Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Now that Robert Mueller has closed up shop as special counsel and shot off fireworks at his final press conference, the country can step back and assess the job he did. The results are decidedly mixed.

Mueller made two vital contributions. The first was an in-depth investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He concluded it was systematic and favored Donald Trump. The second was an intensive examination of possible coordination between the Russians and the Trump campaign. He concluded that no charges were warranted against any Americans.

The country needed those investigations and Mueller deserves praise for conducting them...[snip]...

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How do these issues affect Mueller's reputation? First, his entire investigation was based on two fragile pillars, which Mueller never questioned. If they collapse, Mueller is buried in the rubble. The first pillar is the FBI's dubious "origin story." The bureau states, and Mueller explicitly accepts, that its Trump investigation began in late-July 2016 after a low-level campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos, spoke about Russia to an Australian diplomat in a London bar. Apparently, Papadopoulos also made exculpatory comments, which were not included (as legally required) in a subsequent search-warrant application.

But there is mounting evidence that Papadopoulos was not the first target and July 2016 was not the real starting date. Counter-intelligence investigations of Trump and his associates apparently began earlier and were never disclosed. Neither was widespread illegal spying on Americans by intelligence agencies and their private contractors. Still more surveillance was outsourced to friendly foreign intelligence agencies, which relayed their findings to Washington. Mueller never mentioned these problems -- and possible crimes.

These omissions matter. They illustrate bias against Trump and suggest the report's evidence may be tainted by omission and commission. [snip]

Perhaps the worst self-inflicted damage was Mueller's "not not guilty" statement about Trump. His exact quote: "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so." That statement is a frontal assault on the oldest, deepest principles of Western law:

*No one has to prove their innocence; everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that includes the president, Supreme Court nominees, and anyone else; and *Prosecutors should never pronounce guilt before a verdict or assert someone committed crimes or "bad acts" without charging them. Either charge a crime or shut up. Mueller missed an excellent opportunity to shut up.

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IMO this is a fair and even-handed piece.

I like how it concluded:

In violating these fundamental legal principles, Mueller mirrored the infamous 2016 press conference by then-FBI Director James Comey...Comey's press conference is an act that will live in infamy.

It is stunning to see an experienced prosecutor like Robert Mueller repeat the error. The best explanation comes from a classic comedy sketch by Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore. It ends with Moore asking his friend, "Do you feel you've learnt by your mistakes here?" "Yes," Cooke replies, "and I think I can repeat them almost perfectly."

That, sadly, is how Robert Mueller is ending his public service. He learned from James Comey's mistakes. And he repeated them almost perfectly.

#1 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 10:06 AM | Reply

Perhaps the worst self-inflicted damage was Mueller's "not not guilty" statement about Trump. His exact quote: "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so." That statement is a frontal assault on the oldest, deepest principles of Western law:

No doubt ...

Did you read this JeffJ ... very interesting take on Muellers gymnastics...

The Mueller Investigation Was Always an Impeachment Probe
www.nationalreview.com

#2 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-05 10:27 AM | Reply

"They illustrate bias against Trump and suggest the report's evidence may be tainted by omission and commission"

It's an argument for impeachment.

This issue of fairness towards Trump is an interesting one because only the most fanatic shill will assert that he has, or intends to be, fair towards any one.

#3 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 10:28 AM | Reply

He damn sure isn't the 'boy scout' and 'most honorable' person in dc. He was a 'never Trumper' all along.

#4 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-06-05 10:28 AM | Reply

Barr needs to get to the root of the entire operation.

Every American and media outlet should want and support
a complete, thorough, exhaustive and transparent accounting of the 2016 election.

We don't have it yet. We will get it.

#5 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-06-05 10:28 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

It brings to mind the Republican argument during the Bush II years: Why obey the laws of war in regards to people who don't obey the laws of war?

#6 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 10:30 AM | Reply

We don't have it yet. We will get it.

#5 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-06-

No we won't. Not if Trump can help it.

Like one of those shills I reference ignore the obvious, constant verity:

The Truth is not Trump's friend.

#7 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 10:31 AM | Reply

#2 Yes, I read that piece, Andrea.

#8 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 10:33 AM | Reply

This issue of fairness towards Trump is an interesting one because only the most fanatic shill will assert that he has, or intends to be, fair towards any one.

#3 | POSTED BY ZED

The question isn't one of "fairness". The question is one of adhering to established procedures and principles. Mueller is receiving specific criticisms for instances where he has veered. These are legitimate criticisms that have nothing to do with Trump. You are proffering and 'ends justify the means' approach for a process (Special Counsel) that is supposed to be apolitical.

