Patterico's Pontifications

4/30/2019

Rosenstein Resigns

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:11 am



#BEZOSFAKENEWSPOST:

In his resignation letter to Trump, Rosenstein praised the president for his personal charm and policy goals. “As I submit my resignation effective on May 11, I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve; for the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations; and for the goals you set in your inaugural address: patriotism, unity, safety, education, and prosperity, because ‘a nation exists to serve its citizens,’ ” Rosenstein wrote.

He ended his letter with a sentence that asserted the Justice Department’s independence, before closing with a phrase from Trump’s campaign: “We keep the faith, we follow the rules, and we always put America first.”

Here’s an example of Trump’s courtesy and humor, as well as putting the rules first:

Courtesy! Rule following! It’s what Trump is all about.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

148 Responses to “Rosenstein Resigns”

  1. mr. trump the president also known as donald has always been a class act and that’s why i love him so much

    nk (dbc370)

  2. I know you miss him. Curiously, I don’t.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  3. Of Rosenstein and Trump, only one was actually trying to put the other behind bars, and only one signed off on a bogus FISA application. Rules!

    Munroe (1b112d)

  4. I’m pleasantly surprised that he “landed the plane” and got out on his own terms without surrendering character or principle. I’d like to see him back when the environment becomes less politically hostile.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  5. Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller (and giving him a blank check to look into Obstruction). Was an outrage. Was his comment about wearing a wire really a joke? And to top it off, he’d only been DAG for 3 weeks! He should have been fired. Or reigned in by Sessions. Sadly for us, Sessions was a Joke AG – who cared more about Diane Feinstein liking him, than protecting Trump and the causes he believed in.

    After a while, of course, there was no point in firing Rosenstein. And keeping him on, after November 2018, was the best thing. Now, maybe Barr can appoint a DAG who actually supports Trump, as opposed to sabotaging him.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  6. Rosenstein’s departure was in the works at the beginning of the year, a soon as Barr was confirmed:

    “The attorney general’s balls are in the deputy attorney general’s pocket, and I’m not putting my balls in anyone’s pocket I don’t know,” Barr recalled saying in a 2001 interview with the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/09/politics/rosenstein-out-justice-department/index.html

    nk (dbc370)

  7. That Trump… he’s gotta go! Release the hounds!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  8. Sigh. It’s “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of Covfefe!”

    nk (dbc370)

  9. Arnold Stang is gone!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  10. Sigh. Is it so difficult for each party to find decent men and women to run for office? I know that, historically, things have always been tinged the way we see it today. But we *have* gotten meaner and snarkier and more hypocritical. All of us.

    You know, this scene used to make me laugh, Patterico:

    https://youtu.be/3Ctgn7kKYHo

    It doesn’t, any longer.

    Simon Jester (e67ea7)

  11. 10. Maybe that’s the whole problem. Maybe the system is so broken, sociopathy is a requirement for running for office.

    Gryph (08c844)

  12. Now that the dust has settled, Rosenstein was proven wrong. Moreover, his actions damaged the country. It may have been unwittingly but I have my doubts. The attacks against Trump by high-level DOJ/FBI/CIA officials were political. These attacks were undertaken by an unholy alliance of these corrupt officials and the media. They defend their actions by pointing to indictments and convictions that resulted from this witch hunt. The results, however, include nothing to support the narrative that Trump’s relationship with Russia was treasonous.

    We now are in extra innings with the House and the media continuing to abuse the Constitution in order to overturn the election of 2016. Clinton beat impeachment with a supportive media. Trump will not have such an advantage. On the other hand, Trump’s ability to push back in today’s dynamic media world will even the playing field. That aggressive aspect of his personality that rubs people the wrong way might be what saves him. Or maybe not. We shall see how far the demigods of the House and media take it. They don’t fear losing an impeachment fight because they see it as an opportunity to throw mud.

    AZ Bob (885937)

  13. Rosenstein was complicit in attempting to drive Trump out of office using false evidence. He forced Trump to waste his time defending himself. He is scum.

    Corky Boyd (3c237c)

  14. The thing that I simply cannot get my progressive friends to see is that the rules they want to apply to DJT can be applied to candidates they like. It’s like talking to a brick wall. I remind them of what happened to Robespierre and they look at me blankly.

    Simon Jester (e67ea7)

  15. Courtesy! Rule following! It’s what Trump is all about.

    You left out telling it like it is!

    Dave (1bb933)

  16. If all that matters are the results because everyone knows who are the good/bad guys, why bother to have investigations? If someone you support wins an election, no investigations allowed!!

    Of course, no one will feel this way the next time a Democrat gets elected.

    DRJ (15874d)

  17. “If all that matters are the results….”

    As if NeverTrump has any intention of just taking the L.

    Munroe (2673ab)

  18. Watch this one-minute video for why Trump might have wished he had found an Arnold Stang in Rod Rosenstein, besides his looks. (Although he might have finally found him in Stephen Miller, despite his looks.)

    nk (dbc370)

  19. You are mistaken, Munroe.

    DRJ (15874d)

  20. I know everything here is determined by like or dislike of Trump, but if we can be serious a moment.

    He ended his letter with a sentence that asserted the Justice Department’s independence

    Where, exactly, in the Constitution is that? Because my read of the Constitution is that the entire Executive branch is subordinate to one elected official, the President. (The Constitutions of some states do provide for a separate office of the Attorney General, and some are elected. Not so in the U.S. Constitution.)

    Now let me follow up on that. Suppose, hypothetically, that Mr. Rosenstein, or for that matter, Mr. Comey or Mr. Mueller, did a poor job in their respective positions. Who were they ultimately answerable to? Who was authorized to fire them, in the extreme?

    If the answer is, no one, then we do not have a government of the people, we have a government of unelected bureaucrats.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  21. @16 Criticizing one investigation isn’t criticizing them all. Are you referring to a specific comment?

    Frosty Fp (e5f48a)

  22. @20 We’re only about 5 minutes away from someone suggesting that the DOJ from the previous administration always investigate the incoming administration.

    Frosty Fp (e5f48a)

  23. #14 The thing that I simply cannot get my progressive friends to see is that the rules they want to apply to DJT can be applied to candidates they like. It’s like talking to a brick wall. I remind them of what happened to Robespierre and they look at me blankly.

    Simon Jester (e67ea7) — 4/30/2019 @ 8:08 am

    I’m running into this as well and it’s surreal. They don’t understand the precedent they’re pushing in the zeal to get Trump.

    whembly (b9d411)

  24. Easy answer: They can be impeached by Congress like any other officer of the United States.

    More complicated answer: Even though the Attorney General, FBI Director, and Special Counsel are under the command of the President, their positions were created by Congress, which Congress also delineated their powers and their duties. So there’s a tension there. The President has the right to command them but they can only do what Congress authorized them, and is paying them, to do.

    nk (dbc370)

  25. @20 Bored Lawyer, It’s in there under the parts about right to due process and equal protection under the law. We’ve determined that the way to ensure those constitutional principles is for LEO not to act as political instruments for the executive branch.
    Removing someone that’s doing a poor job is fine. Removing someone who is doing their job properly, in accordance with department policy and faithfully following the law isn’t fine. Removing them because you think the investigation makes you look bad is very much wrong.

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  26. #22 @20 We’re only about 5 minutes away from someone suggesting that the DOJ from the previous administration always investigate the incoming administration.

    Frosty Fp (e5f48a) — 4/30/2019 @ 10:01 am

    I think this is where we’re at already… not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

    whembly (b9d411)

  27. Easy answer: They can be impeached by Congress like any other officer of the United States.

    But this means that once confirmed, the President can never remove any officer. While the Reconstructionist Congress thought that was the case (and impeached President Johnson for that reason), it is simply a misreading of the Constitution. The officers, thought confirmed by the Senate, are answerable to the President. He has the right to fire them without Congressional approval. Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926).

    More complicated answer: Even though the Attorney General, FBI Director, and Special Counsel are under the command of the President, their positions were created by Congress, which Congress also delineated their powers and their duties. So there’s a tension there. The President has the right to command them but they can only do what Congress authorized them, and is paying them, to do.

    But that is not my question. Yes, the Executive branch can only execute the laws passed by Congress. But that, by necessity, is pitched at a high level of generality. The DOJ is charged with investigating and prosecuting federal crimes (among other things). How it goes about doing it, and what to prioritize, are Executive branch decisions.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  28. @ 5 @14 and @23
    A crime was committed that had a noticeable impact on our Presidential election. There was some evidence that people involved in the campaign may have been involved in some way.
    The President fired the head of FBI and stated ON TV that part of the reason was to stop the investigation of that crime.

    A respected former head of the FBI, a lifelong member of the president’s party and a decorated war veteran, was appointed special counsel to investigate the crime and anything related to that crime.

    The report of that investigation found minimal evidence that the President was involved in the crime but laid out significant evidence that the president tried to obstruct the investigation and obliquely stated that congress should consider that evidence.

    Seems pretty above board to me.

    If you want Trump to investigate Hillary you should Tweet him. Personally, I wouldn’t mind one bit so long as it’s carried out fairly and according to existing policy. IIRC the IG already looked into the previous investigation and didn’t find any improper actions but maybe Barr will see it differently.

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  29. Bored Lawyer, isn’t the logical conclusion of your position that the president can use the justice department in any way they please? Let their friends get away with crimes, maliciously prosecute their enemies? Etc?

