Russia Probe

Trump's Hotheadedness Was His Saving Vice

The president's lack of self-restraint helped protect him from impeachment.

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Donald Trump says what he thinks. Depending on your perspective, this quality is either refreshing or reckless. But it proved helpful in fending off charges that Trump obstructed justice or conspired with Russians to violate federal law.

Obstruction and conspiracy are supposed to happen in the shadows. Yet as Attorney General William Barr noted on Sunday in his summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, many of the actions that Trump's critics have cited as evidence of his criminality happened in broad daylight.

While running for president against Hillary Clinton in July 2016, for example, Trump hoped aloud that Russian hackers would locate emails from the private server she used as secretary of state. "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said at a press conference.

That comment can plausibly be described as a joke or a rhetorical stunt. But it is not the sort of thing a rational person would say if he were actually conspiring with Russian agents to influence the presidential election, whether through hacking or through online propaganda disguised as the political speech of Americans.

You might speculate that Trump is just really bad at conspiracy, or that he is clever enough to understand that publicly inviting Russian hacking would make him look innocent. But after two years of investigation, according to Barr's summary, "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 Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign."

The obstruction issue is more complicated, not least because some legal scholars argue that the president cannot commit that crime by exercising his constitutional authority. According to this view, which Barr shares, Trump could have pre-emptively pardoned his cronies or ordered an end to the Russia investigation at any time for any reason, and the only consequences would have been political.

Leaving that issue aside, Trump made no attempt to hide most of the acts that his opponents portrayed as evidence of obstruction. He publicly fired FBI Director James Comey, publicly complained for a more than a year that Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation before finally sacking him, publicly described Mueller's probe as a "witch hunt," and publicly declared that he had "the absolute right" to pardon himself.

None of those actions stopped the Russia investigation, and firing Comey, which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein justified before turning around and appointing Mueller a week later, probably prolonged it. Trump's constant venting about the unfairness of the investigation and Sessions' failure to protect him from it aroused suspicion, making it look like Trump had something to hide.

While obstruction can be a crime even when it is unsuccessful, Trump's blatant ineptness and heedless flouting of political norms do raise questions about his motive, which is a crucial element of the offense. "While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime," Mueller said regarding the obstruction question, "it also does not exonerate him."

Barr went further. "To obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction," he noted, "the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding." He and Rosenstein concluded that none of Trump's actions, "many of which took place in public," met all three criteria.

Strictly speaking, that conclusion is beside the point, since Justice Department policy precludes prosecution of a sitting president. But Mueller's report, combined with Barr and Rosenstein's gloss on it, gives ample cover to Republicans who would just as soon not try to remove a president of their party.

Trump will instead be judged by voters, and the case against him will hinge largely on the lack of self-restraint that helped save him from impeachment.

© Copyright 2019 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Once again we hear that Trump complaining about the investigation is somehow abnormal. Really, if you and your family were innocent but being ran through the ringer you wouldn’t complain? Seems an odd position for a libertarian to take.

    1. Reasons editorial stance is that you should bend over and take it from the government.

    2. Is there any example of a politician being investigated and the politician didn’t complain?

      1. But but it’s unprecedented don’tchaknow?

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  2. Poor Sullum. He has to justify why Trump beat Lefties at the Mueller investigation and impeachment game as luck. Randomness if you will.

    Trump must be the luckiest mutherfucker who ever lived. His random actions led to Gorsuch, kavanaugh, DeVos, tax reform, criminal justice reform, planned withdrawals from Afghanistan and Syria, defeating a coup by our Deep State….

    1. You’re Trump’s lucky star, bro. That credit belongs to people like you.

      1. It must really bother you to see Trump undo Obama’s evil, bit by bit.

    2. Trump must be the luckiest mutherfucker who ever lived.

      Right? At some point, you have to ask yourself if it’s more than just luck. Maybe, just maybe, he knows what he’s doing.

