With the release of the Mueller report imminent, the President’s desperate lies intensify

I have a migraine. My head hurts like hell, but, after about four hours, I can finally see again, so things seem to be trending in the right direction… At any rate, I wanted to share a few things with you before I crawl back beneath the covers.

Word came out from the Department of Justice this morning that Attorney General William Barr will be be releasing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on the Russia investigation this Thursday morning, and, as you might imagine, Donald Trump responded by going completely, fucking insane, lying about the findings of the report, and demanding that his investigators be investigated.

This, of course, is a lie. For all his talk of “total exoneration,” the Mueller report did not absolve him of collusion, corruption, or obstruction. In fact, even according to William Barr, Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General, the report did not establish that “no obstruction” took place. In his roundly-criticized four-page summary of the Mueller report, Barr even quoted Mueller as having said, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” So, when Trump says that Mueller and Barr found “no collusion,” it’s a deliberate misstatement of fact. While it appears to be the case that Mueller did not find enough to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the President knowingly conspired with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election, he very clearly states that obstruction of justice may have happened. And the consensus of legal scholars seems to be that he was looking to Congress to make that determination. Barr, however, interceded before Congress could see the report, offering his own interpretation… which was that the President, in his opinion, could not be found guilty of obstruction, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

Barr not only intercede on the President’s behalf to muddy the waters by declaring that no obstruction had taken place, but he also held the Mueller report for several weeks, refusing to even release the Special Counsel’s non-confidential overview documents to Congress, despite repeated demands. Meanwhile, of course, it would appear that Barr briefed the White House on the report, giving them a head start of several weeks not only so that they could push out the “total exoneration” narrative, but also so that they could start drafting a formal response, which one imagines will come out at the same time as Mueller’s report. And, not just that, but, when testifying before Congress last week, Barr threw some red meat to Trump’s conspiracy theory-loving base, suggesting that members of the U.S. intelligence community had illegally “spied” on the Trump campaign — an accusation that Trump is pushing aggressively today, in the run up to the release of the Mueller report.

For what it’s worth, this again is a lie, and even Barr has since backed away from it. The Republicans investigated so-called “Spygate” several times when Devin Nunes ran the House Intelligence Committee, attempting to establish that the FBI had acted inappropriately in their investigation of the Trump campaign, and they never found anything of substance to substantiate the President’s claim that the whole thing started with Hillary Clinton hiring former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to make up lies about his ties to Russia, or the ridiculous claim that Trump advisor Carter Page had been targeted for investigation without good reason. [The truth is, the investigation of Russian interference started well before the Steele dossier, when it became known that Trump associate George Papadopoulos had told an Australian diplomat in a bar the the Russians were preparing to help their campaign by releasing emails damaging to Hillary Clinton. Plus, the Steele dossier wasn’t something that the Clinton campaign had thought up. It was actually drafted by Steele, a former British agent with a significant network of Russian contacts, on the behalf of the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative online news site. And, as for Carter Page, members of our intelligence community sought a FISA warrant against him, not because he was working for Trump, but because we knew of Russian attempts to recruit him as an agent.]

But, for those who are unwilling to do the research and look at the actual facts, we have this alternative narrative being put forward by Trump and his associates, claiming that it’s all a “hoax” perpetrated by “dirty cops” within the intelligence community directed by Hillary Clinton… which, by the way, makes absolutely no fucking sense, given that it was the FBI that gave Trump the advantage going into the election by announcing that the investigation into Clinton’s email server had been reopened. And, more importantly, if Clinton had been behind the Steele dossier, hoping to use it to defeat Trump, why is it that it didn’t become public until the January after the election? The whole thing just makes absolutely no fucking sense. But yet here we are, arguing reality with old white men who just refuse to accept the truth.

All bullshit aside, here’s what we know beyond a shadow of a doubt. The Russians interfered in our election on the part of Donald Trump, and he welcomed their assistance. The Russians attempted through various means to make inroads with the Trump campaign, and, at every turn, they found Trump’s associates receptive. And, when questioned by investigators, these same Trump associates then lied about it, repeatedly. Sure, it may be that Mueller didn’t feel it was enough to stand up in court, and allow him to secure a conviction, but we know that it happened.

