Patterico's Pontifications

3/24/2019

The Triumphalism Over the Mueller Report Is a Bit Overblown

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:46 am



This is a good point:

We don’t know what’s in the Mueller report. Here are a few things we do know.

We know that Joseph Mifsud, a professor with connections to high-ranking Russian officials, told George Papadopolous about “dirt” Russia had on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails when Papadopoulos was an adviser to the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos later lied about the timing to federal investigators to make it sound as if he learned this information before becoming an adviser to the campaign. In fact, Papadopoulos was told this only because he was a Trump campaign adviser. Papadopoulos repeatedly tried to set up a meeting between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

We know that Roger Stone communicated with Wikileaks, which operated as a cutout for the Kremlin. Stone was contacted by Trump campaign officials about future releases from Wikileaks, which falsely denied its communications with Stone. Stone said to someone involved with the Trump campaign: “Spoke to my friend in London last night. The payload is still coming.” After the Podesta emails were first released, an associate of the Trump campaign official sent Stone a text message saying “Well done.”

We know that Paul Manafort was a lobbyist for Putin-connected former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. We know Manafort was later convicted of filing false tax returns, bank fraud, failing to disclose a foreign bank account, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and witness tampering. He was also the chairman of Trump’s campaign, and in that capacity, with Trump’s son and son-in-law, met with a woman with connections to high-ranking Kremlin officials hoping to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

We know that Michael Cohen wrote letters to senior Kremlin officials pursuing Trump Tower Moscow well into the presidential campaign, and lied about this to Congress to foster a false narrative that the Trump organization was not involved in any attempts to conduct business in Moscow.

We know that Michael Flynn asked a member of Trump’s presidential transition team about what to tell the Soviet ambassador regarding an issue of recent sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration. The transition official discussed the fact that the transition team did not want the situation to escalate, which Flynn told the Russian ambassador. Putin decided not to retaliate. Flynn then lied about all of this to the FBI.

Smells like vindication to you? OK. It probably is vindication on direct collusion in the sense of conspiring to hack emails — something nobody but insane Resistance types ever believed. To many of us, it’s something short of vindication on the issue of queasy connections between a presidential campaign and one of our enemies.

Maybe tamp down the triumphalism a bit there, sport.

UPDATE: Trump organization, not campaign. Fixed. Thanks to Kevin M.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

357 Responses to “The Triumphalism Over the Mueller Report Is a Bit Overblown”

  1. Over two years worth of dividing the nation over something prompted by a ginned-up dossier.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  2. An attempt to thwart the will of American voters… a soft coup… a highly selective investigation and prosecution.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  3. The whole thing was a goddam fairytale.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. I honestly don’t know why I bother writing posts.

    People are going to think what they’re going to think and say what they’re going to say. What I say in a post doesn’t matter at all. Which is why I write less, and will probably continue to.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  5. Do you contest any of the facts listed in the post, Colonel?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  6. He is parroting websites that support Trump, websites/bloggers that used to be called conservative.

    DRJ (15874d)

  7. 4. Didn’t you argue with me when I said the same thing about commenting? Didn’t you say you want people to stay around, even though it might be hard sometimes? I am not trying to change your mind. I am trying to say I know how you feel.

    DRJ (15874d)

  8. I didn’t even know that there was such a word as “triumphalism”. If I had been asked to guess, I would have guessed that it was related to the office of “emperor” since victorious Roman generals who were given “triumphs” wore purple and were hailed “Imperator!”.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. Just expressing my opinion, which happens to not align with yours. No big deal. I’m sure you’ll hear from those who agree with you.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  10. With people pleading guilty to election-related non-crimes to avoid punishment for unconnected real-crimes much that we already “know” is puffed up.

    It is just as likely that the report contains detailed information of bureaucratic crimes that haven’t been charged due top their being outside the scope of the investigation.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  11. This thing is far from over… too much at stake for the embedded “elite”.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. I read the post three times, BTW.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. Such as, we know that most of the Russian collusion information came from lies generated by the Clinton machine, forwarded by her stalwarts to like-minded people in government and then used to try to get surveillance of the Trump campaign. After the loss, these dossiers became the basis for a probe.

    If all those links and details, along with potential new interviews (unleaked due to narrative issues) were similarly listed as our host does above, it would paint a portrait of a government apparatus doing its level best to alter the outcome of an election, both before and after.

    And THAT is far more terrible and important that what some trolls in a distant land did.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  14. To say nothing of the Trump Jr. – Goldstone emails, which Fredo tweeted himself.

    ComplianceDivision (c1d544)

  15. I think most can agree that we want Presidential candidates to disclose financial dealings with foreign adversaries….dealings that give the impression that they are influencing foreign policy. We need to agree that this is wrong and should never happen…it may not be cause for impeachment….but it should treated with dead seriousness…and not elicit the tired “but Hillary” homilies. Just stop it.

    It should also be agreed that it is troubling that the Trump campaign had any connection with Wikileaks….or was working with foreign adversaries at ginning up oppo research. Many here will respond “grow up”….that anything goes to win in politics….and that the DEMs have done was bad or worse. This misses the point….and the political norm. Don’t get compromised by a foreign adversary….so you have to hide and lie about secret meetings. Don’t rationalize it….and don’t pretend it’s not important….because it didn’t somehow invalidate the election. Again, probably not impeachable…but a good window into character and ethics. This SHOULD bother people….maybe not enough to vote for Biden over Trump in 2020….but enough to say that we deserve better…..and no Supreme Court justice or corporate tax cut….justifies it. Certainly there is nothing to celebrate here….we should feel sad that a candidate’s then President’s conduct deserved to be investigated….and the dossier was just a piece of that cause….

    Great synopsis Patterico!

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  16. IT’s not contesting the posts that’s the point, it’s contesting the IMPORTANCE of any of them. What we know is that 1) Trump is not adverse to having sleazy people about, 2) sleazy people use that proximity to their advantage, and 3) someone dumped a lot of (REAL!) dirt on Clinton and the Trump campaign was not unhappy about it.

    So the frack what. It was still unrefuted information, much of it sourced from Clinton’s own people. And Clinton herself paid for dirt on Trump and had it flogged to every venue she could find. IF she could have got Wikileaks to do it for her, she would have. Apparently they have standards.

    What IS important is the length to which Clinton and her machine attempted to enlist organs of the US Government on her campaign’s behalf. That information is also widely known and paints a far more dangerous picture. Using the police power of the state to influence an election is orders of magnitude more corrupt than encouraging some distant actors to tell truths about your opponent.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  17. We need to agree that this is wrong and should never happen…it may not be cause for impeachment….but it should treated with dead seriousness…and not elicit the tired “but Hillary” homilies.

    So, we only investigate one contender? I’d really like to see the books of the Clinton Foundation during the time she was SecState. You do know that the entire Clinton apparatus lives off of that thing? Sure, they give money away, too, but there are expenses….

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  18. The people who need to be told to stay in their lane are not those celebrating the failure of an attempt to overturn an election but those who weaponize the government and media to destroy anyone who they deem a threat to their ideology/power.
    __ _

    Autopsy of a Dead Coup

    “The illegal effort to destroy the 2016 Trump campaign by Hillary Clinton campaign’s use of funds to create, disseminate among court media, and then salt among high Obama administration officials, a fabricated, opposition smear dossier failed.

    So has the second special prosecutor phase of the coup to abort the Trump presidency failed. There are many elements to what in time likely will become recognized as the greatest scandal in American political history, marking the first occasion in which U.S. government bureaucrats sought to overturn an election and to remove a sitting U.S. president.

    No palace coup can take place without the perception of popular anger at a president.

    The deep state is by nature cowardly. It does not move unless it feels it can disguise its subterranean efforts or that, if revealed, those efforts will be seen as popular and necessary—as expressed in tell-all book titles such as fired FBI Directors James Comey’s Higher Loyalty or in disgraced Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s psychodramatic The Threat.

    In candidate and President Trump’s case that prepping of the battlefield translated into a coordinated effort among the media, political progressives and celebrities to so demonize Trump that his imminent removal likely would appear a relief to the people. Anything was justified that led to that end.“ – VDH

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/02/17/autopsy-of-a-dead-coup/

    Read it all – he lays out a case the The Resistance and Never-Trumpers want to sweep under a rug.

    harkin (d67dd3)

  19. KevinM says it well. All one-sided. The Democrats speak of upholding liberty and the Rule of Law. No sale.

    I remain unconvinced that this is anything more – or less – than a malevolent effort to subvert the will of the People and overturn the results of the 2016 election.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  20. To many of us, it’s something short of vindication on the issue of queasy connections between a presidential campaign and one of our enemies.

    Except that “queasy” is not a basis to appoint a special prosecutor nor to bring criminal charges. That’s just the point.

    Evidence that Trump is a scumbag is both redundant and beyond the scope of what the DOJ or the special prosecutor are supposed to do.

    If this sounds like a “process” point, it is. Prosecutors and law enforcement deal with crimes, not with non-criminal behavior that is distasteful or immoral. The latter is the ken of the political process. This whole affair has blurred the line between the two in a way that is harmful to the rule of law. IMO.

    (I am reminded of an episode of SVU where they were following a young Hassidic couple who, it turns out, were sneaking around to fool around. The detectives kept investigating, till their Captain rebuked them: “Sex between consenting adults is not a crime in NY. The rest is not our business. Move on.”)

    Bored Lawyer (423ce8)

  21. “…This is a damning page one admission by the Times. Despite the connect-the-dots graphic in its other story, and despite the astonishing, emotion-laden editorial the paper also ran suggesting “We don’t need to read the Mueller report” because we know Trump is guilty, Baker at least began the work of preparing Times readers for a hard question: “Have journalists connected too many dots that do not really add up?”

    The paper was signaling it understood there would now be questions about whether or not news outlets like themselves made a galactic error by betting heavily on a new, politicized approach, trying to be true to “history’s judgment” on top of the hard-enough job of just being true. Worse, in a brutal irony everyone should have seen coming, the press has now handed Trump the mother of campaign issues heading into 2020.

    Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a “witch hunt.”

    Stories have been coming out for some time now hinting Mueller’s final report might leave audiences “disappointed,” as if a President not being a foreign spy could somehow be bad news.

    Openly using such language has, all along, been an indictment. Imagine how tone-deaf you’d have to be to not realize it makes you look bad, when news does not match audience expectations you raised. To be unaware of this is mind-boggling, the journalistic equivalent of walking outside without pants.” – Matt Taibbi

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

    harkin (d67dd3)

  22. “not with non-criminal behavior that is distasteful or immoral. The latter is the ken of the political process.”

    And the Dudley Do-Rights of this world… that bad taste in your mouths will dissipate, just give it more time.

    1. Comey advises Trump of salacious allegations of Russian golden showers
    2. Comey tells Clapper that he has completed his mission.
    3. Clapper calls CNN and reports this, which puts it into play
    and so on, and so on…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  23. Kevin M. @16.

    It’s not contesting the posts that’s the point, it’s contesting the IMPORTANCE of any of them.

    Or the meaning of it.

    There is actually at least one thing wrong in what Patterico wrote.

    Michael Cohen…lied…to Congress to foster a false narrative that the campaign was not involved in any attempts to conduct business in Moscow.

    The campaign wasn’t. He was, not the campaign, and he was acting mostly on his own initiative.

    And “attempts to conduct business” is exactly the right word.

    The Kremlin was probably trying to string Trump along.

    I don’t think there was any intention, on the Kremlin’s part, of ever letting Trump, or anyone like him, operate a hotel in Moscow – wouldn’t he find out who was being bugged, for one thing? –

    And Adam Schiff’s claims that if it went through, it could have made Trump millions is completely ridiculous. This figure evidently was obtained by making the most optimistic projections possible, including some extremely hypothetical other related deals that could ensue. It probably came from some very co-operating witness.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  24. Sorry Patterico,

    but there should be a degree of triumphalism because the left and certain NeverTrump supporters who now mostly write for the Bulwark said that this was going to end with Trump being frogmarched out in handcuffs.

    If people had tempered their writing from the beginning, this wouldn’t have been as partisan as it’s played out. See Brennan and Comey’s recent remarks for further example.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  25. Patterico:

    We know that Joseph Mifsud, a professor with connections to high-ranking Russian officials, told George Papadopolous about “dirt” Russia had on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails when Papadopoulos was an adviser to the Trump campaign…

    We are not even sure here on who’s behalf Mifsud did that,

    Still from other matter, like the Trump Tower meeting, we can see that Russia was also trying to string Trump people along with claim to (privately) provide “dirt” on Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign. This was probably stuff they didn’t have, because anything they did have and were willing to let be made public, they leaked themselves. (And they only went to wikileaks etc after hacking was discovered.)

    They were trying to give people connected wth Trump the idea that more could and would be provided, in the hopes probably of establishing a relatosnship and getting them to saying or doing things favorable to Russian foreign policy.

    I think Putin also maybe planted some people high up in the Trump campaign: Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn. The big unanswered question is: How did that happen?

    They weren’t exactly Russian spies, (well, maybe Flynn was; Obama dismissed him because he thought he might have become one) but Putin hoped they could be developed into spies. Manafort actually provided the Russians with confidential, although not really very sensitive, information, but that’s how the spy recruitment effort works. (Manafort turned over some polling data)

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  26. Kevin M: And Clinton herself paid for dirt on Trump

    I think that, at the intial stage, what she was actually looking for was information as to why Putin was supporting Trump. What do with it would depend on whatt they found.

    She hired a former British MI-6 agent, who hid from his Russian sources that he was working for American Democrats, who therefore would have thought he was working either for the U.K> government or British conservatives, and he got told lies.

    Basically two or three types of lies:

    1. The Russians had “compromat” on Trump

    2. Trump had a long term relationship with Moscow going back years, and they had subsidized or supported his businesses for many years.

    3. As a bonus, Trump and the Russian government were working together, or planning to work together, on hacking and other things.

    The lies contained some obvious errors so that they could be withdraen if they backfired.

    Hillary and company had to know this was a pack of lies and never the truth. But they let Steele continue his work, and believe his sources as well.

    The reason Steele got told anything at all was probably because in years past he had had many of the same Russian sources and MI-^ had believed them. The sources notioally were very willing to talk and reveal secrets. Putin did not want Steele (and his presumbably British bosses) doubting what they had learned years before, so his sources continued to be co-operative.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  27. “attempting to get dirt on the Clinton Campaign.”

    Aren’t you talking about criminalizing all of politics?

    Remember the background – Clinton had set up a private server in order to hide 30,000 emails from freedom of information act requests.

    You act like trying to get dirt on the Clinton campaign is worse than CNN rigging the debates for Clinton (the most significant dirt that was in Podesta’s emails.)

    Hacking Podesta’s emails is a crime. I don’t think you are saying the Trump campaign did that.

    The Trump tower meeting was just, “hey, Russia called and said they have dirt on Hillary.” “Let’s see what they’ve got.”

    Mike S (89ec89)

  28. Anticipointment
    Anticipointment
    Is fueling their fits

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  29. Sorry, Patterico. I don’t have to deal with your list of suspicious facts any more. They’ve been fully investigated by Mueller and his staff. Time to move on.

    David in Cal (0d5a1d)

  30. We know mifsud had mi 6 and intelligence ties as well, so who was he representing at the time, we know halper had fsb as well as mi 6 ties, we know downer had as many as well as a board member with huawei which is a Chinese intelligence front.

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. Kevin M (21ca15) — 3/24/2019 @ 9:41 am

    and had it flogged to every venue she could find.

    So Hillary and company had stuff for awhile and then they decided, toward the end of the campaign, what to do with this garbage.

    Hillary and company (using Fusion GOPS) tried to get the FBI to start an investigation of Trump in order to leak not any details – but the bare fact that the FBI had started investigating Trump’s links to Russia. This was mainly with the intent to cancel out the negative publicity that she was under investigation after Comey had notified Congress that the investigation into Hillary Clinton had been re-opened because emails from here were discovered on Anthony Weiner’s computer

    Some people in the FBI had wanted to prevent Comey from doing that, but Comey wanted to look better.

    They weren’t trying for anything more ambitious. They were not too successful in getting any kind of publicity about this, or indeed even getting much of an investigation started, although Harry Reid, on the Sunday 10 days before Election Day, tried to make this public.

    https://themoscowproject.org/collusion/second-reid-letter-comey-sitting-explosive-information

    (contains link to Washington Post article)

    The attempts to get the investigation started, as opposed to leaking it, went back a little bit further:

    https://themoscowproject.org/collusion/first-reid-letter-fbi-must-investigate-russian-election-interference/

    But she was not looking into making any of the dossier public. It was obvious nonsense. Just about all of it. Just to get an FBI investigation started, and leak that fact. .

    IF she could have got Wikileaks to do it for her, she would have. Apparently they have standards.

    Wikileaks wants actual documents, not investigative reports. Also, anyway, they were tied into Russia. Rememer, the dossier has Russia corrupting or blackmailing Trump. Wikileaks did publicize a lot about Syria some years back, but that’s maybe before the Russian alliance with the Syrian government became clear or looked important to Russia.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  32. The real point is that the Steele dossier is actually irrelevant.

    There was more than enough publicly available facts about Trump’s relation to the Putin regime to not merely justify the FBI investigating that relationship, but would make it actual misfeasance/malfeasance if it did not do so.

    The failure to prosecute and/or truly investigate Hillary was that sort of malfeasance, but it originated with Comey and probably Lynch. It bubbled down the chain of command, not up.

    Also, the investigation did not start out as a criminal investigation. It was a (counter)intelligence investigation. They were not looking for crimes committed by Trump.

