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seawulf575's avatar

Given the new information about the Fusion GPS Dossier, should Robert Mueller step aside as special prosecutor?

Asked by seawulf575 (2695points) 2 weeks ago

New information has been released that shows that Fusion GPS was being paid by groups working for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the DNC when they created and released the dossier that claimed a Trump/Russia collusion. The FBI James Comey may also be involved based on this evidence. Given this new evidence, should Robert Mueller step aside as special prosecutor due to his close ties to Comey and Clinton? Please note: This is not to suggest Mueller is corrupt, but rather should he step aside to avoid questions of his integrity later on?

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8 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Of course not.

zenvelo's avatar

No. The Dossier has only revealed what was there to begin with.

Comey is not “allied” with Clinton, despite the current administration’s attempts to tar him with that smear.

Trump has already questioned Mueller’s integrity, it isn’t a matter of “later on”.

SavoirFaire's avatar

How many times are you going to recycle this nonsense?

I’ve already pointed out that Fusion GPS is a mercenary firm used by everyone and with close ties to no one. Yes, the Steele dossier was paid for—at least in part—by Perkins Coie on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. But it wasn’t supposed to be leaked. It was opposition research, and the whole point of opposition research is to discover things that are true. If all you want to do is create propaganda, there’s no need to pay so much money and do so much legwork. Just run a poll to find out someone’s weaknesses and make things up that match it.

And in any case, the main claim of the dossier—that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump and hurt Clinton—is no longer supported by the Steele dossier alone. The entire US intelligence community accepts this and has confirmed parts of it (the ones concerning meetings with foreign nationals, not the vulgar stuff that first piqued people’s interests). The question is no longer whether Russia interfered. The question is what, if anything, the Trump campaign had to do with it. (And since special counsel investigations have broad scope, there is also the secondary question of what other crimes Mueller may uncover along the way.)

But also, your entire question is based on a false premise. The Steele dossier isn’t the basis for the investigation, and Mueller—a lifelong Republican—does not have close ties to Clinton. The most one can say is that he is close with Comey—a man who dislikes Clinton and probably cost her the election (though only because the race had already tightened considerably by late October). There is literally nothing to suggest to anyone not living in a bubble that Mueller’s investigation cannot be trusted.

seawulf575's avatar

Unfortunately, who paid for the dossier and how it was collected does cast doubt on the veracity of the information captured in the report. And, in fact, there are many parts of the report that have been debunked along the way. So when you have a report that was paid for by those that stand to benefit by smearing Trump, and that report has information that is demonstrably false, why would you suddenly believe that the parts you like are true?
The Steele Dossier was paid for by Dems and Hillary, used information that Steele obtained by bribing Russian officials, and great efforts were made to try hiding all the details. The Russians were getting paid to tell Steele whatever he wanted to hear, and he was asking about things that would benefit Hillary. Sorry…the dossier may indeed contain facts, but it is so burdened with sleaze along the way that it becomes useless for anything except a smear campaign.
Mueller does have ties to Clinton through the Uranium One deal. You can try dodging that one all day long, but that exists. He was the head of the FBI at the time and refused to look into the issues at the time. And again…as I mentioned in the question…none of this says Mueller is corrupt. The question is if there is enough question marks piling up that any report he comes up with could be questioned because of his potential conflicts.
I think back to Sessions recusing himself from all things Russia Investigation, not because he had done anything wrong, but because there were questions as to the integrity of the investigation if he didn’t.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It would serve little purpose at this stage for Mueller to withdraw from the investigation. It’s simply too late in the process to deflect or suppress the discoveries unearthed thus far. The GOP dominated Congress is certainly free to mount another tiresome excursion into the hyperinflated supposed misdeeds of Clinton or Obama, but once again, no amount of noise or distraction is going to save the current administration from revelations on the evidently staggering levels of collusion between the vast bulk of high level Trump officials and criminal Russian oligarchs. The revelations seeping thus far from the edges of the investigation are mind boggling, and there isn’t a day that passes without damning evidence of ever entwining CRIMINAL Russian/Trump tentacles.

SavoirFaire's avatar

“Unfortunately, who paid for the dossier and how it was collected does cast doubt on the veracity of the information captured in the report. ”

No, that’s just a base assertion fallacy. All campaigns engage in opposition research. But the whole point of opposition research is to find facts that can be used to cast the target in a negative light. Sure, opposition research isn’t always successful. But you can be sure that the ones conducting it are doing their best to find the truth (regardless of whether they succeed and regardless of how they later spin it). Propaganda is a different department.

