Patterico's Pontifications

7/9/2019

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise: The Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory Was a Russian Disinformation Operation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:20 pm



So be proud if you spread it. (See below for plenty of comments on this very Web site from people who did.) You were doing the bidding of Russian trolls:

In the summer of 2016, Russian intelligence agents secretly planted a fake report claiming that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was gunned down by a squad of assassins working for Hillary Clinton, giving rise to a notorious conspiracy theory that captivated conservative activists and was later promoted from inside President Trump’s White House, a Yahoo News investigation has found.

Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as the SVR, first circulated a phony “bulletin” — disguised to read as a real intelligence report —about the alleged murder of the former DNC staffer on July 13, 2016, according to the U.S. federal prosecutor who was in charge of the Rich case. That was just three days after Rich, 27, was killed in what police believed was a botched robbery while walking home to his group house in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., about 30 blocks north of the Capitol.

. . . .

The Russian-inspired conspiracy theories also have had a devastating effect on the Rich family, especially after the theories migrated to alt-right websites and, ultimately, primetime Fox News shows. As they did so, there were repeated suggestions by alt-right commentators that the DNC staffer’s parents and brother were concealing information about his conduct.

We have had some commenters in recent times who fell for this crap. I won’t outright name anyone, but here are a few comments that appeared on this here Web site, just so you know I’m not making this up. For example, here:

damn that was unreadable stuff. Couldn’t get through the first paragraph. You Brennanites just seem so doomed.

And not a word about Seth Rich. Well, okay. Good luck with your little confused narrative. I can’t imagine who you find to latch onto that.

And here:

the sluts and tarts at the corrupt FBI aren’t even a wee tiny bit curious about Seth Rich’s murder

but spearphishing holy god america that gets their hot and horny blood pumping

Here:

I guess they will next be hired by bezos, the hill is also the ones there is nothing strange with the Seth rich matter.

And here:

Kim Dotcom says he was involved beginning, middle, and end, with the DNC email leak.
Can’t call it a hack because Seth Rich was an insider, supposed to use the DNC computer the exact way he did, as part of his job.

Here (copypasta of Roger L. Simon):

Further to this portion of the narrative is the overall question of putative Russian government hacking into the Clinton campaign. So far we have seen no public evidence that this is true. We have actually seen circumstantial evidence (the Seth Rich murder) to the contrary.

And here:

Seth Rich, the guy your evil hag had murdered, was the source of THE DAMAGING TRUTH reported by Wikileaks. How do we know this with not even a shadow of doubt? Because Rich forwarded the Hildabeast’s dirty laundry direct to Julian Assange’s director of films, Gavin MacFadyen. His computer was in London, outside of the Clinton’s sphere of control.

Here:

I know Patterico doesn’t hold Gateway Pundit in high regard, but this particular piece is well sourced, including with youtube videos of Assange denying that the Russians were his source. I would also remind everyone that Wikileaks offered a reward for info about the murder of Seth Rich, a DNC staffer. Alegedly, the motive was robbery, though nothing was taken. And if he was a Wikileaks source, that would explain why Wikileaks is offering a reward for his killer.

Yeah, or if Wikileaks were an arm of the GRU, that would explain why they made the offer, to drum up publicity about trolling bullshit from the Russian government.

Many of these people have been banned. I haven’t checked to see if they all have been. But all of them, banned or not, should be ashamed that they were doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin and repeating total horseshit tossed out there by the Russians to stir up the stupidest and most conspiracy-minded people in our midst.

I don’t know if anyone wonders why I don’t post much any more, but among a combination of non-political factors (a very busy work life, some time out of town, desire to get more sleep and spend more time with family), this kind of thing is part of it. The feeling that I have spent a large part of my life trying to push rationality, only to see this kind of conspiratorial nonsense gain a greater foothold in the minds of crazed partisans … it can make you wonder why you bother. It honestly can.

I haven’t given up entirely. I mean, I wrote this, didn’t I? And I’m heartened by the absolutely fantastic people writing on this Web site with me, and many of the excellent and common-sense commenters who remain.

But you can see how a guy can get dispirited. Can’t you?

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

169 Responses to “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise: The Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory Was a Russian Disinformation Operation”

  1. I don’t know if anyone wonders why I don’t post much any more,

    I did but I figured that’s your business. Anyway … thank you!

    nk (dbc370)

  2. Sheesh. I like to think we have separated the wheat from the chaff in recent months and years.

    There was a hell of a lot of chaff. Congratulations to the remaining wheat!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  3. So … why would the Russian SVR want to plant dezinformatsiya implicating Hillary in a murder days before the parties’ respective national conventions while their Ukrainian puppets’ bagman Paul Manafort was lining up an uncontested nomination for Trump? Eh?

    nk (dbc370)

  4. Well, there is the one spambot that uses English words in random order, that occasionally approaches almost coherence. He’ll be along in a moment.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  5. With Isikoff and conspiracy theories you just have to hope the other shoe doesn’t drop:

    In an interview with Mediaite published today, Yahoo! News investigative reporter Michael Isikoff made it clear that he was likely wrong about Donald Trump colluding with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election in his favor.“

    harkin (58d012)

  6. Russia achieved it’s goal, chaos, better than they ever imagined. None of Trump and his gaggle of dunces, brood…herd…murder…gaggle I guess, were ever bothered enough to actually follow through and do the work of colluding, heck, I still don’t think they wanted to actually win.

    Manafort got in, got at least the Republican platform changed, then was bounced for another doofus, that is still hanging around. That’s really the closest thing to Trump directly, and he surely wasn’t interested enough to know why that mattered.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  7. Yeah, well what about the SC investigation into this Seth Rich nonsense? What a waste of money that was.

    Couldn’t we have devoted those resources to a more legit conspiracy theory, maybe one that snookered all the right thinking people instead of goobers and rubes?

    Munroe (7b0e08)

  8. A literal what about… Hahahaha

    Dustin (6d7686)

  9. One, this blockquote…

    I guess they will next be hired by bezos, the hill is also the ones there is nothing strange with the Seth rich matter.

    …should be replaced with this…

    Yes that’s likely in 20 years the DC police will say something similar about seth rich.

    …which is where the link actually goes.
    Two, FoxNews retracted the Seth Rich story but Hannity never did, nor did he apologize to his viewers for pushing Putin’s propaganda. He’s a bully and a Trump stooge with zero credibility.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  10. What a waste of money that was.

    The net cost of the Mueller investigation was just a few mil, considering the money Mueller took back from Manafort, Cohen et al, money that they defrauded from American taxpayers. It was a bargain, as far as major investigations go. Seth Rich took all of about a half page in the Mueller report (page 56 of the PDF), and it had to do with Assange’s lies about the bogus story.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  11. So, I wonder what nonsense links Narcisco will post to totally ignore the fact that he bought it hook, line and stinker.
    what’s the over and under that it’s about “Crooked Hillary”?

    Tom M (347d19)

  12. It’s a good thing this site has never promoted the collusion or obstruction angles. Otherwise , where would we be?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  13. R.I.P. RIP TORN

    Time for the last suit you’ll ever wear.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  14. It’s a good thing this site has never promoted the collusion or obstruction angles. Otherwise , where would we be?

    The copy pasta in the post is from you. You should be embarrassed but clearly you equate actual obstruction with the Russian conspiracy theory bullshit you promoted here. So all we can do is shake our heads at how you have been a chump sucker, and make sure nobody else is fooled by your horseshit.

