Patterico's Pontifications

4/14/2019

Anticipating the Mueller Report

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:40 am



The Mueller report should come out soon. What should we expect? I figured I’d put some of my thoughts on the site, just off the top of my head.

I don’t think the report will put it quite this way, but here’s what I think some of the more salient facts are, that will likely be borne out by the report.

The Russians had a campaign to disrupt the 2016 elections and to help Donald Trump win the election. The Trump campaign was aware of parts of this campaign, for example through Roger Stone. The campaign was approached by Russian operatives and in at least one case took them up on a meeting, with relatives of the President and his Krelim-connected campaign chairman meeting with someone representing the Kremlin. Afterwards, Donald Trump helped draft a statement lying about the nature of the meeting. Kremlin officials greenlighted a possible Trump-related real estate project in Moscow. The president’s lawyer later lied about the extent of these contacts to Congress, almost certainly with Trump’s knowledge and after consulting with lawyers connected to Trump. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign did a major favor for Russia by tipping them off that Trump was willing to go softer on sanctions that are very damaging to the corrupt and kleptocratic Putin regime.

However, no prosecutable case can found of the Trump campaign conspiring with Russia on any of these fronts. There is no indication that they helped to hack any computers. The lightening up on sanctions is a policy that Trump likely favored regardless of whether he got help from the Russian government, given that Trump is a huge personal fan of the murderous autocrat Putin, as evidenced by his sycophantic statements at Helsinki and elsewhere. As repellent as those statements are, and as counterproductive to human rights as the lifting of sanctions might be, all of this is more the product of Trump’s admiration for murderers and strongmen than the product of blackmail or (as the Steele dossier alleged) a quid pro quo for the help Russia gave Trump in electing him.

As often happens, allegations that would sink another person will roll off Trump’s back because what would be inexplicable for a normal human being can be explained as the result of the President being highly erratic and morally compromised in general, as well as being a giant asshole.

I doubt Mueller has made any express “referral” of any of this to Congress, but there will likely be some subtle reference to the notion that the fact that no prosecutions were brought should not preclude Congress from evaluating the material in its oversight capacity. It’s hard for me to imagine the absence of any statement like that, given that Mueller so pointedly refused to exonerate Trump on obstruction. Why make a point of that lack of exoneration if the matter is not to be taken up by Congress in some way?

I figured anything I said would be more meaningful if I put my cards on the table before the report comes out. Put your own cards on the table in comments below.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

141 Responses to “Anticipating the Mueller Report”

  1. Who cares about someone’s guesses? We will see the actual report very soon.

    David in Cal (0d5a1d)

  2. As I read over the post I have written, it strikes me that this is an incredibly damning picture painted, prosecutable case or no, and that if you substituted the word “Obama” for “Trump” and “2012” for “2016” (or simply substituted “Clinton” for “Trump”) that Republicans would be screaming for blood under the same circumstances.

    And appropriately so.

    The wind has apparently gone out of the sails of impeachment (and more’s the shame, in my view), but the picture painted above is of someone who is manifestly unfit to sit in the Oval Office, and who would never ever ever ever pass a background check if he had not been elected. (Yes, I know, but he was. You don’t have to say it. I’m aware.)

    My disdain for the hypocrites who defend him has rarely been greater.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  3. Who cares about someone’s guesses? We will see the actual report very soon.

    Evidently you do. You read the post and you commented on it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  4. David in Cal, I’m going to interpret your dismissive comment as your excuse for why you don’t want to make any predictions. I wouldn’t want to either, if I were a Trump supporter. One thing’s for sure: it’s not going to be as pretty for Trump as it has been portrayed by him and by those taking victory laps on his behalf.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  5. The problem with pro-Trump predictions of the report is that they have to take into account all that highly unfavorable information already in the public record. Some of which I alluded to in the post.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  6. Our esteemed host wrote:

    I doubt Mueller has made any express “referral” of any of this to Congress, but there will likely be some subtle reference to the notion that the fact that no prosecutions were brought should not preclude Congress from evaluating the material in its oversight capacity. It’s hard for me to imagine the absence of any statement like that, given that Mueller so pointedly refused to exonerate Trump on obstruction. Why make a point of that lack of exoneration if the matter is not to be taken up by Congress in some way?

    ‘Twill be interesting to see what that ‘subtle reference’ will be. I’m sure that Schiff-for-brains and the rest of the House Democrats will be pouring over the 400 pages looking for it.

    But the House would be foolish to pursue impeachment, because, with 53 Republican senators, twenty of them would be needed to cross over and vote for conviction, and there’s less chance of that than our host voting for Mr Trump in 2020. Given the lessons of the Clinton impeachment, where the Democrats unexpectedly gained seats in the 1998 elections, the Democrats know that an impeachment attempt would simply energize Republican voters. Imagine the specter of an impeached President winning re-election in 2020!

    The Dana who didn't vote for Trump in 2016, but will in 2020 (10ea9e)

  7. I think there will be:

    1. What you said (and said well), including many instances of Russian interference that are troubling because the Russian efforts were so significant that they could have had an impact on voters’ views.

    2. Several examples of obstruction of justice that Mueller chose not to charge because they involve the President and he was never able to interview Trump regarding his intent. Mueller may even say that he would have charged an individual who did these things and refused to be interviewed, but in this case Congress also has oversight so he is referring this to Congress.

    3. There was evidence in the dossier that was substantiated or confirmed, and/or there was other evidence of Russian actions (prior to the election) that were known to the DOC and FBI, so the investigation was justified.

    DRJ (15874d)

  8. DOJ, not DOC. Sorry.

    DRJ (15874d)

  9. It’s important to remember that Putin was a high level KGB official. Rather than develop Russia’s economy on the basis of more than oil (they have a substantial scientific and technical capability), he chose to push for restoring Russia’s influence in the world on military and diplomatic efforts. The KGB played the long game and knew how to influence vulnerable personalities. Trump fit all the criteria for a target to manipulate. His alienation of potential partners and bankers left him dependent on Deutsche Bank and Russian oligarchs. I don’t think Trump and his family/entourage set out to collude or otherwise collaborate, they did fall victim and encourage the Russian team going forward. It’s always instructive to go to the Trump organization’s web site to see how small their business activities are with a handful of hotels and golf courses plus some legacy real estate holdings. He’s not even a modest sized player in any of these industries but pretends to be bigger. This is his Achilles heel. I’m sure the Russians have Trumps personal and business financials in great detail.

    Mueller’s report could simply have a great deal of information on the Russian’s activities that would make Donald squirm.

    DirtyJobsGuy (08569b)

  10. Our not-very-happy host wrote:

    The wind has apparently gone out of the sails of impeachment (and more’s the shame, in my view), but the picture painted above is of someone who is manifestly unfit to sit in the Oval Office, and who would never ever ever ever pass a background check if he had not been elected. (Yes, I know, but he was. You don’t have to say it. I’m aware.)

    Perhaps you do not accept — or can comprehend — that there are some people who might not care for Mr Trump as an individual, but believe that he has demonstrated by his actions and his policies that he is not only quite fit to sit in the Oval Office, but has turned out to be the President that conservatives have needed?

    How many times have conservatives lamented that Republican politicians have folded when it was time to fight, caved in to Democratic opposition when the chips were down? Remember your own anger when the late Senator John McCain broke his promise to vote to repeal Obaminablecare?

    President Trump fights, he doesn’t back down, he goes on the attack. Perhaps President Jeb Bush would have been a much nicer guy, but would he be fighting illegal immigration with such vigor, would he have cancelled President Obama’s DACA executive order, or reversed the policy of letting people so mentally ill that they don’t know what sex they are the ‘transgendered’ in the military? Would President Marco Rubio have banned people from terrorist-harboring countries from coming to the United States? Would even your favored candidate, President Ted Cruz, have been as successful as Mr Trump has been?

