A Question Of Contempt: Why The Barr Vote Could Prove Costly For Congress

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the vote of the House Judiciary Committee to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress. There are a number of conflicts with the Administration that present favorable grounds for Congress in a court challenge. This action is the least compelling and could ultimately undermine congressional authority with an adverse ruling.

I am honestly confused by some of the criticism including the recent column by Andrew Napolitano in Fox.com where he states “Barr knows the DOJ is not in the business of exonerating the people it investigates. Yet he proclaimed in his letter that Trump had been exonerated.” I like and respect Napolitano a great deal but that is not what the letter said. What the letter said was “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.’” That is true. Indeed, it was odd that Napolitano would focus on the collusion/coordination issue when many people have accepted that the conclusion of no criminal conduct was clear from the report. At no point does Barr say that Trump was exonerated. Indeed, he included the most damaging line from the report on obstruction in saying that Mueller expressly did not exonerate him on that question. Barr was addressing the conclusions on criminal conduct and I still do not see where, as stated by my friend Andrew, where Barr in the letter was “foolish,” “deceptive,” “disingenuous,” or “dumb and insulting.” Those are powerful accusations against any lawyer and should be tethered to a clear example in the letter of a false or deceptive statement.

The Napolitano letter also ignores Barr’s statement that the report would have been released relatively quickly (removing the need for the summary) if Mueller complied with his request and that of Rod Rosenstein to identify grand jury material. It remains inexplicable that Mueller allegedly ignored those reasonable requests from his two superiors. As a result, Mueller’s people had to go back through the report to identify the Rule 6(e) material, a previously requested.

Update: The Democrats are now arguing that they are not demanding the redacted Grand Jury information despite weeks of calling for the full and unredacted report — and a subpoena that demands the entire unredacted report. They now insist that they want Barr to ask the Court to release the small percentage of Grand Jury information. That is not likely in light of the long record at the Justice Department.

Here is the column:

The House Judiciary Committee is voting to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress and to secure a vote of the entire House of Representatives in order to send the matter to federal court. The problem is that the contempt action against Barr is long on action and short on contempt. Indeed, with a superficial charge, the House could seriously undermine its credibility in the ongoing conflicts with the White House. Congress is right on a number of complaints against the White House, including possible cases of contempt, but this is not one of them.

As someone who has represented the House of Representatives, my concern is that this one violates a legal version of the Hippocratic oath to “first do no harm.” This could do great harm, not to Barr, but to the House. It is the weakest possible case to bring against the administration, and likely to be an example of a bad case making bad law for the House.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) laid out the case for contempt. He raised three often repeated complaints against Barr in that he failed to release an unredacted report by special counsel Robert Mueller, allegedly lied twice to Congress, and refused to appear before the committee. Yet, notably, the only claim the committee seeks to put before a federal court is the redaction of the report. That seems rather curious since, if Barr lied or refused a subpoena as House leaders claim, it normally would be an easy case of contempt. The reason for this move is that House Democrats know both claims would not withstand even a cursory judicial review.

False statements

Democrats have struggled to focus attention on the summary Barr wrote rather than on the actual report. While Democrats claim the summary misrepresented the report, the report tracks the conclusions referenced in the letter Barr sent. Barr said Mueller did not find evidence of a crime linked to collusion or conspiracy with the Russians. That is true. He said Mueller did not reach a conclusion on obstruction. That is also true.

Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded the evidence, particularly on the lack of a clear showing of corrupt intent here, did not support an obstruction charge. That is again true. Barr then added the most damaging line of the report, stating Mueller expressly did not exonerate Trump. Barr also gave Mueller an opportunity to review his letter, but Mueller chose to decline. However, his letter was not false.

Democrats also have cited the exchange between Barr and Congressman Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) over a story about some “concerns” the letter raised among the members of the special counsel team. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cailf.) declared what Barr said was a “lie” and a “crime.” One would assume that Barr would then be referred for prosecution and subject to an immediate impeachment. At a minimum, it would seem such an allegation would be in the contempt sanction. The problem is that what Barr said was true.

Crist noted unspecified news reports that members of the special counsel team are “frustrated at some level with the limited information” in the letter Barr sent and “that it does not adequately or accurately, necessarily, portray” the findings. Crist asked if Barr knew what they were referencing. Barr said no and said, “I suspect that they probably wanted more put out.” He added, “But in my view, I was not interested in putting out summaries or trying to summarize because I think any summary, regardless of who prepares it, not only runs the risk of, you know, being underinclusive or overinclusive, but also, you know, would trigger a lot of discussion and analysis that really should await everything coming out all at once.”

