Working Twitter Threads on the Mueller Report

I did my read-through of the Mueller Report on Twitter, not here, so I wanted to capture all the threads in one post:

126 replies
  1. ken melvin says:

    Hannity was amongst those media types mentioned as outlets for the GRU/IRA stuff.
    Mueller’s says that the IRA/Russians worked against Hillary and for Bernie and Trump.

  2. ANOther says:

    Good to hear Marcy on the Canadian radio this morning. If you are interested go to the CBC website and the program is Day 6. They have a podcast of the show. Marcy is on first after the Starbucks ad. Spoiler alert, Marcy is not a fan of William Barr.

    • Nehoa says:

      I am wondering if we have been looking at obstruction in relation to a crime from the wrong framework. Trump is obstructing not his or his campaign’s crimes. He is obstructing the crimes of the Russian actors. Notice how he has never acknowledged their role?
      Also, thanks1000x to all of the people here, MW, Rayne, Bmaz, et al who make this site great. I have been an off and on observer since FDL.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As Marcy says on twtr today at roughly 17.09,

    [I]t is utterly clear that Barr’s decision to weigh in was a usurpation of Art. I authority.

    This is an impeachment referral AND a referral for prosecution once Trump is out.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      In light of the OLC opinion that the DoJ cannot indict a sitting president, and given the political leanings of the head of OLC and Bill Barr, Mueller was never going to get approval to indict Donald Trump. Departmental rules also prohibited Mueller from overtly saying that Trump should be indicted if he wasn’t going to indict him.

      Mueller explicitly took that reality into account. Bill Barr flat out lied about that in his public statements. That reality hangs like a black shroud over the rest of this report.

      Barr’s willingness to redact information embarrassing to Trump also partially accounts for the diplomacy with which Mueller repeatedly implies that Congress now needs to pick up the ball and run with it. Mueller needed to keep possession of the ball in the face of a bent referee – a publisher who wanted ever so much to spike his story.

      Mueller knows the Senate is in safe GOP hands. But he knows the House can continue his investigation, keep it alive, document the public record, and move beyond the limits of a narrowly defined criminal prosecution. It’s a team effort. There are many in the House willing to take up a distasteful but necessary public duty.

      • timbo says:

        Uh, this is a bit much. The DP may keep this alive for their own reasons but Mueller is done with this stuff. He’s a company man trying to do the right thing, and certainly more conservative than most of us here on this board. I doubt he cares whether or not the Senate is in GOP hands…and if he does, heaven help us all.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I believe Bob Mueller is trying to do the right thing.

        If he didn’t care a lot about this process, American government, the Constitution and what was happening to it under this administration, he would not have put together a 400 plus page game plan for the House and future prosecutors.

        That the Senate is reliably in GOP hands for now is not about whether he approves of it or not. It is simply his recognition of the state of play, and that no consequence for Trump requiring the Senate’s participation will be forthcoming.

        But the Senate has no legal authority to limit the House’s exercise of its investigatory and oversight role. An impeachment inquiry can proceed without Senate involvement, based on simple majority votes in the House. That’s on the Democratic leadership.

  4. Peterr says:

    Having read pieces of the Mueller Report and all of the threads listed in the post, I have one serious question: Did Barr even read through the entire report, before he wrote his letter(s) and held his pre-buttal press conference?

    If he did, then he was stupidly hoping that no one else would. If he didn’t, then he’s just dumb.

    Either way, he’s up sh*t creek without a paddle.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It’s a straight up power play. This Senate would no more vote for his removal than for Trump’s (or Kavanaugh’s). Even if the House accuses Barr of lying to Congress, where does it send a criminal referral and what would happen to it?

      We have the same problem Lawrence Walsh faced in his Iran-Contra investigation. In the face of coordinated stonewalling and a governmental refusal to act, the constitutional framework has no sufficient remedy.

      Barr was a key player in coordinating that orchestrated refusal to be held accountable. The framework since then has not been reformed or tightened. Barr faces less risk of being held to account than Trump.

      Mueller identified the only solution left: continuing investigation by the House. The House has a wider remit. It can document its case for its own constitutional role of conducting oversight and legislating reform. It can make some of its work public. It can prepare its work for use by a future federal prosecutor. That’s not politics-as-usual, as the Republicans contend. It is fulfilling a civic obligation.

