I have long held that the US republican led Congress Intelligence Committees’ inquiries into Russia’s influence in the 2016 US presidential elections and/ or any ties that anyone on the president’s team had with Russian officials to help further Russia’s goal to mess in our elections, were for show only, designed to have the public believe the lie, that their investigative steps would go where the evidence and the facts led them.
I know this to be true because as soon as the FBI demonstrated its competence in unraveling the Trump/Russian saga, the orchestrated attacks by these same republicans began.
Within the month of December 2017, the president’s republican sycophants in the White House, the US Congress and the right wing media outlets like FOX TV, Breitbart, InfoWars, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board have been party to an orchestrated hard driving marketing campaign designed to discredit the work of the FBI and its Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigative team driving forward the Trump-Russian investigation.
Phrases have been popping up like the FBI has been acting like the KGB; its agents are orchestrating a coup against the president; this FBI investigation is worse than Watergate, etc; the FBI agents have proven to be unfairly biased against the president. These assertions without merit are just another demonstration of the president’s republican sycophants in the White House, the US Congress, and the pundits in right wing media outlets unconscionable attempts to weaken people’s faith in our institutions. This language is irresponsible.
This full throttle attack commenced after the FBI had criminally indited key people in President Donald Trump’s campaign / White House management like his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, and his initial National Security Adviser General Mike Flynn, and after it had been made public that the FBI had issued subpoenas to Deutsche bank regarding president’s financial dealings.
It has long been my hypothesis that President Trump has indeed been a Russian asset long before he ever set foot in the White House. The reason that the FBI’S Special Counsel Robert Mueller III has been delving into the president’s past financial history, is that it has been inextricably intertwined with Russian financing for decades so that his business could thrive during some financially troubling times.
Being beholden to Russian financing to where there is outstanding debt is similar to being beholden to the Mafia for financing. They both expect a return on their investment. This is the crux of the probe which helps explain why President Trump keeps pandering to Russian interests even if the US national security interests are compromised in the process.
When Mr. Mueller connects the dots, the sycophant republicans in the US Congress will be exposed as having supported/ backed a Russian asset in order for a republican to be ensconced in the White House to help them pass their coveted tax cut bill.
Background of Mr. Mueller
When the republican President Donald J. Trump attempted to obstruct the progress of the FBI’s Trump/ Russian inquiry by firing the FBI Director James Comey around 5/9/17, a Special Counsel was later appointed by the name of Robert Mueller III by the US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had been an unwitting pawn in the firing .
This appointment allowed for a smooth transition as Robert Mueller had been the FBI Director appointed originally by a republican president where he had been steady hand at the FBI helm for 12 years after the US 9/11 tragedy. After Mr. Mueller (about 72 years old) left the FBI (2001-2013), he spent a year as a consulting professor and lecturer at Stanford University, where he focused on cyber-security issues.
After Stanford, he joined the private law firm WilmerHale as a partner.
One of the highly publicized cases that Mr. Mueller took on, was one (Baltimore Raven’s Ray Rice Case) pertaining to the NFL and its handling of domestic abuse cases.
Then there was the VW emissions case. As per the 1/11/16 Reuters article, “U.S. judge names ex-FBI director to help settle Volkswagen lawsuits” by Richard Shepardson, “A federal judge in California overseeing more than 500 lawsuits filed against German automaker Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) over its excess diesel emissions on Monday (January 2016) said he planned to name a former FBI director to help settle the cases.”
“U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said he would name Robert S. Mueller, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as “settlement master” in the VW lawsuits.”
“The September 11 attacks against New York and Washington changed the course of history.
“They changed the meaning of national security for the United States and dramatically shifted FBI priorities so that the prevention of terrorist attacks became the FBI’s top priority and overriding focus.
“While we remain committed to our other important national security and law enforcement responsibilities, the prevention of terrorism takes precedence in our thinking and planning; in our hiring and staffing; in our training and technologies; and, most importantly, in our investigations.”
“As his 12-year run as director was coming to a close, Mueller also began prioritizing cyber threats.”
