Donald Trump

First Impressions on the Mueller Investigation

The attorney general has released his summary of the report. Let the games begin.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Attorney General William Barr has now released his letter to Congress summarizing the contents of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report. Most of the report should be released publicly in due time, but presumably Barr has accurately sketched out its main features.

Although the special counsel's office was unusually resistant to leaks, it would appear that the main contours of the investigation and its findings have already found their way into the public record. There are no sealed or pending indictments. There are no new bombshells demonstrating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian agents. There probably are no new revelations about the ways in which the president hampered the investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election. We know most of what there is to know, and the appropriate political judgments have already been made. it seems unlikely that the release of the Mueller report will move the political needle very much in a way that damages the president's standing, and the close of the investigation probably has the effect of removing a shadow from the administration and thus improving his immediate political situation.

It is notable that the special counsel did not reach any legal conclusions about whether obstruction of justice charges would be appropriate, though the attorney general has concluded that such charges will not be forthcoming. Neither the special counsel nor the attorney general are hanging their hat on the constitutional concern that a sitting president cannot be indicted or the constitutional concern that the president's use of his Article II constitutional powers cannot be the basis of a criminal prosecution for obstruction of justice. Instead, they both seem to lean heavily on the view that if there is no underlying crime to be hidden then the president's actions to hamper the investigation could not have been made with corrupt intent. Others no doubt will come to a different conclusion on the issue of corrupt intent, but Mueller does not appear to be adding much new fuel to the fire for an impeachment inquiry.

Embarrassing, but unlikely to be job-threatening. I imagine we will all move on fairly quickly to arguing about emoluments, tax avoidance, and other fun topics.

NEXT: Election Integrity and the Electoral College

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  1. The members of Congress who want to impeach the president, want to do it because he is Donald Trump. They’re not about to let a lack of any crime stand in their way. They’ll just make one up (again).

    1. Who cares. 46 votes max in the Senate for conviction.

      No collusion, no way to sell removal.

      1. The Senate was never going to vote for conviction, regardless of what was in the Mueller report. That’s why there was such an effort by Republicans to discredit the Mueller investigation long before any report was made. I guess they didn’t have too much confidence that no evidence of collusion would be found.

        1. There was never a crime of “collusion” with the Russians. The FBI knew it. In Strzok’s words “my gut sense and concern is there’s no big there there”

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          2. There was no obstruction either!!!….Not even close!

        2. There was never a crime of “collusion” with the Russians. The FBI knew it. In Strzok’s words “my gut sense and concern is there’s no big there there”

        3. There was never a crime of “collusion” with the Russians. The FBI knew it. In Strzok’s words “my gut sense and concern is there’s no big there there”

        4. There was never a crime of “collusion” with the Russians. The FBI knew it. In Strzok’s words “my gut sense and concern is there’s no big there there”

        5. There was never a crime of “collusion” with the Russians. The FBI knew it. In Strzok’s words “my gut sense and concern is there’s no big there there”

        6. There was never a crime of “collusion” with the Russians. The FBI knew it. In Strzok’s words “my gut sense and concern is there’s no big there there”

        7. There was never a crime of “collusion” with the Russians. The FBI knew it. In Strzok’s words “my gut sense and concern is there’s no big there there”

          1. Editor, can we get an edit or delete button? I hate it when this happens.

            1. I thought he was just repeating his post to be emphatic.

              1. Exactly. I thought he was responding to each cry of “COLLUSION” with a corresponding “NO COLLUSION.”

                We’re in for a long night.

            2. Yeah….

              1. My point wasn’t that there was obstruction or collusion, just that Republicans in Congress weren’t too confident that there wasn’t. Although you apparently were.

        8. “The Senate was never going to vote for conviction, regardless of what was in the Mueller report.”

          Well, that’s only true because Trump was never a Russian traitor who conspired with Russia to steal the election. And that was obvious from the start.

          1. Of course not. That’s the sort of thing democrats do. They’re very treason capable.

            1. And in fact, that’s what they did, before and after the election. Which includes the R’s running the Deep State – the DoJ, FBI, and plenty more. I’d like to hear more about Obama’s broad expansion order to share info among all those departments too. Plus a bunch more.

      2. The House cannot even get 2/3 votes for impeachment.

        Pelosi knows this and is not willing to give Trump another win when an impeachment attempt fails by Democrats in the House.

        1. Impeachment only requires a majority vote. Conviction by the Senate is what requires a 2/3 vote.

    2. why the fuck would would Democrats want to impeach Trump? The Republicans would then have a guy in the White House who has at least a vague understanding of what the job is, and President Pence might be able to actually get things done. With Trump, that isn’t going to happen.

      1. Why? Because like God resting on the seventh day Trump’s evil has become not just gospel but central to an identity – the anti trump. The call to impeach trump isn’t about justice, or facts, or law.

        It’s a primal scream at the bonfire that this act, and only this act, can right the world.

      2. It’s harder to be an extremist when you’re the one who’s actually accountable. Right now extremists are pushing their agenda through Trump, policies they might not have the guts to push if they were actually accountable for the results.

        He also can’t distinguish between rhetoric (ie, the Iran deal is the worst thing ever) and reality (all his cabinet begging him to stay in the Iran deal).

        This is why the non-ideological Trump is suddenly hyper-conservative and President Pence would likely be a great deal more moderate.

        Also, Trump is legitimately dangerous. Not just in the sense that he might stumble into a Nuclear war with Korea, or encourage Putin into invading a NATO ally, but also to the US democracy. Imagine he loses the next election by winning the popular vote and losing the EC, or worse, a Bush v. Gore style controversy.

        Do you really think Mr “millions of illegal aliens voting” would go willingly? He’ll be delegitimizing that election from the moment voting stops.

        1. After Hillary refused to appear at the Javits Center to make her concession speech, after her courtiers pushed the Russian conspiracy story for more than two years, after she’s proffered what seems like a thousand reasons why she lost (none of them her fault, don’t you know) ? you still have the nerve to write that you fear Trump won’t leave office if he’s defeated in 2020? Trump’s a thin-skinned, whiny jerk who acts like a petulant child much of the time, but it’s really far-fetched to see how he could outdo Hillary.

        2. After Hillary refused to appear at the Javits Center to make her concession speech, after her courtiers pushed the Russian conspiracy story for more than two years, after she’s proffered what seems like a thousand reasons why she lost (none of them her fault, don’t you know) ? you still have the nerve to write that you fear Trump won’t leave office if he’s defeated in 2020? Trump’s a thin-skinned, whiny jerk who acts like a petulant child much of the time, but it’s really far-fetched to see how he could outdo Hillary.

        3. Also, Trump is legitimately dangerous. Not just in the sense that he might stumble into a Nuclear war with Korea, or encourage Putin into invading a NATO ally, but also to the US democracy. Imagine he loses the next election by winning the popular vote and losing the EC, or worse, a Bush v. Gore style controversy.

          You really need to stop copypasting these spicy takes from reddit.

      3. Fuckin’ Pollock, stupid as ever.

      4. For the same reason that scorpions sting frogs in mid-stream.

  2. ” Instead, they both seem to lean heavily on the view that if there is no underlying crime to be hidden then the president’s actions to hamper the investigation could not have been made with corrupt intent.”

    That’s basically what I’ve been saying all along: The President has the authority, the legal right, to hinder, obstruct, or even terminate investigations. The people doing the investigations work for him, and he sets their priorities.

    The left, and the small minority of TDS victims on the right, have been acting as though all they had to prove to have an obstruction case against Trump was that he got in the way of an investigation.

    When what they really needed to prove was that he did so from a bad motive.

    And now, with the supposed underlying offense vanished like the illusion it always was all along, any chance of proving a bad motive has vanished, too.

    But the new party line is already being distributed: “Mueller may not have proven Trump guilty, but neither has he exonerated him.” As if the President was in any need of exoneration in the first place.,,

    1. The old trope about not being able to prove a negative applies here.

      1. Not sure what you mean. Would you think it appropriate to apply that trope were I to blog somewhere that I had seen evidence that you had engaged in sexual relations with a duck? (To be clear, I am positing a hypothetical. I don’t actually even know who you are, much less your relationships, if any, with ducks).

        1. Maybe he means the obvious, that it’s impossible to prove Trump didn’t collude with Russia or hinder the investigations.

          It’s also impossible to prove you didn’t think that could be what he meant.

    2. “Mueller may not have proven Trump guilty, but neither has he exonerated him.”

      Well, to be fair to the party line, that – according to Barr – is exactly what Mueller said (in relation to obstruction of justice.) Moreover Barr also says :

      After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment

      And the question is – why the hell not ? It’s not like Mueller found it difficult to bring actual charges in other cases. Nor would it have been difficult to get legal guidance from Rosenstein if he and his team were finding a traditional prosecutorial judgment too tricky for them. Nor do Rosenstein and Barr seem to have found the answer tricky when Mueller eventually punted to them. So – unless and until we are told why Mueller decided to punt – we are left with speculation.

