Mueller’s search for “monsters” yields 13 indictments

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Mueller's search for "monsters" yields 13 indictments

[cap­tion id=“attachment_105260” align=“alignright” width=“185”] John Quincy Adams[/caption]

By John Ruberry

But she goes not abroad, in search of mon­sters to destroy.“
John Quincy Adams on America.

The United States has sur­vived a Civil War and two world wars, and the Cold War.

But can it sur­vive Russ­ian bots? And a search for “monsters.”

Thir­teen Rus­sians were indicted on Fri­day – none were arrested because they don’t live here – for inter­fer­ing in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion by act­ing as “trolls” from St. Peters­burg. These “bots” uti­lized Face­book, Insta­gram, and Twit­ter to stir up con­tro­versy and dis­cord. The group that the accused were asso­ci­ated with was appro­pri­ately known as “the Troll Farm.” The scheme was hatched in 2013, a year before Don­ald Trump declared his can­di­dacy for pres­i­dent, which you’ll recall was ini­tially viewed by nearly every­one as a sideshow and a stage for the real estate mogul to pro­mote his busi­nesses and his Celebrity Appren­tice tele­vi­sion franchise.

Last spring Deputy Attor­ney Gen­eral Rod Rosen­stein announced his appoint­ment of for­mer FBI direc­tor Robert Mueller as the spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor on alleged col­lu­sion between the Trump cam­paign and Rus­sia to inves­ti­gate “any links and/​or coor­di­na­tion between the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment and indi­vid­u­als asso­ci­ated with the cam­paign of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump; and…any mat­ters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

The Troll Farm issued such click-​baity sto­ries like this one, which I recall see­ing, “Hillary Clin­ton has already com­mit­ted voter fraud dur­ing the Demo­c­rat Iowa Caucus.”

As with the indict­ments of for­mer Trump cam­paign offi­cials Paul Man­afort, who briefly was Trump’s cam­paign man­ager, and Rick Gates, none of this has any­thing to do with so-​called Russ­ian col­lu­sion between Trump World and Rus­sia. The same can be said of the plea deals between for­mer White House National Secu­rity Advi­sor Michael Flynn and low-​lever staffer George Papadopolous. These four men clearly fall under “any mat­ters that arose or may arise directly from the inves­ti­ga­tion,” The last two pleaded guilty to lying to fed­eral offi­cials but not col­lud­ing with Rus­sia. The first two have been charged for actions that pre­date Trump’s pres­i­den­tial run.

Which led the pres­i­dent to remark on Twit­ter a few hours ago, “I never said Rus­sia did not med­dle in the elec­tion, I said ‘it may be Rus­sia, or China or another coun­try or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sit­ting in bed and play­ing with his com­puter.’ The Russ­ian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump cam­paign col­luded with Rus­sia — it never did!”

https://​plat​form​.twit​ter​.com/​w​i​d​g​e​ts.js

So far Rosen­stein, remem­ber he’s the man who appointed Mueller as spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor, agrees.

There is no alle­ga­tion that any Amer­i­can is a know­ing par­tic­i­pant,” Rosen­stein said when announc­ing the indict­ments of the 13 Rus­sians. “There is no alle­ga­tion that the charge altered the out­come of the 2016 election.”

And the search for “mon­sters,” Trump calls it a witch hunt, goes on. While Mueller seems to be on to some­thing with the bots, where was Barack Obama when the Troll Farm broke ground dur­ing his pres­i­dency? Obama famously and wrongly ridiculed Mitt Rom­ney for call­ing Rus­sia “our num­ber one geopo­lit­i­cal foe” in a debate. Shortly before leav­ing office, Obama did tell Vladimir Putin, “cut it out.”

Grrr!

All the same, Amer­ica will sur­vive the bots.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit. His wife, who was born in the Soviet Union, is not a Russ­ian spy, she assures him.

John Quincy Adams

By John Ruberry

“But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.”
John Quincy Adams on America.

The United States has survived a Civil War and two world wars, and the Cold War.

But can it survive Russian bots? And a search for “monsters.”

Thirteen Russians were indicted on Friday–none were arrested because they don’t live here–for interfering in the 2016 presidential election by acting as “trolls” from St. Petersburg. These “bots” utilized Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stir up controversy and discord. The group that the accused were associated with was appropriately known as “the Troll Farm.” The scheme was hatched in 2013, a year before Donald Trump declared his candidacy for president, which you’ll recall was initially viewed by nearly everyone as a sideshow and a stage for the real estate mogul to promote his businesses and his Celebrity Apprentice television franchise.

Last spring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced his appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as the special prosecutor on alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and…any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

The Troll Farm issued such click-baity stories like this one, which I recall seeing, “Hillary Clinton has already committed voter fraud during the Democrat Iowa Caucus.”

As with the indictments of former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort, who briefly was Trump’s campaign manager, and Rick Gates, none of this has anything to do with so-called Russian collusion between Trump World and Russia. The same can be said of the plea deals between former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and low-lever staffer George Papadopolous. These four men clearly fall under “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” The last two pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials but not colluding with Russia. The first two have been charged for actions that predate Trump’s presidential run.

Which led the president to remark on Twitter a few hours ago, “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!”

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

So far Rosenstein, remember he’s the man who appointed Mueller as special prosecutor, agrees.

“There is no allegation that any American is a knowing participant,” Rosenstein said when announcing the indictments of the 13 Russians. “There is no allegation that the charge altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

And the search for “monsters,” Trump calls it a witch hunt, goes on. While Mueller seems to be on to something with the bots, where was Barack Obama when the Troll Farm broke ground during his presidency? Obama famously and wrongly ridiculed Mitt Romney for calling Russia “our number one geopolitical foe” in a debate. Shortly before leaving office, Obama did tell Vladimir Putin, “cut it out.”

Grrr!

All the same, America will survive the bots.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. His wife, who was born in the Soviet Union, is not a Russian spy, she assures him.