Mueller Probe Indicts 12 More Russians For Election Meddling

The Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued indictments against twelve Russian intelligence officials for election-related hacking, and in the process has shown most of the arguments made by the President and his surrogates regarding the Russia investigation are nonsense.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued an indictment against twelve Russian intelligence officials alleging that they were involved in hacking into various election-related databases, including Democratic Party email accounts, as part of the Russian effort to influence the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States:

WASHINGTON — Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, on Friday announced new charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The charges came just a few days before President Trump is expected to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland.

The 11-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy by the Russian intelligence officials against the United States, money laundering and attempts to break into state election boards and other government agencies.

The indictment is part of the investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Russia has denied that its government had any role in the hacking that preceded the presidential election. Mr. Rosenstein discussed the charges during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington as Mr. Trump met with Queen Elizabeth II in Britain, creating a bizarre split screen on cable news of presidential pomp and an ongoing investigation that has ensnared some of the president’s aides.

“Free and fair elections are hard-fought and contentious, and there will always be adversaries who work to exacerbate domestic differences and try to confuse, divide and conquer us,” Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement. “So long as we are united in our commitment to the shared values enshrined in the Constitution, they will not succeed.”

Mr. Mueller has filed more than 100 criminal counts against 32 people and three companies. Among the people previously charged are fourteen Russians and three Trump associates who have already pleaded guilty.

Mr. Rosenstein said Friday’s indictment did not include any allegation that the Russian efforts succeeded in influencing the election results. The president’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said in a Twitter post that Friday’s indictment showed “no Americans are involved,” and he called on Mr. Mueller to end the inquiry. “The Russians are nailed,” he wrote.

In a statement, Lindsay Walters, a deputy White House press secretary, also noted that the indictment did not include any allegations of Trump campaign involvement or allegations that the Russian interference affected the election’s results. “This is consistent with what we have been saying all along,” Ms. Walters said.

Just hours before Mr. Rosenstein’s announcement, Mr. Trump said at a news conference in Ellesborough, England, that the special counsel’s investigation was impeding his efforts to get closer to Mr. Putin, and offered his latest attack on the inquiry.

“I think that we’re being hurt very badly by the, I would call it the witch hunt; I would call it the rigged witch hunt,” Mr. Trump said after meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain. “I think that really hurts our country and it really hurts our relationship with Russia.”

After the indictment was announced, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, and other Democrats called on Mr. Trump to cancel his one-on-one meeting with Mr. Putin.

“These indictments are further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement on Friday. “Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy.”

(…)

For the second day in a row, Mr. Trump said he would ask Mr. Putin about the election meddling, but on Friday added that he did not expect his Russian counterpart to acknowledge a role.

“I don’t think you’ll have any ‘Gee, I did it, you got me,’ ” Mr. Trump said, adding that there would not be a “Perry Mason moment,” a reference to the old courtroom TV drama. “I will absolutely firmly ask the question.”

But Mr. Trump also said he believed that the focus on Russia’s election meddling, and whether his campaign was involved, was merely a partisan issue that made it more difficult for him to establish closer ties with Mr. Putin.

“We do have a political problem where, you know, in the United States, we have this stupidity going on — pure stupidity,” the president said. “It makes it very hard to do something with Russia. Anything you do, it’s always going to be, ‘Oh, Russia, he loves Russia.’ I love the United States, but I love getting along with Russia. And China. And other countries.”

More from The Washington Post:

A dozen Russian intelligence officers were charged Friday with conspiring to hack Democrats in 2016 in order to disrupt the presidential election, according to allegations laid out in an indictment filed by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

The 12 were members of a Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU and are accused of engaging in a sustained effort to hack the computer networks of Democratic organizations and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced the new charges at a midday news conference. Mueller, as has been his practice, did not attend the announcement. Court records show that a grand jury Mueller has been using returned an indictment Friday morning.

The suspects “covertly monitored the computers, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code, and stole emails and other documents,” Rosenstein said. “The goal of the conspirators was to have an impact on the election. What impact they may have had. . . . is a matter of speculation, that’s not our responsibility.”

The indictment comes days before President Trump is due to meet with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin in Finland. Rosenstein said he briefed Trump earlier this week on the charges.

Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said on Twitter that the indictments “are good news for all Americans. The Russians are nailed. No Americans are involved.” He then called on Mueller “to end this pursuit of the president and say President Trump is completely innocent.”

The 11-count, 29-page indictment describes in granular detail a carefully planned and executed attack on the information security of Democrats, as Russian government hackers implanted hundreds of malware files on Democrats’ computer systems to steal information. The hackers then laundering the pilfered material through fake personas called DC Leaks and Guccifer 2.0, as well as others, to try to influence voters.

One of their conduits, identified in the indictment only as “Organization 1,” was WikiLeaks, the global anti-secrecy group led by Julian Assange, according to people familiar with the case. The indictment describes WikiLeaks communicating with Guccifer 2.0 to obtain material. On July 6, according to the indictment, WikiLeaks wrote, “if you have anything Hillary related we want it in the next tweo [sic] days prefable [sic] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after,” referring to Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Saunders (I-Vt.) WikiLeaks explained, “we think trump has only a 25% chance of winning against hillary . . . so conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting.”

