Mueller et al Declared that there Was Collusion
The post entitled “Trump’s Claim Mueller Found ‘NO COLLUSION’ Is Literal Nonsense” is not up to Jon Chait’s usual standard. Trump’s claim is, of course, nonsense. Chait accurately described Trump’s typical pathetic rhetorical trick “One of President Trump’s favorite methods to defend his innocence in the Russia investigation is to claim that any piece of evidence that does not explicitly assert his guilt is in fact evidence of his innocence.” and added some high quality snark “It is exactly like saying Trump was cleared by the Warren Commission because the Warren Commission report makes no conclusion about Trump and Russia.” However, he misread the indictment.
Chait (and many many others) concedes that the indictment didn’t declare that collusion has been detected “this particular indictment probably has nothing to do with collusion. ” In fact the indictment declared that collusion has been detected. it didn’t name all of the conspirators, but the grand jury did definitely claim to know of conspirators who were not named in the indictment.
I quote (with a pdf warning and my emphasis)
From in or around 2014 to the present, Defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.
The indictment explicitly states that only some of the “known” conspirators have been indicted. It doesn’t say whether any of the unindicted conspirators worked for the Trump campaign, but it definitely also doesn’t say that no crimes Trump campaign workers have been detected in the investigation into internet trolling (let alone the broader investigation).
The indictment explicitly states that there are known unindicted co-conspirators. It does not address the question of whether one is, say, named Donald Trump, even within the narrow limits of the investigation of “INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY LLC” and its employees.
I mean which word in “conspired with … persons known … to the grand jury” didn’t he understand ?
update: This post by Marcy Wheeler is incomparably better than my little post. Read it.
One point from Wheeler– a US citizen conspirator who was not indicted has been named. Richard Pinedo was not indcted because he pleaeded guilty on February 7th. The indictment can’t be construed as stating that the Grand Jury does not have probable cause to believe Americans were wittingly involved in the conspiracy. At least one definitely is known. He wasn’t indicted because he confessed.
In the wake of that indictment, the court unsealed a February 7 plea agreement with Californian Richard Pinedo, for identity theft (basically, selling bank account numbers; the information doesn’t identify the users who purchased the bank account numbers as IRA personnel who used them to set up “American” identities, but that is clearly what happened).
update 2: I have a thought. Wheeler wrote
Plus, Mueller likely obtained cooperation from one IRA employee, the unnamed person who traveled to Atlanta in November 2014 for reconnaissance. Had that person not cooperated, he or she would have been named in the indictment.
This is probably true, but I think that I have thought of another possibility. It is possible that Atlanta traveller wasn’t indicted because he or she didn’t commit a crime. Two women were indicted for lying on their visa applications saying they were in the USA for tourism not reconnaissance. But reconnaissance isn’t a crime. It sometimes called journalism and sometimes called market research. If Atlanta traveller claimed to be a journalist, he or she is in the clear. The US government can’t decide who is and who isn’t a real journalist (just as it can’t decide who is a real clergyperson) because everyone has a first amendment right to claim to be a journalist (the first amendment doesn’t say anything about citizenship — foreigners have free press rights too). IRA wasn’t seeking classified information — they wanted to know what Americans were saying about the election. The reconnaissance was journalism which is legal except for people who lied claiming to be tourists.
So maybe someone did something totally legal, can’t be indicted and wasn’t named because he or she has a right to some privacy while observing us.
Of course Chait understood perfectly. His intent however was to knowingly bias to mean what it didn’t say at all, but which Trump’s true believers believe anyway.
If Chait truly didn’t understand what the Grand Jury indictment stated then he can’t read which means whatever he says has no credibility or relevance in any event.
If any of the unindicted co-conspirators were connected with Trump, why were they not indicted? Isn’t that the reason for this?
Robert, you should request NY Mag publish your response to Chai’s in as prominent as place in their on-line Mag.
Consider perhaps the reason for the investigation is to discover how they were connected to Trump’s campaign and thence to Trump himself. It’s an on-going investigation, remember?
These guys are back in Russia. They will never be extradited to face charges or testify, so they are useless to the investigation.
Emphasize the unknown. Those known to this jury are Russians. The unknowns very well could have the last name Trump.
“These guys are back in Russia. They will never be extradited to face charges or testify, so they are useless to the investigation.”
Sammy – you act like you know what Mueller knows. Do not flatter yourself.
“The unknowns very well could have the last name Trump.”
LOL. They very well could have any last name.
The Resistance has gone from “Trump did it” to “technically, it’s still possible that Trump did it.”
Sammy! Glad to see you have become Trump’s defense attorney. This insures he was be impeached! Troll on dude!
