Alternative Insight

One Cohen and Two Mountains
The Bergs give a biased interpretation to Mueller’s memorandums

In a Daily Beast article, Mueller Is Telling Us: He's Got Trump on Collusion, Dec.7, 2018, at, commentators Max Bergmann and Sam Berger (berg is mountain in German), both of whom are associated with the progressive Center for American Progress (CAP), flip another side of the coin into the fountain of outrageous statements that have emanated from Trump supporters and his antagonists. If we cannot trust progressives to report accurately, whom do we have to guide us to make reliable decisions?

In two GOVERNMENT’S SENTENCING MEMORANDUMs to the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, details his legal opinions on sentencing of the two Michaels, Flynn, and Cohen. In a draft of STATEMENT OF THE OFFENSE before UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Mueller argues perjury for Jerome Corsi, an associate of political operator, Roger stone. Similar to those who find secret messages in “Bible codes,” the Bergs interpret Mueller’s documents and find, “Mueller Is Telling Us: He’s Got Trump on Collusion.”

They state,

However, a flurry of recent activity this past week all points in the same direction: Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will likely implicate the president, his campaign, and his close associates in aiding and abetting a Russian conspiracy against the United States to undermine the 2016 election.
Mueller details how Roger Stone, who the special counsel notes was in frequent contact with Donald Trump and senior campaign officials, directed Corsi to connect with WikiLeaks about the trove of stolen materials it received from Russia. Corsi subsequently communicated WikiLeaks’ release plan back to Stone, and the Trump campaign 
built its final message around the email release. That is collusion.

Press on the link built its final message and you gather from an article by the Bergs that

After Russian intelligence successfully stole emails from Trump’s opponents, they informed the Trump campaign. Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor and suspected Russian intelligence agent, developed a relationship with Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos and told him that Russia had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” Papadopoulos informed the leadership of the Trump campaign about his conversations with Russian agents. He remained in touch with not only Mifsud but also Mifsud’s contacts with closer connections to the Kremlin, who continued extending offers of assistance.

(1) Where is there any credible evidence that “Russian intelligence informed the Trump campaign about stolen emails?”
(2) Where is there any credible evidence that “Joseph Mifsud is a suspected Russian intelligence agent?”
(3) If Mifsud claimed that Russian intelligence had “dirt” on Clinton, do we know if that included the campaign? Could he be referring to other emails than those known to be stolen during the campaign?
(4) Why were these emails never given to George Papadopoulos?
(5) Why did the mysterious Joseph Mifsud, who left several university positions under clouds of “fiddling expenses,” and who claims to be “a member of the European Council on Foreign relations,” (ED: Not listed as a member) deny everything in an interview with Esteri at

This is nonsense. Friendship is friendship but Papadopoulos doesn’t tell the truth. The only thing I did was to facilitate contacts between official and unofficial sources to resolve a crisis. It is usual business everywhere. I put think tanks in contact, groups of experts with other groups of experts.”… I strongly deny any discussion of mine about secrets concerning Hillary Clinton. I swear it on my daughter. I don’t know anyone belonging to the Russian government: the only Russian I know is Ivan Timofeev, director of the think tank “Russian International affairs council.”

(6) Did Papadopoulos ever meet with “Putin’s niece,” the Russian ambassador to Great Britain, and Russian officials? Was not the niece only a Russian woman with no relation to Putin, the ambassador a "no show," and the Russian officials unknowns at the end of a telephone line who claimed connections?

The whole affair is explained as two “wannabees” trying to score points with one another, exaggerating importance, and hoping to gain entry to higher echelons. Mifsud may have talked as if he had connections, but he made no connections for Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos may have been listed as a foreign affairs advisor to the campaign but his knowledge and experience in foreign affairs was nil and never requested.

What was the Trump campaign’s final message built around the email release? Did it have a final message? Is it collusion?
Read the document at and learn, “CORSI wrote that he was currently in Europe and planned to return in mid-August. CORSI stated: ‘Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct.’” That is it. No formal release plan, only Corsi obtaining unverified “word” of “2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct.” Is that collusion, and where are the Russians involved?

Russian intelligence had no way of knowing the emails would reveal anything significant, and, in March 2016, when they did the hacking, it was not known Trump would obtain the nomination. If Trump received the nomination, it seemed a certainty that Hillary would win the election. Therefore the Russian intelligence hacking made no sense as an attempt to interfere with the election.

The Berg duo continue their report with,

In Cohen’s sentencing memo, Mueller said that Cohen provided his office with “useful information” on “Russia-related matters core to its investigation.” One of those central elements, according to the Justice Department: “any links and/or coordination” between the Kremlin and Trump campaign figures. Collusion, in other words.

“Useful information” on “Russia-related matters core to its investigation,” and “any links and/or coordination,” sound important, but are only parsing words. Mueller writes, as shown at, that

…in or around November 2015, Cohen received the contact information for, and spoke with, a Russian national who claimed to be a ‘trusted person’ in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign ‘political synergy’ and ‘synergy on a government level.’ The defendant recalled that this person repeatedly proposed a meeting between Individual 1 and the President of Russia. The person told Cohen that such a meeting could have a ‘phenomenal” impact ‘not only in political but in a business dimension as well,’ referring to the Moscow Project, because there is ‘no bigger warranty in any project than consent of [the President of Russia].’ Cohen, however, did not follow up on this invitation.

