The next chapter of RussiaGate: more hysteria!

Summary: This post will save you a great deal of time by revealing the key news about the Mueller Report. As an alternative to the endless stream of chatter about RussiaGate, I enclose some K-Pop. It is equally informative and more entertaining.

What if Trump had been a Russian asset since 1987?
— Cover story by Leftist propagandist Jonathan Chait at New York magazine, July 2018.

Alice looks at RussiaGate.

Alice looks at the RussiaGate chessboard.
ID 80174591 © Rolffimages | Dreamstime.

See the Attorney General’s letter to Congress about the Mueller Report. It tells us a few tidbits. Bottom line: It weakly resolves the most important question. It leaves unanswered other big concerns.

(a)  Mueller spent a great deal of money on his investigation.

(b)  They investigated the primary charge against President Trump.

“The report explains that the Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the Presidential Campaign of Donald Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government …”

(c)  The Report recommends no further indictments. Mueller’s indictments made so far are irrelevant to the primary charge against Trump. As W. J. Antle III (editor of The American Conservative) explained (red emphasis added) …

“What none of these indictments did, however, was try to prove a Trump-Russia conspiracy. Thus it is unsurprising that the Mueller report does not ultimately allege one. If Manafort, Flynn, Stone, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and Carter Page did not collude in some legally meaningful way, then who did?”

(d)  The Report repeats accusations of Russian interference in the election that have been decisively disproved by hard information released by the major social media companies (as noted by many, including Nate Silver of 538 and Aaron Maté at The Nation). Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians is showmanship, since Mueller provided no evidence and most will never risk their fates to the corrupt and dysfunctional US courts.

“The report outlines Russian efforts to influence the election and documents crimes committed by people associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts.”

RussiaGate

(e)  The Report equivocally clears Trump of the charges in (d). They also did not prove the nonexistence of dragons.

“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that Trump or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with the Russians in its {sic, s/b “their”} efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. As the report states, ‘{The} investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.'”

(f)  The Report repeats disputed (and imo, implausible) claims about the DNC hack (with the FBI’s uncharacteristically gentle and gullible response to it).

“The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations …”

(g)  Mueller punted on whether Trump obstructed the investigation. This gives the Democrats in Congress an opening to continue the crusade.

“The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion – one way or another – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. …this leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime.”

(h)  How much of the report will they release to us?

No more than they want us to know. They will probably use the “protect secrets” gag as an excuse. The FBI has used that before during RussiaGate, only for us to eventually learn they were lying (see Greenwald’s brutal revelation of the Stefan Halper affair).

The key issue: what is RussiaGate?

We do not know. We might never know. All we have are questions. Watching RussiaGate reminds me of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune, in which people can see the passage of giant sandworms deep below only by the ripples on the desert’s surface.

(a)  What was the nature of what looks like a conspiracy within the FBI, CIA, and DoJ to prevent the election of Trump (or destroy his presidency) – since there was little evidence he was a Russian agent?

“Your cabal of unprincipled, unethical, dishonest, and sycophantic cronies is being methodically brought to justice. We all know where this trail leads. If your utter incompetence is not enough to run you out of office, your increasingly obvious political corruption surely will.
Tweet by former CIA Director John Brennan, Jan 2019. As someone who knows things, his statements had wide influence.

“I don’t know if I received bad information, but I think I suspected there was more than there actually was.”
Brennan speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, 25 March 2019.

(b)  Why did so many people believe the core of RussiaGate, the Steele dossier? Large parts were old news. Other key parts were obviously fake. Among the many reasons, why would Russian officials blow the biggest intel ops ever? Supposedly they told Steele that Trump was in their bag just to be friendly. When will Putin have them slowly and painfully executed for treason?

(c)  Why did the RussiaGate hysteria spread so widely and quickly, despite the lack of evidence for it? Why did so many journalists and political analysts make bold certain claims about Trump and Russia that were (to be generous) exaggerated or delusional? Not just by loons, like CNN’s Rachel Maddow, but sensible stalwarts on the Left.

