Patterico's Pontifications

3/26/2019

Witch Hunt

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 pm



For the longest time, all you heard from the media was: he’s guilty. He’s going down.

Sure, it took a while to build to that point. But in the end, it seemed universal: every time you turned the channel, everyone was saying: this guy’s done. It’s a turning point. This looks like the beginning of the end.

It sure looked bad for a while. Payoffs for illegal activity. Lying. Stuff that like doesn’t play well.

But in the end, it was up to the prosecutor. And the prosecutor has said there will be no prosecution. And even though we don’t seem to know all the details yet, that’s the end of it.

Sure, the people who have been wrong about this all along are livid. They will not let it go. They complain that the prosecutor who announced the decision is playing politics. That he’s getting away with it because of who he is. Look at the criminals around him!

But his supporters held fast. Show me the man, they noted, and I’ll show you the crime. And in the end, the witch hunt ended in total and complete vindication

for Jussie Smollett.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

224 Responses to “Witch Hunt”

  1. I know JVW already did a post, but I couldn’t help doing my own little troll.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Trump Luck.

    It’s in the air; buy that lottery ticket.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  3. Excellent. I snorted when I got to the last line.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  4. Total and complete vinidcation? I doan theenk so. Not with a $9,000 cash bond forfeiture in exchange for a nolle pros. The docket sheets in Cook County’s branch courts are full of BF/SOL (Bond forfeiture, stricken on leave to reinstate) entries. The system would clog up otherwise.

    Like I said on JVW’s thread, the Cook County prosecutors treated Smollett like they would any other small-time lowlife that they didn’t want to waste too much time on. The Chicago police treated him like a VIP — and maybe they’ll know better the next time.

    nk (dbc370)

  5. @4. Are you kidding????

    $9000 is a mega-bargain-basement price for publicity; and as our Captain can tell you, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Who the hell ever heard of this dude six weeks ago??? Now he’s a global name.

    Back-in-the-day, Joe Namath just wore panty hose.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  6. Pat,

    The hunt wasn’t without it’s victories. It totally poisoned the midterms for the GOP, so it’s hard to see why the Dems are disappointed. While falsely claiming that some (no-so) fake news lost them an election, they conspired to blanket the country with fake news of their own and won more than they lost.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  7. The Dem’s witch hunt, that is. Surely you may have noticed.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  8. When the prosecutor, is the chief of staff to the leasing mayoral candidate, when the defendant has family ties to kamala Harris and connections to Obama, its like the hoskp plea bargain

    narciso (d1f714)

  9. The FISA warrants on Jussie must’ve had some interesting source material.

    Chuffy McChuff (dd4ac5)

  10. “leasing mayoral candidate”

    Only in Chicago.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  11. So, Patterico, are you saying that Trumps is like Smollett, and he got off the hook because the politicians had the fix in with the prosecutor despite the stand-up job of the police? That Trump really was guilty of all that conspiracy, collusion, election fraud and maybe treason, but he just got away with it because of politics?

    If not, I’m not sure I get the analogy.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  12. Kevin he’s doing the same thing all the never trumper former republican have been doing for the last three years. Owning the cons! Mock them or point out what you think are inconsistencies, again and again and again as your blog traffic dwindles into nothing. Patterico is a complete joke

    Wow a post mocking supposedly how Donald trump should have been charged and convicted! He’s a Russian agent since 1988!

    Sup (88e1b2)

  13. The analogy is that the Chicago prosecutors, just like the DOJ/FBI (McCabe, Comey, Strzok, Page, et al), exercised their power for crass political and corrupt reasons. I think that was the point.

    Chuffy McChuff (dd4ac5)

  14. @12. He’s a Russian agent since 1988!

    Bank on it: he did; they have.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  15. 1988? Nyet! Since 1977 when the Czechoslovakian StB, Communist Czechoslovakia’s KGB subsidiary, planted Ivana as his controller.

    nk (dbc370)

  16. Narciso, do you think there is a 21st century Bradley effect (favoring the gay and black v. Just black) with regard to light foot, shes up 53 to 17 polling wise. Yes the blacks might be playing possum for Preck, but I think the other blocsis gonna punish her for Foxx’ malfeasance.

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  17. B/c youkeep saying “leading” candidate.

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  18. One would hope, leading they can get away from this

    Max Collins seems to have ended the forward episodes of Nate heller.

    Narciso (2e8f38)

  19. You’re not saying that the Chicago prosecutor dismissed the case based on the merits, are you?

    AZ Bob (885937)

  20. This is good except. Mueller didn’t necessarily decide not to prosecute because there were no prosecutable offenses, but because he understands chain of command and knew it wasn’t his decision to make.

    JRH (8f59ea)

  21. I never thought trump colluded with russia he was having to much fun for that. and then became the accidental president much to his and our amazement! he better have something to replace obama care with or watch out disarray democrats will come together over healthcare.

    lany (0dd01a)

  22. I came here to read pattericos actual thoughts on this. How do 16 felony charges get dropped and the case sealed when he’s not a minor. Patterico is a lawyer, this is his job you’d think he’d have an interesting take on it. Or at least any take. I’m a layman, I’m not a lawyer. His thoughts would actually interest me

    Nah f that tho, just a cheap “own the cons” shot that doesn’t even make sense. It just makes him look crazy and it’s why I stopped coming here as much. I actually wanted his opinion on this, but no. “I’ll take this opportunity to make a quick f you trump voters joke”. Why even bother coming here anymore I don’t know. This is his field, his lifetime career and he uses what pardon me I think is a clear travesty of it to make a troll?

    Are you 5?

    Half and half drinker (bbecd7)

  23. Halfhalf, same here. About once every week or two. I noticed he ducked the MAGA hat kid situation himself, which was explained away by cobs as “wisdom”. Certainly not what I would call it.

    Skorcher (400c3f)

  24. National Review makes a better comparison:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/apples-oranges-trump-smollett/

    norcal (ce7ce7)

  25. @24. Not really; NR’s Cooke lifting the sentence fragment from the Barr memo- which was clearly noted by the AG as same– and incorrectly [or deliberately] posting it as a complete sentence sans the proper punctuation pretty much torpedoes any value in reading beyond it on that site.

    “Sad.” – Donald J. Trump, POTUS, pretty much every other tweet.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  26. patterico shows us what democrats and gubmint workers are all about.

    mg (8cbc69)

  27. moral of the story – Fake News Lost

    mg (8cbc69)

  28. Swallowsowell sounds like McCains widow.

    mg (8cbc69)

  29. Reading this again, out loud to my wife this time…it’s so stunningly stupid. I’d be embarrassed for the author, but of what use would that be?

    Skorcher (400c3f)

  30. Don’t worry. One of Smollet’s actions was to send himself a threatening letter with mysterious white powder through the US Mail. You don’t eff with the Post Office.

    Xmas (eafb47)

  31. 22, 23 – TDS is not pretty

    Obvious where this was going halfway through the first sentence….and all the logic of an AOC speech.

    I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.

    harkin (61b436)

  32. Mg @28, no beer baroness is gonna get down that easy, heck maybe it was a variation of what Catherine Zeta Jones gifted to Michael Douglas what brought down Maverick.

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  33. Lany, yeah it was health care and SALT agita that was the margin of victory in the suburban House races, but the Ds let the Star Wars Cantina caucus do all the squawking since.