      My speculation is that collusion having gone up in smoke, and there being no compelling evidence of obstruction, the only way to leave a smear in the report was to punt to Rosenstein and Barr. This is entirely consistent with the political showboating the Mueller team has displayed throughout, including the for-your-entertainment-only indictments of distant Russkies and the lurid preambles in indictments that are wholly unconnected to the actual charges brought.

      1. I agree completely. Also, don’t forget that Saint Meuller threatened to indict Corsi, even when he apparently had no basis to do so — given that Corsi refused to say what Meuller wanted him to say and no indictment ensued.

        1. How do we know that Mueller threatened to indict Corsi? The only evidence of that that I am aware of is Corsi’s claim and Corsi is a professional liar.

          1. Yes, you progs have to denigrate anyone outside your hivemind.

            1. Do you have no idea who Jerome Corsi Is?

      2. You don’t need to exonerate somebody when there was never any basis in the first place for thinking them guilty. But, yes, it’s only to be expected that Mueller would refuse to just come out and say, “Look, so far as I can see, he’s not guilty of anything.”

        1. “You don’t need to exonerate somebody when there was never any basis in the first place for thinking them guilty.”

          Trump kept acting as if there was something he SHOULD be feeling guilty about. At pretty much every opportunity, if there was something he could do to make himself look less guilty, he chose the other way.

          1. And yet, Mueller still couldn’t find anything.

          2. Fuckin’ Pollock, always projecting.

          3. What a Kafkaesque comment.

    3. “The President has the authority, the legal right, to hinder, obstruct, or even terminate investigations…”

      Nothing in the AG’s letter or Prof. Whittington’s post comes even close to saying that. Nice try, though.

      1. Actually, I’m quietly confident that that is pretty much what Barr wrote to the DoJ last year, before Sessions was fired. The President is legally the chief executive adminstrator of justice, though he tends to delegate the details to his subordinates, and so can only be guilty of obstruction if he interferes with a corrupt intent .

        I believe Barr’s point was that if this conclusion was incorrect, it was incorrect for everyone else in the DoJ too, from Attorney General downwards. Thus any prosecutor could risk indictment for obstruction for their prosecutorial judgements, even when they had no corrupt intent.

        Of course in the Trump case, it has never been made clear when or if the investigation morphed from a counter-intelligence investigation into a criminal investigation. Obviously the President interfering in a counterintelligence investigation couldn’t possibly be obstruction of justice. It would be obstruction of counterintelligence, which while perhaps unwise, is certainly the President’s business.

        1. Actually, I’m quietly confident that that is pretty much what Barr wrote to the DoJ last year, before Sessions was fired. The President is legally the chief executive adminstrator of justice, though he tends to delegate the details to his subordinates, and so can only be guilty of obstruction if he interferes with a corrupt intent .

          I’d mostly agree, but that’s not quite what Barr argued.

          1. Barr claimed was that it can be hard to distinguish using discretionary power for proper purpose vs corrupt purpose, therefore… Trump is allowed to kill an investigation.

          2. It can’t be obstruction for a President to kill an investigation into himself because the President is exempt from conflict of interest laws. But obstruction != conflict of interest.

          3. Making Presidential conduct illegal based on corrupt motive would be an unconstitutional constraint on his power…. which seems dubious.

          4. Trump can’t obstruct justice if you can’t prove collusion. But that assumes that Trump knows the investigation would find nothing. If Trump was worried there was collusion, or the investigation could dig up other crimes (which it has) then it’s obstruction.

          Obviously the President interfering in a counterintelligence investigation couldn’t possibly be obstruction of justice.

          Counterintelligence investigations still result in arrests and convictions. To interfere with it is absolutely be obstruction of justice.

          1. Counterintelligence investigations still result in arrests and convictions. To interfere with it is absolutely be obstruction of justice.

            Depends on what you mean by “it.” Sure, counterintelliegnce investigations may incidentally come across criminal activity, which can the be the subject of criminal indictment. And if the President interfered with such an incidental criminal offshoot, then I agree, his position would be the same as if he interfered with an actual criminal investigation. It would depend on whether he had a corrupt intent.

            But “it” the counterintelligence investigation itself, is not a criminal investigation, it’s an investigation to advise the President on threats. Interfering with “it” isn’t interfering with justice, its interfering with national defense. Which is very much the President’s business, and ultimately, his judgement.

            1. Indeed I’d argue that Presidential interference with criminal offshoots of a counter-intelligence investigations would usually be much harder to prove as corrupt than an ordinary criminal investigation. Thus for example in this case, if Mueller’s investigation was indeed a counter-intelligence one, and Trump were to find out from the newspapers that Mueller was occupying himself chasing down Manafort’s ancient tax fiddles, and he picked up the phone to Mueller and said “stop wasting your time rootling around in Manafort’s ancient history – I’m confident that he’s not a Russian agent. Focus on the counter-intelligence investigation – did the Russians interfere in the 2016 election, if so how, and how to we stop it next time” It would be really hard to prove that that involved a corrupt intent to interfere with justice rather than a perfectly justifiable intent to redirect a meandering counter-intelligence investigation.

          2. “3. Making Presidential conduct illegal based on corrupt motive would be an unconstitutional constraint on his power…. which seems dubious.”

            WRT the President, It’s illegal if slightly more than half of the House and 2/3 of the Senate says it is. But, there will come a time when the guy is NOT the President, at which point the ordinary rules apply. Ford chose to pardon Nixon, even though the House never got around to voting on accusing Nixon of crimes, and Clinton didn’t get disbarred until after he left the Presidency because the Senate didn’t convict him.

            1. “It’s illegal if slightly more than half of the House and 2/3 of the Senate says it is.”

              WHAT?? Illegal? What on earth are you talking about?

              1. He’s confusing impeachment with something being illegal. Which is actually kind of amusing, because the Constitution makes it clear they’re not related.

                1. Ah, did the point of that comment whiz right past you without even stopping to say hello? How rude!

                  1. Are you sober?

              2. Pretty much, the president has sweeping jurisdiction of the law. Given his authority, it’s questionable whether he could actually obstruct justice aside from explicitly lying under oath.

                The exception is if his conduct becomes so egregious that congress impeaches him.

                1. That’s your point (and no disrespect intended but of course impeachment is a separate issue). but that’s not what super lawyer said above.

          3. “Barr claimed was that it can be hard to distinguish using discretionary power for proper purpose vs corrupt purpose, therefore… Trump is allowed to kill an investigation.”

            No, you’ve got this backwards. Trump is allowed to kill an investigation. This isn’t a conclusion, it’s the starting point: He’s the head of the executive branch, everybody else is just exercising HIS power, delegated. He can start investigations, stop them, redirect them. He can even just up and pardon somebody, placing them beyond the reach of not just his administration, but future administrations, too.

            He, LEGALLY, has the power to do this. It’s a function of his job.

            You need to read the law on “obstruction of justice”. The word “corruptly” occurs all through it, because it is possible to lawfully interfere with an investigation.

            Otherwise any chief prosecutor who told a subordinate to stop wasting his time on one job, and concentrate on another, would be a criminal.

            1. “He, LEGALLY, has the power to do this. It’s a function of his job.”

              And the Congress, LEGALLY, has the power to impeach and remove him. It’s a function of their jobs (if they so determine).

              Now, it’s intentionally hard to convict, but it’s also true that the Constitution doesn’t define what “high crimes and misdemeanors” are… it’s left up to Congress to decide if whatever it was the President did qualifies (or not). Note specifically that they are not required to take any of the President’s underlings stance on the subject into consideration.

              1. HCAM didn’t need to be defined because it had a generally-understood legal meaning, unlike, say, Treason, which was redefined from any disloyalty to the King.

              2. That’s true, being factually innocent is not obstacle to impeaching somebody.

                Not having anything that anybody who didn’t already hate Trump’s guts would think an impeachable offense? Yeah, that’s a pretty big obstacle. They could impeach him for having a bad comb-over, but the votes wouldn’t be there in the Senate to convict.

        2. I think you are right, that is exactly what Barr said back then. But his letter today to Congress certainly didn’t make that argument. In fact it specifically says that the decision was not based on constitutional issues of indicting a sitting president.

          1. “In fact it specifically says that the decision was not based on constitutional issues of indicting a sitting president.”

            Well, there’s a distinction to be made here. Let’s say Trump told Comey, “Lay off Flynn, he’s a good guy.” That’s arguably not a crime because he’s exercising his authority as President.

            OTOH, say he bribed a witness to lie under oath. That’s clearly obstruction, even for the President. But he can’t be indicted for it, because he’s the President. He has to be impeached and removed first.

            1. I’ve never really bought that reasoning, it has no textual basis in the Constitution.

              On the contrary, Congress is granted very limited immunity, explicitly. It’s unreasonable to read much greater immunity for the President into the Constitution by mere implication.

