The Trump administration shocked the country yesterday with the news that former FBI Director Robert Mueller had been appointed as special counsel in the Russia investigation. Opinions were divided, although pundits and politicians on both the Left and the Right seemed to welcome Robert Mueller’s appointment. “Finally, a special counsel! Now we’ll get to the bottom of this and be able to impeach Trump,” screamed the Left. “Finally, a special counsel! Now those idiot libtards will see that this whole Russia thing is nothing more than a seizure dream concocted by Hillary Clinton’s fevered mind,” shouted the Right.
Rarely do elements of both parties agree on anything. Robert Mueller’s appointment had somehow gotten both sides to quit screaming at each other for about five seconds. The rough-and-tumble world of American politics had, for the moment, reached a strange sort of equilibrium. All was right with the world.
And then Wikileaks came and smashed this new-found harmony with a bat:
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 18, 2017
Robert Mueller delivered stolen Uranium to the Russians? The hell you say!
Yes, it appeared that Robert Mueller had been caught in the midst of some nefarious transaction between the Russians and the US government. Elements on the right side of Twitter picked up on Wikileaks’ tweet and ran with it:
— Tennessee (@TEN_GOP) May 18, 2017
So who’s going to investigate Robert Mueller? https://t.co/7mrQW2ZV9h
— Steve Hirsch (@Stevenwhirsch99) May 18, 2017
The tweet made the rounds on Twitter, with some conservatives calling on Mueller to recuse himself from the investigation because of it.
Here’s what the excerpt from the Robert Mueller cable says for those of you who don’t wish to sully yourselves with Twitter:
6. (S/Rel Russia) Action request: Embassy Moscow is requested to alert at the highest appropriate level the Russian Federation that FBI Director Mueller plans to deliver the HEU sample once he arrives to Moscow on September 21. Post is requested to convey information in paragraph 5 with regard to chain of custody, and to request details on Russian Federation’s plan for picking up the material. Embassy is also requested to reconfirm the April 16 understanding from the FSB verbally that we will have no problem with the Russian Ministry of Aviation concerning Mueller’s September 21 flight clearance.
That certainly doesn’t sound good. On the surface it does indeed look like Mueller was involved in some shady dealings with the Russians at the behest of the Obama administration. The fact that this cable is dated from 2009 had also led some to conclude that it might have something to do with Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One deal.
The problem with all of that, however, lies in what Wikileaks posted. Wikileaks posted only a portion of the cable-the juiciest portion, of course. In fact when you go back and actually read the cable we get an entirely different picture of the supposed shady deal.
Here’s the beginning part of the cable explaining the context behind the uranium delivery:
2. (S/NF) Background: Over two years ago Russia requested a ten-gram sample of highly enriched uranium (HEU) seized in early 2006 in Georgia during a nuclear smuggling sting operation involving one Russian national and several Georgian accomplices. The seized HEU was transferred to U.S. custody and is being held at a secure DOE facility. In response to the Russian request, the Georgian Government authorized the United States to share a sample of the material with the Russians for forensic analysis. Director Mueller previously planned to deliver the sample in April (Ref A), but due to a scheduling conflict the trip was canceled. Embassy Moscow LegAtt informed the FSB prior to Mueller’s intended April delivery and received confirmation that the FSB would take custody of the sample after the Director’s plane landed. EST Moscow also informed Rosatom of the planned transfer and that the U.S. placed a high priority on completing this transfer (Ref B). Once the LegAtt told FSB counterparts the April trip had been canceled, Ambassador Beyrle informed Igor Neverov (Ref C), who said that he understood but was disappointed the trip was postponed. The September 21 visit provides again an opportunity to deliver the requested ten-gram sample from the seized HEU in order to obtain cooperation from the GOR on this nuclear smuggling case and to eventually establish a more productive mechanism of U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear forensics.
It turns out that this particular uranium delivery was of a sample of uranium that the US had obtained in a sting operation back in 2006. The Russians requested a sample of the seized uranium; understandable since one of those arrested was a Russian national. Georgian authorities signed off on giving the sample to the Russians. There was a scheduling conflict, however, and that delivery was delayed until shortly before the cable was written in 2009 (for the record the Uranium One deal wasn’t completed until 2013).
How much uranium did Mueller deliver to the Russians, though? Surely it has to have been a significant amount, right?
Actually it turns out Mueller delivered 10 grams worth of uranium.
In other words, not a significant amount of uranium. What started out looking like a nefarious deal turns out to be a fairly routine sharing of evidence between the investigative arms of two countries.
Luckily this story seems to have been killed off quicker than an unborn child in a Planned Parenthood clinic. This is a good thing, because the whole “Robert Mueller gave uranium to the Russians” narrative is one that could very easily have passed into fake news territory. We have enough problems with the fake news that the Left throws at us daily. Let’s not complicate things further by tossing our own barbs into the mix.