It's just slightly under five months ago (February 16) that the Mueller gang issued its previous indictment against "Russians!!!!". That one indicted three companies and thirteen individuals for the previously almost-unheard-of crime of "conspiracy to defraud the United States" -- whatever that means. At my post the next day titled "Is The Mueller Indictment A Joke?" I noted that the defendants were all Russians in Russia, that there was no ability to compel them to come to the U.S., and that the obvious expectation was that none of the defendants would ever show up to defend and the case would just quietly fade into oblivion:
So why bother sticking to anything remotely tethered to an actual crime, or for that matter, to reality? You can throw in whatever you feel like!
As to that indictment, the funny thing is that one of the defendants -- one of the corporate entities, of course -- actually has showed up to defend, and has been showering embarrassment on the Mueller team. This one has great entertainment value. An asset-free corporate entity is basically worthless as a criminal defendant, but can cause considerable trouble if it insists on putting the prosecutors through their paces. Seems like Mueller's gang never thought of that, including being unready to meet its discovery obligations. For more detail on this farce, see my post of June 21 here.
And now yesterday we are treated to another indictment from the Mueller gang. This time it's twelve individuals; no corporate entities. To read the indictment in full, go here. Most of the internet commenters offering "takeaways" on this new indictment seem to me to miss everything important, so I'm going to throw in a few thoughts:
- The big crime is the same amorphous "conspiracy to defraud the United States." Can't they come up with a real crime?
- The defendants are all identified as operatives of the Russian military or intelligence services. Since when does our Justice Department devote its valuable time and resources to issuing "indictments" against military and intelligence officers of foreign powers, other than those caught in the U.S. as spies? I've never heard of it; and in spending some time on Google, I can't come up with another example. Does any reader know of a comparable prior instance? Even if there are one or two prior instances, it's rarely or never done because it is a total waste of time.
- No corporate entities are indicted this time. They're not going to make that stupid mistake again! With no corporate entities in the mix, it is a virtual certainty that none of these Russian nationals is going to show up to defend. Now the Muellerites can really say whatever they want without any risk of being called on it!
- The core allegation here is that these defendants are the guys who succeeded in hacking the DNC and Podesta information by means of a "spearphishing" campaign, and that they then strategically released the information in the run-up to the 2016 election. Does Mueller actually have any evidence that that is true? Don't worry, you will never find out. There will never be discovery or a trial in this case. It could be real, or it could be completely made up.
- There actually is a good way that the Mueller gang could come up with definitive proof of hacking of the DNC servers and of who are the perpetrators -- by taking possession of and analyzing the servers themselves. Did the Mueller team do that? No. Preposterous! So what is their alternative source of information? They don't say!
- Not a single American is included in this indictment, definitely including any and all people associated with the Trump campaign, however remotely. But, even in the absence of any mention of Trump or anyone in his campaign, is there anything in this document that might give a clue as to whether Trump or some campaign member may have been involved in hatching this hacking gambit with the Russkies? Well, they play it down as best they can, but how about this from paragraph 37 of the indictment: "The Conspirators also released documents they had stolen in other spearphishing operations, including those they had conducted in 2015 that collected emails from individuals affiliated with the Republican party." That's right, the operation as alleged wasn't even exclusively targeted at Democrats as opposed to Republicans, and began long before Trump was even the likely, let alone presumptive, Republican nominee. For all you can tell from this indictment, the Russian operation could even have begun well before Trump announced his candidacy.
- The hacked information at issue here is the documents showing the Hillary campaign manipulating the Democratic party nominating process to the disadvantage of Bernie Sanders. Question: Is that information something likely to have had an effect in swinging voter sympathy to Trump over Hillary; or was the purpose of its use more likely an effort to weaken Hillary's position after her probable victory in the election?
Meanwhile, Trump is off trying to conduct the foreign policy of the United States, including with Putin and Russia, with this group of people who supposedly work for him actually trying to undermine him at every turn.