The Mueller Report, the Short Version

Here’s William Barr’s letter to the Judiciary Committees on the Mueller report. It seems to suggest that Trump may have done impeachment-worthy things, but not prosecution related things.

I say that because:

  • Mueller found that no Trump flunkie took part in either of the two main Russian interference attempts
  • Mueller laid out the case for and against prosecution of Trump for obstruction
  • Barr and Rod Rosenstein, together, decided because Trump did not take part in those two interference attempts, he could be not charged with obstruction

What Barr appears not to have done is review whether Trump was trying to cover up some other crime, like a quid pro quo, which would still merit prosecution.

And that’s precisely what HJC should consider.

Barr has promised to give what’s not covered by grand jury rules to Congress. My guess is that’s not sufficient to get to the underlying potentially criminal intent. In any case, it’s clear that Mueller, Barr, and Rosenstein all at least considered whether Trump should be prosecuted, irrespective of DOJ rules prohibiting prosecuting a sitting president.

As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

122 replies
  1. Charles says:

    Agree with Henry Farrell that “If you are promoting a ‘no indictments: therefore nothing to see here’ standard, you are undercutting the left’s ability to criticize what is by any reasonable measure an extraordinarily corrupt administration…”

    This is exactly how I would describe Barr’s summary of Mueller’s investigation.

    • Charles says:

      Conspicuously missing from the Barr letter is any comment about Wikileaks/Julian Assange or Ukrainian persons. It focuses only on contacts between US persons/Trump campaign and the Russian government. Looking at Wikileaks and Ukrainians with ties to Russia would be central to establishing whether there was an indirect link to the Russian government. Therefore, the Stone trial and a hypothetical separate indictment against Wikileaks could establish that link, even if it’s not established at present.

      The question that has nagged at me is why Mueller is closing down from the investigation while matters that could bear on Stone/Wikileaks, the Manafort cigar bar meeting/polling data, and (possibly) the Trump Tower meeting remain open, or at the very least, under seal because of current investigations.

      Sure, he may feel that these matters are in capable hands and that his hands-on presence is not required. But he must be very well aware that, assuming that Barr is reasonably accurately representing the contents of his report, most of the effective pressure to investigate those issues will evaporate (the House and the states being far less effective than DoJ). I would guess that Barr will shut down everything he can now, using the argument that department resources are spread thin and, since there’s no existential threat to the Republic besides everything else that Trump is doing, those resources are better applied elsewhere.

      • Rayne says:

        Mueller needs to be called to testify and asked pointedly if he was ordered to wrap up shop.

        = = = = = =

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  2. OldTulsaDude says:

    I wonder what the next attempt at representative democracy will look like. And who will be its champion?

    • pizza says:

      Folks, have no doubt whatsoever that we have turned a dark corner in history. Justice simply does not exist anymore. We have to take our country back. I will not lay down any longer while the right keeps its boot on my neck. It’s on!

      • Jockobadger says:

        Right ON, Pizza! This isn’t over. Karma still works and so does the truth.

        As a survivor of the 60’s, I’m allowed to say “right on.” Even if my kids make fun of me for it. Dad talk.

    • TruthCanHurt says:

      Folks, “America” died a long time ago. There is nothing to save. What you’re seeing now is the decay process take the body. Trump was elected because millions of people could see clearly a death had occurred. What a post-American world looks like, no one knows, and many countries including here in Washington DC are prepping for it.

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks for that so cheery and helpful bit of opinion. If you don’t mind I’d prefer not to cave like a sodden used facial tissue.

        This kind of comment from a relatively new commenter — two whole whopping comments and in this particular case, containing only a drive-by opinion — is suspect and should be treated as a form of propaganda.

        • P J Evans says:

          yeah, I’m so effing tired of the people who are giving up because they didn’t get Fitzmas this time either, and they can’t get through their heads that the problem ain’t Mueller, and they don’t want to be told that the investigation results probably won’t be completely public if they even get released in the next 10 years.

  3. Pex says:

    What baffles me is why Manafort, Flynn and Cohen were given cooperation agreements, if there was nothing substantative they could offer on a higher up.

    • prostratedragon says:

      Quite. And I’ve lost track of where the recently supoenaed items from different places were going, but weren’t some going to the Special Counsel?

      What I could see was Mueller weighing the odds of his finding a true smoking gun against the pressure his office was coming under and deciding to agree, and let Congress have a go.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Looking for something and finding it – in the context of a federal criminal prosecution – are not the same thing. Cooperation agreements lead to more evidence; how solidly it supports the purposes – and limitations – of an investigation is a different matter.

      • Bri2k says:

        I think Flynn’s real value was in the CI part of all this. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that CI was the over-riding concern. I think the CI piece is still playing out and I doubt I’ll live long enough to ever know the details.

    • CCM says:

      No further indictments or finding of conspiracy makes sense if:
      1) The use of cutouts was successful. Mueller might have concluded that given none of the cutouts would be able to be called as witnesses, thus links to the govt of Russia would be unprovable. Can anyone offer proof that Kilimnik was a Russian asset? He is Ukrainian. This is difference between intel and what you can prove in a court of law.
      2) Wikileaks is not the Russian govt. They can be argued to be part of the press. The emails did not come from Russia. Joe the Nigerian gave the emails to Wikileaks (sarcasm, never met a Nigerian I did not like). Can’t make a case here.
      3) Trump tower meeting. No one from the Russian side would ever be able to be called in court. No way to prove a Russian govt link. Email headers very suggestive but not proof. No exchange of docs to show to a jury.
      4) Tump tower deal. Motive hard to prove. Trump wanted deal for decades. His motive greed. What changed was Russian interest. Motive seems obvious (influence over Trump). Quid pro quo obvious but remains speculative.
      5) Manafort giving polling data to Kilimnik. No way to prove data ever ended up in the hands of the Russian govt. Ukrainian peace plan motive is peace, can be argued, who will testify otherwise.
      6) Sanctions relief. Sure seems part of quid pro quo. In court easy to suggest he motive is that Trump wants to be part of the League of Authoritarians. Trump, Duarte, Erdogan, Putin, MSB are all cut from the same cloth. Motive matters

      What we all know happened did happen. Mueller seems to have approached this as a legal matter not an intel matter.

