Patterico's Pontifications

5/29/2019

AP: Mueller to make 1st public statement on Russia probe

Filed under: Government,Law,Politics — DRJ @ 7:30 am



[Headline from DRJ]

APMueller to make 1st public statement on Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller is set to make his first public statement on the Russia investigation Wednesday, the Justice Department said.

Mueller will speak at the Justice Department at 11 a.m. and won’t take any questions.

Should be an interesting day to read @RealDonaldTrump.

Update: Various media are live-streaming this. Here is a link to The Hill TV.

— DRJ

334 Responses to “AP: Mueller to make 1st public statement on Russia probe”

  1. Looks like nothing new to me. He said in his statement essentially what he said in his report.

    Gryph (08c844)

  2. Regarding obstruction by Trump:

    “… as set forth in the report after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the President did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

    “… under longstanding Department policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional.”

    “… charging the President with a crime was not an option we could consider.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  3. He completed his statement less than five minutes ago.

    It’s true he repeated only things perhaps a bit clearer) that he said before. He stated as fact that indicting apresident is unconstitutional. But investigating is a different matter and there were several reasons for doing that and he said two of them were to find out when memories were fresher and documents available and because co-conspirators could be indicted. They decied not to decide whetehr or not Trump committed an offense.

    If he testifies he won’t say anything more than what’s in the report.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  4. This will satisfy absolutely no one.

    Gryph (08c844)

  5. Yes, as Beldar predicted, Mueller hewed closely to the report.

    But IMO this was Mueller’s summary and, unlike Barr’s summary, Mueller did not highlight the Trump-positive aspects. Mueller focused on suspected Russian military intelligence “multiple systematic” interference in our election, and the Trump-negative aspects of obstruction. After noting that it would be unfair to prejudge soneone’s guilt, Mueller said:

    “We will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the President.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  6. Mueller was the investigator and IMO he is telling Congress he won’t play the role of judge and jury. When it comes to sitting Presidents, that is the role of Congress and only Congress.

    DRJ (15874d)

  7. This is what will be front and center, spun, and used to both side’s advantage: “If we had had confidence that he clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so,” Mueller said.

    Dana (779465)

  8. He is violation of justice department guidelines on unindicted persons.

    Narciso (56e033)

  9. Full quote:

    “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not however make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

    Dana (779465)

  10. On Fox News, Andrew McCarthy says Mueller’s message is that the DOJ guidance on indicting Presidents is why Mueller made no recommendation. He said this was Mueller saying there may be prosecutable offenses. McCarthy called this “explosive” and said he thinks Mueller should have made a recommendation.

    This isn’t a new view to people who read this blog but it may be to some.

    DRJ (15874d)

  11. Who authorized this nonsense? Mueller just obstructed justice. Durham should be all over this.

    mg (8cbc69)

  12. The claim by Michael Wolff, in his latest book, that an indictment had actually been written ot, which drew a denial yesterday, may have been what prompted Muller to give this statement:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/28/us/politics/michael-wolff-siege-trump.html

    A spokesman for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in the Russia investigation, denied Mr. Wolff’s claim that in March 2018, Mr. Mueller was preparing to indict the president for obstruction of justice on three counts, including witness tampering. Andrew Weissmann, one of Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors, who Mr. Wolff says led that effort, did not even work on the part of the investigation that focused on obstruction.

    In an author’s note, Mr. Wolff said his account of Mr. Mueller’s investigation was based on “internal documents given to me by sources close to the Office of the Special Counsel.” But in a rare on-the-record denial, the special counsel’s spokesman, Peter Carr, said on Tuesday that “the documents described do not exist.”

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  13. Who authorized this nonsense? Mueller just obstructed justice. 

    Please explain.

    DRJ (15874d)

  14. Mueller also announced that he is leaving the Department of Justice “in the coming days.”

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  15. Full transcript of Muller’s statement:

    https://www.vox.com/2019/5/29/18644237/heres-a-full-transcript-of-robert-muellers-remarks

    In the transcript, the name “trump” is not capitalized. Both times it appears as an adjective, modifying the word “campaign.”

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  16. You mean ministry of love sammeh

    Narciso (56e033)

  17. Tim Carney
    @TPCarney
    Mueller: “It is important that the office’s written work speak for itself.”
    __ _

    Sean Davis
    @seanmdav
    If he actually believed that, he wouldn’t be making a lengthy public statement for the press right now.
    __ _

    Sean Davis
    @seanmdav
    A few things are clear from the press conference: Mueller (who came across as feeble and doddering, more resembling an aging senator than a tough prosecutor) always wanted to impeach Trump, is mad he lost control of the narrative, and doesn’t think he’s accountable to Congress.
    __ _

    Sean Davis
    @seanmdav
    Also, Mueller’s view of a prosecutor’s role — to prove and declare a target’s innocence, rather than to charge criminality — is a despicable affront to the rule of law and the Constitution. Cops and lawyers don’t grant innocence. It is our default legal state absent conviction.
    __ _

    Brian
    @applecharlie5
    Don’t forget, Mueller personally took over the 2001 anthrax investigation and blamed an innocent man who later successfully sued the government for $5.8 million.
    __ _

    Matthew Swab
    @Swabcraft
    Mueller is still very mad that he couldn’t frame Trump. Mueller has a history of framing people and hidding exculpatory evidence and this sham investigation just proves he never stopped being a dirty cop.

    he blatantly repeated the lie that Russia hacked the DNC (it was a LEAK)
    _

    harkin (ca2d1a)

  18. He stated as fact that indicting a president is unconstitutional.

    I’ve been looking through Max Ferand’s Constitutional Convention notes, searching on “impeach.” The Convention discussed it a lot: if, why, and how.

    What is striking is that no one suggested that impeachment was unnecessary since crimes could always be prosecuted directly. It seemed a given that they could not.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  19. I don’t think the word “interference” which is used throughout the report, is correct.

    It should be “intervention in the 2016 presidential election,:
    not “interference with the 2016 presidential election.” Nothng was interfered with,

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  20. *Farrand. Never type names from memory.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  21. But we have to pretend that Mueller is honorable, even though his record and that of his underlings show he has not been.

    Narciso (56e033)

  22. “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not however make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

    So, they indict him in the press of a crime-to-be-named-later. How is this better?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  23. Who said he could go out and open the doors for more B.S.? He gave the house everything they need not to subpoena him, and republicans will not have a chance to question him. This guy has been destroying evidence for 2 years and should pay for it. Of course, In my opinion only.

    mg (8cbc69)

  24. But we have to pretend that Mueller is honorable

    “So are they all, all honorable men.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  25. “Mueller was the investigator and IMO he is telling Congress he won’t play the role of judge and jury.”
    DRJ (15874d) — 5/29/2019 @ 8:27 am

    Right. A judge or jury doesn’t reach a verdict of “we didn’t determine that the defendant did not commit a crime”. Weasels do that.

    Munroe (5bb48f)

  26. In an author’s note, Mr. Wolff said his account of Mr. Mueller’s investigation was based on “internal documents given to me by sources close to the Office of the Special Counsel.” But in a rare on-the-record denial, the special counsel’s spokesman, Peter Carr, said on Tuesday that “the documents described do not exist.”

    Well, there’s one way for Wolff to prove it.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  27. Munroe has a point.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  28. 18.

    …no one suggested that impeachment was unnecessary since crimes could always be prosecuted directly. It seemed a given that they could not.

    Because most of the things a president might be impeached for weren’t statutory crimes, and didn’t need to be.

    The person impeached could nevertheless be subject to indictment, trial, judgement and punishment. (Article I, Section 3, Clause 7)

    Judges are also subject to impeachment. Does that mean they can’t be prosecuted before being impeached?

    Cabinet members can also be impeached but it hasn’t recently been done except for this fixed or life terms)

    Now there are a lot of practical problems with putting a president on trial. But he doesn;’t actually have immunity. But in many states, Governors can be prosecuted, and have been,, and maybe nt always by federal prosecutors. (are there any exampples anyone can think of a=of a state prosecutotor prosecuting asitting Governor?)

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  29. Mueller: “Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system”

    And Donald Trump, the intended and actual beneficiary of the attack – who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution – tried, publicly and privately, to cover it up and to render ineffective our government’s response.

    Lock him up.

    Dave (1bb933)

  30. Right. A judge or jury doesn’t reach a verdict of “we didn’t determine that the defendant did not commit a crime”. Weasels do that.

    Munroe (5bb48f) — 5/29/2019 @ 8:51 am

    No, I think you missed the point. His point is the DOJ guidelines say sitting Presidents cannot be indicted for crimes. Trump is a sitting President. He can’t be indicted even if anyone else would be. Also, Mueller won’t prejudice Trump by commenting on his guilt or innocence.

    DRJ (15874d)

  31. Of course he would hes not paying out another 5.5 million dollars

    Narciso (56e033)

  32. Note the word “clearly”

    “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so

    The report gives possible grounds for suspecting or concluding that some things might have amounted to a crime.

    So the idea, I suppose is, we an decide for ourselves, or Cngress can. ‘
    But what about all the evidence you would need to make adetermination?

    Mueller said this:

    In addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  33. Also, Mueller won’t prejudice Trump by commenting on his guilt or innocence.

    No, he’ll just toss out some innuendo for the spinners to “interpret.” If he wanted to avoid prejudicing Trump he would have said:

    “…if we had had confidence that the President committed a crime, we would have said so.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  34. Rush Limbaugh says it was clear (to him) that Mueller wanted to nail rump, but he said he couldn’t do it. But if that’s the case why do the entire investigation, because the entire investigation waa because of Trump. The only evidence they ever had was the dossier,

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  35. “… charging the President with a crime was not an option we could consider.”

    — Why is that, Mr. Mueller?
    — Because unlike other defendants that we prosecute, we could not lock him while we built a case against him; get a jailhouse snitch to say that he made incriminating statements; accuse him of witness tampering if he tried to obtain witnesses in his own defense; threaten to charge his family members too if he did make a plea deal; and bankrupt him in the process. Not to mention that we never got an undercover FBI informant to entrap him into anything. It would have been just a nightmare for our trial team. A nightmare.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. He is not allowed to do that, Kevin. Prosecutors charge people. That is how they say they think people have committed crimes, but no DOJ prosecutor can do that with sitting Presidents.

    DRJ (15874d)

  37. And Donald Trump … tried, publicly and privately, … to render ineffective our government’s response.

    Wasn’t Obama still President before and after the election? Did Trump pay him off or something?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  38. if he did *not* make a plea deal

    nk (dbc370)

  39. Justin Amash

    The ball is in our court, Congress.

    DRJ (15874d)

  40. We are still responding, Kevin, I think. Maybe we aren’t. Maybe Trump doesn’t care.

    DRJ (15874d)

  41. Rush says the real news is Mueller debunking the claim that Barr is hiding things.

    Rush misunderstands whether the non-indictment depended on the idea that apresident could not be indicted. That was true for Barr, who decied that even without that there would ot be grounds for indictment because you couldn’t say theer was a corrupt motive, but Mueller had adifferent opinon.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  42. Snicker. Justin will be just as effectual and successful in this endeavor as he has been in all his others in Congress. All that boy kin do is git hisself re-elected.

    nk (dbc370)

  43. He is not allowed to do that, Kevin. Prosecutors charge people. That is how they say they think people have committed crimes, but no DOJ prosecutor can do that with sitting Presidents.

    So, the weasel words? They choose to publicly fail to exonerate him while leaving mysterious the potential charges they failed to bring, or what confidence they had in such charges.

    Which gets back to what Monroe said: Juries to not return Innocent or Not Innocent verdicts. And here we have “Maybe Not Innocent.” Weasel!

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  44. Schroedinger’s President. Guilty and Not Guilty at the same time.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  45. “Also, Mueller won’t prejudice Trump by commenting on his guilt or innocence.”
    DRJ (15874d) — 5/29/2019 @ 8:59 am

    Really. Except that if he “had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime”, he “would have said so”.

    What prosecutor says this?

    Munroe (cb6f8b)

  46. What prosecutor says this?

    Munroe (cb6f8b) — 5/29/2019 @ 9:26 am

    Every prosecutor who dismisses charges before or during ttial.

    DRJ (15874d)

  47. They choose to publicly fail to exonerate him while leaving mysterious the potential charges they failed to bring, or what confidence they had in such charges.

    Mueller released a report of the evidence he found. You can read it. I can read it. We don’t have to guess. But you seem to want him to lie and tell you Trump was exonerated on obstruction when, in fact, there is some evidence of obstruction.

    DRJ (15874d)

  48. A sitting President is a special case. Trump is fortunate he had a special prosecutor who took that seriously instead of a liberal version of Barr who ignored it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  49. Guy Benson
    @guypbenson
    Barr in April: “Rod Rosenstein and I asked Robert Mueller when we met with him on March 5, whether he would have made obstruction a crime but for the OLC opinion. He made it clear several times that it was not his position.”

    Would love to hear Mueller asked about this 🤷🏻‍♂️
    _

    harkin (ca2d1a)

  50. We are still responding, Kevin, I think. Maybe we aren’t. Maybe Trump doesn’t care.

    What did Russia do?

    Hacked election computers? They may have tried, but no one has claimed any votes were changed. Trump did not call for, acquiesce to, or cover up any such tampering. If true, this DOES need to be responded to, presumably by interfering in Russian elections.

    Paid people to be Internet trolls and disseminate disinformation to voters? Perhaps. But it’s a thimblefull in a seeming ocean of Internet trolls. It’s also a bad move by Putin, as America’s Internet trolls are unfettered by State constraints. They are not ahead in the Troll race.

    Dumped documents stolen from the Democratic campaign? They did. Did Trump disown these? He did not. Were they lies? They were not. Did they harm Clinton? They did. Did the public benefit from knowing these things? They did. Should we retaliate? Perhaps, make a case.

    Did the Clinton campaign attempt to dump documents on Trump? They did. Did Clinton disown these? She did, untruthfully. Were they lies? Some were, and came from the Clinton campaign through cut-outs. Did they harm Trump? They did. Did the public benefit from these things? To the degree they were truthful. Should we retaliate? Perhaps. Make a case.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  51. But you seem to want him to lie and tell you Trump was exonerated on obstruction when, in fact, there is some evidence of obstruction.

    No, I want him to STFU if he cannot make a simple declarative statement.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  52. Preferred. “As for the President, we took the position that the President can not be indicted and so did not attempt to determine his culpability, if any, with respect to obstruction. Read the report and make your own conclusions.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  53. The “we chose not to declare him innocent” thing is so upside-down that it grates.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  54. Kevin M

    In your world, no lawyer could ever speak. That’s a worthy goal.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  55. “Every prosecutor who dismisses charges before or during ttial.”
    DRJ (15874d) — 5/29/2019 @ 9:29 am

    Wow. “Every prosecutor…”

    Not even Comey.

    Munroe (1c5949)

  56. Would love to hear Mueller asked about this 🤷🏻‍♂️
    _

    harkin (ca2d1a) — 5/29/2019 @ 9:38 am

    His “position” is that he cannot charge a sitting President. All he can do is exonerate him if there is no evidence of a crime, but he can’t do that here.

    DRJ (15874d)

  57. Trying to turn the American legal system into England’s where you are guilty till proven innocent and can be arrested for going against the beliefs of the left.

    NJRob (2e9fbb)

  58. Trump’s defenders want to ignore the fact that “attempt” and “conspiracy” are frequently crimes in themselves – crimes for the little people, I suppose, rather than their political idols. They will vacillate between “No crime!” and “Process crime only!” and “Impeachment is ultimately political, not criminal!” as need be, but the report contains substantial evidence that inchoate crimes were committed. Trump’s defenders should be thanking Mueller for his prosecutorial conservatism, rather than whining at him for explaining its parameters and dictates.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  59. “[S]ubsection 1512(b) bans (1) knowingly, (2) using one of the prohibited forms of persuasion (intimidation, threat, misleading or corrupt persuasion), (3)(a) with the intent to prevent a witness’s testimony or physical evidence from being truthfully presented at official federal proceedings or (b) with the intent to prevent a witness from cooperating with authorities in a matter relating to a federal offense.64

    It also bans any attempt to so intimidate, threaten, or corruptly persuade.65 The term “corruptly” in the phrase “corruptly persuades” as it appears in subsection 1512(b) has been found to refer to the manner of persuasion,66 the motive for persuasion,67 and the manner of obstruction.68″

    People like to offer the argument that “Trump was saved by his incompetence and the disobedience of his underlings!!” This doesn’t prevent most people from being charged or convicted for attempted crimes. It doesn’t prevent the prosecution of a criminal who attempts (stupidly and unsuccessfully) to sell drugs or solicit child pornography from an undercover cop. Trump’s escape boils down to his office – nothing more.

    If people want to credit Trump for tripping through that massive loophole like an incompetent bumblef*ck, more power to them. The disintegration of American capacity for critical thinking continues apace.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  60. Mueller’s biggest fault in trusting that Trump’s supporters would be intelligent enough and intellectually honest enough to read between its lines. Since he believed he could not constitutionally charge Sitting President Trump for the attempt crimes that Trump committed, he took what he perceived to be the diplomatic approach to discussing those crimes: describe them, and let people reach the logical conclusion. The diplomatic approach is the approach of a bygone era, and Mueller’s diplomatic approach fell flat.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  61. Mueller released a report of the evidence he found. You can read it. I can read it. We don’t have to guess. But you seem to want him to lie and tell you Trump was exonerated on obstruction when, in fact, there is some evidence of obstruction.

    …or…

    He could just as easily have said: “We discovered probable cause to believe that President Trump committed the crime of X based upon the following evidence and testimony;

    1 Blah
    2 Blah
    3 Blah

    …however, DOJ policy doesn’t allow…blah, blah, blah

    He could have said that, knowing full well that President Trump would have gotten his “day in court” because it would have assured a completely justified impeachment based upon evidence in the public sphere, followed by a hearing in the Senate.

    Yet, he didn’t. Instead, he essentially said: “I don’t know he did commit a crime, but I also didn’t even consider that he didn’t“. That’s ham sandwich territory right there, just without the pomp and circumstance of a Grand Jury.

    MJN1957 (6f981a)

  62. “Schroedinger’s President. Guilty and Not Guilty at the same time.”

    – Kevin M

    If Schodinger tried to present his argument today, he would be faced with the surreal spectacle of a bunch of partisan hacks arguing that the cat was necessarily always dead or always alive, based on their political preferences. PETA would definitely weigh in.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  63. He’s said again what he wrote before.

    Both sides continue to insist on taking it at something other than face value, in the expectation that their secret hopes will be validated. They will not be. He will stick to what he wrote.

    I still have issues with how he reads the OLC memorandum. Although I’m perfectly content to agree (for purposes of argument) that the policy is correct and, indeed, perhaps even constitutionally compelled, I still don’t understand why he read it in way that precludes him from considering the ultimate issues that he deliberately refused to consider.

