Special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is often charged with being on a fishing expedition, has finally caught a fish.
But sent out to get tuna, he returned with a net filled with red herrings.
The latest indictment against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lists various income tax offenses and bank frauds.
But all are related to work Manafort did before he was hired by Trump and, indeed, before Trump began his campaign.
The charges have nothing to do with Mueller’s mandate: To find evidence of collusion between Trump and the Kremlin in the 2016 presidential race.
Instead, Mueller is using his vast budget and even more power to go after a political consultant with no apparent nexus to the scandal he is charged with investigating.
Mueller at least had his sights trained on the right target when, last week, he indicted 13 Russians on charges of meddling in the U.S. elections.
But even those charges had no indication of involving Donald Trump, nor did the meddling rise nearly to the level at which it could have been in any way decisive in influencing the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
The Russians are alleged to have spent $100,000 in their effort to influence the election — a contest in which $2.5 billion was spent.
Their efforts were indeed, those of a mouse that roared.
The only conceivable connection between the Manafort indictment and Trump appears to be the hope that the former campaign manager is sitting on piles of juicy tidbits, anecdotes and memos that spell out Trump’s coordination with the Kremlin.
None have been identified in any subpoena or enumerated by Mueller, and Manafort has denied having any.
All this reminds me of a car I saw parked on a Manhattan street with its window bashed in by a thief obviously intent on stealing the expensive car radio within.
The car’s owner had posted a sign on his vehicle saying “no radio,” so the thief explained his assault on the car window with a note saying “just checking.”
What an expensive way to check this situation out!
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