#9 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 10:36 AM | Reply

How can a man who lies virtually any time he opens his mouth possibly value the Truth? Especially about himself?

I like you guys. You're so corrupt you're amusing.

#10 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 10:36 AM | Reply

Zed,

This thread isn't about Trump. In fact, it has little to do with Trump.

If JPW was here he'd be scolding your for deflecting.

#11 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 10:38 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

You are proffering and 'ends justify the means' approach for a process

#9 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 10:36 AMFlag: (Choose)FunnyNewsworthyOffensiveAbusive

What I'm stating is the obvious: Donald Trump already practices "the ends justify the means".

You uphold a belief in the rule of law Trump does not.

He just doesn't.

#12 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 10:39 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

This thread isn't about Trump. In fact, it has little to do with Trump.

#11 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 10:38 AM

It has to do with Mueller's investigation of Trump but not Trump?

I really like you guys.

#13 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 10:40 AM | Reply

How can a man who lies virtually any time he opens his mouth possibly value the Truth? Especially about himself? ~ Zed

Everytime you post Zed, you write some form of a lie....

I like you, you are so ignorant of it is amusing.

#14 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-05 10:40 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

It has to do with Mueller's investigation of Trump but not Trump?

The investigation was ostensibly about getting to the bottom of the extent that Russia interfered with our election.

Because Trump is a POS doesn't give Mueller carte blanche to drop investigatory and prosecutorial procedures because Trump.

#15 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 10:44 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Did you read this JeffJ ... very interesting take on Muellers gymnastics...
The Mueller Investigation Was Always an Impeachment Probe
www.nationalreview.com

#2 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS

FTA

"Nevertheless, with the media howling that somebody -- Barr -- had to be fibbing, the press offices got busy. By early evening, DOJ and Mueller's shuttering shop put out this joint statement:

The Attorney General has previously stated that the Special Counsel repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying that, but for the OLC opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice. The Special Counsel's report and his statement made clear that [his] office concluded it would not reach a determination -- one way or the other -- about whether the President committed a crime. There is no conflict between these statements."

That's a pretty clear statement

#16 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-06-05 10:47 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

You guys are hilarious. Not a peep when Barr breaks with procedure to tell everyone that trump is completely exonerated (PS. He wasn't). But loose your minds when Mueller trys to set the record straight. Republicans truly have become pieces of ---.

#17 | Posted by schmanch at 2019-06-05 10:49 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

The investigation was ostensibly about getting to the bottom of the extent that Russia interfered with our election.
Because Trump is a POS doesn't give Mueller carte blanche to drop investigatory and prosecutorial procedures because Trump.

#15 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

This.

Trump is a POS. Which has nothing to do with the SC investigation, which has nothing to do with Barr accounting for the 2016 election.

#18 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-06-05 10:51 AM | Reply

when Mueller trys to set the record straight. Republicans truly have become pieces of ---.

#17 | POSTED BY SCHMANCH

Read the joint statement in #16.

#19 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-06-05 10:52 AM | Reply

Not a peep when Barr breaks with procedure to tell everyone that trump is completely exonerated (PS. He wasn't)

Barr never said that. In fact, when he released his letter to congress he quoted Mueller verbatim:

"While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

#20 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:05 AM | Reply

The investigation was ostensibly about getting to the bottom of the extent that Russia interfered with our election.

I disagree, it was fundamentally about interfering with Trumps ability to execute the office of the President of the United States.

Obama could have and should have begun an investigation, he did kick Russian diplomats out, so there was all ready some understanding of this fact.

When did Mueller learn that there was no collusion? Why not make those findings known immediately?

#21 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-05 11:19 AM | Reply

#20 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

This goes down as a "very fine people" moment.

Barr IMO mentioned that statement because its so preposterous.

#22 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-05 11:20 AM | Reply

Since the Senate is unlikely to convict -- the evidence is too thin to win a two-thirds majority -- the Democrats' practical goal is to damage Trump's chances in 2020.

LOL with a gem like that right in the beginning I'm not sure I'll bother reading any further.

#23 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 11:23 AM | Reply

Even if Mueller believed he could not indict a sitting president, he could have said the evidence justified it. He made no such statement, though he did list some instances that might be considered obstruction.

I'm done reading this pile of garbage.

He states, explicitly, in the intro to Vol II that even the accusation or a sealed indictment is an unconstitutional restraint on the POTUS because they are unable to clear their name in a fair and speedy trial.

Seriously, why do you guys have to lie when the text is there for anybody to read? Oh, because by destroying Mueller you hope to lessen the impact of what was in the report.

God righties are ---- disgusting.

#24 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 11:25 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

IMO this is a fair and even-handed piece.