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  30. It’s in there under the parts about right to due process and equal protection under the law.

    Nonsense. Federal officers (appointed ones, I mean) do not have a vested right in their positions. They can be fired at any time. Perhaps if a president fired someone because of his race, there might arguably be an Equal Protection issue, but most firings do not come under that.

    We’ve determined that the way to ensure those constitutional principles is for LEO not to act as political instruments for the executive branch.

    Who is “we?” Where was that “determined?” Not in my Constitution.

    Removing someone that’s doing a poor job is fine. Removing someone who is doing their job properly, in accordance with department policy and faithfully following the law isn’t fine. Removing them because you think the investigation makes you look bad is very much wrong.

    These are fine moral sentiments, but that avoids the question of who makes the judgment call.

    Your certainly concede that if the President and a cabinet officer disagree about a policy issue, the President gets his way. If the President and the Secty. of State disagree on the best Iran policy, for example, the President gets the final call. The SOS can always resign.

    Same applies to the DOJ. What priorities should be made in prosecution? How should the DOJ deal with the conflict in marijuana laws of the U.S. and many states? These are all policies issues which, ultimately, are the President’s to make.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  31. Bored Lawyer, isn’t the logical conclusion of your position that the president can use the justice department in any way they please? Let their friends get away with crimes, maliciously prosecute their enemies? Etc?

    Morally, no. Legally, yes, subject to impeachment, re-election, and, in the case of prosecution, review by the Court system (including, in theory, the grand jury, which I recognize today is a joke.)

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  32. Legally, yes, subject to impeachment, re-election, and, in the case of prosecution, review by the Court system (including, in theory, the grand jury, which I recognize today is a joke.)

    I don’t disagree, because that could have been the scenario here as well. Trump could have put the kibosh on the special counsel appointment from the get go, fired Rosenstein for even thinking about it, fired Sessions for recusing himself, ordered his new FBI Director to investigate only who was responsible for the fake Steele dossier, and taken his chances in the courts (either now or when he left office), and in the political arenas of both the public and Congress. But he did not.

    nk (dbc370)

  33. I don’t disagree, because that could have been the scenario here as well. Trump could have put the kibosh on the special counsel appointment from the get go, fired Rosenstein for even thinking about it, fired Sessions for recusing himself, ordered his new FBI Director to investigate only who was responsible for the fake Steele dossier, and taken his chances in the courts (either now or when he left office), and in the political arenas of both the public and Congress. But he did not.

    Which suggests that these other checks do have some significant weight in the real world.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  34. It’s in there under the parts about right to due process and equal protection under the law.
    Nonsense. Federal officers (appointed ones, I mean) do not have a vested right in their positions. They can be fired at any time. Perhaps if a president fired someone because of his race, there might arguably be an Equal Protection issue, but most firings do not come under that.

    I was unclear. Because the target of investigations have the right to due process and equal protection under the law the United States has operated with an independent Federal Law Enforcement apparatus. There may be other ways to achieve this, but it’s the one that’s been used during my lifetime.

    Bored Lawyer, isn’t the logical conclusion of your position that the president can use the justice department in any way they please? Let their friends get away with crimes, maliciously prosecute their enemies? Etc?

    Morally, no. Legally, yes, subject to impeachment, re-election, and, in the case of prosecution, review by the Court system (including, in theory, the grand jury, which I recognize today is a joke.)

    Seems like a messy solution for Congress to impeach the president any time they don’t like something the Justice department does/doesn’t do. Probably easier to continue the tradition of law enforcement not being quasi-independent. Especially since I don’t want the next Democratic president criminalizing social issues they don’t like.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  35. 3 and 13, but I suspect you guessed that.

    DRJ (15874d)

  36. Seems like a messy solution for Congress to impeach the president any time they don’t like something the Justice department does/doesn’t do.

    But mere disagreement is not what we are talking about. First of all, Congress does have control over the DOJ both in terms of substantive law and budgeting. If Congress were to legalize marijuana, say, then nothing the AG or DOJ thinks is going to help — no criminal law, no prosecution.

    We are talking about acting corruptly (in the loose moral sense). And that Congress can impeach someone for.

    Especially since I don’t want the next Democratic president criminalizing social issues they don’t like.

    Except that, again, Congress has to act. The President can’t make up crimes.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  37. “A crime was committed that had a noticeable impact on our Presidential election.”

    I’m curious… why do you think the 0bama Administration all but ignored this dastardly crime? Dereliction of duty? Incompetence? Malevolence? All the above?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  38. 18… a bonus from the archives! The guy was much loved back then, nk.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  39. Bored Lawyer, Can the president order that the Justice department repeatedly investigate a political opponent for random crimes? For the same of the example lets assume that there is no probably cause to investigate.

    Can the president order them not to investigate a specific crime where there is probable cause?
    I don’t mean through a policy such as stating that marijuana possession or insider trading won’t be prosecuted due to higher priorities.

    I mean specifically saying that a individual won’t be investigated / prosecuted. Let’s make it very easy and assume that there is very good probably cause for the investigation and that the investigation finds very good evidence of a crime.

    Time123 (d1bf33)

  40. My God, Orange Man Bad! https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1122565401509072897

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  41. “A crime was committed that had a noticeable impact on our Presidential election.”

    I’m curious… why do you think the 0bama Administration all but ignored this dastardly crime? Dereliction of duty? Incompetence? Malevolence? All the above?

    I don’t know if “all but ignored” is an accurate characterization, but he didn’t do enough. He didn’t do nearly enough.

    I think it was cowardice and political considerations.

    I’ve read in several places that Obama went to GOP congressional leadership looking for bi-partisan support before he took action / made a public statement. McConnel refused to go along and Obama went soft because he was afraid that it would give Trump an excuse to say the election wasn’t fair. Obama should have manned up, gone public with the information and pushed back hard on Russia. But he didn’t because he feared the reaction from Trump and the GOP.

    I think it’s easy to find examples of where Obama lacked political courage. In most cases I think this was a good thing since it held him back. In this case I think he royally screwed up.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  42. Where, exactly, in the Constitution is that? Because my read of the Constitution is that the entire Executive branch is subordinate to one elected official, the President.

    Fortunately our government is not, in fact, a monarchy, “your read of the Constitution” notwithstanding.

    Neither the Department of Justice nor the Attorney General nor any Deputy Attorney General are mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. Like every other department and officer of the executive branch, apart from the President and Vice President, they are all the creations of Congress and its laws.

    Dave (1bb933)

  43. Rosenstein: “I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve; for the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations.”

    Here’s an example of Trump’s courtesy and humor…

    No contradiction.

    He said “in our personal conversations.” He didn’t say “in your tweets.”

    And he didn’t say “always,” he said “often.”

    As for “We keep the faith, we follow the rules” the “we” refers to the Department of Justice.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  44. Fortunately our government is not, in fact, a monarchy, “your read of the Constitution” notwithstanding.

    That is curious, since in my read of the Constitution, there are three co-equal branches of government, each of which check the other. There are many things a President cannot do — declare some activity a crime, for example. Or put someone in jail for a crime without a trial before an Article III court and a jury.

    The issue here is who controls the Executive branch? Who determines that someone is not doing their job, and can either order him or her to do something else, or be fired?

    It’s easy for some bureaucrat to say, we put America first. Sorry, everyone thinks their visions of what is good for America is the best. That is why we have elections. If you don’t like what the President is doing, then say so, and then if not, resign.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  45. Democrats say $2 trillion for infrastructure agreed to after meeting with Trump

    “It was a very constructive meeting,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said after the meeting. “We agreed on a number, which was very, very, good, $2 trillion for infrastructure. Originally, we had started a little lower and even the President was eager to push it up to $2 trillion. That is a very good thing.”

    Two or three times the size of Obama’s Porkulus! Woo-hoo!

    Dave (1bb933)

  46. Bored Lawyer, Can the president order that the Justice department repeatedly investigate a political opponent for random crimes? For the same of the example lets assume that there is no probably cause to investigate.

    Can the president order them not to investigate a specific crime where there is probable cause?
    I don’t mean through a policy such as stating that marijuana possession or insider trading won’t be prosecuted due to higher priorities.

    I mean specifically saying that a individual won’t be investigated / prosecuted. Let’s make it very easy and assume that there is very good probably cause for the investigation and that the investigation finds very good evidence of a crime.

    Same answer I gave before. Yes, and yes. Subject to impeachment, re-election, and court review in the case of criminal prosecution (or even civil action, for that matter).

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  47. While citing this is a logical fallacy (tu quo quo) but you are probably going to hear about it:

    You know, Joe Biden didn’t just want to, didn’t just try, but actually got a prosecutor who, among other things, was going after his son * fired. And boasted about it. Maybe he was a malicious proecutor but Trump also claimed it was witch hunt.

    * The public criticism of the prosecutor had been that he was protecting corruption but he now claims one of his probes possibly involved his son.

    The catch is, that was not a U.S. prosecutor but a prosecutor in Ukraine.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/04/report-biden-forced-ouster-of-prosecutor-investigating-his-sons-firm.php

    In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

    “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.

    “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  48. 5. rcocean (1a839e) — 4/30/2019 @ 7:34 am

    Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller (and giving him a blank check to look into Obstruction). Was an outrage.

