Have The Democrats Jumped The Shark On Impeachment?

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the increasingly dramatic events on Capitol Hill in the aftermath of the release of the Special Counsel Report.

Here is the column:

Democratic leaders in Congress proved the perils of “jumping the shark” this month. The phrase comes from the 1977 episode of the television comedy “Happy Days” in which one of its leading characters, the “Fonz,” jumped over a shark in a water skiing stunt in swim trunks along with his signature leather jacket. That moment was viewed as a desperate ratings stunt by a dying television series struggling to keep viewers engaged. Today, the phrase has come to define similar instances of desperation.

With the many overhyped political moments of the last two years, it is not clear when the shark jump occurred. Soon after the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, legal experts and commentators on air began confidently declaring the crimes of Trump campaign “collusion” were obvious and established. As the report approached completion, commentators spoke widely of a finding of criminality as a virtual given.

Yet, Mueller then stated that his investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” The Russia investigation without criminal Russia collusion was like Geraldo Rivera opening the safe of Al Capone only to find empty bottles. To make matters worse, Mueller did not reach a conclusion on obstruction but Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein found that the evidence would not support a criminal charge of obstruction.

Democrats then proceeded to try and shift attention from collusion to obstruction, but their unwillingness to actually open an impeachment inquiry has undermined their claims that obstruction crimes were well established. Almost instantly, you could feel national attention waning and lawmaker desperation growing. There have been some cringeworthy stunts during the past few weeks. Democrats tried to make redactions in the report be the focus, in order to avoid questions over the refusal to move toward impeachment. The problem is Barr released 92 percent of the report and 98 percent of the report to select members of Congress.

Barr was also willing to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, just as he did before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats, however, then added a rare condition requiring Barr to agree to be questioned by the committee staff. Barr predictably refused, as most of his predecessors would have done. Democrats then held a theatrical hearing with an empty chair and a bucket of fried chicken on the table where Barr would have sat. Some ate up the fried chicken for the cameras as most of us winced.

Democrats had called for Mueller to appear before them on Wednesday. Mueller did not show, despite Barr showing a willingness to have him testify. Instead, the committee called for a hearing with constitutional experts to discuss the executive privilege claims raised by the White House. I was one of those experts, and the hearing did not exactly turn out as the Democrats planned. They have insisted that President Trump had already waived privilege to undisclosed evidence shown to Mueller. The committee witnesses, however, agreed that there is no such waiver.

Worse, the witnesses agreed that Barr could not release the “full and unredacted report” to Congress including any grand jury, or Rule 6(e), evidence. That is in direct contradiction to weeks of demands for the unredacted report along with a subpoena that demanded disclosure of the entire report. The committee maintained that “neither Rule 6(e) nor any applicable privilege barred disclosure of these materials to Congress.” Yet, the expert witnesses it called on have now testified that is not true.

As I noted to the committee, the subpoena, which is the very basis for the earlier contempt vote, was demanding an unlawful act from Barr, and the committee then held him in contempt for not committing that unlawful act. The key to setting up someone for contempt of Congress is to draft a subpoena that he might actually be able to legally fulfill. Notably, despite all of the punditry and cable news coverage of it, the contempt citation has not yet been submitted to the full House for a vote, let alone to a court for review. That is probably not because the contempt case is too strong.

The House committee also had problems with its demand for the other redacted material. I noted to the committee that roughly 2 percent of the redacted material was grand jury material barred under Rule 6(e). That leaves 6 percent, to which Congress, but not the public, has access now. However, most of that material was redacted as part of ongoing litigation and investigations. Indeed, the judges handling cases like those of Trump associate Roger Stone or resigned national security adviser Michael Flynn have imposed court orders. Barr could not simply release that material as demanded by Congress, and no witness disagreed during the hearing.

That would cover virtually all of the redactions that Democrats spent a week highlighting as the primary issue in their minds. Moreover, Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is presiding over the Flynn prosecution, issued an order to release some of the redacted material covered by that case. The order again supported Barr in showing that such grand jury information required an order from a court and could not be simply released by Barr.