    That this investigation is dismissed as nothing more than a failed attempt to sway the election in Clinton’s favor shows how many people have drunk the Trumpian koolaid, even among those who think they have not.

    Using the police power of the state to influence an election is orders of magnitude more corrupt than encouraging some distant actors to tell truths about your opponent.

    Except when you look at the actual facts (which you won’t find in AmericanGreatness or most of the other sites people here are prone to link to), nothing of the sort occurred.

    kishnevi (0c10d1)

  33. We know sater is a bureau and company informant at least since he left prison, if you want to keep leaving out context while you kept inflating that avenatti kerfluffle which nothing came of,

    narciso (d1f714)

  34. 27. Mike S (89ec89) — 3/24/2019 @ 10:47

    Remember the background – Clinton had set up a private server in order to hide 30,000 emails from freedom of information act requests.

    That was probably not the main reason. She could have done that by using a GMail account. She also wanted the contents of her emails safe from subpoenas from grand juries or Congressional committees. And from hackers. It was safe from hackers – safer than state.gov. She actually made state.gov temporarily a bit worse, because, in 2011, she had anti-phishing software disabled until she could get her clintonemail addresses secretly whitelisted.

    ARILY ABIT WORSE,

    She didn’t have any state.gov account at all probably because of concerns that she, or her interlocuters, mighht slip up, and leave something incriminating in the government’s possession.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  35. From word one, they were protecting Clinton and setting out more dangles, in a contrary situation they expedited the Chapman ring out of the country and didn’t follow up any of their ties to Hillary’s entourage.

    narciso (d1f714)

  36. Narciso, avenatti has nothing to do with Trump-Russia, and you know that.

    I just checked out the first Athenian Mysteries book (I think it’s the first, The Pericles Commission) you mentioned the other day. But until you show evidence that you realize Trump and his team are just as mendacious and corrupt as Clinton and his team, I am going to start ignoring you.

    kishnevi (0c10d1)

  37. Kishnevi @32.

    There was more than enough publicly available facts about Trump’s relation to the Putin regime to not merely justify the FBI investigating that relationship, but would make it actual misfeasance/malfeasance if it did not do so.

    No, I think, and maybe this could be a problem, the FBI and DOJ probably have higher standards for opening an investigation and want something hard. Merely peculiar behavior on the part of Trump or Putin isn’t enough.

    And the FBI did not want to do something so politically sensitive. Comey et al felt they would have to work with people from both parties over time.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  38. It seems general liberty interests are not acceptable in practice, the invisible serfs collar must fastened ever tighter, 1984 must be a how to manual:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/22/head-ira-gives-permission-member-name-four-responsible-birmingham/

    narciso (d1f714)

  39. Smells like vindication to you?

    Actually, it’s more the scent of verification– reaffirming the axiom: Trump gets the gold mine; loyal minions get the shaft.

    The Beast needs fed 24/7; so anybody and everybody will chew on anything. No more indictments, even w/DOJ guidelines suggesting you can’t indict a sitting POTUS, clears the field for a fast gallop to Term Two given the field of weak contenders. Personally, believe the big loser is 1%Joe; ‘Biden’ time for a report that doesn’t strike the King lames ‘1%Joes’ run before he’s in the race.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. The link was about the esteemed chancellor of the exchequer pushing a second referendum

    One if Biden or Clinton’s or heck the daleys suffer the lash of indictment or conviction, no one even raises the issue.

    narciso (d1f714)

  41. If everyone just says Clinton enough, no one will notice they aren’t actually talking about the report or any of the adjacent convictions or any facts, because endlessly trashing Clinton is way more fun that addressing anything about anyone who might be politically relevant.

    Nic (896fdf)

  42. And thr previous link is how soldiers can be sanctioned in the UK, but terrorists are Immune

    narciso (d1f714)

  43. Trashing is where they should be, but they are legally untouchable, for their actual offenses against the body politic.

    narciso (d1f714)

  44. Rip rafi eitan he was part of the eichmann capture

    narciso (d1f714)

  45. 32… you’re parroting the Bulwark, kishnevi.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  46. So, we only investigate one contender? I’d really like to see the books of the Clinton Foundation during the time she was SecState.

    Of course the Clinton Foundation should have been scrutinized. But does that mean it should be hands-off for Trump and his associates when he is the president? That no one should care, e.g., if Trump’s son-in-law might be using his foreign-policy portfolio (for which he is unqualified) in his own interest, and that daddy-in-law has an interest in protecting him? Shouldn’t we be concerned about how a self-interested use of public power might be thought perfectly acceptable by Donald Trump’s “what’s good for me is good” ethical compass?

    We’ve been told ad nauseam that Trump is going to “claim the swamp,” and that someone as rich as he claims to be cannot conceivably have any motive to be self-seeking or self-dealing or in any way dishonest in the presidency (a principle not applied to other wealthy people). But as soon as someone starts asking questions, it’s “But Hillary …” Or “You’re just an eeevil NeverTrumper!”

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  47. Fairy tales, fairy tales… you can just imagine one to come; he gets re-elected, plans simmer to go after him once he’s out-of-office, but given his age and lifestyle, he beats any and every rap by croaking in office, face down between to scoops of Dolly Madison vanilla and a slice of German chocolate cake, then sticks the taxpayers w/t bill for the cost of a state funeral w/a ‘yuuuuuuge’ military parade, bands and everything, for himself, just like he always wanted– and get his own postage stamp, as well. And people will go– just for the entertaining show.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  48. “Appearing on MSNBC a little over two weeks ago, former Obama administration CIA Director John Brennan foresaw a raft of indictments coming out of the heart of Robert Mueller’s investigation. From his position of service at the top of the Obama administration, Brennan was of course a key participant in the peddling of alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia…”

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/03/an-intelligence-failure.php

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  49. Seeing as he doesn’t have a security clearance any more.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JoshMBlackman/status/1109475412780957697

    narciso (d1f714)

  50. “Seeing as he doesn’t have a security clearance any more”

    But… does he has a sad 😭???

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  51. “32… you’re parroting the Bulwark, kishnevi.”

    – Comonel Haiku

    That’s rich, coming from you. You’re like the king of copypasta on this blog.

    Leviticus (1c07dd)

  52. No post about the campus civil rights eo, nor about the loss of territory in Syria, or the support of Israel against regime encroachment.

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. @43 Uh huh. If you want to keep flogging the reality television obsession of the Republican party, you certainly can, but I don’t even watch for real reality TV.

    As far as I can tell, the major benefit of Trump to the Republican party is the judge appointments and they balance out everything else that hasn’t gone right. Everything else is just the Fight!Fight!Fight! aesthetic and that’s fine if you are into that, but it isn’t governing. On the practical side, Trump raised my taxes and devolved my news cycle and news feed and screwed up the paychecks of several people I know over a temper tantrum and hasn’t done anything else (the judges aren’t my game). I still don’t know if he personally is a probable criminal, but the preponderance of evidence seems to be growing. Again, some people don’t care about that because the judges and the fight fight are more important and they’d rather have a probable criminal who is either directly or indirectly unduly influenced by a foreign power than a Democrat and so they don’t care what further information comes out because it doesn’t matter to them, but again, I’m not personally into that. For people like me, the report may matter because we do care about more than the fight fight. In all honesty Trump absolutely lost me with the declaring a National Emergency just to get his way. It was too much of a violation of the separation of powers, but for others, they are still making their judgement. They aren’t at a place where any Republican, no matter how compromised, is better than a Democrat and for them the information matters.

    Nic (896fdf)

  54. 32… you’re parroting the Bulwark, kishnevi.

    I don’t read the Bulwark, Colonel. In fact, I have said several times before what I said above. Maybe the Bulwark is parroting me!

    That’s rich, coming from you. You’re like the king of copypasta on this blog.

    No, it just gives more evidence that for many people–here and in the world at large, and on all sides of the political spectrum–integrity and honesty are simply slogans to be used to castigate the other side, but with no application to their side.

    kishnevi (0c10d1)

  55. No Obama was the reality show that had almost care blanched tie burn every institution to the ground to injure our allies, and fortify our foes, to trash the insurance industry to wage way on the police, to form Christians to surrender their principles or face legal sanction.

    narciso (d1f714)

  56. @56 distract distract distract. Lets talk about anyone but Trump, right?

    Nic (896fdf)

  57. Thank you, Leviticus. Your opinions mean a great deal to me.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  58. On a happier note, I trust your little one is a source of great joy!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  59. We’ve been told ad nauseam that Trump is going to “claim the swamp,”

    Typo, I assume. But the typo more accurately describes what is actually happening under Trump. Introducing a new strain of alligators does not count as a clean up operation.

    kishnevi (0c10d1)

  60. 60… depends on your place in the food chain.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  61. UPDATE: Trump organization, not campaign. Fixed. Thanks to Kevin M.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  62. Except that “queasy” is not a basis to appoint a special prosecutor nor to bring criminal charges. That’s just the point.

    Quite true. The only thing is, you seem to think you’re refuting something I said. You’re not. Are you refuting something someone once said, somewhere? Perhaps. People say a lot of things.

    The appointment and the charges all seem perfectly proper to me.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  63. “Depends on your place in the food chain”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/shansmith/status/1109723760716853248

    This is a pretty good capsule of Trump and his role in the swamp.

    harkin (d67dd3)

  64. Sorry, Patterico. I don’t have to deal with your list of suspicious facts any more. They’ve been fully investigated by Mueller and his staff. Time to move on.

    Excellent. Never again complain about a single thing done by a Democrat that did not result in a criminal conviction. You have set the standard, now live by it.

    (You won’t, because it’s a standard only a partisan could like.)

    Patterico (115b1f)

  65. That’s rich, coming from you. You’re like the king of copypasta on this blog.

    Insult. Can’t have it.

    Thank you, Leviticus. Your opinions mean a great deal to me.

    Passive aggressive bullshit. Can’t have it.

    Cut it out, both of you, please.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  66. “We know that Joseph Mifsud, a professor with connections to high-ranking Russian officials, told George Papadopolous about “dirt” Russia had on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails when Papadopoulos was an adviser to the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos later lied about the timing to federal investigators to make it sound as if he learned this information before becoming an adviser to the campaign. In fact, Papadopoulos was told this only because he was a Trump campaign adviser. Papadopoulos repeatedly tried to set up a meeting between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.”

    Who are the high ranking Russian officials to whom Mifsud had contacts?

    The FBI interviewed Mifsud. We can assume that the FBI had no evidence that he lied to them otherwise he would have been indicted.

    For more on Mifsud see https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/404275-what-professor-really-told-fbi-about-trump-russia-and-papadopoulos

    Stu707 (a0c2d4)

  67. Whereas what Comey did leak a classified memo to prompt the special prosecutor was indeed illegal.

    Narciso (e1024d)

  68. NBC News reports lawyer word salad; Mueller report gathered data and decided not to decide on OOJ. AG passes on the baton.

    No collusion; the Captain ‘beat the rap.’

    Strawberry Shortcake all ’round, kids!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. Fox News has new catch phrase in qwik-drying-chron-ink: Total Vindication

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  70. 4. Didn’t you argue with me when I said the same thing about commenting? Didn’t you say you want people to stay around, even though it might be hard sometimes? I am not trying to change your mind. I am trying to say I know how you feel.

    Quite so. But I think my lament this morning was wrong. There comments from folks like you, AJ Liberty, and Leviticus that are the truffles in the pile of poop. (No offense to everyone else. It’s a metaphor.) Yes, I am writing for a much smaller audience than is nominally reading, but as long as the sensible folks are still here, I am heartened.

    Patterico (98df0d)

  71. Responding to the subject of the post:

    I think Trump was trying to make money from his Russian connections rather than influence an election. I think he still is, plus several other countries, plus his son-in-law’s questionable financial dealings. I think he will continue to do this for the rest of his life and his children will, too. (Cue the “CLintons and Obamas do it, too” comments.) But the difference to me is there are ways to track what the Clinton and Obama get paid through their foundations. I don’t think we will ever know about the Trumps/Kushners because they run the money through their private businesses, and private business can be just as corrupt as politics but with less transparency.

    DRJ (15874d)

  72. WDana and I just finished a similar discussion at The Jury. I am glad you plan to keep going, even though I know it is hard.

    DRJ (15874d)

  73. The Associated Press
    @AP
    BREAKING: Justice Department letter: Mueller does not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice or find that he committed a crime.
    __ _

    Ben Shapiro
    @benshapiro
    Mueller: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    __ _

    Jared Miller
    @JaredMillr
    Replying to @AP
    Can you elaborate? This doesn’t make sense.
    __ _

    Brandon Froedge
    @BrandonFroedge
    BREAKING: AP predictably puts Anti-Trump spin on their tweet regarding Mueller report conclusion
    __ _

    Christopher Hitchens
    @HCritchens
    Lol.

    The court did not exonerate him of the charge of murder, but also did not find that he harmed anyone
    __ _

    George Court
    @courty1793
    So it’s a tie?
    __ _

    harkin (d67dd3)

  74. The whole thing was a goddam fairytale.

    It’s as if five paragraphs starting with “We know…” were never written.

    Paul Montagu (d49d0a)

  75. No collusion; DOJ decides no OOJ on Mueller’s data.

    Vindication.

    Bet Biden doesn’t run.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  76. Barr’s letter says no collusion by Trump or the campaign per Mueller and per Barr, nothing to substantiate obstruction by the Prez, which Mueller didn’t specifically address.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  77. @DCSCA

    This kiis not going to stop Biden from running. Please! Joe Biden simply doesn’t like extremely long campaigns. And we didn’t have them – welll we did have that with McGovern and Jimmy Carter, but basically only long shots did that.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  78. “Mueller does not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice or find that he committed a crime.” Then Barr writes that this then left him (the Attorney General) to determine “whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime” and the Attorney General’s determination is “the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish the President committed an obstruction of justice offense.”

    This is like a police department having a high profile case where they don’t want to recommend charges be brought, but rather than saying so, dump it into the lap of the issuing DA to reject the case. Happens on occasion.

    Although, in this case, since Mueller was well aware that Barr took the public view (in his memo written before he was appointed AG) that the President’s conduct in firing Comey, etc could not constitute obstruction, he likely decided not fight it. An additional factor in Mueller’s decision is probably that there was no underlying crime committed, making it harder given the counterarguments about the lawfulness of the President’s action to push such a charge. So, rather than a fight over that, Mueller stills gets some bang for his buck by laying out in the report why he thinks there was obstruction, letting Congress do what they will with that, and putting it on the AG to say no charges on that will be filed.

    Pete (3aedd6)

  79. @76. Hardly a McGuffin; it ends up reinforcing Trump; it’s certainly a bayonet to the belly of the ol’conservative ideologues and pops the balloon of Dems on the red-hat-hunt. Full blown NeverTrumpsters are going to be on the defensive now, nipping at his heels but it validates the ‘no collusion’ tweets and chants as he dashes to Term Two and dodges the OOJ rap. The ‘luck’ this guy has had w/babes, business and now this is gonna bring smiles to his loyalists sipping Pabst Blue Ribbon across the land. Bibi’s gonna hope and want some of it to rub off on him when they meet and greet this week.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  80. New York Post:

    Mueller probe didn’t find Trump campaign colluded with Russia, not enough evidence for obstruction: attorney general

    Now this is not news.

    It isn’t even news that this came out before Monday morning, because that would have been the best time to guess.

    The New York Times had an editorial Saturday – – in which they troed to come up with evidence or hints of evidence, against Trump.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/22/opinion/mueller-report-release.html

    Give President Trump this much: In the face of the biggest existential threat to his presidency, the special counsel’s Russia investigation, he checked himself where it mattered most….Still, one persistent danger — that Mr. Trump would find a way to scuttle the investigation before it could be completed — never materialized….

    “Let people see it,” he said on Wednesday. “There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. There was no nothing.”

    On the first point, we can all agree. William Barr, the attorney general, needs to release as much of Mr. Mueller’s work as he possibly can, and soon.

    We’ll reserve judgment on the second. It may prove that Mr. Trump has kept repeating his mantra of “no collusion” because it’s true. But even if Mr. Mueller has found in the end that Mr. Trump did not knowingly conspire with Russia — and it is profoundly to be hoped that the report settles that question, one way or the other — that doesn’t mean this inquiry has been a witch hunt.

    Throughout the campaign and transition, Mr. Trump and many of his top officials and advisers had more than 100 contacts with Russian nationals and WikiLeaks, or their intermediaries….

    Lying to federal officials is a crime, and at least four of Mr. Trump’s top aides (so far) have copped to doing it about their Russian contacts: Michael Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser; Rick Gates, the deputy campaign chairman; George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser on the campaign; and Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer.

    …At the heart of it all is Mr. Trump’s own behavior — his unexplained affection for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and his knack for knowing just the right time to encourage election interference. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump, in a reference to Hillary Clinton’s emails, said on July 27, 2016 — the same day, as it happened, that the Russians began doing just that.

    Two pointsz: The numer 100 exaggerates the number of serious contacts, and I noticed the New York Times didn’t say whether thate xample of renwed hacking started before or after Trump said that. Why say “the same day” It may be misleading that they stimulated to look further. It doesn’t matter since Hillary’s deleted emails, were no longer on line.

    They also had an Op ed by Caroline Fredrickson

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/22/opinion/trump-mueller-report.html

    Mr. Mueller’s report may never go public, but we don’t need a peek at the recommendations he delivered on Friday to Attorney General William Barr to credibly assess that something unethical and likely illegal went on in 2016. The repeated lies told by Trump campaign staff members — lies about their connections to Russian figures — already spin a grand tale of conspiracy and deceit. And it’s a tale so suspect and sordid that President Trump and his associates felt the need to lie to hide it from law enforcement.

