Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Mueller's 9 Minutes of Fame Punts The Ball To Congress As Trump & Co. Continue Spinning More Lies

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Robert Mueller delivering his nine minute statement earlier today, which left most Americans seeking courage, unimpressed.

"Bob, your trail of bread crumbs just isn't good enough. We're just not that smart anymore! America is now an aging shortstop.  You have to hit it right at us."  Bill Maher on Real Time, Friday, April 26, on why Mueller's indirect, detached approach is useless

"If we had confidence that the President did not commit a crime, we would have said so."  - Robert Mueller, earlier today.

Well, at least one major milestone was passed earlier today, we finally got to hear Mueller's voice live and in person. No filters. The problem is it was mostly pro forma and the message enunciated: "If you want to see what I found, read the report."  Righto, like 100 million Americans will now rush to read it ASAP. Hell, I already published the 'juiciest' parts of Vol. II (with all the obstruction behavior involving WH Counsel Don McGhan that- propelled  GOP Rep. Justin Amash to call for impeachment) and  42  have read it to date. Not an auspicious sign.  On the upside, reading between the lines - or rather interpreting between Mueller's careful words- one beheld he wasn't letting Trump off the hook. Also, it was now time for House Dems & Pelosi to get some cojones and initiate impeachment inquiry - at least.

Bottom line: Mueller punted again but basically - in his Volume II - left the means to bring impeachment proceedings against the Vulgarian criminal fouling the highest office.  On the other hand, he isn't keen for any more public appearances, basically averring if the House Dems subpoena him to testify all he will do is read what's already been published, nothing more. Well, hell, at least it will be kinda like a parent reading a bedtime story to his kid - when the kid wouldn't have opened the book on his own.  It would be better than nothing, and hey, for each question Mueller could direct willing readers to the key parts of Volume I or II as he reads. It sure beats the Mr. Silent Sphinx Act we've beheld the past two years. At this point we will take anything, and so should Nancy Pelosi and the House Dems.  Pelosi claims she's still seeking facts and evidence of obstruction, but what do you call Trump's universal blocking of all subpoenas  - laughing them down, blowing them off - as he metaphorically pisses down the Dems' throats and laughs?

Finally launching an impeachment  might even shut up Trump and his top sycophant ass licker, Sara Sanders, who predictably came out with their own forlorn lying spin and distortions, yapping crap like "case closed", and "it's time to move on."  No, it's time for impeachment!

Mueller himself in his 9 minute spiel gave the usual reasons cited earlier for not going the whole hog and failing to issue and indictment: basically that DOJ policy (from the Office of Legal Counsel) "doesn't allow it".  Which is bull pockey. It's only a guideline, a policy after all, not an iron clad law or rule. And we've seen in the past two months how Dotard has spit on norm after norm blocking subpoenas  while congress is made to sit on its fingers fuming.  The correct interpretation of Mueller's citation of limits in issuing an indictment is:  "We found Trump guilty but the DOJ wouldn't allow us to say it."

Never mind. Dotard and his retinue of sycophants tried to spin this to mean "exoneration".   The first tool they used was to interpret a partial affirmation as a total negation. Thus, Mueller admitted he found "insufficient evidence" to identify a conspiracy with the Russians (in Vol. I). But Trump, his malleable cow press secretary Huckleberry Sanders and others tried to portray that as meaning "nothing was found" and hence "exoneration".  Nope, because insufficient evidence is not the same as zero evidence. One may have insufficient evidence a neighbor bludgeoned his wife with a hammer, as there are bloody fingerprints on it. But there is no confirming DNA evidence to match the suspect to the actual weapon and crime.

Mueller did (in Vol. 2) identify 10 incidents in which Trump attempted to obstruct justice, for example by firing the director of the FBI, though he stopped short of charging the Dotard with a crime.  Never mind, because again by the OLC guidelines Mueller's hands were cuffed on the issue of finding crimes. (As already explained.) But again, he clearly left the process open for congress to pursue "high crimes and misdemeanors" under the Article I powers allotted to it.  

Mueller himself fucked up badly during his soliloquy,  asserting:

"A president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.  That is unconstitutional."