            2. ” But he can’t be indicted for it, because he’s the President. He has to be impeached and removed first.”

              There’s no textual basis in the Constitution for that, you know. It’s just the DOJ’s position, but they work for the President, what other position would you expect them to take.

              Congress has actual, textual based immunity from arrest, and it’s very limited. Fat chance the Constitution would give Presidents much greater immunity merely by implication.

    4. The legal conclusion seems to be correct. For more analysis regarding the issue of collusion, see:

      “As Prof Predicted More Than a Year Ago – There Was No Collusion *** Criminal Law Standards, Especially Involving Free Speech, Can Be Very Exacting bit.ly/2OoFYOz

      PUBLIC INTEREST LAW PROFESSOR JOHN BANZHAF

    5. “”Mueller may not have proven Trump guilty, but neither has he exonerated him.” As if the President was in any need of exoneration in the first place…”

      Well, sure. The investigation didn’t exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice, or bank robbery, or taking part in the Kennedy assassination. It only exonerated him of the thing that they were investigating him for, colluding with the Russians.

      1. Something that keeps getting lost though, is that collusion is still not itself a crime.

        Exonerating in public opinion is a thing though, but that’s not what anyone really means.

  3. “I imagine we will all move on fairly quickly . . . .”

    Have you even been paying attention? Just what in the last 2-1/2 years since November, 2016 has given any indication that the Democrats are willing to move on?

    1. “I imagine we will all move on fairly quickly . . . .”‘

      Narrator’s voice: “But the Democrats and Never-Trumpers did *not* move on.”

    2. Some CNN analyst was tweeting “The Justice Department’s judgement that POTUS and his campaign didn’t conspire with Russia is not the same as saying that they were not Russian intelligence assets.”

    3. Well, maybe the media and the Democrats will now start being honest about the 2016 election, and asking honest questions about why the bipartisan political class suffered such a humiliating defeat in a legitimate election of a total outsider to the Presidency.

      HAHAHA, yeah right!

    4. The way I read it, Whittington isn’t saying “move on to reasonable topics”, but rather “move on to other obsessions about Trump.”

    5. Have you even been paying attention? Just what in the last 2-1/2 years since November, 2016 has given any indication that the Democrats are willing to move on?

      Isn’t it about time they changed the name of MoveOn.org?

  4. A giant political victory for Trump.

    The loudly proclaimed collusion for two years. Nothing but dreams left for them.

    Let the Dems investigate away. Let them impeach. It will be like 1997 again, frustration and ultimate failure.

    Trump may still lose in 2020 of course. That is a novel idea, beat him in an election.

    1. “A giant political victory for Trump”

      That a foreign power considered him the weaker choice to lead our nation is a “giant political victory”?

      “That is a novel idea, beat him in an election.”

      You mean, having more people vote for “the other guy” would be something he’s never experienced before?

      1. That a foreign power considered him the weaker choice to lead our nation is a “giant political victory”?

        If the Russkies ever thought that – which I doubt very much – they have been disabused by now.Trump has combined good cop words to Russia, with decidely bad cop actions, compared to his predecessor.

        But in fact, since the Russkies – like everybody else, including the Donald – thought Hillary would win, their real intentions were to sow discord in the US political system, weakening whoever – almost certainly Hillary – was elected. As is demonstrated by their post election involvement in recount and anti-Trump propaganda. With the assistance of the continuing elements of the Obama administration and the media they have got a spectacular bang for their buck.

        In practice, dealing with Hillary would have been a lot easier. She’s conventional, knee deep in skeletons. and, er, surprisingly rich for someone who was flat broke in 2001 and spent most of the intervening yeas in government service.

        1. Russkies

          The use of this word basically discredits any serious opinion you have. Why not grow up a little and read a book sometime?

          1. Russki is Russian for “Russian”. You’d know that if you weren’t so busy counting your renminbi you got for posting.

          2. Reg, as you have no credibility or real intellect, you are not one to impugn anything. You are a progtard and part of the problem. Consider harming yourself.

        2. “If the Russkies ever thought that – which I doubt very much – they have been disabused by now”

          Ha! Good one.

          “surprisingly rich for someone who was flat broke in 2001 and spent most of the intervening yeas in government service.”

          Yeah. Writing books doesn’t pay very well… ask J.K Rowling.

          1. The difference is, people actually read J.K.Rowling’s books, rather than just buying pallet loads of them and dumping them in landfills.

      2. Are you still hung up on the Electoral College being out of sync with the popular vote? Maybe you need to do what Hillary should have done, and try to understand that there were 50 separate elections, not one; just as every sport I have ever heard of totals games won, not overall points scored.

        1. “every sport I have ever heard of totals games won, not overall points scored.”

          You’ve never heard of soccer?

          1. I’m talking championships. I am not a sports fan. Does soccer have 4 of 7 etc championships? Do they have regular season championships, and do they count games won or total points?

          2. You mean you win the World Cup by having the most points across all the games that you played that year? Wow, so many people got that wrong. How glad they will all be that you’ve pointed that out. And think of all the people who will have to get their money back after all those bookies paid out based on actually winning games!

            Or are you perhaps confusing the actual winning with the FIFA ranking calculations which 1) are a whole lot more complicated than overall points scored and 2) are used for handicapping (and some other administrative functions) but explicitly are not used for determining who wins.

      3. Keep trying to console yourself Pollock. Maybe a drink or 2 will help. And you can always read and re-read the latest idiocies promoted in your latest NY Times copy.

        1. “Keep trying to console yourself Pollock”

          I called this two years ago. Oh, the consolation!

      4. why would the russians think trump was the weaker one when they had already bought hillary

      5. “That a foreign power considered him the weaker choice to lead our nation is a “giant political victory”?”

        Asserted without evidence, and in fact against the majority of the evidence Russia had in 2016. In 2016 Russia knew Hillary was a wet noodle after thrashing her when she was SOS. In 2016 Trump was a wildcard to Russia.

  5. Has anyone spoken with Bull Cow? I am genuinely worried about him. He was heavily invested in Mueller and a true believer. He may commit Seppuku.

    1. Bigoted Mini-Me — Prof. Volokh’s favorite commenter, other than the guy who continually talks about murdering liberals and moderates, or the guy who obsesses about gay sex and brown people — is back.

      And, as always, complaining about the only libertarian among the Conspirators.

      I still don’t understand how this blog is contributing to the right-wing effort to reverse the course of the culture war.

      1. Executing Marxist traitors isn’t murder, it’s pest extermination. But you’re far too stupid to understand such simple concepts.

        1. Still wondering why people at good schools and in successful communities want little more than a few token right-wingers around?

  6. Hey Bull Cow: “The Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from the Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

  7. Could have saved billions from the the collective lost time ocding over this nonsense and asked me and I would have told you same thing from before the ‘collusion’ theory started.

    Now its time to demand a public release so they can cling on every turn of phrase while they search for new bogus ‘scandals’ to try to hang around the President’s neck until the end of term.

    I remember how everybody whined about Reps trying to obstruct Obama for the sake of it but the stuff libs have pulled these last couple years really is next level, even compared to what they tried for GWB. If you lived in a cave with nothing but a tv station and access to MSM newssites you would probably have fully expected Trump to be in handcuffs by now. The ‘reality’ the modern msm has concocted of the state of the world seems further and further disconnected with objective reality.

    Once again progs have been exposed as the hypocrites they are, indulging the most in what they preach against.

    1. Now its time to demand a public release so they can cling on every turn of phrase while they search for new bogus ‘scandals’ to try to hang around the President’s neck until the end of term.

      I have little doubt that Nadler and chums already have any and all the juicy stuff that Mueller’s team of rabid Democrat attack dogs were able to chisel out of people (and their computers and phones) using their awesome prosecutorial powers. And whatever juicy stuff there may be, will be used for electoral purposes over the next couple of years (and maybe longer.) It’s a huge trove of oppostion research, acquired under legal compulsion, and all at taxpayers expense. What’s not to like ?

      The fuss about “public disclosure” has nothing to do with whether the Dems and the media get to learn the details – for as I say they’ve already got ’em – it’s simply about creating cover for the inevitable leaks. Once anything officially goes beyond the Mueller team, the Mueller team can’t be blamed for leaks.

      1. The fuss about public disclosure is this. The dems know certain materials cannot legally be released. So they call for the disclosure of everything so that they can then claim there’s a cover-up.

      2. So your working theory is that the Mueller team was full of leaks, and the proof of this is the fact that nothing was released by the media? Because, of course, they’re all Democrats?

        1. Not all democrats. I think its probably closer to 90-95%.

    2. How much time and money did the Republicans waste on Hillary’s emails (and act also done by Republicans)? And without a single conviction?

      1. It’s kind of funny that. How many grants of immunity were there in the Clinton email case? And how many in the Trump investigation?