“There’s really no question about Trump/Putin collusion, and Trump in fact continues to act like Putin’s puppet.”
— By Paul Krugman on 17 November 2017.

“We’ve basically crossed the line into treason now – and a whole party is acquiescing”
— Tweet by Krugman on May 19 about GOP efforts to unmask the intel operative placed in the Trump campaign. See Glenn Greenwald’s decisive rebuttal.

The Case for Michael Avenatti 2020.
— By Eric Levit in New York magazine, September 2018. Now Federal prosecutors have charged him with extortion and bank fraud.

(d)  Why have the Democratic Party’s leaders elected to chase the RussiaGate chimera, rather than attack Trump’s far-right policies — breaking the remnants of America’s unions, weakening protections for the environment, breaking the government’s solvency with tax cuts for the rich and corporations, etc? They could attack him for breaking most of his campaign promises, revealed him to be a faux populist? Perhaps their policies do not differ much from Trump’s, as both parties are supported by the same plutocrats — so they needed something else to distinguish Tweedledee from Tweedledum.

(e)  What is the Deep State’s involvement in RussiaGate? Did they exploit it for their own purposes (assuming it can be seen as a unitary entity)? Did they create it? Many actions of government officials look like political interference (even agitprop), not investigations. Some were both incendiary, false – and appear designed to ruin US – Russian relations. For example, see Caitlin Johnstone’s description of their actions before the Trump – Putin summit. Such as this …

“The nation’s top intelligence officer said on Friday that the persistent danger of Russian cyberattacks today was akin to the warnings the United States had of stepped-up terror threats ahead of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”
NYT on 18 July 2018. One of an endless stream of hysterical warnings by US intel since 9/11, all exciting but false.

(f)  By now every American should know not to speak to police without an attorney. Why did so many Trump-related people – all experienced in politics, business, or both – do so, and do so stupidly? This is, imo, one of the oddest aspects of RussiaGate.

Photo of a deadly virus - dreamstime_43728589
ID 43728589 © Rajcreationzs | Dreamstime.

What does it all mean?

We have to accept the greater truth: in today’s America we do not know what is happening. We know only the tidbits fed us by the powerful groups that rule us. Some are nourishing facts. Some are tasty nothings. Some are drugs to stupefy us, to make us stupid, or to put us in a frenzy.

RussiaGate is a virus that has infected America. The damage has been immense during the past two years. The Mueller Report will not stop it. Leading Democratic Party leaders plan to continue their investigations into Trump’s past, back to his infancy if necessary. The news media corporations have benefited greatly from RussiaGate and have every reason to continue to feed its fires.

I doubt we can see its end. Perhaps the carefully edited excerpts from the Muller opus eventually released to us will end the RussiaGate story with a definitive victory for one side. But I doubt it.

Two years into this, and there are still more questions than answers. That’s our America. Best of all, the partisans on both sides are happy with the RussiaGate festival. It’s fun! But information often bursts into the light, inadvertently. The major event of President Trump’s term might when America’s Deep State came out into the open, for all to see.

Useful sources of insights about the Report and what’s next

“Trump is a psychopathic criminal who feels cornered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, so he is lashing out in every direction.”
— This is “journalism” in modern America. By James Risen at The Intercept, 22 December 2018.

I will update this as I find more insights. So far I have seen mostly bold guessing. Here are some exceptions.

Clearing Up Some of the Mueller Report’s Falsehoods” by Bruce Fein at The American Conservative – “The report ‘fully exonerates’ the president? There are tight limits on what Barr can disclose? Think again.” He has broad experience as an attorney on both the public and private side.

Andrew McCarthy (a former Federal prosecutor) asks for full disclosure: the broad disclosure of Mueller’s findings, the and metadata about the inquiry. It is the only way to end the public’s concern.

The best summary of the RussiaGate campaign I have seen is by Matt Taibbi, an excerpt from his book coming soon: Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another. It is a blow-by-blow account, showing the decay of several key American institutions. Including the press.

“It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD. The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it.”