    Patterico (44ba8e)

  15. Paul, I’ll try to fix the link/quote issue in the morning, thanks.

    Patterico (44ba8e)

  16. Yes, I know it was. You should feel a real sense of pride that you fall in line with MSM horseschiff 75% of the time anymore. Including the collusion/obstruction crap, champ. Sad.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  17. I enjoy the new posts by DRJ, JVW and Dana, sure adds a lot of class.

    mg (8cbc69)

  18. Perhaps D.C. needs to hire more competent investigators, policemen and prosecutors to find out who killed him, but then maybe that doesn’t matter as long as orange man supporters can be berated with exuberance.

    mg (8cbc69)

  19. Oh my goodness.

    LOL, if you read the actual document, the one (mildly) criticized is Barr, and it is because he released a redacted version of Mueller’s report to him, containing statements touching on the case at trial, not because of anything Mueller did or didn’t do.

    And there was no “major blow to Mueller” – in fact the judge defends Mueller and Barr as having acted ethically and professionally, and completely rejects the Russians’ requests for a contempt citation or any other sanction against Barr and Mueller:

    ORDERED that Concord’s motion for an order to show cause why Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III and Attorney General William P. Barr should not be held in contempt is DENIED;

    He spends over a half a page praising Mueller for his May 29 press conference (see page 15):

    [T]he government has demonstrated that moving forward it will comply with Rule 57.7 and any further order of the Court. On May 29, 2019, following the Court’s hearing, the Special Counsel held a press conference to announce the conclusion of his investigation and his resignation as Special Counsel. In delivering his remarks, the Special Counsel carefully distinguished between the efforts by “Russian intelligence officers who were part of the Russian military” and the efforts detailed “in a separate indictment” by “a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to interfere in the election.” Special Counsel Statement Tr. (emphases added). He also repeatedly referred to the activities described in the Report as “allegations” and made clear that his Office was “not commenting on the guilt or innocence of any specific defendant.” Id. The Special Counsel added that the defendants were “presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.” Id. These actions demonstrate that the government understands and intends to abide by the Court’s May 28, 2018 Order, and they serve as a strong indication that contempt proceedings would be both unnecessary and excessive under the circumstances.

    In short, it’s a complete nothing-burger, and the Gateway Pundit story is a fairy tale to con the gullible into taking away the opposite of the truth.

    I would have thought, in a post where you TrumpWorlders just learned a lesson about the dangers of swallowing and regurgitating narrative-driven propaganda uncritically, that you might show just a *hint* of circumspection for a day or two.

    But no…

    Dave (1bb933)

  20. yea, right. Lets all jump on this MSM “Seth Rich was a Russian promoted conspiracy”. After all the MSM and Russian stories have never been wrong before.

    sd Harms (fec2f1)

  21. For that matter why should we believe anything that doesn’t issue from the moist veracious lips of the President himself? He’s really the only one we can trust now.

    JRH (4210ba)

  22. 24. LOLOLOLOL Trust Trump. Good one.

    Gryph (08c844)

  23. 19 -mg, that’s the tack I expect the eternal tormentor of the Central Park 5 to take with this news, all while suppressing the urge to indulge in a word ending with a hard R.

    urbanleftbehind (70cb47)

  24. Trust Mueller, clinton, mittens , the fbi, the cia, the department of selective justice and no trumpers?
    I’d rather overdose.

    mg (8cbc69)

  25. I meant your #18 which dovetails into the rationales behind new post- Michael Brown crime surge, but otherwise spot on.

    urbanleftbehind (70cb47)

  26. That was my fault, ulb and mg. I moved a comment to spam that made it past the filter, and it re-numbered everything. Sorry for the confusion.

    DRJ (15874d)

  27. Good Post. Thank you.

    Bet you 5 internet points that 0 of the strong trump supporters here say anything as straightforward and honest as “looks like the evidence doesn’t support what we had thought.”

    Time123 (b4d075)

  28. I think you should feel vindicated and want to post more. To put it bluntly, you were right and these (many former) commenters were wrong. I want to read what you have to say because you are right, plus you write well and are entertaining. Do I need to give you more reasons? I can.

    DRJ (15874d)

  29. Including the collusion/obstruction crap, champ.

    Um, there was obstruction, provably so.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  30. Yes, I know it was. You should feel a real sense of pride that you fall in line with MSM horseschiff 75% of the time anymore. Including the collusion/obstruction crap, champ. Sad.

    I‘d be happy to discuss the specifics of literally anything I have said here. But you won’t do that. You’ll engage in copy pasta and engage in non-specific handwaving about how I have often agreed with media stories (that turn out to be accurate).

    Patterico (44ba8e)

  31. “Since Inauguration Day, the New York Times has posted 770 articles about the menace posed by rampant white supremacy. Before the Fourth of July holiday, CNN aired an hour-long documentary hosted by Fareed Zakaria called, “State of Hate: The Explosion of White Supremacy.” And it’s not just Leftist news outlets giving us the scaries about white supremacists—National Review also warned their readers about the “surge” in white supremacy while claiming that “Trump’s words have emboldened white supremacists.”

    So, why the manufactured panic? White supremacy is the new Russian collusion, an imaginary threat intended to align Republicans, especially Trump supporters, with the bad guys. David Duke and Richard Spencer are the 2020 version of Vladimir Putin. If you support Trump in 2020, you, by extension, support the Klan. (This must be news to the voters in the 206 counties who voted twice to put a black man and his black family in the White House but voted for Trump in 2016.)”

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/07/08/the-white-supremacist-bogeyman/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  32. maybe that doesn’t matter as long as orange man supporters can be berated with exuberance

    Am I berating Trump supporters or people who promoted bullshit Russia-inspired conspiracy theories? I realize there’s some overlap there but I can tell the difference. Can you, mg?

    Patterico (44ba8e)

  33. If Isikoff is correct, yes, I and others were taken in. He also advanced the “pee story”, on which he had to fall back and say there was only a 50-50 chance it was true. And he works with David Corn, which should give one pause.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  34. Where would we be without copy pasta from Haiku to some Trumpist publication?

    The piece has something of a point — just like Big Media does about white supremacy. Ironically, both points are unpersuasive to the average common sense citizen because both points are exaggerated and targeted at an audience that rejects nuance.

    Patterico (44ba8e)

  35. Dave,

    Excellent comment dismantling the new Trumpist BS. As you correctly note, its placement on this thread is ironic. It’s also an indication that those spreading it have no shame and no faculties of critical judgment and will never stop.

    Patterico (44ba8e)

  36. Re your comments/links:

    Here is the bezos comment:

    I guess they will next be hired by bezos, the hill is also the ones there is nothing strange with the Seth rich matter.

    Meanwhile, the bezos comment in the post actually goes to this comment:

    Yes that’s likely in 20 years the DC police will say something similar about seth rich.

    Myers voted for a guy who was a sandalista and who killed a groundhog year their judgement leaves something to be desired.

    DRJ (15874d)

  37. You enjoy rubbing some commenters’ noses in stuff, Patterico, but where will you be when the news breaks after the IG and Durham investigative reports are released?

    Collusion/obstruction in a pig’s ass.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  38. I’ll be the first to admit that I was sorta taken in by “conspiracy” of Seth’s death….

    Don’t forget, that politics/media feeding frenzy was full-tilt at this time… so much so, that we were in some uncharted clickbait bat-guano territory.

    However, when I actually started to look into the circumstances of his death, the police and EMT were onsite while he was still alive. He was talking to the officials before he passed away and the officials said he was lucid. That’s your red flag there that should’ve put the stop to the inane conspiracy that his death had anything to do with the DNC hacks.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  39. ‘Bet you 5 internet points that 0 of the strong trump supporters here say anything as straightforward and honest as “looks like the evidence doesn’t support what we had thought.”’
    Time123 (b4d075) — 7/10/2019 @ 6:26 am

    How many here neither did the bidding of the Russian trolls, nor the bidding of the left wing MSM on collusion, the pee dossier, the Covington kids, Zina Bash, etc.?

    (Raising my hand.). Who else?

    Bet you 5 internet points that 0 commenters here who fell for any of that say anything as straightforward and honest.

