by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Special counsel Robert Mueller recently indicted yet another peripheral character in his Trump probe, Russian attorney Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, for alleged money laundering in a matter quite separate from Trump.
Like almost all of Mueller’s indictments of the past 20 months, the charges against Veselnitskaya had nothing to do with his original mandate of finding any possible Trump-Russia collusion. No matter; within minutes, Veselnitskaya’s name was injected into the media cycle as if the fact that she was Russian and connected to the name Mueller was de facto proof that Trump was guilty of something — if not collusion, something worse. …
… The Mueller team modus operandi starts with the assumption that president Donald J. Trump is responsible for Russian collusion. Or he must at least be found guilty of something or other from his past decades as a wheeler-dealer, high-profile Manhattan provocateur.
Given that starting point, the special counsel then tries to prove his particular charge by rounding up those who have worked for Trump, examining in detail their personal history, discovering that they were imperfect, and threatening to ruin them (or their family members) with long prison sentences or crippling legal bills unless they aid what are becoming his Captain Ahab–like obsessions.
Far worse, Mueller has overlooked dozens of likely tangential felonies related to his investigations — they are not deemed useful to his zealous pursuit of Donald Trump.