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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Robert Mueller Should RESIGN
Forgive yourself if you are confused about developments in the Russia, Russia, Russia storyline. In fact, there are so many moving parts that you shouldn’t trust anybody who isn’t confused.
Consider this, then, a guide to the perplexed, where we start with two things that are certain. First, special counsel Robert Mueller will never be able to untangle the tangled webs with any credibility and needs to step aside.
That became obvious last week when events showed that any honest probe must examine the Obama White House and Justice Department. Mueller served as head of the FBI for more than four years under President Obama and cannot be expected to investigate his former colleagues and bosses.
But without that necessary step, his work would be incomplete at best. So it’s time for him to say bye-bye.
The second thing we know for certain is that Hillary Clinton had a worse week than Mueller. Much worse.
The Washington Post reported that her campaign and the DNC paid millions of dollars to a law firm, Perkins Coie, which hired a shadowy company called Fusion GPS, which hired a former British spy, Christopher Steele, to compile the dossier, much of which was said to be based on Kremlin sources.
The bombshell sent Clinton into hiding, and no wonder. She probably thought three degrees of separation from the dossier would be enough to insulate her. In her absence, her defenders offered a dog’s stew of evasions, half-truths and diversionary attacks.
Their claim that nobody in the campaign or the DNC knew anything about the deal doesn’t pass the smell test. When as much as $12 million goes out the window for a document that aimed to win the election — and failed — everybody knows something.
While the link to Clinton answers some questions, it raises others. For example, while it is certain her campaign spread the dossier among the media last summer, it remains uncertain whether the dossier was used by the White House and the FBI to justify snooping on the Trump campaign.
One hint that it was is that Comey, while still in office, called the document “salacious and unverified,” but briefed Obama and President-elect Trump on its contents last January. And the FBI never denied reports that it almost hired Steele, the former British spy, to continue his work after the campaign.
The mystery might soon be solved because the FBI, after months of stonewalling, agreed last week to tell Congress how it used the dossier and detail its contacts with Steele.
If the bureau did use the dossier to seek FISA warrants to intercept communications involving the Trump campaign, it would mean the FBI used a dirty trick from the candidate of the party in power as an excuse to investigate the candidate from the opposition party. Somewhere, Richard Nixon is wondering why he didn’t think of that.
There is also the issue of the “unmasking” of Trump associates caught up in the snooping, with the names leaked to anti-Trump media. It is essential to investigate that angle, but it would lead right to the Obama White House, which is why Mueller is not the man for the job.
As for Clinton, the dossier revelation was not her only new problem. In fact, the second blow might be the most serious yet.
At the urging of Congress and Trump, the Justice Department lifted its gag order on an informant who can now testify to Congress about bribery and other wrongdoing surrounding Moscow’s gaining control of 20 percent of US uranium production.
The 2010 transaction was approved by Obama officials, including Clinton, then secretary of state. About the same time, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech to a Russian bank involved in the transaction. Later, tens of millions of dollars — $145 million by one estimate — were said to be donated to the Clinton Foundation by individuals having a stake in the deal.
The informant’s lawyer, Victoria Toensing, told Fox News the speech fee and the donations amount to a “quid pro quo” for Hillary Clinton’s help.
“My client can put some meat on those bones and tell you what the Russians were saying during that time,” Toensing said. Clinton called the accusations “baloney,” but that’s what her team said about any connections to the dossier — before the truth came out.
Finally, another event is worth mentioning: the release of thousands of files from the JFK assassination trove. There were lots of juicy tidbits, but no final clarity, which raises the horrifying idea that, 50 years from now, we might still be waiting for the truth about Russia, Russia, Russia.