    Munroe (7380a7)

  40. He will cover it on his site and likely provide a lot of detailed commentary. That’s what he’s done in the past. Where will you be if it doesn’t support your desired conclusion? My money is on you changing the subject.

    Time123 (d8955f)

  41. Hostility is harmful.

    DRJ (15874d)

  42. Can’t remember who Zina Bash is and don’t want to, but I “neither did the bidding of the Russian trolls, nor the bidding of the left wing MSM on collusion, the pee dossier, the Covington kids, Zina Bash, etc.?”

    I don’t like Trump because he’s a wrong gee. (Spelled O-r-a-n-g-e.) A very wrong gee. Whenever he’s within 1,000 miles of the White House, it makes my skin crawl.

    nk (dbc370)

  43. As the Democrats and their useful operatives/idiots in the MSM (and elsewhere) move on to the more politically useful “obstruction” angle, it should be important to note that Americans deserve an explanation about how a counterintelligence investigation against political opponents could make all of this happen.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  44. Oh, the Kavanaugh hearing OK sign lady. Nope, not her neither.

    nk (dbc370)

  45. Zina likes to use the OK sign. She was a Kavanaugh clerk/supporter at his confirmation hearing.

    DRJ (15874d)

  46. Munroe, is this just a general “what about other stuff?” or did you have something specific that someone said?

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  47. Fortunately, Haiku, humans can manage to think about several things at once. But it sounds like you think “obstruction” is no big deal — in fact, you even put it in quotes like it is FAKE NEWS. Is that what you think?

    DRJ (15874d)

  48. Cement Milkshakes

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  49. As the Democrats and their useful operatives/idiots in the MSM (and elsewhere) move on to the more politically useful “obstruction” angle, it should be important to note that Americans deserve an explanation about how a counterintelligence investigation against political opponents could make all of this happen.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 7/10/2019 @ 8:32 am

    1. A crime was committed.
    2. Initial evidence pointed towards a likely suspect.
    3. The president fired the head of the FBI and then went on TV and said part of the reason was to stop that investigation.
    4. The AG the president appointed recused himself.
    5. The DAG the president appointed created a Special Council to investigate the crime
    6. The SC investigated the crime.

    Which step do you feel is summarized incorrectly or was unjust?

    Time123 (af99e9)

  50. Time123 (69b2fc) — 7/10/2019 @ 8:33 am

    If commenters are going to sit in judgment of others who have “done the bidding”, isn’t it helpful to find out who’s got bona fides ?

    Munroe (cfe541)

  51. 39. whembly (fd57f6) — 7/10/2019 @ 8:20 am 39.

    I’ll be the first to admit that I was sorta taken in by “conspiracy” of Seth’s death….

    It was not plausible, and it was also not developed into a coherent idea also, and while Juliam Assaunge of Wikipedia would sort of toy with it, he wouldn’t say anything to back up the possibility that the leask came from him either.

    And there was nothing wrong with the Democratic National Committee public claims that they were hacked, which were made before anything was leaked.

    The Seth Rich claim was clearly a cover story, and only the true stealers of the informatio would have been interested in spreading that story. So of course it was a Russian Disinformation Operation

    The mystery is why Trump supporters accepted this, or wanted it to be true. It didn’t make Trump less guilty of hacking since he wasn’t guilty in the first place. And the theft was still illegal. (it did help Trump avoid getting uncomfortable questions about why Putin wanted to help hom, but that mostly was of concern to Trump personally.)

    Another Russia hoax story was Pizzagate. I don’t know if that’s been confirmed.

    And of course there’s the allegations in the Steele dossier, which had a different target: British officials. (since Putin and company didn’t know that Steele was working for the Democrats.)

    Sammy Finkelman (8b217f)

  52. You enjoy rubbing some commenters’ noses in stuff, Patterico, but where will you be when the news breaks after the IG and Durham investigative reports are released?

    Collusion/obstruction in a pig’s ass.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 7/10/2019 @ 8:19 am

    I’m eager to see the IG report btw. That should answer a lot of questions about the behavior of the DOJ under Obama. I’ll put down a marker that I intend to accept the findings of the IG. I don’t really have a strong expectation on what it will show. Beyond that it will likely be limited to a whether the DOJ followed proper procedures and not how fair/just those procedures were.

    One thing that frustrates me in all of this is that people in power complain about how the rules work when they’re applied to them & their allies, but don’t use that power to make the rules better.

    For instance, the arrest of Roger Stone was apparently per process. It was also more forceful than needed. That level of force is authorized if the suspect is believed to be armed and potentially dangerous. (Stone has guns and has made public comments about using force.) The time of the arrest was within the hours the DOJ classifies as “Day Time”. Just for an example of how sometimes the rules are an ass (to misquote an old joke)

    Time123 (af99e9)

  53. 48… obstruction – when it is actually committed – is a big deal, DRJ.

    You speak of the ability “to think of several things at once”. Someone should chronicle the list of alleged despicable acts Trump and his administration have been accused of doing since the Nov-’16 election… or even before that.

    How many wet spitballs thrown at the wall will finally be enough?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  54. Time123 (69b2fc) — 7/10/2019 @ 8:33 am

    If commenters are going to sit in judgment of others who have “done the bidding”, isn’t it helpful to find out who’s got bona fides ?

    Munroe (cfe541) — 7/10/2019 @ 8:41 am

    Can anyone translate this?

    Time123 (af99e9)

  55. 48… obstruction – when it is actually committed – is a big deal, DRJ.

    You speak of the ability “to think of several things at once”. Someone should chronicle the list of alleged despicable acts Trump and his administration have been accused of doing since the Nov-’16 election… or even before that.

    How many wet spitballs thrown at the wall will finally be enough?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 7/10/2019 @ 8:49 am

    go for it. 😀 You have access to the internet and a keyboard.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  56. 42… that could’ve been posted a little after 8:20PM last night, may have held more weight.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  57. 56… yes I do. And I’m retired and it could serve as a source of amusement to distract me (at least) from a never ending honey-do list!

    Thanks!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  58. “Can anyone translate this?”

    Munroe here’s got cred. Munroe’s got prospects. He’s bona fide. What are you?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  59. This is actually a very informative post.

    Although the circumstances would already tell you who, very probably, originated the Seth Rich allegations about Wikileaks, I didn’t know any of these details. That it can be traced to fale bulleton (or more probably that they were ahead of the story – that bulletin wasn’t the on;y method of spreading it; it just shows who was out with it first)

    The surprising thing is that it took so long to get all this on the record. Another thing was that it never was a complete or coherent theory. Why Seth Rich hould be murdered after the fact was never explained. People were supposed to dream up their own explanations. I suppose the idea was to pretend that the DNC leak didn’t happen till just before Wikileaks published it, never mind that the DNC had revealed the hacking in June. The idea was that the target audience wasn’t paying any attention.

    Sammy Finkelman (8b217f)

  60. Is that what he meant? I honestly had no idea.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  61. “Can anyone translate this?”
    Time123 (af99e9) — 7/10/2019 @ 8:50 am

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bona%20fides

    Good lord.

    Munroe (777d99)

  62. @58 CH, if you’re going to make that list (and I’m assuming you’ll do a fair Job) I’d be interested in seeing it. He’s done some dumb / crappy things, but he’s been accused of more than he’s done and some of what he’s done has been over stated or isn’t really proven yet. Kudos if you lay it out.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  63. Munroe, i know what Bona fides are. I was making fun of your dumb non-sequiturs.

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  64. Like I said above, Trump committed obstruction of justice, as this heat map helpfully shows. The Mueller report “did not establish” that Trump and his people conspired or coordinated with a hostile foreign power in election interference activities, where “a statement that the investigation did not establish particular facts does not mean there was no evidence of those facts.” The only thing really stopping people in the Trump circle from “collusion” was their own ignorance and incompetence. The intent was there.
    As for an impeachment inquiry, Pelosi is shirking her duties.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  65. Munroe here’s got cred. Munroe’s got prospects. He’s bona fide. What are you?

