Thursday, November 2, 2017

Mueller's Probe Is NO "Sideshow" As William McGurn, Holman Jenkins And Other Rightie Hacks Will Soon Learn

Let's acknowledge that beneath their current misinformation campaign the toadies of the Right have their hair on fire. This is after  Special Counsel Bob Mueller's investigation has drawn first blood with indictments of Paul Manafort, and especially getting Georgie Papadopoulos to take a plea deal. Which means he will sing, or has sung  - a lot! So even as the assorted WSJ hacks try to diminish the import we know a lot more is to come so we'll see the associated weasels of the Trumpian empire falling like tenpins.  Despite this, the deranged Right is determined to try to marginalize Mueller's probe and insist the "real one" is that by the GOP House punk and fabulist,  Devin Nunes,  who I've already lambasted in earlier posts, e.g.


Among the toadies pushing Nunes' baloney - based on a specious conspiracy theory surrounding the Steele dossier and an alleged  Clinton connection to a uranium deal -  is the WSJ's William McGurn ('Bob Mueller's sideshow, Oct. 31, p. A15).   McGurn, seemingly in full possession of his faculties, writes:

"It is worth noting that the charges (against Manafort and Gates) serious as they may be, have little to do with what Mr. Mueller was supposed to be investigating when he was named special prosecutor, to wit: 'the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election'"

How to say this? McGurn has clearly missed the "elephant" in the charges room, namely George Papadopoulos who did attempt to make direct contact with the Russkies over HRC emails, and has pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the  FBI about his operations.  It is also clearly Papadopoulos who will bring the heat - via the information he's already given - on Paul Manafort and his buddy Gates

This also undermines the WSJ editorial ('The Manafort Indictment') appearing on the same day with the subtext 'Mueller's charges relate to money laundering cash from the Ukraine', with which the Right's scribes and dandies can comfort themselves - until Papadopoulos turns state's evidence on his compadres.

The WSJ editorial - unlike McGurn - at least acknowledges Trump campaign policy advisor Papadopoulos lied to the FBI in early 2017 about his "interaction with foreign nationals whom he understood to have connections with senior Russian government officials"    Adding:

"The plea suggests Russians might have been attempting to supply the Trump campaign with opposition research on Hillary Clinton, but Mr. Mueller provides no evidence this happened"

Missing the point that Mueller doesn't really have to "provide" evidence. Papadopoulos already hung himself out to dry by acknowledging his INTENT to meet with those presumed to have connections with Russian officials.   Whether they really were (which still remains to be determined) or not is immaterial.  As I  pointed out before (by analogy),  a wife who hires a pretender hit man to off her hubby - and who then absconds with her cash - is still guilty of conspiracy to commit homicide. It makes no difference that the guy she hired wasn't a genuine hit man, or that he never fulfilled his end of the deal.

Trump, a.k.a Dotard, is just as off kilter as McGurn and Co.  So no surprise that shortly after Manafort  sashayed into an F.B.I. office to face criminal charges on Monday, Trump took to Twitter to dismiss their relevance via the textual burpoid: “There is NO COLLUSION!”

You wish, sonny. (Insiders at the WH have reported him flying into a rage at Mueller, and even screaming at the walls and acting like the two year old terror we know lives inside the 71-year old flabby body.)

Even as this miscreant's message went out to 41 million brainwashed followers, news emerged that the authorities were unsealing another case that described how a young foreign policy adviser spent months seeking to connect Mr. Trump’s campaign with Russians offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
The first charges filed by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, did not implicate Mr. Trump but collectively amounted to a political body blow to a president who has spent months insisting that Mr. Mueller’s investigation was nothing more than a “witch hunt” based on a “hoax” invented by Democrats and the news media.

The indictment of Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, suggested that the president’s top lieutenant for part of last year was a highly paid agent for pro-Russian foreign interests. And the guilty plea extracted from George Papadopoulos, the foreign policy adviser, confirmed the second known attempt by Trump’s team to tap Moscow for damaging information on Mrs. Clinton, coming months before his son Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer for the same purpose.

