Six Takeaways from the Mueller Report

I hate to start out yet another post talking about Attorney General William Barr, but, as I’m sitting here, making my way through Robert Mueller’s incredibly dense 448-page report, I find myself with renewed appreciation for just how absurd the conceit behind Barr’s 4-page summary was. The notion that anyone could adequately sum up this report in 4 pages is just so laughably absurd. I mean, a lot of us said it at the time — cautioning the press not to give Barr’s assessment too much weight — but, when you start reading through the actual report, and think about the summary that Barr attempted to pass off if in its stead, it’s just laughable… So, with that said, I’m not going to try to summarize the report. Here, however, are a half dozen observations that I think you might find of interest.

1. GUESS WHAT? THE WHITE HOUSE LIES.

There are a lot of White House lies outlined in the report, but here’s one of my favorite examples. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders apparently confirmed to investigators that she’d lied outright, when, after Jim Comey’s termination from the FBI, she told members of the White House press corp that “countless” FBI agents had reached out to the administration, saying that they had lost faith in his leadership. [As you’ll recall, they were trying to spin his termination as having nothing to do with the Mueller investigation and his refusal to pledge his loyalty to Trump.] Here’s the passage.

While we’re on the subject of lying, I should note that this report also verifies literally hundreds of news items that were reported by the likes of the New York Times and Washington Post, which members of the Trump administration referred to at the time as “fake news”. Here, from CNN’s Jim Sciutto, are three examples; “Trump claimed he never asked for loyalty from Comey – Mueller found he did. Trump claimed he never asked Comey to let Flynn matter go – Mueller found he did. Trump claimed he never pushed McGahn to fire Mueller – Mueller found he did.” More on McGahn in a minute. First, though, here’s video of Sanders lying to the press about how Comey had lost the confidence of the rank and file FBI.

2. THE TRUMP TEAM TRIED A LOT OF REALLY SHADY SHIT TO GET THEIR HANDS ON HILLARY CLINTON’S EMAILS.

Before the Russians came through for the Trump campaign, Trump had instructed his people to do whatever necessary in order to acquire Hillary Clinton’s emails. In one instance, Michael Flynn, having been personally directed by Donald Trump, reached out to GOP operative Peter Smith and GOP Senate Judiciary Committee staffer Barbara Ledeen, who then attempted to obtain the emails from hackers in the employ of hostile foreign intelligence services. [Ledeen worked for Senator Chuck Grassly, who was Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time.] The following is from former DOJ spokesperson Matthew Miller.

Here’s a little more color from Fortune: “Ledeen eventually obtained a trove of emails from the ‘dark web’ that she believed might have belonged to Clinton, according to the report. Erik Prince, an informal Trump adviser, gave Ledeen money to hire a tech adviser to analyze the messages, which were later determined to not be authentic, according to Mueller’s report.” [So, Erik Prince financed the attempt to acquire Clinton’s emails from foreign intelligence agency hackers. Interesting, right? One now wonders if that might be why his sister, Betsy DeVos, without any real credentials to speak of, got the job running the Department of Education. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit… Oh, and Peter Smith took his own life after this episode. I’m not sure what happened to Barbara Ledeen.]

It’s also worth noting that, once it became clear that the Russians had stolen the DNC emails, and had gotten them to Julian Assange, Donald Trump apparently directed Manafort and Gates to reach out to Roger Stone to find out when they’d be released by WikiLeaks… Put a slightly different way, Donald Trump personally instructed senior members of his presidential campaign to coordinate with a Russian front organization to release stolen documents thought to be harmful to his political adversary. [Sounds worse than a consensual blowjob to me, but apparently Republicans see it differently.]

3. MANAFORT TALKED SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MICHIGAN WITH KILIMNIK.

OK, remember how news broke a while back that, on August 2, 2016, just before the 2016 Republican National Convention, Trump Campaign Director Paul Manafort had handed over internal polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, a shady Ukrainian with ties to Russian intelligence? Well, while Mueller’s investigators apparently couldn’t prove what Kilimnik did with the data, and whether it influenced the work of the Russian Internet Research Agency, which, according to investigators, “conducted social media operations targeted at large U.S. audiences with the goal of sowing discord in the U.S. political system,” we now know a little more about the conversation between the two men. Specifically, we know from Manafort associate Rick Gates that Kilimnik was told the “battleground” states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota were particularly important. As Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, by giving Trump slim victories against Clinton, essentially handed him the White House, this would seem to be an important bit of information. I mean, we now seem to know that Manafort explicitly told Kilimnik where Russian disinformation could be used to greatest effect, right? I suppose, without proof that Kilimnik couriered the data to Moscow, and gave the orders to focus on Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, there’s not enough to charge criminal conspiracy, but the pieces seem to line up.