“John Pistole, Mueller’s former deputy director at the FBI, told NPR near the end of Mueller’s term that it was hard to overstate the director’s footprint on the agency.”
“He directed and implemented what is arguably the most significant change in the FBI’s (entire) history,” Pistole said.”
“Still, despite enjoying broad support from both sides of the aisle, his tenure with the FBI wasn’t without its issues. In the mid-2000s, there were calls to break up the FBI, and in 2007, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General blasted the agency for its data-gathering practices.”
“It was not the first time Mr. Mueller showed character under fire,” the board wrote. “In 2002, after learning of other agencies’ possible interrogation abuses at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Mr. Mueller ordered FBI agents to stay clear of such techniques. And in 2004, he joined other high-level law enforcement officials in threatening to resign if the administration failed to address legal problems with the terrorist surveillance program.”
“Mueller ultimately served 12 years, after President Obama asked Congress to extend his term for two extra years in 2011. The president argued that the country’s national security agencies needed consistency, as the Pentagon and CIA were also getting new leaders at the time.”
As per Wikipedia, “as a graduate of Princeton University, Mueller served as a Marine Corps officer during the Vietnam War, receiving the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” for heroism and the Purple Heart Medal. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1973, he worked at a private firm in San Francisco for three years until his appointment as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the same city. Prior to his appointment as FBI director, Mueller served as a United States Attorney, as assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division and as acting deputy attorney general.”
With the above credentials, why would anyone who has not drunk the Trump kool-aid ever take the word of any republican in the US Congress over the word of a distinguished career servant of Robert Mueller III’s caliber?
The following is background on President Trump’s republican sycophants in the White House and the US Congress concerted orchestrated attack on the FBI’s credibility as demonstrated at the by Judiciary Committee members around December 7, 2017…
The republicans had been handed some ammo to use in its attacks in the form of texts by a FBI agent Peter Strzok which were patently critical of President Trump. It is important to note that when Mr. Robert Mueller learned of these texts, the agent was promptly removed from having any involvement in the case around July 2017.
But because the president’s defenders are trying to build a case for the firing of the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, this Strzok controversy has legs. If President Trump decides to one day pull the trigger, expect to hear Peter Strzok’s name bandied about as one of the reasons why.
As per a 12/13/17 VOX report, “During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Republican chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA) said that the texts showed “extreme bias” against Trump, and were “deeply troubling.”
However, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the only official in the Justice Department with the authority to fire Mueller, said during the hearing he was “not aware” of Mueller acting inappropriately and he saw no good cause to dismiss him.
The question I and others are asking, ‘ is why were these texts released to the press and republican law makers in the first place?”
Here is the rest of the story…
On December 15, 2017, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Trump and Republicans demonstrate why Rosenstein was wrong.”
“President Trump is going hammer and tongs not at Russia, which meddled in our election and hacked the Democratic National Committee, and not even (or only) after Democrats. He’s decided to wage war against the FBI, perhaps unintentionally encouraged by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who released to Congress (with a special preview for the press) the text messages between senior FBI agent Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page.”
“The Justice Department’s spokeswoman was adamant in a series of email exchanges with Right Turn on Thursday evening that Rosenstein had no choice but to publicly release the information. “The IG personally cleared the release of these text messages saying that his investigation was nearly closed and he didn’t see any legitimate reason to keep them from Congress,” insisted Sarah Isgur Flores, director of public affairs. “Then career ethics officials cleared the release of these texts for privacy, legal and ethics concerns. So at that point, we had a number of requests from Congress and no legitimate reason we could decline to turn them over.”
“That doesn’t quite hold up, since nothing required Justice to bring in the press to view the texts. Business Insider reports, “The Department of Justice acknowledged in a statement on Thursday night that copies of private text messages exchanged between two former special-counsel investigators were disclosed to certain members of the media before they were given to Congress, even though those disclosures ‘were not authorized.’ But it is not clear that the DOJ had ever released private text messages to the press that were the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Office of the Inspector General. At least some of those disclosures now appear to have been unauthorized.”