    We haven’t gotten everything we wanted — though what the Administration has done to emasculate Obysmalcare will bring its end more quickly — but we have gotten some of what was needed.

    My disdain for the hypocrites who defend him has rarely been greater.

    Well, you certainly told the truth there, but is it possible that you are simply unwilling to understand us? Our concerns are different from yours, rather obviously, but are you behaving any differently from Adam Schiff in this?

    The disdained Dana (10ea9e)

  11. DRJ wrote:

    What you said (and said well), including many instances of Russian interference that are troubling because the Russian efforts were so significant that they could have had an impact on voters’ views.

    I will say explicitly what I have said before, many times, though perhaps not here: if it was Russian interference which was the tipping point which swung the election and kept Hillary Clinton a private citizen, then we owe Vladimir Putin a debt of gratitude which can never be fully repaid.

    I anticipate even greater disdain on the part of our host.

    The extremely blunt Dana (10ea9e)

  12. My response to comment 10:

    It was once the useful role of conservatives to resist these sorts of trends — to stand athwart declining moral standards, yelling Stop. They lost whatever right they had to play that role when they got behind Trump, not only acquiescing in the culture of shamelessness but also savoring its fruits. Among them: Never being beholden to what they said or wrote yesterday. Never holding themselves to the standards they demand of others. Never having to say they are sorry.

    Trump-supporting conservatives — the self-aware ones, at least — justify this bargain as a price worth paying in order to wage ideological combat against the hypostatized evil left. In fact it only makes them enablers in the degraded culture they once deplored. What Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx is to Smollett, they are to Trump.

    We all make compromises in life. This is yours.

    DRJ (15874d)

  13. Vote Democrat * 2020
    “When You’ve Grown Tired of Success”

    Prediction: the report will fall well short of what Democrats, the MSM, NeverTrump and others who dislike Trump hope for. But that will not stop their speculation or their attempts to cast all things Trump in a negative light.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  14. “As often happens, allegations that would sink another person will roll off Trump’s back”

    Allegations, as a result of a special counsel investigation that would’ve been launched against no one else under the same circumstances.

    Question, Mr. Patterico: Do you think that allegations of FISA abuse and political bias in the DOJ/FBI merit a special counsel? Aren’t these “allegations that would sink another person”?

    Yes, there’s Horowitz with a report upcoming, which I have little doubt will broom any charges — because, for example, as precedent the corrupt Stevens prosecutors were ridiculously let off. A special counsel is something completely on another level, but merited — yes?

    Munroe (d1b3f0)

  15. DRJ is right:

    We all make compromises in life. This is yours.

    Yes, it absotively, posilutely is!

    I did not vote for Mr Trump in 2016, because I believed the reports that he could not win, and I certainly did not think that he’d carry Pennsylvania, where I lived at the time; no Republican had carried the Keystone State since the elder George Bush in 1988. I thought that a vote for Gary Johnson would be counted as a protest vote, where a vote for Mr Trump would just be another in a pile of losing ones. Had I believed that Mr Trump really had a chance, I’d have voted for him.

    Why a protest vote? Because I believed then, as I do now, that he’s a reprehensible human being. But he has turned out to be a reprehensible human being who just happens to be a good President! I can handle an absolute [insert slang term for the rectum here] as President if his policies are (mostly) good ones. That’s the compromise I have made, and I’m certainly willing to admit it.

    The realistic Dana (10ea9e)

  16. 11. Wow. Shock and sadness is my response. You don’t have much faith in Americans and the American system if you applaud a Russian strongman who wants to destroy democracy.

    DRJ (15874d)

  17. The approbation and disdain of the Resistance and those who travel with them have seldom held less value.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  18. DRJ is right:

    We all make compromises in life. This is yours.

    It has to be asked: what sort of compromise would it be to have had Hillary Clinton, herself a reprehensible human being, though perhaps not quite as blatant about it as Donald Trump, as President, inflicting her horrible policies on all of us?

    Come 2020, the Democrats might just nominate someone with a (mostly) blameless life; are you willing to vote for that (mostly) blameless Democrat, with his far-left policies, over the [insert slang term for the rectum here] President Trump and more policies which you would prefer?

    By the way, my very early guess for the Democrats is a ticket of Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.

    The very honest Dana (10ea9e)

  19. It has to be asked: what sort of compromise would it be to have had Hillary Clinton, herself a reprehensible human being, though perhaps not quite as blatant about it as Donald Trump, as President, inflicting her horrible policies on all of us?

    It would have been awful, but at least Congress was Republican and would have opposed her policies. It would probably still be Republican. Judges, regulations, etc., would all have been bad, but perhaps it would also meanvoters would have better choices in 2020 than our current choices.

    DRJ (15874d)

  20. It would have been awful, but at least Congress was Republican and would have opposed her policies. It would probably still be Republican. Judges, regulations, etc., would all have been bad, but perhaps it would also meanvoters would have better choices in 2020 than our current choices.

    DRJ (15874d) — 4/14/2019 @ 9:48 am

    Facts not in evidence. If the people who voted for Trump did not vote for him, what makes you think enough Senators and Congressmen would’ve received votes to defeat their leftist opponents?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  21. Furthermore,

    what makes you think that the ones that remained, McCain and others, wouldn’t have voted with Hillary Clinton under the guise that the “people have spoken” and passed her leftist priorities?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  22. And to follow up on DRJ, the phrase 300 – 65 would have gained a new meaning last November had HRC been in the Oval Office.

    urbanleftbehind (6a358f)

  23. History shows we often vote for divided government when we are polarized and/or have tough economic times.

    DRJ (15874d)

  24. Or do you think Hillary would have brought a good economy with her?

    DRJ (15874d)

  25. The Russians had a campaign to disrupt the 2016 elections and to help Donald Trump win the election </blockquote. Which one? I think Mueller will say disrupt rather than to help Trump win although it was really more than the latter than the former.

    The truth is, Mueller will not get into the Russians' motives or it will be surmise.

    Arguing both sides of a position (like they did wih black lives matetr) doesn't mean there;s no goal.

    The Interest Research Agency was against akmost everyone but for both Sanders and Trump. Putin's highest goal was to defeat Hillary because he mistakenly thought she was dead set against him.

    The Trump campaign was aware of parts of this campaign, for example through Roger Stone.

    Donald Trump annd his campaign knew Putin was for him because it was obvious, and beause Putin was saying kind words about him. And Trump did not want to throw this supportr away, although he probably didn’t value it very highly. Why make an enemy of Putin?

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  26. Disdain for a Russian strongman seems to be tempered by an affinity for Russian strongman tactics to bring down a president.

    Munroe (62571b)

  27. “what makes you think that the ones that remained, McCain and others, wouldn’t have voted with Hillary Clinton under the guise that the “people have spoken” and passed her leftist priorities?”

    The Gang of However Many They Needed

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  28. History shows we often vote for divided government when we are polarized and/or have tough economic times.

    DRJ (15874d) — 4/14/2019 @ 9:59 am

    History also shows otherwise or FDR wouldn’t have been able to pass the harm to the public that he did. 12 years of unopposed dominance for fear of being called racist and sexist would’ve been harmful as the advance of leftism has done to our Republic.

    Our media would’ve run interference for her as they did for Obama when it came to his pathetic attempts at economic growth and would’ve blamed intransigent Republicans for any economic failures. Sound familiar?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  29. I have three predictions in re: Mueller’s report:

    1) It won’t look good for Donald Trump, ergo…

    2) Trump will spend the better part of a day tweeting about it in anger

    3) Nothing in the report will be legally actionable (per Barr’s report summary)

    Gryph (08c844)

  30. The campaign was approached by Russian operatives and in at least one case took them up on a meeting, with relatives of the President and his Krelim-connected campaign chairman meeting with someone representing the Kremlin.