4. THERE WAS A FUCKLOAD OF OBSTRUCTION, AND MUELLER WANTED CONGRESS TO TAKE UP THE QUESTION OF PROSECUTION.

Attorney General William Barr repeated again this morning that it was his role as the nation’s lead law enforcement officer to make the call as to whether or not Donald Trump technically committed obstruction of justice. Furthermore, he said that Mueller understood that he, as the Attorney General, would be making this call. According to the report, however, it would appear that Mueller was looking for Congress to make the call, not Barr.

“With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution,” Mueller wrote in the report, “we concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.”

And the report is rife with examples of obstruction, beginning with the firing of Jim Comey, and extending to the apparent promise of pardons. Here, on that last point, is a link to an article about how Manafort had told Gates that Trump’s personal counsel had promised that they’d be taken care of if they remained quiet.

And, then, of course, there’s all the stuff about how Donald Trump had tried to force White House counsel Don McGahn to shut down the Mueller probe.

Not only did Trump try to get McGahn to shut down the probe, but, afterward, he tried to get McGahn to swear that it had never happened. Here, with more on that particular chapter, is a clip from the ABC News coverage of the Mueller report.

…After news broke that Trump ordered McGahn to fire the special counsel, Trump pressured McGahn to deny that he had been directed to do so, even suggesting to aides that he would fire him unless he complied. Mueller concludes that there is evidence to suggest Trump acted this way to impede his investigation.

According to the report: “The President then directed [staff secretary Rob] Porter to tell McGahn to create a record to make clear that the President never directed McGahn to fire the Special Counsel. Porter thought the matter should be handled by the White House communications office, but the President said he wanted McGahn to write a letter to the file “for our records” and wanted something beyond a press statement to demonstrate that the reporting was inaccurate. The President referred to McGahn as a ‘lying bastard’ and said that he wanted a record from him. Porter recalled the President saying something to the effect of, ‘If he doesn’t write a letter, then maybe I’ll have to get rid of him’.”

Mueller concluded that “Substantial evidence indicates that in repeatedly urging McGahn to dispute that he was ordered to have the Special Counsel terminated, the President acted for the purpose of influencing McGahn’s account in order to deflect or prevent further scrutiny of the President’s conduct towards the investigation.”

In the end, it’s true that Trump’s efforts to obstruct were largely ineffective, given that many refused to do what he demanded. Sessions, for instance, didn’t un-recuse himself and shut down the special counsel’s investigation. And McGahn didn’t fire Mueller. With that said, though, these actions on the part of Trump and his people did, in Mueller’s opinion, “materially impaire” the Russia investigation. In other words, they obstructed the course of justice… And, I should add, in some instances, like with the firing of Jim Comey, Trump was actually successful in the execution of his plans to stymie the investigation. [Again, all the more reason that Congress should get involved, taking the case back from Barr.]

Here, for those of you who might be curious, are a few more examples of the President’s various attempts to stop the investigation. [Hilariously, Barr talked this morning about how supportive Trump had been of the investigation. In reality, he tried on multiple occasions to file Mueller and end the investigation. And, of course, he never agreed to testify, telling investigators what he knew of Russia’s attempts to influence the election.]

5. IT WAS TRUMP WHO PERSONALLY CALLED FOR THE GOP PLATFORM TO CHANGE IN 2016, MAKING IT MORE PUTIN-FRIENDLY ON THE SUBJECT OF UKRAINE.

Remember how, back during the Republican National Convention in 2016, the GOP platform was somehow changed to be more Putin-friendly on the subject of Ukraine? Well, we now know, at least according to one source, that it was Donald Trump himself who made the change. Following is something that I wrote at the time, followed by a clip from the Mueller report.