      • Marinela says:

        That’s not politics-as-usual, as the Republicans contend. It is fulfilling a civic obligation

        Yes, so true, but the group that needs to understand this aspect is not even reading this, or even close to some of this data.

        One country, with two different groups becoming more alien from each other. Trump is using/causing this by design.

        To break through, need to explain it in terms of conservative values. There are experts out there that can explain it better than I can. Hoping the democrats are consulting some of these experts when they start impeachments, for Barr and Trump.

      • timbo says:

        Agreed. This is a power play, just like Kavanaugh was. The question now is whether or not the DP and its leadrship are able to even care about this. They certainly botched the Iran-Contra related things. They botched the investigations into the torture regime (likely because Pelosi was complicit?) and now this. There’s plenty of dirt in this dirty system…

      • Tom says:

        Rachel Maddow did a good job of explaining how Mueller laid the groundwork for further Congressional investigation of the Trump Presidency in her April 19th program.

    • BobCon says:

      I think the best way to look at everything Barr has done is to see him as playing for time. He traded credibility for several weeks. He will lose more credibility as redactions are revealed, but in the process will chew up more time.

      He will gladly refuse to follow court orders further down the line in order to win a little more time. He will accept contempt of court rulings and swallow unlimited fines. The goal is to limp all the way to election day having done everything to stymie the Democrats and courts, no matter what the cost.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I think your prognosis of where this is going is correct.

        But credibility as normally measured I think is irrelevant to Barr. His tenure is not dependent on it but on the approval of the same sort of select patrons he was dependent on during the Poppy Bush administration.

        They resurrected him for this job. His public letter to the DoJ a few months back was for Trump’s consumption, to help him accept that the inevitable was favorable to him. Those patrons will protect Barr while in public office and after he leaves it. That would have been implicit when he agreed to return.

        • BobCon says:

          Oh, I agree credibility doesn’t matter to Barr — I don’t think there is any other explanation for what he has done.

          But while he has lost a good deal, I think there are still some willing to buy what he is selling. His job is to eke out enough time for the GOP to keep up the demagoguery through November 2020.

          • fpo says:

            Yes, sadly. Barr himself – now just another option in the ‘crisis of the week’ playbook – is no more or less relevant than, take your pick: border closure/no border closure, NK sanctions/no NK sanctions, healthcare reform plan/no healthcare reform plan, and so on. Like the rest of the herd, he really doesn’t care about that. Just doing what he can (and it happens to come quite naturally for him) for the team. Delay, distract, disrupt – and watch the donations pour in. That’s what troubles me.

            $$ buy TV time – $30M buys tons of it. What does a reality TV president needs most? He’s already got his own propaganda network broadcasting 24/7.

            As this Buzzfeed article points out, the ‘legit’ GOP – if one can even say that with a straight face – are going to the reelection team. All the $$ and opportunity for visibility with none of the WH infighting or the potential for retaliatory, career-ending headlines. ‘Well, I was just another member of the reelection team, no big deal…’ should he lose.

            “The campaign has also already hired the directors for each area of responsibility, according to a spokesperson, and they are beginning to build out their teams. Trump’s reelection effort is using its head start over Democrats’ campaigns to lay “the groundwork for recruiting and training almost 2 million volunteers across the nation,” the spokesperson said. “Time is one of the biggest advantages we have and we aim to use it.”

            [ ]

            Just as sure as there is no honor among thieves – there are still some ‘willing to buy what he is selling.’

            Thank you for the links, EW. We’ll try to put those to good use.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Trump very oddly began his formal re-election effort the day after he was sworn in. In part, I think that’s because he knows nothing about governance and a lot about demagoguery, which sells better in campaign mode.

              I think the strongest reason he started so early was to have a place to park some of the cash he expected to reap from being president. He could spend it on things that supported his current tenure as well as a future one, especially messaging on Faux Noise.

              It is also a convenient place to park former aides and to have a plausible reason to pay them handsomely to STFU about what a FU Donald is.

              The rules for auditing campaign funds are still too weak, as are the rules for what happens to unspent campaign funds after an election. As with collecting and spending inauguration funds, it is one of many areas crying out for further regulation by Congress.