    I don’t know if the report would be as fair as that (putting all the blame on Moscow)

    Afterwards, Donald Trump helped draft a statement lying about the nature of the meeting.

    A year afterward, when this came up as a result of the Russian investigation. The pretense was dropped almost immediately and then President Trump praised his son’s honesty (still preteding he had little or no responsibiliyy for the statement, and later the release of the email chain. But the Mueller report won’t get into that. It has nothing to do with possible obstruction of justice.)

    The rationalization for the statement was that it was true as far as it went. They did discuss adoptions from Russia. But that’s not why they agreed to the meeting.

    Kremlin officials greenlighted a possible Trump-related real estate project in Moscow.

    They never greenlighted it. They dangled it in front of him like a carrot before a donkey.

    The president’s lawyer later lied about the extent of these contacts to Congress, almost certainly with Trump’s knowledge and after consulting with lawyers connected to Trump.

    Trump’s lawyers and even Trump himself did not know just when his informal indiret talks stopped. Mueller in the end decided not to make an issue of it. Trump;s publc statements were not wrong. Trump’s lawyers got this qwuestion removed from te=he list of written questions. This might be one of the things where there were argunebts pro and con on obstruction,

    Meanwhile, the Trump campaign did a major favor for Russia by tipping them off that Trump was willing to go softer on sanctions that are very damaging to the corrupt and kleptocratic Putin regime.

    You mean in December, 2016? It was closer to lying to Russia than doing Russia a favor.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  31. there will likely be some subtle reference to the notion that the fact that no prosecutions were brought should not preclude Congress from evaluating the material in its oversight capacity

    It gave arguments pro and con and one of the cn argumments is teh DOJ policy of noot indicting asitting president, but he had other con arguments. It;ll list the possible acts of obstruction.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  32. Feelinzz, nothing more than feelinzz,
    Trying to forget their feelinzz of hate
    Teardrops rolling down their faces,
    Trying to forget their feelinzz of hate.
    Feelinzz, for all their lives they’ll feel it.
    They wish they’d never seen you, Trump; they’ll never lurvs again.
    Feelinzz, wo-o-o feelinzz

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. The Mueller report will probably say that some Americans, none of whom were associated with the Trump campagn, knowingly helped with the leaking of the hacked DNC and Podesta emails and covering up the source, but Barr will redact their names and identifying information, which will be teh cue for some Democrats to scream coverup.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  34. 7

    1. What you said (and said well), including many instances of Russian interference that are troubling because the Russian efforts were so significant that they could have had an impact on voters’ views.

    I don’t view the Russian efforts as all that significant. Before the election everyone knew Putin favored Trump over Clinton. Prior to this election being known as Russia’s favorite would not have been seen as an advantage and I see no reason to believe that it was on balance a plus for Trump this time.

    As for what’s in the Mueller report, I would expect some discussion of the factual accuracy of various statements in the Steele dossier.

    James B. Shearer (b672c7)

  35. Bill Clinton was impeached on a simple majority vote for obstruction.
    The senate failed to remove, even though the evidence in that case was more damning.

    Donald J. Trump could well still be impeached on a simple majority vote for obstruction.
    The senate will fail to remove, and in part have the precedent of the Clinton impeachment to thank.

    Glenn (37a55d)

  36. 35. I don’t think Trump will be impeached. While Bill Clinton was, that whole sorry state of affairs managed to set an important precedent going forward as regards the political ramifications of impeachment. Lord knows I could be wrong, but I just don’t see it happening. House Dems just don’t have the political capital.

    Gryph (08c844)

  37. I suspect the report will show many things that look bad and are unethical, but aren’t quite illegal at least on a federal level.

    I believe the President is financial compromised, but that isn’t illegal as far as I know. But it’s hard to say no to people you owe millions of dollars to.

    @ 11 If you are willing to sell out the US to a foreign government just to avoid 4 years of a Hillary Clinton presidency, I invite you to make a lengthy visit to Ft. Leavenworth to commune with the other people who have decided that selling out to a foreign government was preferable to dealing with a disagreeable circumstance. I’m also sure that Edward Snowden would enjoy some company in Moscow.

    Nic (896fdf)

  38. The wind has apparently gone out of the sails of impeachment (and more’s the shame, in my view)

    I strongly disagree with this. Trump is really doing a poor job at everything other than owning the libs. But I don’t think there’s a majority of people that would support impeachment. Doing so would greatly reduce the faith in government for a large portion of the population. I think one of the things Trump does that is terrible is to attack any institution that doesn’t support his immediate needs. I hope there isn’t too much long term damage to the country because of this, but I’m afraid there will be. An impeachment would add fuel to the fire

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  39. There will be nothing in the report that could be called an impeachable offense. There WILL be instances where ethics, morality and/or sanity did not prevail. Trump will claim exoneration, the Democrats will contradict him, and the game will move on to other topics.

    Then RBG will leave the Court and this will all be forgotten in an instant.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  40. DRJ wrote:

    What you said (and said well), including many instances of Russian interference that are troubling because the Russian efforts were so significant that they could have had an impact on voters’ views.

    I will say explicitly what I have said before, many times, though perhaps not here: if it was Russian interference which was the tipping point which swung the election and kept Hillary Clinton a private citizen, then we owe Vladimir Putin a debt of gratitude which can never be fully repaid.

    I anticipate even greater disdain on the part of our host.

    The extremely blunt Dana (10ea9e) — 4/14/2019 @ 9:20 am

    This is as utterly disgusting and unprincipled.

    I’ve never liked or trusted Hillary Clinton. But a hostile foreign power committed theft and used the results of that crime to damage our democracy. The fact that you applaud this because you like the outcome is sickening. Where is your patriotism? Where is your love for our country, it’s laws and our traditions? Where is your basic understanding that so much of our politics is a race to the bottom and by cheering on a crime that advanced your interests you only provide pretext for the same to be done against you?

    Time123 (14b920)

  41. he has demonstrated by his actions and his policies that he is not only quite fit to sit in the Oval Office, but has turned out to be the President that conservatives have needed?

    Actually, no. All he has demonstrated is that he was far better than Hillary would have been, and somewhat better than pre-election Trump seemed likely to be.

    However, he is noticeably worse than a Cruz presidency would have been, not only in tone and manner, but in focus, competence, leadership and wit (in all senses of the word). Conservatives need someone who is capable of getting things done, not ranting about why _______ is making it impossible.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  42. “As often happens, allegations that would sink another person will roll off Trump’s back”

    Allegations, as a result of a special counsel investigation that would’ve been launched against no one else under the same circumstances.

    Question, Mr. Patterico: Do you think that allegations of FISA abuse and political bias in the DOJ/FBI merit a special counsel? Aren’t these “allegations that would sink another person”?

    Yes, there’s Horowitz with a report upcoming, which I have little doubt will broom any charges — because, for example, as precedent the corrupt Stevens prosecutors were ridiculously let off. A special counsel is something completely on another level, but merited — yes?

    Munroe (d1b3f0) — 4/14/2019 @ 9:35 am

    The only thing preventing the investigation you want is that no one in the administration has ordered it to be done. They can do the investigation with a special council, the IG or a just do an DOJ / FBI investigation. The only advantage of a special council would be the ability to present it as the work of a fair arbitrator. The problem I see is that Trump’s definition of a fair arbitrator isn’t someone that would look at the data with as much impartiality as possible while the facts lead to the conclusion. Trump defines fair as “someone that says things that benefit him.”