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  34. The author indirectly highlights what may be a serious issue in many (not all) states and municipalities: the lack of rules on conducting business. In private industry/enterprise, the rules on what is/is not acceptable conduct are documented and training is performed each year to reinforce them. Gifts, influence peddling and what would constitute graft are expressly forbidden, as are sexual and other forms of harassment. Favoritism is forbidden and an even playing field must be maintained. You violate them, you are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

    When it is difficult, if not impossible, to fire employees even after a serious infraction or breach of trust, things have a tendency to degenerate. Chicago and the state of Illinois seem to be such a case.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  35. The Cook County State’s Attorney is elected.
    Her First Deputy is a political appointee who serves at her pleasure.
    They are hard to fire because their job performance comes up for review only every four years, and their bosses are Democrat voters.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. Or maybe you were talking about the Chicago Police?
    They are civil service.
    And unionized.
    And only the ranks of Captain and higher are “exempt” i.e. at their superiors’ pleasure.
    They are almost impossible to fire, or even suspend without pay; they cannot be busted below their last civil service rank up to lieutenant even when fired for malfeasance; and if they have twenty years in they will get their pension and retiree benefits even if fired for malfeasance.

    nk (dbc370)

  37. No the cpd did the right thing, it must be like algierz in the lost command, (1966) but you don’t go after the prin e if oakland

    http://www.maciverinstitute.com

    narciso (d1f714)

  38. The public sector, in general, nk.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. Heh! That story about the four blind men and the elephant? It has full application in these comment threads. Whether it is what we each understand from the main posts, or what we understand from each others’ comments.

    nk (dbc370)

  40. Why do you think this happened, nk?

    DRJ (15874d)

  41. You’re not saying that the Chicago prosecutor dismissed the case based on the merits, are you?

    Heh. No.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  42. 22, 23 – TDS is not pretty

    Obvious where this was going halfway through the first sentence….and all the logic of an AOC speech.

    Have two weeks off.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  43. Reading this again, out loud to my wife this time…it’s so stunningly stupid. I’d be embarrassed for the author, but of what use would that be?

    Have two weeks off.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  44. It just makes him look crazy and it’s why I stopped coming here as much.

    . . . .

    Are you 5?

    Have two weeks off.

    For those who care, I’ll publish actual thoughts about this in Arc Digital, likely tomorrow.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  45. Patterico is a complete joke

    Bye.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  46. If not, I’m not sure I get the analogy.

    You don’t see how a prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute is not gospel on what the truth is? OK.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  47. The ham-handed dismissal, DRJ? I honestly believe the fix was in from the very beginning, with Jussie’s network calling in favors from every quarter. Why it was done so clumsily and so blatantly, I don’t know.

    Maybe it needed to be done quickly because whether “Empire” will continue or be canceled is being discussed right now and the decision will affect a lot Chicago thumbs in the pie? Maybe Jussie couldn’t handle the uncertainty of his future and he has sufficient influence with a person or persons who have sufficient influence to force the issue? I don’t know.

    nk (dbc370)

  48. Those things bothered me, too, but I couldn’t pinpoint why. Thanks for doing it for me.

    DRJ (15874d)

  49. I see several commenters are acting like their team just won the National Championship.

    DRJ (15874d)

  50. For those who care, I’ll publish actual thoughts about this in Arc Digital, likely tomorrow.

    While I would be quite interested in what you say about this, I have assumed you feel you do enough legal-eagling weekdays, and take a break from it at the blog.

    kishnevi (0c10d1)

  51. To expand, DRJ,
    I believe that part of it is that Rahm Emanuel is a very weak person who can neither control his Superintendent of Police, nor back him up in a turf battle with another politician the Cook County State’s Attorney. Let me illustrate:

    Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew, his sister’s son and the grandson of Richard J. “Boss” Daley after whom the nephew is also named, killed a man in 2004. The Chicago Police Superintendent appointed by Daley did not seek charges, and the Cook County State’s Attorney at the time who was also owned body and soul by Mayor Daley agreed. For almost ten years the nephew was free as a lark. To make a long story short, finally, after Mayor Daley had retired, former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb was appointed special prosecutor. The nephew pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and go sixty (60) days in jail, sixty (60) days home confinement, thirty (30) months probation, and ordered to pay $20,000 to the victim’s mother.

    That is classic Chicago. This Jussie Smollett small potatoes is just plain embarrassing.

    nk (dbc370)

  52. The decision was obviously corrupt and par for the course where people with connections get off without a mark that would get the rest of us imprisoned instead. If this doesn’t show the beating heart of leftism, I don’t know what does. This is real privilege. To quote one of the left’s favorite sons,

    “Guilty as sin. Free as a bird.”

    Anyone seen the latest Max Boot nonsense? He just cannot let it go. Keeps digging all the way to China.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/03/26/lets-not-lose-sight-real-scandal-trump-was-elected-with-russias-help/?utm_term=.4fb7a35546b1

    NJRob (4d595c)

  53. OT, but did Joe Biden just say that white men are born to rape?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  54. “NEW YORK | Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Tuesday blamed “white man’s culture” for the persistence of sexual assaults against women in America.

    “It’s an institution, a culture, a white man’s culture. It’s got to change,” Mr. Biden said at an award ceremony for students working to end rape on college campuses.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  55. Colonel, I think we can say Biden is in a good position to judge that.

    kishnevi (0c10d1)

  56. They lie in your face
    Alla time they wanna take Trump’s place
    The hair plugs

    nk (dbc370)

  57. @1 The trolling quality here is very low. Hanging everything on a plot twist seems like the trolling equivalent of the ‘it was all a dream’ trope in fiction.

    Just some constructive criticism;

    But in the end, it was up to the prosecutor. And the prosecutor has said there will be no prosecution. And even though we don’t seem to know all the details yet, that’s the end of it.

    This seems to be where it hits a bump. You could have left this out and the plot twist at the end probably would have had more punch. Or move this to the end right before the twist.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  58. But this is the mirror image, there was actual photographic evidence along with confession but this prince of Oakland can’t be touched.

    narciso (d1f714)

  59. The analogy is weak. Case one, prosecutor investigates for two years, writees a detailed report concluding there is no evidence of a crime. Case 2, prosecutor says they are not pursuing charges, as the minimal punishment the perp will receive (forfeit $10k and some unspecified community service) is punishment enough. The latter is hardly an exoneration.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  60. “a prosecutor’s decision […] is […] gospel on what the truth is”

    That right there is the proper level of arrogance for an up-and-coming government employee.

    Bravo.

    Troll Feeder (1eb39a)

  61. @61. Case 1; have you read the report? No. Just a memo. When you do; report back. Case 2: $10k is a bargain for a million bucks worth of publicity, and as our Captain [and pal Roger Stone] will tell you, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Nobody knew who this dude was six weeks ago; an ensemble TV actor; now his name is known around the planet.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  62. @34. “…In private industry/enterprise, the rules on what is/is not acceptable are documented and training is performed each year to reinforce them. Gifts, influence peddling and what would constitute graft are expressly forbidden, as are sexual and other forms of harassment. Favoritism is forbidden and an even playing field must be maintained…”

    Meh. 😉

    “If you think that is funny or makes sense, bless your heart…” – Colonel Haiku, 3/26/19

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  63. Pat…in reading these posts and seeing you tweet things like the following:

    @Patterico
    4h4 hours ago
    More Patterico Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.'” — Letter from William P. Barr, March 24, 2019

    @realDonaldTrump
    No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!

    @Patterico
    Follow Follow @Patterico
    More
    (I know this is old news, but a LOT of people seem to be confused on this point.)

    7:03 AM – 27 Mar 2

    I don’t think people are confused. I think most believe that much of the criticism related to Russian Collusion and the question of obstruction of justice were unfair (his voters at least).

    …and this went on for nearly 2 long years.

    I mean… I know that prosecutors aren’t in the business of exonerating the targets of the investigation. But, I’m sure most people don’t intuitively know that…(which is why people hire lawyers!!).

    What did you expect him to say?
    “Mueller didn’t find enough Collusion! AG Barr don’t believe my actions constitution obstruction of justice! MAGA!”

    No…that’s silly.

    I mean, he’s not savvy enough to proclaim his innocence as forcibly and impassioned as Kavanaugh.

    A non-Trumpian response might be “in this country we afford a presumption of innocence and the outcome of Mueller’s investigation couldn’t overcome that”.

    Still weak-sauce in the face of the onslaught Trump and his supporters faced in the last two years.

    I dunno…maybe I’m wrong here, but at this point I don’t blame Trump for stating what he said, both politically and on merits.

    whembly (b9d411)

  64. The analogy is weak. Case one, prosecutor investigates for two years, writees a detailed report concluding there is no evidence of a crime. Case 2, prosecutor says they are not pursuing charges, as the minimal punishment the perp will receive (forfeit $10k and some unspecified community service) is punishment enough. The latter is hardly an exoneration.

