Exactly What Is Special Counselor Mueller Investigating?

This morning Cheryl did a post laying out what James Rosen thinks are the four tracks of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation:

THERE ARE FOUR important tracks to follow in the Trump-Russia story. First, we must determine whether there is credible evidence for the underlying premise that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win. Second, we must figure out whether Trump or people around him worked with the Russians to try to win the election. Next, we must scrutinize the evidence to understand whether Trump and his associates have sought to obstruct justice by impeding a federal investigation into whether Trump and Russia colluded. A fourth track concerns whether Republican leaders are now engaged in a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice through their intense and ongoing efforts to discredit Mueller’s probe.

Cheryl provided appropriate caveats regarding Risen, his past reporting, and the editorial bias of The Intercept where he is now employed. Quite simply Risen is wrong. He is wrong because he fundamentally misunderstands what is actually going on with the Special Counsel’s oversight of a dual track counterintelligence and criminal investigation. There are actually five parts to what Special Counsel Mueller and his team are investigating. They are:

1) Russian interference in the election. This includes the hacking and phishing, the troll farms and the bots.  The Russian deployed human and signals and electronic intelligence. Basically the active measures and cyberwarfare campaign to influence the American electorate in order to prevent Hillary Clinton from being elected president and to ensure that Donald Trump was elected president. And, perhaps, suppressing enough of the vote by various means to ensure that the Democrats couldn’t flip the Senate and/or the House.

2) What, if any, connections exist between the Trump campaign, including surrogates, as well as other campaigns such as Jill Stein’s, and any other Americans and/or American organizations with the Russians to influence the American electorate in order to prevent Hillary Clinton from being elected president and to ensure that Donald Trump was elected president. And, perhaps, suppressing enough of the vote by various means to ensure that the Democrats couldn’t flip the Senate and/or the House.

3) Whether the President and/or others conspired to and/or actually tried to cover up the second item above in order to frustrate both the counterintelligence and criminal investigations.

4) The financial crimes investigation into the President’s, his children’s, his son in law’s, his son in law’s family’s, and many of the President’s associate’s (Felix Sater and Michael Cohen for instance) businesses that have been uncovered as a result of the counterintelligence and criminal investigations.

5) Any other criminality that is subsequently discovered as a result of the investigation.

These five investigatory parts are divided between the counterintelligence and criminal tracks to the investigation. And in the case of much of the counterintelligence portions, the fine line that Special Counsel Mueller and his team are walking is how to build criminal cases out of the counterintelligence investigation. Basically, they have to come up with appropriate evidence that can be used for a criminal prosecution that does not compromise American, allied, and partner nation sources and methods. What Special Counsel Mueller knows as a result of having full access to and oversight of the counterintelligence investigation versus what he thinks he can prove in a court of law are things we all have to wait to find out.

Finally, it is amazing just how well this has held up.

Open thread!

192 replies
  1. 1
    Mike in DC says:

    Every indictment gradually increases my optimism that any and all crimes committed will be uncovered.

  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mike in DC: And increases the concern about how this all plays out in both the public eye and practically among our institution which have failed us consistently so far.

  3. 3
    Amir Khalid says:

    It seems to me that Risen’s four tracks are more like milestones in investigating your track 1.

  4. 4
    germy says:

    This Russian operation had staff in the hundreds, and a monthly budget of $1.25 mil PER MONTH by Sept. 2016 — for context, this is more manpower and resources than most Republican presidential campaigns.— Elise Jordan (@Elise_Jordan) February 16, 2018

  5. 5
    VeniceRiley says:

    I know a huge part of the product of IC is stuff that never gets revealed; but, in this case, namely, the criminal acts of a huge portion of the Executive branch and the stealing of an election of POTUS has got to be one of the times we get to find out. Because it is THAT IMPORTANT to the continuation of our democracy. Please tell me I’m right.

  6. 6
    germy says:

    And Glenn Greenwald is out with his response (no disappearance this time) and it's literally the exact 3 points that the Trumpists/GOP/Fox News are pushing:
    1. Buhh they supported Bernie
    2. No proof it effected the election
    3. No collusion
    Just so perfect. pic.twitter.com/Oh0Jx65yXM— Centrism Fan Acct 🔹 (@Wilson__Valdez) February 16, 2018

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Part of the problem is that Risen and his colleagues have been arguing that there’s no there there. So despite all the smoke, despite some glimpses of the fire, he has to start with: first we have to determine if anything actually happened. As has already been pointed out in regard to GG’s twitter feed, today’s indictments are being spun by The Interecepters as meaning the opposite of what everyone else thinks it means. Always interesting when what is being pushed by the Russian bots and trolls is also being pushed by the MAGA nuts, right wing media (Breitbart, Gateway Pundit), Fox, right wing talk radio, GG and his cadre, and finally by the President/the White House.

  8. 8
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @TenguPhule: Don’t you ever grow weary of playing Debbie Downer?

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: As I was saying in comment 7…

  10. 10
    mai naem mobile says:

    @germy: Glen Greenwald can go fuck himself. What a turd.

    I am worried that the Dems win this November and Dolt45 and his GOP pals then delegitimize the Dem win by saying that the Russians interfered. I mean screwed with the machines and all.

  11. 11
    Kay says:

    It is just such a funny world. Would you EVER have predicted that the aims of the Russian government would align so perfectly with the aims of the far Right in the United States that they essentially join forces?

    Right down to the gun fetish! On EVERY issue! Just CRAZY.

    Look at that indictment. It’s like a goddamned far Right campaign strategy! Black Lives Matter demonization, voter suppression, gun fetish – it’s a blueprint for EXACTLY what we have seen. It could have come out of some GOP lobbying shop in Virginia but it didn’t. It came out of a plan to HARM the United States.

    The Russian plan to harm the United States is identical to the Mercer political strategy. Just think about that for a minute.

    We were right all along. They do hate us :)

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Smiling Mortician: That’s his porn star name.

  13. 13
    Mike in DC says:

    @TenguPhule:
    A lot of that is in the hands of the public. The good news is that we are part of that group. If we show up to the polls in November, that will go a long way towards restoring gravity and rule of law.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: The Russians have been cultivating the far right, religious conservatives, and movement conservatives in the US for going on 20 years.

  15. 15
    Kay says:

    @germy:

    There will never be “proof” a Russian/far Right political strategy “affected” the election because campaign strategies can’t be “proved”. This is typical weasel words of Glenn Greenwald. There isn’t going to be a moment where we find the exact Russian elements that did or did not turn 20,000 votes in Michigan. He’s demanding the impossible, which he knows.

  16. 16
    George Spiggott says:

    There’s a fat man on the toilet tweeting fake news…I hear him moaning.

  17. 17
    Bailey says:

    @Kay:

    It is just such a funny world. Would you EVER have predicted that the aims of the Russian government would align so perfectly with the aims of the far Right in the United States that they essentially join forces?

    Right down to the gun fetish! On EVERY issue! Just CRAZY.

    Look at that indictment. It’s like a goddamned far Right campaign strategy! Black Lives Matter demonization, voter suppression, gun fetish – it’s a blueprint for EXACTLY what we have seen. It could have come out of some GOP lobbying shop in Virginia but it didn’t. It came out of a plan to HARM the United States.

    The Russian plan to harm the United States is identical to the Mercer political strategy. Just think about that for a minute.