    The question is, ehat exactly are talking about?

    This has always looked more like an atttempt by Russia to penetrate a possible future American Administration, not Donald Trump reaching an arrangement with Russia.

    What I don’t undersdtand is why anybody (with the opportunity for reasonable acquaintance with the facts) would think that any of thhese claims of collusion had any reasonnable chance of being true.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  81. The very people who used a fake dossier to investigate Donald Trump for conspiring with Vladimir Putin and the people in the media who have for two years peddled the imminent demise of the President are the very people who have given Vladimir Putin his greatest victory over us. And in all likelihood Democrats will continue the witch hunt, to Vladimir’s continued amusement.

    Bruce (6f45b5)

  82. Trump lawyer Sekulow is already crowing on MSNBC- complete victory, no collusion, DOJ says no OOJ.

    If you’re walking along Fifth Avenue and Trump is in town… might consider wearing a bulletproof vest. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  83. Tey knew the Mueller report was coming all day Friday.

    And God arranged some special effects, accoridng to the New York Times:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/22/us/politics/when-will-mueller-report-come-out.html

    At 4:05 p.m., a thunderclap rumbled around the capital, and hail began to fall. Fifty-five minutes later the skies cleared, and it was announced that Mr. Barr had finally received the report.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  84. 83… yes, Democrats and their a-hole buddies in the media.

    Where’s Muh Collusion!?!?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  85. 81… and guts the Left like the bottom-feeders they are, although they’re too far gone to notice.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  86. Trump tweets: “No collusion. No obstruction, Complete and Total EXONORATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” Does tarmac presser, says ‘so many people hurt…’boards AF1, jetting back to DC and Bibi.

    Look for pardons from the bad boy everybody loves to hate…

    What. A. Show.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  87. Colonel, if your only concern is whether or not there is enough evidence that the President of the United States could be indicted for directly conspiring with a foreign power to influence an election, you should feel vindicated by the current reports and I’m glad for you.

    For a lot of people that’s one qualifying (and qualified) step above “currently alive”. Everyone has their own standards.

    Nic (896fdf)

  88. @79. We’ll see, Sammy. He may not like a long run only because he doesn’t have the energy for one– or it makes his 45 year record an EZ target. Personally suspect he was waiting for this report to drop before committing. What’s come out isn’t a help; doesn’t strike the King. He certainly can’t run telling ‘folks’ he’s Mr. Integrity, either.

    Too many young weasels and ol’hedgehogs in the field; his time has passed; he’s the Dem’s Dole.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. comey proved himself as close to mark felt in this story, as one could reasonably present, although he had a legion of enablers,

    narciso (d1f714)

  90. In fairness, I think Trump and his folks would have gladly colluded but they weren’t very good at it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  91. trying to pick up the pieces that Hillary and power and rice and brennan shattered:

    https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/03/19/a-minister-a-general-militias-libyas-shifting-balance-of-power/

    narciso (d1f714)

  92. I don’t like Trump’s background, manner, or style. That’s me. When he does things I think are good, I make sure to say it aloud to myself (or say it here!). For example, I think his tit-for-tat approach to free speech in academia is a good idea (it hopefully reminds the opposition of how rules can be used or abused). His tweeting? It’s just dumb, and gets him into trouble…for no good reason.

    Is he insane or unstable? I’m not a psychiatrist or psychologist, and I find that the people who carry on about this are partisans who have gotten out of control. It reminds me very much of the breathless concerns about Reagan during his administration.

    But I DO NOT like this investigation. I never have. And progressive friends should not, either. Witchhunts are never a good idea. This is very, very different than my opinion of Trump as a man, or a leader.

    Me, I am hoping that Team R will give some serious thought to future candidates and the system in place.

    And Patterico? Thank you for this essay.

    Simon Jester (aaf3eb)

  93. 90… when the whole enchilada has been based on a pack of lies, I lean more toward condemning the sort of people who were behind it. But YMMV.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  94. Colonel, I see you point on this…and I wish everyone would notice that the precedent of just fishing for bad stuff is a bad one. I am not a lawyer or legal scholar.

    But I like investigations that have a distinct investigative goal, other than “get the guy.”

    Everyone should agree on that.

    Simon Jester (aaf3eb)

  95. @97. Trump brought it on himself…

    _____

    … and Nixon smiled.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  96. @94. LOL Answering the phone, sayin’ sure and waitin’ for a check from Deutche bank to clear is hard for ’em.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  97. I think whitewashing Mueller’s record from the getgo was problematic,

    http://thefederalist.com/2019/03/24/5-times-attorney-generals-letter-mueller-report-clears-president-trump/

    narciso (d1f714)

  98. the bank his own law firm has represented in the past, meanwhile Chicago is stuck in the kang/kodos dichotomy, and that’s being charitable,

    narciso (d1f714)

  99. @98 Lets say a man dies prematurely. Stepson goes to the police and says, “Hey, my stepmom (who is my age and I don’t like much) has made a ton of jokes about killing dad and she got a set of plans as to what she’s going to do with his money after he dies and she does business with a bunch of mobbed up people. And here’s a list of the people who’ve heard the jokes and a list of the mobbed up people she does business with.” Probably the police would at least look into it. Legit investigation. If, after they looked into it, they discovered a bunch of crimes committed by her organization and people in her organization, which they were indicted for, but the official pronouncement by the DA was, “We did not find enough evidence to indict Mrs. Dad for murder.” Now, Mrs. Dad probably feels vindicated and step-son is probably still convinced she has something to do with it, but if you were just a general bystander looking at all the guilty pleas by members of Mrs. Dad’s organization, would you be comfortable doing business with her company, or would you look elsewhere for your construction needs?

    Nic (896fdf)

  100. now the bulwinkle has reached camelbert level of parody, with molly jong fast, being a special level of clueless,

    narciso (d1f714)

  101. why did Raymond Donovan, bother to declare ‘where do I go to get my reputation back,’ because of pigheaded analogies like that,

    narciso (d1f714)

  102. Totally screwed: Vaseline boys Manafort, Cohen and Flynn have gotta be sore.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  103. This may have been linked already but here is the DOJ summary of Mueller’s report. The link is a PDF.

    DRJ (15874d)

  104. It helps if you have a good reputation to start out with, don’t do bad things, and don’t hire people who are notoriously bad actors. He’s probably not a spy, just an unethical possible criminal is pretty much damned with faint praise.

    Nic (896fdf)

  105. You and Trump are two peas in a pod, DCSCA.

    DRJ (15874d)

  106. 104… let’s say Dad is on his death bed…

    Dad lived all his life in the Florida Keys and is on his deathbed and knows the end is near. His nurse, his wife, his daughter and two sons, are with him.

    He asks for two witnesses to be present and a camcorder be in place
    to record his last wishes, and when all is ready he begins to speak:

    “My son, Bernie, I want you to take the Ocean Reef houses.”

    “My daughter Sybil, you take the apartments between mile markers 100 and Tavernier.”

    “My son, Jamie, I want you to take the offices over in the Marathon Government Center.”

    “Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings on the bay side on Blackwater Sound.”

    The nurse and witnesses are blown away as they did not realize his extensive holdings, and as Doug slips away, the nurse says,

    “Mrs. Pender, your husband must have been such a hard-working man to have accumulated all this property.”

    The wife replies, “The asshole had a paper route!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  107. The summary says Russia had two methods it used to interfere in the 2016 election: the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and the hacking of Clinton/the Democrats’ computers and emails. Mueller found no Trump campaign official or associate “knowingly coordinated” with the IRA. In addition, no one conspired with Russian hackers “despite multiple offers” by Russian-affiliated persons. Did they even realize they were dealing with foreign entities? Any bets on whether these contacts and offers were reported by Trump personnel to the appropriate authorities?

    DRJ (15874d)

  108. I think the funniest thing in the reports/comments in this entire investigation is the group of nitwits who think Trump saying: “’Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you can find Hillary’s 30,000 missing emails’ was an intelligence-gathering directive delivered on national television.

    Kind of like the Kavanaugh smear, some parts were like a national IQ test.

    Harkin (d67dd3)

  109. Hat tip AoS…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  110. A footnote on page 2 indicates no Trump official or associate knowingly agreed to participate in the Russian conspiracy. It leaves open that there might have been unwitting participation.

    DRJ (15874d)

  111. “In addition, no one conspired with Russian hackers “despite multiple offers” by Russian-affiliated persons.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  112. @104. Are you saying that Trump lies about his economic success? I’m not sure that is a great recommendation for a president either.

    Nic (896fdf)

  113. The plot thickens…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  114. sorry that was meant to be @111

    Nic (896fdf)

  115. Look for pardons from the bad boy everybody loves to hate…

    Trump should pardon Comey, and if he rejects it, indict him for false presentations to the FISA court.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  116. And the search for the Impeachment Pony continues.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  117. @110. Along w/63 million other Americans who voted for him. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  118. Throw the shovel down and stop digging…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  119. The Summary then addresses obstruction of justice issues. Mueller declined to follow DOJ prosecution guidelines and decided instead to set forth both sides of the evidence. But, as I read it, since there was no evidence of a Russian conspiracy, that undercut bringing charges for obstruction. In layman’s terms, the average person doesn’t obstruct an investigation if he has no crime to hide.

    DRJ (15874d)

  120. 121… yes, it will. Too much invested in this sad, tawdry chapter of law enforcement malfeasance.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  121. It will be counted as a part of 0bama’s legacy.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  122. I’m just curious. Now that we’ve seen some of the various consequences for US citizens (including the President) of some of the provisions of the Patriot act and Freedom act, do you think it would be possible to have a real discussion on exactly how much government surveillance and FISA secrecy we really want in our lives?

    Nic (896fdf)

  123. N conclusion, the AG notes that he will not release information that occurred during grand jury proceedings as required by FRCrP Rule 6(e), and he has asked Mueller to identify that information.

    DRJ (15874d)

  124. @120. Few are gonna pay much attention to the ‘dotting i’s’ and ‘crossing t’s’ in the backwash of this. No collusion w/t Rooskies, dodged the OOJ bullet from DOJ and just a ship of fools left paddling behind as our Captain steams full speed head, steering the Ship of State to Term Two. Trump 101: better to be lucky than smart.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  125. I think there will be more FISA discussion and scrutiny.as a result of this.

    DRJ (15874d)

  126. much like minaret and shamrock in the 70s, they acceded their mandate, but this was biden’s baby, the foreign intelligence surveillance act, which was designed to prevent such factional abuse, but they promise they’ll get it right next time, meanwhile san bernadino, Orlando and ft. lauderdale airport had to happen, same with parkland,

    narciso (d1f714)

  127. those were among the most ridiculous elements of harry ‘snapper organs’ of q divisions, memoir,

    narciso (d1f714)

  128. It does speak volumes that the Trump Team was expecting ‘worse’ and got much ‘better’ out of this. What they truly know about what happened must be a gold mine– the stuff of big dollar memoirs to come.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  129. “I’m seeing 2 big examples of how the media are reporting good news for Trump this weekend. It’s really embarrassing for them because the 2 stories are very big and very good for Trump and, in both, the same move is made to turn it into something negative and ominous… So watch for it. The rule is: When something good for Trump happens, find the nearest bad thing and make that the focus of the news report.”

    — Ann Althouse

    https://althouse.blogspot.com/2019/03/how-any-good-news-for-trump-will-be.html

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  130. Super middle finger to the media hacks and no Trumpers from Her Mueller.

    mg (8cbc69)


  131. Eli Lake
    @EliLake
    Breaking: Trump won the 2016 election

    __

    harkin (d67dd3)

  132. due process only matters when we like the subject, in so many words,

    https://thebulwark.com/four-arguments-about-the-mueller-report-you-should-ignore/

    narciso (d1f714)

  133. Is the Trump Tower meeting the unwitting contact or is th ere more?

    The emails show music promoter Rob Goldstone telling the future US president’s son that “the crown prosecutor of Russia” had offered “to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father”.

    British-born Goldstone adds in the exchange of 3 June 2016: “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump.”

    Seventeen minutes later, Trump Jr welcomes this with the reply: “If it’s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer.”

    In a later email, Goldstone describes the Russian lawyer they are due to meet, Natalia Veselnitskaya, as a “Russian government attorney”.

    At the time of the linked report, Jr and Trump claimed Trump never knew about this. Michael Cohen claims he did.

    DRJ (15874d)

  134. @121. Only on Fox.

    Now, it’s a waste of electrons. Christ, CNN’s Acosta is reporting comparisons made to Geraldo’s TeeVee special bust opening Al Capone’s Vault. If you’re too young to remember that- Google it.

    And Nadler whines…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  135. Harkin beat Acosta to the punch…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  136. That pony’s in there somewhere…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  137. Wish the tears of the no trumpers was on a reel. Like that madow fisher person.

    mg (8cbc69)

  138. Two and a half years of an unyielding torrent of spiteful, vindictive, malicious, and wholly manufactured accusations of treason, collusion, and criminal obstruction brought against the duly elected President of our nation by insane two-faced Democrats and self-annointed media cry bullies incessantly screaming false accusations against an innocent man, his wife, and family in an idiot effort to overturn our 2016 national election.

    Had I not witnessed it for myself, I would not have belived it possible in America.

    ropelight (75998e)

  139. what did Obama do and why?

    mg (8cbc69)

  140. NO COLLUSION! trump found innocent of treason! hellotry found guilty of blowing the election on her own. (with jill steins help) I got banned from liberal sites like blog for arizona, jackpine radicals and democratic underground for saying I have seen no evidence of collusion from the beginning. Madcows ratings monday will be thru the roof as everyone will tune in to watch her cry. we will see what kind of tinkle chris mathews gets up his leg now!

    lany (8bb637)

  141. how do you not block out, UCF?

    mg (8cbc69)

  142. Never trumpet republicans are finished they are garbage in the garbage truck being taken to the dump of history.

    lany (8bb637)

  143. Go ahead… tinkle up his leg and tell ‘im it’s collusion

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  144. 148… fundamentals right there, mg.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  145. Take it to teh river… wash it in teh Waters… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NMJ8mKunIg

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  146. waters comes across as a dementia riddled pysco

    mg (8cbc69)

  147. 150 – and they had plenty of other opportunities, but failing at executing fundamentals will get you a silver everytime.

    mg (8cbc69)

  148. Great game, though!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  149. Breaking! National Joke Alert!

    @paulsperry_
    BREAKING: Rep. Devin Nunes says House Intel has evidence Clinton operatives & hi-level FBI & DOJ officials started Trump-Russia investigation in “late 2015/early 2016″ & that House GOP will be making criminal referrals to AG Barr for officials who “perpetuated this hoax” for 3+ yrs
    2:51 PM · Mar 24, 2019

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  150. 154 – Indeed. Looked like shachefski was gonna blow an artery.

    mg (8cbc69)

  151. @155. Clinton… Obama… Grant… Harding… stop digging; enjoy the moment.

    “Well, I’m not a crook.” – The Big Dick, 11/17/73

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  152. I will engage in a bit of mild triumphalism, by quoting my favorite source — myself — from a comment I left on this blog on October 17, 2018, with my predictions regarding the Mueller report. I leave it to the carefully discerning in the audience to decide on the degree of correspondence, but I claim credit for predicting the gist, and the most important rationales, of the report:

    Ed from SFV (#6) invited us all to speculate on a very opaque but important topic:
    Whither Mueller? What is to be the October Surprise?
    I’ll play!

    In scrupulous compliance with 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(b), Mueller is going to write a confidential interim report to Rosenstein. Rosenstein will already know, from ongoing discussions with Mueller going back months, the precise contents of this report, and the two of them will likewise will have discussed, and adjusted appropriately, the timetable for the delivery of this confidential interim report. Indeed, I suspect that Mueller will place this interim report on Rosenstein’s desk during the week following the election, but not before the election.

    The interim report will contain what Mueller expects to be his final-form conclusions and observations on all of the foreign intelligence aspects of this investigation, reporting in vast and exhaustive detail (probably in an appendix, or several) on the subject of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. The report will include the latest information on subsequent interference, including in the current election cycle. And it will include Mueller’s recommendations for possible responses, perhaps including legislative and political approaches in combination with law enforcement approaches.

    The interim report will also summarize the various criminal investigations and prosecutions that arose during the course of the foreign intelligence investigation. As part of that, the interim report will explain that Mueller prosecuted everyone he thought should be prosecuted, squeezed every possible source or little fish for bigger fish, through and including Manafort’s conviction and subsequent plea — and is now content to fold up all those tents. And indeed, he’d be ready to submit his final report, pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c), instead of this interim report, except for one thing:

    The interim report will advise that to date, Mueller has found no basis for prosecution, or even further investigation, of any potential criminal charges against Trump except for potential obstruction of justice charges — first, in connection with his conversation with then FBI Director James Comey about the Flynn investigation and prosecution; and second, in connection with Comey’s subsequent termination. As to both of those potential criminal charges, Mueller will demonstrate that he has exhausted all reasonably feasible and prudent lines of investigation except for a face-to-face interview or under-oath examination of the POTUS. Mueller will (pretend to) remind Rosenstein that evidence — of necessity, mostly circumstantial — regarding the defendant’s “corrupt heart” is key to proving obstruction of justice. The same conduct could be either entirely legal or criminally obstructive depending upon the defendant’s subjective intentions, and whether they were in service of this corrupt heart. The POTUS’ own explanations and rationalizations for his speech and conduct are internally inconsistent, and he’s acted like a man who is either in poor control of himself or else desperately trying to hide something awful. All of this cuts in favor, Mueller will report, of trying to force the issue of an interview of — or, failing agreement for that, a grand jury subpoena served upon — the POTUS.