The indictment offers troubling new accusations about the extent of Russian hacking efforts, and their interactions with Americans.

“On or about August 15, 2016, the conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, received a request for stolen documents from a candidate for the U.S. Congress,” the indictment states. “The conspirators responded using the Guccifer 2.0 persona and sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate’s opponent.” The indictment does not identify the candidate.

The indictment also describes an online conversation between the GRU, posing as Guccifer 2.0, and a “person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign.” People familiar with the case said that person is longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. In August 2016 the hacker persona wrote to Stone: “please tell me if i can help u anyhow… it would be a great pleasure to me.”

Stone’s lawyer, Grant Smith said “it is clear from the indictment issued today that our client, Roger Stone, was not in any way involved with any of the alleged hacking of the 2016 election. As he testified before the House Intelligence Committee under oath, his 24-word exchange with someone on Twitter claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 is benign, based on its content, context and timing. This exchange is now entirely public and provides no evidence of collaboration or collusion with Guccifer 2.0 or anyone else in the alleged hacking of the DNC emails. Roger received no information from Guccifer 2.0 or DCLeaks, nor did he provide any counsel to them.”

The indictment also notes an interesting development on July 27, 2016 — the day then-candidate Trump gave a press conference declaring his hope that missing Hillary Clinton emails would be found and made public, saying: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

The indictment says “on or about” that same day, “the conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign.”

Rosenstein said the hackers interacted with some Americans in the course of their efforts, but noted that those people had not been charged with a crime.

Perhaps most embarrassing for the President, these indictments were handed down less than two hours after a press conference he held with British Prime Minister Theresa May during which he once against dismissed the Russia investigation as he had in the past. Additionally, while Trump did say, as he had in Brussels in response to a question about the investigation, that he would bring the issue of Russian meddling in the election up when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland on Monday, he was didn’t believe it would accomplish anything to do so since Putin would likely deny any such effort. The Rosenstein press conference also happened at virtually the same time that Trump was capping off his visit to the United Kingdom with an image the White House obviously hoped would define the visit with a visit for afternoon tea with Queen Elizabeth II which included a welcome ceremony and a review of the troops present at Windsor Castle. Across the board, though, the coverage of that event was interrupted as all three news networks cut away from the scenes of Trump and the Queen as soon as Rosenstein took the podium. Combined with the parallel images of protests in downtown London that drew tens of thousands of people, the dustup created by the President’s interview yesterday with The Sun, and that press conference, this guarantees that the topics of discussion headed into his meeting with Putin on Monday will be focused on things that will most certainly displease him.

The most significant thing that Rosenstein said during his press conference is the fact that he had briefed the President about the impending indictments several days ago, presumably before he left Washington on Tuesday to get to the summit in Brussels. Despite that fact, Trump and his surrogates such as Rudy Giuliani have spent the last week repeating his claims that the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt” that needs to be brought to an end. He has also claimed that there is no evidence of collusion, something which this indictment at least appears to hint may not be true at all. While no Americans are named as Defendants in the case, and none of the allegations regarding contact between these Russian defendants and Americans has resulted in the identification of any Americans by name, it does appear from reading the indictment that Mueller’s investigation is getting close to the point where they will soon be prepared to either bring charges alleging such collusion or summarize evidence suggesting such collusion in a report that many anticipate could be released at some point between now and the beginning of September. This indictment also blows a hole in a conspiracy theory that Trump and his surrogates have been spreading for the past two years regarding the Russia investigation, namely the allegation that there never was any hacking of the email accounts of top Democratic Party officials and employees of the Clinton campaign. This indictment makes clear that such hacking did most assuredly take place, and that its source wasn’t some private group or some anonymous “400-pound guy in his basement” as Trump has dismissively alleged in the past. Instead, we now know for sure that it was the Russian GRU that was the source of the hacking and that the effort to obtain derogatory information about Hillary Clinton and the Democrats during the campaign was being directed from the Kremlin itself. Finally, as noted above, it’s worth noting that the indictment alleges that there was a significant increase in efforts by the named Defendants to break into various email accounts tied to the Clinton campaigns beginning on the date in July 2016 when Trump said during a press conference that he hoped Russia could track down the emails that had allegedly been deleted from Clinton’s private email server. At the very least, this seems to make it clear that the Russian hackers were attempting to coordinate their activities with the rhetoric of the Trump campaign. Whether that means that there was also some contact going on behind the scenes that we haven’t learned about yet is unclear, but if evidence of such collusion exists, I’m sure we’ll be finding out about it in the future.

