Mueller Investigation

Vox Symposium on the Mueller Report

The symposium includes contributions by a variety of legal commentators, including fellow VC blogger Keith Whittington and myself.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The Vox website has an insta-symposium on the Mueller report, with contributions by a variety of legal commentators, including Volokh Conspiracy co-blogger Keith Whittington and myself. I think Keith had the best one-line take on the report: "If this is what a complete and total exoneration looks like, I'd hate to see a damning report."

Here is an excerpt from my own, admittedly less eloquent, contribution:

The…Mueller report released today paints an unflattering picture of President Trump, particularly on the question of obstruction of justice. Although special counsel Robert Mueller did not reach any conclusion on whether the president should be prosecuted for obstruction, he did conclude that "Our investigation found multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russia-interference and obstruction investigations."

Trump's efforts to hamstring the investigation mostly failed. But that was "largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders and accede to his requests." The fact that White House counsel Donald McGahn and other legally sophisticated officials refused to carry out the president's orders is a strong sign they considered them improper and likely illegal.

The report also includes a compelling response to claims that the president could not have committed obstruction of justice, if he did not commit any underlying crime related to Russia. As the report notes, "obstruction of justice can be motivated by a desire to protect non-criminal personal interests, to protect against investigations where underlying criminal liability falls into a grey area, or to avoid personal embarrassment."

All of these motives were very plausibly present in the case of Trump….

An additional possible motive was preventing revelation of crimes by his close associates that were not directly related to "collusion." The Mueller investigation did in fact reveal many such crimes….

On the question of collusion, the report is largely good news for Trump. The investigation did not find enough evidence to justify filing charges. But the report documents extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian agents. The latter sought to help the former, and the campaign hoped to benefit from Russia's actions. The fact that a hostile authoritarian regime believed Trump's victory would advance their interests, and made extensive efforts to secure that outcome, is highly damning, even if Trump and his associates did not commit any crimes in the process.

It's also worth noting that the report includes a detailed critique of claims that the president, by virtue of his constitutional prerogatives, cannot commit the crime of obstruction of justice. I think that this section is largely correct, though advocates very broad conceptions of executive power will surely differ. And it is unlikely Mueller would have included it if he thought that Trump did nothing illegal.

As noted in my contribution, Trump is in little danger of immediate legal jeopardy. Justice Department policy forbids prosecution of a sitting president, and Attorney General Barr has repeatedly indicated he thinks the president did not commit any crimes. But a future attorney general could potentially differ with that view, and a prosecution might then be initiated when Trump leaves office. Impeachment is also potentially on the table, though I think it is highly unlikely that there will be enough votes to convict (which would require the support of numerous GOP senators).

Finally, all those who comment on the report within a few hours of its publication—myself most definitely included—take the risk of overlooking something important. It's entirely possible that a more careful reading will yield greater insight and lead us to reconsider some of our initial reactions, including my own. We should be open-minded about that possibility.

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  1. Ilya Somin: We should be open-minded …

    Ba ha ha ha ha!

    1. I was thinking “bwa ha ha”. 🙂

  2. If this article is Somins best shot, Trump is as pure as the driven snow.

    1. The right-wing bigots, slack-jaws, and malcontents will rejoice; they’re too dumb and too disaffected to understand much beyond ‘no criminal charges’ (from Republican prosecutors).

      Educated, modern, tolerant, decent Americans will, at minimum, recognize the accounts of a Donald Trump who is a liar, a bully, a cheater, and a reckless, vainglorious jerk.

      1. “The right-wing bigots, slack-jaws, and malcontents will rejoice; they’re too dumb and too disaffected to understand much beyond ‘no criminal charges’ (from Republican prosecutors). ”

        Gee, asshole, you’re a veritable ‘target-rich environment’ tonight. One lie after the other; proud of yourself, or just embarrassed you’ve been backing a lame horse after losing several years back?
        Regardless, you remain the local representative of bigoted assholes; well recognized as such.

      2. Every time I read one of your comments, I get the impression that you’re screaming at your computer when you type them.

      3. You mean the “educated” and “modern” liberals who think it’s perfectly normal and healthy for a homosexual man to erupt inside another man’s tuchis? That type of “tolerance” and “decency?”

      4. Name one great President, no name any great leader from any era at time in history, that hasn’t been called “a liar, a bully, a cheater, and a reckless, vainglorious jerk.” (I said “great” so don’t Clinton and Obama don’t count)

        1. George Washington.

          1. Meh. I’m sure General Cornwallis said all sorts of nasty things about him.

          2. Not even close David. Washington had his share of contemporary critics and we currently have no shortage of revisionist historians eager to debunk the “myth” of Washington.

            1. His treaty with Britain made him public enemy #1. It’s probably the real reason he left office after two terms.

      5. “Donald Trump who is a liar, a bully, a cheater, and a reckless, vainglorious jerk.”

        Stipulated. I knew that when I voted for him in 2016, and I’ll be fully aware of that when I vote for him in 2020.

        On the other hand I know I in my heart Hillary Clinton ” is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.” But would make a lousy president and try to take away my guns.

        1. If Hillary Clinton is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being anyone has ever known in their life, they need to get out more. They could probably meet worthier people on Craigslist.

          1. MKE
            The comment about Hillary is a classic movie reference–a joke.

            1. No shit? Thanks for the correction. I guess I seriously thought this guy admired Hillary. Good thing you were here to straighten me out.

  3. If this article is Somin’s best shot Trump is as pure as the driven snow.

    1. Trump: Every bit as exonerated as O.J.!

      1. Trump was charged with something?

        1. The asshole rev can’t be bothered with facts; too much like ‘thinking’.

      2. “Trump: Every bit as exonerated as O.J.!”

        Interesting. How many cops do you think will be convicted of perjury in this case?

      3. Wow Rev., I’ve heard some stupid stuff today but this, this is outstanding. Yyou should tweet this out, make a name for yourself.

  4. Stupid things liberals are saying today:

    OBSTRUCTION!!!!! This is White Water all over again!

    No it isn’t stupid liberal. All ten so-called “incidents” are zeros. You add up 10 zeroes and you get zeroes.

    INVESTIGATE!!!!!

    There is nothing to investigate. There was no obstruction. Quit trying to make something out of what was a report the completely exonerated Trump.