Barr was being questioned about news reports citing unnamed members of the special counsel team and their being “frustrated” by the portrayal of the “findings.” He said he did not know but added that he assumed they “wanted more put out” and he rejected the idea of releasing additional summaries. That is true. The only thing Barr did not mention was the letter that Mueller sent to him, which had not been public at that point.

Failure to appear

Various Democrats have declared that Barr refusing to appear before the committee is clear contempt of Congress. It is a point endlessly raised by House members on television but conspicuously missing in the contempt sanction. The reason is that it is not true. Barr appeared before the Senate and answered detailed questions from members. He was prepared to do the same in the House when the committee inexplicably demanded that he be questioned not just by members but also by professional staffers.

Democrats have tried to explain that the demand for questioning was due to the “complexity” of the record and issues of the special counsel report. That rationale is facially absurd. There is nothing overly complex about these issues, as shown in the Senate hearing. The committee wanted Barr examined by staff lawyers, including Norm Eisen, who handled ethics questions for President Obama. Eisen had declared months ago that the criminal case for collusion was devastating and that Trump was “colluding in plain sight,” a position expressly rejected by Mueller. The Democrats wanted to manufacture a conflict, and they have succeeded in doing so.

Report redactions

That leaves us with the only ground cited by the Democrats for contempt, which is Barr refusing to release the unredacted report. Senate Democrats attacked him at his confirmation hearing for refusing to guarantee public release of the report without redactions. As a witness, I testified that they were asking Barr to commit to a potential criminal act to secure his own confirmation. The report inevitably would contain some grand jury material, which under the law is information that cannot be publicly released without a court order. It is a crime to unveil such information.

Barr promised to release as much of the report as possible, and he has delivered. Indeed, he is not expressly given the authority to release the confidential report. Yet, he not only released it but declared executive privilege waived on its content. The key obstruction portion of the report is virtually unredacted. Just 8 percent of the public report was redacted, largely to remove material that could undermine ongoing investigations. The sealed version of the report given to Congress only had 2 percent redacted. Democrats are therefore seeking a contempt sanction on a report that is 98 percent disclosed and only lacks grand jury material.

Barr restricted access to the 98 percent disclosed report, as opposed to the 92 percent public report, due to the inclusion of evidence impacting ongoing prosecutions. Some of the withheld material is likely covered by court orders in other cases like the prosecution of Roger Stone. He has offered to expand the number of members and staff to review that material but insists on it remaining protected. But this has nothing to do with the redactions. It is the 2 percent solution to a major political dilemma of the left. Faced with a report that rejected the collusion theories of their running narrative, Democrats want to focus on those 2 percent of redactions rather than over 400 pages of findings.

So Congress now will ask a court to find civil contempt for Barr refusing to release grand jury information. The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals recently rejected a district court claim to have the “inherent supervisory authority” to disclose grand jury matters because of great public interest. To make matters worse, the Justice Department has now said the president has invoked executive privilege over the entire report, making this contempt claim even less likely to prevail over the long run.

Democrats are launching the weakest possible contempt claim against the administration in a civil action with a long track through the courts. In the end, there is utter contempt in this action, but not in the case of Barr.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and represented the House of Representatives in its successful challenge to executive actions under the Affordable Care Act.

76 thoughts on “A Question Of Contempt: Why The Barr Vote Could Prove Costly For Congress”

  1. “FUBARAllan, Collusion is a political issue–not a criminal issue. Mueller came up short of the mark on ****indicting**** the Trump campaign”

    Diane, Mueller failed to prove anything thrown at the campaign or the Presidency of Trump. You lost. **Indict** (def): charge with a serious crime.

    That is what the game was all about. Manafort had nothing to say though you wish he could lie as easily as you. Now we can wait for your heros to be investigated and potentially jailed.

    You give new meaning to the word bias. Your type of bias not only includes personal feelings but lies to back those personal feelings up. You are a real clown.

  2. Congress is kind of like that crooked house which we had in St. Louis which was a cat house that cheated people. Congressmen and women get free medical care. Free for them. The taxpayers pay for it. Yet they cannot provide “free” medical care for the population of citizens.
    Congressmen and Congresswomen are skunks.

