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Mueller’s Indictment Isn’t Worth Squat


I sure wish the mainstream media and all those critics of Donald Trump had had better civics teachers in high school. If they had, they would understand that special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment against those Russian officials for supposedly illegally meddling in America’s presidential election doesn’t mean squat. Instead, the media and the Trump critics have accepted the indictment as proof, even conclusive proof, that the Russians really did do what Mueller is charging them with doing.

Of course, it’s not really Mueller’s indictment. It’s a federal grand jury that has returned the indictment. But, in reality, it’s Mueller’s indictment. He drafts it up and the grand jury dutifully signs whatever he presents to them. As the old legal adage goes, prosecutors can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.

A prosecutor can say whatever he wants in an indictment. It’s not sworn to. Neither the prosecutor nor the grand jury can be prosecuted for perjury or false allegations in an indictment.

In this particular case, the matter is even more problematic because Mueller knows that those Russian officials who he has indicted will never be brought to trial. That’s because there is no reasonable possibility that the Russian government would ever turn them over to the U.S. government. That means that Mueller knows that whatever he says in that indictment is never going to be tested in a court of law. He can say whatever he wants in that indictment knowing full well that he will never be required to prove it.

If only the mainstream media and the Trump critics would just attend one single criminal case, they would learn that criminal indictments don’t mean squat and are not evidence of anything. Here is what judges always tell juries, in one way or another, in criminal cases:

An indictment is not evidence; it is simply the formal notice to the defendants of the charges against each of them. The mere fact of an indictment raises no suspicion of guilty. The government has the burden to prove the charges against the defendants beyond a reasonable doubt, and that burden stays with the government from start to finish. The defendants have no burden or obligation to prove anything at all. They are presumed innocent. The defendants started this trial with a clean slate, with no evidence at all against them, and the law presumes that they are each innocent. This presumption of innocence stays with each defendant unless and until the government presents evidence here in court that overcomes the presumption, and convinces you beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendants are guilty.

Is that the standard that the mainstream media and Trump critics are applying in response to the Mueller indictment? Are you kidding? They are applying the standard that is used in communist and other totalitarian regimes. They are pointing to the accusation as proof that those Russian officials really are guilty! After all, their argument goes, if they weren’t guilty, former FBI Director Mueller would never have secured an indictment against them.

Anyway, everybody knows that the Russians are guilty because America’s deep state — i.e., the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA — say they are. What more proof does anyone need than that? What even needs a trial? Case closed! Grab them, take them to Gitmo, torture them, and hang them!

Pardon me, but I thought the special counsel was appointed to determine whether President Trump somehow illegally “colluded” with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton for president. What’s Mueller doing wasting time and money indicting Russian officials who he knows will never stand trial? Isn’t it time for Mueller to put up or shut up with respect to President Trump and let the Justice Department handle other criminal prosecutions?

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that Mueller announced his indictment on the eve of Trump’s meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Or maybe not.

Ever since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. deep state has done everything it can to gin up another Cold War with Russia. Recall that at the end of the Cold War in 1989, the U.S. deep state was caught flat-footed. They had fully expected the Cold War to last forever, which would guarantee ever-increasing budgets for the deep state and its army of bureaucrats, contractors, and subcontractors.

In fact, people were talking about a “peace dividend,” which would have entailed deep cuts in expenditures for the military-industrial complex, which was President Eisenhower’s term for the deep state. That threw all elements of the deep state into a full-blown panic.

That’s when they went into the Middle East and began poking hornet’s nests, knowing full well that their violent and destructive interventionism would produce terrorist blowback. It did and the terrorist blowback was then used as the excuse for continuing out of control deep-state expenditures in order to “keep us safe” from the enemies that their interventionism was producing. In fact, it’s probably worth mentioning that Russia’s supposed hacking of some email accounts pales to insignificance compared to massive U.S. interventionism, including the destruction of democratic regimes, in the political affairs of other countries since the advent of the U.S. deep state, including bribery, kidnappings, assassinations, coups, embargoes, sanctions, and invasions.

At the same time they were intervening in the Middle East, they never gave up hope of revitalizing the Cold War crisis environment with Russia. That is what NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, including the hope of absorbing Ukraine into NATO, was all about. The U.S. deep state knew that the closer NATO got to Russia’s border, the more likely it would be that Russia would have to respond. When Russia finally did respond by taking over Crimea, before the U.S. deep state could, U.S. officials responded predictably: “We are shocked — shocked! — at this act of aggression, which shows that Russia is preparing to attack and invade Eastern Europe, the Baltics, Germany, France, and undoubtedly even the United States.

It’s really just a repeat of the fears that the U.S. deep state inculcated into the American people throughout the Cold War, as a way to get Americans to support the conversion of the federal government from a limited-government republic to a national-security or deep states. The only thing missing is the communist part: Instead of the Reds coming to get us, it’s now just Putin and the Russkies.

What nonsense. Mueller should do the country a favor and shut down his ridiculous and ridiculously expensive investigation. No matter how much one might dislike Donald Trump, the fact is that he won the election, fair and square, and Hillary Clinton lost it. Accept it. Deal with it. Wait until the 2020 election to try to oust Trump from office. Time to shut down all the regime-change operations, including those of the U.S. deep state.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.