    • Kim Kaufman says:

      I don’t think Adam Schiff wants to be “saved.” I think he wants DiFi to appoint him to her senate seat when she resigns. She is not there for the full duration of her term. LA mayor Eric Garcetti was another name floated but he’s got some local problems which is why he’s not going to make a pretend run for president which was only to raise his national profile. Other name floated is AG Becerra. Schiff is a company man. And ambitious. Also very conservative.

      • P J Evans says:

        DiFi can’t appoint him. That’s the governor’s job. And I don’t think she has that much pull with Newsom. (She may finish this term, anyway.)

  5. Vern says:

    I don’t personally do twitter (or any other SM for that matter), but I have learned to read through your tweets daily. The ongoing Mueller Report disection has been riveting. Thank you.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The NYT’s Sharon LaFraniere has a good piece up on the Russian response to Trump’s win. []

    Its premise is that Trump’s unpreparedness, his lack of experience with corporate and governmental structures, and with the complexity of foreign affairs led it to a chaotic initial response. That allowed various hangers on to portray themselves as influence peddlers between the not-yet-administration and the Russians. The Russians themselves “scrambled” to take advantage of it by utilizing various business cut-outs of their own to approach the Trump administration and turn it into one more favorable to Russian interests. That meant re-opening billion dollar money-making opportunities for Russian oligarchs.

    The characterization of the Russian side seems inadequate. The Russians sought, planned and worked for Trump’s victory. If it “scrambled,” it was to put into effect plans to use business rather than government contacts to infiltrate the Trump administration because they spoke the language Trump would listen to. The objective was not to improve relations in a normal state-to-state way. It was to confuse and upend the US government and its decades of global alliances. It was to remove US sanctions limiting the ability of oligarchs to make money.

    The characterization of the Trump side of that equation seems partly correct. It would explain the Carter Pages and George Papadopouloses, but not the Flynns, McGahns, and Kellys. The inexperience argument does not explain the unquestioning, heavy reliance on family. It does not explain the refusal to learn, to adapt, to hire or follow the advice of experienced staff.

    Inexperience and transition chaos do not explain the refusal to put governance ahead of self-enrichment. It does not explain Trump’s determination to fight until red in tooth and claw his own DoJ and FBI. That is all on Trump.

    • timbo says:

      Trump is a field unto his self. As such, one must be wary. To try to catagorize such a personality is very, very risky. The Founders sought to mitigate against such a person. However, in all political structures, there is always times of weakness, and such people as Trump are prone to be at the helm of breaking such systems. Fortunately, he’s not a genius, just someone with a knack for surviving.

      • orionATL says:

        timbo writes:

        “… Trump is a field unto his self. As such, one must be wary. To try to catagorize such a personality is very, very risky. The Founders sought to mitigate against such a person. However, in all political structures, there is always times of weakness, and such people as Trump are prone to be at the helm of breaking such systems…”

        I like this comment very much – which means merely that it coincides with what i think :)

        i would clarify for myself that i have no qualms about describing trump’s personal characteristics as I see them, i simply don’t consider it particularly reliable to pidgeon-hole the guy or predict his behavior. he seems a wily, self-involved, ruthless survivor who will go wherever he thinks survival demands. to my mind these are some of the characteristics of such leaders as victor orban, Rafael Trujillo, idi Amin, gaddafi, batista, erdogan.

        • timbo says:

          Thanks for the compliment. But…

          Were the list of folks you mentioned all brought up with silver spoons in their mouths and no meaningful military service to their names though? Trump doesn’t come close to the folks you mention when it comes to actual experience in leading others or having any legitimate chops for talking down to military leaders. He’s a weak link in the list you provided, only permitted to have power >because< civilian control of the military is heavily ingrained (for the moment) in the US's political structure. Trump is the sort of civilian personality that military leaders shunt aside if/when the rot grows too deep in a society. He is not a "strongman" but a lightening rod for those who are—students of history and political science will be well aware of this, certainly by now, two plus years into Trump's maladministrations.

  7. Proud Canadian says:

    Does the report clarify why the Mueller team made that unusual statement a few weeks ago that the news report that Michael Cohn was asked to lie by Trump (at least I think it something like that) was incorrect? Just watching in horror all this failure of democracy – if it can happen in the US then it can happen in Canada.