  3. Mueller conducted a conspiracy; a false and malicious prosecution. Mueller knew the Steele Dossier was fraudulent two weeks before its submission to the FISC. President Trump was effectively exonerated and, therefor, exonerated, childish semantic tantrums notwithstanding. Liberals, progressives, socialists and democrats (i.e. communists) are furiously engaging in obfuscation; attempting to deceive and mislead voters regarding the truth of the Obama Coup D’etat in America. Communists did and continue to conduct a real and actual, vast left-wing conspiracy against candidate and President Trump. That conspiracy is being revealed; the layers of the onion peeled back. Rep. Mark Meadows sent a criminal referral to the DOJ targeting Nellie Ohr stating that she “knowingly provided false testimony” last year to Congress. The question is whether the MSM can keep the facts and the truth away from the American public.

    1. What will Mueller say to Congress? Will he state the facts; that he knew within thirty minutes there was no Russian collusion and that the FBI had submitted a fraudulent Steele Dossier to the FISC. That seems doubtful. Perhaps Mueller will lie his corrupt — off and perjure himself.

      Oops! Lookie here! Surprise, surprise!
      ________________

      “Nadler says Mueller will not testify next week”

      “House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y) said Friday that special counsel Robert Mueller will not be testifying before his panel next week.”

      “Nadler did not give a specific reason for why Mueller would not testify next week, telling reporters it “just hasn’t developed.”

      – The Hill

  4. As an important step in becoming a doctor, medical students must take the Hippocratic Oath. And one of the promises within that oath is “first, do no harm” (or “primum non nocere,” the Latin translation from the original Greek.)

    Right?

    Wrong.

    While some medical schools ask their graduates to abide by the Hippocratic Oath, others use a different pledge — or none at all. And in fact, although “first, do no harm” is attributed to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, it isn’t a part of the Hippocratic Oath at all. It is actually from another of his works called Of the Epidemics.

    – Harvard

  5. What was costly was that this so-called investigation ever happened in the first place. And that the Democrats backed themselves into a corner over this farce.

    This whole thing should never have happened. And it is well passed time for people like Turley to stop nibbling around the edges with their complaints.

  6. Unfortunately, Napolitano -who was a decent figure on Fox for years – switched to the “Never-Trumpers” swamp. Presently, his every appearance and posting are in line with a “former RINO” Bill Kristol – the Honorable Member of the Swamp. It’s time for Napolitano to move to MS-LSD: Rachel Meatloaf will find a lot to talk about with him in the frame. They may pay less, though.

  7. A ‘Constitutional Crisis’ – WSJ

    Nancy Pelosi stages a phony impeachment war.

    America is in a “constitutional crisis.” Trump Administration officials have “decided that they’re not going to honor their oath of office.” President Trump is “almost self-impeaching” and “is every day demonstrating more obstruction of justice.”

    All of these are quotes in the last 48 hours from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will soon have to hire a lexicographer to come up with new ways to say that Mr. Trump is committing impeachable offenses. How many synonyms are there for “obstruction”?

    Yet Mrs. Pelosi and House Democrats refuse even to begin a formal impeachment inquiry. If Mr. Trump is so disrespectful of the Constitution, and so in violation of the separation of powers, what are they waiting for? Mr. Trump still has 20 months left in his four-year term, so surely if the threat is so dire, Democrats will move urgently to fulfill their sacred vow to protect the Republic?

    Unless, that is, all of this is political theater. Mrs. Pelosi’s rhetoric keeps getting more fluorescent precisely because she doesn’t want to impeach Mr. Trump. She knows most of the country opposes impeachment following the report by special counsel Robert Mueller that found no evidence of collusion with Russia by the Trump presidential campaign. But millions of Democratic voters still favor it, so Mrs. Pelosi needs to feed the beast at MSNBC.

    In other words, this isn’t a constitutional crisis. It’s a political pinch for House Democrats caught between the rage of their base and the wishes of most voters to settle political disputes via elections. If you believe what you’re saying, Madame Speaker, then get on with impeachment, which is the proper constitutional remedy for the offenses you allege. Otherwise, do the country a favor and drop the pretense.

    1. Why won’t Nancy do her job? Because she doesn’t want her non existent party crucified out of existence something the continually beg for.

