The Bul****: You’ve Gotta Pivot Like There’s Nobody Watching

 

Lest we lose sight of the forest for the trees: It seems to me likely Mueller will find there was collusion between Trump associates and Putin operatives; that Trump knew about it; and that Trump sought to cover it up and obstruct its investigation. What then? Good question. — Bill Kristol, August 9, 2018

Good question, indeed. The complementary question, of course, is: what if Mueller doesn’t find that there was collusion between Trump associates and Putin operatives? What then?

We have an answer: you pivot.

What the Mueller report says, per Attorney General Barr, is this:

[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

But pop over to The Bulwark and read Kim Wehle’s piece, Mueller Report: What We Can Learn From Barr’s Initial Letter to Congressional Leaders, and you’ll discover that the Barr letter, per Ms. Wehle,

contains no facts or substantive information—nothing about what Mueller did or did not find with respect to his investigative mandate from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

I’m confused. The letter seems to clearly state that Mueller did not find evidence to establish collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, which actually was a principal objective of Mueller’s mandate. How does this clear finding become “nothing about what Mueller did or did not find?”

Read the rest of the piece and you won’t come across this seemingly important tidbit of information: that the investigation launched to find evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Russia did not find evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Ms. Wehle does, however, instruct us to drop the “witch hunt” talk.

The piece by Charles Sykes, No Collusion. No Exoneration at least mentions that no collusion was found. It mentions it in the title, and in the first paragraph.

That’s it. The rest of the article is about obstruction. See how the pivot works?

Oh, and Mr. Sykes also lays down the law for us: “There was no witch hunt.”

(It almost seems like a Bulwark theme, that last bit.)

As If you read the articles at The Bulwark, you’ll notice two things. First, the pivot, the effortless shift from collusion to obstruction, as if the threat to our democracy was never the intrusion of Russian influence (it wasn’t, but that was the drum they were beating), but rather the danger of the President being critical of an investigation he knew, by virtue of being its object, to be pointless.

Secondly, you’ll see a lot of whataboutism, particularly from Sykes and Last. How exactly one’s attitude about past misdeeds by prominent Democrats factors into the revelation that there was no Trump collusion with the Russians escapes me; it seems to impose a moral standard on a legal question, as if to say that anyone who thinks Hillary Clinton should probably go to jail for her supposed crimes is a hypocrite for acknowledging that there was no Trump collusion with the Russians.

In short, after having beaten the collusion narrative into the ground with the rest of the mainstream media, Sykes and Co. are doing exactly what every left-leaning media organization is going to do: overlook the negative finding on collusion, and pivot instantly to speculation about obstruction in the investigation of collusion that, we now know, didn’t occur.

I will revisit The Bulwark when someone informs me that Charles Sykes has posted a piece acknowledging his mistaken credulity, and pondering, however briefly, how so many fell for what seemed, even two years ago, a preposterous narrative.

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  1. rgbact Inactive
    rgbact
    @romanblichar

    Jager (View Comment):

    Reality is that this all over but the shouting.

    House can impeach on straight Democrat votes. But yes, this is all over but the shouting. Again, I don’t think Bullwark implied that this should go further…..as the OP implied they were gunning for. Has even Kristol said that?

    Honestly, I haven’t seen many NT’s outside the MSNBC staff that thought this thing wasn’t mostly just media hype from the start

    • #61
  2. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    I hesitate to comment because it appears that too many people are having too much fun.  But I will take a shot at it.

    I have carefully read the articles at The Bulwark since the release of AG Barr’s letter.  They all appear to be fully accurate.

    Henry complains that The Bulwark pivoted from collusion to obstruction.  So?  According to Barr, Mueller found no evidence of collusion.  The Bulwark Editor In Chief filed a post a couple of hours after the Barr letter was released.  He said:

    “At this point, it seems almost churlish to point out that we have not actually seen the Mueller report. What we do have is a letter from Attorney General William Barr that makes at least two things clear: Mueller did not establish collusion or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but he also pointedly declined to exonerate Trump from charges that he engaged in the obstruction of justice.

