Nothing Burger With Wheeze

Given the ocean of blaring red type with which the Drudge Report greeted the news of the indictment of Paul Manafort and Richard Gates on Monday morning, you might have thought that here, at last, was the smoking gun in the Trump-colludes-with-Ruskies-to-snatch-the-election-from-Hillary narrative. I have no doubt the collective hearts of Max Boot, Gabe Schoenfeld, and Bill Kristol skipped a joyous beat when they heard tell of the indictments this weekend. “At last!” I could almost hear them exclaim, “It’s make-way-for-ducklings time! Trump will soon be gone and the power brokers will once again pay attention to us. Order in the universe will be restored.”

No such luck, friends. As Ted Cruz observed many months ago, the whole Russian collusion delusion is a “nothing burger.” Robert Mueller’s heavy-handed “let’s-squeeze-’em” pursuit of these two former players in Donald Trump’s campaign may make for dramatic headlines. And doubtless, it is a nuisance (and potentially more) for Messrs. Manafort and Gates, who, if they have incompetent lawyers, may face jail time and extensive fines. But really, at the end of the day, their alleged malfeasance, despite the “Conspiracy against the United States” heading in the indictment, amounts to concealing from Uncle Sam some $75 million they hoovered up as unregistered foreign agents for Ukraine and sending the proceeds through the rinse, suds, spin, and dry cycle back home in the United States. Naughty, yes; prosecutable, to be sure; but it has nothing to do with the assigned subject of Robert Mueller’s terrier-like activities as special counsel.

As my friend Andrew C. McCarthy put it in a characteristically incisive summary of the episode, Mueller’s case “seems shaky and overcharged” and will likely be a “boon to Trump,” who is not mentioned in the indictment, which focuses on activities that took place five and even 10 years ago, long before Donald Trump began disturbing the sleep of the NeverTrumpers.

“Even from Paul Manafort’s perspective,” McCarthy notes,

there may be less to this indictment than meets the eye — it’s not so much a serious allegation of “conspiracy against the United States” as a dubious case of disclosure violations and money movement that would never have been brought had he not drawn attention to himself by temporarily joining the Trump campaign.

Moreover, McCarthy continues, “From President Trump’s perspective, the indictment is a boon from which he can claim that the special counsel has no actionable collusion case.”

It appears to reaffirm former FBI director James Comey’s multiple assurances that Trump is not a suspect. And, to the extent it looks like an attempt to play prosecutorial hardball with Manafort, the president can continue to portray himself as the victim of a witch hunt.

A few days ago, the world was stunned by the news that 1) the original funder of the Fusion GPS anti-Trump research was the conservative website Washington Free Beacon, edited by Matthew Continetti, the son-in-law of energetic NeverTrumper Bill Kristol, and 2) when the Beacon ended its contract with Fusion GPS, its services were picked up by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. It was at that point, in May-June 2016, that Fusion GPS employed the former British Spy Christopher Steele to look for dirt on Trump in Russia. That was the origin of the infamous “Trump Dossier,” with its (in the words of former FBI director James Comey) “salacious and unverified” claims about Donald Trump’s behavior in Russia.

This whole story has been exhaustively and exhaustingly picked over. Who knew that Tony Podesta, older brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, was in bed (and in today’s climate, we must stipulate, not literally) with Paul Manafort? Yep, it’s true. And this just in—the elder Podesta has just announced that he is stepping down from his lobbying firm, the Podesta Group, after, nota bene, it was announced that Mueller was turning his jaundiced eye on him.

Who knew that the FBI, too, engaged the services of Spook Steele to continue gathering dirt on Trump? Did that work provide the rationale for the Obama Administration’s going to the FISA Court to get authorization to bug Trump’s associates? What about Robert Mueller? He was head of the FBI when that storied agency was prevailed upon not to announce it was investigating the Russian company that acquired Uranium One, and thereby some 20 percent of U.S. uranium assets, back when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and Barack Obama was still pursuing his “reset” with Russia. What’s going on there? And the $140 million (give or take) that found its way into the coffers of the Clinton Foundation around the time of that transfer? Or the $500,000 speaking  fee for a short speech by Bill Clinton, paid by a Russian bank working for the Russian company acquiring Uranium One? What about that?

It’s a carnival of corruption, a carnival of collusion, but the one name missing from the roster of malefactors is that of President Donald Trump. I believe this whole misbegotten investigation, in the end, will garner a lot of scalps. But the scalps will not, I suspect, be those of Trump or his supporters. Rather, the whole focus of the investigation is likely to shift to the real “colluders with Russia,” the Clintons and their enablers.

This is not a result, I surmise, that Robert Mueller will relish. But if he does not recuse himself (and there are good reasons that he should), I suspect that evidence of the real collusion—to deprive the United States of its lawfully elected president—will point in only one direction. It will be irresistible. And it won’t be directed against Donald Trump.

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182 responses to “Nothing Burger With Wheeze”

  1. There is a silver lining possible – exposure to just how much foreign money is flowing into and about Washington. Caveat Emptor – anything guided by Mueller and his team of Clintonistas is likely to steer clear of the obvious – an elderly fat lady in Chappaqua. So, do not hope for justice – just wait for exhaustion.

    • Yeah!
      And We can tell you exactly how many quarts of water in a tide change for the Potomac this morning.

  2. On the contrary, I expect he’ll find it eminently resistible.

  3. Trump’s campaign manager indicted for money laundering.
    Nothing to see there except how Trump and his followers can justify “swamp” like corruption when its them doing it.
    And only dopes use the phrase “nothing burger”.

    • We would just love for you to establish a link between Trump and this

      money laundering. I’m sorry, what’s that? You can’t? Quelle surprise.

