Mueller's Investigation - The backstory
"Spygate" is the term used by President Trump to describe FBI and the intelligence community's investigation of his campaign's ties to Russia. But, when and why did this investigation start?
We have been told the reason for the "spying" was to preserve the integrity of our democracy. That is simply not true. It is becoming obvious that the investigation is based on payback from the US government as a result of the 2010 Ukrainian election and its aftermath. The surveillance of Trump Tower most likely began well before 2016 or even 2015.
Don't be surprised when it soon emerges that the President's campaign was under surveillance well before he announced his candidacy. Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper suggested Trump should be happy the FBI spied on him to protect the integrity of his campaign. This admission of clandestine operations targeting the Trump campaign is not surprising to anyone who is following this story. It just took a long time for the "the swamp" to admit. But, are they telling the whole story?
Why would so many current and former high-ranking FBI and CIA bureaucrats be willing to cast aside everything Americans hold dear about fair play and democracy to pursue this investigation? The answer is not a couple hundred grand spent on Facebook ads by the Russians. The "swamp" wants revenge against Paul Manafort and his longtime political partner and confidant Roger Stone for legally opposing and defeating US National Security interests abroad.
Paul Manafort had ties to Russian politics dating back to at least 2004. In 2010, he was legally contracted by the Ukrainian candidate with close ties to the Kremlin. The US and our NATO partners were also strongly vested in the 2010 election. Other American consultants were heavily involved in the election as well. Clinton's campaigners were helping a second candidate, and Obama's team attempted to help a third. Both Russia and NATO wanted their puppet in office. Manafort helped Russia get their guy elected. NATO and the US State Department led by Hillary Clinton lost. Whoa buddy, not the wisest move by Manafort.
How embarrassing it was for the Obama Administration to have a conservative political consultant and American citizen undermined his foreign policy. I am pretty sure this was frowned upon by the Feds. In 2014, Obama lead NATO in securing their Ukrainian objective. A highly organized and well-funded public uprising forced Russia's puppet to step down.
Putin reacted strongly. The Russian military invaded the Ukraine and took control of the Crimean Peninsula with little resistance. It nearly ignited a larger conflict, but Ukraine and NATO backed down. The G8 became the G7 as Russia was kicked out. The Russians justified the annexation by accusing the US of spending five billion dollars to support the revolt and violating international law. All of this because Paul Manafort and Roger Stone are brilliant campaign strategists who denied NATO their victory in 2010.
Since World War II, NATO has worked to isolate Russia from the rest of Europe. Manafort and Stone made it possible for Russia to hold on four more years and provided Putin the excuse for the invasion. To my knowledge, Roger Stone has never been publically associated with the Ukrainian election. His long relationship with Manafort as a political partner and friend makes him a subject of interest. I bet the FBI and Intel community thought so too.
Roger Stone has been an advisor to President Trump for more than two decades and had an office in Trump Tower. Will we soon discover that Stone's office in the Trump Tower has been "tapped" since sometime between 2004 and 2010? Stone has a well-established political relationship with Manafort dating back to the 1980s. Was a FISA warrant issued much earlier than we have been told for Trump Tower, or did we just turn a blind eye and allow our NATO allies to do the dirty work?
After the Trump victory in 2016, and another embarrassing defeat for Obama/Clinton at the hands of Stone and Manafort, the total assault began on the duly elected President of the United States. The holdovers and loyalists of both the Bush and Obama Administrations within the National Security community want Manafort and Stone ruined by any means necessary. Trump would be a bonus prize.
Mueller was the FBI director when Manafort undermined our national security interests in 2010. Was Mueller ordered with getting the goods on Manafort and Stone during and after the Ukrainian election? Reports indicated that Manafort was slow to return to the US after his victory in the Ukraine. Was he scared of the FBI? Has Mueller been investigating Manafort and Stone even before 2010 when Manafort was working with Russian operatives? Apparently, he could never get anything on Manafort or Stone. US Law does not prohibit US citizens from working on foreign campaigns as long as they register with the government.
Today, Mueller has a chance at redemption. Driven to make these political hitmen pay for interfering in the affairs of the United States, Mueller will not be stopped. A strong message must be sent to anyone who dares interfere with the deep state's plans. International law be damned when it blocks the agenda. It's fine to interfere with Trump's agenda, but not the globalists. In the words of Senator Chuck Schumer, "You take on the Intelligence Community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting you back." That is true, but only because we have our own oligarchs that run the American deep state with a rod of iron.
Johnny Rouse is a former NC Democratic Party official and Congressional Candidate turned unaffiliated in 2016. He has a MA in International Studies from East Carolina University.
This article originally appeared in the Carteret Times News.