    McCabe had just opened up a criminal investigation into Trump.

    His alternatives were:

    1. To shut down the investigation, and be accused of an unheard of interferenece by a political appointee into a criminal investigation by the FBI, or maybe even of obstruction of justice himself.

    2. To let Andrew McCabe remain in charge of the investigation he had started as to whether Trump firing Comey was obstruction of Justice.

    3. To hope Trump nominated someone perceived to be above reproach to be the FBI Director who would know enough to take McCabe off the case.

    He (probably) tried to get Trump to name Mueller. failing that, he put Mueller in charge of thsi anyway.

    Was his comment about wearing a wire really a joke? And to top it off, he’d only been DAG for 3 weeks! He should have been fired. Or reigned in by Sessions. Sadly for us, Sessions was a Joke AG – who cared more about Diane Feinstein liking him, than protecting Trump and the causes he believed in.

    After a while, of course, there was no point in firing Rosenstein. And keeping him on, after November 2018, was the best thing. Now, maybe Barr can appoint a DAG who actually supports Trump, as opposed to sabotaging him.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  49. “The thing that I simply cannot get my progressive friends to see is that the rules they want to apply to DJT can be applied to candidates they like. It’s like talking to a brick wall. I remind them of what happened to Robespierre and they look at me blankly.

    Judging by some of the Antifa etc. idiots I’ve seen I’m sure some are looking forward to our version of The Terror.
    _

    harkin (a741df)

  50. While citing this is a logical fallacy (tu quo quo) but you are probably going to hear about it

    It is only a fallacy if you use what Biden did to justify what Trump did. It is not a fallacy if you ask those who attack Trump why they are not equally disturbed by what Biden did (and openly admitted to).

    In a prior post I said, that Biden’s slogan can be: Vote for the Other Dirty Old Man.

    We can add to that: Vote for the Other Dirty Old Man and Conniving Crook.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  51. 23. whembly (b9d411) — 4/30/2019 @ 10:05 am

    They don’t understand the precedent they’re pushing in the zeal to get Trump.

    Those Democrats, or the ones creating the talking points, think they know how to manipulate the system so that doesn’t happen.

    I mean it’s not happening now.. Why should it happen with another Republican President other than Trump?

    I am still waiting for someone to open an investigation into the Waco fire.

    There was a leaked inside story about what people in DOJ were hearing that was printed on April 26, 1993 that I think we can safely say was a lie (there was no clearly audible tape in which the Davidians can be heard spilling accelerants, just an “enhanced” tape which was very unclear.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1993/04/26/us/last-hours-in-waco-a-special-report-inside-the-cult-fire-and-terror-on-final-day.html

    It probably can be proven to be a pack of lies.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  52. The “talk’ his followers supposedly admire usually revolves around immature tantrums and acerbic tweets defaming those who oppose him or his vain attempts to substantiate his paranoid conspiracy theories. His existence is unmolested by the rumblings of a conscience or soul and is in collusion with what is the worst in us. Which lastly brings us to ask exactly what values and principles of ours is he actually protecting and preserving from the left when his actions prove he obviously hasn’t any?

    But then again he is known to have said “I love the uneducated”

    The Conservative Curmudgeon (c118b3)

  53. The thing that I simply cannot get my progressive friends to see is that the rules they want to apply to DJT can be applied to candidates they like. It’s like talking to a brick wall. I remind them of what happened to Robespierre and they look at me blankly.

    Did not see this, but this is the rub. All of the supposed rules and norms that Trump broke mostly seem to be ad hoc, and easily discarded when the next Democrat is elected. Hardly anyone seems to want to agree on a set of rules that apply equally to everyone.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  54. “But he didn’t because he feared the reaction from Trump and the GOP”

    Thanks for your response. 0bama wasn’t known for a desire to secure bi-partisan support for much of anything and he would most likely savor, not fear…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  55. In this Trump serves the useful purpose of demonstrating why government NEEDS to be limited. Not only should we stress this, but the GOP members in Congress should use this opportunity to join with the Democrats and reduce Presidential powers. Because the day may come when AOC, or someone like her, is President.

    Kevin M (fa633b)

  56. Where, exactly, in the Constitution is that? Because my read of the Constitution is that the entire Executive branch is subordinate to one elected official, the President.

    Exactly. That’s why JFK made RFK his Attorney General. Its why LBJ put his buddy in the office. Its why Nixon gave it to John Mitchell. Its why Alberto Gonzales and Eric Holder got appointed. According to the Mueller report Trump kept bringing this up, and his backstabbing AG and WH Counsel kept being horrified. The DoJ isn’t supposed to break the law because they POTUS tells them to. But they aren’t a fourth branch of Government and their legal beagle interpretations of the DoJ regulations don’t supersede what the Boss of the Executive branch wants.

    Ask a lawyer what the Constitution means, and you get three opinions. Please stop acting like the POTUS isn’t the boss of DoJ just because of your “legal Interpretation”. We can all read History and the Constitution.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  57. I’m still angry over James Comey. The Chutzpah of that guy! As POTUS, Trump calls him up in April 2017, and says “Hey, you’ve told me I’m not the target of the investigation, Could you PLEASE tell the public that? Its hurting my relations with other Countries”.

    And Comey says “We’ll see what we can do” Then Two Weeks later, Trump calls him back and says “Hey, done anything about getting the word out that I’m not the target?”

    And Comey – according to his own notes – tells Trump not to call him again. Tells Trump that he only takes orders from the DAG, and that if Trump wants to pursue the matter, Trump should have his lawyer call the DAG. The arrogance of this Guy – telling the POTUS not to talk to him directly!

    I would have fired him right then and there.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  58. Here’s the mistake the founding fathers made. They thought the 3 branches would balance each other. They assumed no branch would give up power to the other 2 without a fight. They never expected the Congress and POTUS to “offload” issues they didn’t want to deal with to the Judiciary. Or for that Congressmen would scam their constituents by telling them they were going to do X, while putting Judging in charge who would do NOT X.

    Now, we even have the lawyers acting like DoJ is a 4th Branch and can tell the POTUS what to do. Incredible!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  59. @53

    All of the supposed rules and norms that Trump broke mostly seem to be ad hoc, and easily discarded when the next Democrat is elected. Hardly anyone seems to want to agree on a set of rules that apply equally to everyone.

    The last D weaponized the IRS and corrupted the DOJ. The next D will do all of the things they are worried about Trump doing. We’ve already seen this story. The last D complained loudly and often about the previous R droning people, torturing people, going to war, spending too much money, etc. and then he stepped right into the role and droned more people, kept torturing people, expanded the wars, and spent more money.

    The norms aren’t.

    Frosty Fp (e5f48a)

  60. @57 winner winner chicken dinner.

    I fail to understand how someone can know about Comey and still consider him an honorable person. Comey is the poster child for why the DOJ is rotten at the core.

    Frosty Fp (e5f48a)

  61. Was his comment about wearing a wire really a joke?

    I don’t think it precisely was a joke. I think the way to understand what Rosenstein has said was that it was a rhetorical question.

    The business about the 25th amendment has been specifically said to not be at all the way that conversation went. Rosenstein couldn’t have been counting up votes, except as a way to argue with Mccabe or whoever.

    Rosenstein keeps too much confidential. It would help if he actually went into what precisely happened. Anyway Rosenstein convinced Trump that the leak about it was an attempt by bad people to get him fired.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  62. I looked more carefully about that Biden pressure and it seems like it is not at all clear that Biden had any idea his son was apotential target – or that he in fact was.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  63. I don’t see this as a coup attempt, I see it as the predictable result of a half century of “political reform”, where political activity increasingly became rule-bound. There is a suffocating legal edifice, where an increasing number of decisions that politicians, bureaucrats and other government employees are defined by law, regulation or other rule. It was inevitable that Trump would run afoul of this.

    We may have a balance of power that makes it difficult to pass new laws, but it is TRIVIAL to pass new regulations, and overturning a regulation takes a new law. Presidential power over the executive agencies is being reduced every year by courts, sometimes Congress, and often by the regulators themselves. This doesn’t reduce GOVERNMENT’S power, just our ability to affect it. Only when the minders in the system agree, is Presidential action acceptable. One can create rights for “Dreamers” by EO, but cancelling the same is blocked.

    So our politics becomes more and more extreme and polarized as we attempt to change the course of a government that is further and further from our control.

    Trump fired Comey and it was not clear if he had violated this edifice of rules, because his yap was open. So, as a denizen of this edifice, Rosenstein was obligated to do what the rules called for in this situation, and appoint a special prosecutor, who would make sure that all concerned were toeing all the lines.

    Trump, of course, was elected to smash many of these rules (so, btw, was Obama) but unlike Obama he had no training in, or respect for, said rules. It is unsurprising the edifice tried to crush him, like good T-cells would.

    The Deep State is not the people, it’s a system that was created following the scandals of the 70’s, so that government could do no wrong, but instead makes it hard for government to change or even act to deal with new conditions. Trump is not the ideal person to bring this structure down, as he is more likely to remain tangled in the web, but someone has to, and soon.

    It is now 25 years since Philip K Howard wrote the seminal “Death of Common Sense” (use Patterico’s link) describing this problem, and we are now 25 years further adding to the problem.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  64. Rosenstein “asserted the Justice Department’s independence…” unlike that of the previous administration.