    Going by this, you’re supposed to say Munroe’s got a job, not “cred”, but I guess that would presume knowing his employment status.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  66. 34- not really, I’m too full of schiff,

    mg (8cbc69)

  67. He’s done some dumb / crappy things, but he’s been accused of more than he’s done and some of what he’s done has been over stated or isn’t really proven yet

    He has also accused other people of worse than they’ve done (e.g. “treason”), and taken credit for things he hasn’t done and things actually done by other people, and has denied doing/saying things he has provably done/said. His self-serving fabrications are so routine that his denials of wrongdoing are absolutely worthless.

    As a rule, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and don’t rush to believe they are worse than they are. But Trump cultists are forever insisting that he’s a much better human being than his public speech and behavior indicate. Trump is so flagrantly dishonest and openly self-centered and pettily vindictive, and so convinced of his singular greatness and faultlessness, that it’s hard to get morally worked up about untrue charges against him. He squandered the benefit of the doubt long ago.

    Radegunda (d8a738)

  68. Hostility leads us to willfully refuse to accept evidence that our perceptions of the world are wrong. I think some people believe hostility to Trump make people refuse to question attacks on him, while other people think Trump and his supporters are blind to evidence that Trump lies or obstructs justice.

    IMO the way to resolve this is to point out problems as Patterico did in this post, or to fairly state and then consider the other side’s arguments.

    DRJ (15874d)

  69. 66… you’re a slick one, Montagu. I’d bet you’re a Dapper Dan user.

    Come on in boys… the water’s fine.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  70. #68

    Trump is so flagrantly dishonest and openly self-centered and pettily vindictive, and so convinced of his singular greatness and faultlessness, that it’s hard to get morally worked up about untrue charges against him.

    We are going to have to live with the precedents being established today for a long time to come. If Dems find it profitable to promote lies about Trump, they will do the same regarding Cruz, Pence, or anyone else who comes after. So, accuracy still does matter.

    And every lie abput Trump is actually catnip to the true believers, bacause it proves that every mean thing said about Trump is false. Better not to give the deluded more fuel for the delusion.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  71. That ship sailed, Appalled, because Trump thinks every criticism is a lie. How can we defend someone who is never wrong?

    DRJ (15874d)

  72. Is calling someone a slick Dapper Dan user a personal compliment or a personal criticism? I sense it is the latter. No personal attacks.

    DRJ (15874d)

  73. DRJ:

    #72 Well, the ACLU used to do things like defend Nazis in Skokie, so it is possible.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  74. Exactly, and that is a good example, but what made that work is no one thought the ACLU actually liked Nazis. For it to work with Trump, his defenders must be nonpartisans or people from “the other side.” I know Trump supporters like to say anyone who opposes Trump on any issue is NeverTrump, and thus part of ” the other side” but that isn’t fair or true, nor does it help their cause.

    DRJ (15874d)

  75. #69

    Hostility leads us to willfully refuse to accept evidence that our perceptions of the world are wrong. I think some people believe hostility to Trump make people refuse to question attacks on him, while other people think Trump and his supporters are blind to evidence that Trump lies or obstructs justice.

    IMO the way to resolve this is to point out problems as Patterico did in this post, or to fairly state and then consider the other side’s arguments.

    DRJ (15874d) — 7/10/2019 @ 10:18 am

    Fairly stating the other side’s arguments is a vital aspect of having informed debates.

    But, I think we all need to do a better job of acknowledging the fact that people have different legit opinions.

    Just look at the divergent opinions on the Obstruction aspect of Mueller’s report.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  76. I specifically said “the other side” to acknowledge there are two sides, but people who claim Mueller exonerated Trump on obstruction are not being fair or accurate.

    DRJ (15874d)

  77. DJR, the assumption of hostility on the part of the other person is a great point that I missed when you first posted it the link. But I don’t think it’s as much a logical assumption of other people’s thought process as much as a defense mechanism.

    Identity is important to people and built partially by affiliation with groups. Things that diminish the standing of the group detract from people’s identity and that’s painful. So, admitting that Russia was behind the hoax about Seth Rich, or there not being enough evidence of conspiracy to charge Trump forces a person to accept that loss of standing, even if just internally.

    To avoid that pain a number of commenters here resort of different forms of deflection when the facts don’t support their group. They accuse people of activity with hostility “Orange Man Bad” they seek to tear down the group they oppose “What about such and such” they attack the messenger to diminish the message “You’re biased and I bet you won’t report on blank” they laugh it off and refuse to engage.

    Emotions are part of how we make decisions and can confirmation bias can impact out ability to do analytical work. It’s probably easier to deflect than it is to work though those challenges.

    I’m going to quote a paragraph from the Verge article I linked above. Verge is a generally lefty publication, but it linked through to a lot of the source material and actual studies, so that saves me some time.

    There’s another tricky problem when it comes to fixing inaccurate beliefs: we’re committed to not changing our minds. So committed, in fact, that when you’re confronted with evidence that proves one of your cherished beliefs is false, that evidence can actually strengthen your false beliefs. Nyhan first studied this phenomena, called the “backfire effect” nearly a decade ago. At the time, there was debate over if it was justified to invade Iraq because the country supposedly had weapons of mass destruction. (It was eventually decided that there were none.) But Nyhan found that reading new information that Iraq didn’t have WMD could make people more convinced of the opposite. Thankfully, more recent work shows that the backfire effect isn’t as common as we used to think. We still don’t know exactly what causes it, or how to solve it. But the data does suggest that the backfire effect happens more when the evidence is weaker, when the issue is more controversial, and when it involves a polarizing political figure …

    As a final piece of evidence for my point look at just about any car add. Or almost any add really. It won’t give you many facts of figures, it will try to create an emotional connection between you and the car.

    I’ll now go back to short, snarky statements that change no one’s mind about anything.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  78. I think some people believe hostility to Trump make people refuse to question attacks on him,

    Many people also employ a quaintly circular logic: “You’re just saying bad things about Trump because you hate Trump!” In their minds, it isn’t possible that bad things in Trump could be the reason for disliking him.
    They speak of “Trump-hatred” as a kind of personality disorder, a “derangement” that has grown and festered quite independent of anything Trump has said or done. It must be a matter of elitist snobs not liking his “style,” or being incensed by his “outreach” to “ordinary Americans.” (As it happens, I’m a lot more ordinary than some of the people who accuse Trump-critics of being motivated by callous contempt for “ordinary Americans.”)

    Once they chose to regard Trump as a uniquely capable, self-sacrificing hero, motivated by the purest patriotism, they closed their minds to the possibility that anything about Trump could merit serious moral opprobrium.

    Radegunda (d8a738)

  79. In the end, this gets added to the list of Russian provocations that happened before and after Obama’s “after the election, I can be more flexible” promise. Asleep at the wheel.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  80. The great thing about conspiracy theories is they’re so seductive, all you need is a bit of legitimate skepticism about the “official” explanation and then you can run wild with little or no evidence. That’s especially true when the official explanation of a crime is that it is unsolved. Just off the top of my head, it’s not hard to come up with a list of DC-area crimes that have gotten the conspiracy-theory treatment:

    Mary Meyer, 1963. Was it a random killing on the C&O Canal towpath or was she killed because as an ex-mistress of JFK she might spill dirt on the Kennedys? Her husband was high up in the CIA. Was the man convicted of the murder (he was fishing nearby) a patsy?

    John[?] Paisley, 1976 (or was it 1978?). Did the CIA analyst really commit suicide on his boat in the Chesapeake?