    Can you forward me your copy of Mueller’s report? I’m reluctant to take your word for the assertion that he found “no evidence” of a crime — especially since (per Barr) he went out of his way not to say he exonerated Trump for
    obstruction. Surely you’re not making this assertion without having read the report!!

    Patterico (03f629)

  65. It’s amusing to see how extreme partisanship causes so many to overlook a very very simple point: a prosecutor’s decision not to pursue a case does not mean that the suspect is factually innocent or that there is no evidence they committed the crime. It means they are legally innocent under the law but that is different.

    Trump and Smollett are innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law.

    Patterico (03f629)

  66. The fact that Smollett is obviously guilty and skated is obvious. But it does show the vacuousness of claiming that a decision not to prosecute is equivalent to total vindication. This is the lesson sailing over the heads of the people I have moderated and others.

    Patterico (03f629)

  67. It’s no fun having to explain the joke but when people persistently and seemingly deliberately misunderstand you, sometimes it’s necessary.

    Patterico (03f629)

  68. I am not saying the two cases are alike, for the love of Pete.

    Patterico (03f629)

  69. Can one obstruct when?

    1) there was no crime charged
    2) Trump spoke out and was very “out in the open” with his usual BS and off the cuff remarks vis-a-vis the “investigation”

    Colonel Haiku (c6b61c)

  70. IOW, there didn’t appear to be secret machinations going on behind the curtain.

    Colonel Haiku (c6b61c)

  71. This was hilarious and I’m glad you wrote it.
    Good one!

    The people nitpicking about differences in the cases and blah blah blah need to look up ‘joke’ in the OED.
    The people who are actually angry about the joke i’ll forgive. Lots of snowflakes are overly sensitive these days.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  72. But it does show the vacuousness of claiming that a decision not to prosecute is equivalent to total vindication.

    It also shows that conflating the obviously guilty with someone there is no evidence against will get people’s backs up. Yeah, maybe Trump colluded with Putin, and maybe Trump’s a space alien. Both might explain a lot, but neither is likely.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  73. @74. I’m not an attorney and even I understood that from the get go.

    @75. I’m just wondering if he was briefed on it- the raised profile versus the risky legal exposure- and played the odds that could get away w/it as a publicity stunt– or simply lucked out; the Chi-Town legal people would know the climate best there. But there’s still that Federal/postal issue surrounding the threat letter.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  74. @81. Neither?

    Helsinki.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  75. The only thing missing from this is Jusse Smolett threatening to sue the city of Chicago for false arrest.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  76. Colonel, you can indeed openly obstruct justice even when no crime is committed.
    The lack of an underlying crime can be important, but it is not a necessary predicate.
    Which is why Mueller refused to totally clear Trump on the issue of obstruction, even when he found no actual crime.

    And you can have a case (assuming Barr’s summary is accurate, it would not be applicable to Trump) in which the investigators think a crime was committed but don’t think they can meet “beyond a reasonable doubt”, so they don’t prosecute.

    Kishnevi (a77570)

  77. I have to say, though, that the folks who show up here to say that they don’t show up here sound pretty dumb. I can’t say that because I obviously show up here a lot. Why? Is it because I agree with our host of his co-bloggers all of the time? No, not hardly. This post, for example.

    But when I DO agree with them, I agree strongly. When I disagree, they at least make me think — 99 times out of a 100 they at least have some valid points.

    Further, Patterico keeps me centered about Trump. I did not vote for him, and think him unqualified for the job (but less so than his opponent). But some days, when he hasn’t tweeted in a bit, I start to think this Trump guy might be OK. And along comes Patterico to pop my balloon and make me realize there are still fleas here. And if he doesn’t, one of Trump’s stalwarts will do it for him.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  78. Trump and Smollett are innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law.

    Neither Hitler nor Mother Teresa were ever convicted of murdering 6 million Jews. They may be equally innocent in the eyes of the law, but that means literally nothing.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  79. @78. ‘off the cuff’ remarks is a clever excuse to mask ‘intent’ and avoid an orange jump suit. His own lawyers insisted he not do a face to face Q&A w/Mueller because the man’s literally a habitual liar and ‘makes thing up.’ If he tells you it won’t rain- carry an umbrella; when he says NorKo is not nuke threat, build a bomb shelter– and when he says a yuuuuuge asteroid will miss us by billions of miles, sell your apartment in Trump Tower– to a Russian.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  80. It’s amusing to see how extreme partisanship causes so many to overlook a very very simple point: a prosecutor’s decision not to pursue a case does not mean that the suspect is factually innocent

    What’s more amusing is when people wave around the prosecutor’s decision as proof that every criticism of the suspect on any account is false, and that he’s always a victim of other people’s nastiness — but never nasty himself, because when he trashes other people he is really demonstrating his superior manly courage.

    Since I never gave credence to the extreme “collusion” narrative, the Mueller report didn’t surprise me — nor has it done anything to convince me that Donald Trump is honest and selfless.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  81. Helsinki.

    That was just Trump up past his bed time.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  82. Colonel, you can indeed openly obstruct justice even when no crime is committed.
    The lack of an underlying crime can be important, but it is not a necessary predicate.
    Which is why Mueller refused to totally clear Trump on the issue of obstruction, even when he found no actual crime.

    Yes, all of this. But to a layman like Trump, pushing back against a baseless accusation that reeks of partisan motive isn’t obstruction, it’s fighting an abuse of the system. I get it that many lawyers think The Law is the pinnacle of human interaction, trumping all else, but most of the rest of us feel there is a place for common sense, too.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  83. #74 It’s amusing to see how extreme partisanship causes so many to overlook a very very simple point: a prosecutor’s decision not to pursue a case does not mean that the suspect is factually innocent or that there is no evidence they committed the crime. It means they are legally innocent under the law but that is different.

    Trump and Smollett are innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law.

    Patterico (03f629) — 3/27/2019 @ 12:17 pm

    I’ll admit that well in the partisan bucket on this subject…and I’m trying to be rational here…

    I understand the very point you’re trying to make and I don’t disagree.

    My question is this: What is the proper way for Trump, as a politician, to respond to the news after the release of AG Barr’s report that signaled at least vindication?

    whembly (51f28e)

  84. democrats now forced to move on and trump better have a workable healthcare plan. if trump and republicans are smart ( they usually are not ) they will propose medicare for all and make the democrats vote. take healthcare away as an issue the democrats will have nothing to run on.

    lany (b5aa8a)

  85. **typo, I meant:
    I’ll admit that I’m well in the partisan bucket on this subject…

    whembly (51f28e)

  86. 39. nk (dbc370) — 3/27/2019 @ 6:45 am

    Heh! That story about the four blind men and the elephant? It has full application in these comment threads. Whether it is what we each understand from the main posts, or what we understand from each others’ comments.

    It’s seven blind men and the elephant, not four.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

    And, harking back to the previous thread, yes, while “whitewash, of [blank]” is good English, what follows has to be the thing, or person, being whitewashed. Not an abstract idea. An abstract idea can’t be whitewashed. It has to be a whitewash of something. Of a crime. Of Smolett. Not justice.

    If you want to say “[blank] of justice,” the late and fictional cliche expert, Dr. Magnus Arbuthnot, would have told Rahm Emanuel, that it is a “ perversion of justice.”

    I don’t think Rahm Emanuel was quite up to speed yesterday, although apparently he got better as he warmed up. He needed some coffee, blueberries or cheese.

    And here, the New York Post columnist Kyle Smith called Rahm Emanuel out on his grammar today:

    (Toward the end of the article, on page 7 – I mean real page 7, not like “Page 6, which is today on page 12, and , never ,never as near the front of the paper as page 6, and hasn’t been lieterally for decades now I guess and I mean it literally, in the non-Joe-Biden sense.)

    https://nypost.com/2019/03/26/prosecutors-just-spat-in-the-face-of-chicago-cops-in-jussie-smollett-case/

    How did the prosecution not foresee this noxious state of affairs? Let criminals boogie without wringing an admission of guilt out of them and of course they’re going to pop a Champagne cork in your face.