    AZ Bob (885937)

  65. And Comey says “We’ll see what we can do”

    What he actually said was: the FBI director doesn’t decide whether publicly announce that someone is or isn’t under investigation – that is the Attorney General’s job. I’ll ask the acting AG for his decision on this.

    And when Trump called back, Comey said that he had done what he agreed to do, hadn’t received instructions from the Acting AG to issue any statement, and that since he (Comey) was not the one who would make the decision, Trump should have the WH Counsel contact the people at DOJ who would make the decision.

    Dave (26d9bf)

  66. Meanwhile….


    BNO News
    @BNONews
    BREAKING: CNN International has been taken off the air in Venezuela
    __ _

    David Burge
    @iowahawkblog
    They warned me that an illegitimate puppet regime colluding with Russia would mow down the resistance and take CNN off the air, and they were right

    _

    harkin (a741df)

  67. What I want to know is: Is the attempt today in Venezuela to topple Maduro, well planned, or a Cuban trap, or neither? It’s still going on so it’s probably not a Cuban trap. Maybe the people who attempted it drew some inspiration and hope from Sudan. But Sudan’s army was the only force there. Maduro has Cubas and Russians and whatnot, but not too many. Or maybe we should say the Cuban government (and its clients) have him. Maduro brings no skills to this. We could get a standoff. (Maduro will lose a Civil War because other countries could intervene when foreign forces are used.)

    In other news: ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi resurfaces in a video with a bedraggled beard, unlike the way his beard was in 2014. I think this is attempt by state sponsers to create what appearsd to be a credible source of blame, and was hastily arranged.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/baghdadi-alive-shows-new-isis-video/588313/

    There’s no way any organization like ISIS can do anything now in secret without one or more state sponsers. How does this video get out without anybody knowing anything about how? Especially since publicity efforts is probably one thing that led to warnings to Sri Lanka.

    Baghdadi is probably in Pakistan now and he’s not making any decisions, if he ever was, although he may be consulted as an expert on certain things. I don’t think he’s in Iran – too much of a hot potato. Pakistan is stuck with him, even if it has allies.

    Rush Limbaugh had more about Biden. There’s the Orwellian way he’s speaking about Anita Hill (more people did not believe her after her testimony than before, and she told numerous lies) and Bidens’s family has a record of drug use and even worse. (His surviving son, in the process of getting a divorce, spent much of the money in the joint account on women and eventually married his brother’s widow. His daughter had a drug problem for a while. A niece embezzled $100,000 because of a drug habit. This is all old news.)

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  68. https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/04/30/the-real-history-of-the-thomas-hill-hearings/

    But in 1998, Biden admitted to Specter that ‘It was clear to me from the way she was answering the questions, [that she] was lying’ about a key part of her testimony. The exchange was published in Specter’s 2000 memoir, Passion for Truth: From Finding JFK’s Single Bullet to Questioning Anita Hill to Impeaching Clinton.’” That’s the title of Specter’s biography…

    …..” At the time, I lived it, folks. The Rush to Excellence tour was in full swing. I was out every weekend making speeches about this. And I never will forget this period of time. It was the world against Clarence Thomas. And the public opinion polls taken during and after — Anita Hill was never believed by the American people, and the Democrats and the media have rewritten this history.

    And now, if you weren’t there and don’t know anything about it, you believe that everybody believed Anita Hill, that she was just railroaded by a bunch of white Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. I’m telling you that’s the exact opposite of what happened.

    She was lying, her character witnesses bombed out on her just like Blasey Ford’s did in the Kavanaugh hearings. She never had a majority of public opinion behind her. And she was also a late arrival. It was a last-ditch effort to make sure Thomas wasn’t confirmed.

    “The widely watched hearings revealed inaccuracies in Hill’s various versions of events and ended with 58 percent of Americans believing Thomas and only 24 percent believing Hill.”

    But if you read about it today, you’ll never read that stat. You’ll read that public opinion thought Thomas was a sexual harasser who should have never gone on the court and that everybody believed Anita, and it is a lie. There was no gap between the sexes in the results, by the way. As many women as men thought Anita Hill was lying….

    And Biden is lying through his teeth. He told Specter a number of times that he had all kinds of trouble with her testimony and thought she was lying, and now here he is on The View saying “I believed every word she said. I never doubted her. I thought Clarence Thomas had no business being on the court.”

    He’s groveling out there in front of these media women who are bullying him into submission….

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  69. OT. Manslaughter verdict in the killing of Justine Diamond in Minneapolis. Better than nothing, and my sincere praise to the prosecutors. The kind of people who show up for jury duty don’t want to be convinced that Officer Friendly will just up and shoot them for no reason other than that he can.

    nk (dbc370)

  70. What he actually said was: the FBI director doesn’t decide whether publicly announce that someone is or isn’t under investigation – that is the Attorney General’s job. I’ll ask the acting AG for his decision on this.

    I’m quoting almost exactly from his 3-30-17 memo on the telephone. I don’t what you’re quoting.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  71. And when Trump called back, Comey said that he had done what he agreed to do, hadn’t received instructions from the Acting AG to issue any statement, and that since he (Comey) was not the one who would make the decision, Trump should have the WH Counsel contact the people at DOJ who would make the decision.

    Huh? That’s not in the 4-10-17 memo. Comey tells Trump “he’d passed on his request to the DAG”. IOW, he’d done absolutely NOTHING on Trump’s request in 10 days and wasn’t going to do anything until he heard from the DAG. IOW, he didn’t care what Trump said.

    Comey then said the “the way to to handle it” was to have WHC call the DAG and “Make the request”. IOW, Trump SHOULD NOT ask Comey anything – but go through the DAG. This is exactly what I wrote.

    Imagine this in the Army or Corporate America or any large organization. Your bosses boss, calls you up and asks “Hey, can you do something on this matter?” and ten days later he calls you AGAIN. And ask: “What’s up with that request?” And then you tell him “Oh, I asked my boss, your subordinate, and he never got back to me, so I did Zilch, and yeah, don’t talk to me directly again. Go through my Boss.

    You’d hear from your boss the next, Message: You’re Fired!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  72. Rosenstein is right, and Bored Lawyer is embarrassingly, flailingly wrong.

    Of course the Department of Justice is part of the Executive Branch, subject to the authority of the POTUS, including the authority to fire. Of course the POTUS can and must set policy for the DoJ. Of course it is through the POTUS in the first instance (only only distantly through the Congress’ impeachment power) that it is held responsible to the public, giving it legitimacy.

    But its lawyer employees in particular, and indeed all of its employees in general, have separate commitments to act as officers of the court in the furtherance of the Rule of Law, including ethical obligations beyond that which any other executive department personnel have. We saw a recent example when former Attorney-General Sessions quite properly recused himself — per a crystal-clear DoJ regulation directly on point, which in turn was drawn from the Canons of Ethics rather than any POTUS — rather than continuing to function unethically as the government lawyer ultimately in charge of investigating a political campaign to which he had been a senior adviser and spokesperson.

    Moreover, there is a long, long tradition that the POTUS steers clear of decision-making in individual cases, to avoid fostering a public impression that individual prosecution decisions are being made on the basis of politics or other improper considerations.

    It is not simply routine, but in the modern era universal that senators, in deciding whether to consent to the nomination of a new Attorney General, will question him or her closely on this very subject of independence, which is how we can find Bill Barr quoting himself:

    Twenty-seven years ago, at my confirmation hearing, I explained that the office of Attorney General is not like any other cabinet post; it is unique and has a critical role to play under our constitutional system. I said then:
    The Attorney General has very special obligations, unique obligations. He holds in trust the fair and impartial administration of justice. It is the Attorney General’s responsibility to enforce the law evenhandedly and with integrity. The Attorney General must ensure that the administration of justice – the enforcement of the law – is above and away from politics. Nothing could be more destructive of our system of government, of the rule of law, or the Department of Justice as an institution, than any toleration of political interference with the enforcement of the law.

    I believe this as strongly today as I did 27 years ago – indeed, more strongly. We live in time when the country is deeply divided. In the current environment, the American people have to know that there are places in the government where the rule of law – not politics – holds sway, and where they will be treated fairly based solely on the facts and an even-handed application of the law. The Department of Justice must be such a place.

    This is not a surprise to any government prosecutor. It shouldn’t be a surprise to Bored Lawyer either, and I suspect, in fact, that it’s not.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  73. Thisis what James Comey wrote in his advance prepared testimony before the Senate about the March 30, 2017 phone call: (boldface mine)

    https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-jcomey-060817.pdf

    On the morning of March 30, the President called me at the FBI. He described the Russia investigation as “a cloud” that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country. He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia. He asked what we could do to “lift the cloud.” I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our having done the work well. He agreed, but then re-emphasized the problems this was causing him.

    The President went on to say that if there were some “satellite” associates
    of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he
    Then the President asked why there had been a congressional hearing about
    Russia the previous week – at which I had, as the Department of Justice directed,
    confirmed the investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the
    Trump campaign. I explained the demands from the leadership of both parties in
    Congress for more information, and that Senator Grassley had even held up the
    confirmation of the Deputy Attorney General until we briefed him in detail on the
    investigation. I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on
    exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those
    Congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump.

    I reminded him I had previously told him that. He repeatedly told me, “We need to get that fact out.” (I did not tell the President that the FBI and the Department of Justice had been reluctant to make public statements that we did not have an open case on President Trump for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change.)