    • Rayne says:

      Yes, it can happen in Canada. Look at what Harper did with science archives. Look at what Ford is doing in Ontario to health care and library services. Look at the horrible relations between Trudeau and First Nations, how dependent Canada remains on fossil fuel revenues, how racist conflict mounts with the emergence of Gilets Jaune. It will look different in Canada but it comes in a multitude of cuts.

      • Tom says:

        Back in December 2016 there were shouts of “Lock her up!” directed towards the Alberta New Democratic Party’s Premier Rachel Notley by a crowd of conservative supporters protesting the provincial government’s carbon tax plans. What’s concerning for Canadians is how quickly this sort of poisonous rhetoric, campaigning style, and philosophy of politics can seep north of the border. The only difference–so far–is that right-leaning Canadian political leaders tend to stay away from social conservative issues.

        • Rayne says:

          It’s not an accident that themes recur across borders. Memetic material by definition is replicable and transferable, and networks out of view of the average Joe/Josephine Public are consciously, actively copying and sharing these themes. Sometimes it’s not by 8ch4n, 4ch4n, D4ilySt0rmer-type sites these themes move; Bannon and Farage carry these toxic payloads with them for international delivery.

          Don’t think it can’t get worse. These links must be surfaced and their toxins purged.

          • Tom says:

            I agree, Rayne, and hope you didn’t think I was implying that Trumpism is a particularly American phenomenon. There has been a certain element of me-too (in the old sense of the term) with respect to the U.S. in Canadian politics in recent decades.

      • Jack Assels says:

        All that stuff certainly happens in Canada. Add last week’s election of the loathsome Jason Kenney in Alberta and last October’s election of François Legault in Québec. There has certainly been a sharp turn to the right. However, what makes Trumpworld particularly frightening is its open criminality, baldfaced lying, and demonizing of the press and political opponents. I don’t see that on Canada’s horizon yet; our politicians are still embarrassed when caught lying, feathering their own nests, or taking bribes, and most of our citizens are still open to entertaining facts that conflict with cherished opinions. We usually catch up to US trends eventually, though, so ask us again in five years.

        • Rayne says:

          I don’t want to ask you again in five years whether Canada has degraded into fascism. I want Canadians to pull together and slay their own fascism *now*.

    • Marinela says:

      My understanding is that Trump talks in code, so he “suggested” but probably didn’t specifically tell him to lie.
      Trump is conning that way, he knows how to cover his tracks.

      The lesson of all of this is that everything needs to be spelled out in constitution, do not rely on norms. Norms are easily obliterated by someone like Trump.
      Even with the constitution updated, if the courts are stacked with political hacks, judges are not independent, to interpret the constitution, and correctly apply the laws, Trump and the rich are truly above the law.

      • timbo says:

        The people that went along with Trump fidgetted when Trump was actively obstructing a lawful and legitimate investigation into foreign interference in the 2016 election.

      • John Forde says:

        “talking in code” makes intent more difficult to decipher but does not really provide legal insulation.
        BMAZ? EOH?

  8. Report Counselor says:

    Let’s never forget the Republicans like McConnell who said a bill to protect the special council was not necessary and that Trump would not attempt to do so. I wonder what the next guarantee will be.

  9. Report Counselor says:

    I think it’s also important to remember that Trump said about his unpublized meeting with Putin at G20 summit a week later that it was about adoptions before anyone knew he dictated the Don Jr. message. This is a clear indicator that Putin was in on some part of a conspiracy with Trump.

      • timbo says:

        Both points of view are interesting for different reasons. Clearly, either way, whatever happened in the June 2016 meeting was out of bounds, and possibly/likely a violation of various laws.

  10. pdaly says:

    I like footnote 1,091 of the Mueller report. Sounds like Mueller and team are stating that Congress should both impeach Trump AND criminally prosecute him after he’s out of office. That impeachment alone doesn’t go far enough:

    “A possible remedy through impeachment for abuses of power would not substitute for potential criminal liability after a President leaves office. Impeachment would remove a President from office, but would not address the underlying culpability of the conduct or serve the usual purposes of the criminal law. Indeed, the Impeachment Judgment Clause recognizes that criminal law plays an independent role in addressing an official’s conduct, distinct from the political remedy of impeachment.”