As Paul Waldman puts it, if the Mueller investigation is a witch hunt, it sure is finding a lot of actual witches:

[F]or the benefit of those who continue to claim that the Russia investigation is a great big witch hunt with nothing to show for its efforts, let’s remind ourselves of what it has produced to date:

  • Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is currently in jail awaiting trial on multiple charges relating to his relationships with a Russian oligarch close to Putin and the former leader of Ukraine, widely considered a Putin puppet.
  • Trump’s deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, pled guilty to lying to the FBI and conspiracy to defraud the United States, and is now cooperating with Mueller.
  • Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, and is now cooperating with Mueller.
  • A Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with various Kremlin-connected figures and is now cooperating with Mueller.
  • Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian associate of Manafort, was indicted on obstruction of justice charges.
  • Richard Pinedo pled guilty to identity fraud for selling stolen identities to Russians connected to the Mueller probe.
  • Alex Van Der Zwaan, a Dutch banker and son-in-law of a Russian oligarch, pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his work with Manafort and Gates, and was jailed briefly and then deported.
  • Thirteen individuals and three companies were indicted for their participation in a Russian scheme to conduct “information warfare” during the 2016 election in order to push voters away from Clinton and toward Trump, as well as undermining trust in the electoral system more generally.
  • And now, eleven Russian military officials have been indicted for hacking into the email systems of the Democratic National Committee and various people connected to Hillary Clinton, including her campaign chairman, then disseminating the materials in carefully timed releases meant to maximize the political damage to Clinton. One of those 11, plus another Russian official, have also been indicted for hacking into the systems of state election agencies.

And that’s just so far. If the Mueller probe is moving toward a conclusion, it’s hard to believe there won’t be more indictments to come.

We still don’t have a complete answer to how deep the cooperation between Russia and the Trump campaign went, though we have a great deal of evidence already that can support the charge that collusion did indeed occur. But whatever your perspective on that evidence — the meetings between Trump officials and Russians intended to obtain dirt on Clinton, the dozens of contacts with Russians that, for some strange reason, Trump officials were so keen to lie about in order to conceal — one thing that no one can plausibly say is that this is all just a witch hunt, there’s no there there, and that the investigation should simply be shut down.

As with the indictment handed down against other Russians earlier this year, perhaps the most significant fact about today’s announcement is the fact that the indictments were announced by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein rather than by the Office of the Special Counsel. Given that Rosenstein is the person supervising the investigation due to the fact that Attorney General Sessions has recused himself, this is a signal that the Justice Department remains solidly behind Mueller and his investigation notwithstanding the attacks that have been leveled against it by the President, by Republicans on Capitol Hill, and by Administration surrogates in the media. It’s also important to note that Rosenstein did not say that there is no evidence of collusion, he merely stated that there was no allegation of collusion in this indictment and that there are no Americans named in the indictment itself. This, of course, does not preclude the possibility of future indictments related to collusion between Americans and Russians officials or related to attempts to obstruct justice by interfering with the investigation itself. This is a strong indication of the fact that, while the indictment is signed by Mueller, Rosenstein has signed off on that indictment and is willing to stand up for it going forward. Politically at least, this is going to make it harder for Trump to make an effort to fire either Rosenstein or Mueller without subjecting himself to even further charges that he is seeking to obstruct the administration of justice.

Realistically, of course, there is no chance that the named individuals, all of whom are now apparently in Russia itself, will ever actually see the inside of an American courtroom. Notwithstanding that fact, though, this indictment is a strong signal of the progress that Mueller’s investigation has made over the course of the past year, and an indication of the fact that the investigation itself is far from over. Instead, I suspect that this could be the first of many such indictments we’re likely to see coming down the pike this summer before Mueller decides to go silent in advance of the elections as many observers expecting him to. So, stay tuned, because it looks like things around about to get very interesting.

Here’s the indictment:

U.S. v. Netyksho Et Al by Doug Mataconis on Scribd

FILED UNDER: Crime, Donald Trump, Europe, Intelligence, Law and the Courts, National Security, Politicians, Russia, Russia Investigation, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. teve tory says:

    meme going around right now:

    Benghazi Investigation: 2.5 years, 0 Indictments.
    Mueller Investigation: 1 year, 32 Indictments

    One fun detail that came out is that when Trump went on tv and said ‘Hey Russian hackers, please hack hillary’s emails and release them.’ russian hackers started that night.

    32
    1
  2. TM01 says:

    Was the ham sandwich part of this indictment, too?

    THIS MEANS WAR! THIS is why we still need NATO!

    47
  3. MarkedMan says:

    Trump is selling out America in favor of his own interests. Only the hopelessly deranged Trumpoids believe any differently at this point. There are Republican brigades who endlessly chant “We have to assume any innocent explanation, no matter how absurd, unless (insert Republican name here) actually admits to the crime”, even those have started to realize that when that Republican name is “Trump” they will end up looking very, very stupid.

    Incredible as it is that we have an actual walking talking Manchurian traitor in the White House, the even more astounding and depressing story is the complete and total inability of the Republican Party (controlling the House, the Senate and the Supreme Court) to do anything about it. Instead the party leaders, realizing they are at the mercy of the Tea Party Idiot Club elected over the past decade, have instead decided to HELP TRUMP. Yes, Trump is a sociopathic con artist, but there is always trash like that lying around the streets. The founders thought they were protecting us from such an things. It’s a damn shame they couldn’t have envisioned the Quisling Republicans.

    29
    4
  4. An Interested Party says:

    It’s bad enough that Republicans are putting party before country, but they’re aligning their party with a possible traitor for Russia…and to think the GOP was once a proudly Cold War party, patriotically defending America against the Soviet Union…how times have changed…

    15
    3
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Obligatory. Except in this case they didn’t dress her up, and they didn’t do the nose, and the witch actually did turn trump into a newt but trump didn’t get better.