Just before the Republican National Convention, the Republican party released their new platform for 2016. The New York Times called it “the most extreme Republican platform in memory.” Among other things, according to the Times, this new platform outlined positions “making no exceptions for rape or women’s health in cases of abortion; requiring the Bible to be taught in public high schools; selling coal as a ‘clean’ energy source; demanding a return of federal lands to the states; insisting that legislators use religion as a guide in lawmaking; appointing ‘family values’ judges; barring female soldiers from combat; and rejecting the need for stronger gun controls — despite the mass shootings afflicting the nation every week.” This apparently came to pass largely because Donald Trump, who would go on just a few days later to accept the party’s nomination for President, didn’t push back. With one notable exception, Trump and his team, accepted everything that was suggested without debate.

According to Talking Points Memo, “The Trump Camp was totally indifferent to the platform. So party activists were able to write one of the most conservative platforms in history. Not with Trump’s backing but because he simply didn’t care. With one big exception: Trump’s team mobilized the nominee’s traditional mix of cajoling and strong-arming on one point: changing the party platform on assistance to Ukraine against Russian military operations in eastern Ukraine.”

That’s right. They didn’t push back against any of the retrograde domestic policies, but, curiously, they insisted that proposed wording about our need to arm the Ukrainians to fight Russian and rebel forces be stricken, “contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington,” according to the Washington Post…

Well, now we know who made it happen. The question remains, why? Why would Trump go out of his way to do a favor for Vladimir Putin?

6. MOTIVES AND ECUSES.

As for why Donald Trump would work so hard to subvert the special counsel’s investigation, I think the answer is pretty clear in this quote from Jody Hunt, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff. According to Hunt, when Donald Trump was told that a special counsel had been appointed, he slumped back in his chair and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.” And, it would appear, he wasn’t just upset about the prospect of losing the presidency. Donald Trump had every reason to believe that other crimes would come to the surface during the investigations, like the fact that he paid-off multiple lovers in violation of campaign finance law. Here, with more on that, is another excerpt from the report.

I know that Barr said this morning that the President’s obstruction was defensible, as Trump had his feelings hurt — seeing as how he just wanted to Make America Great Again, and a bunch of angry Democratic sore losers kept trying to investigate him unfairly for collusion — but that’s not the way the law works. Obstruction is obstruction, regardless of whether or not your feelings are hurt. And, despite what Trump and others might think, a person can still be found guilty of obstruction, even if he or she is ultimately found not-guilty of the underlying crime being covered up. And it’s not a valid argument to say, “They made me obstruct justice by being mean to me.”

Here’s Barr making the ridiculous “But He Was Frustrated” case.

For what it’s worth, a lot of people on the right are now making the same case, saying that Trump wasn’t obstructing justice so much as he was fighting back against a cruel and unjust system. In fact, Donald Trump just tweeted out the following from Fox News personality Jesse Watters. “Donald Trump was being framed (and) he fought back,” he said. “That is not Obstruction.” [Again, even if this were true, it would not be a legal defense for obstruction.]

OK, I COULD GO ON FOR EVER, BUT I HAVE TO STOP.

There’s a ton that I still wanted to tell you about, like the fact that Donald Trump Jr. was apparently found to be too stupid to be arrested, but I’m going to have to call it quits for the night. Before I go, though, I just want to say two things. First, while it may be true that Robert Mueller couldn’t prove criminal conspiracy related to the Trump campaign’s involvement in the Russian hacking, I think it should be incredibly clear to anyone reading this with an open mind that there was collusion. Donald Trump wanted Clinton’s emails stolen. He openly urged the Russians to steal them. And, after the fact, once the emails had been stolen and disseminated, he lied repeatedly, saying that our national intelligence agencies were wrong, and that the Russians hadn’t been behind the hacking. As Congressman Adam Schiff said today, “Regardless of whether the obstructive acts described by Mueller was criminal or whether the litany of illicit contacts with Russia rose to the level of conspiracy, they’re dishonest, unethical, and unpatriotic. Mueller’s report is not a vindication of Trump, but a condemnation.” And, second, obstruction is against the law, and the question as to whether or not Donald Trump is guilty of having engaged in obstruction of justice should be taken up by Congress, as Mueller had intended. And we have to encourage our representatives in Congress to take up the cause. The very future of our democracy depends on it.

