It's hard to know what to make of the testimony of the disgraced DOJ official Bruce Ohr before a congressional committee on Tuesday. It is difficult, in part, because the testimony was behind closed doors and thus we don't have a verbatim transcript. It is also difficult because, had it been in the open, with posturing and preening by witness and congressman alike, the testimony might have been much different.
Still, in accounts from some of those present, Ohr was fairly cooperative and did not appear to be pleading the 5th Amendment,or unwilling to be forthcoming, as some previous witnesses before that committee had been. And one question that he did answer, and for which we'll take his answer to have been candid, was really curious.
Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, was hired to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and collusion between foreign (i.e., Russian) nationals and American candidates. His investigation having clearly turned up not a bloody thing regarding the Trump campaign and any collusion, he has wandered off into absurd rat-holes like the financial dealings years back of a guy who later was a campaign manager for the Trump campaign for a month or two.
You would think that instead of (or even in addition to) sending his taxpayer-funded minions down such rat-holes, like Paul Manafort's bank records from 2007, Mueller would honor his mandated mission by exploring actual evidence of such collusion with a political campaign.
That might, you'd think, include the known facts of likely collusion. That should include the "known fact" that the opposing campaign had hired Fusion GPS, an American dirt-digging operation, to work with Christopher Steele, a foreign national who hated Donald Trump, and by extension with actual Russian operatives, to fabricate a faked dossier of material on Trump to influence the 2016 campaign.
Knowing that, you would think that it is of interest that the pathway of the fake dossier was from Fusion employee Nellie Ohr to her husband, a very senior DOJ executive, Bruce Ohr, to the FBI for corrupt senior players like Peter Strzok to use as the basis for a FISA warrant to spy on an American citizen. Bruce Ohr, though twice demoted, still works for the Federal government and still holds a clearance.
You'd think, right?
And yet when Ohr testified Tuesday, and he was asked if Mueller's team had even once interviewed him, what do you know? According to Ohr, he has never once been interviewed by the Mueller investigative team.
So what exactly is the Mueller investigation about? Is it about Russian collusion or is it about submarining the presidency of Donald Trump? Is it about getting to actual, well-documented connections, in this case between the Democratic National Committee and Russian operatives seeking to influence the 2016 campaign, or is it about Paul Manafort's tax returns and embarrassing and jailing people around the president?
I have been one to say that the president should steer clear of the Mueller investigation as it could not end well for him to play a role. But at this point, I'm ready for President Trump to use the fact that Ohr was never interviewed as a reason -- a very public reason -- to take over the investigation, declare that it is imperative that we expose collusion, if any, fire Mueller and his team on the spot, but replace him with someone capable of an impartial investigation confined to the issue of Russian tampering and collusion.
Mueller never talked to Ohr. Are we crazy?
Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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