    Congress is free to draw its own conclusions on the ultimate issues concerning obstruction that Mueller decided to entirely sidestep. So too are members of the press and public. So, too, was Attorney General Barr, and as it happens, his conclusion, reached with the concurrence of Rod Rosenstein, is ultimately favorable to Trump and ends the DoJ inquiry on obstruction.

    We’ll see what happens next. The one thing I remain very sure will not happen next is Mueller saying, “Naw, that obstruction stuff was all nonsense, ignore that part of my report” or “What I was really thinking when I wrote that I wasn’t going to address the ultimate issues on obstruction is, ‘yes, this evidence lays out the case for obstruction, and despite what I wrote, I really did consider the ultimate issue and believed obstruction had been committed.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  64. So busy be a CIC; thus ‘a sitting president’ cannot be indicted; hence ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ and Yankee Doodle slogans pitching ‘no man is above the law’ is that much more false advertising.

    And Putin smiled…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  65. 50. Kevin M (21ca15) — 5/29/2019 @ 9:40 am

    What did Russia do?

    Hacked election computers? They may have tried, but no one has claimed any votes were changed

    They tried to get into the systems, that is the voter registration ad recordkeeping systems, but it’s a long process till you can get to the point where you can actually change votes, and they started much too late in the ballgame to have any success.

    What else they did was hack into the Democratic National Commmmittee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign commmittee, and they succeeded in getting into John Podesta’s Gmail account after he was phished and asked the people in charge of DNC email if that was real and was told it was legitimate. Now the IT person did tell his assistants how to reset his password securely but he also got told to reset it immediately.

    The Russians had also been trying to get into the RNC email but they had people there who actually knew what they were doing.

    After the hacking was stopped, and only after the hacking was stopped, they leaked emails. For instance, they were reading John Podesta’s Gmail account from March 2016 through August and they released that through Wikileaks in October.

    They also had fake identities and sockpuppeted postings and ads on Facebook and other places. No American was involved with any of that. It was all run out of St. Petersberg, Russia. Of course it was a thimblefull in the Internet sea. Still, it is not something Facebook or anybody wants.

    They also tried, inelegantly, to make contact with people in the Trump campaign, and had not too much success.

    Oh, and also, when the Clinton campaign secretly hired a former top British MI-6 agent to find out why Putin was supporting Trump, he got told lies. He, or the people he used as sub agents, didn’t get ignored, because the Russians didn’t want him to lose confidence in his sources from a decade before (and the idea they would freely talk)

    I think Putin knew everything the sources conveyed to Steele but he didn’t know Steele was working for American Democrats but thought he was working for the British government or British conservatives.

    And decided to help spoil relations between the US and the UK in case Trump got elected. he didn’t expect that to get out of the UK. (the counter-argument is that he knew the British and US igovernment shared intelligence, so why would he so sure this would not be working at cross purposes to his effort to elect Trump. A counterarguent to that was that maybe he didn’t want to elect Trump, but just make Americans suspicious of each other.)

    Steele got told two or three basic things, not all consistent with each other:

    1) The Russians had compromat on Trump – and they explained at least what one of the elements of this compromat was: Trump notionally so hated Obama that he decided to soil a bed Obama had slept in and had hired two prostitutes (because who would do this except prostitutes?) to urinate on the bed.

    2) Trump’s relationship with Russia went back years. “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years” said Steele’s first memo. (or the oldest oene Moer Jones got)

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/veteran-spy-gave-fbi-info-alleging-russian-operation-cultivate-donald-trump/

    And that:

    3) Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.” Trump and the Russians were going to co-ordinate future hacking. Michael Cohen had flown to Prague to discuss splitting the costs. The last two sentences are not derived from the Mother Jones story.

    This probably was not believed by the Democrats but later on got passed along to the FBI.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  66. What we don’t know – this is the big thing – is if somehow they had succeeded in placing Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort in the Trump campaign, but the Mueller report doesn’t say so. They didn’t really investigate how they got those jobs. Mueller was too interested in criminal activity.

    We also don’t know also if in some way they were influencing Mike Flynn.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  67. “Rod Rosenstein and I asked Robert Mueller when we met with him on March 5, whether he would have made obstruction a crime but for the OLC opinion. He made it clear several times that it was not his position.”

    That means Mueller didn’t say yes, and he didn’t say no.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  68. Mueller; so much a part of the now over 2018-19 TeeVee season. The season finales have all aired and the audience moved on from this show, too.

    ‘Trump Luck’ is in the air; buy that lottery ticket- “folks.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. That statement is filled with clear, logical declarative sentences, Kevin M.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  70. 59. To “corruptly persuade” means

    (2) using one of the prohibited forms of persuasion (intimidation, threat, misleading or corrupt persuasion),

    Intimidation: No.
    Threat: None here
    Misleading or Corrupt persuasion

    If Trump intended to dangle the hope of a pardon maybe you could have it.

    Also needed is:

    the intent to prevent a witness’s testimony or physical evidence from being truthfully presented at official federal proceedings or

    No indication of that. Trump constant refrain was that he was afraid they would lie. He was trying to prevent them from lying Are we supposed to believe he had no fear of that?

    Can we read between the lines? Only if there is something you know he wanted them to lie about.

    The following looks a bit more serious:

    (b) with the intent to prevent a witness from cooperating with authorities in a matter relating to a federal offense.

    He really did not want Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort to co-operate with federal authorities. But

    I think we can safely say that it was all because he was afraid they would lie. There’s no indication to the contrary. And then HE WASN’T REALLY DANGLING A PARDON OR DOING ANYTHING EXCEPT PUBLICLY CRITICIZING THEM.

    At most, this would be an indication he would not pardon them, if they had some hopes. So should have indicated he was open to a pardon even if they accused him of a crime?

    Trump’s main motive may have been to spoil any possibility of lying about him successfully. He didn’t want anyone to believe it.

    Now maybe he didn’t want people to believe the truth, also, sometimes, but there wasn’t much of that. Trump, guided by his lawyers, hewed pretty cloae to the truth in this matter.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  71. This Fox News article is absolutely consistent with DRJ’s report of Andy McCarthy’s reaction in #10 above.

    Put down the crack pipe, Andy, There’s nothing remotely “explosive” about a new statement which says, “Read my report.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  72. I watched Justin Amash’s entire town hall meeting. It’s available over at Reason.com.

    https://reason.com/2019/05/28/watch-at-town-hall-justin-amash-explains-impeachment-tweets-gets-asked-about-possible-libertarian-presidential-run/

    The linked video suffers at times from problems with audio, probably because the auditorium at the private Christian high school in Grand Rapids, the Devos Center for Arts and Worship, where the event was held, lacked state-of-the-art equipment, and because it was not a televised town hall meeting, a professional film crew was not present to provide coverage. However, it is well worth watching.

    Amash spoke and answered questions on a wide-range of subjects for over two hours. In my opinion, he conducted himself extraordinarily well. Articulate, intelligent and informed, he stood as a principled constitutional conservative and uncompromisingly defended his stance on every issue brought up for discussion, politely and with decorum.

    On the matter of impeachment, of which he is so far the only Republican to call for, he essentially took the same position as Mueller. It is a matter for Congress, and Congress has a duty.

    What was more illustrative than the answers he gave were the questions asked and the accusations made by the Trump supporters in the crowd. They sounded like some commenters on this thread.

    Look at some of you. Are you oblivious to the facts, or do you just engage in wild conspiracy theories?

    Mueller was not a Special Prosecutor, but rather a Special Counsel. In other words, he was an investigator. His and his team’s charge was to find evidence of criminal activity, if any occurred. Part 1 of the report found irrefutable evidence of criminal interference in the election by Russia and its operatives. It did not find evidence of active conspiracy in those crimes by Trump or members of his campaign, although it did note multiple instances of suspicious contacts between campaign members and Russian operatives. This part of the report is the most heavily redacted, to prevent disclosure of grand jury testimony and to protect sources and methods in ongoing investigations, of which there are fourteen, at last count. So, this part is far from over.

    When Mueller found evidence of other criminal activity by subjects under investigation, he referred those cases to the relevant district courts. Here’s the thing. Even if Mueller were one, prosecutors do not issue indictments. Grand juries do. Every indictment issued was made by a federal grand jury, to which the Special Counsel submitted evidence. Multiple indictments were issued, several guilty pleas were made, but only a few trials where held, in the relevant district courts. It is true that some of the lawyers involved in the prosecution of those cases were members of the Special Counsel’s team, but they wouldn’t have been had the grand jury not issued an indictment and the defendant had decided to not go to trial. That those defendants were found guilty on multiple counts by a judge and jury is hardly indicative of a conspiracy.

    Part 2 of the report, the less redacted, deals with obstruction of justice. Mueller took the position that he had to abide by DOJ policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted. That’s because prosecutors do not issue indictments. Grand juries do. And in the case of a sitting president, the grand jury is the House of Representatives. Thus, Mueller, as an investigator, gathered the evidence and submitted it to the Congress. That Barr issued a misleading statement and held a press conference before releasing the redacted report is largely irrelevant, except to reveal that he is obviously acting as a lap dog for the president.

    Congress now has the redacted report, although belatedly–the delay allows for misrepresentation and deception. Which Barr obviously thinks is his duty, to protect the president against any and all charges. But that’s not his duty. His duty is to protect and defend the Constitution, and represent the people, not any president. His role as attorney general is not that as a defense attorney.

    Amash makes the point that Mueller presented the evidence to the House, which is the grand jury, and that it is up to them to issue an indictment, which is what an impeachment is. The trial will be held in the Senate. He takes no position on how the Senate should rule, only on how it is the duty of the House to file an indictment, which it should, based on the evidence presented by the Mueller report.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  73. @53. Americans don’t want to be governed; they wish to be entertained, Kevin; ‘The Bob Mueller Show’ lost the audience three months ago and today, he officially cancelled his own show.

    “Syndication returns are minimal.” – Diana Christensen [Faye Dunaway] ‘Network’ 1976

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  74. CROWD: Speak to us, master!

    Special Counsel MUELLER [addressing crowd]: Go away!

    CROWD: A blessing! A blessing!

    RANDOM MEMBER OF CROWD: How shall we go away, Master?

    MUELLER: Oh, just go away and leave me alone!

    SECOND MEMBER OF CROWD: Give us a sign!

    FIRST MEMBER: He has given us a sign, he has lured us to this place.

    MUELLER: I didn’t bring you here, you just followed me!

    SECOND MEMBER: Ah, it’s still a good time by any standard.

    [after Mueller accidentally performs the miracle of the juniper bushes (omitted) ….]

    CROWD: A miracle! He is the Messiah!

    SECOND MEMBER: Hail the Messiah!

    MUELLER: I’m not the Messiah!

    SECOND MEMBER: I say you are, Lord, and I should know, I’ve followed a few!

    CROWD: Hail the Messiah!

    MUELLER: I am not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, you understand? Honestly! And I never reached any conclusions one way or the other about obstruction of justice, either!

    WOMAN IN CROWD: Only the true Messiah denies that he has reached any conclusions on the ultimate issues regarding obstruction of justice!

    MUELLER: What? Well [anguished] what sort of chance does that give me? [Obviously has a new idea, based on their refusal to believe his denial:] All right, I did reach an ultimate conclusion regarding obstruction of justice!

    CROWD: He is! He did reach an ultimate conclusion regarding obstruction of justice! He is the Messiah!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  75. This ‘I won’t take questions; the report is the statement’ etc., crap is a bit arrogant on Mueller’s part. He was hired, paid with and spent a helluva lot of taxpayer dollars. Open or closed door, really needs to be held to account in a Q&A w/Congress- open or closed door- if asked. Perhaps his $hit doesn’t smell, either.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  76. GG, I enjoyed reading your comment at #73, and agree with much of it. You are mistaken in implying, however, that a special counsel is only an investigator, or that he’s somehow “less of a prosecutor” than were, say, Leon Jaworski or Ken Starr.

    The regs were intended to, and do, make each special counsel the functional equivalent of a U.S. Attorney in charge of an entire federal district. That responsibility includes both investigation and prosecution. Mueller did both, and while you’re correct that he referred some of the prosecution outside his team, his team did indeed represent the United States against, most conspicuously, Paul Manafort in two hotly contested jury trials.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  77. “Look at some of you. Are you oblivious to the facts, or do you just engage in wild conspiracy theories?
    Gawain’s Ghost (b25cd1) — 5/29/2019 @ 12:02 pm

    Wild conspiracy theories are totally legit, until the two year shelf life expires.

    Munroe (4a2909)

  78. The economy is strong; the government is daily entertainment; we can afford to dine out. What’s on the menu for 2020: 24 weenies or the Trump Steak.

    Steak wins out– ‘well done.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  79. Its over never trumpers. Move on. 90% of republican party supports trump and told you never trumpers get out of the party if you don’t support the president you are not wanted. Anti trump establishment donor class and neo-con intelligencia elitists take your money and your ideology to the libertarian party they will put up with your bullish*t for $$$!

    lany (09f4e2)

  80. meanwhile a deputy fbi director, did leak info to reporters, but he isn’t even named and of course no action will be taken,

    narciso (d1f714)

  81. Kevin M said:

    The “we chose not to declare him innocent” thing is so upside-down that it grates.

    Kevin M (21ca15) — 5/29/2019 @ 9:49 am

    This.

    Mueller pulled a Comey.

    James Comey was rightly criticized when he publicly exonerated Hillary Clinton.

    Just as Robert Mueller ought to be criticized for having a prosectuturial operandus mundi to “prove and declare a target’s innocence, rather than to charge criminality”.

    If they couldn’t come to any conclusion whether or not Trump could be indicted, then the report shouldn’t have aired out the dirty laundry of their analysis over the specifics of the investigation. Mueller/the report should’ve simply stated that the SCO chose not to pursue further indictments, and leave it at that.

    Instead, if the Mueller team wanted a report tailored for public/congressional consumption, then he should of charged Trump with obstruction, and then forced AG Barr & the DOJ assert the OLC memo that he couldn’t. Then, it’d be kosher to air out the investigative findings, as Barr promised to released in it’s entirety.

    But this, idea that prosecutor ought to be of mind to claim they couldn’t prove the target’s innocence is really dangerous and corrosive.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  82. Mueller did not say he couldn’t prove Trump’s innocence. He said he couldn’t say that, based on the evidence, Trump was innocent, but that since he couldn’t indict Trump, he preferred to say nothing. In essence, he put the evidence in the report and invited everyone to decide for themselves.

    kishnevi (0c10d1)

  83. kishnevi said:

    Mueller did not say he couldn’t prove Trump’s innocence. He said he couldn’t say that, based on the evidence, Trump was innocent, but that since he couldn’t indict Trump, he preferred to say nothing. In essence, he put the evidence in the report and invited everyone to decide for themselves.

    Mueller stated to the effect of:
    “If we were confident Trump had not committed any crimes, we would have said that.”

    How would you interpret that?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  84. “We can not say for certain whether he did NOT commit a crime!” is the prosecutor’s version of “We can not say for certain whether my client is guilty!”

    Or, for that matter, a gunner’s version of “we cannot say for certain whether the village I shot WASN’T Viet Cong!”

    Mueller’s pension has vested, his checks have cleared, his book deal has advanced, and his usefulness as a handsome face fronting for ugly Democrat hacks and their even uglier Constitutional theories is at an end.

    First Lieutenant Mueller (7b0b96)

  85. I wonder if Mr. Graham has any balls to subpoena Mr. Mueller?

    mg (8cbc69)

  86. Hey Passable information ! a greatoffering
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    JordanBit (25f5a4)

  87. @ whembly, who wrote (#82):

    Mueller pulled a Comey.

    James Comey was rightly criticized when he publicly exonerated Hillary Clinton.

    Your attribution is badly off: Mueller announced nothing; he provided his report to Barr.

    Barr decided to release the report, not Mueller. Only very rarely thereafter, on sharply limited subject matters, has Mueller made any public comment.

    Every Trump supporter who’s whining about this should blame Donald Trump’s attorney general, not Bob Mueller. But they don’t, because, hey — it’s Trumptown, baby, where facts and logic don’t matter, and the Trump supporters like to whine along with Trump. It makes them feel like he cares about them, oddly enough.

    You’re right that we’re in uncharted waters any time anyone at the Department of Justice is publicly commenting on investigations and non-prosecution decisions that didn’t result in a public indictment. But Barr steered that ship there. Practically every senator who examined him during his confirmation hearings demanded that he commit then that, when the Mueller report was given to him, he’d give it to Congress and the public (after redactions)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  88. Mueller is working for someone and its not the American people.

    mg (8cbc69)

  89. “Every Trump supporter who’s whining about this should blame Donald Trump’s attorney general, not Bob Mueller.”

    I do blame Sessions for not quashing the ever-more transparently fake and ineffectual investigation at the outset.

    “You’re right that we’re in uncharted waters any time anyone at the Department of Justice is publicly commenting on investigations and non-prosecution decisions that didn’t result in a public indictment.”

    Indeed, when normal investigators and prosecutors have such extremely foreseeable failures of that magnitude, they usually have the sense to fade away quietly like Homer into the bushes. But the media and the money men with want what they cried and paid for, so judging this by the narrow results-based standards of the private sector is probably a little premature. And of course, if you assume that the entire thing was a gigantic excuse for Hillary Clinton’s failure (as evidenced by their loud repetition of AMERICA’S HIGH-TECH ELECTION SYSTEMS (patent pending) WERE INTERFERED WITH BY RUSSIAN NATIONALS CONNECTED TO THE MILITARY (just as happens with literally every single other country America has serious dealings with) then it makes even more political sense.

    “But Barr steered that ship there. Practically every senator who examined him during his confirmation hearings demanded that he commit then that, when the Mueller report was given to him, he’d give it to Congress and the public (after redactions)”

    And as far as we’ve seen, that’s precisely what was done, at least for certain values of the word ‘redaction’. The three or four people who still assume the House and Senate operate by apolitical principles have no cause to complain that Mueller’s increasingly threadbare cover for ever-more shockingly abusive legal practice was treated with the eyerolls and soft derision it deserved.

    This is, after all, what a return to normalcy and common sense after three years of enduring an open-air media insane asylum is all about.

    Justin Amash's Principled Product Labeler (3074c8)

  90. 88

    @Beldar
    @ whembly, who wrote (#82):
    Mueller pulled a Comey.
    James Comey was rightly criticized when he publicly exonerated Hillary Clinton.

    Your attribution is badly off: Mueller announced nothing; he provided his report to Barr.

    Barr decided to release the report, not Mueller. Only very rarely thereafter, on sharply limited subject matters, has Mueller made any public comment.

    Every Trump supporter who’s whining about this should blame Donald Trump’s attorney general, not Bob Mueller. But they don’t, because, hey — it’s Trumptown, baby, where facts and logic don’t matter, and the Trump supporters like to whine along with Trump. It makes them feel like he cares about them, oddly enough.