  6. teve tory says:

    …how times have changed…

    Politics worked a bit differently in the past, when the racist derp was distributed more evenly amongst the parties. Now that it’s almost all concentrated in the GOP it’s wreaking havoc.

    9
    2
  7. MBunge says:

    https://twitter.com/ThisWeekABC/status/1017809324658192387

    When the Twitter account of “This Week with George Snuffalupagus” is more honest than you, it might be time to call it quits.

    Mike

    4
    39
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @An Interested Party: The GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of UR (United Russia).

    6
    1
  9. JKB says:

    It would be interesting if one these guys showed up in court to challenge this allegation. Most interesting given the FBI never had possession of the Dem’s servers to do a forensic audit.

    Of course, when a Russian company showed up to challenge Mueller in the last propaganda indictment, he immediately said that his minions would need a couple more years to go through the evidence before the defendants lawyers (they asked the judge that the defendant to not be able to know the evidence against him) could see it.

    2
    36
  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB: Хорошо сказал товарищ!

    13
  11. An Interested Party says:

    @MBunge: Nice try, Trump Whore, but the indictment does not say what you want it to say

    However, this would be a willful distortion of the story. It ignores two other statements that Rosenstein made. First, he said, it was “not our responsibility”—not the Justice Department’s mandate, nor within its powers—to conclude whether Russia’s actions actually tilted the result of the election. Second, he added, the goal of Russia’s conspiracy was to “have an impact on the election,” namely to boost Trump’s chances of defeating Hillary Clinton.

    In other words, though Rosenstein did not put it this way, the indictment throws further doubt on the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency.

    25
    3
  12. gVOR08 says:

    There seems no question the Russians hacked information and filled social media with meddling. There seems little question individuals in the campaign colluded. There seems little doubt the Trump organization laundered Russian money and god knows what crap will shake out as they are closely examined. Putin obviously has Trump by the ….gonads. My guess would be money laundering and behavior during the 1987 Moscow visit.

    But it may not be provable that Trump knowingly conspired in the money laundering, and being blackmailed is not a crime. Being subject to blackmail by a foreign power, even a friendly foreign power may not be criminal, but it sure seems impeachable. If a Bill of Impeachment is passed by the House, which would require a D majority, even a majority GOP Senate might feel enough public pressure to convict. Vote Blue.

    14
    1
  13. MarkedMan says:

    @JKB: Gotta love it when a mindless Trumpoid reflexively trusts Russia more than the FBI.

    24
  14. Eric Florack says:

    So let’s make sure we understand this.
    12 To Russians have been indicted for hacking into DNC servers including Hillary Clinton’s email server, when they haven’t even looked at said servers.

    Hmmmmmm

    2
    39
  15. al Ameda says:

    @TM01:

    Was the ham sandwich part of this indictment, too?
    THIS MEANS WAR! THIS is why we still need NATO!

    All that is missing is Trump’s stained blue Russian golf shirt.

  16. Timothy Watson says:

    @An Interested Party: ?

    The GOP had, and has, no problem defending Ronald Reagan, the guy who committed treason on least eight occasions by selling weapons to terrorists.

    23
    2
  17. Greg says:

    @Eric Florack:

    You do realize there are many network stops before the data transmission reaches the destination?
    Any one, if not all, of these ‘stops’, will provide very detailed traffic logs. Easily followed to the source.

    10
  18. An Interested Party says:

    @Timothy Watson: Quite so, but they did claim to oppose the Evil Empire…now we have many of them providing cover for someone who is tangled up with that empire’s evil successor…

  19. Gustopher says:

    The Salem Witch Trials found a lot of witches too…

    The US President is the most powerful man on the planet. Isn’t it just reasonable for the Russians to have a say in who is elected?

    Also, if you count Russia, Donald Trump would have won the popular vote by an astounding margin!

  20. TM01 says:

    This indictment makes clear that such hacking did most assuredly take place, … we now know for sure that it was the Russian GRU that was the source of the hacking and … was being directed from the Kremlin itself.

    Do we actually know this for certain? Did the DNC hand over their servers to the FBI for analysis?

    25
  21. gVOR08 says:

    @Timothy Watson: A recent poll named Obama the best prez in living memory. This is heartening. But Reagan was a close second, which is just depressing.

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    Clearly JKB, Bungles and TMzero were following their Supreme Leader Kim Jong Trump’s diktat to emulate the Free Citizens of North Korea and were sitting up at attention when Pud called on the Russians for help in his campaign.

  23. TM01 says:

    With all this Russian stuff coming out, I really wish we’d all been smart enough to elect Mitt Romney, who was intelligent enough to see all this coming back during his campaign.

    But nope. You all had to ridicule him because Obama was just SUCH a better, distinguished, knowledgeable statesman.

    “The 1980s called. They want their foreign policy back.” Sad.
    #Reset

    2
    29
  24. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Хорошо сказал товарищ!

    Guessing here, as I can’t really sound out Cyrillic: Good/well [something] comrade(s).

    Close?

  25. teve tory says:

    The world’s most pro-trump cartoonist has a very smart take on the russian collusion garbage!

    Just kidding, he might actually have a legitimate mental handicap and I should feel bad.

