Mueller: No Russian Collusion

The summary of the findings of the Special Counsel is out and, as predicted, it has found no Russian collusion. It declined to make a finding on obstruction and left the matter to the Congress and the public. Frankly, the latter finding seems a bit curious. There is a criminal code on the elements of this crime and we did not wait for two years for Meuller to say “meh.” Attorney General Bill Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein however did look at the evidence and concluded that the evidence does not amount to obstruction.

As I have written for two years, there never was a compelling case for a collusion crime. There has been a type of collective willful blindness to the glaring factual and legal flaws in criminal theories despite assurances from many legal analysts. While obstruction was stronger due to Trump self-defeating actions, there never was a serious case to be made for actual prosecution. Unfortunately, trying to offer objective analysis was often denounced as carrying the water for Trump or even the Russians. The result has been a national delusion over collusion.

Here is the summary: Barr summary

president.

Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:

As a supplement to the notification provided on Friday, March 22, 2019, I am writing today to advise you of the principal conclusions reached by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he has prepared.

The Special Counsel’s Report

On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. 600.8(c). This report is entitled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.

The report explains that the Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.

The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public. Below, I summarize the principal conclusions laid out in the Special Counsel’s report.

Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. The Special Counsel’s report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans — including individuals associated with the Trump campaign — joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

(Footnote 1: In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign “coordinated” with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined “coordination” as an “agreement — tacit or express — between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.”)

The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.

The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons associated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for the purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.

Obstruction of Justice. The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President — most of which have been the subject of public reporting — that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards regarding prosecution and conviction but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel’s report states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel’s obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.

(Footnote 2: See A Sitting President’s Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution, 24 Op. O.L.C, 222 (2000).)

In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.

Status of the Department’s Review

The relevant regulations contemplate that the Special Counsel’s report will be a “confidential report” to the Attorney General. See Office of Special Counsel, 64 Fed. Reg. 27,038, 37,040-41 (July 9, 1999). As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

Based on my discussions with the Special Counsel and my initial review, it is apparent that the report contains material that is or could be subject to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(e), which imposes restrictions on the use and disclosure of information relating to “matter[s] occurring before [a] grand jury.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(2)(B). Rule 6(e) generally limits disclosure of certain grand jury information in a criminal investigation and prosecution. Id. Disclosure of 6(e) material beyond the strict limits set forth in the rule is a crime in certain circumstances. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. 401(3). This restriction protects the integrity of grand jury proceedings and ensures that the unique and invaluable investigative powers of a grand jury are used strictly for their intended criminal justice function.

Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the 6(e) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all 6(e) information contained in the report as quickly as possible. Separately, I also must identify any information that could impact other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other offices. As soon as that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in light of applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

***

As I observed in my initial notification, the Special Counsel regulations provide that “the Attorney General may determine that public release of” notifications to your respective Committees “would be in the public interest.” 28 C.F.R. 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose the letter to the public after delivering it to you.

Sincerely,

William P. Barr

Attorney General



	

358 thoughts on “Mueller: No Russian Collusion”

  1. Of course it is “unbelievable” to a psycho detached from reality who really, really needs to believe in her preferred outcome.
    I should say you “required outcome”.
    I think it’s best for L4D’s mental health, or what is left of it, to believe whatever it is that she wants to believe;
    JT consistently “gets it wrong”, L4B “believes she is the superior expert in areas of Con. and Criminal Law.
    Barr and Rosenstein got the summary wrong, and this loon L4D generously lends her expertise to correct their errors.
    The attendees at the Trump Tower meeting openingly admitted in Congressional testimony that they negotiated sanctions relief to get dirt on Hillary.
    That is an outright lie, but if L4B really, really needs to lie and even believe her owns, what the heck.
    Now, maybe that loon will expand on her peculiar interests in volleyball, castration, etc.
    That is her standard “debating style”, which some may view as bizarre.

  2. TRUMP, MORE THAN ANYONE,

    PROMOTED THE MUELLER PROBE

    The biggest problem with claims that the media focused too much on the Mueller probe is the premise itself. While Russiagate has led to a cottage industry of Twitter-famous “Resistance grifters” making outlandish claims that Trump—and people like Glenn Greenwald—are Putin’s “puppets,” real journalists did their jobs covering an objectively huge story.

    It is bizarre to suggest that the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the president of the United States after he fired his FBI director and privately told two high-level Russian officials that he had “faced great pressure because of Russia” but that it had been “taken off” with Comey’s dismissal is not a legitimately massive story. The same is true of allegations that Trump obstructed justice (something that William Barr had categorically ruled out charging him with before becoming AG and being read in on the investigation).

    And over the course of the 22 months since Mueller’s appointment, there have been dozens, if not hundreds, of highly significant developments, each of which merited a decent amount of coverage.

    The president’s former campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, personal attorney and fixer, national-security adviser, and longtime political adviser have all been convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes, or are currently awaiting trial, and while those cases weren’t related to Russia directly, they all sprung from Mueller’s probe and all of them kept the Mueller investigation in the headlines. Mueller’s team indicted 25 Russian nationals and three companies for their alleged roles in Russiagate. And those close to Trump had over 100 contacts with Russian actors during the campaign, according to The New York Times, many of which they hid from investigators.

