Just a Couple Things: The Mueller Indictments
Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein’s announcement today ricocheted through the halls of Congress, off the walls of the White House, up to 5th Avenue in New York City, and finally across the pond, landing in President Trump’s lap just as he was once again condemning the very investigation that produced the announced indictments. By now, you have likely heard that the Department of Justice dropped the hammer on Russian military intelligence and indicted 12 individuals – spies – with evidence that they hacked into the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) as well as email accounts of hundreds of Hillary Clinton campaign staff and volunteers.
To incent you to read the indictment, I’ve posted a copy here: Netyksho-Et-Al-Indictment
In my read, I noted a few items.
- The scope of Michael Flynn’s involvement could have been much greater than what we thought. The hackers were military intelligence. Flynn was the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (before he was fired by President Obama). That is America’s military intelligence agency. After Flynn was fired, he consulted and gave speeches in Russia on a variety of topics – on which he was a supposed expert. Why would he not have come into contact with Russian military intelligence? As part of his cooperation agreement, he would have been required to help identify the hackers involved in the 2016 crime. Flynn could have been the primary witness in the cyber “line-up.”
- Not enough information has been paid to the analytical information, voter files, fund-raising data, and campaign intelligence – not just for the Clinton Campaign – but for the DNC and the DCCC. The Russians (and maybe the Trump campaign?) got information on Democratic Congressional Candidates and their campaigns. And, the Russians hacked into state voter registration files (this is still rather murky). But remember: during the campaign, the Republicans were truly concerned that with Trump’s abysmal numbers, Senate and House races could be adversely affected. For most of that summer and fall, the RNC was desperately concerned about losing both chambers of Congress. And yet, Republicans remained control. The scope of Russian intervention may go much further than the presidential race.
- A congressional candidate and a lobbying firm contacted “Guccifer2.0” and asked for stolen documents. This is illegal, and the congressional candidate would have known that it was illegal to ask for and obtain these stolen documents. The indictment does not name the congressional candidate, nor does it indicate if the candidate is now in Congress.
I agree with the analysts in that the next “shoe” to drop is likely the American collaborators who conspired with the Russians in the crimes outlined in the indictment. I certainly have my suspicions but I will limit predictions. Given the Republican Congressional response (read, “apathy, ambivalence, and enablement”) and the White House statement that came out this afternoon after the indictments, it is clear that we should not expect much from the Grand Old Party. Fortunately, in watching Rosenstein today, I’m confident that Mueller and the Deputy A.G. knows much more than the public. There are a lot of unanswered questions, including “how much damage can this government do?” In the meantime, continue to protest, register to vote, and then do it.