Did Mueller say Trump is guilty? More specifically, does the Mueller Report say Trump knew Wikileaks was conspiring with Russian intelligence when he worked with them?
The newly uncovered FOIA redactions suggest that’s exactly what the report says; Trump knew Wikileaks was working with the GRU. Mueller refers to an ongoing FBI case which will prove it.
That case is ongoing. We know, thanks to FOIA, that there are no charges yet. The case is part of the main Russia conspiracy investigation, and it comes after ‘Roger Stone’ in the dictionary – just like ‘Wikileaks.
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Mueller sticks all this in his thinking on obstruction. He can’t prove Trump conspired in the Russian hacking he charged so far. He also can’t prove Trump conspired directly with Russian government officials. But, he says – an important but – evidence indicates the FBI will be able to prove Trump knew what he was doing was illegal.
Mueller says there is evidence that Trump knew [redacted] when Russia was being blamed for the hacks and Trump sought out Wikileaks releases.
What Did Trump Know That Could Be Illegal?
This article will lay out the evidence that this ‘redacted’ must mean ‘Wikileaks was conspiring with the GRU’ – as in, ‘Trump knew Wikileaks was conspiring with the GRU’
Well, as Bill Barr told us all triumphantly, it’s only illegal to work with Wikileaks if Wikileaks conspired in the GRU hacks. But Mueller hasn’t proven this yet. Barr wanted to cut Mueller off before he could get there. This piece will argue that Mueller is talking about not just any old FBI investigation, but the one he lists in Appendix D (A) 11 – which, I believe, is Wikileaks.
Mueller first had to prove Trump knew Wikileaks was conspiring with the GRU. Next, the FBI must prove Wikileaks did conspire with the GRU.
Mueller tells us he’s got evidence of the first – and is waiting for the FBI to prove the second. That evidence would show Trump committed obstruction by firing Comey – because there was an underlying crime.
If I’m right, no wonder Barr begged Trump to invoke executive privilege. If that’s what’s under the redactions, Barr is in line for obstruction of justice charges, and an historical level of infamy that will rival Nixon.
Mueller Uses Definite Language
The evidence does indicate that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns
As Mueller describes his “choice” not to make a prosecutorial judgement on obstruction, we find the words above. He states that ‘the evidence does indicate’ affirmatively, as a finding. Next he says ‘that a thorough FBI investigation WOULD find’ – emphasis mine – ‘facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes [and other things that would rise to the corrupt intent standard].
This is absolutely vital to understand, so let us take it slowly. Is Mueller speculating? That cannot, if we read the rest of his report, be the case. To speculate would be to breach Special Counsel regulations. Mueller is here to deliver findings, and to describe why he chose to prosecute, or not to prosecute, offenders. He is not here to guess, to hope or to use a crystal ball. He is not ‘Mystic Mueller’ or ‘Sideshow Bob’. When he says ‘would find’, he means that he has established ‘the evidence does indicate’ that the FBI will find something. Why, then, does Mueller say ‘would’, the conditional, and not ‘will’, the future tense? Because of the qualifier; ‘a thorough FBI investigation’.
Mueller Warns Congress Barr May Try to Impede The FBI
Is Mueller suggesting that the FBI have not been thorough? That would be a ludicrous reading of the text here. At no other point in the report does he criticize the FBI or suggest their investigations were not up to scratch.
Mueller can’t be saying “If only the FBI had done their gosh-darn jobs on the evidence which I’ve said does indicate the President had a corrupt motive – if only they’d investigate thoroughly, gosh-darn it – why, then I coulda charged this sumbitch!”
Nope. Mueller is saying that he has evidence which, after the FBI has done its work, will show the President has the corrupt motives needed to charge on obstruction.
The Ongoing FBI Investigation Listed In Mueller’s Report is On the Substance
The report lists unresolved matters and referrals in Appendix D. It’s got two halves; matters directly related to Mueller’s main mission – collusion and conspiracy – and criminal matters not directly related that arose from that. Mueller says he definitely has evidence; Chris Wray and the FBI will be able to uncover crimes that implicate Trump.
It’s a bold claim, once we understand it, and can only refer to his main investigation. There is only one way to square this claim with the statements Barr made in his first letter. Let’s look at Mueller’s “ongoing case” listed here.
