$16.7 million. That’s the bill for the Mueller investigation.
The last spending phase, from October to March, included $2.7 million in salaries with another $532,340 in travel expenses. And there’s no sign that this hideously expensive circus is ever going to end.
The latest high-wire act in the circus is yet another accusation aimed at Paul Manafort. This time, Mueller’s favorite target is being accused of witness tampering. Like most of Mueller’s favorite charges, such as making false statements, this isn’t a crime being uncovered, but arises from the investigation.
The accusation is also obviously a means to an end. Mueller had bet everything on pressuring Paul.
The pre-dawn no-knock raid of Manafort’s home was unnecessary, but intimidating. And Mueller’s people were grousing ever since Manafort had been released from house arrest.
In December, they wanted to rip up his agreement because he had supposedly been working on an editorial which violated the gag order, even though it was never published. This time around there’s another claim that he was in contact with his old buddies “in an effort to influence their testimony and to otherwise conceal evidence”. Now the goal may be to move Manafort from home to prison.
Is the Special Counsel’s Office really worried about Manafort’s editorials or chats with old colleagues? It’s more likely that Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s Democrat pit bull, believes that will soften him up.
But why does the SCO keep returning to Manafort? It’s obvious if you look at Mueller’s mission.
Rod Rosenstein authorized Mueller to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump”.
After multiple indictments, browbeating, raids and assorted acts of political intimidation, Mueller has spent $16.7 million and come up with zero evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russians. But Rod Rosenstein worded his order with more loopholes than an amateur knitter. It’s not the official campaign, but individuals associated with it. No matter how slight their association might be.
Parts (ii) and (iii) then authorize Mueller to essentially go on a fishing expedition wherever he likes. But if the fishing expedition doesn’t bring home the biggest fish in the White House, then it’s all wet.
Considering the size of those travel expenses, there’s obviously been plenty of fishing. But Mueller and his gang of Democrats still need to take a crack at (i) or, “individuals associated with the campaign”.
And there are only so many of those.
Mueller got to work by looking for anyone associated with the Trump campaign who had international connections. On the Clinton campaign, that would have been a huge list. But the Trump campaign was anti-establishment and so it had fewer of the usual establishment campaign professionals who work different countries and offer their services across borders.
Hillary’s campaign chair, John Podesta, had his former firm shut down due to fallout from its alleged consulting work for a pro-Russian movement in Ukraine. Robby Mook, Hillary’s inept campaign manager, had a background with the National Democratic Institute working in the Middle East.
And there were two other NDIers on her staff.
Hillary’s campaign payroll director had joined from the Russian American Foundation. Earlier, Huma Abedin had mentioned hooking up RAF people with the State Department at the request of a Clinton Foundation donor. (There’s nothing illegal there, but imagine the field day that the media would be having if Trump’s payroll director had come from an organization with that name.)
David Plouffe, Obama’s ’08 campaign manager, had received $100K in speaking fees from a company doing business with Iran’s major terror hub. David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, had founded a company that did election work for a former Nigerian Muslim dictator who was also backed by Obama. Axelrod’s former firm had also butted into Ukraine.
See the full story here.
Want more BFT? Leave us a voicemail on our page or follow us on Twitter @BFT_Podcast and Facebook @BluntForceTruthPodcast. We want to hear from you! There’s no better place to get the #BluntForceTruth.