We know that Jared Kushner sought to set up a secret backchannel with Russia. We know that, when Russian operatives approached Donald Trump Jr. with an offer to help the campaign, he not only responded by saying, “I Love It,” but set up meeting at Trump Tower that was attended by several members of Trump’s campaign. And, we know, when this meeting became public, that Donald Trump himself penned a letter for his son, stating that the meeting had been about adoption policy, when it hadn’t. And we know that, in Helsinki, Donald Trump sided with Vladimir Putin over against his own intelligence agencies, saying that he believed Putin when he said that Russia didn’t interfere with our 2016 election. [Our intelligence agencies had already shown Trump definitive proof that Putin had personally called for the hacking.] And let’s not forget the only change Donald Trump’s team made to the GOP platform before the Republican National Convention in 2016 was to remove U.S. assistance for Ukraine, much to the delight of Putin… I could go on. I didn’t even mention the fact that we know from Michael Cohen that Trump talked with Roger Stone before the election about the timing of the Wikileaks releases of stolen Democratic emails on behalf of the Russians… But suffice it to say that there’s a great deal of evidence of very bad things having happened. And, if Barr doesn’t redact all of it, we’re going to know a great deal come Thursday.

So, prepare yourselves. The next few days are going to be filled with more shouts of “treason,” and demands that the investigators be thrown in jail. This, I’m afraid, is going to get incredibly ugly.

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  1. Posted April 15, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, I don’t think we’ll see a resolution on Thursday. I suspect the the report will be so heavily redacted, it’ll end up in a protracted court case.

  2. Posted April 15, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Also, it’s kind of surprising that Donald Trump is coming out so aggressively against a report that he called a “total exoneration,” isn’t it? I mean, why would his team be working on a 150-page response, to a report that proves his innocence?

  3. Bob
    Posted April 15, 2019 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    That’s a nice, concise summary of the essential facts. It’s unfortunate that the crazy HW’s of the world muddy things with such complete nonsense.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    From Newsweek:

    ‘On Barr’s public financial disclosure report, he admits to working for a law firm that represented Russia’s Alfa Bank & for a company whose co-founders allegedly have long-standing business ties to Russia’

  5. stupid hick
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    One of the many tragedies caused by Trump is how much futile effort is expended to address his never ending flood of bullshit. Mark could have written an important novel during the past two years, or at least some meaningful blogs, but instead his talent is wasted focusing on the stream of crap that flows from the White House. I’m not saying this post is unimportant, just futile. It’s plain to see Trump is a lying, corrupt, and just plain evil, sack of shit. It should also be obvious by now there are some who are so enthralled they are incapable of rethinking their loyalty to Trump brand bullshit. So who is your intended audience and what is your purpose here? It’s a tragedy.

  6. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I’d say not finding evidence of collusion or conspiracy is quite an exoneration after two years of anti-Trump people like you claiming there is evidence. You are increasingly desperate like I said you would be.

  7. stupid hick
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    And the effect is geometric. How much futile energy have your commenters expended here? OK maybe it’s not entirely a waste of time. Observing Hyborian Warlord’s interpretation of events and pathological rejection of reality has been somewhat valuable.

  8. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Are you feeling better after the last spanking you got over exactly that topic, stupid derp? The tide has turned now. Get ready for the lies to be blown away forever. I can’t understand how a regular person could be a CIA dupe but it goes to show that their brainwashing ability is formidable.

  9. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Rosenstein activated Mueller and he signed off on Barr’s assessment.

    “[Barr is] being as forthcoming as he can,” Rosenstein said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “And so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre.”

    Rosenstein thinks your notion is completely bizarre.

  10. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Maybe people choose to play with words in a dishonest way? Maybe people do not understand what the word “exonerate” means within the American-innocent-until-proven-guilty- legal system?

