ChrisWeigant.com

Mueller Report Changes Little

[ Posted Thursday, April 18th, 2019 – 16:56 UTC ]

The Mueller Report is finally out. Portions of it have been redacted, and congressional Democrats will doubtlessly continue their push to get an unredacted version to read, but even if that happens the public may never get to see the full text. So for now, we've only got what was released today to examine. And the emerging consensus seems to be that there was no one glaring thing to point to which will lead to Donald Trump's downfall. As usual, there is plenty of fishy and questionable and possibly illegal conduct by both Trump and his minions, but none of it is likely to spur immediate impeachment hearings.

Nancy Pelosi, all along, has refused to rise to the bait of the media in their own obsession over the possibility of impeachment. She has stuck continually to her own very commonsense read of the situation, which can be summed up as: "America will know an impeachable offense when they see one, because it will be so obvious. And we're not there yet." Nothing released in the Mueller Report today seems to clear that hurdle. I have yet to hear Pelosi weigh in today, but it would surprise me if her reaction differs much from what she's been saying all along.

This may be a sign of the times, in one way. If, hypothetically, any other president was accused of the things contained within the Mueller Report out of the blue (without a years-long buildup in the media, in other words), they might indeed have been impeached. They would have been held to very high standards, and Congress may well have decided that those standards were inexcusably breached. But Donald Trump has changed so many of the standards we used to hold presidents to that it may benefit him by changing the calculus over what is deemed impermissible and what isn't. Trump gets away with so much blatant trampling on presidential norms that he has, in essence, set a new norm -- one that would have been considered outrageously permissive for any other president. But because he's effectively moved this window, any one event has to be pretty extraordinary -- even for Trump -- to be considered impeachable.

Of course, the Mueller Report was never the end-all-be-all event that it has been portrayed as. Mueller was given two areas to investigate (campaign interference by Russia and obstruction of justice) and he pretty religiously stuck to them. But all sorts of other investigations have sprung up as a result of Mueller's digging, and none of them have concluded yet. In addition, the Democratic House is now conducting all the governmental oversight that had previously been shirked by the Republicans, meaning everything Trump has done since he took office is now fair game -- and that's a pretty target-rich environment. Plus there are Trump's own personal finances and business dealings, which may not withstand the scrutiny they're about to receive, both from Congress and from federal prosecutors. This is admittedly pretty thin gruel, for now, for the people who were holding out hope that the Mueller Report would be so damning as to frog-march the president out of the White House in handcuffs. But these multiple investigations may prove to bear fruit later.

There is another aspect in play as well, since we are now roughly 18 months from the next presidential election. As the election draws closer, the bar for what is considered impeachable will go up. Why bother impeaching Trump if you're confident you can beat him at the ballot box? That will be the key question posed behind the scenes by Democrats. There may be something out there which absolutely demands the immediate removal of the president from office, but it would have to be pretty damning to require this response with a year or less left in his term. And who knows -- impeaching Trump might just make him stronger in the end. I could even see a scenario where Trump got impeached and removed from office and then went on to win the 2020 election. There's no law stopping such a thing from happening, after all, and Bill Clinton's impeachment only made him politically stronger.

That's pretty far-fetched, but in the age of Trump you've simply got to consider even the wildest possible outcomes. A much more likely outcome would be if Congress or the Southern District of New York prosecutors unveil a truly odious smoking gun with Trump's fingerprints all over it. Pelosi is right -- when Americans see something so obscenely impeachable, we'll all know it. But until we do get there (if we ever do), the Mueller Report doesn't really rise to that level.

While congressional Democrats may continue their fight over the unredacted Mueller Report, what will be more informative is to watch the Democrats running for president. My guess is that they'll move on from the Mueller Report fairly quickly, and not get bogged down in squabbles with the Justice Department. After all, the Mueller Report isn't going to change many minds -- people already knew what they thought of Trump and how he operates as president, and learning a few more details will only confirm whatever impression of him they had previously, good or bad. This is precisely why the bar for impeachment is now so high -- because Pelosi's right, it will take something that everyone can see is blatantly impeachable, and that includes Republicans as well. Republican voters and Republican officeholders will have to break with the president in a big and noticeable way, and that just hasn't happened yet. The Mueller Report is not going to spark a wholesale exodus by Trump supporters, and that's really the political bottom line for now.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

76 Comments on “Mueller Report Changes Little”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    So...

    Do you agree that Mueller completely utterly and unequivocally exonerated President Trump with regards to Russia Collusion???

    It's a simple question...

  2. [2] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Your conclusion, "The Mueller Report is not going to spark a wholesale exodus by Trump supporters, and that's really the political bottom line for now" is pretty wild in its implication that there is something, not the Mueller Report, that would spark such an exodus.

    I was under the impression that every intelligent observer of the political scene concluded a year or two ago that there is nothing ... absolutely nothing, including video footage of the president blowing out the skull of a civilian on Fifth Avenue ... that would spark a "wholesale exodus by Trump supporters".

    All the reporting I've read suggests that the infamous "base" lives in an alternate media universe that is impenetrable by those outside it. In the hypothetical (and admittedly unlikely, in a literal sense) case above, the footage would be framed and presented by, say, Fox News as if the civilian had been rushing the president with intent to harm, and the chief executive had bravely used his own firearm to "stand his ground" in lieu of the near-treasonous inability of the Secret Service to protect him.

    His polling would jump up a point or two, and the Justice Dept., eventually supported by the Supreme Court and the Republican leadership of the Senate, would conclude that no indictable or impeachable crime had been committed.

    I'm being ironic, of course, but also serious. Do you really think there is any legal, financial, moral, or political scandal that would cause the president's supporters to abandon him "wholesale"? If so, could you give a credible example? If not, could you explain your conclusion more clearly?

  3. [3] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    "The Mueller report changes little", in fact perhaps nothing.

    So what does that say aboudst the Weigantians who promised us, lous and long for over two yrs, that it WOULD change something??

  4. [4] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Oops, how about "loud" and long . .

  5. [5] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    my reading of the report is that gates and manafort tried to coordinate with the russian government (maybe under donald's direction, maybe not), and putin's people didn't bite. there's no such thing as "attempted conspiracy." in order for a conspiracy to exist there has to be more than one side conspiring. so in response to michale's question, yes, i think the report absolutely exonerates donald of conspiracy with russia. that doesn't make him innocent of anything else, but i think we can safely put the conspiracy question to bed.

    JL

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Nothing released in the Mueller Report today seems to clear that hurdle.

    Wait, what!? There are multiple things contained in Mueller's Report that clear the impeachment hurdle. Your use of the word "seems" is your only saving grace here. ;) *wink*

    From Mueller's report:

    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.

    Barr lied. Barr lied repeatedly. Mueller actually did adhere to the DOJ directive that a sitting POTUS cannot be indicted.

    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.