    But on the other hand (Mueller will continue, surprising Rosenstein not at all), in all the digging Mueller has done, including his extensive document review and interviewing of WH personnel, and prosecuting and squeezing of other fish up through and including Flynn and Manafort, Mueller hasn’t found that “something awful” which could rationally have motivated Trump to try to obstruct justice to keep hidden.

    If there was nothing awful to hide — that going a little easy on Flynn might have somehow protected, or that firing Comey when and how he did might have somehow protected, from discovery — then there’s no “corrupt heart” for purposes of the obstruction of justice laws. “A reasonable prosecutor would likely conclude,” Mueller will write, “that President Trump was just being an idiot and his own worst enemy, not obstructing justice.”

    Therefore, Mueller will recommend not insisting upon an interview or grand jury subpoena. If it can’t be independently established that he had something to hide, Mueller will write, then there’s no real likelihood that Trump will reveal that during an interview or grand jury session.

    Finally, Mueller will state that if Rosenstein concurs (and he knows full well that Rosenstein will), then Mueller’s interim report should then instead be deemed his (Mueller’s) final report under section 600.8(c). He’ll have graciously prepared, and attacked, a redacted version suitable for public distribution by Rosenstein without revealing sources & methods or classified info.

    And Rosenstein will indeed concur with Mueller’s recommendation. He’ll stick a cover memo on the redacted version so stating, and ship it off to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees in fulfillment of his obligations under 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(a)(3), in the full expectation (and probably with the recommendation) that they publish it to the general public.

    *****

    This is the “Merry Christmas, Mr. President” version of the fantasy. Since absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, though, I really don’t know whether Mueller has already found — but kept completely close to his vest — something sufficiently hinky that it might be deemed a sufficient motivation for Trump to have obstructed justice. In which case, the recommendation will be: Let’s serve the grand jury subpoena. That would be a very different Christmas for the POTUS

    So in the big picture, it is indeed Christmas in March for the POTUS. It is indeed — in terms out bottom-line outcomes, the net-net (as the New York businessmen are wont to say) — a triumph for Trump.

    Is it a reason for triumphalism on Trump’s part, or on the part of his supporters? Yes, in the sense that if you stop smashing your forehead with a ballpeen hammer, your headache might triumphantly go away.

    Because in the very biggest of pictures, as it will be seen by historians in the future or the clear-eyed now, Trump created this “witch-hunt,” and fed its flames on a daily basis. The epic, Greek-drama-quality irony is that the billionaire businessman whose catchphrase was “You’re Fired” spectacularly botched the firing of the federal government official who more deserved firing than any in the 21st Century, one James Comey, Esq. If Trump had announced during the transition that he wasn’t going to be staying on, no one could or would have complained. If he’d picked any one story for why he fired him when he actually got around to it, he’d have created no conceivable basis for a special counsel to be appointed. If he hadn’t acted like he had some dirty, horrible, guilt-ridden secret to hide, and if he’d simply kept his mouth shut (which I am 100% certain is what all his lawyers were telling him he should do), this whole damned deal wouldn’t have been soaking up all the political oxygen in the country, to the severe detriment of reelecting a GOP House.

    Of course the left was going to be crazy; they whip themselves up, even without Trump helping them do it, trolling them. But the reason this whole kerfuffle ever came into existence was Donald J. Trump’s spectacular incompetence and indiscipline. If you think those are good qualities for a POTUS, then go be triumphant about this one.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  153. 124. DRJ (15874d) — 3/24/2019 @ 3:17 pm

    In layman’s terms, the average person doesn’t obstruct an investigation if he has no crime to hide.

    No, I don’t think that’s the way Barr and Rosenstein understood the law.

    The average person does commit the offense of obstruction of justice if he tries to derail an investigation, even if there is nothing, or no criminal act, to hide.

    But an official’s legal superior does not.

    Now, in reality that should also apply to the average person. I never liked it when Haldeman and Ehrlichman were charged with obstruction of justice without the prosecutors having to prove an underlying crime that they knew about and were trying to cover up.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  154. @158. Shorter; which I’ll claim credit for predicting:

    “He’s gonna beat the rap.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  155. Barr’s letter, by the way, is a spectacular piece of legal work product, as polished and well-considered an executive summary as the most meticulous of lawyers, judges, or CEOs might expect. It is incredibly dense — in the sense of nothing being there by chance, nothing having escaped careful polishing and reconsideration, and likely objections having been well-anticipated in advance. (It’s not at all “dense” in the very different senses of being either stupid or impenetrable, although most of the press and punditry descriptions of it I’m reading online so far do display those other sorts of denseness.)

    How much of that clear thinking, good writing, and meticulous polish is personally attributable to Bob Barr, how much to Rod Rosenstein, or how much to their respective staffs, I can’t begin to guess. It is, obviously, a key exhibit in any future litigation brought by disappointed Dems, including Dem House members trying to enforce committee subpoenas. But every jot and tittle, every comma and footnote, is there for a reason. The DoJ collectively can be proud of this letter — and, I suspect, is.

    Jeff Sessions ought not hold his breath waiting for Trump’s apology tweet. Given the schadenfreude I feel for the way Trump has treated Sessions (whom I believe karma to be punishing for his own cosmic stupidity in ever supporting Donald Trump), I’m okay with that.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  156. Obama…Clinton…time to dig and get off the back foot!

    margaret (dd3e84)

  157. It’s a stretch to pitch to the average American the DOJ boys and girls read the report cold on a Saturday and quilled a comprehensive summary Sunday morning– so general conclusions have likely been in work for a time, even w/Barr recently coming aboard. Someday we’ll get the full tick-tock.
    ______

    Trump’s got a Nixon gene which, when activated, can make him his own worst enemy; he’s always been vindictive as hell, a la Roy Cohn; carries a grudge for years, and it’s hard to see how WH staffers can prevent a long series of gloating tweet-storms on the horizon. Wise path would be to chill, go magnanimous, acknowledge the win, crow vindication on no collusion, save the raw red meat for ‘witch hunt rallies’ and press on to 2020.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  158. Sean Davis
    @seanmdav
    Hands up, don’t shoot. Trump’s a Russian spy. Kavanaugh ran a secret gang rape cartel. Covington kids assaulted a vet.
    Never forget that these lies–and yes, they were outright lies–were deliberately peddled by all the same people for all the same reasons.
    1:40 PM · Mar 24, 2019

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  159. Any bets on whether these contacts and offers were reported by Trump personnel to the appropriate authorities?

    Because, for the first time in his life, Trump discovered that dirty deals and crooked people infest the halls of government, New York City was never like this, where government contacts were as true as their word and a handshake was all anyone ever needed.

    Shocked, he breathlessly reported this to the FBI, CIA and NSA, by the simple procedure of talking out loud to the walls.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  160. Are you saying that Trump lies about his economic success? I’m not sure that is a great recommendation for a president either.

    MORE shocking news! A President is caught LYING about his economic success!

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  161. @166 Oh, I’m not shocked, just thought it was an odd argument to make in support of Trump. 8/

    It’s kind of like the “he’s too dumb to collude” argument.

    Nic (896fdf)

  162. [D]o you think it would be possible to have a real discussion on exactly how much government surveillance and FISA secrecy we really want in our lives?

    Indeed. Let’s start with the petty: the Know Your Customer banking rules that were defeated time and again, then shoved through on September 12th. They have VERY little to do with terrorism and a lot more to do with taxes and the drug war. There was nothing involving back records that would have exposed the 9/11 plot (and much else that they DID have that they ignored anyway).

    Then let’s go on to the falsifying of information sources, where the subject of a FISA warrant is caught buying crack or some such and it “slips out” to the local cops as a “anonymous tip.”

    Then let’s move further to the difficulty of challenging a FISA warrant even if one knows about it. There is no due process if the Star Chamber is the only process.

    But yes, we do need something. But fishing expeditions and political hitjobs need to be3 prevented and/or punished. Lying or intentionally misleading the FISA court should cost people their pensions, if not their freedom.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  163. It’s sometimes difficult to understand a joke.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  164. Michael Cohen claims he did.

    I need more than an admitted perjurer’s word.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  165. Nic,

    There’s a wonderful SNL takedown of the Iran-Contra scenario called “Mastermind” where Reagan is schooling Schultz, Casey, Regan and Weinberger on how to launder money and ship things around the world in secret.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5wfPlgKFh8

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  166. Oh that’s a classic, in reality though Reagan was following part of a strategy that deep thinkers like Graham fuller (the one who vouched for the tsarnaevs) had thought up.

    Narciso (bef82a)

  167. “I suspect it’s going to turn out that Trump was doing more than tweeting throughout all this, and that it reflected a strategy that has now paid off. But Republicans — including NeverTrumpers still capable of some degree of rationality, if such exist — should ask themselves what other Republican candidate in 2016 could have withstood this sort of assault. As with the Kavanaugh character assassination attempts, I think the answer will be damn few. Maybe Ted Cruz, but nobody else really comes to mind. And, say, Mitt Romney? It is to laugh. We got Trump because of a media/political environment that only Trump could survive and flourish in.

    And note that the past week has been a bad one for Trump’s enemies in general: Higher education is facing its biggest scandal ever, the SPLC is folding, the Democrats are split over anti-semitism and more or less open Marxism. . . . Stay tuned. It’s going to get interesting.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  168. That was from Glenn Reynolds

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  169. 165. I was under the impression government officials other than the President have to report foreign contacts.

    DRJ (15874d)

  170. Welcome back, Beldar. I guess you don’t subscribe to the “multi-level chess” theory when it comes to Trump.

    My great frustration with Trump is that his utter incompetence allows his best efforts to be wasted time and again. The Democrats are about as crazy as crazy can be, and one can only imagine a Romney, a Reagan, even a Nixon shoving their heads through their butt-holes on an hourly basis. It is hard to remember a GOP politician less attuned to the mood of the electorate and spending all his time throwing red meat to his base. And the Democrats think it’s a good play and are copying him!

    It’s like watching a spastic slap fight, where nobody can connect but everyone swings wildly.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  171. I think the answer will be damn few. Maybe Ted Cruz, but nobody else really comes to mind. And, say, Mitt Romney?

    Trump didn’t fight back. Trump just swung for the fences. Cruz would have smashed homers. Romney might not have hit the ball out a lot, but he would have hit the ball some. Trump just strikes out.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  172. “… including NeverTrumpers still capable of some degree of rationality, if such exist …”

    Of course that is Reynolds, Mr. Passive Aggressive.

    DRJ (15874d)

  173. Excellent prognostication, Beldar.

    DRJ (15874d)

  174. I didn’t realize that anyone thought that the Know Your Customer rule wasn’t about various kinds of organized crime and/or various kinds of financial trickery.

    My understanding is that the FISA evidence requirements for warrants are… light? I don’t know enough about the difference between those and the evidence requirements for a regular warrant to say for sure, and it can probably be argued that it’s a good prosecution tool, but if there are two standards for evidence, it seems like it should overlap into illegal search and seizure at some point regardless of whether the subject is a crack dealer. Lets say these are only used for (suspected) criminals. They still have legal rights. And at what point do we ALL become suspected criminals? I will admit that I may have read one two many cyberpunk novels in the 90s, but I have never been encourage to trust too much in the over-reach of an industrial-government complex.

    Nic (896fdf)

  175. Trump’s got a Nixon gene

    Unconnected to intelligence. Nixon was probably the smartest 20th century president, and a first-class mind. Reagan may have won the Cold War, but it was largely Nixon’s plan.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  176. Nic,

    SUre, you might think that “tip” came from an illegal source, but any attempt to explore that will run into a national security wall (cannot confirm, deny or discuss. so sorry)

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  177. Yes, but Know Your Customer was bolted into the Patriot Act stampede, so it needs to be considered in that context.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  178. @172, That was a funny one. I also have the pleasure to have been a preteen on an overseas military base in 86/87. There was one English TV station, AFN. They played the Iran Contra trials from 3:00 until Headline News came on at maybe 5:30. Afterschool TV. Ugh.

    Nic (896fdf)

  179. 179… calls ‘em as he sees ‘em.

    Watching msnbc now, they’re saying “Barr took a big swing at Mueller”.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  180. “Barr pulled an Al Haig… he should’ve recused himself… the letter needs a sanitizer.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  181. DRJ @ 176.

    I was under the impression government officials other than the President have to report foreign contacts.

    When it comes time to get or renew a security clearance, I think they may have to do something like that, and that’s private contacts and also before they became a government official.

    But the vice president doesn’t need to get a security clearance, nor members of Congress, and the president anyway can order someone told things or cleared, anyway, and that typically would be done with someone who is considered a major candidate for president, without evaluating too carefully their prospects for election (i.e there are always considered to be at least two possibilities as to who might become president after the election, and they get, or are offered, the president’s daily brief.)

    People in a campaign have no requirement, or need, to report anything, since they’re not asking for a security clearance. Of course most campaigns will have some people in it who already have one.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  182. @182. All the more tragic; he should have known better.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  183. Thank you, DRJ. Hello Kevin M.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  184. No doubt somebody’s feet are happy today.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  185. Narciso, …But until you show evidence that you realize Trump and his team are just as mendacious and corrupt as Clinton and his team, I am going to start ignoring you.

    kishnevi (0c10d1) — 3/24/2019 @ 11:14 am

    Ignored!

    Boy howdy! I guess he who is the arbiter of sources you can trust just ruined your whole day, Narciso…

    Everyone knows Trump is, personally, a miscreant and a pig. But, in two or six, Trump will be off the page. And then, the horrible, no good, very rotten, bad Deepstate POS will do this again. This time to someone of higher character, because they just don’t like those who might protect an unborn baby, let people keep more of what they earn, and dare to put Americans before those who have never paid a dime into the system.

    At his core. Trump may not hold any of those principles dear. But when he’s long gone, he will have done more to advance those principles than GWB, his NWO daddy, or even Reagan ever did. McDossier or Romney would never have even started the fight.

    Matador (39e0cd)

  186. Did we forget how they went after Cheney through scooter libby, the analog to general Flynn, and Rove only got away because his atty was able to revise his clients testimony.

    Narciso (bef82a)

  187. @174. If you’ve missed a few of Tedtoo’s pressers lately, his beard’s brown- to match his nose; rumor is he and Lindsey are vying for the Captain’s affection but there’s only room for one on AF 1.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  188. Hes a blunt instrument, if the gope want to do something useful they need to rally behind someone like cideloflake or Larry ‘happy’ Hogan, but Paul singer probably still pulls the strings so magic rightball says no.

    Narciso (bef82a)

  189. But until you show evidence that you realize Trump and his team are just as mendacious and corrupt as Clinton and his [her?] team,

    But are they? Trump doesn’t expect that the system will cover for him, and is therefore limited in what he can steal, even if he was as corrupt and mendacious. Clinton KNOWS they system will cover for her. Do you need a list? So, she acts with impunity and it has been shown that she is correct in doing this.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  190. Trump didn’t fight back. Trump just swung for the fences. Cruz would have smashed homers. Romney might not have hit the ball out a lot, but he would have hit the ball some. Trump just strikes out.

    More importantly they would have not contributed any fuel to the enemy effort.
    They would have fired Comey on Jan 20.
    They would have released financial data so no one could claim their business was bankrolled by a foreign power.
    They would have had campaign staff who thought repeated contacts with the Putin regime was just a normal thing in politics.
    They wouldn’t act like a psychotic with dementia so no one would start invoking the 25th Amendment.
    Etc

    Kishnevi (792537)

  191. Well, yeah, own goals too.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  192. I for one will, unless provoked, resist the temptation to go back through some of the incredibly nasty, arrogant, and wrong criticisms that have been leveled by Trump, his surrogates, and his supporters — including in the comments on this blog — against Robert Swan Mueller III and Rod J. Rosenstein since June 2019.

    No, you were not justified in doing that just because people were being mean to Mr. Trump.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  193. Who are the high ranking Russian officials to whom Mifsud had contacts?

    They are not named in Papadopoulos’s indictment, which does say this:

    “Defendant PAPADOPOULOS further told the investigating agents that the professor was ‘a nothing’ and ‘just a guy talk[ing] up connections or something.’ In truth and in fact, however, defendant PAPADOPOULOS understood that the professor had substantial connections to Russian government officials (and had met with some of those officials in Moscow immediately prior to telling defendant PAPADOPOULOS about the ‘thousands of emails’) and, over a period of months, defendant PAPADOPOULOS repeatedly sought to use the professor’s Russian connections in an effort to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials.”

    https://www.justice.gov/file/1007346/download

    The FBI interviewed Mifsud. We can assume that the FBI had no evidence that he lied to them otherwise he would have been indicted.

    No, “we indict if we have more than zero evidence” is not the standard prosecutors employ.

    For more on Mifsud see https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/404275-what-professor-really-told-fbi-about-trump-russia-and-papadopoulos

    John Solomon? Hannity’s frequent guest? Pass.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  194. A comment thread with a comment from Beldar is thereby ennobled.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  195. Beldar @ 158.

    If Trump had announced during the transition that he wasn’t going to be staying on, no one could or would have complained.

    Well, they would have complained, but nobody would have started any investigation over that. But The FBI Director tradionally has a 10-year term, since J. Edgar Hoover (only one was fired, by Bill Clinton, on trumped up ethics charges) and I was under the impression that the president needed to have “cause.” But legally, it’s apparently not so.