    Vince Foster, 1993. OK, every investigation, and there were several of them, found it was a suicide. But if that’s true why did the White House seem to go into coverup mode immediately after he died?

    Chandra Levy, (2000? can’t remember exactly). It’s an open case again after the conviction of the guy they finally nabbed was overturned. What’s Gary Condit’s alibi?

    Seth Rich, 2016. Maybe “the DNC did it” was Russian disinformation. But I believe it’s still an open case. So maybe [name your villain] is implicated, after all!

    There are of course mundane, non-conspiracy explanations for all of these deaths — even the unsolved ones might be more “normal” crimes with no connection to politics, etc. But conspiracy theories are so much fun, and you never know, any one of them might be true. And there would probably be fewer of them if the government in general had a better credibility record since 1960 or so. It’s OK to doubt the official explanation as long as you realize that the same principles of logic and evidence that underlie your doubt also apply to whatever alternative theory you might come up with.

    RL formerly in Glendale (40f5aa)

  81. From the Yahoo link:

    Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as the SVR, first circulated a phony “bulletin” — disguised to read as a real intelligence report —about the alleged murder of the former DNC staffer on July 13, 2016, according to the U.S. federal prosecutor who was in charge of the Rich case. That was just three days after Rich, 27, was killed in what police believed was a botched robbery while walking home to his group house in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., about 30 blocks north of the Capitol.

    The purported details in the SVR account seemed improbable on their face: that Rich, a data director in the DNC’s voter protection division, was on his way to alert the FBI to corrupt dealings by Clinton when he was slain in the early hours of a Sunday morning by the former secretary of state’s hit squad.

    Yet in a graphic example of how fake news infects the internet, those precise details popped up the same day on an obscure website, whatdoesitmean.com, that is a frequent vehicle for Russian propaganda. The website’s article, which attributed its claims to “Russian intelligence,” was the first known instance of Rich’s murder being publicly linked to a political conspiracy.

    The timeline is a little confusing to me. In the last paragraph the author notes that the fake news popped up on the “same day,” but the previous paragraph is talking about the day of the murder. The 1st paragraph says the Russians sowed discord 3 days after the murder.

    The author did not provide a link to the first instance of the fake news. I have to give the Russians credit for waiting for a DNC staffer to get croaked in an unsolvable homicide and pouncing so quickly with such a hoax. I wonder what other stories they inserted false premises into?

    I also would like to see the evidence that the prosecutor has that fingers the Russians. The author didn’t provide any and I think it would be helpful for us to know the details.

    BuDuh (73f798)

  82. “I specifically said “the other side” to acknowledge there are two sides, but people who claim Mueller exonerated Trump on obstruction are not being fair or accurate.”

    DRJ — 7/10/2019 @ 10:58 am

    It may also be true that exoneration of the accused was not Mueller’s job (I’m no lawyer, but is it ever the prosecution’s job?).

    Is it true that the Mueller report found no collusion and no indictable grounds for obstruction of the non-crime of collusion?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  83. Is it true that the Mueller report found no collusion and no indictable grounds for obstruction of the non-crime of collusion?

    The report (have you read it?) explains that “collusion” is not a well-defined offense. Conspiracy is, and the report cites well-known evidence of an illegal conspiracy to violate the election laws involving the Trump campaign and agents of the Russian government. It did not find evidence that President Trump himself was directly involved in that conspiracy.

    The report also does not attempt to draw any conclusion about culpability for obstruction of justice, but it does cite numerous cases in which Trump satisfied elements of the crime of obstruction. Note that a large number of crimes were committed by the Russians in their attack on the United States (of which Donald Trump was the intended and actual beneficiary) and Mueller found at least 10 cases where Trump attempted to obstruct the investigation of those, and other, crimes.

    Dave (1bb933)

  84. He’s got the kind of luck a Traitor Lee would admire; Vlad keeps winning pots, bluffing along w/a pair of deuces.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  85. This article that Paul Montagu posted a link to has a very clear summary of what Mueller found in regard to obstruction.

    Dave (1bb933)

  86. #77 I specifically said “the other side” to acknowledge there are two sides, but people who claim Mueller exonerated Trump on obstruction are not being fair or accurate.

    DRJ (15874d) — 7/10/2019 @ 10:58 am

    True and I agree with you in that regards, as it’s simply spin.

    However, I sense hostility by those who are in “Trump committed obstruction” camp towards those who push back having differing opinions. Especially since Mueller and his team pursued the novel theory that a prosecutor can assess corrupt intent on Trump’s actions, without ever really considering that his actions may be predicated by sincere belief that he was being railroaded (not that it would excuse Trump’s deplorable behaviors).

    I mean… look at it from the Trump supporter’s view from a 30,000ft view. How often has that “get Trump” goal post have been moved?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  87. 84… Collusion is what the Democrats and to nearly everybody who discussed this the last 2+ years is what it was known as. As has been debated, Mueller ended up punting, when it was within his power to make it happen IF it was demonstrable.

    Yes, I read it. Did you?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  88. Trump/Haley 2020 for the win.

    Place your bets.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. Did it find conspiracy–yes
    Did it find obstruction of justice–yes
    Did it prosecute people–yes
    Were they found guilty–yes
    Was Trump directly implicated in the conspiracy–no
    Was Trump directly implicated in obstruction of justice–yes
    Did they file charges against a sitting president–no

    There, that’s the Mueller report in 7 lines.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  90. Is it true that the Mueller report found no collusion and no indictable grounds for obstruction of the non-crime of collusion?

    The report said there were no indictable acts of “collusion” because of what people often deride as technicalities, and (as everyone knows) handed the question of obstruction over to Barr to decide. But it did find various actions that might have been, on slightly different facts, indictable. So the short form version is really that Mueller found acts of collusion and obstruction but felt that, based on various legal grounds, he could not successfully prosecute anyone for those acts.

    kishnevi (0c10d1)

  91. Is it true that the Mueller report found no collusion and no indictable grounds for obstruction of the non-crime of collusion?

    The report said there were no indictable acts of “collusion” because of what people often deride as technicalities, and (as everyone knows) handed the question of obstruction over to Barr to decide. But it did find various actions that might have been, on slightly different facts, indictable. So the short form version is really that Mueller found acts of collusion and obstruction but felt that, based on various legal grounds, he could not successfully prosecute anyone for those acts.

    kishnevi (0c10d1) — 7/10/2019 @ 12:21 pm

    If you want to Cliffnote the Mueller report… this right here is pretty spot imo.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  92. without ever really considering that his actions may be predicated by sincere belief that he was being railroaded

    sincere belief in innocence of the target is not a defense to obstruction.

    when it was within his power to make it happen IF it was demonstrable.

    It was not within his power. It is fairly clear that Barr stood ready to bar any prosecution of DJT.

    (Pun was committed with full malice and forethought.)

    kishnevi (0c10d1)

  93. without ever really considering that his actions may be predicated by sincere belief that he was being railroaded

    sincere belief in innocence of the target is not a defense to obstruction.

    Maybe I don’t understand the full requirements that constitute obstruction… o.O

    I thought provable “corrupt intent” is a required component of an obstruction case?

    when it was within his power to make it happen IF it was demonstrable.

    It was not within his power. It is fairly clear that Barr stood ready to bar any prosecution of DJT.

    (Pun was committed with full malice and forethought.)

    kishnevi (0c10d1) — 7/10/2019 @ 12:26 pm

    Well… I have my own issues with Barr in handling this. He shouldn’t have made public that obstruction report if charges weren’t being pursued. What he did, was “airing out the dirty laundry” that contravene the usual DoJ regulations.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  94. You enjoy rubbing some commenters’ noses in stuff, Patterico, but where will you be when the news breaks after the IG and Durham investigative reports are released?

    Let’s make predictions, right now, that we can come back to later.

    You brought it up so you go first. What, exactly, do you expect those investigations to show?

