Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Mueller Squirrel Case

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Special Counsel Robert Mueller recently indicted yet another peripheral character in his Trump probe, Russian attorney Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, for alleged money laundering in a matter quite separate from Trump.

Like almost all of Mueller’s indictments of the past 20 months, the charges against Veselnitskaya had nothing to do with his original mandate of finding any possible Trump–Russia collusion. No matter; within minutes, Veselnitskaya’s name was injected into the media cycle as if the fact that she was Russian and connected to the name Mueller were de facto proof that Trump was guilty of something — if not collusion, something worse.

If Mueller was not a special counsel, and if he was not looking for anyone deemed useful to flip to find dirt on Donald Trump, then Veselnitskaya would have been just another daily Washington foreign influence-peddler being courted with impunity by her American influence-peddling and often equally suspect counterparts.

To date, in almost every one of his indictments of Americans, Mueller has gone after Trump staffers, often quite minor, for alleged crimes that either were committed well before Mueller began his investigations, or came as a result of plea bargaining in exchange for providing expected dirt on Trump, or were the result of government surveillance or the use of government informants, or all of that and more. And all that sensationalism, through leaks and insinuations, was packaged by the media as “bombshells” and “watersheds” and “turning points” ad nauseam for 20 months.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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