The day following the hearing, Democrats held yet another spectacle of reading the Mueller report in a marathon for 12 hours on CSPAN.They even brought in a celebrity, although even my childhood friend, John Cusack, could not generate much buzz. The half day coverage of this Gregorian reading had plenty of us longing for the regular mind numbing CSPAN coverage of the “special order” speeches to an empty House chamber.

One reason for the waning audience is that Democrats are stepping on their own lines. The week that their witnesses were contradicting the position of the House Judiciary Committee and the staff was marketing Mueller CDs, Democrats held a closed door party caucus. In it, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly told Democratic members she has no intention of moving on impeachment. Imitating disgruntled Democratic voters, Pelosi said, “Some of our folks are a little bit ‘Why are we not impeaching the president?” She then added, “They get a little down.”

Well, they are a “little down” because Democratic members of Congress, including several presidential candidates, continue to assure Americans that Trump is guilty of impeachable offenses and that they want to open an inquiry. Representative Maxine Waters slammed Trump, saying he has “done everything that one could even think of” to trigger an impeachment vote in the House. Without impeachment, Democrats do not even have a shark to jump. Watching House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler leap over a bucket of fried chicken simply does not have that same “Fonz” cachet.

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

184 thoughts on “Have The Democrats Jumped The Shark On Impeachment?”

    1. Avenatti, the hero and potential candidate so eagerly accepted by Democrats here and elsewhere. Suckers.

  1. The phrase comes from the 1977 episode of the television comedy “Happy Days” in which one of its leading characters, the “Fonz,” jumped over a shark in a water skiing stunt in swim trunks along with his signature leather jacket. That moment was viewed as a desperate ratings stunt by a dying television series struggling to keep viewers engaged. Today, the phrase has come to define similar instances of desperation.

    That dying program continued to be broadcast for another 7 years.

    1. MARGIN
      Nov. 3-6 Monmouth University Live telephone A+ Clinton +6
      Nov. 4-6 Selzer & Company Live telephone A+ Clinton +3
      Nov. 3-6 ABC/Washington Post Live telephone A+ Clinton +4
      Nov. 1-3 Marist College Live telephone A Clinton +1
      Nov. 3-6 Fox News Live telephone A Clinton +4
      Nov. 3-5 NBC/WSJ Live telephone A- Clinton +4
      Oct. 31-Nov. 4 Ipsos Online A- Clinton +4
      Nov. 1-4 Angus Reid Online A- Clinton +4
      Nov. 3-6 IBD/TIPP Live telephone A- Trump +2
      Nov. 2-6 CBS News Live telephone A- Clinton +4
      Nov. 1-5 RKM Research Live telephone B+ Clinton +3
      Nov. 4-7 YouGov Online B Clinton +4
      Nov. 1-2 Gravis Marketing Automated/online B- Clinton +2
      Oct. 31 – Nov. 6 CVOTER International Online C+ Clinton +3
      Nov. 2-6 Rasmussen Reports Automated/online C+ Clinton +2
      Oct. 31 – Nov. 6 SurveyMonkey Online C- Clinton +6
      Nov. 4-5 Morning Consult Online — Clinton +3
      Nov. 5-7 The Times-Picayune/Lucid Online — Clinton +5
      Oct. 31 – Nov. 6 USC Dornsife/LA Times Online — Trump +5
      Recent national polls show a 3- to 4-point Clinton lead, on avera

      1. https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/king-hillary-clinton-paying-trolls-attack-people-online-article-1.2613980
        Yes, a couple of points. One was in response to an earlier comment from someone else questioning David Brock:s use of paid trolls.
        I’ll make that point again, since you missed it the first time.
        The second point, while I have reply box available, is about the election eve ( or early November 2016) polling. I posted that above, and it posted as “anonymous”.

  2. “The subpoena authority of Congress is an implied rather than express power within Article I of the Constitution.”

    – Professor Turley
    _______________

    In fact, Congress derives no “subpoena,” “investigative” or “oversight” power from Article 1.

    The legislative branch claims phantom “subpoena,” investigative” and “oversight” power.