  26. Kathy says:

    @TM01:

    Was the ham sandwich part of this indictment, too?

    No. the Ham Sandwich is currently in the UK, getting ready for a hot date with his long distance boyfriend in Helsinki.

    17
  27. Lib Cap says:

    @Kathy:

    Guessing here, as I can’t really sound out Cyrillic…

    Copy – google – paste – 🙂

  28. wr says:

    @TM01: ” Did the DNC hand over their servers to the FBI for analysis?”

    Wow, the word must have gotten out quickly from Fox HQ — repeat the pointless canard that the FBI doesn’t have the DNC servers… it’s actually meaningless, but some stupid people will find it convincing.

    I count at least three of those gullible morons here tonight. Hi guys!

    24
  29. Kathy says:

    @Lib Cap:

    Copy – google – paste –

    But that’s not fun.

    1
    1
  30. Guarneri says:

    I don’t know what you are talking about. This can’t happen. I heard it from a certain B Obama. I suggest you quit your whining, to use his words, and go get some votes next time.

    27
  31. An Interested Party says:

    @TM01: You’re pathetic…even when it comes to this, you have to play whataboutism…to compare anything that Obama said or did to what Putin’s bitch has said and done is stupid…

    I don’t know what you are talking about. This can’t happen. I heard it from a certain B Obama. I suggest you quit your whining, to use his words, and go get some votes next time.

    Speaking of pathetic…I love how our resident Trump lovers/excusers have to completely overlook the fact that Russia interfered in our elections to make their ridiculous points…

    10
  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @TM01: For the record, no, the ham sandwich had already been indicted. But more to the point:

    1. This isn’t even what is most important to the various law enforcement agencies that are waiting for the results and report. There may be a boatload of state charges that have been looking for daylight since the fines for money laundering way back when. Personally, I hope not for the sake of his kids and grand kids, but…

    2. You may be part of history in that it’s certainly possible that we are on the cusp of the total dissolution of the GOP as a viable political entity–particularly if Trump goes two terms since the House and Senate GOP leadership are disinclined to throw Trump under the bus because of your loyalty to him. Just think, some day when you are gone and your grandchildren are grown, they will be asking their mummies and daddies “how was it that grandpa was sooooooo forked up? Was he crazy or something?”

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I can’t do Cyrillic, so I looked it up on translate and it’s (IIRC) “well said comrade.”

  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    Why are you behaving like such an idiot? You’re not this stupid, why do you insist on acting like such a brainless twit?

    13
    2
  35. TM01 says:

    @Kathy:
    What is it with you lefties and the gay slurs?

    Homophobic much?

    16
  36. TM01 says:

    @An Interested Party: do you even know what whataboutism is?
    Obama was 100% wrong regarding Russia. Ukraine, Syria, you name it.
    That’s not “whataboutism.”
    That’s Trump having to deal with the fallout from Obama’s foreign policy failures.

    Now stop being an idiot.

    Ooh. Russians made FB posts in support of Bernie. If course their interference, however insignificant, again proves Romney right and mighty O wrong.

    1
    21
  37. Eric Florack says:

    @wr: but not apparently enough detail for the report we were given to actually produce the names of the supposed Russian agents in question? and of course there was no lines whatsoever to the DNC, the Clinton campaign, Etc. Nothing about uranium one.

    It turns out that six of Strzok’s family, are involved in uranium.

    Unless you’re absolutely brain-dead that immediately brings to mind the uranium one deal, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.

    Oh… there’s another connection of course. It turns out that on his last day in office Barack Obama pardoned one of Strzok’s family, and Obama has had a good relationship with that family since 1988.

    Add all of this up and one gets the decided impression that there is something major on the verge of being exposed here… Beyond even what has been exposed already. Between the uranium one thing, Strzok, his girlfriend, and the faked Russia collusion investigation somebody is desperately covering their tracks… and it apparently goes right to the Obama White House and to the Democrat Party.

    I personally think that our country would be far better off with Trey Gowdy as Attorney General. The man was absolutely on fire at the hearing and his “take no prisoners’ attitude is precisely what is needed for finally getting to the bottom of all this.

    Whatever, the bit with uranium is the key here. The linchpin that holds all of this together. The Democrats have been very sensitive indeed to any investigation going down that particular road and I think it’s about time we were ripped the cover off of it. And I think Trey Gowdy is the man to do that.

    This Uranium One thing, and our government handling of it subsequently, has the bouquet of an Aborigines armpit. These links between Clinton Obama and Strzok are not accidental.

    So the day after all this comes up in Strzoks testimony, Mueller puked up this nonsense?

    Does anyone seriously believe that there was no bias in this FBI investigation?

    Does anybody suppose that this wasn’t specifically time to draw attention away from Strzok, and the link to uranium, Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama?

    Go ahead. Tell me this whole thing hasn’t been staged as a part of a cover-up of immense proportions… All to protect the Democrats.

    Ill laugh in your face

    32
  38. teve tory says:

    @wr:

    I count at least three of those gullible morons here tonight. Hi guys!

    These guys aren’t even getting paid to repeat Moscow’s talking points. Poor dummies.