    I EXPECTED MORE FROM MY PRESIDENT!!!!!

    Oh so you spent the last two years talking about how Trump wasn’t your President, now he is suddenly your President?

    NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW!!!!

    Except for Hillary, but I digress. There was no violation of the law and no obstruction. This is all just gasbagging by liberals that are mad there is nothing more.

    1. Hush. The grownups are trying to talk.

      1. Don’t (continue) to be a dick, his points are spot on.

        1. His points are childish and absence of any rationality. Typical of so called “conservatives” these days.

          1. “His points are childish and absence of any rationality.”

            Care to tell us why? I love to see lefties ducking and dodging.

            1. I love to see right-wingers whining and whimpering about being stomped in the culture war. Their bigoted, bitter tears are proof of America’s progress and greatness.

              Carry on, clingers. But only so far as the liberal-libertarian mainstream permits.

      2. “Hush. The grownups are trying to talk.”

        That…. hasn’t been the case for at least two years, and it certainly hasn’t been the case today.

    2. Yep- perfectly legal to attempt to obstruct investigations and not be found guilty because you were too dumb or ignored to succeed. I’m sure that one will please the judge everytime.

      Thanks for opening your mouth and removing all doubt.

  5. Vox had zero credibility before this symposium. Ilya Somin’s contribution did nothing to improve that situation. If anything, Somin helped to destroy whatever small shred of what was left of his own credibility where it comes to Trump.

  6. “Based on what we have seen to date, going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point,” Hoyer told CNN. “Very frankly, there is an election in 18 months and the American people will make a judgement.”

    And that’s all folks!

    1. And your point is what exactly?

      1. That this episode is over except for the crying because the Dem leadership does not want impeachment.

        All the symposiums in the world won’t change that Mueller Day fizzled.

        1. They showed your hero to be a lying, cheating jerk, you half-educated bigot. If you didn’t spend your life in a can’t-keep-up stretch of backwater Ohio, you would recognize this.

          1. “They showed your hero to be a lying, cheating jerk, you half-educated bigot.”

            The investigation showed you and your ilk to be lying, un-educated, bigoted assholes.
            Get used to it; it’s going to be enjoyable slapping you with it for years to come.

          2. “They showed your hero to be a lying, cheating jerk, you half-educated bigot. If you didn’t spend your life in a can’t-keep-up stretch of backwater Ohio, you would recognize this.”

            That’s right! Everybody from Ohio is a bigot!

            1. Not everyone from Ohio is a bigot.

              Those in the backwater portions tend to be bigots or appeasers of bigotry. Superstitious yahoos. Half-educated slack-jaws. Unskilled, downscale malcontents.

              Others are free to wallow in political correctness, but I prefer to call a poorly educated, bigoted, superstitious, right-wing clinger a poorly educated, bigoted, superstitious, right-wing clinger. Accuracy is a virtue.

              Carry on, clingers.

          3. Lmao! Kirkland has made my week.

        2. It is “over” in the sense, I suppose, that now Americans can vote for or against Trump knowing full well that he thinks nothing of lying to their faces, manipulating the DOJ in his own interest, or legally coordinating with foreign powers for his own self interest.

          1. “It is “over” in the sense, I suppose, that now Americans can vote for or against Trump knowing full well that he thinks nothing of lying to their faces, manipulating the DOJ in his own interest, or legally coordinating with foreign powers for his own self interest.”

            No, she lost. Neither you nor anyone else will get to vote for that corrupt hag ever again.

        3. Serious Democrats never wanted to impeach. They wanted to expose Trump’s crimes so that voters would throw him out.

          1. And what crimes would those be?

          2. Trump’s misconduct has been exposed by Republicans.

            Democrats will have an opportunity to twist the knife a bit, though.

      2. Pelosi and Hoyer are the only ones between Trump and impeachment. The House Democratic caucus should dispose both of them now, and expel from the caucus anyone that supports them.

        1. I expect censure — and rubbing the Trump family’s nose in its lies and other shabby conduct for a while — rather than impeachment.

          Then better America will send the slack-jaws packing in 2020 and require conservatives and Republicans to pay the bills for electing Trump.

  7. The most ‘damning’ thing I’ve heard is that Trump asked to fire Mueller which we already knew and which obviously would have been public news the moment it happened, and arguably within his legal power anyway. So, no respect for protocol is the big revelation?

  8. Where was the fervor to root out obstruction of justice when Eric Holder refused to produce documents subpoenaed by Congress in connection with Fast & Furious? Where was it when the IRS destroyed all of Lois Lerner’s emails concerning the treatment of conservative groups by the IRS? Where was it when Loretta Lynch gave explicit directions to the FBI not to pursue any charges against Hillary Clinton based upon gross negligence in her use of a private email server for classified documents? Where was it when Loretta Lynch had a private meeting with Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac while Lynch was supervising a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton? Is obstruction of justice a charge than can only be used against Republicans? Are Democrats immune from scrutiny in that regard?

    1. Yes, keep your eyes focused on past outrages those Dems did (and fill in any blanks with moar outrage)

      Never, never look at your own guy.

      1. “Never, never look at your own guy.”

        Isn’t that the motto engraved on the crest of the Democratic Party? Pretty certain Loretta Lynch has that tattooed across her ass.

        1. And you respond by pointing to the other guy.

          Well done, DjDD.

      2. “Never, never look at your own guy.”

        He’s not ‘my guy’, but the investigation has been going on for over two years, with a seeming remit to investigate anyone who ever knew Trump for anything at all.
        And after all of that, the most damning ‘evidence’ is that an innocent man might have shut down the fishing expedition if his aides didn’t keep him from doing so?
        Tell us, SarcastrO, how this compares to the skate the hag got? Or Lynch/Bubba? Or Lerner’s use of the IRS.
        We’re all waiting for your explanation…

        1. Open wider, Sevo. Your betters are not done shoving progress down your whiny, bitchy right-wing throat.

          1. “Open wider, Sevo. Your betters are not done shoving progress down your whiny, bitchy right-wing throat.”

            Open wider, bigoted asshole; those who can read are going to enjoy jamming your stupidity down your throat.

          2. Maybe it’s just me, Rev, but you don’t really sound like the guy on the winning side of an argument. My advice, tune down the crazy just a bit, even if it is intended for satirical purposes.