The Right's hysteria about the Fusion GPS oppo research was exposed once it was learned the original firm that hired them was The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news site. The WSJ editorial noted it was funded by big GOP donor Paul Singer.

Singer then was merely part of the old Repub order that respected norms and traditions and abhorred the possibility of  a two bit Queens real estate chiseler and lowlife like Trump  becoming  President. So he and the Beacon wanted "oppo" research on him. That is the hard fact.  Once Trump won the nomination, the research was continued by Democrats and HRC. So what?. That proves nothing more than Fusion GPS is a firm that is happy to be employed by either side. 

If you want, call them a bipartisan oppo research outfit. But don't call them conspirators or "sleazy operators" as the WSJ editorial writers did.  No, they weren't sleazy even for hiring Christopher  Steele (for $168,000 not "$12 million" as Dotard belched), because Steele was an independent investigator not a frickin' Russian agent or election interloper. There is simply no comparison.

As former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt had put it on Chris Hayes' two nights ago, had he received offers from a Russian to dig dirt on McCain's opponent  (Obama)  he'd have RUN - not walked - to the FBI to report it. He argued that the GOP blind spot about this is truly terrifying - as if they regard Russian oppo no different from other (domestic) versions.  But this speaks to the "malignant normality" Trump has ushered in, as suggested by the psychiatrists who contributed to the book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.

The psychiatrists' worry is that Trump's presence in the highest office is enabling "malignant normality" or more specifically, deranged and untoward behavior and standards to become normalized. The seeming acceptance of  an adversary nation's oppo -  or ranking it like the Fusion GPS oppo via the Steele Dossier-  is an example. In reality, there is simply no analogy, no comparison.  We're talking chalk and cheese.

Steele, as I've written before, is no clown or stooge or  likely to be "fooled"  as Kimberly Strassel claimed (WSJ, 'The Fusion Collusion').  According to one Financial Times account (Feb. 16) , Steele was the "UK intelligence expert on Russia".  It is, therefore, highly unlikely he'd be 'fooled" by any kind of false intel or disinformation as Strsassel seems to believe.  James Nixey, the head of Chatham House's Russia and Eurasia program, informed the AP that sections of the dossier document created by Steele "read exactly as reports from the secret services".

The point is there was not a damned thing sinister or wrong about Hillary's campaign hiring Fusion GPS or Fusion recruiting Chris Steele to dig up material on a lowlife vermin who would soon control the nuclear codes - IF he became president. Every day since then we've seen how wise the DNC decision was-  never mind it didn't work out - mainly because Trump and his campaign had more Russians working for him, including hacking into state election centers, and pouring propaganda into Twitter and Facebook - reaching up to 126 m by one count..

McGurn (ibid.) makes much ado about the Steele dossier which he claims "the same people who pushed it have now lost all interest in it" which is flat out horse pockey. The Senate Committee especially is trying to get Mr. Steele to testify and to elaborate aspects of his document. Steele, for very good reasons, is concerned for his life.

McGurn also tries to pump up Devin Nunes' real sideshow "investigation"  asking: "What has Mr. Nunes' committee  found?  Turns out that in the Obama years, especially in 2016, officials made many requests to unmaks the identities of Americans, including Trump campaign officials who were caught up in foreign surveillance."
Image result for Devin Nunes cartoon
Devin Nunes - still a forlorn clueless punk and conspiracy fabulist.

Which I've posted on before, i.e. with these unmaskings authorized by Susan Rice. McGurn appears not to be aware that when Americans are swept up in surveillance of foreign officials by intelligence agencies, their identities are supposed to be obscured, but they can be revealed for national security reasons, and intelligence officials say it is a regular occurrence.