    • P J Evans says:

      I can’t see Tr*mp changing his longstanding habits and suddenly becoming law-abiding for the next 18 or so months – or longer. He can’t manage that for even a week, now.
      So they’ll have a lot more with which to go after him, even after he leaves office. (His only clear way out is the guy with the scythe.)

      • Tom says:

        If anything, Trump seems emboldened to be even more angry, belligerent, and determined to show that he’s not the hapless, ineffective person humoured and protected by his aides as detailed in the Mueller report.

  11. orionATL says:

    two points:

    1. what is utterly astounding to me from this post is the depth of specific knowledge of trump&co’s behavior in these threads that I have not seen elsewhere, including in the ew write-ups in her webpage.

    2. I am sympathetic that the depth of linked information available in the Mueller report and on ew’s chronologies is difficult to convey to others. the problem I have encountered in trying to explain complex situations like this (though to be sure situations that were no where near as complex or consequential as this one) is that too much information, no matter how carefully collected, how relevant, or how well-woven together, overwhelms both the busy but uninvested media person and even the most interested citizen.

    3. I don’t have a solution to this problem of vastly disparate knowledge of highly relevant but interlinked, complex information. maybe Ted talks?

    • Rayne says:

      And yet look at how popular Game of Thrones is as well as the books on which the series is based. Or Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, or the ridiculous Marvel superhero Avengers’ universe of movies.

      The problem is a lack of narrative to tie disparate, parallel, and overlapping story arcs together.

      • orionATL says:

        this is an interesting thought – a lack of narrative flow. not too many distracting side tracks or unresolved deadends as occurs with reality.

        that causes me to stop and think – of the limitations (or blocks) descriptive writers such as reporters or scientists put in their own way. novelists on the other hand make up their characters thru description and determine what is reality in the world they create thru plots.

        rayne’s comment causes me to wonder why one could not write a semi-novelistic history of the trump rise-to-power-and-reign including or excluding “facts” at will as a novelist is free to do, though in this reportorial/historian use of novelistic freedom that would require not making up inaccurate depictions or lies.

        which brings to mind my personal favorite novelist, Joseph conrad, and a novel I loved and thought just remarkable – nostromo.

        I suppose I should mention “under western eyes” but I found it much less interesting – lacking sweep, more introspection than a good trump novel would ever have :)

        this from those decades long gone when I read novels.

        • Rayne says:

          This is a really grimy version of House of Cards, one in which the Frank Underwood character is divided across several individuals — like Mitch McConnell as Underwood in Congress but entirely without the slick attractiveness, and Trump as the winking, corrupt Underwood as president, but absolutely lacking in Underwood’s intelligence and sophistication.

          • Rayne says:

            Really should produce a weekly series of community-sourced short scripts. We pull real quotes and excerpts, but ‘cast’ them creatively so they are more engaging and less enraging than the real life persons on which this work is based.

            Imagine how pissed off a portion of the audience would be to hear an actor like Idris Elba say, “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything,” or “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”

            EDIT — that excited me so much, thinking of Elba in such a juicy role, that I accidentally hit Publish.

          • Molly Pitcher says:

            House of Cards is exactly right. And I agree with your distribution of the Frank Underwood character across several real players. I had to stop watching when the Electoral College President absconded with the Oval Office. It triggered anxiety attacks. I now look forward to Sunday nights and Madam Secretary for my fantasy hour. It like yoga for the mind without the leg cramps

            • bmaz says:

              Madam Secretary is really a pretty good show. Not sure how this running for President thing will work out, but has been a really good show from the start until now.

              • Molly Pitcher says:

                Yes, it will be interesting to see how that election goes. The other show that gets me thru the week to com is John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight”. I remember a show from when is was a kid called “That Was the Week That Was”. Similar, but without the excellent research and analysis.

                  • Molly Pitcher says:

                    You are right P J, but I am counting on humor to get me thru this period of political history without resorting to chemical crutches.

                    • Lydian says:

                      Good for you, Molly!

                      I, unfortunately (or may be not), have succumbed to chemical crutches. And then yesterday was 420 day….I find it difficult to not be despondent about our political state and keeping myself informed has become a daily exercise in avoiding depression.