  4. Oldguy says:

    Marcy, your post on Rosenstein’s language appears prescient. The idea ofno obstruction without identifiable participation in Russian efforts pretty much tightly defined the scope of prosecutorial actions taken.

    The central questions at the start of Mueller’s investigation were:
    1) Did the Russians interfere
    2) To the extent he camp

  5. Nick says:

    “Mueller found that no Trump flunkie took part in either of the two main Russian interference attempts”

    HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE Based on what his OWN PROSECUTORS said at the Manafort hearings?!

  6. CapeCodFisher says:

    Yeah, well when you have the powers that come with the office of the presidency, I guess you can use those “powers” to try to hide your criminal escapades. Even so, apparently there was evidence of obstruction crimes, but just not enough for Barr to prosecute.

  7. Oldguy says:

    Darn, hit post with my bad finger too early!

    Questions were:

    Did Russians interfere? (answer is yes)
    Did Trump campaign participate in interference or were they stupid? (answer is stupid)
    Did Trump obstruct? (Answer is maybe, but Barr and Rosenstein punt since in narrow scope defined, there was no crime and hence no obstruction.)

    • Bri2k says:

      Trump admitted to committing obstruction on national TV when interviewed by Lester Holt.

      I feel like Barr is wizzing on my head and trying to tell me it’s raining. After how he enabled the cover-up of Iran-Contra I shouldn’t be surprised.

  8. Bill Smith says:

    The letter is pretty conclusive in saying that nobody on US side was involved in a Russian conspiracy.

    The definition used was: In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign “coordinated” with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined “coordination” as an “agreement-tacit or express-between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.”

    • GusGus says:

      Yes, it looks that way, although the definition for “coordination” might be too tight.

      The Russian government’s election interference is a crime. If someone from the Trump campaign made an “agreement – tacit or express” with the Russian government’s election interference, is that not an agreement to commit a crime? Is that not the key element of conspiracy? I suppose “coordination” does not require an overt act to further the agreement, but that’s a rather low bar to clear.

      While “coordination” sounds like a broader standard than conspiracy, functionally it doesn’t seem to be, as it requires the same key element.

      Or am I reading this wrong?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There’s also the important issue of usable evidence. The counter-intelligence portion of the investigation would have used sources and methods the government would not disclose in open court. That leaves only the evidence that could be parallel sourced, which might not be sufficient for a prosecution.

      Certain committees in Congress, however, can get access to that information. They should, because it might directly affect a decision to impeach. Portions of it, too, might be used to justify legislative or regulatory responses to Trump’s outrageous behavior that no democracy should want repeated by another president.

      • Mainmata says:

        That is a really good observation. Since May, 2017, the “collusion” investigation has been at least as much a counter intelligence investigation, which has probably ended up hiding a lot of evidence of criminal behavior bcause of “sources and methods”. Presumably, Schiff’s Committee will have access to this.

        Meanwhile, there were obvious Trump obstruction of justice attempts. Don’t know why those weren’t brought.

        • Troutwaxer says:

          And that gets to the heart of things right there. We’ve known something was going on with Russia and our election since summer of 2016. We can surmise that there has been an ongoing counterintelligence operation/investigation ever since. So if you want to know what’s really going on, how do you know? Find out who’s taken a very early retirement, resigned from government service, had a bad-enough accident to take them off the board, been arrested for something which has nothing to do with Russia or espionage, suddenly added a ten-year veteran of the CIA, FBI, NSA, State Dept. Intelligence arm, etc. to their staff (a minder, in other words,) been transferred to an obscure military base in Alaska, moved to a new position where they don’t have access to sensitive information, etc., and on both sides of the Atlantic, and you’ll have some idea of what’s going on…

          I happen to think that Trump is guilty and would love to see the guy do time, and it seems obvious to me that Mueller was shut down, but FROM A COUNTERINTELLIGENCE PERSPECTIVE there might be more effective ways of handling the situation than a public trial.

    • Rick Ryan says:

      I was really surprised – I guess pleasantly* – at how definitive Barr’s wording on this matter seems to be. Although I note a difference in wording between the two prongs of the Russian Interference investigation:

      “The first involved attempts . . . to conduct disinformation and social media operations . . . the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with [Russia] . . . ”

      “The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to . . . gather and disseminate information to influence the election . . . the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with [Russia]”

      The first says no “U.S. person[s]” as well as no one from or associated with the Trump campaign, while the second only says no one from or associated with the Trump campaign did, i.e., that other “U.S. persons” might have. I assume that is a reference to Roger Stone and his cadre, although at one point Stone actually was associated with the campaign, having left in late 2015, so perhaps it’s a reference to someone else (my first thought was Julian Assange, but he wouldn’t seem to meet any reasonable definition of “U.S. person”)?

      But if the President’s long-time advisor, who was associated with the campaign, was coordinating with Russia to release info, that would seem to be, well, coordination. The definition of “coordination” in the document footnote specifically defines it as only pertaining to the Trump Campaign’s actions (weirdly “Campaign” is capitalized in the footnote but not in the body text).

      1) This suggests, as MW notes, that Mueller’s evidence indicates that there is a rather damning link between the President and “coordination,” if one that falls short of the specific definition utilized in this context, to say nothing of indictability of POTUS.

      2) Barr’s wording seems intentionally weasel-y, designed to highlight “no conspiracy or coordination” when in fact someone actually has been indicted for exactly that. There was at the very least room to explicitly note the Stone exception, since the document is not particularly long and is intended for a largely lay audience (i.e. Congressional panel heads).

      *Pleasantly in the sense that it would be good if the President did not steal the election through coordination with a foreign power

    • Adam says:

      I agree. I don’t see why Marcy is reading Barr’s language here so narrowly. The letter describes a conclusion that excludes the quid pro quo, unless I am misreading or missing something.

      • P J Evans says:

        Reading for what they’re not saying is important. It’s how you figure out what they want you to believe, and how it differs from truth.

  9. P J Evans says:

    Given Barr’s past statements about the presidency and judicial actions on crimes committed by them – I’m not surprised.

  10. texas dem says:

    Barr’s letter cites the two principal Russian attempts to interfere in the election — social media discord and DNC hacking. There’s no reference to the Saudi/Emirati/trade-Syria-for-Crimea stuff that Flynn is known to have been involved in. Surely the Mueller report isn’t silent on this matter?

