Friday, April 26, 2019

Briefly Noted: When did Mueller know there was no collusion?

The title references an article by Byron York: When did Mueller know there was no collusion?

What York does is simply provide the dates on which Team Mueller interrogated most of the best known supposed "colluders" or Russian agents. It turns out that most of them were interrogated quite early on. After quickly disposing of "collusion," presumably they had plenty of time for obstruction.

The Carter Page example is telling:

For example, a key figure in the conspiracy allegation, Carter Page, was not on the White House radar screen. But in a new podcast interview, Page, too, said the special counsel's office was finished with him by the end of 2017.
Page did five interviews with the FBI in March 2017, before Mueller was appointed. Page said he had just one appearance with Mueller's prosecutors, and that was in the grand jury on Nov. 17, 2017. Asked if that was the last he heard from the special counsel's office, Page said, "Yeah, essentially."

Five FBI interviews--before Mueller was even appointed! And only one later, before the GJ. I'm guessing the GJ appearance--six months later!--was an attempt to pin a perjury rap on Page. Pathetic, but the point is, with Page--the supposed courier between the Trump campaign and Putin--basically eliminated before Mueller got his Hillary lawyer team assembled, who thinks he really believed collusion was a thing? And, come to mention it, who thinks Rod Rosenstein believed that?

Now, to be fair, Mueller did some additional investigation of his own on Page but, with only one exception, that was all completed by July, 2017:

One of the officials at the Moscow school at which Page gave a speech was interviewed by Mueller on July 28, 2017. Another such official talked on June 9, 2017. Sam Clovis, a Trump campaign official who Page told about the trip, was interviewed on Oct. 3, 2017. Corey Lewandowski, then the campaign manager who had some dealings with Page, talked on June 19, 2017.

The same could be said about George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty in October, 2017, on trumped up (!) false statement charges that were unrelated to anything Russian. All that investigation had long since been completed.

Read the whole article--York cites plenty more examples, but it all pretty much follows the same pattern, except ...

York makes an interesting point near the end:

In late 2018, the Mueller team appears to have embarked on a collusion wild goose chase, looking for evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy among Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi. Mueller's prosecutors interviewed Corsi over and over — on Sept. 6, 2018; Sept. 17, 2018; Sept. 21, 2018; Oct. 31, 2018; Nov. 1, 2018; and Nov. 2, 2018. Corsi was never charged with any wrongdoing.

Wait ... late 2018? Wouldn't that be time that Rosenstein and Mueller realized they would be getting Bill Barr as the new Attorney General? And hadn't Barr--six months earlier--written a 19 page memo explaining why Mueller's obstruction theory was illegitimate and irresponsible? So maybe they figured they better come up with another "collusion" theory just to keep the Russia Hoax going longer. If that was the idea, Barr wasn't fooled.


  1. On April 21, The Washington Post published an article titled Inside the special counsel’s long hunt to uncover whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia.

    Much of the article is about three of Mueller's lawyers trying to interview Jerome Corsi. I got the impression that Corsi is suffering from dementia. He was confused, contradictory and forgetful. Nevertheless, the three zealot lawyers persisted in trying to use Corsi's babbling in order to prove Trump-Russia collusion.

    I think that the only reason why Corsi too was not charged with lying to Mueller's investigators is that the three lawyers did not have the heart to charge a demented old man.

    If Roger Stone is tried, then I expect that his lawyers will make Corsi testify, and the jurors will see for themselves that Corsi is suffering from dementia and so is unreliable.

    The Mueller team that was studying Stone and Corsi should have recognized quickly that neither of those two had any direct -- or even indirect -- communications with Julian Assange. Stone and Corsi were simply guessing and hoping that Assange would release more e-mails.

    Mueller's investigators were zealots. On every point, they presumed the worst about Trump and his associates. On every point, they persisted in those presumptions, long beyond common sense.


    How much money, time and effort did Mueller's team spend studying Jeff Sessions' casual meetings with Russian diplomats and visitors? This part of the investigation was remarkably outlandish.

    Did Mueller himself ever meet any Russian diplomats or visitors during his life? What would Mueller himself think if all his meeting of this kind were investigated so tendentiously and viciously?

    1. "Mueller's investigators were zealots."

      And motivated by ideological and even cultural bias. It all comes through clearly in the Strzok/Page texts that we've seen.

  2. I had the exact same thought when I was viewing Steve McIntyre's database of the Mueller interviews- he had it set up to list them by date. In September 2018, there was suddenly a push to somehow tie Roger Stone to Assange- it stands out like a sore thumb in the timeline, and at first I thought it had to do with the Rosenstein/McCabe conversation, but that was reported on September 21st, and Corsi was interviewed again on the 7th of that month. However, it does come about 2 months afterBarr sent the letter to Rosenstein outlining the problems with an obstruction charge.

    1. Heh. Wouldn't you love to have been a fly on the wall in Mueller's offices when word came who was nominated to replace Sessions?

  3. Mueller was on a mission to get fired by Trump, which would have been the best shot at invoking an impeachment with some chance of successfully removing Trump from office. He tried to provoke this outcome by his outrageous conduct in the arrests of Manafort and Stone. In both instances, he forever tarnished the reputation of the FBI by instigating Gestapo type arrests in which dozens of heavily armed SWAT team members conduct predawn no-knock raids and rousted both elderly wives out of their beds in terrifying fashion and then threw them out on the street in nightgowns. This was beyond the pale of any legitimate prosecutorial conduct and was done solely to antagonize Trump. That is Mueller's lasting legacy. The man is a cancer on society.

    1. I agree--his reputation will come out of this forever tarnished. For those of us who knew something of the man beforehand, this is as it should have been all along.