The Mueller/Comey/Clinton collusion to take down Trump
By Mark Alexander
There was actual news last week (versus the constant din of media churn) regarding the special counsel investigation into what originally was supposed to focus on Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.
Of course, that mandate immediately turned into an unlimited investigation into all manner of ostensible wrongdoing regarding Donald Trump and his campaign associates, including an investigation into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. That diversion was prompted by a fake dossier funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign.
That "collusion" diversion has not turned up anything of substance thus far, so the investigation has now diverted to the question of how then-candidate Trump used his own money to settle some extortion demands associated with past lurid associations — and if so, whether these payments violated campaign-finance law.
What follows is a breakdown of the key developments, but first, an observation on the hypocrisy regarding foreign influence in our electoral process, as well as perjury. At the same time Democrat Party principals are feigning concern about foreign influence of our elections, they are advocating for open borders, pandering to their Hispanic constituents in an effort to change the demographics by flooding voter rolls with "new" constituents. And Democrats are now concerned about perjury after defending Bill Clinton's lies as president about his sexual assaults?
Never let it be said that Democrats allow abject hypocrisy to get in the way of their political agenda.
The Mueller Investigation
To date, the only known connection Robert Mueller and his team of Clintonistas have made between the 2016 election and Russia was included in his indictment of a handful of Russian hackers last July. But that meddling started a year before Donald Trump announced his candidacy, and the hackers' objective was to foment discord and to undermine American confidence in our electoral system, not to support Trump.
Arguably, after Trump's upset election, Democrat Party hysterics, bolstered by the accompanying Leftmedia histrionics and the epidemic of leftist Trump Derangement Syndrome, have done far more to undermine electoral confidence than Russia could ever have hoped to achieve.
Of course, those Russians will never see the inside of a U.S. courtroom. As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy notes, "There are 144 million more people in Russia who will never see the inside of an American courtroom. If Mueller indicts all of them, his stats will be really impressive ... and there'll still be no Trump espionage conspiracy against the election."
Additionally, he has accumulated some "process crimes," most notably perjury charges related to the testimony of George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen. However, there is nothing that remotely establishes Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Nothing.
However, the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, in collusion with the Mueller investigation, filed a sentencing memo regarding its grand jury probe into Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney. The memo noted "Cohen's extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct," but asked that he "receive credit for his assistance" to Mueller's investigation. It added, "Cohen does not have a cooperation agreement ... and therefore is not properly described as a 'cooperating witness'."
Last week Cohen was sentenced to 36 months in prison after pleading guilty to eight criminal charges, including violations of campaign-finance law. His "cooperation" is no doubt connected to his role in paying off two women extorting then-candidate Trump.
It's notable that Cohen lied about the timeline of a deal with Russia to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, an ongoing negotiation that was completely legal and that was dropped when the two parties were not able to reach a deal. But Trump did not lie.
All told, over the course of Trump's 18-month campaign, 14 people associated with Trump had contacts of some sort with Russians. Frankly, given all of Trump's international business dealings, I'm surprised that number isn't much higher.
Other than the interminable Mueller investigation, thus far the only related investigation was conducted by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, and his team concluded that former CIA Director John Brennan colluded with Comey and other deep-state operatives to provide cover for Clinton.
(Sidebar: Beyond the fact that Comey seeded the Justice Department's appointment of Mueller and lied about leaking the fake dossier report that ensured it would happen, Mueller's constitutional authority is questionable given that the special prosecutor and independent counsel provisions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 expired in 1999.)
Unable to discover any shred of evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to throw the 2016 election in his favor, Mueller is now focused on a possible campaign-finance violation associated with extortion payments to silence two alleged Trump affairs that took place long before he was a candidate. There was nothing illegal about the payments, which were from Trump and not his campaign, but the complaint is that they constituted undisclosed campaign contributions.
Democrats are gleefully hoping that felony charges will emerge from the aforementioned charges filed by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York against Cohen, which he billed to Trump.
Charges can be filed if undisclosed payments constitute a campaign contribution, even though a candidate may donate unlimited funds to his or her own campaign.
(Note that Trump's private payments should not be confused with the public taxpayer-funded payments of the congressional slush fund used to silence sexual harassment complaints made against members of Congress.)
Regarding this Mueller angle against Trump, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a noted Democrat, offered this observation about the payoffs:
Dershowitz concluded, "We need a single standard. If you would not go after Bill Clinton, don't go after Donald Trump. If you are going after Donald Trump, then you have to go after Hillary Clinton. ... This is such a danger to the constitutional system that I would hope that true civil libertarians would rebel against it, as I am."