    The Mueller Report reads like an impeachment referral, and there is plenty in there that clears that impeachment hurdle. I can only assume you haven't read the whole thing yet.

    We also learned today that Mueller's investigation spawned 26 spin-off cases still alive and well. So anyone who is not POTUS can still be indicted, and what has been revealed so far to the public is that POTUS is "Individual 1" in a case in SDNY and fair game for prosecution at a date in the future. :)

  7. [7] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    5

    Yes. Good writeup. It does clear them of conspiracy with the "Russia" aspect, but that tiny aspect is a narrow definition. It doesn't clear them with conspiracy with regards to WikiLeaks or any other entity, just the narrow confines with which Mueller was tasked.

    Anything Mueller found outside the confines of his mandate were spun off into other courts. Lots and lots of other courts. Those redactions look ominous.

    "Individual 1" isn't out of the woods yet with regard to a whole boatload of other issues. No one needs to be reelected more than Trump. :)

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Impeachment is not going to happen.

    Focus on 2020.

  9. [9] 
    Paula wrote:

    Nope.

  10. [10] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    8

    Impeachment is not going to happen.

    I think you're right, but that's certainly not because it isn't warranted. That report is chock full of impeachable offenses, and Barr flat out lied to the American people about its findings. Barr said Mueller didn't rely on the DOJ directive that a sitting president should not be indicted, and that was an outright lie on his part. Mueller made the determination that he wasn't going to indict the sitting POTUS.

    Focus on 2020.

    They can walk and chew gum at the same time. Performing their constitutional duties of oversight requires they keep investigating the issues. Trump and his squad are only off the hook for "conspiracy" with Russia. Underneath all those redactions could be the evidence that they conspired with WikiLeaks or somebody else. Who knows? Mueller knows, and he spun off a lot of cases. :)

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oversight - yes; impeachment - waste of time better spent on any number of things, issues;

    Oh, i'm still looking forward to the spin off cases - there were quite a lot of possibly fruitful redactions. :)

  12. [12] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    11

    Oversight - yes; impeachment - waste of time better spent on any number of things, issues;

    Republicans aren't going to impeach Trump regardless. They're ignoring their constitutional duties, and Burr even notified Trump regarding the targets of the investigation, and meanwhile Nunes was running interference and cover for Trump. The rule of law is out the window. I hope the GOP is prepared to reap what they've sown; there won't be a Republican president forever, and if they want a president who is a king, I would wager the Democrats can deliver one to them.

    Oh, i'm still looking forward to the spin off cases - there were quite a lot of possibly fruitful redactions. :)

    Yes, ma'am, there sure was; Mueller's mandate was narrow so what choice did he have but to spin off about 2 dozen cases!? ;)

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's a mystery to me why AG Barr would have wanted to return to DOJ. He must have known that he wasn't going to get out alive, so to speak.

    Why completely ruin your reputation, not to say that he hasn't acted in similar ways before in his career. But, still … ???

  14. [14] 
    Kick wrote:

    RUH-ROH!

    In a letter to House Democrats Thursday night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told her caucus that they will talk about their strategy following the Passover and Easter holiday weekend, which will also offer lawmakers time to review the 448-page report in full.

    Pelosi said the conclusion offered by Attorney General William Barr in his four-page summary and press conference that Trump did not obstruct justice was "directly undercut" by Mueller's report. Pelosi added that the version of the Mueller report provided by the Justice Department was "disrespectfully late and selectively redacted."

    Pelosi cited a line from the Mueller report stating that “We concluded Congress has authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” which “accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”

    "Congress will not be silent," Pelosi wrote.

    House committee chairmen are pushing for a full, unredacted version of the report to move forward with their investigations.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/house/439657-dems-plan-monday-call-on-mueller-report-congress-will-not-be-silent

    Those meddling kids! :)

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    obviously the appropriate congressional committees should have unredacted versions made available to them, but those versions need to be tightly guarded to avoid leaks.

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Even worse for the president than the Mueller report - and, I would say, greater grounds for impeachment - is the president's behavior in Helsinki with Putin.

  17. [17] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    13

    It's a mystery to me why AG Barr would have wanted to return to DOJ. He must have known that he wasn't going to get out alive, so to speak.

    I know I joke around a lot, but I'm being serious now. My sources say that he is a Fox News junkie. It seems in his retirement, he has basically spent an inordinate amount of time watching Fox News and bought "all in" to their propaganda and feels it is his duty to protect this president.

    I don't think people realize that Fox News and their utter nonsensical propaganda is going to cause someone to get killed. Trump lists his enemies in his speeches, Fox News demonizes Democrats for performing their constitutional duties, and then some Trump cultist sends pipe bombs to the people Trump accuses of "treason." They're performing their constitutional duty while Trump accuses them of making things up; Trump knows what he did, and he obviously knows he's... his term... "f***ed."

    The Russia investigation is not a hoax. Russia hacked the DNC computers and used WikiLeaks as a cutout to distribute the stolen materials. There's more that isn't public yet, but suffice it to say that Trump knows Manafort worked with Russia to deliver him the election. There's more coming. Meanwhile, Barr lied to the American citizens and stated that Trump "fully cooperated" with Mueller. Well, I can assure you that Trump did not.

    Enough said. I am rambling, I know.

    Why completely ruin your reputation, not to say that he hasn't acted in similar ways before in his career. But, still … ???

    Actually, he has, but that's a long story. Reader's Digest condensed version: He recommended that several of the criminals in the Iran Contra affair be pardoned, and they were; he summarized another report where it was discovered later he mischaracterized the full contents... just like he lied about Mueller's report. Barr is flirting with an obstruction of justice for lying under oath himself. The rule of law is out the window at the moment, but if that's what the GOP wants, I'm sure the Democrats will return the favor when they have their King installed in the White House in the future. Maybe it'll even be King Biden. We'll see. :)

  18. [18] 
    Kick wrote:

    Another thing to consider is that Russia has done a great disservice to Trump's presidency and his ability to perform his service to America. The POTUS is a servant of the people. How can a POTUS perform their duties if they are beholden to another country for their assistance in putting them in office? Is the GOP thinking about the harm to the office that Russia has perpetrated? Talk about putting your Party before your country, how effective is a POTUS who is neutered and/or beholden to a foreign government?

    Imagine all things are equal and make the following substitutions.

    Trump = Obama
    Russia = Iran

    How legitimate would the GOP view the Obama presidency? How long do you think it would take them to impeach Obama? If Obama spoke with the Iranians without allowing anyone to attend except a translator, how many GOP heads would have exploded?

  19. [19] 
    Kick wrote:

    Add Devin Nunes to my list of people who need to call their lawyer based on the redactions.

    What this means is that Devin Nunes will continue to try to derail the investigation in similar fashion that he's been doing all along and why I've always referred to him as Devin "Ignorant Tool" Nunes. :)

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    I was under the impression that every intelligent observer of the political scene concluded a year or two ago that there is nothing ... absolutely nothing, including video footage of the president blowing out the skull of a civilian on Fifth Avenue ... that would spark a "wholesale exodus by Trump supporters".

