Are the same FBI agents who investigated the Tsarnaev brothers investigating Russia and the 2016 election?

Hasn’t it been more than a year since America’s best investigators sunk their teeth into the meaty subject of Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election? What are their results?

I keep seeing “Russia bad” in the headlines, but can’t figure out what has been determined, other than some Russians have accounts on Facebook and/or run ads on Facebook (but can they possibly be more contemptuous of folks who disagree with them than my actual Facebook friends?)

The Empire State Building was completed in 13 months. In our digital age when the malefactors have purportedly done everything digitally (i.e., at the speed of light), why hasn’t this investigation been wrapped up after 13(?) months?


  1. Bill S

    March 5, 2018 @ 2:35 pm


    You really love those Tsarnaevs don’t you!

    According to, as many as 3400 workers were on site building the Empire State Building _each day_ during construction, I wonder how many have been working on the Russia investigation. By the way, five were killed building the ESB, how does that compare?

  2. Gino

    March 5, 2018 @ 6:58 pm


    Yes Phil, you think US intel agency budget of $59.9B, which is 85% of Russia’s whole defense budget, is enough to hire enough intel folks and FBI agents? No way.
    And they have given us the “smoking gun” – names of 13 Russian trolls and troll bosses that have apparently hijacked US democracy and it’s $1B election. You’re welcome.

  3. philg

    March 5, 2018 @ 6:59 pm


    Bill: I think I have demonstrated my love for the Tsarnaevs. As they lived on welfare in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I pay property taxes, income taxes, etc., I paid for their housing, health care, food, and smartphones (assuming that they had Obamaphones). I also paid for them to take tolerance and diversity classes in the Cambridge public schools. A willingness to pay 100% of another person’s expenses is a kind of “love,” no?

    Good point on the staffing. The FBI has only about 35,000 employees so it would have to be 10 percent of the staff to be comparable to the Empire State Building crew.


  4. toucan sam

    March 5, 2018 @ 8:05 pm


    I think the Russian investigation is all fake news. Sometimes people say Trump is very stupid and incompetent then in the same breath they say how he is a secret Russian agent and has pulled the wool over all our eyes! How can he be both? Also Gino I think you are wrong about 1 billion dollar election. I am pretty sure it costs way more than that and if you include PACs Hillary out spent Trump something like 6:1. I don’t know anyone who had their opinions changed by a facebook troll.

  5. Mark

    March 6, 2018 @ 4:57 am


    The Russians had zero effect on how I voted. Now, if the Russians somehow got Hillary nominated as the Democratic Party candidate, thus giving Trump a stupid, egotistical moron to run against and hence giving him a decent shot at defeating said stupid, egotistical moron, then I think there may something to all this…
    I wonder if the NYT or CNN would care to print or air THAT theory?

  6. Mark

    March 6, 2018 @ 5:00 am


    I am obtaining estimates for printing those “Phil In ‘20” bumper stickers.

  7. Russil Wvong

    March 7, 2018 @ 12:26 am


    The Lawfare blog is a good way to keep track of the Mueller investigation. Here’s their commentary on the February 28 indictment.

  8. the other Donald

    March 7, 2018 @ 5:00 pm


    It is pretty clear that Russian interests took part in U.S. elections, even if only by using social media as it is designed. Since electioneering is basically persuasion/social signalling and the election was won by 55,000 votes among 125,000,000 votes, we can never know which influence made the difference.

    The Lawfare site rightly says that “no evidence of collusion” is not “evidence of no collusion” and we need to see all the evidence Mueller will eventually reveal. At that time we may well have a choice between “politics was illegal”, “politics was stupid”, “politics was ill-advised”, “politics worked as expected”, and/or “all of the above”.

  9. GermanL

    March 7, 2018 @ 6:20 pm


    @Russil that blog entry was awful. Several pages and again just pure speculation.

    The Russia thing is a big nothing burger. The people indicted are such small-timers, and while I have no doubt the Russians played around on social media to see what could be done to influence the vote, the amount they spent on “mind control” is so paltry that it is really laughable that anyone could argue that it was able to take down the Clinton machine that spent 1.2 Billion vs Trump’s 0.6 Billion. Both Clinton and Trump spent 81 million on Facebook ads. Assuming 2:1 ratio again, then Clinton spent probably ~53 million on “mind control” ads. The Russians spent a measly 50k-150k. I’m sure the Chinese were also playing on social media. It is no surprise that foreigners want to influence US politics. It is no surprise (and it is well documented) that the USA also influences world politics. It’s the pot calling the kettle black. Except the pot in this case is extremely huge, and the kettle is extremely small in comparison.

    Btw – the British had covert operations to convince the USA to go to war against Germany in WW2 before Pearl Harbor.

    — BSC was set up by a Canadian entrepreneur called William Stephenson, working on behalf of the British Secret Intelligence Services (SIS). An office was opened in the Rockefeller Centre in Manhattan with the discreet compliance of Roosevelt and J Edgar Hoover of the FBI. But nobody on the American side of the fence knew what BSC’s full agenda was nor, indeed, what would be the massive scale of its operations. What eventually occurred as 1940 became 1941 was that BSC became a huge secret agency of nationwide news manipulation and black propaganda. Pro-British and anti-German stories were planted in American newspapers and broadcast on American radio stations, and simultaneously a campaign of harassment and denigration was set in motion against those organisations perceived to be pro-Nazi or virulently isolationist (such as the notoriously anti-British America First Committee – it had more than a million paid-up members). —

    –Nobody really knows how many people ended up working for BSC – as agents or sub-agents or sub-sub-agents – although I have seen the figure mentioned of up to 3,000. Certainly at the height of its operations in late 1941 there were many hundreds of agents and many hundreds of fellow travellers (enough finally to stir the suspicions of Hoover, for one). Three thousand British agents spreading propaganda and mayhem in a staunchly anti-war America. It almost defies belief. Try to imagine a CIA office in Oxford Street with 3,000 US operatives working in a similar way. The idea would be incredible – but it was happening in America in 1940 and 1941, and the organisation grew and grew.–

  10. Russil Wvong

    March 11, 2018 @ 7:03 pm


    GermanL: “The Russia thing is a big nothing burger.”

    Which is it – big, or nothing?

    Trump fired the director of the FBI, after asking him to go easy on Flynn (who’s now pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI). Looks pretty big to me.

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