    If there are political sins described in that report, things like removing sanctions on Russia in exchange for Russian actions in Syria in exchange for election help from the Gulf… plenty of things are politically wrong even if they’re not proven to the standard of chargeable crimes. Or are these precisely the kinds of derogatory information that get held back when a crime isn’t charged? Is there any chance that this material about Flynn / Barrack / George Nader / Erik Prince isn’t in the report at all?

    Or is it just waiting in the Mueller Report, to be seen by all when the report is finally acquired by Congress?

    Whether we would reasonably expect to see this storyline in the Report is a judgment based on facts and experience that I do not have. Can anyone venture a prediction based on their greater experience?

    • texas dem says:

      Secondary question: This sentence seems to be doing a LOT of work in Barr’s letter. The only direct quote from the Mueller Report: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian Government in its election interference activities.”

      The last five words are a qualifier, in my reading. But Barr is representing it as an unqualified statement. The Trump campaign wouldn’t need to be directly involved in social media or in hacking… if I understand Marcy’s quid pro quo, then the Trump campaign would only need to be very dimly aware of the general fact of Russian assistance, but they wouldn’t need to be even aware of what form that assistance was taking, much less actively coordinating them the way Roger Stone was (probably pretending?) he could. Is the absence of direct involvement in the mechanics of Russian assistance / interference being represented by Barr as the absence of any awareness of any Russian deal? We really need to see the Report, not just Barr’s reading of it.

      • dwfreeman says:

        There were two campaigns to elect Trump, one by the Russians and one by the candidate. The Trump campaign didn’t need to coordinate the kind of disinformation and oppo research effort the Russians were engaged in because that was planned well before Trump even decided to run.

        It was in the Russians best interest for Trump to run, that’s why they hooked up with Cambridge Analytica, well before Trump was a presidential whisper to ascertain how you target American voters, which became the conduit that linked both campaigns through messaging efforts that were coordinated without the need for direct communication.

        All you needed was the polling data to micro-target voters in the closing stages of the campaign, and Manafort and Gates delivered that information to Kilimnik.

        Barr whitewashed this like he did for Bush in Iran-Contra.

        Let’s be clear about the history here: Trump is a disciple of Roy Cohn. Cohn was beside Joe McCarthy who red-baited America at a time when the Republican Party supported and backed the execution of Communists. Cohn was behind the only successful prosecution of Communist sympathizers ever executed. Cohn hooked up with Trump, who introduced him to Stone, who partnered in political consulting with Manafort, who helped elect Reagan, which led us to the Bush family and Barr.

        Sometimes what comes around keeps going around. In any case, expect the Republicans to treat today’s decision as an invitation for another round of Benghazi-Nunes. That’s the way Cohn worked. As long as you know the judge in the case, you never need to worry about the law. Trump knew exactly how to play this.

  11. Jonf says:

    This puts the democrats in a tricky position, called investigating exhaustion. The republicans will say case closed. Period. So the democrats will want the whole report and carry on with the investigation. And that could be dangerous. Nice to have a few friends in the DOJ to interpret criminality for you, and now to likely delay the report.

    • Mark Ospeck says:

      >boy C: Everybody knows – Leonard Cohen
      love LC, but
      everybody knows this is nowhere -Neil Young

  12. Jenny says:

    More questions and frustration.

    Isn’t this the conclusion of Barr and Rosenstein, not Mueller? Mueller did not conclude one way or the other on obstruction.

    The Special Counsel states “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Does that mean there is evidence he committed a crime just not enough to prosecute or convict him?

    “If a President does it, that means it’s not illegal.”
    Richard Nixon

    • Anon says:

      Since Barr is the AG this is the DOJs opinion and since Muller works for them it is the opinion that matters.

  13. John K says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if people of color could get this kind of deferential consideration in regard to much lower levels of street crime?
    Barr’s letter, in and of itself, clearly reveals the American double standard that poses as the impartial administration of justice.

  14. Sandwichman says:

    In the space between Mueller’s conclusion that the report does not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice and Barr/Rosenstein’s decision to not indict lies the imperative to release the full report. From the letter, Barr and Rosenstein appear to have inexplicably limited the “intent” question to the narrow question of whether he coordinated or conspired with Russia. Both Barr and Rosenstein have track records that don’t exactly leave their judgment “unimpeachable.”

  15. GusGus says:

    It seems like Mueller determined that Roger Stone’s interactions with Wikileaks and the GRU hackers did not amount to “coordination” with the Russians. At the bottom of page 2 of the letter, the Special Counsel was explicit about no one associated with the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government in the efforts to disseminate the material stolen from the Clinton campaign.

    Mueller defined “coordination” at an “agreement – tacit or express – between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on interference”.

    I wonder how Stone escaped? Regarding Wikileaks I suppose Mueller could not prove two-way communications, but what about Stone’s communication with the GRU hackers? That was definitely two-way, did Stone just manage to not implicate himself? This seems odd.

    It also seems odd that Mueller could not make anything out of Manafort giving polling data to Kilimnik.

    I wonder if Barr will let enough of the report to be released to explain the above?

    • Bill Smith says:

      Didn’t a number of news reports say that Stone was lying about most of his contacts with WIkiLeaks? He really didn’t have much when he was telling people he did?

      • GusGus says:

        A lot of lies have been told about Stone and Wikileaks, with Stone telling a large percentage of them. It would be difficult to conclude anything from the public record. But Mueller seized e-mail communications from Stone to Wikileaks and from Stone to Guccifer2.0. There is a glimpse of the conversations in the GRU indictment.

        I have no idea if there is anything more than what Mueller showed in that indictment, but I would not have thought that Mueller was showing all of his cards there.

  16. sneakynordic says:

    Of the 2,800 subpoenas Mueller issued, one appears to be still in play; the Myster Corporation. If Marcy was correct that Mueller already knew what information it was seeking, but needed admissible evidence for a criminal case, then that means it’s evidence for the current charges against the Russians or Stone? From those indictments, it’s hard to see how the information would come into play. What’s the deal with Mueller concluding his investigation before SCOTUS upholds the subpoena, which it’s likely to do? Why conclude a Grand Jury investigation before getting all the evidence? On the flip side, why fight for the subpoena all the way to SCOTUS if you aren’t going to use the evidence? [SCOTUS hasn’t told us yet the case is moot because Mystery Corporation complied with the subpoena.]