    We were right all along. They do hate us :)

    I can’t remember what documentary I was watching — maybe Frontline on PBS or some such — and they were interviewing conservative republicans in the south and trying to understand why there was this increasing appreciation for Putin and, I guess, dictatorship amongst the conservative faithful. But yes, it broke down on issues of gun ownership, LGBT intolerance, etc, etc. It was so dispiriting to watch and absorb.

    It blew my mind. I was a kid of the 80s and I just cannot grok how the GOP has gone from Reagan to….this. Whatever this is.

  18. 18
    Kay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I didn’t know! I knew somewhat about religious conservatives because I have heard that from them- that they share conservatism on social issues with Russian nationalists.

    It’s funny but I always got the sense from Michelle Obama she didn’t have a whole lot of use for the Russian world view when the Obama’s went there. That trip seemed..tense. I suppose it’s the racism, although of course I don’t know.

  19. 19
    jl says:

    I’m glad to hear that Mueller is looking into the Russian interference angle, apparently apart from collusion with Trump or his flunkies.
    I think the highest priority should be on Russian hacking that threatened our election integrity, such as attempts to hack state voter registration information. I hope to hear news from Mueller’s investigation on that front soon.

    I also thing that angle should be focus of Congressional investigations, along with Trump administration malign neglect, (and I hope not but I think likely) malfeasance in guarding against corruption of the integrity of elections. IANAL or constitutional expert, but I think investigating that area would plausibly provide a very direct and obvious route to impeachable offenses. Which is why there is no way GOP controlled Congress will do squat about it, even if a few GOPers like Burr might take it seriously. So, Mueller’s investigation will have to do it. Which is, for me, prime reason we need mass public demonstrations if Trump manages to seriously damage Mueller investigation.

  20. 20
    TenguPhule says:

    The navy admiral nominated to be the next US ambassador to Australia has told Congress America must prepare for the possibility of war with China, and said it would rely on Australia to help uphold the international rules-based system in the Asia-Pacific.

    In an excoriating assessment of China’s increasingly muscular posture in the region, Harry Harris said Beijing’s “intent is crystal clear” to dominate the South China Sea and that its military might could soon rival American power “across almost every domain”.

    I’m sure Australia will love our new ambassadar.

  21. 21
    Amir Khalid says:

    @mai naem mobile:
    If the Democrats win in November despite the Russians, it will mean that Trump’s patron in Moscow was unable to help him — bad. If the Democrats win in November because of the Russians, it will mean that Trump’s patron in Moscow has abandoned him — worse.

  22. 22
    Fair Economist says:

    @Kay:

    It’s like a goddamned far Right campaign strategy! Black Lives Matter demonization, voter suppression, gun fetish – it’s a blueprint for EXACTLY what we have seen. It could have come out of some GOP lobbying shop in Virginia but it didn’t. It came out of a plan to HARM the United States.

    I find it totally UNsurprising that far right goals are harmful to America and that they’d be supported by America haters. To be expected, even.

  23. 23
    Bailey says:

    @Kay:

    It’s funny but I always got the sense from Michelle Obama she didn’t have a whole lot of use for the Russian world view when the Obama’s went there. That trip seemed..tense. I suppose it’s the racism, although of course I don’t know.

    I think Obama put them in the correct box — regional annoyance that doesn’t buy, manufacture, or sell anything we want.

    So of course they loved Trump. Of course.

  24. 24
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Et Tu Adam?

  25. 25
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @mai naem mobile:
    No one will believe them and this thing will be decided in the streets.

  26. 26
    efgoldman says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    today’s indictments are being spun by The Interecepters as meaning the opposite of what everyone else thinks it means.

    Good thing they (properly) have no standing and no influence with the courts or Mueller’s team.

    Fuckem

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: Not to seem rude, but I’ve done one front page post on this and hundreds of comments.

    Don’t make me start assigning homework!

  28. 28
    Mike in DC says:

    I agree generally with the “tracks” of the investigation, though I generally think of the potential criminal charges in terms of 3 “buckets”. Bucket 1 contains the conspiracy, hacking etc charges related to interference/coordination. Bucket 2 contains the conspiracy to obstruct stuff. Bucket 3 contains any financial shenanigans uncoverec in the course of the investigation.

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Always interesting when what is being pushed by the Russian bots and trolls is also being pushed by the MAGA nuts, right wing media (Breitbart, Gateway Pundit), Fox, right wing talk radio, GG and his cadre, and finally by the President/the White House.

    It’s almost as if there’s a conspiracy to obstruct justice or something.

  30. 30
    efgoldman says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    Don’t you ever grow weary of playing Debbie Downer?

    Should have seen (him?) before we made (him?) dial black (his?) bloodthirstyness

  31. 31
    jl says:

    @Kay: Russian trips involved Putin, which I think is enough reason for any sane person to give off some ‘tense’ vibes.

    I’m not interested in making Russia as a whole the boogey man. There are other countries that can pick up on what Russia did in 2016, China and North Korea for example, and make things even more complicated in 2018 and 2020. For same reason, I am indifferent to BS that RT pumps out, because I think that touches on freedom of the press. The news and public affairs departments of RT are very open and upfront about what they are: Russian state media organizations run by Big Boss Putin. Compared to Fox News, I don’t see that it is particularly dangerous, for example. Or compared to the dishonest fake news organizations that we are learning that various GOPer pols have been running, under cover. I’d be interested in what election law people have to say about those.

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Stormy Downer?

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s just crazy talk!

  34. 34
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Reposting this from downstairs, since many of you expressed interest last night:

    I think my interview went OK. I thought I flubbed a question that I couldn’t think of an answer to. I ultimately made an answer up. The question was to the effect of: “Tell me about a time your supervisor told you to do something a different way than what you were used to and a smart way you dealt with it” or something like that. I told the team leader that while I was escorting during a dinner service management asked me to put more people through the buffet line than usual. She then asked me what I thought about it, what I did, and what ultimately happened. I replied that I didn’t like it, that I did what management wanted, and the line slowed down/got clogged.

    There isn’t a lot of variation to the things I do at my job and no particular incident jumped out at me. When I’m at work, time blurs.

    When I was asked about why I left my recent job, I told her that I wanted more a consistent schedule and disliked working very late (2-3am). I thought I made a mistake when she said there wouldn’t consistency at this job either in the sense that I could be scheduled anywhere from one day a week or 5. I clarified by mentioning that at a banquet center in winter months (Jan and Feb), there could be a few weeks in between work days.

    There was also a hypothetical scenario about a mother and her two children. The children were hanging on the outside sides of the shopping care and appeared to be having fun along with the mother. I go over and ask the mother to stop her kids from hanging on the sides of the cart, citing that it’s unsafe. The mother scowls and gets mad at me. I was then asked how I would feel about her, and how I would respond. I replied that I would apolpgize to the mother but state that I’m only trying to help her. I mentioned that I would tell a supervisor about it. You can’t force somebody to do what you want, right?

    When we got to the availability section, I hesitated for a second before saying I could have open availability. The team leader picked up on it and I then explained that I would be returning to school in late August. She said that wouldn’t have a baring on whether I would be hired or not since that was sic months from now.

    She ended by saying that it was nice meeting me and that the HR person would contact me in the next few days if the I got the job or not.

  35. 35
    John Revolta says:

    Trump’s latest tweet is a masterpiece of weaselly weaseling. Dig:

    Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President.

    Oh well I guess that settles that then. He obviously announced his candidacy the same day- nay, the same minute– that he decided to run. Game over, libs!!

  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Now you’re just being mean.

  37. 37

    @Bailey: I visited the Reagan Library last year and there’s a whole section devoted to “The Evil Empire”.

