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By Any Means Necessary
Russiagate and the Deep State

The utility of the Mueller investigation has not been the uncovering of collusion, or even in the badgering of an Administration perceived as loathsome. Rather, it has allowed American elites to avoid facing uncomfortable questions about the factors that put Trump in the White House.

Published on: April 16, 2018
Kirk Bennett is a retired Foreign Service Officer and long-time swamp-dweller who spent most of his career working on Russia and the post-Soviet space.
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  • Fat_Man

    Satire and sarcasm are no longer useful modes of exposition. I cannot tell whether this essay is in those modes or is earnest and straight forward. Try harder next time Kirk.

    • Micah718

      You are being unduly harsh. I thought Kirk made his point rather well. OF course, since I agree with it, it is easy for me to say.

      • Fat_Man

        You can only agree with it, if you know what it is.

        • Micah718

          My reading of it was demonstration of how one can weaponize federal government to completely crush individuals. Also, how Mueller investigation is turning (or has already turned) into a police state technique to hound those people who our betters dislike.
          Reading things like this leads me to believe that we are headed for national divorce. I don’t think this soft coup attempt is going unnoticed.

          • Matt_Thullen

            Yep. Many people don’t understand that you don’t need to be under oath to be charged with misleading a federal investigation, and so any memory lapsed can be a chargeable offense. You can fight it, but you are paying for your legal expenses fighting a government that has unlimited resources. They also can do things like start investigating family members, as Michael Flynn discovered.

            This was a great essay, and deserves to be distributed far and wide.

          • Luke

            If you have a memory lapse, you can say you don’t remember. You don’t deny saying something that you did.
            The right has gone soft on criminal behavior.

          • Gary Hemminger

            lying about a non crime is a pretty strange thing to prosecute, wouldn’t you think? We have over 300M people that probably fit that definition. I don’t think that going soft on crime means you don’t really care about people who lie about non-crimes.

          • Luke

            Not strange at all. 300 million people have not been interviewed by Federal investigators. Among those that have, only a tiny fraction have lied about anything as substantive.

            If you’re the chief of staff to the Vice President of the United States, and you’ve leaked the name of a covert CIA operative in petty retaliation for her husband criticizing the case for war, you don’t get to lie about it. Libby’s extremely lucky the name had already been leaked before he did it, otherwise he’d have been charged with a lot more than he was.

            Going soft on crime means, among other things, excusing it when the crime is committed by your ideological allies.

    • Gary Hemminger

      Best article I have read on TAI. I mean best ever. The fact that you think satire and sarcasm are no longer useful modes of exposition says more about you than about Kirk. they are not dead modes of exposition to me and in fact I think people who do think they are not useful are probably a bit problematic from a communication standpoint. Why eliminate modes of expression? Doesn’t make sense. Sort of like eliminating some modes of emotion. All it does is lead to trouble.

  • Jmaci

    Nice job. The opening anecdote was especially effective in illustrating how such investigations can be abused.

  • AbleArcher

    You know America is in deep trouble when Clinton and DNC dirty laundry getting aired, no matter who aired it, gets pushed aside to the best of the establishments ability, and the alleged messenger/s get shot. Maybe literally in the case of Seth rich.

    • Luke

      Hillary Clinton lost the election and is correspondingly seldom in the news. You’re practicing blatant whataboutism. Even if HRC is the devil incarnate, that does not excuse Papadopoulos, Trump, or anyone else.

      • taek kenn

        The question is: “Excuse them from what” pray tell us. For if you concede that HRC is “devil incarnate”, then everybody else is just a sinning human being.

        • Luke

          Excuse Papadopoulos from lying to investigators. Y’know, the topic of the post. Excuse Trump from obstructing justice by firing those investigating him.

          • taek kenn

            Well I am glad you agree with me that HRC is, as you so aptly named her, “devil incarnate”. All the other things that bother you so intensely are merely human peccadillos.

      • Lord Fnord

        Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College. She won the election.

        • Luke

          She got more votes, but that wasn’t the contest. The US Presidential election is decided in the electoral college, so I’m pretty sure it’s fair to say she lost.