    Also, for all the complaints about how the FISA process and this investigation are unjust I see very little in the way of reform being discussed. This lack of effort to fix the system leaves me with 3 conclusions.
    1. The people in power that call it unfair don’t really think it’s unfair. It’s just something they say to sway public opinion.

    2. The people in power that call it unfair think it’s a minor problem in relation to other things.
    3. The people in power that call it unfair are so incompetent they can’t manage to do a thing about it. Not even put a serious reform proposal on the table.

    I welcome a counter explanation for the lack of a fix.

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  43. if it was Russian interference which was the tipping point which swung the election

    Whatever is said about the Russian influence, the truth of the matter is that the US mainstream press had MUCH more influence that some trolls in Russia. And, to a person, the US media was dead set on electing Hillary. Much of the American press has become a willing instrument of the Democrat Party, and THAT is a clear and present danger to the Republic.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  44. DRJ kindly responded:

    It has to be asked: what sort of compromise would it be to have had Hillary Clinton, herself a reprehensible human being, though perhaps not quite as blatant about it as Donald Trump, as President, inflicting her horrible policies on all of us?

    It would have been awful, but at least Congress was Republican and would have opposed her policies. It would probably still be Republican. Judges, regulations, etc., would all have been bad, but perhaps it would also mean voters would have better choices in 2020 than our current choices.

    It wasn’t so very long ago that President Obama, with his phone and his pen, did real damage to our country without anything from a Congress with at least one House controlled by Republicans able to stop him.

    100,000+ Syrian refugees in the United States? That’s what Mrs Clinton promised, and I suspect that she’d have kept that promise. Four more years — if not eight! — of DACA, cementing legalized status for illegal immigrants. Title IX being used to discriminate against men in colleges, depriving them of due process. Affirmative Action being expanded. Obysmalcare being expanded, and the individual mandate retained. Judicial nominees which might have to be stealth leftists, but leftists nevertheless. ‘Transgenders’ receiving expanded rights to the detriment of normal people and their privacy. Further attempts to limit the freedom of speech and religion, and further attacks on the right to keep and bear arms.

    Those are all things of real consequence to real people. That Mr Trump copulated with a porn star and then paid her off to keep her mouth shut is bad, but, in the big picture, it doesn’t affect the public at all. The things Mrs Clinton’s pen and phone would do would have affected us all, very negatively. Even if Mr Trump obstructed justice somehow by covering up collusion with the Russians is less damaging to the United States as a whole than a Clinton presidency would have been.

    The Dana who remembers (10ea9e)

  45. 4. The people in power that call it unfair know it’s unfair, but it’s theirs to use now, so no reform is needed.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  46. The problem with pro-Trump predictions of the report is that they have to take into account all that highly unfavorable information already in the public record. Some of which I alluded to in the post.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 4/14/2019 @ 8:59 am

    Since the best that’s likely to come out of the report is some evidence of wrongdoing but not enough to win a conviction I predict that the Pro-Trump ppl will push all focus to something else like FISA abuse or corruption in the DOJ/FBI.

    I have no predictions on what will be in the report beyond that it will make Trump look no better than any other part of his life.

    Time123 (14b920)

  47. if it was Russian interference which was the tipping point which swung the election

    Whatever is said about the Russian influence, the truth of the matter is that the US mainstream press had MUCH more influence that some trolls in Russia. And, to a person, the US media was dead set on electing Hillary. Much of the American press has become a willing instrument of the Democrat Party, and THAT is a clear and present danger to the Republic.

    It wasn’t the Trolling, it was the release of stolen emails in a strategic manner to damage Hillary Clinton.

    Time123 (14b920)

  48. @ 11 If you are willing to sell out the US to a foreign government just to avoid 4 years of a Hillary Clinton presidency, I invite you to make a lengthy visit to Ft. Leavenworth to commune with the other people who have decided that selling out to a foreign government was preferable to dealing with a disagreeable circumstance. I’m also sure that Edward Snowden would enjoy some company in Moscow.

    Nic (896fdf) — 4/14/2019 @ 11:14 am

    You mean like Hillary and the Obama government did with Ukraine?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  49. “If you are willing to sell out the US to a foreign government”

    So the Clintons are going to be arrested Any Day Now for their selling of the US out to China, Russia, and Ukraine at various points, right? Right? We can expect immediate and total support for going after the Clintons for their manifold and myriad foreign connections FIRST, before the statutes of limitations run out, right?

    No? Than stop right there, take your lazy bravado and Leavenworth insinuations and shove them. This is not a contest of ideals to live up to, this is a war where you fight with the soldiers you have, and over-interpreting diplomatic actions and tenative meetings that are and were bog-standard within the State Department within at least the past 16 years as TREASON!!! COLLUSION!!! and SUSPICIOUS!!! when the first two adjectives don’t take is nothing but evidence that you are not in fact qualified to judge or rule anything in the real world.

    “Trump is a huge personal fan of the murderous autocrat Putin, as evidenced by his sycophantic statements at Helsinki and elsewhere.”

    Yes, just like Roosevelt was a huge personal fan of the murderous autocrat Stalin based on all the nice things he said about him. And this utterly ahistorical analysis of everyday diplomatic communication is why no serious person will ever let NeverTrumpers near foreign policy again.

    Chin-po (30bdea)

  50. Mr M wrote:

    Whatever is said about the Russian influence, the truth of the matter is that the US mainstream press had MUCH more influence that some trolls in Russia. And, to a person, the US media was dead set on electing Hillary. Much of the American press has become a willing instrument of the Democrat Party, and THAT is a clear and present danger to the Republic.

    The lovely Mrs Clinton outspent Mr Trump by about two-to-one, but the media, ever-fascinated by Mr Trump and his antics, provided him with so much coverage that he benefited from it. Sure, it was almost all negative, other than from Fox, but we’ve all heard the maxim that all publicity is good publicity.

    Blogs got their first real jump when Powerline and Little Green Footballs uncovered the attempt by CBS News to use forged documents to undermine the Bush re-election campaign in 2004. The media absolutely abhor this internet thingy that Al Gore invented, because it has robbed them of their gatekeeping function . . . and led to the slow death of print newspapers.

    The credentialed media would like to think that they are the clear and present danger to the Republic that you say they are, but there is so much information out there, from so many sources, that they are less the danger they wish to be.

    The journalist Dana (10ea9e)

  51. Sam Stein
    @samstein
    Trump played a round with Tiger in February. 50/50 chance he takes some credit for this
    __ _

    The Truth Monkey From Hell
    @TheTruthMonkey
    Replying to
    @samstein
    💯 % chance he’ll deserve some credit for it too. Tiger never won a major under Obama

    __

    harkin (0e8c36)

  52. Under Trump, great economy, great Supreme Court and lower federal court judges, support for the prolife movement, low employment, higher income etc. Things would have been much worse under Hillary and were under Obama.

    So maybe Trump is a morally bad man who achieves overall morally good results. That’s enough for me.

    NYLawyer (e17b67)

  53. @48 My goodness, was Ukraine hacking our elections in 2008?

    Nic (896fdf)

  54. Considering that the number of elections in the world that we have NOT interfered in could be counted by a Trump supporter without him needing to take off his shoes, we really need to stop being “Shocked! Shocked! that Russia tried to interfere in ours and just deal with it. For crying out loud! Waaah!

    nk (dbc370)

  55. “The lovely Mrs Clinton outspent Mr Trump by about two-to-one, but the media, ever-fascinated by Mr Trump and his antics, provided him with so much coverage that he benefited from it. Sure, it was almost all negative, other than from Fox, but we’ve all heard the maxim that all publicity is good publicity.”