        They even granted immunity to her server administrator after he lied to the FBI and after he bleach bit the server after they received the congressional supeanas.

        1. New goalposts! Neat!

          So you trust the DoJ in this, but think there was a conspiracy to shield Hillary.

          1. Sorry ? Who trusts the DoJ ?

            The Hillary investigation was corrupt, the Mueller investigation (and its FBI precursors) were corrupt.
            They were both corrupt in the same direction (help Hillary, hurt Trump) because they were run by the same people, who loathed Trump and wanted Hillary to win (and assumed she would) and hoped to get a promotion for bootlicking.

            The only new guy is Barr, who turned up a couple of weeks ago. Whether we trust him or not, we’ll see, according to his performance.

          2. Hey dumbfuck sarcastro…. first. Different leaders of the DoJ in both situations. Second… the number if immunities in one versus number ifnorocess crimes in the other. Third, actual emails showing thebaltering of documents to avoid conflicts with established gross negligence in laws.

            Stop being an idiot for 5 seconds.

            1. Saying you believe Mueller but not Comey because Hillary was guilty and Trump was not is some pretty circular reasoning.

              Crying about the number of immunities granted versus people pleading/being convicted/going to jail for lying is again assuming an outcome and going from there.

              And as usual your charactyerizaion of what was going on with Hillary’s e-mails is shaded to the point of being factually incorrect. Plus, of course, maybe avoid talkign about e-mails now that the Trump admin has done worse than you accused Hillary of.

  8. Odd, perhaps, that one prong claims no coordination, and the other discusses knowing coordination. The footnote seems to indicate that it’s a precisely understood term.

    otoh, that’s also the sort of canard that a savvy writer might put in.

    1. I think the answer to that is that “no collusion or co-ordinate” is applied to the Trump campaign and its associates, while the “no knowing coordination” is applied to the Trump campaign, its associates or any US person.

      Thus it leaves the possibility that a US person not part of or associated with the Trump campaign may have unknowingly co-ordinated with the Russkies. And I have a vague recollection that one of Mueller’s indictments of Russkies mentioned some GOP volunteer in Palookaville, Ohio or wherever innocently selling a campaign teddy bear to someone who turned out to be Russian, or something like that. No doubt someone cleverer can find the real reference.

      Of course we do know of a number of other US persons who co-ordinated with a foreigner who co-ordinated with Russkies, and a US person who co-ordinated directly with a Russkie, but they were associated with a different campaign and there’s no evidence that Mueller felt it was his job to investigate those connections.

      1. Well Papadopoulos certainly got intel (news of the hacked emails) from Russia and was actively trying to coordinate with Russia.

        So the phrase:
        “The Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from the Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

        Seems a bit misleading.

        1. Keep in mind that you’re getting paraphrasing from paraphrasing from the actual Mueller probe report, with at least one layer of those paraphrases coming from someone closely allied with the President.

          1. I bet you also believe the Steele “dossier” too.

            1. And what in the dossier has been proven wrong? Some of it is not verified, but nothing has also been shown to be wrong.

              1. Wow. So you have some faith in this Russian intelligence supplied disinformation?

                1. I’m skeptical of some of the dossier just based on it’s content, but it wasn’t a Russian intel-created document.

                  Especially considering which side the Russian government wanted to win.

                  1. For fucks sake. Steele himself, under threat of perjury in British courts, essentially said his report was bullshit. That it was raw unverified Intel. How fucking stupid are some of you?

                    1. When did he say the report was bullshit? He did testify that some of the material was verified with open source material. He did not report on all sources at that time. So we are back to the starting question. What can you prove was false in the dossier?

                    2. What can you prove was false in the dossier?

                      Hey fuckhead, the burden of proof is on the accuser to verify their claims are true.

                      Trump is under no obligation to prove a negative. Get the doctor to adjust your klonopin medication and get off social media, it’s making you stupid.

                    3. Agreed the burden of proof is on accuser. Read the thread. The accusation is that the Steele Dossier is false and is the work of Russian Intelligence. I am asking for the proof of that accusation?.

                    4. The accusation is that the Steele Dossier is false and is the work of Russian Intelligence.

                      No, dummy, the Steele Dossier is the accusation. There’s no proof for it. None. That you think there is, is simply an indication of your own emotional investment, not the facts.

                    5. “He did testify that some of the material was verified with open source material.”

                      Standard operating procedure in smear jobs: You mix provable but innocent stuff with unprovable accusations, in the expectation that the gullible will go, “Holy shit, he DID have eggs for breakfast that morning, maybe it IS true that he murdered that guy!”

                2. Again with and accusation. What makes you believe the dossier was the product of Russian Intelligence organization?

              2. You have things reversed. Accusations need to be proven, not disproven.

                But to actually show, even more, that you’re wrong… Cohen visiting Prague has been shown to be wrong.

                1. Steele most certainly did NOT say it was bullshit, he did say that some of it was raw and unproven. Once again, you Trumpists don’t seem to have much confidence that these things aren’t true, since you always work so hard to smear the reputation of anyone or anything that criticizes or might criticize Trump.

          2. There’s also his campaign chair Manafort giving internal polling data to Ukrainian oligarchs who were connected to Russian intelligence (seriously, why would they be interested in polling data if they, or someone connected to them, weren’t trying to interfere).

            A finding contained in a Mueller filing.

            So I’m not sure how that’s supposed to be consistent with this claim of Trump’s campaign being all hands-off.

            1. A finding contained in a Mueller filing

              The Mueller team put lots of “findings” into their indictments that were never going to be tested in court. Indeed they made whole indictments that were never going to be tested in court.

            2. You might be interested in the Ukraine opening up an investigation into parliament members for interfering in the 2016 elections… to help Hillary.

        2. There is no evidence at all that Papadopoulos got any information from the Russians.

          He said he heard the Russians had email dirt from Hilliary’s server. He got the “information” from Joseph Mifsud who had MI6 and CIA connections.

          Nothing ever got released from Hillary’s emails. It was all over the news weeks before Downer’s meetup with Papadopoulos that Guccifer 1 was claiming he hacked Hillary’s server.

          Papadopoulos was just repeating rumors that were fed to him that turned out to be false anyway that had nothing to do with the Podesta hack.

      2. Right, so it’s:

        US person / campaign / associates — conspiracy / knowing coordination — IRA

        campaign / associates — conspiracy / coordination — Russian gov’t hacking actors

        Which implies:

        There exists US person or campaign or associate — unknowing coordination — IRA

        The definition given is that coordination is an agreement, tacit or express to interfere with the election. So if the omission is significant, there was an agreement, and it was specific to election interference, but it was unknowing as to… something. Or at least the language allows for the possibility that some Palookavillian was in over their heads.

      3. Thus it leaves the possibility that a US person not part of or associated with the Trump campaign may have unknowingly co-ordinated with the Russkies.

        specifically, they sent Richard Pinedo, an American, to jail for six months for unknowingly working with the Russians

        1. A gross miscarriage of justice, for sure. Identity fraud should be punished to the full extent of the law, unless, of course, the beneficiaries of the fraud are Russian operatives helping the Trump campaign, allegedly without the Trump campaign’s knowledge.

          1. You need to stop making stupid assumptions.

            1. Help! Help! I have fallen into a gorm free zone!!!

              1. And two hours after I try to save you a little embarrassment, you still fall into it

          2. Because I know this will likely lead you to a new stupid assumption, I’ll bail you out: The reason you would not say that you don’t think any American unknowingly coordinated with the Russians is because you already proved that one actually did so

            1. there may be additional reasons you’d say it, but you’re definitely not saying it didn’t happen if you already proved it did

    2. The phrasing here is conspicuously narrow. It leaves open the possibility, for example, that Trump campaign associates encouraged Russian interference without going so far as to coorinate, or that some sort of coordination occurred without understanding that the Russian government was involved.

      It also leaves open the possibility that Trump campaign officials were aware that Russian government agents were attempting to interfere in Trump’s behalf and took no action to inform law enforcement or counterintelligence agencies.

      “The investigation did not establish” is quite different from “The investigation established that” [allegation] was not true.

      1. “The phrasing here is conspicuously narrow. It leaves open the possibility, for example, that Trump campaign associates encouraged Russian interference without going so far as to coorinate, or that some sort of coordination occurred without understanding that the Russian government was involved.”

        The most-likely-correct formulation is that the Russians figured out that he was so inept that they’d do a better job of electing him WITHOUT his help.

        1. No, the more likely scenario is that this whole lunacy originated from Clinton campaign propaganda used improperly, if not illegally, by the DOJ/FBI. But to engage in such speculation, while vastly more reasonable than your theories, is just as pointless since there will be no accountability.