    The executive branch claims phantom “privilege.”

    The judicial branch may do its due diligence, its solemn duty, assure that actions comport with the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution, or

    the judicial branch will violate fundamental law, its constitutional charge, “legislate from the bench” and assign powers that don’t exist

    – an impeachable crime of high office, as are the usurpations inherent in the seizure of phantom powers by the legislative and executive

    branches.
    ________

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

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

    – Alexander Hamilton

  3. “John Lewis Looks Ahead”

    “The civil rights icon on Selma, impeachment and the art of making “good trouble””

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/john-lewis-congressman-civil-rights-donald-trump-825629/

    Excerpt:

    Should Democrats move forward with an impeachment effort against Trump?

    I think what we need to do as a party and as a people is pace ourselves. I mean, take our time and not be so quick to move down that road to impeachment. Bring everything to the front, and be willing and be prepared to take action. During the civil-rights movement, we would be beaten and jailed, some of us left for dead. We all said, “Pace yourself, pace yourself” — and I still believe that today. You take the long, hard look and believe if you’re consistent and persistent, we can work it out, and it will work out.

    What’s the most urgent mess a new Democratic administration would have to clean up?

    We need a president, a leader of the national government, who’s not a racist. Trump is a racist. And we need leaders in high places — not just in the office of the president, but members of Congress, governors — who understand what the struggle was all about, who are trying to make the dreams and the hopes and aspirations of Dr. King come alive.

    You’ve often talked about making “good trouble.” Who do you see making good trouble now, and how are you still getting into that yourself?

    I admire the gentleman from North Carolina, Bishop [William] Barber [II]. He is not just a preacher of the Gospel, but he is a preacher of what I call “necessary trouble.” My philosophy is very simple: If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just — you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something. Start trouble.

    (End of excerpt)

      1. Mespo, if Trump’s no racist, then he’s terribly misunderstood. Because it seemed like his entire campaign was based on the threat posed by Mexicans and Muslims.

        And one should note that ‘all’ of Trump’s nominees to the Federal Courts refuse to answer when asked if Brown Vs The Board of Education was correctly decided.

        1. John Lewis ought to know. I’ll take his word over mespo’s.

          “We need a president, a leader of the national government, who’s not a racist. Trump is a racist. And we need leaders in high places — not just in the office of the president, but members of Congress, governors — who understand what the struggle was all about, who are trying to make the dreams and the hopes and aspirations of Dr. King come alive.” -John Lewis

          1. “John Lewis ought to know. I’ll take his word over mespo’s.”

            An argument from authority; and not a particularly well-informed one, even in the context of such fallacies.

        2. Peter, you are starting to sound like Enigma who believes Trump was proven a racist by an action that occurred about 20 years before Trump was even born. Try and read more carefully and correctly. Trump finds threat in illegals and terrorists. The largest terrorist threat trying to cross our borders are Muslims and that is helped with the the trafficking of illegals.

          The Muslim Brotherhood’s declaration says: ” The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

          Originally, though I cannot be sure you were one of them, a lot of leftists accused Trump of anti-Semitism despite the fact that his daughter is an orthodox Jew and he has Jewish grandchildren. That is how crazy people on your side of the aisle have become.

            1. “You are not born a racist”

              That is exactly what I was telling Enigma. Thank you for your agreement.

            2. “You are not born a racist, it is a learned trait coupled with lack of self-esteem.”

              You have a shabby feel for the epigrammatic.

            3. What happened to that comment that you posted yesterday, YNOT?

              (There is apparently no rhyme or reason for deletion of comments.)

        3. “And one should note that ‘all’ of Trump’s nominees to the Federal Courts refuse to answer when asked if Brown Vs The Board of Education was correctly decided.”

          I suppose Peter is suggesting that Ruth Bader Ginsberg should not be on the Supreme Court.

