I haven’t read the entire indictment of Roger Stone prepared by the special counsel team, but Andrew C. McCarthy has, and he describes it as “20 pages of heavy-breathing narrative...” I think that gives us a good idea of what Robert Mueller’s final report will be like.
According to McCarthy, the Stone indictment presents a melodramatic account of the theft by Russia of tens of thousands of emails from the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, the transmission of these materials to WikiLeaks --- which is portrayed as an arm of the Putin regime --- and their publication in the media during the last weeks of the campaign.
You know, I’m still not even sure what evidence they have that Russia is behind the email theft and “collusion” with WikiLeaks. Maybe Mueller has definitive proof, but you and I still don’t know who else might have hacked or leaked that information. It might have been China. It might have been some other country or rogue entity. It might even have been an inside job; if it was, that mystery may never be solved. We do know that Podesta could hardly have made it easier to hack his email, as his password was reportedly “password” and Hillary herself was capricious with her own sensitive materials. No doubt many of Podesta’s emails went straight through her unsecured server, which was easily hacked by just about anyone in the world.
But I digress.
The revelation from the Stone indictment is what it doesn’t contain. As McCarthy says, “The seven counts are offenses generated not by an espionage conspiracy but by the investigation of an espionage conspiracy that did not exist.” If it had existed, the campaign would not have needed Stone to help them figure out what WikiLeaks had and when it was going to release that. The campaign obviously didn’t know anything more about that than had been publicly announced by Julian Assange in June of 2016.
And Stone apparently didn’t have a clue, either. Anything he and the campaign might have talked about was pure speculation, and that is certainly not against the law. In keeping with that, Stone is NOT charged with conspiring with WikiLeaks.
But this didn’t stop Mueller from sending a squad of 19 vehicles carrying 29 heavily armed FBI agents, covered in body armor, to Stone’s house in the pre-dawn hours last Friday. It has been pointed out that this was a bigger team than was employed for the assault on Osama bin Laden. The harmless 66-year-old man was walked barefoot onto his front lawn, lights blazing and cameras running, courtesy of CNN.
We’ve since learned that Stone’s wife was in the house, too, and that she is deaf. If those reports are correct, there could have been a tragic accident if she had been unable to hear shouts from these home invaders and had reacted inappropriately out of panic. Lives were needlessly risked when Stone had already said they could just go through his lawyer if they wanted him. Mueller is out of control.
McCarthy makes it clear that he is no fan of some of Trump’s foreign policy regarding Russia. But he also was nauseated by the Obama/Clinton “Russia reset,” the Uranium One deal, Bill Clinton’s pocketing of a cool $500,000 to give a speech in Moscow, and Barack Obama’s promise (caught on a live mic) to have “more flexibility” with Vladimir after he was re-elected. So it’s pretty clear that he’s being objective here, and he can say definitively that there is no proof of a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Putin regime.
In fact, he’s going further, to say that the Stone indictment is proof there ISN’T one. Who says you can’t prove a negative? Mueller appears to have done just that.
He believes that Russia wasn’t so much working to help Trump win as it was to create discord in American society regardless of who won. That really would be true to form for the Russian government. “While the Russians never have been particularly effective in meddling in U.S. elections,” he says, “their intelligence apparatus has been at it for the better part of a century. Peddling propaganda and, in modern times, hacking, are not activities they need help with –- not from Trump’s campaign or anyone else’s.”
Since Mueller has no conspiracy between Putin and Trump, McCarthy suggests several questions for new Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham to ask FBI Director Christopher Wray (where is he, anyway?) and deputy DOJ Director Rod Rosenstein concerning the FISA warrant applications to spy on Carter Page. This can't come soon enough. Details at the link.
Though many observers are saying the Mueller probe is winding down, McCarthy tends to agree with Judge Andrew Napolitano that it could go on for many months now that Roger Stone has been indicted. That timing puts the culmination of the special counsel investigation right in the thick of the 2020 election –- which surely was the plan all along. At that time, Mueller will release hundreds of pages of “heavy breathing” about Trump and Russia that will signify nothing illegal but will send the media, House Democrats and presidential candidates –- who will number about 300 by then –- into frenzied impeachment fever.
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