    When they were trying to get him nominated (and presumedly setting the election on a tee for Madame Pantsuit) they were benign towards Trump while they did everything to marginalize Cruz, Rubio etc.

    Once he got the nom the scene totally shifted to Donald Trump, worst person ever, Handmaids Tale, Hitler V2 etc.

    Compared to the msm the Russian influence was a drop in the ocean.

    harkin (0e8c36)

  56. @49 Hit a little close to home, did I? Thems some big guns you’re trying to shoot. Oo, the ouch if they hit. Too bad you’ve rested them on quicksand and you’re shooting in the wrong direction.

    Nic (896fdf)

  57. As for the report, I won’t predict what’s in it, but I’ll predict what will not be in it: That Trump is not really one of the Pistachio People from the far future who have traveled back in time to change history and ensure their survival in a rubber human-shaped suits and face masks which is what I strongly suspect. It’s not the kind of thing anyone would be allowed to know except a few select persons in the Skull and Crossbones Society who (hopefully) are taking their own measures to deal with it.

    nk (dbc370)

  58. My goodness, was Ukraine hacking our elections in 2008?

    Nic (896fdf) — 4/14/2019 @ 12:00 pm

    You have evidence that our elections were hacked in 2016 or 2008 as you allege? Please inform us. What votes were hacked? What states? Please share and report the information to the appropriate authorities immediately.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  59. @58 Lots of deflection going on there. Much defensiveness about how being grateful if a foreign government hacking our elections is OK. Maybe you, too, felt my comment hit a little close to home?

    Nic (896fdf)

  60. they’re relying on crowdstrike, which is a dnc proprietary, the code in the malware doesn’t match fsb authorized x agents, now as to Hillary’s own server, take a number to see which security service didn’t take a look,

    narciso (d1f714)

  61. Tiger is adept like MJ at showing deference to both teams, after all he is cobranding with Obama for the golf course that’s part of the south side Chicago Obama Presidential Center.

    urbanleftbehind (6a358f)

  62. Rob,

    I don’t care if people voted for Trump in the 2016 general election or if they plan to vote for him in 2020. What I don’t understand is why people believe Trump unless:

    1. He has already given them everything they want, or

    2. They care about fighting Democrats/the media/etc. more than results.

    BTW, regarding his SCOTUS justices, this aspect of Trump’s Presidency is mixed. Gorsuch, the originalist, was said to be pushed by Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society. Meanwhile Trump counsel Don McGahn was the force behind Kavanaugh, who was and is similar to Roberts. (In fact, Cruz warned that Kavanaugh might be an unreliable conservative jurist). Who will have Trump’s ear next time?

    DRJ (15874d)

  63. yes levchenko, who was under investigation by the Ukrainian atty general, along with miss chalupa, i’m not making it up, were likely predicate sources, along with halper who had fsb contacts, ditto for mifsud with Timofeev’s valdai forum, Greenberg who was a verifiable fbi snitch,

    narciso (d1f714)

  64. Kavanaugh is who could get through the possum senate, with McCain, cotton mouth, fidel o flake et al, now romney is taking flake’s position, with garner, also serving as ballast, of course, Murkowski never melts away, yes the wizard of oz, metaphor is intended,

    narciso (d1f714)

  65. [Expletive deleted.]

    Card played. Recall those White House transcripts from Watergate times- crisply redacted with that infamous phrase, by The Big Dick, presented to the nation in a televised evening address from the Oval, stacked up in those pretty binders emblazoned w/t Presidential Seal?

    Been there, done that with this crap.

    The discourse– no, it will be shouting– over “the report” just feeds The Beast with hot, tasty morsels to chew on as media banter and fuel months more of pundit speculation and armchair lawyering but We The People essentially will be right where we are now given the AG’s homespun memo.

    For ‘We The People’ aren’t getting the “Mueller Report” – just a sanitized, redacted, goofy-Crayola-crayon-color-coded-version, w/conclusions already spit out by our Captain’s AG, to crow and tweet over. Then, as the TeeVee talking heads and opinion class calculate the number of sections redacted in their various idiotic categories- and why- we’ll be treated to their cable news speculations by night and day as they spin it more and try to fill in the blanks– and air time.

    It’s all an [expletive deleted, expletive deleted, expletive deleted] dog-and-pony-show.

    The hero will be the “patriot” with the courage- and balls- to just leak the whole [expletive deleted] thing, warts and all. But in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a shortage of [expletive deleted, expletive deleted, expletive deleted] ‘patriots’ in the three branches of American government these days.

    “The gray, middle America– they’re suckers.” – President Richard Nixon, May 4, 1972

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  66. could be like the Toynbee convector, where the inventor pretended to go 100 years into the future, and told his utopian tale, that inspired the revolution, on the anniversary of said trip,

    narciso (d1f714)

  67. suckers were the ones who believed that deep throat was nothing more than a gs 15 bureau exec, who was disappointed the dedazo fell on Patrick gray, rather than himself, of course his fate was sealed by the media Pennsylvania heist, which revealed he ran the black bag jobs on the weather underground,

    narciso (d1f714)

  68. No? Than stop right there, take your lazy bravado and Leavenworth insinuations and shove them.

    We don’t tolerate personal attacks here. First and last warning. Do not argue with me about it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  69. This is the kind of thread that seems to bring out the pugilist is so many people.

    But to me, it’s kind of simple: does the character of the person in the Oval Office matter, or not? And it’s not a huge binary question, it’s much more nuanced. For example, there are folks who don’t mind DJT acting like a fool, so long as “the agenda” gets passed. Except I don’t think that happens. Instead, I think it is more “…so long as ‘the agenda’ gets talked about.”

    I mean, I remember WJC. People I knew who said, “Sure, Bill is an awful person, but he supports X and Y ideas I like.” And I would shake my head.

    So I guess we are all much more alike than I had hoped.

    Simon Jester (9d3cf3)

  70. Everybody needs to take a deep breath and start being more polite. Beginning…now.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  71. “Trump is a huge personal fan of the murderous autocrat Putin, as evidenced by his sycophantic statements at Helsinki and elsewhere.”

    Yes, just like Roosevelt was a huge personal fan of the murderous autocrat Stalin based on all the nice things he said about him. And this utterly ahistorical analysis of everyday diplomatic communication is why no serious person will ever let NeverTrumpers near foreign policy again.

    The notion that Trump’s Helsinki comments were “everyday diplomatic communication” is pretty unusual even for Trump fans. Do you actually stand by that characterization?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  72. 69. I’ve been saying that for years, Simon. Years…

    Gryph (08c844)

  73. no simon, the question was whether this investigation was legitimate, if not what sanction should be imposed on those who engineered the conditions behind it, all the proper people have already decided,
    from the editorial board of the new York times to the new Yorker to the atlantic, all those who colluded with Obama as part of the journalist, and quelle surprise, they are the same players now, with some exceptions,

    narciso (d1f714)

  74. Question, Mr. Patterico: Do you think that allegations of FISA abuse and political bias in the DOJ/FBI merit a special counsel?

    From what I have seen, the allegations are overblown, with comfortable but exaggerated or false tropes having been adopted by partisans such as yourself, Munroe, and repeated ad infinitum as if they were Gospel. That said, there are aspects of what has happened that raise questions, and if I thought a non-politicized analysis (as opposed to the utter tripe that is the Nunes memo) justified an investigation, and I thought it could be done with the professionalism that Robert Mueller brought to his investigation, then sure, I’d be OK with that.

    At this point, I’m unconvinced there is any reason to investigate the “oranges” of an investigation that, to me, seems to have been mandatory given the damning circumstances that presented themselves.

    I say this for the benefit of others, not for you. Frankly, I have no interest in debating with you, Munroe. Your history of comments here does not show you to be someone worth interacting with. But I throw this out there for the benefit of hearing from others whom I *do* respect.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  75. To a hammer, everything’s a nail. To a prosecutor, everyone’s a defendant.