    The same could be said for Obama supporters..

    What's your point??

    I'm being ironic, of course, but also serious. Do you really think there is any legal, financial, moral, or political scandal that would cause the president's supporters to abandon him "wholesale"? If so, could you give a credible example? If not, could you explain your conclusion more clearly?

    Could you provide a credible example with Obama??

    Again, what is your point???

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    so in response to michale's question, yes, i think the report absolutely exonerates donald of conspiracy with russia. that doesn't make him innocent of anything else, but i think we can safely put the conspiracy question to bed.

    Thank you, Joshua..

    I am betting you are going to be the only one who has the courage to take the Russian Collusion Sherman..

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Leave it to Glenn Greenwald to lay it all out..

    Robert Mueller Did Not Merely Reject the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theories. He Obliterated Them.

    THE TWO-PRONGED CONSPIRACY THEORY that has dominated U.S. political discourse for almost three years – that (1) Trump, his family and his campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, and (2) Trump is beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin — was not merely rejected today by the final report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It was obliterated: in an undeniable and definitive manner.

    The key fact is this: Mueller – contrary to weeks of false media claims – did not merely issue a narrow, cramped, legalistic finding that there was insufficient evidence to indict Trump associates for conspiring with Russia and then proving their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That would have been devastating enough to those who spent the last two years or more misleading people to believe that conspiracy convictions of Trump’s closest aides and family members were inevitable. But his mandate was much broader than that: to state what did or did not happen.

    That’s precisely what he did: Mueller, in addition to concluding that evidence was insufficient to charge any American with crimes relating to Russian election interference, also stated emphatically in numerous instances that there was no evidence – not merely that there was insufficient evidence to obtain a criminal conviction – that key prongs of this three-year-old conspiracy theory actually happened. As Mueller himself put it: “in some instances, the report points out the absence of evidence or conflicts in the evidence about a particular fact or event.”
    https://theintercept.com/2019/04/18/robert-mueller-did-not-merely-reject-the-trumprussia-conspiracy-theories-he-obliterated-them/

    There is simply no way to escape the facts...

    President Trump has been utterly, completely and totally exonerated when it comes to Russia Collusion..

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D4cL-2GXsAAIini.jpg

    For the GOT fans out there.. :D

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    So what does that say aboudst the Weigantians who promised us, lous{e} and long for over two yrs, that it WOULD change something??

    Freudian Slip??? :D

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    When all is said and done, one fact remains.

    Democrats, Never Trumpers and Trump/America haters promised us one thing..

    Russia Collusion to win the 2016 election would end President Trump's administration...

    If only there had been a calm and objective voice of reason saying that the cited "facts" don't mean what is claimed they mean..

    If only there was such a voice... Or two...

    Oh... Wait... :D

    There is a silver-lining in all this..

    The afore mentioned Democrats, Never Trumpers and Trump/America haters have provided a valuable service to the American people..

    They have totally decimated and destroyed the credibility of themselves and their Propaganda Department, the Mainstream Media...

    "TAX RETURNS WILL TOTALLY DESTROY PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ADMINISTRATION!!!!!"
    -Democrats, Never Trumpers and Trump/America haters

    Yea... THAT is what ya'all said about Russia Collusion... :^/

    "TRUMP'S EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE VIOLATIONS WILL CAUSE HIM TO BE FROG MARCHED FROM THE OVAL OFFICE IN HANDCUFFS!!!!!"
    -Democrats, Never Trumpers and Trump/America haters

    Yea, same song, different refrain.. :^/

    "SOUTH NEW YORK COURTS WILL UTTERLY DESTROY PRESIDENT TRUMP!!!"
    -Democrats, Never Trumpers and Trump/America haters

    YAAAAAAWWWWWWNNNNNN Another hysterical and outlandish prediction from the group who has a perfect track record of being ALWAYS WRONG....

    It's going to be a fun 1.6 year run-up to President Trump's landslide re-election.... :D

    The mind-shattering and un-hinged hysteria after THAT frabjous event should truly be a sight to behold...

    :D

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    As usual, there is plenty of fishy and questionable and possibly illegal conduct by both Trump and his minions,

    For example???

    And would such conduct be "fishy and questionable and possibly illegal" to someone who could be objective about things???

    Of course, the Mueller Report was never the end-all-be-all event that it has been portrayed as.

    And WHO portrayed it as the end-all-event???

    Media.. Democrats... Never Trumpers... And (with a few notable exceptions) everyone here...

    So, if practically everyone with a stake portrayed it as the end all be all event, then wouldn't it be fair to say that it WAS supposed to be the end all be all event???

    . Why bother impeaching Trump if you're confident you can beat him at the ballot box?

    Interesting point..

    So if, in the next 18 months, the crescendo for impeachment gets higher and louder, you are saying that such noise reflects the lack of confidence Democrats have in their "PLAN B". As in "Ballot box"...

    "Understand your situation, are unable to return to planet. Stand by to execute emergency landing plan... 'B'."
    "What's emergency landing plan 'B'?"
    "I don't have a clue."
    " 'B' as in 'Barricade'."
    "He can't be serious!!!"

    -STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER

    :D

    And who knows -- impeaching Trump might just make him stronger in the end. I could even see a scenario where Trump got impeached and removed from office and then went on to win the 2020 election. There's no law stopping such a thing from happening, after all, and Bill Clinton's impeachment only made him politically stronger.

    Yep... Democrats would have to be complete and utter FOOLS to try and impeach President Trump..

    BUT...

    But, considering how much capital they sunk into Russian Collusion?? I think the "FOOL" status of the Democrat Party has been well established...

    While congressional Democrats may continue their fight over the unredacted Mueller Report, what will be more informative is to watch the Democrats running for president. My guess is that they'll move on from the Mueller Report fairly quickly, and not get bogged down in squabbles with the Justice Department.

    Agreed..

    Who wants to wallow in and mull over their complete and utterly decimating and demoralizing loss.. :D

    The Mueller Report is not going to spark a wholesale exodus by Trump supporters, and that's really the political bottom line for now.

    But it DOES illustrate perfectly how utter hysterical hate leads people to do things that are detrimental to this country..

    While it's factually accurate to say that President Trump hasn't lost any support, it's ALSO likely true that President Trump, due to the massive and hysterical overreach of Democrats, Never Trumpers and Trump/America haters, President Trump has gained considerable support amongst the American electorate...

    So, no matter how ya wanna spin things.. This is a win for President Trump... :D

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:
  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D4fM9vqUUAArifd.jpg

    Says it all.. :D

    Of course "CLEAN" is a relative term.. :D

    "OK, she's clean.... Well, not really 'clean'..{snort} hahahahaha"
    -LunarMax Guard, MEN IN BLACK III

    But what is undeniable here is that President Trump is stronger and Democrats, Never Trumpers and Trump/America haters are weaker...

