The Russians Were Coming! The Russians Were Coming!

The Mueller investigation has labored mightily lo these many months and brought forth indictments against 13 Russians, none of whom are in custody, and three Russian entities:




A federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for alleged illegal interference in the 2016 presidential elections, during which they strongly supported the candidacy of Donald Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller‘s office said Friday.

The indictment says that a Russian organization called the Internet Research Agency sought to wage “information warfare” against the United States and to “sow discord” in the American political system by using fictitious American personas and social media platforms and other Internet-based media.

Internet Research Agency, a so-called “troll farm” based in St. Petersburg, Russia,” was allegedly controlled by a defendant in the indictment named Yevgeny Progozhin, who is a wealthy associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The indictment said the Internet Research Agency was registered with the Russian government as a corporate entity in 2013, and by May 2014 the group’s strategy included interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with the stated goal of “spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general,” the indictment said.

The indictment details an extremely sophisticated conspiracy in which defendants traveled to the United States to conduct research, employed specialists to fine-tune social media posts to “ensure they appeared authentic,” and stole real people’s identities to purchase online ads.

By early to mid-2016 the defendants were “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” the eight-count indictment charges.

The defendants also engaged in operations to “denigrate” Republican primary opponents of Trump such as senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Florida’s Marco Rubio, the indictment said.

“Some Defendants, posing at U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities,” the indictment claims.

Foreigners are barred from spending money to try to influence the outcome of a federal election.

As part of their efforts, the defendants also allegedly encouraged minority groups to either not vote for in the election or to vote for a third-party candidate.

Both actions would have hurt Clinton, who received significant support from minority voters.

And after the election of Trump as president in November 2016, the defendants used fake personas to organize and coordinate political rallies in support of Trump, while also doing the same to create rallies “protesting the results” of the election, the indictment said.

Go here to read the rest.  That the Russians, and the Soviets before them, have long sought to meddle in our elections I have no doubt.  The American Communist Party was the Communist party outside of the Soviet Union most slavish to the interests of Moscow, for example, and they long had a substantial impact on the left wing of the Democrat Party.  However, that such meddling has ever influenced the outcome of a Presidential election I see no evidence of, especially in 2016 when the raw incompetence of the Clinton campaign, “Let’s call half the nation deplorables!”  “We don’t need to campaign in Wisconsin or Michigan!”, is sufficient to explain how she lost to a first time candidate she outspent two to one, and who was dragging a laundry list of baggage that would have sunk any other candidate.  The operation has the feel of a Russian junket:  “Da Mr. President, we are having a huge impact on the Americanski election.  I just need to go to Miami Beach three more times.  Could I have another Americanski $200,000.00 to blow, I mean spend, on the operation while I am there?  During Spring Break I can contact Americanski youth and foster their disenchantment with the Americanski political system!”.  The Russians clearly did not get value for their money, unlike for example the bribes they paid the Clintons in the  Uranium One scandal.

However, thanks to the hysterical refusal of the Left in this country to accept the election results in 2016, spurred on by Hillary Clinton’s adamant refusal to take responsibility for being the worst major party candidate for President in US history, Putin reaped the bonanza of seeing this country, at least in the mainstream media, being consumed with the non-story of Russian influence on the 2016 Presidential Election for more than a year.  This all warrants the pen of a Mark Twain to write the ludicrous chronicle of this farce.



Trump and Russia-So What?

Lots of ink has been spilled over the investigation into the Trump campaign as to whether it had contacts with the Russian government during the campaign last year.  Kevin D. Williamson at National Review, the same Kevin D. Williamson who hates Trump with the undying hate of the bitterest Never Trumper, states the obvious about the hysteria over this investigation:

But here’s the thing: For all the risible and irresponsible cries of “Treason!” and “Obstruction of justice!” there is not really much reason to believe that Trump has done much of anything wrong — though perhaps the special counsel will learn otherwise — certainly nothing that rises to the level of a treason charge (this is ridiculous talk, but it nonetheless must be taken seriously), or the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that would lead to impeachment, or to the incapacity that would allow for his removal under the 25th Amendment. Trump does not know what he is doing, and he is not very good at this job, but there’s no law against that. It is not unconstitutional to be a fool.
The doings in Washington have a distinctly tropical feel to them, and it isn’t global warming. Republicans who rallied to Trump are now learning that it is very difficult to steer the ship of state with one middle finger. American institutions are very robust, and this moment’s banana-republic stuff probably can be digested, provided there is not too much more of it. But there is no sign that Democrats will be satisfied with paralyzing the administration — at the grassroots, it is plain they will be satisfied with nothing less than driving him from office, and maybe not even with that.
But that is not how constitutional, democratic republics work.
There will be another election in 2020, at which time the American electorate can render its judgment on Trump.

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