    In any case, Trump didn’t want it to look like he was interfering in the administation of jstice, and this was very possibly also on the advice of Jeff Sessions.

    If he’d picked any one story for why he fired him when he actually got around to it, he’d have created no conceivable basis for a special counsel to be appointed.

    He did pick a story, but it was unbelievable. Trump had been wanting to fire Comey for some time, because he didn’t trust him, and he also didn’t trust any investigation into himself or his campaign. Well, actually Comey told him he was not under investigation, but that was half a lie.

    So anyway, one day Jeff Sessions says to Donald Trump, words to the effect: “Hey, you know, Ive talked to my newly appointed deputy, Rod Rosenstein, and he also thinks Comey should be fired.” So Trump says: “Great, let him write it up.”

    Now Rod Rosenstein thinks Comey should be fired because he was too tough on Hillary – he had no business saying anything bad about Hillary if she was not going to be indicted, and in fact he had no business saying anything at all. What Rosenstein didn’t consider is that Comey’s didn’t really act onn his own – he wouldn’t have dared, or wanted to, but superiors at DOJ wanted him to do that, and pretended that his making a recommendation whether to prosecute or not was normal, I think in later officials documents it is really some prosecutors who decided that, but Comey said nothing about it. Loretta Lynch had said she would follow whatever recommendation he said – she treated this as normal and all this was extremely irregular. In fact in violation of rules that had never been changed for the occasion.

    So anyway, Rosenstein writes this up, AND Trump says “Great, this is a reason that Democrats agree with so I won’t get any criticism.” And he later even calls up Democrats hoping to gain their approval, but is disappointed and surprised that that doesn’t happen.

    Trump wants to say something also about the Russia investigation, but Sessions or somebody else says don’t do that. It’s eliminated from the more formal part of the firing statement, but Trump can’t resist adding, in order to clear himself of having an improper motive for firing Comey that he knows and thanks him for telling him that he is not under investigation.

    (Later on, Marco Rubio and others speculate or interpret Trump as meaning that Comey was fired for refusing to to say publicly that he was not under investigation, although he had told some Senators that.)

    By the way, at the first news they thought on Capitol Hill that Comey had been fired for having to retract his testimony the previous week that Huma Abediin had forwarded emails to Anthony weiner;s compter in order to have them printed. But Trump never used or maybe even knew that.

    Now it is patently ridiculous that Trump fired Comey because he was too tough on Hillary, and he also doesn’t seem to need t as alegal justification, so after a day or so, Trump admits to Lester Holt of NBC News that it was really because of the Russia investigation.

    Still later, he tells that to Russian officials! (He says Comey was a nut job, and that now he is free from this cloud) and that very confidential interchange is illegally leaked to the press.

    If he hadn’t acted like he had some dirty, horrible, guilt-ridden secret to hide,

    Well, the secret was that his motive was the Russia investigation, but the truth was mostly that he didn’t trust the people doing it. He was trying to stop or prevent a politically inspired and biased investigation into his campaign. And it would be hard to stop a real one by just firing one person.

    Anyway, after this gets out, and Comey leaks some versions of some conversations he had with the president, which could look like Trump had improper motives, Rosenstein decides that the on;y way the reputation for integrity of the Department of Justice can be maintained only by appointing a special counsel, at least once Trump turns down the appointment of Robert Mueller as FBI Director!

    Trump rejects Mueller, and Rosenstein immediately puts him in charge of investigating Trump related matters anyway.

    By the way, Trump much later on comes to the conclusion that Rosenstein is being lied about by the “Deep State” (25th amendment and so on) and the bad people are trying to get Rosestein fired, so he doesn’t do that.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  196. Timofeev ran an outfit called the valdai forum, khashoggi was a guest in this summer of 2017, I guess he was a tool of Russia as well,
    I don’t get how you could be sneering at John Solomon who is a twenty year veteran of the up, whereas haberman entous Bartlett got the story substantially wrong.

    narciso (d1f714)

  197. Beldar, do you not think that the Special Counsel did taste where collusion actually did rear its ugly head, that being with Steele, a foreign citizen, trying to influence an American election via the Clinton campaign?

    The investigation resulted in a number of non-“Russia Collusionists” earning prison time. Shouldn’t the revered Special Counsel, R. Swan Mueller, have pressed onward, to pursue more credible and more well documented issues found along the way?

    Matador (39e0cd)

  198. One with several comments? What I said, multiplied.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  199. So the Trump campaign was interested in dirt on its opponent. Just like every other campaign (and political reporter). But the Clinton Campaign and DNC actually paid a foreign spy to pay Russian spies for dirt. And the resulting Steele Dossier was filled with falsehoods, whereas the hacked (or leaked) DNC emails released by Wikileaks were all authentic, and their release in the public interest as they showed DNC malfeasance in the primaries.

    Roger Stone indeed attempted to get Trump people to think he had inside info from Wikileaks, but the fact that he was trying to get such info after Wikileaks had announced they had and would release DNC emails, shows that the Trump Campaign was not to that point getting such info from Russians or Wikileaks and was not involved in the original hacking or leak of the emails (which could be a crime). Given that “collusion” is a secret agreement to break the law or mislead, Clinton colluded with Russia, Trump did not.

    David Pittelli (7d543e)

  200. Beldar, great to see you! Patterico, I wish there was a widget that would alert me when certain people comment.

    Simon Jester (aaf3eb)

  201. That might have been a reasonable inference in 2017, after two years the facts do not hold up.

    Some administration official surveilled and unmasked general Flynn, while he was trying to prevent Obama from kicking Israel in the chestnuts sallt Yates hears about this and tries to create this Logan act garbage, just like eickenrode did with libby 16 years ago.

    Narciso (bef82a)

  202. Our host is too kind and certainly exaggerates, but I thank him. I took heart while lurking, in fact, and was inspired to comment myself, based upon his own comment earlier in this thread, at #71.

    @ Matador (#204): I wouldn’t try to guess what, if anything, Mueller thinks about Steele or the dossier or its provenance. But I have no fault to find with any of the Special Counsel’s prosecution declinations, nor with his threshold decisions as to what additional matters to seek authority to investigate — mostly because I still don’t yet know, and I think no one in the public yet knows, everything that Mueller did, or everything that was known to him when he made those judgment calls. Among the very few people who do, however, have been Rod Rosenstein and Bob Barr, and Barr’s letter tells us unequivocally (and perfectly consistently with the special counsel regs) that neither of them disagreed with any of Mueller’s declination decisions. Nor do I know precisely what “more credible and more well documented issues” you have in mind; and “collusion,” as has been pointed out many times by many people over the past couple of years, is not a crime defined within the United States Code.

    Barr could — consistently with the special counsel regs — have chosen to remain absolutely silent in this report regarding the prosecution declinations which the report does address. He’s volunteered, frankly, a lot more than the regulations require with respect to the declination decisions as to Trump — but they regs do indeed give him the discretionary authority to do exactly that when he’s determined (and recited, as he did) that so doing is in the “public interest,” and I think he exercised that discretion appropriately. In the same sort of discretionary exercise, however, I likewise think it would be appropriate for him and the DoJ to decline any further comment on a whole lot of “little fish” whom Trump enthusiasts would love to see prosecuted. That, after all, was one of the mortal sins committed by James Comey that justified his firing.

    I very, very much want to see the Justice Department return to the traditional status in which the FBI does investigations of crimes (not matters), and in which it, the DoJ, and the federal government do their talking about who’s committed what crimes almost exclusively through indictments, followed by proof in court.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  203. And hello, Simon Jester, thanks for your greeting, which I return.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  204. Intelligence failure… 3/20/19:

    John O. Brennan
    @JohnBrennan
    Hmmm…your bizarre tweets and recent temper tantrums reveal your panic over the likelihood the Special Counsel will soon further complicate your life, putting your political & financial future in jeopardy. Fortunately, Lady Justice does not do NDAs.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  205. There 2as no reason for this investigation, except for a totally fraudulent intelligence document, of ciyrse that was made clear in the or deposition that was released after the midterms, that apelbaum had figured out a year, ahead of Mccarthy.

    narciso (d1f714)

  206. Glenn Greenwald
    @ggreenwald
    For all the people clinging desperately this last straw, Barr’s letter flatly states: “The report does not recommend any further indictments, **nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public**.”
    __ _

    Glenn Greenwald
    @ggreenwald
    Also, to kill off one last point: Mueller didn’t refrain from indicting Trump because you can’t indict a President but because “the evidence does not establish the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.”
    __ _

    Limping Encyclopedia
    @SeiKenja82
    Too bad they outlawed straws.. They got nothing to grasp!
    __ _

    griever
    @jgbkjghkjlo
    We need to start asking what Putin has on Mueller

    __

    harkin (d67dd3)

  207. @206 There are enough lawyers in this thread that someone can probably tell us if, legally, a campaign has to verify the citizenship of every employee of a company they hire to do opposition research. Obviously oppo research itself is legal.

    Nic (896fdf)

  208. OT… this HBO doc on Elizabeth Holmes and her Theranos fraud is quite interesting.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  209. 215)Yes she snowed some powerful people Kissinger schultz general Mattis, based on dubious findings at best, you know who ran onterernce for her, though?

    Narciso (bef82a)

  210. @209

    Beldar, thank you for your considered and detailed reply. Our host does not exaggerate at all.

    I was referring to the so-called “Russian Dossier”, known to have been paid for by the DNC, under the direction of HRC at the time. In the course of investigation, many tangential players have been taken down for much less, things that would have gone unknown or not pursued except for the appointment of a SC. Is it your position that Mueller just missed this? Or, is it just “We’ll let Trump go or we’re gonna end up on a road better left untraveled? Or, some other explanation?

    Again, thank you for taking the question.

    Matador (39e0cd)

  211. 213… the last two are very amusing, harkin!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  212. Maybe tamp down the triumphalism a bit there, sport.

    Trump overcomes prosecutorial overreach, while the prosecutors themselves (McCabe, Strzok, Page, Comey, Baker, Ohr) are reduced to third rate partisans in a clown show. Such triumph and vindication hasn’t been seen since Duke Lacrosse.

    Boo-ya!!!!!!!!

    Chuffy McChuff (c8bd18)

  213. So, Kristen, how went your day?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  214. Triumph of the Will Teh Trump

    It was a thing they chose to do
    It was a message from Mook Central
    It was a messy situation
    It was desire for no change

    He was a wanker not a banker
    And not afraid to take a risk
    He was the guy the voters asked for
    When Pantload Clinton wiped her disk

    They hoped he’d die
    They hoped he’d die
    They hoped he’d die
    They want another piece of pie
    They want another piece of pie
    They want another piece of pie
    And they had to lie

    It was a thing they had to do
    It was a message from Mook Central
    It was a messy situation
    It was a Triumph of Teh Trump

    When the peeps cry out for justice
    It was a need that must be filled
    They went beyond the laws of nature
    It was a Triumph of Teh Trump

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  215. Never trumpers republicans kicked you out and aoc is now running the democrat party. try starting the goofball party.

    lany (9c93ec)

  216. 218 – “213… the last two are very amusing“

    Without humor it would not be bearable, this double standard for how govt/media treats people they disagree with, the latest example of which is this sh*tshow of a witch hunt

    The fundamental thing here IMO is the lefty elite in govt/media’s complete inability to deal with the fact that HRC seemingly had it in the bag. The 85% positive press and deplorable-tagging of middle America surely was too much for the rubes to overcome. And yet enough people still said FU. All the plans, all the parties, all the access to govt power and $$$$$$ to promote their destructive people/programs gonezo in one Nov night……

    She was all set to continue with a third term for Chairman Zero’s weaponized govt and increased power of the state over the individual. She even took it for granted that they had set the Presidency on a tee for her by promoting the best (worst) opponent she could possibly hope for…

    …..and yet she still lost; she really was that horrible.

    I don’t think they’ll learn anything from this, they’ll just be even more angry and even less honest (aka move further left).

    harkin (d67dd3)

  217. @ Matador, who asked (#217):

    In the course of investigation, many tangential players have been taken down for much less, things that would have gone unknown or not pursued except for the appointment of a SC. Is it your position that Mueller just missed this? Or, is it just “We’ll let Trump go or we’re gonna end up on a road better left untraveled? Or, some other explanation?

    I agreed that “many tangential players have been taken down,” and for things that were unrelated to any sort of purported criminal conspiracy between the Russian government and Trump (or his campaign). Because I haven’t seen what Mueller has seen with respect to the Steele dossier and its peddling, however, I don’t feel qualified to second-guess any decisions by Mueller about it. That is, since I don’t know what he knew or investigated, I don’t feel competent to second-guess his conclusions — even if they were nothing more than, “This isn’t a path I’m going to go down.” I also am as yet unpersuaded that a showing has been made, or could be made, of probable cause that any specific federal law has been violated in connection with the Steele dossier. Do you have a particular statute in mind, and a particular defendant, whom you believe Mueller ought to have prosecuted? As for your surmises about my position, I’m not sure what to add beyond what I’ve said, but I don’t think any of those surmises accurately paraphrases any of my views; I haven’t suggested, and wouldn’t, for example, that Mueller “just missed” anything.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  218. OT: something going on in Gaza. Are the people finally starting realize that Hamas only peddles ignorance and hate?

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JakeWSimons/status/1109452516142575616

    harkin (d67dd3)

  219. An addendum to my comment at @224:

    Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not defending Steele or the dossier, nor denying that he or others might have committed specific crimes in connection with it. But neither have I yet been convinced of that.

    I am, however, sufficiently convinced that he, members of the DNC, their lawyers, selected members of the media, were engaged in dirty political tricks, a national deception and disinformation/misinformation campaign, and a conscious attempt, with some success, to influence and manipulate federal law enforcement officials. I’m perfectly fine with describing this in stark terms, including “treachery” and “hypocrisy” and “mendacity.” But one can be guilty of those things without necessarily being guilty of violating a federal statute.

    And remember, too: Mueller’s jurisdiction wasn’t intended to overlap that of the Inspector General’s, nor would any criminal referrals made as a result of the IG’s probes have been referred to Mueller. I don’t think this report absolves Peter Strzok or Jim Comey from potential criminal jeopardy, for example.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  220. Ken White and Mr. Katyal makes some fair points. Good reason to send the full Mueller report to Congress.

    Paul Montagu (d49d0a)

  221. #200 Patterico

    “. . . the professor had substantial connections to Russian government officials (and had met with some of those officials in Moscow immediately prior to telling defendant PAPADOPOULOS about the ‘thousands of emails’) and, over a period of months, defendant PAPADOPOULOS repeatedly sought to use the professor’s Russian connections in an effort to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials.”

    Substantial connections to Russian government officials does not equate to high ranking Russian government officials.

    I stand corrected as to an absence of indictment signifying no evidence. The absence of an indictment of Mifsud for a False Statement indicates that there was not enough evidence to convict Mifsud of lying to the FBI.

    John Solomon has been a guest on Hannity, therefor what he writes in The Hill lacks credibility?

    Stu707 (a0c2d4)

  222. Beldar,

    The only thing I still hold against Mueller is his twisting of a vague campaign finance law, wrt payments to Ms Daniels, getting a guilty plea to a novel crime, in return for not prosecuting other clear crimes. It seemed designed to generate headlines and was therefore self-serving.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  223. @ Paul Montagu (#228): Thanks for those links.

    The estimable Ken White writes, among many other things, this (link & italics his):

    Crucially, we don’t know whether Barr concluded that the president didn’t obstruct justice or that he couldn’t obstruct justice. Well before his appointment, Barr wrote an unsolicited memo to Rosenstein arguing that Mueller’s investigation was “fatally misconceived,” to the extent that it was premised on Trump firing former FBI Director James Comey or trying to persuade Comey to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national-security adviser. Barr’s memo was a forceful exposition of the legal argument that the president cannot obstruct justice by exercising certain core powers such as hiring or firing staff or directing the course of executive-branch investigations. So although Barr’s letter to Congress says that he and Rosenstein found no actions that constituted “obstructive conduct” undertaken with the requisite corrupt intent, we don’t know whether he means that Trump didn’t try to interfere with an investigation, or that even if he did, it wasn’t obstruction for a president to do so. Democrats in Congress will want to probe that distinction—as they should.

    I disagree. In the first place, the earlier memo that Ken references was written by Barr as a private citizen who was on no-one’s radar screen as a possible replacement for Jeff Sessions. The letter just sent to Congress, by contrast, was by Barr as Attorney General, performing specified duties under the special counsel regulations in combination with the previous Acting AG (Rosenstein). The Attorney General — who happens at the moment to be Bob Barr, no longer a private citizen — carefully and pointedly recites in his letter that his and Rosenstein’s determination regarding obstruction of justice was based not just on Mueller’s final report, but also on consultation with Office of Legal Counsel and other unspecified DoJ officials. The letter then goes into a detailed discussion of the substantive law of obstruction of justice, which would have been an absolutely pointless exercise if Barr, as Attorney General, were making his decision instead on the basis of what he wrote as a complete outsider and private citizen. Indeed, I think Ken’s being unfair to Barr — Ken’s skipped some steps in his evidentiary foundation predication for impeachment of the AG’s letter by private citizen Barr’s memo — and I think instead that a fair reading of the AG’s letter is that it addresses, and impliedly resolves (in the negative), any suggestion that the current decision is based on a belief that the letter is in any way based upon “the legal argument that the president cannot obstruct justice by exercising certain core powers such as hiring or firing staff or directing the course of executive-branch investigations.” It’s just not.