            1. My side has won. Your side has lost. Treatment of gays, abortion, school prayer, treatment of women, environmental protection, treatment of blacks, creationism in science classrooms, voter suppression, treatment of Muslims, financial regulation, and dozens of other issues have been resolved in America against the preferences of right-wingers.

              And it’s only going to get better for America — and worse for Republicans and conservatives — on these and other fronts. There just aren’t enough vestigial bigots left to maintain a national electoral coalition for intolerance, superstition, and ignorance. More stale thinking goes to the grave every day, replaced by younger and better Americans.

              The snapback against guns nuts is coming. Snowflake-coddling privileges for superstitious bigots will be diminished, too.

              The educated conservatives know what has happened in the culture war and what is predictably to come. That’s why they are so cranky and desperate.

              Carry on, clingers.

              1. Uh, maybe you just misunderstood, but I wasn’t advising doubling down on crazy. But, slogging through this mess of crazy, I am somewhat confused as to one “point.” America has resolved to support Democrat endorsed infanticide? Not sure you’re on the winning side with that issue but if you think having the support of infanticide electorate is key, you can have them.

              2. OK, who let Arthur out of his padded cell? I know that it’s funny as hell to watch him rant, but there is something very wrong about just using the clinically insane for comic relief.

  9. Ilya wrote: “On the question of collusion, the report is largely good news for Trump. The investigation did not find enough evidence to justify filing charges.”

    This is a lie. It wasn’t that they didn’t find “enough” evidence; they found NO evidence. This is not a subtle distinction.

    1. Funny way to say NO evidence:
      “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment,”

      1. He said no evidence of collusion. You gave a quote about obstruction.

        1. Well, that sounds like a remarkably lame exoneration then.

          Still not seeing NO collusion either:

          “In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of “collusion.” In so doing, the Office recognized that the word “collud[e]” was used in communications with the Acting Attorney General confirming certain aspects of the investigation’s scope and that the term has frequently been invoked in public reporting about the investigation. But collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. For those reasons, the Office’s focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law.”

          1. Sarcastr0
            April.18.2019 at 9:30 pm
            “Well, that sounds like a remarkably lame exoneration then.”

            Yeah, facts are tough for those with raging cases of TDS to accept.

          2. “Well, that sounds like a remarkably lame exoneration then.”

            It was a lame exoneration.

            1. It was the degenerate case of exhoneration, wherein the OLC opinion that a sitting President cannot be indicted meant no quantum of evidence could have been sufficient. Mueller lays out a pretty exhaustive fact-pattern anyhow.

              Stick to your formalistic definition of exhoneration, but at this point it’s looking like the ‘Nixon was never indicted!’ diehards.

              1. “It was the degenerate case of exhoneration, wherein the OLC opinion that a sitting President cannot be indicted meant no quantum of evidence could have been sufficient.”

                As has been pointed out ad nauseum, the Mueller didn’t exonerate Trump of obstruction, his bosses did. And given the questions surrounding the president’s powers, it was the right call. Do you think there’s evidence to prove that the reason Trump wanted to nix the investigation wasn’t that he thought it was a politically motivated witchhunt that was interfering with the other aspects of his presidency?

                1. Exhoneration as a pure matter of law isn’t really exhoneration as anyone thinks of it.

                  As for your question of Trump’s intent, Mueller goes into how Trump did have a bunch of stuff worthy of covering up. But more viscerally, the usual response to a political witch hunt starting isn’t ‘I’m so fucked, my Presidency is over.’

                2. A president’s powers do not include instructing a government lawyer to lie in the context of a law enforcement investigation.

                  Did any of you yahoos attend law school, or anything beyond eighth grade?

    2. “Separately, on August 2, 2016, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met in New York City with his long-time business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI assesses to have ties to Russian intelligence. … Months before that meeting, Manafort had caused internal polling data to be shared with Kilimnik, and the sharing continued for some period of time after their August meeting.” (p. 6-7)

      1. Ah but you forget.

        Evidence not quite damning enough to charge means no charges… and if they didn’t charge… well that must mean there was no evidence! Exoneration!!!

        Oh, and investigate Hillary for the 2^45th time because she’s definitely guilty!!!

    3. Get an education, Jeff Kleppe, you bigoted rube. No one — other that the slack-jaws — contends the ‘no evidence’ was established.

      1. “No one — other that the slack-jaws — contends the ‘no evidence’ was established.”

        And no one other than those with TDS claim there is any, including bigoted assholes with TDS.

      2. I guess he got confused because of the lack of evidence. Oh and no charges.

    4. This is a lie. It wasn’t that they didn’t find “enough” evidence; they found NO evidence. This is not a subtle distinction.

      Sure; it’s just a fabrication on your part. (Perhaps your mistake is listening to Barr rather than reading the report itself.) Barr kept repeating “no collusion,” but Mueller never said that.

      1. So, your view is that the investigation established that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government? Kinda the opposite of what that sleaze Mueller actually found (and as an aside something he apparently knew very early into this “investigation” but declined to issue an interim report, preferring to just keep it to himself for some reason).

        1. So, your view is that the investigation established that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government?

          No. My view — exactly as I said — is that the investigation did not find “no evidence” that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.

          and as an aside something he apparently knew very early into this “investigation”

          How can one know very early in an investigation what evidence an investigation will find?

        2. So, your view is that the investigation established that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government?

          No, my view — exactly as I stated — is that the investigation did not find “no evidence” that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.

          something he apparently knew very early into this “investigation”

          How can one know “very early” in an investigation what evidence an investigation will turn up as it continues?

          1. It has been apparent for quite some time to any rational objective human being that the Trump campaign did not conspire or collude with any foreign power, that was absurd nonsense stemming from the Clinton/DNC opposition research. And interestingly the only private parties who apparently “colluded” with Russian agents was the Clinton/DNC.

            1. It has been apparent for quite some time to any rational objective human

              Always the sign of a strong argument to come.

              1. Ok sparky, let’s just start with the classic, reliable pee dossier. Utter crap political opposition research used to further a fraud upon the court. What else have you got to substantiate your conspiratorial theories? What evidence underlies your conspiratorial delusions?

                1. Keep up on the news – the Dossier wasn’t relied upon. It was Papadopoulos boasting to an Australian diplomat.

                  And it wasn’t a fraud of any sort. The warrant noted it was a document paid in part by a political campaign.