    Each and every time Trump dangled a pardon or Rudy Giuliani disclosed too much to reporters or Paul Manafort violated the terms of his release while awaiting trial, it was a significant and legitimate news story. Those claiming that the media focused too much attention on the Mueller probe should specify which stories they believe didn’t merit extensive reporting.

    We should also acknowledge that no human being on Earth has done more to keep the Trump-Russia narrative in the news than Donald Trump. Not only does he have a compulsive tendency to randomly blurt out “no collusion, no collusion”–a claim he’s made 231 times since mid-2017, according to The Washington Post—he’s also kept Russia front and center by refusing to implement sanctions that Congress passed against Russian actors, repeatedly meeting with Vladimir Putin with no advisers or note-takers present, and arguing that Russia was within its rights to annex Crimea. When the president of the United States tells reporters that the president of Russia has “probably” ordered assassinations and poisonings, “but I rely on them; it’s not in our country,” that’s objectively newsworthy.

    Remember that there would never have been a special-counsel investigation had Trump simply kept his cool—and his mouth shut—in regard to Russiagate. James Comey was bound just as is Robert Mueller by the DOJ opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Trump made the investigation a huge international story, and there’s nothing for serious reporters to “reckon with” for having covered it as such. As media critic Margaret Sullivan wrote for The Washington Post, “It’s important to acknowledge the value of the serious journalism because there’s a real risk that news organizations will take the edges off their coverage of this subject now.”

    Edited from: “No, The Media Didn’t Over-Hype Russiagate”

    THE NATION, 3/25/19

    1. MUELLER PROBE A HOAX ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

      There was no crime committed to investigate. The Steele Dossier was a fabrication by the Clinton campaign. The statements to the FISA Court were inappropriate and hopefully will be dealt with in a criminal procedure.

      Mueller, Rosenstein and Barr NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION

      American needs, Healthcare, Infrastructure, etc. put on back burner due to Democratic hoax.

      WASHINGTON POST RECEIPTS SOAR DUE TO PHONY REPORTING.

  3. TRUMP SENDS EMAILS TO TV PRODUCERS..

    WARNING ABOUT THE ‘CREDIBILITY’ OF CERTAIN DEMOCRATS

    The Trump campaign sent an email to TV producers warning Monday about guests who have made “outlandish, false claims” about the president’s Russia connections, asking networks to use “basic journalistic standards” when making future bookings.

    The memo, titled “Credibility of Certain Guests,” comes after Trump — who made 8,158 false claims during his first two years as president — repeatedly made the false assertion that Mueller’s report exonerated him on obstruction of justice.

    Trump campaign director of communications Tim Murtaugh included in the memo a list of Democratic lawmakers and others who have alleged that there was collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 campaign.

    “At a minimum, if these guests do reappear, you should replay the prior statements and challenge them to provide the evidence which prompted them to make the wild claims in the first place,” Murtaugh wrote.

    He added: “At this point, there must be introspection from the media who facilitated the reckless statements and a serious evaluation of how such guests are considered and handled in the future.”

    One of the lawmakers mentioned in the memo, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), fired back on Twitter.

    “The only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump,” Swalwell said. “If he thinks I’ve made a false statement, he can sue me. And I’ll beat him in court.”

    Read the Trump campaign’s full memo here.

    Edited from: “Mueller Report Fallout: Trump, Russia, Others React To Barr Summary”

    This evening’s WASHINGTON POST

    1. There’s some irony here in the fact the Donald Trump who has logged a record number of false assertions since entering the White House, wants to put TV producers on notice that certain Democrats have ‘no credibility’.

      Here’s a link to that White House letter:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/trump-campaign-s-memo-to-tv-producers-on-credibility-of-certain-guests/?noteId=b95bded5-1dd7-449c-905e-2021696f2aa6&questionId=e3315cad-42e0-42e1-bc2f-c711f07a150f&utm_term=.1fa15f32d8ac

  4. George Papadopoulos was a “patsy” run by the FBI, DNI, CIA, “Five Eyes” et al. in the conspiracy to politically assassinate President Donald J. Trump.
    ______________________________________________________

    Lee Harvey Oswald was a “patsy” run by the CIA, FBI, Mob, Texas Oilmen et al. in the conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.
    ______________________________________________

    “Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump”

    – George Papadopoulos
    ____________________

    The Obama Coup D’etat in America co-conspirators:

    Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates,

    Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Steele, Simpson,

    Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Kerry,

    Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power,

    Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Sessions, Obama et al.

  5. LET’S NOT FORGET..

    TRUMP TRIED TO ‘DERAIL’ MUELLER PROBE

    Trump’s efforts to derail the investigation weren’t merely about halting scrutiny of “collusion.” They were also about halting an accounting of the Russian attack on our democracy irrespective of whether “collusion” happened. Barr’s letter reminds us of this, by noting that Mueller’s report documents Russia’s extensive efforts to swing the election, including a concerted campaign to divide the country along social lines.