    Advocaat (013608)

  76. No personal comments.

    DRJ (15874d)

  77. 75. I’d counsel extreme caution in mentioning anything about our host’s profession, Caat. He doesn’t take kindly to that kind of trolling.

    Gryph (08c844)

  78. I would like to see more about the FISA process or at least know someone is looking at it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  79. Advocaat,

    The other commenters are right. That is enough of that.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  80. actions matter more than words, in the Ukraine, on the Syrian plain, the last administration offered food rations and a red line, now you might not think two airstrikes were enough, I wasn’t really keen on either, in part because who has sanctuary in idlib province (hint the same faction in western Libya, al queda and associated militias, like the Shield brigade) unless one wants to go to war with Russia, It’s a reasonable half measure,

    narciso (d1f714)

  81. the legality of the Assange indictment seems more interesting, I think it was section 1030 of the relevant code, that involved mannings part, since the Ellsberg disclosures, only direct figures like morison, kirikaou and sterling were found liable,

    narciso (d1f714)

  82. Thank you, Mr. Patterico, for answering my question.

    What follows can be dismissed, since I’m a partisan hack, but however thin and overblown the allegations against DOJ operatives may be they are of significantly more substance than whatever launched the SC on Trump. In a fit of rare honesty — fittingly, to peddle a book in a money grab — McCabe let the mask slip.

    Munroe (49b7dc)

  83. unlike the last administration, which buried the investigation into Mikhail lesin’s death, which has echoes of what happened to general krivitsky, this what brought whittaker chambers out of the cold,

    narciso (d1f714)

  84. one has to doubt the conclusions, based on the analysis found here,

    https://apelbaum.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/who-done-it/

    narciso (d1f714)

  85. “The hero will be the “patriot” with the courage- and balls- to just leak the whole [expletive deleted] thing, warts and all. But in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a shortage of [expletive deleted, expletive deleted, expletive deleted] ‘patriots’ in the three branches of American government these days.”

    I see that DCSCA has immediately come around on the principled Wikileaks position now that it’s his political horse getting gored. Great job!

    Chin-po (643072)

  86. Patterico – Thanks for your response. I read your blog regularly. I’m a fan. I stopped today’s post, after the first line. Harshly criticizing Trump based on a guess of what the Mueller Report says is below your usual standard.

    David in Cal (0d5a1d)

  87. “The notion that Trump’s Helsinki comments were “everyday diplomatic communication” is pretty unusual even for Trump fans. Do you actually stand by that characterization?”

    As much as the reset button, the ‘I’ll have more flexibility after the election’, and various other State shenanigans that continual lack of concrete action on have easily convinced me are simply the realpolitik of the day. You don’t get to get your dander up over only the latest VIOLATIONS when they’re convenient for your narrative.

    And no President is obligated to respect an intel and secret police community that had even then shown itself as insubordinate, seditious, and traitorous.

    “At this point, I’m unconvinced there is any reason to investigate the “oranges” of an investigation that, to me, seems to have been mandatory given the damning circumstances that presented themselves.”

    “Frankly, I have no interest in debating with you, Munroe. Your history of comments here does not show you to be someone worth interacting with. ”

    Ah, I see:

    When you take action, it’s because of your malign and secret human motivations, your business entanglements, your hidden vices that anyone and everyone could use against you.

    When I take action, I am purely compelled by sweet reason, the ineffable motivations of history, and the discipline of my august profession, which is by definition purer than any in existence and never to be questioned by mere mortals.

    Should I lament the disrespect of such a man?

    Chin-po (3743c7)

  88. I believe Barr’s letter, specifically that Mueller didn’t find sufficient evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, but I’m guessing the report will have some harsh things to say about Stone and Manafort and Flynn, not to mention the meeting where DJTJ and Manafort and Kushner intended to collude with a Putin representative.
    We’re going to hear a lot about how Putin hacked emails and used a broad propaganda campaign to sow discord and help Trump win.
    As far as obstruction goes, I’m guessing Barr used a too narrow and limited definition of the term (and that interpretation happened to be conveniently favorable to Trump), which is why there is “not exonerated” in the Mueller report and evidence “on both sides of the question”. Personally, I think there’s going to be more obstruction than Barr let on.
    We’re going to get a nice rundown of all the contacts between Trump people and Putin people, and that number will be both impressive and disturbing.
    We’ll hear more about Cohen’s (and Trump’s) efforts to work a real estate deal with a hostile foreign power while Trump was running for president which, to me, was unpatriotic and un-American. It wasn’t illegal, just scuzzy.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  89. @89.

    Then: Daniel Ellsberg; “Great job!”

    Now: Helsinki.

    End of story. Again thanks for playing…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  90. mostly obstruction into the sources of the investigation, remember the commission they had over Stephan halper, longtime intelligence hanger on, who fed untruths about miss lokhova, who soft pedaled his own connections to the fsb. remember how they howled about revealing his name would compromise sources and methods, the same for the mysterious mr. mifsud, who is probably at some safe house, in the uk, in Italy or maybe the kingdom, he was the first contact that carter page played by to other officials,

    narciso (d1f714)

  91. no that’s your line, disco, now the pentagon papers, was an academic study, about the origins of the Vietnam war, almost as academic as much of WikiLeaks,

    narciso (d1f714)

  92. Not that I’m going to read the report myself, but I’m quite confident it’s going to prove everybody was right all along about everything.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  93. @92. ‘I believe Barr’s letter…’

    Which one: his ‘interview letter’ pitching woo for the AG gig or his ‘spin letter’ on a what will now be an edited, redacted report yet to be released to We The People– the folks who paid for it.

    Sleep well, America.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  94. You don’t have much faith in Americans and the American system if you applaud a Russian strongman who wants to destroy democracy.

    A classic example of party over country. It would be no different than a Democrat saying that it was worth it for Clinton to take Chinese money to beat Dole.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  95. “You will be better advised to watch what we do, not what we say.” – Attorney General John N. Mitchell, Nixon Administration, 1969

    History rhymes.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  96. 98. Party uber alles. Republicans are just as guilty of it as Democrats are, and it’s not just the politicians. It’s the voters as well.

    Gryph (08c844)

  97. BTW, regarding his SCOTUS justices, this aspect of Trump’s Presidency is mixed. Gorsuch, the originalist, was said to be pushed by Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society. Meanwhile Trump counsel Don McGahn was the force behind Kavanaugh, who was and is similar to Roberts. (In fact, Cruz warned that Kavanaugh might be an unreliable conservative jurist). Who will have Trump’s ear next time?

    DRJ (15874d) — 4/14/2019 @ 12:34 pm

    I’m not the one focusing on his judicial accomplishments and I am concerned about Kavanaugh’s potential squishiness. I do hope he took the attack from the left during his nomination personally and it keeps him from evolving as so many seem to do in DC so they can get invited to the right parties.

    Nic,

    I repeat, what hacking of elections took place. Share it. That would be extremely valuable information. Otherwise, you’re just proclaiming your partisanship for all to see.

    NJRob (c86c9f)

  98. I won’t predict or speculate about what’s in the Mueller report, because it is just that, a report on the Special Counsel’s investigations, of which there were several, some which are ongoing, with summaries of the findings. This is what we looked into, and this is what we found; these are the indictments issued and prosecutions conducted, and why; these are the indictments not issued and prosecutions not conducted, and why; these are the ongoing investigations, with indictments and prosecutions pending, and why.