“And, in fact, there are many parts of the report that have been debunked along the way.”

And parts that have been corroborated. That’s how these things go: you gather a bunch of information, and then you try to confirm it. But note that the Steele dossier was never used during the campaign. It was leaked after the election.

” So when you have a report that was paid for by those that stand to benefit by smearing Trump, and that report has information that is demonstrably false, why would you suddenly believe that the parts you like are true?”

First of all, I don’t like any of it. Second, I don’t believe any part of the dossier that hasn’t been independently verified. My point, however, is that the Steele dossier is a red herring. It has nothing to do with Mueller or the Trump-Russia investigation.

“The Steele Dossier was paid for by Dems and Hillary, used information that Steele obtained by bribing Russian officials, and great efforts were made to try hiding all the details.”

Yes, it was paid for—at least in part—by people acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. I already mentioned that. But the same testimony that gave us that information also told us that Steele did not pay for his information. So you are the one engaging in selective reasoning and believing only the parts of the evidence that you want to believe.

P.S. The testimony of Bill Browder, on which your previous question was based, also told us that the Steele dossier was an extension of the work Fusion GPS did for Trump’s opponents in the Republican primary. In other words, the dossier was paid for by the Republicans before it was paid for by the Democrats.

“Mueller does have ties to Clinton through the Uranium One deal.”

First of all, “close ties” has a specific meaning—and it requires more than serving in an independent role under the same president. By your logic, my aunt—who works for the Department of the Interior—has close ties to everyone who has worked in government in the last 40 years (including Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama). But that’s absurd. FBI directors are given a ten year term specifically to insulate them from partisan politics, and Mueller—who was appointed by George W. Bush and had his term extended by Barack Obama—is famously non-partisan and non-political.

As for Uranium One, you seem to be confused. Mueller’s involvement with nuclear material has nothing to do with that. He was part of a separate undertaking several years earlier that handed a sample of highly enriched uranium over to the Russians for forensic testing. In 2006, the United States and the republic of Georgia conducted a sting operation during which it seized 100 grams of highly enriched uranium. Russia requested 10 grams of this (about the size of four US pennies) for testing. Georgia agreed, and the US performed the actual delivery. Specifically, Mueller delivered the sample to his Russian counterpart on September 21, 2009. Note that the operation was not a secret, and that the cable released by WikiLeaks that supposedly brought this to light concerns nothing but a change in the delivery date.

The fact that you are conflating the two events suggests that you are not sufficiently familiar with the issues to draw reliable conclusions.

The question is if there is enough question marks piling up that any report he comes up with could be questioned because of his potential conflicts. ”

And the answer is “no,” as anyone sufficiently informed about the matter can see.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I keep hearing “people who would benefit.” Like who? Regardless of the product of the investigation, Hillary isn’t going to be handed the presidency. In case you forgot, Obama doesn’t desire, and isn’t allowed to be POTUS again.

Successfully removing Trump from power should help the Republican agenda, more than anyone. It would also be a huge PR victory for the GOP. If Trump is removed, the right will blame every negative thing on Trump. They can use him as a scapegoat, for the foreseeable future.

Plus. No Trump supporters will change their minds. It really doesn’t matter what Trump is found guilty of. He will cry fowl, and his sheep will believe him. Then he will be a thorn in both parties’ side until he dies (hopefully soon.)

Sorry. Just more deflection. I expect discrediting stories from the right to continue while the actual facts are found out. Facts, that will be labeled “fake news.”

This is not Hillary, coming for Trump. As I’ve said before, this is Trump laying in the bed he made. He has pissed off a lot of powerful people, and now they’re coming for him. Only his small cult of idiots support him. Unfortunately, those people’s blind loyalty is their only contribution. I don’t think that the country will be caught off guard by such a figure again.

There are really only a handful of people who wouldn’t benefit from Trump’s removal. Hillary, and Obama are just lightning rods, for the right wing media. The low information Trump supporters don’t know much. But they know that they hate Obama, and Hillary. So the right wing media uses small, easy to understand words, and familiar “bad guys.” Keeps the simple folk wound up, and distracted.

By the way, the only reason Trump has to put up with Mueller, is because he obstructed justice by firing Comey. I guess he could just fire everyone who opposes him. That’s going to “make America great again,” right? A tyrannical, dictatorship?

LostInParadise's avatar

It is interesting that those on the right are so upset by leaks from the White House, but are oblivious to the illegality of the leaked DNC emails. The Russian hacking of that email information was a massive crime. There is no evidence of anything remotely comparable being done by Clinton.

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