    “The decision not to charge Trump with obstruction was made not by Mueller, but by Trump’s appointees: Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Mueller’s report lays out the arguments on both sides, but “ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment.”

    “Mueller apparently felt strongly enough about this point that he said, ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’ [Emphasis added]”

    See https://thebulwark.com/no-collusion-no-exoneration/

    It has been argued that there was no good cause to investigate collusion.  Nonsense.  Sykes quotes David Frum as follows:

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Vladimir Putin’s Russia hacked American emails and used them to help elect Trump to the presidency.

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that agents purporting to represent Putin’s Russia approached the Trump campaign to ask whether help would be welcome, to which Donald Trump Jr. replied, ‘If it’s what you say I love it…’

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Donald Trump publicly welcomed this help: ‘I love WikiLeaks!’”

    The next day The Bulwark Executive Editor Jonathan V. Last filed an article titled: “Whataboutism, Trump, Hillary, and Covington: The bonfire of the hypocrisies.” 

    His closing paragraphs are as follows:

    “Instead, we’ll be left exactly where we thought we’d be: With a messy pile of facts and narratives that can be interpreted in a variety of different ways, depending on whose ox you’re trying to gore.

    “And that’s okay. The entire purpose of this investigation wasn’t to magically overturn the election or LOCK HIM UP. The Trump administration was always going to be terminated or continued by voters. As it should be. No, the purpose was to find out as much of the truth as possible. Robert Mueller has now done that.

    “Once we’ve had a chance to read the report—however much of it is released—then we’ll be able to understand what, if any, wrongdoing the president is guilty of.”

    See https://thebulwark.com/whataboutism-trump-hillary-and-covington/

    Senior Editor Benjamin Parker wrote an interesting article titled “One Reason Muller was Right to Defer to Barr on Obstruction.”  See https://thebulwark.com/one-reason-mueller-was-right-to-defer-to-barr-on-obstruction/

    Senior Writer Andrew Egger asks “Should Mueller Speak Out About Barr?:  And is Barr playing fast and loose with Mueller’s report?”  This speaks to a concern that I have, given the highly politicized status of things.  See https://thebulwark.com/should-mueller-speak-out-about-barr/

    Senior Editor Benjamin Parker explains:  “What Kind of Information Might Barr Withhold from Congress?: A brief explainer.”  It points out that there are three categories of information that Barr is likely to withhold from Congress:  (1) Information pertaining to ongoing investigations, (2) Grand jury information, and (3) Other national security information.  See https://thebulwark.com/what-kind-of-information-might-barr-withhold-from-congress/

    Today, Managing Editor Rachael Larimore wrote “About That Victory Lap…: Remember who you’re celebrating.”  Her first

    “The reaction from the #MAGA crowd to the news that the Mueller investigation was completed and the report delivered to William Barr without calls for further indictment has been one long football spiking, donut-spinning, fist-pumping Gatorade bath.

    “And kudos! Enjoy! This is your moment. You guys earned this. You went all-in on the idea that Donald Trump did not actively collude with the Russian government during the 2016 election and, indeed, Robert Mueller could not find enough evidence to prove that charge. So much #winning.

    “Truth be told, there are plenty of sound, sober reasons for every American to be content with the Mueller report. Or at least what little we know about it. For example, we should all be happy that the leader of the free world is not a compromised servant of a foreign power. For another, Mueller’s findings might signal that, per George Will, ‘the 2020 campaign will not be about the 2016 campaign.’ And thank God for that. One 2016 was enough.”

    She then lists literally 39 reasons for sober minded conservatives to oppose Trump.  I agree with a large majority to them.  I am not listing them, as most of them have hyperlinks which would automatically cause this comment to not be listed, pending moderation!