    You’re right that we’re in uncharted waters any time anyone at the Department of Justice is publicly commenting on investigations and non-prosecution decisions that didn’t result in a public indictment. But Barr steered that ship there. Practically every senator who examined him during his confirmation hearings demanded that he commit then that, when the Mueller report was given to him, he’d give it to Congress and the public (after redactions)

    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/29/2019 @ 3:44 pm

    I blame both… here’s why:
    1) Mueller and his team knew that report would be released to the public somehow…as such, it was obviously tailored in such fashion. Don’t believe me? All you have to know is Mueller sending that lawyerly letter to Barr complaining how the media took to Barr’s initial bottom-line findings report. Furthermore, I especially have a problem with his statement that “After that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” Prosecutor having this mindset is a bit troubling, as it’s not the job of the prosecutor to determine if a target is innocent. Also, his job isn’t to lay out the groundwork for Congress to consider impeachment as that report is supposed to be just a prosecutor’s final determination report to his superior. As such, this will be the last time we’re likely going to see a special counsel.
    2) Barr should’ve pushed back to the SCO and made them make a determination to indict on Obstruction. That was Mueller’s expressed job. If he won’t indict, then why the hell did we need a special counsel? If he wanted to indict… he should’ve done so, and force the DOJ to assert that OLC memo that prohibits that…THEN double-dare Barr to release the report that describes the rationale. If SCO refuses to indict, then the “laying out the evidence as-if” ought to be muted, as long standing DOJ policy is that prosecutor shouldn’t smear their unindicted targets. (hence why the whole unindicted co-conspirator crap we’ve seen in other cases is so problematic).

    So yes, I do blame Barr for handling the report in this fashion. Yet, weirdly he doesn’t get enough credit for the level of transparency he has given the public. (I think you did give Barr credit tho)

    whembly (fd57f6)

  91. Blame whoever you damn please, but get your facts straight first.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  92. A graceful debater, whembly — which I have always found you to be in the past — acknowledges it when he’s made a gross factual blunder.

    I wish you would, because that might in fact prompt a moment of reflection by others who are chanting this “He pulled a Comey” crap. It’s crap. It is counterfactual and contrary to law (the regs, which give Barr the exclusive discretion that he, exclusively, exercised in deciding to make public all the things Barr said in his report (save for a few redactions).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  93. The findings of the investigatoon were of too much public importance not to be made public, even if the law didn’t explictly call for it. And then it became, although unenforceable, a condition of Barr’s confirmation to the job of Attorney General.

    A;though we shold all bear in mind the possibility of bias. Mueller is being treated by some like he si the last word. No one deserves that position.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  94. I wrote before Barr released anything that I was profoundly conflicted about what he should and shouldn’t release. I made the Comey comparison then, to Barr, not Mueller, which is ridiculous and ridiculously unfair. I noted, as you say, whembly, that Barr had taken the invitation of both sides’ senators to climb way out on the transparency limb.

    Well, this is the result of Barr’s transparency: The Congress, and the public, got to read the unflattering reports of Mueller’s report along with the rest of what Mueller’s team found.

    But do not put the blame for the Congress or the public having Mueller’s words to quote. Put the blame squarely where the regs place it, on the Attorney General.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  95. What is striking is that no one suggested that impeachment was unnecessary since crimes could always be prosecuted directly. It seemed a given that they could not.

    On the contrary.

    The constitution says that impeachment does (“…shall not extend further than …”) only two things: removes the convictee from office, and disqualifies them from future offices. Nothing more. It is not a substitute for criminal prosecution.

    Nor does it create liability to prosecution that did not already exist – if it did, it would “extend further than” removal and disqualification.

    Further, what is true of impeachment of the president applies to a host of other officials (“all civil officers of the United States”). Apart from the specific modalities of the trial (Chief Justice presiding over trial, etc) there is no difference between impeaching the president and impeaching a postmaster. If a president is immune to prosecution because the constitution provides for removal from office by impeachment, then so is every other petty bureaucrat.

    Elsewhere in the Constitution, clear and unambiguous language is used to grant immunity from prosecution to specific officials under specific circumstances. No such immunity is granted to the president.

    Dave (1bb933)

  96. @Beldar: You’re right, Mueller didn’t “pull a Comey” like a stated earlier. To everyone else, Beldar is right to challenge this assertion.

    I guess my mind tracked to the part where Mueller stated “if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so” that it was synonymous to Comey’s “Hillary was extremely careless” (instead of stating grossly negligence). I took it has he was placing his thumb on the scale…ala what Comey did.

    whembly (4605df)

  97. “A gunner’s version of “we cannot say for certain whether the village I shot WASN’T Viet Cong!”“

    – First Lieutenant Mueller

    That line was more than good enough for most Americans when we were shooting villages (sic) in Vietnam. You’re telling me that you have higher standards than that? When did you develop them?

    Also, Trump defenders should not make Vietnam analogies.

    Leviticus (6b28ef)

  98. @ Beldar

    But do not put the blame for the Congress or the public having Mueller’s words to quote. Put the blame squarely where the regs place it, on the Attorney General.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/29/2019 @ 4:26 pm

    I definitely blame Barr, as he should’ve handled it different. But, I believe the SCO had to know that the report would be released to the public, and the report reflected that as they wanted their narrative to be told.

    It is one big ball of mess and it appears “the ball” is in Congress’s court now.

    whembly (4605df)

  99. Mueller and his team knew that report would be released to the public somehow…as such, it was obviously tailored in such fashion. Don’t believe me? All you have to know is Mueller sending that lawyerly letter to Barr complaining how the media took to Barr’s initial bottom-line findings report.

    Bull crap on stilts, every word.

    Mueller’s letter of objection was written to Barr, his boss, not to the press. More significantly, it was sent after, not before, Barr had already decided to release his (Barr’s) four page memo and to not release Mueller’s executive summary.

    I defy you or anyone to find me one bit of law or regulation that would have compelled the Mueller report to become public if Barr hadn’t decided to release it. There is none. I defy you or anyone to point to any federal official, in any branch of government, who had authority to make that decision in lieu of the Attorney General. There is no such person.

    So unless Mueller was a time traveler, who, upon seeing Barr release his four-page memo, decided to go back and re-write his report on the assumption that the whole thing would eventually be released, your argument is factually impossible.

    Did Mueller probably assume that Barr would release it? I’m sure that he, like me, watched large chunks of Barr’s confirmation hearing. I’m sure Mueller heard Barr leave himself an out — along the lines of “to the extent we can do that consistently with the applicable regulations and laws” — every single time he appeared to commit. Would Barr have been accused by senators of both parties of being a prevaricator and deceiver, had he said, “The application regulation and laws leave this decision to me, and I’ve decided to release nothing”? Yes, of course. Would the Trump Administration have won the subsequent lawsuits by the House and others trying to pry the Mueller report out of an unwilling Barr DoJ? I actually think that yes, they had an excellent shot at that.

    Take the man at face value. Give him that much respect, instead of making up facts about him or putting words in his mouth.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  100. @ whembly: Thanks for your #97, which is as gracious as I’ve always found you to be despite holding strong opinions.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  101. Can someone summarize the ways that Trump could be guilty of obstructon of justice without someone else being a co-conspirator? (and no one else was indicted for obstruction of justice.)

    One way could be with some of his tweets, but Mueller did not investigate that.

    Another way could be the firing of Comey, if that was to be considered obstruction, because that he did alone. (although he involved other people.)

    Instructions he gave? So nobody carried it out, or they didn’t reakize their true purpose?

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  102. @ Beldar

    Mueller and his team knew that report would be released to the public somehow…as such, it was obviously tailored in such fashion. Don’t believe me? All you have to know is Mueller sending that lawyerly letter to Barr complaining how the media took to Barr’s initial bottom-line findings report.

    Bull crap on stilts, every word.

    Mueller’s letter of objection was written to Barr, his boss, not to the press. More significantly, it was sent after, not before, Barr had already decided to release his (Barr’s) four page memo and to not release Mueller’s executive summary.

    I’m not sure I stated otherwise Beldar, so I’m confused why you think I’m implying that.

    I defy you or anyone to find me one bit of law or regulation that would have compelled the Mueller report to become public if Barr hadn’t decided to release it. There is none. I defy you or anyone to point to any federal official, in any branch of government, who had authority to make that decision in lieu of the Attorney General. There is no such person.

    I don’t know the answer to that question, other than possible Congressional oversight. Yeah, they’d probably have to go to court, but oversight is pretty broad… isn’t it?

    So unless Mueller was a time traveler, who, upon seeing Barr release his four-page memo, decided to go back and re-write his report on the assumption that the whole thing would eventually be released, your argument is factually impossible.

    I’m really confused about this. I’m not saying this at all. I’m saying, that the SCO wanted to sell a certain narrative, irrespective to anything what Barr has stated or done. And that, when Barr did his 4-page memo, it was found out that Mueller (or his team) had issues with how the media was reacting to Barr’s memo. (hell, that letter was released to the public to strategically embarrass Barr prior to his Senate testimony)

    Did I totally misunderstand the events here?

    Did Mueller probably assume that Barr would release it? I’m sure that he, like me, watched large chunks of Barr’s confirmation hearing. I’m sure Mueller heard Barr leave himself an out — along the lines of “to the extent we can do that consistently with the applicable regulations and laws” — every single time he appeared to commit. Would Barr have been accused by senators of both parties of being a prevaricator and deceiver, had he said, “The application regulation and laws leave this decision to me, and I’ve decided to release nothing”? Yes, of course. Would the Trump Administration have won the subsequent lawsuits by the House and others trying to pry the Mueller report out of an unwilling Barr DoJ? I actually think that yes, they had an excellent shot at that.

    I don’t disagree with this one bit… except that Congress could possible prevail in court due to their oversight perogatives. But, that may take a long time to navigate in the courts to render it politically moot.

    Take the man at face value. Give him that much respect, instead of making up facts about him or putting words in his mouth.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/29/2019 @ 4:33 pm

    Take Mueller’s words at face value? I’m sorry… I can’t. I’m just that cynical. And I don’t think I’m making things up or putting words in his mouth. Maybe I’m doing such a poor job explaining my positions…

    whembly (4605df)

  103. Trump wants you wee-wee’d up about this — about the fact that Mueller came out with a new statement which says, “Read my report.”

    The Democrats want you wee-wee’d up about this too, because they’re swooning over their latest reading-between-the-lines of what Mueller didn’t say, and think he might say more.

    He’s not saying more. He practically calls anyone who expects him to say more an idiot. He dares any congressman to try to make him speculate on the witness stand, or to say a single substantive thing besides: Read my report.

    I am not wee-wee’d up about today’s events at all, except for my revulsion at both categories of people aforementioned, which is nothing new and thus not worth getting wee-wee’d up beyond my normal revulsion for liars and the feeble minded.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  104. Mueller wrote the executive smamries so that they wold be capable of being released immediately. Of course he assumed a lot would be released. At a minimum, his summaries. It doesn’t matter that under the law maybe nothing could be released. There was an unwritten law here.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  105. #102

    Can someone summarize the ways that Trump could be guilty of obstructon of justice without someone else being a co-conspirator? (and no one else was indicted for obstruction of justice.)

    One way could be with some of his tweets, but Mueller did not investigate that.

    Another way could be the firing of Comey, if that was to be considered obstruction, because that he did alone. (although he involved other people.)

    Instructions he gave? So nobody carried it out, or they didn’t reakize their true purpose?

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea) — 5/29/2019 @ 4:44 pm

    Outright offering pardons to change testimonies?

    I have the Mueller report and tried to ctrl+F the place where the report mentioned that pardons was dangled… but, can’t find it at the moment. But, I don’t recall anything substantial, but I can certainly see that as witness tampering.

    Also, his tweet threatening Cohen’s father-in-law, which I’m surprised Mueller didn’t really hammer that point or Democrats in general.

    whembly (4605df)

  106. When has a congressional oversight privilege been held to trump (a) the grand jury secrecy laws, or (b) DoJ policies & regulations, such that the DoJ had to turn over anything to Congress as to which the DoJ fervently wished to maintain investigatory privilege?

    Never once. They’d like to think their contempt pop-gun is a big pop-gun. It is not.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  107. The CBS Evening News, proabably affected by what Democrats in Congress said, also thought that what Mueller said today was important. But Beldar is right – he said nothing new. (but he said it on videotape)

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  108. @ Beldar who said:

    Trump wants you wee-wee’d up about this — about the fact that Mueller came out with a new statement which says, “Read my report.”

    The Democrats want you wee-wee’d up about this too, because they’re swooning over their latest reading-between-the-lines of what Mueller didn’t say, and think he might say more.

    He’s not saying more. He practically calls anyone who expects him to say more an idiot. He dares any congressman to try to make him speculate on the witness stand, or to say a single substantive thing besides: Read my report.

    I am not wee-wee’d up about today’s events at all, except for my revulsion at both categories of people aforementioned, which is nothing new and thus not worth getting wee-wee’d up beyond my normal revulsion for liars and the feeble minded.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/29/2019 @ 4:48 pm

    If I could like a post, Beldar you’d have all of mine for this post. Seriously lol’ed out loud…

    In short, Mueller said “Read the @#$% report!”

    whembly (4605df)

  109. @Beldar said:

    When has a congressional oversight privilege been held to trump (a) the grand jury secrecy laws, or (b) DoJ policies & regulations, such that the DoJ had to turn over anything to Congress as to which the DoJ fervently wished to maintain investigatory privilege?

    Never once. They’d like to think their contempt pop-gun is a big pop-gun. It is not.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/29/2019 @ 4:51 pm

    Eh… good point. I stand corrected then. Many apologies for getting you all riled up.

    whembly (4605df)

  110. Every prosecutor who dismisses charges before or during trial.

    Hardly. If before trial, they just say “there’s not enough evidence, we won’t take it.” They don’t make any gratuitous public statement about how they aren’t proclaiming innocence. During trial they say, “Oops. Case dismissed” and generally don’t want to talk about it at all.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  111. whembly (4605df) — 5/29/2019 @ 4:50 pm

    Outright offering pardons to change testimonies?

    Trump didn’t offer any pardons and he didn’t tell anyone to change their testimony. (he wanted them not to change their testimony, if anything.)

    His lawyers and Trump settled on a policy with regard to pardons: They would tell anyone inquiring about apardon that no pardons would be considred until the process was over, and they should base their legal strategy on an assumption that there would NOT be pardon. This they told some people over and over. What Trump didn’t do is swear he would never pardon anyone. he refused to do that.

    If a pardon had been offered to change someone’s testimony, the person(s) passing along that message would have been guilty of obstruction of justice and according to Mueller’s own statement today, should have been indicted as a co-conspirator because he said that possibility was one reason DOJ policy had for investigatinbg a president even though he couldn’t be indicted.

    I have the Mueller report and tried to ctrl+F the place where the report mentioned that pardons was dangled… but, can’t find it at the moment.

    I’ll look for something like that, too, in the printed book,

    But, I don’t recall anything substantial, but I can certainly see that as witness tampering.

    So then, there’s nothing.

    Also, his tweet threatening Cohen’s father-in-law, which I’m surprised Mueller didn’t really hammer that point or Democrats in general.

    A tweet, like I said. But that amounted to an empty threat. Basically a threat to make trouble for him through his lawyers.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  112. His “position” is that he cannot charge a sitting President. All he can do is exonerate him if there is no evidence of a crime, but he can’t do that here.

    Nonsense. Jaworski NAMED Nixon as “an unindicted co-conspirator.” That kinda blows right through your “all he can do”.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  113. mr. donald the president also known as trump is the most innocent president in the white house and that’s why i love him

    mr. mueller the special prosecutor also known as gestapo should have said so too but he has no love in his heart

    nk (dbc370)

  114. Beldar (69, 70):

    I’m fine with it right up to this pile of tea leaves:

    “As set forth in our report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.”

    …and then the following folderol about how there is no way to make a case against the President because he cannot be indicted. As I just pointed out, Jaworski felt he had enough evidence to accuse the President of several crimes, and listed them without a formal indictment.

    Mueller has tried to have it both ways. He has some evidence but was unwilling to commit to spelling out the crimes that he could not indict Trump for. So we have that backhanded statement that basically says nothing that he could not have said before investigating.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  115. Nonsense. Jaworski NAMED Nixon as “an unindicted co-conspirator.” That kinda blows right through your “all he can do”.

    Kevin M (21ca15) — 5/29/2019 @ 5:07 pm

    The DOJ Guidelines regarding indicting/prosecuting a sitting President are dated October 16, 2000, Kevin. Both the Nixon/Jaworski and Clinton/Starr investigations occurred before that date and under a different (independent counsel, not special counsel) law.

    DRJ (15874d)

  116. Mueller needs to be subpoena by the Senate Judiciary Committee and cross-examined. I know he’s such a great man that only God talks to him, but maybe some Congressman can get him to answer some questions about his probe and his disgraceful performance today.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  117. Trump wants you wee-wee’d up about this — about the fact that Mueller came out with a new statement which says, “Read my report.”

    Oh, I’m not pissed off about the report and I suspect that Mueller would like that “we would have said so” sentence back. It probably sounded clever in the committee room, but it was more trouble than it was worth. It just leaves far too much room for spin.

    Does it mean: “We cannot bring an indictment, and would not bring one if we could”? Or maybe “We cannot bring an indictment, otherwise we would have”? It is not the simple “We cannot bring an indictment” that they pretend it is.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  118. Trump wanted to fire Mueller and replace him with someone more objective. Mueller was Comey’s big pal, he appointed Storzk and Lisa Page to his team, along with 12 screaming liberal Democrats out of Trump’s scalp. Hillary Clinton couldn’t have picked a more anti_Trump team. Then, he takes almost 2 YEARS to finish his work and he’s STILL quibbling with Barr over the Report presentation.

    Let’s get Messiah Mueller in front of the TV cameras and have him answer some questions for us mere mortals who are supposedly being “represented” in DC. To revise the old saying: In Washington, only CNN talks to Mueller, and Mueller only talks to God. And that needs to stop.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  119. As set forth in our report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime. The introduction to volume two of our report explains that decision.

    Thanks BOB! I can see why it took you two years, to say “Maybe yes, Maybe No”. Bravo!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  120. What was disgraceful about Mueller’s performance today, rcocean? Be specific.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  121. “The Attorney General has previously stated that the Special Counsel repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying that, but for the OLC opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice. The Special Counsel’s report and his statement today made it clear that the office concluded it would not reach a determination-one way or the other-about whether the President committed a crime. There is no conflict between these statements.” Kerri Kupec, Spokeswoman for the Department of Justice and Peter Carr, Spokesman for the Special Counsel’s Office. https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand

    Parse away……

    Pete (3aedd6)

  122. Here’s how CNN blurbs the statement in my news aggregator:

    “If we thought Trump hadn’t committed a crime, we’d have said”

    Now, if you read the actual article, it says

    “If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so”

    These are not identical statements, but to some they will appear to be, and Mueller’s actual statement is too convoluted, and has at least two weasels (“if we had confidence” and “clearly did not”) that make it extremely slippery and prone to misquote.

