After a two-year long investigation into Russian meddling in the 2014 WCC Presidential Selection process, Special Counsel Joe Nemec is finally out with a 484-page report into the situation. WCC President Dr. Arberry is reportedly at the center of the investigation, but Nemec chose to make no declarative decision to move for prosecution and impeachment, leaving the decision “up to the WCC board”.
Nemec was appointed special counsel in July of 2017 to investigate collusion alleged by anonymous sources between certain Russian operatives then visiting the school and Dr. Arberry and others in securing Arberry’s election as the school’s second president. Dr. Arberry has denied the reports, but continuing leaks have plagued his administration for the past years as Nemec, appointed by Student Life Director Halsmer, has investigated every lead.
His investigative team had turned up nothing conclusive until now, making his final report much anticipated as a “final hope against tyranny” as a Freshman who was present at PEAK when Nemec was appointed in 2017 recounted. “It’s been a long road, but finally, maybe, we can have justice. I’m hopeful for what I see tomorrow, but as I’ve always been, I worry that the Russian influence is too deep (get it?), penetrating even our choir, dinner, and dorm life for anyone to actually have the courage to stand up and do something.”
Nemec’s final report, out today, shows no “smoking gun” evidence of conclusion, but rather what he calls “a roadmap to discovering the truth of the matter”. Throughout, he outlines various paths of inquiry he and his seventeen staff members took in looking at the allegations and subsequent leaks from within the WCC administration. Nothing again is conclusive, but all seems to point to an incontrovertible conclusion that “something” went on between Russia and WCC.
“We found suspicious behavior in the actions and naming of several current WCC students,” the first section of the report concludes. One actually calls himself “The Russian” and was involved in long chat discussions, including some with foreigners, for years before and after the alleged collusion happened.”
Further, the report states, “We performed a blood test without another suspect’s consent that led to a positive for Russian ancestry in him. This suspect which we choose not to name was appointed assistant choir director in 2018 by Dr. Arberry himself in a move that shocked just about everyone. Why would Dr. Arberry choose someone personally with such little experience for such a high position unless he was trying to repay a favor?”
Also, another suspect known only as “Mantyh” comes up repeatedly in the report as a go-between operative for Dr. Arberry and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We are still investigating further into this and the broader situation of what happened,” Nemec reports, “but we believe what we have found up to now should be enough for the WCC board to make a decision. Even beyond the initial allegations of collusion, resistance to my work provides in itself a definite case for illegal obstruction of justice.”
He is here referring to various threats by faculty against the investigation’s work and calls by Arberry for Nemec and Halsmer to be fired.
Within the WCC student body opinions are quite divided. One Junior’s statement: “Mantyh may have a great role to play in this and I want the investigation to go on.” Samuel Butler, a recent Texas graduate, concurs, saying, “I always knew something was up with the way they chose him.” Another, however, an anonymous Sophomore from California said the whole investigation “is a bunch of whoeey about nothin” demonstrating that some are not yet convinced by Nemec’s, albeit still partial, findings.
From here, Nemec’s investigation continues or concludes at the decision of Halsmer, who is reportedly “still considering her options” according to a memo found in her office trash can and released to the press.
If approved for another two years of investigative work, per WCC regulations, Nemec must make a conclusive decision about whether or not a crime occurred, which will bring about an automatic recall election about the official involved, in this case, the college president.
Many still want justice sooner, given the length of this process, and there are calls for Halsmer to seek board approval for a quicker decision. “Get on wid it” says Mark Winston, a Utah Senior. “Nemec proved something happened or he wouldn’t be investigating.”
Still, however, like the aforementioned Sophomore, a few point out that Nemec has not yet made any claim conclusively about the situation. “He hasn’t found anything or he obviously would have broadcasted it out to everyone.”
Until evidence is released, either way, the IIT team makes no claim either. “We want everything to be based on true knowledge of universals, not particular conjectures,” notes our Political Editor, Everard Polinski.