Some still hope to find smoking guns: “Trump allies await results of two internal probes that could expose Russia investigation backstory.” Color me skeptical. Cover-ups are the Deep State’s core competence. That’s also why conservatives dreams of bringing down the FBI and CIA are delusional.

More useful to us than the endless articles about RussiaGate

“Yes and Yes” – a music video by the talented K-Pop group “Twice.”

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

RussiaGate shows the failure of the news media and our political system. It shows the broad institution failure I discuss in A new, dark picture of America’s future.

More about RussiaGate.

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see all posts about RussiaGateabout propaganda, about ways to reform America’s politics, and especially these …

  1. A review of Russiagate, its propaganda and hysteria.
  2. Secrets untold about the DNC hack, the core of RussiaGate.
  3. Debunking RussiaGate, attempts to stop the new Cold War.
  4. The secrets of RussiaGate, and what it all means.
  5. RussiaGate: fragments of a story large beyond imagining.
  6. We learn the secret origins of RussiaGate.
  7. Read RussiaGate propaganda, the first step to fighting it.
  8. Hot fake news about RussiaGate! Read all about it!
  9. News from the Left: Russiagate & the Democratic’s Defeat.

Propaganda rules America! Read all about it!

Propaganda by Edward Bernays (1936). “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”

Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda by Noam Chomsky (2002). “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

"Propaganda" by Edward Bernays.
Available at Amazon.
"Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda" by Noam Chomsky.
Available at Amazon.

25 thoughts on “The next chapter of RussiaGate: more hysteria!

  1. There’s a line from Billion Dollar Brain by Len Deighton (it’s one of his spy novels) and near the end of it, the narrator says something like ‘But it wasn’t over. It will never be over. It’s like those experiments they do on mice where for a long time everything looks all right for a while, but then eight generations later one of them is born with two heads.”

    We’ll be seeing a two headed mutant rat out of this, and maybe a whole new mutant species.

    “(f) The Report repeats disputed (and imo, implausible) claims about the DNC hack (with the FBI’s uncharacteristically gentle and gullible response to it).”

    I’ll spare you my unproven speculation about that (Of which I have a large supply), because there’s guys who are more entertaining at that sort of thing than me. There’s been a lot of talk about the media having trashed its reputation here, but there’s another reputation down the drain, and that’s the FBI. Depending on what you want to believe, they either got the mother of all bad intel and followed it down the rabbit hole, taking the whole country with them, or they engaged in sedition, or Trump is an agent of Putin (Or maybe one those creatures from They Live) and they couldn’t find the proof in three years of trying. You’ve had the Director of the CIA touring the cable news shows to say that any day, they’re gonna get the goods on Trump. So with respect to the security agencies, this is looking a lot like that institutional nonfunctional meltdown you’ve been on about lately.

    And it’s not like you really needed any of this to beat Trump. “Your mission, Jim, should you decide to accept it, is to find a winning candidate and a winning platform, and stop Trump. if you can’t, this party will self destruct in five seconds”

    1. The Man,

      You raise one of the big issues of RussiaGate, which I only hint at (expressing as questions). The FBI’s role in this from the start is (to be generous) questionable. There are indications that we know little of what they were doing, let alone why.

      Perhaps this will become clearer over time. Perhaps it will remain like the assassination of JFK: a mystery, successfully concealed by the US government.

      But the big lesson, which I have written about before and will again, is that we need to be skeptical. We consume government lies like pigs eating swill. Until that changes, the control of America will continue to slide into others’ hands.

  2. Bravo!!! Good analysis, provocative thoughts.

    Of all the things we need (and lack) right now is wisdom in high places. Though Ike was no demigod, he earned some wisdom which everyone appreciated and was willing to go along with and we prospered as never before and his legacy, the Interstate is his monument.

    Wisdom at the top is Confucius’ legacy, “Put your smartest, most compassionate guys in charge of the country and you can’t go far wrong,” was his basic advice and 2,000 years have proven him more right than wrong and made China into a hedge fund with a millennial horizon.

