Straight out of a spy novel: How Robert Mueller is unraveling the Russian deep state mystery


As the attacks against Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, his special counsel team and the FBI are escalated by a faction of defenders of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBroward County official Brenda Snipes submits resignation after criticism Retired lieutenant general tears into Trump over attacks against Navy SEAL: 'Disgusting' Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks MORE, and the president strangely and malevolently tweets that his own Justice Department is part of the “deep state” investigating him, let’s consider what is happening.

Once the Russians began their covert program seeking to fix the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump, and to wage a cyber war, info war and espionage war against American democracy that continues today, a great battle began that pits Russia against America.  

The Russian team is led by Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, who gives the orders and runs the Russian deep state operation that includes the successor groups to the KGB and others who operate in secret in this attack against American democracy. 

The American team is not led by President Trump, who calls the investigations of the Russian attack fake news, has repeatedly fired leaders of investigations of the Russian attack, and has repeatedly criticized or outright attacked agencies of the U.S. government whose agents and officers are fighting on behalf of the American team against Russia. For practical purposes the current captain of the American team is Robert Mueller, who is supported by a dedicated team of highly patriotic professionals in various government agencies entrusted with defending America against foreign attacks by hostile nations — in this case, Russia. 


What is happening is that there was an aggressive and multi-faceted operation by the Russian team to penetrate, infiltrate and influence the Trump team on behalf of Russian interests. Robert Mueller and his special counsel team, and at least the Senate Intelligence Committee, are investigating first the scope and magnitude of the Russian operation and second, whether or not there was anyone associated with Trump who was acting in concert with, and in furtherance of, the offensive by the Russian deep state against America.


Robert Mueller is, in large measure, playing a role similar to the “good guys” in the John le Carré spy novels about espionage and counterintelligence during the Cold War battles with the Soviet Union. He is working with agencies of the U.S. government who defend our security to unravel exactly what the Russians were doing, exactly how they were doing it, and whether — or not — there were any Americans conspiring with the Russians while they did it. Once he nails down the facts, Mueller will decide whether and how to apply the law, a process that has begun with cases now pending.

Those defenders of Trump who attack Mueller or the FBI should give heartfelt thought to exactly what they are doing and the implications of their words and actions, which hurt key players on the American team who are defending our country from a foreign attack.

What is striking about Trump is that, if he were convinced of his innocence, it would not make sense for him to repeatedly launch attacks against those investigating the Russian operation. He would be virtually silent about the case, condemn the Russian attack against America and simply state that he looks forward to the conclusion of the investigations that he knows will clear him and others associated with him.

There was one particularly revealing assertion in the groundbreaking New York Times op-ed titled “The Republicans’ Fake Inquiry,” by Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, the founders of Fusion GPS, which hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who wrote the dossier that is now so widely discussed.

Simpson and Fritsch assert that they were told that the dossier was taken so seriously by the FBI “because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.” There are a number of key matters included in the dossier that were independently corroborated before and after the FBI first learned of its existence, while other matters in the dossier remain under investigation. 

Considering Trump’s latest deluge of bizarre Twitter tirades, perhaps he knows or believes that more blockbuster news is coming soon. Until the facts are resolved once and for all, Mueller and the rest of the American team will continue unraveling the mysteries of the Russian deep state operation, and following the facts and the law wherever they lead.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.