Why The IG Report Undermines Mueller’s Obstruction Investigation

Below is my column on the implications of the IG report for the obstruction allegations being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  I have previously written how the most likely explanation for actions taken by this Administration will be found in Ockham’s Razor and that theory that requires the least number of assumptions.  The IG report is an example of following such logic rather than assumptions.

 

Here is the column:

James Comey once described his position in the Clinton investigation as being the victim of a “500-year flood.” The point of the analogy was that he was unwittingly carried away by events rather than directly causing much of the damage to the FBI. His “500-year flood” just collided with the 500-page report of the Justice Department inspector general (IG) Michael Horowitz. The IG sinks Comey’s narrative with a finding that he “deviated” from Justice Department rules and acted in open insubordination.

Rather than portraying Comey as carried away by his biblical flood, the report finds that he was the destructive force behind the controversy. The import of the report can be summed up in Comeyesque terms as the distinction between flotsam and jetsam. Comey portrayed the broken rules as mere flotsam, or debris that floats away after a shipwreck. The IG report suggests that this was really a case of jetsam, or rules intentionally tossed over the side by Comey to lighten his load. Comey’s jetsam included rules protecting the integrity and professionalism of his agency, as represented by his public comments on the Clinton investigation.

The IG report concludes, “While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.”The report will leave many unsatisfied and undeterred. Comey went from a persona non grata to a patron saint for many Clinton supporters. Comey, who has made millions of dollars with a tell-all book portraying himself as the paragon of “ethical leadership,” continues to maintain that he would take precisely the same actions again.

Ironically, Comey, fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and others, by their actions, just made it more difficult for special counsel Robert Mueller to prosecute Trump for obstruction. There is now a comprehensive conclusion by career investigators that Comey violated core agency rules and undermined the integrity of the FBI. In other words, there was ample reason to fire James Comey.

Had Trump fired Comey immediately upon taking office, there would be little question about his conduct warranting such termination. Instead, Trump waited to fire him and proceeded to make damaging statements about how the Russian investigation was on his mind at the time, as well as telling Russian diplomats the day after that the firing took “pressure off” him. Nevertheless, Mueller will have to acknowledge that there were solid, if not overwhelming, grounds to fire Comey.

To use the Comey firing now in an obstruction case, Mueller will have to assume that the firing of an “insubordinate” official was done for the wrong reason. Horowitz faced precisely this same problem in his review and refused to make such assumptions about Comey and others. The IG report found additional emails showing a political bias against Trump and again featuring the relationship of Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page. In one exchange, Page again sought reassurance from Strzok, who was a critical player in the investigations of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, that Trump is “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok responded, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

The IG noted that some of these shocking emails occurred at that point in October 2016 when the FBI was dragging its feet on the Clinton email investigation and Strzok was a critical player in that investigation. The IG concluded that bias was reflected in that part of the investigation with regard to Strzok and his role. Notably, the IG was in the same position as Mueller: The IG admits that the Strzok-Page emails “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.” This includes the decision by Strzok to prioritize the Russian investigation over the Clinton investigation. The IG states that “[w]e concluded that we did not have confidence that this decision by Strzok was free from bias.”

However, rather than assume motivations, the IG concluded that it could not “find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions.” Thus, there was bias reflected in the statements of key investigatory figures like Strzok but there were also objective alternative reasons for the actions taken by the FBI. That is precisely the argument of Trump on the Comey firing. While he may have harbored animus toward Comey or made disconcerting statements, the act of firing Comey can be justified on Comey’s own misconduct as opposed to assumptions about his motives.

Many of us who have criticized Comey in the past, including former Republican and Democratic Justice Department officials, have not alleged a political bias. As noted by the IG report, Comey’s actions did not benefit the FBI or Justice Department but, rather, caused untold harm to those institutions. The actions benefited Comey as he tried to lighten his load in heading into a new administration. It was the same motive that led Comey to improperly remove FBI memos and then leak information to the media after he was fired by Trump. It was jetsam thrown overboard intentionally by Comey to save himself, not his agency.

The Horowitz report is characteristically balanced. It finds evidence of political bias among key FBI officials against Trump and criticizes officials in giving the investigation of Trump priority over the investigation of Clinton. However, it could not find conclusive evidence that such political bias was the sole reason for the actions taken in the investigation. The question is whether those supporting the inspector general in reaching such conclusions would support the same approach by the special counsel when the subject is not Comey but Trump.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

233 thoughts on “Why The IG Report Undermines Mueller’s Obstruction Investigation”

  1. Considering that almost immediately after the firing Trump abandoned the fig leaf covering his motive for firing Comey by telling Lester Holt and the entire nation he did it because of the Russia investigation. There’s no question that Trump neutralized any other arguments by his straightforward admission.