                  But the bigger issue is that whenever you say ‘all who disagree with me are irrational’ you’re just showing how irrational your cocksuritude is.

                  1. Not a fraud of any sort? When you know for a fact that the document (the “salacious and unverified” document which was the primary basis for the warrant) was paid for by the opposing candidate and her party but you tell the court only that it may have been produced by an interested party, you’re intentionally misleading (dare I say defrauding) the court. Papadopoulos, really? That proves what? The set-up operation failed?

  10. With respect to Donald Trump Jr.’s “If it’s what you say it is, I love it” comment and campaign finance law, could someone explain the basis for contending that he was soliciting an improper contribution? Primarily, if no one ever showed up with the supposed “dirt” on Secretary Clinton, how could a prosecutor hope to show that there was no intent to pay for the information (as the other side paid for the Steele dossier)? Secondarily, how could a prosecutor prove that “I love it” is a solicitation — was the proposal being made by or on behalf of the supposed provider of information, not be the putative recipient?

  11. Unreal. Obstruction? 1.4 million documents, uncounted interviews, no assertion of executive privilege. What other administration has ever been so transparent? The Clinton administration? The Obama administration? And if there was proof of “obstruction” how about simply providing it instead of obnoxious innuendo. The special counsel did not even have the professional integrity to do his bleeding job and passed the buck to the AG. If politically appointed officials could properly make this finding, why the hell did we waste millions of dollars on a special counsel? What a sleazy unprofessional hit job.

    1. Why look at this evidence gathered over here when I can speculate up all sorts of stuff over there!

      But Obama ain’t gonna get you where you want to go, methinks.

      1. Sarcastr0
        April.18.2019 at 9:32 pm
        “Why look at this evidence gathered over here when I can speculate up all sorts of stuff over there!”

        You should look up “projection”; you’re very good at it.

        1. The slack-jawed bigots know this is their last gasp, Sarcastro. They’re not even trying to reason or acknowledge reality anymore.

          If you knew your side was about to be stomped for good in American politics, you might act that way, too.

          1. “The slack-jawed bigots know this is their last gasp, Sarcastro. They’re not even trying to reason or acknowledge reality anymore.”

            I see your reading comprehension is as pathetic as your general level of ‘intelligence’.
            Bigoted assholes tend to be such, bigoted asshole.

          2. “stomped for good”? Does anyone actually write this way? What bot planet are you from?

            1. Asshole bigots are not real bright.

    2. “What other administration has ever been so transparent? ”

      The President lied repeatedly and instructed others to lie. The President’s family members and political associates lied repeatedly. The President provided written statements a Republican prosecutor labeled “inadequate.” He refused to be interviewed — and a Republican prosecutor nevertheless refrained from issuing a subpoena and compelling an interview and/or a grand jury appearance.

      The only people who consider that “transparency” are the gullible children of all ages who believe fairy tales are true and that President Trump is going to build a wall, have Mexico pay for it, and enable unskilled rural slack-jaws to prosper at the expenses of accomplished, educated residents of America’s modern, successful communities.

      1. Yeah, not sure you realize it but you just pointed out just one example that shows what an absurd unprofessional piece of garbage this “report” is (shades of the “dossier”). What is the point of noting that answers are “inadequate,” if not solely some childish politically inept attempt to embarrass the president? Not the conduct of an objective professional. The response to an interrogatory speaks for itself. If additional information is needed proceed with additional discovery, go to the court for redress or shut the hell up. Mueller apparently didn’t need the information, couldn’t justify and didn’t want to embarrass himself by going to court, but couldn’t resist trying trying to attack the president. What a gross embarrassment to any decent prosecutor.

    3. 1.4 million documents, uncounted interviews, no assertion of executive privilege. blah, blah, blah.

      A refusal to be interviewed by Mueller. Yeah. Transparent as hell.

      1. Much more transparent than the Clintons in 1996, when the DNC and the Clintons were caught taking millions in campaign contributions from the Communist Chinese, funneled through the likes of James Riady (visited the Clinton White House 20 times, 6 private meetings with Bill Clinton), John Huang (78 visits to Clinton White House, numerous private meetings with Hillary and Bill), Johnny Chung, Charlie Trie, et al. Of course, the Clintons didn’t need to be transparent. They had an AG, Janet Reno, who refused to appoint a Special Counsel, and who shut down every FBI agent who wanted to question either Bill or Hillary, or who wanted to question any of these witnesses about those private meetings. But NO, that wasn’t obstruction. The Democrats in Congress said so.

        1. Funny how you keep pointing at the Clintons and not really about the issue at hand.

          Seems a habit of yours lately.

          1. Yes, pointing out the brain-dead partisan hypocrisy of Democrats has become a habit. But there’s just so MUCH of it to point out.

  12. The facts are:
    The investigation of Trump was aimed at uncovering ‘collusion’ with the Russkis, such that the outcome of the 2016 election was affected.
    After more than two years of a fishing expedition, even the investigator can find no evidence to support such a claim, which Trump knew to be false from the start.
    We then change the focus to see if we can find evidence that this party, innocent of the charges above, might have interfered with the bogus investigation.
    Well, no. We find that he might have tried, but his aides kept him from doing so.
    So we get this: “If this is what a complete and total exoneration looks like, I’d hate to see a damning report.”
    In short, ‘Trump is a big poopyhead’ from a lawyer.

    1. Bull Cow is the definition of an “orange man bad” NPC.

    2. After more than two years of a fishing expedition, even the investigator can find no evidence to support such a claim,

      The investigator found evidence to support such a claim. That’s why he didn’t say “I found no evidence,” but instead spent hundreds of pages describing evidence.

      which Trump knew to be false from the start.

      How could Trump possibly know it to be false from the start? At most, he could know what he himself did or didn’t do; he couldn’t know what everyone else in his campaign did or didn’t do. (Why, if you believe him, he didn’t even know that his son, son-in-law, and campaign manager colluded with Russian agents. (Until after the fact, when he crafted a false cover story to hide it.))

      Well, no. We find that he might have tried, but his aides kept him from doing so.

      If I tell someone, “I’ll pay you $10,000 if you kill my wife,” and this person doesn’t follow through with it because he is actually an undercover cop rather than a bona fide hitman, I have still committed a crime. “I tried, but failed” is not a defense.