Note that Cohen “did not follow up on this invitation.”
Who is this ‘”trusted person’ in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign ‘political synergy’ and ‘synergy on a government level.’” Buzzfeed reported in June 2018 that the Russian national was Dmitry Klokov, an Olympic weightlifter, one of several thousand Olympic athletes who may have shook hands with Putin. Buzzfeed writes that, “In one of the emails that Buzzfeed News was shown, they claim that Klokov offered to arrange a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Cohen reportedly declined the offer and cut off future communication with Klokov, who allegedly “questioned Cohen’s authority to make decisions for the Trump Organization.” Klokov immediately responded to Buzzfeed’s revelations with this comment.

I have never communicated with anyone in the Trump organization, including Trump’s family or legal representatives, and specifically the Mr. Cohen who is in the news story. I was very proud to be a part of many Russian national weightlifting teams, but I do not have any inside connections to the Russian government. No part of the story of my involvement with these people is true.
I am very disappointed that these lies get so much attention in our world today. I hope the weightlifting and sport community will continue to work together with me to make people stronger and healthier through participation in competitive athletics.

Dmitry Vyacheslavovich Klokov
8 June 2018

The most audacious remarks in the Bergs' article, which destroys their credibility, are that “Trump was compromised by a hostile foreign power during the election,” and “Trump’s team tried to bribe Russian President Vladimir Putin by offering him a $50 million penthouse.”

Mueller has found evidence that Trump was compromised by a hostile foreign power during the election. In his plea deal, Cohen revealed that Trump had repeatedly lied to voters about the then-candidate’s financial ties to Russia. While Trump claimed during the campaign to have no business dealings with Russia, he was negotiating a wildly lucrative business deal not simply with Russian businessmen, but also involving with the Kremlin itself. Trump’s team even reportedly tried to bribe Russian President Vladimir Putin by offering him a $50 million penthouse.

The Special Counsel charges do not mention any “business also involving with the Kremlin itself.” There is nothing to show any Kremlin official was involved – just the opposite -- Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov revealed two emails that responded to a Cohen inquiry.

Do these emails read as if the Russian government will compromise Trump or is interested in any “lucrative business deals?”

Another sentence insinuates that President Putin received an offer. Truth is that Russian-born businessman, Felix Sater, only proposed an “idea to give a $50 million penthouse to Putin and charge $250 million more for the rest of the units. All the oligarchs would line up to live in the same building as Putin." Nothing more than a silly and preposterous idea that went nowhere, not even five feet from the talker..

The authors turn their focus to Michael Flynn’s sentencing memo, described at

Mueller said that Flynn’s false statements to the FBI about his calls with the Russian ambassador during the transition were “material” to the investigation into “links or coordination between Russia and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.”

Sounds convincing, except that Flynn met with the Russian ambassador during December 2016, after the election. There may be elements of some type of collusion but it was not “in aiding and abetting a Russian conspiracy against the United States to undermine the 2016 election.” Why mention it in the article, which was concerned with a Russian conspiracy to undermine the election?

Why do they also mention,

Federal prosecutors have told us Trump broke the law to influence the 2016 election by hiding evidence of his affairs. Trump clearly had no qualms about breaking the law to win an election.

These violations allude to payments Cohen made to buy the silence of porn actor Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. They may cause Trump trouble but how are they related to “aiding and abetting a Russian conspiracy against the United States to undermine the 2016 election.” Why mention it in the article, which was concerned with a Russian conspiracy to undermine the election?

In the face of what Mueller has revealed, there is little question where this is going. Mueller may still be only showing us part of his hand, but it’s a damn good hand. He has signalled to us he’s found collusion. He has shown us that the president is compromised. He has told us that he has gathered information important to his investigation about contacts with people in the Trump Organization, the campaign, the transition, and even the White House. That’s everyone Trump has been connected with since he started running. And given all the redacted information in his filings and all that he’s been told by cooperating witnesses, we can be confident that Mueller will show us even more.

Because Special Counsel, Robert Mueller’s investigation is impartial and not meant to be directed against any particular person, the charge “that there is little question where this is going” is malicious. For one simple reason, Mueller has not shown us anything and cannot show us more. “When a special counsel closes shop, he or she must give the attorney general a confidential report explaining the decision to bring charges or drop the matter. The attorney general would have to notify Congress of the conclusion, but can decide whether to make the special counsel's report public.” The Bergs have quoted from Mueller’s sentencing memorandums for Cohen and Flynn words that fit their agenda and turned opinions into facts.

Mueller is coming. And he is clearly coming for Trump. Not simply for obstructing justice but for conspiring with a hostile foreign power to win an election. This is a scandal unlike any America has ever seen.

“A scandal unlike any America has ever seen.” Bigger than Teapot Dome, Watergate, Savings and Loan and…?

alternative insight
december 15, 2018