    1. Does the President have the authority to fire the Director of the FBI? Absolutely. What is the likelihood the President will be able to fire his way to ending an investigation? Absolutely NONE.

      1. dhlii,

        Your comment reminds me of the following quote by Bastiat. I believe we need to extend the definition of legal to include the careful consideration of whether it is also just.

        There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are “just” because law makes them so. The Law

        1. We are dealing with left wing nuts – “baby steps”.

          They are incapable of grasping that the rule of law requires BOTH the consistent application of the law AND that the law must be just.

          They also have no understanding of what JUST means as evidenced by the current rant over separating families at the border. JUST results are not always “feel good” results.

          The consistent enforcement of any law – even JUST law will inevitably produce results that do not “feel good”.

          With respect to the border separation debacle what is not understood by the left is that the fundimental issue is the legitimacy of criminalizing border crossings.
          If that is legitimatley a crime then the separations though unfortunate are proper.
          Just as if selling drugs is legitimately a crime the separations that result are equally proper.

          Regardless, I mostly avoid dealing with the concept of “just law” here as those on the left can not distinguish between their feelings and justice.

          Further the concept of “just law” can be adequately addressed by noting – if you do not like applying a law consistently – then change the law.

          The rule of law requires that the law be applied consistently AND the law is just.

          That is AND not OR. The left’s conception of the rule of law is to ONLY apply the law when they subjectively FEEL that application is just.

          Trump is evil – therefore the law should be followed.
          Clinton is good – therefore we should maximize prosecutorial discretion.

          That is the epitomy of the rule of man not law.

        2. In the 70’s I read a dystopia, where the hero subverted a totalitarian government by joining it, and rising to great power by becoming its most fanatical adherent and rigorously and unversally applying its precepts and principles without exceptions.

          Those within the totalitarian regime could not oppose him – otherwise they appeared weak. ‘
          But the consistent application of the totalitarian regime made the resistance ever stronger.
          The more strictly the law was enforced the more criminals there were. Once you make a large enough portion of the people into criminals there is no support for government.

        3. The foundation of justice lies in free will – freedom.

          Morality can not logically exist without individual liberty.
          Morality can therefore be logically defined as what maximizes one individuals liberty without reducing that of another.

  2. “And Mueller remains one of the most mission-oriented Americans ever to come down the turnpike.” OMG Late4Yoga, you have put that man on pedestal, classic appeal to authority. My guess is that mantra attributable to lefty media can also be attributable to you “Bob Muler is above reporoach”. No he aint Ma’am – if he over-reaches then public and media should question and not simply accept creepy crawling investigation. Bob Muler is God and he needs to know what president was thinking when when he fired Muler’s girlfriend Comey using prez constitutional powers – no he don’t Ma’am.

    1. Mueller is a pit bull who had relentlessly chased the wrong rabbit innumerable times in his career. Hounding on to suicide.

      He is only the right person for an investigation if you want a conviction and you do not actually care about whether it is correct.

      We still do not know about the Anthrax post 9/11.
      Though we pretty much DO know that it did NOT come from Fort Dietrich as Mueller claimed.

  3. No amount of IG or other reports can mitigate Trump’s confession to Lester Holt. Full stop. Post-confession revisionism simply won’t work.

  4. It’s good to go to sleep knowing that Laura Bush has just exhibited more moral courage than the entire GOP. Some will feel a twinge of shame. Some will blather on with their justifications. The liars will lie. The sociopaths will be callously indifferent, as they always are.

    But it’s good to know that good people will continue to fight back against the evil in the Trump administration.

    Good night.

    1. Pay attention.

      Once again, for the uninitiated.

      Hillary Clinton could not be prosecuted because the prosecution of Hillary Clinton would have inexorably led

      to the prosecution and conviction of Barrack Hussein Obama.

      All roads lead to Obama.

      If Obama does not go to prison, you will know, definitively, that the United States of America is completely

      corrupt.

        1. Hiding behind his ‘racial suit of armour’ is what Barack Obama has excelled at with a whole lotta help along the way….and it is the only reason he spent eight years in the White House. If the man was charismatic AND white? No way. Not with his background and flimsy resume. If the man was charismatic and half black with a white woman for his wife with mixed race children? No way. But charimatic and half black, married to a lovely black woman with a beautiful black family? Done deal. And don’t think Obama doesn’t know it. He knows. He’s been riding that wave for decades.

          1. Max Weber concocted the term ‘charisma’ to describe a rare inspirational ability (e.g Buddha and Christ), not to describe motormouth politicians who put together applause lines. George Washington, Wm. Jennings Bryan, and Martin Luther King Jr might be considered charismatic figures after a fashion. Even John Kennedy evokes an odd and abiding fascination. Obama, no.