    Hate-crime hoaxes do immense damage to our social fabric and tie up police resources better spent on actual crimes, which kinda matters when your city has more than five times the murder rate of New York.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s anger was as off-base as his grammar: “How dare him!” he said of Smollett, castigating the actor for being “let off scot-free with no sense of accountability of the moral and ethical wrong of his actions.”

    Of course, it’s “How dare he! ” not “How dare him!”

    And I think I followed the comments here, at least this time.

    Re: urbanleftbehind’s comment @16:

    with regard to light foot, shes up 53 to 17 polling wise. Yes the blacks might be playing possum for Preck, but I think the other blocsis gonna punish her for Foxx’ malfeasance.

    I can’t see how this could cause the “other bloc” to pick Zyklon B over cyanide.

    Cyanide has got to still win, although maybe Preckwinkle might cause her moniker to be changed were she actually to criticize something about this, and maybe then there could be some hope that she would be carbon monoxide, and you might vote for her.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  87. 93. You mean like Mitch McConnell forced Democrats to vote on the “Green New Deal?”

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  88. pushing back against a baseless accusation that reeks of partisan motive isn’t obstruction
    I don’t think the accusation was baseless. (And unless and until we get the details of Trump’s financial dealings–which may never happen–we will never actually know the degree to which Trump and The Trump Organization were beholden to members of the Putin regime.)

    There were at least enough Putinists getting in touch with various Trumpian underlings to raise legitimate smoke.

    I do think that at some point evidence will be publicized that implicates Trump. Such evidence will have enough bogusity to allow it to be called fake by Trump (and quite possibly be fake), have its ultimate source in the Putin regime, and become public at a time and in a manner that Putin thinks is to Putin’s benefit.

    Kishnevi (a77570)

  89. nk,

    I am confused why the Chicago prosecutors would spend so much political capital on Smollett so quickly. Is it possible that the people involved in these decisions did not care about Smollett as much as they might really really want to avoid a court making a legal finding that this was a race-based hoax by a black man that also involved Trump?

    DRJ (15874d)

  90. My question is this: What is the proper way for Trump, as a politician, to respond to the news after the release of AG Barr’s report that signaled at least vindication?

    My answer would be to order Barr to make public everything that can be legally made public (I think he said he hoped Barr will do that, but official orders have more impact than off the cuff remarks.)

    And then do something he seems incapable of doing: say nothing more.

    He seems to have never understood that he has a whole bunch of talking heads able and willing to serve him as attack dogs while he remains above the fray, ostentatiously focused on the People’s Business.

    Kishnevi (a77570)

  91. Have the brothers changed their story or were they convinced to back down?

    DRJ (15874d)

  92. He could act like the President of the nation (instead of a political partisan) and do his job.

    DRJ (15874d)

  93. DRJ
    I have seen a suggestion (more a speculation) that the Nigerian brothers may be too dodgy, getting coldfeet, or otherwise are turning out to be so unreliable that the case may be not as slamdunk as Rahm and the PD want people to believe.

    Kishnevi (a77570)

  94. They have video of them buying supplies and they were in the area. And wasn’t there a check to them from Smollett? I realize that is not conclusive but there is corroboration for their story. It seems more likely they were convinced not to proceed or won’t be believed.

    DRJ (15874d)

  95. 85… thanks for the response, kishnevi.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  96. “When you’re about to let a celebrity walk scot-free on 16 felony charges for no apparent reason, the important thing is to do it in the shadiest way possible. Why shake public confidence in your office when you can really throttle it? . . . The VP of Chicago’s police union unloaded yesterday on state’s attorney Kim Foxx, demanding a federal investigation into why she leaned on Chicago PD to transfer the case to the FBI after hearing from Smollett supporter Tina Tchen, former chief of staff to Michelle Obama. Foxx ended up recusing herself before the charges against Smollett were dropped but the union wants to know if she had a hidden hand in yesterday’s outcome.”

    https://hotair.com/archives/2019/03/27/report-cook-county-clerk-shocked-no-written-motions-filed-dismissal-smolletts-case/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  97. It may be the case fell apart but this isn’t what prosecutors do in those cases. They ask police to reinvestigate or they have their own investigators look at it, but there doesn’t seem to be any prosecutorial concern about the evidence.

    DRJ (15874d)

  98. Two true statements:

    * O.J. Simpson has been totally vindicated for the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, according to the 1995 jury that acquitted him on criminal charges of committing that murder.

    * O.J. Simpson has been conclusively established to have murdered Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, according to the jury that found for the Goldman family in its 1997 wrongful death (civil) lawsuit.

    Context and details matter in making such pronouncements. One must almost always ask a series of qualifying and limiting questions — like, “According to whom?” and “For what purposes?” and “Under what standard of proof?” and, ultimately, “Sez who?”

    In his letter to Congress, Barr stated that the second part of Mueller’s report

    addresses a number of actions by the President — most of which have been the subject of public reporting — that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction of justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction.

    Thus, we may reasonably expect that Mueller’s report will elaborate on why he “ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment,” and why he “therefore did not draw a conclusion” on obstruction.

    We will then have context and details that we now lack — context and details that, quite frankly, are essential to an in-depth and well-considered evaluation of the extent to which Trump has been “vindicated” or “exonerated,” and/or the extent to which he’s just barely dodged a bullet.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  99. Regarding the Nigerian brothers, I’ve not heard even one time the phrase ‘deportable offense” (they are either LPRs or naturalized citizens, IIRC), though yes the crimes under the CC SA purview are not felonies, the federal mail fraud case is.

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  100. Further to my #107: I’m surprised at how little attention has been paid to the above-quoted interjection between em-dashes, “— most of which have been the subject of public reporting —”

    The logician in me says: “That means some of them have not.”

    This, friends and neighbors, is a very deliberate tease by the Attorney General of the United States. I’m inclined to think that it will turn out, in hindsight, to have been a rather droll tease: I suspect that Mueller’s report will include a long list of increasingly crazy conspiracy theories that the FBI or DoJ investigators spent at least some time in debunking, a sort of “Snopes list” that will result in sputters and chuckles, rather than “Aha, there’s the smoking gun!”

    As for why Muller “ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment” — which, as some puzzled observers have pointed out, is usually exactly what we think special counsels are supposed to be the people doing, not the career prosecutors who’d otherwise be handling the case — I can think of three or four pretty good reasons, some of which are based on constitutional concerns (separation of powers, Appointments Clause). So while I’m keenly interested to see Mueller’s full explanation for his decision not to decide, I don’t at all draw any adverse inferences — as to Mueller, Rosenstein, Barr, or Trump — in the meantime.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  101. It’s going to take weeks until we here any more from Mueller’s writings, unless Congress intervenes. They want to get it by April 2.

    Now the special counsel made some conclusions about two different issues.

    It may be that in neither case was it a full exoneration.

    With regard to Russian collusion, he wrote:

    https://www.chron.com/file/409/3/4093-4092-Attorney%20General%20Letter.pdf

    or here:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/03/24/us/politics/barr-letter-mueller-report.html

    The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans – including individuals associated with the Trump campaign – joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    So, with that, he states what he didn’t find. Maybe it could have happened with one or more memers of the Trump campaign, but he didn’t find it.

    With regard to obstruction of justice, he is less certain:

    The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

    Not clear if that applies omy to obstruction.

    Barr and Rosenstein said they determined there ws nothing without regard to any presidential immunity.

    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.

    So every action examined was missing at least one of these elements.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  102. And don’t get me started on whether Alger Hiss was totally vindicated!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  103. @111 Hypothetically, how would someone get you started on that if someone were so inclined? Asking for a friend.

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  104. 112. Alger Hiss was re-admitted to the bar in the 1970s I think.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  105. yes, but the venona documents were not declassified till the 90s, ironically an army code clerk, gave up the program in 1946.

    narciso (d1f714)

  106. Beldar @109,

    “— most of which have been the subject of public reporting —”

    The logician in me says: “That means some of them have not.”