The Recent FOIA Judgement Supports This Theory
A FOIA judgement recently specified that Bill Barr must do better than ‘Harm to Ongoing Matter’ when redacting the report. Here is the ‘newly redacted‘ report at Buzzfeed, and it answers a lot of questions. Let’s do a quick before and after:
OK. Now, 7 (A) is an exception for interference with law enforcement proceedings. 7 (B) is ‘deprivation of the right to a fair trial’, and it’s absent. In other words, the FBI has the case. It’s not clear if the second line in no. 11 refers to a prosecutor’s office or a Grand Jury location, but it might do.
Why Does Mueller Say ‘*Charged* Russian Hacking’?
This sentence precedes our target passage ‘the evidence does indicate’ . It’s just as important.
evidence uncovered in the investigation did not establish that the President or those close to him were involved in the charged Russian computer-hacking or active-measure conspiracies, or that the President otherwise had an unlawful relationship with any Russian official. But ………
Why not “did not establish the President or his team were involved in the Russian hacking … conspiracies’?
That’s clear. That’s straightforward. They weren’t involved. Instead, Mueller qualifies it, doesn’t he? Mueller says Team Trump weren’t involved in the cases he’s charged.
Here’s the report:
the evidence uncovered in the investigation did not establish that the President or those close to him were involved in the charged Russian computer-hacking or active-measure conspiracies, or that the President otherwise had an unlawful relationship with any Russian official. But the evidence does indicate that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns.
Ok, now I’m going to strip this down to plain sense, the way I think Mueller meant it:
‘The evidence didn’t prove Trump’s campaign were part of the DNC hacks and active measures we’ve charged so far. But our evidence does show that the FBI investigation [which I list in Appendix D where ‘Wikileaks’ comes in the alphabet] is going to prove facts about Trump and the campaign that will show they knew they were committing crimes.’
That’s my translation. I’m going to add this context. Mueller doesn’t stop there. His next words are talking about Trump possibly lying that he was connected to Russia, so that’s the context of the FBI investigation:
Although the President publicly stated during and after the election that he had no connection to Russia, the Trump Organization, through Michael Cohen, was pursuing the proposed Trump Tower Moscow project through June 2016 and candidate Trump was repeatedly briefed on the progress of those efforts. In addition, some witnesses said that Trump was aware that (b) (6), (b) (7)(A), (b) (7)(B), (b) (7)(C)
at a time when public reports stated that Russian intelligence officials were behind the hacks, and that Trump privately sought information about future WikiLeaks releases.
Reporters overlooked this context when they analyzed “FBI would uncover”. To my mind, it’s really clear.
- Mueller says he can’t connect Trump directly to Russian government hacking
- ‘charged so far’
- ‘BUT, evidence indicates an FBI investigation will show evidence he knew what he was doing was illegal
- ‘Although he said he had no connection to Russia’
- – therefore, Mueller MUST MEAN Trump KNEW IT WAS ILLEGAL TO WORK WITH WIKILEAKS
- that’s only possible if Wikileaks was working with the GRU AND TRUMP KNEW IT
- Mueller goes on “witnesses said that Trump was aware that [REDACTED]
- Mueller finishes “…… at a time when public reports said Russian intelligence did the hacks and that Trump privately sought information about future Wikileaks releases’
There is, literally, only one way that what Mueller describes here can be the evidence of criminal intent he speaks of in the previous paragraph. There is only one possible way that this paragraph makes sense with the previous one saying ‘would uncover evidence that Trump knew it was a crime’. While I clearly have no knowledge of what the redaction in this paragraph actually is, logically, it has to assert that Trump knew that Wikileaks was partnering with the GRU.
‘In addition, some witnesses said that Trump was aware that [Wikileaks was conspiring with Russian intelligence] at a time when public reports stated that Russian intelligence officials were behind the hacks, and that Trump privately sought information about future WikiLeaks releases.’
We will cover this story, and more on the ongoing Wikileaks case, further on Patribotics.
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- Wikileaks Hands “Keys” to Putin’s Russian Hacker – Readers, Leakers Tracked
- Epshteyn Named in FBI FISA Application; Did Trump, Nunes Obstruct Justice?
- Alfa Bank, Trump Tower and a Social Media Impeachment