The Russia watchCollusion may be impossible to prove; EU & Russia’s disinformation war; Russia’s national identity; and more

Published 7 December 2018

  History suggests proving collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia may be impossible

·  14 Trump and Russia questions Robert Mueller knows the answers to

·  The White House has no plan for confronting the Mueller Report

·  Putin’s mouthpiece is center stage in the Mueller investigation

·  Felix Sater, the spy, criminal, and mafia-linked business executive tied to Trump, explained

·   EU raises funds to fight ‘disinformation war’ with Russia

·  Election hacking will come to a ‘breaking point,’ says Dem strategist

·  Senate Intelligence Committee grilled Steve Bannon about Cambridge Analytica

·  Russia’s bizarre new campaign to define its national identity

History suggests proving collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia may be impossible (Don H. Levin, Lawfare)
When the Mueller investigation began in May 2017, many people hoped that it would shed light on what was perhaps the central question regarding Russia’s intervention in the 2016 U.S. election: whether the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Russian government’s interference operation. Evidence in the media, in public intelligence community findings, from the Senate intelligence committee investigation, and in charging documents from the special counsel has made plain that Russia deployed an intentional and sophisticated influence campaign aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. But the public record has left whether anyone associated with the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Russian government as an open question.
For almost a decade, I have studied how the United States and Russia (and the Soviet Union before it) execute this type of operation, which is called a “partisan electoral intervention” in academic literature. The 2016 case provides an interesting point of comparison to this backdrop. My research has led me to two conclusions. On one hand, it is more likely than the public record suggests, given what the public already knows about this intervention and applying parallels to similar past efforts, that such collusion had indeed occurred. On the other hand, given how collusion has actually been carried out in known real life cases, it is highly unlikely that Mueller will be able to find incontrovertible proof for it.

14 Trump and Russia questions Robert Mueller knows the answers to (Garrett M. Graff, Wired)
Michael Flynn’s sentencing memo, filed [last Friday] with the most intriguing and interesting parts redacted by special counsel Robert Mueller, provided yet another frustrating glimpse into an investigation that seems at times almost maddeningly opaque. It made clear that Flynn was cooperating in three criminal investigations—and that he had cooperated extensively—but shed little light on the “what” or the “how.”
Amid the flurry of revelations from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign, it’s worth revisiting the loose ends of his probe. Specifically, focusing on questions that remain mysteries to us but that clearly Mueller himself knows by this point—the Rumsfeldian “known unknowns”—provides particular clarity as to where the investigation will head next. (Cont.)