    The current, seven-man Steering Committee has one guy, relatively young, to just keep them aligned to the fundamental Confucian ethic of compassion. A professional idealist confronting professional politicians with a collective 150 years of governance experience. Very cool.

    The results of this are promising: by 2021, every Chinese will have a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, health- and old age care. 2021 is the Party’s first centenary and this is a fitting accomplishment.

    But wait! There’s more!

    By late 2021 500,000,000 urban Chinese will have more net worth and disposable income than the average American, their mothers and infants will be less likely to die in childbirth, their children will graduate from high school three years ahead of American kids.

    Already there are more drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China.

    Our decline is relative and absolute but worst of all, nobody knows that this is happening. That information is censored. We are committing suicide by propaganda.

    1. Godfree,

      (1) “Of all the things we need (and lack) right now is wisdom in high places.”

      There is a reason for that: there is a form of rough justice in the world.

      “Every country has the government it deserves”
      — Joseph-Marie, Comte de Maistre. From Lettres et Opuscules (1811).

      (2) “By late 2021 500,000,000 urban Chinese will have more net worth and disposable income than the average American”

      What is the basis for that prediction? It seems unlikely. That’s only two years away. The 2017 average per capita income for urbans in China was aprox $5,400 in 2017. The US average was $54,000. The medians for both were smaller (the US median was ~$32k). The disparity in net worth is far larger.

      I do not believe disposable income is a useful metric between nations, even if its calculated in the same way for both nations (it usually isn’t). In any case, a 10x difference in total implies a big diff in disposable income as well.

      Also note: China’s growth is slowly rapidly, as happens to all nations once they reach middle income status. See this NBER paper for details.

      (3) “Already there are more drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China.”

      What’s the source for those claims? They seem unlikely. Also, China’s government data is notoriously unreliable.

  3. What a joke. I’m sure “the stuff” minus grand jury testimony will come out. The only cure for ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ is the total defeat of the obstructionist Democrats in 2020…I look forward to that day.

    On the other hand;
    Benghazi, four dead Americans due to incompetence aside, a select committee should be formed to look into a ‘Conspiracy to Overthrow a Sitting President’. (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2385)

    Obama, Clinton, DNC, and the FBI come to mind. The last I heard, somebody still has 30,000 hacked Clinton emails.
    After all…What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

    I worry more about voter fraud than thirty-four Russians saying mean stuff on FB/Twitter.

    1. Ron,

      (1) “I’m sure “the stuff” …will come out.

      Perhaps. I lack your confidence about this.

      (2) “minus grand jury testimony will come out.”

      You probably refer to Rule 6 (e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, often said to prohibit the Attorney General Barr from disclosing to Congress grand jury materials. Bruce Fein explains the actual law.

      “{That is} False. The rule authorizes grand jury disclosures in aid of the congressional impeachment power. Thus, special prosecutor Jaworski sought court authorization to disclose a 55-page “Road Map” of evidence assembled before a grand jury relevant to an impeachment investigation of Nixon. Chief Judge John Sirica and the en banc D.C. Circuit approved (one judge dissenting). This Road Map was used in determining whether to prepare Articles of Impeachment against Nixon.”

      Bruce Fein was associate deputy attorney general and general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission under President Reagan and counsel to the Joint Congressional Committee on Covert Arms Sales to Iran. He is a partner in the law firm of Fein & DelValle PLLC.

      1. “In sum, the Mueller Report will be only the seventh inning stretch of a nine inning game. House Democrats can keep this going if they want, and they probably will.”

        If that’s the case, look for the select committee of Republicans I mentioned to counter. It won’t be good for America, there are better things to do than divide this country further.

      2. Ron,

        “there are better things to do than divide this country further.”

        Better for whom? Breaking America into tribes – ignorant, partisan tribes – is great for their leaders. American citizens – informed, involved, often unruly – were difficult to rule.

  4. Excellent post.

    From recognition that there was a great deal of money wasted; and not only that, so much effort and time — which should have been spent onto something productive. Though Mrs. Clinton’s involvement was not mentioned (see the link below) — she was the instrumental actor to set this nonsense up. Instead of admission of her own failure, she and the apparatus around her decided to “Burn da house down.”