      1. I’ve always assumed that it was more than luck, because luck isn’t enough to explain the rest of his life.

        His best bit of ‘luck’, though, is the way that his enemies are irrationally convinced that he’s an idiot who’s just lucky. And I don’t think that’s luck, either. He deliberately cultivates that attitude.

        1. It is more than luck. His daddy’s millions are main reason he ended up rich and powerful. No rich daddy, no real estate career, no exposure no political career.

  3. I agree it was a witch hunt, but I also don’t feel too bad for him. Because I think he brought it on himself by firing Comey. I don’t know why he did that, other than maybe Jared told him to for some stupid reason. But Comey would have exonerated him like he did for Hillary, and much more quickly. All the progtards in my timeline are still bellowing about ‘collusion’, but it will be easy enough to turn the tables on them. For example, AOC is a Xi shill, and investigate any connections to Chinese nationals. (Yes I actually think she is – explains her GND fetish.) Plus I just tell them it’s good to be friends with Russia regardless of whether they ‘hacked’ the election. That drives them bonkers.

    Anyway it’s smooth sailing for Trump from here on out. Because the dems will destroy themselves as socialists always do. The key is to stay out of their way so this happens before any of them ascend to a position of power. Trump has to avoid becoming a lightning rod for them. Just do whatever Rand tells you. I can’t wait to find out what nicknames he gives them all.

    1. Comey set him up to make the dossier go public. His FBI flouted the new administration’s inexperience to set up Flynn and ruined his life.

      Comey also let Clinton destroy evidence, held out on the wiener laptop until it was going to go public anyway, and ultimately let her walk even if he was slightly pissed that she put him in that position.

      Comey wouldnt have had the balls to charge him with anything, sure, but he was in on the attempted coup. He just wanted Congress to do the dirty work.

      1. Actually, Comey The Clown released the Huma Abedin stuff late in the game because he wanted to save face with the FBI agents who worked hard on the Clinton case & were incensed with him for not recommending Da Witch be charged for her profound & intentional lawlessness & he also believed like most people that she was still going to win anyway. This way he could say he was not partisan for Clinton!

    2. Comey is an idiot, this is indisputable fact. There is nothing wrong with firing idiots. This is one of the most important tasks for any boss… here in reality.

      But this pretend alt-reality fantasy you’ve got going, where firing Comey was ever a bad thing, is a problem only you (and the other prog unicorns cosplaying along) can fix through deep self-reflection or therapy.

      1. And we’re Trump’s boss and he’s an idiot….

        1. So fire him in 2020 or shut the fuck up!

          1. You’d rather we submissively now to our betters?

            1. No, but use the correct process, not a soft coup. Is it really that hard to understand? Stop throwing tantrums.

            2. You’d rather we submissively now to our betters?

              You’re seriously asking that? Half the country didn’t like the last president, yet were told that elections have consequences.

              Fuck off.

          2. He’ll be fired in 2020, but that doesn’t remove the need for damage control between now and then.

            1. “He’ll be fired in 2020, but that doesn’t remove the need for damage control between now and then.”

              So long as the damage is confined to the brains of those with TDS, I’m more than happy to let it run

            2. Will he? Who’s going to beat him? The guy who has alternately pointed to the USSR and Venezuela as economic miracles whose example we should follow? The woman who literally whored herself out for her entire career? The creepy uncle who most people wouldn’t want in the same room as their children? The single digits iq who couldn’t beat Cruz with both fraud and a record amount of money on his side? Or gillibrand?

              1. The rest of the democrat clown car is just as colorful, and inept. Including the governor of my state, Jay Inslee.

            3. Recession between now and the election and Trump might lose. No recession, he is re-elected.

        2. Idiot? Compared to whom? Who the fuck do you have a tiny chinee chubby for that is so much smarter than Trump?

      2. Oh, come on, he’s not an idiot. People are too quick to declare folks stupid, when they’re just foolish, or conflicted, or merely fail to adopt their preferred position on something.

