Jeff Sessions HAD Shut Down the Investigation into Russian Interference

The most alarming exchange in the Mueller Report described how, on June 19, 2017, President Trump dictated a message that Corey Lewandowski should take to Jeff Sessions, telling Sessions (in part) to meet with Mueller and limit his jurisdiction to investigating only “election meddling for future elections,” not the one that got him elected.

During the June 19 meeting, Lewandowski recalled that, after some small talk, the President brought up Sessions and criticized his recusal from the Russia investigation.605 The President told Lewandowski that Sessions was weak and that if the President had known about the likelihood of recusal in advance, he would not have appointed Sessions.606 The President then asked Lewandowski to deliver a message to Sessions and said “write this down.” 607 This was the first time the President had asked Lewandowski to take dictation, and Lewandowski wrote as fast as possible to make sure he captured the content correctly.608

The President directed that Sessions should give a speech publicly announcing:

I know that I recused myself from certain things having to do with specific areas. But our POTUS . .. is being treated very unfairly. He shouldn’t have a Special Prosecutor/Counsel b/c he hasn’t done anything wrong. I was on the campaign w/ him for nine months, there were no Russians involved with him. I know it for a fact b/c I was there. He didn’t do anything wrong except he ran the greatest campaign in American history.609

The dictated message went on to state that Sessions would meet with the Special Counsel to limit his jurisdiction to future election interference:

Now a group of people want to subvert the Constitution of the United States. I am going to meet with the Special Prosecutor to explain this is very unfair and let the Special Prosecutor move forward with investigating election meddling for future elections so that nothing can happen in future elections.610

The President said that if Sessions delivered that statement he would be the “most popular guy in the country.”611

Lewandowski told the President he understood what the President wanted Sessions to do.6 12 Lewandowski wanted to pass the message to Sessions in person rather than over the phone.613 He did not want to meet at the Department of Justice because he did not want a public log of his visit and did not want Sessions to have an advantage over him by meeting on what Lewandowski described as Sessions’s turf. 614 Lewandowski called Sessions and arranged a meeting for the following evening at Lewandowski’s office, but Sessions had to cancel due to a last minute conflict.6 15 Shortly thereafter, Lewandowski left Washington, D.C., without having had an opportunity to meet with Sessions to convey the President’s message.6 16 Lewandowski stored the notes in a safe at his home, which he stated was his standard procedure with sensitive items.617

When the Mueller Report came out, this seemed distinct from all other attempts to fire Mueller, because it attempted to shut down not just the investigation into Trump, but even the investigation into Russia’s interference in 2016 altogether.

But a passage from Andrew Weissmann’s book makes this passage even more alarming. He describes how, “a few weeks after he arrived” (and so around the same time as Trump’s dictation to Lewandowski), after Jeannie Rhee got her own briefing on the ongoing investigation into Russian interference, Weissmann asked for the same briefing. He discovered that no one was really investigating it.

As soon as the Special Counsel’s Office opened up shop, Team R inherited work produced by other government investigations that had been launched before ours: These included the Papadopoulos lead, the National Security Division’s investigation into Russian hacking, and the Intelligence Community’s written assessment on Russian interference.

Ingesting this information was the domain of Team R, and Jeannie had quickly gotten to work untangling and synthesizing the facts. A few weeks after I arrived, I asked attorneys in the National Security Division of the Department of Justice to give me the same briefing they had given Jeannie, so I could familiarize myself with the investigation they’d been conducting into Russian hacking.

The meeting was in a SCIF at Justice’s imposing art deco headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue.


Because my debriefing with the National Security Division involved classified information, I cannot discuss its content substantively here. It took a couple of hours, as a team of NSD lawyers graciously walked me through what they had been up to and answered all my questions. As soon as I got back to our offices, however, I made a beeline to Jeannie’s office and immediately asked her: “What the fuck?”

“I know,” she said. She didn’t need me to finish my thought.