  • Arkeygeezer

    The elites will continue to pursue this scenario and President Trump will be reelected.

    The President now controls the press and gives them a new story line each news cycle. He lets them chase the tweets while he goes about his business of dismantling the deep state, dealing with China and North Korea, dealing with the Middle East problem, and negotiating more favorable trade deals with other major trading blocks and nations. The economy is roaring along, and his enemies are thoroughly confused.

    Mueller is a prime example of a deep state operative, and his tactics are becoming more and more exposed to the American people.

  • D4x

    we perceive that the people have lost the confidence of the elites, and it is therefore time to elect a new people—or at least, as a step in the right direction, to remove their President.
    “The Peaceable Kingdom” by Edward Hicks, 1834 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de2390a976737896d3ede3ec4af00402d5b6a28654221d7f412b70c829b72d1f.jpg
    on view, National Gallery of Art, East Building, Concourse – Gallery 29B https://www.nga.gov/collection/locationview.59908.html?room=EC-029-B&ngaObjectId=59908&pageNumber=1

    • CapitalistRoader

      We owe the term “socialism” to some followers of Robert Owen, the nineteenth-century British industrialist who founded New Harmony, a short-lived utopian community on the banks of the Wabash in Indiana. Owen’s initial reception in America was impressive. In an 1825 address to Congress, Joshua Muravchik reports in Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism, Owen’s audience included not only congressmen but also Supreme Court justices, cabinet members, President Monroe, and President-elect John Quincy Adams. Owen described to this august assemblage how his efforts to replace the “individual selfish system” with a “united social” system would bring forth a “new man” who was free from the grasping imperatives that had marred human nature from time immemorial. (And not only human nature: the utopian socialist Charles Fourier expected selfishness and cruelty to be obliterated from the animal kingdom as well: one day, he thought, even lions and whales would be domesticated.)
      Roger Kimball, The Death of Socialism, The New Criterion, April 2002

  • PierrePendre

    Mueller has been compared with Inspector Javert in his relentless pursuit of Jean Valjean. The better analogy might be Clouseau on the trail of Oliver Hardy. Javert pursued Valjean for one big thing and in the end it destroyed him; he throws himself in the Seine and drowns, a triumph for morality if not justice. Mueller allegedly went after Trump for one big thing that keeps running into road blocks and veering off in new directions. The latest of these is the sweeping up of all Trump’s legal background from his lawyer’s office. Surely there must be something in there that brings the great orange gorilla down. But if not, will Mueller veer again? Before he’s finished, he’ll be indicting Trump for unpaid parking tickets. This does not give the appearance of justice pursuing its course but of a prosecutorial monomaniac squeezing every last possibility out of a corrupt system that it heavily biased against the target. How is this supposed to cleanse American politics. May be it hands power back to liberal Democrats but nemesis will surely await. Nixon begat Clinton and Clinton begat Trump. if they hound him out of Washington at any cost to political and legal legitimacy, Trump will assuredly beget a Democrat victim some time in the future. Dershowitz has suggested Mueller call it quits which is probably the only sensible thing said in Washington since November 2016. Never underestimate Trump’s ability to hang himself.

  • FriendlyGoat

    “Elites” need to understand that the Evangelical Gospel as preached in America has become subservient to political messaging on right wing TV news, talk radio, chain e-mail, campaign advertising and an echo chamber in social media. This is precisely what Russians now understand in their messaging efforts and their selection of target audiences for maximum effect. They know what buttons to push in the church community. They know it in Russia and they know it In America. We need to stop focusing on what Russians say in their meddling and start focusing on who so eagerly consumes it and takes it to heart.

    • Joe Blow

      Huh. Nice caricature. Have you ever actually met an Evangelical? Do you actually know anything about the movement? Or are you just spouting off about people you’ve never talked to?
      As an agnostic, I find the use of bible verses as an argument tedious, but still a thousand times better than the “logic” of the left. And I’d much rather have an Evangelical family living next store to me than a “Social Justice Warrior”.