    The President went on to say that if there were some “satellite” associates
    of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he
    hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a way to get it out that we
    weren’t investigating him.

    In an abrupt shift, he turned the conversation to FBI Deputy Director
    Andrew McCabe, saying he hadn’t brought up “the McCabe thing” because I had
    said McCabe was honorable, although McAuliffe was close to the Clintons and
    had given him (I think he meant Deputy Director McCabe’s wife) campaign
    money. Although I didn’t understand why the President was bringing this up, I
    repeated that Mr. McCabe was an honorable person.

    He finished by stressing “the cloud” that was interfering with his ability to
    make deals for the country and said he hoped I could find a way to get out that he
    wasn’t being investigated. I told him I would see what we could do, and that we
    would do our investigative work well and as quickly as we could.

    Immediately after that conversation, I called Acting Deputy Attorney
    General Dana Boente (AG Sessions had by then recused himself on all Russiarelated
    matters), to report the substance of the call from the President, and said I
    would await his guidance. I did not hear back from him before the President
    called me again two weeks later.

    So Comey says he said nothing to Trump about how to get the word out, or that Trump needed to ask the deputy attorney general and he held back what he said was the chief reason for not saying he was not investigating Trmp personally.

    Then two weeks later he mentioned or claimed that he had passed the buck. Then he told Trump that what he wanted to do was the right way to do it except that what he said was even more indirect. He probably knew that the request would be ignored.

    April 11 Phone Call

    On the morning of April 11, the President called me and asked what I had
    done about his request that I “get out” that he is not personally under investigation.
    I replied that I had passed his request to the Acting Deputy Attorney General, but I had not heard back.

    He replied that “the cloud” was getting in the way of his ability to do his job. He said that perhaps he would have his people reach out to the Acting Deputy Attorney General. I said that was the way his request should be handled. I said the White House Counsel should contact the leadership of DOJ to make the request, which was the traditional channel.

    He said he would do that and added, “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” I did not reply or ask him what he meant by “that thing.” I said only that the way to handle it was to have the White House Counsel call the Acting Deputy Attorney General. He said that was what he would do and the call ended.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  74. RE: Venezuela:

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that Maduro was preparing or prepared to leave the country but was persuaded not to do so by Russia. Meanwhile the Foreign Minister of the Maduro government is claiming Mike Pence is in charge of the coup. (because Trump is supposed to be pro-Russia?)

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  75. @ rcocean, who wrote (#71):

    Imagine this in the Army or Corporate America or any large organization. Your bosses boss, calls you up and asks “Hey, can you do something on this matter?” and ten days later he calls you AGAIN. And ask: “What’s up with that request?” And then you tell him “Oh, I asked my boss, your subordinate, and he never got back to me, so I did Zilch, and yeah, don’t talk to me directly again. Go through my Boss.

    You’d hear from your boss the next, Message: You’re Fired!

    The Department of Justice is not like the Army or Corporate America or any other large organization, because its job, among other things, includes making decisions about whom to prosecute. It therefore has long had policies — which were explained to Trump many times, but which Trump has nevertheless ignored — to prevent short-circuiting of responsibilities, precisely including phone calls from the POTUS to operational-level staff in the DoJ about individual cases — which don’t exist in the Army or Corporate America or any other large organization.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  76. The Attorney General has very special obligations, unique obligations. He holds in trust the fair and impartial administration of justice. It is the Attorney General’s responsibility to enforce the law evenhandedly and with integrity. …

    If only it was so. Eric Holder was the chief defender of the Obama White House, and his successor colluded with Bill Clinton to fix the deal with Hillary’s scandals. No charges were brought in a number of scandals, such as the massive data breach at OPM where people should have hanged.

    The current NY State Attorney general calls the NRA “terrorists” and is on a fishing expedition through Trump’s business accounts. Kamala Harris was anything BUT impartial as CA’s AG, blatantly writing ballot titles and summaries to hinder or help, depending, then certified “micro-stamping” as an available handgun technology when no one offers or empolys it. The certification means that no new semi-automatic handgun models can be sold in CA.

    So, it’s a really nice aspiration, but it seems to be dishonored more than honored. Maybe it’s different in Texas.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  77. @ Kevin M: You can argue that individual AGs and POTUSes have fallen well short of the traditional independence exercised by the DoJ, and I will join you.

    But one cannot argue that there’s no historical policy of DoJ independence.

    At their confirmations, when questioned about their independence as prospective AGs, Holder and Lynch said the same thing as Barr. Democrats now will say that Barr is doing as bad a job of staying independent in prosecutorial decisions as Republicans said that Holder and Lynch did. But this isn’t a new standard, a made-up standard, or a nonsensical standard. In terms of personally implicating — and then forcing from office — the 37th President of the United States, his impingement on DoJ independence in the Saturday Night Massacre played a much bigger role than the actual Watergate break-in, and I agree with the verdict of history that that was a very good thing.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  78. So, it’s a really nice aspiration, but it seems to be dishonored more than honored.

    Yes, we need to elect better presidents than Obama or Trump.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  79. If Trump had actually fired Sessions for refusing to un-recuse, I would have been leading the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue calling for Trump’s immediate impeachment. Ditto had he directed Sessions or Rosenthal to fire Mueller without a showing of good cause (of which, there’s not the slightest whiff). Either would have been utterly incompatible with the Rule of Law, and a willful, intentional breach of the POTUS’ duty to well and faithfully execute the Constitution and laws of the United States; either would have been per se obstruction of justice.

    Trump wanted to do both of these things, to not just breach but wholly destroy, and subvert to his own selfish whim, the independence — in the UK they call it “independent aloofness,” which I actually prefer — of the prosecutorial decisionmakers. He was unsuccessful in accomplishing either because responsible, ethical people like McGahn and (on the un-recusal issue) Sessions ignored his orders, leaving Trump no choice but to acquiesce (as he did) or fire them (which even he could figure out would be “Bad for Trump!”).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  80. Breaking- per WAPO: Mueller “bayonets” Barr; AG’s “memo” mischaracterizes the Mueller Report.

    Film at 11.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  81. #72. The fact that lawyers have ethical duties is not an excuse to dodge Constitutional authority. If your boss asks you to do something unethical, then your recourse is to resign, not stay on and use his authority to undermine him.

    I am reminded of Justice Scalia’s dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey:

    The Court’s statement that it is “tempting” to acknowledge the authoritativeness of tradition in order to “cur[b] the discretion of federal judges,” ante, at 847, is of course rhetoric rather than reality; no government official is “tempted” to place restraints upon his own freedom of action, which is why Lord Act on did not say “Power tends to purify.” The Court’s temptation is in the quite opposite and more natural direction—towards systematically eliminating checks upon its own power; and it succumbs.

    The notion that lawyers can use their ethical duties to hijack Constitutional authority and undermine the elected president appears to be one more example of lawyers arrogating power to themselves. It is both noticed and resented by many. It is one of the reasons that Trump (whom I despise) was elected.

    As for Bill Barr’s quote, any pretense of non-political DOJ went out the window when Hillary Clinton was let off. Anyone with an ounce of honesty can see that, were she someone else, she would be prosecuted, and perhaps her husband and the then-AG for obstruction. That is not going to happen.

    Bored Lawyer (423ce8)

  82. But one cannot argue that there’s no historical policy of DoJ independence.

    I don’t. Which it’s an ideal that all AGs at least profess to. It’s just that lately I see the system breaking down. I don’t much care for Jeff Sessions, but his recusal was not on my list of transgressions. I did think that he was woefully inactive in the office, though, and could well have appointed a special prosecutor to look into at least one Obama-era IG’s complaints. Plus the forfeiture thing.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  83. his impingement on DoJ independence in the Saturday Night Massacre played a much bigger role than the actual Watergate break-in,

    Well,it would have to, since Nixon had nothing to do with the break-in itself. His massive obstruction to hide a crime (I think this should at least be an enhancement) was the thing that made the PUBLIC give up on Nixon. And it was the loss of public support that cause his resignation (and would have allowed the GOP Senators a free vote).

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  84. If, however, Sessions had not recused, and refused to appoint the prosecutor, Trump would have been home free legally, but his Presidency would have lived under a cloud forever.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  85. Now let’s get more to the soecific point. The Mueller report quotes Trump as saying this:

    Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m f—-d. Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.

    This expresses the very real concern that the very process of a special counsel investigation would impede the Constitutional function of the Presidency.

    One might add that experience has shown that the end result of most of these investigations is little in the way of substantive prosecution and a lot of process crimes created by the investigation itself.

    So if Trump had any level of sophistication (and not be a narcissistic man-child) he could well have justified firing the lot for this very reason – that the process of investigation would impede his presidency. I have a very hard time seeing how that possibly could be obstruction.

    True, this is a self-serving assessment easily used as an excuse to cover real crime. That is why, in my view, the president and other high-level persons cannot be investigated by the Executive branch. The better procedure is to have Congress have an agent to conduct investigations and report to it.

    Bored Lawyer (423ce8)

  86. Trump does not compare well to either Clinton or Obama.

    Both Clinton and Obama rose from disadvantaged beginnings to the Presidency, on brains, education and ambition, and they kept that up as Presidents.

    Trump was a spoiled little rich kid who had everything done for him by others, and he’s still depending on others to do everything for him, and that just does not work out all that well when you’re the President of the United States.