      If one of these dilberts broke the law, prosecute them. If there’s a link between Trump and any corruption or “collusion,” establish it. But you can’t do that, so you engage in cheap sniping from the peanut gallery instead.

      • Trump hires money launderers. That’s the connection.

      • Still better than Hillary, who actually *IS* a money launderer.

      • Hills IS a money launderer. Let’s get them all.

      • Compare the number of his comments with the number of upvotes – it clearly indicates that he spends all his time on conservative sites where no one agrees with him. He’s a leftling troll, seeking only to distract, deflect and disrupt.

        Many of the trolls have 20,000 – 50,000+ comments, which means they’d have to be doing this full time, probably paid by Obama’s Organizing for America, which trains, funds and organizes Occupy, BLM and Antifa.

      • Right. Before Trump was elected I trolled tree hugging environmental web sits in Saskatchewan.
        And those bastards are really mean up there.

      • Soros! Alinsky! ACORN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Run, droolers, run!

      • It means he leave his echo chamber which I suggest you do.

    • …but hey, let’s forget that Manafort was fired when all this came up. He was with the campaign from May16 to Aug 16.

      • She’s not all that smart but that was fairly obvious from her comments. No more catnip for kitty.

  4. Mueller should recuse himself straight to a cell in federal prison.

    • AG Sessions should immediately appoint a different SC to look into the Uranium One, Pay to Play and Coverup. If he won’t Trump needs to fire him and get someone honorable like we thought Jeff Sessions was.

      • Sessions can unrecuse himself in that instance and prosecute directly. if even necessary, as this is not about the campaign any longer.

        More importantly, why hasn’t he?

  5. This fiasco illustrates the futility of special prosecutors. Most of the time they completely fail to establish the guilt of the people they’re supposedly investigating, and settle for a conviction; any conviction to justify their job.

    Scooter Libby’s conviction didn’t have damned thing to do with “outing” Plame, nor was Martha Stewart convicted of insider trading. This goes all the way back to the Whitewater investigation, in which the investigation of a shady land deal ended up prying into Bill Clinton’s sex life.

    This money laundering has nothing to do with the Trump administration, but special prosecutors gotta prosecute, yo!

    P.S. Whoever designed this web site should be horsewhipped, tarred, and feathered. I’m getting seasick watching the screen bob up & down while I’m trying to type in a comment. If you’re looking for a way to make sure I never come back, you’ve found it.

    • Totally agree on all counts.

      The screen jumps up and down the whole time. It sticks constantly, and I
      get messages – galore – entitled ‘Security Alert’ saying ‘the
      name on the security certificate is invalid or does not match the
      name of the site; so do I want to block it?’ It takes ages to get
      through one article under the difficulties threaded through and
      through its tranmission.

      Greatness’ is my favorite reading on the Internet and much the
      hardest thing I nowadays find to do.

    • Right about the web page spasms!
      I’ve written to Mr. Buskirk about it to no avail.
      Maybe after someone files a law suit for these pages causing an epileptic seizure, will they fix it.

    • In Libby’s case, moreover, they knew from the start who had outed Palme and they left him alone.

  6. I don’t think the conspiracy charge on attempting to evade US taxes is that shaky. Under IRC Section 1.956 its a big no no to use a controlled foreign corp to acquire US property and then use of those funds to distribute or loan funds to the US shareholder(s) on a non-taxable basis. Time will tell

    I think others have indicated (and for which i agree) what all this is really indicative is of the fact that Trump had absolutely no idea how to properly staff and run a campaign. No real surprise there. Papandopolous listed the model UN as a reference on his resume. And Manafort was tagged simply to get Trump through the RNC convention without it blowing up, which he accomplished. However its now coming back to bite.

    • Yeah, it’s too bad that from all those GOP candidates, we couldn’t find even one competent, organized, brilliant, principled, genuine conservative constitutional expert who could name a hundred solid conservative judicial nominees from memory and give inspirational speeches about the greatness of America without notes or a ‘prompter, who was a former national debate champion and didn’t have an army of skeletons in 24K gold closets.

      I guess that’s why we were forced to let the GOPe and the media choose a NY liberal Democrat for us instead.

      Oh, wait…

  7. Want to know what Dems are doing? Look at what they accuse Republicans of.

  8. “Rather, the whole focus of the investigation is likely to shift to the real “colluders with Russia,” the Clintons and their enablers.” Roger Kimball

    I agree that Fusion GPS is where the investigation needs to go to expose real Russian collusion, but it is very important that Mueller not be the one to do it.
    No, we must not allow Mueller to investigate Fusion GPS, for I now suspect Mueller would poison that investigation intentionally were he and his partisan team allowed first full access to the evidence and witnesses.
    I’m becoming suspicious that allowing Mueller to control the Fusion GPS scandal was the real reason Comey conspired to get a special counsel investigation. Comey knew from the beginning there was nothing on Trump, but needed to get in the backdoor to control the Fusion GPS investigation and get Mueller to poison it like he did on the Hillary Email scandal.
    Pundits and commenters need to stop demanding Mueller investigate Fusion GPS and instead demand he resign and begin a whole new separate investigation.

    • “To control the opposition, become the opposition”
      –V. Lenin

    • Perhaps I am a pie-in-the-sky optimist but it seems to me that Trump would have already seen the possible problems with Mueller and his all Democrat-donor team. Think about this – what can the leftists say if Mueller and his team shut down the investigation in six months and say “there was no Russia-Trump collusion.”?

      Oh, I am sure they will continue to try to come up with excuses but it kills them with independents and sway-able voters.