        Comey was corrupt, and had a self-image that conflicted with that reality. If he’d been comfortable with being corrupt, he would have done a fully competent job of whitewashing Hillary, like he was assigned to, and she’d probably be President now, and he’d have been rewarded with keeping his job.

        If he’d been honest, he’d have investigated instead of whitewashing, gone ahead and publicly listed all the crimes she should be properly prosecuted for, and have been fired on the spot, but have kept his (Largely undeserved) reputation.

        Instead, he tried to have it both ways: Whitewash her enough to spare her any legal consequences, while making it clear that, yeah, she was guilty as Hell. It wasn’t enough to save her campaign, or his job, and everybody ended up despising him, because people who can’t make up their minds which side they’re on get no respect from anybody.

        But that’s not the actions of an idiot. It’s the actions of a guy who’s conflicted about his role in life.

        1. No, he did something I believed was coldly calculated: fixing Hillary so the Democrats couldn’t replace her, but leaving her wounded enough to be unelectable.

          1. That’s a possible interpretation, too. But that wouldn’t be stupidity, either.

            However, his subsequent behavior during the Trump administration inclines me more towards my explanation. He didn’t act like somebody who’d wanted Trump to win.

            1. And Brett, to support your point, there’s also these slightly disconcerting facts about Comey:
              (1) He’s the one guy on the planet who can’t seem to find criminality in the Clintons. He was a deputy special counsel to the Senate on Whitewater, bu couldn’t find criminality there;
              (2) He worked on Mark Rich’s case, front and back-end after Clinton pardoned him, but concluded “no criminality” there by Bill, either;
              (3) His brother is a partner in the firm that does the Clinton Global Initiative’s taxes and holds a note on Comey’s house;
              (4) Couldn’t seem to find criminality against Hilldog, either, where anyone with a law degree could with her blatant attempts to avoid FOIA and have money funneled into the CGI through her job as SecState;

              And here’s the one I laugh that no one ever mentions:

              (5) Why is it that democrats and their media whores told us so many times that Comey and Mueller are ‘republicans’ and therefore we had to trust them because it meant that they were ‘credible’ and not partisan? And yet, why is it that any other time a republican opens their mouth, they’re not credible because they’re the opposition and hacks and not to be trusted? It was the weirdest thing to watch – Comey and Mueller’s repub bona fides somehow transformed them into soldiers of the light and truth.

          2. Wow, he’s that smart?

            I think Comey took the belated steps he did to chastise Hillary because he thought the election was in the bag for her and he could put a fig leaf on what was left of his self respect.

            That’s what he said and it rings true.

            You aren’t really saying he was secretly for Trump are you?

            I think Trump made the decision to fire Comey when Comey sandbagged him with the peepee tape allegation, it was like J Edgar threatening any politician that went after him with his secret files. But Hoover was competent enough to have real dirt, instead of the fake dirt Comey was stuck with.

    3. While I think firing Comey was fine, I generally don’t have sympathy for anybody who becomes President. They volunteer for the job; nay, they beg for it. If they don’t like it they’re free to resign.

    4. The Assistant AG at the time (whose name escapes me) recommended firing Comey. There were all kinds of people calling for Comey’s head because of the bizarre way he handled the investigation of Clinton’s email server from both sides. Then it changed to interfering with the investigation when Trump actually fired him.

      1. That was the crazy thing about it, that fully justified Trump’s complaints: The assistant AG (Rosenstein) wrote a memo recommending he be fired, and then appointed a special counsel in part to investigate the firing. In no world does that actually make any sense from a law enforcement perspective.

      2. You’re speaking of Rod Rosenstein. He recommended firing Comey.

    5. >>>I don’t know why he did that

      Comey set him up. Dude’s lucky he’s still breathing.

    6. Hillary would have fired Comey on her first day in office. Firing Comey did not obstruct justice in any way.

      1. Nor could it. A president can fire an FBI director at will and for any reason. Firing comes also had no bearing on the investigation, so there was nothing to obstruct.