    We already know a great deal about this from Mueller’s indictments of Russians. But Mueller’s report would likely tell us much more.

    We know Trump has long opposed a full accounting of that Russian attack — not just because he denies collusion but also because he reportedly saw the very existence of that attack as undermining the greatness of his victory. Indeed, it’s been documented that this is why he did so little to secure the country against the next Russian attack.

    Thus, what Barr’s letter really tells us is that, without the Mueller report, we are being denied a full reckoning into that subversion of our democracy and a full public airing of Trump’s efforts to prevent that reckoning from happening.

    Barr’s letter promises more disclosure to come, and perhaps we will get it. If not, perhaps Congress can force it. But until then, none of those efforts at public accountability are taking place. And the implications of that are terrible to contemplate.

    Edited from: ‘Trump Won With Illicit Help. He Abused His Power. His AG Is Blocking A Full Reckoning”

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST

    1. Where are you trying to go with this Mr. Hill? “In Nadler I trust”? In “Schiff I trust”? “In Waters I trust”? “In Eric Swallows I trust”? Checkmate.

    2. LET’S NOT FORGET THAT TRUMP DESPITE THE SLANTED INVESTIGATION DID NOTHING TO PREVENT ITS COMPLETION.

      The Washing Post makes a lot of money deceiving the public. Now that the Mueller report is in and finds no collusion they are struggling to figure out how to keep the bucks flowing in. This article tells us how they will attempt to do that. Will the American public that already recognizes Fake News continue to buy the paper for the sensationalism as seen in the purchases of similar libelous papers that to sell papers with headines such as Babara Streisland has birth of a daughter with two heads.

    3. basically they think speak and do, like this:
      if the meuller report says what we like,
      then we approve.
      if it does not, then we disapprove.

      just like the election:
      if hillary wins, it was legit. if she loses, then it wasnt.

      kind of like racial discrimination: if against whites, good! but if whites do it, bad.
      which is to say, equality only when it favors their side.

      this is how everything works with them.
      so you understand now, you can’t work with them
      that only leaves standing up to them.

      and it’s not “putin” doing this– its them and their strategists and talking points dictators

    1. Absurd,
      “trudging through?!” I can see from their comments that they’re all progressing rapidly to the “acceptance” stage.😉

  6. BARR’S HASTILY DRAFTED LETTER..

    LEAVES SENSE THAT’S SOMETHING’S AMISS

    What I don’t understand is why Barr decided to take it upon himself to make a decision hastily based on “discussions with certain [DOJ] officials” when Mueller, after spending almost two years interviewing countless witnesses and reviewing many thousands of documents, had amassed evidence on both sides.

    Barr’s speedy decision that Trump did not obstruct justice perhaps is not surprising. Barr wrote a 19-page single-spaced memorandum to the Deputy Attorney General and Trump’s attorneys explaining why Trump did not obstruct justice long before he become Attorney General.

    As a practicing lawyer, it would take me dozens of hours to create a 19-page single-spaced memorandum containing nuanced legal analysis on any subject. I would not do so for free unless I felt very strongly about the issue. Although Barr claims otherwise in his letter, it is hard to escape the conclusion that he prejudged the matter and let his strong feelings about the subject influence his judgment.

    Barr’s poor reasoning in the four-page summary will reinforce the conclusion that he prejudged the matter. For example, he claimed that because Mueller was unable to establish that Trump was “involved in an underlying crime,” that suggested that he lacked the intent to obstruct justice. That will come as a surprise to Martha Stewart and many other defendants who were convicted of obstruction of justice but not of any underlying crime. Simply put, that is a fragile reed upon which to support a finding that there was no obstruction.

    Barr’s poor judgment means that Congress will have to take steps to find out what is in Mueller’s report and what underlying evidence Mueller found. While many have suggested that the full report be made public, that is likely not possible under existing law unless Congress and the President take action. But there is no reason why House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler cannot see the full report, or why his committee could not subpoena Barr or even Mueller.

    Edited from: “William Barr Has Some Explaining To Do”

    POLITICO, 3/24/19

    1. Barr’s summary letter was the perfunctory presentation of a forgone conclusion that nothing to do with Mueller’s report and everything to do with Barr’s audition memo for the job of Attorney General and then some.

      It’s good to see that Trump can’t pull the wool over P. Hill’s eyes.

    2. Renato Mariotti wrote that article, Peter. Credit where credit is due?

      “Renato Mariotti is a former federal prosecutor and host of the “On Topic” podcast.”

    3. When one is dealing with stupid and vindictive people no matter what one does will be wrong. It’s either Barr’s hasitly drafted letter or why is Barr hiding even a summary of what was found. There is no consideration of the conclusion: No collusion by Trump. Even ignorant people on this blog that hate Trump can see the idiocy Peter is providing. It gets us nowhere. Does anything Peter says advance policy in the nation? No. It is soley directed at gaining the Presidency whether it be Avenatti, Bezo or someone else. Issues and the American people do not count to people like Peter.

    4. of course: if you don’t like the conclusion, delegitimize it with more innuendo.

      how boring and predictable!