We had both been shocked by something we’d heard in our briefings—but it was less the substance of the Justice Department’s investigation than its approach. Jeannie knew that she was going to inherit some evidence that Russia had hacked the DNC and DCCC emails, but she was astonished that the National Security Division was not examining what the Russians had done with the emails and other documents they’d stolen from those servers—how the release of that information was weaponized by targeted release, and whether the Russians had any American accomplices. More alarmingly, the Department was not apparently looking beyond the hacking at all, to examine whether there had been other Russian efforts to disrupt the election. It was staggering to us that the Justice Department’s investigation was so narrowly circumscribed. Election interference by a foreign power was, inarguably, a national security issue; we expected the National Security Division to undertake a comprehensive investigation. Once again, Jeannie and I were left to speculate as to whether this lapse was the result of incompetence, political interference, fear of turning up answers that the Department’s political leaders would not like, or all of the above. The Intelligence Community’s investigation had assessed that Russia was behind the hacking, but remained seemingly incurious as to everything else. “The rest is going to be up to us,” Jeannie explained. [my emphasis]

As Weissmann describes, Aaron Zebley narrowly focused the Mueller investigation, at first, to leave out any investigation into how Russia had weaponized the releases against Hillary.

But Mueller’s deputy, Aaron Zebley, argued that it was not actually within our remit to look at Russian interference. This defied all logic; the special counsel’s appointment order, signed by Rod Rosenstein, had made clear that we had the authority to investigate these matters. Indeed, it was the first responsibility the order assigned us: “to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.” But Aaron insisted it was out of bounds and instructed Jeannie to focus Team R’s investigatory energy only on the question of whether there were “links and coordination” between the Russian government and the Trump campaign—the other central duty spelled out in our appointment order.


Mueller, meanwhile, signed off on Aaron’s directive for his own set of reasons. Even if Aaron’s logic did not make sense, walling our office off from that larger inquiry into Russian interference spoke to Mueller’s perpetual concern about spreading our resources too thin and his impulse to keep the overall investigation moving quickly. Mueller felt we had too much else to do.

Jeannie was convinced this was wrongheaded: The issue was too important not to undertake ourselves and too central to our remit. She knew that the Department, left to its own devices, was not going to get the job done—with the president publicly expressing antipathy toward substantiating Russian election interference, investigators were not going to get the support for this endeavor—nor would they view digging into this issue as a career enhancer. Mueller and Aaron conceded that if we found Russian links to the campaign, then perhaps Team R could begin to branch out and examine the wider Russian interference effort. Otherwise, Big Bu—the FBI—could handle the interference investigation for now, and simply keep us updated.

Mueller’s thinking had logical force only if you believed the Department would run with the ball—something Jeannie, Omer, and I knew was not going to happen. It was hard to think otherwise: The very reason for appointing a special counsel was because of the conflict the Department of Justice had—it was headed by people selected by the White House and had a conflict in investigating whether the White House coordinated with Russians in the 2016 election. That did not mean there was also a conflict in the Justice Department’s investigating whether and how Russia interfered with the 2016 election, as that investigation should in normal times be a bipartisan effort. One would think any administration would be incentivized to investigate foreign election interference. Except, it turned out, this one. Jeannie knew that if her team did not do it, it was simply not going to happen.

Nevertheless, Aaron told Jeannie to find an appropriate team at the FBI and ship off this part of the investigation. Though Jeannie and her team of attorneys and agents disagreed, they followed orders. She spent the next six weeks, in the late summer and early fall of 2017, trying to interest various squads at the Bureau in taking up the task. No one there wanted to touch it; it was too hot politically, with zero margin for error. Plus, it would be an arduous investigation, requiring a team with both criminal and cyber expertise to roll up its sleeves. (“No cases, no problems,” Omer and I thought.)

In the meantime, she and Lawrence Rush Atkinson, an intrepid young colleague of mine from the Fraud Section who now worked on Team R, and who had cyber expertise, worked late at night, after their other work was done, to keep this part of the investigation moving forward as Jeannie shopped the investigation to people at the Big Bu. She hoped to put herself in a position to reargue Team R’s case to Mueller as more facts emerged.

