Monday, July 13, 2020

Super Takedown Of NeverTrumps And Team Mueller

Right, that's a pretty broad title. What I'm talking about is shipwreckedcrew's brutal deconstruction of a David French article on the supposed scandal of Trump commuting Roger Stone's sentence:

David French Reveals The Depth Of Intellectual Dishonesty Needed For The NeverTrumpers’ Vituperation of Roger Stone

The article is an absolutely brutal evisceration of French, but it also gets into the dishonesty of the Mueller Report and everything that flowed from it. Here's how shipwreckedcrew starts out:

David French has written a deeply dishonest story today about the prosecution of Roger Stone, and how the commutation of his sentence by Pres. Trump doesn’t change the “facts” of the case. 
Well, if you’re looking for “facts”, David French’s “story” isn’t the place to start. 
“Mueller’s investigation revealed Stone’s contacts with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and hacker Guccifer 2.0 during the 2016 campaign. 
So, what did Mueller’s investigation “reveal” on this question?

The answer to that question, as shipwreckedcrew demonstrates in detail, is that Stone had NO contacts with Julian Assange--not even through intermediaries such as Jerome Corsi. As for the supposed GRU hacker Guccifer 2.0, those contacts amounted to the merest handful of texts--initiated by the Guccifer persona--culminating in Stone stating that he was unimpressed with the material Guccifer had released. Quoting the Mueller Report (p. 44):

On September 9, 2016, the GRU – again posing as Guccifer 2.0 – referring to the stolen DCCC documents posted online and asked Stone “what do u think of the info on the turnout model for democrats entire presidential campaign.”  Stone responded “pretty standard.”

And having untangled all the various stories surrounding these supposed but actually NON-events, shipwreckedcrew concludes:

The fact that Stone bragged about non-existent events to Bannon, Gates, Cohen, and others doesn’t make them real.  But THAT is the innuendo that has been peddled by the press and NeverTrumpers like David French who so badly want it to be true that Roger Stone WAS a connection between the Trump Campaign and the Russian GRU. 
The Mueller Report doesn’t claim that any Stones comments to anyone else were “factual evidence” of actual communications between Stone and Assange.  That is because the SCO knew there were no such actual communications.  The entire section on Roger Stone is about what Stone claimed he was doing based on what other people said he told them.  There is ZERO corroboration in the Report that anything Stone claimed he was doing ever actually happened.

From that shipwreckedcrew moves on to a Michael Cohen story about Stone and Trump that reveals a lot about Team Mueller. According to Cohen, he was present in Trump's office in July, 2016, and overheard--via speakerphone--a conversation between Stone and Trump. In the course of that conversation Stone claimed--according to Cohen--that he had been in contact with Julian Assange (p. 53).

What's the first thing you'd want to do as a Team Mueller investigator? Corroborate Michael Cohen's story, of course. One very obvious way to do that would be to comb through those mountains of phone records you had at your disposal and confirm that Roger Stone had called Trump around the time in question. Problem:

But NOTHING is offered in the Report to corroborate Cohens’ story ...

Which leads one to conclude that the reason Team Mueller offered no corroboration was because they had no corroboration. But, that being the case, why wouldn't the report not point that fact out? After all, this was supposed to be report, not an indictment:

The Mueller investigation left no stone unturned (no pun intended), and no rabbit hole unexplored.  They had all the money and all the time they wanted.  They had GJ subpoena power to grab phone records and email communications.

Why not include such information for the sake of completeness? Shipwreckedcrew has an answer to those questions, and it doesn't reflect well on Team Mueller:

The Mueller Report doesn’t make any reference to telephone records one way or the other with regard to Cohen’s story. Why? Because they DON’T reflect the calls as recounted by Cohen. If the Mueller Report had truthfully reported that no such calls were reflected in Stone’s telephone records, that would have been confirmation of 1) Cohen was lying to make himself look good and assist in building the false narrative of a Trump-Wikileaks connection, and 2) Roger Stone had no connection to Assange.

And that would have been bad for the public Russia Hoax narrative. This was all of a piece with the Concord Management case, in which Judge Dabney Friedrich had to tell Team Mueller that, no, they would not be allowed to make allegations about Russian government involvement--not without some actual evidence! And so, at Stone's trial, with the judge totally on their side, Team Mueller didn't even make the attempt to connect Stone to Assange:

The SCO had Roger Stone on TRIAL.  They could have put in whatever evidence they wanted regarding their “key discoveries” about Roger Stone.  They called 5 witnesses in total.  They all talked about fabricated stories Stone had told them.  There wasn’t a single witness who the SCO called who provided evidence that Stone had connections to Assange or Wikileaks.  If they had such evidence you would have heard it.

Here's the bottom line on how Team Mueller worked:

George Papadopolous tells an innocuous “half-truth” by providing an inaccurate date, and he’s forced to eat a “false statement” charge. Why? He was a Trump campaign advisor. 
Gen. Michael Flynn omits information from answers to FBI agents, and he’s forced to eat a “false statement” charge. Why? He was Trump’s National Security Advisor. 
Roger Stone is convicted for lying to Congress where his “lies” are almost exclusively related to covering up the fact that he had not been honest with Trump and campaign officials about a connection to Assange and Wikileaks — he had none — and the SCO seeks an 87-month sentence. Why? Because he’s been a 30-year friend and advisor to Trump. 
Jerome Corsi is none of those things.  Even though his lies to the SCO are set forth in the Report, and he’s given a plea agreement to sign but he refuses to do so, and the SCO drops the matter rather than indict him. 
If you want proof of a “two-tiered” justice system under the SCO, there it is. If there was narrative value in nailing your scalp to the wall, the SCO did it — even when they knew they could not prove the underlying crime — Gen. Flynn. When there was no narrative value, they dumped you off on the nearest street corner with cab fare to get you home. 
But there is evidence in the Mueller Report that reveals the “hit job” that was performed on Roger Stone, and the level of disinformation that permeates the Report if you recognize when things look out of place. 