    5. Barr was confirmed about 6 weeks ago. Barr and Mueller are said to be on good personal terms.
      Mueller reported to the DOJ….initially Rosenstein, then Barr.
      Barr probably had a pretty good idea where Mueller was going with his report long before past 3-4 days; I don’t think that he and Rosenstein were going in to last weekend “cold”, with no idea of the final contents of Mueller’s final report.
      So Barr didn’t necessarily have to speed-read or skim the Mueller report, as some have suggested here. It seems more likely that Barr, and probably Rosenstein and others, had a pretty good idea of where and when Mueller would end up.
      That seems to me to be a far more likely scenario than the “rush-job theory” of the Barr summary, and the Barr-Rosenstein conclusions.

      1. This is like using a laser light to play with cats.

        And how many DOJ attorneys do you suspect poured over the report with Barr and provided bullet points for the summary?

      2. I agree, though more importantly Barr would have staff pouring over the report and melting it down for him to critical points. This is like the complaint about legislators not reading thousand page legislation. THEY HAVE STAFF TO DO THAT!

  7. Uneffingbelievable. Just clicked on here for kicks and giggles and see plenty of lefty loons firing away at phantom Trump – Russia collusion conspiracy theory. They are going to be like Japanese soldiers on desolate islands who remained ready to fight months/years after WWII Jap surrender. I guess “denial” stage of grieving might take some time for lefty loons who sacrificed so money brain cells and surrendered critical thinking all for the resistance. Lefty loons on TV also trying to spin this into some obstruction of a crime that was purposefully made up. Lefty media not interested in the real story i.e. how did this big hoax get started costing tens of millions and holding country hostage for 2+ years?

    1. Ooops, there goes the next great white hope for lefty loons. They were praying for SDNY action on Trump bimbo payments and now that SDNY has nabbed Avenatti on these charges they will not want anything to do with Trump bimbo payments other than to investigate whether Avenatti tried to extort Trump. What a 24 hour news period. Not only has Trump been exonerated and porn star lawyer been arrested, but Trump has most certainly locked down a second terms. It aint easy been a whore or lefty loon today.

      1. The SDNY case(s) are irrelevant until Trump leaves office and could worsen that situation when he loses in 2020. He has already said – in 2016 – that he might not accept a loss at the polls as legitimate and claims he would have won the popular vote if not for illegal ballots. Interestingly, if he resists leaving by various legal claims, the peaceful resolution would probably require a Goldwater-visits-Nixon GOP leaders contingent to tell him to leave. Would they? I think they might finally because they’d be getting rid of him as their master and because the situation would – hopefully – be untenable. Walking into a SDNY indictment as Individual #1 would turn his fear of losing the spotlight into fear of going to jail.

        1. Trump “has already said – in 2016 – that he might not accept a loss at the polls as legitimate”

          Anon Trump didn’t quite word it that way but what we are seeing is the lack of acceptance by Democrats that Trump was legally elected President. This has been non stop and laced with fraud and abuse.

    2. “Avenatti is entitled to a presumption of innocence, whatever the charges. As is any other accused person.”

      Yes, he is. Even after his showboating before CNN and the other media did its best to presume Trump’s guilt. That CNN used Avenatti as on-screen talent on panel discussions indicates that at no time had CNN’s producers or anyone else in the mass media the intention to presume Donald Trump’s innocence.

      No one in that media, let alone CNN, will now reflect on the unwisdom of trusting Michael Avenatti to guide them through the maze of mirrors which has been the Special Counsel investigation.

  8. OK, here’s what we have: Barr replaced Jeff Sessions, who was fired for complying with the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding the requirement to recuse, after which Fatty mocked him and his southern accent. Barr gratuitously wrote a white paper criticizing the Special Counsel’s investigation, setting forth his opinion that a sitting President cannot be indicted, so shockers of shockers, Barr is nominated to replace Sessions. IMHO, Barr should have recused himself, but we are now in an alternate universe. Barr then “summarized” the Special Counsel’s findings, which also, shockingly, did not find evidence of collusion. In fact, any other conclusion would actually be shocking. Contrary to the slop served at Faux News, no conclusion could be reached on obstruction of justice. Why? Lack of cooperation? Lying? Also: Fatty WAS NOT EXONERATED. Congressional investigations will continue.

    Questions: 1. What standard was used to measure whether there was collusion? Beyond a reasonable doubt? It is entirely likely there was evidence but that it may not have risen to the “beyond a reasonable doubt standard”. A lower standard is enough to impeach. 2. What “evidence” was the Special Counsel able to obtain? Was the evidence that was obtained complete and honest? The conclusions were based on the “evidence” that was obtained. If the evidence was not complete, or if witnesses lied or withheld documents, then Fatty is not off the hook. We all know that Cohen and Manafort lied. We know that Fatty is a chronic, habitual liar. What other witnesses may have lied? Who may have withheld documents? Why wasn’t Trump put under oath and questioned like any other witness? He got to write out responses to questions with the help of his paid professional liar. That is not satisfactory to me. To call “evidence” obtained in this manner sufficient is laughable.