    Her final three paragraphs are as follows:

    “So no, Donald Trump did not ‘steal’ the election, even though we now know definitively that Russia did, in fact, interfere in the election on his behalf. He won. Those of us who are skeptical of him have been accused of not acknowledging this simple fact. But that was always a straw man argument. You can recognize that his 2016 victory was legitimate and yet also see it as a symptom of something broken in our country that we should be trying to fix.

    “It should also be possible to recognize that the #resistance invested too many escape fantasies in the Mueller investigation, and that some Trump critics in Washington, and in the media, and on Twitter sought to create a narrative that could lead to impeachment or indictment. And that this, in turn, led some conservatives who were skeptical of the president to sympathize with him and then evolve into full-throated Trump supporters.

    “Is it petty to bring up a (certainly incomplete) list of Trump’s lesser offenses? Perhaps, if he had ever expressed remorse for his misogyny, or if his mysterious coddling of dictators somehow miraculously lead to better foreign relations, or something. But now that that the big storm cloud is no longer looming over Trump, we can take the Mueller report seriously, not literally. And it paints a portrait of the man that doesn’t include hints of collusion. It’s still a pretty ugly picture.”

    See https://thebulwark.com/about-that-victory-lap/

    Today, Editor-In-Chief Charlie Sykes has a prescient post, “Bill Barr, Unreliable Narrator: The memo summarizing the Mueller report raises some questions.”  See https://thebulwark.com/bill-barr-unreliable-narrator/

    My point is that The Bulwark has clearly and accurately addressed the issues presented by the Barr letter about the Mueller Report.  I fail to understand the bile directed at The Bulwark.

    Gary

    • #62
  3. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Jager (View Comment):

    Reality is that this all over but the shouting.

    House can impeach on straight Democrat votes. But yes, this is all over but the shouting. Again, I don’t think Bullwark implied that this should go further…..as the OP implied they were gunning for. Has even Kristol said that?

    Honestly, I haven’t seen many NT’s outside the MSNBC staff that thought this thing wasn’t mostly just media hype from the start

    No, The Bulwark is not advocating impeachment.  We do need to have a release of the Mueller report.

    • #63
  4. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    In fairness to Sykes, I suspect he used the word “exonerate” because the President did, and Sykes was contradicting the President’s statement.

    This is also the term the Special Counsel used, is it not?

    As I recall, though it’s possible I am mistaken, the summary letter did not quote Mueller’s actual words regarding obstruction. The Attorney General may have used the word, but I don’t remember. I don’t think he did.

    The Barr letter states ” The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.'”

    • #64
  5. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Gaius: And what exactly did Bill Kristol do to your victimized proletariat self that would warrant an apology, or is that not the kind of question we ask about our revolutionary class enemies?

    Besides ripping the country apart with falsehoods for two years without a shred of evidence? But then Kristol has never been big on evidence to get his desired results. (See: Mass Destruction, Weapons of)

    No.  It has been argued that there was no good cause to investigate collusion.  Nonsense.  Sykes quotes David Frum as follows:

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Vladimir Putin’s Russia hacked American emails and used them to help elect Trump to the presidency.

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that agents purporting to represent Putin’s Russia approached the Trump campaign to ask whether help would be welcome, to which Donald Trump Jr. replied, ‘If it’s what you say I love it…’

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Donald Trump publicly welcomed this help: ‘I love WikiLeaks!’”

    See https://thebulwark.com/no-collusion-no-exoneration/

    • #65
  6. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Jager (View Comment):

    Reality is that this all over but the shouting.

    House can impeach on straight Democrat votes. But yes, this is all over but the shouting. Again, I don’t think Bullwark implied that this should go further…..as the OP implied they were gunning for. Has even Kristol said that?

    Honestly, I haven’t seen many NT’s outside the MSNBC staff that thought this thing wasn’t mostly just media hype from the start

    No, The Bulwark is not advocating impeachment. We do need to have a release of the Mueller report.