    When he goes on to say that they didn’t make a determination, the “if we had confidence” becomes even weaselier, since no answer => no confidence in ANY answer.

    This is an unforced error by Mueller’s team that colors his report depending only on which color of crayon you happen to have.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  123. Am I the only one who finds this tedious? Obviously Russia interfered with our elections to benefit Trump’s election, and obviously Trump did many things to shut down the investigation and obstruct it, and obviously that investigation proved crimes in a court of law.

    Whether the house does its job, or the senate votes honestly… that’s politics. That Trump obstructed justice is simply a fact.

    And I agree with Kevin. Mueller could have abided by his rules and still written in this report “I believe, and a reasonable person would believe, that the following events demonstrate the following crime.” He doesn’t have to actually indict anybody to tell us what conclusions the taxpayers get out of this investigation. It’s no surprise he’s sticking to the report. All day these prosecutors see process crimes when people deviate from their carefully crafted statements… why would he do that too?

    Dustin (6d7686)

  124. Pete,

    This parses however one wants it to parse. It could mean that everyone thought Trump was guilty, guilty, guilty, but had decided that if they couldn’t prosecute they were going to remain mute. Or almost mute. Or it could mean that they knew they didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute, but luckily for them they couldn’t prosecute anyway.

    But I’ll bet that every hour was billed at the going rate, and sadly no one could figure out how to bill another hour.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  125. ‘Does it mean: “We cannot bring an indictment, and would not bring one if we could”? Or maybe “We cannot bring an indictment, otherwise we would have”? It is not the simple “We cannot bring an indictment” that they pretend it is.’
    Kevin M (21ca15) — 5/29/2019 @ 5:33 pm

    Maybe it means “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Wait, no, that’s from the “suspects with D after their name” guidelines.

    Munroe (5b126a)

  126. Dustin, it is tedious. Cue “Move On dot Org”

    Trump is a liar and a clown. He’s a crook in real estate and business in general (not that this is unusual). He may be a crook as President, but that’s about my 27th best reason why he should be impeached.

    Impeaching him for a process crime, when you cannot get him on the big-deal crime he was investigated on, will backfire with the public. If I thought it would bounce him before the New Hampshire primary, I’d be all for it. But it won’t and would just burnish his image as the bane of the hated Establishment.

    Impeach him for being a clown, a fool, and a clear and present danger to national security and you might get a conviction. But this process stuff is only of interest to the foaming-mouth brigade, and lawyers.

    So, let’s move on.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  127. The DOJ Guidelines regarding indicting/prosecuting a sitting President are dated October 16, 2000, Kevin. Both the Nixon/Jaworski and Clinton/Starr investigations occurred before that date and under a different (independent counsel, not special counsel) law.

    Neither Jaworski nor Starr indicted or prosecuted. They simply concluded that crimes had been committed by the President and listed them. Does the new law say they cannot conclude that a crime has been committed?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  128. @ Kevin M: Mueller and his team were on salary, not billing anyone by the hour.

    I’m sick to death of people twisting and torturing the facts to try to support the conclusions they want to reach. Why make things like this up? It doesn’t tarnish Mueller’s reputation, but that of the fabricator.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  129. Maybe it means “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Wait, no, that’s from the “suspects with D after their name” guidelines.

    It didn’t mean that, and we know it because Mueller used the “no reasonable prosecutor” line (to be precise, a functional equivalent) in dealing with the Collusion aspect. But he expressly did not say that in dealing with the Obstruction aspect.

    Kishnevi (a6653c)

  130. Impeach him for being a clown, a fool, and a clear and present danger to national security and you might get a conviction. But this process stuff is only of interest to the foaming-mouth brigade, and lawyers.

    I would have said that the Democrats need something to keep them busy besides raising money for their reelections and jerking off, but trying to overturn the election for two and a half years now and only spinning their wheels is not the best something they could have picked.

    nk (dbc370)

  131. I think 128 is the best question I’ve heard. Why did Mueller not make a case for obstruction if the case could be made? Or, why did he render no opinion? There is no OLC prohibition on that. No Trump fan here, btw.

    JRH (52aed3)

  132. Mueller and his team were on salary, not billing anyone by the hour.

    Sorry, I am just cynical about the practice of law. The other day I got a “class action settlement” offer, where the class split about $35,000 and the lawyers got about $10 million. This colors my judgement.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  133. “Mueller’s performance made it clear for all to see that what he ran for the last two years wasn’t an independent investigation pursuant to the rule of law so much as an inquisition motivated by political animus. Mueller and his team refused to charge prominent Democrats for crimes he charged against Republicans. Paul Manafort was charged with unregistered lobbying for foreign governments, while Mueller left alone long-time Democrat donor Tony Podesta and former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig.

    George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn were charged with making false statements to federal investigators, while Clinton campaign cronies Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele’s false statements to Congress and the FBI were ignored. Trump’s nonexistent Russian connections were plumbed while a dubious Clinton campaign-funded dossier sourced directly to Russian officials was used as a prosecutorial roadmap rather than rock-solid evidence of actual campaign collusion with the Kremlin.

    Mueller claimed his report spoke for itself, then put together a completely unnecessary press conference more than a month after his report’s public release, in which he not just spoke for the report, but expounded on the new legal standards he created to govern its conclusions.

    These are the actions not of an impartial and independent investigator, but of a scheming political operative. None of this is any surprise to anyone who has followed Mueller’s tenure in government. As FBI director, Mueller repeatedly misused and abused the authority granted to him by Congress.

    Mueller and Comey utterly bungled the federal investigation into the 2001 Anthrax attacks, resulting in a $5.8 million judgment against the government after the two men falsely accused an innocent man of being behind the attacks.

    Even after the court judgment against him, Mueller was defiant.

    “I do not apologize for any aspect of the investigation,” Mueller said afterward. He then doubled down and said it would be wrong to say there were any mistakes in how he handled the investigation.

    Then there was Mueller’s handling as FBI director of a case in which FBI agents framed innocent men of murders the FBI knew had been committed by their own informants. One of the innocent men died in prison awaiting justice for a crime he never committed.

    Then, as special counsel to investigate Russian collusion during the 2016 campaign, Mueller promptly hired partisan Democrats to run his investigation. He tapped as investigators FBI personnel who openly discussed their hatred of Trump and his voters, as well as their plans to keep him out of office.

    There’s no longer any doubt about who Robert Mueller is or why he conducted himself the way he did. As abominable as his press conference was, we should in many ways be thankful that Mueller so willingly displayed for all to see his disdain for basic rules of prosecutorial conduct, his total lack of self-awareness, and his naked desire to stick it to Trump.”

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/29/mueller-just-proved-his-entire-operation-was-a-political-hit-job-that-trampled-the-rule-of-law/#.XO7Eeeathj0.twitter

    harkin (58d012)

  134. ^ LOL

    Dustin (6d7686)

  135. Here’s what I really don’t get. We’ve had such a long time to process how the election went down. Anyone who cares about it has made up their mind. We know what he did. Some think we should be grateful to Russia for stepping in. Some don’t.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/446076-white-house-asked-for-uss-john-mccain-to-be-out-of-sight-during

    The email, dated May 15, included an outline of plans for the president’s arrival, including instructions for the ship.

    “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight,” the email reportedly read. “Please confirm #3 will be satisfied.”

    Hilarious may sound like an ugly way to describe that, but I laughed. The Trump administration is a caricature of a presidency. They are how an Austin Powers movie would portray an evil president. It’s nice to step back and just laugh at the situation. And it’s such a gift to Obama, who accomplished so little but is graded on a curve.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  136. The USS John S. McCain was the ship involved in the collision with a freighter which killed 10 US Navy sailors.

    It was named after grandfather Admiral John S. McCain Sr. and father Admiral John S. McCain Jr. before Senator John S. McCain III’s name was added.

    nk (dbc370)

  137. No, Kevin M, it is coloring your facts.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  138. No, Kevin M, it is coloring your facts.

    What facts? I said that “I bet that …”

    This is a signal that it is a supposition, not a statement of fact.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  139. The DOJ Guidelines regarding indicting/prosecuting a sitting President are dated October 16, 2000, Kevin.

    They actually date back to September 1973. The October 2000 guidelines were just an update of existing policy.

    Paul Montagu (ed733c)

  140. So, Mueller “did not exonerate” Trump on obstruction charges, and according to Drudge this “Opens the Door to Impeachment.”

    I say go for it Dems. You could not prove collusion — and you are going to have to tell the public that — but maybe they caught Trump trying to obstruct the probe into something he didn’t do. Legally, I guess you got him, assuming that “not exonerating” means “proving him guilty”. To some it does.

    Politically? All you will do is make him stronger, while making it IMPOSSIBLE for anyone in the GOP to oppose him. Not even Sasse will vote for conviction on these charges.

    But, who knows. Deceive, inveigle, obfuscate, and maybe you get a miracle. Or maybe you lose the House and 8 Senate seats. Do you feel lucky?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  141. The Trump administration is a caricature of a presidency. They are how an Austin Powers movie would portray an evil president. It’s nice to step back and just laugh at the situation.

    Speaking of which, here’s the crowd-funding page to pay for another flight of the “Trump Baby” balloon during President Snowflake’s upcoming state visit to the UK. Only four days left to meet the goal – give generously!

    :)

    Dave (1bb933)

  142. The power of optics matter and Mueller’s ‘read my report, I’m done talking about this’ doesn’t cut it in the age of short-burst-copy-Trump-tweeting.

    Back in the day Dean had a statement hundreds of pages long and rather than submitting it to the Senate Select Committee to be read and doing straight Q&A referring to it w/t committee– he read it out loud over several days and it was riveting national television. You can read transcripts of the Nixon tapes but they don’t have as much power as does listening them. Nixon’s resignation letter is an easy read but no match to the televised optics of announcing his resignation. GWTW and 2001: A Space Odyssey are superb reads but no match to the ‘optics’ of their stories spoken and visually told.

    Mueller has to appear before Congress, speak ‘his’ written words and field Q&A from Congress. Besides, we’ve already paid for the show.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  143. 106. 112.

    whembly:

    I have the Mueller report and tried to ctrl+F the place where the report mentioned that pardons was dangled… but, can’t find it at the moment.

    SF: I’ll look for something like that, too, in the printed book,

    I found at least one place. I don’t think the pages are the same in every book or the same in a book and the PDF, but this is in Volume II, section K, Part 4, toward the end, (concerning Michael Cohen)

    And this is also alluded to in Volume II, Section J at the end of Part 2, where Trump’s answer to a Mueller question about pardons is quoted. (in the Manafort section.)

    Something that would have much more serious hold on Michael Cohen than the hope of a pardon is dealt with very lightly, in passing, probably because if this was held to be obstruction of justice, and it might actually be so in many criminal cases, many many lawyers and corporations would be guilty of it:

    The Trump Organization was paying Michael Cohen’s legal fees.

    Until that is, he doesn’t say exactly when, but when Cohen broke with Trump.

    Now all Mueller will say was that that was important to Cohen. But he won’t say that was potentially important to Trump or a form of wiitness tampering.

    And he doesn’t go into who is paying his legal fees now, but he has a Clinton-connected lawyer, Lanny Davis, who has told the press things hes had to retract. You know coming up with lies or clever half-incriminating lies that never will be tested in court for the purpose of getting a good deal from a prosecutor is also really a form of obstruction of justice. (even if nobody can ever remember a prosecutor prosecuting anyone for it. When they feel they’ve been had, and that is almost always when they concealed some of their own crimes, not invented ones someone else did, they just go back to the original criminal charges.)

    .

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  144. whembly:

    But, I don’t recall anything substantial, but I can certainly see that as witness tampering.

    And what he does have would make (I think it’s Giuliani) guilty of witness tampering and obstruction of justice, if that was what it was so held to be.

    Now I can think of several reasons why Rudolph Giuliani wasn’t indicted: (although Mueller doesn’t explain this, or even hint at the possibility of indicting someone besides Trump for obstruction, except in his theretical explanations as to why it is worthwhile to investigate a president who, per DOJ policy, cannot be indicted.)

    1) This is only Michael Cohen’s version of events, and you couldn’t expect to convict on that with no corroboration.

    2) There’s no evidence that Trump’s lawyers knew anything that Michael Cohen could say that would incriminating to Donald Trump.

    There are the Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal payoffs, but this, not only had no natural connection with the Russia investigation, it also wasn’t a crime in spite of Lanny Davis’s efforts to make it one, which included even having Michael Cohen plead guilty to an offense in that connection! (but it was embarassing and something Trump would not have wanted to get out.)

    3) You would be getting into attorney client privilege. Trump had waived it, though, with regard to events before the election

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  145. 134. <i? Clinton campaign cronies Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele’s false statements to Congress and the FBI were ignored

    Tha wasn’t within Mueller’s assignment, but he probably could have gotten Rod Rosenstein to add it to his cases, and his real assignment, after all, was not so much to investigate Trump, but to investigate Russian iinvolvement in the 2016 election.

    And that’s what this was, unless you think Steele had no Russian sources, but made it all up. (a theory tha seems to be favored by Trump.)

    Clinton campaign cronies Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele’s false statements to Congress and the FBI were ignored. Trump’s nonexistent Russian connections were plumbed while a dubious Clinton campaign-funded dossier sourced directly to Russian officials was used as a prosecutorial roadmap rather than rock-solid evidence of actual campaign collusion with the Kremlin.

    It wasn’t collusion because I don’t think Vladimir Putin knew or suspected that Christopher Steele was working for the Democratic Party in the United States. I mean he was British. Why do you think they hired somebody British?

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  146. I don’t think Vladimir Putin knew or suspected that Christopher Steele was working for the Democratic Party in the United States

    Steele wasn’t “working for the Democratic Party”. He was a subcontractor for a US consulting firm, who was a subcontractor for a US law firm, who was working for the Clinton campaign.

    There’s no evidence I’m aware of that anybody in Clinton campaign was knew about Steele himself prior to the election. Their apparent indifference to his reports is likely the reason Steele – in frustration – directly contacted the FBI in July, and various journalists the week before the election.

    Dave (1bb933)

  147. was

    Dave (1bb933)

  148. @136/136. Petty; history rhymes: back in the day the Nixon WH nixed NASA’s initial plans to have the USS John F. Kennedy recover the Apollo 11 crew returning from the moon and assigned the USS Hornet instead.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  149. ^136/137.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  150. Weissmann was in charge of this investigation- in my opinion. Mueller was the stool pigeon.
    Voters know deep state schiff when they see it.

    mg (8cbc69)

  151. I would wager a lobster roll that the Newton Ma. judge who helped a crimalein escape out the backdoor of a courthouse will walk and nothing will happen. Our justice system only serves for the deep state lawyer crowd.

    mg (8cbc69)

  152. Shall we just take every single assertion of fact by you, Kevin M, and preface it with “I’d bet” in the future, to make allowance for your deliberate misstatements in the future?

    You should be ashamed, and that you are not is something you should be more ashamed of. I brand you a deliberate liar, “I’d bet” notwithstanding.

    You’re “just cynical” about the practice of law? I am hereafter just cynical of you. A man who will lie to my face and then defend it is no man at all.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  153. Hilarious may sound like an ugly way to describe that, but I laughed. The Trump administration is a caricature of a presidency.

    Speaking of caricatures…

    A senior Navy official confirmed to The Post someone from the White House sent the request to officials in the Pacific. A tarp was hung Friday obscuring the ship’s name – and photographs taken of it– but senior Navy officials ordered the covering removed on Saturday, before the president arrived, the official told the Post.

    A Navy official also said the crew of the USS John McCain was released from duty due to the holiday weekend, along with sailors from another ship.

    Late Wednesday evening, Trump responded to the report on Twitter, writing that he had not been informed about the decision.

    “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan,” Trump wrote in the tweet. “Nevertheless, @FLOTUS and I loved being with our great Military Men and Women – what a spectacular job they do!”

    And I’m sure the original request had nothing, nothing at all to do with the optics of this…

    The collision was the second such incident in just over two months, with the first one occurring between John S. McCain’s sister ship USS Fitzgerald and container ship MV ACX Crystal.[11] On the same day as the collision between John S. McCain and Alnic MC, the Pentagon ordered all fleet operations around the world to make a brief “operational pause” for safety checks during the following two weeks, as well as beginning a full safety review.[7] The U.S. 7th Fleet commander at the time of the accident, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, was relieved of his position on 23 August 2017 for “loss of confidence in his ability to command”.[12] Rear Admiral Richard Brown was named to lead an internal investigation of the accident.[13] Brown is a former commander of another Arleigh Burke-class sister ship, The Sullivans and currently serves as commander of Naval Personnel Command and deputy chief of Naval Personnel.[14]

    Repairs were expected to take up to a year at an estimated cost of US$230 million.[28][29] She left Singapore on 11 October 2017 aboard the heavy transport ship MV Treasure, bound for Yokosuka.[30][31] For most of 2018, John S. McCain was in drydock for repairs at Fleet Activities Yokosuka.[32] In November 2018, the ship left drydock and was transferred to a pier to continue her repairs, that are expected to be finished in late 2019.[33]

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  154. “Sorry, I am just cynical about the practice of law. The other day I got a “class action settlement” offer, where the class split about $35,000 and the lawyers got about $10 million. This colors my judgement.”

    – Kevin M

    “Sorry, I am just cynical about the practice of science. The other day I was reading on Wikipedia that scientists were responsible for the development of the Hiroshima bomb. This colors my judgment.”

    Leviticus (237505)

  155. Similarly passive-aggressive applications may be constructed for the fields of business and medicine, if one is dramatically inclined!

    Leviticus (237505)

  156. “Sorry, I am just cynical about the practice of science. The other day I was reading on Wikipedia that scientists were responsible for the development of the Hiroshima bomb. This colors my judgment.”

    And thus ending the war and quite possibly saving millions of lives, in including the life of my father. So I say, “Yay scientists”. Meanwhile an organization with which I am involved has had a frivolous lawsuit dragging on for ten years now. The other side ran through her last lawyer a year ago and the lawyers for the organization’s insurance company, and the court system itself, still can’t put a stake in this blood sucking vampire of a process. They all be getting paid, though. In such an obfuscated way that no one actually paying the bills has the time or capacity to understand.

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  157. My mistake – I should have realized that we would have immediately have one contestant leap the to defense of dropping an atomic bomb on a civilian population center in the name of patriotism. I’ll try again:

    “Sorry, I am just cynical about the practice of science. The other day I was reading on Wikipedia that scientists were responsible for the development of mustard gas, which was deployed by Saddam Hussein against Iraqi Kurds in the Halabja Chemical Attack. This colors my judgment.”