      • His team is not all Democratic (note correct spelling); last I heard, it was about 40 percent Democrats and the rest were Republicans. That’s what’s going to happen in a “two party” country, some will be Democrats and some will be Republicans.

      • Note that “Democrat-donor’ is absolutely correct spelling and your reaction to it just confirms your snowflake status.

        9 of 16 Mueller lawyers have donated to Democrats, none are on record as giving to a Republican presidential campaign, although 1 – who gave to Clinton and Obama – once donated to a non-presidential Republican candidate (presumably a business contact). Your math is as bad as your spelling BTW – Democrats make up is not less than 56% of the team but given the job history of the remainder, it is likely 100%.

      • Donations to the various political candidates is FUNDAMENTAL information suggesting, predicting?, the probable outcomes of any “investigation” by such a corporate group.

        Which no doubt shall be accepted by “The People who Count” with the same surprise and dismay as the “exposure” of the Hollywood magnate Harvey Weinstein’ love and respect (care and compassion?) for nubile persons of the female persuasion.

        OR that of his intimate colleague the “two for the price of one” Feminist President. Who served their apprentice ship as “First Couple” of “The Great State if Arkansas”.

        After education at one of the most illustrious, exclusive, institutions of higher learning in the land.

    • He can’t reliably be asked to investigate himself or his own agency, surely?

    • What exactly was the Fusion GPS scandal? Opposition research, that came from foreigners, but not from the Russian state.

  9. A short poem….. Well as I often hear people say…… Turnabout is fair play!

  10. I suspect there will actually be few indictments. This nothing burger was designed to take the heat of Mueller, Comey, and Rosenstein from the Uranium One Russian collusion investigation that showed none of the three should have had anything to do with the Trump investigation. So, that cover up will continue and there is no way Mueller will go against his own interests and those of Hillary and Obama in the Uranium One investigation. Besides all that, the numerous leaks in the Mueller investigation most likely came right from the top and Mueller really does not want to investigate them.

  11. While these events do not implicate Trump’s collusion, they don’t exactly reflect well on his judgment. When was the last presidential campaign manager indicted? In the private sector, he had hosts of employees. He should know how to recruit. I guess we should be glad that he’s left so many positions unfilled. The good news is that the replacement hires are generally better than the first ones. Keep hope alive!

    • Sometimes a person looks good on paper but tanks in real life. Manafort was only onboard for 3 months and then he was fired.

      • Yeah, but Trump was supposed to be draining the swamp, not fishing in it.

  12. Mueller may be starting out with small potatoes / nothing burgers… could have a lot more up his sleeve.

    • Getting hard to stuff anything else with all the Federal cash in his sleeves.

  13. There is no such statute as “conspiracy against the united states” unless we are at war with a country, which we are not. Show me the statute.

  14. Your a rasist bigget llamaphobe! There all going to jale! In 2020 Trump will LOOSE and Clinton will win by a lanslide! PERSIST & RESIST!

  15. Either Trump did know that his Campaign Manager was a crook taking foreign money from highly dubious sources, which makes Trump complicit in hiding a crime and an idiot for giving him the job, or he didn’t know, which just makes him grossly incompetent and a dreadful judge of character. On balance the latter seems more likely – he doesn’t seem very interested in anyone not bearing the name Donald J. Trump after all. When you consider that his other advisers were lying to the FBI or even, as was the case for Michael Flynn, literally foreign agents at the time of their hiring, it doesn’t smell great for a guy who’s supposed to be the commander in chief and protector of America’s security.

    • Pretty stupid comment. THESE activities of Mantafort happened a decade ago and far, far away in a foreign land called Ukraine, NOT Russia, but Ukraine.

      Just how would Trump have known about a person’s illicit activities a decade before Trump hires him? You’d need some proof that he did and you offer none and none has ever been produced.

      You are a prime example of people who just hate so much they are unable to think straight.

      • They were pro-Russian Ukrainians who were under Putin’s control, which is just as bad as actual Russians.

      • So you’re saying that he’s not a crook after all? It’s all fine because the crimes originate in Ukraine not Russia? Nothing to see here, move along…

  16. Now the professor named in the Popodoculous indictment refutes POPPO’s story. The campaign says POPPO is lying. And you guessed it- POPPO himself says he is a liar in a signed court guilty plea. This is how you fabricate and perpetuate a ‘case’ when none actually exists.

  17. Get a professional web designer, AG. Your website is unreadable, with the page constantly loading and reloading photos and videos, jumping up and down, to the point that one can’t possibly care enough about the possible content to put up with the aggravation of trying to read it.

  18. Yet, we hear that ‘ol Hilly—now back on her feet, even with those swollen ankles and a broken toe—is gearing-up to start calling for Prez Trump’s IMPEACHMENT!!

    Yes, she’s evidently taken enough walks thru the woods and is in tip-top form to start taking it the Repub’s—all of us DEPLORABLES, who a year ago, changed the course of American history by ferreting-out the stinkin’ thinkin’ and corruption of the left.

    Seems the more we dig, the more we’re seeing and smelling of the Clinton/Obama/DNC cabal, yet ‘ol Hilly is poised to grab the baton of the left, even as her life ‘n times are being tossed on the trash heap of history.

    There seems to be a BIG, BIG disconnect . . . in the deep depths of the mind of this defeated, delusional, deranged woman.

    Hey, Chelsea and Billy Boy . . . time for the family to step in and get her some HELP!!

  19. Just WOW! This article must have been hastily written up within the couple hours between the Manafort announcement and the Papadopulous revelation. Or just more Trumpian WILLFUL ignorance.

    • Wow! Your post is the only wilful ignorance I see here, although I a sure there are many more like you who hate so much you cannot think straight.