    7. The only problem with Trump firing Comey was the timing. He should have been fired within 24 hours of Trump being sworn in, for letting Hillary get away with obstruction of justice (deleting her e-mails) and with security violations that would have had any ordinary citizen in Leavenworth. Either Comey was protecting Hillary, or he was so morally corrupt as to really think that important people didn’t have to bother understanding and obeying the laws applying to their jobs – even the ones relating to protection of classified documents, which are so simple that most 19 year old military recruits learn them.

    8. Trump fired Comey after Rosenstein recommended firing Comey, who then proceeded to launch the whole Mueller investigation based, in part, on Comey being fired. So, it was a setup from the start, with the sole purpose of gathering enough dirt on Trump or any of his associates to either warrant impeachment or, at least, keep Trump preoccupied so that he wouldn’t launch an investigation into the numerous criminal activities that Hillary and the Obama administration had been engaged in. Sessions was either extremely stupid or was in on the whole plot to remove Trump from the beginning (which is what I believe). The entire group of conspirators should be hanged for treason.

    9. Trump should have fired Comey on his first day in office for giving Hillary a pass while having others prosecuted for far less serious security violations. Either he was corruptly protecting Hillary, or he corruptly believed in protecting important people.

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  5. I don’t support some of Trump’s policies. I think he is sometimes too arrogant.
    https://www.pngkit.com/so/trump-face/

  6. Nope, Donald Trump tells lies like nothing I’ve ever seen. I’d bring my kid to the doctor if he was acting anything like Trump.

    1. Trump is a Con Man – a grifter. His lies are facts to the gullible who support him. His trade deals are the greatest and all the others are shit. His 2% GDP economy is the greatest economy ever. He says so. All the people have the greatest health coverage in the world just like he said he would do. His wall is the greatest and Mexico is paying for it.

      The Big Con is for people who want to believe it.

      1. Well said.

        And don’t forget the biggest lie of all ? “NO COLLUSION! I’M EXONERATED!” When in fact, recent developments have proved we in #TheResistance have been correct all along about him being Putin’s Puppet.

        #TrumpRussia
        #UnbanPalinsButtplug

        1. NATO SHIT. RUSSIA STRONG!

          Thus saith the Con Man.

          1. Oh, Russia is strong all right. And that should terrify all patriotic Americans. That’s why we need a Democratic Commander in Chief who will forcefully confront Putin for hacking our election and installing one of his intelligence assets as President.

            #LibertariansForGettingToughWithRussia

            1. I love it when OBL plays with the fifty-centers and they don’t get it.

            2. The 80’s called….where have I heard that before?

        2. You and Cumshot are madly in love with CNN and the WaPo.

      2. He y PB, maybe you and OP can go fuck each other if you’re not too busy raping children or jacking it to child abuse videos, like the ones you try to post here.

  7. Trump out here playing 5D chess.

    1. He’s just playing checkers, he’s not that smart.

      But his opponent, press, media, establishment are all playing Go Fish. And it turned out half the cards were missing.

  8. I wonder if it’s really “hotheadedness”. I think it’s more likely arrogant self-confidence, that feeling that he can say what he wants without worrying about the consequences. It can be thoroughly annoying, but I suspect that many people find it refreshing in the era of butthurt political correctness.

    1. That’s basically it.
      Trump was elected to be the proletariat’s middle finger to intersectionality, virtue signaling and the WASP aristocracy meritocracy (now with token coloreds) who run the international corporations, the DC establishment and the American media.

  9. Donald Trump says what he thinks.

    For extremely large values of “thinks”. Saying “ouch” when you step on a Lego isn’t really “saying what you think”, and a lot of the shit that falls out of Trump’s face is more an action of the autonomic nervous system than a product of any brain function.

    I have a grandkid like that – I one time stood in front of him with a plastic serving spoon when I got tired of his endless bickering with his brother and told him I was going to hit him if he said one more word. You could see his face contorting as he struggled to keep his mouth shut, but he couldn’t do it. “But he said….” Whack! He literally cannot help himself, he has to have the last word, he cannot not say something. He takes pills for his mental disorder. Maybe Trump should look into that.