    Mueller assembled a team of highly skilled lawyers and agents, experienced in organized crime and money laundering, because these activities tend to be highly sophisticated and difficult to prosecute. However, the Special Counsel’s mandate was limited in its scope. What began as a counter-intelligence investigation into Russian interference in the election, which was ongoing at the time Mueller was appointed. To a man, his team conducted themselves with the utmost integrity and professionalism. There were no leaks out of his office, none whatsoever. (Those are left to the White House and Congress, neither of which know anything.)

    Mueller’s team prepared carefully crafted summaries of their findings. They know the law and are intimately familiar with the rules regarding improper disclosure. Thus, the report was deliberately prepared for immediate release to Congress and to the public. It is highly doubtful there are very many redactions that need to be made, regarding grand jury testimony, ongoing investigations, and intelligence sources and methods. But there is no telling what AG Barr will redact, probably that which that is most embarrassing to the President, as he is his supplicant.

    The optics do not look good. Be that as it may, the entire report should be handed over to Congress and released to the public. It was written to be so.

    The indictments have been filed and the prosecutions conducted, with guilty pleas and convictions all around. (These were all of individuals that Trump himself brought into his campaign and transition team, and early administration.) Manafort, Flynn, Stone, and Cohen, among others, all clearly had corrupt intent. That Mueller declined to indict or prosecute Trump and his family is largely irrelevant; he followed DOJ policy, but did “not exonerate” him or them from obstruction of justice. That was not his call to make, rather he prepared a detailed report and left it for the DOJ and Congress to decide, as well as the American people as whole.

    I do not believe that Trump and his family conspired with Putin and the Russian government. (There is no doubt that several of their associates did, however.) But there were multiple red flags raised that warranted an investigation. Putin has always seen the Trumps and Kushners as useful idiots or willing dupes. Deeply in debt to Deutsche Bank, desperate for foreign investments into their failing properties. I’m a lot more concerned about money laundering, tax, band and wire fraud, and violations of the emoluments clause.

    That was outside the purview of the Special Counsel, but it is not outside the purview of US Attorneys and Attorneys General in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, soon to be Florida. Those are all state criminal investigations, not subject to presidential pardon, so Trump has a lot more to worry about them than he does about a release of the Mueller report.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  99. Patterico – Thanks for your response. I read your blog regularly. I’m a fan. I stopped today’s post, after the first line. Harshly criticizing Trump based on a guess of what the Mueller Report says is below your usual standard.

    The first line of my post is:

    The Mueller report should come out soon. What should we expect? I figured I’d put some of my thoughts on the site, just off the top of my head.

    Guess you read past the first line.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  100. When you take action, it’s because of your malign and secret human motivations, your business entanglements, your hidden vices that anyone and everyone could use against you.

    When I take action, I am purely compelled by sweet reason, the ineffable motivations of history, and the discipline of my august profession, which is by definition purer than any in existence and never to be questioned by mere mortals.

    Should I lament the disrespect of such a man?

    I told you not to argue about refraining from personal attacks. You did. If you can’t follow simple instructions, you don’t get to post here. Goodbye, Chin-po.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  101. There was perhaps Ukrainian free lance hackers they use the x agent. Guccifer was clearly Romanian and Bryce the head of criwdstrstrike should have known that.

    Narciso (c31c88)

  102. Chin-po is Steppe Nomad, who has also posted as Billy Madison’s Proctor and probably several other names, and has been previously banned for sock-puppetry and repeat assholishness.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  103. The people who regularly engage in abusive personal attacks CANNOT STAY AWAY.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  104. Should I lament the disrespect of such a man?

    Some would say you should seek it. Especially, Lex Luthor.

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Quotes/EnemiesEqualsGreatness

    frosty48 (007719)

  105. For an administration w/a crew of subordinates who’ve openly embraced the concept of ‘alternative facts’ and a Captain that routinely tweets mind-numbing falsehoods and misleading rants daily, you’d have to be a person either seduced by the lure of the trapping of power or a willing actor in this show. Go down the muster list; Barr’s been aboard the ‘U.S.S. Rodeo’ before.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  106. Meh, ellsberg ran with a fast crowd notably with the very fast moll of a caid (corsican mob boss) the fellow caught wind and he was spirited out of the country.

    Narciso (c31c88)

  107. Good comment (#92), Paul.

    DRJ (15874d)

  108. Mr Montagu wrote:

    You don’t have much faith in Americans and the American system if you applaud a Russian strongman who wants to destroy democracy.

    A classic example of party over country. It would be no different than a Democrat saying that it was worth it for Clinton to take Chinese money to beat Dole.

    Protecting our country from a third Democrat president in a row is putting the country first! The damage done to our country by President Obama was a subject on this site for eight long, miserable years, and much of it has not yet been — and may never be — reversed.

    We no longer have a center-right and center-left major party in this country. The Republicans have moved somewhat further right — though not far enough right for my taste — while the Democrats have gone all out leftist whacko. Even Mrs Clinton complained that 40% of the Democrats — she was speaking of Iowa, but she might as well have meant the whole country — are socialists, and if she had been elected she would have fallen right in with them, because she was never a leader, just an entitled woman who followed whatever was in fashion that day.

    Except for skirts! :)

    Perhaps the Trump presidency is putting this off for only four or eight years, but it is still a victory we need. I make exactly zero apologies for being grateful for any help we received in doing that.

    The very realistic Dana (10ea9e)

  109. Much like the kirchners in Argentina who have their own youth militia the campora, macri who has more prestige and somewhat more govt experience has tried to reverse a bakers dozen of peronist radicalism

    Narciso (c31c88)

  110. Who will have Trump’s ear next time?

    NOT Hillary Clinton.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  111. Protecting our country from a third Democrat president in a row is putting the country first!

    I agree, but not at the expense of an intervention by a hostile foreign power. It should be an American election to win or lose, without the unprecedented interference by a dictator who has consistently worked against the interests of the United States.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  112. Protecting our country from a third Democrat president in a row is putting the country first!

    Yet one of our weaker candidates got the nomination. Cruz would have wiped the floor with Hillary — he main problem would be not beating her up so badly in the debates that she got sympathy.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  113. without the unprecedented interference by a dictator who has consistently worked against the interests of the United States

    …by exposing TRUE things about Hillary and the Democrats, that they stole from the DNC’s server.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  114. Jurecic and Wittes have some good advice about how to take in the Mueller report.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  115. The actual collusion was between Clintons campaign the bulk of the press corps and the top of the intelligence community, brennan Clapper Comey and two levels down were all in her cormer.

    Narciso (c31c88)

  116. Wittes who actually violated the Law accepting comeys memo, at least the first one tell me more.

    Narciso (c31c88)

  117. @118. AS predicted; Per #65/#109: It’s already ‘screwed up’ thanks to Barr.

    Wait ’til the full report, clean, clear and unredacted is released—- in 2069.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  118. Protecting our country from a third Democrat president in a row is putting the country first!

    Are you suggesting Bush43 is a secret Democrat?
    😁
    The Republicans have moved somewhat further right — though not far enough right for my taste — while the Democrats have gone all out leftist whacko.

    I agree about the Democrats–which is why I am now registered as NPA–but the GOP is already far right: a nationalist socially conservative authoritarian party that has not quite officially repudiated classical liberalism.

    Kishnevi (35d300)

  119. @101 Rob, you seem to have misread my original comment. The summation of my comment was that I don’t find the idea that another American might be grateful for possible foreign interference to be very appropriate, as an American. At which point there was a comment regarding possible US interference in the Ukrainian elections (if the Ukrainians want to have beef with that, that’s up to them) and I answered facetiously because I considered changing the subject to the Ukrainian elections to be an unnecessary distraction and attempt to change the subject. I am sorry that you found this a difficult train of comments to follow, but the question you are asking is not a premise I put forth.