As political analyst Hans von Spakovsky notes regarding the charges filed by the U.S. attorney in New York: "His theory that anything intended to 'influence' an election is a campaign-related expense fails to take into account the statutory limitation on this definition. FECA (52 U.S.C. 30114 (b)(2) specifically says that campaign-related expenses do not include any expenditures 'used to fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate's election campaign.' Given Trump's celebrity status, the potential liability to these women existed 'irrespective of the candidate's election campaign.'"
And how do the Trump payments compare with actual illegal campaign contributions in recent years?
According to Andrew McCarthy, "Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign was guilty of violations involving nearly $2 million — an amount that dwarfs the $280,000 in Cohen's case. The Obama Justice Department decided not to prosecute. Instead, the matter was quietly disposed of by a $375,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission."
Recall, too, that the Justice Department failed to convict former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards after he funneled actual campaign dollars — more than $1 million — to his mistress, Rielle Hunter.
In one election, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took in more than $1 million in revenue and had more than $6 million in expenses that he failed to report. He paid a $138,000 fine.
Of course, Bill Clinton had multiple accusations of rape and sexual assault, and in the Paula Jones case he paid $850,000 to "settle" that matter.
If Democrats are really concerned about campaign-finance violations, let's put a price on the biggest of those violations — the Leftmedia's support for Democrat candidates, which is equivalent to billions of dollars in free campaign advertising. Fake news is priceless.
So is this all Mueller and his Democrat team of hatchet men have against Trump after two years of investigation — a question about whether an extortion payoff constituted a campaign contribution, which may provide a pathway to indicting Trump after he leaves office?
We're not sure, because we're still waiting on the substance of his report — someday. Regardless, the prospect of campaign-finance violations is sufficient to fuel the Democrats' relentless hounding of Trump over the next two years, as it fits with their "stolen election" narrative and is fodder for faux impeachment charges.
On James Comey's Testimony
Related to the Mueller investigation, disgraced former FBI Director James Comey was back in front of Congress testifying about what he no longer can recall. In his testimony earlier this month, Comey was chastised for claiming not to know or recall key facts related to what he admitted was a fake dossier purporting to show Trump's collusion with Russians. That phony dossier was then used as the basis for a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, and then, after Trump's shocking electoral victory, it was used to help launch the special counsel's investigation.
According to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), "The biggest takeaway is that former FBI Director James Comey, with regard to the two most important investigations ... into the Clinton email matter and into the Russia collusion matter, said, 'I don't recall,' 'I don't remember,' or 'I don't know' 245 times."
Let that sink in.
Typical of Comey's abject obfuscation was this interaction with House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC):
During his testimony, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) asked Comey, "Is there any need to further investigate Hillary Clinton's emails based upon the decision that you made not to prosecute?" He replied, "Not that I can possibly see. There's no serious person who thinks there's a prosecutable case there. And so, not that can I see."
That notwithstanding, Comey's testimony raises the prospect that Hillary Clinton may finally face charges for using a private email server to keep her official communications as Obama's secretary of state off the grid. She did so to ensure her communications would not be subject to public scrutiny during her then-planned 2016 presidential bid.
Clinton's unmitigated ethical abuses, including her Benghazi cover-up to protect Obama's reelection in 2012 and "pay-to-play" donations to the Clinton Foundation when she was serving as secretary of state, are about to be back on the table for possible prosecution.
Accelerating that possibility was last week's finding by U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth that Clinton's private email server constituted "one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency." Likewise, Lamberth slammed Justice and State: "At worst, career employees in the State and Justice departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this court."
However, what I believe was most consequential from Comey's testimony is the emergence again of Clinton's Russian Fusion Collusion — the dossier and FISA court warrant.
Seems to be working thus far.
As we've noted many times, the entire Russia investigation was conceived to keep Trump on the ropes and on the defensive as president in an effort to block his agenda.
Democrats are hoping that this underwhelming campaign-finance charge will be their golden ticket to impeaching Trump. California Democrat Adam Schiff, incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, declared, "[Trump] may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time." New York Demo Rep. Jerry Nadler, the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, added, "The president was at the center of a massive fraud, several massive frauds against the American people. It's now our job ... to get to the bottom of this ... so we can hold him accountable."
So far, Democrats have been unable to stop the Trump administration's extraordinary achievements, so they're converting their "hate Trump," anti-peace-and-prosperity platform into an "impeach Trump" charade to rally their constituencies ahead of the 2020 election.
In the meantime, the Democrat-controlled House will, under Nancy Pelosi's thumb, attempt to inflict "death by a thousand cuts" to keep Trump from further success.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.