    What that means to me is that most of them have leaked or been testified to in other forums.

    What do I mean by them? Actions, or possible actions, by the president, that have construed as obstruction of justice.

    This would probably include the “letting him go” conversation with James Comey about Mike Flynn, and the firing of James Comey.

    This tells us there’s maybe one or two or three others that Mueller looked into that either weren’t plausible enough to leak or mention elsehere, or ones where the investigation didn’t last long.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  107. Charlie Kirk
    @charliekirk11
    Democrats in 2015: Eveyone must accept results of the election

    Democrats day after the election 2016: We do not accept the results of the election

    Democrats 2017: Everyone must accept findings of the Mueller report

    Democrats 2019: We do not accept findings of Mueller report
    3:38 AM · Mar 27, 2019

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  108. Joe Biden today apologized for the way he conducted the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings. It is not clear what he is saying.

    Anita Hill has now for years been considered by many people especially those involved in academia to have told the truth, but this was only possible after years of inattention by people who believed Clarence Thomas was lied about.

    It would take years for Jusse Smolett to get that, and he miht not get the breaks.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  109. DRJ @ 98. I don’t think it was expenditure of political capital as much as it was flexing of muscle on behalf of “our friends”. Now who those “our friends” are …?

    nk (dbc370)

  110. And so these men of Indostan
    Disputed loud and long,
    Each in his own opinion
    Exceeding stiff and strong,
    Though each was partly in the right,
    And all were in the wrong!

    MORAL,

    So, oft in theologic wars
    The disputants, I ween,
    Rail on in utter ignorance
    Of what each other mean;
    And prate about an Elephant
    Not one of them has seen!
    https://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/blind-men-and-the-elephant.htm
    It’s six, Sammy.

    nk (dbc370)

  111. @101. He is- entertaining us.

    Trump’s a transient; a bridge to some where– or a bridge to no where.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  112. I don’t think the accusation was baseless.

    Well, you suppose facts not in evidence then use them as the foundation of your case.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  113. He could act like the President of the nation (instead of a political partisan) and do his job.

    1) We’ve seen that boat off already.

    2) Trump is hardly unique in political partisanship. It may be more common than not.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  114. 105. There seems to be some dispute as to whether or not Chicago prosecutors do this all the time.

    A former chief assistant district attorney in the Mnahattan (New York County) DA’s office wrote in the New York Daily News today (on page 4) that what you get after an indictment, except in the the narrow cases where the defendant is innocent or the case can’t be proven in court; is either a trial, a guilty plea, or a deferred prosecution or diversion program, and that will usually have pre-trial services monitoring. But not a dismissal.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  115. Oh, and Kishnevi, quoting part of a clause of my post (87) then responding to it as if it were the whole point (or even part of the point) is annoying.

    >>But to a layman like Trump, pushing back against a baseless accusation that reeks of partisan motive isn’t obstruction, it’s fighting an abuse of the system. I get it that many lawyers think The Law is the pinnacle of human interaction, trumping all else, but most of the rest of us feel there is a place for common sense, too.

    versus

    >>pushing back against a baseless accusation that reeks of partisan motive isn’t obstruction

    They aren’t even remotely the same thought.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  116. 87 91 & 97

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  117. @101 what’s your take on LJB?

    frosty48 (6226c1)

  118. well pat fitzgerald who was an import from the sdny, played favorites with david radler, chose not to target major figures in the daley administration, or even Obama, going for small fry,

    narciso (d1f714)

  119. @97. “… legitimate smoke…’

    Burning leaves in your backyard: maybe just a misdemeanor; starting a forest fire: a high crime– maybe. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  120. 117… Biden apologized for being male, white, over 50 years of age and inept.

    Clarence Thomas has thrived in the SCOTUS.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  121. Fitzgerald is just one of the more recent of the white knight in IL politics- preceded by Dick Phelan, Dan Webb, Jim Thompson and Richard Ogilvie -however he could not parlay it into elected office like some of the others.

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  122. BTW, in the Smollett case, is prosecutorial discretion absolute? Is it possible for a prosecutor to obstruct justice by dropping charges? It would seem that there is a better case that justice was obstructed here than in the firing of James Comey.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  123. Funny post. I wonder how many people will claim to feel that the results of Collusiongate and Smolletmania are equivalent? Kind of an IQ test, in reverse.

    vince52 (d22525)

  124. “Obstruction of justice is a criminal offense of interfering with the (1) administration or process of law, (2) withholding material information or giving false testimony, or (3) harming or intimidating a juror, witness, or officer of law.

    The crime of obstruction of justice generally includes crimes committed by judges, prosecutors, attorneys general, and elected officials. It is considered as a misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in the conduct of the office. However, prosecutors and attorneys commit obstruction of justice when they fail to prosecute judges and other government officials for malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office.

    Generally, obstruction charges are laid when it is discovered that a non-suspect person has lied to the investigating officers. Obstruction charges can also be laid if a person alters or destroys physical evidence, even if s/he was under no compulsion to produce such evidence, at any time. Obstruction of justice is a broad concept that extends to any effort to prevent the execution of lawful process or the administration of justice in either a criminal or civil matter. Obstructive conduct also includes the intimidation of potential witnesses or retaliation against actual witnesses, the preparation of false testimony or other evidence, or the interference with jurors or other court personnel. The purpose of criminal obstruction statutes is to protect the integrity of legal proceedings and, at the same time, protect those individuals who participate in such proceedings.”

    https://criminallaw.uslegal.com/crimes-against-justice/obstruction-of-justice/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  125. The entry of a nolle prosequi reverts the case to the condition it existed in prior to
    the commencement of prosecution. People v. Tannenbaum, 218 Ill. App. 3d 500, 502, 578
    N.E.2d 611, 612 (1991). The charging instrument is dismissed and the defendant is allowed to
    be free without any obligation to appear when called or enter into a recognizance. Id. The
    State’s Attorney has the discretion to enter a nolle prosequi, based on his or her own judgment,
    subject to the discretion and approval of the trial court. Woolsey, 139 Ill. 2d at 164, 564 N.E.2d
    at 766. A court must allow the prosecutor to nol-pros a case unless it is persuaded (1) the
    prosecutor’s request is capricious or vexatiously repetitious or (2) the entry of a nolle prosequi
    will prejudice the defendant. Id. A court may not allow the State to nol-pros in order to obstruct
    a defendant’s right to a speedy trial.

    Ordinarily, a nolle prosse is not a final order and it is without prejudice. The State can re-indict.

    It’s possible that the court entered a “With Prejudice” dismissal order, and there will be a fight if the State tries to re-indict. Or, it’s possible that Smollett made a demand for trial on the record which does start Illinois’s 160-day speedy trial statute. Has anybody seen a copy of a dismissal order or an entry on the court file or docket sheet?

    nk (dbc370)

  126. 2) Trump is hardly unique in political partisanship. It may be more common than not.

    That is true, and they also are human so they look for reasons that support what they want to do anyway — especially if they decide it impacts their re-election chances. We all fall victim to putting self-interest first now and then, but fortunately many Americans also care about values. Everyone is better off when we try to act fairly. Politicians would do well to remember that.

    DRJ (15874d)

  127. I think the file is still sealed, nk, at the defendant’s request. The prosecutors said that wasn’t required but the Tribune article on the dismissal said the prosecution did not object when the defense requested the file be sealed.

    DRJ (15874d)

  128. It also said no one would have known about the dismissal hearing beforehand except the defense attorney’s publicist alerted them.