    There is no question that Russians interfered with the 2016 election, despite what Fatty and his cohort claim. How would someone go about proving he was in on the deal from the get-go, given the fact that Fatty is a total pathological liar who surrounds himself with others willing to lie, including an attorney? There is no question Fatty was trying to work a deal with Moscow, and lied about continuing working the deal even after he received the nomination. There is no question that he and members of his campaign had and may still have relationships with Russian oligarchs close to Putin. Trump kisses Putin’s ring every chance he gets. There is no question that Kushner and Trump, Jr. have been working with Russians. More investigation needs to be done.

    I want to see the evidence that was obtained, including evidence that could not be obtained and the reasons why. The statement that the “evidence” does not establish collusion is relatively meaningless until or unless the “evidence” is disclosed and is shown to be complete and honest. Nothing about Trump is honest.

      1. You presumptuous nincompoop, you. That was the one and only Field Marshall Natacha. She is literally unmistakable.

        You can play stupid all you want to, Ninny Na-Na. But whenever you do play stupid to your heart’s content, everybody who actually reads and follows this blawg will know to an absolute certainty just what an incomparable Ninny Na-Na Nincompoop you are.

        1. Some of these people are absolute idiots. They don’t have to “play stupid.” Because they are stupid.

    1. anonymous……………all of that, and yet Trump is still President and will win re-election, and leave office in 2025 as one of the greatest Presidents ever.
      And Democrats will still not understand how their pettiness, silliness, and Aunt Pittypat-style hysterics rendered them the most irrelevant, ineffective group of people, ever, in our nation’s history.

    2. Anonymous – the recourse is not indictment but impeachment, if there is evidence of high crimes.

      There was no evidence of collusion, despite an antagonistic investigator applying incredible pressure on everyone obliquely associated with Trump. It is alleged that Cohen testified because Mueller was threatening to send his wife to prison for decades because she cosigned on a loan in which he inflated the value of his taxi medallions.

      If there was evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, then there would be grounds for impeachment. Republicans break with Trump all the time. If there was evidence that Trump was a mole for Russia, Republicans would have supported impeachment.

      There is no evidence of collusion or treason, hence no impeachment.

      The news isn’t that the correct method would be impeachment rather than indictment; the news is that there was no collusion.

      No prosecutor “exonerates” a suspect. If no charges are issued, then there is insufficient evidence. No one ever “exonerates” anyone; they either prove there was a crime or they didn’t. If charges were issued, and there was a trial, a not guilty verdict does not prove anyone’s innocence. It means that the prosecutor was unable to prove a crime.

      It is usually impossible to actually prove someone’s innocence. If Sally declared that Jenny punched her 6 years ago, there is not possible way for Jenny to prove she didn’t do it. That is why Sally has to prove that she did. If there was insufficient evidence to charge Jenny, that does not “exonerate” her. It merely means Sally did not prove her case. If Jenny was charged, and the jury returned with a “not guilty” verdict, Jenny wasn’t proven innocent; Sally didn’t prove her case.

      This is how critical reasoning and the justice system works in Western nations. You cannot prove a negative. I cannot prove I did not ever drown a puppy. I love animals, and would never harm a puppy. I could never prove that never, in my entire life, have I ever drowned a puppy. It’s impossible. There are philosophy thought exercises on this reasoning.

      1. Karen, Honey, if we wanted to know Hannity’s take, we’d just tune in to Faux News. Where is there proof that Mueller was “antagonistic”? Faux News said so, so that must be true. Merely investigating Fatty is antagonistic? Most Americans voted for another candidate, who lost due to Russia manipulating social media in a few key precincts in a few key states. These are facts. So, Cohen only testified to save his wife who is also a crook? Faux News says so, so that must also be true. But, but,. but…. Cohen has tapes and records. He produced the duplicate sets of books Trump had: one set to try to prove he was wealthier than others, that was for Forbes, and the other set was for the IRS. That’s what we know so far. As time goes on, more will be revealed, but you have already been conditioned to believe it’s not true. Facts don’t faze you.

        Republicans absolutely are in lock-step with Trump, despite what Hannity tells you. There is a massive amount of evidence of Trump’s ties to Russians and his lying about it.

    3. Nothing about Obama was honest. Nothing. As in: Nothing. Nothing about Hillary was honest. As in: put up a finger, get me a poll, tell me which way the political wind is blowing and tell me what words to say, dishonest. All politicians lie. Trump is now a politician who lies. Lying is the game. The media lies. Politicians lie. Corruption runs Washington DC. The Money Party runs the show. So now tell us again the “standard” you have set for Trump? Frankly, Trump is THE MOST HONEST of them all as far as I can tell. How do you know which end is up? You don’t, do you? Did you follow Rachel down the rabbit hole?

      PS Have you found a good grief counselor yet?

      1. Did you say, “Obama.” Obama knows the Constitution and Obama knows he was not constitutionally qualified to run for the presidency.

        Obama and Kamala Harris will NEVER be eligible to be U.S. president.

        Obama’s father and Kamala Harris’ parents were foreign citizens at the time of their birth’s.

        – A “citizen” could only have been President at the time of the adoption of the Constitution – not after.