It's garbage, like just about every other article you've posted on the topic.

#25 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 11:26 AM | Reply

The Mueller Investigation Was Always an Impeachment Probe
www.nationalreview.com

#2 | Posted by AndreaMackris

Hey idiot, any investigation into potential criminal conduct on the part of a POTUS or POTUS-elect is an "impeachment probe".

#26 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 11:27 AM | Reply

Barr needs to get to the root of the entire operation.

Every American and media outlet should want and support
a complete, thorough, exhaustive and transparent accounting of the 2016 election.

We don't have it yet. We will get it.

#5 | Posted by SheepleSchism

Meaning Trump needs to get political retribution via weaponization of the DOJ.

God you're a POS.

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 11:28 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

LOL with a gem like that right in the beginning I'm not sure I'll bother reading any further.

#23 | POSTED BY JPW

That "gem" is common sense. Of course that's their practical goal. A failed impeachment attempt would cause political harm for Democrats, so their leaders in the House aren't serious about filing articles. So, in the absence of that they'll use anything from the Mueller report and anything else they can get their hands on to try and harm Trump politically.

That shouldn't even be a contentious comment. This is politics and the campaigning for '20 has unofficially started. It's absolutely their goal. They'd suck as a major political party if it wasn't their goal.

#28 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:28 AM | Reply

You are proffering and 'ends justify the means' approach for a process (Special Counsel) that is supposed to be apolitical.

#9 | Posted by JeffJ

When you strip away the conspiracy theories that's exactly what you see.

#29 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 11:29 AM | Reply

That "gem" is common sense.

Common sense is a poor argument, usually indicative of a lack of substance.

In any case my comment wasn't about the Dems and 2020. It was about the part stating the evidence is too thin.

#30 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 11:31 AM | Reply

#24 | POSTED BY JPW

You have become almost completely incapable of discussing this issue rationally.

This thread is about Mueller and problems with some of the way he's handled himself with this report.

That's it.

You are doing what you accuse Sheeple of doing - misdirecting, etc.

#31 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:31 AM | Reply

Jeffyj doesn't trust "hyper partisan POS's"

That is, right up to when he does, without question

#32 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2019-06-05 11:33 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

In any case my comment wasn't about the Dems and 2020. It was about the part stating the evidence is too thin.

#30 | POSTED BY JPW

Whether or not his actions rose the level of impeachment/removal is a political opinion.

Maybe "evidence is too thin" was a poor way of phrasing it. But, if that's your biggest beef with the linked piece you are being pedantic.

#33 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:34 AM | Reply

A failed impeachment attempt would cause political harm for Democrats

#28 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:28 AMFlag: (Choose)FunnyNewsworthyOffensiveAbusive

It depends entirely on how the case is developed.

Trump is a POS. Some shill said that above, though he's lying about his feelings.

No one is going to be driven into the POS's arms that's not already enjoying the stink of manure.

#34 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:34 AM | Reply

Seriously, why do you guys have to lie when the text is there for anybody to read? Oh, because by destroying Mueller you hope to lessen the impact of what was in the report.

Pot meet kettle, especially when you losers continue to harp on the now dead Conspiracy/Collusion/Coordination Narrative.

Stick with obstruction and start impeachment proceedings or stop whining and STFU.

#35 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-06-05 11:36 AM | Reply

Being a POS can be more than ample reason for impeachment.

#36 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:39 AM | Reply

dead Conspiracy/Collusion/Coordination Narrative.

#35 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-06-05 11:36 AMFlag: (Choose)FunnyNewsworthyOffensiveAbusive

Who said it's dead? Why say it's dead?

That's a major reason to get Trump's finances, to find out for sure.

#37 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:40 AM | Reply

The Mueller Report is clear that Trump welcomed Russian help.

Meditate on that for a while.

#38 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:41 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

He states, explicitly, in the intro to Vol II that even the accusation or a sealed indictment is an unconstitutional restraint on the POTUS because they are unable to clear their name in a fair and speedy trial.

Nothing prevented him from rendering his own legal opinion as to whether or not criminal obstruction took place.

From the CBS interview:

JAN CRAWFORD, CBS NEWS: We saw the special counsel yesterday make the statement that he analyzed 11 instances where there was possible obstruction of justice but he couldn't really make a decision. Do you agree with that interpretation?

ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR: I personally felt he could have reached a decision.

CRAWFORD: In your view, he could have reached a conclusion?

BARR: Right, he could have reached a conclusion. The opinion says you can not indict a president while he's in office, but he could have reached a decision about whether it was criminal activity. He had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained. I'm not going to argue about those reasons, but when he didn't make a decision, the deputy attorney general and I felt it was necessary for us, as the heads of the department, to reach that decision.