          The Ginsberg Standard:

          In her opening statement to the committee, which began its hearings today on the nomination, Judge Ginsburg also sought to set a clear boundary on what kind of questions she was willing to answer. She said she would not discuss specific cases or issues that might come before her. “It would be wrong for me to say or preview in this legislative chamber how I would cast my vote on questions the Supreme Court may be called upon to decide,” she said. “A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.” Although such unwillingness to engage in specifics has frustrated and annoyed some senators in the past, it was clear today that it will make no difference for Judge Ginsburg, who seems bound to win Senate approval easily.

            1. Peter, that is where education becomes important. It helps to teach you how to join different ideas together along with logic.

              I will help educate you again. You say: “refuse to answer when asked if Brown Vs The Board of Education was correctly decided.” I provided you their reason, the Ginsberg Standard.

        4. “And one should note that ‘all’ of Trump’s nominees to the Federal Courts refuse to answer when asked if Brown Vs The Board of Education was correctly decided.”

          Is this true? Is there really a senator on the Judiciary Committee nimrod enough to ask this question? Tell us: who is this person?

          I’m calling your bluff, here, Shilly.

        5. Being anti ILLEGAL immigration (and Trump really isn’t – millions of illegal workers continue to work in the country with no fear of their employer being punished for hiring them) isn’t racist. Being concerned about Muslim terrorist attacks isn’t racist. If it is, the Democrats just voted to continue the Patriot act, so they are racist.

  4. No Spike From ‘Exoneration’..!!

    Trump’s Approval Rating Slumps Back To Normal

    Trump’s approval rating average at RCP hasn’t drifted ever-upward, but is back down to 43.0 percent. At FiveThirtyEight, it’s at 41.8 percent. Most startling of all, it’s at 44 percent in the Rasmussen tracking poll, which is the lowest it’s been since February 1. The president has been known to tweet out unusually favorable numbers from this poll. He’s not going to mention this one.

    Rasmussen isn’t alone in showing a bit of a Trump slump. There were all sorts of paroxysms of delight among Republicans over a 46 percent showing in a mid-April Gallup tracking poll. Gallup’s especially useful because it can enable comparisons to presidents of the past. And for a brief moment, Trump’s approval rating was above Obama’s at the same point in his presidency. Now Trump is down to 42 percent in the most recent Gallup survey, and Obama at the same juncture was at 51 percent, a level Trump has never reached in 31 months as president. Gallup also shows Trump is doing a lot more poorly than most recent presidents in May of their third year in office: dating back to Ike, only Jimmy Carter was in worse shape.

    We’ve been here many times before. Gallup calculates Trump’s average approval rating for throughout his presidency at 40 percent. Apart from a dip into the high 30s when he was unsuccessfully trying to kill Obamacare in 2017, the low 40s are where he’s been consistently in the RCP averages; at FiveThirtyEight (which weighs results for polling quality and partisan bias) he’s similarly very near where he’s usually been, with somewhat more frequent and recent dips into the high 30s.

    So it’s more and more evident that the man’s popularity simply isn’t very elastic, regardless of economic conditions and/or the daily gyrations of his Twitter feed and the partisan conflict in Washington. And it reinforces the very high likelihood that his reelection is going to depend not on any Trump surge in approval but on dragging his Democratic opponents down into the depths of popular opprobrium right along with him, like an alligator executing a death roll to drown its prey.

    Edited from: “Trump’s Approval Rating Slumps Back To Normal”

    Current issue: New York Magazine

    1. Regarding Above: This Passage Stands Out

      Now Trump is down to 42 percent in the most recent Gallup survey, and Obama at the same juncture was at 51 percent, a level Trump has never reached in 31 months as president. Gallup also shows Trump is doing a lot more poorly than most recent presidents in May of their third year in office: dating back to Ike, only Jimmy Carter was in worse shape.
      ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

      Despite a great economy Donald Trump remains toxic to most Americans. Which doesn’t say much for Trump. If a great economy can’t lift a president above 50% that’s not a good omen for his re-election bid.

  5. Breaking News – President Donald J. Trump Is Still The President Of The United States Of America

    1. “Breaking News – President Donald J. Trump Is Still The President Of The United States Of America . . .”

      . . . despite poor polling numbers cited by the Shill.