Pretty damning. That's America today. That's how "justice" works.

And there's more--much, much more, narrated in extensive but highly readable detail. There's more about the Team Mueller approach to "justice," but there's also lots more about the dishonesty of David French and NeverTrumps generally. Go for it!

However, I can't resist one more closing quote:

But at the end of his story French finally gets to the boil on his ass that he’s been trying to lance all along: 
Even before his involvement in Trump’s 2016 campaign, Stone’s reputation preceded him. He began his career in the 1970s as a staunch supporter of Richard Nixon and ends it with a shrewd appreciation for the calculated and thick-skinned approach to politics that the former president instilled in him. 
That’s what this is all about – Roger Stone’s “original sin” is that he’s unapologetic about his past relationship and support of Richard Nixon.  Along with his connection to the hated Roy Cohn, Roger Stone will never escape that condemnation by his “conservative betters” like David French and those at places like The Bulwark and formerly the Weekly Standard.

And make no mistake about it. That is also why Roger Stone was such an attractive target for Andrew Weissmann and Team Mueller, as well as why the Left is so hacked off at Trump's commutation of Stone's sentence. This is about the Long War of the Left that goes back to the New Deal and even beyond that to the Progressive Era. They thought they had victory in sight at last. And then came Trump.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed that article and sent it to friends.

    One detail which you omit but really brought it home for me was the citation of Stone's telephone records in relation to the Access Hollywood tape. In other words, it's not just that Mueller theoretically should have had the records, or maybe he had the records but didn't use them effectively.


    He had the records and used them whenever they could be construed to support his narrative. That they were not cited for this crucial phone call alleged by Cohen when they would have established Cohen's credibility among many other critical arguments shows that the call did not happen and the relationship did not exist.

    Mueller's tactics amount to the ship's mate maligning his blameless captain by noting in the log "the captain is sober today."

    Graham should tell Mueller to bring Stone's phone records with him for his testimony.

    1. This is all well and good, and I agree with every single point, but then how did the jury convict him on all seven counts? He had an idiot for a lawyer? He kept bragging on the stand?

      Any DC jury that can convict Stone on flimsy charges like this will have little trouble acquitting anyone indicted by Durham (is my suspicion) on charges far more nuanced and complicated.

    2. My understanding is Stone did lie to Congress and was unapologetic, so was convicted. Also, when Dems lie to Congress and are unapologetic, no charges are brought. What a country.

    3. Right. He lied to Congress because he didn't want to make it public that he had lied to Trump. He was a BSer.

  2. Mueller and Weissmann have a rather curious history together. One might reasonably expect that if Mueller was in fact the brilliant paragon of virtue he's long been made out to be, he would long ago have recognized Weissmann's exceptionally bad character. Instead, Mueller made him his Special Counsel when he was FBI director. Then asked him back in 2011 to be FBI General Counsel. Then let him run the SC farce. If you didn't know what a despicably dishonest, underhanded individual Andrew Weissmann is and has always been, then Mueller's apparent affinity for him probably wouldn't raise an eyebrow.

    1. "If you didn't know what a despicably dishonest, underhanded individual Andrew Weissmann is and has always been...."

      Well, Mueller has, as I understand it, PR not withstanding, a rep as a despicably dishonest, underhanded individual. So, there's that.

      I think their relationship is quite analogous to that of Al Capone and Frank Nitty. Neither have a passing acquittance with morals and they both think scruples is that colorful pasta salad everyone serves nowadays instead of potato salad.

    2. I'll say it differently, Mueller's a bad judge of character of others. Think it's gotten worse as he's aged. More of a figure head the last 10 years.

    3. Capone-Nitty is as good an analogy as any. As for Mueller's "PR notwithstanding," indeed, it doesn't withstand genuine scrutiny. But that's as elusive as sasquatch.

  3. David French did not write that article.

    Charlotte Lawson wrote it.

    1. You can tell, it wasn't written in crayon

    2. I wrote a comment five hours ago pointing out that mistake.

      It seems that my earlier comment disappeared.

    3. French is the senior editor. And let's face it, that would not have been published if Frenchy the fake conservative was not in agreement with every erroneous word.

      Maybe David French identifies as Charlotte Lawson. I mean, if I had evidence that he doesn't, I would say so.

    4. It must be me. Who is Charlotte Lawson?

    5. Maybe French was initially named as the author by mistake and then that mistake was corrected.

  4. More blatant lying from Weissmann The Weasel:

    "A major falsehood in the 2nd paragraph of Mueller team member Andrew Weissmann's NYT op-ed. [Stone] was found guilty of lying about talking about WikiLeaks with Trump campaign officials. There was no allegation that he coordinated with WikiLeaks or Russia."

    Weissmann sure seems mighty exercised about something lately. Sources say he hasn't been seen on Grindr as frequently, either. But at least he reportedly hasn't battered his wife today, according to people familiar with the matter.