            1. You are correct. Obama, a ‘charismatic leader’? No. I misspoke. The ability to deliver a good speech from a teleprompter does not equal “charisma.” Just as being trained in ‘community organizing’ (agitation) does not equal leadership ability. Obama knew how to read a teleprompter and ‘lead from behind’ – which is also called following. Which is not charismatic in the least. I stand corrected. 🙂

          2. “…the first…African-American who is…clean…”
            _____________________________________

            “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

            – Joe Biden

            1. Joe Biden said he’s not an American, he’s an African-American.

              Now that we know he’s not an American, all that’s left to find out

              is: Where the —- IS Africa-America?

              Obama might be happier there, at least according to “Crazy Abe” Lincoln.

              To wit,

              “If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” “…he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”

        2. Obama’s association with the domestic black population is that he married into it. He is in reality the issue of Honolulu’s haolie bourgeoisie, people to whom he offers no tribute. His black personal friends (e.g. Eric Whittaker) are the issue of the old money mulattish patriciate to whom he was introduced by Valerie Jarrett (who grew up in that same stratum). Nothing wrong with his buds, but they are of their own world, which differs considerably from the black rank and file (and isn’t altogether in synch with new money types like Mooch, either). There’s a reason Rod Blagojevich once said ‘I’m blacker than Obama’ and there are a few reasons that Bobby Rush chuckles at BO.

  5. The former president has lied openly. Trump has not lied. He has been transparent with the people. He has been forth right. His comments are straight forward. He may not speak in fanciful words or flattery. His tone to some may be rough around the edges, but he tells it like it is. He is been vilified by the major media. Not just him but his whole family. He is keeping his promises he made to the American people who voted for him and had a mandate for him. To me his has been the best president since Reagan. I would say he is the best president in my life time. I will support him because he believes in our Constitution which is the foundation of
    our country. Until he violates that honored document. I will support him. The article that was first on this page about the Trump is totally false.

    1. You are conflating two things:

      1. is something true or false?

      2. what is the person’s style in telling the truth or telling a lie?

      Trump’s “style” has nothing to do with whether or not he lies. And, by the way, he lies more easily than most people breathe.

      1. “ is something true or false?”

        your hero Bill “ I did not have sex with that womyn” Clinton said it depends on how you define “is”

        your liberal relativism screwed you.

        enjoy your line of coke

      2. Your points are correct, your analysis in error.

        The left and the press tend to accuse Trump of “lying” on a stylistic basis.

        Demanding more precision from a tweet than in an IG report.

        While Trump does “lie” on occasion, as well as make mistakes – which is not the same as lying.

        For the most part his remarks are more likely to be True than Obama’s.
        That is particularly true of statements of consequence.

    2. Janette Lewis — To lie is to knowingly tell an untruth. The Donald does not lie solely in that he is unable to distinguish truth from untruth.

  6. No serious observer has suggested Trump firing Comey in isolation warrants a charge of obstruction of justice. Such a charge would only be justified by a consistent pattern of behavior of which the dismissal forms one part. There’s a strong case that such a consistent pattern of behavior has occurred, starting with Trump’s demands of ‘loyalty’ from Comey and requests that he drop charges against Mike Flynn and continuing to the present day.

      1. And there you have it: Tiara Boy claims, as do Trump’s lawyers, that The POTUS, Trump, has the constitutional authority to obstruct justice.

        1. L4D enables David Benson – goodness, your reading skills suck. What he said was it was Constitutionally impossible for the President to obstruct justice.

        2. it’s not saying that at all. you just want to stick the special prosecutor above the president. that means the appointed underling over the elected executive. retarded logic

        3. You continue to misrepresent.

          “Your statement is not strong enough. You can not obstruct justice by acting within your legitimate authority.”

          I am not making a statement about POTUS.
          My statement applies to every single person involved in law enforcement.

          While I would greatly prefer the least discretion in law enforcement – the fact is discretion exists.

          It is not obstruction of justice for a police office to let you off with a warning.
          It is not obstruction for a superior to fire an officer – even if that impeeds and investigation.
          Though typically investigations continue even if those involved are fired.
          It is not obstruction for a DA to tell the police he will not prosecute a case.

          NO ONE can obstruct justice by excecising their legitimate authority over their own actions or those answerable to them.

          Trump can fire Comey, He can order the Russia investigation ended.
          He is not above the law – that is the law.
          Congress can impeach him.

          That is how things work.

          Lawless is Mueller who is unanswerable to anyone.