      • FriendlyGoat

        I was in church for 40 years, Joe. Several Protestant denominations. I know Evangelicals from the inside out, and I know what happened to them. They were played—–largely on a volunteer basis.

        • Joe Blow

          Fair enough. I was raised in the Evangelical Free church, by republican parents. I just don’t see what you see, although, to be fair, I haven’t been to church (other than for funerals) for 30 yrs.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’ve been out for 25 years by choice. The embrace of Reaganism was too much for me.
            I too was raised around Republicans, but that was back before they went completely crazy and dragged most of Church over the cliff with them. For instance, we had Eisenhower and a tax code and collective bargaining at the same time. We had some environmentalism and occupational safety passed in the Nixon era. Gerald Ford did not act like a fool. Times changed, bigtime.

  • MarkE

    This was hilarious and perhaps the beginning of catharsis of the elite. It is interesting that despite the continued indictments by Mueller for lying to the FBI and tax evasion Trump’s popularity is slowly creeping up. The impression being created is of a rough edged, loudmouthed brash kind of guy that sleeps with too many of the wrong kind of women being persecuted by self righteous elite. The elite have done every thing just like they learned at Harvard, but somehow the country just stalled out. Along comes this boorish guy who just bumbles along doing coming sense things and low and behold things start to look better for everyone but the elite. This sounds epic, almost mythic in scope.
    If Mueller is half the man they say he is I think he may get tired of this game and throw in the towel on this errand of disappointment.

    • Matt_Thullen

      Mueller is the same guy that obsessively pursued Steven Hatfill for the 9/11 anthrax attacks, and lost the American taxpayers $6 million for his single-mindedness. His self-regard is only exceeded by his self-righteousness, and he will never be deterred from trying to remove Trump from power.

      • HistoryMatters

        Not only lost the 6 million – but spent an estimated 100 million on the investigation and never actually caught the guy that did it.

        • Luke

          Ooh a new talking point! The FBI botched an investigation in 2001, therefore this is a witch hunt out to get Trump.
          I’m sure you’ll find some other irrelevant put-down to discredit Mueller after this one fails to gain traction.

          • taek kenn

            His big put down will be when he closes his investigation, with no results other than Trump still in WH and HRC still bemoaning her destiny, in the woods of Chappaqua, glass of chardonnay in hand.

          • Luke

            Mueller is not tasked with removing Trump from the Presidency. I’m not sure why you’re using that as a measure of anything. DOJ guidelines prevent a sitting President from being indicted and there is substantial doubt as to whether it’s even constitutionally possible.

            Mueller will issue a final report. Sessions and Nunes, being tools, will claim it “exonorates” Trump no matter what it says. The’ll throw in some innuendo about Democratic malfeasance for good measure. One or two Republican Senators who still have a shred of dignity left or are worried about their own reelection, will make some rumblings about impeachable offenses, then do absolutely nothing. The Democrats, riding enthusiasm and Trump’s unpopularity, will retake the House and possibly the Senate, leading to more investigations. Expect to hear the term “inherent contempt” a lot, complete with whining about how it’s the downfall of our Republic. There may or may not be an impeachment vote in the House, but the Senate will acquit regardless. Then 2020 rolls around and Trump loses reelection, also because he’s unpopular and this time the Democrats have not nominated HRC. Then we can slowly start reestablishing the democratic norms that have become so tattered under the last two Republican presidents.

          • taek kenn

            First of all please re-read my short post. It is in plain English. It says absolutely NOTHING about “Mueller removing Trump from Presidency.
            Nevertheless, I am glad to see you agree with me that after he closes his investigation, Trump will still be in WH and HRC will still be wondering in the woods with drink in hand.
            It is also interesting that you are so convinced that Trump will lose in 2020. I am sure you prognosticated Trump’s win in 2016. As Yogi Berra once said, “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” I never do and therefore am never disappointed.