                      I wish you the best!

    • cat herder says:

      4. And the most maddening thing is he does all this bullshit intentionally, or maybe just instinctively, because it works. No one who hasn’t been keeping up would ever be able to believe it. It’s all too outrageous, trying to explain it makes you sound like a crazy person.

  12. posaune says:

    PJ @ 11:41: Wondering about the likelihood of a Robert Maxwell-type disappearance, or a Ken Lay denouement that would preserve whatever is left of his assets for Ivanka. Of course, the guy with the scythe could show up on his own.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      The ‘guy with the scythe’ scares the sh!t out of me in the sense that so many things would be unresolved, and the conspiracy theorists would go ape-sh!t. Also, it would leave the political termites to continue feasting on the carcasses of American institutions.

      For everyone’s sake, the law (weak and perverted though it may be with packed courts) needs to function. But in order to function, it has to be exercised.

      Here’s hoping that Trump, detestable though he is, doesn’t pull a ‘Robert Maxwell’ or Ken Lay. I doubt that he could; his narcissism is too out of control for him to be able to pull off a disappearing act.

  13. Margo Schulter says:

    Marcy, warmest thanks for your rich series of tweets summing up some highlights of the Mueller Report, and permitting me to read the report with greater comprehension and understanding!

  14. Tom says:

    Those Russian IRA specialists seem to have enjoyed their time in the U.S. pushing the limits on how blatantly they could advertise their presence while sabotaging the 2016 election; e.g., persuading unsuspecting Americans to carry signs reading “Happy Birthday Dear Boss!” on the occasion of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s 55th birthday on June 1, 2016. This even happened in front of the White House! (see p. 27 of the Mueller report).

    You would think this would call for a public service announcement campaign warning Americans of what to watch for in the way of Russian interference in the upcoming 2020 campaign. As I recall, some of the Russian social media efforts were a little ‘off’ because of their clumsy wording or awkward use of American idioms. But despite all the detailed names, dates, times, and places describing Russian sabotage efforts in 2016, Trump still seems to be taking the position that it wasn’t Russia. Very bizarre watching Rudy G. tell Chris Cuomo the other day (April 19th) that intelligence analysis is a matter of “percentages” not certainty, and that the President has “a different view …a different opinion” of Russia’s role based on information that Rudy said he doesn’t have access to. But if Trump REALLY doesn’t think that the Russians were involved in tilting the 2016 election in his favour, then why did he call on them to find HRC’s missing 30,000 emails in that notorious July 27, 2016 speech?

  15. FRANK TRIPOLI says:

    Does anyone know the substance of the closed-door (interpreters only) conversations between stumpy & vlad ?

    • klynn says:

      Thank you. I was appalled…went to read bmaz and received a blocked account message yesterday.

  16. Bay State Librul says:

    In her first book, Emptywheel dissects deceit.
    A dozen years later, Marcy forks over more evidence —
    This time, pulling on nine strings to autopsy our Body Politic
    “A forensic journalist, at the top of her game” raves the Daily Beast.
    “She takes out her scalpel an examines the corpse.” hoots the New York Times.
    Coming to new stands soon…
    A must read on how Bill Barr and the DOJ ransacked the law.
    You can pre-order on Amazon for $10.99.


  17. Frank Probst says:

    Kind of off-topic, but here’s a talking point I’m tired of hearing: This was a waste of $30 million.

    While the investigation may have cost $30 million, it’s going to end up getting the government well over $10 million in restitution and fines. I haven’t seen a good accounting of how much various people and groups are supposed to pay versus how much they’ve already paid or are likely to pay in the future. Is there a way to find this out?

    • Rayne says:

      It’s a waste of money to people who measure everything by dollars and cents. It’s not a waste to people who place value on the rule of law and the pursuit of knowledge and justice.

      • Frank Probst says:

        I agree completely. My point is that it’s reasonably likely that it wasn’t a waste of money even to people who measure everything in dollars and cents.

    • P J Evans says:

      Tr*mp and his followers and fans know the price of everything and the value of nothing, as the old saying puts it.

    • Tom says:

      And how many millions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent taking the President on his regular weekend jaunts to and from Merde-a-Lago?

