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Beto O’Rourke Wastes No Time Making Disastrous Trump Claim After Mueller Nothingburger


Reported By C. Douglas Golden | Published March 24, 2019 at 10:14am | Modified March 25, 2019 at 5:17am

President Trump gave two thumbs up as he left Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday. And really, he had every reason to do so. The Mueller report — that Key to All Mythologies that liberals kept on believing would put Trump and his retinue behind bars for good — has been turned over to Attorney General William Barr. We don’t know the details of it and probably won’t for a while, but what we can glean thus far looks good for the president.

The biggest news is that there aren’t going to be any more indictments from the special counsel. That likely means that the report won’t contain solid proof of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Without any solid proof, the Russian collusion theory collapses into the dustbin of conspiracy theory.

But Beto O’Rourke isn’t above pronouncing Trump in cahoots with the Kremlin, even if Congress hasn’t been briefed on the Mueller report and he won’t be anyhow.

“You have a president, who, in my opinion, beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to — however ham-handedly — collude with the Russian government — a foreign power — to undermine and influence our elections,” O’Rourke said at a town hall in South Carolina, according to CNN.

“If you are wondering about collusion then when you saw the President of the United States standing next to the leader of Russia on that stage in Helsinki, Finland, defending him and taking his word for it against our own intelligence community in our country, in (conservative columnist) George Will’s words, not mine, that is collusion in action,” O’Rourke said.

“Ultimately, I believe this will be decided at the ballot box in 2020 by you, by me, by all of us in this country.”

Just another day in Beto-land. It almost makes you forget about all that weird hacking stuff and concomitant lewd cow poetry.

So, all right, let’s unpack all of that. First, O’Rourke is straightforward in what he’s telling the crowd: He thinks Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia — a country he had to remind his audience is “a foreign power” because apparently he doesn’t think highly of their intelligence — “to undermine and influence our elections.” (I neither know nor care how he did this “ham-handedly” or how this apparent patina of plausible deniability covers O’Rourke when the Mueller report eventually provides a cosmic thwack to this sort of rhetoric.)

His evidence of this is somehow the Helsinki summit, which may not have been Trump’s finest hour but certainly wasn’t the heart-clutching death-of-our-democracy moment the left maintains it was.

His attempt at making this sound bipartisan is bringing pundit George Will into it. This doesn’t work for two reasons.

First, Will is one of those conservatives who immediately checked into the Bill Kristol Psychiatric Center for the Trumpically Deranged the moment that he realized Trump’s candidacy wasn’t being treated by voters as the farce he thought it was. I have no small regard for Mr. Will’s oeuvre, but take this morsel of his fulmination from this past January and try to attribute it to someone who is either conservative or on an even keel: “Dislike of (Donald Trump) should be tempered by this consideration: He is an almost inexpressibly sad specimen. It must be misery to awaken to another day of being Donald Trump. He seems to have as many friends as his pluperfect self-centeredness allows, and as he has earned in an entirely transactional life. His historical ignorance deprives him of the satisfaction of working in a house where much magnificent history has been made. His childlike ignorance — preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion — concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people, he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory.”

And second, what Will said about Helsinki actually proves O’Rourke wrong. Here is the passage to which the 2020 Democratic hopeful assumedly refers: “Like the purloined letter in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story with that title, collusion with Russia is hiding in plain sight,” Will wrote in July of last year.

We shall learn from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation whether in 2016 there was collusion with Russia by members of the Trump campaign. (Emphasis mine.) The world, however, saw in Helsinki something more grave — ongoing collusion between Trump, now in power, and Russia. The collusion is in what Trump says (refusing to back the United States’ intelligence agencies) and in what evidently went unsaid (such as: You ought to stop disrupting Ukraine, downing civilian airliners, attempting to assassinate people abroad using poisons, and so on, and on).”

By “collusion,” what Will meant was that Trump was paying fealty to the Russians. When it came to collusion by the Trump campaign, however, Will saw fit to leave that matter in the hands of Robert Mueller.

When O’Rourke took the stage during his Saturday whistle-stop and invoked Will, he’d almost certainly been disabused of the notion that Mueller’s investigation was going to provide any definitive link to show that Trump or members of his campaign colluded with the Kremlin “to undermine and influence our elections.”

But then, symbolic “collusion” between Trump and Putin on stage at Helsinki doesn’t get crowds in early primary states whipped up the same way that collusion to undermine our elections does, and it’s not as if many people in attendance are George Will readers anyway. (Crowds that need to be reminded Russia is “a foreign power” probably aren’t too keen on obscure polysyllabic words.)

But that’s the point about conspiracy theories: They don’t require evidence to keep on going. You can explain to your chemtrail-believing neighbor how condensation works when hot air comes out of jet engines at high altitudes, and he’s still going to think that the CIA is spraying mind-altering chemicals on all of us in the most inefficient way possible.

Kennedy assassination theories are marginally more plausible, but you’re still dealing with individuals who will never believe that a violent, pathetic specimen like Lee Harvey Oswald could alter history so easily even with the evidence right in front of them.

In the same way, the Democrats still can’t believe that — if indications are correct — the Mueller report will be two years of nothing. It’s a nothingburger of finely aged beef. It may provide intimations or innuendoes — though one would hope Mueller wouldn’t be that irresponsible — but no one will have been indicted by the special counsel for conspiracy with the Russians.