          • Luke

            “No results other than Trump still in WH” is what you wrote. There’s no point in stating Trump will still be President unless you believe Mueller is trying to affect that.
            I don’t like Hillary Clinton, so I don’t care how much you enjoy imagining her nursing sour grapes or misinterpreting me as thinking she’s the devil incarnate.
            I didn’t prognosticate a Trump (or Clinton) win in 2016. Trump is a clown, but Clinton had serious deficiencies as a candidate that were evident since she lost the 2008 nomination to Obama. The polls favored Clinton narrowly, but I suspected prognosticators like Sam Wang were badly underestimated the correlation between uncertainties in swing states. He got complacent because the polls did so well in 2012, with few regional disparities.

            Unlike you, I don’t call everything the other side does is biased and partisan, and predict my side will always prevail. Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty this far out. But the special results so far have been horrible for Republicans and I think Trump is incapable of addressing the serious character flaws that are dragging down his poll numbers. Democrats, conversely, know how to learn from their mistakes.

          • taek kenn

            Please re-read my original comment. It dealt with your point of discrediting Mueller. I was commenting on Mueller not on Trump himself.
            You labeled HRC as a devil incarnate, a very curious comment indeed.
            You are the one who stated with certainty ” Then 2020 rolls around and Trump loses reelection”, And even now, if you are honest with yourself, you are desperately trying to convince yourself that next time around things will be different.
            Well as the saying goes, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast, Man never is but always to be blest”.

          • Luke

            Did you miss the “Even if” preface to my writing “Hillary is the Devil Incarnate”? It was a hypothetical designed to make the point that it doesn’t matter how bad she is, it doesn’t excuse anything the Trump folks do.

            Since you failed to grasp this obvious point, I’m not going to bother discussing this any further. Good day.

          • taek kenn

            Oh I understood it quite well. However, if you were trying to say that that you don’t believe she is devil incarnate, then the correct way to write that is: “Even if she WERE devil incarnate”, You know write it in the subjunctive mood. Saying “even if” supposes that you believe she is the devil incarnate. Did they not teach you that in HS????

          • HistoryMatters

            My comment was merely an elaboration to the original comment and was a far cry from any independent effort to discredit Mueller. His record does that quite well on its own, should you care to examine it closely. That case is significant because it was not just the FBI exactly – but Mueller specifically – who, himself, took the reigns and micromanaged the case; a circumstance that actually prevented a serious and objective investigation to catch the real culprit. But it also destroyed an innocent man. You can look at the Enron case; the Arthur Anderson case; the curious case of Celis Acosta, the failure to stop the Boston Marathon bombing, and numerous others. These stories are relevant to the character and competence of the special counsel and his team -something touted so sanctimoniously by his supporters, but rarely examined. It also goes directly to demonstrating their disrespect for the law in order to get whoever they deem needs getting – regardless of the truth or the facts. Tactics involving leaks to the press and character assassination are also well established patterns. Either way – I don’t need to come up with any “irrelevant put-downs” because the truth is there to see. Just for fun, here is the well heeled opinion of the ACLU from 2013 (that Pre-POTUSDJT) https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/unleashed-and-unaccountable-fbi-report.pdf

          • CosmotKat

            In what sane world, Luke, is a botched investigation thought of as a talking point? This is an important data point when assessing the current activity of the FBI/DOJ and the Mueller investigation. They have demonstrated a proclivity to use entrapment and selective prosecution to indict, often innocent people and then have the cases overturned or thrown out. What you see as an attempt to discredit Mueller the intellectually honest see a pattern of abuse of power.

    • Miek D.

      Mr. Mueller grabbed the tiger by the tail and now can’t let go, less his entrails be gored wide open.

  • QET

    I thought that the “Deep State not as conspiracy but as reflex” was an excellent way of putting it, and that characterization frankly ought to be more worrisome to people–all people–than the characterization as conspiracy.

    • Jon

      It’s a reflex that evolved into conspiracy. For example, the FBIs “insurance policy”. Or the actions of our national intel agency heads.

      • AKCapitalist

        It has evolved into a conspiracy to carry out a coup d’etat, a putsch, a golpe de estado to overthrow a duly elected president chosen by the “deplorable” great unwashed masses (we, the people). The USA is devolving into a banana republic. Well written article and on point. Hard to call the method satire when it is simply analogous of what is actually happening.