The book would go on to explain that Facebook’s briefing on the Internet Research Agency trolls gave Rhee the opening to incorporate the Russian interference into the investigation.

As the Mueller Report tells it, Lewandowski never delivered his message to Jeff Sessions.

But as the public record appears, the message got delivered.

57 replies
  1. Eureka says:

    LOL as if that was possibly a clean dictation from Trump to Lewandowski. Someone helped keep that message clear and logically following (if in Trumpian lingo), whether it was a writer prior to Trump, Lewandowski during the “dictation”, or Hicks in the “transcription” — this pivot phrase being a key tell:

    Now a group of people want to subvert the Constitution of the United States.

    Seems “collusiony” on obstruction, all things considered.

    Rechecking the MR, I see no explicit acknowledgement of that NYT-reported July 4th Trump call to Lewandowski, where Trump had asked him to pressure Sessions to resign, nor any direct indication of what were likely a series of increasingly manic rantings by Trump to CL (as if Trump would let this topic go for a whole month, and then of all times). But following this segment of the story through from Vol. II pp. 90-94, there’s a topical shift in Lewandowski and Hick’s chatter about it, which, with the statements from Dearborn and Priebus, show the roiling flux of ‘limit investigation with public announcement’ to ‘get him to step down’ to ‘FIRE HIM!’

    Lots of (criminal) drama missing from, or buried in, the MR. Besides what all got snuffed. That they had to rely on an assist from FB to help recenter the investigation is perhaps the most harrowing detail of all.

    • Spencer Dawkins says:

      On the question of whether Trump dictated what Lewandowski ended up with, the resulting text says “unfairly” twice, which is my own personal tell that at least those parts came from Donald.

      Who has been treated more unfairly than Trump? Sheesh … about 7 billion people in the world, I think.

  2. BayStateLibrul says:

    Which brings us back to Lewandowski, that rat-fucker from Lowell, Mass.
    He is laying low, probably covering New Hampshire for the Con.

  3. P J Evans says:

    seen at Kos yesterday:

    A Question for the Ages:
    Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, William Barr, Charles Koch, Sheldon Adelson and Stephen Miller are accidentally stranded on a desert island. There is only enough food to sustain one of them. Who survives?

    The United States of America

    • Chris.EL says:

      This is a little off-topic, but it underscores Trump’s practice of writing notes giving directions what he wants done.

      Video is on (couldn’t readily find url)…

      “Flood the streets” with hydroxychloroquine

      Rick Bright video with Jake Tapper (2’56”) discusses “note” from White House that hydroxychloroquine drug should “flood the streets.” Bright says that’s what prompted him to resign after a 25 year career.

      Makes me wonder if Trump is still taking hydroxychloroquine (an immunosuppressant) (possibly self “prescribed”) while also taking dexamethasone. Trump should have titrated dex. dosage down to zero. Has enough time passed for that to have happened?

      Seems if his immune system is overly suppressed, he may rapidly crash.

      Also wondered cause of death brother: wouldn’t put it past Trump to also encourage brother to take hydroxychloroquine; that’s what Trump does.

      • P J Evans says:

        I wouldn’t put it past Trmp to take stimulants with dexamethazone. (I get the impression he’s one of those people who figures if a little is good, a lot would be better.)

        • Chris.EL says:

          Agree. Additionally,

          I am not a doctor, nor nurse, but if that is the case, Trump may set himself up for a heart attack:

          “Live!! From the White House!! It’s Trump’s heart attack!!”

      • bmaz says:

        Chris, not a chance in hell Trump is still taking hydroxychloroquine. In fact, I am fairly dubious that he ever really did. It has negative heart complications, and he has long been monitored and treated for heart issues.