    Self-made billionaire. lol

    nk (dbc370)

  87. It would be unfair not to point out that Clinton and Obama also both had intelligent, educated, and ambitious wives, who were real help-meets and not just eye candy.

    nk (dbc370)

  88. @83. Kevin, there’s no certainty to the Big Dick’s lack of ‘direct knowledge,’ — hell, he could have erased it in that 18 minute gap; [“Damn, Bob, I never should have told them to go in to the DNC, just Brookings… how’s that ketchup taste with your uh, cottage cheese?!],

    And he did create the climate for it with nods and winks for underlings to pick and choose who nd where to do his dirty work.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. Bored Lawyer wrote above (#):

    If your boss asks you to do something unethical, then your recourse is to resign, not stay on and use his authority to undermine him.

    No, if you’re a lawyer — we’re talking here about lawyers, not about executive branch employees in general — your recourse is to tell your boss you can’t execute his instruction because it’s unethical, and that if he persists in his instruction, you will refuse it and instead resign.

    When your boss wimps out and backs down — or, put more flatteringly to Trump, though he doesn’t deserve it — heeds the wisdom of your advice and warning, you’re under no further obligation to resign. Instead you continue to serve at your boss’ pleasure.

    Exactly as Don McGahn did. As I read things, he’s probably more responsible for Trump escaping serious impeachment & Senate-conviction jeopardy than any other individual. He was star witness #1 in the “How Trump Was Too Incompetent to Succeed in the Overt Acts He Otherwise Would Have Undertaken In the Obstruction of Justice.”

    Why you call that “undermining” Trump, I cannot fathom.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  90. This expresses the very real concern that the very process of a special counsel investigation would impede the Constitutional function of the Presidency.

    It seems to me that Trump was able to do his job unimpeded, but he put a crimp in Mueller doing his.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  91. @ nk (#87): Don’t forget how much Trump relies on Ivanka.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  92. Good grief, Beldar! He is a pig.

    nk (dbc370)

  93. @89 Would that Comey had done the honorable thing. Instead he leaked info through a friend for the purpose of triggering a special counsel investigation.

    Frosty, Fp (c141b1)

  94. A good question from Angelo Codevilla:

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/04/29/why-are-clapper-and-brennan-not-in-jail/

    Things that make you go hmm.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  95. @90 It might be too early to tell on that. It certainly seems like Mueller wasn’t really obstructed in any meaningful way. At least the current narrative is that Trump was too incompetent to accomplish any obstruction. But we’ll need to see what a year or so of Trump without Mueller looks like. It’s possible what we’ve been seeing is the tiptoeing Trump.

    Frosty, Fp (c141b1)

  96. Maybe we see mostly process prosecutions from Special Counsels because Presidents have broad political influence and pardon powers, and that may convince some of their underlings not to fully cooperate with the investigations.

    DRJ (15874d)

  97. Given what I have read elsewhere, I suspect that your liberal progressive friends (and mine) are of the opinion that this particular set of rules was already in effect and had been previously applied against Democrats.

    Nic (896fdf)

  98. 94… that case is overstated, Rob, to say the least.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  99. Actually, it isn’t. The two of them need to be held accountable, the lying pricks.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  100. @94 There’s still time

    Frosty Fp (c141b1)

  101. There hasn’t been much interest in the alleged malfeasance perpetrated by the IC leadership expressed here by anti-Trump commenters… at least I don’t recollect any.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  102. Hmm, remind me again, who investigates alleged malfeasance perpetrated by the IC leadership?

    nk (dbc370)

  103. Golly. AG Barr lied to Congress?!

    “Well, that’s the end of this suit!” – ‘Blazing Saddles’ 1974

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  104. A correction to my OT Comment #69. Noor was found guilty of third degree murder:

    609.195 MURDER IN THE THIRD DEGREE.
    (a) Whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 25 years.

    nk (dbc370)

  105. Drawing on precedent from the Starr investigation and the Fitzgerald investigation, in which Bill Clinton and Bush-43 cooperated through voluntary appearance within agreed-upon parameters, Mueller wanted Trump to sit for questioning; Trump, through counsel, refused. That’s the main thing that Mueller wanted to do that Trump prevented.

    However, Mueller chose not to press the point through a grand jury subpoena — a legal fight that he likely would have won, but that would have added many months, perhaps more than a year, to the process. I’m relatively sure by that time that Mueller already knew that the conspiracy-with-the-Russians allegations had no real substance, and that Trump was restraining himself or being restrained from completing actions that might have qualified for obstruction of justice (as viewed in Senators’ eyes; in criminal prosecutions of obstruction of justice, the failure of the attempts to obstruct isn’t a defense, but enough GOP senators would treat it like one to make Senate conviction impossible). Mueller would of course have needed Rosenstein’s or Barr’s permission to undertake the court battle, but apparently never asked for it, and thus he was never overruled by either.

    Otherwise — and this was the precise argument of Trump lawyers like McGahn — Trump generally cooperated, within negotiated boundaries, in producing both administration documents and witnesses, foregoing in the process at least some potential executive privilege claims that probably would have stood up had Trump tested them in court.

    So no, overall, I don’t think there’s any reason to claim that Trump obstructed Mueller in any important particular.

    I do not doubt for an instant that the Trump Administration in general, and Donald J. Trump in particular, have been incredibly distracted by the entire matter, or that his partisan opponents have been vigorous to the point of lunacy in trying to bring Trump down through the Mueller investigation. Fortunately for Trump, they didn’t run the Mueller investigation, and even more fortunately for Trump, Mueller himself stayed above the public fray and didn’t react to Trump’s near-daily trolling, baiting, and abuse.

    But I place 100% of the responsibility for this on Trump. Had he reacted as Dubya did during the Fitzgerald investigation, his administration would have been no more inconvenienced than Dubya’s during Plamegate, and all of the differences in approach are attributable directly to Donald J. Trump, who was often fanning the very flames he complained of.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  106. To complete a thought in #105:

    So no, overall, I don’t think there’s any reason to claim that Trump succeeded in obstructing Mueller in any important particular. Trump tried repeatedly to do so, but failed or was blocked from doing so.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  107. #103 Golly. AG Barr lied to Congress?!

    “Well, that’s the end of this suit!” – ‘Blazing Saddles’ 1974

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 4/30/2019 @ 7:19 pm

    What do you mean?

    whembly (f68468)

  108. 102… apparently, it’s the ruling class and the laws don’t apply to them. But perhaps they should.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  109. Nothing illustrates the inequity inherent in the system more than when a billionaire, the son of a multi-millionaire, becomes President of the United States and is still a second class citizen.

    nk (dbc370)

  110. OR
    Nothing illustrates more than Trump why some rich jerkoffs should remain only rich jerkoffs and not get political power because they have have no idea how to handle it.

    nk (dbc370)

  111. Remember when Trump promised to drain the swamp? He never says it anymore.

    DRJ (15874d)

  112. I guess he is the swamp now.

    DRJ (15874d)

  113. The only thing keeping his head above water in that swamp is the ability to stand on the backs of the plethora of lawyers who inhabit the soupy mess.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  114. I think you are trying to be mean or sarcastic because you know some lawyers comment here, but taking you seriously: Trump isn’t ready or qualified to be President because it is no surprise to find lawyers in government and politics. Trump presented himself as knowledgeable about government, and able to handle the challenge of DC politics. But he is the one in over his head.

    DRJ (15874d)

  115. We have a government of laws so it isn’t surprising to find lawyers in DC. Anyone who wants to be in government needs a basic understanding of how our laws work. Trump doesn’t have that understanding so he lurches from one mistake to another, and then complains when things don’t go how he wants.

    DRJ (15874d)

  116. Trump has gotten through his whole life on the backs of other people, not just Washington lawyers.

    nk (dbc370)

  117. It would be unfair not to point out that Clinton and Obama also both

    …did everything they could do to increase the power of the state over the individual.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  118. Kevin, there’s no certainty to the Big Dick’s lack of ‘direct knowledge,

    It looks like in the two minutes you took to type that, you became absolutely convinced. But that never came out, nor did Nixon testify to that when he was under oath later.

    But heck, there is no certainty, and certainly no proof, that you are not a giraffe.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  119. The whole thing here misses the only real impeachment charge you cold convict Trump on: that he is unfit for office. Trying to make up something legalistic just strains credulity. The reason people right-of-center oppose him is that he’s stupid, has immense opportunity costs, and is an all-around sleaze. So many people are convinced that impeachment needs a legal reason, or at least a legal fig leaf. But it is purely a political act. Impeach him for being too stupid. It’s valid.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  120. DRJ, if I could snap my fingers and deliver a Jeb Bush or Kasich presidency would that cheer you up? It has taken a long time, but I’m finally realizing what a waste of precious time this has become. No offense intended.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  121. The American people were never going to support Impeachment of Trump because (1) he fired Mueller and replaced him with someone else OR (2) had Sessions un-recuse and fire Rosenstein OR (3) had Sessions rewrite the “scope” of the review to deal with Russia Collusion only.