    I’m good with tomorrow, I mean it’s getting close to the election and I’d hate to think that little pieces of report are going to leak out through the season during, say, times when things are looking less than grand for some of his opposition. I mean I know that wouldn’t happen on purpose. But it would be a shame if that were to happen in a random clock-work kind of way. 

    • #66
  7. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    it also does not exonerate him.’”

    What does he get to be exonerated on? Who pronounces this exoneration?

    • #67
  8. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    The piece by Charles Sykes, No Collusion. No Exoneration, at least mentions that no collusion was found. It mentions it in the title, and in the first paragraph.

    BTW, it’s genuinely bothersome that someone like Sykes does not understand that “exoneration” has no role in this process. It’s finally beginning to dawn on me (duh) that rising in the punditocracy has more to do with just “being there” than being intelligent enough to know what you’re talking about.

    Being There is also a terrific movie in danger of going on the forgotten list.

    Sykes was called out today for suddenly being all-in on the Napoleonic Code of Justice — i.e. that Trump’s still to be presumed guilty unless he can prove his own innocence. Because Sykes wants to claim that Trump’s failure to spend the rest of his current term in office doing that is a de facto acknowledgement of guilt. There’s really no point in arguing with a mindset like that when they’re willing to see the sky in whatever color it has to be to fit their pre-determined beliefs.

    Let me add that, to the best of my knowledge (and this is within my realm of knowledge), prosecutors do not exonerate. If one reads that as a critique, it’s time to put the high boots on.

    In fairness to Sykes, I suspect he used the word “exonerate” because the President did, and Sykes was contradicting the President’s statement.

    Of course, an absence of proof does not constitute proof of an absence. But we have peculiar, and inappropriate, standards if we demand proof of no collusion or obstruction, rather than demanding no proof of collusion or obstruction. We got the latter, and should move on.

    Thanks. This is a worthy qualification. But did Sykes opine that the term basically had little meaning in this context, or did he run with the idea that Trump (contrary to his claim) was not “exonerated.” ? I think there’s a difference.

    You know, I skimmed the article, but didn’t read it all that closely. And I’m not going back to read it again.

    I’m sure you understand.

    No, I don’t.  Also, please also provide hyperlinks to articles that you are condemning.

    • #68
  9. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

     

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Vladimir Putin’s Russia hacked American emails and used them to help elect Trump to the presidency.

    If this means the DNC hack I don’t think anyone knows that Russia did it for certain.

    Many people think Russia preferred Clinton over Trump. 

    Do we know what the objective of the Russian election interference was Beyond just sewing chaos?

    • #69
  10. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Michael Brehm (View Comment):

    Thank you, Henry, for reading The Bulwark so I don’t have to. Your sacrifice is very much appreciated.

    (looks like @hoyacon beat me to it. That will teach me for not reading all the comments before commenting)

    The Bulwark is second only to Ricochet in my mind.  I am one of the 500 small contributors to The Bulwark.  

    • #70
  11. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    In fairness to Sykes, I suspect he used the word “exonerate” because the President did, and Sykes was contradicting the President’s statement.

    This is also the term the Special Counsel used, is it not?

    As I recall, though it’s possible I am mistaken, the summary letter did not quote Mueller’s actual words regarding obstruction. The Attorney General may have used the word, but I don’t remember. I don’t think he did.

    The Barr letter states ” The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’”

    Andrew McCarthy, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and National Review contributor, has a definitive article which specifically addresses the entire Obstruction issue and how Mueller refused to finish the job that he was appointed to do. He chose to abdicate. I humbly encourage you to read it with an open mind … On obstruction, Mueller Abdicates

    Attorney General Barr is undisputably on firm legal ground here.

    • #71
  12. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    it also does not exonerate him.’”

    What does he get to be exonerated on? Who pronounces this exoneration?