  38. 38
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Bailey:

    I have been watching this unfold in real time on some of the RWNJ hunting and fishing sites I poke around at.

    Not so long ago – the standard line was “Romney is right, Russia is the biggest threat this country faces” “What about Ukraine? Commie Russian bastards are killing people there.”

    Now its, “Meh, we interfere in other countries’ elections, too, so what is the big deal?”

    And, yes, it is the exact same people.

    I can, sort of, understand this sort of thing happening over a few decades organically. But it is shocking to see such huge shifts over just a few years’ time.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @John Revolta: Trump wasn’t responsible for following federal law and performing due diligence in protecting integrity of US elections in 2014. Now he is. I look forward to his tweet that addresses that little detail.

    Edit: my point here is not that Trump’s sketchy finances, and possible collusion between his campaign and Russia (and I think probably collusion with respect to several of his flunkies) in 2016 is not important. I think it is very important. Just that it is less important than protecting integrity of future elections, and I think plenty of evidence that Trump and Trumpster behavior there is just as sketchy.

  40. 40
    grammypat says:

    @George Spiggott: Little Feat. Nice one, but it just adds to the earworm that I’ve had from various songs on Waiting for Columbus … for the past two days. sigh

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    Rob Flaherty

    @Rob_Flaherty
    2h2 hours ago
    More
    The journey from “hey you’re all insane Clinton hacks who want to blame this on Russia” to “we are indicting a dozen Russian operatives for trying to interfere in the election has been….something to watch!

    I wonder if there will ever be an apology from all those political media professionals who said it was a distraction from the horrible evil of Hillary Clinton :)

    Remember that? It was “sour grapes”.

    The truth is they missed the biggest story of the 2016 election season, which was Russian interference. The public probably should have known during the voting period that they were being subjected to a propaganda operation.

    Right? That would be pretty damn important for them to know, whether it changes their vote or not?

  42. 42
    Kay says:

    “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein”

    From the Russian government. Funded by assorted Russian plutocrats.

    Christ almighty, talk about useful idiots.

  43. 43
    Fair Economist says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That’s his porn star name.

    Debbie Downs Dallas?

  44. 44
    jl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    ‘ I visited the Reagan Library last year and there’s a whole section devoted to “The Evil Empire”. ”

    Did you take your infrared nuclear hyperspace camera so you could record the secret messages?

  45. 45
    Bailey says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    I have been watching this unfold in real time on some of the RWNJ hunting and fishing sites I poke around at.

    Not so long ago – the standard line was “Romney is right, Russia is the biggest threat this country faces” “What about Ukraine? Commie Russian bastards are killing people there.”

    Now its, “Meh, we interfere in other countries’ elections, too, so what is the big deal?”

    And, yes, it is the exact same people.

    I can, sort of, understand this sort of thing happening over a few decades organically. But it is shocking to see such huge shifts over just a few years’ time.

    Yes, I mean, in broad strokes it was just 4 years time from Romney to Trump and that whole about-face.

    Realistically, Obama is the factor here and the GOP stalwarts just marched to whatever the exact opposite of he was. I underestimate what a powerful motivating force that is.

    You can’t expect people to live forever, but this is truly a bad time for McCain to be fading out. There are so many issues I don’t like him on, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t spend 5 years in a VietCong prison just to watch the party sway to Putin in his lifetime. I’m glad that he, at least, took all these early reports seriously, but it would be nice to have his voice now.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    Very important thing Mueller showing in the indictment:

    He views Russian election help as a campaign finance law violation.

    That’s very bad for any American who knowingly accepted such help.

    — Ari Melber (@AriMelber) February 16, 2018

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:
    I want Stein thoroughly investigated. It’s well established that she’s been on the Russian payroll- she had a paying gig with RT- so it’s hardly a stretch to think she was connected to Russian election interference. I won’t say I know for sure she was, but it certainly seems worth investigating.

  48. 48

    @jl: I did, of course, take my near infrared camera*; however it only works in the presence of infrared light, so only outdoors.

    *Like AMEX, :”Don’t Leave Home Without It”.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    Jill Stein received 50,700 votes in MI. Trump won by less than 12,000. She outpolled Trump’s margin in WI, as well.
    If Russians sought to redirect alienated HRC voters to third parties, as indictment alleges, it was a shrewd ploy.

    Not all that “shrewd” really. Any GOP operative would have tried exactly the same thing. I mean EXACTLY :)

  50. 50
    Bailey says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I want Stein thoroughly investigated. It’s well established that she’s been on the Russian payroll- she had a paying gig with RT- so it’s hardly a stretch to think she was connected to Russian election interference. I won’t say I know for sure she was, but it certainly seems worth investigating.

    Agree. I’d be curious know what her objectives actually were during the recount, other than being a huge fucking scam. I face-palmed every time I saw a liberal donate to her recount efforts or advocate for doing as such. The recount was probably to pay off the efforts to have her as a “plausible” third party candidate.

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Fair Economist: That’s a healthy gal…

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That will be difficult to prove. It could easily be “unwitting”. They could channel the operations thru domestic Left wing groups just like they did with domestic Right groups. Unless there’s funding- campaign money laundering. Then it might work.

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay:

    The public probably should have known during the voting period that they were being subjected to a propaganda operation.

    Right? That would be pretty damn important for them to know, whether it changes their vote or not?

    Nah. Don’t tells me your facts. My mind’s made up.

  55. 55
    jl says:

    @Bailey: The GOP race/ethnicity/sexist/ageist political wedge operation has been running for over 40 years, and by now it drives well over half of what they do and say. From that perspective, i think should be clear what a powerful motivating force Obama is for them. Obama is sum of all fears for them: non-white, foreign-born father, appeals and effectively organized and motivates youth (vast majority of whom seem to hate GOP guts), and popular.

  56. 56

    @Kay: I, for one, would be shaken to the core if my own talking points turned out to coincide perfectly with a Russian disinformation campaign. But I’m not holding my breath for any apologies.

  57. 57
    Bobby Thomson says:

    You collapsed his third and fourth points (which really are the same thing), added the financial crimes angle, and now added a “miscellaneous.” No love for the Intercept, but that’s not exactly “completely wrong.”

  58. 58
    Kay says:

    @Bailey:

    Lefties are wrong about why I’m mad about Russia. I’m mad about Russia because Russian political objectives are identical to far Right American political objectives.

    It’s hard enough to win against just the US Right. Now we have to also win against the Russian Right? Fuck. It’s just that much harder.

  59. 59
    Bailey says:

    @jl:

    The GOP race/ethnicity/sexist/ageist political wedge operation has been running for over 40 years, and by now it drives well over half of what they do and say. From that perspective, i think should be clear what a powerful motivating force Obama is for them. Obama is sum of all fears for them: non-white, foreign-born father, appeals and effectively organized and motivates youth (vast majority of whom seem to hate GOP guts), and popular.

    Yes, but the anti-communist impulse has been a motivating force for even longer. Granted, they are both power, I’m just a little discombobulated to see one swing so widely in such a relatively short amount of time.

  60. 60
    ruemara says:

    @Bailey: I want to know what happened to the leftover million or 2 from the recount donations. It didn’t cost $7 million.

  61. 61
    jl says:

    @Kay: Russian aligned operatives did try to do just that. They tried to pit left and alt-right groups against each other. I remember reading a news story where they tried to get Black Lives Matter and other lefties and alt-righters to come out and demonstrate against each other, and tried to egg them on to a confrontation.