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61 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Lindsey Graham on impeachment: “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role.” Of course, he was talking about removing Bill Clinton from office at the time.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Wanna read something that will make you mad?

    Kellyanne Conway: “We’re accepting apologies today, too, for anyone who feels the grace in offering them.”

    https://abcn.ws/2XpB2fs

  3. Anonymous
    Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Something else.

    Devin Nunes: “Don’t waste your time reading Mueller Dossier .”

    https://twitter.com/DevinNunes/status/1119078656733851648

  4. EOS
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    When confronted with the obvious errors of his delusional screeds, Mark doubles down and continues to rant on obsessively, picking up and amplifying the smallest faults in Trump in the hope that we won’t notice how wrong he has been in what he has written here for years. If after two years and millions of dollars spent on investigating they can’t come up with any evidence that proves collusion or obstruction, it’s over.

  5. Sad
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Just remember that all the efforts against Clinton made him more popular than ever. It really energized his supporters.

    But if 2016 taught us anything it was that the democratic leadership isn’t so good a politics.

    We’re trying to criminalize Trumps stupidity and our leading challengers to go against him are two out of touch old straight white guys.

    What gives?

  6. John Brown
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Let the corrupt Republican Senate try to defend Cheeto Mussolini as we go into the election. History shows that mean, incompetent, dishonest leaders have a short shelf life. This ones no exception. No doubt his domestic terrorist white supremacy thugs will strike out even more. This will only serve to drive home the point of just how treasonous and unAmerican his supporters actually are.

    “The bodies of Mussolini and Petacci were taken to Milan and left in a suburban square, the Piazzale Loreto, for a large angry crowd to insult and physically abuse. They were then hung upside down from a metal girder above a service station on the square. The bodies were beaten, shot at, and hit with hammers.”

  7. stupid hick
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    EOS, I’m disappointed. I thought surely you would be able to figure out that Trump’s faults are not small. He’s a corrupt career criminal. Read the report not the right wing spin. It’s astounding anyone tolerates Trump, whatever political “results” they favor. I’m as conservative as they come, which is why I reject Trump. Sadly, John Brown seems less like a parody and makes more and more sense. This should not be a left versus right political issue. Any normal person should be outraged that he hasn’t already been impeached. I’m outraged that the Republicans are not leading the charge. They own the mess that is Trump and time and again the Democrats prove they are too weak to do anything effective.

  8. stupid hick
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Uh, John Brown, I think you should back off anything suggesting Trump be treated as Mussolini was. Trump belongs in jail, no more than that.

  9. Sad
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Even you Stupid Hick are joining in the chant?

    Lock him up! Lock him up!

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Sad— have you even read the report or the reporting on the report? What makes you so sure that a public impeachment trial is good for Trump politically? Are you a political strategist? What qualifies you to judge political strategy? You chose your candidate based on charm alone. Many voters choose similarly superficial reasons for their choices but few who do claim to be strategists. Or expert on strategy. Look at Nixon’s favorability ratings before the watergate trials and after. Even before the tapes. He was going down.

    Impeachment will not remove Trump from office. It will clear up the record for anyone but EOS and HW types. It will force congress to act to prevent Russian interference in the elections. All of which matters more than a bet about the political costs/benefits of impeachment.

    We all know since 2016 that most people will choose to blame or congratulate for the outcome whatever strategy supports their political perspective . At least political strategists rely on data not their impressions.

    At any rate our job as citizens is to hold the government to higher standards than more political gamesmanship.

  11. John Brown
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t bet the farm against his removal. When the facade of lies is fully exposed and the Senate is forced to go on record, for all of history, we may be pleasantly surprised. They don’t like him, they owe him nothing, he is expendable.