    You know, exoneratrixes and like that. 

    • #72
  13. rgbact Inactive
    rgbact
    @romanblichar

    I’ve actually been impressed how little the anti-Trumpers on Ricochet have talked about Russia, pro or against. So much better material to bash Trump on. Even on Bulwark, by my count, of Charlie Sykes last 20 podcasts….3 mentioned Mueller. They talked about CPAC more.

    The Trumpers will now try to revise history and make like we were desperately following the MSM down every Russian rabbithole for the last 2 years. Just ain’t so.

    • #73
  14. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Don jr. was just epic on Hannity today. Remember when he was certain to be thrown in prison for lying to Congress? 

    • #74
  15. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    In fairness to Sykes, I suspect he used the word “exonerate” because the President did, and Sykes was contradicting the President’s statement.

    This is also the term the Special Counsel used, is it not?

    As I recall, though it’s possible I am mistaken, the summary letter did not quote Mueller’s actual words regarding obstruction. The Attorney General may have used the word, but I don’t remember. I don’t think he did.

    The Barr letter states ” The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’”

    Andrew McCarthy, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and National Review contributor, has a definitive article which specifically addresses the entire Obstruction issue and how Mueller refused to finish the job that he was appointed to do. He chose to abdicate. I humbly encourage you to read it with an open mind … On obstruction, Mueller Abdicates

    Attorney General Barr is undisputably on firm legal ground here.

    Thank you for  the hyperlink.  While I don’t agree with the conclusion, the article is well written and deserves to be read, just as the articles I cited in Comment #61 deserve to be read.  

    Reasonable minds can differ about issues.  That does not make one of use “wrong,” we just happen to disagree.  Good article again.

    • #75
  16. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    rgbact (View Comment):

    I’ve actually been very impressed how little the anti-Trumpers on Ricochet have talked about Russia, pro or against. So much better material to bash Trump on. Even on Bulwark, by my count, of Charlie Sykes last 20 podcasts….3 mentioned Mueller. They talked about CPAC more.

    The Trumpers will now try to revise history and make like we were desperately following the MSM down every Russian rabbithole for the last 2 years. Just ain’t so.

    That sure has been my experience.  The Bulwark is so much more than being an “Anti-Trump” website; it is second only to Ricochet as a website. 

    • #76
  17. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Don jr. was just epic on Hannity today. Remember when he was certain to be thrown in prison for lying to Congress?

    Has Hannity ever apologized for his Seth Rich hoax?  Asking for a friend.

    • #77
  18. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Don jr. was just epic on Hannity today. Remember when he was certain to be thrown in prison for lying to Congress?

    Has Hannity ever apologized for his Seth Rich hoax? Asking for a friend.

    I do not endorse Hannity in any way and I don’t see how this is relevant. I’m talking about Don jr’s views of the investigation and his political views.

    • #78
  19. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Don jr. was just epic on Hannity today. Remember when he was certain to be thrown in prison for lying to Congress?

    Has Hannity ever apologized for his Seth Rich hoax? Asking for a friend.

    I do not endorse Hannity in any way and I don’t see how this is relevant. I’m talking about Don jr’s views of the investigation and his political views.

    My point is that Trump has been calling the collusion investigation a “hoax.”  I am wondering if Sean Hannity’s promotion of the Seth Rich hoax has also been denounced?

    • #79
  20. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    My point is that Trump has been calling the collusion investigation a “hoax.”

    If they want to investigate Russia for interference in the election generally I get that. I have never understood how Russia has leverage over Trump or why people think he was going to work with Russia to get elected so he could do stuff for Russia. What is the predicate crime?

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I am wondering if Sean Hannity’s promotion of the Seth Rich hoax has also been denounced?

    It probably should be. Who do you want to do it?

    • #80
  21. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    TBA (View Comment):

    EDISONPARKS (View Comment):

    Someday I’ll learn how to correctly delete a comment ….