CRAWFORD: Well, he seemed to suggest yesterday that there was another venue for this, and that was Congress.

BARR: I'm not sure what he was suggesting, but the Department of Justice doesn't use our powers of investigating a crime as an adjunct to Congress.

#39 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:43 AM | Reply

Being a POS can be more than ample reason for impeachment.

#36 | POSTED BY ZED

That is true. At the end of the day the impeachment process is inherently political.

#40 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:45 AM | Reply

Let me get this straight

An opinion piece about muellers reputation is being proffered by the same individual who swore Obama was going to legalize all the illegals before leaving office?
Not to mention all the other none sense he spewed that never materialized.

You people live without irony

See, Brain damaged

#41 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2019-06-05 11:45 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#39 | Posted by JeffJ

You trust Barr, JEFF?

#42 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:45 AM | Reply

Seriously, why do you guys have to lie when the text is there for anybody to read? Oh, because by destroying Mueller you hope to lessen the impact of what was in the report.

That's a nice straw man.

#43 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:47 AM | Reply

I don't trust Barr any more than I trust Trump: Less far than I can spit.

#44 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:48 AM | Reply

#39 | Posted by JeffJ
You trust Barr, JEFF?

#42 | POSTED BY ZED

As an independent source, no.

However, when other legal analysts are saying the same thing - yeah.

#45 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:48 AM | Reply

"Inherently political".

Is that why the republicans are doing nothing?

So there really is no "principe" or "convictions" in today's "conservative" ideology after all

Thanks for confirming you are absent of scruples

#46 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2019-06-05 11:49 AM | Reply

That is true. At the end of the day the impeachment process is inherently political.
#40 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

POS is a judgement, an opinion ... and no it shouldn't invoke impeachment process.

#47 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-05 11:49 AM | Reply

As an independent source, no.

#45 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06

Then don't cite him as authority.

#48 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:49 AM | Reply

Who said it's dead? Why say it's dead?
That's a major reason to get Trump's finances, to find out for sure.

#37 | POSTED BY ZED

No, it's not. The entire motivation is to pick through the corn and peanuts with chopsticks to search for a missing decimal point.

They're sure there's a 'gotcha' in there somewhere.

Aren't you, Zed?

#49 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-06-05 11:50 AM | Reply

#47 | Posted by AndreaMackris

Nonsense.

#50 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:50 AM | Reply

I don't trust Barr any more than I trust Trump: Less far than I can spit.
#44 | POSTED BY ZED

Who cares? Who cares if I do trust him ... the end of the day facts matter opinions not so much.

#51 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-05 11:50 AM | Reply

#50 | POSTED BY ZED

POS is a judgement, certainly it isn't literal.

#52 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-05 11:51 AM | Reply

They're sure there's a 'gotcha' in there somewhere.

Aren't you, Zed?

#49 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019

Yes, I thought from the start that Trump's financial records will prove evidence of crimes, plural.

Uh, are you trying to make me feel guilty for that?

#53 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:52 AM | Reply

Meaning Trump needs to get political retribution via weaponization of the DOJ.
God you're a POS.

#27 | POSTED BY JPW

You could wait for these investigations to be complete before making this claim.

You've already said you aren't hostile to the pending IG report.

These investigations are ultimately to determine whether or not the DOJ/FBI/Etc were weaponized against a political campaign in favor of the opposition political party.

Regardless, these pending investigations have nothing to do with this thread. My intent with this thread is to look at what has already happened, not what might happen in the future.

#54 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:52 AM | Reply

POS is a judgement, certainly it isn't literal.

#52 | Posted by AndreaMackris at

Donald Trump is a literal POS.

#55 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:53 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

You could wait for these investigations to be complete before making this claim.

#54 | Posted by JeffJ at 20

Could, but that would be stupid.

#56 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:54 AM | Reply

Then don't cite him as authority.

#48 | POSTED BY ZED

He's the AG of this country and this isn't his first rodeo ride.

I'm not making an appeal to authority.

The issue isn't Barr. The issue is whether what Barr is saying is accurate regarding Mueller having the power to render an opinion.

Quoting Barr was a quick Google search, an easy one at that.

STS isn't an argument. If you have refutation for what I quote Barr as saying, please provide it.

#57 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 11:55 AM | Reply

He's the AG of this country

#57 | Posted by JeffJ at

That's the office he holds, yes.

Mistake, isn't it?

#58 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 11:56 AM | Reply

Sheriff Zed would arrest, try, and hang all in the same day in his kangaroo court.