  12. saramin
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    A visual take at the report (oh those redactions!): https://twitter.com/TaylorUmlauf/status/1118913406902386694

  13. ABC News
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Pressed repeatedly on her comments on FBI agents, Sarah Sanders tells @GStephanopoulos, “It was the heat of the moment, meaning that it wasn’t a scripted talking point. I’m sorry that I wasn’t a robot like the Democratic Party” was about Mueller probe. abcn.ws/2XohqZb

  14. EOS
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    @ stupid hick,

    Yes, he’s a flawed individual, as is everyone. But the last time I checked, capitalism is not yet illegal. And in spite of his flaws, and in spite of the incessant attacks, he’s accomplished more than either Bush ever did. I want him choosing the next SC justice. I want him vetoing any legislation that gives amnesty to the 20 million plus illegal immigrants. And I don’t see the possibility of electing a real conservative in my lifetime. I don’t see any Dem candidate that could win against him in an election. A socialist is even less likely to win a general election than a conservative.

    Impeachment of Clinton did not accomplish anything. There are too many issues that need to be dealt with and we don’t need the distraction of impeachment hearings. There are ten other items that were referred for criminal investigation that need attention.

  15. EOSSS
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Hitler: Yes, he’s a flawed individual, as is everyone.

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The impeachment obsessed will move forward, attempting to execute their deepest desires, even if it means handing Trump a re-election in 2020. Why? The same reason Trump was a necessary counterbalance to their existence in 2016. How? Their foundational narcism allows them to execute nihilistic acts, which have consequences that they are immune to, because they are privileged.

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    *narcissism

  18. Bob
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I suspect not impeaching will hurt Dems more than impeachment ever could. Pelosi’s still living in the Clinton 90’s with her thinking. She needs to go too.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Trump says some of what’s in the report is “total bullshit”.

    “…agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the “Report” about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad). This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened, a…”

  20. Dan Murphy by proxy
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Trump is still largely the president because he said Obama was a secret Kenyan Muslim and his supporters believed Hillary Clinton was a terminally ill mafia boss who ran a satanic pedophile ring on the side. None of them care about all the lying.

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    EOS suddenly find congressional investigations a waste of time and a distraction. Too fucking late.

    Very few people in the country support trumps agenda. Stymying him from ‘progress’ dismantling the state dept, epa, etc and packing the courts and torturing refugees sounds like a great idea to us.

    Even the ppl who work for him worked to slow his roll according to the report.

    Thank you for making clear why impeachment is necessary, maybe even to SAD, who clearly is insulated negative consequences from the Trump presidency. Otherwise, how could he be so cavalier?

  22. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Bob,

    Depending on which poll you are using between 36 and 50 percent of people thought the Mueller investigation was a witch hunt prior to the Mueller report release. What percentage are skeptical of the investigation now? What percentage will be skeptical during/after a drawn out investigation of the investigation? The fact that most here are unable to entertain the thought that the investigation might have corrupt beginnings is a huge red flag. Average Americans, regardless of party affiliation, are not like most people here–they do not have that pathological narcissism that insulates them from common sense.

  23. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Watergate was the same. Doesn’t matter. What’s right is right. We know facts don’t overcome confirmation bias.we know they in Fact drive ppl deeper into bias. That does not make facts obsolete and insignificant.

    It is possible for political parties to do things for not entirely political reasons. I know that’s hard for a conservative to understand.

    The cool thing about cognitive bias is that it does lessen its hold over time as issues resolve themselves. So what the investigation and impeachment uncover will remain a part of history. People will get it eventually.

  24. Bob
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    This is such verbal masturbation. We’ll see in November. FF and EOS and HW, I’ll make you a deal. Whoever loses, goes away forever. No more posting. I’m game if you are. Put up or shut up as they used to say.

  25. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know about people driving deeper into bias, Jean, at least not around here. If only we had a recent example of a fact being uncovered around here, that went against the accepted narrative, that people around here chose to ignore.

    I can’t think of anything.

    I like this “right is right” thing though. Catchy slogan.

  26. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Why would I benefit from you not posting Bob? I appreciate all perspectives. I just don’t agree with you. But you are right it is kind of pointless speculation and I am pretty much done talking about the subject for now.

  27. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, I’m going to continue to rely upon Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity for intelligent discussion of the DNC leak.

    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/new-vips-memo.html

  28. John Brown
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Dolt, Aloha? or do you mean to say “do svidaniya”?

    So we’re supposed to believe the guys who claim Russian interference is “easily disprovable” and then go on to “disprove” it by offering a conspiracy theory that someone else made it look like the Ruskies? Good fucking luck with that anywhere but Q.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Dolt aka Wobblie is as sick with conspiratorial nonsense as H.W.