  18. Areader2019 says:

    You know this flipping stuff is terrible. You flip and you lie and you get — the prosecutors will tell you 99 percent of the time they can get people to flip. It’s rare that they can’t,” Trump said.

    “But I had three people: Manafort, Corsi — I don’t know Corsi, but he refuses to say what they demanded. Manafort, Corsi and Roger Stone.” Ny post interview nov 28, 2018

    I’m chipping away at the redactions, Page 340 of the report has this quote, “Roger Stone” redacted for HOM.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I just cringed my way thru Chuck Todd being trampled by Giuliani. How anyone at NBC thinks Todd is a worthy adversary for interviewing any of the political sharks he should be taking on is beyond me.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Todd, like Douthat, makes a mint playing the hapless credulous cretin. He strikes me as the Eddie Haskell of cable news. There always seems to be a place for them.

  19. Tom says:

    It happened again this morning. Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” let Senator Mike Lee get away with saying there isn’t “a scintilla of evidence of collusion” between Trump and Russia in the Mueller Report. I realize journalists often don’t have much time to get a handle on a subject before they have to cover it, but knowing the definition of collusion and conspiracy and the difference between the two words seems about on the level of knowing the difference between a virus and bacteria when doing a report on antibiotic resistance.

    • Tom says:

      I sent an email of polite complaint to CBS Audience Services. Up until now, I was under the impression you could only contact the show by Twitter or Facebook.

        • Tom says:

          Thanks, Ken,but the link doesn’t work, at least not on my computer. But then I’m always getting messages that I should update my browser, if that might have anything to do with it.

  20. Molly Pitcher says:

    I’m going to go bite the ears off a DARK chocolate rabbit.

    I wish everyone a Happy Easter, a Blessed Passover and a beautiful Spring day. A mimosa is calling me.

  21. orionATL says:

    it is not entirely off-topic so here is an article on Carol Cadwaldr’s extraordinary speech on Ted talks about the hidden misinformation and propaganda campaign that Facebook technology allowed the Brexit campaign scoundrels to wage among the populace of her home valley in Wales:

    cadwaldr, thru the observer and the guardian, has been reporting on the cambridge analytica cum Facebook manipulation of citizens for the last year and a half.

    and here is the talk:

    this is the exceedingly important story of how technology and irresponsible technology barons,permitted a hidden and untraceable propaganda to be conducted by the Brexit campaign crew.

    • orionATL says:

      Brexit drivers nigel Farage and Aaron banks are well known to Donald trump.

      cadwaldr says that the Brexit campaign to con Britons into leaving the European union was “the petrie dish” for the campaign to elect Donald Trump president using cambridge analytica and facebook.

  22. morganism says:

    They should start proceedings for impeachment against BARR now, for obstruction.

    He has lied about what was in the report, refused to supply it to the HOR, who have consitutional authority to view it, and also appears to have tampered with the contents of the report itself, as the metadata for the PDF shows.

    And then when McConnell won’t bring a vote to the floor, file impeachment for obstruction against HIM….

    Save the impeachment of Trump until you have taken down Barr, then you have a path to show that McConnell has been a threat against the USA, by not allowing votes that represent the will of the people….

    • Areader2019 says:

      Demand the impeachment of every R Senator who has taken Russian money. You want a ‘Spartacus moment’? There is your moment. Reveal the traitors.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    MSM readers of Bob Mueller’s report are suddenly discovering Donald Trump’s moral bankruptcy. They should consider how his morals are not at all rare. The behavior of financialists in the FIRE industry suggest that he is much admired. Wall Street would just prefer that his brain were not so limited and his ignorance not so stunning.

    They might also consider how much he shares in that regard with the Republican Party leadership, which has made him their own, lock, stock, and barrel.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      He is president, and because taxes and judges, so he’s temporarily a hero. And he’s not a Democrat.

      But it’s hard to imagine a corporate executive would give him a job, except as a parking space or to return a favor to a more powerful patron.

  24. Areader2019 says:

    PDF page 20….

    “First, as part of a
    full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” the Special Counsel was authorized to investigate “the pertinent activities of Michael Cohen, Richard Gates, (personal privacy), Roger Stone, and (personal privacy…)

    Why would a name have two characters wrap around the sentence…..unless it is Donald Trump Jr? And if they are claiming “personal privacy” to protect the idiot children, that is just bs. They are public figures.

