The Russian collusion hoax collapses with the Roger Stone indictment

James Robbins:
The main takeaway from informal presidential adviser Roger Stone’s arraignment Tuesday is that the Russian collusion narrative has collapsed. If there were anything there, we’d know about it by now.

Stone was hauled in to federal court Friday morning after a theatrical, televised arrest that should be the subject of a Justice Department investigation or congressional inquiry. Why the excessive threat of force? Though CNN denies it, many still wonder whether the network was tipped off. The extreme intimidation tactic might have been intended to send a message, but it only tended to confirm the biases of those who see special counsel Robert Mueller's entire effort as a rogue operation.

The “process crimes” Stone is charged with, such as lying and witness tampering, are potentially serious. But he was not charged with facilitating Trump campaign collusion with Russian hackers, and the indictment itself gives little reason to believe there ever were any.

It was certainly not a crime for the Trump campaign to be interested in what WikiLeaks had on Hillary Clinton or other Democrats. WikiLeaks had established itself as a reliable — though notorious — source for purloined information. Weeks before WikiLeaks published the emails, Democrats had made public that their computer systems had been hacked, allegedly by Russian operatives, though WikiLeaks has denied that Moscow was its source.

Regardless of where the emails came from, once WikiLeaks began to publish them, everyone in America wanted to know what was in them, no doubt especially the Trump team. Roger Stone was simply conducting his version of opposition research, albeit ineptly. And the indictment notes that Stone was “claiming both publicly and privately” to be in contact with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, so if he were trying to keep his activities a secret he was doing a poor job.

What this story indicates is that the Trump campaign didn't have close ties to WikiLeaks, and no knowledge about what was in the emails, which presumably it would have if there were collusion afoot. And though investigations have found 100 contacts between members of the Trump circle and a variety of Russians during the 2016 campaign, none of the reported communications offers clear evidence of election tampering, quid pro quos, prior knowledge of dirty tricks, or anything else that would confirm the collusion narrative.
The Democrats own handling of the alleged hack made it impossible for the FBI to examine their computer servers to establish evidence from them of a hack. 

What we now know is that the Clinton campaign, its law firm, Perkins Coie and Fusion GPS colluded with a British national named Steele to propagate thrid had hearsay from alleged Russians in a plot to get the FBI and DOJ to attack Trump and his campaign.  It suggests that their internal polling showed them in deeper trouble in the election than the public polling predicting a Clinton landslide.

After the election, the Democrats as a political ploy decided to use the bogus dossier to perpetuate a hoax in the hopes that it would lead to the overthrow of the government.  Mueller should have been investigating that real aspect of Russian collusion by the Clinton campaign and its operatives.

Stone got caught up in the Democrats bad faith effort to criminalize their political differences with those associated with Trump.


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