On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that Robert Mueller’s hired veteran cyber-crimes prosecutor Ryan K. Dickey to work for the Office of the Special Counsel. Dickey’s experience prosecuting cyber-crimes sets him apart from other members of Mueller’s team, who mostly consist of prosecutors and investigators who specialize in white-collar crimes and counter-intelligence investigations.
Although two of Mueller’s prosecutors, Zainab Ahmad and Brandon Van Grack have investigated and prosecuted some cyber-related cases in the past, their expertise mostly involves counter-terrorism and national security.
A new unverified report published by Erick Erickson this morning on The Resurgent sheds some light on a possible reason that Mueller may have hired Ryan Dicky. Erickson reports that a source from Trump’s legal team told him that Mueller is currently looking into Kushner’s activity surrounding paid social media activity. Specifically, whether or not Kushner used his own personal funds to purchase social media engagement meant to promote the Trump campaign, and if so, where was that engagement from?
Erickson puts forth a hypothesis that Kushner used a Russian “rent-a-mob” service to gin up support on Twitter for his father while targeting critics of the Trump Campain, including Erickson himself.
Bi-Partisan Congressional Investigations into Russian social media activity during the 2016 election found that the Russian bot accounts that existed numbered in the hundreds and that the total spending by Russia to influence the campaign consisted of one $100K tranche of ads on Facebook, many of which were actually left-wing ads promoting Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and various anti-Trump rallies.
If Kushner was trying to garner the support of some sort of Russian bot-net in the 2016 election, he didn’t do a very good job, as the Russian cyber activity disclosed by Twitter and Facebook that took place during the election seems to suggest that the Russians were throwing their weight behind Hillary Clinton.
If Erickson’s revelations from Trump’s legal team are authentic, the White House has serious reasons to be concerned about action against Kushner from both Mueller’s legal team, as well as from the Federal Election Commission. As it stands, the only Federal Election Commission complaint that is currently in-play is the one lodged against Hillary Clinton by The Committee to Defend the President, which alleges that Clinton solicited cash from big-name donors and essentially laundered it through local DNC chapters into Hillary’s campaign coffers in order to avoid the FEC’s Donation Limits.