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joe Biden Is Running for President

    The former vice president has finally decided he’s in, and he’s announcing in less than a week. Now he just has to finish putting a campaign together.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/04/joe-biden-running-president/587560/

    The beginning of the end of the Democrat Party..

    Democrats are going to tear themselves apart..

    It's going to be the New Socialists of Occasional Cortex and Ilan I HATE AMERICA/I LOVE TERRORISTS Omar versus the Old Guard Of Biden/Clinton/Obama...

    President Trump is going to enjoy a Nixon-esque/Reagan-esque re-election sweep of the 2020 election...

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Whether or not there is anything for either "side" in the report, it was effective in providing the distraction from covering the real problem.

    The big money interests used the Democrats and the Republicans to set up a system they could manipulate and now we are supposed to be upset that somebody else manipulated the system they set up to manipulate.

    So if you are upset aboot the manipulation then in order to hold those responsible for the manipulation accountable in 2020 then you can't vote for big money candidates- Democrats or Republicans.

    That is the real bottom line.

    And whether or not you think that One Demand is a far-fetched idea, with all the far-fetched ideas and things that quickly became mainstream in 2016 and your own statement in this article and similar statements in many previous articles it is time to address One Demand.

    "That's pretty far-fetched, but in the age of Trump you've simply got to consider even the wildest possible outcomes."

    It's not time to consider just 2020.

    That kind of approach is what led to Trump being elected in the first place.

    And electing a big money Democrat in 2020 will be more of the same and only lead to a Republican president when the system swings the pendulum back that is as worse than Trump as Trump was worse than GWB.

    We need to start a long term solution now that can begin being effective in 2020 and build in subsequent elections to break out of the back and forth deception that results from the short term strategy of just considering the current election because it is so important that any consideration of long term change has to be put on hold until after this election.

    One Demand can be that solution or at least a part of the solution as evidenced by the change in public perception on small contributions and many other rapid changes on issues that occurred in 2016 and since.

    So the next time you are considering "Another Horse Race Column" or some other repetitive distraction issue why not consider listening to your own statement that "you've simply got to consider even the wildest possible outcomes."

    This is the reality that you have determined to be true, so address this reality or admit that you are wrong.

  31. [31] 
    TheStig wrote:

    1956: I like Ike. I like Ike. Everybody likes Ike.

    2020: Trump is fucked. Trump is fucked. Keep America Cucked.

    Making the sale is a lot harder with the second slogan. That's the significance of the Mueller report. Congressional oversight can look an awful lot like impeachment hearings and could morph into impeachment down the road. That's the coded message Mueller sent in his summary. It's a conservative approach, but I'm not sure if it's a risk prone or risk averse strategy for Democrats.

  32. [32] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    " . . 26 spinoff cases . ."

    Translation: "We lost the whale, but we got a few minners, so we've gotta crow about that in a desperate effort to save face."

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Making the sale is a lot harder with the second slogan.

    No, it was Democrats and their hysterical hate that made the "sale" (of the Mueller report) a lot harder..

    That's the significance of the Mueller report.

    You must not have read CW's commentary..

    There IS no significance of the Mueller report..

    Congressional oversight can look an awful lot like impeachment hearings and could morph into impeachment down the road.

    Yep.. Just ask Bill Clinton...

    That's the coded message Mueller sent in his summary.

    That you decoded with your super-duper uber secret agent I HATE TRUMP decoder ring, right?? :eyeroll:

    You lost..

    At least have the adult maturity to admit it..

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    " . . 26 spinoff cases . ."

    Translation: "We lost the whale, but we got a few minners, so we've gotta crow about that in a desperate effort to save face."

    Yup.....

    Ironically, the "26 spinoff cases" have nothing to do with Trump, the election or Russians...

    It was a major witch hunt and all they got were a few fairies, forest nymphs and leprechauns...

    Or, in the current venacular, it was a Night King hunt and all they got were some grumpkins and snarks...

  35. [35] 
    neilm wrote:

    All along the right wing nuts (Michale, I'm looking at you, and CRS fails this test as well) have tried to concoct a story that Democrats were desperate that Mueller would handcuff Trump and frogmarch him out of the Oval Office. We know now that they were not alone in that fear, Trump himself thought he was "fucked" when Mueller was appointed. It is a sign that they missed the point of the report from Day 1 - did Russia interfere with the 2016 election (and the report concluded that they did).

    Everybody I know thought that Mueller would point out Trump's crimes but the fanboys wouldn't care, and we were spot on. The report is a catalog of behavior that would sink any other Presidency, but if your supporters have no shame, and you have no shame, then you can out shame anything, even obvious evidence of obstruction of justice. Obstruction of this level doesn't reach my bar of "impeachment" - I'm with Nancy - even the idiots base need to think Trump did something impeachable for there to be a point to the proceedings, otherwise he will get cleared in the Senate and we'll have to listen to a lot more crying from them all about "witch hunts".

    Let's face it, Trump and his enablers have sullied our democracy with their ignorance and hatred, we just need to send them a lesson in the 2020 election if there are enough educated, decent Americans. Maybe we are a nation of ignoramuses, we'll find out in 18 months.

  36. [36] 
    neilm wrote:

    Certainly 2004 was a sign that this country's education system was failing in teaching basic values of decency and honesty, so I'm willing to entertain the idea that Trump will find enough "useful idiots" to repeat in 2020.

    Thank heaven I live in California and am isolated from his stupidity.

  37. [37] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Neilm-
    When you say we need to send(teach?) Trump and his enablers a lesson (or is it send a message?) in the 2020 elections does that include the big money Democrats or are they somehow off the hook for their responsibility in creating the system that allowed the manipulation of our electoral process and led to Trump being elected?

    If so, please explain why.

  38. [38] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm

    Not sure which test it might be that I "failed", but I perceive the need for some big-time clarification on politics in general.

    I'm a self-professed Libertarian, and am pretty much locked in with voting for the conservative in most any race. However, being blessed with common sense, I did not vote for Trump, recognizing him from years back as a 3rd-rate washed-up reality TV host (which I did NOT discover by watching him on TV - can't stand reality TV)/moron/asshole of a human being. I could not under any circumstances vote for Hillary, so I went with the Libertarian (can't even recall his name at the moment), but come 2020, I would likely vote for any other Democratic you could nominate, rather than Trump.

    My dispute with Kick and her friends was NEVER of the nature of a defense of Trump. It was more like me pointing out that she was claiming that 2+2 =5. She was simply and stupidly wrong in claiming that it's illegal to get dirt on your political opponent from Russians.

    I understand why that could be interpreted as a defense of the asshole-in-chief, but that NEVER WAS my intent.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump himself thought he was "fucked" when Mueller was appointed.