          1. Now try it again with the tinfoil back in the kitchen cabinet, where it belongs.

            1. Sorry, didn’t mean to upset your trump delusion induced (or maybe alcohol induced) scenarios.

            2. Actually we already know that is true, the plot has already been admitted to by all the key players under oath:

              Hilliary’s campaign secretly paid a former British spy using campaign funds to compile dirt and a Russian collusion narrative regardless of any facts, then peddle the information to the FBI and the press simultaneously to create an echo chamber narrative of Russian collusion. We know that none of the claims in the dossier ever panned out, Carter Page never met with any Russian officials as claimed. Michael Cohen was never in Prague to meet with any Russian agents.

              And we know the FBI misused the unsubstantiated dossier to get FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign before the election.

              You are seriously going to dispute any of that are you?

            3. Tinfoil hat? This from the guy who thinks the president is a foreign spy.

              Stupid Pollock.

        2. James Pollock: “The most-likely-correct formulation is that the Russians figured out that he was so inept that they’d do a better job of electing him WITHOUT his help.”

          That’s long been my main /practical/ reasons for thinking there’d been no collusion. Unlike the Trumpies, Vladi’s people are professionals. They’d have had to be Keystone operatives to have ever let the Trumpies know anything was going on.

      2. According to the letter, the investigation’s standard included tacit agreement as “coordination”. I don’t see how encouragement could fail to constitute at least tacit agreement.

  9. Wait, so the President’s not a Russian spy? Can we begin mocking the people that said he was now? I mean, that was kinda nuts, right? I mean, the same level nuts as people claiming that Hillary was a kiddy fiddler, or that she killed Vince Foster?

    1. the same level nuts as people claiming that Hillary […] killed Vince Foster?

      Didn’t Brett spend about three years chasing that rabbit?

      1. I don’t know, but I’m sure that there are occasionally people on the internet that pursue conspiracy theories. But that’s different than most of the MSM and one political party pursuing a conspiracy theory.

        1. Suggestions that Foster was murdered were pushed by the Republicans to the extent that the Starr investigation put Kavanaugh on the case for three years. Starr told the Wapo that:

          The office was under intense pressure by conservative writers and members of Congress who wanted an independent body to explore the murder possibility.

          “We cannot have ? especially since I was charged with the investigation ? an unsettled set of conspiracy theories that go unaddressed. I viewed it as a matter of accountability, and also just for the good of the country.”

          That stikes me as bizarre, though entirely consistent with Starr’s cognitive abilities. One should wonder why he didn’t investigate the Kennedy assasination and the fake moon landing.

          I don’t believe that the MSM ever pushed the Foster murder crackpottery. As for Trump being a spy, it seems to me that the more realistic claim is that he’s, as someone who knows him well asserted, a “fucking moron” rather than that he’s a spy.

          1. It’s insanely unrealistic to think that he’s a “fucking moron”. “Fucking morons” don’t end up billionaires married to supermodels who get elected President on their first try running for public office.

            Seriously, he’s more of a Marty Stu than a fucking moron. And his greatest superpower is that all his enemies are irrationally convinced he’s a moron.

            1. Billionaire:

              Inherited a couple hundred million and supplemented it with about $800 million in government subsidies. Sure he’s a billionaire.

              Supermodel:

              She’s a very pretty woman, if you like plastic and rubber, and was a model, but never “super.” As to how a fucking moron gets a pretty model, see billionaire.

              His greatest “superpower” is his ability to hide his stupidity from his adoring masses.

              1. Forbes thinks he’s really a billionaire.

                Morons come into money, and end up with less of it, not more. Face it, the claims he’s not a billionaire are just mindless denial.

                It’s a job title. Personally, I go in more for short, massively cute filipinas like the one I married. I’m guessing Millennia is pretty high maintenance. But not an idiot, which is a pretty high priority if you don’t want your children to be idiots. He didn’t marry down.

                And, again, he won the Presidency despite the worst the Democrats, most of the media, and a not insignificant fraction of his own party could manage, and spending half the money she spent.

                Seriously, I’d call this “sour grapes”, except that the fox in the parable had better reason for it, at least he wasn’t calling the grapes sour in the face of proof they were sweet. So it’s a lot more irrational than sour grapes.

              2. So many mental gymnastics from such a tiny little mind. So desperate to rationalize Trump away.

                1. What’s wrong with you anyway, did a liberal push you over and steal your lunch money? I bet you’re pissed of because they’re better looking than you are, make more money, live in nicer houses, and get better sex. Loser! (or as a clinger might say, “looser.”)

      2. No, actually I’ve repeatedly said that I DON’T think she killed Vince Foster.

        I just suspect she forged the “suicide note”.

        1. I went so far as to buy the identical old revolver that was found pinched in the web of Vince’s hand and tried to get it to pinch me using that two-handed in the mouth grip and hours of trying didn’t succeed. So what, I guess. One thing for absolutely sure, being a close associate of Bill and Hill does absolutely nothing to improve your outlook on life, especially if you are pressured into that Waco disaster.

    2. “Wait, so the President’s not a Russian spy?”

      No, but he DID pass confidential information to the Russians. Which is totally different, somehow.

      1. The only candidate who paid for Russian propaganda was Clinton, just so you know.

      2. Totally different in the sense that he’s legally allowed to do that sort of thing. And passing on useful intelligence to an enemy who’s currently fighting another of your enemies is a pretty common thing for governments to do.

        Might as well accuse him of trespassing when he sleeps in the White House.

        1. “Totally different in the sense that he’s legally allowed to do that sort of thing.”

          If you don’t mind that doing so means that formerly friendly allies who shared their intelligence with us will be substantially less likely to do so in the future.

          This requires looking at the big-picture, longer-term, so I expect pointing this out to you is a waste of time, since you’re too caught up in the “my guy vs. your guys” twitchery to focus that long.

          1. “f you don’t mind that doing so means that formerly friendly allies who shared their intelligence with us will be substantially less likely to do so in the future.”

            Which isn’t the question. It’s already been established that Trump is a “fucking moron.” And that he isn’t to be trusted. But the nation, in its infinite wisdom, gave him the power to do what he did.

          2. Look, we have somebody who’s tasked with deciding when doing that sort of thing is a good idea, and the job is currently held by a guy named Trump.

            His decisions don’t have to agree with what you or I would do, to fall short of illegal. Sharing that intelligence data with the Russians was actually more unambiguously legal than many things the Obama administration did. At least Trump hasn’t shipped pallets of small unmarked bills to our enemies yet.

            And good for them if they trust us less; It’s frequently a stupid thing to trust the US government, they should get out of the habit of it.

          3. Keep moving those goalposts Pollock.

        2. The President has the legal authority to declassify information that was classified under his (delegated) authority, but intelligence sharing agreements with foreign govenments (like this 1982 agreement with Israel which the US State Department says is still in force) generally follow this pattern:
          1. The receiving country will protect the information consistently with its foreign classification.
          2. The receiving country will not disclose the information to a 3rd party without the consent of the originating country.
          So if the information here was classified by Israel and shared under the typical terms of a classified intelligence sharing agreement, maybe even that 1982 agreement, then the President would not have had the authority to declassify it or to otherwise pass it on to the Russians.

        3. Totally different in the sense that he’s legally allowed to do that sort of thing.

          You mean the way Trump was legally allowed to urge Comey to lay off of Michael Flynn?

      3. The internal campaign polling data is not confidential you raging dumbass. Confidential has an actual definition in regards to classified information. Trump did not have a security clearance. He was not an originator of classified material. We do now know. Due to the last batch, that Hillary was passing confidential information to Israel in back channels however.

    3. Nobody ever said he was a Russian spy. Tool yes. Spy no.

      1. Lots and lots of people said he was a tool, yes.

        1. Tool, yes. One might say a wedge — a quite simple tool.

      2. GTFO here with that revisionist bullshit. The left has been having kittens about “collusion” going back to the DNC email leak. That’s an active term, not a passive one.

        I realize that betting on the short attention span of Americans is a pretty safe play over the last ten years or so, but if you really think you can now claim that you and yours never argued that Trump wasn’t actively conspiring with the Russians, you really must have a low opinion of the American public in general.

  10. I am a liberal and I am happy with the Mueller report. A US president colluding with a foreign government is very bad, and if it happened then those involved need to be prosecuted. But it is much better for it to have never happened in the first place. Mueller did a thorough and independent investigation and I have confidence in his conclusions. Every American should be happy that the collusion did not happen and we should all be thankful that we conducted the investigation. From history perspective, an early and complete investigation was necessary.

    1. That is a very rational perspective. Unfortunately, from the point of view of a great many Democrats, especially those on the far left, no investigation which ends without an indictment, conviction, and hanging of Trump would be either sufficient or complete. They are like the little girl who wakes up Christmas morning to find a pile of horse dung under the tree. They will just keep looking and looking, because they know in their hearts that there just MUST be a pony somewhere.