    • Charles says:

      This is a good point. There’s also the question of why Mueller’s office fought tooth-and-nail to avoid disclosures in, e.g. Manafort and Bijan Kian if they were winding down the investigation.

      One explanation for the Mystery Appellant, I suppose, could be that it doesn’t have to do at all with Russia but only another country (as the Kian case). Mueller could therefore close down his inquiry and leave that appeal in other hands.

      • sneakynordic says:

        Many folks here have posited it has to do with QIA and Kushner, or Kian. But that doesn’t resolve why Mueller’s Grand Jury issued the subpoena in the first place, and not the US Attorneys who were pursuing those charges (again, assuming Mueller knew what he was looking for).

      • Anon says:

        IMHO people are treating this “winding down the investigation to mean that the show is over. But as Barr himself concedes there are other prosecutions ongoing some of which we have heard relatively little about. This is the end of one phase of the prosecutions not the whole thing.

  17. foggycoast says:

    1. keep powder dry
    2. block Trump when possible
    3. focus on winning the Senate
    4. if Trump re-elected, impeach

    • Herman says:

      Impeach as soon as all the evidence is heard — do not wait a second longer! We impeach primarily on behalf of future generations, to show these generations that Trump’s immoral actions were found to be unacceptable. It doesn’t matter if the Senate fails to convict, or if House Republicans fail to join in on impeachment. If we don’t impeach, we are saying that what Trump has done is acceptable!!

      • timbo says:

        Indeed. Let the House show it still has some teeth and needs to be taken seriously when it comes to policing the Executive branch.

    • P J Evans says:

      Start investigating this maladministration and let the evidence build up as to how criminal and incompetent it is. It will make it a lot easier to vote them out.

  18. ggons says:

    I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Three years of kabuki, screed, and handwavium. If there was any truth to find, it’s probably buried too deeply to find; possibly with a couple of bodies between it and the light of day; possibly, our president really is just a moron and says whatever he wants to on tv without a plan for execution.

    It almost doesn’t matter. If we allow a man who assaults women to occupy the whitehouse why would we give a shit about Russian hacking? Standards went out the window a long time ago and the Republicans know it.

    Min Max.


  19. InfiniteLoop says:

    I posted a while back that there couldn’t have been a conspiracy because Trump wasn’t personally sitting in the basement of the Kremlin typing hacks into a command line.

    I thought I was joking, not describing the actual prosecutorial standard.

  20. J Barker says:

    “In cataloging the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.” — Barr’s Summary Letter, p. 3

    Four things that stick out to me:

    (1) Barr is claiming an obstruction of justice charge requires identifying beyond a reasonable doubt an act that meets ALL of the following three conditions: (a) an obstructive act; (b) had a nexus to a proceeding; and (c) done with corrupt intent.

    (2) He only references “actions,” which in context looks like he’s only talking about individual actions at particular times. So he doesn’t seem to be willing to consider whether the President might obstructed justice not in virtue of any *particular* action all by itself but in virtue of a pattern of acts which, taken collectively, did in fact constitute an effort to obstruct justice. I’m not a lawyer, so I have no idea of it’s possible to charge someone for an entire pattern of behavior as opposed to this or that particular action, but that is something that stuck out to me.

    (3) We already know from Barr’s letter to DOJ re: obstruction, as well as his commitment to a strong form of the unitary executive theory, that Barr does not regard any possible hirings or firings within DOJ/FBI done by the President as even *candidates* for obstructive acts, i.e., such acts cannot meet condition (a). Similarly, no pressure a President puts on a subordinate prosecutor to open, close, or otherwise influence a federal investigation is even a *candidate* obstructive act. So, in Barr’s view, none of the following actions by Trump could even in principle be an obstructive act, *no matter whether the intent is corrupt*: (a) pressuring Comey to let Flynn go; (b) firing Comey; (c) pressuring Sessions to unrecuse and intervene in Mueller’s investigation; (d) firing Sessions; (e) hiring a stooge to replace Sessions with the tacit agreement that said stooge would “jump on a grenade” for the President; (f) attempting to fire Mueller himself; (e) any other such action Trump might have taken that we don’t yet know about, including literally calling up Mueller or the AG or the Deputy AG and directing him to not bring indictments against, say, Roger Stone or Don Jr. Because Barr thinks these are all inherently legitimate exercises of the President’s constitutional authority as chief executive, he could do a million of these things, and do them while shouting from the WH balcony “THIS IS BECAUSE I DON’T WANT THEM TO FIND MY QUID PRO QUO WITH RUSSIA” and Barr would still say the act is not obstructive.

    (4) Andy McCarthy, who has the same insane unitary executive view Barr does, has long been claiming that if a Presidential action is an exercise of one or more of his Constitutional powers, then we can formulate *some* conceivable non-corrupt reason for his action that’s not straight-up at odds with the empirical facts, then no one is allowed to “look behind” that conceivable non-corrupt reason for an underlying corrupt one. McCarthy likes to say that if the President is exercising a constitutional power, no one is allowed to “second guess” his motives for doing so. I suspect Barr agrees with all of this. If so, then there may well be actions Trump took that fall into the “classic obstruction” category– such as dangling pardons to Cohen, Manafort, etc. expressly so they wouldn’t cooperate with investigators, or threatening potential witnesses with, say, prosecution if they cooperate with Mueller, and maybe even instructing a witness who also happens to be a subordinate in the executive branch to lie to prosecutors– and yet Barr decided that he couldn’t attribute a corrupt motive to any of these acts. For example, the President is given an unlimited pardon power. So, on the McCarthy-Barr view, if the President dangles a pardon to someone in order to get them to not cooperate, we somehow aren’t allowed to “look behind” that action so long as we can articulate some non-criminal reason why the President might want that individual not to cooperate. That view of the President’s powers and our inability to attribute improper motives to him, together with the fact that Mueller didn’t recommend bringing charges on hacking coordination, gives Barr all he needs to clear the President on obstruction.

    • dwfreeman says:

      Giving a president the constitutional benefit of the doubt is one thing, giving candidate Trump whose behavior in seeking election remains under widespread suspicion, that same constitutional benefit is altogether something else under any argument.