    I also have no clue what Ken is thinking when he describes Barr’s letter as either “startling” or the product of “unseemly haste”:

    In less than 48 hours, he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—who supervised Mueller for most of his investigation—“concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offence.” Though Barr emphasized that he and Rosenstein had been involved in evaluating the status of the investigation for months, and that they consulted the Office of Legal Counsel and other Department of Justice experts, this conclusion reflects startling and unseemly haste for such a historic matter.

    Unless we presume — on the basis of zero evidence, and despite substantial evidence to the contrary — that Rosenstein wasn’t keeping close track on Mueller since the day of his appointment, and further, that Barr didn’t make getting up to speed on the Mueller investigation his top priority from the moment of his Senate confirmation, that 48-hour figure Ken focuses on is completely misleading, for the very reasons Ken then admits, before again asserting (without evidence) his conclusions. I’m a huge fan of Ken’s, but this isn’t his most persuasive work in my opinion.

    Former Obama Solicitor General Katyal — who did indeed write the regulation, and whose essay is therefore notable because it contains not a hint that Barr or Rosenstein or anyone else has violated or strayed from it! — makes the same points, essentially, as Ken White, and I find them no more persuasive from Katyal’s platform in the NYT.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  224. Let me try these two sentences from #231 again:

    I think instead that a fair reading of the AG’s letter is that it addresses, and impliedly resolves (in the negative), any suggestion that its resolution of the obstruction issue was based on “the legal argument that the president cannot obstruct justice by exercising certain core powers such as hiring or firing staff or directing the course of executive-branch investigations.” It’s just not.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  225. In other words:

    If Barr were refusing to further pursue obstruction charges on the basis argued by his memo as a private citizen, he would have had no reason to include this paragraph in his letter today, as Attorney General, to Congress:

    In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-ofjustice offense.

    This is indeed the conclusion that “Trump didn’t,” and it’s phrased in a way which is entirely inconsistent with the very different notion (laid out in private citizen Barr’s memo) that “Trump couldn’t.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  226. ‘Course that assumes “good judgment;” quilling that opinion memo before getting the AG gig doesn’t necessarily enhance that assumption. So Mueller says maybe, maybe not; never interviewed the POTUS so here, new boss, you decide. Barr had made his opinion known long ago, makes a call at the plate, backed up by Rosenstein at third and Trump slides in safe at home.

    The country paid for and deserves to see the full report, though, cleansed of security and GJ debris, and read Mueller’s own words, not a mere memo. So they’ll duke it out w/Congress. Or some wag will leak it.

    But hell, really, we should all have a run of Trump Luck in our lives. Judging by the WH reactions so far, even they seem stunned and amazed at how well they’ve lucked out. What. A. Show. Pardons to come…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  227. hey never trumpets what you going to do now?

    lany (9c93ec)

  228. A detail I haven’t yet seen noted in the coverage of Barr’s letter, but that I expect to hear continuously from Trump and his supporters throughout the 2020 campaign, when the press and the Dems — and even lifelong Republicans like me — say that Trump ought to release his tax returns:

    Mueller had access, through the IRS, to all of Trump’s tax info, just like he had access to all of Manafort’s, and properly so, because that was within the scope of the potential universe of evidence relevant to the potential Russian collusion theory. Mueller sought, and Rosenstein readily gave, a formal expansion of Mueller’s authority to include investigation and then prosecution of Manafort on a series of such crimes uncovered while investigating potential collusion, and Manafort was duly indicted and convicted. No such investigation, indictment, or conviction for tax fraud went forward as to Trump, however.

    So look for Trump to assert that yesterday’s witch-hunter in chief, his new best friend as of today, Robert Mueller, has totally vindicated Trump’s withholding of his tax returns. That’s not exactly accurate, but it’s close enough that Trump will get away with so claiming.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  229. obama and his handlers did this. how stupid is a fisa judge to not see the shenanigans pulled on them. Our justice system will never have credibility again. Lawyers should be illegal. Such a vile profession.

    mg (8cbc69)

  230. Thanks for the Super memories Gronk, your the best tight end of all time.
    Your blocking was reason to applaud.

    mg (8cbc69)

  231. Oh, and the fbi is totally worthless.
    Way to go Lawyers of America.

    mg (8cbc69)

  232. All these lawyers trying to hide the collusion between clinton and russia should be toast. Let the real investigation into collusion begin.

    mg (8cbc69)

  233. Some one should have said no to this investigation from the get go, the bureau and the company have limited resources but this is what it was like with brennan and Comey in charge the ones who let the last three major incidents happen.

    Narciso (450d55)

  234. Barr said “in our judgment” (presumably he is referring to himself and Rosenstein), there were no actions that constitute obstructive conduct. I would like to read both sides of the evidence on obstruction that Mueller says he put in his report.

    DRJ (15874d)

  235. I also think Trump should order an investigation into the Dossier, FISA’s role, Obama and Hillary but I suspect the only thing he cares about now is reporting McCain for sharing the Dossier with the FBI.

    DRJ (15874d)

  236. And so it continues…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  237. Still looking for the pony, coronello, hey it’s not like there are other issues that sidnt deserve 2200 minutes of attention

    Narciso (450d55)

  238. As one reads those Never Trumpers in the media, one is reminded that it’s well past time for them to stop acting crazy, but they can’t even do that.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  239. Never Trump does NOT embarrass easy. In that, it is very much like the Left.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  240. Good morning, narciso!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  241. I think apologies for Devin Nunes are in order when Schiff and that good for nothing Tillis continued the snipe hunt, I could point out mark Warner but i had no expectations for the cable guy

    Narciso (450d55)

  242. If we allow the Intelligence Community, the FBI and DOJ to investigate anyone they want to – based on flimsy, half-assed, half-baked evidence – I suspect most people would not want to live in that country.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  243. Bitter pills all around for the Mutts in the Media who propagated this horseschiff.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  244. Don’t want to rub their noses in it… no, I do want to, goddamit…

    https://youtu.be/lw2BVI9OhC4

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  245. I think apologies for Devin Nunes are in order

    I think apologies for his cow are in order

    Patterico (115b1f)

  246. Mueller had access, through the IRS, to all of Trump’s tax info

    Wait. What does that mean: “had access”?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  247. “Never Trump does NOT embarrass easy. In that, it is very much like the Left.”

    Leftists have their Michael Traceys and Glenn Greenwalds. Given their much greater levels of social marginalization, failure, and dogged insistence on being completely nonpartisan and non-aligned despite all evidence to the contrary I prefer ‘Very much like the alt-right’.

    Tyrian (6b3b21)

  248. Barr said “in our judgment” (presumably he is referring to himself and Rosenstein), there were no actions that constitute obstructive conduct. I would like to read both sides of the evidence on obstruction that Mueller says he put in his report.

    So would I.

    I’m guessing the report itself will not justify the level of triumphalism we have seen.

    It is worth remembering that Barr had already decided there was no obstruction before he saw the evidence. That’s how he got the job.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  249. Speaking of Glenn Greenwald, he is the new hero. Did you ever see Sean Davis retweet someone so much?

    Does it matter that Greenwald’s position is heavily tied to his desire to pacify the same Russia that is protecting Snowden? Nope, Greenwald is just a truth-tellin’ hero!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  250. Has Ace written his “second look at Glenn Greenwald” piece yet?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  251. Beldar, I can only assume that Barr was working within the guardrails of his job, but I also assume he can maintain his biases while remaining within said guardrails. His words: “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.'” To me, this is enough to send the obstruction chapter of the Mueller Report to Congress. As it is, without the report, there’s no real way to test Barr’s reasoning.

    Paul Montagu (d49d0a)

  252. They all celebrated him when he compromised personal sources and method there lies the orony.

    Narciso (450d55)

  253. It is worth remembering that Barr had already decided there was no obstruction before he saw the evidence. That’s how he got the job.

    Well to be fair, that’s only worth remembering if you’re someone who cares whether there was actual obstruction or not.

    TR (4c7c54)

  254. It is nice to see Beldar in the comments again. It’s like a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon for a comments section choking on Pabst Blue Ribbon Light. Engaging, informative, and measured. More please.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  255. “Does it matter that Greenwald’s position is heavily tied to his desire to pacify the same Russia that is protecting Snowden? Nope, Greenwald is just a truth-tellin’ hero!”

    Okay, so it doesn’t matter if he turned out to be right on an issue if he has an emotional, personal, or financial incentive to be right, because if he had the right feelings, friends, and connections, he’d realize the proper opinion was to believe everything everyone the media said about Russia uncritically for the sake of your particular set of grievances. Gotcha.

    Tyrian (0be07f)

  256. “So look for Trump to assert that yesterday’s witch-hunter in chief, his new best friend as of today, Robert Mueller, has totally vindicated Trump’s withholding of his tax returns. That’s not exactly accurate, but it’s close enough that Trump will get away with so claiming.”

    And he would completely deserve to do so, given that tax returns on any multi-billion dollar businesses could be mined endlessly for gotchas and OUTRAGE that conveniently implicates no one else on the other side whose returns remain private, that the release of tax returns by 99% of Senators and Congressmen would show nothing but their squeaky-clean personal salary (all the messy bribery business being handled by PACs, flunkies, friends of friends, and charities, these are best practices in this industry) and that most of those who call loudly for this know perfectly well that this is nothing but another cheap ploy having nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with digging through yet more private correspondence in never-ending search for more dirt on the man they hate.

    Swamp Virtue is no virtue at all.

    Tyrian (c4594a)

  257. I thought it was determined that Roger Stone didn’t have any special communication with Wikileaks – that he got his info from Jerome Corsi, who got it from reading Wikileaks’ website?

    Ingot9455 (afdf95)

  258. Doesn’t matter hes a warlock or a skrull.

    Narciso (450d55)

  259. WE KNOW that Paul Manafort lived the life of a prototypical Yuri Orlov (Lord of War) character, making money for himself overseas by facilitating various DC three-letter agency shenanigans. No action is in evidence that any precedent has been set for cracking down on other abuses/abusers of his type in the present or the future. Tony Podesta remains safe.

    WE KNOW that Michael Cohen is a prototypical slimy New York lawyer, leveraging his connections and hiding behind attorney-client privilege for better access to more powerful people to assist and blackmail if need be. No action is in evidence that any precedent has been set for cracking down on other abuses/abusers of his type in the present or the future. (Glenn Simpson? Fusion GPS? HA!)

    WE KNOW that Roger Stone is one of several thousand Extremely Online partisan grifters/pundits/information brokers/journalists who exaggerates and fabricates on a daily basis. No action is in evidence that any precedent has been set for cracking down on other abuses/abusers of his type in the present or the future, as the Krassenstein brothers still frolic freely in the digital aether.

    WE KNOW that Michael Flynn was willing, like most soldiers and generals, to obfuscate for his boss in the service of what he believes to be a greater mission success (and at this point the notion that the FBI top brass was filled with anything other than Enemies of the People is highly untenable.) No action is in evidence that any precedent has been set for cracking down on other abuses/abusers of his type in the present or the future.

    In short, the prosecution was selective, the offenses were either forgiven, ignored, or let off with much lighter sentences in the past, and the only way you can convince any hypothetical fence-sitters of your integrity is to call full-throatedly for the same tactics to be used as much and more on the other side, as Trump will most likely do in the days ahead.

    Tyrian (38cd4d)

  260. 268… it was public knowledge by then, but the obfuscation and wringing of hands continues…

    Sunlight is always the best disinfectant.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  261. 265… when he’s right, he’s right. I assume the host holds a similar opinion when using the NYT and/or the New Yorker as a source.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  262. “he” being Greenwald in this case.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  263. “When Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty in August 2018, Kristol once again predicted doom for the president. “How do we know it is not Russia?” Kristol warned on MSNBC. “Michael Cohen may well know about the Trump Tower meeting . . . and Cohen was in touch with Trump throughout 2015 and 2016. I don’t really buy the argument that this isn’t important for the Russia side.”

    Kristol’s Trump-Russia collusion fixation has been shared by his pals Jonah Goldberg and David French at National Review. Although Goldberg has publicly insisted he is a “collusion skeptic,” he has promoted several collusion plotlines, including the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Russian lobbyists and Trump’s campaign team, including the president’s oldest son.

    “I think it is collusion,” Goldberg said in August 2018 during a Fox News radio interview, even as the interviewer explained how the meeting was clearly set-up by Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson. “I do think Donald Trump Jr. is in trouble . . . if he was led to believe that he was gonna get stuff that was illegally stolen from Hillary Clinton’s server or from the DNC server and that he was looking forward to getting it.” (There is no mention of emails or any server in the exchanges between Don Jr. and the intermediary.)

    Goldberg then weirdly claimed, “I understand that [Don Jr.] said some things under oath to Congress about what his state of mind was going into all this.” How did he “understand” this? Was Adam Schiff was leaking private testimony to Goldberg?

    Goldberg also mocked the idea that the Obama Justice Department enlisted spies to infiltrate the campaign, and claimed that Carter Page and George Papadopoulos had “expressed an eagerness to work with a foreign power, Russia.” He repeatedly suggested that Trump and his associates were behaving like men with “something to hide” about Russian collusion.

    Then this in May 2018: “Meanwhile, the argument that President Trump secretly colluded with the Russians to beat Clinton has more plausibility than those shouting ‘conspiracy theory!’ and ‘witch hunt!’ are willing to entertain,” Goldberg wrote, while dismissing the real evidence about the origins of the Russiagate scandal. “In the New York Times’ telling of the story, the investigations into the Trump campaign were a necessary and good-faith effort to discern whether a foreign power had infiltrated the Trump campaign. For those who subscribe to a Hannitized version of reality, this was a lawless extension of the Deep State’s plot to thwart Trump and protect Clinton.”

    Goldberg, for his part, now denies his role in spreading conspiracy theories and redirecting his aim at critics of Mueller. “I watched people on both sides of this beclown themselves with hysteria. I’ve got nothing to apologize for,” he tweeted on Saturday.

    What the Trump-Russia collusion hoax has laid bare is that so many of the people who Republicans trusted and respected for two decades were undeserving. They are as fundamentally dishonest and intentionally ignorant as the those on the Left. Their animus for the president and his supporters exceeds that of the most faithful Democratic partisan. Their eager participation in the greatest political scandal in American history—intended to overthrow a Republican president—should never be forgotten. Or forgiven.”

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/03/24/nevertrumps-complicity-in-trump-russia-collusion-hoax/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  264. yet no mention by the various deep state media outlets that the HRC campaign, the FBI and the DNC, among others, who actually coordinated with agents of Russia, the UK and OZ, to effect the outcome of the 2016 POTUS election, as proven by FBI agents sworn testimony and written records. Nothing on these actual crimes, from never-trumpers of all stripes.

    Typical of those nay-saying types to be involved in pile-ons yet look the other way at actual treason and high crimes. The Republic is on shaky ground when just because you hate an individual, you side with foreign actors, who also hate said individual, and are willing to engage in treason to punish or retaliate against said individual ie Trump.

    Benedict Arnold would be proud of never-trumpers because they cover their treason with false-patriotism. It is not that they want to save the Union or the Republic of the USA but that they want to punish, beat up, put down, criminalize, NULL, an individual and his or her family: they disagree with said person as not worthy to be “an enlightened one”, NOT worthy to be one of the “ruling class”. In fact, the USA currently has no better of a “ruling class” ie DC Swamp and related corporate funders, than 18th century England who saw themselves as masters of the seas and the world: Whose pride cometh before it’s fall, and eventually slow disintegration.

    satan smiles. go figure.

    Where Eagles Dare (30c9de)

  265. Apologies to President Trump By Sharyl Attkisson

    With the conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe now known to a significant degree, it seems apologies are in order.

    However, judging by the recent past, apologies are not likely forthcoming from the responsible parties.

    In this context, it matters not whether one is a supporter or a critic of President Trump.

    Whatever his supposed flaws, the rampant accusations and speculation that shrouded Trump’s presidency, even before it began, ultimately have proven unfounded. Just as Trump said all along.

    Yet, each time President Trump said so, some of us in the media lampooned him. We treated any words he spoke in his own defense as if they were automatically to be disbelieved because he had uttered them. Some even declared his words to be “lies,” although they had no evidence to back up their claims.

    We in the media allowed unproven charges and false accusations to dominate the news landscape for more than two years, in a way that was wildly unbalanced and disproportionate to the evidence.

    We did a poor job of tracking down leaks of false information. We failed to reasonably weigh the motives of anonymous sources and those claiming to have secret, special evidence of Trump’s “treason.”

    As such, we reported a tremendous amount of false information, always to Trump’s detriment.

    And when we corrected our mistakes, we often doubled down more than we apologized. We may have been technically wrong on that tiny point, we would acknowledge. But, in the same breath, we would insist that Trump was so obviously guilty of being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet that the technical details hardly mattered.

    So, a round of apologies seem in order.

    Apologies to President Trump on behalf of those in the U.S. intelligence community, including the Department of Justice and the FBI, which allowed the weaponization of sensitive, intrusive intelligence tools against innocent citizens such as Carter Page, an adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign.

    Apologies also to Page himself, to Jerome Corsi, Donald Trump, Jr., and other citizens whose rights were violated or who were unfairly caught up in surveillance or the heated pursuit of charges based on little more than false, unproven opposition research paid for by Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

    Apologies for the stress on their jobs and to their families, the damage to their reputations, the money they had to spend to hire legal representation and defend themselves from charges for crimes they did not commit.

    Apologies on behalf of those in the intelligence community who leaked true information out of context to make Trump look guilty, and who sometimes leaked false information to try to implicate or frame him.

    Apologies from those in the chain of command at the FBI and the Department of Justice who were supposed to make sure all information presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) is verified but did not do so.