      1. I’m quite content to observe the Trump administration be shackled by the investigations and prosecutions, the bumbling and the failures. I want Trump to remain in office for another two years, to complete the branding of the Republicans and conservatism with bigotry, corruption, failure, backwardness, and superstition. As younger Americans watch this slack-jawed clustermuck and form lifelong voting patterns, the continuing course of American progress is being secured for another generation or two.

        1. You could get your wish. But people need to start paying attention to the professional forecasters (not just on the Right) who are saying he could be /very/ competitive in 2020.

          1. Our system’s amplification of yahoo votes, coupled with gerrymandering and voter suppression, might keep Republicans competitive for the next few years. Maybe even as many as eight or ten. But the smart money is not on Trump next time around.

            1. Chickens, baby chickens. Smart money wasn’t on Trump last time around either. When Trump was nominated, it appeared that the Republicanists had nominated the only person in the world, except maybe Charles Manson, who could get Hillary elected. That depressed me for a while and then I figured that Hillary might be the only one who could get Trump elected and I got really depressed.

            2. “Maybe even as many as eight or ten.”

              So that leaves you guys with 2-4 years?

              1. Republicans will struggle to remain competitive (outside the concentrated areas of dysfunction) for a few years. Maybe win here and there, maybe not. After that, it won’t be much of a contest — again, outside of Wyoming, Alabama, and the other states at the bottom of most rankings.

            3. My prediction: No recession between now and the 2020 election, Trump wins. Recession, Trump loses.

    2. Well, now we know what isn’t Rachel Maddow’s Reason account name

  11. It ain’t over until Professor Somin sings…

  12. “they both seem to lean heavily on the view that if there is no underlying crime to be hidden then the president’s actions to hamper the investigation could not have been made with corrupt intent.”

    Which is silly.

    Russia definitely attempted to alter the outcome of the election, and the outcome of the election was the one they preferred. The fact that they arranged the outcome they wanted without Trump’s help doesn’t imply that they didn’t commit any crimes, nor does the fact that the President was the witless benificiary of the Russians’ help doesn’t imply that he had not reason to obstruct an investigation of their involvement in the election.

    The President’s ego won’t let him admit that the Russians wanted him to be President because they consider the USA to be weaker with him leading it. So he floated the BS that the Russians didn’t try to influence the election, and he pushed the staff to support this claim. When some of them proved to be more loyal to truth, he obstructed them.

    1. Its over, you lost. Your tears of unfathomable sadness taste so sweet.

      Complete victory!

      Total annihilation.

      You and your butt buddy, Bull Cow, will have to get new talking points from the DNC.

      1. “Its over, you lost.”

        In the sense that the investigation turned up exactly what I predicted it would, two years ago?

        You bought the BS about why he said “Tim Apple” when he was referring to Tim Cook, didn’t you?

      2. I like this version of Kirkland much better than the Cuckland one.

        1. Right-wing bigots need to stick together. There are fewer every day, as America improves and conservatism becomes less and less relevant to the future.

    2. Why would the Russians prefer Trump over Hillary? This makes no sense. Clinton foreign policy would have favored Russian interests, Clinton spearheaded the approval of Uranium one, Bill made money in Russia, the Clinton foundation made money from Russia. Clinton was the Russian preferred candidate, not Trump.

      1. That’s what I keep saying. I have yet to hear a reasoned reply. The whole thing makes no sense and never has. I’m truly disturbed by how quickly ‘Russia!’ Was whipped up and how completely democrats jumped on that bandwagon rather than maintaining a reasoned skepticism.

      2. “Why would the Russians prefer Trump over Hillary?”

        The same reason I’d rather run a footrace against Trump than against well, pretty much anyone. He’s just not very good at the job.

        ” Clinton was the Russian preferred candidate, not Trump.”

        The problem with this assertion is that it doesn’t fit any of the observed facts.

        1. Yes, obviously Russia preferred a president who would strengthen the US military and further US economic growth because the Russians want a strong America. Now I get it. Thanks James Pollock.

        2. Fuckin’ stupid Pollock doesn’t get it.

        3. The Russians want turmoil, which, anyone with a brain could predict would happen, given the radical imbalance in media ideology and the number and power of crybabies who would never accept a President Trump.

          1. Who did Russia want to win in 2016? There are arguments for both sides.

            Perhaps, as Smooth Like … points out, they foresaw the chaos that would ensue as leftists refused to accept a Trump presidency.

            (FWIW, I didn’t expect it to be so bad, and I feel fairly tuned into the left, having lived in Berkeley/Oakland during Reagan/Bush I and have many leftist family & friends. But then I won’t presume to claim that I am smarter, better informed, or more prescient than Russian intelligence.)

            But now to my main point. Another possible reason Russia might have preferred Trump:

            I don’t think the destruction, or even crippling, of the US is currently a top Russian objective. Rather, I think their current key foreign policy goals include increasing their regional power, which includes decreasing US & allied influence in their neighborhood. (Heck, aside from wishing less local US influence, Russia might otherwise prefer US strength as a counterbalance to China.) Of course, none of these ideas are original to me, BTW.

            With this in mind, they might have preferred dealing with a president, Trump, who, with a business background, is more inclined to negotiate toward win-win deals, to dealing with someone from a political/legal background, where win-lose deals are more common.

      3. Not to mention Hillary was against Keystone and fracking, at least publicly, although there is some evidence that she was just spewing bullshit for public consumption, and secretly favored fracking.

        But in any case Trump was spewing full throated encouragement for oil production, pipelines, and oil exports.

        It’s hard to think of a policy that would hurt Russia, and its oligarchs harder than Trump’s energy policies.

  13. The entire investigation was a shame. An illegal witch hunt and the lack of any evidence is not surprising.

    I’m glad this two year distraction is now over. It will go down in history as being a sad chapter.

    I’m sure the fake news media will continue to try to make something out of this, but only die hard liberals will continue to believe there was ever anything here.

    1. Didn’t know Trump had an account here.

      1. Can’t be Donnie. The words are spelled correctly. Ivanka, maybe.

    2. 1. My brother-in-law (yes, really, the eponymous brother-in-law) told me about two years ago that “everyone knows” Trump colluded with the Russians to “steal the election” and that the evidence was widely available. My sister gushed on about how smart he (her husband, not Trump) was.

      2. The left will continue with the distractions, including riffing off Russian election meddling.

      I think having a huge swath of the population disputing the legitimacy of his presidency has greatly hindered Trump.

      For me, the biggest concern is in foreign policy, where I had the most hope for a Trump presidency. I wanted to see if he could roll back some of our own meddlings abroad, lessen our support for Western European countries (who are more enlightened and well-off than we are, anyway, and so can take care of themselves), and enhance trade.

      I had fewer hopes for him on the domestic side, so the hindrances, while still there, have created less disappointment for me.

  14. With this finally done, we need another full investigation, special counseled, fully published, into the sourcing, methods, and persons who abused the system into these initial allegations, including the attempted coup by the FBI and Obama-era Department of Justice, as well as any other crimes they are hiding in their closet.

    1. Yes, let’s get after those career civil servants. I understand that there is a former acting AG who might be available to act as special counsel. Put his nose to the grindstone, if it’s not otherwise occupied.

    2. You keep dreaming of that, clinger.

      Spoiler: Just like your dreams of statist womb management, unfettered gun nuttery, a dopey wall, and God-granted preservation America’s whiteness, that dream is destined to be crushed by reality.

      1. I will. I’ll “cling” to the idea of Democracy, the rule of law, the Constitution, the rights of the people enshrined in the Bill of Rights, the right to not murder children…

        You can continue in your Venezualan-Maoist paradise, where gun laws are revoked, babies are speared through the head, democracy is a sham, and people want to flee and do the country.

        1. He also gets aroused when cops shoot helpless chihuahuas.

        2. If you have information about murders of children — or a single murder of a child — the sole reasonable course would be to alert law enforcement authorities.

          If you have no information to report to relevant authorities, the sole decent course would be to stop spouting nonsense and to leave the debates to competent adults.

      2. You’re one sick racist puppy, Artie. Seek help.

    3. Here, here, yes, yes, amen, amen!

  15. The fact that Mueller even considered that the President may have committed obstruction of justice by firing Comey and thereby preventing Comey from conducting an investigation (or by suggesting to Comey that he exercise his lawful discretion in favor of not pursuing Flynn ) attests to the grandiosity that afflicts the Department of Justice.

    If a President can be sanctioned for “interfering” with an investigation conducted by one of his subordinates, then that subordinate effectively becomes Acting President with respect to said investigation, which is repugnant to the Constitution.

    1. “If a President can be sanctioned for “interfering” with an investigation conducted by one of his subordinates”

      Well, he can. Nixon resigned over it.

      1. You don’t appear to know much about why Nixon resigned.

        And you haven’t addressed my argument in good faith.

      2. Nixon told his subordinates to lie dumbshit. Trump was never accused of that.

        1. I don’t think there’s actually any crime or sin under the sun he hasn’t been accused of.

    2. Absolutely correct.

    3. “If a President can be sanctioned for “interfering” with an investigation conducted by one of his subordinates”

      An investigation into the President for a conspiracy that didn’t happen, the basis for which was Clinton oppo research produced by colluding with Russians.