    Also, the problem is not that I am partisan, it’s that I’m not. I’m an actual independent moderate. I am uninterested in the ideological purity of anyone or which party an idea comes from, only in the practicality and effectiveness of the idea.

    And I’m bothered by the apparently number of people who can’t tolerate the idea that more Americans might disagree with them than agree with them and are willing to cheat in order to win instead of convincing more people to vote their way.

    Nic (896fdf)

  120. 92. Paul Montagu (7968e9) — 4/14/2019 @ 3:20 pm

    not to mention the meeting where DJTJ and Manafort and Kushner intended to collude with a Putin representative.

    They didn’t intend to collude, because there was nothing they were going to do in return. They intended to hear what the chief prosecutor of Russia had discovered about Hillary. Which could sound like maybe it was somebody working against Putin in Russia. But it was presented to DJTJ as part of Russia’s effort to help the Trump campaign. Except – whom would he have been investigating?

    There were all these people in the room because after hearing it they were going to try to determine if it was true, and figure out what to do with it and whom to tell, and maybe whom they needed to tell. We’re missing some communicaton between eople in the campaign. It cold have ben veral, by email or n person. But somehow a meeting by some Russian(s) just with DJTJ became ameeting wih Jared Kushner and PAul Manafort, too. And if they – the Russians – initially intended to tell some lies to DJTJ about Hillary Clinton, while cautioning him also to keep it confidential, they backed off.

    We’re going to hear a lot about how Putin hacked emails and used a broad propaganda campaign to sow discord and help Trump win.

    That we will, except it will say “Russia” and not “Putin.” I think also it will shy away from saying the goal at any stage was to help Trump win.

    Gawain’s Ghost @102: Do you mean bank fraud? You typed band fraud. The emolumments clause issue is kind of ridiculous – what they’re saying is not what it means.

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  121. Nic,

    My mention of Ukraine was about them interfering on behalf of Hillary during the election, not our interfering in their election.

    Even politico admitted as much though they tried to minimize the impact.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

    NJRob (c86c9f)

  122. – It cold have ben verbal, by email or in person. But somehow a meeting by some Russian(s) just with DJTJ became a meeting with Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, too. (but we don’t know how, unless DJTTJ explained that somewhere)

    Sammy Finkelman (30b6b6)

  123. The evidence is really week on that score, but it serves ths purpose of deplatforming who one doesn’t like (lock out gab and dissenter) so only the pale blank pages remain, the difference between a link appearing is a few characters of code.

    Narciso (c31c88)

  124. “Considering that the number of elections in the world that we have NOT interfered in could be counted by a Trump supporter without him needing to take off his shoes, we really need to stop being “Shocked! Shocked! that Russia tried to interfere in ours and just deal with it. For crying out loud! Waaah!”

    nk (dbc370)

    This… very much this!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  125. Mr M wrote:

    Protecting our country from a third Democrat president in a row is putting the country first!

    Yet one of our weaker candidates got the nomination. Cruz would have wiped the floor with Hillary — he main problem would be not beating her up so badly in the debates that she got sympathy.

    As it happens, I voted for Senator Cruz in the primary . . . because he was the last candidate other than Mr Trump still in the race. Of course, by that time, Mr Trump had the nomination virtually locked up. My first contribution went to Scott Walker, but he was gone before the Iowa caucuses. My next two contributions went to Carly Fiorina, because I thought she’d make the best President of the remaining candidates, but she fizzled out, too.

    Senator Cruz may have had all of the right ideas, but he’s such an unlikable sort that he cannot even get along with his Republican colleagues. Could he have defeated Mrs Clinton? Well, only the Lord knows, and he isn’t telling.

    I will admit it: I once said that we had sixteen candidates who could have beaten Mrs Clinton, but went ahead and nominated the seventeenth, the one who couldn’t win. Yeah, I got that wrong. I would have preferred another Republican to have won the nomination, but that wasn’t how things worked out. I was elated that Mrs Clinton got to remain a private citizen, and have been very surprised at how good a President Mr Trump has turned out to be.

    The patriotic Dana (10ea9e)

  126. @126 If someone would have been grateful for that, it also would have been a problem for me.

    Nic (896fdf)

  127. Yes as haiku did and hoagie and myself and put other Philadelphia resident I’m guess as well as Steve 57.

    Narciso (96cbba)

  128. Well let’s see the Italian election in 48, some say entrenched the mob, for nearly 50 years the French election in 47 for similar reasons the south vietnamese ones in 56,

    Narciso (96cbba)

  129. They didn’t intend to collude, because there was nothing they were going to do in return.

    You don’t know what they were going to do or not do, or what they were willing to offer in return for her dirt.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  130. Per Patterico’s ‘party favors’… Barr is smelling quite ‘Von Braunish’– heavily seasoned w/a dash of Debus, a sprig of Rudolph and just a pinch of Dornberger.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  131. MD in Philly, narciso?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  132. No that would be Mueller under weld supervision allowing whitey bulger to run rampant, but what do you care you’re like bill Murray in scrooge, you think thos is all a game, the lives that Mueller and co ruined in Boston at the Arthur Andersen headquarters what does it matter.

    Narciso (96cbba)

  133. The U.S.-Mexican border is essentially wide open.

    Why? Because there is a general expectation in Mexico and Latin America that American immigration law is unenforced. Or it is so bizarre that simple illegal entry almost always ensures temporary legal residence, pending an asylum hearing.

    A scheduled asylum hearing, in turn, is seen by border crossers as a mere formality to be ignored. The popular perception on the border, then, is to stick one foot illegally onto U.S. soil, and, presto, win permanent residence for you and any family members who wish to follow.

    In an age of 500 sanctuary city and county jurisdictions, few illegal aliens believe they will ever be deported permanently, even if they have been apprehended committing serious crimes. There is also a general perception among would-be illegal entrants that prominent Democrats and progressives welcome their massive influxes as useful and will do their best to ensure illegal immigration continues unabated.

    There is also the assumption that the greater the chaos at the border, the less likely Congress will take bipartisan action to end it. After all, 2020 is an election year and progressives are in no mood to hand Trump the semblance of a legislative victory. This fact is also known to would-be border crossers.

    Illegal alien families sense that they are vital to progressive agendas of fundamentally transforming the country by importing first-generation, loyal constituents—a sentiment that is slowly replacing the prior idea of mostly young men coming to work off the books. In an increasingly tribal America, they expect on arrival to be recalibrated instantly from Mexican nationals without any experience of America into “Latinos” and “Hispanics” with historical grievances against the majority population of United States, to be remedied by reparatory hiring and admission, and facilitated by ethnic operatives.

    Some polls in the past have suggested that a third of Mexico’s population would immigrate to the United States if possible. The percentages of would-be immigrants from Central America are likely to be even higher. In theory, 50 million could cross the border in the next two decades, which poses the question: what are the theoretical limits on illegal immigration?

    When would it cease? When 50 million or 60 million or maybe 80 million foreign nationals entered illegally, without meritocratic criteria or much diversity?

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/04/14/are-there-any-limits-to-illegal-immigration/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  134. Missed the quotation marks at each end of that… read it all at the link, the wisdom VDH is known for.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  135. given that Trump is a huge personal fan of the murderous autocrat Putin, as evidenced by his sycophantic statements at Helsinki and elsewhere.

    I guess “evidenced” is different than “Proven”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  136. ‘VonBrauner-Barr’ announces spin-presser in conjunction w/redacted/edited version of ‘Mueller Report’ release on Thurs.,; Herr Trump says he may hold second spin-presser afterwards. No spin; eggs roll, tweets Easter Bunny.

    “The gray, middle America– they’re suckers.” – The Big Dick 5-4-72

    DCSCA (797bc0)


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