In a 17 June 2019 article in USA Today titled, “Supreme Court upholds ‘double jeopardy’ standard that could blunt impact of potential Trump pardons,” the Mueller Mandate is redefined with the the phrase, “Russian Interference.”


1. Red Herring[from the practice of drawing a red herring across a trail to confuse hunting dogs] : something that distracts attention from the real issue]. 


2. Russian InterferenceA computer hacking conspiracy involving gaining unauthorized access into the computers of U.S. persons and entities involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, stealing documents from those computers, and staging releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


3. Mueller Mandate(b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBIDirector James 8. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee onIntelligence on March 20, 2017, including:

(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. ยง 600.4(a). 


THE ISSUESo, the red herring of ‘Russian Interference’ is being drug across the trail of ‘Russian Collusion’ in this USA Today article (and via other media outlets): 

The case had gained attention largely because of the possibility that Trump could pardon one or more of his former associates convicted in federal court by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.


See what they did there?

In other words, Russian Interference in the 2016 election was an issue dating back to the Obama administration, but it was not about whether the Trump Campaign had colluded (secret conspiracy with the intent to defraud) with the Russians. Mueller was charged to specifically determine if there was coordination between Trump Campaign officials and the Russian government.


1. If there had been no Russian Interference in the 2016 election, it could still have been possible that the Trump (or Clinton) campaign could have conspired with the Russian government.2. But if Donald Trump had lost the presidency to Hillary Clinton, then there               * WOULD NOT BE a Special Counsel or Mueller Report               * WOULD STILL BE Russian Interference3. So, Russian Interference is not the same as Russian Collusion


The spin here is that USA Today is dragging a red herring across the trail to confuse (or conflate) the issues. Without discussing the ‘obstruction’ question, the Mueller Report and it’s confirmation by the Attorney General, the investigation was about whether or not members of the Trump campaign had conspired with the Russian government; which has been thoroughly investigated and established that there was no collusion. It is safe to assume (unless there is unintentional incompetence in play) that in order to keep the issue in the news, USA Today (et al) have muddled and conflated the Russian Investigation with the Trump-Collusion Investigation. It’s a red herring which continues to ‘mislead or distract from a relevant or important question’— which in this case is, “Did any members of the Trump campaign collude with Russian?” The Mueller Report ended the question with a specific, “No.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring

Watch for this common tactic called a red herring — whether it’s intentional or not, it’s a spin to check.

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