    Leviticus (237505)

  158. Sorry for the typos. I’m doing this from my phone – which should driven home the futility of my endeavor, and has now done so.

    Leviticus (237505)

  159. I should have realized that we would have immediately have one contestant leap the to defense of dropping an atomic bomb on a civilian population center in the name of patriotism.

    Yeah…that bomb wasn’t dropped in the “name of patriotism”, it was dropped to stop a genocidal society from wreaking havoc across the Pacific AND attacking and invading our country and our allies. Defending your borders and your allies is not patriotism. It’s self-defense. It’s not like HST was sitting around the White House one day and said, “Gee, I know what will make the next July 4 a real humdinger, I’ll nuke me some Japanese”.

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  160. Also note, the bomb (and it actually took two of them) was dropped on an industrial city. Much like the conventional bombs that fell on civilians and otherwise and killed many more people in Japan and another country whose government’s genocidal tendencies you may be familiar with. One whose population, much less like Japan, was not 100% behind that government’s policies. Germany had a cancer that required a radical surgery. Japan had a much more congenital defect.

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  161. Right. A judge or jury doesn’t reach a verdict of “we didn’t determine that the defendant did not commit a crime”. Weasels do that.

    Kevin M says “Munroe has a point.” Munroe does not have a good point, though. Munroe wants Mueller to judge Trump innocent by criminal law standards so that innocence finding can be trumpeted to prevent an impeachment inquiry.

    The only trouble is: it’s plain as day that Mueller thinks Trump is guilty of obstruction and only failed to indict because he couldn’t.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  162. 151. mg (8cbc69) — 5/30/2019 @ 3:04 am

    Weissmann was in charge of this investigation- in my opinion.

    Michael Wolff, according to the New York Times, has Andrew Weissmann proposing an indictment of Trump, but the New York Times wrote in an article that he was not in charge of the obstruction case.

    I am not sure if Wolff directly connects Weissmann to the supposed proposed indictment, and don’t have give any source for the claim that he was not in charge of obstruction investigation, but here it is:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/28/us/politics/michael-wolff-siege-trump.html

    A spokesman for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in the Russia investigation, denied Mr. Wolff’s claim that in March 2018, Mr. Mueller was preparing to indict the president for obstruction of justice on three counts, including witness tampering. Andrew Weissmann, one of Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors, who Mr. Wolff says led that effort, did not even work on the part of the investigation that focused on obstruction.

    If you believe Wolff, Mueller declined to follow Weissmann’s advice, and if you believe the New York Times, Weissmann wasn’t the overall big shot.

    The Guardian said it had been shown documents, but Mueller’s office said those documents do not exist (that is, they are either forged or altered)

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/28/mueller-trump-obstruction-charge-michael-wolff-book-siege-under-fire-news

    And then, the next day, which was yesterday, Mueller himself said:

    access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.

    So it seems like he is trying to deny what is in the Wolff book.

    The Guardian article does not mention Weissmann – his name may be only in the book.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  163. #162

    Mueller should have said so directly. Since he didn’t, he was as plain as a smoggy day.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  164. 160. Patterico (115b1f) — 5/30/2019 @ 6:48 am

    The only trouble is: it’s plain as day that Mueller thinks Trump is guilty of obstruction and only failed to indict because he couldn’t.

    The New York Times has an editorial today entitled:

    “Decoding Robert Mueller.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/29/opinion/robert-mueller-trump.html

    Excerpt:

    Mr. Mueller was careful to emphasize that if his office “had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

    Translation: There’s a decent chance the president committed a crime.

    It’s totally ridiculous to need a Secret Decoder Ring. What is he now – the Delphic Oracle? And that doesn’t make Mueller the voice of truth.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  165. “It’s totally ridiculous to need a Secret Decoder Ring etc” are my words and not from the New York Times editorial obviously.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  166. OT but germane to other OT posts

    “TPS now…TPS forevah!!!”
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/6-6-earthquake-el-salvador

    urbanleftbehind (4d5eac)

  167. Our host wrote:

    [I]t’s plain as day that Mueller thinks Trump is guilty of obstruction and only failed to indict because he couldn’t.

    This is not at all plain to me, and I’m not convinced it’s right. He says he didn’t address the question. Why do you insist that he did but is hiding it?

    I think he really didn’t address the question. I think we should take him at his word. With due respect to our host, I find his speculation as to what Mueller is “really thinking” as unconvincing as any other speculation about what Mueller is “really thinking,” which is to say: It’s a projection which is contrary to what he’s written.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  168. You can certainly say, “I believe, based on Mueller’s report and the evidence discussed therein, that Trump is guilty of obstruction.”

    And you can argue from that, just as someone can argue the contrary proposition.

    But enough of this mind-reading.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  169. 146, 147.

    Me @146:

    I don’t think Vladimir Putin knew or suspected that Christopher Steele was working for the Democratic Party in the United States

    dave @147:

    Steele wasn’t “working for the Democratic Party”. He was a subcontractor for a US consulting firm, who was a subcontractor for a US law firm, who was working for the Clinton campaign.

    There’s no evidence I’m aware of that anybody in Clinton campaign was knew about Steele himself prior to the election. What, you think they were just spending money – alot of mone -without knowing where the money was going to and what for and why the billls wre so high?

    It is a well known fact that the Democrats knew about ZChristopher Steele (although there was some attempt to obfusticate on whosebehlef he was originally hired.

    I can find better sources, (when you do research it helps to know the answer before you start)but for starters there’s this:

    http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2017/images/10/25/fusion.perkins.coie.pdf

    Also here:

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4116755-PerkinsCoie-Fusion-PrivelegeLetter-102417.html

    The letter described in vague terms what Fusion GPS was hired to do (“A variety of research services”) and carefully notes that Fuson GPS is not authtorized to disclose communications between Fusion GPS and Perkins Coie and Fusion GPS.

    I know I saw something also about when Steele was hired.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  170. dave:

    Their apparent indifference to his reports is likely the reason Steele – in frustration – directly contacted the FBI in July, and various journalists the week before the election.

    They ignored what he turned up because they recignized it as an implausible pack of lies. Steele may have been encouraged to circulate it by some Democrats.

    In the end some Demcrats gave it to the FBI themselves, n an attempt to get an FB investigation of the Trump campaig out of he doldrums:

    https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/409817-russia-collusion-bombshell-dnc-lawyers-met-with-fbi-on-dossier-before

    Baker was interviewed by lawmakers behind closed doors on Wednesday. Sources declined to divulge much about his testimony, other than to say it confirmed other evidence about the contact between the Perkins Coie law firm and the FBI.

    The sources said Baker identified lawyer Michael Sussman, a former DOJ lawyer, as the Perkins Coie attorney who reached out to him and said the firm gave him documents and a thumb drive related to Russian interference in the election, hacking and possible Trump connections.

    Is that not the work of Christopher Steele?

    I think Perkins Coie had to approve, if not suggest, his hiring. Steele had written a report about Russian involvement in four European elections,

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  171. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/27/us/politics/trump-dossier-paul-singer.html

    The Free Beacon’s editor, Matthew Continetti, and its chairman, Michael Goldfarb, said in a statement that the website was not involved in the dossier.

    “All of the work that Fusion GPS provided to The Free Beacon was based on public sources, and none of the work product that The Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier,” they said. “The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele.”

    The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS to research any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his businesses, his campaign team and Russia, court filings revealed this week. Working for them, the firm retained Christopher Steele, a respected former British intelligence officer.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  172. Steele knew who the ultimate client was, and ddin;t want to say:

    Before Fussion GPS released that letter from Perkins Coie, but when it was known that Steelw roked for Dusion GPS.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-dossier-author-talks-senate-intel-committee-n808401

    Those two people, one close to Steele and one familiar with the committee discussions, said that one of the sticking points was Steele’s unwillingness to discuss who underwrote his work. Steele, who once worked as a British spy in Russia, was hired by the firm Fusion GPS, which was conducting opposition research originally funded by undisclosed Republican opponents of Donald Trump, according to a source close to Steele. During the general election, unknown Democrats began picking up the tab, sources familiar with the matter have said.

    Notes:

    Steele’s unwillingness to discuss who underwrote his work: Meanng who paid Fusion GPS fr his work. Steele knew.

    originally funded by undisclosed Republican opponents of Donald Trump: The Washington Free Beacon. But what they paid for had nothing to do with Steele.

    unknown Democrats: A law firm, Perkins Coie, paid from DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign funds.

    picking up the tab: A lie. There was no “tab” to pick up. They were two separate projects.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  173. Sammy, I knew about all of that, and none of it contradicts what I wrote.

    Yes, the Clinton campaign hired a law firm. Yes, that law firm hired Fusion GPS. And yes, Fusion GPS hired Steele.

    Nothing in any of the sources you link or quote indicates that the Clinton campaign knew anyone named Christopher Steele was working for them.

    Is that not the work of Christopher Steele?

    The sources said Baker identified lawyer Michael Sussman, a former DOJ lawyer, as the Perkins Coie attorney who reached out to him and said the firm gave him documents and a thumb drive related to Russian interference in the election, hacking and possible Trump connections.

    It could well be his work. Much of Steele’s reporting was accurate, and indicated (correctly) that the Russians were intervening in the election on Trump’s behalf. One element of that intervention in the election involved committing felonies of which the DNC and Clinton campaign were victims. There is nothing sinister, ipso facto, about providing law enforcement with evidence or leads concerning a crime committed, or in progress, of which you are the victim.

    Dave (1bb933)

  174. I agree with Patterico. Mueller is a prosecutor who, with the FBI, investigated obstruction and filed a report. I think it is reasonable to assume he formed an opinion on what he learned. In fact, we know Mueller formed an opinion: that he could not exonerate Trump on obstruction. The only reason Mueller cannot recommend or even address indicting Trump is the DOJ guidelines — a point Mueller has made over and over again.

    DRJ (15874d)

  175. This FAKENEWSBEZOSPOST article has a good, factual summary of Steele’s history.

    Dave (1bb933)

  176. Paul Montagu 140:

    The DOJ Guidelines regarding indicting/prosecuting a sitting President are dated October 16, 2000, Kevin.

    They actually date back to September 1973. The October 2000 guidelines were just an update of existing policy.

    Paul Montagu (ed733c) — 5/29/2019 @ 11:41 pm

    Thank you for adding that, Paul. There are conflicting opinions whether the 1973 OLC memo is binding on independent or special counsels, but I believe the DOJ Guidelines clearly are (under the current special counsel law that treats them as US Attorneys).

    DRJ (15874d)

  177. A little humility would benefit everyone. Too many egos.

    Dave, are you practicing your leftism in public again? Your last two posts are rather obvious.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  178. Dave, are you practicing your leftism in public again? Your last two posts are rather obvious.

    Thank you for the personal attack.

    Dave (1bb933)

  179. He splits atoms with his mind, rob.

    Narciso (24997a)

  180. This is what I was trying to articulate… although much of the blame ought to be laid on Barr’s lap for allowing this to happen at his discretion:
    https://issuesinsights.com/2019/05/29/muellers-final-statement-turns-jurisprudence-on-its-head/

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller today 10 minutes publicly stating that his 448-page, two-part, $35 million and 22-months-in-the-making report speaks for itself, as he announced he was closing shop and retiring. In so doing, he said he couldn’t charge a sitting President with a crime, but if he could have exonerated him he would have said so.

    This starkly politicizes presidential investigations going forward and indicts, if we may say so, the already-dubious system of weaponizing a lawyer with a blank check, no deadline, and an open-ended mandate for him to fish where he likes with minimal oversight.

    “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime,” Mueller said. “We concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime.”

    What kind of strange new standard is Mueller setting here?

    Mueller had all the time and money he could want, recorded countless hours of testimony, compiled a mountain of documents, got multiple plea deals, chased down out every conceivable lead, and then says he couldn’t prove the president didn’t commit a crime.

    Since when is the job of prosecutors to determine innocence beyond a reasonable doubt? And, short of that, feel free to dump all the evidence that didn’t lead to a criminal charge, but that makes the defendant look a suspect nonetheless.

    How would the average American citizen like this said of him or her after a couple of years of 18 prosecutors scrutinizing his or her affairs? After reviewing all the evidence, we don’t have enough evidence to say that John Doe robbed that store. But we can’t say definitively that he didn’t rob that store, so here’s a bunch of embarrassing revelations about him that we uncovered along the way. Have fun.

    When the Mueller report came out, I&I’s Tom McArdle noted “that in the United States, we don’t let prosecutors publicly blemish the reputations of law-abiding citizens for actions that fall short of criminality. At least we didn’t until special counsel Robert Mueller.”

    A prosecutor’s job is — or at least used to be — to charge or not charge, not choose this or that shade of gray.

    Mueller compounds this error with an equally nonsensical claim that he’s somehow protecting Trump. Mueller says the only reason he didn’t bring criminal charges against Trump for obstruction was because the President can’t be charged with a crime while serving in office.

    “It would be unfair,” he said in his statement, “to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.”

    But what Mueller has done is worse. He’s left the public with the impression that Trump is — nudge, nudge, wink, wink — guilty of something, even if Mueller can’t say what exactly it is. And in doing so, he’s laying the groundwork for Democrats to impeach Trump, without ever having to actually accuse Trump of anything. How exactly is that fair?

    Ex-terrorism prosecutor Andrew McCarthy of National Review noted earlier this month that Mueller had options if he actually thought Trump had committed a crime. If there were a case against Trump, he says, “then it is the prosecutor’s job to recommend indictment. The question of whether the (Office of Legal Counsel) guidance should then be invoked to delay indictment should then be up to the attorney general. The guidance should not burden the prosecutor’s analysis of whether there is an indictable case. Yet Mueller chose not to see it that way.”

    Mueller’s dark hints of wrongdoing will no doubt add fuel to the Democrats’ longstanding desire to start impeachment proceedings.

    In the wake of what will go down as the most outrageous curtain call in the history of political Washington, it is now hard to explain his report and his concluding statement in any way other than impeachment having been Robert Mueller’s design all along.

    whembly (51f28e)

  181. He splits atoms with his mind, rob.

    Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

    Dave (1bb933)

  182. No personal attacks, please.

    DRJ (15874d)

  183. Ex-terrorism prosecutor Andrew McCarthy of National Review noted earlier this month that Mueller had options if he actually thought Trump had committed a crime. If there were a case against Trump, he says, “then it is the prosecutor’s job to recommend indictment. The question of whether the (Office of Legal Counsel) guidance should then be invoked to delay indictment should then be up to the attorney general. The guidance should not burden the prosecutor’s analysis of whether there is an indictable case. Yet Mueller chose not to see it that way.”

    McCarthy also acknowledged that he knows not everyone agrees with his view, Mueller is one of them. But I don’t agree that only the AG has a duty to follow legal guidelines. All DOJ attorneys do, and Mueller was acting as a DOJ attorney.

    DRJ (15874d)

  184. Thank you for the personal attack.

    Dave (1bb933) — 5/30/2019 @ 9:22 am

    Not a personal attack. An observation. Try again.

    NJRob (11567c)

  185. We don’t want federal prosecutors from every state able to prosecute a sitting President because, in their judgment, he committed a crime, nor do we want every federal prosecution to have be approved by the AG. What we want is a uniform system of rules, and that is what this guideline does when it comes to sitting Presidents — it applies to all prosecutions and all federal prosecutors.

    DRJ (15874d)

  186. Does Dave identify as a leftist, NJRob? Or are you attacking him as one?

    DRJ (15874d)

  187. @162. Problem is, that’s an interpretation of what we believe Mueller is saying but he doesn’t actually articulate that – and if that’s what he’s ‘saying’ he’s not doing it very well in this short-burst-copy, soundbite media age. All the more reason for him to appear before Congress and simpy sy it in ‘Earth English’ for he general population to ‘interpret.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  188. Does Dave identify as a leftist, NJRob? Or are you attacking him as one?

    DRJ (15874d) — 5/30/2019 @ 10:32 am

    I didn’t say he was a leftist. I said he was practicing it again which is what he does when he runs interference for Clinton’s corrupt actions and tells the public to fund an insult to our President across the ocean that is being pushed by leftists.

    Pretty simple.

    P.S. Actions speak louder than identifications or are you accepting the leftist belief that people must be called whatever they claim to be?

    NJRob (11567c)

  189. Practicing something is doing it. Consider rethinking this.

    DRJ (15874d)

  190. If someone (honestly not saying anyone specifically just trying to understand where the lines are) on numerous occasions, gives the impression that they are a leftist, makes more leftist-friendly or leftist-leaning statements, statements about issues of greater weight than they make right-leaning or right-friendly statements, yet claims to be a conservative or of the right, is it truly a “personal attack” to say that some of the things that they have said might reasonably give away their true nature? Is it better to say perhaps that someone is being disingenuous or is that still too personal?

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  191. In civil discussions, we respect other people and that includes no personal attacks. Saying you think Dave has taken some leftist positions is different than saying he is a leftist or “practicing leftism in public.”

    Telling someone they are on the right or left is no insult if they agree; otherwise IMO it is an attack.

    DRJ (15874d)

  192. Yes it is. And he definitely did what I stated. But it isn’t an identification as you incorrectly suggested.

    No one is forced to practice Orwellian doublespeak and lie. That’s a sin in any world.

    NJRob (11567c)

  193. … is it truly a “personal attack” to say that some of the things that they have said might reasonably give away their true nature? Is it better to say perhaps that someone is being disingenuous or is that still too personal?

    PTw (cbfa7c) — 5/30/2019 @ 10:46 am

    It is personal to talk about someone’s “true nature” and, in context, it is often a way to attack or denigrate someone.

    Focus on the discussion and the points being made, and ask questions if you are curious about someone’s thoughts. It doesn’t help to make it personal.

    DRJ (15874d)

  194. No one is forced to practice Orwellian doublespeak and lie. That’s a sin in any world.

    NJRob (11567c) — 5/30/2019 @ 10:49 am

    You realize it works both ways, right? Would you like being called a far-right extremist?

    DRJ (15874d)

  195. That’s just silly DRJ and you are trying to make an offense over an obvious observation. That I stated my point and cited why yet you continue to try and parse my words over the smallest context shows you know I am correct.

    NJRob (11567c)

  196. No, you are not correct.

    DRJ (15874d)

  197. that basically means you’ve won the argument, maybe some paper actually mentioned this on this side of the ocean,

    http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/explosion-a-lyon-le-suspect-reconnait-avoir-concu-et-pose-le-colis-piege-20190529

    narciso (d1f714)

  198. Doesn’t matter to me. I’d ask for evidence of course. I’ve been called worse in my life since I’ve lived in NYC and NJ. It’s usually when they cannot refute my statements.