      1. Shill is like the boxer who always gets knocked out in the first round. When he awakens he invariably says ‘I won again’. His brains are a bit scattered and it seems the same has happened to the Shill.

          1. Anonymous, I don’t care how trailer trash views my persona. I know who I am and I know what you are.

  6. Judge Rules That Congress Can See Trump’s Financial Records

    A federal judge on Monday denied President Trump’s bid to quash a House subpoena for years of his financial records from his accounting firm and stayed his order seven days to allow the president’s lawyers time to appeal.

    The ruling handed an initial defeat to Trump’s vow to defy subpoenas by House Democrats and came in one of the first courtroom challenges to a series of lawmakers’ investigative demands for his bank records, accounting statements and tax returns.

    Trump vowed to appeal the ruling.

    U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta of Washington, D.C., refused to block the records request to Mazars USA from the House Oversight and Reform Committee while litigation continues. Attorneys for Trump and associated businesses filed suit April 22, arguing Congress is not entitled to investigate his past personal financial dealings for potential corruption.

    “So long as Congress investigates on a subject matter on which ‘legislation could be had,’ Congress acts as contemplated by Article I of the Constitution,” Mehta said in a 41-page opinion.

    In an additional blow to Trump’s lawyers, Mehta denied their request to stay his order beyond the seven days both sides previously agreed to for an appeal, finding the public’s interest in “maximizing the effectiveness of the investigatory powers of Congress” was greater than any harm to Trump or his businesses.

    In court, Douglas N. Letter, general counsel of the House of Representatives, has charged that the lawsuit would dismiss Congress’s constitutional oversight powers as “a nuisance . . . getting in [Trump’s] way while he’s trying to run the country.”

    Meanwhile, Trump’s private attorney, Jay Sekulow, said when the lawsuit was filed that the president’s team “will not allow Congressional Presidential harassment to go unanswered.”

    “Mazars USA will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations,” the company said in a statement Monday.

    An appeal would test decades of legal precedent that have upheld Congress’s right to investigate, arguing the theory that a president’s past dealings are irrelevant to the legislative branch’s fundamental job of writing bills.

    Edited from: “Judge Upholds House Subpoena Demanding Years Of Trump’s Financial Records”

    This evening’s Washington Post

  7. From the conclusion of Turley’s testimony on President Clinton:

    “The allegations against President Clinton go to the very heart of the legitimacy of his office and the integrity of the political system.”

    Recall President Clinton was impeached for lying about blowjobs in a civil proceeding.

  8. Turley wants impeachment and he wants it now.

    Turley wants to defend Trump and pick up those big billable hours.

    1. Turley made big bucks arguing in favor of the impeachment of President Clinton.

      You can read Turleys testimony right here I this blog.

      Recall President Clinton was impeached for lying about blowjobs.

    1. The trashing of Constitutional separation of powers by this administration and his team in Congress goes unnoticed by this concern troll pretending to be a legal analyst. He’s just another politicized political commentator, a cable “news” “expert” on telling people what they want to hear.

      1. “by this concern troll pretending to be a legal analyst.”

        Anon you treat the owner of the blog, who provides you the ability to promote your own views, like trash. No manners what so ever. That is what we get when those receiving free services develop the mentality of entitlement. That is the part of the Democratic Party that is so inbred into its members.

        1. Prof. Turley is an inveterate defender of the prerogatives and preferred rubrics of the legal profession. He’s also a conventional academic who does not contravene any non-negotiable in faculty subcultures. Not a perspective I much care for, but he’s consistent about it.

          What’s interesting about liberals is they fancy they own everything. Higher education is theirs, public broadcasting is theirs, professional associations are theirs, the public schools are theirs. Anon and Natacha fancy they’re entitled to validating remarks from Turley, remarks he won’t give them because he’s not a liar, fool, or fanatic.

          1. I don’t feel entitled to anything from JT, though like anyone else, if the conversation wanders to politics and issues of the day, I’ll let him have both barrels if I feel he deserves it. He has the right to kick me off anytime and I would not feel wronged.