      1. Michael

        Democrats won’t impeach out of fear that their rich owners won’t pony up for the 2020 campaigns if they impeach Trump. The rich only tolerate our weak form of democracy. They have always preferred authoritarian leaders. Many, if not most of the rich in this country thought we should have aligned with Hitler in WW2 and fought against, not with, Russia.
        Pelosi et.al probably feel pretty much the same way. They only care about maintaining the enviable lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to as members of Congress…and the Senate.

  8. It still amazes me the lengths to which some Trumpsters, and I include JT in this group, will go to deflect criticism away from Trump and onto Congress. As to grand jury material, a judge clearly could release this to a Congressional committee, with provisions requiring confidentiality. There is no reason to believe such a limit would not be honored. Chairman Nadler asked Barr to agree to this. He refused, so the motion would not be a joint one, but the motion is nevertheless well-taken. Congressional committees are privy to all sorts of confidential, top-secret, classified and grand jury material all of the time. This would include Trump’s tax returns, which Mnuchin refuses to release, even though the law is crystal-clear on this point. Eventually, the information will be disclosed, and we already know it won’t be good for Trump which is why Mnuchin is going to require Congress to force his hand.

    JT keeps focusing on the percentage of information that was released, as if this somehow mitigates the portion that was not released. This is akin to the argument in motions to compel that is made all of the time: “we gave them thousands of pages of documents.” So what, if the documents produced were not responsive to the request? Oftentimes in litigation, it is necessary to get a court order to compel production of the most-relevant, and usually most-damaging information and documents. The 2% is likely the most-damning evidence against Trump. Given Barr’s clear abdication of his role as top law enforcement official for the entire American people in favor of keeping his promise to protect Trump, I have serious doubts about whether there were good-faith grounds for all of the redactions. It would be foolish to believe that Barr is acting in good faith, due to his clear advocacy for Trump, plus the fact that the campaigned for the AG position.

    Here’s the playbook: Do every thing possible to keep the public in the dark as to the truth about Trump, his conflicts, his business dealings, his finances, especially his dealings with Russians, and fire anyone who won’t be loyal to Trump and help him prevent the American people from learning the truth. American intelligence agencies made very clear that Trump and his campaign had extensive dealings with Russians, that Russia violated the law to help Trump “win the victory”, that the Trump campaign fed polling information to Russian hackers that they used to spread lies adverse to HRC, and that they lied about it. We also know that Trump has always cheated people in business, defaults on loans because he is not a successful businessman, and his son admitted that most of their financing comes from Russia. Russia is not an ally of the United States, and it has an agenda, which includes disrupting NATO and the EU. Trump defers to Putin, a Communist dictator who murders his critics. How in the world is Congress supposed to ignore these facts and not investigate what’s really going on? Patriotism and the Constitution require them to investigate. The mandate provided by the midterm elections requires them to investigate. This not an attempted coup. It is the American system of governmental checks and balances.

    1. Natasha, you’d better keep to the Russian Fairy Tales; you clearly a devoted democRAT (which is funny for someone with a Russian name). Your “comment” is VERY long and VERY wrong because of the following 25 reasons: …OK, we’ll skip it. The best part of the current “proceedings” at the House is the best that could happen to the REAL Americans: every day democRATS bring another confirmation of their pathetic, impotent hate for Trump and all conservatives (which I’d rather call Decent Americans). So, to put it in a short summary: your 25-steps “piece” has been analyzed and classified as CRAP. Live with it.

      1. Dear Michael: the name is Natacha, which is Russian, but so what? Please list all of the “very wrong” things I wrote about. Do you dispute that a judge could order the release of grand jury material to a Congressional committee? Do you dispute that Barr refused to join in the motion, or that he is trying to cover for Trump? How about whether Russians used information provided by the Trump campaign in a social media attack on HRC? Do you disagree that Trump has had many business failings and that his son, Eric, admitted that their financing is coming from Russia? How about Mnuchin refusing to produce the tax returns, or the legal right for Congress to obtain them? I’d like to know what you think I got wrong.

        1. L4D says–Natacha, Michael Friedman presents himself as a grizzly bear (or possibly a polar bear) in the thumbnail photo that is his avatar. I do not recommend taking humans posing as bears seriously. And neither does Michael Friedman.

    2. “As to grand jury material, a judge clearly could release this to a Congressional committee, with provisions requiring confidentiality.”
      What’s the case law and legal basis for that.

