Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Yeah, the Russians meddled. They helped Trump. And he's cornered.

So, what’s new in your world? What’s listed below is a crime. And with a conspiracy in place, anyone aiding and abetting it is in legal jeopardy.

What’s been announced is only what’s been announced. The indictment here recognizes “unwitting” Americans. But this is not the end of the probe. 

Any attempt to fire Mueller now…


Mr. Mueller seems to know an awful lot. https://t.co/u1CWaHDRSw

— Francis Wilkinson (@fdwilkinson) February 16, 2018

Jennifer Rubin/WaPo:

The special counsel’s actions raise a host of questions, but here is what we can say with confidence:

There is no “hoax,” and Trump’s insistence that the Russia investigation is about nothing only reinforces the perception that he cannot concede that he received Russian help and/or that he’s been trying to disable the Russia investigation, precisely because he did not want this plot of interference to come through.
It will be exceptionally hard, if not impossible, for Trump now to fire Rosenstein or Mueller.
Mueller and his team are moving with remarkable speed, wrapping up witnesses and substantiating a conspiracy to influence the election. There is much more to this than “just” evidence of obstruction. There is an embarrassing scheme of influence that certainly could have been the motive for Trump’s effort to thwart the Russia investigation. Mueller has multiple witnesses: Michael Flynn, Richard Pinedo(the indicted American), George Papadopoulos and soon, we are told, Rick Gates). Trump and his legal team should be exceptionally worried about what else Mueller has.
The president’s failure to take action to protect the U.S. election system and prevent another assault on our democracy — a real and ongoing concern voiced by the unanimous testimony of his top intelligence officials — appears to be a gross dereliction of Trump’s duties and an abrogation of his oath.
The Russian plan was specifically aimed at helping Trump. “By February 2016, the suspects had decided whom they were supporting in the 2016 race. According to the indictment, Internet Research Agency specialists were instructed to ‘use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them),’” The Post reports. “Prosecutors say some Russian employees of the troll farm were chastised in September 2016 when they had a ‘low number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton’ and were told it was ‘imperative to intensify criticizing’ the Democratic nominee in future posts.”
While Rosenstein said there was no evidence that the actions in the indictment affected the election outcome, such an assertion, he surely must know, is not a provable fact and is legally immaterial. No one can prove how many people were affected by what the Russians put out.


1/ Sweet Jesus the MAGAS, the clickservatives, and Gentry Breitbart think he’s exonerated. It’s freaking spectacular. SPEC-TAC-ULAR.

— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 16, 2018