      1. Except none of those things that Trump told his aides to do were crimes. Trump does have constitutional authority to fire Mueller, and direct Jeff Sessions on how to do his job. The only thing he could be in trouble for if it was corrupt intent.

        It’s close to the situation Rick Perry was in when he first threatened, and then did veto the funding for the Travis County Corruption unit unless the Travis County DA resigned.

        Texas’s Supreme court decided that there were no possible grounds to criminalize exercise of Perry’s constitutionally granted powers.

        1. Trump does have constitutional authority to fire Mueller.

          Not true. The AG has to do it. And didn’t seem very willing to do so. Unless you’re making some expansive Article II argument.

          Even if that’s true, obstruction of justice is a crime, even if your actions are otherwise legitimate.

          1. Fine. He has the authority to order the AG to fire Mueller, and fire the AG if he refuses. And if he has the authority to do it, and a legitimate motive, it ain’t obstruction. As the AG found.

            And even then it’s questionable what restrictions Congress can put on the President’s exercise of the powers of his office.

            1. Thinking you shouldn’t be investigated isn’t a legitimate motive. Neither is being frustrated.

              1. Do you really want to live in a country where the chief executive is virtually subservient to the hierarchy of the federal police? Fire the FBI director and we’ll subject you to a special counsel and potential prosecution or impeachment. I think it would be better not to travel to banana republic land.

                1. Does having the chief executive under the oversight of the legislature make him subservient to them?

                  There’s a lot of middle ground between being subservient to the DoJ and being immune from any executive oversight.

                  1. It may interest you to know that the President is not constitutionally subservient to the legislature. And no, there is no middle ground regarding “executive oversight” of the President by the DOJ. They have no such role.

                    1. Are you saying Congress has no oversight role, or that the President is subservient to Congress? Those are your two choices.

                      And the DOJ’s oversight role of the President has been a thing since at least Watergate, MKE. https://www.lawfareblog.com/independence-and-accountability-department-justice

                    2. Not sure what you fail to understand. I never said Congress doesn’t have an oversight role, I said the President is not subservient to Congress.

                      As for Watergate, and notwithstanding the obvious overwhelming authority of a lawfareblog link, Watergate does not stand for the proposition that the DOJ has oversight authority of the Chief Executive. That’s borderline retarded.

                    3. What did the DOJ do in Watergate, then? Play tiddlywinks?

                      Where do you even get your claims about executive oversight? They seem to be from your hat.

                    4. I’m really not clear what you’re arguing. What I’m saying is that Watergate did not establish within the DOJ some inherent authority to oversee or supervise the in-office conduct of the President. It may, unfortunately, have led to a very unhealthy attitude of institutional independence (which may explain some of the abuses in the Russia nonsense).

                    5. You originally had two theses: first, that the the DOJ has no power to investigate the President, and second that having such power would make the President subservient to the FBI.

                      I’ve provided counterexamples to your second thesis, and counterexamples to your first.

                      That you retreat into ‘inherent power’ is telling. It is by executive order that the President cannot fire DOJ employees other than the AG directly – that is not an inherent power of the DOJ but an operational one nonetheless.

                      As to your tossed off thought that the DOJ thinking it’s independent of the President is unhealthy, that’s not supported either. The unitary executive theory is hardly the only one out there. And there are lots and lots of examples of institutions policing themselves via internally independent organs without those organs becoming J. Edgar Hoover.

                    6. I’m not sure you’ve provided anything but confusion. Before making blanket statements about a DOJ “power” to investigate the President, you might want to put just a little thought into what you actually mean by “investigate.” Investigate what? A specific crime? The President’s in-office-in pursuit of constitutionally delegated responsibilities? Anything that the FBI just disagrees with?

                      And investigate how? By an AG (quite unconstitutionally) unilaterally assuming the power to appoint superior constitutional officers (“special counsels” exercising the power (or more power) than a US Attorney)?

                      “And there are lots and lots of examples of institutions policing themselves via internally independent organs without those organs becoming J. Edgar Hoover.” Name such an independent federal police force? Even if they were one, I don’t think the preferred circumstance, in a healthy representational democracy, is to have such bodies operate independent of elected officials.

                    7. You’re the one clouding the issue. We have here a concrete example of the DOJ investigating the President. Watergate is another. Countless IGs and AGs in countless public and private institutions acting as internal watchdogs are further examples.

                      Changing the scope of the argument is a neat trick if someone isn’t being careful. But when you have to scope so far out you get to ‘what does it really mean to investigate’ you’re not going to fool anyone, except maybe yourself.
                      We’re not writing new policy here, we have something right in front of us.

                    8. We do have an unfortunate concrete example of how an “independent” federal bureaucracy can abuse its authority to target a sitting president. Like I said in the beginning, I think it would be better not to travel to banana republic land, but if that’s you’re preferred destination, enjoy yourself.

                    9. Now you’re just begging the question.

                    10. Uh, no I’m not. I’m simply referring to my original point. It is grossly improper and inimical to our constitutional structure to have a president undergo scrutiny by federal police authorities for exercising his constitutional prerogatives, in this case, firing the FBI director. But I hope you like living in banana republic land. There ain’t no return flight.

                    11. You response to my many counterexamples of internal policing working well is that Mueller is bad, which is not only grossly inadequate but is begging the question.

                    12. Good luck begging in your new federal police state. Not sure it will do you any good but they’ll probably enjoy the groveling.

                      And I wasn’t “begging the question” (do you even know what that means?) I was simply refusing to let you define the issue. If you need a cliched logical fallacy to use in rebuttal you might want to consider “non sequitur”

    3. The facts are:
      The investigation of Trump was aimed at uncovering ‘collusion’ with the Russkis, such that the outcome of the 2016 election was affected.
      After more than two years of a fishing expedition, even the investigator can find no evidence to support such a claim,

      The actual facts are:
      The investigation found evidence to support such a claim, but not enough to definitively establish it. But what it did find was that

      (1) Russia wanted Trump to win and acted to help Trump win.
      (2) Trump knew that, and welcomed, encouraged & rewarded the interference.
      (3) Trump acted repeatedly to obstruct the investigation into that interference.

      which Trump knew to be false from the start.

      How could Trump possibly know it to be false from the start? He could know from the start that he personally didn’t do anything wrong (if that were actually true, which it isn’t), but he couldn’t possibly know from the start whether other people from his campaign did anything wrong.

