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Alexander Waugh Russia US Politics World

When justice is a PR stunt

Why are the FBI bothering to indict Elena Khusyaynova?

October 22, 2018

11:36 AM

22 October 2018

11:36 AM

Last week the public was informed of the indictment of a Russian citizen, ‘Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, 44’, for conspiring to defraud the United States. What had she done wrong? According to FBI Special Agent, David Holt, whose girlish signature appears on the official ‘Criminal Complaint’ submitted to a District Court in Virginia, she had served, since 2014, as an accountant to a firm in St Petersburg that had attempted to influence the American electorate by posting discourteous opinions about US politicians and officials online. As evidence of such delinquency Special Agent Holt presented a ‘preliminary translation’ of an unidentified Russian text, allegedly carrying instructions from an unnamed Russian boss of an unnamed Russian firm, to one or more unnamed subordinated trolls telling them what to post in the ‘comments’ section of an American article (on the WND website), concerning ex-FBI Director, Robert Mueller:

‘Special prosecutor Mueller is a puppet of the establishment. List scandals that took place when Mueller headed the FBI. Direct attention to listed examples. State the following: It is a fact that the Special Prosecutor who leads the investigation against Trump represents the establishment … Summarise with a statement that Mueller is a very dependent and highly politicised figure; therefore, there will be no honest and open results from the investigation. Emphasise that the work of this commission is damaging to the country and is aimed to declare impeachment of Trump. Emphasise that it cannot be allowed, no matter what.’

Whether ‘Elena Khusyaynova’ is a real Russian troll-farm accountant or a random name plucked by the FBI from the St Petersburg telephone directory hardly matters, for she is not charged with anything on the indictment except being a bean-counter to a lobbying firm said to have posted opinions about American politics online – a perfectly legal activity in her own country, just as it is perfectly legal in America (and everywhere else in the world) to assist any firm in posting opinions about foreign politics, whether that firm be funded privately or by a host government. The US government, which has a long history of attempting to interfere with foreign elections, is quite right to expose Russian attempts to clog the ether with partisan propaganda about US politicians, but foolish to suppose that anyone needs to get in a lather about it. Foreign policy affects foreign nations and it is quite natural for all governments to do what they can, within the bounds of the law, to persuade voters in far off lands to elect to office those politicians who will instigate foreign policies that are congenial to them.

Khusyaynova will never stand trial in America as her indictment by a Virginian court under Title 18 of US Code, Section 371, has no legal force outside of the US. The warrant for her arrest is therefore nothing but a PR stunt. A large number of news outlets ran the story with a capitalised headline ‘NOT MUELLER’S CASE’. Whose press release did they take this from, I wonder? Mueller may not be prosecuting the case against Khusyaynova but it is inconceivable that he was not, at very least, consulted before FBI Special Agent Holt fired off his ‘Criminal Complaint’, before two assistant US attorneys reviewed the case and before government officials released details about it to the public.

Lest we forget, Mueller was mandated to look for ‘links and/or coordination’ between the Russian government and President Trump’s campaign team, with sweeping powers to stick his great nose into all matters arising therefrom (including Michael Cohen’s underpants drawer), to issue indictments and subpoenas, to empanel grand juries, investigate, arrest and prosecute reluctant or obstructive witnesses, and spend millions of dollars in so doing. The longer his show remains upon the road without producing any clear verdict or any ostensible benefit to the American tax-payer, the greater the danger that public opinion will start accusing Mr Mueller of frivolously extending his operations to keep his nest of pay, power and privilege comfortably feathered until such a time as he is able to find something – anything – to fell the president.

In the meantime, it may be comforting for many on the left to know that all negative comment about Mueller’s political motivations and effectiveness as a Special Prosecutor originated from a fake-news troll farm in Russia whose accountant is called ‘Elena Khusyaynova, 44’. Well done Special Agent Holt for pointing that out! What next?

‘The District Court of Columbia indicts Mr Xian Qwang Wank, 38, of the People’s Republic of China for supplying carpets to an office in Szechuan Province from which a hired troll was instructed to tweet: ‘Robert S. Mueller III is a vainglorious arse’ (preliminary translation of Mandarin text) – a message that may have inspired 55,000 Democrats in Ohio to vote Republican instead.

Based on the foregoing, and on my training, experience, and participation in this and other investigations, I submit there is probable cause to believe that Xian Qwang Wank has violated Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

Signed …. [girl’s signature]

Peter Puffer, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation.’


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