#59 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-06-05 12:00 PM | Reply

Donald Trump is a literal POS.
#55 | POSTED BY ZED

See now you just lost the argument ..

Why JeffJ continues to toy with you is a wonder.

#60 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-05 12:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Could, but that would be stupid.
#56 | POSTED BY ZED

Because your opinion is more important than reality?

#61 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-05 12:03 PM | Reply

See now you just lost the argument ..

#60 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019

POS is shorthand for so, so many nasty things. The sum of them makes Trump unfit for office. This is obvious from his everyday behavior.

Except to people like you. An enduring, itself nasty, mystery.

#62 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 12:05 PM | Reply

Because your opinion is more important than reality?

#61 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019

Let's do some reality testing:

Does Donald Trump believe that the ends justify the means?

#63 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 12:06 PM | Reply

Why JeffJ continues to toy with you is a wonder.
#60 | POSTED BY ANDRE, A MATTRESS

He literally has nothing else to do with his life.

Much like you.

#64 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-06-05 12:07 PM | Reply

Because your opinion is more important than reality?

#61 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019

Let's do a little more reality testing:

Is Donald Trump a truthful man?

#65 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 12:08 PM | Reply

Because your opinion is more important than reality?

#61 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019

More reality testing:

Does Donald Trump defraud other people of money?

#66 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 12:09 PM | Reply

Because your opinion is more important than reality?

#61 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019

Yet more:

Does Donald Trump stiff people on debts?

#67 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 12:09 PM | Reply

More:

Is Donald Trump a loyal husband and father?

#68 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 12:10 PM | Reply

OK, ANDREA. Starting to understand that whole POS thing now?

#69 | Posted by Zed at 2019-06-05 12:10 PM | Reply

#24 | POSTED BY JPW

You have become almost completely incapable of discussing this issue rationally.

This thread is about Mueller and problems with some of the way he's handled himself with this report.

That's it.

You are doing what you accuse Sheeple of doing - misdirecting, etc.

#31 | Posted by JeffJ

Nice. Avoid the content of the post and instead level a baseless accusation.

Is that because you can't address the content? Sure looks like it.

It's quite easy, actually. If Mueller didn't say I claimed he said my post was wrong and I'll admit to it.

If he did say it, then my post is dead on and you're SOL.

#70 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 12:39 PM | Reply

Whether or not his actions rose the level of impeachment/removal is a political opinion.

Correct, because charges can't be filed (per policy) until he's out of office.

However, given the content of the report I would have expected the party of morals and values to be harsher in their judgement than they've been thus far.

Oh well, party over country is apparently the new "patriotism" of the right.

#71 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 12:40 PM | Reply

Pot meet kettle, especially when you losers continue to harp on the now dead Conspiracy/Collusion/Coordination Narrative.

Stick with obstruction and start impeachment proceedings or stop whining and STFU.

#35 | Posted by Rightocenter

This post leaves only three options:

A. you didn't read the report
B. you didn't understand what you read
C. you're being dishonest

The only conclusion reached was a very narrow one on criminal conspiracy.

The rest of vol I laid out multiple instances of campaign cooperation and contact with Russian assets despite warnings from the FBI and in contradiction to their request to be notified if such things occurred.

Trump Jr even admitted the meeting in Trump tower was predicated on obtaining dirt on HRC.

So which is it, counsellor, A B or C?

#72 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 12:44 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

BARR: Right, he could have reached a conclusion. The opinion says you can not indict a president while he's in office, but he could have reached a decision about whether it was criminal activity. He had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained. I'm not going to argue about those reasons, but when he didn't make a decision, the deputy attorney general and I felt it was necessary for us, as the heads of the department, to reach that decision.

#39 | Posted by JeffJ

From Mueller's report:

Third, we considered whether to evaluate the conduct we investigated under the Justice Manual standards governing prosecution and declination decisions, but we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes. The threshold step under the Justice Manual standards is to assess whether a person's conduct " constitutes a federal offense." U.S. Dep't of Justice, Justice Manual§ 9-27.220 (2018) (Justice Manual). Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusation is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongly accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast, a prosecutor's judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name- clearing before an impartial adjudicator.5 The concerns about the fairness of such a determination would be heightened in the case of a sitting President, where a federal prosecutor's accusation of a crime, even in an internal report, could carry consequences that extend beyond the realm of criminal justice. OLC noted similar concerns about sealed indictments. Even if an indictment were sealed during the President' s term, OLC reasoned, "it would be very difficult to preserve [an indictment's] secrecy," and if an indictment became public, " [t]he stigma and opprobrium" could imperil the President' s ability to govern."6 Although a prosecutor' s internal report would not represent a formal public accusation akin to an indictment, the possibility of the report's public disclosure and the absence of a neutral adjudicatory forum to review its findings counseled against potentially determining "that the person' s conduct constitutes a federal offense." Justice Manual § 9-27.220.