      Well, no. We find that he might have tried, but his aides kept him from doing so.

      Again: that’s a crime.

  13. “If this is what a complete and total exoneration looks like, I’d hate to see a damning report.”

    A damning report would have concluded that Trump committed crimes. This report did not conclude that Trump crimes.

    There is a legal term for someone who does 10 things that are almost obstruction of justice. It’s “innocent”.

    Of course, people who are disturbed by any actions revealed in the report are free to vote against Trump in 2020.

    1. Which slack-jaw law school deserves credit for your level of legal insight, clinger?

  14. Hey, at least he’s not being Adler and calling for impeachment over this nothing.

  15. The fact that a hostile authoritarian regime believed [candidate]’s victory would advance their interests, and made extensive efforts to secure that outcome, is highly damning,

    Well, then, it’s a good thing we narrowly avoided electing the beneficiaries of such an act in both 2000 and 2016, isn’t it?

    Ahem.

    That policy agenda differences exist between candidates is not even mildly disturbing, let alone damning; it is much of the point of even having elections.

    Nor is the fact that the United States is powerful enough that such potential differences are of great interest to foreign governments, hostile or not, even mildly disturbing.

    And given those facts, it should be obvious that foreign governments, regardless of character or attitude to the United States, would be acting stupidly if they did not try to intervene whenever one thinks the benefits would outweigh the costs. Given how powerful the United States is, there are quite a number of cases where this could be worth tens of billions of dollars; and there is no election cycle in the US where campaign spending has exceeded seven billion dollars. Accordingly, we should expect multi-million dollar efforts by foreign governments routinely in relatively close elections; if we don’t see them, it is either because we aren’t looking hard enough or foreign governments are failing to properly pursue their own interests.

    So, in the absence of evidence that a candidate is an agent of or compromised by a foreign power, then, the only question is whether his policy agenda is actually the better one for America. And making such a judgment largely on whether a given foreign power likes it is a downright stupid heuristic, outside of an actual existential struggle with that power.

    1. (Or, actually, there’s one more case where we wouldn’t see it; the case where such influence attempts are, in fact, wholly futile. In which case, the rare circumstances where some hostile foreign power is stupid enough to try to intervene is a good thing, marking a case where they’re wasting money to no effect rather than using it somewhere where it could cause us trouble.)

    2. So, in the absence of evidence that a candidate is an agent of or compromised by a foreign power, then, the only question is whether his policy agenda is actually the better one for America.

      They impeached Bill Clinton for a blow job.

      Or, rather obstruction of justice with the underlying crime being a blow job.

      1. I thought it was obstruction of justice. Probably at least 10 instances. Paula Jones was entitled to her day in court after Bill Clinton had a State Trooper being her upstairs from her state job duties to the Governor’s hotel room and then Bill exposed himself and propositioned her.

        She had a legal right to discover and present evidence that Bill had a pattern of sexual misconduct with government employees that came in contact with him.

        The fact that one of those other employees gave home a consensual blow job doesn’t make all the obstruction of justice go away.

        1. Clinton wasn’t impeached for Paula Jones, Kaz.

          Also note I’m replying to someone who doesn’t think anything short of spying is worth impeachment so long as the policy agenda is good.

          1. “Clinton wasn’t impeached for Paula Jones, Kaz.”

            ??

            Clinton was impeached for lying in the Paula Jones case, obstructing justice by attempting to get witnesses to lie in the Paula Jones case, and lying to Ken Starr’s grand jury that was investing his perjury and obstruction of justice in the Paula Jones case.

            1. Fair enough. Still don’t see an underlying crime.

              Under you very expansive take on what a legitimate motive is, covering up an affair would see to count.

              1. Perjury.
                For which he was found in contempt of court and lost his law license.
                What’s wrong with you?

          2. Also note I’m replying to someone who doesn’t think anything short of spying is worth impeachment so long as the policy agenda is good.

            You desperately need remedial reading-comprehension classes if that’s what you got from my post. And afterward, you owe me an apology.

            1. I quoted you, dude.

              1. Even if you ignore all other context in my post, the simple fact that candidates can’t be impeached, only people in office, would indicate the passage you quoted isn’t talking about standards for impeachment. If, that is, the reader is capable of basic reading comprehension.

                1. Your logic is not limited to candidate, nor to the remedy of impeachment.

                  the absence of evidence that a candidate is an agent of or compromised by a foreign power, then, the only question is whether his policy agenda is actually the better one for America.

                  This is a pure ends justifies the means argument, even in the context of your original post.

      2. Whether or not Trump committed obstruction of justice is entirely separate from the question of whether the Russians wanted him elected is “highly damning”. I addressed the latter argument, not the former, as should have been entirely obvious from the portion of the post I blockquoted for context.

  16. Your President is still living rent free in your head, Bull Cow, you ignorant piece of slime. You just can’t accept that you lost. I’m laughing at you and your globalist elitist communist cabal.

    You really aren’t as intelligent as you think you are, and nobody here thinks much of you or your TDS.

    1. I’m not mad, I’m laughing actually!

  17. I think Joe Walsh’s tweet sums up the report pretty well:
    “To review:

    1. He knew Russia interfered.
    2. He welcomed, encouraged & rewarded the interference.
    3. He obstructed justice.
    4. He lied. And lied. And lied.
    5. He demanded his people lie & NOT cooperate.
    6. He worked on a personal business deal with Russia and lied about it.

    Ok?”

    Thus the slow turn to ‘Obama and Hillary were totally worse!’ and ‘Technically, no collusion!’ This is all there is left. Not an enviable position.

    1. We have had foreign interference in just about every presidential election since at least WWII, some of it much more massive and high profile than in 2016. Such as the Chinese Intelligence assets channeling large amounts of money into the Clinton campaign in 1996, The Guardian UK effort to create a massive UK lobbying effort to swing Ohio to Kerry, not to mention the UK intelligence apparatus’ efforts to meddle in the 2016 election. Anyone who didn’t expect foreign interference in the election is too naive to be in politics.

      Now I will admit it was reckless to invite the Russians to hack Hillary’s server, but I think that was in order to highlight how reckless Hillary was having her classified email on a private server, but of course by then they had already been hacked, at least by the Chinese, maybe the Russians too.

      1. Not pivoting today. Happy Good Friday.

    2. “Ok?”