        As to the Dex, My friend Kevin has taken Dex long term, and it is powerful and nasty stuff. It is an extremely strong corticosteroid. But for a short burst of a couple of days to up to a week, will produce some euphoria and extra energy, but not much else. From reading between the lines of what he and his doctors say, and hearing his clear shallow breathing and chest congestion, it seems pretty clear he is still on it. Now THAT would be a problem.

        I am occasionally prescribed Prednisone for bronchitis chest congestion, a far weaker corticosteroid, and you are weaned off of it in ever reducing doses immediately and well done within a week for exactly the negative effects. Dex is a nuclear weapon compared to Prednisone.

        • rosalind says:

          except when piece of shit doctors prescribe prednisone then cut it off abrutly and don’t monitor the patient from there. my mother’s end of life was ruined by prednisone, which triggered a mania followed by severe depression that drove her health issues down.

          i, two states away, had to try to figure out what was happening via phone. cherry on the top: her fatal heart attack was likely triggered by Avandia, a drug now carrying a black box warning w/limited access due to all the heart attacks patients on it keep having.

          so much more, but i will end with a hearty fuck you to the Doctor at Palo Alto Medical Foundation who single-handily prescribed my mother into the grave.

        • bmaz says:

          Mine literally come in packs where there are metered small pills and you take six the first day, five the second, four the third until down to none after the sixth day. So no abrupt ending, it is a real weaning off.

        • Chris.EL says:

          Rosalind, very sad to hear MD’s actions that harmed your mom’s delicate health. Very sorry.

          A similar situation for me involved switching my mom from Dilantin caplets to liquid Dilantin (she had increasingly trouble swallowing).

          I noticed marked difference in her affect (more lethargic), read the Dilantin package insert, learned the milligram dosage should be modified (going from caplets to liquid), blood test monitored, adjusted — usually downward.

          The M.D.s, the medical doctors should have done this.

          This was more than 20 years ago, bless her doctor’s daughter’s soul.

          As a result, I like to stay away from hospitals and doctors.

          Thank you to bmaz esq. for input.
          This upcoming election is going to be NUTZ!!! I’m going to my county registrar office soon and vote early, in person, while masked! Yay!

        • Tracy Lynn says:

          Oh, Rosalind, I’m so sorry for your horrific loss. I have also had negative experiences with PAMF — both my mother and mother-in-law were victims of the poor care the place offered. Given our experiences, I can’t imagine being two states away while trying to deal with a parent’s health issues.

        • P J Evans says:

          I took prednisone for severe itching back in late 1992, and yeah, they weaned me off it – it required a chart to keep track of how many times per day. (I can follow instructions.)

        • Bobby Gladd says:

          I can attest to the prednisone. Recently, my annoying Parkinson’s elevated to where I was having difficulty walking owing to severe persistent radiating (mostly left-side) leg pain.

          My doc put me on prednisone, short-term declining dose. Within about 36 hrs the issue had resolved. It was pretty amazing. But, generally steroids are nothing to take lightly. Both of my late daughters had steroid Rxs during their cancer illnesses.

        • DAT says:

          I prescribed both Prednisone and Dexamethasone throughout my career. I’ve had occasion to take steroids myself, as well. Usually, with a short course, as President Trump should have had, a mild euphoria, or feeling of energy, is as far as the side effects go. Some patients become hypomanic, some frankly manic, and some, even worse.

          I prescribed Prednisone to a patient and after only one dose he had a full psychotic break. He was sweating, he was hearing voices telling him to hurt himself. He was anxious, and too anxious to sit down. He went to the ER and was given multiple anxiolytics and sedatives. He was not admitted. (Though he should have been. It is virtually impossible to get admitted for a psychiatric diagnosis across most of America now.) When we next talked in clinic we reviewed his experience. I reviewed ways to use steroids and minimize a reaction like his. I shared with him that I had spoken to a world renowned expert in the field of his illness, and described pt’s experience to him, and asked if we could continue treatment without the steroid. He had said no, to realize chance of cure the steroids must be included. Pt refused the steroids. He said he’d rather die of that disease than take another dose of “that medicine!” (We did treat without steroids, and pt went into a long lasting remission.)