    Not so surprisingly, in my admittedly biased opinion, the BLM and lefties were smart enough, and did sufficient due diligence, to sense something sketchy and blew it off. So almost only people who showed up where alt-righters and militia types who wondered around aimlessly for a while. I don’t have the link. Been some time since I read about it.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @Bailey:

    Or, the recount was to legitimize Trump’s win. Or that.

  63. 63
    mai naem mobile says:

    Where’s Yarrow? In Yarrows place i gotta say:
    Tick tock motherfuckers

  64. 64
  65. 65
    Bailey says:

    @Kay:

    Lefties are wrong about why I’m mad about Russia. I’m mad about Russia because Russian political objectives are identical to far Right American political objectives.

    It’s hard enough to win against just the US Right. Now we have to also win against the Russian Right? Fuck. It’s just that much harder.

    I don’t think I misunderstand you on this. I’m not sure, lefties in general.

    Yes, it is harder to win. However, it also means that the right wing in this country is unmoored from their usual stance. They will have a harder time being coherent and, certainly, competent. They won’t be able to govern. They might be able to smash, but time will tell. Other institutions will have to adjust, quickly.

  66. 66
    Bailey says:

    @Kay:

    Or, the recount was to legitimize Trump’s win. Or that.

    Oh certainly. I didn’t understand how anyone on the left would want to contribute to a campaign that just showed Clinton losing twice. Like I said, face-palm.

  67. 67
    debbie says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    Are there no other names you could use? ;)

  68. 68
    John Revolta says:

    @Kay:

    Jill Stein received 50,700 votes in MI

    I had no idea. I mean, sure, you gotta be an idiot to vote for Trump, but this is a whole nuther level of idiot- and there’s SO MANY OF THEM!!!

    Or is it that there’s just 50,000 guys named Ivan living in MI?

  69. 69
    jl says:

    @Bailey: The reactionaries have slid into a purely instrumentalist attitude towards everything. They only care about ‘what do we say or do now that seems likely to get us the next win’. Anything that works is OK. They don’t care about anything else. So, they spout absurd and self-contradictory BS about anything and everything.

    You see some debate on left side of spectrum on whether concern about Russian interference with domestic policy is sliding into dangerous and anachronistic Cold War attitudes. On the right side, they just don’t care. On the left side of the spectrum, I think there is some principled understanding that foreign interference in elections is dangerous and, need to discuss US efforts along that line as well as Russian. On the right you see the completely cynical ruthless and amoral attitude that the world is, and should be, dog-eat-dog, and who gives a shit, let the powerful do what they want to do, who cares as long as we can get the next ‘win’ out of it.

    Edit: Most GOP pols can’t explicitly and publicly be so instrumentalist and amoral, but for most of them in Congress, I think actions speak louder than words. And it is concerning that I had to type ‘most’ at the front, since a few Trumpster Congresscreeps are out and open about their amorality and power worship.

  70. 70
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @efgoldman: you mean “Trump has been exonerated” is not a faithful reading of “Russians stole identities to set up rallies and jack up participation but the people they communicated with didn’t know the stolen identities weren’t legit?”

  71. 71
    efgoldman says:

    @Kay:

    I wonder if there will ever be an apology from all those political media professionals

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    They gave some American citizens specific tasks at those rallies, such as wearing a costume portraying Mrs. Clinton in a prison uniform or building a prison-style cage on a flatbed truck.

    Good Lord. Dopes.

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    Now its, “Meh, we interfere in other countries’ elections, too, so what is the big deal?”

    Classic whataboutism. Old KGB technique. Actively pushed by the FSB stooge, if not paid operative, that is Glenn Greenwald.

  74. 74
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @Kay:

    Would you EVER have predicted that the aims of the Russian government would align so perfectly with the aims of the far Right in the United States that they essentially join forces?

    They started out supporting the wrong side of WWII, so why not? Authoritarian boot-lickers will always gravitate to the shiniest boots.
    It helped that Russian kleptocrats have lotsa money,

  75. 75
    Lapassionara says:

    @Kay: And the help included millions of dollars over the campaign. That is not even counting the alleged Russian donations to the NRA that may have gone to Trump.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @Sm*t Cl*de: And also that your business model developed into ‘Russian kleptocrats have lotsa money’,

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    The last person in the world I want to hear anything from on schools is Arne Fucking Duncan.

  78. 78
    Ninedragonspot says:

    @TenguPhule: Which part of his assessment is incorrect?

  79. 79
    Niles says:

    Where is the collusion?

  80. 80
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Adam L Silverman: There’s a video out of a WGN reporter interviewing a Xnian conservative gun nut leader about his ties to a Russian gun nut who has been cultivating the NRA. Also with interview of Franklin Graham about how Putin, Russia with anti- gay pogrom is defending Xian civilization. Couldn’t watch most of it. Way too depressing.

  81. 81

    @Corner Stone: Not to give Arne any props, but the last person for me would be current Secretary of Education.

  82. 82
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I’m sure Australia will love our new ambassadar.

    Aussie politics is currently devoted to the Deputy Prime Minister, who is threatening to split the governing rightwing coalition apart. Prime Minister (from an economic-conservative party) wants his deputy to resign and spend more time with his families. Deputy PM (from a social-conservative party) reckons that his party’s policies about controlling bed-time arrangements are only for other people, and who he sleeps with should remain a private affair.

    There is popcorn.

  83. 83
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @ruemara:
    Thank you! Did I say anything wrong in the interview (based on what I’ve wrote here)?

  84. 84
    MomSense says:

    Great balls of 🔥 I was holed up without internet and missed the indictments. So exciting. I have a party to go to or I would be pouring a glass of bourbon and settling in for a night of reading.

  85. 85
    Yutsano says:

    @Sm*t Cl*de: Honestly considering the current sentiment regarding China in Australia right now, he might be a welcome addition. He’s puffing up China’s military capabilities a lot however. China right now still doesn’t have squat for a Navy and none of their troops are combat tested.

  86. 86

    @MomSense:

    I was holed up without internet

    The Horror, the Horror.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Alexander Torshin.

  88. 88
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the House Intelligence Committee has an “abundance” of information that is not yet public, including evidence that President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia and that his administration obstructed justice.

    “There is certainly an abundance of non-public information that we’ve gathered in the investigation. And I think some of that non-public evidence is evidence on the issue of collusion and some … on the issue of obstruction,” Schiff said, according to The Guardian.

    Schiff, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the panel has seen evidence of money laundering, but has been unable to further investigate.
    “As a former prosecutor, you follow the money. We have not been able to adequately follow the money,” Schiff said.

  89. 89
    debbie says:

    @MomSense:

    It’ll be here when you get back. Have a great time!

  90. 90
    MomSense says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Of all the days, Bill!

    @debbie:

    I’ll catch you on the late shift! Fortunately I have a DD because I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for too long.

  91. 91
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Schiff going balls out against the R intransigence on the House Intel Cmte.

  92. 92
    JoeyJoeJoe Junior Shabadoo says:

    @Corner Stone: Words last said by Earl Landgrebe regarding Nixon one day before he resigned. Landgrebe said he’d support Nixon even if he had to be shot; Landgrebe ended losing reelection with only 39 percent of the vote in a district where Nixon got 74 percent two years earlier

  93. 93
    J R in WV says:

    @TenguPhule:

    You are done with, into the pie safe with you! Nothing left but mumbling about pie, glorious pie. G’Bye!

  94. 94
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @Yutsano:

    Honestly considering the current sentiment regarding China in Australia right now, he might be a welcome addition.