    See Comment#25

    I’ve read that Comment#24 was actually the better one – strong, raw emotion and compelling imagery that made you feel you were actually present when it was being written, and that while comment#25 manages to convey what it is meant to, it comes off as low-key and even mannered by comparison.

    All in all, Comment #25 is a solid effort, but we are left wondering what might have been.

    (4 of 5 Stars)

    I want you on my team.

    • #81
  22. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Severe Trump Skeptic Joe Scarborough had a good column in the Washington Post.  He writes:

    “The Mueller War is over, and President Trump won. No participation trophies will be handed out to vanquished Democrats, and any hopes of a 2020 cakewalk over the morally bankrupt president just became more distant. While Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) House majority should certainly push for the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report, the headline that voters will take away from the exhaustive investigation into the president’s dealings with Russia is: ‘No collusion.’

    “Democratic candidates can talk about all the indictments and charges the special counsel’s office brought against Russian nationals and Trump advisers, but most Americans will tune them out.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-won-the-mueller-war-but-democrats-still-have-a-lot-to-focus-on/2019/03/25/9d7ba06c-4f31-11e9-88a1-ed346f0ec94f_story.html?utm_term=.7a8a8ac4d6c1

    • #82
  23. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Severe Trump Skeptic Joe Scarborough had a good column in the Washington Post. He writes:

    “The Mueller War is over, and President Trump won. No participation trophies will be handed out to vanquished Democrats, and any hopes of a 2020 cakewalk over the morally bankrupt president just became more distant. While Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) House majority should certainly push for the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report, the headline that voters will take away from the exhaustive investigation into the president’s dealings with Russia is: ‘No collusion.’

    “Democratic candidates can talk about all the indictments and charges the special counsel’s office brought against Russian nationals and Trump advisers, but most Americans will tune them out.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-won-the-mueller-war-but-democrats-still-have-a-lot-to-focus-on/2019/03/25/9d7ba06c-4f31-11e9-88a1-ed346f0ec94f_story.html?utm_term=.7a8a8ac4d6c1

    Gary,

    This is a Ricochet first. You, me, and Joe Scarborough agree. Amazing.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #83
  24. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The issue is, the FBI, the DOJ, the media, the DNC, Hillary, Perkins Coie and probably Obama are corrupt. It would be nice if someone were interested.

    • #84
  25. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    Joe Scarborough

    I think cash and chicks have changed him. LOL

    • #85
  26. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    George Will is also moving on in a most elegant fashion.  He writes:

    “Robert S. Mueller III’s report is a gift to the nation, which now knows what was already a reasonable surmise: that its chief executive’s unlovely admiration for a repulsive foreign regime, Vladimir Putin’s, is more a dereliction of taste and judgment than evidence that he is under that regime’s sway. The report is an even larger gift to the nation because it might help stabilize the Democratic Party — if the party reacts more reasonably to it than most of the party’s most conspicuous presidential candidates have been reacting to the political stimuli of 2019. What Mueller’s report makes possible is something like a normal presidential election in 2020.

    “After thousands of hours of cable television obsessing about Mueller’s report in advance of it, with most of the obsessives basing their speculations on less than the reading of tea leaves or of chicken entrails, and most of the obsessives grinding partisan axes, it is difficult, but important, to remember two things. First, before Mueller was appointed special counsel, it was indisputable that Russia hacked American emails as part of its activities to work for Donald Trump’s election. Second, while Mueller investigated these activities, the accusation of 2016 collusion between professional Russian operatives and the ramshackle Trump campaign apparatus was already implausible because Russia could pursue its ends without coordinating its activities with a campaign rife with lowlifes and bottom-of-the-barrel Republican operatives.