      I find it imperatively instructional to remind anyone who has followed this case, that there were, in fact, two campaigns to elect Trump. The one the candidate ran and the independent one the Russians ran for him and resulted in Mueller’s massive indictments.

      Sunday’s Barr ruling claims that Mueller came up short in discovery on the issue of collusion coordination and obstruction as it relates to the Russian case of disinformation and distribution of stolen opposition research on behalf of Trump, even though he publicly aided and abetted that action with extreme prejudice. Recall his memorable July 27, 2016 rally invitation to Putin’s hackers, “Russia if you’re listening…”

      And if we’re going to claim certain standards weren’t met for criminality in proving a collusion case, how do we get around Trump’s now publicly known actions seeking to rewrite the story behind the agenda of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving his most senior campaign officials and a Russian delegation offering him direct campaign aid? He publicly lied about having any knowledge of that meeting or then trying to shape the story about it to protect a deeper secret which he failed to disclose during his campaign, pursuit of a decades-long attempt to build Europe’s tallest condo building along the Moscow River.

      The pussy-grabber in chief even lied about the maturation of that project along with his family, while he continually sought project updates from his legal fixer, and only saw it fall through because a second tier Russian developer wouldn’t come through with sufficient financing, clearly a condition set by Putin to leverage Trump and get what he wanted, a disruptive US asset in chief who was politically if not personally compromised either way.

      And given the public reporting of Cambridge Analytica’s role in both Russian social media messaging to target American voters as a consultant for a Russian oil company sanctioned by the Obama Administration in the fall of 2016, how do you explain that the same firm would apply the same messaging as the data operations arm of the Trump campaign, and then have its chief financiers and one of its board members eventually become Trump’s third campaign manager. The campaign would even turn over polling data to a known Russian government associate during a clandestine meeting for the benefit of assisting the campaign’s cause.

      The truth is Barr raised obstacles in sorting out the truth by hiding behind legal standards that make a political verdict in the case the only one we can hope for, and which the Democrats have shown little stomach to seek.

    • timbo says:

      One wonders if Barr is considering Trump’s written answers to be sworn testimony in this perhaps hastily composed attempt to give Trump the talking points on the investigation that Trump needs to control. I note that Barr doesn’t seem to touch on the idea that perhaps the President may have told something other than the truth in answers to written questions provided to the OSC… it might also be evident that the President’s personal lawyers may have intentionally neglected to hold to standards required of them under the law when it comes to advising the President in the negotiations with the OSC and the subsequent list of questions that were eventually submitted to Trump to answer. I seem to recall that negotiations over this went on for some months… So, basically, there’s maybe a lot more meet on the side of this carcass that we and the Congress have not yet seen. One would imagine that Barr and Trump want us to not dig into that too deeply…

    • elk_l says:

      Putin might do it. It depends what he thinks will help his plans for Russia the most right now. He already has slipped a shiv half way into Trump’s back and Trump, if he has noticed, has seen it as a love tap. Putin wouldn’t hesitate to do it if it was the best move for him but I suspect he is happy enough with Trump right now.

    • e.a.f. says:

      Americans are not at Putin’s mercy. They are at their own mercy. If they were engaged in the politics of their country, they wouldn’t be in this position. Putin has taken advantage of an pre-existing condition.

      Intent is a difficult thing to prove in court. Going to trial, just too loose is not a good strategy, in this case. Although there are enough votes in the House of Representatives to impeach Trump, there isn’t in the Senate. In my opinion, Trump could shot and kill someone on the dinning room of Mar a la go and the Senate led by the likes of the turtle and the graham, they still wouldn’t impeach. Stacking the various levels of court and corporate interests in powerful position is the first order of business because that is how they stay in office. As they say, the first order of business for any government is to stay in office. Everything else is secondary.

      • Willis Warren says:

        Yeah, I find this whole “trump is our fault” narrative to be dumb. Trump got there with Putin’s help. He wouldn’t have won without it. We did our part.

        • e.a.f. says:

          You may believe the narrative “is dumb” and that is your right. However, Americans I find are loath to accept responsibility for their lack of political engagement. Do remember the largest political party in the U.S.A., is those who did not vote.

          The Democrats didn’t do the work they needed to in past decades to ensure they held on to states, which as I understand it, decide how the ridings are configured. that ought to have been job one. Gerrymandering is a tried and true tactic.

          Yes, Putin helped, but he had fertile ground.

        • spoon says:

          It’s worth pointing out that some who likely would have gone against Trump were denied the opportunity to vote in 2016. Including in states like Wisconsin which were decided by razor-thin margins in 2016.

          Ultimately, there was a lot of blame to be passed around w/r/t Trump’s “victory”. American voters, Russian meddling, Comey’s late announcement on Clinton, etc, etc, etc.

  21. Willis Warren says:

    The letter justifies two of my biggest concerns over the last two years. First and foremost, the IRA was shit. That’s not even the good stuff the Russians were doing online to influence. The IRA is basically the most base of the propaganda. NONE OF THE GOOD sites are even on the IRA list. Zerohedge for fuck’s sake.

    Second, Rosenstein is a putz

  22. Tom says:

    With regard to President Trump and the question of whether any of his actions constituted obstruction of justice, I notice that Barr makes a point of stating that “many” of these actions took place “in public view”, which Barr apparently interprets as meaning that the President couldn’t have had any corrupt intent, otherwise he would have been more secretive. That really seems to be bending over backwards to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, and I’m afraid it may embolden him to be more brazen–as if that were possible–about flouting the law and convention in the future.

      • Tom says:

        John Dowd didn’t want the President to sit down for a face-to-face interview with Mueller because he knew Trump would lie and incriminate himself within minutes of opening his mouth. But if Trump fires Comey and admits it was “because of the Russia thing” and then brags about it to the Russians in the Oval Office a day or so later, Barr seems to figure: “The President couldn’t have intended to obstruct justice; he was too blatant about it. Only an innocent person would behave in such an unabashedly guilty manner.” Barr should have gone with his gut and not over-analyzed things.

        • Rayne says:

          Barr has at least one massive conflict of interest: he’s been selected by Trump. He’s done what he was nominated to do.

          This is the biggest reason why the House Judiciary Committee needs to conduct a hearing on the SCO report, because of Barr’s conflict. Granted, he kept Rosenstein on to offer the illusion he’s acting without bias, but as Marcy pointed out, Rosenstein made errors in the SCO’s authorization calling his own role into question.