    “America must prepare for the possibility of war with China, and said it would rely on Australia to help uphold the international rules-based system in the Asia-Pacific.”

    Harris’ challenge now is convincing Australia to rely on America. It’s all very well telling the Aussies that they can face up to Beijing and the US will be behind them all the way, but everyone knows now that US promises are currently worth nothing.

  95. 95
    efgoldman says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Every indictment gradually increases my optimism that any and all crimes committed will be uncovered.

    Mueller, like all the honest special prosecutors before him (Cox, Jaworskli, Mueller, obviously excepting the vile rape enabler Starr) totally respected the rule of law. acted as non-politically as possible, and let the chps fall…
    People like that are around; they are judges, and honest prosecutors. This is what the RWNJS have been trying to undermine since before Sanctus Ronaldus

  96. 96
    jl says:

    I’m not as concerned as many far-lefties are about investigation into Russian meddling in our elections in 2016 is creating some kind of new Cold War. If we are in a new Cold War, maybe Putin bears some responsibility when he decided to start the operation?

    But, on the other hand, there is, IMHO, this dangerous BS: Rushing to expand NATO in the middle of this mess is a bad idea. Though, with Trump, no way this will go anywhere. But Lindsay Graham is out McCaining McCain on rash jingoistic militarism. He likes him some war even more than ham biscuit and cheese grits.

    @dandrezner
    Graham says that further NATO expansion would/should be a natural response to Russia’s bellicose actions.
    https://twitter.com/dandrezner/status/964547801337221121

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: Putin has been stating since at least 2014 that Russia is at war with the US.

    That said, further NATO expansion right now is a bad idea.

  98. 98
    Jeffro says:

    Mueller is a strategic genius…I’m genuinely in awe of how smart this approach is.

  99. 99
    Yutsano says:

    @Sm*t Cl*de: If anything Harris is a tie to Mattis and McMaster. Since they seem to be running the military completely independent of Dolt45 their assurances through a fellow admiral might help with that. Plus China and Australia are major trading partners. With the information that China has been mucking around in Australian politics (can’t link cause at work but one MP has already resigned over it) Australia isn’t having too much worry about our own political mishegas.

  100. 100

    @jl: I guess “We’re all Georgians now”.

  101. 101
    Aimai says:

    @Sm*t Cl*de: hey long time no see?

  102. 102
    GregB says:

    Surely trump will enact sanctions now that he has admitted Russia was engaging in cyber warfare since 2014?

  103. 103
    jl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I like ham biscuit! I for one will welcome Waffle House to San Francisco.

  104. 104

    @GregB: Right, did I mention that I have a bridge for sale?

  105. 105
    WaterGirl says:

    I have been dealing with too many pups this afternoon to read much, and I haven’t read any of the comments, but a friend of mine just told me he heard on NPR that in the 37-page indictment Mueller repeatedly said that the Russian interference had no impact on the outcome of the election. Is that true???

  106. 106
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @WaterGirl: is it true that he heard that on NPR? Don’t know, wouldn’t surprise me. Does the indictment say that? Nope.

  107. 107
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jeffro: He’s alive!!

  108. 108
    Immanentize says:

    Here is an important side angle I didn’t really expect — the indictments indicate that the Russians we’re pushing the “Voter Fraud!” Bullshit. This may be the reason that the Trump/Kobach Vote Fraud Commission was wrapped up and disappeared.

  109. 109
    Jeffro says:

    @John Revolta: wait… hasn’t he been saying all along there was no Russian influence campaign and it was it was there to elect Hillary ?

  110. 110
    Bailey says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I have been dealing with too many pups this afternoon to read much, and I haven’t read any of the comments, but a friend of mine just told me he heard on NPR that in the 37-page indictment Mueller repeatedly said that the Russian interference had no impact on the outcome of the election. Is that true???

    It says they can’t prove it had an impact on the outcome of the election. Which is true.

  111. 111
    Gravenstone says:

    @mai naem mobile: Well gee, Donny – you guys had an opportunity to safeguard our election but for some reason chose not to. Expecting a different outcome were we? Wonder why that might be? Suck it up, Buttercup. We’re in charge now bitch.

  112. 112
    Jeffro says:

    @Bailey: for now

  113. 113
    Ruckus says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷:
    It didn’t sound bad to me and I’ve interviewed/hired lots of prospects over the decades. The company is most likely looking for someone to show up when they need them, and work in a friendly manner and do the job they ask you to do. They don’t look that far down the road (six months) probably because they have high turnover. They understand that (the interviewer said as much) so that shouldn’t be an issue.
    My last job interview sounded to me like a disaster during it. I was offered the job on the spot and have been there for 5 yrs at a pay rate I’m comfortable with.

  114. 114
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @efgoldman: Oh, I remember. But I find the Eeyore stuff even more annoying than the eliminationism.

  115. 115
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Heh.

  116. 116
    Ruckus says:

    @jl:
    The Awful House? Welcome?
    You like cheap grease and badly cooked almost food?

  117. 117
    Achrachno says:

    @Kay: “It is just such a funny world. Would you EVER have predicted that the aims of the Russian government would align so perfectly with the aims of the far Right in the United States that they essentially join forces?”

    The Russians are not Communist any more, their government is now run on the thieving authoritarian kleptocrat model. Republicans can sympathize with that. Shared values and all.

  118. 118
    Kay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    How would one “prove” a propaganda campaign influenced an election? It isn’t even Mueller’s job to prove that, if it could be proved, which it can’t because we don’t have a counterexample- we don’t have a Trump/Clinton without Russia to compare this one to.

    There will never be “proof” unless they find actual vote tampering. They may find proof of coordination, but even then Trump supporters could say “well, we coordinated with Russians but no one can prove that influenced the election”

    This proof will never come. If that’s the measure they need they’re never getting it. Which (IMO) is why they continue to demand it.

  119. 119
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @debbie: Sorry.

  120. 120

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: I had an interview myself today, so I feel your pain. Wishing you the best of luck.

  121. 121
    J R in WV says:

    @Niles:

    Where is the collusion?

    In the next set of indictments, you Russian stooge!!! Acting like this is the end of the investigation. This is barely the beginning!!!

    Jeeze what a bunch of dopes.

  122. 122
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kay: @WaterGirl: Is it fair to say that Mueller repeatedly said that did not address the question of whether the Russian interference had an impact on the outcome of the election?

    Because that would be an entirely different thing than saying IT DID NOT HAVE AN IMPACT.

  123. 123
    Kay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Mueller was told to investigate interference in an election. He doesn’t have to prove cause and effect as far as the outcome.

    Trump could have lost and this exact same investigation could be conducted because it isn’t predicated on one candidate losing and the other winning. 20,000 votes different in Michigan and these indicted Russians still did X, Y and Z.

  124. 124
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @MomSense: This would be such an easy choice for me. Bourbon and reading wins out over a party any day of the week.

  125. 125
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl: Yes. They said the have not alleged impact yet. They did not say there was no impact. And impact is irrelevant for criminal purposes.

  126. 126
    Kay says:

    @Niles:

    They don’t need “collusion” by the way. They need “coordination”.

    They actually don’t need either. They can just have Russians or the Trump Administration breaking laws. If it comes to that the Russians or the Trump people who are indicted will no longer care about “collusion” because they’ll be caught breaking laws and they’ll be plenty upset about that.

  127. 127
    Fair Economist says:

    @WaterGirl: No, Mueller said he couldn’t *prove* effective interference in the election. Which, of course, would be nearly impossible no matter what happened.