  7. ON FRIDAY TRUMP CLAIMED THE I.G. REPORT “TOTALLY EXONERATED” HIM

    YET THE REPORT WAS NOT ADDRESSING QUESTIONS OF TRUMP AND RUSSIA

    During a rambling Friday press conference on the White House lawn Trump made this exoneration claim, on camera, with the White House Press Corps looking on. Not only was Trump lying but it was an incredibly audacious lie. Everyone present knew the I.G. Report was only about the FBI’s behavior and ‘not’ the Trump Campaign’s.

    In that same press conference Trump repeated the lie that Democrats “passed the law” that requires children to be locked up at the border. Trump then said “Democrats need to change that law”. This is not only a lie but a ridiculous lie at that. The Democrats can’t call their own session of Congress to “change a law” they made. And again everyone present knew that Trump was lying. That policy calling for children to be locked-up was implemented by Attorney General Sessions.

    Earlier in the week, Trump came back from Singapore claiming the North Korea nuclear threat has been averted. This was either a lie or just Trump getting his facts completely mistaken. Trump got nothing specific from North Korea regarding denuclearization. North Korea may, in fact, think Trump is validating them as a nuclear power.

    When one considers that Trump lies with such reckless abandon, why should we believe him with regards to Russia?

    1. Shrill Peter wrote: “ON FRIDAY TRUMP CLAIMED THE I.G. REPORT “TOTALLY EXONERATED” HIM”

      JT wrote:

      “Why The IG Report Undermines Mueller’s Obstruction Investigation”

      Connect the dots, Shrilly Peter.

      consider stop doing lines of crack and tell David Brock “no more drugs” for trolling

      1. Melissa, find a report from the mainstream media that says the I.G. Report ‘exonerates’ Trump. I bet you can’t find that in any major newspaper or magazine. Because it didn’t happen. And if you think that’s what the I.G. Report was about, then you’re a serious ignoramus.

        1. Peter Hill

          These people are not ignoramuses (ignorami?). They are cultists. That is why Trump is so dangerous. Watch what happens if Mueller has direct evidence of Trump breaking the law which becomes public. The cultists will deny the existence, meaning and importance of the evidence.

          1. Trump is “dangerous” because he is tearing down the crap you assembled outside the law, bit by bit.

            Because he is forcing all of us to work inside the law – to actually change the immigration laws as an example rather than to merely pretend they are as we wish them to be.

            I have no personal animus with respect to Mueller – though we have learned he is the wrong person for the job – he has botched numerous past high profile cases, and appears to be botching this one.
            We have further learned he was appointed as a stupid emotional reaction absent any reasonable basis, to investigate something the FBI/DOJ knows did not happened improperly merging a counter intelligence and criminal investigations.

            At this time, I beleive that Mueller needs to report to congress.
            He need to justify the continuation of his investigation.

            He has no current indictment or pending prosecution that demonstrates a conflict requiring an SC.
            Unless he can demonstrate to Congress – the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, that he has probable case demostrating that some person that the DOJ/FBI is conflicted from investigating has committed a crime, then it is time to disband the SC and turn his current prosecutions over to the DOJ.

            Trump has alleged this is a witch hunt.
            And it certainly looks like one.
            What is being investigated currently has nothing to do with the authorization of the SC and does nto lead to anything authorized for the SC.

            As Mueller goes further and further afield, that discredits any beleif that there is any basis for this at the start, and that there ever will be.

            1. And there you have it, yet again: “The investigation was rigged [false]; they [FBI] never should’ve been allowed to investigate [truly dangerous].”

              Listen up, Tiara Boy: Strzok argued for more aggressive and overt methods of investigating Russia’s efforts at cultivating members of the Trump campaign and Comey, McCabe, Yates and Lynch overruled Strzok’s argument for aggressive and overt investigative methods. Why? Because, the New York Office of The FBI would’ve leaked it like they were leaking about Clinton. And Comey, McCabe, Yates and Lynch did not want to face accusations of intervening in, and interfering with, the 2016 election.

              Now hear this: No more double-dipper’s benefits for Trump. No mas!

              1. Read the IG report. Horowitz found only one instance in which Strzok acted to favor or harm Clinton. In that instance Horowitz concluded that Strzok’s intense animus for Trump actually harmed clinton.

                Strzok’s text’s regarding Clinton – such as those you noted show the bias of OTHERS.

                They show that even those Strzol was biased in favor of Clinton he still would have done what we expect of agents and followed the rules. But that he was thwarted by others even more biased in Clinton’s favor than he.

              2. Do you read what you write ?

                Comey McCabe, …. may not chose NOT ro properly conduct an investigation because of fears of leaks elsewhere.