  39. teve tory says:

    Sean Hannity’s headline for this story is, no joke,

    “CLINTON SERVER SCANDAL”

  40. teve tory says:

    Michael Brendan Dougherty

    Verified account

    @michaelbd
    Follow Follow @michaelbd
    More
    Do not read this as my bid to join the resistance. But TBQH, Mueller is just about the only person in Washington that seems to be doing his job with any kind of rigor and integrity.

    Just about everyone else looks horrible.

    11:37 AM – 13 Jul 2018

    ***

    David French

    Verified account

    @DavidAFrench
    Follow Follow @DavidAFrench

    The contrast between the special counsel’s professionalism and the pathetic House hearing yesterday is pretty profound.

    11:52 AM – 13 Jul 2018

    10
  41. teve tory says:

    Hillary at Oct 19, 2016 debate warning Trump will try to break up NATO because it’s on “Putin’s wish list.” She also predicts Putin was hacking 2016 election to help Trump win which was just confirmed by GOP led Senate Intel Committee.

    -CNN Video

  42. teve tory says:

    Donald J. Trump

    Verified account

    @realDonaldTrump
    Follow Follow @realDonaldTrump
    More
    The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration. Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?

    3:08 AM – 14 Jul 2018

    ***

    Bill Kristol

    Verified account

    @BillKristol
    Follow Follow @BillKristol

    The Obama Administration did do something (though perhaps they could have done more). They launched a counter-intelligence investigation, headed by James Comey. You denounced the investigation and fired him.

    4:23 AM – 14 Jul 2018

    17
  43. Guarneri says:

    I’ve seen the light. You guys are right. Trump should, on no uncertain terms, tell Putin to “cut it out.”

    17
  44. wr says:

    @Eric Florack: Spoken like a man who’s about to take an assault rifle to a pizza parlor to free the enslaved children in the non-existent basement.

    20
  45. James Pearce says:

    @Guarneri:

    Trump should, on no uncertain terms, tell Putin to “cut it out.”

    Versus this?

    I mean, one does not need to dress up as a handmaiden and make scurrilous Nazi metaphors to be a little disturbed that GRU hackers (units 26165 and 74455) were hacking a US political party in order to interfere with our election. It’s also a little disturbing that Trump’s instincts were “We can work with this” –an instinct preserved to this day with his daily complaints about the “deep state”– instead of “Not on my watch.”

    9
    2
  46. SC_Birdflyte says:

    GOP crowing that the latest round of indictments proves that it was only Russians involved is whistling through the graveyard. By the time a veteran prosecutor like Mueller is ready to present evidence to a grand jury, the investigation has already moved well beyond what is disclosed publicly. The next round will include some American names. Perhaps Rudy will be among them.

    10
  47. teve tory says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: Roger Stone bragged that he was in contact with Guccifer 2.0, claiming it was a romanian hacker. We now know it was a team of GRU agents.

  48. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Eric Florack:

    So the day after all this comes up in Strzoks testimony, Mueller puked up this nonsense?

    Rosenstein briefed Trump days before Strzok’s testimony about the indictments. Pay attention.

    20
  49. Hal_10000 says:

    FWIW: I don’t think this proves collusion, let alone “treason”. It does show a concerted effort by Russia to help Trump. And that members of the team had contact with the Russians. But right now it’s looking more like what Julian Sanchez called “collusion in public”, that is the Russians were responding to Trump’s cues, but there may not have been any direct quid-pro-quo. But, we’re still just a year and a half in. Plenty of time for more to come out. And I’ve said from the very beginning, I think the end game here is that everyone around Trump is destroyed, but he’s left standing. Proving conspiracy is a tough legal standard and, sans direct evidence, I don’t think this “gets” Trump.

    Also, WTH with the Congressman who worked directly with them?

    7
    1
  50. Michael Reynolds says:

    See how all our little Trumpaloon culties showed up for this thread? Fear. it’s sloooooowly beginning to dawn on them that this is really happening. Trump really is a traitor. Trump really is under Putin’s thumb. Trump really is destroying the international power and prestige of the United States.

    I predicted long ago that these clowns would end by justifying treason. They can do nothing else: they are in a cult of personality, and they have lost the capacity for independent thought. People like TM01 and Bung and Guarneri would quite literally rationalize Trump raping children. They are that far gone. They are that depraved.

    Nazis didn’t go in a single leap from thinking, “That Hitler guy is making some good points,” to, “Bayonet that woman’s baby and laugh.” They had to be moved there. They had to be completely subsumed into the cult. And once they’re in a cult a person will drink the Kool-Aid, or a cut a baby out of Sharon Tate’s belly, or gun down a Jew. That’s where these Trumpaloons are now. They’ve lost all independent thought, they are so well brainwashed they will justify and rationalize ANYTHING.

    If you ever wondered how ordinary Germans could become death camp guards, you’re watching it play out in real time, with our own little crew of budding Nazis.

    23
    3
  51. Modulo Myself says:

    Trump defenders sound like Nixon ranting to his aides about Kennedy, the Jews, and the media. In Nixon’s defense, he was always on his twelfth scotch. Not sure what’s going on with the current idiots. Looking forward to their defense of Trump knowing about the operation beforehand. Should be fascinating.

