[Ed. – A stellar point, and one constantly overlooked. Multiple heavily-credentialed critics have pointed out that nothing about the intrusion on the DNC or the Podesta email account in 2016 proves conclusively that Russia did it. It only looks like Russian cyber tools were used. But someone else could have used them.]
isn’t it about time we asked: Could Mueller prove that Russia did it? …
We have paid too much attention to the so-called collusion component of the probe — speculation about Trump-campaign coordination in Russia’s perfidy. There appears to be no proof of that sort of collusion. Because it has been our focus, though, Mueller has gotten a free pass on a defect that would be fatal to any related prosecution theory: He cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia is guilty of hacking the Democratic National Committee and prominent Democrats.
This doesn’t mean it didn’t happen — like the U.S. intelligence agencies, I’m assuming it did, and that Russia should continue to be the subject of intense government counterintelligence efforts. The point is that Mueller can’t prove it in court, which is the only thing for which a prosecutor is needed. If he can’t establish to the required standard of proof that Russia conducted an espionage attack on the election, it is impossible to prove that anyone conspired with Russia to do so. There is no criminal case.