This morning there is so much good analysis of the Mueller indictments, it’s hard to choose a favorite:
Here’s what I am taking away from it: It is now nearly impossible for Comrade Stupid to fire Mueller.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s press conference will make it nearly impossible for Comrade Stupid to fire him, too.
It’s also a notable show of independence by Rosenstein: It was a power play. He just double-dog dared the Russian Usurper to fire him, that was a Come at me, bro if ever there was one.
Not only was there a conspiracy, there are now criminal charges from a grand jury. Comrade Stupid cannot dismiss the investigation as a witch hunt and Russian involvement as a hoax any more. As Michael McFaul of Stanford said, “We were attacked. Our sovereignty was violated. Spies came into our country.”
The indictment confirms that the Russians used social media aggressively, particularly Twitter and Facebook. (AP, and another great read.)
“The indictment … underscores that the problem wasn’t just ‘bots’ — i.e., automated social-media accounts — but human conspirators who fine-tuned propaganda and built online relationships with American activists.”
From the indictment:
[S]tarting in or around June 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators, posing online as U.S. persons, communicated with a real U.S. person affiliated with a Texas-based grassroots organization. During the exchange, Defendants and their co-conspirators learned from the real U.S. person that they should focus their activities on ‘purple states like Colorado, Virginia & Florida.’ After that exchange, Defendants and their co-conspirators commonly referred to targeting ‘purple states’ in directing their efforts.
I so would not want to be that dude!
The operation sounds like a tech-savvy ad agency:
“There’s a graphics team. There is a team devoted to making sure the company’s content shows up near the top of search results. There are IT people and a finance department controlling a budget in the millions.
“Employees track their social media posts to see how they’re doing — how many likes, comments and shares they’ve gotten. They do post-mortems on their work to make sure it’s up to the company’s standards.
“If you didn’t know that it had just been indicted for trying to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, you might well want to hire the Internet Research Agency.”
This indictment was meant to make a statement, and not to lead to a prosecution; after all, Russians in Russia are not subject to U.S. laws.
Mueller isn’t stupid. He knows that Comrade Trump wants to fire him, and so he with these indictments just made that impossible. Checkmate, Comrade Trump.