          I mention this because, while typical side effects are negligible, any patient, depending on underlying health, or disease, or other medicines, or tonics, or “Health foods,” or drinking habits, can have a severe, or even catastrophic, reaction to steroids.

          I repeat my memo to President’ Doctors: CHECK HIS MEDS!

        • bmaz says:

          I’ve had no real issues. But am usually prescribed the triangular diminishing pack I am sure you are familiar with. Once or twice I was just given a regular prescription bottle of regular pills, can’t remember the number. But by the time I was done, I was definitely an edgy asshole. Yes, even more than normal! My wife knew it, and even I knew it.

          And, yeah, check his meds.

        • CCM says:

          Aa a doctor who prescribes buckets of steroids and has treated a number of COVID patients these are my comments:
          1) Prednisone and dex are pretty similar in terms of effects, dose adjusted. Dose by mg is much lower with dex, but dose adjusted they are biologically very similar.
          2) Trump has always been batshit crazy, both pre and post dex, I personally don’t see a difference.
          3) I have treated patients far crazier than Trump, I once has a partner who would shift his mentally ill patients over to me, I got fairly adept at it. There is no way to make any predictions as to the effect of steroids on his behavior, what meds he is willing to take or not take. I suspect his doctors go along with whatever he wants to avoid his rage. You do not rise within the med estab unless you understand politics. The rich and famous often get poor care from political docs who are weak clinically.
          4) Yes steroids need to be tapered. If your doctors do not do this find a new doctor. One of the problems with dex is the study from the UK did not taper at the end of the 10 day course. In my view this was a mistake, I have seen shock due to adrenal suppression at the end of the course.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        I had to do an Overnight Dexamethasone Suppression Test
        (Corticotrophin releasing hormone stimulation test to learn more about the possible causes of Cushing syndrome.)
        It was subsequently followed up with:

        * Imaging, including CT and MRI, to look for tumors
        * Late-night saliva cortisol level test
        * 24-hour urinary cortisol excretion test

        And shortly before surgery to remove my left adrenal gland and the benign tumor (which had produced so much cortisol that my right adrenal gland had atrophied and stopped functioning), I had an adrenal vein sampling by way of a catheter in my thigh passed up to a renal vein.

        My tumor was endogenous. It occurred during the time (decades ago) that I had to deal with a white supremacist group, a militia, and hostile, complicit, local government officials that enabled them and punished me (as I’ve said before, “Wiles and gambits were the order of the day”…)

        When I discussed symptoms with my doctor, he told me to stop whining. In desperation, I went to a private, for-profit diagnostic center to have their costly premium work-up. Fortunately, they found the problem.

        The atrophied adrenal gland, of its own accord, inflated like a tiny balloon ( I felt it ) a day after surgery. So, I didn’t have to take supplemental cortisol. I did have to do tests for years afterwards, though.

        But, a word of caution to those who take Prednisone or other cortisone treatments. Unrestrained use of these can sometimes induce exogenous tumors.

        Cushing’s Syndrome | NIDDK

  4. viget says:

    Thanks much to Ms. Rhee. She may have saved our chance at a Republic.

    The picture is starting to come into focus though, right at the time the CIA would have been doing a damage assessment, we have Vault7 come out to limit their ability to do so. This may be why Comey got fired, perhaps he was about to initiate a joint investigation with CIA into the mechanics of the Russian operation. I think you’ve alluded to this before, Marcy.

    This also explains the widening of the Mueller team at around the same time too. When did the cyber folks really get involved?

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    As you say, Trump, via Lewandoski or someone else, got the message to Sessions. The admitted planning for the supposed non-meeting indicates the guilty knowledge of both Trump and Lewandowski, that what Trump was demanding was obstruction. The claim that a meeting was not held would limit their conduct to an attempt. That Sessions and the DoJ complied with the request, however, is clear from their conduct. And it was only one example of Trump’s serial obstruction.