    No one’s ever explained why the FBI probe into Russian-Trump campaign collusion along with TWO Congressional investigation wasn’t enough. There was NEVER a need for a special prosecutor except to look into obstruction – which never happened. And when I say “never happened” I don’t mean in some technical legal sense that lawyers will haggle over. You can find a lawyer that will say anything is a crime or not a crime. Y’see if just look at Case law, blah blah. I mean an obvious open and shut CRIME -that could be sold the American people as something worthy of punishment. Given that Clinton LIED UNDER OATH and tried to get other witnesses to LIE UNDER OATH and was forgiven and almost become 1st Gentleman, shows Trump was never going to be impeached.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  122. Have you not noticed that if the opposing party to the president is in power in congress, no amount of investigations is enough? The Dems investigated the heck out of Iran-Contra. The Republicans investigated Whitewater and various offshoots for forever during the Clinton administration, plus travelgate and whatever else. The dems investigated the Plame issue. The Republicans investigated fast and furious and Bengazi and emails. The Dems are investigating Russian influence and obstruction. There were probably any number of investigations before that (including watergate), but Iran-Contra is the first I remember personally. It’s part of the modern (at least) process, the trick is who can stay focused on their agenda despite it. Of those I’ve named, I have to say that Trump has failed the most, but it’s not that the investigation is any worse or different, it’s that he doesn’t have the self-discipline to stay focused on other things.

    Nic (896fdf)

  123. @118. You’ve been in that hole on a few threads, K; stop digging.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  124. I’m curious, rcocean: In what way do you think (#121) that Sessions could have “rewrit[ten] the ‘scope’ of the review to deal with Russia Collusion only.”

    Was Sessions to purport to repeal, with a stroke of his pen, 18 U.S.C. § 1001 on making false statements? Or 18 U.S.C. ch. 73 on obstruction of justice? Or, for that matter, 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a), which specifies that every special counsel’s jurisdiction automatically includes, regardless of any other specifications, “the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses”?

    You seem to have the idea that the Attorney General has a magic wand he can wave at Trump’s bidding to make the law just … not apply. Or that he can instruct his subordinates, “We’re not going to consider these crimes whenever the POTUS is involved.”

    No, sir. That could never have happened. That is a Trumpian fantasy which bears no correspondence to the actual law or the AG’s actual powers. Any Attorney General’s.

    Trump is used to thinking that he can bark an order at a subordinate to the effect of “Make this problem go away!” That actually didn’t work so well in the business world (which is among the reasons why he bankrupted so many businesses), but it certainly can’t work in the White House, whose occupant is subject to constitutional checks and balances and the Rule of Law. Bottom line, your assumption comes down to Trump telling Sessions, “I’m above the law, don’t apply it to me.” And that’s the system despots have in Venezuela, sir, not in the United States of America.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  125. In addition to what beldar wrote (great comment btw), how would it have worked politically for sessions to have said “we will investigate Russian interference but will not exam any crimes that may have been committed by Trump or his campaign”?

    Time123 (694718)

  126. I mean an obvious open and shut CRIME

    In obstructing Mueller’s investigation, Trump corruptly attempted to cover-up multiple crimes committed by Russian military personnel during their attack on the United States, whose express purpose was to influence the 2016 election to his advantage.

    While the special counsel could not establish that Trump himself was aware of, or abetted, those crimes while they were taking place, there is indisputable evidence that his three closest advisors were, and did.

    Dave (1bb933)

  127. DRJ, if I could snap my fingers and deliver a Jeb Bush or Kasich presidency would that cheer you up? It has taken a long time, but I’m finally realizing what a waste of precious time this has become. No offense intended.

    I’ll answer for me. It wouldn’t cheer me up if some other person were doing the same things Trump has done.

    For instance, he ran on Draining the swamp and holding Hillary accountable. He’s done neither and i don’t see any evidence that he’s tried very hard.

    I’ll toss off some ideas on ways he could have gone after it.

    -Tell AG sessions to prioritize financial crimes such as insider trading. Staff and fund to support.
    -Tell the Treasury department to prioritize policing charitable foundations to ensure that they’re being run properly and not being used as a way to shield income from taxes and enrich family. (How much was the Clinton Foundation paying Chelsea again?) Staff and fund accordingly.
    -In both cases ask for a report to be prepared on where existing law and precedent allow bad outcome.
    -Increase the staffing and funding of the IG offices. Have them go to town on appearance of impropriety.
    -Ask for a report on how the IG process could be improved to be more robust.

    -Run all of the above in an impartial and non-partisan way. Don’t offer aid and comfort to political allies that get caught up in it.
    -Use the bully pulpit to help drive the whole thing and keep the media focused on what it’s turning up.

    I’m not expert on this stuff and I’m sure all of that needs revision, but I work for a big company. Changes takes time and a lot of focus.

    I don’t see him doing anything even close to trying anything like that above.

    He is unsurprisingly defining “drain the swap” as “Make sure republicans get away with the stuff we think Dems got away with.”

    Time123 (80b471)

  128. Like you guys at Hadron don’t hide all the Hot Wheels when the CFO comes by to discuss next year’s budget, Dave.

    nk (dbc370)

  129. Like the time machine which lets thanos dreadnought go through.

    Narciso (82140b)

  130. @101 There hasn’t been much interest in the alleged malfeasance perpetrated by the IC leadership expressed here by anti-Trump commenters

    All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

    Frosty Fp (c141b1)

  131. The IC leadership is the President of the United States.

    nk (dbc370)

  132. @126 I’m trying to unwind this; you’re saying there is indisputable evidence people close to Trump abetted multiple crimes committed by Russian military personnel during their attack on the United States.

    Who and which crimes? The Mueller report has the GRU involved in the hacking of the DNC. People close to Trump knew about the DNC hack before it happened and assisted in it?

    Is there anything in the Mueller report about Trump, or people close to him, assisting in the DNC hack? Or does the report show that they encouraged the release of the info after the hack?

    Frosty Fp (c141b1)

  133. Trump went ballistic on Twitter over the endorsemnt of Joe Biden by a firefighter’s union. he tweeted about oher things too, including how he is stopping the Defense Department from scrapping an aircraft carrier built in 1998.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  134. Baghdad Barr’s [copyright pending, NBC News] Term Of The Day:

    “Snitty.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  135. Rush Limbaugh listened to bits of questioning of William Barr and almost couldn’t contain himself he said.

    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/05/01/trump-didnt-obstruct-justice-hes-tried-to-protect-the-truth/

    RUSH: Well, I made a mistake. I just decided to listen to a little bit of this hearing. You know, I’m getting to the point… I’m getting to ticked off; I’m close to exploding. I may need a break here, folks, ’cause I’m just… I watched Chris Coons — I guess he’s from Delaware — senator, Democrat, just continue asking Barr about two things that have been nuked to smithereens as irrelevant and didn’t happen. He’s asking Barr about them as though they did happen and that everybody knows it, and doesn’t Barr agree that Trump should have been called out on it?

    The first one: He just sits there and cites this Papadopoulos meeting. This has been destroyed! (Groan!) He’s up there saying (paraphrased), “We know this investigation began when George Papadopoulos of the Trump foreign policy team was bragging to people that the Trump campaign knew the Russians had Hillary emails.” Don’t worry, I’m not gonna go through the true story. You’ve heard me do this 12 times. That’s not my point. He’s continuing to mischaracterize! That’s not when the investigation began, and that didn’t even happen!

    Papadopoulos has even mentioned it himself in countless interviews, podcasts, and elsewhere, that he was set up! Now, what I don’t know is if Coons doesn’t know this or if he knows it and is lying about it. If he doesn’t know about it, there’s no excuse. The next thing he lied about (paraphrased): “The Russians offered the Trump campaign ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton, and they didn’t report that to the FBI.” This is the famous Trump Tower meeting where (Coons impression), “The Russians called up Trump Jr. and offered’ dirt,’ and Trump Jr. said, ‘Hell, yes, we’ll take the dirt!’ Mr. Attorney General, that is reprehensible. It may not be criminal, but we simply cannot have that in our politics. Don’t you agree?”

    (Barr impression) “Buh, buh, buh…”

    Barr knows it didn’t happen. It didn’t happen! The Russians… That whole thing was another setup. It was a setup by Glenn Simpson at Fusion GPS with the Rush honeypot, Veselnitskaya. (disgusted sigh) The problem here is the lack of power that the truth has on members of the Democrat Party. It’s a frustrating thing. Going back to what I was talking about with Trump just a moment ago, Trump’s sitting there these entire two years knowing none of this happened, that there was no colusion. The Russians did not help him beat Hillary Clinton….

    I think the Veselnitskaya thing was actually an attempt to peddle some lies about Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump Jr telling him to keep it hush hush only they found too many people were going to be in the meeting. The Russians postponed the meeting and then went ahead. They didn’t know anything bad about HRC that they were willing to tell.

    More from Rush Limbaugh today:

    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/05/01/hirono-spews-the-hatred-that-has-poisoned-democrats/

    …All I’m gonna tell you is that Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the committee, had to intercede and stop Mazie Hirono from slandering the attorney general. Well, I will characterize it. I’m not gonna characterize what she said. I’m gonna wait ’til I get the audio so that you can hear it. I’ll just tell you that I’ve never seen anything like it before.

    …..BEGIN HIRONO CLIP

    HIRONO: Mr. Barr, now the American people know that you are no different from Rudy Giuliani or Kellyanne Conway, or any of the other people that sacrificed their once decent reputation for the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office. You once turned down a job offer from Donald Trump to represent him as his private attorney. At your confirmation hearing, you told Senator Feinstein that, quote, “The job of attorney general is not the same as representing,” end quote, the president. So you know the difference, but you’ve chosen to be the president’s lawyer and side with him over the interests of the American people.