    Obviously the Mueller investigation does not “totally exonerate” Trump of all wrong doing. But Trump was, apparently, in fact, totally exonerated of conspiracy to coordinate with Russia to influence the elections. He is apparently innocent of that crime insofar as we accept the findings of Mueller’s investigation. This common idea put forth by Mark and others that Mueller said there was not enough evidence to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that there was illegal collusion (and therefore there still might have been illegal collusion) is a completely fake and dangerous notion, to put forth, if we are viewing “illegal conspiracy” through the American-innocent-until-proven-guilty legal lens.

    I do think Trump/Trump’s team spins facts.

    Mark and others also spins facts. Suggestions that we ought to hold to onto the idea that Trump may have illegally coordinated with Russia despite a thorough investigation, which failed to provide the necessary evidence to prove guilt, is a highly disturbing thing to suggest. It is an Un-American thing to suggest. It is the kind of thing, absent a strong authoritarian impulse, would never be suggested in the first place.

    Having said all of that it is totally possible that Trump obstructed justice by destroying the evidence or tampering with witnesses. We need evidence of obstruction though. The onus to prove obstruction is on the investigators. The term “exonerate” comes from the root words “without + onus”. In a way Trump has alway already been exonerated because the burden is not on Trump to show he is innocent. The burden is on the investigators to provide evidence of guilt.

  11. wobblie
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Aloha, As I have mentioned on several occasions, if the Mueller investigation purpose was to uncover criminality related to Russian interference and the Trump campaign, there would be charges under The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Mueller, gang land prosecutor is very much aware of this law. IF the underlying act would be criminal, ie. conspiring with Russian State actors to influence the election, then a conspiracy to WANT to conspire with the Russians would also be illegal. The conspirators do not even have to meet. All that is required is 3 predicate acts to meet the requirements of criminality. The 3 predicate acts can be carried out by separate individuals who are part of the conspiracy.

    The purpose of the investigation has always been the establishment Republicans gaining control over the Trump administration. That mission has been accomplished, Republicans will defend their President at all cost.

    Maybe if the Democrats had real issues on which they opposed the Republican government maybe we could win in 2020. As long as we continue to talk about this, the Republicans win. It is called the Mueller trap for a reason.

  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    You could actually break through to reality, wobblie. Some of these other creeps seem destined to go down with the “Establishment” criminals. In the aftermath they’ll be like “Well no one could have known all that was happening all along right under our nose” and I’ll be like “Huh!!!”

  13. Donald Trump weighs in
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    A must read, Andy McCarthy’s column today, “Dirty dealings of dirt devils who concocted Trump-Russia probe.” The greatest Scam in political history. If the Mainstream Media were honest, which they are not, this story would be bigger and more important than Watergate. Someday!

  14. Anonymous
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Reminder: none of you have read the Mueller report

  15. wobblie
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Aloha, the last Democratic President who understood freedom, knows the score.

    Carter, 94, said Trump was worried that “China is getting ahead of us,” and suggested the president was right to be concerned.

    “Since 1979, do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody?” Carter asked. “None. And we have stayed at war.” The U.S., he noted, has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 242-year history, making the country “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” Carter said. This is, he said, because of America’s tendency to force other nations to “adopt our American principles.”

    In China, meanwhile, the economic benefits of peace were clear to the eye. “How many miles of high-speed railroad do we have in this country?” he asked. While China has some 18,000 miles of high-speed rail, the U.S. has “wasted, I think, $3 trillion” on military spending. “It’s more than you can imagine. China has not wasted a single penny on war, and that’s why they’re ahead of us. In almost every way.”


  16. Jean Henry
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Wobblie– Southern District of NY investigation of the Trump organization and its foundation under state RICO laws are not closed.

    I don;t know why Mueller passed that investigation to NY State but I suspect it was to prevent Trump from pardoning everyone involved. I’d love to know more about the difference between Federal and State RICO laws and prosecutions if anyone has any info.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    “do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody? None.”
    Tell that to Tibet.

    It doesn’t take a war to conquer an unarmed nation. Pacifist fail.