    I remain surprised at Mueller’s tentativeness. Faced with clear evidence of obstruction, he seems to have relied on the OLC position that a sitting president cannot be indicted, and therefore, chose not to conclude there was clear and convincing evidence of obstruction. He threaded the needle by laying it off on a Congress he knew would never pick up the thread.

    The DoJ is a large cumbersome institution. It’s rules are built for normal circumstances. Trump’s obstruction, combined with the singular exception of the OLC rule, are not the norm. There’s a difference, OTOH, between an investigator not finding sufficient evidence of obstruction or not finding it sufficient to overcome a well-heeled client’s ability to bury the DoJ in lawyers and, OTOH, the unique circumstance of finding more than sufficient evidence, but being faced with a recalcitrant OLC and AG. Mueller could have concluded that the evidence merited indictment, and made clear what precluded him from doing just that.

    • bmaz says:

      And even just what he “did” consider clearly warranted exactly that. That is before you even get to all he did “not” do.

      • Valley girl says:

        It’s very late and I am very tired (too tired to Google for hours), so forgive what will appear as stupidity, but… for the future, though hoping we don’t get another president as corrupt as Trump, how to solve/ overturn the “a sitting president can’t be indicted” problem? Obviously impeachment and conviction would be one answer, but having seen the hows and the whys it didn’t “free up” Trump to be indicted, what else could be implemented in future?

        • skua says:

          An electorate adequately informed of the consequences of letting corruption and self-dealing flourish amongst their elected representative, and devoted to blocking and weeding out corrupt representatives seems necessity for a functioning democracy.

          Public media sources, properly funded, and isolated from interference by either arm of the government, could trigger positive changes in the broader media environment.
          Think of a vastly larger CSPAN and a uprighted and enabled NPR.

          Or let the elite owners of major media companies continue to manipulate voters without serious competition from significantly large publicly-funded sources?

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, what Skua said. In a nutshell, a republican democracy (small caps) depends on the informed will of its citizens and elected representatives that care to carry that out.

          It sounds hokey I guess, but that is it. The old adage of “it’s the worst system in the world, except for all the others” still holds.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The purposes for which the right wing distinguishes between America as a republic and a democracy are spurious

          The right’s weak-kneed propaganda weaponizes a distinction learned by the average high schooler to suggest that not being a “democracy,” but only a republic, somehow justifies American fascism.

          It does not. Nor does it justify making economic success and cartoonish versions of “freedom” and “liberty” paramount over representative government. It does the opposite.

        • P J Evans says:

          My teachers told me that we’re a federal republic with representative democracy: republic is the form and democracy is how we run it.

        • Reader 21 says:

          Agree with all skua and bmaz wrote, but think it’s actually simpler than that—will, is all that was lacking. The OLC memo is not only not in the Constitution, it is not a law enacted by Congress, nor is it even regulation promulgated by proper notice and comment—it is insane to me that it has never been challenged, in short.

  6. Rugger9 says:

    Biden’s AG will have a lot to do, in the face of the inevitable “look forward, not backward” demands from the courtier press so they can remain relevant. However, when Obama did this we got DJT, and he’s been far worse that W who was the worst up to that time by far.

    • graham firchlis says:

      W benefits iimmensely from Trump’s presidency. He was as you say the worst by far, but now he’s only second worst and who over time will remember that?

      Fading into oblivion is much too kind a fate.

    • skua says:

      Depends which death-toll we count.
      W./Cheney have 2,000,000 extra deaths in Iraq (and counting).
      And setting things up for ISIS too.

      Trump’s deaths in America are only 10℅ of that figure to date.
      Here’s hoping that ℅ doesn’t get any closer.

      • tinao says:

        I’ll second that Reader21, and by the way WYEP is streaming beautiful music right now on the Folk Show. Go Ken! John Lennon’s bday show, all Beatles by folk artists!!!
        I’m amazed i got this comment back. The ole puter is fussy, anyway you can look up the show on . Loving the Woody/Dylan too.