Damned if he did damned if he didn't.

He took the conservative route and he's being lambasted and his reputation destroyed for it.

If he had done so, the very reasons he listed could and likely would have been leveled against him and he would have been destroyed as a partisan stooge.

#73 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 12:53 PM | Reply

Seriously, why do you guys have to lie when the text is there for anybody to read? Oh, because by destroying Mueller you hope to lessen the impact of what was in the report.

That's a nice straw man.

#43 | Posted by JeffJ

No it's not, it's a standard political ploy.

And it's interesting that it's being used now some time after the report was released along with the contradictory assessments of it by Trump and his supporters.

#74 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 12:56 PM | Reply

Title is misleading. It should read. JeffJ's Declining Reputation.

#75 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2019-06-05 12:59 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

Here is another opinion on this from a different source:

Yet, as I noted previously, Mueller's position on the investigation has become increasingly conflicted and, at points, unintelligible. As someone who defended Mueller's motivations against the unrelenting attacks of Trump, I found his press conference to be baffling, and it raised serious concerns over whether some key decisions are easier to reconcile on a political rather than a legal basis. Three decisions stand out that are hard to square with Mueller's image as an apolitical icon. If he ever deigns to answer questions, his legacy may depend on his explanations.

thehill.com

Same writer:

Nothing in the memos even remotely bars a special counsel from reaching conclusions on the basis of possible criminal charges. Indeed, the memos accept that the Justice Department needs to establish such evidence to preserve a record for possible later charges. That is why Mueller was told by his superiors that there was no policy barring him from finding criminal conduct, only the policy against indicting while the president is in office. Even if you twist the memos to suggest some prohibition to reaching conclusions on criminal conduct, that debate should have ended when his two superiors, the attorney general and deputy attorney general, told him there was no such policy and asked him to reach a conclusion.

His instructions and mandate were crystal clear. His position is even more nonsensical when you look at what he has already done. Mueller declared that "we concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime." Yet, Mueller contradicted that statement when he declared that "if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so."

So which is it? Mueller actually did reach a "determination one way or the other" on crimes related to collusion. In his special counsel report, he found that he could "not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." In effect, Mueller ultimately came across as almost coquettish in his declaration that he would not make a clear finding of a possible crime but could not rule out criminal conduct by the president.

In other words, Mueller can produce hundreds of pages of evidence of possible criminal conduct and repeatedly refer to not exonerating Trump of crimes but somehow cannot reach a conclusion on the weight of the evidence. Of course,Mueller did not address such questions because he would not tolerate questions. The media simply listened obediently as he claimed that he was only being "fair" when he repeated that he could not clear Trump of the crime. That, of course, led the media to declare that Mueller really was searching for criminal conduct with a wink and a nod.

Whatever space Mueller occupied in maintaining such a position, it was neither created nor countenanced by federal law or Justice Department policy....


thehill.com

#76 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 01:03 PM | Reply

Title is misleading. It should read. JeffJ's Declining Reputation.

#75 | POSTED BY LAURAMOHR

Or, Laura's Time of the Month

#77 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-06-05 01:04 PM | Reply

If Mueller didn't say I claimed he said my post was wrong and I'll admit to it.

What Mueller said was contradictory and that's the problem with all of this.

Damned if he did damned if he didn't.

He punted and handed the determination to Barr and Rosenstein.

See #76, second blockquote.

#78 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 01:07 PM | Reply

Here's the thing about Mueller failing to reach a conclusion - what's getting cited is the DOJ guideline about indicting a sitting president. Mueller teased it out at his presser. The problem is, Barr (and others were present to witness) pressed Mueller on whether or not it was the DOJ guideline that was preventing Mueller from reaching a conclusion.

What JPW is quoting is mealy-mouthed weasel stuff from Mueller.

This is why a joint statement between Barr and Mueller was issued just hours after the presser.

Undoubtedly Barr called him out and laid out a couple of options to further clarify. Mueller took the wise approach with a joint statement.

#79 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 01:20 PM | Reply

What JPW is quoting is mealy-mouthed weasel stuff from Mueller.

Garbage.

You're demanding he go against DoJ guidelines or else be "mealy-mouthed".

And you wonder why I think righties are all dishonesty all the time?

#80 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 01:22 PM | Reply

Here is another source:

Here I offer my final thoughts on this issue. I am more convinced than ever that the Mueller report misapplied the governing clear statement rule. The analysis is lengthy, so I will state my main conclusions here:

None of the critics defends the report's actual reasoning, which is pretty obviously flawed.

