January 31, 2019


Mueller says Russians are using his discovery materials in disinformation effort (Tom Winter, 1/30/19, NBC News)

Russians are using materials obtained from special counsel Robert Mueller's office in a disinformation campaign apparently aimed at discrediting the investigation into Moscow's election interference, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

One or more people associated with the special counsel's case against Russian hackers made statements last October claiming to have stolen discovery materials that were originally provided by Mueller to Concord Management, Mueller's team said in court documents filed on Wednesday in the Russian troll farm case.

That discovery -- evidence and documents traded between both sides of a lawsuit -- appears to have been altered and disseminated as part of a disinformation campaign apparently aimed at discrediting the ongoing investigations in Russian interference in the U.S. political system, according to the documents.

Devin Nunes was running the same op.

Remember Mueller's Russia Indictments? They Matter Now More Than Ever. (KIM WEHLE  JANUARY 30, 2019, The Bulwark)

In February and July of 2018, Mueller indicted numerous Russian entities and individuals--together with "others known and unknown to the grand jury"--on various charges of conspiring to commit crimes against the United States of America.

In theory, those indictments could be buttressed at any time, evidence willing, by adding American co-conspirators. Yes, American co-conspirators--possibly including those who have already been pinged for serious wrongdoing (pejoratively deemed by some as "process" crimes), such as lying to Congress or the grand jury.

Of course, if President Trump were involved in these conspiracies, it's not a far jump to "high crimes and misdemeanors" warranting impeachment.

Hopefully by now, most people understand that "collusion" is not a crime--it's an umbrella term for a host of potential crimes associated with Russia's attack on our electoral process. But conspiracy is a crime. Conspiracy is an offense that occurs if, first, two or more persons agree to commit a crime and, second, they take a step toward that goal. So, if two guys hatch a plan to rob a convenience store over beers, and then buy a ski mask and water pistol at the mall, they can be charged with a criminal conspiracy. Even if they never actually cross the convenience store's threshold.

Under federal law, if two or more people agree to commit a crime against the United States, and take an action in that direction, they can be sent to jail. An agreement to get around the FEC's reporting requirements, for example, and a subsequent attempt to make a campaign contribution look like something else, would violate 18 U.S.C. ยง 371. A defendant can be guilty of conspiring to defraud the United States by engaging in other dishonest conduct in connection with a federal agency or program, too.  

As the Department of Justice explains on its website, the goal of federal conspiracy laws is "to protect the integrity of the United States."

In the two conspiracy indictments pending in the Russia probe, the grand jury charged the defendants with attempting to sow discord within the American electorate--and to help Trump win the presidency--by interfering with the lawful functions of the U.S. government. The conspirators allegedly took a number of steps to achieve these goals, such as creating social media accounts of fictitious U.S. persons; holding fake rallies to shape public opinion; planting derogatory public information about Trump opponents Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio; hacking the email accounts of Clinton's staff; and staging the release of stolen data in order to heighten its impact on the 2016 presidential election.

The Trump campaign was involved. That much is clear from the grand jury's charging papers.

Posted by at January 31, 2019 12:02 AM