  7. BobCon says:

    I remain extremely curious how thorough of a job the Mueller team did in investigating the Russian trolling operation. My gut sense is that they got enough to establish Russian involvement but did not dig down to the roots, and somehow the rest was not pursued or else was pursued by other units but not publicized or prosecuted.

    I think the Russians had only a fraction of the 2016 influence of Fox News and groups funded by US oligarchs, but I still want to know what else happened. Considering there are ongoing efforts by the Russians, it’s worth figuring out how much 2020 complicity and cooperation there is by the US right wingers and how it connects to 2016 and 2018.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Recalling that indictment, you couldn’t say much more than it did without getting into sources and methods. If you tried to reverse-engineered the process by which they got even just the information that was unclassified, it just begs the question of what went on behind the curtain…And I don’t want to know.

      • P J Evans says:

        There was a lot redacted because of sources and methods. I think Mueller went as far as he could, knowing that DOJ wasn’t, and isn’t, going to do anything while Trmp is still president.

  8. Chris.EL says:

    …Walt Shaub has just — IMHO — redefined THE RANT for me:

    four part tweet-down on Rod Rosenstein, admirable use of word invertebrate as an insult…”you unfit for public service reprobate”… ending with …”Trump’s chief propagandist, you disgrace to the legal profession.”


      • Chris.EL says:

        silly me, haven’t figured out how to pull off a url efficiently, tiny smart phone… thank you!

        Tonight, thought of our friends in Portland — you know, the ones that Trump (pre-covid when he thought he owned the US) sicced the troops on, “lynched” in unmarked vans, pepper spray, etc. [Still wonder how to find out how some of the folks that were hurt are doing — fellow who hit his head on sidewalk, Navy veteran whose hand was broken!!! ]

        Went over to found there was a nice tribute to RBG tonight:

        “Several dozen pay tribute to RBG in downtown Portland, one of several demonstrations Saturday.”

        Like we northern Californians, they’ve been dealing with wildfires since mid August!!

        Another nice story I read about Justice Ginsburg, in addition to the one about her trying to reach out with Kavanaugh, she sent Justice Breyer a birthday card (which he didn’t get until returning to the Court after recess and Justice Ginsburg’s death.)

        She underscored that he was the younger Justice! Sweet sense of humor!

  9. skua says:

    Trump, and other anti-law actors, played that “Mueller’s 13 angry Democrat investigators” trope so effectively.

  10. Reader 21 says:

    Re-posting the above, with an addendum at end:
    Agree with all skua and bmaz wrote, but think it’s actually simpler than that—will, is all that was lacking. The OLC memo is not only not in the Constitution, it is not a law enacted by Congress, nor is it even regulation promulgated by proper notice and comment—it is insane to me that it has never been challenged, in short.
    Adding—and, thinking of IOKIYAR here—we are fooling ourselves if we don’t think this memo—because that’s all it is, a memo, penned by lawyers whose client (Skinny Nixon) was being pursued by honest investigators—will be promptly challenged, in court, once we have a president with a D after his name,

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Not being in the Constitution is the beginning, not the end, of an analysis. Federal regulations are not mentioned in the Constitution either, but try violating them. OLC opinions do not bind the legislative or judicial branches, but they do bind executive branch personnel.

      Regarding Mueller, he was arguably bound by that self-serving OLC opinion. But he could easily have explicitly said that he found clear and convincing evidence of obstruction, and that the only impediment to indicting Trump for it was that OLC opinion. It’s a singular circumstance, and it applies to no other work of the DoJ.

  11. tinao says:

    Hey watching c-span right nowfor the premy placement. Ya know as a nurse, when I would do intake of a patient because I’ve worked other nursing jobs, one of the questions I would ask is when your last covid test. Now I may not work for the VA, but if he did not answer the question, those results would be found out for public safety reasons. WTF walter reed!

  12. Diogenes says:

    The Founding Fathers would have rolled in their grave at the OLC memo. All it does is further motivate a bad actor to stay in the Oval Office by any means necessary.

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