    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s pitch-perfect, five-word suffocation of the impeachment agitation coming from the wilder shores of her party — “He’s just not worth it” — was welcome. But the world’s oldest, and, by reasonable metrics, greatest political party, which led this nation through two world wars and its worst economic crisis, today seems unable to process the following:

    “An embarrassed nation aches for a president who is one thing: normal. Democrats, however, are looking weirder and weirder while cooking a bouillabaisse of indigestible ingredients: End meat, air travel, private health insurance, the distinction between late-term abortion and infanticide and perhaps Israel as a Jewish state; defend “constitutional norms” by abolishing the electoral college, changing the nature of the Senate and enlarging the Supreme Court to make it more representative, i.e., to break it to the saddle of politics; give socialism one more chance; etc.

    “Thanks to Mueller, the 2020 campaign will not be about the 2016 campaign. It will be about a post-Trump future — if unhinged Democrats can stop auctioning themselves to their party’s most clamorous factions, thereby making Trump seem to be what Mueller’s report does not say that he is: acceptable.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/thanks-to-mueller-2020-wont-be-about-2016/2019/03/25/9dec59c0-4f2b-11e9-88a1-ed346f0ec94f_story.html?utm_term=.5276fa57d1c6

    .

    • #86
  27. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I have carefully read the articles at The Bulwark since the release of AG Barr’s letter. They all appear to be fully accurate.

    Henry Racette: “Lest we lose sight of the forest for the trees….” – Bill Kristol

    Gary, I can easily believe that it’s accurate. But Kristol’s call to step back and keep things in perspective was a good one. So let’s step back.

    Since he assumed office, the President of the United States has been accused — by Congressmen and high-ranking public officials, millions of Americans, and the mainstream media in literally daily coverage involving thousands of news stories — of being criminally involved in a conspiracy with America’s most iconic international adversary to successfully steal the 2016 election.

    This accusation has dogged him literally every day, dominating the news, guaranteeing him a relentlessly and overwhelming negative press, and allowing his political opponents to call into doubt the legitimacy of his presidency.

    And then, after almost two years of aggressive and essentially unlimited investigation, we discover that there is no evidence of collusion… that it didn’t happen.

    At this point, responsible people should pause and look at the big picture — the forest — and say “wait a minute, what’s going on here? How did we consume so much of the nation’s time and energy on a fiction? How did we get to this point, and what has it cost us?”

    But if you can’t see the forest for the trees — and, specifically, for the tree on which you aim to hang Trump — then you completely gloss over that question of what went wrong to bring about this national psychosis, and instead leap to the next possible justification for stringing up the man you loathe.

    That’s what The Bulwark is doing. If they care about truth, they should be asking what went wrong, how we got ourselves into this preposterous situation in which an extraordinary investigation was launched and a nation obsessed with a charge for which no compelling evidence exists.

    Instead, they’re just looking to see if the tiresome pursuit of this false accusation might have kicked up something — anything — that can be used to string up Trump.

    • #87
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    it was indisputable that Russia hacked American emails as part of its activities to work for Donald Trump’s election.

    If he’s talking about WikiLeaks and the DNC I don’t think he’s right to say that. No one has proved its the Russians.

    Like I said before I think it’s debatable that Trump was better for Russia then Clinton. They obviously wanted to sew chaos. They were playing both sides of racial issues on Facebook, for one thing.

    • #88
  29. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I have carefully read the articles at The Bulwark since the release of AG Barr’s letter. They all appear to be fully accurate.

    Henry Racette: “Lest we lose sight of the forest for the trees….” – Bill Kristol

    Gary, I can easily believe that it’s accurate. But Kristol’s call to step back and keep things in perspective was a good one. So let’s step back.

    Since he assumed office, the President of the United States has been accused — by Congressmen and high-ranking public officials, millions of Americans, and the mainstream media in literally daily coverage involving thousands of news stories — of being criminally involved in a conspiracy with America’s most iconic international adversary to successfully steal the 2016 election.