    3. The left is so morally bankrup the cannot even afford to admit that there is no such crime as collusion and the rest is built on the same rotted fabric. If their basic premise is false it follows the rest is a hollow reed empty inside and outside with a nonesistent tube

  9. An open Q for Constitutional scholars: it is a crime for two or more to conspire to break a law. Nadler and other progressive dolts have publicly demanded in concert for Barr to release Grand Jury docs, which by law are confidential till a lawful court declares otherwise.

    It would be totally different (and likely legal) if Nadler and his progressive dolt friends demanded a lawful court released the GJ docs.

    Why can not the DOJ arrest Nadler and his friends and charge them with conspiracy to commit the felony crime of unlawfully exposing GJ docs?

  10. Napolitano is a bright guy but he was talking spin to lay people where he can get away with it but that is not so with an experienced attorney who is evaluating his statements in a non biased manner. Napolitano has been confusing on this issue but Professor Turley has been quite clear.

  11. Barr doesn’t want to sit for 30 minutes in front of the likes of Kamala Harris whose questions he was totally unprepared for. If Barr had behaved like an AG, and not stuttered when asked about possible White House prodding him to prosecute, he might have left the room with more credibility. His behavior suggests that he might indeed have crossed the line and become Roy Cohn. There’s ample evidence to question his ethics.

    Mueller’s testimony will likely verify the claims of one side or the other. My money is on the opinions of the former federal prosecutors.

    1. You apparently didn’t listen very closely to the hearings or in specific the questions and answers involving Kamala Harris.

      1. Kamel Hariess is an embarrassment to her subordinate order. She can rudely interrupt but she has no hope of debating. That debate would likely be refused based on a reluctance to engage an unarmed opponent. Given her diminutive cranial capacity, the outcome would be predictable. It would take much more intellect to out think an American than it would to service the very married-with-children Willie Brown, in my humble opinion.

    2. Laughable, Harris was only barely cogent except in her imagination and that of her colleagues.

        1. “People who do ‘window treatments” for a living are impossible to take seriously.”

          Anonymous, not everyone sleeps in a stable and has barbed wire to keep people away. I again have to say that I love the video of you running outside of the stable without any clothes on.

            1. “Very happy, old boy.”

              Yes in your video you did seem rather happy at the time, but that probably was one of your bettere moments.

          1. Yes, Allan, life has been tough on you; unfortunately, stupid people don’t fare well in the world.

              1. Obviously Allan does “window treatments” for a living.

                Hermionus Assinus is the finest animal ever to trod the face of this Earth.

                I apologize to Big Sister for not signing my quip about “window treatments”–The L4D Onager Project

                1. Anonymous, living in a barn you likely don’t need window treatments. Maybe an air freshener would be of benefit.

    3. NYOD, you are factually incorrect. K Harris did not ask a question about “prodding him to prosecute”. She asked a question about prodding for an investigation. A big difference.

      You go on to say “There’s ample evidence to question his ethics.”. Please enlighten us, what evidence are you referring to. And please, do not make up your own facts.

      1. If you believed in facts you wouldn’t need to ask for them. Pay attention, they are in abundance.

    4. The Homo is at 9%, Pocahantas 8% and Kamel 6%. Woo-hoo!!! WAFJ!
      _____

      “Just like the seasoned former prosecutor she is, Harris pounced on his answer and suggested that someone might have ‘hinted’ or ‘inferred.’”

      – Professor Turley
      ______________

      Willie Brown’s (the very married-with-children Willie Brown) former girlfriend, barren woman and presidentially ineligible child of foreign citizens, ensconced in a senate seat by the one-party, communist state of California, Comrade Kamel Harris, finding a lifelong compulsion to compensate for a peculiar appearance and being shunned by society, was neither “seasoned” nor “pouncing,” but rather rude, interruptive, overbearing and abusive as she “badgered” the witness – the eminently qualified, highly esteemed, experienced and confirmed Honorable U.S. Attorney General William Barr, in my opinion.

      The public can discern the devil and boorish, Machiavellian hucksters employing “cheap tricks.” The public understands that generational welfare and affirmative action privilege engender uppity artifices which are not virtuous.
      _______________________________________________________________

      Kamala Harris was asked on the radio about whether she smoked pot when she was young.

      “Half my family’s from Jamaica, are you kidding me?”

      “I have and I did inhale”

      “I think that gives a lot of people joy and we need more joy,”

      – Dow Jones

    5. WAFJ!

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

      Kamala Harris’ parents were foreign citizens at the time of her birth.

