“Donald Trump likes to describe this as a witch hunt—well, we just found some witches, and they were indicted,” former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said Friday about the latest round of indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller.
Podesta is deliberately taking the president out of context. Actually, this indictment of 12 Russian intelligence operatives only proves once again that neither Trump nor his campaign colluded in any way with anyone, much less the Russians. This indictment declaratively states that no American knowingly aided or spoke to anyone they knew was Russian.
What’s more, the 12 “witches” Podesta speaks of are all Russian witches.
Even so, the Russian government attempting to hack our political system is not a bombshell. It is the norm. This is what governments do to one another. There is really no news here, other than the fact that Mueller has, for the second time, dropped a number of indictments on people he will probably never be able to extradite.
Mueller is also indicting players in a foreign government for doing what our government does, and should do, which is to gather and weaponize intelligence through espionage. Filing indictments against such a thing is more symbolic than not.
The indictment also makes clear that there is still no evidence even a single vote was changed due to Russian interference.
All in all, Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians on Friday is similar to his indictment of 13 Russians in February. While the establishment media tried to use those earlier indictments to launch a misinformation campaign against Trump, it did not go very far. And in a number of ways, the February indictments ended up embarrassing Mueller when one of the accused decided to call his bluff and demand a trial.