    Now, would you say running constant interference on behalf or Hillary or encouraging someone to donate to a far left group to insult our President overseas aren’t the act of someone who is practicing leftist beliefs? What would you call it?

    There are other words. But they aren’t appropriate for polite discussion.

    NJRob (11567c)

  199. I still cannot believe that saying someone is “practicing leftism” is now deemed an attack by some. What a crazy world we live in.

    NJRob (11567c)

  200. well expressing patriotism, is a far right marker in the british army, I guess affiliation with the Taliban is more acceptable,

    narciso (d1f714)

  201. How about you define “leftist” for us, NJRob – so we know what you mean when you use the term?

    Leviticus (6b28ef)

  202. It is personal to talk about someone’s “true nature” and, in context, it is often a way to attack or denigrate someone.

    But isn’t accusing someone of making a personal attack, when perhaps all that was intended was to bring to light the possibility that the originating party just might possibly be being dishonest, a means of denigrating the second party? How is saying that I think you are being dishonest significantly different from saying that what you just said reveals your true nature? Speaking abstractly here, of course. Is it the use of the phrase “true nature” (which itself has been introduced and not the originating issue) that is the problem? Or was it specifically trying to communicate the idea that someone is pretending to be of a nature that they are not?

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  203. maybe this guy qualifies, but it’s about par with the campus environment,

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/nyu-graduation-speaker-calls-trump-a-fascist-praises-anti-israel-bds-movement/

    twitter does it best to ban persons who have identified occupy/so called Antifa accounts,

    narciso (d1f714)

  204. But isn’t accusing someone of making a personal attack, when perhaps all that was intended was to bring to light the possibility that the originating party just might possibly be being dishonest, a means of denigrating the second party? How is saying that I think you are being dishonest significantly different from saying that what you just said reveals your true nature? Speaking abstractly here, of course. Is it the use of the phrase “true nature” (which itself has been introduced and not the originating issue) that is the problem? Or was it specifically trying to communicate the idea that someone is pretending to be of a nature that they are not?

    PTw (cbfa7c) — 5/30/2019 @ 11:07 am

    Wow this is hilarious!

    Dustin (6d7686)

  205. I think telling someone they are being dishonest is a personal attack. You can attack politicians and other public figures here, but the house rule is no personal attacks on other commenters. Criticize the arguments but not them.

    If all you care about is saying Argument A helps the Democrats’ cause, then say it. Don’t say Commenter A is helping the cause.

    DRJ (15874d)

  206. You didn’t just say someone was practicing leftism, NJRob, you said a specific commenter did that by leaving comments you disagree with. That is personal and aimed at another commenter you want to discredit.

    DRJ (15874d)

  207. Or you could try this: Leave a comment on every post P writes that you disagree with and tell him he is practising leftism and helping the Democrats … and see what happens.

    DRJ (15874d)

  208. I didn’t say he was a leftist. I said he was practicing it

    I didn’t say he was a Catholic, I said he was practicing Catholicism.

    Chuck Bartowski (7ba363)

  209. Muller did not say, “I formed an opinion on the ultimate issue of collusion, but I’m not going to reveal it because of the OLC guidelines.”

    He wrote, in the executive summary to volume 2 (italics his, boldface mine):

    First, a traditional prosecution or declination decision entails a binary determination to initiate or decline a prosecution, but we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial
    judgment….

    Second, while the OLC opinion concludes that a sitting President may not be prosecuted, it recognizes that a criminal investigation during the President’s term is permissible…. [W]e conducted a thorough factual investigation in order to preserve the evidence when memories were fresh and documentary materials were available.

    Third we considered whether to evaluate the conduct we investigated under the Justice Manual standards governing prosecution and declination decisions, but we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes. The threshold step under the Justice Manual standards is to assess whether a person’s conduct “constitutes a federal offense.” U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Justice Manual § 9-27.220 (2018) (Justice Manual). Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusation is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongly accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast, a prosecutor’s judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator.

    Having purposefully refused, then, to “apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes,” he and his team did not take the “threshold step … to assess whether a person’s conduct ‘constitutes a federal offense.'” His report therefore does not address the ultimate issues on obstruction.

    Anyone who pretends he’s said one word beyond these about the ultimate issue on obstruction is engaging in fantasy. Period. I know people want him to have said more, and they want to think that they “know what he’s thinking.”

    That’s all a load of crap, though: You’re making it up, he didn’t say it, and I find it the very opposite of persuasive.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  210. So criticizing someone for supporting, say Donald Trump, that is OK. But don’t say that supporting Trump is in any way a reflection on that person’s character? I mean that’s just the most egregious example off the top of my head right now but I’m trying to figure out where the lines are. Or perhaps this, say one cares very much about creeping socialism, as in it being a bad thing. One can criticize socialism but they cannot raise the suggestion that perhaps a person who speaks highly of socialism has selfish reasons for doing so? Are questions like, “Why should the rest of us pay for your healthcare?” out of bounds?

    I understand these are items of differing degrees, and had I the time I could come up with many more, but I’m not sure what level of calculus is required.

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  211. @ DRJ, who wrote (#175):

    I think it is reasonable to assume [Mueller] formed an opinion on what he learned.

    Yet he writes that he did not. He writes that he did not even take the threshold step to do that.

    If he were silent, then we could all make reasonable assumptions. When he has not been silent, the assumptions aren’t reasonable ones any longer: They require us to conclude that he was lying in what he did write.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  212. Serendipitously here’s another example:

    I didn’t say he was a Catholic, I said he was practicing Catholicism.

    I didn’t say he was a Catholic, I just observed that he crosses himself, kneels when approaching the alter, attends (mostly) Catholic churches on Sunday, and carries a crucifix with him. I might note these are things I have done myself when as a youngster I went to church with a Catholic friend. Well the crossing myself I did at the plate when playing baseball. Yet I am not Catholic. Of course I only did those churchy things once before being corrected. I didn’t make a habit of it.

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  213. 174.

    Sammy, I knew about all of that, and none of it contradicts what I wrote.

    Yes, the Clinton campaign hired a law firm. Yes, that law firm hired Fusion GPS. And yes, Fusion GPS hired Steele.

    Nothing in any of the sources you link or quote indicates that the Clinton campaign knew anyone named Christopher Steele was working for them.

    What we don’t know, or can only surmise, is how high up the chain of command the knowledge of Steele’s investigation went. It went higher than Fusion GPS.

    To say that Hillary Clinton didn’t know is to say that she was not running her campaign – which is a possibility. Her finance people would practically have had to know. Unless they didn’t care about the possibility of embezzlement.

    And it is possible that Christopher Steele, as part of maintaining secrecy, may not have been explicitly told who was the client, but this, if so, is at most like the people doing appoll not knowing for whom the poll is for. It can be very obvious.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  214. The only trouble is: it’s plain as day that Mueller thinks Trump is guilty of obstruction and only failed to indict because he couldn’t.

    This did not stop Jaworski or Starr from listing crimes they believed their President had committed, despite being unable to indict. Either Mueller is hiding behind something that his predecessors did not, or he does not have the confidence in his belief that they had.

    His statement is crafted to be colored by the prejudices of the reader, and he has apparently succeeded in that.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  215. DRJ, is there a reason you did not call out Beldar when he called Kevin a liar? That sounds like a personal attack.

    Just trying to understand the rules around here…

    lee (f8d029)

  216. You’re “just cynical” about the practice of law? I am hereafter just cynical of you. A man who will lie to my face and then defend it is no man at all.

    Well, obviously I have hit a nerve. I say something cynical about the lawyers working for a government boondoggle (yes, I believe* that the investigation was largely a waste and founded on lies), and CLEARLY say it is an opinion, and you go ballistic.

    But read on.

    I’m sorry if I thoughtlessly said something that offended you so, it was not my intention. I remind you that this medium is devoid of body language, facial expressions, or other things that we normally use to interpret speech, and that what is intended as typed may not be what you hear when you read.

    I do not paint all attorneys the same way. I am sure that you, Patrick and several others of my personal acquaintance — including my late favorite uncle the judge — are stand-up people. But the profession itself seems to allow other types to practice with little restraint, and the jokes you may hear reflect that perception.

    I also know several attorneys who, when they die, I will happily defecate on their graves because I also know the lives they have destroyed in the service of terrible people. No doubt the type who would work for Trump.

    So, yes, the “bet” about the motivations of Mueller’s team was BS. It happens. It may happen again.

    ——–
    * also opinion. I have others.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  217. Question for the legal department:

    Suppose it is determined that the Trump/Russia investigation grew out of illegally-obtained FISA warrants and reliance on patently false information. Would this invalidate the investigation? Would this poison any obstruction charges?

    I ask this because Trump’s team seems intent on “exposing” such a situation.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  218. “Sorry, I am just cynical about the practice of science. The other day I was reading on Wikipedia that scientists were responsible for the development of the Hiroshima bomb. This colors my judgment.”

    Why? Would you have preferred the “defoliate Japan and starve them out” plan? Or the Japan-wide “Iwo Jima” defense? Or just quit, go home, and leave the problem for somebody else?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  219. Personally, I think Trump is salivating over impeachment proceedings, and Mueller is helping him out. I can think of few other things that would so ensure a 2020 Trumpslide.

    lee (f8d029)

  220. The thing about science is that you cannot lie, at least not for long, as the claim needs to be reproducible. Scoundrels like Andrew Wakefield are debunked quickly and tossed out on their ear. False claims like the Pons/Fleischmann “cold fusion” result can’t be recreated and are quickly denounced. Science isn’t about what best sticks to the wall (and if it is, it isn’t science).

    I’ll accept that climate “science” seems to be an exception to this, but that is mostly due to political interference in science and control of research by governments and elites. When you deny funding and professorships to people who argue the “wrong side”, you are going to get all kinds of research confirming what you want to hear. But it isn’t Science.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  221. In such an obfuscated way that no one actually paying the bills has the time or capacity to understand.

    Dickens lampooned this process in Bleak House(1853) with the never-ending Jarndyce vs Jarndyce case, its parasites, and the lives destroyed by being caught up in it.

    It may be unjust to many in the profession, but the images persist.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  222. “Sorry, I am just cynical about the practice of science. The other day I was reading on Wikipedia that scientists were responsible for the development of mustard gas, which was deployed by Saddam Hussein against Iraqi Kurds in the Halabja Chemical Attack. This colors my judgment.”

    While chemists were involved in study of the sulfur compounds and related gasses over several decades, they did not do this for the purpose of weapons development, but for mundane scientific research. It was only after a 1913 accident in a German lab (which was reported to the German government), resulting in injury to a researcher, that the German military took notice.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  223. Mueller seemed to believe Michael Cohen because he wrote in Volume II, Part II, Section L Part 1:

    ….the evidence does point to a range of other possible personal motives animating the President’s conduct. These include…potential uncertainty about whether certain events- such as advance notice Wikileaks’s release of hacked information…could be seen as criminal activity by the President, his campaign, or his family. </blockquote. Mueller here presumably assumes that would not be a violation of law, but for fear of it being cosidered a crime, Doald Trump would have had to have known that he, or someone in his camoaign or family had advance knowledge of some Wikileaks leaks.

    But in Appendix C, The written questions posed to Donald Trump, and his answers, in his response to Question II, Part (c) Trump wrote that he is not aware of any communications between an of the individuals names in the question (Roger Stone, Donald J. Trump Jr, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates) and anyone he understood to be a represenatative of Wikileaks.

    If that is the case, fear that it might have been a crime cannot be a motive for Donald Trump wanting to stop or limit he investigation.

    The only way what Mueller wrote there in Volume II, Part II, Section L Part 1: makes sense is if Mueller thought that, Donald Trump was lying! (when when he denied knowing anything about any communicatio between Wikileaks and several people close to Trump)

    Q.E.D.

    Now, the idea that Donald Trump might have had advance knowledge of a Wikileaks release comes mainly from Michael Cohen. Michael Cohen had reported overhearing a conersation between Donald Trump and Roger Stone which he said Donald Trump put on Speakerphone where Roger Stone said he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and Assange had told him that the release of some further hacked emails was coming. (there was no reason for Mueller to suppose some other avenue of communication with Wikileaks which he had not been told about,)

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  224. This FAKENEWSBEZOSPOST article has a good, factual summary of Steele’s history.

    Absolutely nothing in the Washington Post regarding Trump can be accepted as fact without careful vetting. The editorial slant at that paper is fairly close to Lou Dobbs’ attitude towards illegal immigrants. It’s more truthful than, say, Gateway Pundit, but what isn’t?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  225. Does Dave identify as a leftist, NJRob? Or are you attacking him as one?

    Like everyone here except maybe mg, Dave sees himself as a rational centrist.

    (tongue in cheek)

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  226. Wow this is hilarious!

    Overheard: “I don’t like judgemental people, and he’s one!”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  227. DRJ, is there a reason you did not call out Beldar when he called Kevin a liar? That sounds like a personal attack.

    Well, there. Like that one. Didn’t see that until referenced. Now calling someone a liar based on the observation of their statements, or possibly just opinion, that they have repeatedly lied seems to me to be OK because it’s kinda like the Catholic/Catholicism example. Even less toxic than calling someone a leftist IMO. But in current context I suppose that should be right out. But when combined with further denigration that the commenter is not “a man”…well, seems like there’s a pretty solid credibility issue with the rules there.

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  228. we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes.

    But then he goes and says words about not having “confidence that the President did not commit crimes” (a fuzzy double negative if you parse it). There is tension there, and it is impossible to reconcile without assuming that there is an unstated opinion.

    And of course, everyone has a favorite.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  229. DRJ, is there a reason you did not call out Beldar when he called Kevin a liar? That sounds like a personal attack.

    If I felt it was a personal attack, I would have said so. I took it as simple outrage.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  230. My disgust with the non-conclusions of the Mueller report isn’t that he failed to exonerate Trump (or failed to state his crimes), but that he attempts to disappear in a puff of smoke.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  231. If I felt it was a personal attack, I would have said so.

    Going by DRJ’s standard, I bet if I told Patterico “I am hereafter just cynical of you. A man who will lie to my face and then defend it is no man at all.” I would be banned in a NY minute.

    But hey, if you didn’t feel attacked, who am I to say?

    Just trying to understand the rules.

    lee (f8d029)

  232. 221. lee (f8d029) — 5/30/2019 @ 12:25 pm

    221.Personally, I think Trump is salivating over impeachment proceedings, </blockquote. Trump probably really isn't. He's not that combative. But it is more likely to help him than hurt him, because so many of the accusations are false.

    And if they do succeed – f they find something new that's bad – what do they get?

    President Mike Pence, eligible to run for two more terms.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  233. He told a lie, lee. What should I call him?

    There’s no doubt at all that it was a lie. You can say, “Well, he qualified it,” and yes, he did. But if I said, “I bet Lee is a child molester,” and you’re not, would that not be a lie, a reckless and malicious one?

    Mueller didn’t bill by the hour as special counsel. He gave up hundreds of thousands, more likely millions, of dollars in income he was otherwise making in private practice. The notion that he and his team were soaking up every last billable hour is defamatory and false, and can be demonstrated without question with about 3 minutes casual googling.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  234. The day you catch Patterico in that kind of lie, Lee, let us all know.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  235. My issue really isn’t about anything you said Beldar, it was about DRJ’s selective chastising. If you want to call someone a liar rather than ignorant, it’s no skin off my nose. But why is saying someones comment is practicing leftism out of bounds.

    Again, just trying to understand the rules.

    lee (f8d029)

  236. ?. Apply where needed

    lee (f8d029)

  237. If one espouses leftist philosophy what should we call them? Does saying something someone else perceived as a lie make them a liar, completely? Even one or two lies? But if someone makes dozens of leftist statements , we are making a personal attack by calling them a leftist? Or is it that the target does not take offense at the term? But if so, how is one to know in advance that they object or even don’t object, to being called a liar, a leftist, not-a-man, or possibly even a Presbyterian?

    Ptw (3a6b51)

  238. Mueller’s main job was to determine if Trump colluded with Russia or found criminal activity by Trump. He found neither. Had Mueller been honest, he would’ve said: We did not find Trump did anything that was criminal and left it at that.

    We don’t have special counsels, and give them $30 million dollars so they can say: “Hey, we couldn’t say he was a NOT crook, maybe he is, maybe he isn’t” – because people are innocent until proven guilty. But Congratulations to Mueller for STRINGING OUT his little drama for ANOTHER 2 months. And coordinating his attack on Trump with the Comey Op-ed.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  239. Bah.

    Apologies for the unclosed html tag.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  240. rcocean, still waiting (since #121) for you to identify the line or lines in Mueller’s statement yesterday that you consider to be disgraceful.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  241. The problem goes all the way back to Sessions and Rosenstein. We DID NOT need Mueller to look into obstruction of justice. The only reason to have a special counsel was to look into Russian Collusion. Nothing Trump did after Jan 2017 should have been part of his review. Again. Sessions could have un-recused and limited Mueller’s scope after Rosentstein gave him a blank check.

    But no. Sessions was a gutless coward and should be ashamed.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  242. This was disgraceful:

    As set forth in our report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime. The introduction to volume two of our report explains that decision.

    Prosecutors and special counsels usually don’t say anything when they decide not to prosecute. Sometimes they’ll say something like “We didn’t not to charge XYZ with a crime. The evidence didn’t support that action”. That’s what Mueller should have said. He didn’t.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  243. Belmar, I know you didn’t call anyone ignorant, I said you called them a liar rather than (the more charitable) ignorant.

    I’ll leave the “pay attention” thing alone. 😉

    lee (f8d029)

  244. rcocean, the question was: What about Mueller’s performance yesterday was disgraceful.

    We all know you have comprehensive opinions to the effect that Trump is great and Mueller is disgraceful. I’m not asking about that. I’m not asking about what Mueller did last week or last month or last year, either.

    What did he do yesterday in his written statement and public reading thereof?

    Your answer needs to be about yesterday to be remotely responsive, sir.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  245. Autocorrect hates your name Beldar. Apologies, I usually catch it.

    lee (f8d029)

  246. The whole investigation into “Obstruction” was a disgrace. How can the President obstruct justice by firing someone in the Executive Branch? That’s his prerogative. If Trump didn’t like Mueller’s face or thought his investigation was a waste of time, he had perfect right under the Constitution of fire him. He can’t commit a crime just by doing so.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  247. Your answer needs to be about yesterday to be remotely responsive, sir.

    I just quoted from his press conference and told you why it was disgraceful.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  248. @ rcocean: Yesterday Mueller literally quoted his report. Are you telling us that quoting from his prior report in public yesterday was “disgraceful” — some new and independent disgrace?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  249. Beldar quotes Mueller as follows, getting to the crux of the matter

    Third we considered whether to evaluate the conduct we investigated under the Justice Manual standards governing prosecution and declination decisions, but we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes. The threshold step under the Justice Manual standards is to assess whether a person’s conduct “constitutes a federal offense.” U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Justice Manual § 9-27.220 (2018) (Justice Manual). Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusation is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongly accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast, a prosecutor’s judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator.