And yet, O’Rourke counts himself as a perfervid believer in the idea that there was collusion between Trump and the Russians to influence our elections. Or, at the very least, he thinks that his audiences believe there was — and that’s all that really matters, right?

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Bombshell: Exonerating Trump Evidence Uncovered in Cohen Docs, Mueller Kept It from Court: Investigative Report


Reported By Cillian Zeal | December 4, 2018 at 6:28am

The decision by President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen to plead guilty to making false statements to the Senate Intelligence Committee has been described as nothing short of a “bombshell” capable of taking down the Trump administration. This impression has only been bolstered by Trump tweeting about it, essentially calling Cohen a Judas and saying he “lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence.”

The political discernment behind those tweets will be debated for some time to come, or at least until the next news cycle starts in about three hours. Regardless, they did make the president sound like a man who had something to be afraid of. And therein lies the great problem with the tweets: At least from what we know so far from court documents, fear is probably not the correct reaction.

Author and commentator Paul Sperry, best known of late for his work with the New York Post, analyzed what we know so far about the indictments in an article published Monday by RealClearInvestigations.

Contrary to the en vogue media theory that Cohen’s guilty plea is — at long last — the falling domino that will topple the entire Trump administration, Sperry wrote that what we know thus far from the Cohen filings is actually exculpatory for the president even as Cohen is admitting he lied about how long he was involved in proposed Trump real estate project in Moscow.

“The nine-page charging document filed with the plea deal suggests that the special counsel is using the Moscow tower talks to connect Trump to Russia,” Sperry wrote.

“But congressional investigators with House and Senate committees leading inquiries on the Russia question told RealClearInvestigations that it looks like Mueller withheld from the court details that would exonerate the president. They made this assessment in light of the charging document, known as a statement of ‘criminal information’ (filed in lieu of an indictment when a defendant agrees to plead guilty); a fuller accounting of Cohen’s emails and text messages that Capitol Hill sources have seen; and the still-secret transcripts of closed-door testimony provided by a business associate of Cohen.”

And this includes the putative link to Russian leader Vladimir Putin in the indictment everyone seemed to be mesmerized over.

“On page 7 of the statement of criminal information filed against Cohen, which is separate from but related to the plea agreement, Mueller mentions that Cohen tried to email Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office on Jan. 14, 2016, and again on Jan. 16, 2016,” Sperry wrote.

But Mueller, who personally signed the document, omitted the fact that Cohen did not have any direct points of contact at the Kremlin, and had resorted to sending the emails to a general press mailbox. Sources who have seen these additional emails point out that this omitted information undercuts the idea of a ‘back channel’ and thus the special counsel’s collusion case.”

“Page 2 of the same criminal information document holds additional exculpatory evidence for Trump, sources say. It quotes an August 2017 letter from Cohen to the Senate intelligence committee in which he states that Trump ‘was never in contact with anyone about this (Moscow Project) proposal other than me,’” he continues.

“This section of Cohen’s written testimony, unlike other parts, is not disputed as false by Mueller, which sources say means prosecutors have tested its veracity through corroborating sources and found it to be accurate.”

Mueller also doesn’t take issue with Cohen’s statement that he “ultimately determined that the proposal was not feasible and never agreed to make a trip to Russia.” Other sources seemed to indicate that there was less than there might appear in the Cohen plea.

“Though Cohen may have lied to Congress about the dates,” a Capitol Hill investigator told Sperry, “it’s clear from personal messages he sent in 2015 and 2016 that the Trump Organization did not have formal lines of communication set up with Putin’s office or the Kremlin during the campaign. There was no secret ‘back channel.’

“So as far as collusion goes,” he continued, “the project is actually more exculpatory than incriminating for Trump and his campaign.”

Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen. The Mueller investigation can be a very tight ship when it wants to be and we don’t know everything the special counsel has. We likely won’t know everything until we see Mueller’s final report. However, what Sperry seems to have collected is a whole lot of evidence that, to quote the inimitable Peter Strzok, there is no big there there.”

While Cohen was involved with a go-between named Felix Sater who claimed he had some connections with the Russian leader, “the project never went anywhere because Sater didn’t have the pull with Putin he claimed to have. Emails and texts indicate that Sater could only offer Cohen access to one of his acquaintances, who was an acquaintance of someone else who was partners in a real estate development with a friend of Putin’s.”

The Kremlin was never involved with the project in any manner, according to Sperry’s sources, and no one traveled to Russia to try and make the deal happen. In other words, Sater was less connected than that dodgy lawyer who took part in the infamous Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. Both seem to have gone nowhere.

But tell that to the media.

“The actual texts of the plea deal and related materials filed last week in federal court do not jibe with reports and commentary given on several cable news outlets and comments of Democrat leaders,” Sperry wrote.

“CNN said the charging documents, which reference the president as ‘Individual 1,’ suggest Trump had a working relationship with Russia’s president and that ‘Putin had leverage over Trump’ because of the project.

“’Well into the 2016 campaign, one of the president’s closest associates was in touch with the Kremlin on this project, as we now know, and Michael Cohen says he was lying about it to protect the president,’ said CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.

“’Cohen was communicating directly with the Kremlin,’ Blitzer added.”

Really, now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Writing under a pseudonym, Cillian Zeal is a conservative writer who is currently living abroad in a country that doesn’t value free speech. Exercising it there under his given name could put him in danger.

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