I was trying to help you to not become an ass. Alas, some hills are too tall to climb.
There is a reason that some press releases are scheduled for Friday afternoon. This goes double for long weekends. Monday is President’s Day.
I’m trying to help you not continue to be a troll. How about not posting again until the Mueller investigation is over, m’kay?
You should address your comment to Robert Waldmann -it was he who posted on the subject, m’kay?
Mueller is telling a story. The first set of indictments showed criminality by Trump associates/confidants. This next set of indictments shows Russian activities associated with our election process. Future sets of indictments will show the connections between the first two.
@Longtooth thanks for the suggestion to New York Magazine, but really I’m not in the same league as Marcy Wheeler (see update).
Sammy asks an interesting question “If any of the unindicted co-conspirators were connected with Trump, why were they not indicted? ”
Of course I don’t know the answer. I will give some possibilities
1) I’m focusing on boilerplate. The statement is in the indictment, because prosecutors would be inconvenienced by the definite assertion that all known conspirators have been indicted.
2) the unidicted co-conspirators are not important enough to indict. In this case indictment implies an extradition request which will be rejected and some paper-work. Not worth the bother for cubicle slaves in St Petersburg.
3) The indictment publicly and officially declares things that were roughly know and such that it was widely known that Mueller knew. It doesn’t reveal secrets, because it is useful for investsigators to know things the investigated don’t know.
4) the unindicted co-conspirators are cooperating and part of the deal is that their names don’t appear in the indictment.
5) It is not clear that the grand jury has the authority to indict one unindicted co-conspirator, because he is President of the USA. I’m old enough to remembre a grand jury declaring Richard Nixon to be an unindicted co-conspirator and to feel a thrill whenever I type “unindicted co-conspirator” ohh yes I am young again and discussing an “unidicted co-conspirator,” I just love the phrase “unindicted co-conspirator.”
I suspect there is a Russian ‘bot that prowls the Angry Bear blog , albeit an unsophisticated one, that goes by the name of “Joel”
This ‘bot recognizes conservative comments, parrots them back, then dumps the daily DNC talking points. Hopefully this ‘bot gets caught in this investigation.
“albeit an unsophisticated one”
LOL! Projecting much?
This thread isn’t about me. How about you stop trolling and stay on topic, m’kay?
All of which is to say that Mueller isn’t finished. The sequence in which indictments are announced are as important as the indictments themselves. As more folks feel the hot breath of these early indictments, some will see that discretion is the better part of valor.
See…. the pattern is unmistakable.
This morning CNN mistakenly* ran the clip where the DoJ spokesman on Friday said: the indictment included no indication of collusion nor inference of impact on the outcome of the 2016 election.
538 said it was Clinton’s e-mails the last two weeks, truth outed!
While the propagandists like CNN say the indictment is condemning it takes a jury and a full exposition of a case………..
There may be a truth seeker working in CNN’s production booth.
*the announcer immediately said the clip was the wrong one.
13 Russians, with a budget of about a million bucks a month using facebook…….. frighten the US liberal empire!
Whose propagandists have budgets in the trillions and whose ‘appeal to experts’ gained their spurs playing games that would destroy the world.
“US empire loyalists are so close to telling the truth when they babble about “Russian propaganda”. They are openly admitting that it is wrong to use media to manipulate the ways that Americans think and vote. Now all we need is for them to admit that they themselves do this constantly, and we’ll be on the right track.”
It is illegal if the war mongers’ targets play the game.
Of course with a number of the people on the Trump Campaign being essentially influence peddlers such as Flynn and Manafort, they might have gotten in over their heads and unwittingly colluded with the russians. In particular I suspect this might be true of Trump Jr and Kushner had never operated at this level internationally. I do think the 538 was right that it was the letter. As 538 pointed out Hillary’s negatives were just a bit better than Trumps but not much better. In addition and I think the major reason was that Hillary promised four more years of the same, and a lot of folks did not like the direction the country was going and believed the old saying that doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. I wish the ballot would have had a none of the above option. I suspect that 2016 might be called the election that people held their nose to vote, due to the stench arising from both sides.
Ilsm makes a good point, consider that the modern advertising model was developed in the US and in the 1960s 1970s was discussed in the hidden persuaders. Further the methods of delivering the russian message were all developed in the US. (Facebook, Twitter…)
So business has been manipulating folks minds for a long long time, however much of this never reached public view as the editors put that part of the message into the circular file due to the cost of newsprint.
This investigation has nothing to do with showing, let alone “proving” that the election was won by russian interference.
Why do people allow these russian trolls and trumpbots to create straw men that are chased over?