As many questions about the Donald Trump Russia scandal that were answered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation, the report left at least as many unanswered — and raised new questions as well. One such mystery was spotted by independent journalist Scott Stedman on Tuesday, via his Twitter account, when he noticed a single mention in the Mueller Report of Sergey Shoygu, Russia’s defense minister since 2012.
Shoygu’s name appears only in Appendix B-1, the report’s list of “referenced persons.” But the Russian Defense Minister is not, in fact, referenced anywhere else in the report.
“He doesn’t appear anywhere else in the document,” Stedman noted.
“Is he supposed to be redacted?”
Four other names in the Mueller Report’s list of “referenced persons” appear to have been redacted. Stedman’s suggestion is that the failure to redact Shoygu’s name may have been an error on Mueller’s part, in the report that may be accessed online via The New York Times. But if Mueller mistakenly failed to redact Shoygu’s name from the list of referenced persons, his name must appear earlier in the report, in one of the document’s many redacted passages.
As head of Russia’s military — a position he has held since 2012 — the 64-year-old Army general (pictured at the top of this page, at left, next to Russian President Vladimir Putin) — would have been ultimately responsible for, and likely approved, the Russian hacking attacks on the Democratic Party carried out by Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, according to the Mueller Report Volume 1, Page 36.
Shoygu — whose name is sometimes spelled “Shoigu” — is a close friend and political ally of Putin, and according to The Moscow Times is believed to be in line to succeed Putin as Russia’s president. Polling has repeatedly rated him second only to Putin in popularity.
Shoygu is also believed by Western intelligence agencies to be the architect of Russia’s aggressive military policies, according to The Spectator magazine, including the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, and Russia’s intervention in the Syria civil war.
But why is Shoygu mysteriously mentioned in the Mueller Report, with no non-redacted explanation?
Though Shoygu’s name is not mentioned in the non-redacted body of the Mueller Report, the Russian Ministry of Defense is mentioned in connection with Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese academic who told Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos that Russia possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” as the Inquisitr has reported.
In Volume 1, Page 83, Mueller appears to say that Mifsud had some connection to “an employee of the Russian Ministry of Defense,” but the specifics of the connection are redacted. The Ministry of Defense “employee” also had links to “a group of Russian military-controlled Facebook accounts that included accounts used to promote the DCLeaks releases in the course of the GRU’s hack-and-release operations.”
In other words, the Russian military was not only hacking and stealing Democratic emails but promoting the stolen documents to the American public through Facebook accounts which Russia’s Defense Ministry secretly controlled — and those accounts were somehow connected to a Defense Ministry “employee” with possible links to Mifsud. How Mifsud was told about the email “dirt” on Clinton held by Russia, as noted at Volume 1, Page 81 of the Mueller Report, has never been explained. Was it via the unnamed Russian Defense Ministry employee? The answer is impossible to determine from the non-redacted text of the report.