Russian Indictments Could Be a Decoy

f4e881f4-d4f5-4d89-b33b-af170a676b26

The timing of the recent announcement by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein regarding the indictments of thirteen Russians appears to be part of an effort to provide possible cover for the FBI, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and the Democratic Party-aligned mainstream media.

The hasty public release occurred via a press statement by Rosenstein on an unusual choice of days, a Friday afternoon that was a lead-in to a three-day holiday weekend.

It is highly possible that the intention was to have the public focus on the headlines coming out of the press conference rather than zeroing in on the underlying facts of the matters at hand.

In other words, there may have been an attempt to employ a frequently used technique of diversion to direct public attention away from the admitted wrongdoing on the part of government, which was rapidly taking over the social media and conventional headlines.

In this case, it would be the effort to direct attention away from the FBI’s failure to investigate warnings that the man accused of the atrocious killing of 17 high school students had expressed a desire to kill innocent people and was in possession of a weapon to carry out his threat.

The second part of the tactical equation is to divert public attention toward a preferred calculated target that in this instance would be “Russia,” which in a puzzling way for many seemed in the present day world of scandals to arrive with a thud.

All of the above having been stated, there was a very palpable manipulation of public perception that occurred across the cultural, political, and demographic spectrum.

The FBI indicated in a statement that, in January 2018, an individual described as someone close to the accused shooter called an FBI tip line to report concerns about the alleged perpetrator mere weeks before the nightmare carnage took place at the Florida high school.

According to the FBI, the caller provided information about the shooter’s gun ownership, his desire to kill, his erratic behavior, and his peculiar social media posts. The caller also specifically brought up the young man’s potential to engage in a school shooting.

The recorded information should have been promptly given to the FBI’s Miami field office for further actions; however, the FBI admitted that “these protocols were not followed.”

Adding to the FBI’s public relations problems is the fact that, in September 2017, the agency had been notified of a YouTube comment in which an individual under the same name as the accused wrote, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

In an absurd response, the FBI claimed that the agency was unable to trace the origin of the YouTube post and therefore closed the investigation.

The announcement of the indictment of the Russians may have been timed to provide the media with the desired talking points that would lead a susceptible public to conclude that the special counsel’s probe was in no way a hoax, a witch hunt, or any other “unfair” characterization. This would have been another important part of the tactical equation, since many Americans had been increasingly viewing it as if it were less than above board.

Interestingly, this is an indictment of thirteen people who will never see the inside of a U.S. courtroom or ever even contest the charges, be arrested, or be extradited. Additionally, it was made clear by Rosenstein that no allegations in the indictment indicate that the activities by the Russians had “any effect on the outcome of the election.”

What the indictments did do, though, was allow the liberal partisan media to crow about Russian “meddling,” which they predictably and dutifully did.

The Obama State Department allowed some of these very same Russians to come into the country via tourist visas and to ultimately use fake identities to troll the social media. Although the indictments set forth the defendants’ organized activities going back to 2014, former President Barak Obama did not stop them or even address the issue.

The indictments helped to eclipse another inconvenient developing story, which would be a major embarrassment for the special counsel’s probe, and that is, that former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn’s guilty plea is likely to be set aside.

The judge who originally accepted Gen. Flynn’s plea for lying to the FBI has recused himself from the case, since he was also a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the very court that accepted from the Obama Justice Department the Steele dossier as evidence to support the issuance of a FISA warrant to spy on members of the Trump campaign.

The new judge assigned to Gen. Flynn’s case has ordered Mueller to release to Gen. Flynn’s lawyers any exculpatory evidence in Mueller’s possession. The judge has also directed that any information which is favorable to Gen. Flynn be submitted to the court, even if the Mueller team believes that it is not material to the case.

This means that even if Mueller claims that his evidence is classified or not relevant, it still must be provided to the judge so that the judge can decide what can be released. This takes away the ability of the prosecutor to withhold or redact evidence on his own.

Mueller’s indictment of the Russians claims criminality because the defendants, as foreign citizens, attempted to use media to influence voters but failed to report their financing to the Federal Elections Commission or register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Using the template and reasoning of this indictment, others who tried to influence an election could be charged, including Christopher Steel and his accomplices, FusionGPS, the DNC, and the Clinton Campaign, while the Israelis and British could bring criminal prosecutions against former President Obama for meddling in their elections.

During the announcement of the Russian indictments, Rosenstein emphasized that there are no allegations in the indictment of any Americans (including any members of the Trump campaign) having knowledge of the Russian activities.

In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” enduring talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh warned, “The danger for the president” is that it would be very seductive “to totally embrace” and take at face value the notion that it means he has been “vindicated.”

In Limbaugh’s assessment, the president most certainly needs to continue to “be very careful.”