        • Sandwichman says:

          Not to mention that Rosenstein wrote the memo for firing Comey AND (according to McCabe) panicked when the firing actually happened. What was that “wear the wire” shit about if it wasn’t a sense of having been lured into complicity in an obstruction of justice?

        • Mo says:

          What do you mean Rod “Rosenstein made errors in the SCO’s authorization calling his own role into question”?

          I didn’t see any errors except that he SHOULD have given the SC more autonomy the way Robert Bork gave the SC more autonomy in 1973.

          Neal Katyal and whoever wrote the SCO regulations in 1999 is or are blameworthy for inserting the words “confidential report” to “attorney general.”

      • P J Evans says:

        Looking at trees and missing the f*cking forest he’s standing next to. Possibly intentionally….

    • LeeNLP says:

      ‘.. the President couldn’t have had any corrupt intent, otherwise he would have been more secretive.’

      What part of “I could shoot someone on Fifth avenue and not lose any voters” doesn’t Barr get, I wonder? Getting away with murder in plain sight, somehow exonerating?

      That’s what so disturbing – the normalization of evil in our time.

  23. Tech Support says:

    This is not over. Not by a long shot. Beyond the grab bag of spin-off prosecutions that are still developing, I need the HJC to not screw this up. They are on the clock now.

  24. JD12 says:

    This isn’t too surprising. The riskiest stuff would’ve gone through Manafort—independent from Gates and Stone even—and he’s not cooperating. I don’t think there was the worst-case scenario conspiracy, but the many lies and Manafort’s deceit with the Special Counsel should refute any claims of exoneration.

    • Rayne says:

      Now write to your senators even if they are GOP. They count their calls; recruit more like-minded people in state to contact them. Are either of them up for re-election in 2020? If so, who’s running against them? Do they need help?

      This is all the stuff we haven’t been doing all along — or at least too few of us have. Had we all taken this more seriously all along perhaps we wouldn’t be digging ourselves out of a deep, deep hole.

      • e.a.f. says:

        Rayne has give the readers and Americans a road map on how to save your democracy. If you follow it, things will be fine. If you don’t, Canada and Mexico will want to build a wall to keep the America out.

      • Tom says:

        Rayne: Over the past few months, I’ve sent a couple of emails to the White House asking for information (e.g., has an official historian been invited to chronicle the Trump Presidency), and also back in December to offer some reasons why it might be a good idea to end the government shut-down. In both cases, I received an automatic email response thanking me for contacting the WH and saying my message is being carefully reviewed. And that was it. Do you know how much attention is paid to emails such as mine, especially as they originate outside of the U.S.? Are they tabulated or compiled for posterity in any way, or just automatically deleted? Is it even worthwhile sending them? As I said the first time I ever posted a comment here, Canadians have a vested interest in a free and independent USA as their neighbor. I’m not expecting you to know the internal workings of the WH but I thought I would ask anyway.

  25. getouttahere says:

    Disappointing though some of this is (we have not seen Mueller’s report yet, only Barr and Rosenstein’s spin) better to have come out now than later.
    There still remains the question of t’s beholden to Putin.
    “And this and so much more.”
    “Don’t waste any time mourning — organize! .” Joe Hill

  26. J Barker says:

    Consider how Barr words his sentences about the Russian interference campaign:

    “The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election.”


    “The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election.”

    No mention in either of these sentences, or anywhere else in the document, that Trump was the intended beneficiary of the interference. Just “to sow discord” and “to influence” the election…. This may not reflect anything interesting, or it may reflect just how desperately Barr wants to insulate Trump from criticism and/or prosecution.

    • dwfreeman says:

      There were two campaigns to elect Trump. The one the Russians ran and the one the candidate allegedly sponsored. The only conduit to both is an organization that hooked up with the Russians in 2015, before Trump had announced, and the one that took over Trump’s actual campaign after Manafort was supposedly fired. That was Cambridge Analytica, which featured Steve Bannon as a board member, and promoted in similar Brietbart messaging what the Trump campaign and Russian troll farms were extolling in messaging to targeted American voters.

      Those voters were micro-targeted with polling data that was exchanged between Manafort and Kilimnik. How did Trump close the polling gap in the final days of the campaign in the Midwest? How did his campaign understand the right way to connect with those people that put him over the top?

      There was never any need to coordinate with the Russians over their intent to seek Trump’s election. They wanted him elected and compromised. And that’s exactly what happened. Mission Accomplished. Finding that there was no conspiracy in their conspiracy to collude in an election they clearly influenced and put their candidate in office makes the Mueller investigation findings a complete falsehood.

      • Badger Robert says:

        Agreed. The conspiracy was basically Russian, with a little active help from a few Americans, and a tremendous amount of passive acceptance.
        Its almost exactly what the drafters were afraid of, that someone would sell out the US to Britain, France or possibly Spain.
        Human nature hasn’t changed that much in 240 years.

  27. getouttahere says:

    FFS! New Hampshire Public Radio had as a commentator on this — I thought it was a joke at first — Alberto Gonzalez.

  28. K-spin says:

    So many questions! For me, it is deeply concerning that the final report, which took 675 days to write – and runs to more than four pages, I’m sure – has been condensed within 48 hours to a series of dot points, by two individuals whose motivations and allegiances are questionable. The fact that the public are first given a summary devoid of nuance and argument, has already led to broad claims of ‘no collusion, no obstruction’ and risks either shutting down further efforts to investigate both these and related allegations, or at the very least making those who seek to do so look petty or partisan. To address this simplistic narrative, Congress needs to know exactly what Mueller wrote, not rely on the ‘cherry picking’ summary of the AG and DAG. Until that happens, we’re all in the dark. And the longer that takes, the greater the risk that the Tweeter in Chief’s ridiculous claims of ‘total exoneration’ will be perceived / touted by MSM as established fact.