    Heck, I’ll go first. The IG report will be out years before the Durham thing, which will take forever. It will show mistakes (IG reports always do) but will not show that the investigation lacked a proper basis.

    Your prediction? Go on record now.

    And stop mushing “collusion” (which nobody sensible believed in the legal sense and everyone with sense believed in the colloquial sense based on Jr.’s meeting at Trump Tower) and obstruction (for which there are several solid examples).

    Patterico (115b1f)

  95. Yes, I read it. Did you?

    You did?

    Really?

    Why do I doubt that?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  96. However, I sense hostility by those who are in “Trump committed obstruction” camp towards those who push back having differing opinions. Especially since Mueller and his team pursued the novel theory that a prosecutor can assess corrupt intent on Trump’s actions, without ever really considering that his actions may be predicated by sincere belief that he was being railroaded (not that it would excuse Trump’s deplorable behaviors).

    You can attempt to obstruct an investigation that you believe is railroading you. “I believed they were railroading me” is not a defense.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  97. Also the investigation wasn’t just about Trump.
    He was also Potentially obstructing and investigation into real crimes committed by Russia.

    Time123 (d8955f)

  98. Yes, the IG’s report will be delayed as more witnesses are coming forward.

    I’ll be much more specific than you, Patterico:

    The investigations will find that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant under false pretenses to surveil Carter Page and they had evidence benefitting George Papadopoulos that they withheld and/or disregarded.

    They’ll find a failure of leadership at the highest levels of the FBI… Mueller’s methods of the investigation will come under increased scrutiny. Why indict Russian who couldn’t be prosecuted?Why use questionable methods on Manafort, e.g., holding him in confinement to break him in an effort to get him to incriminate Trump (Weissmann). Manafort was indicted for something totally unrelated. Mueller’s team wasn’t interested in Manafort, they were interested in squeezing him to make him sing the composition they wanted to use against Trump.

    And they will find potentially criminal activities on the part of members of the Obama Administration.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  99. He was also Potentially obstructing and investigation into real crimes committed by Russia.

    … on his behalf.

    Nixon didn’t commit, or even order, the Watergate break-in either.

    Dave (55e817)

  100. You can attempt to obstruct an investigation that you believe is railroading you. “I believed they were railroading me” is not a defense.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 7/10/2019 @ 1:15 pm

    So… corrupt intent doesn’t matter?

    Huh… if that’s the case, Mueller should’ve charged Trump and forced Barr to assert that DOJ policy to delay it till he’s out of office.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  101. and isikoff seconded it, with winer as confirmation,

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/07/10/fbi-discussion-carter-page-fisa/

    narciso (d1f714)

  102. So… corrupt intent doesn’t matter?

    The decision interfere with an investigation, in violation of the law is the corrupt intent.

    You’re not allowed to lie on the stand, intimidate jurors, fabricate or destroy evidence, etc even if you’re completely and totally innocent. This seems so obvious that I’m amazed it needs explanation.

    Dave (55e817)

  103. @Patterico: I’ll admit that I’m biased, but not for the reason you’d think.

    I’m biased simply because Weissmann was on Team Mueller. He was instrumental in destroying Arthur Anderson based on shaky legal theories and prosecuturial misconduct…such that it was eventually overturned by SCOTUS unanimously. Unfortunately, Authur Anderson is gone.

    Someone dear to me was a partner who had absolutely had nothing to do with Enron.

    Furthermore, it is indisputable that Weissmann is a rabid partisan that makes it difficult to give any credence on any legal analysis/theory he advocates.

    So, I’ll be one of those “obstinate posters” here who’ll have truckload of salts handy for anything Weissmann is involved.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  104. In federal court the Model Penal Code definition of Mens Rea is used.

    Purposely. If the element involves the nature of the conduct or the result thereof, it is his conscious object to engage in that conduct or cause the result. If the element involves attendant circumstances, he is aware of the circumstances or believes or hopes that they exist.
    Knowingly. If the element involves the nature of the conduct or the attendant circumstances, he is aware that his conduct is of that nature or that the circumstances exist. If the element involves a result, he is practically certain that the result will occur. Further, if the element involves knowledge of the existence of a particular fact, it is satisfied if he is aware of a high probability of the existence of that fact, unless he actually believes that it does not exist.
    Recklessly. A person consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the element exists or will result, such that its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a law-abiding person would observe.
    Negligently. A person should be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the element exists or will result, such that the failure to perceive it involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  105. It may also be true that exoneration of the accused was not Mueller’s job (I’m no lawyer, but is it ever the prosecution’s job?).

    Is it true that the Mueller report found no collusion and no indictable grounds for obstruction of the non-crime of collusion?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 7/10/2019 @ 11:42 am

    It is deeply disappointing that after literally years of reading posts here and writing comments, you do not seem to grasp that prosecutors cannot withhold evidence that exonerates or tends to exonerate an accused.

    It is equally troubling that you always ignore the fact that Mueller was not investigating collusion but conspiracy, and Mueller specifically said that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him [on obstruction].” Even AG Barr’s letter acknowledged Mueller said that, although like you Barr focused on his and Rosenstein’s decision not to indict Trump.

    DRJ (15874d)

  106. I was one of those who “wondered” with disappointment why Patterico had almost stopped posting; and I use “wondered” in scare quotes because in fact I had a fairly strong suspicion that I already knew why. I, too, was effectively exiled from the bigger “conservative media” back when my regular venue (American Thinker, for the record) decided to ditch rational discussion and leapt onto the Trump bandwagon/gravy-train/hearse.

    What I concluded, eventually, was only the obvious, namely that if you want to write about events and ideas, you should do so, regardless of whether your serious audience is smaller than it used to be. In the end, it’s more valuable to write for ten thoughtful people than for ten thousand casual media-surfers. Furthermore, you never know who those ten people might be, or what a difference you might make by reaching just those ten. After all, if there is one thing the last few years of political discussion have revealed, it’s that in an age so deeply invested in cultish tribalism, only people of real substance and intellectual courage are able to resist getting sucked into the tribal vortex. Thus, if you are writing from that anti-tribal perspective yourself, you are going to attract the best kind of readers, partly because they have almost nowhere else to go to engage with the likeminded.

    Daren Jonescu (2f5857)

  107. So… corrupt intent doesn’t matter?

    The decision interfere with an investigation, in violation of the law is the corrupt intent.

    You’re not allowed to lie on the stand, intimidate jurors, fabricate or destroy evidence, etc even if you’re completely and totally innocent. This seems so obvious that I’m amazed it needs explanation.

    Dave (55e817) — 7/10/2019 @ 2:23 pm

    Dave… my point was that there were other sincere reasons why he acted in the manner that he did. Patterico already stated that belief that being railroaded isn’t a defense. We’ll never know what the defense would be, as this won’t be adjudicated in court.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  108. mueller tried to destroy Stephen hatfill’s life, drove bruce ivins to suicide, he doesn’t get the benefit neither does Weissman, re Arthur Anderson, and at least one other matter,

    narciso (d1f714)

  109. DRJ… so it’s not “guilty” or “not guilty”, there’s also an “innocent” or “exonerated” possible?

    Colonel Haiku (f2baf4)

  110. Are you asking me if law is always a binary choice? My answer is No, it is not.

    DRJ (15874d)

  111. Arguing over the dust cloud ain’t gonna change the umpire’s call; he’s safe at the plate.

    Our Captain’s gonna beat the rap and sail into Term Two.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  112. I’m asking what are the possible verdicts in a trial and if there would be any written document stating innocence or exoneration for what Mueller conducted.

    Colonel Haiku (f2baf4)

  113. I don’t know if anyone wonders why I don’t post much any more, but among a combination of non-political factors (a very busy work life, some time out of town, desire to get more sleep and spend more time with family), this kind of thing is part of it. The feeling that I have spent a large part of my life trying to push rationality, only to see this kind of conspiratorial nonsense gain a greater foothold in the minds of crazed partisans … it can make you wonder why you bother. It honestly can.