    I find this analysis, well, frustrating. Mueller lays out a bunch of law that might apply, and then lays out a lot of facts, and doesn’t put the two together because he can’t indict him. And claims he must proceed in this manner out of fairness to Trump. Oh please! Trump challenges the facts — and yet is afforded no adversarial opportunity for public name clearing. Trump’s people challenge the law, and, again, there is no opportunity given to discuss how the law of obstruction applies in this instance.

    The DoJ opinion on why we can’t indict a President spends a lot of time on the harm an indictment might do, because the President might be distracted by the legal jeapordy an indictment means. Seems like this President is plenty distracted already by this thing.

    People read Mueller’s report as an invitation to an impeachment inquiry partly because Mueller’s reasoning on why he does not resolve anything feels so bogus. It may be because the law is an ass, so Mueller must be an ass. But, surely, Mueller could have done a better job of stating what he meant. Maybe hearings would help him do that.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  250. How — given his prior report — could his appearance yesterday not been “disgraceful” in your eyes, rcocean?

    Should he have stayed home? Should he have recanted his report? Should he have said the words you think he ought to have said (but absolutely, positively never said, nor anything like them) to exonerate Trump?

    Is there anything he could do or have done, short of agreeing entirely with you about Trump, that isn’t “disgraceful,” rcocean?

    Is it a disgrace that he’s still at liberty instead of locked up? That he’s still permitted to draw breath?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  251. @ Appalled: I find it frustrating that Mueller didn’t reach ultimate conclusions regarding obstruction. I disagree absolutely with those who say he was prevented from doing that by the OLC memorandum, and if one looks very closely, that’s not actually what he said. On its face it bars indictments of a sitting president; but there is a ton of things he could have done short of that, including addressing the ultimate conclusions regarding obstruction, and specifically including — as is referenced in the OLC memorandum itself! — demanding of the POTUS a tolling agreement as to any and all applicable statutes of limitations, to permit the POTUS to finish his term before being indicted. His prudential reasons — the absence of an opportunity for Trump to clear himself through a traditional jury trial, and the unfairness of public disclosure of evidence gathered by prosecutors tending to show guilt — are, respectively, inapplicable in the context of a possible impeachment inquiry (see Jaworski, Starr) and already moot (not based on anything Mueller did, but based on Barr’s decision to release to Congress and the public the substance of Mueller’s report). I think he is mistaken about the law and the strictures it imposed upon him, in a sentence.

    But I also think that he has been absolutely scrupulous and faithful in his adherence to what he (mistakenly, I believe) viewed as the limitations within which he could act. When he says he therefore didn’t take the threshold step of determining whether an obstruction crime had been committed, I take him exactly at his word.

    And certainly Barr & Rosenstein had no such scruples: They addressed the ultimate issues, and resolved them conclusively, for purposes of future DoJ consideration, in Trump’s favor. (That doesn’t bind Congress; that doesn’t bind members of the public.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  252. rcocean wrote (#249):

    How can the President obstruct justice by firing someone in the Executive Branch?

    You mean, like the Saturday Night Massacre? This subject is discussed in the Mueller report, in detail. Have you read it, sir? If so, I invite you to tell us where it’s wrong on the law.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  253. @244. So some cops are sent in to investigate a burglary on the 12th floor and discover on the way up a murder scene on the 11th– and should ignore it ’cause they were sent there to only look for burglars on the 12th. Got it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  254. -256, it’s more like homicide detectives are sent to the 11th floor and decide to go to the 12th to investigate someone loitering.

    lee (f8d029)

  255. You mean, like the Saturday Night Massacre? This subject is discussed in the Mueller report, in detail. Have you read it, sir? If so, I invite you to tell us where it’s wrong on the law.

    Bork thought Nixon had a constitutional right to fire Cox. I’ll go with Bork.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  256. You didn’t answer my question: Did you read the Mueller report’s discussion of this issue, rcocean?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  257. Well, Beldar, I cannot control what you think of me. Not my problem. If you want to color your opinion of me by a throwaway line, well, fine. But it’s on you, not me.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  258. (You’re also misstating Bork, but w/e.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  259. Sometimes they’ll say something like “We didn’t not to charge XYZ with a crime. The evidence didn’t support that action”. That’s what Mueller should have said. He didn’t.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 5/30/2019 @ 1:56 pm

    I think this is where you’re misguided. The evidence obviously supported charging Trump with a crime, and obviously supported charges against the people who were charged and convicted of crimes. Mueller went out of his way to make it clear that it wasn’t the evidence that kept Trump from being charged. And we’ve had plenty of time to recognize that anyone who wasn’t the president, would be charged, and in some cases, it would be an open and shut case.

    You may be conflating Barr’s dishonest characterization of Mueller’s investigation, that the evidence proved “no collusion and no obstruction.” Trump’s administration lies to the American people. We should remember that next time they tell us something.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  260. Here’s what Bork actually said:

    Later that year, recalling the events surrounding Mr. Cox’s dismissal, Mr. Bork said in an interview: “I was thinking of resigning not out of moral considerations. I did not want to be perceived as a man who did the President’s bidding to save my job.”

    “The President and Mr. Cox had gotten themselves, without my aid, into a position of confrontation,” Mr. Bork said. “There was never any question that Mr. Cox, one way or another, was going to be discharged. At that point you would have had massive resignations from the top levels of the Department of Justice.

    “If that had happened,” Mr. Bork continued, “the Department of Justice would have lost its top leadership, all of it, and would I think have effectively been crippled.”

    ….

    Earlier this week, Mr. Richardson said in an interview that he believed Mr. Bork had performed admirably.

    “I had asked the legal counsel to check whether Nixon had the right to fire Cox,” Mr. Richardson said. “The legal counsel concluded that he did. Therefore, we thought Bork could do the right thing and deliver that message. Bork deserves a lot of credit for standing up to Nixon and telling him to appoint another special prosecutor.”

    He did not fire Cox because he thought Nixon couldn’t be guilty of obstruction of justice. That is a ridiculous assertion, certainly never made by Bork.

    Rather, that one has a legal act to fire someone is no defense to the separate, distinct charge that doing so, in a particular circumstance, amounted to obstruction of justice.

    Which again bring me to ask: Did you read that part of the Mueller report, rcocean?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  261. Here’s what Mueller says:

    The President’s counsel has argued that “the President’s exercise of his constitutional
    authority … to terminate an FBI Director and to close investigations … cannot constitutionally
    constitute obstruction of justice.”1086 As noted above, no Department of Justice position or
    Supreme Court precedent directly resolved this issue.

    Mueller then goes on to give HIS OPINION. To which I reply, so what? Bork and Dershowitz think differently as do other lawyers.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  262. ot, archers 10th season is on tonight, it’s sci fi themed,

    narciso (d1f714)

  263. DRJ, is there a reason you did not call out Beldar when he called Kevin a liar? That sounds like a personal attack.

    Just trying to understand the rules around here…

    lee (f8d029) — 5/30/2019 @ 12:11 pm

    I did not see that comment at the time but I think it is a personal attack. IMO if you think a comment is a lie, call it out by showing why it is a lie. It is not necessary to gratuitously add that the commenter is a liar.

    DRJ (15874d)

  264. He did not fire Cox because he thought Nixon couldn’t be guilty of obstruction of justice. That is a ridiculous assertion, certainly never made by Bork.

    I never claimed that Bork FIRED Cox because Nixon couldn’t be guilty. I claimed that Bork thought Nixon firing Cox was not Unconstitutional. Did Bork think firing Cox was a good idea? NO. Did Bork want to fire Cox? NO. But just because it was a bad idea, doesn’t make Nixon’s order to fire Cox unconstitutional or mean Nixon did not have the right to fire him. Bork made the point throughout his career that a bad action or a bad law doesn’t mean its UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    Of course, this is what creeps like Ted Kennedy tried to conflate. They constantly asserted that because Bork didn’t think the SCOTUS should be finding something unconstitutional – he therefore AGREED or DISAGREED with it. IOW, Bork was just William Douglas, who struck or upheld laws depending on his politics and personal beliefs and then rummaged around in case law to find some “Constitutional language” to justify it.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  265. Democrats always make the inquisition of republicans a point of principle, note how they memorized scalias dissent in morrison, and found a way to shield themselves with it, my friend clarice knows the caliber of some of cox’s staff, one of the few that actually defeated one charge on appeal, then of course you have iran contra, which was interference in the legitimate course of foreign affairs in favor of the adversary bloc, then you have the whole plame/stellar wind/ matter which almost all these players fitz, comey mueller wray, goldsmith (although he’s seen some of the light) were all apart,

    narciso (d1f714)

  266. OW, Bork was just William Douglas, who struck or upheld laws depending on his politics and personal beliefs

    I don’t know enough about Douglass to argue that, but I do know that he was a stalwart defender of the 1st Amendment, whose opinions would shock any modern “hate-speech” proponent. Griswold was pretty bad, though.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  267. @ DRJ (#266): I called out the lie, not the liar, to begin with. The lie wasn’t admitted, but defended and excused and minimized. That led me to additional unflattering conclusions about the maker of the lie, which he’s since only further confirmed. But I shall try to accept your guidance, DRJ, and in the future will withhold characterization of those who lie, and then defend their lies, and confine myself to the lies themselves and the excuses for them, and let the reader draw their own conclusions about the lie-teller.

    @ rcocean: It was on Bork’s insistence that Nixon appointed Jaworski, whose roadmap lead to Nixon’s resignation a breath ahead of impeachment and removal, primarily for obstruction of justice. You’re repeating the same pathetic argument Nixon made in the Frost interviews that “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” That’s a hack argument, embraced (before he was in office) by the current Attorney General, and yes, by celebrity lawyer Dershowitz. But Bork is in a different category from either of them as a legal scholar. Bork never made or endorsed that argument. He does not support your position. Please don’t pretend that he did.

    Your partial quotation in #264 omits, dishonestly in my opinion, language both before and after what you quoted. Here’s the full quote:

    The President’s personal counsel has written to this Office to advance statutory and constitutional defenses to the potential application of the obstruction-of-justice statutes to the President’s conduct. As a statutory matter, the President’s counsel has argued that a core obstruction-of-justice statute, 18 U.S.c. § 1512(c)(2), does not cover the President’s actions. As a constitutional matter, the President’s counsel argued that the President cannot obstruct justice by exercising his constitutional authority to close Department of Justice investigations or terminate the FBI Director. Under that view, any statute that restricts the President’s exercise of those powers would impermissibly intrude on the President’s constitutional role. The President’s counsel has conceded that the President may be subject to criminal laws that do not directly involve exercises of his Article II authority, such as laws prohibiting bribing witnesses or suborning perjury. But counsel has made a categorical argument that “the President’s exercise of his constitutional authority here to terminate an FBI Director and to close investigations cannot constitutionally constitute obstruction of justice.”

    In analyzing counsel’s statutory arguments, we concluded that the President’s proposed interpretation of Section 1512(c)(2) is contrary to the litigating position of the Department of Justice and is not supported by principles of statutory construction.

    As for the constitutional arguments, we recognized that the Department of Justice and the courts have not definitively resolved these constitutional issues. We therefore analyzed the President’s position through the framework of Supreme Court precedent addressing the separation of powers. Under that framework, we concluded, Article II of the Constitution does not categorically and permanently immunize the President from potential liability for the conduct that we investigated. Rather, our analysis led us to conclude that the obstruction-of-justice statutes can validly prohibit a President’s corrupt efforts to use his official powers to curtail, end, or interfere with an investigation.

    There follows several pages of close legal analysis, including citation to precedent, to demonstrate why the POTUS’ lawyers — and you, and Dershowitz — are wrong about this. This is not just “Mueller’s opinion.” Despite his prior private-citizen memo suggesting otherwise, Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein could have, but conspicuously refused, to embrace this nonsense as a basis for their conclusions on the ultimate issues regarding obstruction. If you’ve got a quibble with any of that legal analysis, let’s here it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  268. I think Mueller is desperately trying to show that there was probable cause for the Russia collusion and that is was not a witch hunt, with the backup that “only a witch wouldn’t let us throw him in the water to see if he floats”. In short, a horsesh!t investigation and a horsesh!t report. And neither side is going to make the horsesh!t taste like candy.

    nk (dbc370)

  269. Here I’ve already fallen short in my resolution to DRJ. I amend my #270, which originally read: Your partial quotation in #264 omits, dishonestly in my opinion, language both before and after what you quoted. I don’t know rcocean’s intentions, and ought not have imputed intellectual dishonesty to him. I should simply have pointed out that his comment includes only the 45 words which possibly are flattering to his position, and that his comment omitted and indeed mischaracterized the rest of the text around those words.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  270. I called out the lie, not the liar, to begin with. The lie wasn’t admitted, but defended and excused and minimized. That led me to additional unflattering conclusions about the maker of the lie, which he’s since only further confirmed. But I shall try to accept your guidance, DRJ, and in the future will withhold characterization of those who lie, and then defend their lies, and confine myself to the lies themselves and the excuses for them, and let the reader draw their own conclusions about the lie-teller.

    Bollocks. Your mischaracterizations are too numerous to deal with individually here, but if that is what you read in what I wrote I should give up writing, or you reading.

    A. It was not a “lie” as it did not presumke to state fact, but only my suspicion (which turned out to be wrong).

    B. I said that it was not intended to be a fact and you called THAT a lie, as if you know what I intend, then you insulted me some more.

    C. I tried to explain myself more fully, but you just called my explanation “more lies” and “justification” when neither of those was intended or deserved.

    D. I can only assume you read no more that a sentence or two in #218 before you began your tirade, but your comments about me are clearly libelous, and in total disregard of what I wrote.

    E. What part of

    “I’m sorry if I thoughtlessly said something that offended you so, it was not my intention. I remind you that this medium is devoid of body language, facial expressions, or other things that we normally use to interpret speech, and that what is intended as typed may not be what you hear when you read.”

    reads as “justification” or “defense” to you?

    I could go on. I have and then deleted it. But I am tired of walking on eggshells around you.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  271. Your partial quotation in #264 omits, dishonestly in my opinion, language both before and after what you quoted. Here’s the full quote:

    No. I was trying to be concise and get to the heart of the matter. Which NON-lawyers consider a virtue not a vice. Nothing in the full quote, shows my point is wrong. Mueller admits the matter has not been settled by the SCOTUS or the DoJ regulations. And gives his opinion. Which he thinks is correct, and which other lawyers disagree with.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  272. You’re repeating the same pathetic argument Nixon made in the Frost interviews that “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” That’s a hack argument, embraced (before he was in office) by the current Attorney General, and yes, by celebrity lawyer Dershowitz.

    Did Nixon have the right to fire Cox? I think he did. Nixon could have asserted that Cox had no right to subpoena the White House tapes, was exceeding his authority, had staffed his office with partisan Democrats and was “out of Control”. And fired him. Unconstitutional? Hardly.

    Nixon was done in, by his constant failure to take a bold stand and trust the American people. He was a lawyer and was constantly trying if “finesse” the issue or thought he could make some “Clever” legal argument and the SCOTUS would save him. He also liked Moderate Establishment types, which is why he made the mistake of appointing Richardson as AG, and Dean and Garment as his WH Counsel. He should have burned the tapes, and told the American people why. Had he done so, he MIGHT have survived. But he didn’t have the guts.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  273. I don’t know rcocean’s intentions, and ought not have imputed intellectual dishonesty to him. I should simply have pointed out that his comment includes only the 45 words which possibly are flattering to his position, and that his comment omitted and indeed mischaracterized the rest of the text around those words.

    I accept your apology that I’m not dishonest, merely stupid. Thanks – LOL!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  274. Had he done so, he MIGHT have survived.

    Pretty sure that would have been obstruction. The tapes were simply the coup de gras. Nixon was accused of many things more than just the Watergate coverup (IRS audit lists, ordering other burglaries, perverting the FBI and CIA to assist his coverups) and his goose was cooked by the spring of ’74. The only question was whether he would quit or be fired.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  275. mg, at 278:

    As is often the case with reporting, that link is factually wrong about a fact that I have reason to know the details of.

    > Nationwide bar rules governing all practicing attorneys in the United States also explicitly prohibit Mueller’s display during Wednesday’s press conference.

    > “The prosecutor in a criminal case shall … refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused,” states Rule 3.8(f) of the American Bar Association’s rules of professional conduct.

    I am licensed to practice in three jurisdictions. In *none* of those jurisdictions are the ABA’s “Model Rules of Professional Conduct” actually binding on me; the rules of the individual state bars are binding on me.

    For that matter, when he cites Rule 3.8(f), he *doesn’t even get the name of the document right*.

    If he misunderstands the way attorney ethics rules work badly enough to think the model rules are binding on every lawyer (when they aren’t) and misnames the document, calling it the “Rules of Professional Conduct” rather than the “Model Rules of Professional Conduct” — a difference which actually *matters* because the correct name would reiterate that these are a proposed model for others to follow and aren’t in and of themselves binding — what else does he get wrong?

    Among other things, he leaves out important context in a way that changes the meaning.

    He quotes:

    > refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused

    but the full context is:

    > except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused

    maybe it’s a valid claim that this statement was necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of his actions, maybe it isn’t, but at the very least the *actual* paragraph from the incorrectly named document which isn’t actually binding on everyone the author says it is indicates that it’s a question that should be asked, and he just … ignores it.

    the article is political ranting which shows little interest in actual fact or analysis.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  276. When Trump has a couple or more of my favorite people here at each other’s throats, I say it’s time to impeach the mother****er.

    nk (dbc370)

  277. @276. Nice try. Nixon was done in by… Richard Nixon.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  278. @281, I didn’t know Trump commented here. Or perhaps, dear Brutus, the fault lies much closer to home.

    Ptw (3a6b51)

  279. You don’t have to walk on eggshells. Just stop posting falsehoods, Kevin M, like:

    A. It was not a “lie” as it did not presumke to state fact, but only my suspicion (which turned out to be wrong).

    B. I said that it was not intended to be a fact and you called THAT a lie, as if you know what I intend, then you insulted me some more.

    C. I tried to explain myself more fully, but you just called my explanation “more lies” and “justification” when neither of those was intended or deserved.

    D. I can only assume you read no more that a sentence or two in #218 before you began your tirade, but your comments about me are clearly libelous, and in total disregard of what I wrote.

    E. What part of

    “I’m sorry if I thoughtlessly said something that offended you so, it was not my intention. I remind you that this medium is devoid of body language, facial expressions, or other things that we normally use to interpret speech, and that what is intended as typed may not be what you hear when you read.”

    reads as “justification” or “defense” to you?