    DRJ (15874d)

  129. 117. 131. Biden apologized for trying to look fair. Not in so many words, of course.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  130. There’s one more thing I’d like to mention. Illinois has 100-year history of crooked cops, crooked prosecutors, and crooked judges fixing cases, and honest legislators and courts have developed rules to deal with them. A dismissal or even an acquittal after a jury trial obtained through malfeasance is neither res judicata nor double jeopardy. The defendant can be retried. Smollett may not be as much out of the woods as he thinks he is.

    nk (dbc370)

  131. 140… he went beyond that, Sammy.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  132. I don’t regard Fitzgerald as a good guy, his recent running interference for Michigan state is in that vein:

    https://www.watchdog.org/wisconsin/appeals-court-reverses-
    ruling-on-some-republican-reforms/article_bb97a984-50d4-11e9-9fa0-d74271b5688b.html

    narciso (d1f714)

  133. Oh, and Kishnevi, quoting part of a clause of my post (87) then responding to it as if it were the whole point (or even part of the point) is annoying

    I quoted that by itself because it was the one thing in your comment I disagree with. Dodgy members of Team Trump having meetings with dodgy Russians with ties to Putin’s regime is the sort of thing that is supposed to attract the attention of counter-intelligence people. The accusation had a solid connection to reality.

    So I was responding to a tangential point in a comment which I otherwise agree with.

    Sorry I annoyed you.

    Kishnevi (abbfd8)

  134. Biden was talking about events and a culture dating back to the early 1900s…

    ‘Former Vice President Joe Biden called on Americans to change the “white man’s culture” and lamented his involvement in the Anita Hill hearings in remarks delivered Tuesday evening at the Biden Courage Awards ceremony.

    Biden says he regrets he didn’t give Anita Hill the “hearing she deserved” when she shared her story of sexual harassment in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas three decades ago.

    “I wish I could have done something,” he said. “To this day I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to give her the kind of hearing she deserved.”

    Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time of the hearing.

    Later, the former vice president, citing cases of domestic violence in the early 1900s, said English Jurisprudential culture, “a white man’s culture,” has got to change.

    “In the 1900s so many women were dying at the hands of their husbands because they were chattel, just like the cattle, or the sheep, that the court of Common Law decided they had to do something about the extent of the deaths. You know what they said? No man has a right to chastise his woman with a rod thicker than the circumference of his thumb. This is English Jurisprudential culture, a white man’s culture. It’s got to change. It’s got to change,” Biden demanded.

    Biden said no man has a right to hit a woman, “unless it’s in self-defense.”

    “No man has a right to lay a hand on a woman, no matter what she’s wearing, she does, who she is, unless it’s in self-defense. Never,” he said.’

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/03/26/biden_white_mans_culture_english_jurisprudential_culture_has_to_change.html

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  135. In the 1900s so many women were dying at the hands of their husbands because they were chattel, just like the cattle, or the sheep, that the court of Common Law decided they had to do something about the extent of the deaths. You know what they said? No man has a right to chastise his woman with a rod thicker than the circumference of his thumb. This is English Jurisprudential culture, a white man’s culture. It’s got to change. It’s got to change,” Biden demanded.

    In the 1900s??!

    And what’s this English “Court of Common Law? And why should it have any impact on the United States after the year 1776?

    And isn’t that explanation of the origin of the phrase “rule of thumb” a classic urban legend? And in any case isn’t it not set in the Twentieth Century? Contemporary with Winston Churchill?

    I think you almost need to verify again that Biden really said that! I know Biden has been known to make things up, but still?

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  136. Wait, it’s video??

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  137. Talk about pandering!

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  138. What kind of law school did Biden go too? Or visit, later? Or what kind of law or other school school is he at?

    Apparently, no school at all. This is just an organization mostly controlled by Biden:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/27/joe-biden-criticizes-white-mans-culture-role-anita-hill-hearing/3289065002/

    Biden, 76, delivered the remarks at a New York City event honoring young people who helped combat sexual assault on college campuses. The event, held at a venue called the Russian Tea Room, was hosted by the Biden Foundation and the nonprofit group It’s on Us, which Biden founded with former President Barack Obama in 2014

    I don’t think any of the lawyers here would recignize Biden’s description of the law, even historically.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  139. I quoted that by itself because it was the one thing in your comment I disagree with

    I disagreed with it, too, which is why it was wrapped as it was.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  140. Perhaps someone should remind the President every morning “Memento mori

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  141. Yes, Sammy… as Warner Wolff used to say, “let’s go to the tape”…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  142. “I’d hate it when some old-time police sergeant, usually an old white guy but sometimes black, would stand, hand on hip and sigh.

    And in the laconic and bitterly ironic tone of Chicago police, he’d make the big speech of five words:

    “Gonna be a bad summer.”

    I’d cringe, because, well, who the hell doesn’t know this?

    People are outside in summer. Rich people go places. But poor people go outside. And in Chicago, guns go outside with them.

    Calling it “gun violence” lets local politicians off the hook, because they want to shift the blame away from the lousy schools they’ve provided and taxes that cripple or drive away businesses so there are no jobs.

    The proper name is “gang violence,” and the gangs kill people over drugs, money, over revenge, over nothing, over they just felt like it.

    It was always going to be a bad summer. But something happened the other day on the West Side that makes me think that old archetype of a sergeant may be right this time.
    Authorities confirmed that two police officers — TAC cops, not rookies — were making a drug arrest shortly after 2 p.m. on Sunday.

    A mob appeared, threatening the officers, surrounding them, threatening to reach for their own weapons to shoot them dead, and the cops let the suspect go.

    What is learned here? The street is officially no longer afraid of the Chicago police.

    If the cops had fired their weapons, news media would have been all over them, metaphorically skinning them alive. Politicians would have demanded their heads. Democratic presidential candidates, and the two campaigning for mayor, would have held repeated news conferences.

    But this? Nothing.

    I don’t see politicians convening blue ribbon panels of experts. I don’t see media bringing all the light they can bring to this. Tribune reporter William Lee crafted a compelling story, but one story isn’t enough.

    The cops know they’re alone. That’s not a good prescription for what may come.

    I’ve never heard of that before, of cops so intimidated during an arrest that they’d back off. And I wonder what message that sends, to cops, to the street, and what will come of it.”

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-met-john-kass-chicago-policing-20190321-story.html

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  143. I saw it in a movie with Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern back in the ’70s. And then there was this other movie with Ed Harris and Vigo Mortensen where Jeremy Irons actually shoots the town marshal that tries to arrest him. Can you believe it?

    nk (dbc370)

  144. So this didn’t happen? Or it’s just BAU, nk?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  145. I saw that Matthau/Dern movie, set in San Francisco… good flick.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  146. “Vote your conscience” Ted is back:
    http://finance.yahoo.com/video/ted-cruz-entire-mueller-report-132005220.html

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  147. 153. Sounds like New York, in part of the South Bronx, in 1970.

    Sammy Finkelman (385c0e)

  148. Wikipedia says Biden was using an urban legend, more or less, but typical for Biden got his century wrong.
    Article starts off by giving what little is known about the phrase “rule of thumb”.

    Kishnevi (b0adf2)

  149. Sorry, the link I meant to post
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thumb

    Kishnevi (b0adf2)

  150. From the same place you got the article:

    Mike McGowan • 2 hours ago
    Isn’t it a good thing that a community isn’t scared of the police?

    No one in the US should be scared of the police. They’re supposed to protect and serve, not strike fear into the populace.

    nk (dbc370)

  151. And an old friend’s comment on the above comment:

    happyfeet47 => Mike McGowan • 2 hours ago
    thank you for this

    nk (dbc370)

  152. 103. The check from Smolett is supposed to be for trsining.

    Sammy Finkelman (385c0e)

  153. At the end of day, happyfeet AND Clarence Thomas remember that they are…

    urbanleftbehind (8b84bd)

  154. Well them the police needs to become more proactive

    https://twitter.com/CWBChicago/status/1111003119171837959/photo/1

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  155. 161… valid point, but respect should be there. People in heated situations not following lawful commands are liable to be injured.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  156. Watching “California Split” on TCM… the host clearly isn’t up to the task. DCSCA… if you “clean up well” there may be an opportunity for a return to gainful employment.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  157. BTW, in Cook County, some courtrooms want you to file a motion in advance, some don’t, and all allow add-ons. So it doesn’t mean much when a court clerk says that there was no mention of the motion in advance in the court file.