There are reasons to question the presidential clear statement rule, but under governing law, it applies here. This explains why the Mueller report, unlike some of my critics, embraces the rule without qualification.

Prior investigations of presidents do not provide precedents on which, under governing law, the report could rely. This explains why the Mueller report did not mention those investigations.

The exception to the presidential clear statement rule, and the analogy between obstruction of justice and bribery, cannot be leveraged to permit application of the obstruction statutes to most of the 10 events described in Volume II of the Mueller report.

The hoary hypotheticals about the clear statement rule are exaggerated. They should be addressed to Congress, which, consistent with the purposes of the rule, should in the first instance do the hard work of figuring out which Article II activities should be burdened by possible criminal liability.

The Mueller report's legal analysis around the clear statement rule, which no one defends, was likely a second-order consequence of the special counsel regulations' insistence on legal control by the attorney general. I suspect that a tense back and forth between Mueller and the Justice Department on governing law preceded the report, and explains its odd statutory interpretation analysis.


www.lawfareblog.com

#81 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 01:25 PM | Reply

You're demanding he go against DoJ guidelines or else be "mealy-mouthed".

I'm arguing he went against DOJ guidelines and that reaching a conclusion was what was called for within DOJ guidelines.

#82 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 01:27 PM | Reply

#73

You forgot one:

D. You accurately read and understood Mueller's conclusion on Volume I.

Your quote is from Page 2 of Volume II on Obsruction and has nothing to do with his conclusion on Russian Interference and as you "know" from having read the entire report, your quote has nothing to do with his investigation or conclusions in Volume I. Indeed, your quote is prefaced by this statement on Page 1 of Volume II:

"We first describe the considerations that guided our obstruction-of-justice investigation, and then provide an overview of this Volume:"

If you had posted the similar quote from Volume I, you would have seen this:

In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of "collusion." In so doing, the Office recognized that the word "collud[ e ]" was used in communications with the Acting Attorney General confirming certain aspects of the investigation's scope and that the term has frequently been invoked in public reporting about the investigation. But collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. For those reasons, the Office's focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law. In connection with that analysis, we addressed the factual question whether members of the Trump Campaign "coordinat[ ed]"-a term that appears in the appointment order-with Russian election interference activities. Like collusion, "coordination" does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law. We understood coordination to require an agreement-tacit or express- between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference. That requires more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other's actions or interests. We applied the term coordination in that sense when stating in the report that the investigation did not establish that the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.
Nice try though.

#83 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-06-05 01:27 PM | Reply

Stick with the obstruction evidence and discussion in Volume II, JPW, it will get you where you want to go...that is if Nancy and Jerry can find the cojones to start impeachment proceedings.

#84 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-06-05 01:30 PM | Reply

Your quote is from Page 2 of Volume II on Obsruction and has nothing to do with his conclusion on Russian Interference and as you "know" from having read the entire report, your quote has nothing to do with his investigation or conclusions in Volume I.

I didn't claim my quote applied to Vol I.

Don't misquote me if you're going to try and rebut me.

The reason I gave the ABC is because the report clearly shows that cooperation and communication did occur. Trump's people went to jail for these contacts. Trump Jr openly admitted to it.

Taking the conclusion of no criminal conspiracy and applying it broadly to the entire subject matter of Vol I is the type of dishonesty I've been railing against.

My ABC list was meant to give you the benefit of the doubt (A and B) because there is sure as hell no way anybody who's read the report or even the summary could make that blanket statement with a straight face.

#85 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 01:38 PM | Reply

Stick with the obstruction evidence and discussion in Volume II, JPW, it will get you where you want to go...that is if Nancy and Jerry can find the cojones to start impeachment proceedings.

#84 | Posted by Rightocenter

You mistakenly assume my end goal is impeachment.

I'm far too cynical for that. This issue won't go away. Trump's administration is a roadmap or how to on corruption and subversion of our system of government.

At the very least because of the foundation being laid by GOP incompetence and unwillingness to act.

But also because a smart, less brash and far more sociopathic individual can use Trump's template but minus the Twitter account to do significant, possibly fatal damage.

#86 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 01:40 PM | Reply

because there is sure as hell no way anybody who's read the report or even the summary could make that blanket statement with a straight face.

Except for Mueller, that is, in his conclusion in Vol I.

Don Jr. and the rest of the indicted clowns are idiots and deserve what they are now getting or will get for their stupidity in dealing with Russia/Ukraine like they did.

