It’s only a few days since the Mueller Report has been issued, and we still know very little about it — basically only what has been set forth in the four-page summary letter sent to Congress by AG William Barr on Sunday. The key lines in the Barr letter are on pages 2 and 4, both quoting from the Mueller Report itself:
Page 2: “‘[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.’”
Page 4: “‘[T]he evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.’”
That may not seem like a lot. But as little as it is, there are some obvious inferences to be drawn — inferences which are extremely damning to the FBI, the Justice Department, the media, and most important, to the prior administration of Barack Obama and to Obama himself.
The fact that Mueller did not find evidence that a crime had been committed means that the FBI never had a real basis for its investigation. Thus the FBI (and for that matter the NSA) spied on and surveiled the presidential candidate of the opposing party, his campaign, and the incoming administration, without having evidence that these people had been involved in any crime. Shameful. It is a fundamental undermining of our democracy. The top people at the FBI (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page) are all implicated.
And how about people even higher up? Who approved the investigation of the opposing campaign and of the incoming administration? If you think that this goes only as high as Comey and maybe Brennan, I think you are nuts. No way would those guys engage in this kind of high-risk corrupt activity without getting at least a nod from the bosses. The relevant bosses are Loretta Lynch and Barack Obama. As I wrote in a piece on April 7, 2017, “[Would President] Obama [ever] stoop to such wrongdoing [of using the government apparatus against political adversaries]? Actually, we know very well that that [he would] -- the Obama IRS scandal being only the most prominent of several examples.” James Freeman of the WSJ, in his Best of the Web column today, echoes my sentiment: “It’s time for Mr. Obama . . . to say what he knew and did not know about the targeting of his party’s opponents. . . . The absolute bare minimum that Mr. Obama owes this country is an explanation of the actions of his government in spying on a presidential campaign.” To put it in simple terms: What did President Obama know and when did he know it? Frankly, it is inconceivable that he did not know, and that he did not specifically approve.
Five people — Manafort, Gates, Flynn, van der Zwaan, Papadopoulos — have been convicted (most by guilty pleas) of “lying to the prosecutors,” and another (Stone) is awaiting trial on charges of the same, when their testimony was not relevant to any underlying crime. Personal savings exhausted on enormous legal fees; lives torn apart; and for what? Here, Mueller clearly shares the shame. And why is “lying to the prosecutors” even a crime when there is no actual underlying crime being investigated? By the way, it is not clear to me at all that “lying to the prosecutors” is a crime when there is no underlying crime, since the statute in question (18 U.S.C. 1001) requires that any false statement be “material” in order for the statement to rise to the level of a crime. How could a false statement be “material” if there is no bona fide crime being investigated? If the Justice Department has any honor (it does not), it should ask for the guilty pleas to be rescinded.
The likes of the New York Times and Jerry Nadler (my Congressman!) are now moving on to talking about the next round of investigations. Trump’s businesses! The inaugural committee! But here’s the problem: You’ve been telling us for two and a half years that it’s Russia, Russia, Russia. Obviously, you were and are desperate to take down the President, and Russia was the best you had. And the best you had was nothing. Why would anybody in the world believe that the next one is going to be better than Russia! after all the effort and hype that you put into Russia!
Nobody should let the media walk away from this. It’s easy to forget the ridiculous level of hype for this Russia! thing, night after night for months on end. Several people have compiled entertaining videos of the media making fools of themselves. I have attempted to embed one below. If for any reason you cannot get it to play, go to PJMedia here to find a working version.
UPDATE, March 29: James Clapper, during an interview by Anderson Cooper on CNN, July 18, 2018, stated as follows:
I'm alluding now to the President's criticism of President Obama for all that he did or didn't do before he left office with respect to the Russian meddling. If it weren't for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Mueller's investigation. President Obama is responsible for that, and it was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place. I think it's an important point when it comes to critiquing President Obama.
Longer transcript excerpt and video at this link.