                Fear of leaks is a reason to correct the problem with leaks.
                It is NOT a justification for acting improperly.

              3. No matter how hard you try to spin it the impact of the IG report has been damning.

                Even Trey Gowdy is no longer defending DOJ/FBI institutionally.

                One of the most damaging aspects of the IG report is that it demonstrates severe institutional problems at DOJ/FBI.

                This is no longer a “few bad apples”, this is institutional corruption.

        2. You are correct – the IG report on the Clinton email scandal barely touches on anything Trump.

          Though Horowitz STRONGLY suggests that though his findings of bias in the Clinton case were limited, that he is likely to find bias against Trump.

          Regardless, the IG report does find that the DOJ/FBI were a hot mess, that they did not follow procedure or the law.

          The likelyhood the very same people did better when investigating Trump is ZERO.

  8. There may have been ample reason to fire Comey. The problem is that Trump confessed, twice, that those ample reasons weren’t why he fired him. He confessed to firing Comey to impede the Russia investigation. Nice try, JT, but no cigar.

    Also, this, below, is in marked contrast to Trump/Giuliani’s nonsensical game about whether or not Trump will testify to Mueller’s team. FWIW, he has no intention of testifying because he knows Mueller’s people will eat him for lunch.

    Just out:

    Peter Strzok, who was singled out in a recent Justice Department inspector general report for the politically charged messages, would be willing to testify without immunity, and he would not invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in response to any question, his attorney, Aitan Goelman, said in an interview Sunday.

      1. the half life of the drugs he is doing is quite narrow but the volume of drugs he gets from David Brock via ClintonFUNDation…… endless

      2. Trump confessed twice on video. That’s not spin. It’s fact.

        And I bet Goodlatte and others are p**ping their pants because they clearly wanted a big fight with Strzok. They decided to subpoena him WITHOUT first asking him if he would testify. So they tried to set up a power struggle with him where they could paint him as uncooperative, refusing to testify. But he wants to testify. Under oath. Without invoking the Fifth amendment. To any committee who wants to hear from him. Quite a contrast to Mr. T.

        Goodlatte may decide to “forget” to invite him. Everything the GOP tries to do to interfere with this investigation is an epic fail. I almost feel sorry for them except they are so detestable and stupid. When your obstruction of justice team is run by Nunes, Jordan, Meadows, Gaetz and a few others, you’re in bad shape.

        The metaphor of Mueller playing chess while Trump plays checkers no longer applies. Mueller is playing chess and team Trump is playing on a Candyland board that’s missing a few pieces.

        1. 5PM – Strzok is trying to get to testify before the redacted OIG report is released. Right now he looks bad, but not criminal. He is going to be called anyway. He does not want the committees to see the 1.2 million records that the OIG saw.

          1. Since you apparently know what’s in those records, do you know if they include information about the NYFBI and Giuliani? Or the information that they leaked to Nunes about the Clinton emails? Do tell, please.

            1. 5PM – I have read much of the redacted OIC report and the rest is on my agenda for tomorrow (today is wife’s bday). The IG leaves a lot of breadcrumbs.

                1. screw’em – read it for yourself and then decide if I am cherry-picking. In a 568 page report, all you can do is cherry-pick. 😉

            2. You can not “leak” to Nunez – he is a member of the Gang of Eight – chair of the HPSCI

              By law the IC is obligated to provide him with anything he wishes to know.

        2. He had ample authority to dismiss Comey and ample justification to do so. Comey had also told him he was not the subject of an investigation. The investigation itself was an is humbug. If you’d like to continue lying to yourself, that’s your problem

        3. 5PM said, ” Everything the GOP tries to do to interfere with this investigation is an epic fail. I almost feel sorry for them except they are so detestable and stupid. When your obstruction of justice team is run by Nunes, Jordan, Meadows, Gaetz and a few others, you’re in bad shape.

          The metaphor of Mueller playing chess while Trump plays checkers no longer applies. Mueller is playing chess and team Trump is playing on a Candyland board that’s missing a few pieces.”

          Sometimes one simply must freely offer up one’s own unsolicited approval of somebody else’s message. 5PM’s most excellent post above is just such an occasion.

          1. Mueller does not play chess. He never has. His game is relentless brute force and singled minded focus.

            That has constantly lead him to pummel the wrong rathole to death.

    1. “to impede the Russia investigation”…Hilarious…you fail to recall Trump let Comey know he wanted to know if anyone in his campaign was “colluding”…

      a minor fact you chose to ignore… no obstruction!

    2. Trump is constitutionally allowed to Fire Comey.

      The constitution does not require cause. It does nto require that any reason is offered.
      It does not require that reason to be correct.
      It does not require that reason to be pure.