    Apologies from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court judges who are supposed to serve as one of the few checks and balances to prevent the FBI from wiretapping innocent Americans. Whether because of blind trust in the FBI, or out of ignorance or even malfeasance, they failed at this important job.

    Apologies to the American people who did not receive the full attention of their government while political points were being scored; who were not told about some important world events because they were crowded out of the news by the persistent insistence that Trump was working for Russia.

    Apologies all the way around.

    And now, with those apologies handled — are more than apologies due?

    Should we try to learn more about those supposed Russian sources who provided false “intel” contained in the “dossier” against Trump, Page and others? Should we learn how these sources came to the attention of ex-British spy Christopher Steele, who built the dossier and claimed that some of the sources were close to Putin?

    When and where did Steele meet with these high-level Russian sources who provided the apparently false information?

    Are these the people who actually took proven, concrete steps to interfere in the 2016 election and
    sabotage Trump’s presidency, beginning in its earliest days?

    Just who conspired to put the “dossier” into the hands of the FBI? Who, within our intel community, dropped the ball on verifying the information and, instead, leaked it to the press and presented it to the FISA Court as if legitimate?

    “Sorry” hardly seems to be enough.

    Will anyone be held accountable?

    Where Eagles Dare (30c9de)

  266. It’s a nothingburger if there ever was one.
    Opening the wrapper of this long awaited, much bally hooed Trump Collusion burger revealed: A plain white bun. Nothing else.
    Rummaging through the condiment packets and putting an unopened mustard in there doesn’t count as a burger.
    Rummaging through the bins out back and finding an old Manafort Burger from years ago does not count, nor does finding a rat who was munching on an old bit of pickle chip in a cab. Rosenstein gave Mueller leeway to look into everything, to move the goalposts if he wanted…. but Mueller did not score. Mueller isn’t dumb, he had all the resources imaginable and he did not lay a finger on Trump.

    Mueller lost more people than Trump did

    steveg (a9dcab)

  267. 277. “Mueller lost more people than Trump did” PREACH.

    ….not to mention Sen. McCain. It is one thing to go pick up a dossier put together by a foreign agent, another thing to push it to 12 media outlets without verifying if it is even factual and work to take down a sitting POTUS based, knowingly, on foreign agent documents.

    John McCain might have been gallant and heroic as a POW, and was definitely more brave then I will ever be, even if I live 10 lifetimes, but as many a US warrior has stated, they fight so that we may live and speak freely: As a senator I cannot think of a bigger failure in congress. Just pathetic if not criminal and possibly treasonous behavior.

    Where Eagles Dare (30c9de)

  268. 276.

    When and where did Steele meet with these high-level Russian sources who provided the apparently false information

    Steele didn’t meet with his Russian sources. He couldn’t get a visa into Russia any more. He used an intermediary, or talked with them over the telephone.

    Steele also has emphasized that he never paid any of these Russians.

    Somehow, Steele thinks or thought, that added credibility to the information. No, they didn’t just say what they thought would get them money; they had no pecuniary motive to invent anything. Like witnesses in a lawsuit, they just told the truth.

    Of course, what this means is that everything they passed on was approved by Putin or somebody else high up.

    Russia doesn’t leak – except to him. The thing is, that while he was working for MI-6 in the oughts, he had a lot of Russian sources. Whom he also probably didn’t pay. But what this means is, that then, too , they must have been lying to him!

    He was getting, both in 2016, and in 2006, Russian disinformation.

    I think that to maintain Steele’s belief that high level Russians freely gossiped, they had to give him answers, or else, (thought Putin) the British government will re-evaluate what they learned through Christopher Steele in the 2000s.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  269. “At this point, you almost have to admire the shamelessness.”

    https://twitter.com/iowahawkblog/status/1110185696122286080

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  270. Should we learn how these sources came to the attention of ex-British spy Christopher Steele,

    They were his old sources from ten years previously, or connections made through them, we’ve been given to understand..

    Now, since Steele didn’t actually talk to most of them, both and the source and the “information: may have been supplied in many cases courtesy of Vladimir Putin! (This idea tends to puzzle people, since it seems to contradict the notion of Putin supporting Trump. But we must realize that Putin had no idea that Steele was working for the Democrats! He thought that disinformation would stay within the U.K. and meanwhile maybe cause distrust the next year between the UK and apossible future Trump Administration)

    Some of the stuff in the Steele dossier, I sort of read or heard the other day, did not originate from Russian sources, but was based on years-old Wall Street Journal reporting. Glenn Simpson added that material. (It was about Trump’s finances.)

    Other material that Steele got was so implausible it was not put into the dossier (which consisted of Steele’s “greatest hits” – the actual dossier has numered reports with many numbers missing.)

    And therefore a lot of Steele’s material was not passed on to the FBI. That is, I think that is what is the case. It would be good to know.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  271. Hilary lost because she was a horrendous candidate . THERE WAS NO COLLUSION Patterico, get over it. The real criminals should be investigated : Hilary Obama and their cast of crooks
    KAG2020

    DNR (493b9b)

  272. “THERE WAS NO COLLUSION Patterico, get over it.”

    Did you read the article? Do you want to comment on any of the points he mentioned in the article?

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  273. Attention #NeverTrump…

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/mueller%2001.jpg

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  274. And the schaden icing on the cake, avenatti indicted for extortion and wire fraud, maybe he can bunk with cohen.

    Narciso (450d55)

  275. John schindler, on the other hand:

    narciso (d1f714)

  276. Fvck Brennan and the rest of ‘em, narciso.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  277. Brings this to mind, narciso… http://patterico.com/2018/09/13/punk-vs-punk/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  278. @ Patterico (#256): This is what I was referencing.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  279. “You guys lose again, Nadler.”

    https://twitter.com/robbystarbuck/status/1110031259177115648

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  280. #63 Quite true. The only thing is, you seem to think you’re refuting something I said. You’re not. Are you refuting something someone once said, somewhere? Perhaps. People say a lot of things.

    The appointment and the charges all seem perfectly proper to me.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 3/24/2019 @ 12:23 pm

    I love your posts Pat (and your co-bloggers) as it’s often the strain of sanity in the sea of chaos.

    But, I gotta disagree with you here.

    It should’ve never gotten that far. At the most, the rank and file could’ve done the job and much more expediently.

    Furthermore, to me, this was a breakdown of DOJ/FBI leadership. The “triggers” that was described that launched the investigations was really, really thin gruel. Such that, it was obviously motivated by partisan animus than out of genuine altruistic concerns. Someone needed to be the adult to step in to ensure that the justifications for investigation was on solid ground, probably with a higher than normal threshold simply because the target was a political campaign.

    #209…

    I very, very much want to see the Justice Department return to the traditional status in which the FBI does investigations of crimes (not matters), and in which it, the DoJ, and the federal government do their talking about who’s committed what crimes almost exclusively through indictments, followed by proof in court.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 3/24/2019 @ 8:26 pm

    @Beldar – love reading your responses…

    Secondly, I wanna exalt that paragraph so hard, I’d put it in my twitter header. This is the standard that we should all ask AG Barr and Dir Wray to “re-impose” in a manner that very public to rebuild the trust. My biggest fear over this ordeal, is that the norm-breakings that lead to this will be turned around against an incoming Democratic presidency. (I say that as a near-rabid GOPer since the Kavanaugh/Covington debacle destroyed any desire of bipartisanship on my end).

    This is why I echo the likes of Andrew McCarthy and David French. Lets release Mueller’s report to the public (as much as he can of course). In addition, let’s release the FISA documents, FBI’s 302s, etc… Lets see it all.

    I believe true transparency through ALL aspects of this ordeal will be the only way this country can move forward.

    whembly (b9d411)

  281. @ DRJ (#244) & Patterico (# 258): Of course, everyone would like to read as much of Mueller’s underlying report as possible.

    But I also quibble a little with this paragraph from Ken White’s above-cited first reaction to the Barr letter (italics White’s):

    Why would Mueller spend so much time investigating obstruction of justice but not reach a conclusion? We won’t know until we read his report. But Mueller, a career G-man, is fundamentally legally conservative. That means he has a narrow view of his own role and a healthy respect for the authority of the other branches of government. He might believe that the evaluation is so inherently political that no conclusion he could offer would ever be seen as legitimate, and that the matter is better resolved through Congress’s constitutional authority to impeach (or not) the president. Even if Mueller didn’t make an explicit recommendation, we’ll probably be able to infer his conclusions by reviewing how he marshaled the evidence for and against guilt. Prosecutors, as a rule, are not good at neutral renditions of facts.

    That’s unusually imprecise language from Ken White. I think what he meant to write was, “we’ll probably be able to infer what conclusions Mueller would have made had he undertaken the decision himself, rather than explicitly punting it.” It may indeed be possible, and great fun, to speculate as to what Mueller would have done if punting hadn’t been an option.

    But that’s a counterfactual. Punting was indeed an option, and that is in fact the one Mueller did take. Mueller certainly was aware when he did so that if he had instead recommended prosecution — or a report to Congress for possible impeachment purposes in advance or in lieu thereof — and been overruled by Barr (or before him, Rosenstein) on that recommendation, the regs would have required Barr (or Rosenstein) specifically to report and explain that to Congress. In other words, Mueller knew that in addition to punting, he had an option that would have, at a minimum, resulting in putting Barr (or Rosenstein) “in the hot seat” in terms of justifying to Congress why Mueller was being overridden.

    And whether he thought it was because “the evaluation is so inherently political that no conclusion he [Mueller] could offer would ever be seen as legitimate,” or whether he had some other reason for doing so, Mueller didn’t, in fact, choose that option. Rather, by ensuring that Barr would be able to say, “Neither Rosenstein nor I ever overruled Mueller,” Mueller potentially freed Barr to be much more assertive in resisting Congressional efforts to try to second guess the ultimate conclusion and to sift through all the underlying evidence pro and con.

    Barr has repeatedly said, and repeats in the letter, that he will instead try to release everything that the law and relevant regs permit him to release. The Dems surely see that assurance as insincere, however, and the qualification as an exception which will likely swallow the rule — i.e., that will be used by Barr to justify heavy redactions of Mueller’s report and a refusal to provide underlying source documents (like grand jury testimony).

    Patterico asserts that “[i]t is worth remembering that Barr had already decided there was no obstruction before he saw the evidence” and that “[t]hat’s how he got the job.” That may be so; certainly Barr knew that so it might appear. But that’s assuredly why Barr sought, and got, Rosenstein’s formal public concurrence in his letter’s conclusions regarding obstruction, for the same cannot be said of Rosenstein. There were news reports of Rosenstein’s planned, imminent, voluntary departure from DoJ, which were then reversed by reports that he’d instead be staying a while longer; it seems extremely likely to me now, having read Barr’s letter, that Barr specifically asked Rosenstein to stay on at least long enough that he could join Barr in the conclusion on obstruction for that very purpose.

    This combination of circumstances makes me very skeptical about any suggestion that, “Oh, Mueller really wanted to go the other way on obstruction, but punted because he well knew Trump’s newly chosen AG would make the result a foregone conclusion.” I think it far, far more likely that if punting hadn’t been an option, and had Mueller been obliged to make the final decision whether to further pursue obstruction charges (either for purposes of indictment or reporting to Congress for impeachment), Mueller would indeed have come to the same conclusion that Barr and Rosenstein did.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  282. 270. Tyrian (38cd4d) — 3/25/2019 @ 8:31 am

    KNOW that Paul Manafort lived the life of a prototypical Yuri Orlov (Lord of War) character, making money for himself overseas by facilitating various DC three-letter agency shenanigans.

    That was earlier in his life. However, he seems to have cheated his partners, and went off on his own around 1992.

    He was making most of his money for about ten years from helping the mostly pro-Russian Ukrainian “Party of Regions” until the Euromaidan Revolution or Revolution of Dignity. also known in Ukrainian as the Революція гідності, (Revoliutsiia hidnosti) in February, 2014.

    After that he was in financial difficulty.
    *
    And the whole thing might have been Manafort’s fault, because he is supposed to have advised the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, to show more indepndence. But then Putin forced Yanukovych to withdraw his agreement to sign the association agreement with the European Union, and that set everything off.

    Putin blamed Victoria Nuland of the State Department for the successful coup that ensued, and he thought she was one of Hillary’s women and acting on her instructions. That is why he turned against Hillary. (If she had really been very close to Hillary of course she would have left with her)

    Hillary has tried to make people believe that Putin turned against her in 2011 because of some pro forma sstatements she made about the Parliamentary elections.

    WE KNOW that Roger Stone is one of several thousand Extremely Online partisan grifters/pundits/information brokers/journalists who exaggerates and fabricates on a daily basis.

    I don’t think there are several thousand Roger Stones around, or even several hundred. Or several dozen.

    WE KNOW that Michael Flynn was willing, like most soldiers and generals, to obfuscate for his boss in the service of what he believes to be a greater mission success

    No, no, We know that Mike Flynn was mysteriously pro-Russian and was suspected during the Obama Administration of having been recruited as a spy by the GRU and as a result, Obama did not extend his tenure as head of the DIA.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  283. like podesta, or greg craig, or sloan, or vin weber, janukovich seemed to pay well, or his boyars (retainers did)

    narciso (d1f714)

  284. Again focusing on the quoted paragraph from White’s essay, where he described Mueller as “legally conservative” and having “a healthy respect for the authority of the other branches of government”:

    What White presumes is Mueller’s “belief … that the matter is better resolved through Congress’s constitutional authority to impeach (or not) the president,” I would instead presume to be Mueller’s belief that when the target is a sitting POTUS, no lesser figure within the Department of Justice than the Attorney General himself (or in a pinch due to his recusal, the Acting AG) should make the final necessarily subjective judgment calls. By regulation (28 C.F.R. § 600.6) and the specific intent behind that regulation (post-Monicagate, as drafted by Katyal for Reno for Clinton’s DoJ), a special counsel is essentially at the same level of authority and responsibility as any of the 93 individual U.S. Attorneys. No one should be surprised that any junior prosecutor, when considering the prosecution (or functional equivalent) of his jurisdiction’s chief executive, would prefer to punt that decision to the very top prosecutor. In other words, what White reads as Mueller’s deference to Congress should more naturally and proximately be interpreted as deference to the bureaucratic structure within DoJ.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  285. 279 281

    interesting points. personally I believe there is no such thing as an “ex-spy”. They are always “retainable” or re-instate-able”. Some even falsely “retire” in order to provide cover for “off-the-books” “deniable” operations.

    Where Eagles Dare (30c9de)

  286. it’s not a good day for hamas haniyeh, either,

    narciso (d1f714)

  287. I also dispute Ken White’s assertion that “[p]rosecutors, as a rule, are not good at neutral renditions of facts.” Certainly they aren’t often called upon to do that in public. And certainly it’s very hard for an advocate (not at all limited to prosecutors) to do that well.

    But the most effective advocates — in general, not limited to lawyers, but including even commenters on blogs like this one! — are those who can do exactly that, and indeed, who can switch roles upon command and marshal a persuasive rendition of evidence that’s not just neutral or balanced, but altogether contrary to their own side’s interests and contentions.

    And indeed, it’s precisely this ability, among very capable advocates, which makes an ex-prosecutor like Ken White a successful, effective, and sought-after defense lawyer.

    Oftentimes in my civil litigation practice, when I have a client who’s drunk on our side’s own fumes and therefore less than fully dispassionate and rational in considering a settlement proposal that I think he ought probably to accept, I’ll sit down with the client in a quiet place, without interruption, and pretend to be my opponent, delivering his opening statement to the jury. I have to copiously reassure my client both before and after I do it that I really haven’t flipped, and that I’m just switching advocate hats temporarily for purposes of illustration, and that in public I’ll still loyally pursue my client’s interests. But I’ve seen many a client in this situation go literally white-faced from the shock of being jolted out of their preconceptions, and into something that more closely approximates reality. And if I’ve done it properly, at the end, not only will the client follow my advice, but he’ll say something like, “Damn, I’m glad you’re on my side in the courtroom.”

    I’d eat my hat if Ken White hasn’t done exactly this same thing with his own criminal defense and civil clients.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  288. I have never been a prosecutor so take this with a grain or salt, but my thoughts and questions are:

    1. Mueller knows what evidence has and has not been presented to grand juries and thus can’t be disclosed (although it may be leaked).

    2. Mueller also knows that, ultimately, the report will probably be made public except for the grand jury testimony, and he has likely known this from the beginning.

    3. Evidence given to grand juries may be limited to the people who have already been indicted, e.g., Manafort, Stone, Flynn, Cohen, et al.

    4. Doesn’t that suggest evidence relating to obstruction by Trump et al (who have not been indicted) was not part of any grand jury evidence and thus can be released publicly? If so, doesn’t that also raise the possibility Mueller planned it that way?

    5. As I read Barr’s summary, he asked Mueller to review the report and identify which sections have been part of grand jury proceedings so he still has some influence over what becomes public.

    DRJ (15874d)

  289. 299. Where Eagles Dare (30c9de) — 3/25/2019 @ 12:36 pm

    279 281

    interesting points. . personally I believe there is no such thing as an “ex-spy”. They are always “retainable” or re-instate-able”.

    I think Vladimir Putin didn’t believe Christopher Steele was an ex-spy. I also think actually he was wrong. Spy agencies from the “Fice Eyes” really don’t let ther retired spies make money independently and remain in good standing.

    China’s spies make money even while they are working in their first years for the PRC.

    So Putin thought Steele was still connected to MI6 – and Steele may have pretended that, too. I think Putin thought that whatever was given to Steele would not affect the election, so he was comfortable telling him derogatory things about Trump – that were carefully desiged, by the way, to be capable of being retracted (because everyting contained a alse elements) in case they backfired.