  30. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Aloha JH, “Dolt aka Wobblie is as sick with conspiratorial nonsense as H.W.” so says the person who believes in a conspiracy involving DJT, his son, his son-in-law, numerous members of his campaign, Putin, the Russian GRU, Wikileaks and Assange.
    Let me know in a couple of years what it is like being a Russiagate Truther.

  31. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, for those who might be interested in how the CIA carries out black flag cyber attacks here is a link to Vault 7 information, leaked by a CIA whistle blower and published by Wikileaks in 2017

    https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/

  32. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, this is a link to CIA documents on how they engaged in cyber war activity to influence the 2012 French election.

    https://wikileaks.org/cia-france-elections-2012/

  33. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I can’t look it up now but didn’t Mueller use very certain language regarding many of the Russian hacks but in reference to specific “hacks” Mueller used the qualifier that it “appeared” to be a Russian hack. It might be nothing. I don’t know. People who are not skeptical are idiots and/ or ignorant of basic history. Anybody who makes fun of the skeptical while faithfully relying on the authority of Vox, NYT, CNN, MSNBC are super idiots and ignorant of basic history.

  34. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Remember when everyone jumped on Michelle Wolfe for saying Sanders got that dark smokey eye by lining her eyes with lies?

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Dolt/Wobblie– I never once said I was certain of anything related to the Mueller investigation except that it was just and warranted. FYI.

    You are correct however that the US has intervened in other elections (not necessarily agreeing with all your examples tho) and we should be taking stock of that now that we know how that feels. I don’t see how us doing it to others makes the Russians doing it to us ok. For a pacifist, you seem awfully into ethical quid pro quo’s.

    https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/sarah-huckabee-sanders-accuses-media-of-anti-liar-bias

    “From their obsession with fact-checking to their relentless attacks on falsehoods, the media have made no secret of their bias,” Sanders said. “It’s open season on liars in America.”
    I wish.

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    To my knowledge there’s nothing in the Mueller report on this nor has the mystery been resolved, and I still think it’s an interesting avenue to explore re collusion. I hope someone is following up.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/15/was-there-a-connection-between-a-russian-bank-and-the-trump-campaign

    Please note, Dolt, that I have not said it proves or establishes anything. Just an interesting finding.

  37. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    “it was just and warranted. ”

    *wrong buzzer*

    If the dossier was any good why did Mueller not consider it evidence against POTUS? If the dossier intel is phony then who paid for it is dirty. If who paid for it is dirty then who used it is dirty.

  38. Sad
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I agree with HW.

    Let’s have a real contest of ideas.

    Buttigieg vs. Trump 2020

    Pete keeps on moving forward.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/439701-five-former-obama-ambassadors-back-buttigieg

  39. Sad
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Of course Warren calls for impeachment.

    It’s not totally her sex that’s holding her back. Part of it is her strategy.

    https://apnews.com/793108f1e9024759b870f1fbd785b028

  40. TheCloser
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Can we take the damn focus off Trump? The media, politicians and all the talking heads keep giving him what he wants. Their focus on him. No focus on issues that matter. When are Dems going to get back to what matters to the American people? Keep it up and here comes 4 more years of Trump and we will be so buried in more of his agenda that it will be hard to be undone. He is playing everyone. How can everyone be so blind to this. I am afraid The media, talking heads and Dems have gone so far for so long now. Will anyone listen to them when it really matters? Doubtful now. No matter who the Dems nominate to run against him, they will lose. What a shame. All their efforts have failed and now Trumps “winning ” slogan continues. Ridiculous! When do you get a clue and stop? Can you stop? It’s like some sort of sick disease that has no cure at this point. So discouraging. Now Trump has even more ammo to keep the focus on him. Not good. Not good at all. So I guess if we don’t change the focus and narrative, we get what we deserve. The Dems are being destroyed from the inside out on things we pushed. Just don’t know where we go from here to win the presidency back. Can you imagine if no-one talked about him how Crazy Insane he would go. His ego would explode. He would Implode. Maybe we should just stop making him front page news every damn day. Facts are stubborn things. And too much attention on nailing him with no results to take him out is an unfortunate fact for us. This is going to lead to more stubborn facts not in our favor in the coming years. Can we turn this around by not focusing on him?