      – 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

  12. The Demos are doing their gosh darn best to elect Trump in 20. Their hatred for Trump has completely clouded their brains (do they have any?). Trump has so upset the political class in this country and the Demos are doubfounded. The repos came to a truce with trump because he was on their side (he has an R by his name doesn’t he?) Shows how dumb the Repos are as well because Trump is not on the Repos side, Trump is on Trump’s side and Trump’s side only.

  13. There’s nothing ‘inexplicable’ about Mueller’s actions. His actions since the report was completed have been a set of PR moves. It’s only inexplicable if you fancy he’s been operating in good faith. Which he hasn’t been.

    1. Don’t you mean Barr? Mueller has never given interviews, released any statements or otherwise commented beyond his report.

  14. What AG Whitewash Barr wrote:

    ( 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.)

    What AG Whitewash Barr wrote plus what Mueller wrote but Whitewash omitted:

    ( 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. That requires more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions or interests. We applied the term coordination in that sense when stating in the report that the investigation did not establish that the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”)

    Contributed by The L4D–Read The Report Already For Crying Out Loud–Project

        1. I think they gave that job to a drone. Maybe he thinks Trump is going to bring back the pizza delivery industry.

          The L4D–I Hear Putin’s Hiring These Days–Project

  15. Good article Mr Professor, but, btw how is your old buddy Avanatti doing. Still passing out the award named after him? Also, every time u see former Judge Nap, he is violating laws when he touches women on set. Some judge he is! No touchee, HR should counsel him as they would do others.

  16. What AG Whitewash Barr wrote:

    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.”

    What Special Counsel Mueller wrote:

    The evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference. But the evidence does point to a range of other possible personal motives animating the President’s conduct. These include concerns that continued investigation would call into question the legitimacy of his election and potential uncertainty about whether certain events — such as advance notice of WikiLeaks’s release of hacked information or the June 9, 2016 meeting between senior campaign officials and Russians — could be seen as criminal activity by the President, his campaign, or his family,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction.

    Contributed by The L4D–Read The Report Already For Crying Out Loud–Project

    1. In other words – too bad Mueller’s report is so poorly written in this passage – Trump might reasonably have acted like a guilty party – by by lying and obstruction – because he didn’t know if his campaign’s collusion could be proven to have risen to the level of criminal conspiracy.

      The collusion is clear in the report, which most Americans will never read and therefore it’s meaning is whatever side is louder in it’s pronouncements. The more facts from the report that the public grasps, the worse it is for the President, which is why people like McConnell are saying “case closed”.

      1. “The collusion is clear in the report, which most Americans will never read and therefore it’s meaning is whatever side is louder in it’s pronouncements. ”

        Anon, include yourself in one of the Americans never to read the report.

        LIST the collusion that is criminal since we don’t want to start arguing definitions.

        You can’t provide a LIST just like you couldn’t deal with Karens list against the ACO which you ran away from.

        That is why the loudness will count only among the dummies while the intelligent people will look at the LIST and if empty they will come to recognize, as Mueller did, that there was no collusion.

        1. Collusion requires two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions or interests.

          Coordination required agreement—tacit or express—between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.

          Anon is quite correct that the Trump campaign and the Russian government were two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions or interests. (Collusion).

          Anon is also quite correct that the “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government did not rise to the level of a conspiracy involving entering into an agreement—tacit or express—between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.

          1. Anonymous, If Putin asked Trump to pass the water at a press conference and Trump did that to you that would be collusion or conspiracy. The only thing at issue is criminal actions.

            LIST the collusion that is criminal.

            I expect you to walk away just like Anon. People like you that are fighting a war generally get hit in the back when they are running away.

            1. L4D says Smith blocked another L4D comment.

              Collusion is a political issue–not a crime. The crime would have been Conspiracy to Defraud the United States had Mueller been able to demonstrate Donald Trump Jr.’s “willfulness” with “admissible evidence” instead of “inadmissible evidence.”

              Evidence that is inadmissible in a United States Court against Donald Trump Jr. is nonetheless admissible in a congressional hearing against Donald Trump Sr.

              And now Allan knows what all the fracas is about.

              1. So here’s a comment from Allan that Smith didn’t block nor delete:

                I expect you to walk away just like Anon. People like you that are fighting a war generally get hit in the back when they are running away.

                It should be reasonably clear that Allan thinks he is fighting a war on this blawg and that he expects his opponents to be shot in back while retreating rather than having their comments blocked or deleted by Smith who also appears to be fighting a war on this blawg.