  9. Breaking News: White House Block’s McGahn From Testifying

    The White House on Monday blocked former counsel Donald McGahn from testifying to Congress, the latest act of defiance in the ongoing war between House Democrats and President Trump.

    McGahn, who Democrats hoped would become a star witness in their investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice, was subpoenaed to testify Tuesday morning. The former White House counsel delivered critical testimony in several instances of potential obstruction by Trump detailed in special counsel Robert. S. Mueller III’s report.

    “The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and constitutional precedent, the former counsel to the president cannot be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement. “This action has been taken in order to ensure that future presidents can effectively execute the responsibilities of the office of the presidency.”

    The 15-page legal opinion written by Assistant Attorney General Steven A. Engel argues McGahn cannot be compelled to testify before the committee, based on past Justice Department legal opinions regarding the president’s close advisers.

    The memo says McGahn’s immunity from congressional testimony is separate and broader than a claim of executive privilege.

    As a private citizen no longer in the government, McGahn is not necessarily bound by the White House directive, or the OLC memo, to refuse to comply with the subpoena. There was no immediate word from McGahn’s lawyer on whether he would defy the White House.

    Testifying, however, could jeopardize business and professional standing for McGahn, who works for Jones Day, a Republican law firm with close ties to the Trump campaign and electoral politics. Jones Day will still be involved in the reelection campaign but will have a reduced role from 2016, campaign officials say, when they were the main firm.

    McGahn emerged as a central player in Mueller’s findings, a senior confidante who documented in real-time Trump’s rage against the Russia investigation and efforts to shut it down. Democrats wanted him to testify for a national television audience about the two episodes in which Mueller found McGahn was a critical witness and in which investigators say they have substantial evidence Trump was engaged in obstruction of justice that would normally warrant criminal charges.

    Edited from: “White House Blocks Former Counsel McGahn From Testifying To Congress”

    Today’s Washington Post

    1. He was a confidential employee, Peter. If he has to testify, so should every legislative aide and judicial clerk.

      1. McGahn was also the legal counsel for the Trump campaign. At least some of the 30 hours of interviews McGahn had with The SCO involved information about McGahn’s role as legal counsel to the Trump campaign in 2016. The Mueller Report stated that [paraphrase] the investigation could not establish “willfulness” on the part of Donald Trump Jr. with “admissible evidence.” That implies that The SCO could establish Don Jr.’s willfulness with evidence that is inadmissible due to attorney-client privilege (which belongs to the client). In the case of McGahn’s role as legal counsel for the Trump campaign, the privileged client would be the Trump campaign. Keep in mind that Trump supposedly cannot be indicted while in office.

        Here’s the problem: Evidence that is inadmissible in a United States Court against Donald Trump Jr. is nonetheless admissible in a congressional hearing (especially an impeachment hearing) against President Trump, if concealing Don Jr.’s “willfulness” from The SCO is one of the motives, or intent, or corrupt purposes behind Trump’s obstruction of justice. That is so for a variety of reasons not the least of which would be that Trump supposedly cannot be indicted while in office. Consequently Trump cannot assert attorney-client privilege over McGahn’s testimony about McGahn’s role as legal counsel for the Trump campaign in 2016, either. Of course, McGahn’s testimony would still be inadmissible in a United States Court against Donald Trump Jr., or against Donald Trump Sr. after the latter had left office.

        But wait. There’s more. At least one of the redactions for peripheral privacy in Barr’s rendition of The Mueller Report is protecting Donald Trump Jr. from the public revelation that he almost certainly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when The SCO requested an interview with Don Jr. There are numerous other redactions for peripheral privacy that are protecting President Trump from having The Congress find out about the full extent of Trump’s witness tampering with respect to such key players in the Special Counsel’s investigation as Lt. Gen. Flynn, KT McFarland, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. Just to name a few of the central actors being inappropriately treated as “peripheral.”

        Of those, Stone is probably the only one who needs to avoid anything prejudicial to his upcoming trial from being publicly disclosed. IOW, the peripheral privacy redactions about Stone should have been categorized as redactions for harm to ongoing matter, instead. But AG “Casting Couch” Barr incorrectly categorized those redactions for the express purpose of protecting Trump from congressional investigation.