  • BayouKiki

    I almost stopped reading after the first few paragraphs — too much “I, me, my”for my taste (I thought Iwas reading a BHO speech) — but am very glad I stuck around. Thank you for your insight

  • HWJoy

    Terrific article — we need more like it. I really like the satire

  • doug masnaghetti

    The liberal fascists are lawless, racist and DANGEROUS. Purge these freaks from our schools, our government, and the media. Vile evil freaks!

  • jackcarlson

    Beautiful! And so accurate. The “elites” just do not get that we “deplorables” are actually smarter than they are, by a lot.

  • Kneel

    Excellent article. thank you

  • cwon1

    In other news the DNC sues Trump and a whole country, Russian dressing on the side to validate their conspiracy theory.

    Mueller should never have been appointed except for illegal and treasonous deep state operations likely linked to Obama operatives. Brennan is one who deserves indictment for one.

  • Max Flasher

    David Brooks: Those of us trying to rebut Trump have the disadvantage that “Our Elites Really Do Stink”.
    https://youtu.be/y-nuoXujOBs

  • Max Flasher

    This whole endlessly revolving merry-go-round of an investigation is not at all only about Trump. The leftist fanatics who want to get rid of Trump are the same people to love to squeak about “white privilege” and who promote the grotesquely insane idea that “whiteness” is a problem.

    “Controversial ‘Problem of Whiteness’ course reintroduced at UW-Madison”
    http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/40421/

    They’re also the same fanatics who’ve made Chicago a “Sanctuary City” and, far worse, made California, a border state, a “Sanctuary State” which in effect tells people that once they make it across the border they’ll be safe and protected from deportation.

    What would great liberal democrats from the past like FDR and JFK have thought of a city like Chicago being a “Sanctuary City” or, vastly worse, the border state of California being a “Sanctuary State.”

    They’d obviously think their Democratic Party has become insane and they’d be right.

  • Jon

    Excellent article. One thing overlooked by the author; the role and actions of our national intel agencies. In this age of all-pervasive surveillance and the collection of every electron, if their nakedly partisan political machinations in this sordid mess don’t scare the bejezus out of you, you’re not paying attention.

  • Brilliant analysis!

    • Luke

      Reflexive sycophancy!

      • CosmotKat

        Asinine trolling!

  • Gary Ede

    Pretty good article until the last paragraph. Just shows that despite your talent for analysis you still don’t get it. But not to worry, as the MSM drowns in its own myopia, hysteria and excrement the alternative conduits of info, the only ones actually reporting facts (yes, I know, and a lot of other stuff to sort through or just erase), the American public is gradually being educated to not only the immoral claim to the moral high ground of the hypocritical elites but the actual globalist tyranny that has roots within the core of our government bureaucracy supposing that its/their lusts for power, wealth and pleasure are somehow justified as members of the philosopher kings whose right it is to rule. At your dinner table you may find Trump to be like some obnoxious uncle who stays too long and bores you with his boasts, but to us taxpayers we find him both amusing and honorable to a degree you and your pals probably will never understand. But, to further scandalize you, I will make this prediction: Not only is Trump crazy like a fox, he is going to go down in American history as one of the very greatest. He didn’t need this job nor all the abuse. He is doing it for us, for me, for my children. And we love him for it.

    Once he gets the people in place that are not compromised and complicit the stench of swamp gas and rats will be a worldwide spectacle. Comey and his pals are just the beginning. What you are witnessing, if your are paying attention (which, of course, you get paid to do) you will see the individual and collective effects of how everyone that served under or with Obama and Hillary were corrupted to one degree or another and, as various find themselves at risk, will start turning on each other and the scene will not be pretty. But we will be treated to an education of how power and proximity to power corrupts. It really doesn’t matter if a few sacred cultural cows and bureaucratic institutions suffer or even bite the dust. It is time for a new American century based on solid principles.

    • Kurt Boyer

      What exactly is wrong with the last paragraph? The whole editorial implies that there’s an irrational hatred of Trump and that his constituency/agenda deserve more respect.