  41. Jean Henry
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    SAD– You’re just upset that she managed to steal the spotlight away from mayor Pete for a hot minute. Impeachment is extremely unlikely. Removal from office via impeachment is impossible. Calls for impeachment are smart political strategy during the primary run-up.

    I agree that Mayor Pete has charisma and a lot of what is necessary to command an audience. And it’s painfully obvious he gets credit for attributes women candidates also possess but which go ignored. But there is nothing sacrosanct about the guy. For Warren, in her position in the primary, this was a smart move. It also happens to be the right move ethically.

    Any US citizen other than the President would have been indicted under this evidence. If Mueller says that, they will be obligated to impeach or lose power to impeach and normalize this kind of Presidential behavior going forward.

  42. Jean Henry
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    In Warren’s own words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwQ5ltdO8gA

    That’s what experienced, informed leadership looks like.

  43. Sad
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I agree with TheCloser.

    Let’s talk about Pete.

    Trump would love nothing more than to have an impeachment effort. He would be the victim and his supporters will rally.

    It’s like when the crazies shouted anti gay stuff at Mayor Pete. It made his supporters love him more.

    It doesn’t matter though. Biden is announcing this week. Game over.

    Now we’ll see what Mayor Pete is really made of. Can he rise to the top?

  44. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    You have to eat everything wrong you said before just moving on. How can you have your pudding if you don’t eat your no collusion? More consequentially it’s time for your fave anti-Trump former officials to pay for their crimes.

  45. Jean Henry
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    There is a difference between hurling bigoted speech and pursuing a check on executive power, especially when the Justice Department has been hamstrung from acting by Trump and co.

    How would you feel, SAD, if Mueller had handed down an indictment recommendation (which its clear he would have if the Justice Department hadn’t issued an opinion blocking that action)?

    To be clear, you are recommending that the House neglect their constitutional obligation in order to win a political race. That;s pretty short term thinking.

    PS Mayor Pete’s response was a statement of truth that evaded the relevant question. Obviously, at this point, the only way to remove Trump is the election. Mayor Pete evaded the question of preserving the integrity of our system. Which is his fucking platform. It turns out he lacks the political guts to take a stand to defend the integrity of our system. He should find another talking point.

    I understand that impeachment is a partisan issue now, but t shouldn’t be. So far I hear as an argument for Mayor Pete: “He’s not a woman and the electorate is sexist so that’s a point in his favor!” And “He lacks integrity or a willingness to take a stand (even for issues he has pointed to as central to his campaign) if there will be a political cost, so he’s more likely to win!”

    Those are truly shitty arguments. I like Mayor Pete but he’s squirrely about critical issues.

  46. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Whatever we do let’s not entertain the idea that there might be reason to investigate the investigation. No!

    I do find it lol hilarious that people like Jean are feigning that they must do what is right even if it bad for them politically. Very funny stuff. It is just more short term delegitimizing tactics, by the narcissistic/ dis-believers in democracy crowd–and it will blow up in their faces in 2020, or sooner.

    Jean will be alright though.

  47. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Let’s not talk about the only two potential Democrat candidates that are not sell-out clowns: Tulsi and Pete.

    In fact let’s attack their two main supporters in Wobblie and Sad constantly.

    If Biden had boobs Jean would be Biden or bust.

  48. Jean Henry
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    FF— as you know the IOG is investigating the investigation— or st least the Steele dossier and surveillance of Carter Page. I have no problem with that and I look forward to the findings.

    The president has greatly expanded the powers of the executive office through just about every means necessary. He has also engaged in self-dealing and ten counts of obstruction of justice. He has had lawyers hog tie the Justice Dept from pursuing indictment by issuing an opinion that may or may not impact the other state investigations into his conduct and that of his businesses and foundation.

    I know we have a history in this country of sweeping dirt under the rug and pretending it doesn’t exist. But it always seems to come back to bite us in the ass. Normalizing terrible behavior is how we got to the plutocracy you all hate. Historically it has gotten other countries into much worse situations.