  52. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @teve tory: When Trump is making defensive tweets such as this…Dems are winning. Figure out how to open several other fronts for him to defend and you might have a change to do some damage in November….

  53. Yank says:

    GOP crowing that the latest round of indictments proves that it was only Russians involved is whistling through the graveyard. By the time a veteran prosecutor like Mueller is ready to present evidence to a grand jury, the investigation has already moved well beyond what is disclosed publicly. The next round will include some American names. Perhaps Rudy will be among them.

    Yup.

    Anyone who read the indictment can tell where this is headed. Mueller’s team have been investigating Trump/Russia as if they are going after an organized crime syndicate, so they are just working their way up the ladder. The next round of indictments will be Americans (aka Roger Stone) and they will continue to work their way up, which may lead to the President himself.

    11
  54. mwh191 says:

    @Kathy: You’re close, Kathy. It means something to the effect: “Well said, comrade!”

  55. Yank says:

    Plenty of time for more to come out. And I’ve said from the very beginning, I think the end game here is that everyone around Trump is destroyed, but he’s left standing. Proving conspiracy is a tough legal standard and, sans direct evidence, I don’t think this “gets” Trump.

    Somewhat disagree.

    They already have Trump on obstruction of justice. I am fairly confident that the full report by Mueller is not going to be pretty for him. I predict that everyone around Trump gets indicted. Trump doesn’t get indicted, because he is president. But his fate is instead is in the hands of congress and what happens then is anyone’s guess.

    On one hand, I could see them ignoring the obstruction of justice. But I can also see them wave the white flag and bring up impeachment. Same thing happened to Nixon, the GOP held firm for a while, but the crimes and overall misdeeds were just too much to ignore and they had no choice but to tell Nixon to go. However, Nixon for all his faults, did have some sense of self awareness and Trump doesn’t, so he will never go quietly.

  56. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    People like TM01 and Bung and Guarneri would quite literally rationalize Trump raping children. They are that far gone. They are that depraved.

    Please tell me you’re in London, Michael. It’s waaaay too early in the morning, west coast time, to be that drunk.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong. TM01, Bung, and Guarneri are my political opponents, just as much as they are yours, but depraved? Why can’t they just be wrong?

    4
    14
  57. gVOR08 says:

    @James Pearce: I don’t know why they can’t just be wrong, why they feel compelled to past wrong to depraved. They’ve already rationalized child abuse at the border.

    15
  58. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    They support tearing children from their mother’s arms and putting them in cages. If you don’t think that’s depraved then you’re as depraved as they are.

    19
    1
  59. drj says:

    @James Pearce:

    Why can’t they just be wrong?

    Because they’re not making a good faith effort to be right.

    We literally got “ham sandwich” and “I am studiously overlooking certain words in Rosenstein’s statement.”

    12
  60. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “TM01, Bung, and Guarneri are my political opponents, just as much as they are yours, but depraved? Why can’t they just be wrong?”

    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you simply skipped right past Floracks’ endless message laying out a vast conspiracy between every single Democrat, Mueller, Obama, Strzok and the Russians to something something something uranium.

    So why don’t you flip up and read that message now and explain how these people are not depraved, but just wrong? Extra points if you’re willing to concede that those who believed that the Democrats would launch a new civil war this past July 4 were also something more than “just wrong.”

    11
  61. James Pearce says:

    @gVOR08:

    They’ve already rationalized child abuse at the border.

    I rationalized Obama’s family detentions and “record” deportations, but not because I’m “depraved.”

    @Michael Reynolds:

    They support tearing children from their mother’s arms and putting them in cages.

    And you support “murdering children” by “tearing” fetuses from the womb, but not because you’re depraved.

    Mostly because I just used some righteous hyperbole.

    3
    10
  62. James Pearce says:

    @drj:

    Because they’re not making a good faith effort to be right.

    Yeah, see that’s why I’d just say they were just “wrong,” without the additional step (made in bad faith, btw) of saying they’re “depraved.”

    @wr:

    you simply skipped right past Floracks’ endless message laying out a vast conspiracy between every single Democrat, Mueller, Obama, Strzok and the Russians to something something something uranium

    Nah, it was just too stupid to comment on, that’s all.

    I mean, I literally laughed out loud when I read this:

    “Tell me this whole thing hasn’t been staged as a part of a cover-up of immense proportions… All to protect the Democrats.”

    Right, so the Russians hacked the DNC and the FBI covered it up —during the election that Trump eventually won– to protect the Democrats? That’s…….

    Stupid.

    But I also think I kind of understand why he thinks that. Don’t the Democrats think Mueller is working on their “end Trump’s presidency” project? Of course they do. Might some Republicans come to the same conclusion?

    3
    2
  63. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “Don’t the Democrats think Mueller is working on their “end Trump’s presidency” project?”

    “Tbe Democrats.” Which ones? I’m sure you can find some hippie protester in Portland and use him to make your case that both sides are the same. But I’d say that most Democrats think Mueller is working to uncover the truth behind a series of crimes — and that the “end Trump’s presidency” project will be for the Dems to carry out.

    8
    1
  64. george says:

    @gVOR08:

    Actually both fit into the same pattern: they were personally likable and charismatic guys who people would have liked to go out for a beer with. For the most part, that’s what determines whether the majority of people think someone is a good president or not.

