Mueller keeps fishing in back channels, casting a new fly line in Seychelles

Oh, desperation, thy name is Robert Mueller!

Or something like that.  Going against all precedent to see a crime where there never was one, the special counsel is now pursuing the potential back channels Trump administration officials set up with the Russians in Seychelles shortly before he took office.

According to a Washington Post report:

Special counsel Robert Mueller has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in the Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin – apparently contradicting statements made to lawmakers by one of its participants, according to people familiar with the matter.

In January 2017, Erik Prince, the founder of the private security company Blackwater, met with a Russian official close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and later described the meeting to congressional investigators as a chance encounter that was not a planned discussion of U.S.-Russia relations.

A witness cooperating with Mueller has told investigators the meeting was set up in advance so that a representative of the Trump transition could meet with an emissary from Moscow to discuss future relations between the countries, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

This is an old story, by the way, first reported 11 months ago, in 2017.

According to an ABC News report last year, back channels are something every president has done since the nation's founding, with some rather spectacular examples dating from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt onward.  Those examples include then-president-elect Obama.  ABC reports:

In March 2013, the Obama administration opened up a back channel with Iran, and subsequently held several secret meetings.  When the Iran Nuclear [sic] deal was brokered, Obama said the back-channel conversations were instrumental in negotiating the deal, according to the Associated Press.

Obama also approved secret negotiations with Iran in 2014 that were used to negotiate for the freedom of Americans held captive there.

Obama also set up back-channels with the Taliban, back channels with the North Koreans, and back channels with the Castroite Cubans.  He was a man of many back channels.  His hot-mic advice to Russian then-president Dmitry Medvedev in 2012 that he'd have "more flexibility" after his re-election was also a back channel.  And according to this report noted in the Daily Caller, he set up another back channel to the Russians over the Russian electoral hacking allegations.  Seems to be a lot of back-channeling in the presidency of President Obama, something that doesn't get much attention as the left screams about the Trump minions' Seychelles encounter.

So back channels are nothing new; they're just problematic when President Trump does them, and Democrats want to prove that he conspired with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton.  Yeah, sure.

Mueller does seem to have Blackwater founder Erik Prince in a bind, because Prince apparently told Congress some other story – a stupid move on his part, given that it's not a bad thing to be setting up a back channel.  So even if Prince did, he should have just laid it out and been done with it.

Mueller's pursuing this strange line of investigation is questionable, given that pretty much every other president has done it.  Does he really mean to say that all presidents can do it except for President Trump?  Is that the rule he is setting up?  Because if it is, it's stupid, too, and well outside his mandate, because it proves no collusion.

What we are seeing here is more grasping at straws, a phenomenon first noted by Mike Allen of Axios.  Now Mueller is going to get another scalp over the lying issue instead of something of real substance pertaining to his mandate to investigate Trump's supposed collusion with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton.  Is he turning anything up on this matter?  Not a bit.

Finding nothing is wearying, of course.  This line of inquiry is so content-less that one wonders if Mueller's investigators just wanted some vacay on the public dime in Seychelles.

Such a barren, fruitless investigation he's led.  Must be tough to be Bob Mueller, the man who finds nothing.