    Yes.. Not because he thought he was guilty.. It's because, for weeks prior to Mueller's appt, Trump minions had been filling his head with thoughts like, "If a special prosecutor is appointed, your administration is toast" and some such other nonsense...

    How do we know this??

    Because Mueller stated as much in his report..

    You see your problem??

    YOUR argument requires you to read what's in President Trump's mind.

    MY argument is based on bona fide and documented FACT...

    It is a sign that they missed the point of the report from Day 1 - did Russia interfere with the 2016 election (and the report concluded that they did).

    You needed almost 2 years and 30 million dollars to prove THAT!!??

    Hell, we all knew that by the end of 2016.. But Mueller wasn't appointed to prove that..

    He was appointed to prove that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to win the election..

    Which is what ya'all claimed..

    And Mueller found NO FACTS OR EVIDENCE to even HINT at it..

    Let's face it, Trump and his enablers have sullied our democracy with their ignorance and hatred,

    Mr Pot, here is Ms Kettle..

    Its you Democrats who have sullied our democracy with your intolerance and hatred and ignorance...

    You had the totality of America's investigative and intelligensia prowess and there was not a SCINTILLA of fact to support ya'all's claim..

    How embarrassing that must be for you..

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    And NOW we come to know (as if we didn't already) that is was Odumbo and HIS clowns who were spying on the Trump campaign and creating "insurance policies" to take down Candidate, then President Trump...

    Yea, it's CLEAR who the haters who sullied our democracy are...

    And, come Nov 2020, the American people will pass judgement..

    And when, as I think likely, the American people condemn the totality of the Democrat Party and throw them out of office.....

    One has to wonder what the new "Russian Collusion" Shiny will look like....

    Anything to avoid looking into the mirror and even CONSIDERING... "Hmmmmmm Maybe it's us..."

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    A top progressive pundit says mainstream Democrats are worried about Bernie Sanders winning the White House in 2020

    Sen. Bernie Sanders is making Democrats nervous. But some supporters say it’s not because he can’t win in 2020. It’s because he can.

    The Vermont independent may have surprised the party’s establishment with his strong performance so far. He’s polling second, behind only former Vice President Joe Biden who has yet to enter the race, and he has raised more than other Democratic contenders.

    “All their power is in giving money to politicians and controlling them. Bernie Sanders doesn’t want their money. They are going to fight Bernie Sanders harder than any Republican will,” progressive pundit Cenk Uygur says.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/18/cenk-uygur-on-why-democrats-are-afraid-of-bernie-sanders.html

    Blue on Blue warfare...

    The gift to the GOP that keeps on giving...

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    I will point out that President Trump *IS* wrong on one point...

    I, for one, am **NOT** tired of winning!!! :D

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiWY0iRLV94

    My favorite YouTube video of all time.. :D

    The SMUG to DEVASTATED meltdown of the Democrat Party.. :D

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, where do ya'all go from here??

    Ya'all have suffered ANOTHER huge and decimating loss at the hands of Donald Trump..

    Do you take a step back and re-assess your position??

    Do you consider that for the last 3 years ya'all have been WRONG???

    I would like to think so, but I know ya'all too well...

    Ya'all are like the devout religious person who has received IN-CONVERTIBLE and UNDENIABLE PROOF that there is no god..

    And yet, ya'all still have your faith...

    I applaud ya'all's faith in the face of overwhelming and unequivocal fact....

    "You still have your pride.. Good for you.."
    -Michael, STARGATE-ATLANTIS

    A perfect example of the struggle between the social construct vs the physical reality..

    Reality always wins...

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    . Why bother impeaching Trump if you're confident you can beat him at the ballot box?

    Terms of Impeachment: Media Mention The I-Word 309 Times in One Day
    https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/bill-dagostino/2019/04/19/terms-impeachment-media-mention-i-word-309-times-one-day

    Apparently, Democrats AREN'T to confident with their PLAN B..

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Release of Mueller report finally sets Trump — and America — free

    Good God, free at last, free at last.

    Donald Trump is now free to be president without the cloud that hovered over him since his election. No president ever faced, let alone survived, a probe as fierce and determined as this one.

    Cleared of false charges that threatened to end his presidency, Trump can be forgiven for gloating and rubbing a little salt into the wounds of his tormentors with a jab about serving another “10 to 14 years.”

    Naturally, the hysterics are hysterical over that one. They can’t even take a joke.

    Yet Trump’s great victory is not his alone. The release of the special counsel report marks a day of freedom for all of America and sends shock waves around the world.
    https://nypost.com/2019/04/18/release-of-mueller-report-finally-sets-trump-and-america-free/

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    So hide your head in shame, Hillary Clinton. You started the false charge of collusion because you couldn’t accept defeat, and now your name will be synonymous with the most destructive hoax in American history.
    -Michael Goodwin

  48. [48] 
    Paula wrote:

    https://crooked.com/articles/democrats-impeachment-mueller/

    The real importance of impeachment at this point is to shelter the country from what Trump and his allies will do if Democrats remain aimless. Democrats aren’t really buying time for themselves. They are buying time for Trump to get the GOP back on its horribly dishonest but unified message that he has been exonerated and that the investigation itself was criminal. If Democrats don’t pull the country into a debate about impeachment, we won’t get a draw. We will get a debate about investigating the investigators and jailing Trump’s critics. Cowardice creates a void that Trump will fill with autocratic ambition, and his crooked attorney general will be there to help.

    William Barr has already threatened the FBI officials who launched the Russia investigation with recriminations. Two of Trump’s most clownish but ubiquitous propagandists told the White House counsel in a semi-public forum that they should counteract the Mueller report by charging Hillary Clinton with a crime.

    The combination of impunity from prosecution, a faithless attorney general, and a Congress that says impeachment isn’t worth it is a bit like hanging a flashing sign outside Trump’s bedroom window that screams “YOU ARE ABOVE THE LAW.” It tells him that no one with any power will discourage him from colluding with Russia (or the Saudis or his new best friend Kim Jong Un) to win the election just as he did in 2016. The “politically cautious” move is actually an invitation to him—to work in tandem with the next authoritarian regime that’s willing to criminally sabotage the Democrats’ eventual nominee.

  49. [49] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    All crowing aside...I was right from day one. Trump is/was/will always be, a complete failure at all his aspirations. Trump tried and failed to obstruct justice (lol, he couldn't manage that because he hired people of relatively decent conscience, and they refused to sink to his level) Trump solicited help from the Ruskies and failed to cover his tracks (Trump will face that reality when he's out of office, there being no precedent to indict a sitting president).

    I'm glad this is all cleared up no...Trump is a lying piece shit, a treasonous twat and an unholy arsehole.

    Case closed.

    LL&P

  50. [50] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [48}:

    Oh, I take it for granted that the response of Republicans is worse than I think it will be. They never stop undermining themselves.