      YES, Mueller and Rosenstein covered up the bribes, kickbacks and extortion that the wusskies were doing to get the uranium market in the US and they knew from the informant that the wusskies were funneling money to the Clintons to curry favor. What is not mentioned in the largest domestic spy ring bust since the cold war happened the day Bill gave that speech in Moscow, and the 10 wusskie spies were directed to spend a decade getting into Hillary’s entourage. Hillary had them whisked out of the country before the FBI could even announce the bust and question the spies.

      Oh, by the way, the confidential informant who fed that info on bribes,. etc. to Mueller will be testifying in front of Congress next week. Pass the popcorn!

  20. This article and this comment section is doodoodoodoodoodoodoodooo (in my Twilight Zone tune) Lol :-D

  21. Trumpers: Al Trump has to do is fire Mueller and tell Sessions to appoint an Independent Counsel to investigate Uranium One. Do any of you think Trump has the courage to do those two things?

    • No doubt he has the courage- and the balls to do it. No doubt whatsoever.

      BUT the thing is, he doesn’t need to do it, and even if he did, now wouldn’t be a good time to do it. Mueller is presently busy fking himself in his own backside, and as Napoleon so famously said (paraphrased here), “when the enemy is doing something foolish, don’t get in his way.”

      • sikologik: How is Mueller fucking himself in his own ass? Explain the details.

      • He is effectively fanning the flames of a set of issues that, if properly investigated by Congress, is far more likely to implicate him than it is to implicate Donald Trump. On the one hand, the indictments handed down this week do more to exonerate Trump than they do to implicate him. On the other hand, it keeps alive the entire Russia collusion narrative in a time when it is becoming clear that more likely than not those who may have actually colluded are Democrats, specifically Obama for America, Hillary for America, and the DNC itself. Should this become the focus of an investigation, it very easily could lead to the cronied up, crooked pay-to-play scheme wherein Barack and Hillary conspired to sell 20% of US Uranium mining rights to the Soviets in exchange for hundreds of millions in donations back to the Clinton Foundation, all while Bob Mueller was the director of the FBI.

        I mean really. We should all be applauding Trump’s ability to stand in the middle of the DC cesspool that Barack left behind and not pass out from the stink!

      • sikologik: If what your post said is true, that’s all the more reason for Trump to fire Mueller and appoint another Independent counsel to investigate Mueller/Clinton/Democratic connections to Russia. Americans deserve to know what Mueller, Clinton and the Democrats were up to with the Russians. Firing Mueller and appointing a different Independent counsel would immediately clear Trump and put the focus on the Democrats which, in turn. would help Trump’s chances for 2020. Why hasn’t Trump fired Mueller and appointed a new independent counsel? The longer he waits, the more difficult it will be politically for Trump to fire Mueller and appoint a new independent counsel.

      • By and large, I disagree with your assessment here. For one thing, it’s still the case that firing Mueller will have significant political blowback on Trump himself. Although it becomes more and more clear just WHO was in bed with Russia, there are many people in this country who A: believe the investigation has merit, and B: actually believe the MSM, which will do everything possible to indict Trump on their own should he fire Mueller. Leaving Mueller in place gives Trump an air of transparency, and if he’s not guilty (and he knows if he is or not), then that transparency comes at a small cost. This is not to say the time won’t come to fire Mueller. For example, if and when Devin Nunez unravels it from his side, should he find Bob Mueller at the other end of the string, then Trump wins bigly: 1. He has allowed Mueller to bumble through an investigation that produces very little, and 2. Mueller, who was tasked with investigating these things, is proven to have not looked to hard for fear of accidentally implicating himself (as well as Hillary, Barack, Loretta, Jim Comey, etc. likely).

        For another thing, Devin Nunez is already investigating from inside of congress, and he’s doing a reasonably good job of keeping on the trail, despite significant roadblocks being thrown up by anybody who thinks they can. I won’t call that investigation nonpartisan as i doubt it is, but it’s at least no more partisan than is the special counsel’s.

        Third, your argument that the longer Trump waits to fire Mueller, the more difficult it will be can be countered as follows: the longer Trump allows for Mueller to find nothing, the more ridiculous, partisan, and petty the entire investigation looks, and the better Trump looks. It could in fact be very politically savvy for Trump to just give Mueller all the rope he wants, knowing the only person likely to be hanged by it is Mueller himself.

        As more information comes out, from weak indictments over things that happened years before the Trump campaign was even a thing to revelations about the fake dossier, who paid for it, how it connects into Russia, and so on, along with the Uranium One fiasco and who was sitting in what seats during that, the better this looks for Republicans and Donald Trump in particular. In short, from all angles right now, the enemy appears engaged in foolish activity, and Donald Trump would be wise to allow them to continue unimpeded.

