Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein shook Washington, D.C. with his May 17 appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to, according to the Justice Department press release, “oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters.”
“My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination,” Rosenstein stated, adding, “What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”
Fair enough. So far, nobody has been able to identify what crime was even committed to do with Russia. Maybe there was none, which might raise a question why this investigation has been ongoing for almost a year.
To begin, Mueller might want to consider the original allegations, namely, that Wikileaks used Russia intelligence to obtain the emails from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta. And that the Trump campaign supposedly colluded with Russia towards that end.
The facts surrounding those questions are central to the entire case. But so far, nobody has really proven Russia ever hacked the emails that turned up on Wikileaks, let alone that the Trump campaign had something to do with it.
Crowdstrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch’s original statement to the Washington Post published June 14, 2016 noted the lack of evidence on how the DNC servers had been breached to obtain the emails that were ultimately published on Wikileaks in July 2016.
“CrowdStrike is not sure how the hackers got in. The firm suspects they may have targeted DNC employees with ‘spearphishing’ emails… ‘But we don’t have hard evidence,’ Alperovitch said,” the report stated.
Nor did Alperovitch know who had hacked the DNC emails: “CrowdStrike is less sure of whom Cozy Bear works for but thinks it might be the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the country’s powerful security agency, which was once headed by Putin.” Might?
At the outset, Crowdstrike was the only group that investigated the DNC servers. Later, the DNC refused to give the FBI access and the agency apparently deferred to Crowdstrike on forensics. Former FBI Director James Comey later confirmed in testimony on Jan. 10 before the Senate Intelligence Committee that “Ultimately what was agreed to is the private company would share with us what they saw.”
So, if there is no hard evidence from the key private investigator proving how Russia allegedly stole the Democrat emails, how can there be evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to produce the emails?
That is why Mueller must investigate the deep state that originated this investigation, which he is now assuming control over.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 515, Mueller has all the powers of the Attorney General to carry out this investigation, broad authority including the power to “conduct any kind of legal proceeding, civil or criminal, including grand jury proceedings and proceedings before committing magistrate judges, which United States attorneys are authorized by law to conduct…”
In the process, he may want to look at why Carter Page, Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn were either put under surveillance or incidentally picked up in the conduct of foreign surveillance. And then see if it showed they had any role in participating in obtaining the DNC and Podesta emails and putting them on Wikileaks.
Mueller will also want to look at the Christopher Steele dossier published and discredited by Buzzfeed — which was paid for by Democrat donors on behalf of Hillary Clinton — and see if in fact it was the basis for obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court warrants against Trump campaign, transition and administration officials as well as the Trump Tower server, as reported by Circa.com’s John Solomon and Sarah Carter.
Mueller should also take a gander at how it was possible that Trump’s computers could be surveilled but when the DNC computer servers were supposedly hacked by Russian government spies nobody could get surveillance or a warrant on the servers there to confirm there was even a hack?
Mueller will want to take specific attention to how it was that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was named as another Russian agent in the Steele dossier who allegedly had traveled to Prague in late August to meet with Russian intelligence operatives to clean up the mess of Manafort and Page’s alleged involvement with Russia in putting the DNC emails on Wikileaks.
Except, Cohen was at the University of Southern California with his son, an account verified by both the Atlantic and the Daily Mail. Later it was revealed some different Michael Cohen had traveled to Prague.
If Cohen had not been in Prague, indeed, had never even traveled to Prague in his life, then the conversations he supposedly had there with Russian agents mopping up the Wikileaks mess could not have possibly taken place. How much credence then can be put in the other central allegations made by Steele that the Trump campaign was at the heart of the Wikileaks email disclosures?
If, after going through all of that, Mueller cannot find evidence that Russia hacked the DNC and Podesta emails and put them on Wikileaks, and that the Trump campaign had assisted in that endeavor, that should be the end of the investigations both into Trump and Russia. Because there will have been little to no basis for the original allegations.
There may be other process violations discovered, for example, whether or not Flynn fully disclosed certain financial transactions, including a $45,000 payment from Russia Today for speaking at its 10-year anniversary gala in Jan. 2015.
But Mueller should make it clear to the American people, that if the only infractions that can be found have to do with financial disclosure rules or properly answering questions to investigators, then there is no case for the original allegations.
At that point, he should investigate the investigation. Find out what motivated it. What led intelligence agencies to conclude that Russia had hacked the DNC and Podesta emails when the DNC server was never even examined by the FBI. How those intelligence assessments were used. Which Americans were put under surveillance, which were unmasked, and by whom, and who leaked them to the press.
And then he will have to ask the big question: Why was the Obama administration putting the opposition party, at the time the Trump campaign, under mass surveillance and investigations for being foreign collaborators in the heart of the 2016 presidential campaign if there was so little basis for the original charges?
For, what Mueller is investigating goes to the heart of our republican form of government. The legitimacy of our government depends greatly upon the consent of the governed. But who does the current government represent? The will of the people expressed in the Electoral College that elected Donald Trump as the President? Or the unelected rogue bureaucracy that has sought to depose him ever since?
Ultimately, what Mueller must consider is how the deep state, in concert with the Obama White House, abused its power in a manner never seen to try to upend a presidential campaign and now the sitting president. He should look at how classified information was leaked into mainstream press outlets to create the impression of collusion when there was no evidence.
There is no more essential question currently facing the nation — and it may lead to extremely troubling conclusions. This issue is tearing this country apart. What Mueller is investigating will determine whether the national security apparatus can effectively overturn the result of an election. Either way, when it’s over, this country will never be the same.
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.