Uncle Joe showed us all that a good show trial ought to be entertaining.
Sadly for those few of us looking for interesting stories to talk about, the dreary, gray, meandering, show trial Mueller is putting on to amuse the giggling idiots of the anti-Trump elite is amusing only to them, not non-gigglers and non-idiots.
As I have maintained since May of this year, Russiagate has been all process crimes unrelated to an underlying “collusion” (?) crime
Whatever crimes happened involving Trump advisers are most likely isolated to those advisers and unrelated to the campaign. Most likely these are tax and regulatory reporting irregularities, many of them occurring years before Trump began his campaign in mid-2015.
Comey’s strategy was a variant taken from the playbook of his mentor and friend, Patrick Fitzgerald. The Fitzgerald strategy is to spend years kindling a media firestorm with limited, but carefully selected, leaks about a major investigation into the supposed crimes of a Republican White House, but only to end up nailing a few suspects on investigative crimes unrelated to the major felony the media was yearning for.
This was Fitzgerald’s approach to the bogus Valerie Plame “outing”; I believe it was Comey’s strategy in the bogus election investigation.
But with modifications.
Instead of being satisfied with exonerating the White House for the underlying crime but nailing advisers on unrelated charges as Fitzgerald did in “Plamegate“, Comey hoped to bring down Trump on an obstruction of justice charge; charges that could either leave his Presidency sandbagged with a large scandal or actually lead to impeachment.
Comey’s reported actions are consistent with passive-aggressive attempts to anger Trump in order to get him to make statements that could be construed as interfering with the investigation.
The indictment of Michael Flynn in no way deviates from this script of prosecutorial malpractice: The indictment alleges only that Flynn made false statements to the FBI about diplomatic communications Flynn held with Russia during the Presidential transition.
It does not allege there was anything illegal about contacting the Russians (the Presidential transition teams of both Reagan and Carter made important diplomatic communications before inauguration day) or that Flynn committed crimes during the campaign.
The only hope anti-Trump has for actual collusion being uncovered is if Flynn provides information in the future that is not already in the released documents.
Anti-Trump refuses to believe what Mueller has in his Flynn plea agreement is not what he Mueller end up with. Their rationale goes that Mueller would not have given Flynn a slap on the wrist unless Flynn was going to promise to reveal collusion evidence at a later date when a new plea agreement will be magically pulled out of a hat.
Unfortunately for anti-Trump, this is just not how plea agreements work.
As Andrew McCarthy pointed out, prosecutors and defendants both have a deep interest in precisely detailing what information and/or help the defendant will provide the prosecution before the plea agreement is signed.
A plea agreement is a powerful document because it is a binding legal contract that greatly restricts the ability of either party to discard the rules afterwards: In exchange for a promise of information/cooperation from the defendant, the defendant is given legal protection from additional legal punishment if the prosecution is later dissatisfied with the value of the information. And, in exchange for prosecutorial leniency, the prosecution is given a legal guarantee for information/cooperation.
What this means is that for Mueller and Flynn to both be “saving campaign related information for a later plea agreement” they would be putting their own interests at risk simply because no binding plea agreement exists yet.
Until both the prosecution and defense sign a plea agreement, Mueller cannot be sure Flynn will provide any information about collusion in the future while Flynn cannot be sure Mueller will not prosecute him for any collusion related crimes Mueller might connect Flynn to.
The takeaway of all this is the worst interpretation of the Flynn indictment from anti-Trump’s point of view: Mueller did not indict Flynn for campaign collusion with Russia because there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
If anti-Trump were correct that Flynn and Mueller are going to make the deal of a lifetime, it would already be on paper.
Another indicator Mueller has found nothing collusion related is, according to Friday’s court documents, the two senior officials Flynn talked to about Russia (one of whom is presumed to be Jared Kushner) and who are likely to be Mueller’s next targets are under suspicion for false statements those officials made during the transition about messages Flynn relayed to the Russian government.
If the next indictments are also related to Flynn’s talks with Russian officials during the transition – instead of the campaign – then we will know for sure Mueller has no evidence of collusion.
Indeed, at this point it would be bizarre for an underlying crime to be revealed after two major campaign staffers (Manafort and Flynn) and two lesser staffers (Gates and Papadopolus) were indicted for process crimes that Mueller’s own documents show are completely unrelated to Russia’s supposed election meddling.
At similar points in the news cycle, for previous DC scandals – from Watergate, to Iran Contra, to Bill Clinton’s countless legal battles – the alleged underlying crime had already been defined from the beginning; plea deals with defendants turned-informants made mention of the underlying crime; and evidence of the underlying crime was being produced on regular basis.
By contrast, the Russia collusion narrative still has not so much as defined what the underlying crime is; none of the defendants have been charged with anything related to an underlying crime; and no evidence of an underlying crime has been produced.
In the complete absence of an underlying crime, it is long-past time for the special counsel’s office to be left completely absent of the crackpot investigators hallucinating all day, at taxpayer expense, about it.