Former CIA Assistant Director John McLaughlin, interviewed April 4th, pointed out:

"Susan Rice was merely doing her job. Occasionally these reports refer to foreigners contacting Americans about something so the national security adviser has the option of asking the FBI, or the National Security Agency if it can be justified to let her know who those people are- and often to protect them. Sometimes you want to go to an American and say, 'you should know who you've been I contact with'.   This is done quietly and not spread around the government, And people that make decisions for unmasking someone have a very high bar for doing it, it isn't done casually,  So I think she was basically just doing her job as she should have been doing it."

If Trump campaign officials - like George Papadopoulos and Paul Manafort were busy making contacts with the Russkies we know they'd be surveilled. Indeed, we already know Manafort, Donald Jr. along with Jared Kushner was  meeting (on June 9, 2016) with Natalia Veselnitskaya  - a Russian who offered dirt on Hillary.  For sure all of these clowns - I am talking about the Americans - would have been duly unmasked. Given the Trumpites were meeting with a rep from an adversarial state Ms. Rice would be derelict in duty if she didn't authorize unmasking of these reprobates..

Holman Jenkins, in his latest claptrap yesterday  ('Trump and the Russia Racket', WSJ, p. A13)  tried to dismiss the import of Don Jr.'s. exclamation "I love it!" when offered Russkie oppo by writing:

"Don Jr. ...stands out as the one person from whom better shouldn't have been expected."

Tough shit! He said it, and it counts, as Bob Mueller will soon show. Portraying Don Jr. as an incompetent dunce will not save him or the other Trumpites at the meeting!

 Little Holman also tried to dismiss the import of Papadopoulos by asserting "his name appeared on a  throwaway list of campaign advisers" . This merely compounds Jenkins' delusionary wishful thinking based on successive marginalization attempts of the principals. But the kicker was this demonstrable lack of insight:

"Notice the particulars of his case actually belie the theory of meaningful Trump-Russia collusion"

Jenkins can believe this balderdash if he wants but the reality is a lot more serious, and Papadopoulos serves as the ultimate human skeleton key to unlocking the lips of the rest of the Trump campaign cabal.

Jenkins, McGurn, Kim Strassel and other fake news imps can bawl and whine all they want about "no real evidence" or "no real connection to Trump or his campaign"  but the hammer has already fallen - including with the Mueller supplemental release showing Trump nominee (for Dept. of Agriculture) Sam Clovis was also in the collusion loop - exchanging info on Russian HRC email "goodies" with Papadopoulos.  So no one ought to be surprised that Clovis has since withdrawn his name from consideration for the USDA head, realizing his fat butt would soon be on Mueller's "skillet" after his communications with Georgie were disclosed.

The fact Papadopoulos had already cut a plea deal sends a warning shot over the bow of the other miscreants, including Manafort.  Former federal prosecutor Randall Eliason, a law professor at George Washington University, put it bluntly:

"The signal Mueller's sent to every other potential witness is pretty clear. Be like George, come in and cooperate and cut a deal. If you stonewall us you'll end up like Manafort."

Adding: "We'll see how strong they are when facing hard prison time"

The likes of Jenkins, McGurn, Strassell and their "no big deal" ilk are betting the Trumpkins will stay strong, lips zipped. But don't fall for it.

The beauty of a federal prosecutor - which the WSJ editorial nabobs think is unnecessary - is that he and his staff are not deterred or deflected by bullshit -like "Uranium One" conspiracy fluff, sinister Fusion GPS conjectures, the  "untrustworthiness"  of  the Steele Dossier or any other side  refuse. Nope, the Mueller staff are laser -focused on impending prosecutions,  overturning new pages, new evidence and finding new laws broken, and new assholes to charge. This as they work their way toward the ultimate asshole, Trump, a.k.a. Donny Dotard.

I will put my money on Mueller and his crack team. But alas many Trumpkins and FAUX News regulars - mesmerized by all the fake "uranium one", Steele dossier, Fusion GPS conspiracy bunkum - may not see it that way. I guess they have money they can afford to lose big on losing bets.

We will see.

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