  128. 128
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Jeffro: the guy was the head of the fucking FBI. He volunteered ro fo to Vietnam. He ain’t t dumb and he ain’t scared. The only Trumpster who seemed to realize the soup they got themselves in was Bannon

  129. 129

    @WaterGirl: What they said, and it was also said by the intelligence folks, is that they have no evidence that the Russian interference affected the election. Glenn Greenwald and sloppy reporters are reporting that as “the Russian interference had no impact on the election,” which is something different.

    It looks to me like Mueller is carefully compartmentalizing the indictments so that they give away very little beyond what absolutely, positively has to be said. He is not tasked with finding what the impact was on the election; that’s a difficult task that may never be fully completed. How many voters did the extra rallies pull in for Trump? How many people of color were put off from voting by the garbage that was distributed about Clinton? There’s material there for many Ph.D. theses in political science, which will probably be mined over the next couple of decades.

  130. 130
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Where is the collusion?

    “If it’s what you say it is, I love it! Especially later in the summer.”

    Not to feed a troll, but it annoys me that almost no one on the TV ever follows up the endless clips of “no collusion, no collusion” by recalling that meeting to their audience, even if “collusion” is, as all those TeeVee lawyers tell me, a legally meaningless term.

  131. 131
    Kay says:

    Mark Murray
    ‏@mmurraypolitics
    Important to keep in mind: Today’s indictments concern *only* the social media/grassroots component of the Russian interference campaign.
    Nothing on the WikiLeaks component (Podesta, DNC emails), which means this is still the tip of the iceberg.

    I’m waiting for the Wikileaks component, personally. It’s past time someone held Julian Assange accountable for something. Weasel.

  132. 132
    J R in WV says:

    @WaterGirl:

    …a friend of mine just told me he heard on NPR that in the 37-page indictment Mueller repeatedly said that the Russian interference had no impact on the outcome of the election. Is that true???

    It is not true. The indictment addressed the crimes in the indictment, which were illegal campaign activity on behalf of Trump and Sanders, and against Clinton and a couple of looser Republicans. There was no mention of impact the crimes and conspiracy may or may not have had upon the election outcome, as that was not the point of the indictment.

    No indictment will discuss the effect of the crimes in the indictment upon an election, as that isn’t the point of the laws being broken. Some acts are criminal and can be addressed in criminal indictments. Others are just things that happen, are not addressed by law, and won’t be in an indictment.

    The indictment addresses illegal things, not political things.

    I just visited the website of CBS evening news and was dismayed to learn that they don’t have (as of a few minutes ago) a single story on their fronts page about the indictments. It’s all school shooting stuff, which is important, but not an existential threat to our nation like the subject of the indictments is. I guess if it bleeds, nothing else matters, right?

  133. 133
    Baud says:

    @J R in WV: It’s the first story on the mobile site.

  134. 134
    Jeffro says:

    Just picture what a president-elect with any sense of humility or dedication to the country or sense of right and wrong would’ve done: he would have said, “ well as hard as this is, I have to do what’s right for the country and help this investigation anyway possible even if it means that in the end I have to resign – we cannot allow hostile foreign powers to pick our presidents “

    In other words, what would Obama do?

  135. 135
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud:

    ‘Yes. They said the have not alleged impact yet.’

    Thanks for clarifying.

    They did not say there was no impact.

    That was my hope, and that’s what I speculated to my friend, who insisted that I was wrong.

    And impact is irrelevant for criminal purposes.

    Agree.

  136. 136
    GregB says:

    The ‘Russia didn’t have an impact on the election’ argument sort of contradicts hundreds of years of capitalist doctrine and at least the last 40/50 years of conservative dogma.

    The conservative dogma is that the liberals own the media and the media has such a powerful influence over people that the liberal media prevents conservative ideas from winning in the marketplace of ideas. In short, media messaging changes minds.

    Secondly, advertising. A bedrock of capitalist messaging. They are arguing that a massive media campaign, likely coordinated partially by Russian propagandists and with millions of dollars behind that ad campaign simply had no effect at all.

    So why would anyone pay money for advertising if it simply didn’t work?

    Russia and Jared Kushner seemed to be convinced this ad campaign for the Persimmon Pustule was a winner, a great ROI.

  137. 137
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jeffro:

    In other words, what would Obama do?

    I’m not sure we want to go there.

  138. 138
    Bailey says:

    @Jeffro:

    for now

    Possibly. Unless there are further indictments and findings that actual vote tallies or voter rolls were changed, it is going to be a difficult argument to make that enough votes were shifted to one candidate or another.

  139. 139
    Big Picture Pathologist says:

    @Kay:

    I noticed that, too. And the target audience remains gullible, hate-filled wingnuts

  140. 140
    GregB says:

    Meanwhile James Clapper torches Pence for declaring the Russian’s didn’t have an effect on the election.

    Clapper.

  141. 141
    retiredeng says:

    @Bailey: One of the first things a dictatorship in this country would do is ban sale of and start confiscating all of the guns.

  142. 142
    debbie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    He said two times, “In this indictment,” which I take to mean some other indictment may reach a different conclusion.

  143. 143
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    How ’bout that Infrastructure Week!

    Tremendous success – BIGLY!

  144. 144
    debbie says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    I remember the first time I saw that bit. My heart sank. I was just learning to live with Little Debbie snack cakes, and now I had to deal with that.

  145. 145

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Mueller was just helping out with the indictments today to cover for ‘Infrastructure Week’.

  146. 146
    mai naem mobile says:

    Wonder if Dolt45 read the indictment. Maybe Kelly stuck in illustrationss of Dolt45 in a mugshot without his hairpiece and Ivanka in cuffs kept the reading interesting. Maybe, some charts comparing the number of indictments of the russians vs. Americans. Maybe Hope Hicks read the indictment in a sexy voice.

  147. 147
    mai naem mobile says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: oh, so infrastructure week was how to build the infrastructure to handle all the indictmenrs coming down like speeding bullet trains? Getting ready to unveil the bridges between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

  148. 148
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    What they said, and it was also said by the intelligence folks, is that they have no evidence that the Russian interference affected the election.

    No, this isn’t right. Rosenstein said in his presentation that the indictment doesn’t allege that the crimes actually affected the outcome of the election. Nor would the indictment allege that, since it isn’t an element of the crime. The indictment does not affirmatively say, anywhere, that there is no evidence Russian interference affected the election.

  149. 149
    hueyplong says:

    Is this pie filter for real?
    If so, will it take out every “person” from an IP address or just that one screen name?

  150. 150
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Bailey:

    Unless there are further indictments

    are you for real?

    and findings that actual vote tallies or voter rolls were changed,

    maybe, maybe not, but they could have swung the election without that

    it is going to be a difficult argument to make that enough votes were shifted to one candidate or another.

    Not really, but it won’t be a difficult argument at all to make that laws were broken.

  151. 151
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @hueyplong: also replies quoting the pied person.

  152. 152

    @Bobby Thomson: Thanks for the correction. I’ll put in a further quibble. “They have no evidence” and “There is no evidence” are two different statements. The first is probably a fair description of what Mueller has, to the extent any of us know what Mueller has. The second is an absolute that I would never claim.

  153. 153
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Bailey:

    It [the indictment] says they can’t prove it had an impact on the outcome of the election.

    No, it definitely does not. Quote me the part that says that.