    It certainly would have helped if he’d kept his fucking mouth shut when Rod Rosenstein was getting the credit for firing James Comey for the way he handled the Hillary e-mail investigation. But no, poor old Donald Trump couldn’t help himself, he had to leap right in there and insist on getting the credit for firing Comey over the Russia investigation even though he had to have advisors begging and pleading with him with tears in their eyes not to say what would be the most god-awful wrongest thing he could possibly say.

    1. Oh, come on. Like I just said of Comey, Trump isn’t an idiot. He’s just a smart guy you don’t like.

      The refusal to admit that somebody you don’t like can be smart is irrational. People don’t reach Trump’s position if they’re idiots. Immoral? Sure. Foolish? Maybe. Idiot? Never.

      You’ll occasionally see somebody who’s not particularly clever end up in Congress, especially if they’re from some gerrymandered district. The guy who thought Guam might tip over, for instance. Even these people aren’t usually stupid, as such. They’re just not hugely intelligent or widely informed.

    2. The grandkids story is really funny. I have a kid who was like that when he was young, but he is aging out of it some, he is 18 now, thank god. Trump doesn’t take pills, but he doesn’t drink. I read an interview with him where he said, of course I don’t drink, you see how I am when I am sober, can you imagine how I would be if I drank? I was floored by his self awareness and self deprecation, which is not something most of us think of when we think of Trump. I have not been a fan of the man, think he openly admitted obstruction after firing Comey, but as this article points out, it was not in the shadows, and his defense of hotheadedness is plausible. I still don’t like Trump, but he is growing on me over time. I hate the fear mongering, but like his other policies.

      1. The serious reason he doesn’t drink, is that his brother Fred is an alcoholic.

    3. So Jerry, it’s like the way you say stupid shit about Trump? How you can’t help yourself?

  10. “or that he is clever enough to understand that publicly inviting Russian hacking would make him look innocent.”

    Look, you’re just perpetuating a DNC talking point here. He wasn’t inviting the Russians to hack into a server that was already taken offline, wiped clean, and probably hammered into pieces and fed into a cement kiln. He was suggesting that they could provide the emails she’d deleted from their intelligence archives, because her security was so bad they undoubtedly had obtained them while the server was still in use, just like every other intelligence service on the face of the planet.

    This was a very damaging jibe, so the Democrats immediately hit on the line of pretending he’d asked the Russians to hack into her server. It was a stupid party line, (Cement kiln, remember?) but the media dutifully picked it up and ran with it.

    That doesn’t mean you have to, Sullum.

    1. Off topic, but at download speeds of 23 megabytes per second, it’s obvious that unless the hack occurred in the Googleplex parking lot at Mountain View, Hillary’s emails were uploaded onto a flash drive.
      The “Russians” are figments of DNC narrative.

      1. You (and others) are conflating Hillary’s server that was the subject of Trump’s joke, and the DNC server that was apparently uploaded onto a flash drive and was reputed to have been “hacked by Russia” and given to WikiLeaks.

        It is my understanding that Hillary’s server was wiped clean, not with a cloth but with BleachBit and was probably sitting on an FBI shelf, unconnected and decommissioned, when Trump told the joke that had me literally laughing in real time as I was watching his press conference. Partisan Democrats have no sense of humor whatsoever when the joke’s on them.

    2. The DNC is essentially arguing that only the Russians know how to hack email servers. Meh. If Trump did want the DNC server hacked, he could have picked up the telephone and called somebody in NYC to do it. He wouldn’t have to go to the bother or risk to make a deal with a foreign head of state.

  11. can someone explain how unsuccessful attempts to obstruct can be obstruction? An unsuccessful murder isn’t murder, it’s attempted murder, shouldn’t the same concept apply with obstruction?

    1. It’s like speeding: You can get charged with speeding even if you don’t arrive at your destination.

      Indeed, successful attempts to obstruct justice typically don’t get prosecuted, because if you were successful, the legal system doesn’t see/admit that there was a crime.

