Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Mueller Report: Time For Jerry Nadler To Get Busy


If Trump and his family of grifters were innocent, they would have already put the full report out. Instead, all there is is an interpretation of the report from someone who was hand-picked by Trump for this purpose only. If you haven't already, you can read Barr's bogus interpretation of the report here. As Richard Hasen offered earlier today in his Slate column, "Barr’s decision to release a summary of the twin Robert Mueller conclusions in the special prosecutor’s still-secret report-- no collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign and Mueller’s punt on whether Trump obstructed justice-- leaves open many questions that cannot be answered until the Department of Justice releases the report itself. At the top of my list of unanswered questions is why Mueller declined to prosecute former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort or Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. for violating laws prohibiting the solicitation of foreign contributions to American campaigns, based on those campaign surrogates’ June 2016 meeting with Russian agents at Trump Tower. How Mueller answered this question could have profound ramifications for what federal law enforcement will do to stop foreign involvement in the upcoming 2020 elections... It sure looked like at least Trump Jr. and perhaps others at that meeting committed a crime. Federal law makes it a potential crime for any person to 'solicit' (that is, expressly or impliedly ask for) the contribution of 'anything of value' from a foreign citizen."

David Frum's tongue-- or pen-- was sharper this afternoon, asking why Muller didn't answer the question "Are Americans comfortable with this president in the White House, now that they know he broke no prosecutable criminal statutes on his way into high office?"

Frum's assertions are very different from the coordinated messaging-- a national demonstration of gas-lighting perfected-- from the GOP blanketing the airwaves today. "Russia," Frum wrote to America, "helped install your president. But although he owes his job in large part to that help, the president did not conspire or collude with his helpers. He was the beneficiary of a foreign intelligence operation, but not an active participant in that operation. He received the stolen goods, but he did not conspire with the thieves in advance. This is what Donald Trump’s administration and its enablers in Congress and the media are already calling exoneration. But it offers no reassurance to Americans who cherish the independence and integrity of their political process."
The question unanswered by the attorney general’s summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is: Why? Russian President Vladimir Putin took an extreme risk by interfering in the 2016 election as he did. Had Hillary Clinton won the presidency-- the most likely outcome-- Russia would have been exposed to fierce retaliation by a powerful adversary. The prize of a Trump presidency must have glittered alluringly, indeed, to Putin and his associates. Why?

Did they admire Trump’s anti-NATO, anti–European Union, anti-ally, pro–Bashar al-Assad, pro-Putin ideology?

Were they attracted by his contempt for the rule of law and dislike of democracy?

Did they hold compromising information about him, financial or otherwise?

Were there business dealings in the past, present, or future?

Or were they simply attracted by Trump’s general ignorance and incompetence, seeing him as a kind of wrecking ball to be smashed into the U.S. government and U.S. foreign policy?

Many public-spirited people have counted on Mueller to investigate these questions, too, along with the narrowly criminal questions in his assignment. Perhaps he did, perhaps he did not; we will know soon, either way. But those questions have always been the important topics.

The Trump presidency from the start has presented a national-security challenge first, a challenge to U.S. public integrity next. But in this hyper-legalistic society, those vital inquiries got diverted early into a law-enforcement matter. That was always a mistake, as I’ve been arguing for two years.

Now the job returns to the place it has always belonged and never should have left: Congress. This is all the more the case since the elections of 2018 restored independence to that body. The 2016 election was altered by Putin’s intervention, and a finding that the Trump campaign only went along for the ride does not rehabilitate the democratic or patriotic legitimacy of the Trump presidency. Trump remains a president rejected by more Americans than those who voted for him, who holds his job because a foreign power violated American laws and sovereignty. It’s up to Congress to deal with this threat to American self-rule.
Author-- Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential-- and former DNC Communications director John Neffinger told me that he's "open to the idea that there was not enough evidence to establish criminal conspiracy (at the very least in the same way that DOJ said that with a straight face about Wall St executives during the financial crisis), "COLLUSION!!" is not a legal term, though, and "no collusion" is misleading at the very best."

"Barr's obstruction of justice finding," he pointed out, "is pure CYA gaslighting. All sentient people know Trump obstructed justice 8 ways to Sunday-- including by firing Comey and replacing Sessions with Whitaker and then Barr. Mueller seems to have assembled evidence and chosen not to declare a finding. Barr declaring a finding of no obstruction is worth something politically to Trump for sure, but it's not up to the AG to prosecute and it's not binding on Congress. It is a smart part of a good PR rollout, nice lipstick for this gigantic pig. The game for them now is to convince everybody it's over and done and anyone talking about about Trump doing anything wrong is just a Sore Loserman before anybody gets to see Mueller's actual findings. We need the report as soon as possible, and to retell the bigger story in the meantime."