    I think she must have realized that She lost the election as the final vote, IMHO, was Against her, instead For Trump; did she accept it?…
    Also, to hint on another answer to “…key issue: What is RussiaGate?”

    “Robert Mueller’s investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.”

    — From a commentary by Tom Luongo: “With RussiaGate Over Where’s Hillary?” at the Ron Paul Institute website.

    Side note: As skeptical as I am, I still thought there must have been at least a Muon of substance to trigger the investigation; sorry, my fault; the rot in the Empire has consumed even the bones.

    1. Jako,

      (1) “From recognition that there was a great deal of money wasted;”

      Just pocket lint to the Federal government. Fears were aroused, and spending money to restore confidence in our political system is a good investment. It would have been well worth the money had Mueller been forthright in his verdict (apparently not) or diligent in his investigation (certainly not).

      (2) “{Hillary} was the instrumental actor to set this nonsense up.”

      Ron Paul, as usual, gives not the slightest hint of evidence to support that theory. We do not need more guessing.

      (3) “As skeptical as I am, I still thought there must have been at least a Muon of substance to trigger the investigation”

      There is. Why did Trump’s associates lie to FBI agents so often about these matters, if there was nothing to them? Another oddity: these people should be too experienced to talk with govt agents without a high powered attorney. I’ve posted articles giving that advice to our middle class readers. People at that level should know that, or have attorneys on retainer to remind them. This is imo one of the great oddities of the Mueller investigation: most of his convictions resulted from the gross stupidity of his targets.

      1. Larry “Another oddity: these people should be too experienced to talk with govt agents without a high powered attorney.”

        It is more than just odd, it is Bizzarro world and by persons whom have proven in the past that they know that basic rules. These weren’t people from Green Acres.

        Perhaps one day we will find it was a trade off to keep Trump and the Clintons out of jail. I am wondering if it is something even more venal and despicable. Especially, the way the Deep State revealed itself.

        If I am going to offer a way out theory, mine is: It was a test run by the Deep State so that they now know that there are few but sheeple left in the USA. Expect infotainment to get even more Federal money.

      2. John,

        There is a simpler explanation: when the puzzle’s picture does not make sense, we are missing key pieces. That makes sense here, since we have more questions than answers. There is no need for far-out guessing. That just sends our thinking out into the void. Focus on what we know, and logical inferences from that.

  5. “There is. Why did Trump’s associates lie to FBI agents so often about these matters, if there was nothing to them? Another oddity: these people should be too experienced to talk with govt agents without a high powered attorney. ”

    It’s worth remembering here that the FBI doesn’t record interviews. One agent asks questions, the other takes notes, and afterwards the record of the sucker’s answers is whatever the FBI says it is. I’m not prepared to say that all of the people jacked up on false statement charges were framed, but I’ve got doubts about a couple of these cases. As for the claim that they should have known better, well, some of them absolutely should have. Then again, some of them, like George Papadopolous, may simply not have known anything about Federal law enforcement beyond what they’ve seen on TV. Ignorance of the law is not a defense, so maybe ignorance of law enforcement is not an excuse, especially these days, but still, I’d be careful judging some of Mueller’s victims.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t assume facts that aren’t in evidence

    1. The Man,

      (1) “I’m not prepared to say that all of the people jacked up on false statement charges were framed”

      That would have been a good defense. Nobody made it.

      (2) “like George Papadopolous, may simply not have known anything about Federal law enforcement …”

      Pretty much everybody in America knows to say “speak to my lawyer.” Nobody at Papadopolous’ level needs to be told that.

      (3) “beyond what they’ve seen on TV.”

      You must not watch much US TV. “Speak to my lawyer” or “I want my lawyer” has been a staple on US crime shows going back to “Perry Mason” in the late 1950s.

  6. Larry,

    I fail to see a grand conspiracy, deep state here. I watched liberal Democrats and their ilk unable to accept Trump winning the election. With Obama, Clinton, DNC, Comey, etc.etc, doing everything in their power to make sure it didn’t happen. They failed before the election and after.