      • Gary Ede

        The assumption that Trump must be removed despite everything that preceded this observation. I find it annoying that even when a media pundit can identify the absurdity of what is going on with the MSM or the Democratic party they still think they need to trash Trump. These people have no backbone. We would not have this demonstration of both idiocy and revealed corruption if it were not for the fact that a non-politician was willing to put it all on the line and run against all the prevailing wisdom. Between now and the midterm elections the media is going to gather enough egg on their faces to sink a battleship. It will be interesting to see how much they can adjust or if they will go down with the ship. Its just starting to get interesting.

  • mistermcfrugal

    Great piece. Depressing how poorly run our country is. I have learned to be highly suspicious of all the stinking elites. I guess I am now a “deplorable.”

    • harpo marx

      more of us all the time

  • 1TomLarkin9

    To date, ALL (28) of the comments are are negative towards Mueller and the Deep State and the Russian collusion investigation. The corruption of the Democrats is becoming common knowledge in spite of the prior 91% negative media coverage of President Trump.

  • Osa

    Better (& more incisive) than “Kennan’s long telegram.” SHOULD become super-classic in the American Civics education.

  • Grunt with a Gun

    The “lummox” comment illustrates why Trump is president. Why is it that some can’t understand folks won’t vote for them or their ideas while they are being call stupid for not doing so. That is why Clinton’s political argument that fell on deaf ears in the basket of deplorables and the irredeemable. Moreover, the only evidence of any collusion that has been seen in the public thus far has been from the DNC, Clinton campaign and agencies within the government (IRS, Justice, Dept. of Interior, FBI, CIA, etc.) and the leftist media. Well, Mr. Lummox here who did not vote for Trump or Clinton (thought it was the choice between a turd sandwich or a crap pie) voted libertarian. And yet, if Trump keeps up with the success he may earn my vote the next time around. The media and leftist’s suffering Trump derangement syndrome make them untrustworthy of voting for simply by their dissembling and open hatred. I will not vote for anyone based on hatred of someone else but on ideas (I can hear the howls of how Trump is a racist well, shouting an untruth does not make it true and I have seen no evidence to change my mind just hearsay and accusations). And those ideas need to be in line with my libertarian, Christian, and constitutional beliefs. Trump may be a character of less than desirable personal ethos but like Bill Clinton who suffered equally from this problem; he is doing a good job on the issues.

  • helen souza

    This out of control government did not start with Trump. I can still see Ms. Englebrecht, her voice wobbling, as she testifies to an uncaring House committee about how her life was upended. Upended because she wanted to make sure that our voting process was legitimate and wanted to be a part of the Tea Party movement. Who can forget that Holder was impeached because he had a gun running operation into Mexico that caused hundreds of people to die, including one of our own. Or the facile, congress, refusing to dig into the Benghazi fiasco because important people would be involved. That’s when my cold, cold, anger started. That is when I decided to vote for Trump. That’s when I knew for certain that my government was corrupt. Thats when I knew a change was the only way to try to stop this cancer. The elite will never understand why we don’t care if the guy we picked is imperfect. We just want him to do what he promised, and use plain language when he speaks about it. If he cannot accomplish this, we will find another one just like him and keep going forward. We don’t answer your poll phone calls, we don’t take your silly on line polls..we simply go into the booth and vote with cold cold anger.

  • johnnydavis1

    Well written article.

  • BJOSEPHS

    The Brennan, Comey , and Clapper triumvirate of national intelligence spooks tried before and after his election to derail Trump’s presidency. This continues nearly 18 months after the vote. They are being aided by a vast array of Washington officials in many departments of the government. Why you ask. I think the major reason is they are ashamed that this type of man is running the country. Another reason is that Globalism and immigration legal and illegal have been such an economic windfall for the elites of this country, and Trump is against much of it. It is funny to think that many of those who revile Trump, if they are of a certain age, would gladly have voted for Teddy Kennedy a murderer, and probably did vote for Bill Clinton who settled with Paula Jones for $850,000 for doing nothing I suppose?

  • Luke

    The lies to the FBI were not trivial in the slightest.