He said he doesn't think Democrats should concede that and that they "should demand to see this report that 'does not exonerate' Trump. Recall that the Trump team held dozens of secret meetings with Russian agents when they knew (before the public knew) that Russia was in the process of breaking US law to help them win. They may well not have materially assisted with the Russian operation, but during the campaign they strongly encouraged it by consistently signaling they supported changing US policy to benefit Putin. And then once Trump won, he took extraordinary steps to move in that direction before the publicity around all of this spooked the GOP (who may or may not have Russian money in their campaign coffers) and shut them down. To believe there was no collusion, you have to believe they arranged all of those secret contacts just to talk about the weather, or Emin Agalarov's music career."

Neffinger predicts that what comes next is not good. "Trump knows he can be indicted (for Stormy at least) when out of office, and knows he's not going to be impeached (or removed at least) while in office, and he will feel more unleashed than ever. Part of that relates to 2020 directly. Word is Russia already is interfering with our elections, and Trump will be holding the door for them wider this time. So just like in 2016, the Democratic candidate will be running not only against the GOP, but against the Russian military-intelligence apparatus. Plenty of people are arguing about the political damage, and the argument itself will determine that. But if you're tallying up what this effort accomplished, aside from the indictment/conviction/sentencing count, don't forget: The continued focus here has kept the pressure up and kept the Magnitsky sanctions in place, keeping Russia turning the Arctic into a vast oilfield and jacking up global warming a few extra degrees. It led to Cohen's office raid, which produced clear evidence of an impeachable and/or later indictable crime in the Stormy payoff, plus potentially more investigations we don't know about yet. And it put the once considerable doubt around whether Russia ran an enormous influence operation in 2016 to rest."

UPDATE: Political Ramifications

Think Trump is overplaying his hand? This just is more Trumpian bullshit:

According to the GOP president release (Barr's 4 page "summary"), Mueller "did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election." I'll believe that when I read the full report and hear Mueller's sworn, public testimony. Even the GOP press release admitted that Mueller "did not draw a conclusion" about Trump's obstruction justice all during the investigation, but "it also does not exonerate him." Mueller left it to Barr to decide if Trump should be charged. That doesn't sound like anything close to an exoneration to me. Barr, whose was hired by Trump just for this moment, contends that "the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense."

I suspect this will fire up Democrats for 2020. As I've always believed, the only way to get rid of Trump is at the ballot box. Pelosi's not going to impeach him, especially not now. Suggestion: support Bernie Sanders, not a pale imitation of him-- and, for that matter, not a pale imitation of a Republican.

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At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The American political system is broken beyond repair. The Will of the People means nothing, because those who have gone corrupt know that they won't be facing pitchforks, tar pots, or feathers. The Rule of Law is a farce, in that whoever has the power will only use it on their opponents, especially if the opponents have no money. The courts are now staffed with ideologues who will protect the criminals. Game over.

At 2:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are still a whole lot of sex crimes to investigate that Trump has committed. He is a lifelong sexual deviant and serial sexual assaulter. Eighteen women at last count. In fact, the creepy old pervert attacked campaign worker Alva Johnson in 2016 when he was 70 years old! This sick degenerate would be doing 25 years to life in prison if he were a poor black or Hispanic man instead of a rich white one. If I were the Democratic leadership, I would buy prime time network TV spots and introduce all 18 women and their stories of Trump's sexual predation to the American public.

At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's also blatantly violating the emoluments clause of the constitution... but presidents and congresses have been wiping their asses with that "piece of paper" for decades... and voters could not care less.

if you're expecting Nadler to 'get busy', you're suffering the same mass delusion that all 65 million democrap voters are afflicted with. Nadler serves at the pleasure of Pelosi and Pelosi does not want anything exposed that might force her to impeach. The rapes, campaign finance and emoluments violations don't seem to be enough for democrap voters to clamor for impeachment... so Pelosi is golden.

Pelosi wants trump to continue to be a vulgar moron so that maybe a few more corrupt democrap whores can be elected in 2020... maybe even biden in the white man's house.

She cares nothing about the overall welfare of the nation nor, obviously, her oath to protect and defend the paper she's used to wipe her ass for 30 years.
And, dear democrap voters, because you always re-elect her and her party, neither do you.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger calltoaccount said...

The unholy alliance between the DNC Wall St. whores and the "Intelligence Community arms profiteers-- to blame everything on Russia-- was to distract fromDNC malfeasance, their continuing looting of the treasury, and MIC regime change efforts in Suria, Iran, Venezuela and elsewhere. Pigs will be pigs--and most mainstream (including CNN & MSNBC) journalists have become lazy, corrupt sloths.
Matt Taibbi: It’s Official – Russiagate is This Generation’s WMD
Posted: 24 Mar 2019 09:05 PM PDT
The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Modestybl said...

“Russiagate” was nonsense from the start, used as much to smear independent journalists, activitsts, whistleblowers and teh Sanders campaign as attack Trump. Trump whole business model has been fraud, money laundering and tax evasion from the start... but prosecuting him or his family would drag too much of the establishment into the light. The same reason Manafort’s second trial never happened (which embrolied the likes of The Podesta Group, Mercury LLC and Greg Craig’s law firm). THAT trial would have revealed the swamp. So, Dems will have to get Trump out of office on policy... and so far, only Bernie Sanders could definitively beat this guy.


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