“Moreover, the pending inspector general’s investigation would certainly warrant at the very least a delay in making the materials available. (As someone who refused to answer questions from Congress without formally invoking the executive privilege, Rosenstein’s affection for immediate transparency and cooperation with Congress would not have been predicted.) Moreover, while ethics officers told Rosenstein, according to the Justice Department, that they did not have any objection, it was Rosenstein’s call and fully within his discretion to weigh the harm to the ongoing investigation, Justice and the FBI in deciding to release the texts with a special viewing for the press.”
“With a heads-up from the press, Republicans on the committee predictably turned Thursday’s (12/7/17) hearing into a searing attack on the FBI. Politico reported that Democrats on the committee demanded answers:”
“In their letter Thursday, the Democrats asked DOJ Public Affairs Director Sarah Isgur Flores to name the DOJ officials who evaluated the content of the text messages to ensure they could be released. They also requested the names of who at DOJ gave the green light to share the messages with the media at the same time they were being delivered to Congress. [ranking member Jerry] Nadler, joined by Democratic Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of NY and Jamie Raskin of Maryland, also asked for a list of which reporters and media outlets attended the Tuesday night briefing and any documents they were shown.”
“Nadler told me Friday morning in an email that it’s obvious the GOP’s tactic of choice in running interference for the president is now to smear the FBI. “The outlandish and irresponsible attacks by Republicans and Conservative media on the Department of Justice pose a significant threat to our national security and our fundamental democratic principles,” he said. “The Deputy Attorney General said unequivocally in our hearing that there is no good basis to fire the Special Counsel or to terminate his investigation. House Judiciary Republicans, on the other hand, certainly are enablers of President Trump’s worst instincts — attacks on the Justice Department, attacking the reputation of the FBI, disregarding statute, regulation, and common sense to try to force the Special Counsel to back off as the walls close in on the President.”
“Trump is now in high dudgeon, accusing the FBI of bias and gross misconduct.” The Post reports:
“It’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI,’’ the president told reporters as he prepared to depart the White House for a ceremony at the FBI’s National Academy where more than 200 law enforcement officers graduated from a program that imparts FBI expertise and standards.
“We’re going to rebuild the FBI, it’ll be bigger and better than ever, but it is very sad when you look at those documents, and how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it,’’ Trump said.
The president appeared to be referring to revelations that senior FBI officials exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages while working on last year’s probe of Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state and again during special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into whether any Trump associates coordinated with Russian officials to interfere with the presidential election.
“Rosenstein, it has been argued, is in an impossible situation, trying not to get fired by a hot-headed president while overseeing an investigation that one party has cast as illegitimate. However, the past 48 hours should make clear that Rosenstein shouldn’t be in the business of throwing fuel on the bonfire that Republican partisans are using to roast the FBI.”
UPDATE: “Contrary to Flores’s representation to me and other reporters, the inspector general never cleared release of the texts.”
UPDATE II: “The DOJ’s inspector general released a statement Friday , confirming two points we have made. First, while the IG “did not object to the Department releasing to Congress records that it had previously produced to us in the course of our ongoing review … the Department was responsible for making its own determination about whether any restrictions, such as those affecting grand jury information, limited what records it may provide to Congress.” In other words, this was Rosenstein’s call, not one mandated by the IG. Second, the IG had no role in and did not comment on release of the texts to the media (“At no time prior to the release of the text messages did the Department consult with the OIG about providing records to the media”), an extraordinary action that set the stage for the feeding frenzy at Thursday’s hearing. Flores told me in the email exchange described above that “the IG personally cleared the release of these text messages saying that his investigation as nearly closed and he didn’t see any legitimate reason to keep them from Congress”; she did not say “the IG personally cleared the release of these text messages to Congress.” The IG’s statement appears to have taken pains to dispel the impression, one Flores surely left with me, that the IG had cleared release of the texts widely (e.g. both to the press and Congress).”