      • Essentially you think that all Trump has to do is wait for Mueller and Devin Nunes to give him political cover to fire Mueller because then it will look as though Trump has a reason for firing Mueller. Here’s why that theory is wrong.
        Right now, Trump has the best chance he’ll ever have of firing Mueller and making it stick. Trump can plausibly say that Mueller’s indictments of Manafort and Gates have nothing to do with any Trump connections/collusion to Russia and that George Papadopoulos was a very minor functionary of the Trump campaign. Trump’s justification for firing Mueller will be that he’s had six months to investigate any collusion/contacts with Russia by the Trump campaign and he hasn’t found any. There were some meetings (Trump, Jr. had one and Papadopoulos had perhaps several) but nothing came of any of those meetings. Firing Mueller for those reasons would cause a storm but Trump would probably survive it by claiming that if he’d colluded with Russia, Mueller would have found the evidence by now.
        Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager and …” was under active investigation by multiple federal agencies including the CIA, FBI and NSA. The investigations were based on intercepted Russian communications. It was later confirmed that Manafort was wiretapped by the FBI before and after the 2016 election …when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.” (Source is Wikipedia.)
        Mueller knows what’s in Manafort’s intercepted communications with Russia. If any of Manafort’s communications with Trump were intercepted then Mueller knows what Manafort told Trump about Russia. That’s a big “if” but an important one. If Mueller knows what Manafort told Trump about Russia and there is evidence of collusion Mueller would likely have indicted Manafort (and Trump?) for that. If there’s no such evidence or some but not enough to convict for collusion then Mueller will have to lean on Manafort to snitch on Trump to get that evidence. My guess is that the latter scenario is true. In short, Mueller doesn’t have evidence (or enough of it) to indict anyone for it right now. Given time, that could well change.
        I’d advise Trump fire Mueller, pardon Manafort, Gates and Papadopoulos and ask Jeff Sessions or Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel to investigate possible Clinton collusion with Russia. Doing those three things wouldn’t make Trump any more unpopular with the people who don’t like him or any less popular with his supporters. Some Republicans in the house and senate may complain but they won’t do anything about it.

      • When has Trump ever shown any “courage”? The answer is never.

      • Well, since you answered your own question, I guess there’s nothing left to debate.

    • Trump can appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Uranium One any time he wants. The fact that he hasn’t, even after PROMISING to lock up HRC, proves that that is the real “nothing burger.”

  22. What a show this will be when Manafort’s Lawyers get to play. The special prosecutor has to investigate crimes spelled out
    in his contract and there are none. A judge will end Mueller’s witch hunt.

  23. YES!!!!

    All we have to do is totally ignore the FACT that there’s a guilty plea in a second case, nitpick the Manafort / Gates indictments, and claim “overcharge” and it’s a “Nothingburger”

    What a freaking lie this column is.

    Look, trumpzos, here’s reality:

    1. The bigger story is the Papadopolous guilty plea. And your correspondent, Mr. Simon, is it, he totally pretends that didn’t happen at all…

    Little Georgie was caught in July, and allowed to plead to a lesser charge in October, after 3 months of “proactive” cooperation.

    We now know that the trump campaign knew that Russia had hacked the DNC and Clinton as early as April 2016. All the denials by trump, all the “400 pound guys in bed” and all the “our intel agencies don’t know,” ALL LIES.
    We now know that the Russians were actively looking to work with trump while he had the GOP soften its platform on Russia and Ukraine. Quid pro quo?

    How much more than that do Mueller and the FBI know, after 3 months of “proactive cooperation” leading to a deal where Papadopolous pled to the least possible crime?

    2. The Manafort / Gates indictment is, in essence, money laundering & tax evasion on 75 million dollars. 75 million. Not failure to report a few lunches, not some cash for a quick consult. 75 million. A 10 year scheme.

    Manafort is about 70 but Gates is young.

    Who wants to do 15 – 20 years? Which one will grab at the golden ring of leniency to cut that sentence.? Manafort? Wanna see the grandkids, ever? Gates? Wanna have a life, Gates, or wanna spend ages 45 – 65 in the can?

    Who wants to go first?

    Sorry, trumpzos, this column is as dishonest as trump telling you it was a 400 pound guy in bed.

    • You can only hope what you say is true because you have nothing else. It is hilarious that you would place your eggs in the Papa basket when nothing whatsoever resulting from any of his efforts to make himself a big shot. I can’t help but laugh at you and others who have reacted so hysterically to the news of the guilty plea. OH, maybe he wore a wire and who knows what might be on that tape? Except that your referring to a time period after the election when this guy had no access to anyone. It is so funny that you guys would focus on a single picture of the one meeting the foreign policy adviser group had with Trump back in March 2016 as if that means anything at all. Keep it up as your desperation is music to our ears as is the comic relief of watching you guys flit from one meaningless story to the next.

      • I don’t “hope,” I know that what I’m saying is true (I worked with Federal investigators on three prosecutions and I know how they work), and I am not “placing my eggs in the Papa basket.

        What I am telling you is this:
        -the fact that the FBI KNEW to talk to Papadopolous in JANUARY 2017 (before Comey was fired, before Mueller was hired), shows you that they knew something of his contacts with Russian operatives.
        -the fact that they knew that the good Mr. P was lying in January 2017 shows you that they knew the substance of his contacts with Russian operatives.
        -the fact that they brought him in and flipped him and then let him plea to the lightest possible charge tells you that they got something from him in the 3 months between the arrest and the plea.

        These facts tell you that there’s more in Mueller’s files than you are aware of. Probably, much more.

        And, as to eggs in “the” Papa basket???
        Are you kidding?

        Known to have contacts with Russian operatives and, in most cases, known to have lied or failed to disclose them:
        -George Papadopolous
        -donald j. trump, jr.
        -Jefferson Beauregard Sessions
        -Paul Manafort
        -Jared Kushner (“um, can we set up a back channel?”)

        That’s as of today.

        That’s a decent number of baskets holding the eggs. Indeed, you might ask whether anyone in the trump campaign was not dealing with Russian operatives.

        Denial: Not just a river in Egypt.

  24. I’m sure that anyone appointed special prosecutor fantasizes about bringing down a trophy target, and especially about a president. The whole Russia collusion thing seems unlikely, but it’s hard to believe that diligent research won’t uncover something Trump has done in the past 40 years that isn’t prosecutable. Shoot, diligent research on most of us would probably uncover something that is prosecutable. It would seem a misunderstanding of human nature to think that Mueller will either shift his focus to the Clintons or stick with the job of answering the Russian collusion question. He’s a hunter. Trump is the 8 point buck.