No, it would not. As one legal specialist and former prosecutor noted on MSNBC, "there hasn't even been a court decision to render a verdict on constitutionality".  Adding, he could find just as many to assert it was constitutional as not. In the end it is an OLC "guideline" that appears no where in the Constitution per se.

As MSNBC legal specialist Ari Melber and others put it (e.g. former DOJ spokes person Matt Miller) it wasn't a 100 % nothing burger. There were some actual ounces of 'meat' in the statement terms of Mueller saying (between the lines, as it were): "I could not deliver a criminal prosecution but congress can still act on its own".

Bingo! But most Americans - even with IQs in the normal range- might have missed that. As Bill Maher once put it in a New Rules segment (see top quote) on Real Time, Americans are like aging shortstops. They need the ball hit directly at their midsections to make the play. Or in this case, the connections. The perfect illustration was one of the Michigan voters  highlighted at a recent question-answer session held by Justin Amash. This woman was astonished to learn- after Amash educated her- that Trump was NOT "exonerated" in the Mueller Report. She'd only heard that by having been isolated in the conserve media (i.e. FOX, Rush Limburger ) echo chamber the past 8 weeks.

At least a number of Senators - following Mueller's performance- have sounded the proper perspectives to counter the balderdash of Trump and his minions, e.g.

Julian Castro:

Mueller made clear this morning that his investigation now lays at the feet of Congress. No one is above the law—Congress should begin an impeachment inquiry.
May 29, 2019

Elizabeth Warren:

Mueller leaves no doubt:

1) He didn't exonerate the president because there is evidence he committed crimes.

2) Justice Department policy prevented him from charging the president with any crimes
3) The Constitution leaves it up to Congress to act—and that's impeachment.
May 29, 2019

Kamala Harris:
What Robert Mueller basically did was return an impeachment referral. Now it is up to Congress to hold this president accountable.

We need to start impeachment proceedings. It's our constitutional obligation
May 29, 2019

Again, I present the link to the full Mueller report which readers can access here:

Please read it yourselves to see why the above takes by the D-Senators are correct. If pressed for time, at least read my transcription of Vol. II to do with obstruction of justice involving Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn! (May 22 post).

Your country will thank you for it, and so will Democrats when they begin impeachment proceedings.  (IF they do!)  It will mean one less segment of citizens to have to educate.  In any case, I am for the Jerrold Nadler and House Judiciary Committee bringing Mueller in to testify - even if it means only seeing and hearing him read sections of his own report.

Something is better than nothing!   

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Darrin Rychlak said...

I was in law school during the Clinton impeachment. We learned that a president cannot be indicted or censured. Only impeachment is the constitutional remedy for a rogue president. That was never tested during Nixon's criminal parade bc he resigned. Whether a sitting president can be indicted is an interesting question but I don't give a fuck about it.

Mueller laid out the procedural rules for how he ran his investigation. He could only find the target's innocent or not 'not guilty.' Fine. Process is one thing and substance is another. The substantive portions of the Mueller Report are infinitely more important and they were a total fucking letdown. If Trump can send his campaign manager to Spain to meet with Russian intelligence to pass off US polling data and Mueller can't make conspiracy / election fraud charges stick, he's a fuck up. "Russher if you're listening and Russia did listen." Trump Jr. is begging for Russian supplied dirt on Clinton.

At least Mueller admitted that Trump and his people's obstruction worked in hampering the probe. Impeach now. Run a new investigation on Trump's conspiracy. Run the findings daily during Open Congress...on TV. Remind people that this sonofabitch is a Russian asset.

How would you questions every player in the Russian fiasco? Here's a start:

"1. If there was nothing wrong or improper with the over 100 meetings and contacts the Trump team had with Russians ... why did Trump and his administration lie to Congress, to the American people, and to the FBI?

2. Trump's campaign secretly gave campaign polling information to a Russian intelligence agent in Spain. Why did the Trump team feel the need to share that information with Russia? What possible reason could ANY U.S. presidential campaign have for sharing information with Russia, of all places -- a hostile, anti-American nation?"

Let them plead the 5th.

Copernicus said...

I really like those two questions. I'd like to see the scumballs squirm when they try to answer them. Of course, the way the stonewalling is going that may never be.