    This accusation has dogged him literally every day, dominating the news, guaranteeing him a relentlessly and overwhelming negative press, and allowing his political opponents to call into doubt the legitimacy of his presidency.

    And then, after almost two years of aggressive and essentially unlimited investigation, we discover that there is no evidence of collusion… that it didn’t happen.

    At this point, responsible people should pause and look at the big picture — the forest — and say “wait a minute, what’s going on here? How did we consume so much of the nation’s time and energy on a fiction? How did we get to this point, and what has it cost us?”

    But if you can’t see the forest for the trees — and, specifically, for the tree on which you aim to hang Trump — then you completely gloss over that question of what went wrong to bring about this national psychosis, and instead leap to the next possible justification for stringing up the man you loathe.

    That’s what The Bulwark is doing. If they care about truth, they should be asking what went wrong, how we got ourselves into this preposterous situation in which an extraordinary investigation was launched and a nation obsessed with a charge for which no compelling evidence exists.

    Instead, they’re just looking to see if the tiresome pursuit of this false accusation might have kicked up something — anything — that can be used to string up Trump.

    I think that it was appropriate for Trump to be investigated.  I associate myself with David Frum’s comments in Charlie Sykes’ column:

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Vladimir Putin’s Russia hacked American emails and used them to help elect Trump to the presidency.

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that agents purporting to represent Putin’s Russia approached the Trump campaign to ask whether help would be welcome, to which Donald Trump Jr. replied, ‘If it’s what you say I love it…’

    It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Donald Trump publicly welcomed this help: ‘I love WikiLeaks!'”

    https://thebulwark.com/no-collusion-no-exoneration/

    Here’s the irony, if Trump had not fired Comey, I believe that Comey would have done a much less exhaustive investigation than Mueller.

    I think that part of the reason for the pivot is that we literally don’t have the Mueller Report, only a 4 page summary of the Mueller Report.

    I, for one, am thankful to learn that our President did not collude with the Russians and that I no longer have to use the word “kompromat.”

    I, am glad that we won’t go through impeachment; I was here for the Nixon and Clinton experiences.

    And finally, I am looking forward to getting back to the issues!

    Gary

    • #89
  30. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS
    @user_54742

    Andy McCarthy answers my comment #20 : “…..  how can you obstruct the investigation of a crime which is then proven to have never been committed.”

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/03/on-obstruction-robert-mueller-abdicates/

    In his memo, Barr observed:

    Even if one were to indulge Mueller’s obstruction theory, in the particular circumstances here, the President’s motive in removing [FBI director James] Comey and commenting on [the investigation of fired national-security adviser Michael] Flynn could not have been “corrupt” unless the President and his campaign were actually guilty of illegal collusion.

    This is obviously true. That is, even assuming for argument’s sake that a president could be prosecuted for otherwise lawful executive acts that a prosecutor claimed had been corruptly motivated, it would still be incumbent on the prosecutor to prove corrupt motivation beyond a reasonable doubt. If Trump is not guilty of the underlying collusion offense, then any actions he took that arguably had a negative impact on the investigation — even if we found such acts foolish or unseemly — could be explained by his frustration over the baselessness of the investigation and its debilitating effect on his capacity to govern. If the president has not colluded, a prosecutor could not establish a corrupt intent to conceal guilt.

    This reasoning is echoed in Barr’s letter on Mueller’s report:

    The Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, 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.

    At the end of the same paragraph, the attorney general again stresses that corrupt intent “would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense,” under the Justice Department’s guidance for prosecutorial charging decisions. The letter adds that the president’s contested actions “took place in public view,” which also cuts against the suggestion of corrupt intent. Classic obstructive acts of mutilating evidence and bribing or intimidating witnesses are done in the shadows.

    So my gut common sense interpretation is correct, the notion there can still be an obstruction of justice crime when there is no longer an underlying crime is nonsense.  If it is proven there never was a crime then what can you be obstructing.

    • #90
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