      So prosecuted obstruction of justice is almost always unsuccessful obstruction.

      The reason Trump isn’t guilty of obstruction of justice is that he didn’t obstruct anything. He fired Comey, but Comey wasn’t running the investigation, guys down the chain were, and Trump didn’t do anything to stop them.

    2. That was Mueller’s real problem, Trumps obstruction was perfectly legal, unless he lied about it. Nobody voluntarily makes it easy for prosecutors, but that’s not illegal obstruction.

      According to WAPO Mueller’s team asked for months for a face to face interview with Trump, but there were two questions the couldn’t answer to justify it: What information they needed from Trump that they couldn’t get from any other source? And what evidence they had implicating Trump in any crime, or any knowledge of any crime, that would justify issuing a subpoena?

      They had nothing, when all it would take is a pair of deuces to open.

  12. Trump’s hotheadedness also probably got him elected. He might not have spent the money necessary to win the primaries or beat Hillary Clinton, but the press kept giving him free advertising in the form of covering all the controversial remarks he made.

  13. “Sometimes there’s a man? I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero?

    Sometimes, there’s a man.

    And I’m talkin’ about The Donald here ? The Donald from New York City.

    Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place.

    He fits right in there.

    And that’s the Donald… The Donald, from New York City.

    And even if he’s a boastful man ? and The Donald is most certainly that. Quite possibly the most boastful in all of New York City, which would place him high in the runnin’ for most boastful worldwide.

    Sometimes there’s a man, sometimes, there’s a man.

    Well, I lost my train of thought here. But? aw, hell. I’ve done introduced him enough.”

    1. Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
      You’re everything I wish I could be.
      I could fly higher than an eagle.
      You are the wind beneath my wings.

      1. That’s so beautiful – have a nice day!

    2. The Trump abides!

    3. ? I need a hero
      I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
      He’s gotta be strong
      And he’s gotta be fast
      And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
      I need a hero
      I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
      He’s gotta be sure
      And it’s gotta be soon
      And he’s gotta be larger than life!
      Larger than life

      Bonnie Tyler

    4. Well done, well done.

  14. I didn’t vote for him and think he’s an ass, but Trump is mostly bark with little if any bite-better that than a cobra in the grass, which is what Hillary would have been.

    1. If Hillary had been elected, some things wouldn’t have been better.

      She would have doubled down on ObamaCare rather than whittled away at it, and she wouldn’t have deregulated or cut taxes like Trump.

      And it isn’t just that Trump wouldn’t have been able to do his shitty things. Clinton would have done her shitty things, too, and they might have been shittier.

      In the aftermath of the Vegas shooting, she’d have gone after our Second Amendment rights. She’s a neocon, and she couldn’t have worked with Putin in Syria–she might have elected for a full scale invasion of Syria.

      I oppose Trump on free trade and immigration, but I’m glad he beat Hillary.

      I sometimes think the world might be a better place if Gore had beat Bush Jr.

      1. Not sure how Gore would have responded to 9/11, but don’t doubt that he would have been nearly as bad as W was regarding the Patriot Act and civil liberties. Aside from his fluffy talk about climate change, he is/was a statist conservative Democrat in the tradition of LBJ.

        1. Gore was always too snake-oily to take seriously imho … and he should have put a lid on his wife in the 80s

          1. the bit with Tipper is actually one of the most instructive aspects about what you can really expect from Gore – he doesn’t believe in freedom (neither does she). they are both quite dedicated to telling others how to live.

            1. morphed my mom into the mom character from Detroit Rock City.

  15. >>>Donald Trump says what he thinks. Depending on your perspective, this quality is either refreshing or reckless.

    it’s beautiful. is why there is 1A. finally, someone with a mic can say “fuck PC” and get away w/it.

