Mueller emphasized what he called "the central allegation" of the two-year Russia probe. The Russian government, Mueller declared, engaged in "multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American."
But a close examination of the report shows that none of those headline assertions are supported by the report’s evidence or other publicly available sources. They are further undercut by investigative shortcomings and the conflicts of interest of key players involved:
The report uses qualified and vague language to describe key events, indicating that Mueller and his investigators do not actually know for certain whether Russian intelligence officers stole Democratic Party emails, or how those emails were transferred to WikiLeaks.
The report's timeline of events appears to defy logic. According to its narrative, WikiLeaks founder Assange announced the publication of DEM Party emails not only before he received the documents but before he even communicated with the source that provided them.
There is strong reason to doubt Mueller’s suggestion that an alleged Russian cutout called Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen emails to Assange.
U.S. intelligence officials cannot make definitive conclusions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers because they did not analyze those servers themselves.
Mueller’s report conspicuously does not allege that the Russian government carried out the social media campaign. Instead it blames, as Mueller said in his closing remarks, "a private Russian entity" known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).
If the U.S. government does not have a solid case to make against Russia, then the origins of Russiagate, and its subsequent predominance of U.S. political and media focus, are potentially even more suspect.
Given that allegation's importance, and Mueller's own uncertainty and inconsistencies,
THE SPECIAL COUNSEL AND HIS AIDES DESERVE SCRUTINY FOR MAKING A "CENTRAL ALLEGATION" THAT THEY HAVE YET TO SUBSTANTIATE.