Special counsel Robert Mueller’s claim of “sweeping and systematic” Russian meddling in the 2016 US election just took another body blow, as a federal judge ruled that his indictment of a ‘troll farm’ is not actual proof of it.
Mueller’s charges against Concord Management & Consulting, the Russian company accused of running a “troll farm” and “sowing discord” on US social media in 2016, do not establish a link between that private company and the Russian government, US District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich pointed out.
Yet the special counsel’s much-publicized final report claims to have “established” and “confirmed” Russian government activities based in part on the indictment against Concord, which is a breach of prosecutorial rules, Friedrich said.
For example, Mueller’s report says that Concord CEO Yevgeny Prigozhin “is widely reported to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.” That’s an assertion, not evidence.
Federal judge has issued a significant rebuke of a core Mueller claim. Mueller claims that the IRA — a Russian troll farm — was the 2nd of “two principal interference operations” by Russian gov’t. But as judge notes, Mueller’s implied link between IRA & Russian gov’t was false: pic.twitter.com/UyzApdP5BH
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) July 9, 2019
Judge Friedrich’s ruling was issued on May 28, but only unsealed on July 1, and went largely unnoticed by the media until this week. That’s not surprising, given the commitment of the US political establishment to the ‘Russiagate’ narrative, journalist and author Daniel Lazare told RT.
“It’s quite a dramatic ruling,” Lazare said. “Essentially what it says is that half of Mueller’s case doesn’t make any sense, it has no evidence to back it up.”
The special counsel’s report argued that Moscow sought to meddle in the election by Concord’s “sowing discord” on social media while Russian intelligence stole Democrat emails and released them through WikiLeaks, but neither of those assertions is backed by actual evidence, and now the insinuated link between Concord and the Kremlin has been rejected, Lazare pointed out.
“Americans assume that Russians and Russia are the same thing. But they’re not, any more than an individual American and the Trump administration are the same thing,” he told RT.
This inconsistency, confirmed by a DC judge, raises new Qs about the validity of Mueller’s claim of a “sweeping and systematic” Russian gov’t interference campaign. If Mueller was disingenuous in falsely trying to link it to Russian gov’t, what else was he disingenuous about?
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) July 9, 2019
The ruling is “a major blow to the entire ‘Russian Active Measures’ talking point,” journalist Aaron Maté argued on Twitter. The Internet Research Agency put out “juvenile clickbait mostly unrelated to the election,” and is a private entity whose connection with the Kremlin Mueller never established, he added.
“If Mueller was disingenuous in falsely trying to link it to Russian government, what else was he disingenuous about?”
In an investigative article published last week, Maté pointed out that the Mueller report used “qualified and vague language to describe key events,” indicating that the investigators have not established for certain if DNC emails were stolen by Russia or leaked by an insider, or how they made it into the hands of WikiLeaks.
He also noted that the federal authorities have based their investigation into the DNC emails and President Donald Trump’s alleged connections with the Kremlin entirely on claims of two entities contracted by the Democrats – cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, which actually redacted the evidence it gave to the feds – and British spy Christopher Steele, author of the infamous “dossier” used to spy on Trump campaign officials.
“The idea that this was a meddling operation by a foreign government, I think is just absurd,” former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT, commenting on Mate’s revelations and Judge Friedrich’s ruling.
This should be the final nail in the coffin of ‘Russiagate,’ but it won’t be, Jatras added. Too many people in Washington have invested too much in Russiagate to admit they were ever wrong.