      As long as Trump is acting within the constraints of the constitution his actions can not obstruct justice.

      Nixon solicited private money to pay for the silence of the watergate burglars.
      That is not within the constitutional powers of the president.
      Clinton used AZ State Troopers to facilitate his affairs and to cover them up and intimidate those involved.
      He did not do that as president, and it was not inside his legitimate powers.

      The left is completely screwed up by the concept of motive or intent.

      A crime requires a “bad act” – and act that violates the law.
      If there is no bad act.
      Bad reasons do not make a legitimate act into a crime.

      Most crimes also require knowledge that you are doing wrong.

      That knowledge need not be specific – that is one of the errors Comey made.
      Clinton knew she was circumventing federal records keeping laws – she wrote tha purpose in here emaisl.
      So she was committing a bad act – removing government propertly from government control. AND removing classified information from government control.
      And she knew that she was doing the first and that it was wrong.
      That is sufficient intent to cover the 2nd.

      Conversely Trump committed no bad act.
      Firing Comey was legitimately within his power.
      Even if he did it for a reason you do not like.

      You can impeach for bad reasons, but you can not even legitimately allege obstruction.

      1. dhlii – I do not think AZ (Arizona) is loaning out its officers to AK (Arkansas) to protect their governor. 😉

    3. I do not beleive Trump will testify. I do not beleive he should. I do not beleive that Mueller has a basis to demand his testimony.

      But there are alot of complexities. Mueller can subpeona Trump to testify before a grand jury.

      There is nothing that precludes a president from doing so.

      But the court is likely to seek to limit that testimony to things that only Trump can answer that Mueller has a legitimate basis for inquiry.

      I do not think anything meets that criteria.
      Equally important – Mueller will be asked by the Trump legal team, and likely the court, to prove they need Trump to testify.

      1. dhlii – Judicial Watch has made little video plays of the interrogatories of some of the players. The best is Mull, who “knows nothink” and this should be the President’s response to all questions besides his name. I do not remember.

    4. Strzok was going to be compelled to testify no matter what.
      Further should Strzok take the 5th that would be the end of his carreer and likely result in criminal prosecutions.

      Strzok’s decision is not surprising. He is going to have to be incredibly well prepared.
      But based on the text’s and info in the IG report, unless he testifies stupidly, he is highly likely to lose his job, he is probably being prosecuted, but he probably will not be convicted.

    5. aitan golem? oh that is the guy that soft-pedalled and botched a bunch of CFTC investigations of banks for fixing libor or was it gold or silver or a bunch of other stuff. now he’s cashing in in private practice and Stork is his client. Soak that sucker good Aitan!

  9. A Review Of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election (so-called I.G.R.) supports the thesis:

    “There are no facts, only interpretations.”

    Friedrich W. Nietzsche Notebooks (Summer 1886 – Fall 1887)

    Variant translation:

    “Against that positivism which stops before phenomena, saying “there are only facts,” I should say: no, it is precisely facts that do not exist, only interpretations…”

    As translated in The Portable Nietzsche (1954) by Walter Kaufmann, p. 458

    dennis hanna

    1. “Interpretation” is criminal.

      “…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

      Alexander Hamilton –

      “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

      1. Say what you will George, but Maddow is not a “defective freak of nature” – she is very intelligent which makes her narrative so dangerous as she is the #1 “news” person in the US of A. She reaches millions of people and her snarky rhetoric makes them feel as if they are “in the know” in comparison to – you know – all the unwashed deplorable masses. She keeps the Establishment game going.

        1. That’s why the American Founders established a restricted-vote republic not a one man, one vote democrazy, which Tytler stated would lead to dictatorship. The Founders voters to meet minimal and rational criteria. Have you seen California lately? The Gov. tells people how much water to use rather than serving the people by obtaining new sources of water and water pipelines. Check out the next ballot. The democraps run two democraps and no republicans for many offices. You have a choice in the People’s Democratic Republic of California, you may vote for a democrap or you may vote for a democrap. It’s up to you. The Founders prepared this nation to oppose a tyrannical and oppressive government. I’d say it’s just about time.

        2. I know that Maddow purportedly is intelligent.
          But on the occasions I have watched her – regardless of the issue I have not found evidence of extraordinary intelligence.

          1. Read her book “Drift: The Unmooring of Military Power” the smirky “we’re all this smart club together” persona she puts out is just a cover. Indeed the more she calls for war the more I wonder if she isn’t working for the Deep State.