        Contributed by The L4D–It’s Not Over Till It’s Over–Project

        1. It gets worse. There are also redactions for Grand Jury information that are protecting President Trump rather than protecting anybody whom Mueller declined to prosecute. Remember, The OLC opinion and Justice Dep’t. regulations say that Mueller could not indict Trump while Trump is in office. Also remember that Trump refused to testify before Mueller’s Grand Jury as well as refusing to answer 3 out of 4 of Mueller’s written questions even while giving evasive or non-responsive answers to almost all the remaining fourth of Mueller’s written questions.

          Trump has no conceivable claim upon any of Mueller’s Grand Jury information. But some of AG “Casting Couch” Barr’s redactions for Grand Jury information are protecting Trump from having The Congress find out why Trump refused to answer Mueller’s questions or gave evasive or non-responsive answers to the questions he supposedly (but didn’t actually) answer.

          That is thoroughly BOGUS on the face of it. Trump refused to testify before the Grand Jury and AG “Casting Couch” Barr is withholding from Congress the reasons that Trump refused to testify before the Grand Jury on the “cockamamie theory” that Rule 6(E) somehow supposedly prohibits the public disclosure of even so little as the mere reasons given for never testifying before a Grand Jury by a person who never testified before the Grand Jury and who supposedly cannot be indicted, anyhow, so long as that person is in office.

          You know what? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least little bit if Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and AG “Casting Couch” Barr redacted Trump’s invocation of The Fifth as Rule 6(E) Grand Jury information–so that The Congress would never find out about it.

          Contributed by The L4D–That’s How Crazy Crazy Can Get–Project

        2. And here’s another thing: The upcoming trial of Roger Stone is likely to establish “non-criminal collusion” between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks. Don’t freak out. The phrase “non-criminal collusion” clearly contains the notion that “collusion” is not “a crime.” However, non-criminal collusion is a political issue. And political issues ought not to be “redacted” from Mueller’s report under any of the four categories that AG “Casting Couch” Barr deployed for that very purpose. To protect Trump’s re-election bid in 2020.

          Moreover, concealing non-criminal collusion between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks is also a motive, intent, or corrupt purpose behind Trump’s obstruction of justice. In fact, anything that would call into question the legitimacy of Trump’s electoral victory in 2016 would be a motive, intent, or corrupt purpose for Trump’s obstruction of justice. Mueller gathered a great deal of evidence showing how central the legitimacy of his election was to Trump’s actions at every turn of the investigation into Russia’s election interference in 2016. And that is why AG “Casting Couch” Barr has placed so much emphasis on “exonerating” Trump of “non-criminal collusion”–not conspiring nor coordinating with Russia–but non-criminal collusion with Wikileaks.

          Don’t get that wrong. Mueller did, in fact, declined to prosecute the Trump campaign for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. But Mueller did not “exonerate” the Trump campaign of “non-criminal collusion” with Wikileaks. And yet, AG “Casting Couch” Barr is trying to argue that concealing “non-criminal collusion” with Wikileaks could not have been a motive, intent, nor corrupt purpose for Trump’s obstruction of justice because Mueller declined to prosecute the Trump campaign for conspiring or coordinating with the Russian government in its election interference activities. Which is, of course, irrelevant to the obstruction case against Trump.

          Contributed by The L4D–We’ve Seen These Parlor Tricks From AG “Casting Couch” Barr Before–Project

          1. https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2016/4/21/1518537/-Clinton-SuperPac-Admits-to-Paying-Internet-Trolls…….In the absence of a reply box above, I’ll post this link here.
            It wasn’t exactly a secret that “Correct the Record” paid trolls as online boosters for Hillary when Sanders looked like he might actually give her a run for her money in her bid for the 2016 nomination/ coronation.
            There is a better L.A. Times article on this topic I was going to post, but I can’t access it without a paid subscription. Those who have a subscription, or have not use this month’s “freebies”, can Google the L.A. Times article, “Better be Nice to Hillary Onine”

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