    Russia, Russia, Russia…Trump had business dealings with Russia before the election, his crime was trying to make peace with Putin after he was elected. God forbid we even talk to anyone from the evil empire.

    Not a damn one of them on the Hill, including Trump, are smart enough to control the masses with a grand conspiracy.

    IMO, what we see is where we’re at, nothing more. This BS will go on, and on, and on with the help of the MSM.

    Pick your poison.

    1. Ron,

      “I fail to see a grand conspiracy, deep state here”

      Whenever I see people say “i don’t see a conspiracy”, I see deep denial. It’s bs. Institutions work without “conspiracies.” Social movements, like Islamic jihadists, work without “conspiracies.”

      If you don’t see the Deep State, you have your eyes close. Even those in it no longer deny it, as in the NYT op-ed by “anonymous” (although he calls it the “steady state”, which is an identical term.

      “Not a damn one of them on the Hill, including Trump, are smart enough to control the masses with a grand conspiracy.”

      Keep telling yourself that. It’s what makes peons comfortable when looking in the mirror. You are so much smarter than our rulers!

      1. Ron,

        “This peon believes nothing coming from the NYT’s”

        I don’t understand. You know of an unbiased accurate comprehensive news source? Or decided not to know anything?

        The concept of a neutral press is a recent one, largely from the post-WWII US. See His Gal Friday for the more usual one. In 1700, Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels) – a skilled political propagandist – read several papers each day, so he could piece together a reasonably accurate picture of reality. We have to do the same, although it is easier today.

      2. Ron,

        The UK has long had a more diverse press than the US, with each newspaper having its own house view of the world (and the BBC giving the government’s picture). As described in this scene from “Yes, Minister”:

        PM Hacker: “Don’t tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers.
        * The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country;
        * The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country;
        * The Times is read by people who actually do run the country;
        * the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country;
        * the Financial Times is read by people who own the country;
        * The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country;
        * and The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.”

        Sir Humphrey: “Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?”

        Bernard: “Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.”

      3. Larry,

        ” I don’t understand. You know of an unbiased accurate comprehensive news source? Or decided not to know anything?”

        No and no. An NYT op-ed by “anonymous”, obviously from a disgruntled ex-member of Trump’s staff (or George Conway) is not my idea of proof that Trump is a Russian operative.

        I’m sure Trump is hard to deal with, I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the WH. He’s getting shit done, that’s what I care about. I deal with never Trumpers every day.

      4. Ron,

        “An NYT op-ed by “anonymous”, obviously from a disgruntled ex-member of Trump’s staff (or George Conway) is not my idea of proof that Trump is a Russian operative”

        That op-ed did not say or even imply that Trump was a “Russian operative.”

  7. “You must not watch much US TV. “Speak to my lawyer” or “I want my lawyer” has been a staple on US crime shows going back to “Perry Mason” in the late 1950s.”

    Depiction of the FBI in Hollywood ranges from positive to worshipful. (The CIA not so much) The average innocent person faced with an FBI badge isn’t likely to assume that the FBI is there to frame them or catch them in a perjury trap. (Go look that up if you don’t know what it means.) Maybe they should expect it but they probably don’t.

    The fact that people got jacked up on false statements charges proves nothing, since the interviews weren’t recorded. If the Mueller probe ever had a legitimate basis, then it has to have been based on information that was known before a single Trump associate was ever interviewed. If that ever comes to light, all well and good, but if we can’t see it and examine it in the open, then I see no reason to assume that it exists, or ever existed, or that the FBI acted competently, ethically, or from decent motives.

    1. The Man,

      “Depiction of the FBI in Hollywood ranges from positive to worshipful.

      That’s not correct. Sometimes positive, but they’re often depicted as corrupt or incompetent (e.g., on hit shows such as “Blue Bloods”, the various “NCIS” series). Even on the “X-Files”, about two brave brilliant FBI agents, the FBI was shown in an equivocal light.

      “The CIA not so much”

      You must be kidding. CIA agents have been stock bad guys since the 1970s.

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