  16. Unfortunately much of the discussion has focused on President Trump. I like to see what Robert Mueller found out about Russian interference in the 2016 election. It might benefit the Democrats to focus on that and make sure it doesn’t happen in 2020. Look to the future and leave the past behind.

    1. What the Russians did was widely disseminated, prior to the 2018 elections.

      1. And known to Obama well before the election ended.

        1. It was known to anybody who was paying attention.

      2. Great. Then lets see what Mueller’s found and if it confirms the already disseminated information.

        1. If you really believe that the full report and its supporting documentation are going to have sufficient information to explicate a conclusion that is the complete opposite of what was in the summary, you’re a special kind of retard.

          1. Please read my comment. I did not say anything about reversing a conclusion. The 2016 election was subject to a cyberattack. I want to know what Robert Mueller found out about that attack. Primarily so it can be avoided in future elections. While I do not like the way President Trump has conducted his presidency, I have always accepted his election to the presidency.

            1. The “election” wasn’t subject to a cyberattack, the “campaign” was. Ther’es been a lot of work put into confusing the two, in an effort to imply that the outcome wasn’t legit.

              Some read only databases got accessed, that’s about the extent of the attack on the “election”.

              1. You mean the Russians didn’t hack into the voting systems and tick a bunch over to Trump??!!

            2. Please read my comment. I did not say anything about reversing a conclusion.

              You’re insinuating that it does.

    2. I agree with this. Why haven’t we learned more about the political operatives that colluded with Russia to produce the dossier and interfere in our elections?

      1. Apparently Trump has just stated that THAT investigation starts now. And since he can now fire people without worrying about Mueller claiming that it’s “obstruction of justice”, I suspect there are a lot of people in the DOJ who are now paying attention to his orders.

        Maybe he can get that FISA warrant application declassified now, too.

    3. I would like to know the definition of “interfere”.

      Running a troll farm and disseminating a lot of stolen, but true, information doesn’t cut it.

      1. I’d point out that Wikileaks still to this day insists that they didn’t get the leaked emails from the Russians. IOW, the only thing that’s been proven the Russians did was pay for some really stupid FB memes, and organize some Democratic protest events after the election.

        1. Also, besides Julian Assange being the one person who really does know where the DNC emails came from, whether they were supplied to him by internal or external (he claims internal) sources, supporters of the external sourcing claim also have failed to explain the extremely fast file transfer times based on time stamps in the transferred data, and that the emails had, at one point, been stored on a FAT device (such as a FLASH drive).

          1. Any seasoned IT tech would see this as the smoking gun of an insider stealing the data. Not a ‘hack’.

    4. There is no doubt about that the Russians dabbled in interference and mischief making in the 2016 election. Its stopped short of what the Obama Administration did in trying to oust Netanyahu in the Isreali election, but it was there no doubt.

      If fact the US has a long history of interfering in other countries elections. Right now Kem Sokha is under house arrest for treason in Cambodia after admitting the US gave him training on running a successful opposition party. We do that all over the world, and it’s a good thing. Kem Sokha was running against Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander that’s human rights activists, opposition figures, shut down newspapers, jailed citizens for Facebook posts, and threatened war if he loses an election.

      We’ve have very little to complain about regarding Russian interference, besides it was way lower in scale than the chinese interference trying to help Bill Clinton in ’96 that he didn’t want or need.

      1. Possibly Bill didn’t need it, but I have little doubt that he appreciated the huge illegal campaign donations.

      2. I recently listened to a Noam Chomsky lecture on recent US interference in Latin American. (Here’s the link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKwJI9axblQ, although I expect few will want to devote the hour-fifteen to it.) Of course, this is certainly a tiny cube on the tip of the iceberg of US meddling in Latin America.

        This type of stuff is time-worn standard operating procedure, but I’m not sure that it really buys us much in most cases. Aside from giving employment to plenty of spooks of various sorts.

  17. Firstly, how can one rationally trash the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt and then turn on a dime and praise the report? And yet, Trump has done just that.

    Secondly, how can one rationally praise the Mueller investigation and then turn on a dime and trash the report as protecting Trump? And yet, it would not be a surprise for many Democrats to do just that.

    Thirdly, the only quote from the report regarding “collusion” we have so far is “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” It strikes me that “did not establish” is not as strong a statement as people are claiming. Perhaps there was “collusion” that did not rise to the level of a crime. We need to see the report to understand the full narrative on this issue and on Trump’s actions that might be construed as obstruction.

    1. “Firstly, how can one rationally trash the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt and then turn on a dime and praise the report? And yet, Trump has done just that.”

      Your putting the words “rationally” and “Trump” in the same paragraph is probably a mistake. Start with the assumption that whatever Trump is saying is not related to objective reality, but rather, consists of whatever Mr. Trump thinks will lead to his personal advantage at the time.

      I’d put down some money on the bet that when (not if) he claims the Mueller report exonerates him, he hasn’t read any of it, if there was a way to conclusively settle it.

      1. 1. “Your putting the words “rationally” and “Trump” in the same paragraph is probably a mistake.”

        You completely misunderstood Josh’s first paragraph. Do you disagree with Josh’s claim that Trump acted irrationally with regard to the Mueller report?

        Josh wrote: “Firstly, how can one rationally trash the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt and then turn on a dime and praise the report?”

        This was a rhetorical question, suggesting the answer, “No, one cannot trash the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt and then turn on a time and praise the report.”

        Josh then claims that Trump has done what no rational person can: “And yet, Trump has done just that.”

        Josh’s unstated conclusion is, then: “Trump did not act rationally.” Is it “probably a mistake” to put the words “rationally” and “Trump” into that same sentence?

        2. What does Trump need the Mueller report to exonerate him of? What do you need the Mueller report to exonerate you of?

    2. Yes, good question . . . it’s almost like Trump didn’t trust these guys.

      Maybe it had something to do with when NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers visited him at Trump Tower on November 17 2016 and informed him that these guys had been spying on the Trump campaign all along, prompting Trump to immediately move his operations to New Jersey?

    3. WTF? Did the president “praise” the investigation? No, actually he didn’t. And, just some advice, let the “collusion” propaganda go. Nice try but it failed. Move on or you’ll never be able to cope after the president is reelected in 2020.

      1. I didn’t say Trump praised the investigation. I said he praised the report.

        1. He didn’t “praise” the report either. He just noted, based on the AG’s statement, that the legally and constitutionally infirm hack Mueller found no evidence of any crimes.

    4. You ARE familiar with the concept of “proving a negative”, aren’t you? It’s very rare indeed that an investigation can prove somebody innocent, short of establishing that they had a perfect alibi, and we already knew Trump wasn’t trapped on a deserted island during the period in question.

      The most you could ask for in a case like this is just not finding any evidence of guilt, and that’s apparently what happened.

      In the case of the collusion, they outright cleared him. In the case of the “obstruction of justice”, whether he was guilty or innocent hinged entirely on his motives for what he did, and since they couldn’t read his mind, it came down to lacking any evidence that he undertook those legal actions for a bad reason.

      1. I think you missed my point that perhaps there was “collusion” that did not rise to the level of a crime.

        1. WTF is a prosecutor supposed to investigate? If there is no friggning crime than what the hell was he doing? Looking for a crime that wasn’t there? And then, at the end, the punk doesn’t even have the professional integrity to admit it.

    5. I never thought much of the claims that Trump conspired with the Russians to get them to engage in misdeeds to swing the 2016 election in his favor, but, like you, I thought his attacks on the Mueller investigation where a mistake?at least in their generality and tone.

      There was no way he could effectively stop the investigation, even if he thought it was a “witch hunt”, a huge distraction to his and his associates’ work in carrying out their executive branch duties, and a waste of money. Best for him would have been to sign off on Twitter and address any particular faults he had with the investigation through official, legal channels.

  18. COMPLETE AND TOTAL EXONERATION.

    Bend your knees, liberals. Bow before TRUMP.

    1. You should wait to come down off whatever you’re tripping on before you start posting things on the Internet.

      1. Are you also triggered by kids wearing MAGA hats? You don’t happen to own a drum, do you?

    2. You figure this is the development that will put conservatives in position to change the course of the American culture war?

      The wingnuts lost. They will continue to lose.

    3. +10000

  19. “Let the games begin.”

    No, the game is over. The fake news will never recover from this.

    1. The game is over, wingnut. Your side lost the culture war. America’s liberal-libertarian majority is still in charge. Enjoy your superficial last gasp of backwardness and bigotry, though.