    Understood. And while it’s always a worthy goal to spend more time with the family and on things that bring better quality and value to one’s life, it’s wonderful to see you post again. The conspiracy dopiness is puzzling, and I don’t understand why alleged conservatives, of all people, aren’t more circumspect in assessment when any new ones arise. Shouldn’t we be the people of critical thought and rational thinking? Shouldn’t we be the ones demanding evidence, no matter who it involves? Shouldn’t we be the ones demanding accuracy?

    Anyway, so glad you’re back, and yes, it’s worth it because of all the things Darrenjonescu said at 107. Particularly:

    In the end, it’s more valuable to write for ten thoughtful people than for ten thousand casual media-surfers. Furthermore, you never know who those ten people might be, or what a difference you might make by reaching just those ten.

    I count at least 10 here.

    Dana (bb0678)

  114. Mueller specifically said that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him [on obstruction].

    God, this just isn’t that hard, people. It’s like telling yourself if you refuse to accept it, then eventually reality will actually change or something.

    Dana (bb0678)

  115. Was that Mueller’s job as a special counsel? To either find crimes to refer on or “exonerate” Trump?

    Colonel Haiku (f2baf4)

  116. Mueller specifically said that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him [on obstruction].”

    God, this just isn’t that hard, people. It’s like telling yourself if you refuse to accept it, then eventually reality will actually change or something.

    Dana (bb0678) — 7/10/2019 @ 3:26 pm

    But, isn’t that trying to make hay over something that is redundant?

    A prosecutor’s job isn’t to exonerate. That’s the job for judges/juries.

    whembly (4605df)

  117. Dana (bb0678) — 7/10/2019 @ 3:26 pm

    Members of the jury, have you reached a verdict?

    Yes, your honor. We find the defendant not exonerated.

    Happens all the time. This just isn’t that hard, people.

    Munroe (1eabc4)

  118. From DCSCA – “Our Captain’s gonna beat the rap and sail into Term Two.”

    “Our Captain”? America used to be the kind of place where people would prefer a political leader, or even admire a political leader, but never revere a political leader as a superior being. (Progressives would reduce themselves to reverence for a leader, such as FDR or Obama, but that’s because progressives are essentially collectivists and anti-American by nature.)

    “…that all men are created equal” used to be a bit of a point of principle for Americans; and in fact bringing political leaders down to the same level as the citizenry was the main purpose of that principle. When millions of Americans are prepared to show the kind of deference and submissive loyalty to a mere politician that men in the Old World were expected to show for their kings, the idea of a self-governing limited republic is dead. Isn’t it?

    Daren Jonescu (2f5857)

  119. whembly,

    My point was that, there seems to be a concerted effort by some to ignore that which has been sufficiently addressed.

    Dana (bb0678)

  120. I’d bet you’re a Dapper Dan user.

    Nothing but the best pomade, and I like the smell of my hair treatment. The pleasing odor is half the point.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  121. Mueller – and Comey, to a certain extent – went out of their way to throw as much taint on people and cast suspicion as they could without charging or recommending charges be brought against them. That’s not how America is supposed to operate.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  122. I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that the thrust of the comments has devolved into yet another argument about Muller and gently sidled away from the point of the post – that the Rich case was a Russian ploy.
    CH at least admitted it, but the rest of the Super Trumpers blithely ignore that they were played, like a fiddle by the Russians, and gleefully want more.
    Because that’s also what Muller found – that there is strong evidence that the Russians interfered in our elective process, in numerous ways, of which the Seth Rich nonsense is just a back water extra.
    You all don’t care what it’ll be next time.
    You’ll fall over yourselves to push the next discreditable information that advances Trump without caring or even thinking about the damage you’re allowing, and cheering on.
    Five years ago if anyone acted like you do now, endorsed what you do now, you’d have a word for those people – people who actively embraced a Russian ex-KGB agent and known murderer over the interests of the United States.

    Tom M (954e56)

  123. Mueller – and Comey, to a certain extent – went out of their way to throw as much taint on people and cast suspicion as they could without charging or recommending charges be brought against them.

    Sheer nonsense.

    Who are these poor, innocent victims?

    Dave (1bb933)

  124. Hillary, obviously. Surprised to see this take from Haiku.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  125. …handed the question of obstruction over to Barr to decide.

    Mueller handed the question of obstruction over to Congress to decide, not Barr, since OLC guidelines apply to all of the DOJ, not just the Special Counsel. Barr unilaterally inserted his opinion into the mix, and Congress can consider his opinion or toss it.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  126. I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that the thrust of the comments has devolved into yet another argument about Muller and gently sidled away from the point of the post …

    I think that is a common tactic when Trump or his supporters feel uncomfortable but, to the extent I contributed, I apologize.

    DRJ (15874d)

  127. I stayed on topic, Tom M.

    BuDuh (73f798)

  128. You did, BuDuh, my apologies if you felt lumped in… but do you consider yourself a Trump Superfan?

    Tom M (954e56)

  129. Hey, Cthulhu, it’s not a privilege of the FBI, a Special Counsel, or for that matter the DOJ to promote information that will adversely impact someone’s reputation because they are annoyed that a crime can’t be charged. This holds true whether it’s Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or anyone else.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  130. DRJ – I’m that last person you’d need to apologize to, I enjoy your interaction with the commenters on the threads you post and that’s one of the main reasons I enjoy this site – you and Patterico both dive into the fray.
    Thanks, honestly.

    Tom M (954e56)

  131. I am mostly supportive of Trump, Tom R. Trump Superfan always struck me a a divisive term that only serves the purpose of disruption.

    Thank you for asking.

    BuDuh (cbaf6c)

  132. Tom M not R.

    Sorry.

    BuDuh (cbaf6c)

  133. “I think that is a common tactic when Trump or his supporters feel uncomfortable”
    DRJ (15874d) — 7/10/2019 @ 4:12 pm

    When the post refers to “conspiratorial nonsense” and “crazed partisans”, I think that’s understood to mean only conspiracies and partisans that make Trump detractors feel comfortable. Noted.

    Munroe (e31641)

  134. Is calling someone a slick Dapper Dan user a personal compliment or a personal criticism? I sense it is the latter. No personal attacks.

    DRJ (15874d) — 7/10/2019 @ 10:35 am

    Far from it. It was. A continuation of the “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” theme. I think Paul got it.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  135. Anything short of “Glory to All-Highest Trump” makes Trump and his supporters feel uncomfortable.

    nk (dbc370)

  136. FTR, I disagree with Haiku’s politics, but agree with his musical and movie preferences.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  137. whembly,

    My point was that, there seems to be a concerted effort by some to ignore that which has been sufficiently addressed.

    Dana (bb0678) — 7/10/2019 @ 3:47 pm

    Ah… gotcha. :thumbsup:

    Mueller handed the question of obstruction over to Congress to decide, not Barr, since OLC guidelines apply to all of the DOJ, not just the Special Counsel. Barr unilaterally inserted his opinion into the mix, and Congress can consider his opinion or toss it.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5) — 7/10/2019 @ 4:09 pm

    This should rub everyone raw. Congress isn’t entitled to that report. Ergo, it is up to Barr to decide whether or not Congress can see the report. (It amazes me the folks here ding Barr for doing what he did).

    Frankly, I wouldn’t have a problem with Barr making the report public had it been written like any other prosecutial judgement report from a subordinate to superior officer. But, we all know that Mueller and his team (and rightly so) thought that Congress would see it, thus tailored the report for that audience.