        – The U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5, requires the President to be a “natural born citizen,” which, by definition in the Law of Nations, requires “parents who are citizens” at the time of birth of the candidate and that he be “…born of a father who is a citizen;…”

        – Ben Franklin thanked Charles Dumas for copies of the Law of Nations which “…has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting,…”

        – The Jay/Washington letter of July, 1787, raised the presidential requirement from citizen to “natural born citizen” to place a “strong check” against foreign allegiances by the commander-in-chief.

        – Every American President before Obama had two parents who were American citizens.

        – The Constitution is not a dictionary and does not define words like “natural born citizen” as a dictionary, while the Law of Nations,1758, did.

        ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

        Law of Nations, Vattel, 1758

        Book 1, Ch. 19

        § 212. Citizens and natives.

        “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”

        ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

        Ben Franklin letter December 9, 1775, thanking Charles Dumas for 3 copies of the Law of Nations:

        “…I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…”

        ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

        To George Washington from John Jay, 25 July 1787

        From John Jay

        New York 25 July 1787

        Dear Sir

        I was this morning honored with your Excellency’s Favor of the 22d

        Inst: & immediately delivered the Letter it enclosed to Commodore

        Jones, who being detained by Business, did not go in the french Packet,

        which sailed Yesterday.

        Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to

        provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the

        administration of our national Government, and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the

        american army shall not be given to, nor devolved on, any but a natural born Citizen.

        Mrs Jay is obliged by your attention, and assures You of her perfect

        Esteem & Regard—with similar Sentiments the most cordial and sincere

        I remain Dear Sir Your faithful Friend & Servt

        John Jay

    4. “a lower standard is enough to impeach”.
      To the LOWEST standards would suffice for some, just for the sake of undoing of Trump’s 2016 election victory.
      The lowest standards are “close enough” for loons like Mad Max or Natcookoo. That’s not really the reason that the impeachment process/ option is in place, but for those who are still pathologically disturbed at the 2016 election results, it probably seems like a handy political tool.

      1. Do you need to be reminded of the GOP efforts to remove a President who also won the popular vote? Over lying about a BJ? Why the hihh drama in your comments?

        1. They are both examples of Special Counsel ( not sure if Ken Starr’s tiltle was Independent C. or Special C.) that became too wide-wranging and far-reaching.
          And one someone falsely claims that either was too restrictive, and that’s the reason she didn’t get the desired results, I’ll call bull**** on that lie.
          If you have not read L4B’s comments this morning, you may not understand my impatience with serial liars.
          And that’s just this morning’s lies from that troll.

          1. OK, but the legal foundations and legal outcomes are not the main take-aways for the public or our nation. Whenever the “don’t unseat an elected president” flag is raised – and it should be a very important principle, even when the president was not chosen by the people – remember, the GOP has tried that, The Dems so far have not., and even before the report the party leader Nancy said they would not.

            1. Anon,
              I’m not sure what you mean about the legal foundations not being the main takeaways.
              There was an energetic, almost obsessive objective by some in the Democratic Party to impeach Trump starting with his a we election.
              Statements by Mad Max, Al Wofman Green, Rapida Tlaib, etc. were pretty had to miss.
              That is a minority of Democrats who do not, as yet at least, control the party.
              More senior and established Democrats like Adam Schiff or Lipo Nadler have not openly called for impeachment, as far as I know.
              But the Subpeona Cannons and the Adam Schiff TV series are calculated to do as much political damage as possible to Trump as we enter the 2020 campaign period.
              I think they need to be careful about overplaying their and and political grandstanding, but so far it looks like the House Democrats have decided to stay on that same course.

              1. NO, don’t tell me that congressional committees are often staged to accomplish political damage!! That’s outrageous and we must put a stop to it! No wonder Trey Gowdy left office. He was so disillusioned by the 10th Benghazi hearings.

                PS I don’t know who you are talking about above – I wont ask you to speak left loon english if you won’t speak Trump english.

                1. Trey Gowdy was not anywhere near someone like Adam Schiff in the area of showboating.
                  Rep. Gowdy also had a solid track record as a prosecutor before coming to Congress.

            2. Anon, the Dems while Obama was in office weaponized the DOJ, our intelligence services, the IRS and numerous other parts of the government in a collusive effort to maintain power and then to destroy Trump. We are talking about an attempted “coup”. You are still harping on the fact that the Constitution provided the mechanism for the election of a President and Trump won. This complaint of yours is continuous while you blame the GOP for things they did and didn’t do. Your facts are too generalized and do not line up with the truth.

  9. MUELLER REPORT LEAVES UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

    The first puzzling aspect of the Barr letter is its report that Mueller, after making a thorough factual investigation of evidence bearing on possible obstruction of justice, “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment.” Mueller’s report, we are told, is rather perfectly fence-straddling, stating only that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

    So Question No. 1: Why did Mueller, whose charges as a prosecutor include making precisely these sorts of judgments and bringing them to a federal grand jury, decline to do so in this case? Obviously, he was able to reach decisions with respect to the 37 individuals or companies that he charged over the course of his investigation. What extra-prosecutorial considerations caused the famously dutiful and thorough Mueller to leave such a core part of his job unfinished?