  16. “Obstruction and conspiracy are supposed to happen in the shadows.”

    just imagine if HRC had been elected. just as dishonest, crony-capitalist, protectionist, authoritarian-leaning, and egotistic as DJT, but far more secretive and slick. I was not surprised that Mr. Trump was elected, since the candidates were so similar in their substantial flaws, and differed only on why they were unlikable. I wonder now if we didn’t dodge a bullet by getting the farcical boor in the White House, rather than the potentially more dangerous counterproductive wonk.

    1. At least with Trump, we have an angry media pointing out all the stupid shit government does. With Hillary they would have just kept covering up the bullshit with flattery.

  17. There’s something else that keeps him from being impeached: He hasn’t done anything which those not afflicted with TDS find impeachable.

  18. So a guy being honest and forthright about a clear witch hunt, which he would OBVIOUSLY know if he colluded so knew it was bunk the whole time, is somehow a crazy thing? Any normal person would be PISSED if they were being harassed for something they KNEW they didn’t do. He didn’t feel the need to pussy foot about it. Pretty normal reactions across the board here…

  19. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,”

    Just imagine a world in which a Democrat said something like this and then Republicans insisted that it was treason.

    1. The treason was putting her e-mail on an unsecured server. If the Russians failed to hack it and Putin found out, there’s an ultra-secret hacking department head buried _under_ the Kremlin.

    2. Once the Russians had it the damage was done, and Hillary gave it to them not Trump.

      Now of course the honorable thing for the Russians to do is keep the data from the American public. Its par for the course for governments to steal each other’s secrets, but where the real damage happens is when the people find out what they are hiding.

  20. I happen to think that given what we know about the corrupted behaviour of the previous administration and the naked partisan play by the Mueller investigation that sought to usurp power from a legally elected representative and to try and ruin the lives around him….I think Trump handled himself as well as anyone could expect from a person facing such a derelict abuse of power.

    Damn straight he should go ape shit on every asshole involved.

    Wake up Reason.

    1. this is a libertarian site, not alt-right.

      1. So libertarians are cool with corrupt government officials using the power of the state against their political enemies then? Because doing that intentionally IS a crime, whereas punishing people for doing it is upholding the law…

    2. Damn straight he should go ape shit on every asshole involved.

      Fuck ’em all to death!

  21. No one who matters has read the report. Barr’s summary is telling, but not the be all end all. The issues that could lead to trump’s impeachment were never likely to be outright criminality, but behavior unbecoming of the POTUS – and what behavior is appropriate is simply a matter of politics and the current Senate.

    1. High crimes and misdemeanors now include behavior unbecoming a President?

      Interesting.

      1. Only for Republicans. Or perhaps Oval Office blowjobs are behavior becoming a President?

  22. Jacob Sullum: “That comment can plausibly be described as a joke or a rhetorical stunt.”

    I am not a Trump fan but it is purely ridiculous to interpret Trump’s public request for Russia to find Hillary’s emails as anything other than a joke.

    Taking it seriously is beyond ridiculous.

    1. If the Russians all ready have it, what further damage can be done from a national security viewpoint?

      Unless of course they can use it to blackmail Hillary. If Trump actually goaded the Russians to release Hillary’s emails, which they never did of course it was the DNC emails that were released, then it would have made it more difficult to blackmail her.

  23. “Donald Trump says what he thinks. Depending on your perspective, this quality is either refreshing or reckless. But it proved helpful in fending off charges that Trump obstructed justice or conspired with Russians to violate federal law.”

    Why do I even waste my time with Reason any longer?

  24. Trump is very smart when it comes to influencing people’s opinions. I think he instinctively knew it was the right strategy to call out Mueller publicly as a witch hunt.

  25. Watch as Reason Morphs Into The New Republic

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  27. “The obstruction issue is more complicated, not least because some legal scholars argue that the president cannot commit that crime by exercising his constitutional authority.” This reminds me of Richard Nixon: “When the President does it, it’s NOT illegal.” No one is above the law.

    1. No one is above the law. But Congress gave the president authority to fire the FBI director.

      That is the law.

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