  25. I hope that the dirtball Kristol wakes up every night in a clod sweat every night after his Trump nightmares.

  26. Perkins Coie, the legal firm representing the Clinton campaign, DNC, and many Congressional Democrats, hired Fusion GPS. The former head of Perkins Coie, Bauer, was also Obama’s White House Council.
    I imagine several clients mentioned above were provided with details of the Fusion GPS dossier and a conspiracy of leaks, unmaskings, and surveillance designed to cinch the Presidency for Clinton and, later, undermine the transition of the Trump Presidency was begun.
    Unfortunately for Mueller, his prior competence as FBI Director is now questioned after details involving a cover up of a Russian bribery scheme which should have nixed the Uranium One deal was discovered. He failed to inform the necessary committees of Congress and an informant who threatened to tell Congress was forced to sign an NDA…another conspiracy perhaps?
    Mueller could earn his keep if he turned and investigated the collaboration in conspiracy revolving around Perkins Coie, Fusion GPS, the Democratic party, some GOP members, and coordination with Russian “operatives”, including false narratives, that sought to undermine the transition of the Trump Presidency after Hillary lost.

  27. There is NO evidence that candidate Trump colluded with the Russians. Zero.
    There is a growing body of evidence that the Clinton campaign, the DNC and Fusion GPS colluded with the Russian to produce the discredited “dossier” and paid many millions of $ for it. It will be interesting to see whose names are on the checks and on the bank records. In addition, Mueller’s and Mueller’s FBI’s connections to Fusion GPS and the discredited dossier used as justification for surveilling the Trump campaign (surveillance that was famously abused by the likes of Samantha Powers and Susan Rice) need to be investigated.

  28. You simply can’t make up stuff like this. It is painfully obvious that Mueller should step aside, but he won’t since he knows all hell would break loose if Trumps sacks him (even for good reasons). It seems that he has a clear motive to protect himself from what the FBI failed to do under his leadership withe respect to the Uranium One fiasco. The swamp lives on.

  29. A prosecutor knows to first go after the small fry, find evidence of their wrong-doing, offer them a deal: tell me all you know about all those above you, and it will work in your favor.

    Go to the next level, repeat — all the way up to the top of the White House.

  30. Lefties are shaking in their Toms! Their howling for impeachment grows and they only have fake polls to work with.

    • Let them, it’s exhausting them and so much entertainment.

  31. All these nothing-burger claims are based on the idea that ONLY proven collusion can make a burger taste meaty.

    At the same time, we hear about how (stay with me) Hillary’s campaign-chair’s brother’s legal activities are the real scandal, and not the federal indictment for 12 counts including conspiracy against the US and acting as a foreign agent brought against Trump’s ACTUAL campaign chair DURING THE TIME HE SERVED AS CAMPAIGN CHAIR.

    And republican voters are buying it wholesale. (maybe a better writer could have continued the burger analogy, maybe something about the dollar menu at Wendy’s)

    • Collusion? Hmm, nowhere do I search high and low is there a criminal let alone a civil statute for “collusion”… as a crime.

      How can an indictment for a non crime be produced by a Grand Jury?

      Mueller is in search of other things… as demonstrated in his recent hosing of the 3 in his indictments that lacked the magic unicorn “collusion”.

      • You are correct – Mueller is in search of other things in addition to collusion. You are the one that is claiming that collusion is a magic unicorn.

  32. For all the chatter, one of Mueller’s objectives is probably to preserve Comey’s tattered rep if possible. Paint him as merely stupid rather than crooked as well.

  33. The entire DC ruling class certainly gives the impression of rampant criminality, corruption and abuse of power, the kind we normally would associate with the Russian oligarchy.

    • The demographic surrounding Washington DC is the richest in the USA… a recent phenom

      • Yep. It’s the very definition of declining productivity when the political class and its globalist hangers-on are getting rich while the rest of the country goes to pieces.

  34. Roger, after viewing the line-up in the Mueller dugout, can you even consider possible that the teensy-est sacrifice fly will be taken for their team, the Democrats?

    If so, let’s talk bridges for sale in Brooklyn and Queens.

  35. There is no amount of evidence to convince Trump supporters that this presidency is gone (even though Steve Bannon noticed it months ago). The logic here fails to address the George P plea and the likelihood that others will come forward. It’s not surprising that the Clintons may have done some dirty deals with the Kremlin but there is no rule that only one party can be guilty at a time. The government should indeed examine the uranium deal but there is no rush because as most people have noticed Hillary Clinton is not the president.

  36. If the “squeeze” were successful, wouldn’t they be wiring-up and singing like coffee-boy George, instead of lawyering-up to announce their intention to fight tooth and nail against the absurd charges?

    • Don’t get me wrong because we are talking about really small fry here, but: Uncle Sam isn’t going to look the other way at 75 million dollars’ worth of tax evasion. As a criminal charge, “money laundering” is merely tax evasion that’s been kicked up a notch. Fedzilla regularly jails tax protesters who willfully refuse to report five-digit incomes, so it’s not about to overlook a sum this big.

      • Then why didn’t Bush’s or Obama’s DOJ pursue the matter. The alleged “crimes” are 5 to 10 years old and have nothing to do with Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s collusion with Russia. For that reason alone, any fair judicial system with throw it out for being an obvious political witch hunt.

      • It hasn’t been prosecuted prior to this because no US attorney had knowledge of it. Mueller is inarguably far, far outside the scope of his commission as a special prosecutor. That the charges have almost nothing to do with so-called Russian meddling does nothing to excuse the alleged criminal activity. Remember, Mueller successfully convinced a jury that sufficient probable cause exists to prosecute the defendants at trial. Having done a relatively paltry bit of jury duty recently, I can tell you from experience that convincing nearly two dozen bored people who’d rather be doing anything else besides sitting in a jury box for months on end isn’t exactly light duty.

