Newly released FBI notes undermine Mueller investigation
The Senate Judiciary Committee has released documents that further undermine the basis for an investigation into Trump’s campaign collusion with Russia and provides evidence that the investigation was politically motivated from the start.
The documents obtained from the Department of Justice and released by the committee on Friday show notes by lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok that undermine the collusion narrative. In a February 2017 New York Times report alleging contacts between Trump allies and Russian intelligence officials, Strzok made notes in the margin of the article that read:
“We have not seen evidence of any individuals affiliated with the Trump team in contact with IOs [intelligence officials]… We are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials,” according to a statement by the committee.
Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham issued a statement questioning the motives of Special Counsel Mueller’s lengthy investigation of the matter:
“The statements by Mr. Strzok question the entire premise of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump Campaign and make it even more outrageous that the Mueller team continued this investigation for almost two and a half years.”
What has persisted as an unassailable fact is that Russian President Vladimir Putin preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and that Russia’s interference was intended to benefit Trump. Critics point to evidence that the “Putin preferred Trump” claim is suspect. Some of those critics say the Obama administration, of which Clinton served as Secretary of State for the first four years, was extremely “flexible” in response to Putin’s demands. For example, in 2009, Obama and Clinton abandoned strategic U.S. allies Poland and the Czech Republic by withdrawing newly placed missile defense systems from their respective nations. The Czechs and Poles saw the defense agreement with the U.S. as added security against a Russian invasion similar to what had occurred in the nation of Georgia.
In June 2010, the FBI arrested ten Russian spies who were part of a sleeper cell that had been operating in the U.S. for years. Days after their arrests, and before the FBI could interrogate the spies, Obama and Clinton sent them back to Moscow and referred to it as a triumph for diplomacy.
In 2012, prior to the election, Obama was recorded inadvertantly on a hot mic saying to Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, “On all of these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it is important for [Vladimir Putin] to give me space… After my election, I have more flexibility.”
In short, attempts to portray Trump as a potential Russia appeaser was a difficult sale due to eight years of Obama administration accommodations of Russia, at what many consider the expense of U.S. national security.
Also, a little discussed aspect of Special Counsel Mueller’s report seems to contradict the premise that Russia had contacts with anyone close to Trump. Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University, provided this analysis to radio host John Batchelor in May of 2019:
“Toward the end of the first volume (pp. 144, 146), Mueller produces a truly stunning revelation, though he seems unaware of it. After the 2016 US presidential election, the Kremlin ‘appeared not to have preexisting contacts…with senior officials around the President-Elect.’ Even more, ‘Putin spoke of the difficulty faced by the Russian government in getting in touch with the incoming Trump Administration… Putin indicated that he did not know with whom formally to speak and generally did not know the people around the President-Elect.’”
There is an ongoing investigation by the justice department into the origins of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, and the legality of it, although no indictments have been announced thus far.
Scroll down to comment!