Lost in the drama surrounding Tuesday’s news — Paul Manafort’s convictions and Michael Cohen’s plea deal — is the reality that special counsel Robert Mueller has yet to unearth a single piece of evidence demonstrating collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Mueller’s team of Democrat prosecutors, which is supposedly tasked with investigating Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election, secured highly publicized guilty pleas from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen on entirely unrelated matters. The same applies to the convictions against short-lived Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort.
Nonetheless, many in the media have heralded the Manafort-Cohen news as proof that Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is justified. The Washington Post declared Tuesday’s news as Trump’s “worst day of the Russia investigation.”
In his appointment of Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein instructed the former FBI chief to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” and “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
Mueller has entirely failed to find proof of coordination or collusion and has seemingly prioritized the latter vague, open mandate that he received from DAG Rosenstein in targeting individuals currently and previously associated with the president.
We have been told for over two years now, through a narrative crafted with targeted leaks in the mainstream media, that former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and low-level foreign policy aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos were essential to Russian collusion efforts. Their alleged collusion with Russia continues to be the justification that Obama intelligence community officials give for their massive, rights-violating espionage operation against the Trump campaign.
Yet through all of the noise on cable news and in the legacy press, the public has not been presented with a single piece of evidence — other than the Steele dossier, a political opposition research and propaganda document sourced to Russia that was funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC — that any members of the Trump campaign or transition team colluded with the Kremlin. The Comey FBI declared Carter Page a Russian spy, yet Page remains free. Both Gen. Flynn and Papadopoulos appear to have been strong-armed into guilty pleas to charges unrelated to collusion and have long maintained that they did not conspire with the Kremlin. Papadopoulos is now reportedly reconsidering his guilty plea, while Mueller constantly delays Flynn’s sentencing hearing.
Mueller has charged several Trump campaign officials with offenses that have nothing to do with coordination with Russia, providing the legacy media with the fodder it needs to propagandize the public and repeatedly conflate the unrelated charges with Russian collusion. This has given the president’s detractors the ammunition they need to continue demanding that the special counsel stay afloat — and to continue challenging President Trump’s duly elected mandate, benefiting the Kremlin’s mission to further sow discord in the United States.
It has been 462 days since Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel. Since then, he has come up entirely empty on Russian collusion. Mueller now has two options: Produce the evidence, or concede that he has come up empty and put himself out to pasture.