  154. 154
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jeffro:

    Just picture what a president-elect with any sense of humility or dedication to the country or sense of right and wrong would’ve done: he would have said, “ well as hard as this is, I have to do what’s right for the country and help this investigation anyway possible even if it means that in the end I have to resign – we cannot allow hostile foreign powers to pick our presidents “

    If he had been the kind of person capable of saying that, he also would have been the kind of person who would have reported Russian overtures to the campaign as soon as they happened, i.e. not Donald Trump.

  155. 155
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: true, but the indictment doesn’t talk at all about the effect on the election [Edit: or the existence or absence of related evidence], because it isn’t relevant to those crimes.

  156. 156
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Bobby Thomson: are you for real?

    No, Bailey is a troll, or at least someone who is such a douche as to be indistinguishable from one.

  157. 157
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    are you for real?

    No. Bailey is not.

  158. 158

    @Bobby Thomson: Agree. Mueller has crafted these documents very carefully.

  159. 159
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Manu Raju
    ‏ ✓ @mkraju
    7h7 hours ago

    Russians were pushing attacks on Rubio, Cruz in the primary — while trying to promote Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

    87 replies 777 retweets 1,230 likes

    Russian trolls posing as Wilmerites still trying to absolve the motherland.

  160. 160
    Bailey says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    are you for real?

    You’re concerned that I opined about future indictments? And what grounds they might cover? This is your barameter for who a real person might be?

    maybe, maybe not, but they could have swung the election without that

    How many votes were changed? How would Mueller even begin to show how many votes were changed? Which is, you know, pretty much the point. Unless there are further indictments which demonstrate additional actions, he isn’t going to be able to show how many, if any, votes were actually changed.

    Did Russian efforts in Wisconsin lose Clinton more votes than not campaigning there cost?

    Not really, but it won’t be a difficult argument at all to make that laws were broken.

    Well, that wasn’t the question, was it?

  161. 161
    Another Scott says:

    Dunno if this has been mentioned yet, but Nancy at WaMo has a great takedown of Trump’s tweet:

    We’ve already seen these three talking points repeated pretty regularly (as you can see in this statement from Ronna McDaniel, RNC Chair):

    1. The Russians started in 2014, before Trump announced his candidacy
    2. The Russian efforts didn’t affect the outcome of the election
    3. There was no collusion with the Trump campaign

    * The bulk of activities cited in the indictments happened in 2016. But here’s an interesting tweet in January 2014 from a woman whose twitter profile identifies her as “Advisor to the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.”

    [View image on Twitter]

    Alferova Yulya @AlferovaYulyaE

    I’m sure @realDonaldTrump will be great president! We’ll support you from Russia! America needs ambitious leader!

    4:26 PM – Jan 22, 2014
    1,086 2,147 people are talking about this

    Heh.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  162. 162
    efgoldman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    What they said, and it was also said by the intelligence folks, is that they have no evidence that the Russian interference affected the election.

    Damn Cheryl! There you (and Adam) go injecting common sense and facts into a story that should put us all into existential panic.

  163. 163
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’ll put in a further quibble. “They have no evidence” and “There is no evidence” are two different statements.

    I would add yet another quibble. “They presented no evidence” and “They have no evidence” are two different statements. It’s quite possible that they have evidence that the Russian interference affected the outcome but it was excluded from the indictment as irrelevant and/or was not so conclusive they want to present it right now.

    There is certainly evidence that the Russian interference affected the outcome. We know the election was very close. We also know the Russian media campaign had considerable reach, since the stuff they were presenting was repeated by plenty of people who were not Russian bots. Between those two things, there’s evidence the Russian campaign affected the outcome of the election, even if that evidence does not rise to the level of proof.

  164. 164
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Manu Raju
    ‏ ✓ @mkraju
    7h7 hours ago

    Russians were pushing attacks on Rubio, Cruz in the primary — while trying to promote Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

    87 replies 777 retweets 1,230 likes

    Explains why Wlimer is only member of a 535 bicameral body to vote against both Magnitsky act and recent russian election sanctions.

  165. 165
    Bailey says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    true, but the indictment doesn’t talk at all about the effect on the election [Edit: or the existence or absence of related evidence], because it isn’t relevant to those crimes.

    Rosenstein’s statement today (which could change in the future) spoke specifically to this. The charging papers themselves, of course, would not cover this.

    5:05 mark in the video, for anyone who missed:

  166. 166
    Immanentize says:

    @Another Scott:
    Heh Indeedy

  167. 167
    efgoldman says:

    @J R in WV:

    I just visited the website of CBS evening news and was dismayed to learn that they don’t have (as of a few minutes ago) a single story on their fronts page about the indictments.

    They don’t post tonite’s evening newscast until very late in the evening. You can look at the streaming version which I think is available immediately. Thy ran a story in the first half.

  168. 168
    efgoldman says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    Wonder if Dolt45 read the indictment.

    Again: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

    :::sob::::

  169. 169
    efgoldman says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Quote me the part that says that.

    Old Wilmerbot troll rises from the dead.
    Et ressurexit

  170. 170
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @efgoldman: Brian Keith may be dead, but the Russians are still coming.

  171. 171
    efgoldman says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    Explains why Wlimer is only member of a 535 bicameral body to vote against both Magnitsky act and recent russian election sanctions

    Because he’s as pure of the driven snow on the steppes.

  172. 172
    Chyron HR says:

    @Bailey:

    So how exactly do you see Messiah’s 2020 primary campaign playing out? Does he announce on January 1 that he suddenly decided he’s not too good to join the Democratic party (again)? Will he quit the party immediately after the convention is over (again)? If he somehow gets the nomination, will he still quit the party immediately after the convention and run for president as an independent with no Democrat on the ballot?

  173. 173
    The Lodger says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I think the real situation is closer to, “We have announced no evidence.”
    ETA, or what Roger Moore said better above.

  174. 174
    Bailey says:

    @Chyron HR:

    So how exactly do you see Messiah’s 2020 primary campaign playing out? Does he announce on January 1 that he suddenly decided he’s not too good to join the Democratic party (again)? Will he quit the party immediately after the convention is over (again)? If he somehow gets the nomination, will he still quit the party immediately after the convention and run for president as an independent with no Democrat on the ballot?

    Who are you talking about? Trump? I’m hoping he’s either impeached by then because the Dem majority in Congress, or he calls himself the biggest winner of all time and goes home because he hates being president.

  175. 175
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Bailey:

    You’re concerned that I opined about future indictments? And what grounds they might cover? This is your barameter for who a real person might be?

    No, you said “unless there are more indictments” as though that was somehow in doubt – which means you are engaging in wishful thinking and really stupid, or just trolling.

    How would Mueller even begin to show how many votes were changed?

    Doesn’t have to. There are so many crimes to choose from that don’t require proof of that. Not even treason requires proof of that.

    Which is, you know, pretty much the point.

    Except, you know, it isn’t, unless you are deliberately trying to set the goal posts someplace irrelevant.

    Unless there are further indictments which demonstrate additional actions, he isn’t going to be able to show how many, if any, votes were actually changed.

    And? So what? He doesn’t have to. Academics might be able to guess at it some day, but crimes were committed and they can be proved without that.

    Did Russian efforts in Wisconsin lose Clinton more votes than not campaigning there cost?

    Premise is both wrong and irrelevant. Doesn’t matter.

    Not really, but it won’t be a difficult argument at all to make that laws were broken.

    Well, that wasn’t the question, was it?

    Actually, it very much is, unless you’re trying to move goal posts. But even that’s a mug’s game. Now go back to your god damn troll farm, dumb ass.