        Don’t worry about Manafort and Gates. He’s more than wealthy enough to secure the best legal defense that money can buy for both of them. While they may not completely escape culpability, guys like them don’t usually serve hard time.

      • Seems to me the best possible news for Trump, as it shows they’ve got nothing on him, and not enough on anybody else to entice them lie to entangle Trump. Now they’re stuck prosecuting Manafort for peanuts (or maybe Trump’s DOJ does that, not sure?) while Trump’s sits pretty. So no worries at all.

      • Well, hopefully, but it’s not over until the witch hunter turns off the lights and goes home for the last time. As former New York State Chief Judge Sol Wachtler so famously said in 1985, prosecutors hold so much sway over grand juries that it’s not difficult for them get a ham sandwich indicted if that’s what they wanted.

      • Another reason for a cool head like Manafort not to worry over these petty indictments, and bide his time for his day in court. Conrad Black seems to have called it much like I did in that regard; he even thinks Mueller may have to turn the tables on Clinton and the Dems, as that’s where all the hard evidence is leading.

  37. Wishful thinking. Everyone knew Manafort was just the start for Mueller and that indictment was expected. Manafort’s resume reads like that of a demon. Trump can try and distance himself all he wants but Manafort was running his campaign and is a man whose own daughter thinks he has never had a moral compass at all and is a psycho which made him and Trump perfect allies. This is the start. Mueller is starting with the small and working his way up. If that means some democrats and democrat lobbyists so be it, but it is also gonna mean some more Trump folks and hopefully Trump himself.

    • It’s already been a full year, yet you’re still not rid of Trump. How many more years do you propose to wait for this Nirvana of No More Trump to occur while increasing numbers of voters continue to stampede away from your party at election time?

      • I’m not a democrat and I’m fine with the investigation taking as long as necessary. Trump supporters didn’t seem to care how long investigations of Hillary went on. I couldn’t stand Hillary either so that didn’t bother me so much. An investigation like this can take years. Mueller is basically approaching it like a RICO investigation where they work to take down an entire criminal enterprise. I’m willing to give Mueller as much time and resources as it takes to find out where this all goes.

    • I read about Adolf Hitler once. Can you imagine my complicity in… whatever?


  38. Whatever you hear about people in Washington, assume the opposite.

    “Comey is a straight shooter” Could anybody shoot less straight?
    “Mueller is honest” From what I hear, he is anything but
    “Hillary doesn’t like Russia” She just takes millions of dollars from them
    “Obama is smart” ….according to dumbasses
    “Republicans are in bed with Russia” but all the money, motive and actions were on the democrats side of the ledger.

  39. Sessions, Kushner, and Junior seem to be particularly vexed over the “Nothing Burger”. Maybe because theirs was delivered by that guy with the funny name; Snufalufagus, Pooperdopperlus, Guiltyallofus.

    or as his friends call him; COOPERATING WITNESS.

  40. The writer appears not to know how large-scale criminal prosecutions work — one indictement at a time. He also ignores a recent guilty plea by a Trump advisor regarding lying about contacts with agents of the Russian government. That the writer does not find bothersome the fact that Trump’s presidential campaign manager was colluding with Russians in criminal activity — even if before the campaign began — is his business. Other people however may find this, and the repeated contacts with Russians, both before and during the campaign, by people closely related to the now POTUS something more than a “nothing burger.”

    • Lying about perfectly legal contacts, contacts no more illegal than the Russian lawyer at Trump Tower – a meeting Manafort attended. BTW, didn’t Papa meet with impostors posing as Russian officials and Putin’s daughter? It’s not a crime to be duped by con men.

  41. Good analysis right up to the end.

    There is no way that political hack Mullingthrough actually goes after Klinton Inc. and its henchmen.





    Take out a mortgage and bet the farm on that.

  42. While logic and plain facts would dictate this scenario accurately, I would suggest that both Mueller and the entire MSM media will ignore both and continue to focus on such things as whether Donald Jr. might recently have eaten at a NY Russian restaurant, and all that that implies–at least based on the facts as they would like them to be and the logic they prefer to apply.

    • If you read the article you would have noticed that Uranium One was one of FIVE companies OK’d to export to Canada, then “Europe.” Last time anyone checked, there’s about 85% of “Europe” that has absolute ZERO to do with Russia.


      In the article,


      “The United States actually imports the majority of the uranium it uses as fuel. In 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 24 percent of the imports came from Kazakhstan and 14 percent came from Russia.”

      So who gets uranium from whom?

  43. this article is nothing burger propaganda promoting Pussy Grabber’s views. hack job by faux journalist.

    • Thanks for explaining in such great detail why Mr. Kimball is so very wrong!

      Oh, wait — nothingburger. Just like your Party of Looters’ chances at the polls. Troll on, comrade!

      • you republiklan males all sound alike.

        you insult me while you proudly support a racist sexual predator.

        (gives DPlorable unum a woodie to hate on women, he’s just like his Pussy Grabbing pal in that way. )

      • this devoted follower of a racist Pussy Grabber and serial liar who betrayed America to a foreign enemy thinks that choice makes him smart and superior.


      • After 14 months, nobody can hear you scream, Snowflake. Lawl.

      • Lawl, indeed. Pretty sure this one’s a thumb- typist.

      • i’ll leave trump’s ball washing to you, lick em clean.

      • What’s funny is you fools still have no idea why you’re unfit to govern.

