It Isn’t Over Until It’s Over And It Isn’t Over

 

It is imperative that not only Senator Graham proceed aggressively in identifying and counterattacking those who formulated the Hillary email whitewash and the Trump Russia collusion story, but also for AG Barr to appoint Special Counsel to investigate. And contra to Graham’s suggestion the prosecutor should not be some respected Establishment figure like Mueller, but rather a very good lawyer who takes no prisoners and will instill fear in those who are potential subjects of investigation. This is particularly important in light of what I expect the Democrats next moves to be.

What we can anticipate from the Democrats and media:

  1.  Anonymous leaks from members of the Mueller investigation team purporting to describe some of their findings. These will be presented in the most uncomplimentary form regarding Trump and unless, and until, the full report is released we will be unable to assess their accuracy and full context. Unless the Democratic operatives who were on Mueller’s team fear prosecutorial repercussions they will leak.
  2. In Congress, the Democrats will convert this from a substance issue (did collusion occur?) to a process issue, demanding full release of the report and testimony from participants. Any resistance by the Administration to this will be portrayed as evidence of a coverup.
  3. Because I suspect the full report was written in such a way as to be as critical as possible of Trump and his associates (though they failed to get the goods), expect that if and when the report is released there will be a lot of fodder for the headlines by Democrats and the media.
  4. Mueller’s language regarding obstruction of justice was a deliberate stink bomb that the Democrats will flog unmercifully.
  5. Democrats and the media will work overtime to make us forget that collusion was ever an issue, it will be all about “the coverup”.

UPDATE: Reports are that Pelosi and her House leadership want to back away from further diving into the Mueller investigation.  Even if this is true, it remains important for the GOP and the Administration to aggressively go after the perpetrators.   The reason is that the House will still seek to make headlines and drive the narrative by investigating everything else about Trump and several State AG’s (led by NY) are on scavenging expeditions to find whatever they can in Trump’s past to prosecute him on.  The GOP cannot just play defense.  They need to put the Democrats and media at risk.

You can see the Democrats and the National Security Establishment regrouping and developing their next angle of attack by reading the Lawfare Blog. Lawfare started during the Bush administration and was helpful in understanding legal issues related to the War on Terror. However, as with so many “non-partisan” blogs it drifted left during the Obama Administration and with the advent of Trump its contributors went insane. Today it expresses the view of the National Security Establishment in its horror regarding anything involving the President and they are working hard on a new script to replace the old Mueller collusion story.

You can read three of today’s articles to get a taste.

The first is “what the Barr letter really says about collusion“. An excerpt:

The prevailing take on Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress on the Mueller report is summed up in the New York Times: “The investigation . . . found no evidence that President Trump or any of his aides coordinated with the Russian government’s 2016 election interference.” But a careful reading of Barr’s letter suggests that that may be wrong.

In fact, Barr’s letter quotes Special Counsel Robert Mueller as stating that the investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Saying that the investigation did not establish that there was collusion is not the same thing as saying that the investigation established that there was no collusion.

The second is “what to make of Bill Barr’s letter“, which claims that as to obstruction of justice:

Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report is ominous for the president. While Mueller did not find that Trump obstructed his investigation, he also made a point of not reaching the opposite conclusion: that Trump didn’t obstruct the investigation. Indeed, he appears to have created a substantial record of the president’s troubling interactions with law enforcement for adjudication in noncriminal proceedings—which is to say in congressional hearings that are surely the next step.

The third is “how to understand the end of the Mueller’s investigation” and the author’s conclusion is, not much, because we don’t know why it ended the way it did. Congress must investigate:

This is why it was so wrong to make the Mueller investigation the end all and be all of accountability for L’Affaire Russe in the first place. It is why Susan Hennessey and I argued repeatedly that Congress had an independent duty to investigate the whole panoply of issues and not simply leave the matter to investigation by the executive branch. As the two of us put it back in February of 2017, long before Mueller was even appointed:

While the subject matter overlaps, the executive branch and the legislative branch are conducting different investigations for different purposes. Namely, the executive branch is conducting a set of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence investigations that may (or may not) have criminal investigative elements. Its goal is not to answer public questions about what happened or what may still be happening.