    • Rayne says:

      Imagine instead the real reason isn’t the one stated — it may say it’s for personal privacy and some may believe that, but if Junior is really too stupid to have necessary intent, perhaps SCO was worried Junior would act even more stupidly if he realized he was the person behind the redaction. What kind of damage could he do?

  25. dude says:

    Not a lawyer. Here’s a question. If Trump were up for articles of impeachment, and the Senate refused to impeach, and then Trump loses the election and is then charged as a private citizen for committing obstruction of justice while being President—is there a question of Trump facing “double-jeopardy” under law?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That’s right. Impeachment is a political process. Its penalty is limited to removal from office.

      Double jeopardy statutes apply to criminal liability. The more important statutes Trump’s legal team will be worried about are statutes of limitation, which set time limits within which a prosecution must be commenced. With narrow exceptions, if not timely filed, the statutes prohibit prosecution. The general limit for federal crimes is five years.

        • timbo says:

          Might it also be charged based on time not including time in office? It seems to me that if one is going to argue that the President cannot be indicted when in office that one must also listen to the argument that this does not provide any statute of limitation time during that period of protection from prosecution and indictment.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          In which case, criminal acts continue and the statute has not yet started to run or the statute is extended?

          There are already a number of ways the statutes toll, are suspended, pending some change in circumstance. Congress should consider adding to the list where a target cannot be indicted, as when he sits in the White House saying, “Na na na na na, you can’t touch me.”

          • bmaz says:

            Being as it is the President makes it beyond an unusual case. I looked at this long ago and don’t recall finding any definitive support for tolling.

            I would add in that it is hard to win a tolling argument in a civil case, it is yet again another quantum level to do so in a criminal case. So, I don’t know with certainty, but I would not count on tolling. Even though it seems like an obvious argument.

  26. dude says:

    Separate question: what organ of the US government defines which nations are “enemies of the state”?–i.e. commonly received wisdom says Russia is an enemy of the US government or US people, but what makes it legally so?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Most commonly the State Dept., but the Treasury also maintains a list of sanctioned foreign entities.

      • Rayne says:

        Commerce, Energy, Justice, and DHS also have critical roles in enforcement of sanctions and embargoes. Agriculture and HHS have roles re approvals of plants, animals, food, drugs for import.

    • Rayne says:

      “Enemy” is a legal term defined by Congress and codified in Title 50 USC 2:—-000-.html
      A state of war must exist for there to be an enemy.

      I think you are asking about sanctioned or embargoed countries with which certain transactions are limited or prohibited. They are determined by Congress or by the Executive Branch through powers delegated by Congress.

      Keep in mind though the president may conduct foreign policy, his job is executive — it is to execute the laws of the US. If Congress legislates sanctions, the president’s job is to enforce the sanctions through his appropriate departments. He can issue an executive order but they are only legal if they have the support of Congress — he can’t issue an EO countermanding embargoes established by law, for example.

  27. dude says:

    Well, actually what brought this on was the language reporting uses around Trump’s alleged activities with the Russians. Bear with me a minute. I understand that US campaigns and, for the matter, US sitting Presidents are not supposed to work against the interests of the US under the influence of a “foreign power”. It is a Constitutional duty to uphold. But the President is the guy who spearheads foreign policy and relationships with other countries. He does it and if treaties are involved to underwrite his efforts, the Congress votes them up-or-down. But when treaties are not involved, and the President goes about his foreign relations as he sees fit, he must have a lot of latitude in dealing with allies and adversaries. Nixon going to China and detente with the Soviet Union come to mind. Nixon/Kissinger received criticism from some quarters at first, but eventually our nation accepted it. But weren’t those nations similarly sanctioned just as Russia is today? By analogy, did Nixon/Kissinger do things sketchy-looking like Trump in reveling in his meetings with Putin and Kim —and how were they different? Put another way, when did sanctions get lifted from China to make them okay and Russia not?

  28. P J Evans says:

    There’s a diary over at Kos – from a frequent and reasonably respectable poster – complaining because Mueller apparently didn’t investigate voting fraud in the 2016 election, in connection with the Russian stuff. (I feel like maybe they need to read the authorization, because that seems to me to be somewhat outside of it.)

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