-rich. Face it: if Trump had been the MIC’s cup of tea, they wouldn’t have spent the last five years trying to rubbish his reputation. No, their “gal’ in 2016 was Hillary, not Donald. She had Wall Street, Texan oil, the State Department and (via her time at the latter) the Pentagon rooting for her bigtime.
It’s not hard to rubbish the Don’s reputation, but he was in the right place at the right time…as well as getting two lucky bounces. First off, his rival had a history that made his seem benign by comparison; and secondly, his predecessor had proved to be perhaps the most empty President the US republic ever elected to office.
Trump’s timing was impeccable, in that the black population was once more alienated by Obama’s failure, and the downmarket white voter was fed up of listening to an array of pc-riddled feminists and liberal commentators wittering on about a world they found both alien and wrong. Overlain upon that, the DNC chose precisely the wrong candidate, because Mrs Clinton was everything poor whites despise, and offered nothing that black America was remotely interested in. Unsurprisingly, a super-rich white woman winning out against the gender ceiling did not strike them as a terribly relevant triumph.
The obvious (although rarely stated) point I’m making here is that the Alt State was no more adept at reading the writing on the wall than the New York Times. Now that it’s had time, after eighteen months, to get the measure of this tweetaholic windbag, unelected hegemony is being restored by giving the President misinformation, and surrounding him with senior staffers that represent the contemporary equivalent of a Horse’s head gift from The Godfather.
Whether Donald Trump is smart enough to realise the nature of that strategy is a moot point. His ignorance of other cultures beyond the US, for instance make him a sucker for “intelligence” reports that are palpable fiction – especially in relation to Ukraine, Syria and Putin’s Russia. Also, his view of the American manufacturing landscape is nostalgic rather than real. All one can observe is that the advisers he has been “given” – Gary Cohn, John Bolton, General McMasters, Jamie Dimon and Mike Pompeo – do not seem to me like his A-list of close buddies. It also looks increasingly like his own economic and diplomatic agendas are not theirs….especially in relation to Kim Jong Un.
However, when allowed to be, President Trump is very much his own man. His steel tariffs are, in my view, part of his dated manufacturing model; but they are a first step back from globalised mercantilism. His bombing of Syrian airfields and military establishments was just plain dumb, but he sticks to his view that he wants all US troops out of Syria, as he puts it, “very soon…just wait and see”. He continues to say that invading foreign countries “is unAmerican”.
The Donald’s tax cuts and anti-Dodd Frank deregulation suggest to me that he is either a cynical politician setting up a boom for 2020….or a mathematically dyslexic buffoon who has fallen for more Dimon BS. Perhaps it’s not an either/or thing: the impression one gets more and more with the President is that he is – if I can stretch and mix metaphors just this once – a curate’s egg with attention deficit disorder and early signs of St Vitus Dance. Or as we British sometimes say, “He”s all over the f**king place”.
For Special Counsel Robert Mueller, however, it is all over, period. It’s time for him to put up: and being deficient in any credible evidence to put up, he will be forced to shut up.