    But it got me to musing, if I were thirty (or even twenty-five) years younger and defending a criminal case whether I might

    TO: The Honorable The State’s Attorney Of Cook County, ILLINOIS

    PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on (date), at (time) or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard, I shall appear before the Honorable (judge presiding) and then and there present the attached MOTION TO TRY THE DEFENDANT AS A THIRTY-FIVE YEAR OLD GAY BLACK ACTOR, a copy of which is hereby served on you.

    I wouldn’t actually have to present it, and they could not complain if it was on an already scheduled “status” date and time when we had to be there anyway.

    nk (dbc370)

  158. It goes with the Marxist view of an occupying army, dependency theory, but what happens when much of the city becomes a no go zone, are the citizens safer in and out of the zone or are they fair game.

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  159. But it does show the vacuousness of claiming that a decision not to prosecute is equivalent to total vindication.

    It also shows that conflating the obviously guilty with someone there is no evidence against will get people’s backs up.

    Except that “there is no evidence against” is something you made up, for sure with respect to obstruction at a minimum. Of course, you have some company in that misguided opinion but it doesn’t mean it’s not misguided.

    The very fact that, according to Barr, Mueller refuses to exonerate Trump on obstruction while exonerating him in collusion logically means it is almost certain that there is evidence against Trump. And indeed, we already know of plenty already in the public domain, such as his threats to Michael Cohen. So the basis of your complaint, with respect, is misguided.

    Patterico (03f629)

  160. He doesn’t even say there’s no evidence of collusion. Just that it was not established.

    Patterico (03f629)

  161. Has Barr indicated that he’d recommend moving forward on collusion?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  162. Meant obstruction… I had to check, no he did not.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  163. So it’s a “no” on both. That seems to settle the matter.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  164. The main evidence against Trump on “obstruction” is that he shot his mouth off when he fired Comey, basically saying “What an assh0le for pursuing this garbage!” It would have been better if he STFU, but this isn’t the only time I’ve felt that way about Trump.

    But again, I get it — lawyers have this thing for THE LAW as if it was this pristine thing that one should respect from afar lest its blazing glory blind the unwashed. But most of us regard the law as tarnished, and when the FBI has been gamed to produce thoroughly political allegations based on knowing lies, firing the tool that treats them as real isn’t obstruction, it’s taking out the trash.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  165. I really would like to know, particularly from the attorneys here: given all you know about what the FBI, Comey, Strzok, etc were doing, would you really file charges against President Trump for obstruction? Articles of Impeachment?

    Seriously. I admit that I don’t have a legal mindset (one of the reasons Law never appealed to me), but I really really want to understand why someone who was NOT grinding a political axe might think that charges were necessary. My understanding is that we are FAR from Nixon territory here, even far from Clinton’s perjury. My personal contact with national security issues makes me feel that Hillary (and her aides) SHOULD go to prison, but that wasn’t done. Why here?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  166. trump poll before mueller report 41.9% 3/20 2019 after mueller report 327 2019 41.9%

    lany (9b9c07)

  167. Trump needs to listen to Nunes. And ignore Miss Lindsey. Lindsey is deep state. Nunes is an American Hero.

    mg (8cbc69)

  168. So Ben Sasse is headed to the Presidency…
    of the U of Nebraska. Take Justin Amash with you.

    mg (8cbc69)

  169. There is some evidence of obstruction in the report, Kevin M. We know this because Barr’s Summary says Mueller’s report presented evidence on both sides of the issue but does not reach a conclusion on obstruction.

    Further, we don’t know why Mueller did not reach a conclusion. Was it for a legal reason, a political reason, or something else? Did he make recommendations or explanations?

    But again, I get it — lawyers have this thing for THE LAW as if it was this pristine thing that one should respect from afar lest its blazing glory blind the unwashed. But most of us regard the law as tarnished …

    I disagree. It is Patterico (and some of the lawyers here) who criticizes the law, lawyers, and court decisions all the time, and it is why a lot of people read this website. You’ve seen lawyers disagree in the comments about legal issues all the time. But we know, and I think you do, too, that there is no better system than law for an orderly, peaceful society.

    DRJ (15874d)

  170. The rule of law is one of the most critical concepts of ordered liberty. Its reputation has been tarnished but it is stronger here than almost anywhere. No single figure leaps to mind who has done more to undermine it in recent memory than Donald Trump. It’s one of the main reasons I would cheer his departure from office.

    Patterico (03f629)

  171. Veselnitskaya certainly couldn’t have been in the country without Loretta lynch issuing the Visa, there was a state department translator at the meet, that doesn’t seem fishy to you? The info was so shopworn Putin had to repeat it two years later.

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  172. But not in the hands of Mueller or weissman, platkin, brenda Murray ronnie Earle John Chisholm, are you getting the meaning here, also Kim Foxx and Alex acosta and cy Vance fir good measure

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  173. In Miami I’ve related Reno’s behavior in the fuster witchhunt and how she protected her own aide in the hot suits case, so in the abstract justice may be blind in practice…

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  174. Trump says Schiff should resign because he “spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking.” Pot, kettle.

    DRJ (15874d)

  175. There isnt any doubt about it, but everybody has his back, you can continue cheering this wild goose chase

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  176. That’s the thing, DRJ. For Trump to say that, or this, it is to laugh. Out loud. Orange Man have no credibility when talk about law and administration of justice.

    nk (dbc370)

  177. No, narciso! No! No! No! Orange Man who belittle, berate, and threaten all and sundry and their families should STFU about other people do same thing.

    nk (dbc370)

  178. When Podesta and Weber and Craig face the same lash I’ll grant you, Armitage erdigans man in the Capitol, spared by fitz 15 years ago.

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  179. By the way, Kevin M, I think lawyers know better than anyone that blind faith in the law (or any person, idea or institution) is not helpful. We believe in discussing ideas and holding people and institutions accountable.

    DRJ (15874d)

  180. How a iut the particulars here, it’s a scandal that this investigation began and was not stopped dead in its track by March of last year at the latest.

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  181. What nk 189 said, narciso. Trump wants to criminalize or change the defamation laws to stop criticism of him because he is so thin-skinned. Meanwhile, he and his supporters think his opinions are truthful, wise, brave and should be celebrated.

    Trump has a double-standard on speech and while double standards don’t bother Trump at all, they should bother us. For one thing, we don’t have pardon powers.

    DRJ (15874d)

  182. We believe in discussing ideas and holding people and institutions accountable.

    Or at least transparent, since politics unfortunately makes accountability difficult.

    DRJ (15874d)

  183. Power corrupts.

    DRJ (15874d)

  184. That’s what the EU did with articles 11 and 13, allowing Huawei a wide berth in their networks.

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  185. I have seen how Comey and McCabe and Rosenstein and Yates have done it, give me an example with trump by statute or executive order.

    Narciso (5a0cae)

  186. So if Trump talks about free speech issues, do you think it doesn’t matter — all that matters is statutes (passed by Congress) and executive orders? How cinvenient, since I’m sure you don’t think Trump should shut up and govern solely by signing bills and executive orders. You want the good without the bad, just like Trump.

    DRJ (15874d)

  187. “No single figure leaps to mind who has done more to undermine it in recent memory than Donald Trump. It’s one of the main reasons I would cheer his departure from office.”

    I’m growing older, and my once near savant-level memory is not what it once was, but still no opprobrium for the funding and use of an entirely false dossier and the resultant FISA activity, the illegal (and possibly criminal) activities of the Obama administration, the IC, the leadership of the DOJ, the FBI that forms the foundation of this national fiasco?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  188. You are tilting against windmills here, narciso.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  189. I responded directly to narciso’s point. Do you have a substantive comment to add, Haiku?

    DRJ (15874d)

  190. It was made.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  191. Narciso is consistently trying to counsel that readers here consider all aspects of what has happened over the course of the last 2+ years and I, for one, appreciate it

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  192. I understand that point and I know it is frustrating. I also know that Don Quixote was making fun of people who reject basic Christian values and wisdom to embrace the pettiness of personal gain. If anyone is tilting at windmills here …

    DRJ (15874d)

  193. The federal government officials who were key in the promotion of what’s being called “Collusiongate” should not escape a reckoning. Elections and the will of the voters must be respected, and an FBI or CIA director who tries to influence or interfere in any way should be held accountable to the full extent possible.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  194. 205. Federal government officials being held accountable? That’d be a first, certainly in my lifetime.