    The Congress is beholden to explore the impeachment option as they have now been deemed by the justice department the only check on presidential misconduct. If Mueller, a Republican, says so to Congress, will you believe him them. Or will you continue to persist in repeating political spin and puffing up your chest and declaring your integrity.

    Ps I thought Clinton deserved to face impeachment for lying to the people if not the rest. We all treated Monica Lewinski like shit at the time. I can cop to knowing we were doing do. I was uncomfortable with the press treatment etc and should have listened to that discomfort.

    I’m very aware that impeachment could backfire on Dems politically. I still think it’s what we need to do if we value our democracy.

  49. Jean Henry
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    PS I have disliked Biden since the Anita Hill hearings. I have found his backtracking since weak. Further I think he’s too loose a canon and untethered to be in the presidency. I can see he’s a nice guy who has been through a lot and means well, but I still would prefer not to have him be president. I can’t imagine my feelings were different we’re he a woman. I also doubt a woman who behaves like he has and does would reach his stature, even with everything else the same. He’s still 10 leagues beyond Trump. And if he’s the nominee I’m on board.

    FWIW mayor Pete is my 3rd or 4th choice right now. I wouldn’t be upset if he were the nominee. He’s leagues better than Sanders. I will however hope that a woman with greater qualifications to him (any of them running now) won’t take the VP position. That prospect of tokenism which thrills so many liberal men apparently, makes me sick to my stomach.

  50. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, One persons traitor is another’s hero.
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/julian-assange-honored-with-journalism-award-sponsored-by-european-parliamentarians?fbclid=IwAR3p0g19lm-Eeuh8nOU_kx8h-v9fEL1PN6G4JWxGSYaUdU46xurzDD5p08k

  51. Jean Henry
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Well, that demonstrates aptly how stupid the left can be, Dolt.

  52. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Clinton Foundation donor Clare Bronfman pleads guilty to sex slavery. Heating up.

    Don’t forget from 2015:

    https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Records-NXIVM-hacked-billionaire-s-emails-with-6576310.php

    “Clare W. Bronfman, an heiress of the Seagram Company business empire, allegedly implanted a “key logger” virus on the computer of her late father, Edgar M. Bronfman Sr., so officials with the NXIVM corporation could secretly monitor his emails, including his exchanges with world leaders and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to court records.”

  53. Sad
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Presidential candidate and scrumptious tater tot pie Pete Buttigieg Is our only hope.

  54. Anonymous
    Posted April 20, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I think one bright note from all of this is that you’ll never likely bump into FF in Ypsilanti, as he comments from afar and is unlikely to visit.

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    As a young, v strong but smallish woman, I used to regularly win drinks in bars by arm wrestling men, especially older men. Funny thing is they never asked for a counter bet, so even when I lost I never had to buy any drinks. They were easy marks b/c they routinely underestimated me. This blog comment section sometimes feels like that. I can’t recall a time when I was surprised or substantively challenged by anything anyone here says.

  56. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 22, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    That’s ridiculous, Jean. I alone have squashed you probably hundreds of times now.

  57. EOS
    Posted April 22, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    @JH,

    Every time you post, your intellectual challenges are apparent to all.

    “…YaDA YaDA, I don’t believe in reason and logic…YaDA YaDA… I’m not biased – pick the woman….YaDA YaDA….. Shut up or I’ll stick you with a knife…YaDA YaDA…….”

    Lots of words, very little thought.

  58. Jean Henry
    Posted April 22, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    EOS and HW are really letting their nuanced and evidence-based intellectual approaches shine there.

    I’m truly chastened by their moral and mental superiority.

    They really nailed me. Yada yada yada…

  59. Sad
    Posted April 26, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    It’s good to see Trump prefer to run against the only candidate the Democrats have who could really challenge him.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-tells-hannity-hes-rooting-for-pete-buttigieg/2019/04/25/02849e16-67c7-11e9-82ba-fcfeff232e8f_story.html?utm_term=.ee64d0c8a234

  60. Anonymous
    Posted April 26, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Trump will start using the “Butt” part of his last name to come up with homophobic name calling strategies, because that’s how infantile Trump is.

  61. Jean Henry
    Posted April 27, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Take aways continue…

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/opinion/mueller-trump-campaign-russia-conpiracy-.html

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