Indictments Tainted by Conflicts of Interest and Media Leaks

20-mueller-w600-h315-2x

Robert Mueller recently received some sharp criticism for his role in conducting an investigation into purported Russian collusion. However, the disapproval of the special counsel seems to have come from an unexpected source.

The Wall Street Journal, which is known to be unfriendly to President Donald Trump, called on Mueller to resign.

The Journal opined, “The Fusion news means the FBI’s role in Russia’s election interference must now be investigated—even as the FBI and Justice insist that Mr. Mueller’s probe prevents them from cooperating with Congressional investigators.”

“Mr. Mueller is a former FBI director, and for years he worked closely with Mr. Comey. It is no slur against Mr. Mueller’s integrity to say that he lacks the critical distance to conduct a credible probe of the bureau he ran for a dozen years. He could best serve the country by resigning to prevent further political turmoil over that conflict of interest,” the Journal stated.

The discredited dossier, paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to the opposition firm Fusion GPS, may have been used to launch the investigation that led to Mueller’s appointment.

Mueller is the same individual who was the FBI director that oversaw the agency’s investigation into the criminal behavior of Russian bribery, extortion, and money laundering that had the underlying purpose of obtaining control over America’s uranium supply.

Part of Mueller’s FBI probe at the time centered on Uranium One, the infamous entity involved in the sale of one-fifth of the U.S. supply of uranium. It is self-evident that any current investigation into Russian activities would be severely impacted by Mueller’s past. This special counsel evidently lacks the independence that is required in order to conduct an impartial probe and may additionally have conflicts when it comes to looking into the propriety of the FBI’s investigation of Russian criminality.

In this same time period when the Journal is applying pressure on Mueller and several scandals that implicate the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee are dominating much of the media, CNN is somehow the recipient of an exclusive breaking story indicating that charges have been brought by Mueller’s grand jury and an arrest may soon occur.

The cable news outlet cited anonymous sources that were “briefed on the matter.”

Sharyl Attkisson, former investigative journalist for CBS News, does not view the timing of the reports of the Mueller indictments as coincidental.

“Friday leak of grand jury indictments. If you’ve ready [read] The Smear, you probably believe it’s intended to dominate news coverage this weekend and drown out talk of Uranium One scandal. You’re pretty smart!” Attkisson tweeted.

Conventionally, an individual who is indicted by a grand jury is immediately notified; however, according to CNN, neither the defendant or the defendant’s lawyers have been notified.

The grand jury is an important part of our criminal justice system and is prominently featured in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure specify that a prosecutor may not leak evidence, or even the existence of a grand jury’s investigation, to the press. A sealed indictment is an indictment that is sealed so that it stays non-public until such a time as it is unsealed.

In the rare case such as this when the indictment is sealed, the judge orders that the indictment be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has been released pending trial. No person may disclose the indictment’s existence, except as necessary to issue or execute a warrant or a summons. Consequently, it is clearly illegal to leak information on a sealed indictment to the press.

In August of this year, leaks appeared in the press indicating that Mueller had impaneled a grand jury, and the possibility exists that an individual or group of individuals within Mueller’s office may be the source of information about the initial impaneling of the grand jury as well as the sealed indictments recently leaked to CNN.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made the criminal nature of such a leak clear.

“First off, it’s supposed to be kept a secret … There are very strict criminal laws about disclosing grand jury information. Now, depending on who disclosed this to CNN, it could be a crime,” the governor told ABC’s “This Week.”

Christie, calling upon his experience as a former prosecutor, emphasized how seriously grand jury secrecy is taken by those in the criminal justice system, stating that the public has to have “confidence in the fact that the grand jury process is secret and as a result fair… Again, we don’t know who leaked it to CNN. It would be a crime if prosecutors or agents leaked it.”

South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, appeared to lay the responsibility on Mueller for allowing the media to learn about sealed grand jury charges in the Russia investigation.

“In the only conversation I’ve had with Robert Mueller, I stressed to him the importance of cutting out the leaks,” Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday.”

“It’s kind of ironic that the people charged with investigating the law and the violations of the law would violate the law,” the chairman remarked.

Even though CNN did not indicate who had been charged, the number of individuals charged, or what charges had been filed by Mueller’s team, the cable network appeared to have some knowledge of whom the subject of the sealed indictment may be.

CNN reporter Pamela Brown indicated that the network knows more than they have reported concerning the identity of the individual or individuals targeted by Mueller’s indictment.

“We have a sense of who the charges are against, the person or people, but our understanding is that the person or people who have been charged have not been notified yet,” Brown said.

Leaking to the press would appear to be consistent with the heavy handed tactics Mueller’s team has been utilizing. In July the team reportedly told former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort that it planned to indict him. Subsequently, Manafort’s door lock was reportedly picked and an unannounced pre-dawn raid of his Virginia home was conducted.