    To start with, you should never have been involved in supervising the Robert Mueller investigation. You wrote a 19-page, unsolicited memo — which you admit was not based on any facts — attacking the premise of half of the investigation. And you also should have insisted that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recuse himself. He wasn’t just a witness to some of the president’s obstructive behavior. We now know he was in frequent personal contact with the president, a subject of the investigation. You should have left it to career officials.

    Then, once the report was delivered by the special counsel, you delayed its release for more than two weeks. You let the president’s personal lawyers look at it before you even deigned to let Congress or the public see it. During the time you substituted your own political judgment for the special counsel’s legal conclusions in a four-page letter to Congress. And now we know — thanks to a free press — that Mr. Mueller wrote you a letter objecting to your so-called summary.

    When you called Mueller to discuss this letter, the reports are that he thought your summary was giving the press, Congress, and the public a misleading impression of his work. He asked you to release the report summaries to correct the misimpression you created, but you refused. When you finally did decide to release the report over a congressional recess and on the eve of two major religious holidays, you called a press conference to once again try to clear Donald Trump before anyone had a chance to read the special counsel’s report and come to their own conclusions.

    But when we read the report, we knew Robert Mueller’s concerns were valid and that your version of events was false. You used every advantage of your office to create the impression that the president was cleared of misconduct. You selectively quoted fragments from the special counsel’s report, taking some of the most important statements out of context and ignoring the rest. You put the power and authority of the office of the attorney general and the Department of Justice behind a public relations effort.

    END HIRONO CLIP

    RUSH: And that’s not all of it. She continued and told him that he should resign, that he is a disgrace, that… Now, this woman is… If you remember during the Kavanaugh hearings, she is the woman who said that what men need to start doing is just “shut up,” just shut up and go away, just get out of everything. This is an example of the poisonous hatred that has taken over the Democrat Party and the American left. She’s no different than an anonymous tweeter or blogger issuing comments….
    Now, Lindsey Graham finally stepped in and stopped this because she didn’t ask a question. It took her a long time to get to the actual questions that she had, and they were baseless, mindless questions and answerable with one word: “No.” Barr started to say, “How in the world did we get to this point?” and then Lindsey Graham decided to step in and shut it down and say that her opportunity for slander had ended. If she had some questions, she could continue.

    But she didn’t because she had accomplished what she wanted to accomplish. “Mr. Barr, now the American people know that you are no different from Rudy Giuliani or Kellyanne Conway or any of the other people who sacrificed their once decent reputation for the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office. You once turned down a job offer from Donald Trump to represent him as his private attorney.” You know, the United States Senate used to be an institution where people like this never even stood a chance at getting elected.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  136. https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/05/01/barr-testifies-mueller-complained-about-media-coverage/

    RUSH: (impression) Poor Robert Mueller. Poor Robert Mueller. He writes a letter to William Barr complaining that Barr’s summary letter did not capture the “context” of the probe.” There is no context! You didn’t find any collusion, and you punted on finding obstruction, and there’s nothing that’s changed, and the summary just said that. Upset it didn’t capture the context? The hell it didn’t! You had 488 pages. Barr writes a four-page summary. The media’s taken care of your context for you, Mueller. For crying out loud! You have the audacity to complain about media coverage?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  137. FEINSTEIN: The Mueller report documents the Trump campaign’s communications regarding Secretary Clinton’s and the DNC’s stolen emails. Specifically, the report states — and I quote — “Within approximately five hours of President Trump calling on Russia to find Secretary Clinton’s emails, Russian intelligence agency GRU officers, quote, “targeted, for the first time, Clinton’s personal office,” end quote.

    RUSH: Aw, come on. …

    Let me tell you, why not find collusion, if they’re gonna report this? Let me ask a serious question: Why not report that there was collusion? All it would have taken for Mueller to do was say, “Right here, Trump was unwittingly colluding with the Russians. When he asked them to find Hillary’s emails, they — in five hours — began to try to find Hillary’s emails.” Why not conclude that there was collusion? That remains, by the way, a big question. But I’m throwing it out here. Why not conclude that?

    I mean, if you’re gonna write this, if you’re gonna make the claim that the Russian intelligence agencies were busy twiddling their thumbs until Trump gives them the order to find Hillary’s missing 30,000 emails, and for the first time the Russians tried to hack her personal account…? There wasn’t any collusion. They had so many opportunities to claim there was. Now, the reason is because if they had called this collusion, there would have been an investigation into this, and they would have been embarrassed with egg on their faces.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  138. https://www.nationalreview.com/news/william-barr-reviewing-whether-steele-dossier-was-russian-disinformation/

    There was also an op-ed in the Wall street Journal where someone has a theory as to why Russia (Putin) did this.

    I think they all lose sight of the fact that the Russians thought Steele was working only for someone in the UK.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  139. @133 One of the common complaints I’ve seen online about the union comment is some version of:

    If the firefighters were not unionized they wouldn’t be paid a working wage. Unions are needed to keep the corrupt employers from keeping all of the profits for themselves. Something you might know about.

    Other than this being standard union propaganda; in my area the firefighters work for the county government. I’m too lazy to look it up but doesn’t CFD and NYFD work for the city? And what profits are firefighters not being able to keep for themselves?

    Frosty Fp (c141b1)

  140. @126 I’m trying to unwind this; you’re saying there is indisputable evidence people close to Trump abetted multiple crimes committed by Russian military personnel during their attack on the United States.

    Yes.

    Who and which crimes?

    The conspiracy to defraud the United States by unlawfully influencing the election to Donald Trump’s advantage.

    The Mueller report has the GRU involved in the hacking of the DNC. People close to Trump knew about the DNC hack before it happened and assisted in it?

    Is there anything in the Mueller report about Trump, or people close to him, assisting in the DNC hack? Or does the report show that they encouraged the release of the info after the hack?

    The DNC hack was one prong of the Russian attack. We know that the plan as a whole, and its objective, was known to Trump Jr, Kushner and Manafort, because their Russian handlers discussed it openly with them:

    The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

    This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump

    (emphasis added)

    Trump Jr’s entirely nonchalant reaction (“Thanks Rob I appreciate that”) to the bombshell revelation that a hostile foreign dictatorship was actively interfering in the election on his father’s behalf makes it clear that this was not the first time he was hearing about this plan, and he strongly encouraged the Russians to continue with their criminal acts. Neither Kushner nor Manafort expressed any surprise or reluctance about the Russian interference either.

    As for the hacking, Trump’s infamous press conference where he publicly called on the Russian intelligence agencies to illegally obtain information damaging to his opponent and release it appears to be one of those rare instances where he accidentally blurts out the truth.

    In any case, Trump’s caporegimes were all well aware of Russia’s plan to interfere in the election, and they encouraged it.

    Dave (1bb933)

  141. “As for the hacking, Trump’s infamous press conference where he publicly called on the Russian intelligence agencies to illegally obtain information damaging to his opponent….”
    Dave (1bb933) — 5/1/2019 @ 3:56 pm

    I always liked the host’s take on this:

    “Bullsh!t.”
    http://patterico.com/2016/07/27/big-media-distorts-trumps-appeal-to-russians-to-find-hillarys-emails/

    Munroe (fc8c86)

  142. @140 You don’t think you’re mixing several things that may or may not be crimes with people who may or may not be Russian military under the umbrella of abetting which could be encouragement or assistance?

    If it is a clear cut as you describe why didn’t Mueller conclude that and why isn’t the House starting impeachment?

    Frosty Fp (7540e9)

  143. If it is a clear cut as you describe why didn’t Mueller conclude that and why isn’t the House starting impeachment?

    Have you even read the report?

    Regarding the Trump Tower meeting, Mueller said it violated the law, but that the defendants could argue that they were too stupid to know accepting contributions from Russian intelligence agencies was against the law.

    Regarding obstruction, Mueller decided he would not charge Trump with any crime, no matter how much evidence there was.

    Concerning impeachment, the GOP senate (corrupted by Trump) will cover for his crimes rather than endanger their own offices.

    Dave (1bb933)

  144. @143

    could argue that they were too stupid to know

    That is a biased read of that section but knowing it was a crime was an element of the crime.

    Mueller decided he would not charge Trump with any crime, no matter how much evidence there was

    That wouldn’t have prevented him from concluding a crime was committed and it wouldn’t have prevented other people with being charged with obstruction.

    the GOP senate

    That wouldn’t prevent the House from starting impeachment?

    Frosty Fp (7540e9)

  145. Hillary Clinton: ‘China, if you’re listening, why don’t you get Trump’s tax returns?’

    “I’m sure our media would richly reward you,” Clinton added

    LULZ!

    Dave (1bb933)

  146. Lock her up!

    nk (dbc370)

  147. DRJ, if I could snap my fingers and deliver a Jeb Bush or Kasich presidency would that cheer you up? It has taken a long time, but I’m finally realizing what a waste of precious time this has become. No offense intended.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 4/30/2019 @ 10:26 pm

    Not in the least. I didn’t vote for either.

    DRJ (15874d)

  148. What would cheer me up is for you to discuss topics without rancor.

    DRJ (15874d)


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