    1. peace in Korea! they don’t like it.

      suddenly the Dems are war hawks again and anti communists or anti Russians or whatever etc etc

      they stink! and all the RINOs too

  10. “Why The IG Report Undermines Mueller’s Obstruction Investigation”
    ______________________________________________________

    The IG report doesn’t undermine Mueller, it proves Mueller is a co-conspirator in a criminal conspiracy run

    from the White House.

    All roads lead to Obama.

    In a Sept. 2, 2016, text exchange, Page writes that she was preparing the talking points because “potus

    wants to know everything we’re doing.” Potus is an acronym for president of the United States.

    “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page texted Strzok.

    “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.

    The basis for the appointment of Mueller as special counsel is a fabricated, fraudulent “dossier” criminally

    presented to the FISA court.

    Mueller’s investigation is a false and criminally “malicious prosecution” and part of the conspiracy that

    “potus wants to know everything we’re doing” so that the Obama/DOJ/FBI conspiracy could assure that

    “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page texted Strzok.

    “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.

      1. “Fake News” here.

        Follyweird.

        Whatever you do, do not threaten the “free stuff” of parasites.

        The parasites get really, really mad!

        “Affirmative Action Privilege,” welfare, food stamps, quotas, social services, Obongocare, forced busing, WIC, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, unconstitutional “Fair Housing” and “Non-Discrimination” laws, Social Security, Medicare, irrational, oxymoronic contradiction in terms “homosexual marriage,” legal murder abortion, etc., etc., etc.

        I just can’t make it on my own on merit so please don’t take my (free) sunshine away.

        I hope that was polite.

      2. Excerpted from the CNN article to which Hollywood linked us above:

        After the report’s release, Trump immediately took to Twitter to proclaim: “The IG Report is a total disaster for Comey, his minions and sadly, the FBI.” In another tweet, he wrote, “FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who headed the Clinton & Russia investigations, texted to his lover Lisa Page, in the IGA Report, that ‘we’ll stop’ candidate Trump from becoming President. Doesn’t get any lower than that!”

        And yet the IG didn’t report that Strzok and Page did anything to act on their text messages.

        Horowitz did not find that there was any concerted conspiracy against Trump becoming the commander in chief, but the President is adroit at manipulating almost any information to make his case to his adoring fans.

        1. L4D enables David Benson – the OIG has limited investigatory powers and in this case, they were not going after the Russian investigation.

          1. OFCOLA. We already know that the FBI adamantly refused to use the Russia investigation to prevent Trump from being elected President. They were literally afraid of it.

            1. L4D enables David Benson – the FBI/DOJ is using the Russian investigation to impeach Trump. They did not expect him to win. Honestly, I did not either.

            2. Assumes facts not in evidence.

              Further the FBI have no problems using it to push a soft coup after the election.

              The better explanation is that they did not expect Trump to win.
              Almost no one did

        2. I would STRONGLY suggest reading the report.

          To directly address your points. what Horowitz said was he found not DOCUMENTARY OR TESTIMONIAL evidence that sytemic bias or a conspiracy occurred.

          He did not preclude them. In fact he found several specific examples of bias effecting decisions.

          I think Horowitz did an excellent job finding the evidence and establishiing the facts.

          But he erred in his conclusions.

          You can not draw conclusions about the outcome of an investigation that is this badly done.
          There are way too many errors to be able to predict the outcome of the errors were not made.

          The other is that you do not often get the conspirators on the records saying “there is a conspiracy”.
          Bias, conspiracy are typically conclusions draw from the scale and frequency of misconduct and the fact that it heavily falls in a single direction.

          Finally the very fact that so many FBI/DOJ agents were engaged in the same misconduct with government records, creates a conflict that required the investigation to be done by others.

    1. Excerpt from Transcript of “Fox News Sunday,” interview with President Obama, April 10, 2016

      WALLACE: Mr. President, when you say what you’ve just said, when Josh Earnest said, as he did — your spokesman — in January, the information from the Justice Department is she’s not a target, some people I think are worried whether or not — the decision whether or not, how to handle the case, will be made on political grounds, not legal grounds.

      Can you guarantee to the American people, can you direct the Justice Department to say, “Hillary Clinton will be treated — as the evidence goes, she will not be in any way protected.”

      OBAMA: I can guarantee that. And I can guarantee that, not because I give Attorney General Lynch a directive, that is institutionally how we have always operated.

      I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line, and always have maintained it, previous president.

      WALLACE: So, just to button this up —

      OBAMA: I guarantee it.

      WALLACE: You —

      OBAMA: I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case.

      WALLACE: And she will be —

      OBAMA: Full stop. Period.

      WALLACE: And she will be treated no different —

      OBAMA: Guaranteed. Full stop. Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department, because nobody is above the law.

      WALLACE: Even if she ends up as the Democratic nominee?