  176. 176
    Bailey says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    No, you said “unless there are more indictments” as though that was somehow in doubt – which means you are engaging in wishful thinking and really stupid, or just trolling.

    Yes. I said “unless there are future indictments.” Why you find this objectionable, I have no idea. I don’t know what Mueller’s evidence, do you? I don’t know his strategy, do you? I have some guesses. But I don’t know what grounds any future, if any, indictments will cover.

    I do know what I read today which was basically a shadow campaign, presumably financed by the Kremlin. They wrecked some havoc on Facebook and scheduled some rallies. It certainly had an effect on the election. But no one here, and probably not Mueller, can tell us that it changed the outcome or to what degree.

    Doesn’t have to. There are so many crimes to choose from that don’t require proof of that. Not even treason requires proof of that.

    You’re caught up in two separate questions here. Let’s say Mueller could prove conspiracy to commit election fraud and obstruction of justice. Those seem like the two most likely to me. That leaves us at him proving the elements of those crimes, but since we are still a nation of individuals that show up to the polls to vote, he won’t be able to show that the outcome of the election was changed.

    UNLESS—which was my initial point you glossed by—he has further indictments that suggest actual vote tally altering or voter roll manipulation.

    Why you find this an outrageous stance, I’m not sure I get. But you go be you.

    Premise is both wrong and irrelevant. Doesn’t matter.

    Premise is not wrong if your objective is to prove Russian meddling effected the actual outcome of the election. They didn’t work in a vacuum. Other factors are also at play and you cannot dismiss them.

    Actually, it very much is, unless you’re trying to move goal posts. But even that’s a mug’s game. Now go back to your god damn troll farm, dumb ass.

    You’re charming. I get the feeling you don’t understand your own game, so I’ll let you go back to that.

  177. 177
    Corner Stone says:

    Jeebus people.

  178. 178
    Sam says:

    The Russians probably didn’t expect Trump to win. They would do fine regardless. Remember how Trump was going on about a rigged system? I bet the Russians would have been very happy if Trump brought his supporters out into the streets to contest a Clinton victory. Four years of chaos, regardless of who won. Sure, Trump is compromised, and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the Russians leaked that themselves at some point, but the op was tremendous success no matter who won.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @Aimai:
    [Waves]

  181. 181
    James E. Powell says:

    @Kay:

    The truth is they missed the biggest story of the 2016 election season, which was Russian interference. The public probably should have known during the voting period that they were being subjected to a propaganda operation.

    I haven’t felt this kind of rage in a long time. I want the whole press/media apparatus, the NYT as “paper of record,” the Beltway Courtiers, the cable shows, the Sunday shows, I want them all to be destroyed,

  182. 182
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: Yep. It is quite interesting that some Russian woman who seems to have been assigned to spend several days with the President while he was in Russia for the beauty pageant seemed to know he was going to run for President. In 2013.

  183. 183
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: But, but, but, !!11:

    Donald J. Trump‏ Verified account @realDonaldTrump

    Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!

    4:31 AM – 11 Jan 2017

    Heh.

    See the replies for an indication (all in one place) of how preposterous that claim was, even back then.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  184. 184
    afanasia says:

    @Bailey: Again, I don’t think Mueller is focused on proving that vote outcomes were affected. He’s focused on proving that the subjects of the indictment ATTEMPTED to affect outcomes. Am I missing something in your argument? It seems…strange.

  185. 185
    Bailey says:

    @afanasia:

    Again, I don’t think Mueller is focused on proving that vote outcomes were affected. He’s focused on proving that the subjects of the indictment ATTEMPTED to affect outcomes. Am I missing something in your argument? It seems…strange.

    If you are missing anything, it is only because of the distorted commentary here.

    Agreed, in this set of indictments (which is focused on only the online/digital efforts of Russian actors), Mueller is not trying to prove that the outcome of the election was effected by the Russian actors. I guess it got super confusing to people when I said that, given the evidence presented in these indictments, not only is that proof not Mueller’s intention but that he could not prove it anyway given the lack of evidence of direct voter tabulation manipulation.

    Many people here seem to want to argue that effecting the election means the same thing as changing the outcome of the election, which is far from certain.

  186. 186
    Kilgore Trout says:

    @John Revolta: Yeah. Interesting that they started their work shortly after Trump returned from his Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Just a coincidence I am sure.

  187. 187
    Marcia says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    Don’t you ever grow weary of playing Debbie Downer?

    Strange thing about D.D. She almost always prefaces We’re All Going To Die remarks with “I don’t like to be a D.D. BUT …………”

    I guess you could say she has identity issues.

  188. 188
    Marcia says:

    @Bailey:

    I was a kid of the 80s and I just cannot grok how the GOP has gone from Reagan to….this.

    I was in my 30s in 1980s. “…..this.” was one of Reagan’s more stellar accomplishments. It would be more accurate to say that we went from Eisenhower to Bonzo.

  189. 189
    Marcia says:

    For some reason, I’m not being allowed to edit comments, even less than 60 seconds later. Bummer.

    @Bailey:

    I was a kid of the 80s and I just cannot grok how the GOP has gone from Reagan to….this.

    I was in my 30s in 1980s. Reagan’s administration and the total lack of organized opposition was precisely what led to “…..this.” It would be more accurate to say that we went from Eisenhower to Bonzo.

  190. 190
    artem1s says:

    Mueller’s investigation has primarily focused on the general election. I’m assuming that’s because of the series of events surrounding Comey and his firing. But it seems pretty clear that all the activity surrounding the Russian trolls, etc. was already in place and active during the primaries. Some people are focusing on Stein and Sanders but there is very little discussion about the other GOP candidates. It always seemed weird to me that GOP leadership and candidates just laid down for this assclown. The meetings in Cleveland between GOP leadership and Russians was at the center of Sessions lies during his confirmation. The deal to put Pence in the VP spot in exchange for putting dropping sanctions in the GOP platform was in place before the GOP convention. Too many of the GOP candidates, people who should have been able to mop the floor with that big orange swiffer, just laid down and threw their support to the King of the Deplorables. Sometimes within 24 hours of swearing they would never, ever support him as a GOP candidate.

    Bannon and Manafort didn’t just steal the general. They stole the primary. And the GOP just rolled over and let it happen.
    Before this thing is over, I want an accounting of what the GOP leadership was terrified of.

  191. 191
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Kay:

    There will never be “proof” a Russian/far Right political strategy “affected” the election because campaign strategies can’t be “proved”.

    Dead thread, but not entirely true. Statistical evidence of the convincing sort will emerge. However, proof of this sort of electoral manipulation put forth by the US government would be an admission of the sort of expertise that one does not normally advertise.

    Finished reading the 37 page indictment this evening; still parsing/reading between the lines and trying to parse all the commentary, but enjoyed very much reading the indictment and seeing Robert Mueller’s signature for the first time (with the three sticks).
    Embarrassed as an American (or for that matter a member of species Homo Sapiens) that such an amateurish operation got so much traction, and was deemed worthy of significant funding.
    And – it’s going to get messier. We all need to pay very close attention, and stay strong.

    And we need to continue to track other (apparent) Trump administration malfeasance, e.g. Tennessee University Investigating Possible Research Misconduct in Glider Vehicle Testing (EPA). (roughly, trucks without engines are not vehicles and cannot be regulated, the argument goes.)

  192. 192
    Dennis says:

    “Quite simply Risen is wrong”

    Since neither of you is actually a part of the investigation, I have no way to evaluate that statement.

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