  20. BREAKING: President Trump is guilty of obstructing justice, with the corrupt motive of Making America Great Again.

  21. BREAKING: President Trump may have ties to the USA.

  22. But if Trump wasn’t guilty, why was he so combative instead of being more obsequious toward his inquisitors? It’s almost like he didn’t trust the venerable “intelligence community” who he just found out had been spying on his campaign the entire time without cause.

    1. Same reason so many of his associated lied repeatedly.

      And it is the reason wingnuts’ celebrations are premature.

      1. Trump baited Mueller in order to goad his enemies into praising Mueller.

        The payoff of this strategy is now becoming apparent, as Trump haters who hung all their hopes on Mueller look like fools for not accepting Mueller’s nothing-burger as conclusive.

        1. This^

          Democrats decided the hill to die on was whatever the result of a special prosecutor would be.

          Trump owns the Lefties. MAGA!

        2. An interesting theory! That would be 3-D (maybe 4-D) chess.

          If true, I still don’t think it was a good idea, but then I’m not clever enough to think of such a plan in the first place.

      2. Arthur L. Hicklib’s 85 IQ can’tt provide him with the intellectual capability to understand that no indictments relating to the actual scope of the investigation = / = “guilt”.

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  25. SO MUCH WINNING!

    I wonder what the lefties will cry about now?

    1. Losing the House, more seats in the Senate, and the Presidency in 2020.

      1. Trump’s going to get reelected, abortion is going to be criminalized, strong schools are going to hire more conservatives, Republicans are not facing demographic doom, Trump fans aren’t bigots, the wall will be built and Mexico will pay for it, Hillary’s going to jail, Trump is going to rescue the left-behind backwaters . . . there is no fairy tale a right-winger won’t believe — and fervently — these days.

        1. President Hillary
          The U Va Phi Psis will never collect a dime…

        2. I’m smart enough to recognize the sarcasm here (not that it takes much brains), but let me add my two cents to yours and go over these things one-by-one, since you do think they represent the views of many “right-wingers”:

          1. Trump re-elected: Depends on whether or not there is a recession.

          2. Abortion criminalized: Not under any likely scenario. Too much popular support for abortion rights for any president or Congress to overcome. Changes would be around the edges.

          3. Schools hiring more conservatives: Not under any likely scenario. It’s not something a president or any likely party allocation of Congress can affect.

        3. Continued…

          4. Republican demographic doom: I have long thought so, but I think the recent Democratic tilt to the left might alienate enough center-leaners, including some among so-called minority groups, to tip things toward Republicans. A lot depends on Republican ability to counteract the racist image (that people like you work to play up?not that you are insincere and don’t believe it).

          5. Trump fans are bigots: Some are. In particular, if one is a racist (of the white-favoring sort), sexist, or homophobe, you certainly aren’t going to vote Democrat. Lacking viable third-party alternatives, if such people vote, they will vote Republican, including for Trump.

          6. The Wall will be built: Oh, maybe some parts of it. It’s not actually clear what “the Wall” really is intended to be. In his writings, Trump has even said that he doesn’t think the Wall is necessary to go up and down mountainsides.

          7. Mexico will pay for it: Trump might well have negotiated this away with Nafta 2.0, since “Mexico paying for the Wall” presumably meant through tariffs.

          8. Hillary’s going to jail: Probably not. Maybe there will be some things that get investigated, though. I’m not all that versed on these matters. But from what I’ve read, I feel like there’s thicker smoke in what the Right has pulled up on her than what the Left has pulled up on Trump?and I don’t think we’re near the end on Left-inspired investigations of him. Then again, Hillary doesn’t seem all that relevant anymore.

        4. And finally …

          9. Trump rescuing the left-behind: First, see #1?recession or no recession. I actually don’t think presidents have too much to do with whether or not there is a recession, but regardless, they get praise or blame depending on whether or not one occurs during the time of their administration.

          As for micro-issues: “Rescuing” and “left-behind backwaters”, I’m not clear on exactly what these mean or entail. There’s really so much going on with the economy and society. So much cause for both hope and concern. More than I care to get into on a comment board; more than I could offer any worthwhile comments about, anyway.

          I will say, Trump’s impact on the economy is likely to be minor compared with other forces in play; some of the Democrats’ ideas might have more effect?they seem ever more intent on completely remaking our economic system. But whatever happens in the economy during the next two years will be pinned on him; then again, he certainly hasn’t been subdued himself in taking credit for alleged economic improvement during the last two years!

  26. We can’t know the future until it happens. Rush Limbaugh likes to say about coming presidential elections that the hinge on stuff that hasn’t happened yet, may not happen until the last month, maybe the last week.

  27. I doubt it will, but I actually hope the discussion shifts to tax avoidance because then we can drop some truth bombs on people about how tax avoidance is moral and everyone should do it as much as possible to maximize their income.

  28. The democrats are a stupid bunch. They were in a perfect position to give Trump rope, to take the high road and make him look dumb(er), to offer a reasonable alternative so that moderates, independents and a big chance of sensible people could support them. Yet, they package fluff, the same or worse level of sleaze, made up stories and just general idiocy and a group of alternatives that a about as far from sensible Americans as you can get. Of course, then you throw in their new chummy relationships with blatant racists and anti-semites. I can’t stand Trump but on his worst day he is a better choice than any democrat with influence in that party.

  29. my take was AG was hired to run interference. More like a fullback than a QB. He did. It will buy time until Trumplandian;s can perfect their version of a victory cheer. something like ;no collucion, no obstruction, lock her up, lock her up, damn the truth, damn the truth”.

    they will chant this like a bus load of football hooligans on their way to a Man United Game all the way to 2020.

    Campaign to re-elect might even hire an ex-cowboys cheerleader to do some choreography,

    Meanwhile Trump plans on giving Kim keys to the nuclear football, and invite Putin to park a few tanks in Latvia.

    The redshirts will howl delight even as Wall Street pegs them for imbeciles and and offers to finance their groceries and lite bill at 300%. (non-recourse loans BTW).

    1. Wow, you were getting a lot off your chest here.

      1. Trump giving Kim the keys: I recall lefties before the Vietnam summit predicting Trump would make some big give-aways to Kim and come home declaring victory (Trump being the lying narcissist that he is). Instead, Trump didn’t like Kim’s position and walked.

      That said, the North Korea situation is scary one that we?unfortunately through long history?have gotten entangled in.

      I’m not hearing any good suggestions from the Left on this. (Maybe I just inhabit the wrong echo-chambers.) It seems more like they are just hoping for Trump failures on this issue, but the consequences could be catastrophic. Everyone should line up and give support and good ideas on this.

      Beautiful end: Kim agrees to step down and the Koreas reunify.

      But besides the high odds against anyone giving up such a hereditary dynasty, Kim simply has to worry about his own personal safety (see Gaddafi, Hussein, etc.). And how could he accept any negotiated assurances about this, or anything else, from a Trump with so much opposition at home to ANYTHING he might do. Any Trump assurances could easily be undone in 2020.

    2. And…

      2. Trump invites Putin to park tanks in Latvia: Does Trump have the authority to do this? Does anyone other than the Latvians have such authority?

      3. Wall Street: Your comment is incoherent; it seems you were venting. But Wall Street does have too much power.

      Technically, Trump is not a Wall Streeter (and may even have some opposition to them, as a user of financing), but he has brought some people with high-level Wall Street backgrounds into his cabinet. I haven’t seen him focus much attention on the financialization of the economy, though.

  30. We can’t know the future until it happens. Events matter. I like Lindsey Graham promising us that at least, as darkness falls on civilization and chaos descends, we may find out how it was that late in the year 2016 with apparently no evidence whatsoever other than a Clinton campaign-paid-for dossier manufactured to spec by anti-Trump Brits with Russian help (dragged over the American threshold by eager attack puppy John McCain) anyhow, how in god’s green manure pasture did that mess become what it did?

    At the least, some FISA court judges ought to be impeached for being clueless, feckless rubber stamps. Surely there must have been some tiny amount of due diligence required of them in such a serious matter! Or maybe not, Comey was reportedly a great pal of the one judge who started it all.

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  32. I believe in democracy, I am an independent voter. I love to read everything is written about politics and I agree that our beloved president is a very difficult and awful person, I also hate his tweeters, but sometimes he is right when he says that regardless of the outcome he is going to be attack. Search and destroy. The Muller’s investigation that last for more than two years and have cost us over $25 millions (paid by the tax payers) is not good enough. Is he 100% wrong? of course not.
    The digging has to continue, why do we have to be in such a hurry to destroy the man. Can’t we wait to the election day, lets vote. Is it not the democratic way for a change? I don’t want a Bernie Sanders neither the extreme leftist already in control of the democratic party. Must of the articles are just mentioning Trump’s behave. How about warning the nation of those many ignorant searching for the same position. Freedom is at stake. The enemy is among us. We are wrecking our nation. Congress is not working hate has taken the place of common sense. Is the press ready for a change and ignore the attacks and just publish the news without political favoritisms. That will be a kill for the guy in the White House. Take off his tools.

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