      • yet we know exactly why republiKlans, even with control of the WH and both houses of congress, STILL CANNOT GOVERN.

        go genuflect in front of your favorite Pussy Grabber, comrade.

      • I heard he uses distilled sebum squeezins from teenage girls to power his diesel limo on his trips to Mar a Lago.

  44. Roger, Roger, Roger.

    You will regret having written this when the meat of the investigation gets served up sizzling hot and you won’t have a bun to hold it with.

    • You’ve been shaking your fist and sneering for a year now. If you’re not careful, your face just might freeze in that expression permanently. Billy Idol is sooo 1983, dont’cha think?

      • In July 1973 Nixon’s defenders were telling people something quite like this:
        “You’ve been shaking your fist and sneering for a year now. If you’re not careful, your face just might freeze in that expression permanently.”

      • Keep on sneering, Komrade! Just don’t be too surprised to discover that perpetually screeching “We wuz ROBBED!” won’t work with the American people at election time any better than identity politics did the last time around.

      • I’m not sneering now any more than I was in July 1973.

      • Alright, now; stop it! I’m gettin’ a tummyache! ????

      • Do you suppose that a lifetime of alcohol abuse has irreversibly ulcerated your stomach lining?

  45. Im surprised none of the old cold war warriors have touched on something…

    The entire DNC/Hillary/Podesta/Steel et al operation is so… Soviet/KGB ish (it should be a word if it isn’t already)

    Its a classic textbook dirty trick / disinformation campaign

    Plant the seed (narrative) COLLUDE with sources (Russian Intel and Political members in this case) by paying them to tell a story to whoever needs it whenever it is needed (the trump dossier narrative)

    Have a cutout (DNC Clinton Campaign Lawyers) point an unwitting or witting agent (Larry Steele) to the aforementioned and let him “Discover” the info (dossier)

    Spread the Information .

    The client in this case IS the DNC , The agent Handler is the Podesta Group, The cutout is the Clinton and DNC Law firm. The financial cutout is the Clinton Foundation. The agency is Fusion GPS and the agent (probably witting) is Larry Steele)

    One of the things that is very telling is Hillary’s most used expression – THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT……(fill in the blank with any one of here countless crimes)

    Of course there isn’t Hillary – that is why you pay your people the big bucks

    • Planting a seed?
      “A” seed?

      Known to have contacts with Russian operatives during the trump campaign, and, in most cases, known to have lied about them or affirmatively failed to disclose them:
      -George Papadopolous
      -donald j. trump, jr.
      -Jefferson Beauregard Sessions
      -Paul Manafort
      -Jared Kushner (“um, can we set up a back channel?”)

      That’s as of today.

      That’s a lot of seed.

    • That’s why the investigation needs to conclude. We need proof one way or another for all of this.

  46. Hey Rog, what about that side order of Papadopoulos? Yeah, dip that in your ketchup all you hypocrites who last spring thought Mueller was the best thing since the sesame seed bun.

  47. People are probably going to jail, you should ask them if it’s a nothing-burger.

    • Yeah.

      Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein and The Coughing Drunk.

      “Revenge is a dish, best served cold.”

  48. “And the $140 million (give or take) that found its way into the coffers of the Clinton Foundation around the time of that transfer?”

    Around the time? How about three years earlier? Before Obama was even president. And the was after Guistra sold his stake in Uranium One, so he gained nothing from the 2010 sale. That goes past spin into lies. So goes the article.. furiously spinning up a distraction.

    • Your God, Obama and his satanic concubine HRC are going to prison. You can write them letters.

      • You can’t disagree with the facts, but you want them to go to prison regardless. That what they do in banana republics, which is now the Republican goal for the US. Seems like that might be the only way to keep the Russia probe from finding out the truth.

  49. “Naughty, yes; prosecutable, to be sure; but it has nothing to do with the assigned subject of Robert Mueller’s terrier-like activities as special counsel.”

    That statement is willful blindness. The indictment specifically has nothing to do with collusion. But it’s an obvious step to the next step in the investigation.

    Who was paying Mannafort? Russian allies and Russians. What banks did he use? Ones in Cyprus, that are strongly connected to Russia. These are the oligarchs money laundering banks. Did the Russian spymasters know about this? There is no way they weren’t tracking Mannafort. So they could well have known that Mannafort was laundering money and breaking US laws. That’s called ‘compromat’ in Russian, and its enormous leverage when its information that could bring decades in jail. So what did the Russians do with this leverage? We’ll find out.

      • Maybe someone can explain why when you are under investigation for colluding with Russia it might not be good to have people closely involved with you being compromised by Russia, and you didn’t know or care. Why would you not care? That could cause huge issues. There is no good reason. Seems like logic isn’t your forte.

  50. Obviously, “GOT’S NUTHIN” Mueller’s still GOT NUTHIN.

    My advice to him, Comey, Rosenstein and The Coughing Drunk?

    Time to LAWYER UP.

  51. Is it a good idea to have Mueller in charge of this?

  52. I would agree with the author but for one thing. The recent history of this nation is not investigate Democrat scandals only supposed Republican scandals. If you are Republican, or support Republicans you are obviously either racist or corrupt. This is the world we live in.

  53. It’s FUNDAMENTALLY “the games played by the ethical professionals of The Law”.

    Disproportionately “representative” of the 300 millions plus “self governing through representation Citizens” in the Legislature – the Law Making agency – of those citizens.

    “The LORDS Of The Rings”. Who OWN the nation.

    Don’t be fooled by that fairy tale told to children, drunks, certifiable lunatics and idiots that THIS Nation, the Federation of 50 quasi independent States as The United States of America, is a “government of, by and for The People”.

    AS IF They, The People / the Citizens care.