    In order:

    A. “I bet you are a child molester.” Have I told a lie about you? Have I merely raised, without opinion, the possibility that perhaps you’re a child molester? Have I included, within my statement, any hint of my doubt whether it is or isn’t true? Yes; no; no.

    B. My initial comment was in #129. You replied in #133 with, “Sorry, I am just cynical about the practice of law.” Not, “sorry, I lied,” or even “sorry, I told a reckless falsehood without checking. No part of #129 claims that you weren’t intending to state a fact.

    C. You came up with that claim for the first time in #139, but again failed to acknowledge that your assertion, qualified or not, was ridiculously wrong. I responded, branding you a “liar,” in #153, at which time, as far as the reader can tell, you were still asserting that Mueller was billing by the hour (and doing so unethically).

    D. I not only read your entire #218, but quoted from its final line. I maintain: It’s a sorry-ass apology. Nor is there any element of apology in “I say something cynical about the lawyers working for a government boondoggle (yes, I believe* that the investigation was largely a waste and founded on lies), and CLEARLY say it is an opinion.” You didn’t say you were voicing an opinion ever before #218; even there, you had to completely re-write what your comment actually said to fit it into the “opinion” category, clear or not. You made no promise to try to avoid calumnies like this in the future, but instead affirmatively warned that your “BS” — the first clear acknowledgement of the lie, and an accurate description of it, finally — is what we should expect from you in the future: “It happens. It may happen again.”

    E. Nothing whatsoever about “body language” or “facial expression” was involved in your lie. Pretending that I misread what you said is a defense. Calling it a “throwaway” is a justification or defense.

    No, sir, I’ve read every word you wrote. And I have nothing more to say about, or to, you.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  280. @ rcocean (#274): Okay. I suppose you’re entitled to believe the stupid lawyers, even if you can’t explain why they’re right or even begin to explain why Mueller’s multi-page treatment of this issue is wrong. Forgive me if I find this entirely unpersuasive, and worse.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  281. You know Beldar, I could have taken the claim in #158; a totally incorrect statement about scientists inventing mustard gas, and gone all postal like you did. Instead I simply corrected Leviticus and do not hold any animus towards him.

    What I said initially was not to you, or in any about you — nor couched as a statement of fact — yet you have internalized it completely, to the point where now I am supposedly calling you a child molester.

    Get a grip, and stop trying to bully people.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  282. “, I could have taken the claim in #158; a totally incorrect statement about scientists inventing mustard gas, and gone all postal like you did. Instead I simply corrected Leviticus and do not hold any animus towards him.”

    – Kevin M

    Yeah lol, you sure showed that I was wrong… by noting that it was German scientists that invented mustard gas instead of… non-German scientists? That one batch of science optimized the killing cavalierly of the craft, instead of a different batch of scientists?

    Maybe you didn’t understand the point I was making. I thought it was pretty straightforward, though.

    Leviticus (237505)

  283. Pretty sure that would have been obstruction. The tapes were simply the coup de gras. Nixon was accused of many things more than just the Watergate coverup (IRS audit lists, ordering other burglaries, perverting the FBI and CIA to assist his coverups) and his goose was cooked by the spring of ’74. The only question was whether he would quit or be fired.

    Kevin M (21ca15) — 5/30/2019 @ 5:40 pm

    So Nixon was the original Obama.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  284. “Totally incorrect” hahaha…

    My guess from your reaction to my comments is that you fancy yourself or sort of scientist. Interesting to know.

    Leviticus (237505)

  285. I don’t think it’s the mustard. I suspect it’s the sauerkraut.

    nk (dbc370)

  286. Gawd, I hate smart phones. Mine most of all. All the temptation to respond, without the tech to do so effectively.

    Pox

    Leviticus (237505)

  287. Yeah lol, you sure showed that I was wrong… by noting that it was German scientists that invented mustard gas instead of… non-German scientists? That one batch of science optimized the killing cavalierly of the craft, instead of a different batch of scientists?

    No, you said they did it for the war effort, to kill people. They did not. They were just doing mundane chemistry. The only people THEY killed in their experiments were themselves, by accident.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  288. My guess from your reaction to my comments is that you fancy yourself or sort of scientist. Interesting to know.

    A retired electrical engineer with a B.S. in Physics from Harvey Mudd. So, maybe not a scientist, and I’m sorry to pick on you, but it was a convenient example.

    From Wikipedia:

    Mustard agent was possibly developed as early as 1822 by César-Mansuète Despretz (1798–1863).[16] Despretz described the reaction of sulfur dichloride and ethylene but never made mention of any irritating properties of the reaction product. In 1854, another French chemist, Alfred Riche (1829–1908), repeated this procedure, also without describing any adverse physiological properties.

    In 1860, the British scientist Frederick Guthrie synthesized and characterized the mustard agent compound and noted its irritating properties, especially in tasting.[17] Also in 1860, chemist Albert Niemann, known as a pioneer in cocaine chemistry, repeated the reaction, and recorded blister-forming properties.

    In 1886, Viktor Meyer published a paper describing a synthesis that produced good yields. He combined 2-chloroethanol with aqueous potassium sulfide, and then treated the resulting thiodiglycol with phosphorus trichloride. The purity of this compound was much higher and consequently the adverse health effects upon exposure were much more severe. These symptoms presented themselves in his assistant, and in order to rule out the possibility that his assistant was suffering from a mental illness (psychosomatic symptoms), Meyer had this compound tested on laboratory rabbits, most of which died. [but still no weapons research]

    In 1913, the English chemist Hans Thacher Clarke (known for the Eschweiler-Clarke reaction) replaced the phosphorus trichloride with hydrochloric acid in Meyer’s formulation while working with Emil Fischer in Berlin. Clarke was hospitalized for two months for burns after one of his flasks broke. According to Meyer, Fischer’s report on this accident to the German Chemical Society sent the German Empire on the road to chemical weapons.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur_mustard#Development

    So, until someone almost died, and the government found out, none of the scientists took any step to weaponize the gas. They were just doing Science.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  289. Who weaponized it, then? Non-scientists?

    Leviticus (237505)

  290. Mueller and his political ranting serve no purpose other than to ignite never trumpers into liberal hysteria.

    mg (8cbc69)

  291. Mueller and Barr are both deep staters working for the institution not the constitution.
    They are pieces of schiff.

    mg (8cbc69)

  292. Who weaponized it, then? Non-scientists?

    Most likely. Ordnance specialists.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  293. The irony of attacking scientists as a group, on the internet, is hilarious.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  294. Who weaponized it, then?

    Fritz Haber, a German chemist . He did it for years. He thought it was more humane than traditional munitions.

    DRJ (15874d)

  295. I’m not attacking scientists as a group anymore than Kevin M was attacking lawyers as a group. He’s pretending he doesn’t understand my original point, but he does.

    Leviticus (237505)

  296. Plus this, from my first link:

    The Germans had only acquired the new family of chemical weapons by serendipity. In 1936 a chemist named Gerhard Schrader first synthesized tabun at the German chemical company IG Farben. He was aiming to create an insecticide that would allow Germany to increase its food production. But after Schrader nearly poisoned himself and his lab mates with mere drops of his newly synthesized insecticide, the company realized that tabun was better suited to military applications and forwarded the discovery to German military researchers. Schrader experienced eye irritation, pupils constricted to pinpoints that dimmed the surrounding world, a runny nose, and shortness of breath. Luckily for him he avoided the next stage of nerve-agent poisoning: intense sweating, stomach cramping, muscle twitching, a loss of consciousness, and asphyxiation.

    By 1943 a team of German military scientists developing tabun had also designed another nerve agent called sarin that was six times more potent than tabun. The German Nobel laureate Richard Kuhn was called on to help discern why the new poisons were so deadly. He soon discovered that these nerve agents interfere with a critical enzyme, cholinesterase. In the process Kuhn also discovered a third nerve agent: soman.

    And the British had Portan Downs.

    DRJ (15874d)

  297. Scientists, lawyers and doctors have different methods of analyzing problems because they work best for their professions. Each has clear benefits but none of the methods are infallible.

    DRJ (15874d)

  298. There’s a book about this (or Fritz Haber and the Haber-Bosch process and the consequences of fixing nitrogen from the air into ammontia at an economically feasible price,

    The Alchemy of Air by Thomas Hager (2009)

    The most important results of his disccovery were fertilizer and explosives. In addition he made possible the manufacture of poison gas. His (first) wife committed suicide as a result. He was a converted Jew and left Germany in 1933, and was going to to Mandatory Palestine when he died in Basel Switzerland in January 1934. His children also left. Later some of them committed suicide. One wrote a book in 1986 about the history of poison gas.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  299. Attorney General William Barr was interviewed by CBS News and some of it was shown on the CBS Evening News last night and also more or all of it on CBS This Morning It should be available online.

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  300. My original example used the atomic bomb. I don’t think Kevin M would argue that scientists invented that one.

    Leviticus (237505)

  301. Failure to drop the A-bomb would’ve cruelly deprived so many of basic virtue signaling sustenance.

    Munroe (e2715c)

  302. In #133, Kevin M when he said:

    “Sorry, I am just cynical about the practice of law.”

    …was not saying that he did not believe Beldar when he said that Mueller’s people were on salary, and not billing anyone by the hour.

    That is the meaning of the word “Sorry” there.

    “Sorry, it was wrong but I made that mistake because I am cynical about lawyers, and I had a recent reason to be.” (a person who is cynical is often wrong.)

    Not:

    “I’m sorry that you don’t like what I said, but I’m not sorry I said it.”.

    Kevin M was apologizing (and also excusing himself) for being too cynical.

    It had to mean that because once you think about it, what Beldar said is obviously correct, because
    professionals billing by the hour is a comparatively recent innovation, and the federal government woudn’t do that for any white collar employee (and anyway would do it differently, by a time clock not recordkeeping.

    You could say, wll they wanted to multiply days of work, but everyone knows that lawyers get paid less by the government than in any other place. That’s why so many of them are just starting their careers there. There could be some dishonorable reasons for joining Mueller’s team, but collecting more salary isn’t one of them, unless maybe their law firm would reward them or there could be some tax benefits if they have to sell stock to avoid a conflict of interest, but in such a case the less time they spend working for he goernment, the better.)

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  303. Failure to drop the A-bomb would’ve cruelly deprived so many of basic virtue signaling sustenance.

    Bingo. Which for all the harrumphing was the point of pushing back on the harrumphing of the original harrumphing via obfuscation of the original point. The original point being that the legal profession has a considerable problem with ethics and integrity in general. This then got projected onto scientists, first via harrumphing about the morality of nuking (again, they still didn’t cry “Uncle” after the first one) Japan, and then dig, dig, dig pony in here somewhere…poison gas. Objections on the side of those defending science pretty much boil down to (though not stated) that at the very least, scientists have to answer to the Gods of the Copybook Headings. Lawyers are usually dead, moved on, or found someone else to blame when GotCH show up. The general idea being that scientists, on average, are forced to some degree of integrity by the nature of reality itself. Not that many don’t try to cheat it. See Climate Science, etc. Some went a bit overboard by blurring the line between what scientist have done vs. why they did it. There’s of course a 2nd Amendment issue buried in all this waiting to come out as well.

    Gee I hope that didn’t upset anyone’s feelings, but seeing as my and lee’s questions regarding a clarification of the rules went unanswered, well what’s a brother to do, eh?

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  304. a person who is cynical is often wrong

    And yet often right as well, yes? Depends on the meaning of the word “often”. Personally, I like to make bets. Personally, being a bit cynical, I don’t lose a lot of bets. But I do lose some. Nobody’s perfect. Not even the perfect cynic.

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  305. I responded at 266, PTw.

    DRJ (15874d)

  306. You probably did not see my comment, which I hope in the future will make you more understanding of others and less willing to call out “selective chastising.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  307. For the record, I did not use the term “selective chastising”, that was lee, though it does kinda fit. And yes, calling someone a liar based on one or two lies is of course wrong. However to my specific question, which goes further to the heart of the concerns here, is if someone walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck, yet gets upset when someone calls them a duck, is that really a “personal attack”? Especially the “attack” part. Kevin M was cool with being called a liar. Fine. His prerogative. Even though, as demonstrated here through numerous posts that he does not consider what he said to be a lie. Nor do some others here. NJRob was called out for saying someone’s leftist leanings were showing. Which they were. Now one can state leftist positions without actually being a full blown leftist, just as I could as a child cross myself and attend the occasional Catholic church without actually being a Catholic. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. But there is some point at which a person’s pronouncements in certain regards are frequent and strong enough about a subject such that they can legitimately be called out for being of that faith, is there not? I think this is a legitimate concern that lee and others have raised here over time.

    PTw (cbfa7c)

  308. PTw,

    I thought you and lee made the same point but I take back describing it as “selective chastising” if that is a problem.

    As for your other concerns, I think calling people names is not aimed at discussing topics or making meaningful points. They are attacks designed to discredit and/or dominate, typically out of anger or frustration. The same point can be made by focusing on the comment, not the commenter.

    Why is it so important to label other commenters as ducks, leftists, liars, or whatever instead of pointing out the problems you have with what they say? I submit it is because you want to discredit them as ducks, leftists, liars, etc., so you can conveniently ignore what they say. And if they truly don’t realize the meaning of their comments, which is the better way to help them realize it?

    However, if this is not answering your concerns, I encourage you to email Patterico. I don’t speak for him and he may have a different answer that will satisfy you more.

    DRJ (15874d)

  309. But there is some point at which a person’s pronouncements in certain regards are frequent and strong enough about a subject such that they can legitimately be called out for being of that faith, is there not?

    My answer is there is not, but answer this:

    I don’t like or trust Trump. I criticize him frequently. I am disappointed in his choice of Kavanaugh, that he has not built the Wall (let alone pay for it), and that he made no effort to use his first two years with a GOP House and Senate to repeal ObamaCare. Am I NeverTrump?

    DRJ (15874d)

  310. And he spends taxpayer money even more than Obama did, like he finally has daddy’s credit card and can’t stop himself. I am offended by that after his campaign promises.

    DRJ (15874d)

  311. “I am disappointed in his choice of Kavanaugh”
    DRJ (15874d) — 5/31/2019 @ 8:49 am

    I’m guessing it’s because he was never exonerated for all that gang rape stuff. I’m totally with you.

    Munroe (eb977b)

  312. No, it is because I think Kavanaugh will be another Roberts. Why did you guess as you did?

    DRJ (15874d)

  313. For example. They both believe in incrementalism. That is not bad per se but in some cases it helps the Court as an institution instead of being a good result or policy.

    DRJ (15874d)

  314. I think Kavanaugh and Roberts really, really care about the Court’s reputation (and, by extension, their reputations) more than they care about conservative principles.

    DRJ (15874d)

  315. Ah, so if we was another Scalia, the lack of exoneration wouldn’t be a concern. Got it.

    Thumbs up for confirmation, but impeachment would be on the table — something like that?

    Munroe (43f7e1)

  316. I don’t understand. Can you explain that? FWIW I would like another Thomas or Gorsuch. I like Trump’s pick of Gorsuch.

    DRJ (15874d)

  317. Are you saying if Trump nominated judges I like then I wouldn’t care whether Trump obstructed justice in the Mueller investigation? If so, that would not be true.

    DRJ (15874d)

  318. Exoneration seems irrelevant to you then, as it is to me. That’s clear now. Glad we agree.

    Munroe (4dc96c)

  319. Exoneration on obstruction? Ok, that is not my position but I accept you don’t care about it. Do you feel that way about all politicians, all Republicans or just Trump?

    DRJ (15874d)

  320. Or maybe you don’t think anyone should ever be charged with obstruction. Is that your position?

    DRJ (15874d)

  321. Let’s not be putting the cart before the horse’s ass. Trump is making all the exoneration fuss. It’s Trump who wants Mueller’s “we didn’t find nothing that we could indict a sitting President with” to mean”Donnie is a good boy and didn’t do anything wrong” a/k/a EXONERATION!!1!. If he wasn’t such a baby, he’d be content with “It’s over, I have a country to run, shut up”.

    nk (dbc370)

  322. I guess if Trump lacked exoneration on gang rape instead of obstruction, he’d get a pass. Got it!

    Munroe (d660cd)

  323. Comparing Trump to Kavanaugh on matters that impugn their respective characters is like comparing the water in your seemingly clean toilet bowl (Trump) to a bottle of distilled water you bought at Babies R’ Us (Kavanaugh). One deserves the benefit of the doubt absent clear and convincing evidence (Kavanaugh), the other you’ll never know even if you have it lab-tested (Trump).

    nk (dbc370)

  324. Let’s get very basic. Legal cases typically contain questions of law and fact. A question of fact revolves around actual events in the real world. Did the defendant shoot the victim? Did the defendant break into the victim’s house? The question of law often flows from the resolution of the question of fact. When the defendant shot the victim, did his actions meet the elements of the murder statute? Under the facts, did the defendants’ actions constitute burglary or robbery?

    When a law is well-written and clear, a person of ordinary intelligence can know exactly what is prohibited. To take examples from the most recent presidential impeachment controversies, Bill Clinton knew full well that it was unlawful to lie under oath. Richard Nixon knew full well that a person may not bribe a witness. And while the question of fact may be difficult to determine, the application of law is relatively simple.

    By contrast, look at the obstruction case against President Trump. The Mueller Report laid out the legal standard in key paragraphs that demonstrate the incredible breadth of the relevant statutes and the difficulty of discerning illegality.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  325. Sammy is pretty correct in #303, but I’m not sure I care anymore.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  326. My original example used the atomic bomb. I don’t think Kevin M would argue that scientists invented that one.

    No, I would not. That many were refugees from Europe, and they were building it for Hitler is partly in their favor. There was an existential war in progress, especially if you were Jewish.

    After Germany surrendered, some actually thought they should stop, but the government had other plans. In any event you could say the Japanese were their own worst enemy here; their to-the-last-man defense of Iwo Jima was intended as an object lesson to get the Americans to negotiate a peace, leaving Japan some part of their empire. And it served it’s purpose — no way was the US going to try to take the home islands by main force — the public was tired of war and hundreds of thousands more dead would have ended the Democratic Party. If the bomb didn’t work, they planned defoliation and starvation, coupled with bombing until there was no way for Japan to resist.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  327. I’m not attacking scientists as a group anymore than Kevin M was attacking lawyers as a group. He’s pretending he doesn’t understand my original point, but he does.

    I was surprised by the vehemence of the objection, and I had not intended it as other than a cynical comment, along the lines of “I bet most of Bernie’s supporters don’t pay income taxes.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  328. Yeah, I understand the point. I even knew people who worked on the Manhattan Project, and yes they were scientists, and yes they knew what they were building, and no they don’t feel guilty. It was a different time.

    I also know that I, as a young engineer in the aftermath of the Vietnam war, had no interest in helping the military build anything. Yet another different time.

    And decades later, I found myself doing just that, with a will.

    Kevin M (21ca15)


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