The problem with continuing to harp on this is simple: opposition research using "information" from Russia is a two edged sword as the Clinton Campaign and McCabe et al is about to find out.

#87 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-06-05 01:51 PM | Reply

Not a peep when Barr breaks with procedure to tell everyone that trump is completely exonerated - #17 | Posted by schmanch at 2019-06-05 10:49 AM
You have a citation for that claim or are you trying to mislead us?
Here's Barr's actual quote: "I didn't exonerate. I said that we did not believe that there was sufficient evidence to establish an obstruction offense which is the job of the Justice Department"
Now please tell us why you're lying?

#88 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-06-05 01:52 PM | Reply

I'm far too cynical for that. This issue won't go away. Trump's administration is a roadmap or how to on corruption and subversion of our system of government.

Which is why I have been railing about starting impeachment proceedings even if the GOP controlled Senate won't convict: obstruction of justice, of which there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, has to have consequences, even for the POTUS.

a smart, less brash and far more sociopathic individual can use Trump's template but minus the Twitter account to do significant, possibly fatal damage.

If the Dems don't bring articles of impeachment to the Senate, then you are exactly correct, someone smarter and much more evil than Donnie Little Hands will take this for the roadmap you fear it to be.

#89 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-06-05 01:55 PM | Reply

"Inherently political". Is that why the republicans are doing nothing? - #46 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2019-06-05 11:49 AM
Look at you blaming Republicans for the lack of action in the Democrat controlled House. Aren't you special.

#90 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-06-05 02:01 PM | Reply

Trump's people went to jail for these contacts. - #85 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 01:38 PM
That is false.

#91 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-06-05 02:14 PM | Reply

That is false.

#91 | Posted by Avigdore

You are correct.

For lying about these contacts.

#92 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 02:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

For lying about these contacts.

#92 | POSTED BY JPW

There was nothing illegal about their contacts, or making contact with their contacts.

Did they plead guilty to making illegal contacts?

#93 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-06-05 02:24 PM | Reply

"Look at you blaming Republicans for the lack of action in the Democrat controlled House"

they don't have to be in control to voice opposition of trumps blatant abuse of power and disregard for constitutional norms, stupid.

#94 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2019-06-05 03:32 PM | Reply

For lying about these contacts.

#92 | POSTED BY JPW

My understanding is that Papadapolous got some dates wrong and it would appear that his contacts were US intelligence assets.

When Flynn was initially interviewed he wasn't given an opportunity to request a lawyer and the agents who performed the interview concluded that he wasn't trying to deceive them.

Now, the waters are more muddy for Flynn than Papadapolous. Given how long ago he plead guilty, I don't understand why it's taken so long for sentencing. Some weird stuff going on with Flynn.

#95 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 03:51 PM | Reply

Lest #95 be misconstrued, I'm not attempting to minimalize the crimes that Flynn and Papadapolous plead guilty to.

#96 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 03:58 PM | Reply

Zed,
This thread isn't about Trump. In fact, it has little to do with Trump.
If JPW was here he'd be scolding your for deflecting.
#11 | Posted by JeffJ

Do you really think z knows the difference?

#97 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-06-05 04:12 PM | Reply

Because Trump is a POS

#15 | Posted by JeffJ

What make him a POS j? Is it just because you don't like him or are you jealous of him?

#98 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-06-05 04:18 PM | Reply

I'm not attempting to minimalize the crimes that Flynn and Papadapolous plead guilty to.

#96 | Posted by JeffJ

It's no matter anyway.

The whole point is the connections themselves.

That they went to jail for lying about them only solidifies that a. they had them and b. they felt the need to be sly about them (some of them).

#99 | Posted by jpw at 2019-06-05 04:49 PM | Reply

What make him a POS j?

For starters he constantly debases the office he was elected to.

#100 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-05 04:59 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

This source is crap. Good job on getting 100 posts out of it.

#101 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2019-06-06 08:54 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

What make him a POS j? Is it just because you don't like him or are you jealous of him?

#98 | Posted by Sniper

You got an answer?

#102 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-06-06 10:53 AM | Reply

#102 See #100

#103 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-06 11:16 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

#101

And Bruce gets the Most Delayed Attempt to STS Award.

#104 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-06-06 11:48 AM | Reply

- This source is crap

And it is. This guy is a dedicated rwinger published more in the Moonie Time and the American Stinker than anywhere else.

Plus, his arguments are all Trump Spin than even Fox News doesn't want to touch these days.

Just more GIGO into and out of what passes for rwinger grey matter.

#105 | Posted by Corky at 2019-06-06 01:31 PM | Reply

Yep. Self pleasure for the corroded brain.

#106 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2019-06-06 09:38 PM | Reply

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