      OBAMA: How many times do I have to say it, Chris? Guaranteed.

    2. Lest we forget what Obama and his minions keep saying to the stupid public over and over again: Obama ran a “scandal-free” administration.

      Now repeat after him: Obama ran a “scandal-free” eight years and this is what he says he is most proud of — that he ran a “scandal-free” administration.

      If the useful idiots in the MSM repeat it often enough, “Obama scandal-free, Obama scadal-free,” then the lie will slowly seep into and penetrate the weak minds of the stupid uninformed Americans, who will then repeat the lie:

      Obama ran a scandal-free presidency, didn’t you hear it on the news? Obama was the best president we’ve ever had and he ran a “scandal-free presidency.”

      1. TBob – MadCow and others can repeat the same malarky all they want. No one sane wanted Obama 2.0 We need more parties. Corporate Dems would rather lose than change – they still get $$$$ from their donors same as sell out republicans.

          1. PH, nah we don’t despise Chuck, Joe ‘n Mika, Joyless Reid, etc. They are all clueless talking heads following a script. We reserve our ire for Maddow because she had a formidable intellect and uses it to bs her followers.

  11. Sorry to trespass on this thread, but I wanted to wish our host Happy Father’s Day and to all of this family who are fathers or father figures in someones life.Buona festa del papà!

  12. Sorry JT, but I could not get past the title and excerpt from first paragraph: “…obstruction allegations being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller”. I thought investigation was about Russian meddling in election and seems to have morphed into a creepy crawling investigation squarely aimed with nit-picky tenacles pointed solely at Trump and former Trump associates with no tenacles reaching out to dirty deep state players or HRC campaign which actually engaged with Russia via Steele hit piece. Something wrong with this picture. Forgive me, I am just an ignorant Trump voter and am not sophisticated enough to get this.

    1. That was my thought as well, Bill. When was Moeller charged with pinning obstruction on Trump? If that fails, is leaving the toilet seat up next?
      This is so obviously a soft coup. People who support this should be ashamed.

    2. Bill Martin said, “I thought investigation was about Russian meddling in election.”

      You thought correctly, Bill Martin. Mueller is pursuing a case for conspiracy to defraud the United States against Manafort, Kushner, Trump Jr. as well as probably Stone, Caputo and Cohen. Meanwhile, since Mueller has accepted the Justice Department’s memo that a sitting President supposedly cannot be indicted while in office, therefore Mueller has not named The POTUS, Trump, as a “target” of the special counsel’s investigation. However, Trump is a “subject” of Mueller’s probe. And Mueller remains one of the most mission-oriented Americans ever to come down the turnpike. Mueller will fulfill his original scope to investigate any coordination between the activities of the Trump campaign and the Russian election meddling in 2016. When he who will not be deterred does fulfill his original scope in his final report to Rosenstein the obstruction of justice case against Trump will come along for the ride up to Capitol Hill.
      Once Congress can plainly see exactly the justice that Trump was attempting to obstruct, poor Turley’s finely hand-crafted false-equivalency defense will bite the dust.

      1. There is no such crime.

        I know Mueller included it in his indictment – but it does not exist.
        Many lawyers have noted this.

        Kushner is off the hook. FBI never would have approved his permanent security clearance if he even remained a subject. Mueller was certainly asked and responded, and we may not know what he said, but we know what he did not say.
        Absent new information – there is nothing on Kushner.

        Trump Jr,. Kusnher, Stone and Caputo have all testified and been interviewed by Mueller.

        Mueller is fully prepared to indict people over the most trivial discrepancies in their remarks.
        As he has not indicted any of the above we can only conclude he has tried and failed to find even trivial problems with their testimony.

        One of the problems you have with these ridiculously broad applications of the law – is that when Mueller does not indict you can not go backwards and say they are getting off on a technicality.
        What you must conclude is that by the BROADEST understanding of the law – they are innocent.

        Mueller can name Trump as a target and not indict him
        The fact that Mueller has confirmed he is not a target means he is not a target.

        No Mueller is not “mission oriented” – look at his past record.
        He is a pitt bull with a reputation for chasing the wrong rabbit – pretty much always.

        Why your argument is illogical crap.

        You have one and only one point. Congress can impeach for any reason at all.

        If Mueller can make a case for misconduct – not criminality that appeals to the majority of americans.
        Trump will be impeached.

        But the majority of americans are not the 25% on the far left.

        At the moment the majority of americans – regarldess of what they beleive – do not care.

        That unfortunately hurts both the left and right.

        They do not care whether Trump “colluded” with the Russians, The do not care that the Obama administration succeeded at what Nixon failed at – turning CIA,DOJ/FBI/IRS into political weapons.

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