    China is an imperialist nation just like the US. So is Russia.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    You really have to be a suck fuck to put China forward as some kind of model of how to go about achieving equitable economic prosperity. I often defend China from US insults, but I’m also really glad I’m not a Chinese citizen. China is a lot like the US at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Meaning rich and ambitious and really really shitty to workers and the environment and very good at making stuff and Barons.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink


  20. Anonymous
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    High speed rail is possible in China because personal land owning is non-existent. The government can simply take what it wants when it wants. Try building a real high speed rail on the eastern seaboard of the US, where private land holding is a real thing, and navigating through the legal steps necessary to obtain the land needed to build one. The two countries are not comparable.

  21. wobblie
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH, you should reread what President Carter said. China invaded and annexed Tibet in 1959. I’m sorry you have such a low opinion of one who actually presided over a peaceful US.

  22. wobblie
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Aloha Anonymous, eminent domain. If the public needs it, not a legal problem. We’ll sell you a chunk of Water street if you like.

  23. Jean Henry
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I have a high opinion of Carter but he was also a politician and an especially nasty one by all accounts and one should not take everything he says as truthful or direct.

    Here’s what will never work with me: sticking someone up on a pedestal and saying they are immune to criticism because they are there.


    I’m sure Carter would agree.

    And yes I know when China invaded Tibet. An occupation is an act of war, you dolt. China is an aggressor state. Its means are simple dominance. Not just of other nations but of its own citizens. Autocratic regimes are often peaceful and stable and successful.Still not a model I find attractive. How interesting that you do.

  24. Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    William Weld announced he IS going to challenge Trump for the 2020 GOP nomination.

    From the BBC:

    Bill Weld: Trump to face 2020 Republican challenge

  25. wobblie
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH, since you want to be all legal about China, (and most importantly support demonizing them for our endless cold war) what do you think about the US troop presence in Syria? International law would say we are a hostile aggressor, oh shit, we did that in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya too. Where is the outrage over the Trump administration recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel? I believe the point Carter was making (speaking of dolts) is that China for 40 years has avoided engaging in wasteful wars of aggression and as a result the economy has expanded while ours has stagnated as a result of our wasteful wars of aggression, but being a dolt, I probably totally misunderstood him.

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Are you comparing Syria under al-Assad within a civil war to Tibet?

    that’s really fucked up.

    My position on Syria is nuanced and complicated and I have articulated it here many times. It doesn’t rely on black/white thinking.

    I defend China from anti-US sentiment all the time. But I also don’t hold them up as a model for much. If you ever paid attention to anything but your own sense of outrage, Wobblie, you would know I don’t think any country or group of people are exceptional or blameless or not subject to the lures of power and nationalism.

    I’m interested in reducing the damage caused by war. As I know you are. We simply hav different beliefs about how to go about that.

    PS I have actively opposed most recent US acts of aggression. I do not think our involvement in Syria was that. I don’t think Trump’s approach makes any sense whatsoever. I also did not support either the HRC or the Kerry approaches under Obama. I would have been more aggressive early on in our support for the rebellion. I also would have severed diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia ages ago. Much could have gone wrong with these approaches. There are no silver bullet answers in foreign policy.

  27. Jean Henry
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    PS Carter’s comparison was flawed at best. China should not be held up as an example of the benefits of peace. But I agree we would be better off had we not engaged in any of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. I opposed all of them. Everyone knows they were a waste of money. But most of us also know (including Carter) that creating peace and getting an economic ‘peace dividend’ is not as simple as being pacifist or against war.

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Wobblie– Eminent domain is in fact not easy to assert legally. And water street is publicly owned land. Everything you write is reductive, dogmatic and often just wrong.

  29. wobblie
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH, Water Street is publicly owned because the city took it utilizing eminent domain (thought you knew local history). Glad you want to say you are opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, why do you speak in the past tense? You do know we have 14,000 plus troops fighting in Afganistan (two of our “warriors” were killed just a couple of weeks ago). We have a further 7,000 plus occupying Iraq, and approx. 3,000 in Syria. For every US “warrior” we have approximately 3 “private contractors” (mercenaries) aiding them.

    Your “nuanced” position on Syria seems particularly blood thirsty, but as you have noted I am a bit of a dolt. We probably agree on Saudi Arabia. Only Presidential candidate to condemn the Republican Administration decision to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia has been Tulsi Gabbard.