    You know how you can tell who a hero is? He (or she) is the one who always bests the Anti-Hero. Two good examples in Modern politics is Barack Obama (who has always bested Trump) and, surprisingly, Nancy Pelosi, who Trump can't lay a finger on. They're heroes, you see.

    Trump is an anti-hero. He bumbles through this report like a drunk. I'm at page 291, and so far Trump keeps breaking things, and then trying to cover those up, and it's a real mess. People keep writing memos to the record: really, I had nothing to do with this.

    Trump just marshals on, talking himself up, talking others down, and blowing hot air up everyone else's asses. It'll work for him until he's caught, which he inevitably will be.

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://crooked.com

    Well, at least the name of the website is aptly named.. :D

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    All crowing aside...I was right from day one.

    Actually, no you weren't.. You were one of the biggest purveyors of the RUSSIA COLLUSION bullshit..

    By why let FACTS ruin a perfectly good hysterical rant..

    I'm glad this is all cleared up no...Trump is a lying piece shit, a treasonous twat and an unholy arsehole.

    AND he is completely and utterly exonerated from your Russia Collusion bullshit..

    :D

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Two good examples in Modern politics is Barack Obama (who has always bested Trump)

    Yea?? Odumbo promised Trump would "never be president"...

    Seems like Odumbo is in the dirt and President Trump is on top..

    But why let FACTS ruin a perfectly good hysterical bullshit rant..

    Trump just marshals on, talking himself up, talking others down, and blowing hot air up everyone else's asses. It'll work for him until he's caught, which he inevitably will be.

    So, are you gonna man up and take the Russia Collusion Sherman???

  54. [54] 
    Kick wrote:

    House of Representatives Subpoena for the full Mueller Report

    https://tinyurl.com/y2huedu7

  55. [55] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Seems like Odumbo is in the dirt and President Trump is on top..

    But why let FACTS ruin a perfectly good hysterical bullshit rant?

    Ooo, damn, wiped by the 22nd amendment!

    I presume Trump has a cure for that.

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ooo, damn, wiped by the 22nd amendment!

    Relevance??

    Ooooh that's right.. You can't admit you were wrong about Russia Collusion..

    So it's natural you would throw out ANYTHING to confuse the issue.. :D

    I won't force it..

    "That's OK, Danny.. I know you don't have a good excuse so I won't force you to come up with a bad one.."
    -Capt. Whitaker, A FEW GOOD MEN

    :D

  57. [57] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    31

    Nice. This man clearly "gets" it. Good form. It is a very nice contrast to those who seem incapable of grasping the fact that the law is nuanced and that OSC Mueller's decision whether or not to indict a POTUS (any POTUS) was preordained by his explicit adherence to the DOJ OLC -- Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel -- policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Mueller acknowledged right out of the gate that he was a department employee and thereby had to accept the department's legal conclusion.

    In his report, Mueller makes clear that if his report concluded that the POTUS could otherwise face federal charges that it would not be fair because the POTUS could never be fully exonerated of any such determination on his part. As many of us have discussed many times on this board, a decision not to prosecute (which was made straight out of the gate here) isn't the equivalent of being fully exonerated... only a judge/jury finding of "not guilty" can fully exonerate a person; it's a simple legal concept... you could ask Paul Manafort since he's had plenty of time to grasp that concept in his jail cell.

    As Mueller explains in his report, the DOJ policy that kept POTUS safe from any indictment did not bar him from exonerating POTUS if the facts warranted it, and he determined that the investigation "does not exonerate him."

    It'll work for him until he's caught, which he inevitably will be.

    Maybe... maybe not... but he is definitely immune from prosecution until he's no longer POTUS because Mueller adhered to DOJ policy. On the "conspiracy" charge, Mueller was able to clear POTUS in regards to the "Russian government." So that leaves WikiLeaks and any other entity not the "Russian government" that anyone not POTUS can still be indicted for conspiring with or aiding and abetting with or any crime with which they can be credibly charged. As far as POTUS, he's untouchable until he's no longer POTUS, but when they do indict the others in the spin-off cases -- see the Michael Cohen case in *New York, New York* for example -- it'll be quite easy to ascertain Trump's legal liability because those cases will likely be heavily redacted and referring to him in terms such as "Individual 1" or some such similar terms.

    We recognize that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting president would place burdens on the president's capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential conduct. ~ Mueller report

    The footnotes in the Mueller report contain some of the most fascinating facts and read like an impeachment referral. Footnote 1991 is a fascinating read, stating in part: "A possible remedy through impeachment for abuses of power would not substitute for potential criminal liability after a President leaves office." Basically, impeachment or a lack of one doesn't remove criminal culpability. Ouch! If that weren't a fact, there would be absolutely no need whatsoever for "Individual 1" to keep trashing the Mueller report which he claims "totally exonerates" him. *shakes head* :)

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why bother impeaching Trump if you're confident you can beat him at the ballot box?

    Elizabeth Warren calls on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/elizabeth-warren-calls-on-congress-to-begin-impeachment-proceedings-against-trump/

    OK... So...

    Lie'awatha is NOT confident on Democrat's "PLAN B"....

    Apparently, Democrats are hip to what every patriotic American already knows..

    Democrats don't stand a chance in 2020...

  59. [59] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS

    My dispute with Kick and her friends was NEVER of the nature of a defense of Trump.

    Stucki is absolutely correct here. He has made it unequivocally and abundantly clear that he thinks Trump is an "expletive deleted." If you read the entire Mueller report including the painstaking recitation of facts wherein Mueller takes great care to preserve the record (in regards to his narrow mandate, of course), it is similarly clear that Mueller has repeatedly come to the same conclusion as Stucki. As for those issues outside the narrow mandate of conspiracy or coordination with the "Russian government," see Appendix D.

    It was more like me pointing out that she was claiming that 2+2 =5. She was simply and stupidly wrong in claiming that it's illegal to get dirt on your political opponent from Russians.

    Wrong again on this one, though, Stucki. Please keep prattling on and on about this as if you know what you're talking about. That way, if Trump or any of his associates are later prosecuted for getting "dirt" from "WikiLeaks" or any other foreign nationals, it'll be abundantly clear who the moron is.

    The fact is, it's still just as illegal as it ever was to get "dirt" from "Russians" or any foreign nationals as set forth in statute in the United States Code; however, the issue of whether or not a prosecutor will make the determination to make a criminal charge against someone for doing so is an altogether entirely different matter. :)

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    Balthy,

    Oh, I take it for granted that the response of Republicans is worse than I think it will be. They never stop undermining themselves.

    Says the guy who is representative of the Party that has been claiming hysterically for the last 2+ years that Donald Trump and his campaign colluded with Russians to win the election without a SINGLE SOLITARY **FACT** to support such hysteria...

    Future historians will write how it was Democrats who undermined themselves and their credibility at EVERY juncture...