    Actual policies are secondary (or actually tertiary), and I’d guess that less than 10% of people could tell you anything either did.

  65. george says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Its very depraved. The problem is that American politics has been depraved for so long (starting with the treatment of indigenous peoples, going on to slaves, a never ending series of wars, right up to killing children at wedding with drones) that it doesn’t really stand out.

    As Chomsky has said, every American president since WW2 has been a war criminal. And most before that, if the category existed.

    The GOP are far worse than the Dem’s right now, they’re in different leagues. But not as bad as either the Dems or GOP was when they started the Vietnam war (killing millions of people, including children, is worse than separating families).

    3
    1
  66. They Saved Nixon's Brain says:

    killing millions of people, including children,..

    That’s Peace with Honor to you Hippie!

  67. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    Which ones?

    I’d estimate a good 30-40% of elected Dems and maybe 50-60% of Dem voters believe that the Mueller investigation will result in the downfall of President Trump. Those numbers may even be higher.

    1
    4
  68. teve tory says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    TM01 and Bung and Guarneri

    Those guys are the Good Germans. They’re telling themselves they’re doing the right thing, as the corruption slowly worsens and worsens.

  69. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: You went from “the Democrats think Mueller is working on their “end Trump’s presidency” project” to ” 30-40% of elected Dems and maybe 50-60% of Dem voters believe that the Mueller investigation will result in the downfall of President Trump.” But these are not nearly the same thing.

    I hope you didn’t hurt your back moving the goalposts, though.

    8
    1
  70. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “I’d estimate a good 30-40% of elected Dems and maybe 50-60% of Dem voters believe that the Mueller investigation will result in the downfall of President Trump. ”

    Which is not at all what you said. You claimed Dems believed Mueller was working on their end Trump’s presidency plan. That’s like saying MacDonalds is working on the Dems end Trump’s presidency plan because all those Big Macs are going to stop his heart.

    I believe that the Mueller investigation will fairly and honestly discover truths about Trump, and it will be up to the political and legal systems to bring him down.

    I’d be surprised you couldn’t tell the difference, but your rhetorical games haven’t actually changed much over the years…

    5
    1
  71. teve tory says:

    “No one’s going to get off the couch for the party of white nationalism. At some point, it stops being ‘Never Trump,’ and it stops being ‘Never Corey,’ and it starts being ‘Never Republican.’”

    https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2018/07/30/corey-stewart-virginia-republicans-turning-crazy/

  72. Jen says:

    Speaking entirely for myself, and not on behalf of all Democrats, I’m not sure I want Trump’s presidency ended by the Mueller investigation, because that would mean a President Pence administration. All the stupidity, none of the Tweets and missteps.

    I’m fine with Mueller’s investigation leading to a Democratic House, hopefully Senate, and flipping a bunch of state houses before the 2020 census and redistricting lines are drawn. I’d like to see Trump in office but utterly and completely hobbled, dealing with nothing but pain and misery from a legislative front, so that we’ll be in a solid position to win in 2020.

    14
  73. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    I hope you didn’t hurt your back moving the goalposts, though.

    That’s not moving the goalposts. That’s clarification. Which was asked for and then offered.

    I still maintain that the Democrats –not all of them, but a lot of them, perhaps even most of them– believe the Mueller investigation will result in the downfall of Trump’s presidency. Why deny it? To maintain the pretense about “bias?” Bah. Don’t we have reason to believe that Trump is guilty?

    The problem is that we think he’s guilty and we hope he is too, and we’re not patient or disciplined enough to realize that he’s going to get away with it if the investigation isn’t considered completely sound.

    1
    4
  74. An Interested Party says:

    @Jen: It’s a shame I can only upvote this once, as that is the perfect game plan for the Dems to run going forward…

  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: Exactly! Trump isn’t an anomaly he is the “hi-def” version, if you will, of what the GOP are! Every. Last. One.

  76. TM01 says:

    @James Pearce:

    I mean, don’t get me wrong. TM01, Bung, and Guarneri are my political opponents, just as much as they are yours, but depraved? Why can’t they just be wrong?

    Because Michael Reynolds is a sad, pathetic little man who can’t make a reasonable argument?

    Nazis, Trupanzees, whatever. He has an opinion and no amount of fact can ever change that, so rather than risking being wrong he resorts to insult and hyperbole.

    I actually feel kind of sad for him.

    And I do love the way your comment got downvoted. That should tell you something about the overall perspective of the commenters here.

  77. Tyrell says:

    I am increasingly concerned about the widening of this investigation. These Russians certainly need to be dealt with. But this could very quickly spread to the American citizens becoming the objects of Mueller’s far reach and scrutiny: our phone calls and records, taxes, and many other areas.
    It was stated a few weeks ago that Mueller can go where ever he wants, even into “local” areas. Now that should concern everyone. The last thing I want is to see suspicious people here roaming around our neighborhoods in dark vehicles searching for stuff for Mueller.
    There should be some limits on this investigation in terms of scope, time, money, and locations. With all the concerns about our private information on the internet you can see what I am talking about. An innocent reference, off the cuff remark, or tax error.
    Is anyone else thinking this way?