  30. EOS
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink


    Water Street is public land only because Mayor Famer used eminent domain to force viable businesses to sell.

  31. EOS
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Sorry. I’ve got to learn to type faster. Thanks wobblie.

  32. wobblie
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH, the dogmatic, reductive thinking is probably the result of 12 years of Roman Catholic parochial education. Being often wrong is the result of my efforts and my efforts alone, no apology.

  33. anonymous
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Taibbi says: stop. just stop.


  34. Natasha Bertrand by proxy
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Fascinating read from @rgoodlaw … A 1989 Barr memo “concluded that the FBI could forcibly abduct people in other countries without the consent of the foreign state.” Barr refused to provide the full memo to Congress, instead saying he’d “summarize the principal conclusions.”


  35. John Brown
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Taibbi says: swallow the gaslighting coolaid. You didn’t see what you saw at Helsinki.


  36. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Aloha. I wonder when we have Russiagate Truthers to go with all the other Truthers Will JH’s attitude about conspiracies change?

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie– I was opposed to starting those wars but, at this point, I feel we are beholden to try to clean up the disaster we made. I wish that was our true focus.

    I’m not even remotely bloodthirsty. My interest is in reducing bloodshed, oppression and destruction. Yours seems to be in legitimizing totalitarian regimes and delegitimizing revolutions against the same. It seems that you want US and your hands to be clean rather than reduce anyone else’s suffering.

    Didn’t know that about Water St. eminent domain. (What a disaster!) I came into an interest in local Ypsi politics later, around 2009 when Paul Saginaw sent me to go talk to this Mark Maynard fellow about Ypsilanti.

  38. Jean
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Why is anyone listening to Matt Taibbi anymore?

  39. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, the best way to avoid needless suffering is to avoid needless wars. I’m 65. I opposed Jimmy Carter for President, thought he was far to conservative–we had over thrown the war mongering Nixon, and he was the best? I supported Fred Harris in 76. In retrospect, Carter is the best President in my life. All the rest have been war mongers. I remember the late 70’s. We were actually free people. We reined in the CIA. We identified the war mongers and repudiated them. We uncovered the conspiracies that led to their control of our government. And then the evil Regan was elected and our world has been a shit hole ever since.

  40. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Aloha Hw, EOS and all the other Trumpets. This tells you everything you need to know about who runs our government. By Washington Post Staff
    April 16 at 7:43 PM

    It’s the second veto of President Trump’s administration. The resolution, which passed the House earlier this month and the Senate last month, would have ended U.S. support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.

    “This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump said in a statement.

  41. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, of course the issue is, will the Democrats be able to differentiate themselves from the Republicans.

  42. Happy
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    We’ll I’m off to volunteer for the Pete campaign. He has really turned things around for me. I’m really hopeful. I’m not Sad anymore.

    Now that Weld is in will you be going off to knock on doors for him IRobert? Maybe I’ll run into you on the trail. I’ll be wearing a big Pete pin.

    Go Pete! I guess some Mayor is going to be giving him a small business tour in New Hampshire this weekend. I’ll be right there handing out literature.

  43. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, Reagan was elected as a result of a conspiracy with a foreign power, Iran, that was holding our citizens hostage. The Republicans hold this traitor up as a hero. Our nation has been under the control of these traitors since then. Some times they are Republican, sometimes they have had Democrats shield them. There agenda has always been war and US hegemony. You are either an imperialist and support the war agenda, and all the attacks on our civil liberties that these illegal wars entail, or you support the real resistance. Tulsi Gabbard is willing to lead that resistance.

  44. EOS
    Posted April 17, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    The U.S. has been interfering with elections of foreign nations throughout my lifetime. So has Russia. So pick the last election, pretend it wasn’t business as usual, and blame Trump for an activity that has been ongoing for at least 70 years on both sides.


    Please get all the talk about collusion out of your systems today, so that when the report is finally released tomorrow, you all can wear the egg on your faces proudly.

  45. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 22, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink


  46. Jean Henry
    Posted December 22, 2019 at 11:51 pm | Permalink


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