    Barr’s letter then informs Congress that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein decided to step into the breach. Barr writes that Mueller’s decision “to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime.” But this cryptic statement is really just a description of the gap, not an explanation for why Barr stepped in.

    That raises the second critical question: Did Mueller ask Barr to step in? Or is Barr simply asserting a general power to reach conclusions for the Justice Department that Mueller thought he himself couldn’t or shouldn’t? While in some bureaucratic sense, the attorney general, as head of the Justice Department, bears responsibility for all of the department’s decisions, I am unaware of a single instance in my years in the Justice Department in which a final prosecutorial decision was left to the attorney general without so much as a recommendation from the actual prosecutor.

    We need to know the answer. If, say, Mueller’s reason for refusing to exercise this judgment was that he believed the involvement of the president made the question a political one for Congress, Barr’s move would represent a rank overruling of a key conclusion of Mueller, as well as a power grab from Congress.

    The final unanswered question, and perhaps the most consequential: What was the nature of the analysis that Barr and Rosenstein applied in deciding that Mueller’s evidence was not sufficient to establish that the president committed obstruction? The consensus of many scholars and commentators, based just on the publicly available evidence, has been that the case for obstruction was strong. Did some additional confidential evidence sway Barr and Rosenstein? Was it some particular legal reading of the obstruction statute?

    Edited from: “Three Puzzling Aspects Of Barr’s Summary Of The Mueller Report”

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST

    1. Peter says that Mueller’s report ‘leaves unanswered questions’.

      Peter is now searching for all videos of Trump to compile a list of all the times Trump blinked his eyes during the Mueller investigation. HE is going to put that together and provide a report. One has to wonder how many times Peter had to leave classroom answers blank because of his intellectual deficiencies.

      1. The Mueller investigation and the way it was set up made “a lot of unanswered questions” inevitable at the end of the day.
        It’s not reasonable to expect all questions to be answered by any Special Counsel or Independent Counsel of Special Prosecutor.
        But the Roesenstein directives to the SC guaranteed that that there would not even be an attempt to seek answers to a lot of questions about the “questionable/ suspicious” activities related to the 2016 campaign.
        At this stage, people like Lipo Nadler will need to decide if they’re going to reload the Subpeona Cannon, showboat with endless House Congressional hearings, or show some restraint going forward.
        As with the Adam Schiff TV series, there is a real risk that overplaying their hand and grandstanding for another 18 months or so will back fire.
        We have some conclusions after over 2 years of this circus; I don’t think that there is unlimited patience on the part of voters to see demgogues continue beating a dead horse indefinitely on top of the farce that’s already played out over the past 2-2 1/2 years.

        1. The entire investigation has been a hoax. There was no Russia scandal on the Trump side though we cannot be sure of the amount of scandal on the other side which is growing. If Mueller were the man people say he is, he would have declined his appointment because there was no arms length distance from him and the scope of the investigation. If he took the job he would have recognized that along with the Steele Dossier and questionable FISA requests that too much hanky panky was going on so he would have wrapped everything up very quickly. He also wouldn’t have used intimidation with players that only had process crimes where entrapment seems likely. He would have informed the DOJ that he could see actual crimes from those involved in the entire hoax. There are multiple other considerations but one can even look at when the report was released, on a Friday, and Mueller’s language appears intentional with regard to obstruction, a clouding of a clear issue, NO obstruction. I believe that is why Barr explained the legal position of the report.

  10. MUELLER REPORT NOTES..

    TRUMP’S OBSTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR WAS IN “PUBLIC VIEW”

    These process norms fared well. But the Mueller report marked a low point for more substantive norms of presidential conduct. It shows that a demagogic president like Donald Trump can devalue or even depart radically from key norms, just short of committing chargeable crimes, so long as he operates mostly and brazenly in full public view. For a demagogue, shamelessness is its own reward.

    Such a president can have openly, actively encouraged and welcomed foreign government support for his political campaigns, and his campaign can reinforce the point in direct communications with that government’s representatives. The Barr summary reveals that the special counsel uncovered not just a couple but “multiple offers” of support from the Russians, and yet neither Mr. Trump nor his campaign reported them to counterintelligence or law enforcement authorities. Mr. Trump went further still — while in office, he dictated a statement for his son and campaign aide, Donald Trump Jr., that falsely represented the purposes of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between senior campaign representatives and a Kremlin-connected representative (and others) offering assistance in the 2016 election.

    Mr. Mueller proceeded cautiously on this and other evidence. Federal campaign finance laws prohibit soliciting and receiving support from foreign nationals or “substantially assisting” them in their efforts to influence an American election, but Mr. Mueller concluded that the rules as applied to the facts did not support a criminal prosecution. This was a conservative judgment — but it underscores again the urgent work norms must do if the law is inadequate to the task.

    Similarly, the letter notes that much of the president’s obstructive behavior during the investigation was in “public view.” This was apparently a significant consideration in the decision by Mr. Barr and Mr. Rosenstein not to prosecute (along with the determination that there was no underlying “collusion” legal offense). Here, once again, the president who is a demagogue — who is fully prepared to flout well-established, vitally important expectations about how American presidents faithfully execute the laws — can safely bring self-interested, self-protective pressure on the Department of Justice and undermine its public standing and authority.