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Noam Chomsky Calls Dem Focus on Russia a ‘Huge Gift’ to Trump: ‘They May Have Handed Him the Next Election’
    https://www.mediaite.com/trump/noam-chomsky-calls-dem-focus-on-russia-a-huge-gift-to-trump-they-may-have-handed-him-the-next-election/

    So much for PLAN B...

    Democrats are handing 2020 to President Trump...

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    “The Democrats invested everything in this issue. Well, turned out there was nothing much there. They gave Trump a huge gift. In fact, they may have handed him the next election. … That’s a matter of being so unwilling to deal with fundamental issues, that they’re looking for something on the side that will somehow give political success.”
    -Noam Chomsky

    President Trump played Democrats like a well-worn fiddle...

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mueller's done, and Dems should be too — because Trump is no Nixon

    Most people don’t understand what it is to not only to be personally investigated for something you didn’t do but to have your friends, family members and associates placed in legal jeopardy over it. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team systematically targeted the people around the president, squeezing them like lemons, indicting them on mostly process crimes created by the investigation itself. They reviewed everyone’s emails, text messages, phone calls, bank statements — and yet, their conclusion on collusion was clear and definitive. It has to be believed.

    I was there working with President Clinton in 1998 when he pondered whether to send missiles against Osama bin Laden but was concerned it would be viewed as “wagging the dog.” We missed bin Laden that day. It was symbolic of how everything in the White House was affected by the Monica Lewinsky investigation; it changed everything we did. And, yes, there was a good bit of cursing then, too.

    The big difference between today and what happened in 1998 or during the Nixon era is that, at the end of the day, the Mueller investigators found no stained dress, no break-in, no hush money, no enemies list. There never was a crime, and what seemed far-fetched was simply that — this time, a duly elected president was investigated for a crime that never even existed. In fact, evidence is mounting that the investigation itself was launched on phony grounds.

    And so, the screaming partisan antics of Democrats in the House are likely to set the Democratic Party back a decade if they do not get a grip on themselves. In partisan unison, with scripted talking points, they keep calling everyone else “partisan.” It simply does not pass the laugh test at this point.
    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/439691-mueller-done-dems-should-be-too-trump-is-no-nixon

    Democrats, Never Trumpers and Trump/America haters have irrevocably damaged the Democrat Party..

    Probably beyond recovery...

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mueller's done, and Dems should be too — because Trump is no Nixon

    Most people don’t understand what it is to not only to be personally investigated for something you didn’t do but to have your friends, family members and associates placed in legal jeopardy over it. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team systematically targeted the people around the president, squeezing them like lemons, indicting them on mostly process crimes created by the investigation itself. They reviewed everyone’s emails, text messages, phone calls, bank statements — and yet, their conclusion on collusion was clear and definitive. It has to be believed.

    I was there working with President Clinton in 1998 when he pondered whether to send missiles against Osama bin Laden but was concerned it would be viewed as “wagging the dog.” We missed bin Laden that day. It was symbolic of how everything in the White House was affected by the Monica Lewinsky investigation; it changed everything we did. And, yes, there was a good bit of cursing then, too.

    The big difference between today and what happened in 1998 or during the Nixon era is that, at the end of the day, the Mueller investigators found no stained dress, no break-in, no hush money, no enemies list. There never was a crime, and what seemed far-fetched was simply that — this time, a duly elected president was investigated for a crime that never even existed. In fact, evidence is mounting that the investigation itself was launched on phony grounds.

    And so, the screaming partisan antics of Democrats in the House are likely to set the Democratic Party back a decade if they do not get a grip on themselves. In partisan unison, with scripted talking points, they keep calling everyone else “partisan.” It simply does not pass the laugh test at this point.
    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/439691-mueller-done-dems-should-be-too-trump-is-no-nixon

    Democrats, Never Trumpers and Trump/America haters have irrevocably damaged the Democrat Party..

    Probably beyond recovery...

  65. [65] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale,

    apropos to nothing in particular, noam chomsky is the brightest ignoramus in the cosmos. he should stick to linguistics. for evidence, see here:

    https://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/8/noam_chomsky_what_israel_is_doing

    as to process crimes vs. underlying crimes, manafort's tax evasion and witness tampering are not exactly pattycake. nor is flynn taking the job of national security advisor while still an agent of turkey. fortunately donald trump didn't commit those crimes, but he did show some iffy judgment in hiring both of those men.

  66. [66] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    OK, so how meaningful is it to interpret a rule so narrowly as to infringe on 1st amend. rights of free speech, if you know that no prosecutor will ever attempt to prosecute , and you know if one ever managed to get such a conviction, it would never stand up to an appeal??

  67. [67] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    65

    apropos to nothing in particular, noam chomsky is the brightest ignoramus in the cosmos.

    I agree! Also, it sounds like Mark Penn -- another ignoramus -- is still quite butthurt from his personal disputes with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Poor Mark, he and Dick Morris are two of a kind... guys who are so upset from their personal fallouts with the Clintons that they'd crank out opinion pieces full of misinformation for President Pathological Liar.

    Mark Penn: The big difference between today and what happened in 1998 or during the Nixon era is that, at the end of the day, the Mueller investigators found no stained dress,...

    If they were looking for a "stained dress," this would be relevant, but they weren't so it's just butthurt Mark Penn still whining after all these years.

    no break-in...

    Wrong. Butthurt Mark Penn obviously didn't read the Mueller report. There were multiple break-ins and attempted break-ins of multiple computers by the GRU, actually computers of both Democrats and Republicans, but they only released the Democrats emails... so far. Each of those break-ins is definitely a crime. That's why there were multiple indictments for multiple crimes and multiple other crimes that were spun off into other cases... lots of them.

    no hush money...

    Wrong. There were multiple instances of "hush money," and those crimes were spun off to SDNY where Trump's fixer/lawyer has plead guilty to his criminal actions and going to prison, and Boss Man Trump is identified in those court records as "Individual 1."

    no enemies list.

    Sounds like Mark Penn hasn't listened to a Trump rally or read Trump's twitter feed. We'll just chalk up that one there to the stupidity of Mark Penn.

    There never was a crime...

    Wrong! Hacking, Mark... hacking and theft and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Duh! There were multiple crimes.

    and what seemed far-fetched was simply that — this time, a duly elected president was investigated for a crime that never even existed.

    Wrong again. Multiple crimes were committed. The POTUS requested that Russia hack his opponent (a crime which was attempted by them 5 hours later), and he also fired the Director of the FBI and the next day told Russians that firing the "nut job" took off the heat from him (potential crime) and then he sat in front of a camera on NBC News and told the world that he fired Comey because of that "Russia thing" (again, a potential crime) and numerous other crimes against the United States.

    In fact, evidence is mounting that the investigation itself was launched on phony grounds.