    What this does, is that this will be the LAST time we’d ever see a special counsel, as any future POTUS would be out of their gots darned mind to sign off of that.

    whembly (4605df)

  138. I sensed that comment #4 was a personal attack, but nobody questioned it. Maybe it wasn’t directed at narciso.

    BuDuh (cbaf6c)

  139. 137… peace, my brother!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  140. Munroe 134,

    My comment was about commenters who deviate from Trump topics and go to the Mueller Report / “Trump was exonerated.” It is useful for Trump supporters to do that and sometimes it is warranted, but he was not completely exonerated.

    Haiku 135,

    Thank you for adding that. I did not remember that part of the movie but I get it now. That was released 18-19 years ago. It does not seem that long.

    DRJ (15874d)

  141. It surely doesn’t, DRJ. That’s still one of my favorite movies.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  142. Including the soundtrack…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  143. Congress isn’t entitled to that report.

    That’s partly true. One, Barr all but pledged in his confirmation hearing that the results of the Mueller investigation would go to Congress (Rosenstein made similar noises not long after he appointed Mueller). Two, if Barr stonewalled, Congress is entitled to subpoena Barr for Mueller’s results. That, or compel Mueller to testify to his results. Three, Mueller expected from his bosses that his results would make their way to Congress when he said that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.” It makes no sense that his report would be tucked in Barr’s desk, never to see the light of day.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  144. @19. You’re not a regular and a bit behind the curve on this. The strategy has been to effectively neutering the modern conservative movement. And it is working better than hoped. Welcome to 1964.

    But for you, consider it 1954: so join our Captain in the mess for dessert: strawberries.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  145. ^119. Sorry. Typo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  146. Personally, I think Intolerable Cruelty, Oh Brother Where Art Thou and The Big Lebowski were ranked too low.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  147. @119. Postscript. ‘…reverence for a leader…’

    Apparently you slept through the 1980’s and missed out on Reagan; now there’s a group of true cultists for ‘ya; Reagan dime; Reagan on Mt. Rushmore; Reagan highways, Reagan airports, Reagan tunnels… and, of course, always: Reaganomics. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  148. I sensed that comment #4 was a personal attack, but nobody questioned it. Maybe it wasn’t directed at narciso

    The “spambot” referred to in comment 4 has in fact not made an appearance in this thread (if the reference is to the commenter I think it refers to). Trying to make a liar out of Klink, perhaps. Or perhaps figured that trolls should avoid threads devoted to Russian trollery. But the comments posted by that commenter are indeed so unsyntactical and so incoherence that I have to wonder if an actual bot is at work, and hence no person to be attacked.

    Kishnevi (df17af)

  149. “Our Captain”? America used to be the kind of place where people would prefer a political leader, or even admire a political leader, but never revere a political leader as a superior being.

    He’s a Trump primary voter who denies the existence of morality, is habitually confused about what year it is, and seems convinced that he’s reliving his childhood.

    We wish him the best, but I’m afraid lucidity is too much to hope for at this point.

    Dave (1bb933)

  150. Sigh. This is devolving rapidly into name-calling.

    I kept an open mind on Rich, but wasn’t sure either way. I do know the DNC didn’t allow the FBI to investigate the crime and did their own research which didn’t help matters as we were in the middle of Hillary’s secret server which was blatantly illegal. I hope they catch the thug that shot and killed Rich.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  151. NJRob (4d595c) — 7/10/2019 @ 10:17 pm

    I do know the DNC didn’t allow the FBI to investigate the crime

    The reason shold be obvious: They didn’t want anyone else reading their secrets, and they didn’t expect the Russians whi had hacked it to make anything public.

    Sammy Finkelman (8b217f)

  152. I do know the DNC didn’t allow the FBI to investigate the crime and did their own research which didn’t help matters as we were in the middle of Hillary’s secret server which was blatantly illegal.

    One, Seth Rich was murdered on July 10, 2016, and Comey made his statement that the FBI wouldn’t indict Hillary on July 5, 2016. There’s no connection or conflict between the two.
    Two, the DNC’s refusal to cooperate with the FBI was fact-checked and shown to be false.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  153. @150. Poor Dave; the strategy is above your pay grade.

    And it’s working.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  154. I do know the DNC didn’t allow the FBI to investigate the crime and did their own research which didn’t help matters as we were in the middle of Hillary’s secret server which was blatantly illegal.

    Ah, the Peter Pan theory, if you just believe hard enough, it will be true. Facts may prove otherwise. History may contradict you. Even logic may work against you. But if you just believe hard enough, it will be true.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  155. @150, Yes I see your point about DCSCA, Dave. And his response to your reply to me (@154) is to insult your intelligence and tell you that his “strategy” “is working.” Which goes to your point about him reliving his childhood. Like Trump, his apparent role model, he thinks his deeply clever quasi-Tweets are actually accomplishing big things, changing the game, draining the swamp, or whatever. And when in fact nothing happens, then, like his role model, he just doubles down on the claim that “it’s working.” The “strategy” becomes its own outcome. The Trump cult is a completely circular logical fantasy world.

    Daren Jonescu (2f5857)

  156. @156. You’re not a regular and really don’t get what’s going on.

    As Trump would tweet: “Sad.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  157. Actually, young Daren, if I wanted to relive my childhood, I’d just watch ‘The Armstrong Tapes’ on NatGo TV.

    I’m in it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  158. Klink,

    Did you even read your own link? It says cloudstrike did the investigation and submitted it to the FBI. So your claim is false. Period. Stop with the BS and the name calling.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  159. Dave (1bb933) — 7/10/2019 @ 8:26 pm

    He was also the first to take your side when you were undergoing similar bullying here.

    nk (dbc370)

  160. 159… very timely! https://youtu.be/nuUkHpk7_a8

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  161. Klink,

    Did you even read your own link? It says cloudstrike did the investigation and submitted it to the FBI. So your claim is false. Period. Stop with the BS and the name calling.

    NJRob (4d595c) — 7/11/2019 @ 7:02 am

    NJ Rob, based on the information at the link the distinction you’re drawing isn’t meaningful. One might be tempted to call it spin or BS. I’ve copied it verbatim below.

    “We got the forensics from the pros that they hired which — again, best practice is always to get access to the machines themselves, but this my folks tell me was an appropriate substitute,” Comey said.

    “The DNC coordinated with the FBI and federal intelligence agencies and provided everything they requested, including copies of DNC servers,” Watson said. She added that the copy contains the same information as the physical server.

    Time123 (797615)

  162. Sure it is Time. They accepted the investigation from a 3rd party that was hired to protect the DNC 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at a time where Hillary was under fire. The FBI didn’t do the investigation just accepted the story at face value. Sounds like a certain dossier used to get FISA warrants.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  163. That is interesting, Buduh.

    DRJ (15874d)

  164. So the prodigal returns. Sorry, we already ate the fatted calf.

    nk (dbc370)

  165. @164 and 165

    The article raises some good questions that defense counsel could pursue in a trail if any of the people accused of the hacking are apprehended and made to stand trial. I’d love to see those questions answered. Many of them focus on the lack of certainty communicated by word choices in the report while others have to do with potential conflict of interests in crowstrike leadership.

    I don’t find the fact that those questions exist sufficient to discount the overall conclusions of the report when Bar and Trump have accepted the conclusions around Russia as laid out in the report.

    At this point I think the evidence supports it being a cyber crime by Russia, but the evidence isn’t incontrovertible.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  166. 164… very interesting link, BuDuh. Sure looks like a lot of holes, gaps are present and questionable practices Mueller and some of his people have become known for also surface. Raises some very interesting questions.

    Colonel Haiku (f2baf4)

  167. Very telling when so many roads lead back to Perkins-Coie and and the same entities that were engaged by the DNC and Clinton to provide oppo/dirt on the Republican candidate.

    It’s also interesting that Brennan, Comey and Clapper have gone into silent mode the last few weeks.

    Colonel Haiku (f2baf4)

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