by Craig Murray, Consortium News:
Douglas Adams famously suggested that the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. In the world of the political elite, the answer is Russiagate. What has caused the electorate to turn on the political elite, to defeat Hillary
Clinton and to rush to Brexit? Why, the evil Russians, of course, are behind it all.
It was the Russians who hacked the Democratic National Commitee and published Hillary’s emails, thus causing her to lose the election because… the Russians, dammit, who cares what was in the emails? It was the Russians. It is the Russians who are behindWikiLeaks, and Julian Assange is a Putin agent (as is that evil Craig Murray).
It was the Russians who swayed the 1,300,000,000 dollar presidential election campaign result with 100,000 dollars of Facebook advertising. It was the evil Russians who once did a dodgy trade deal with Aaron Banks then did something improbable with Cambridge Analytica that hypnotized people en masse via Facebook into supporting Brexit.
All of this is known to be true by every Blairite, every Clintonite, by the BBC, by CNN, by the Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post. “The Russians did it” is the article of faith for the political elite who cannot understand why the electorate rejected the triangulated “consensus” the elite constructed and sold to us, where the filthy rich get ever richer and the rest of us have falling incomes, low employment rights and scanty welfare benefits. You don’t like that system? You have been hypnotized and misled by evil Russian trolls and hackers.
[Whether Trump and/or Brexit were worthy beneficiaries of the popular desire to express discontent is an entirely different argument and not one I address here].
Except, Not True
Except virtually none of this is true. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inability to defend in person his deeply flawed report took a certain amount of steam out of the blame Russia campaign. But what should have killed off “Russiagate” forever is the judgement of Judge John G. Koeltl of the Federal District Court of New York.
In a lawsuit brought by the Democratic National Committee against Russia and against WikiLeaks, and against inter alia Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Julian Assange, for the first time the claims of collusion between Trump and Russia were subjected to actual scrutiny in a court of law. And Judge Koeltl concluded that, quite simply, the claims made as the basis of Russiagate are insufficient to even warrant a hearing.
The judgement is 81-pages long, but if you want to understand the truth about the entire “Russiagate” spin it is well worth reading it in full. Otherwise let me walk you through it.
This is the crucial point about Koeltl’s judgement. In considering dismissing a case at the outset in response to a motion to dismiss from the defense, the judge is obliged to give the plaintiff every benefit and to take the alleged facts described by the DNC as true. The stage of challenging and testing those facts has not been reached. The question Koeltl is answering is this. Accepting for the moment the DNC’s facts as true, on the face of it, even if everything that the Democratic National Committee alleged happened, did indeed happen, is there the basis for a case? And his answer is a comprehensive no. Even the facts alleged to comprise the Russiagate narrative do not mount up to a plausible case.
The consequence of this procedure is of course that in this judgement Koeltl is accepting the DNC’s “facts.” The judgement is therefore written entirely on the assumption that the Russians did hack the DNC computers as alleged by the plaintiff (the Democratic National Committee), and that meetings and correspondence took place as the DNC alleged and their content was also what the DNC alleged. It is vital to understand in reading the document that Koeltl is not stating that he finds these “facts” to be true. Doubtless had the trial proceeded many of them would have been challenged by the defendants and their evidentiary basis tested in court. It is simply at this stage the only question Koeltl is answering is whether, assuming the facts alleged all to be true, there are grounds for trial.
Judge Koeltl’s subsequent dismissal of the Russiagate nonsense is a problem for the mainstream media and their favorite narrative. They have largely chosen to pretend it never happened, but when obliged to mention it have attempted to misrepresent this as the judge confirming that the Russians hacked the DNC. It very definitely and specifically is not that; the judge was obliged to rule on the procedural motion to dismiss on the basis of assuming the allegation to be true. Legal distinctions, even very plain ones like this, are perhaps difficult for the average cut and paste mainstream media stenographer to understand. But the widespread failure to report the meaning of Koeltl’s judgement fairly is inexcusable.
The key finding is this. Even accepting the DNC’s evidence at face value, the judge ruled that it provides no evidence of collusion between Russia, WikiLeaks or any of the named parties to hack the DNC’s computers. It is best expressed here in this dismissal of the charge that a property violation was committed, but in fact the same ruling by the judge that no evidence has been presented of any collusion for an illegal purpose, runs through the dismissal of each and every one of the varied charges put forward by the DNC as grounds for their suit.
Judge Koeltl goes further and asserts that WikiLeaks, as a news organization, had every right to obtain and publish the emails in exercise of a fundamental First Amendment right. The judge also specifically notes that no evidence has been put forward by the DNC that shows any relationship between Russia and WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks, accepting the DNC’s version of events, merely contacted the website that first leaked some of the emails, in order to ask to publish them.
Judge Koeltl also notes firmly that while various contacts are alleged by the DNC between individuals from Trump’s campaign and individuals allegedly linked to the Russian government, no evidence at all has been put forward to show that the content of any of those meetings had anything to do with eitherWikiLeaks or the DNC’s emails.
In short, Koeltl dismissed the case entirely because simply no evidence has been produced of the existence of any collusion between WikiLeaks, the Trump campaign and Russia. That does not mean that the evidence has been seen and is judged unconvincing. In a situation where the judge is duty bound to give credence to the plaintiff’s evidence and not judge its probability, there simply was no evidence of collusion to which he could give credence. The entire Russia-WikiLeaks-Trump fabrication is a total nonsense. But I don’t suppose that fact will kill it off.