    Wrong! The only evidence that is mounting is that Mark Penn is still butthurt after all these years... so butthurt that he's now writing opinion pieces chock full of BS for the likes of the Skeevy Oval Office Hush Money Check Writing Porn Star President. :)

  68. [68] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki
    66

    OK, so how meaningful is it to interpret a rule so narrowly as to infringe on 1st amend. rights of free speech,

    You might want to -- actually, you really should -- divest yourself of the nonsensical notion that "1st amend. rights" are unlimited. For instance, it's not okay to talk to "Russkies" about anything you want because you have "free speech rights." If you don't believe me, ask Paul Manafort how much time he is spending in jail for talking to foreigners and being the agent of foreign persons without first registering as a foreign agent under FARA laws; many have argued that it's a violation of first amendment rights, and many have lost in court. Many charged with espionage for talking to "Russkies" have argued their first amendment rights too, and many have failed miserably regarding that issue also. The old "I can't be prosecuted for espionage for talking to a foreigner because I have free speech rights" defense has failed too numerous times to list.

    if you know that no prosecutor will ever attempt to prosecute , and you know if one ever managed to get such a conviction, it would never stand up to an appeal??

    I'm not the one presuming to "know that no prosecutor will ever attempt to prosecute" or that "it would never stand up to an appeal"... that would be you doing that. Multiple laws like this exist, Stucki, and your interpretation that such law violates "free speech" and couldn't pass constitutional muster is your opinion and doesn't change the law.

    So to recap: It's actually not legal to get "dirt" from "Russkies" or other foreign nationals, and... depending on the circumstances, a perpetrator could be charged under multiple different statutes for doing that very thing... but, having said all that... in your defense and the defense of journalists everywhere... it's not always illegal either, depending on the circumstances. That's why prosecutors will look at all the circumstances and make a determination. :)

  69. [69] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    schenck established that speech equivalent to falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre would not be protected. however, the trouble with applying schenck to free speech at the moment is that a significant portion of the population genuinely believes the fiction that the theatre is on fire.

  70. [70] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    69

    Sad... but painfully true.

    Narrator: Schenck just recently turned 100 years old... a SCOTUS oldie but a goodie. :)

  71. [71] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Once you've read the report, you realize that the entire second volume should be named:

    VOL II: THINGS YOU COULD IMPEACH HIM ON RIGHT NOW

    Complete with motive, nexus, witnesses. It's basically an instruction manual.

    And by the way, Michale, Collusion wasn't being looked for, otherwise your guy is toast. What was Manafort doing if he wasn't colluding the ENTIRE time with Kilimnik? What was Roger Stone doing, and how much did Trump know about it? Alot, according to what we've seen so far. Collusion isn't even an issue.

  72. [72] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    71

    Once you've read the report, you realize that the entire second volume should be named:

    VOL II: THINGS YOU COULD IMPEACH HIM ON RIGHT NOW

    Yes... exactly this!

    They probably could have listed several more if they hadn't been limited to one ream of paper. ;)

  73. [73] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    They probably could have listed several more if they hadn't been limited to one ream of paper. ;)

    Or redactions! What's under those little black things?

    more?

    That's what they don't want you to see.

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    as to process crimes vs. underlying crimes, manafort's tax evasion and witness tampering are not exactly pattycake.

    Yea?? And yet Democrats who have done the EXACT SAME THING are given a pass...

    Why is it that, when they have a -D after their name, those "crimes" ARE exactly pattycake???

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    And by the way, Michale, Collusion wasn't being looked for, otherwise your guy is toast.

    What are you saying??

    The Mueller was being tasked with finding evidence that President Trump colluded with the Russians and he didn't bother to look for collusion??

    What was Manafort doing if he wasn't colluding the ENTIRE time with Kilimnik? What was Roger Stone doing, and how much did Trump know about it?

    You tell me?? You're the one who claims to be a mind-reader...

    Balthy, you lost.. The ENTIRE *TRUMP TAKEDOWN* maneuver failed... Spectacularly and unequivocally failed..

    It's time to move on..

    OR...

    Or ya'all can whine and cry and bitch and moan and stamp yer feets and holds yer breaths just like ya'all did in the aftermath of the 2016 election and guarantee that President Trump wins re-election in a landslide..

    Either way, I am a happy camper.. :D

  76. [76] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    I am guessing that you have no plans to read the report so not to effect your unabashed cheerleading for Trump... which makes no sense for someone who loves to brag about how much more patriotic he is than anyone on here is. I should have said that it makes no sense for someone being honest about the 2016 election.

    Forget Hillary, forget Trump...neither of them were at the center of the initial investigation into Russia’s interference into our election. The Special Prosecutor was only brought in after Trump fired the FBI Director after he would not drop the Russian investigation with regards to Flynn. Trump stated publicly that he fired Comey because of the Russian investigation — believing that he would be able to dictate how the investigation would work so not to include his own campaign being investigated.

    Do you believe Putin thought that Trump would be a strong president, and that is why he supported him? Or is it more likely that he thought Trump would be such a clusterfuck that he would do unimaginable harm to our country and it’s position of influence in the world? Why would Putin want someone who could “Make America Great Again” like America had been during the days of the Soviet Union?

    You have a foreign government contacting and openly telling a candidate that they are helping to get that candidate elected (and offer to assist even more if need be), and the candidate and everyone in the campaign lie when questioned about these contacts.

    The sad part is that the counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump conspired with Russia did not start because of all of the lies he told, it only started after he took steps to obstruct the investigation into the actions of a foreign power! The FBI’s investigation was not focused on Trump, it was focused on Russia! Trump made it all about Trump!

    Mueller also made in clear that there is a lot more information not included in his report that our intelligence agencies have collected regarding Trump’s campaign’s contacts with Russia that they could request, if they choose to. After reading the report, it really seems that the only thing that prevented conspiracy charges from being filed against Trump wasn’t a lack of evidence, but the DOJ policy on indicting a sitting president.

    So I have to ask you, why do you think it is “patriotic” to support a president that accepted foreign aide in winning the election? You can claim that there is no proof that Russian interference had any effect on how people voted...but I have no doubt that if we looked back over all of the stories you posted on this site bashing Clinton during the election that we would find that some of those were created by the Russian misinformation effort. If it would have no effect over how people voted, then why would Putin do it? Why?

    This has never been about Republican vs. Democrat, this is about a foreign government interfering with the selection of our president. That our president has intentionally attempted to undermine that investigation is not acceptable, regardless of their party affiliation.

    And in making it all about himself, he violated his oath of office to uphold and defend the laws of this country. Mueller laid out a very clear road map for successfully charging Trump with obstruction that either Congress can use for impeachment or that will be used to indict Trump if he leaves office prior to the statute of limitations expiring.

    The only reason Trump is not facing felony charges is because the DOJ believes that it cannot charge a sitting president...that is it! Any other person in this country would face charges...you and I would both have been indicted if we did what Trump did...but Trump will not as long as he is president. Why would you support that?!?!

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