By contrast, Congress is charged with ascertaining information related to legislative purposes—including the imposition of sanctions in response to the activity of a hostile foreign power, the discharging of its oversight function with regard to fraud, abuse, or corruption in the executive branch, and legislative measures that might be necessary to protect the American electoral system. It also has a duty to publicly address major questions the political system is struggling with now in a fashion the public can absorb and process: What is the President’s relationship with Russia? And is there reason to be concerned about it?

Because a criminal investigation is not designed to answer these questions comprehensively, its end cannot put them to rest.

None of the articles in Lawfare contain any reference to the Steele Dossier and the issue of its verification, the FISA warrant and the issues raised about it, or any of the myriad revelations about potential FBI and DOJ malfeasance we have learned about since the beginning of 2017. They simply ignore it all.

They will not let this rest. And that’s why aggressive action in the Senate and at DOJ is required, along with a communication plan to keep this in front of the public.

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There are 8 comments.

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  1. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    I am hoping the next 2 years are filled with team Obama being persecuted prosecuted for their crimes.  With luck, we’ll see courtroom sketches of a sad Comey in front of a judge on the evening news.

    I don’t think we’ll see any leaks from Mueller Team.  There were very tight during the investigation and their true motivation in the whole investigation is to bury all the evidence of Obama wrongdoing.  Team Obama wants this to go away quietly and now it will.  The Dems in Congress will say a lot and try to do some stuff, but they won’t have anything to work with.

    • #1
  2. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Yes, this is crucial. And they want “transparency” with the Mueller Report? I wonder if they want the same regarding those FISA documents. And where is that FISA judge who was lied to? I can’t wait for the investigation into Hillary’s emails and maybe let’s look into where Obama was the night of Benghazi, and let’s expose the fact that he knew about her server. Lance it like the giant boil it was.

    • #2
  3. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    I agree with this post completely.  There needs to be a special counsel investigation with appropriate prosecutions) of the Hillary Clinton email whitewash, the FISA warrants’, original and renewals, misrepresentations-by-omission, the Strozk-Page “insurance policy,” and any Hillary Clinton campaign attempts to collude with Russia over the 2016 election.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    No one has explained why it has to be a special counsel investigation. Don’t we trust AG Barr to pick reliable people from his own cadre of attorneys? Could he hire attorney from outside the organization and oversee them? I just think it’s ridiculous to wait another two years or more to investigate all these questions.

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    No one has explained why it has to be a special counsel investigation. Don’t we trust AG Barr to pick reliable people from his own cadre of attorneys? Could he hire attorney from outside the organization and oversee them? I just think it’s ridiculous to wait another two years or more to investigate all these questions.

    Judicial Watch has people who know how to get to the bottom of these things.

    • #5
  6. Nancy Spalding Thatcher
    Nancy Spalding
    @NancySpalding

    I just want it to be over, but I agree, that won’t work because “they” are out for blood, and have so many people convinced that Trump is illegitimate whatever this report says.

    • #6
  7. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Nancy Spalding (View Comment):

    I just want it to be over, but I agree, that won’t work because “they” are out for blood, and have so many people convinced that Trump is illegitimate whatever this report says.

    The French Revolution isn’t over. The Donatist controversy isn’t over. Why should this be over?   

    • #7
  8. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    “None of the articles in Lawfare contain any reference to the Steele Dossier and the issue of its verification, the FISA warrant and the issues raised about it, or any of the myriad revelations about potential FBI and DOJ malfeasance we have learned about since the beginning of 2017. They simply ignore it all.”

    I immediately distrust any source (website, blog, pundit, reporter) that is silent on or ignores these aspects of the Russia collusion story.

    • #8
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