    “PAPADOPOULOS met an individual who was a professor based in London (the “Professor”).
    Initially, the Professor seemed uninterested in defendant PAPADOPOULOS. However, after
    defendant PAPADOPOULOS infonned the Professor about his joining the Campaign, the
    Professor appeared to take great interest in defendant PAPADOPOULOS. Defendant
    PAPADOPOULOS was interested in the Professor because, among other reasons, the Professor
    3 claimed to have substantial connections with Russian government officials, which defendant
    PAPADOPOULOS thought could increase his importance as a policy advisor to the Campaign.”

    When you work on a campaign, and foreign nationals offer you illegally obtained dirt on your opponent, you immediately alert the FBI. You don’t use the contact to further your stature in the campaign, and then lie about it when investigated.

    I had never heard of The American Interest before seeing this garbage link on RCP. Why is it all these unreliable propaganda sites feel obligated to put the word “American” in the name of their publication? I suppose it’s not quite as lame as American Greatness, but still.

    • Otis

      “When you work on a campaign, and foreign nationals offer you illegally obtained dirt on your opponent, you immediately alert the FBI.”

      That’s exactly what the Clinton campaign did with the Russian-sourced Steele dossier on Trump. But instead of investigating the foreign national, the FBI investigated Trump instead. Go figure!

      Also, you haven’t even addressed the part of the Papadopoulos indictment that outlines his “lies.” If Papadopolous’ petty self-promotion constituted a crime, then why did the FBI need to indict him for memory lapses instead of something real?

    • Jon

      “illegally obtained dirt on your opponent”

      You mean by illegally laundering campaign money through your lawyers, to pay Fusion GPS, to illegally hire a foreign national (Steele) to do work on behalf of your campaign, to also use those campaign monies to illegally pay Russian FSB intel agency spies for “dirt” on your opponent, then illegally use that “dirt” to influence the election?

      Is that what you mean? Aren’t all those collective illegalities also called “Russian Collusion”?

      • Otis

        Jon – You have hit the nail on the head. I’m sure Luke’s outrage is genuine, but it is decidedly selective, and his comment reflects the legal muddle-headedness and moral double standard that have characterized Russiagate from the outset.

        Exactly which statute of the U.S. criminal code requires individuals to report to the FBI the existence of any alleged dirt on an American candidate for public office? If there is such a law, why wasn’t it invoked in Mueller’s indictment of Papadopoulos? Why did Mueller have to resort instead to charging Papadopoulos with contrived “lies to the FBI?” And more to the point, as you outlined so nicely, why isn’t the FBI going after Fusion GPS and the DNC for a far more egregious violation of said law?

        For all the blather about the Russians feeding adverse information about Clinton to the Trump campaign, no one seems able to specify precisely what that information was. The Russian-source derogatory information on Trump, on the other hand, is quite precise and tangible.

        Papadopoulos strikes me as a hapless ne’er-do-well hanger-on puffed up with his own self-importance, who only got a seat at the Trump foreign-policy team table (and that only briefly) because all the big-name Republican experts were avoiding Trump like the plague. His pitiful effort to use his contact with an obscure, self-promoting British professor is risible, but hardly illegal.

  • obadiah_edomite

    Look on the bright side. When the Mueller investigation is over, there will no holds barred when the Trump DOJ goes after Hillary, Comey, Lynch, Bill, Chelsea, etc.

  • Ed Shipley

    That was a great read.
    Flavored just right with irony.
    Little sarcastic dusting.
    Seared to the bone, yet not over cooked, or burnt…factually.
    But sadly, too many folk nowadays, need others to chew for them.
    Swallowing themselves, and yet, still complaining of substance.

  • Texas Gunner

    ‪Elitist, entitled, pseudo-intellectual Liberals can’t accept that Trump, a flamboyant businessman, can win so convincingly, eg N Korea, ISIS, economy, tax cuts, Supreme Court, regulations. They want Trump to fail, even if it hurts the country.‬

  • Lord Fnord

    Other than the fact that Flynn was on the payroll of at least one foreign power, Turkey, while serving as Trump’s National Security Advisor, Kirk Bennett is doing just fine.

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