    Gryph (08c844)

  195. I sincerely hope Trump orders a real investigation of his predecessors. He has had two years and did nothing. He is freed from this investigation now so we will see. I don’t think he wants to, for many personal reasons.

    DRJ (15874d)

  196. I actually think Sessions was investigating some things, perhaps Fast and Furious and maybe even Benhazi, but Trump ended that when he fired Sessions.

    DRJ (15874d)

  197. 208… Snoozy McSnoozerson? Doubtful.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  198. DRJ @181:

    ….Barr’s Summary says Mueller’s report presented evidence on both sides of the issue but does not reach a conclusion on obstruction.

    Barr says that Miler said t
    There were “difficult issues” (quoting Mueller) of both law and fact as to whether certain actions that he had come to a conclusion took place, constituted obstruction of justice. I think it presented arguments, pro and con, as to whether various actions, or possible actions, examined, constituted a crime, and maybe also as to whether a president could be indicted. He did say that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference” bt , reading betwene the lines, argued that that was not determinative as to whether or not a crime of obstruction of justice took place. And of course it doesn’t clear him of any other crime, like the campaign finance violation (a stretch) that Michael Cohen, under the guidance of Lanny Davis, accused him of, but Mueller farmed that whiole issue out to the Southern District of New York.

    “Russian election interference” activities are divided mainly into two types of activities, sockpuppeting and hacking.

    With regard to sock puppeting, Mueller did not find that any U.S. person, let alone a Trump campaign official or associate, conspired or knowingly co-ordinated with the Internet Research Agency, which was involved with that.

    With regard to hacking and subsequent leaking, he did not find that any Trump campaign official or associate conspired or co-ordinated with the Russian government in that although that doesn’t mean no U.S. person did!

    Note: Barr carefully writes around what I just boldfaced. It might be more, or only, co-ordination in leaking. That is probably not a crime, unless someone is encouraging them to hack before they do it.

    And I think that co-ordinaton in hacking didn’t happen for the simple reason that Putin would never discuss Russian spying with any non-Russians for operational security reasons. It’s not like he would trust any Americans to keep it secret.

    Hacked material was only made public some time after a hack had been discovered or stopped. At the time of the first Wikileaks disclosures, the spying into John Podesta’s GMAil account was still going on. That went on till late August, and Podesta’s emails were made public starting in early October.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  199. Mueller did not find that any U.S. person, let alone a Trump campaign official or associate, conspired or knowingly co-ordinated with the Internet Research Agency, which was involved with sockpuppeting.

    Despite multiple efforts (or pretend efforts I would say really) to assist the campaign (in some cases I think, to provide already hacked materials) the Mueller report says no one in the Trump campaign, or associated with it, conspired or co-ordinated with the Russian government in anything. (or that they didn’t find any such thing)

    But, reading between the lines, they did find other Americans who did, co-ordinate their activities with Russia, but it wasn’t judged to be a criminal offense. And this had to do with the hacking and the subsequent leaking to affect the election because the words “any U.S. person” are only used with regard to the sockpuppeting, but not with regard to the hacking and leaking!

    This letter to Congress was definitely written by a lawyer, used to not being able to disclose things. Beldar mentioned that it was dense, but not that it was honest but tricky.

    Now how would any U.S. person collude (a word Barr and Mueller avoid, possibly because Trump';s lawyer Giuliani repetedlt stressed that theer;s no such crime as collusion) with regard to the hacking and leaking?

    A. Wikileaks wasn’t the only, or first, outlet. The names of the people who helped spread the results of Russian hacks, in a manner that attempted to conceal the fact of their Russian origins, is probably one of the big things covered by grand jury secrecy.

    And also, they probably used an American or two to give it to Wikileaks, probably with a false narrative of where it came from, and maybe there could also be people who later started counter-stories later as to where the Wikileaks material came from, like about Seth Rich. None of that might have been clearly illegal.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  200. Further, we don’t know why Mueller did not reach a conclusion. Was it for a legal reason, a political reason, or something else?

    Probably at least in part political, but I think he wouldn’t say such a thing, though.

    Mueller wanted to be able to say that no request of his was denied or overrruled. So he didn’t decide any hard questions. What was really political was not asking for permission to indict a sitting president.

    Barr writes that his decision not to charge the president was not based on any constitutiona considerations (which, if it were, would mean that he should make an impeachment referral and/or possibly hold it over for when he is no longer president.)

    BBarr wrote:

    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.

    So that means, for each one of the contemplated crimes, proof beyonnd a reasonable doubt for at least one of these three elements was missing.

    For instance, maybe for “Letting Flynn go” corrupt intent was missing. For firing Comey, a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding was missing. For offering pardons, obstructive conduct was missing. Plus they had elements of fact in doubt.

    So every action examined was missing at least one of these elements.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  201. No single figure leaps to mind who has done more to undermine it in recent memory than Donald Trump. It’s one of the main reasons I would cheer his departure from office.

    Um, James Comey, Loretta Lynch, Bill and Hillary Clinton all leap to my mind. But maybe it’s because the used the Law as a tool for their ends that gives them a pass to some. To me that just makes it worse.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  202. DRJ @ 100:

    Have the brothers changed their story or were they convinced to back down?

    They haven’t changed their story, (and it would put them in legal jeoardy to do so) but they were convinced to back down.

    They refused to issue a public statement, and their lawyer quit, and now they have disapeared from public view.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  203. DRJ @208: Why should firing Sessions end any of that?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  204. I said @84. on 3/27/2019 @ 1:01 pm

    The only thing missing from this is Jusse Smolett threatening to sue the city of Chicago for false arrest.

    That may have happened also:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/ny-jussie-smollett-could-sue-attack-case-20190327-25kr7g23ozhxzj6omv474y5cta-story.html

    The “Empire” star may strike back.

    Jussie Smollett’s lawyer didn’t rule out the actor filing a lawsuit after all charges against him in his high-profile attack case were dropped.

    Tina Glandian said Smollett and his legal team are currently “weighing our options” after the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped the charges Tuesday.

    “For Jussie, what’s really important is, he really just wants his career and his life back,” Glandian said on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday. “Again, he did not ask for any of this. He was a victim of a crime. This has completely spiraled out of control and become a political event.”

    That business of suing the city of Chicago may be just PR. Maybe it’s also ashot across the bow for anyone who might jeopardize his contract or boycott him If serious, maybe only ounter a lawsuit by the city of Chicago.

    See also:

    https://pagesix.com/2019/03/27/will-jussie-smollett-sue-after-charges-dropped

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  205. there was nothing to this investigation, it was sessions foolish pride, that prevented him from reconsidering the recusal, they pulled the same trick with john Ashcroft, 15 years ago,

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/03/28/republicans-turn-attention-to-john-brennan-after-mueller-findings/

    narciso (d1f714)

  206. He’ll lose. I guarantee it. It won’t get past a motion to dismiss. Not only that, there will finally be sufficient outrage to appoint a special prosecutor to reinstate the criminal charges.

    nk (dbc370)

  207. @186. Remember… “What’s up with chocolate milk?…”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  208. no the Russians are not the kind of ideological threat, they were in the 80s, that disco still ridicules, some 20-40 million people were consumed in this internal conflict,

    narciso (d1f714)

  209. DRJ @208: Why should firing Sessions end any of that?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75) — 3/28/2019 @ 3:37 pm

    It shouldn’t but it will because Sessions was the only one pushing it. Investigations stop when the leaders who want them go. Trump has even said he doesn’t want to investigate Hillary, and I don’t recall Trump ever said he wanted to investigate Obama or his DOJ (but Graham has).

    DRJ (15874d)

  210. DRJ @208 and 223 Do you know that in fact actually that Sessions was pushing the investigaton of anything involving the Obama Administration?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)


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