    In this case, the president’s all-out assault on the department, the special counsel and the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not prevent Mr. Mueller from completing his investigation and reporting his conclusions (or his reasons, in the case of obstruction, for not reaching a conclusion and leaving it to the attorney general to decide). Who is to say that the next demagogue to occupy the Oval Office won’t follow this same path but take it one or more steps further? Mr. Trump has shown the way.

    Edited from: “Trump’s Shamelessness Was In Public View”

    Today’s NEW YORK TIMES

    1. “MUELLER REPORT NOTES..TRUMP’S OBSTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR WAS IN “PUBLIC VIEW””

      Again Peter is writing cr-p and is WRONG.

      TRUMP’S BEHAVIOR WAS IN THE “PUBLIC VIEW” BLINKING ONE’S EYES IS NOT OBSTRUCTION.

      Peter believes that if Trump blinked his eyes at the wrong time that could be considered obstruction of justice. Peter is a fool.
      Mueller’s job was to collect the data not to decide these types of issues one way or the other. Since blinking of the eyes according to Peter could be obstruction there was no way for Mueller to say more than he did, but on Russian collusion Mueller couldn’t find any proof what so ever.

    2. P Hill:

      “the special counsel uncovered not just a couple but “multiple offers” of support from the Russians, and yet neither Mr. Trump nor his campaign reported them to counterintelligence or law enforcement authorities.”

      A Russian offered opposition research which turned out to be bogus. They did not take her up on her offer.

      No, one does not report every offer of opposition research to the intelligence community. For example, we now know that the Clinton Foundation gave a lucrative contract to a big Foundation Donor, in typical pay to play format, in order to build “hurricane proof housing in Haiti.” What they produced were moldy, leaky trailers that would probably collapse in a mild storm, after making the occupants ill. We know this from Haitian sources of information. Someone in Florida would not be aware that the Foundation had produced dilapidated trailers and called them “hurricane proof”. Someone in Haiti told us and offered corroborating information. That information would not be offered to the intelligence community. It is evidence of more in the mountain of wrongdoing by the Clintons.

      When Trump allegedly heard that Wikileaks was going to dump damaging information about the Democrats, and said, “Great!” he did not inform the intelligence community. That was because all of us, including the intelligence community, already knew about it.

      When Russians, who were welcome everywhere after Hillary’s Russian Reset, knocked on everyone’s door to argue against the Magninsky Act, they were not reported to the intelligence community, who already knew of their activities.

      Obstructive behavior means actively interfering with an investigation. Getting people to lie. Hiding evidence. Keeping an illegal server. Smashing Blackberries and laptops with hammers. Bribing people. Meeting on a tarmac with the DOJ head.

      Loudly and repeatedly complaining about the unfairness of it all, and proclaiming his innocence is not actively obstructing with an investigation. Comey leaked classified information to the media, and was a political operative abusing his authority within the FBI. He will likely be under investigation himself, shortly. It was entirely within the President’s purview to fire him, and doing so did not interfere with an investigation.

      Did you really want a mole to investigate the President?

      1. Did Hillary Clinton report to the intelligence community that she obtained her opposition research on Donald Trump, not from ordinary Russian citizens, but Russian spies?

        No?

        Is there a double standard or one for all?

        1. Karen S.,
          I think Hillary’s claim was that she didn’t know anything about the Steele Russian Dossier until after the election.
          As I remember, both DW Schultz and Donna Brazile made the same denials.
          Podesta seem to be mute on what he knew or did not know about it.
          An aggressive investigation might sort out who knew what, and when.
          It doesn’t appear that there will be that type of investigation; the Special Counsel’s directive was to investigate one campaign, and one campaign only.
          If we are to believe the known statements of key Deomcrat re the Steele Russian Dossier, Christopher Steele was paid by Fusion GPS which was paid by the he Law Firm Perkins- Come which was paid by the DNC and the Hillary Campaign.
          And nobody in the campaign knew the money got from the DNC)Hillary campaign to Perkins Come to Fusion GPS, etc.
          Maybe a machine was writing out the checks on behalf of the DNC and Clinton Campaign Fund, because body seems to know who authorized what.
          Their answers might be different if they were questioned under oath, but the Special Counsel’s mission was to investigate only the Trump campaign, and not any other “unusual aspects” of the 2016 campaign.

      2. Karen, I make a point out of speaking to local people whether in Wal Mart or at the docks or elsewhere. Ask the Haitian worker that has close connections to Haiti. Everyone of them I have talked to dislikes the Clintons for their actions in Haiti. It is amazing how much information one can glean from a working class individual. One can’t do much while riding in a cab from one destination to another. It’s a great time to find out what people from different places think. Though many of them have had little schooling they seem to know more about world and national affairs than Peter who calls himself a news junky.

        1. Allan – I’ll just bet Haitian immigrants hold strong opinions about the Clintons.

          Now, did you remember to report your conversations with these workers to the intelligence community, according to P Hill?

      1. Anonymous…
        I missed that news…..thanks for the heads-up.
        The news just keeps getting better and better.

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