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Papadopoulos and Manafort: Mueller’s Bad Gambit

gam·bit noun 1 : a device, action, or opening remark, typically one entailing a degree of risk, that is calculated to gain an advantage. [1]

Special counsel Robert Mueller has nothing. But due to mounting pressure, he chose to push three figures into the limelight in hopes of taking heat off of his failing investigation.

He, or someone with knowledge of his grand jury’s outcome, illegally released the indictment of one or more Trump officials which turned out to be Paul Manafort and Richard Gates. On that same day, a sealed plea deal surfaced for George Papadopoulos. The charges weren’t treason – nope. He paraded these three men out with charges of telling a fib and financial crimes that preceded any involvement with the Trump campaign.

It was Robert Mueller’s gambit. He hoped that marching these three men out in front of the American public would cause someone, somewhere to come forward and finally tell the fairy tale of Trump meeting with Putin to undermine the American election of 2016. It’s not going to happen.

As a journalist, it hurts my soul to see the lack of skeptical analysis and reporting that showed up across the web on the indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. The release of the 3-week-old guilty plea by George Papadopoulos didn’t make it better.

These are J-school (journalism school) graduates who are failing to ask the basic questions: who, what, when, why and where. Why the FBI chose what charges are the most important questions – but not for them – they just care who got nabbed.

Sure Papadopoulos was arrested and plead guilty to lying to the FBI – but why didn’t the feds charge him with something bigger if they thought he was actually involved in coordinating with Russia to undermine a U.S. election? If he had, that would be treason. Instead, they charged him with telling a fib to the bureau which thanks to Comey and Mueller, is an organization most of us don’t trust anymore.

Mueller also signed an indictment of Paul Manafort and Richard Gates. Surely that was for treason because they must have coordinated with Russians to cause Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016 … what? NO?

Both Manafort and Gates were charged with financial crimes that mainly occurred between 2009 and 2o14 the timeline for Viktor Yanukovich’s candidacy and presidency in Ukraine. Treason? Nope. Why not?

All three men are Mueller’s sad attempt to make Hillary’s fairy tale claim of coordination with Russia true. He’s hoping that either one of these three men will turn on someone else or that some other unindicted co-conspirator will step forward and finger the President of the United States for treason.

So many media outlets have failed to ask why the charges were filed and during what time did the crimes happen. They only care about who got charged and how that affects the president. Caught up in the moment, they missed a real journalistic opportunity.

Mueller’s gambit is awful, will likely cost him his position as special counsel and it should. Journalists failing to ask some basic questions should go with him.


[1] – gambit. 2017. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved October 31, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gambit

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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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  1. Mueller has mud own his own face – as head of the FBI he said nothing – DID nothing – when the Criminal Bitch and Obama-the Lawless sold our Uranium to our long time traditional ENEMY! RUSSIA. Imagine THAT!

    May the journalistic blood flow to the horses bridle !!

  2. Manafort and the two other indicted people were undeniablly interested in cooperation with the Russians and that cooperation was intended to influence an election. Did they actually collude? And can collusion result in further and more serious charges against Manafort and others, including the President? Time will tell. It looks more likely every day — despite Trumpistas desperate efforts to divert attention.

    Perhaps Trumpistas believe that collusion with a foreign power to influence our elections is okey-doky. I don’t.

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