      OK. We’ve already been over why Trump isn’t guilty of the crime of obstruction of justice. But fortunately the remedy of impeachment isn’t limited to just crimes. The Dems control the house, and if they impeach him, they will have the opportunity to put him on trial before the Senate, and convince the Senate and the nation that he should be removed.

      So if you guys think that what he did was so bad, why don’t you stop playing with your dicks and impeach him already?

      Arthur has already explained why in the last thread, the thinks that the Dems will get more political mileage out of harassing him than if they fall on their faces trying to impeach him.

      1. Your belief that thinking you shouldn’t be investigated is enough to obstruct justice is laughable.

        From the above alone, Trump has done many, many contemptible things that are unsuited to the office. Do you disagree? Or do you just want to talk about the political implications of impeachment because it’d be better to let the moral implications lie?

        1. The executive controls the DOJ. He can order them to do whatever he wants. There was nothing to “investigate,” so there was no “justice to obstruct.”

          1. Don’t be ridiculous – the President cannot order DOJ employees to start shooting people.

            Even ignoring the lots of things the investigation turned up (and associated convictions and guilty pleas), arguing you can obstruct justice on accounta being so innocent doesn’t fly.

            1. What part of “the DOJ answers to the President” do you find difficult to comprehend? And no, it turned up nothing. Despite the media sack dance, tax evasion convictions of people who had very little to do with Trump is not even remotely relevant to Trump or his administration.

              1. By Executive Order the AG answers to the President, and the rest of the DoJ to the AG.
                Trump couldn’t order Mueller himself to do anything.

                Trump sure seems heated up about an investigation that turned up nothing, Western.

              2. Yeah. Trump’s campaign manager had “very little to do with Trump.”

                You, and the other Trumpists here, have been made insane by drinking Fox brand Kool-Aid.

                Have any of you read the report, or are you just quoting toady Barr?

                I can’t believe the crap you guys are saying.

                “Look! Loretta Lynch!” Yeah, that’s a strong defense.

    3. As much as I love Joe Walsh, I would be careful using him as an expert on something like this.
      1. How do you or Joe know this, except to the extent that St. Barry told us it was tried and he “told Vladimir to cut it out”?
      2. How do you know this–apart from the joking reference to the missing emails?
      3. False
      4. About what, exactly, a propos this investigation? Presidents lie all the time.
      5. Evidence?
      6. And the Clinton Crime Family Foundation was a gigantic washing machine for bribes to Hillary, dwarfing, by orders of magnitude, anything Trump might even CONSIDERED doing.

      1. It’s what the Mueller report says. It’s a quick and slightly flippant summary of what the Mueller report says.

        Keep leaning on Clinton. See how well that plays among anyone to the left of Rush Limbaugh.

  18. Raise your hand if the Mueller Report confirms everything you previously thought about Trump and didn’t cause you to change your mind about anything!

    [Raises hand]

  19. Serious question to those who believe Trump is innocent / this report complete clears him: If the target of the accusations and investigation were Clinton or Obama, would you truly believe that this would have cleared them? Would you tell partisan Republicans to let it go because there’s nothing there?

    1. I’m still waiting for an actual investigation of Clinton and the Clinton foundation, her server, pay to play at State, actual violations of the emoluments clause such as the payments related to uranium one, etc.

      After the investigation then we’ll see what I think of the results. And I don’t want her to be locked up, sets a bad precedent. Trump should pardon her before any trial, let her decide whether to accept the pardon or not.

      1. So in response to a hypothetical to see if you had a partisan double standard, you went off on a bunch of partisan speculation.

        Not doing a lot to make one think that you’d not turn on a dime if a report with this much factual predicate were released about Hillary.

  20. It has gotten to the point that the Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland’s gratuitous personal insults have crossed the line, have made this a worse place. I’m going to appeal to Prof. Volokh and the Reason editorial staff to tell him to tone it down, or be banned.

    1. His comments compare favorably to DeleteGrossLiberals, if you bother to take the time to read them. At no time has the Rev. suggested that a VC member be executed for his opinion, even Bernstein.

    2. Not a safe space for you, ThePublius?

      1. No, just not a civil space.

        1. And if you think RAK alone is causally related to that, you have some pretty hefty blinkers on. I’ve been called worse by many on this blog. Sometimes about my comment, sometimes about me personally. I try and cultivate bemusement.

          IMO, light moderation is the price we pay for a space that allows people like me to engage with people like you.

          You’ll find more civil political forums on the Internet, but none so bipartisan, I’d wager.

  21. Just like Weissmann’s attack on Enron/Anderson was overturned by SCOTUS so too will his 1512 interpretations/attacks in the Mueller Report be overturned. My guess is the will of the people will be as clear as the Court was.

  22. The narrative that the report supports is that while the Trump campaign should have been outraged at Russian meddling in the election, they were willing to accept dirt on Clinton from any source, including the Russian government. On the other hand there was no planned effort to get dirt from the Russians let alone coordination with them. There were a few disconnected outreaches in both directions that amounted to nothing, perhaps because of incompetence. These outreaches raised enough flags to justify the investigation. Thus, both the “they colluded” and “it’s a witch hunt” narratives are wrong.

    On the other hand, I wonder how much coordination there was between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks. We don’t know because that material was redacted because of the ongoing Stone prosecution. That being said, coordinating with Wikileaks is likely lawful given that publishing hacked material is lawful.

    Additionally, the other narrative is that Trump will impede and lie in order to protect himself even when there is nothing to be protected from. But, we already knew that. We’ve known that since Roy Cohn mentored trump.

    1. Coordinating with reporters doesn’t violate campaign finance, so coordinating with Wikileaks probably doesn’t either.

      But Trump was asking for Clinton’s deleted emails, both in public but was also privately asking his team. If someone on his team (Stone, Flynn, Manafort, etc) sent that request to Wikileaks or even someone they thought to be a Russian spy, then I think that puts them in hot water for conspiracy.

      That’s the same trap a journalist (I think Maddow) almost fell into. Someone sending them the tax returns unsolicited would be fine, but they asked someone to leak them and that would have made them a co-conspirator if someone complied.

  23. the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders and accede to his requests

    TRUMP: Turn the keys.
    MISSILE COMBAT CREW: No.
    TRUMP: Turn the keys!
    MISSILE COMBAT CREW: No!