  29. CR says:

    I’ve never commented, but I have benefited from thoughtful analysis and commentary here. Thank you for that. I don’t always agree with the politics but we all seem to have a common interest in upholding the rule of law, safeguarding the integrity of our elections and validating that public servants are actually serving our public and not themselves.
    Having followed this reasonably closely, I cannot understand the SCO’s exceedingly narrow approach to his mandate. Regardless of whether Barr is faithful to the SCO in describing conclusions, there was no requirement for SCO to terminate the Investigation. It is a terrible precedent that important witnesses/potential targets were not interviewed under oath. It is also a terrible precedent that the President can evade an interview under oath, particularly if some bogus, extra-constitutional DOJ policy against Presidential indictment means that an investigator cannot compel testimony. There are so many loose ends as we know, like Stone, Don Jr, Kush, Prince, etc.
    I focus not so much on obstruction, which I do view as somewhat derivative, as I do the core quid pro quo, which seems at a minimum to merit more work. Individual 1 wanted a hotel. He wanted to win. He and his minions expressed acceptance of help when offered it, and they provided a promise of consideration in return (sanctions relief). That is a deal. I did not need to go to law school to know that constitutes a contract, and there is ample evidence that each side was willing to uphold its side of the bargain subsequently.
    If Barr is correct in his letter, SCO is only agnostic on obstruction, not conspiracy. How is this possible, given the many Trump campaign/administration contacts with Russian actors and ample evidence of pro quo? The facts tilt to conspiracy, and I cannot understand how Mueller would, were this a lesser target of inquiry, have prosecuted to the full extent of his powers. So there are punches being pulled. I believe he is taking an exceedingly narrow view of this, as if there is not so much public interest to this, and he might as well be investigating petty larceny up to the standard of a reasonable doubt. Constitutionally, perhaps he has some cover on the lack of language that confirms that a President is subject to the normal judicial processes of any citizen, but we have this SC mandate for a reason which is not purely criminal in its purview. Yes, our broken political system can take this up, but the judicial system is the last of the three branches to have much public trust. The SCO has punted. Even individuals in similar circumstances in Brazil and Israel have recently shown more courage than our own SCO.
    I’m sorry for the long post. I will revert to being silent.

  30. e.a.f. says:

    Thank you for the clear and concise report.

    There are not enough votes in the Senate to impeach Trump so the Democrats might want to rtw on other business and get ready for 2020.

    • Bri2k says:

      They could do this but they’d be disregarding their duty of oversight if they did with the bonus that it would alienate a lot of their support. I think the Dems did so well in the mid-terms because the voters wanted a check on Trump and some real oversight for a change. In my view it would be a dire political miscalculation to “just let this ride and move on to other stuff”.

  31. TBurgler says:

    I stand by what I said earlier this month: “Does the mismatch between quid and quo signify that collusion is much more loosely coupled than folks would like to see demonstrated, more akin to toddlers engaging in parallel play?”

    The campaign knew what was going on with Russia, were happy about it, sought to make use of that help, but didn’t directly conspire in a way that can be documented. If Mueller objected to Buzzfeed’s characterization of Trump’s directing Cohen to lie because he didn’t come out and say the words “Cohen, lie” even though Cohen clearly got the message, he wasn’t going to indict Trump.

    • Bri2k says:

      Yes, because the Trump campaign manager handing polling data to the Russians is just “toddler parallel play”.

      Sorry, not buying this argument at all except as rationalization for the indefensible.

  32. Savage Librarian says:

    I agree with @texasdem – 4:30 about the direct quote from the Mueller report doing a lot of work, but for a different reason. This quote is in the obstruction section, after the paragraph explaining that Mueller chose to list the facts, without drawing conclusions.

    The Rod & Barr team chose to take this quote out of context specifically because it is misleading. It conflates what has been said in the preceding paragraph about Mueller not drawing conclusions.

    The quote says:
    “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian Government in its election interference activities.”

    The Rod & Barr team, I believe, wrote this specifically for DT. Because it is out of context, it misleads the public. It actually feels like a KGB tactic to me.

    To be more accurate, I think the quote should have been paraphrased to indicate what I believe it’s real intent to be, based on Mueller’s wish not to draw conclusions.

    I suggest a paraphrased quote to read:
    “The investigation NEITHER ESTABLISHED NOR DID NOT (or NOR FAILED TO) establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian Government in its election interference activities.”

    Lots of double speak there. Not good. But maybe closer to the truth.

    • Old Antarctic Explorer says:

      As you say Barr keeps saying Russia or the Russian Government. But in this business there are people called “cutouts” who may not be members of the Russian Government or even Russian, but who can transmit information. So by narrowing the accomplices list he can make “truthful” statements.

  33. J Barker says:

    Page 1 of Barr’s June 8 2018 Memorandum:

    “Mueller should not be permitted to demand that the President submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction.”

    If Barr declined a request from Mueller to subpoena Trump for an interview on obstruction, would that declination count as one of the “actions” the SC regs require the AG to report to Congress? Or could Barr have found some narrow reading of those regulations that didn’t require him to report the declination of a subpoena, if in fact Mueller requested one?

  34. earlofhuntingdon says:

    There’s been some passion about Taibbi’s article. He thinks, and I agree, that the criminal behavior exhibited by team Trump far exceeds the standard set by Bush/Cheney in its run-up to the Iraq war. I do not believe he is saying that the tragedy and loss of life owing to the Trump regime’s behavior yet exceeds the consequences of that war, only perhaps that Trump is working on it.

    • P J Evans says:

      The cuts to social programs would do it. They cover tens of millions of people, many of whom depend on them for food, shelter, and medical care.

    • Ruthie says:

      As I stated in an earlier post, the trend toward increasingly blatant illegality on the part of (let’s be honest, only Republican) presidents is pretty clear – and startling. Lying about the case for the Iraq war has certainly caused more suffering than anything done by Trump, but there’s still time. If his corruption goes unchecked, he and his enablers in government will be emboldened to who knows what over the next 22 months. And that’s to say nothing about what the next Republican president might attempt with the previous examples as precedent. THAT is what scares me.

  35. ivaluemyprivacy says:

    Taking this at face value, I think the appropriate respons is to accept their judgement and feel relieved that the Trump did not conspire with the Russians, and to push to have the report released in full.

    My thought has long been that Trump always played it soft in hopes of sealing the Moscow project deal, but that’s about it. Unbecoming,. yes. Unpatriotic, yeah you bet. Criminal, I dunno.

    Barr’s letter doesn’t deny the pee tape. so there’s that. /s

    I’m afraid too many lefties pinned their hopes on Trump actually being guilty. But I prefer a President not guilty, not because I like Trump–i dont–, but because a world in which Trump did those things is a worse one than otherwise.