    They were also completely false reasons as to why Putin was in favor of Trump winning, and completely false facts delivered to Steele.

    There was no “compromat.” Putin had not bought Trump off. Trump was not associated with Russia for many years. Trump was not planning to work together with the Russians on hacking. Michael Cohen did not go to Prague.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  290. he had and his associate, Christopher burrows, had been burned by Tomlinson in 99, the british agee who released the names and ids of two hundred of his colleagues, he may have been the inspiration for a character in Gerald seymours novel about a Litvinenko type in 2004, set in Kaliningrad, but he was png’d, he may have met in other European capitals,

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/03/handful-of-democrats-wont-accept-mueller-report-apologize-for-spreading-lies-for-two-years/#comments

    narciso (d1f714)

  291. DRJ (15874d) — 3/25/2019 @ 1:12 pm

    Mueller knows what evidence has and has not been presented to grand juries and thus can’t be disclosed

    Mueller apparently did not separate what he learned through a grand jury and what he learned all other ways (including FBI interviews) and he has now been ordered by Barr to indicate what conclusions he has come from a grand jury, (and I think you could add that are not going to be made avaiable to the defense and therefore to the public in a trial)

    The grand jury indformstion could still be made opublic, if subnpoeaned by Congress or soem other source.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  292. Rush Limbaugh said people shoudn’t applaud Mueller’s conclusion because this validates the whole investigation:

    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/03/25/stop-cheering-this-travesty/

    he then dollowed thatw ith some erroneous statements.

    The FBI is who infiltrated the Trump campaign, not the Russians. It wasn’t FBI who put informants like Stefan Halper and Alexander Downer into the Trump campaign. It was the FBI that recruited members of the Trump campaign.

    This is really correct. Theynever spied on the Trump campaign.

    There has to be wider knowledge of the history of this investigstion.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  293. Watching Brennan on Morning Joke, it struck me that the talking head aspect of the medium doesn’t do these mea culpas justice, as you can’t see the tails between their legs

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  294. @309. More like ‘Mourning Joe’ — suspect this torpedo sinks Biden’s run before it starts. Long shot bet to be sure given his cutie-pie act, but won’t be surprised if he scuttles himself. He doesn’t have Trump Luck, but does have a record: can’t spell plagiarism without l-i-a-r.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  295. Likd narciso said there are many things to write about (or old thinsgs that aren’t done) like Venezuela, Brexit, North Korea – they were still confused about Trum[s tweet about sanctions on Sunday) the Golan Heights and much more, but there’s a lot to wrote about this subject.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  296. * 308. Ths is really incorrect. There was never a FISA warrant on anybody still involved in the Trump campaign!

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  297. A Fox Nooz Tucka-styled-‘not-sayin’-he-did-just-askin’-a-question: would Bibi loyalists fire on their own land to rally support w/a squeaker election so close?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  298. lindsey Graham wants an investigation of the FISA investigation that was prompted by the Hillary/DNC Dossier. Great idea. What about Mueller?

    DRJ (15874d)

  299. DRJ @115 and 138.

    The Trump Tower meeting didn’t involve any kind of invitation to particpate in a Russian conspiracy. Information was being offered for free, and it was information that supposedly had become known to Russia’s chief prosecutor. No violaton of U.S. law is involved in hearing that, although I guess, you could assume, that it might be information that Hillary had violated some U.S. law.

    Michael Cohen did claim that – maybe – maybe – Donald Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting n advance. The CNN story you linked to @138 refers to a claim that Lanny Davis made that he had to retract. More recently, Michael Cohen tried to leave a couple of breadcrumbs for the Democrats to follow that have no chance of leading anywhere. (All probably lies. His claim to have never asked for a pardon is not the big likely perjury in his recent Congressional testimony.)

    Breadcrumb One: Michael Cohen claimed he was in a meeting with Donald Trump when a call came in and Donald Trump put it on speakerphone and he heard Roger Stone say he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assaunge and there were going to be some mre leaks. Now you see, even if this wss true, there’s no crime, and even if he truly heard that, Roger Stone could have been lying to Trump. And we knonow that Stone had ahard time later trying to get in contact with Julian assaunge. The whole thing is designed to hint at a wide ranging conspiracy between Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Wikileaks and Russian hackers.

    Breadcrumb Number Two: Michael Cohen claimed he was in ameeting with Donald Trump when Donald Trump Jr. walked in and, trying to whisper into his father’s ear, that “the meeting” was all set up. This meeting, Cohen says, could have been the Trump Tower meeting!

    One problem with that is that we know through the email chain Donald Trump Jr. later released exactly how that meeting came to be. Another problem is, even if all that is true, you don’t know what meeting Donald Trump Jr was talking about. It could be anything.

    We also know that that the number he called around the time of the meeting was not his father’s. That was another bit of dark speculation some Democrats dropped.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  300. Two good days for Trump. I really, really hope he uses this to get re-energized to repeal ObamaCare and build the Wall. We have a lot of people crossing the border and most are getting released, not sent home.

    DRJ (15874d)

  301. @316. LOLOLOLOL Don’t bet on it; our Captain is vindictive as hell; carries grudges for ages. Channeling energy and resources for revenge is joyful Trump Sport.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  302. CBS will have a one hour special about the Mueller Report at 10 pm tonight (9 Central)

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  303. I think tehy’ve forgotten about doing anything about Obamacare or health care but they may offer an alternative is Democrats introduce a bill.

    What we all know is that none of the ideas circulating in both parties are any good. Or at lesst the well known ones.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  304. DCSCA, you prescient bast-tudh @313, but on the other hand anything is better than being a potential Anton Cermak.

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  305. Which of the old alphabet networks is most capable of a believable ” 135 degree flip”?

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  306. 313. The question is: Would Iran really prefer Bibi?

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  307. Maybe they think all Israeli governments would act alike in a war, and with regard to existential issues, but Bibi would be under more diplomatic pressure and get less help? I don’t know, it’s still crazy. Do they expect to really isolate the United States and Israel?

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  308. @316. LOLOLOLOL Don’t bet on it; our Captain is vindictive as hell; carries grudges for ages. Channeling energy and resources for revenge is joyful Trump Sport.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 3/25/2019 @ 3:36 pm

    I understand he will use his political capital to hate on McCain and the media, but there is a new caravan coming and the Trump Administration is releasing thousands of migrants into West Texas and southern New Mexico. These people will likely never be found again, now will the thousands released last year or the future thousands still coming. Trump has no choice because if the courts but I hope he will use his political capital to do more, do it legally, and keep his stupid mouth shut when he does it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  309. Pardon the typos but I am irritated. Try again:

    I understand he will use his political capital to hate on McCain and the media, but there is a new caravan coming and the Trump Administration is releasing thousands of migrants into West Texas and southern New Mexico. These people will likely never be found again, nor will the thousands released last year, or the future thousands still coming. Trump has no choice because of the courts but I hope he will use his political capital to do more, do it legally, and keep his stupid mouth shut when he does it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  310. Time for the real witch hunt to start, Hillary better latch up her pantsuit.

    mg (8cbc69)

  311. I wish, mg, but Trump has already said he has no desire to pursue Hillary and Jared/Ivanka are at risk because of their computer habits. I rate the chance of that happening as Nada, so the next best thing is an investigation into how FISA works. I think that may lead to the Obama Administration.

    DRJ (15874d)

  312. I think the web of snitches will expose Hillarys crimes, DRJ. And if the wannabe power couple get caught in the stampede, so be it. We need justice.

    mg (8cbc69)

  313. Lindsey Graham seems serious about investigating FISA and the Dossier. Good for him.

    DRJ (15874d)

  314. It was reported Nancy Pelosi wasn’t interested in impeachment on March 11, 2019, and now there are reports that Mueller told Barr and Rosenstein his decision 3 weeks ago, which would have been around March 4. No one in DC cares about secrets, except from us.

    DRJ (15874d)

  315. The last line from “Stalag 17″ by Billy Wilder. That’s what I hear when the Resistance Media and their NeverTrump acolytes open their mouths (not necessarily you Patrick, I find most of your criticism to be reasonable).

    Animal: “He probably just wanted to steal our wire cutters.”

    Russ from Winterset (50b1e3)

  316. 316… doing away with 0-Care may be feasible now that McCain isn’t around to torpedo it.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  317. You would almost feel sorry for all the dupes who were lied to for nearly 3 years by the alphabet networks/CNN/MSNBC about collusion being a slam dunk, just be patient they were told, it’s coming.

    Denied!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  318. @333. Read the actual report yet?

    Denied!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  319. Indeed, coronello,

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/03/will-there-be-an-accounting.php

    Hamas main power is a real hardliner named sinwar

    Narciso (82a663)

  320. The report has been in thousands of leaked items through hundreds of periodicals online outlets news programs it’s the journolist/rizzotto tray/echo chamber.

    Narciso (82a663)

  321. @DRJ The only thing new about Nancy Pelosi saying she was against impeachment was that she was more public about it, and the reason probably was to shut down the enthusiasm of some of her freshmen members. This happened at around the time of the Ilahn Omar controversy. Doesn’t have anything to do with any knowledge of Mueller’s conclusion, although it wss becoming pretty clear anyway.

    Pelosi has declined to get any secret briefing about Mueller’s report.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  322. CBS has forgotten completely about the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal, which is what damaged Hillary Clinton’s reputation severely (and not the wikileaks hack) Otherwise, it is far too fragmentary, but tries to steer right down the middle.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  323. @324/325- You don’t get his ‘M.O.’— he exists for the moment and making as many moments as possible about him; if a caravan fits the moment, he’ll use it; if not, he’ll use something else– tomorrow he could tweet out something like:

    ‘What’s up with chocolate milk? Why is it always brown? There’s white chocolate… Why not white chocolate milk?… How now, brown cow?! MAGA!’…

    And the media, the pundits, the press and the partisans, the bloggers and the late night talk shows would go crazy for 3 or 4 news cycles over it. Is he nutty? Is it a racist rant? Is he attacking the dairy industry? Did Barron say something to him? Is it a pitch to Bosco, Nestles or Hershey? Did Doocy do a morning segment on cows for F&F?

    His luck and ‘skill’ at ‘milking’ something for news cycle after news cycle never ceases to amaze. He knows how to play the game. If the caravan is an issue for you, email or call Fox at 1211 6th, in NYC, plead for a D-block segment on it and he may just see it and work it into his play for the day.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  324. No sammeh multiple violations of statutes donnot matter to them.

    Narciso (82a663)

  325. what’s this I hear about some kind of report? So let’s see the dang thing.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  326. They did mention Hillary’s emails – in the context of other things – twice. The first time when playing Trump asking Russia to hack.

    There were very many commercials.

    I learned a few new facts, and I wondered at a claim. CBS has afew sources, not all anti-Trump. McCabe was one source and he said he opened two investigatins after Comey was fired, one into obstructn and one into whether Trump was a Russian asset. Much of this as recorded long before and it was too mcuch abut he Meller report – there;s not mch to say.

    They took the Logan aAct (noot by name) seriously, and had McCabe I think saying that Trump wanted to close an investigation into wheher Flynn was aRussian agent. Trump did not do that and was not accused f that by Comey – because Cimey said he though Trump was referring only to he charge of lying to he FBI.

    It’s interesting what got into this. The idea of Russia trying too infiltrate a campaign did, and Hillary attributing Putin;s opposition to her, did too – only it 2012 not 2011 that she was said to trace it to.

    They had some facts wrongor mixed up. the Podesta hack was not part of the DNC hack. He had aGMAil account. The only cnnection is that a lot of mal from DNC accounts was forwarded to him or sent by him and that he consulted an IT guy at he DNC as to whether he should pay attention to the phishing email. It ws legitimate he was told. Although the person told him a different way to reset his password

    CBS followed he theory that Assauunge leaked the Podesta emails to take attention away from other things.

    This whole thing reminded me in some ways of short documentaries of the ledup to World War II. It on;y works because the viewer knows all many many facts. You couldn’t really learn anything from it – you could be reminded of things. anyone new to this wouldn’t be able t follow it.Especially here since the chronology was jumbled. They had an attemt at mood music, though. Only sn sttempt.

    CBS’s overall tone was they wished the partisan divide wasn’t so bad but this won’t end it. It closed with John Dickerson in Phaladelpha at the place the constitution was drafted. They out aide heir differences, and I thnk he was etting at something like: We (that is the politicians) need to see that happen now, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  327. This Stelter guy is outta control, but he’s got Never Trump’s back! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR1Q4vD-Ceo

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  328. Ah tater, look it’s like Iowa hawks shadow puppets you know how hard is to make that look interesting

    Ot that finally brought in lex Luthor in a style worthy of gene hackman along with kaznia and red daughter.

    Narciso (82a663)

  329. Did Roger Stone have any contact with Wikileaks? Assange has denied it. Stone later claimed to have communicated with Wikileaks through an intermediary (Jerome Corsi) but that probably never happened. Stone was indicted for lying about not telling anyone about his supposed foreknowledge of the wikileaks dump, not for any collusion charge.

    http://reason.com/blog/2019/01/25/roger-stone-indictment-describes-a-cover

    The probe most likely clears Trump of criminal wrongdoing. But it does kinda dent his image as a genius who surrounds himself with top men. But as of now, I’m inclined to believe that this was a politically motivated investigation, even if Trump invited suspicion with his usual missteps. The democrats would sic this kind of investigation on men more decent than Trump. They were insisting on a FBI investigation on BK based on nothing.

    lee (b56b65)

  330. CBS started out with:

    After 22 months of secrecy and silence, Robert Mueller….

    But they really had no news from Mueller – except for the fact that there was no news and wasn’t going to be any. Very little came from the report.

    CBS also called it “the poitical thriller of ageneration.”

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  331. CBS, tthe other alphabet networks, CNN and MSNBC are full of schiff, Sammy. They are Democrat operatives and that is a generous characterization.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  332. 346. lee (b56b65) — 3/26/2019 @ 1:19 am

    Did Roger Stone have any contact with Wikileaks? Assange has denied it.

    That’s the way almost all sources are handling it. Micahel Cohen had dropped a breadcrumb hinting at it, but that anecdote was almost certainly a lie. I said @315:

    SF> Michael Cohen claimed he was in a meeting with Donald Trump when a call came in and Donald Trump put it on speakerphone and he heard Roger Stone say he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assaunge and there were going to be some more leaks. Now you see, even if this wss true, there’s no crime, and even if he truly heard that, Roger Stone could have been lying to Trump.
    The whole thing is designed to hint at a wide ranging conspiracy between Donald Trump, Roger Stone, Wikileaks and Russian hackers.

    People have bene involved in a lot of lies in this thing.

    Stone later claimed to have communicated with Wikileaks through an intermediary (Jerome Corsi) but that probably never happened.

    He either had another connection or he didn’t have one at all. If he had a connection, it wasn’t directly to Assaunge, and might even have been actually someone connected with Russian intelligence,

    Stone was indicted for lying about not telling anyone about his supposed foreknowledge of the wikileaks dump, not for any collusion charge.

    Does the indictment state he had foreknowledge? Can anyone check that? Isn’t the indictmebt that the lie was that Jerome Corsi was his only connection? Either he had another connection before Corsi or he didn’t have one at all.

    The probe most likely clears Trump of criminal wrongdoing. But it does kinda dent his image as a genius who surrounds himself with top men.

    Since when did Trump have such an image?

    They were insisting on a FBI investigation on BK based on nothing. Based on uncertainty created by lies, and that nvestigation was a resumption of the FBI background check. Democrats pretended taht the FBI evaluated what it meant, (using the FBI as a cover, just like they did with Hillary emails) but that is precisely what the FBI does nt do with bckground checks. They just interviiew people and write up summaries of what they were told.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  333. All of these clowns doing their utmost to embed the notion of a treasonous president into the national psyche… they and Never Trump can take a walk off a tall building.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  334. Are you speaking metaphorically or is there someone here you would like to see take the plunge?

    DRJ (15874d)

  335. @350. All these clowns doing the utmost to embed the notion of a treasonous president into the national psyche…

    … particularly the Clown-In-Chief hizself: Helsinki.

    … Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  336. Shouldn’t everyone involved with this investigation be disbarred and jailed, we’ve seen how individual members nifably weissman peikin have behaved.

    narciso (d1f714)

  337. 351… metaphorically… at least for locals… a simple heartfelt apology and a week of self-flagellation like the Filipinos do for Lent will suffice

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  338. Who here?

    DRJ (15874d)

  339. 85. More special effects, according to the New York Times:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/world/europe/theresa-may-jeremy-corbyn-brexit-odd-couple.html

    Thursday, April 4, 2019 New York Times page A7

    May and Corbyn, Old Adversaries, Weigh a Brexit Partnership

    Odd Couple Set Aside Accustomed Bile to Collaborate on Brexit.

    The rumblings from Tory Brexiteers were ominous all day. Two ministers resigned in protest over the talks between Mrs. May and Mr. Corbyn, one sputtering his outrage that “you and your cabinet have decided that a deal — cooked up with a Marxist who has never once in his political life put British interests first — is better than no deal.”

    Then Mrs. May and Mr. Corbyn vanished into a room with their teams, and, shortly thereafter, a great thunderclap split the air above Westminster.

    There was nothing to do but wait….

    …Startlingly, nothing leaked from the leaders’ two-hour meeting until late afternoon, when the city was enveloped by a freakish storm, which buffeted the city with lumps of crusty, wet snow known in meteorological circles as graupel.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

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