  24. Effective analogy of a report written after a two year anal exam by the deep state, using every weapon in its power:
    “It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08%.
    Trump, so sayeth St. Meuller, on numerous occasions, drove with a BAC of .05%.”

    1. In other words, being a “fucking moron” is not in itself a criminal condition. Neither is being a pathological liar. Sleeping with porn actors while your wife recovers from childbirth? Nope, not a crime. Praising the world’s dictators while reviling the world’s constitutionally elected leaders? Fucking moronic and immoral, but not a crime. And on and on.

    2. the deep state

      This kind of unsupported paranoia is not healthy. Assume professionals are professionals even if they disagree with you. Trump has appointed most of the principals involved.

      Is there any evidence Mueller has some anti-Trump agenda?

      1. As long as your kind refuses to ( publicly) acknowledge that the current political dynamic is not “Republicans vs. Democrats”, but “D.C. and its clients–of both ‘parties’–vs. the rest of the country, you will continue to lose elections to the likes of Trump.
        Call it the “permanent bureaucracy”, or the “administrative state”, if your hyper-refined delicate sensibility prefers.
        It is an organized entity with it’s own agenda and a will to survive, like all institutions with that much power and long standing.
        It tried and failed to take Trump out.

        1. If the text exchanges involving Strozk and Page aren’t enough, I don’t know what would, to establish a prima facie case that I’m right.
          We’ll see if Barr turns up any more evidence of “unauthorized surveillance”, but, I don’t imagine any quantum of such would satisfy you.

          1. The texts were anti-politician generally, I’d guess you’d count them on your side of your artificial boundary.

            I’m not a government worker myself, but I know many of them. Their policy preferences about the size of government are all over the map. But they don’t let their politics get in the way of their work. Your manifesting an organized entity out of nothing is great if you need a nemesis to justify your anger, but requires a massive amount of bad faith from lots of people that just isn’t happening.

            We’ll see if Barr turns up any more evidence of “unauthorized surveillance”, but, I don’t imagine any quantum of such would satisfy you.
            Maybe imagine less and deal with the current state more and you won’t need massive conspiracies to keep your reality aligned.

            1. What massive conspiracy?
              How many people at the White House and CReeP did it take to run the ratfuckers and Watergate?
              How much help did Hoover have in amassing his fiefdom?
              The sitting Attorney General has made a statement as to what he’s investigating–this is not fever-dream territory, no matter how uncomfortable the idea of St Barry being in on shenanigans might make you.

              1. Your comparisons show how unsupported and gauzy your current case is. Your deep state is everywhere and nowhere, versus actual groups of people who were caught doing actual things, often by leaks or records they themselves kept.

                The sitting AG is the one providing ample evidence if his own bad faith.

        2. As long as your kind refuses to ( publicly) acknowledge that the current political dynamic is not “Republicans vs. Democrats”, but “D.C. and its clients–of both ‘parties’–vs. the rest of the country, you will continue to lose elections to the likes of Trump.

          By… getting a lot more votes than him?

  25. It is an appalling testament to the grandiosity of Mueller and his team (and the undoubted hundreds of like-minded individuals in the DOJ) that they even considered bringing obstruction of justice charges against the President.

    Mueller and his cronies believe that there are at least some discretionary matters involving investigation and/or prosecution decisions that are not subject to oversight by the President (who is after all, vested by the Constitution with “the executive power of the Unites States”.)

    Employees of the DOJ are just that, employees. They have no authority under the Constitution and no independence from the President. They may not like being supervised (who does?), but they have no authority to charge the President with a crime for making a policy decision not to pursue a certain line of inquiry.

    The Mueller report is a warning to Trump and all future Presidents that they should tread lightly when supervising DOJ bureaucrats who believe the DOJ to be an independent source of power in Washington, accountable not to the people via the President, but to an abstract notion of “justice” as defined by the individuals who from time to time come to occupy certain bureaucratic posts
    within the DOJ.

  26. In the Mueller report, On the collusion question, there’s burden shifting on two levels.

    First there’s the fact that protecting the integrity of American elections from foreign powers is the role of the government generally, and the intelligence community specifically. Second, if you’re saying someone broke the law, it’s their responsibility to prove it. The suspect(s) don’t have to disprove the government’s half-baked theories.

    Set aside any aspirations to collude or negligible encounters Trump’s team might have had with Russians for a second. What are we saying Russia did to meddle in our elections? It seems to me it boils down to three things: ran fake social media ads; might have hacked the DNC and given their emails to Wikileaks; the Steele dossier.

    The social media thing is significant to people who grasp neither the enormity nor frivolity of social media. The report says millions saw these phony ads. Millions! Do you know how ho-hum that is? Paul Joseph Watson tweeted at one point he was getting 300 million impressions monthly, and he’s just one guy from the UK. And if you don’t know who Paul Joseph Watson is or what he looks like or why he’s popular, I rest my case.

    Mueller had no way of proving Russia hacked the DNC, or even confirming it was a hack (and not a leak, like Assange has said), so this was an infirmity in the case from the get go. I know he got criticized for it, but Trump was right when he would mutter about the DNC server. It’s easy to ignore/dismiss in the broader media narrative about Russian collusion, but the moment any American was charged with collusion, the very first thing any defense attorney would do is make them prove the leak was even due to foreign hackers and not a leaker within the DNC.

    And finally, the careful parsing of the Steele dossier. One of the clearest examples of Russians meddling and yet the seems who wrote it, who paid for it, and who disseminated it are all footnotes…if they’re mentioned at all.

    1. It seems to me it boils down to three things: ran fake social media ads; might have hacked the DNC and given their emails to Wikileaks; the Steele dossier.

      They did more than post false and conspiratorial stuff on social media that both sides picked up on.
      They organized actual protests.

      They did a lot – it’s in the Report.

      1. I’m referring to the things Trump and members of his campaign could’ve been integral to pulling off. Mueller knows his Russian theories won’t have to be ferreted out in court for the most part, so even taking what he says at face value, I’m not sure what Russia, or Russians individually, did that Trump’s campaign could’ve played a real part in.

        The clearest evidence of Americans working with Russians is the Clinton campaign paying millions through a law firm to a group who contracted a British spy to use his Russian contacts to dig up dirt on Trump, but in the report and in general conversation, that’s treated as neither here nor there, if it’s mentioned at all.

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