    • P J Evans says:

      I think you’re missing the point that “face value” isn’t anything like the truth. Barr is lying, and knows he’s lying.

      • timbo says:

        To say that the President didn’t obstruct justice here is quite a stretch from the obvious public record. The President has made public statements numbering in the hundreds if not the thousands that would strongly suggest that his goal was to obstruct. IMO. Hopefully no one shoots me.

  36. Jim195 says:

    Trump’s defenders cannot argue both that the report shows total and complete exoneration and that it should not be released in its entirety.

    • timbo says:

      Yes they can. You perhaps have never been subjected to a thorough investigation I’m guessing. But, if you had, you probably wouldn’t want all the information discovered released to the general public “so we can clear you of all the charges we were investigating whether or not you might possibly subjected to”. If you are presumed innocent then the government should not have the right to release details about your private life and conversations, statements, etc, simply because an investigation was conducted, correct?

      • timbo says:

        Many of us wish to see the report is because, politically, Constitutionally, it may be necessary for the House to have access to the full scope and testimony and evidence that was submitted to the OSC… “to save time”. Hopefully some of the Congressional committees will start issuing subpeona’s to the Trump family, the DOJ, etc, sooner rather than never.

  37. NewsHound Ellen says:

    I’m a big Marcy fan but I interpreted Barr’s collusion assessment somewhat differently, i.e. not as an exoneration but as a statement that Mueller didn’t find enough evidence.

    Mueller, via Barr, did not say “THE INVESTIGATION ESTABLISHED THAT NO MEMBERS of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated” which would be a clear declaration that no conspiring or coordination had occurred. Lawyers are normally very careful with this kind of language. The fact that Barr echoed that language when he said, “The Special Counsel’s investigation DID NOT FIND that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia…” doubled the murkiness, in my view because Barr did not say what the investigation actually found.

    So why didn’t Barr state that Trump was not exonerated re collusion as he did with the obstruction issue? I don’t know but to me it smacks of Barr trying to pass Mueller’s findings in that area as more definitive and exculpatory than they really were.

  38. orionATL says:

    the guardian’s richard wolffe has a fine editorial placing the mueller report in the larger context in which it belongs:

    that larger context is and has been trump’s unfitness for office – his extraordinary dishonesty, his unwillingness to take responsibility for his actions, his financial self-dealing using the presidency, his dangerous, destructive disruption of american military alliances, his ham-fisted economic bargaining, his ignorant meddling with nuclear balance of power, his rude treatment of political opponents and other nation’s leaders.

    donald trump is without question the most incompetent president this nation has ever had. that message needs to be illustrated with details and repeated over and over, and loudly, for the next two years until the nation is rid of this incompetent oaf.

  39. Kansas Watcher says:

    Things to remember about Barr.

    Iran contra.

    He was instrumental in that cover up and the justification for pardons for 6 people as Comanded by Ronnie Regan and Paw pa Bush.

    I believe that his “summary” report was drafted well before he received the mueller report with just a few minor revisions.

    I believe the the entire report will magically appear in a competent journalist hand.

    Mueller is a true American and a real by the book guy. He won’t allow his work to be used to exonerate anyone of The Trump clown car mafia. There are still a lot of investigations going on and Barr has only put finger in the leaks of the SS trumptanic

  40. Jockobadger says:

    I hope you’re right, Kansas. Especially about the magically appearing report + evidence. For whatever reason I continue to trust that Robert Mueller will get the truth out. The Barr/Rosey memo is a beautiful example of bureaucratese. Very carefully crafted to hide the truth. As so many have written here already, we know that trump is at his core a f-ing crook. Everyone knows it including his “base” and they love it. Well, Barr did the job he was hired to do. Now it’s up to the HJC, acting in its oversight role, to get the report and the evidence it’s based on, and see what’s really there. Articles of Impeachment in summer 2020 – I love it, especially late in that summer.

    I hope Bobby Three Sticks accidentally drops a thumb drive out in front of the WaPo.

  41. Jockobadger says:

    After thinking about it a bit longer, I realize that what I wrote above is wrong. We need to challenge trump on every single issue e.g. climate, the wall, kids at the border, lying, the deficit, farm country, etc. We need to get organized for 2020 and drum the fuckhead out of office. Pelosi is playing this right so far – I hope she keeps it up. Schiff/Nadler should carry on with their proper oversight work, but impeachment seems like a real long shot now that Barr has done his job. I’m optimistic, damnit. Thanks EW and Commentariat.

  42. Mark Ospeck says:

    >Kansas Watcher March 25, 2019 at 1:32 pm Things to remember about Barr ..believe the entire report will magically appear in a competent journalist hand.

    I sure hope that you’re right, Kansas. Waiting, praying like the Jockobadger for the bobby three sticks to drop the tri nitro toluene and just end this thing

  43. harpie says:

    Could someone please tell me what this Chris Vickery thread means? Thanks.
    [thread quote]
    7:03 PM – 25 Mar 2019
    43 lines (redacted) out of a 954,000 line log.
    Processing activity prior to November 2016.
    “is_suppressed” / Previously found filters include “disengagement target”. [link] [end thread quote]

    • Rayne says:

      I think that’s exactly what you may think it looks like, and why Vickery flagged it. It’s a switch or flag field identifying whether a voter should be suppressed/not_suppressed.

      Although a poorly named field assuming the developer was legit, there are rational reasons why such a field would be used by a campaign — like someone who pointedly told a canvasser they were rabidly anti-CandidateX during a primary race. Is_Suppressed=Y then don’t waste expensive mail campaign materials on them.

      The *real* question which must be asked by DOJ and/or Congress: how was that flag or switch “is_suppressed” used by the campaign in question? How was the previously identified “Disengagement_Target” used? The user interface and the sorting functions are necessary to make this determination.

      • harpie says:

        Thanks so much, Rayne! …”poorly named”.
        Yeah, when I see the word “suppress[ed] [ion]” in relation to votes/voters, it really catches my eye. Wonder if anything will come of his finding.

  44. Jockobadger says:

    Hmm, that is interesting isn’t it? Thanks Harpie! I haven’t the foggiest what it means, but having read the thread it appears that Vickery, et al are aggressively pursuing it. Wouldn’t it be something if we found out that there were shenanigans going on down there in Cruz-land?

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