                Contributed by the L4D–This Ain’t No Party; This Ain’t No Disco; This Ain’t No Fooling Around–Project

              2. “L4D says Smith blocked another L4D comment.”

                Diane, I don’t know about blocking or whether or not it is happening. I don’t care. This is a free service offered by another and you abuse it. That any of your posts make it to the blog demonstrate the extreme patience of those that run the blog.

                You should be appologizing to the list managers and owners but people as low as you do not understand where their space ends and someone else’s begins. That is due to extreme selfishness that is frequently seen on this blog from those on the left.

                What this blog really needs is a shower with strong soap so one could clean off after interacting with you.

        2. You would first have to prove collusion is a crime. So far that fairy tail had been repeated but given no substance.

        3. So? Collusion is still not a crime and it’s only use is to excuse the media from choosing a word that might have some meaning. So? Becomes. So what? becomes NOTHING. Base is a false premise all else is not even debateable but useless

    2. Barr and Rod Rosenstein (the latter volunteered to wear a hidden mic to enforce the 25th Amendment to remove the POTUS by force) were Jesus Bob Mueller’s supervisors. They both told Mueller to decide whether or not Trump committed the crime of obstruction. They also invited Bob to help write the letter to Congress. In both cases bob declined. Now progressive meatheads like you and Congress blame Barr? Sure, when monkeys fly out my rear end.

      It’s quite entertaining watching pathetic sufferers of TDS failed and vain attempts to deny and undo the 2016 election. You have apparently not yet noted that it’s easier to win the election than to forcibly undo it during the succeeding years.

      I know this is in vain, but please do consider it’s not the fault of anyone who voted for Trump that your DNC’s rabid and systemic corruption gave the US its all time least qualified candidate.

      BTW, it must feel really awesome having voted in concert with the Koch Brothers, the Bush Krime Syndikat, war monger extraordinaire and son of Boleshevik leader Bill Kristol, George Will, and other ex-GOP stalwarts who all voted for Hillary.

  17. What AG Whitewash Barr wrote:

    The Special Counsel states that while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

    What Special Counsel Mueller wrote:

    If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

    What AG Whitewash omitted repeated for emphasis:

    If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred.

    Contributed by The L4D Read The Report Already For Crying Out Loud Project

  18. Here’s what prominent democrats had to say about AG Holder’s contempt of congress citation after he refused to turn over documents related to the disastrous Fast & Furious operation. Pay very close attention to Elijah Cummings’ comment::

    Jerry Nadler: Just joined the #walkout of the House chamber to protest the shameful, politically-motivated GOP vote holding AG Holder in contempt

    Adam Schiff: “To say this is a terrible use of Congress’ power and time is an understatement.”

    Nancy Pelosi: “It’s such a ridiculous thing. This contempt [vote] don’t get me started.”

    Steny Hoyer: “The action on the floor today is unprecedented in the history of America.

    Elijah Cummings: “You’ve been holding the Attorney General to an impossible standard” and that he solely was “protecting documents he was prohibited by law from producing

    1. prominent democrats

      Oxymoron.

      Pelosi is beyond a disgrace. The only thing keeping her together are the many skingrafts and various synthetic materials stitched together by her many plastic surgeries. Grace, elegance, statesmanship, wisdom are not words that apply to her.

      1. One thing that hits you listening to her is that whatever set of talents gets you into Congress and into a position in the caucus leadership, a capacity for speaking extemporaneously isn’t among them. As one critic said, ‘It’s like she’s having a perpetual stroke”.

  19. Andrew Napolitano seems to be losing his mind. It saddens me as I used to rely on him for reasoned push back on Trump where it was needed.

      1. Nap is apparently filled with uncontrolled rage at Trump for snuffing him for the last SCOTUS job. Kellyanne Conway’s husband suffers similar emotional distress because Trump similarly refused his request for a job.

        Orange Man seems to have a knack for a superb economy and the ability to cause severe negative emotional reactions.

        1. He was the best choice we could find where the primary job requirment was not being a politician. A far better start would have been to immediately lay off all political appointees for one example. Second to use the phony shutdowns to send that same group of people on a permannent vacation. Hint for the next time You can’t drain a swamp when using the material as even temporary shoring.

          Beyond that he has exposed more and gotten rid of more than we thought possible. So what it’s an A not an A + Remember rthe alternative was the military upholding it’s Oath of Office.

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