James Comey Fired

Vash01

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I'd argue that none of that is actually what Mueller said.

Mueller left the question of obstruction open and Barr said there's no obstruction. But Barr thinks a President can't obstruct anyway, so that seems to have been a foregone conclusion.

Barr's letter said that the probe "did not establish" that Trump or members of his campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia. Does that mean that it didn't happen or simply that Mueller found nothing that proved that it happened? What it definitely does not do is answer why so many Trump people met with Russians and why they all lied about it.
There are a couple of links in my post 2,585 that address how difficult it is to prove intelligence cases and that most of the time what happens is not illegal.
I believe that is why Democrats are arguing so fiercely to see the full report.


Mueller also concluded that Trump didn't commit a crime but stated that it does not exonerate him.
Some opinions on that https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/24/trump-mueller-legal-226111


Here's what I found to be an interesting op-ed by someone arguing (back in 2017) that a Special Prosecutor was the wrong choice https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/a-special-prosecutor-is-not-the-answer/526662/


A few opinions/thoughts (among them, Barr used 4 quotes and they all were partial quotes, the rest were his interpretations).
https://twitter.com/AriMelber/status/1109910714288873472

https://twitter.com/waltshaub/status/1109906361524068352

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/03/mueller-report-leaves-one-key-question-unanswered/585625/


Mueller apparently considered subpoenaing Trump and deliberated with DOJ officials about it https://twitter.com/PamelaBrownCNN/status/1109941918056792064


I'm kinda feeling like we know as much as we did before Mueller investigated. I still have the same questions. (And there are still a dozen investigations into Trump, so, I'd say he's not in the clear by any means.)
It does not really matter what Mueller said. We will the see the filtered and manipulated version by Barr. That’s what he did in the letter today. How many people will read or listen to the actual report by Mueller? They will see the Barr version and shrug. I have already seen Trump bragging at least 10 times this evening alone. Mueller’s words will be drowned out.
 
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aftershocks

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I have been watching msnbc most of the day, with a little CNN mixed in. Although they are trying to analyze the situation, it does not being me comfort.
I recognize that Mueller has been restricted by the parameters of what he was narrowly appointed to investigate. That's the reason why Mueller forwarded to other jurisdictions criminal malfeasance that he uncovered which he properly deemed to be tangentially connected to the investigation, but otherwise has little direct bearing on what he was appointed to pursue. Mueller's hands were tied anyway, because he never had the power to indict a sitting president. He could only lay out his findings and make recommendations, unfortunately to Trump's appointed justice department minions. The view of Mueller as savior and white knight was always erroneous, and we were warned of that reality plenty of times.

Unfortunately, tv pundits continue to follow Trump's lead in overfocusing on 'no collusion,' when Mueller was not specifically charged with discovering whether there was collusion, since legal authorities have continually said that activity is not specifically considered a crime. Barr never mentions the word 'collusion' in his letter. He only mentions no 'establishment' by Mueller of Trump and staff having 'conspired or coordinated,' despite contact between Russian operatives and members of the Trump campaign, with offers of assistance. Still, we do not know Mueller's complete wording and exact findings until we are able to see his report, which apparently will involve a battle. Mueller was assigned to ferret out concrete evidence of obstruction of justice, Russian interference, and conspiratorial activity. There appears to exist lots of damning circumstantial evidence, but apparently there's not enough of a smoking gun to mount a full-blown legal case for obstruction of justice. Plus, we must wait to hopefully read Mueller's actual findings in his own words!

Barr crafted a lot of convoluted legalese surrounding the aspect of motivation and intent, which is also difficult to prove in a court of law without hard evidence. We know that Trump, Giuliani, Conway, Sanders, and crew are masters of obsfucation, distraction, distortion, lying through their teeth and spinning false narratives. And they've been getting away with it since forever. It's also significant to note that Barr came to the conclusion that Trump did not 'obstruct justice,' since Mueller only laid out the facts and "did not draw a conclusion -- one way or the other -- ..." But we already know what Barr feels about presidential 'obstruction of justice,' so Barr's determination is not a surprise.

The networks, including CNN, seem to be trying to chart a safe and neutral course in what they are saying, leaning too much on the side of declaring this as some kind of 'victory for Trump.' And Anderson Cooper even went so far as to suggest no finding of collusion is 'a good thing for the country.' That was never the point, and it was not the focus of the investigation either. Trump defiling and tainting the office of U.S. presidency will never be a good thing. And portraying the Mueller report (which they haven't even seen yet) in black-and-white terms of victory for Trump Repubs and defeat for Democrats is imbecilic. But that's what living under Trump rule does to otherwise intelligent people: renders many of us gobsmacked, bamboozled, confused, speechless, witless and stupefied. Only a few pundits with legal backgrounds have been able to stay on point and carefully offer some clarity and intelligent insights.

ETA:
Nothing is over yet for Trump and family, since there are ongoing investigations in other jurisdictions, chiefly involving financial and business-related wrongdoing. However, Trump's armor-like status as president, combined with his combativeness may end up protecting him from harsh indictments and prison time even should he be eventually kicked out or voted out of office. Hopefully, mild judgement or Trump's complete avoidance of culpability will not be the outcome. Unfortunately, too many people in authority don't appear to have the balls or the stomach to deal with Trump head-on. We shall see what ultimately transpires.
 
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Vash01

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I recognize that Mueller has been restricted by the parameters of what he was narrowly appointed to investigate. That's the reason why Mueller forwarded to other jurisdictions criminal malfeasance that he uncovered which he properly deemed to be tangentially connected to the investigation, but otherwise has little direct bearing on what he was appointed to pursue. Mueller's hands were tied anyway, because he never had the power to indict a sitting president. He could only lay out his findings and make recommendations, unfortunately to Trump's appointed justice department minions. The view of Mueller as savior and white knight was always erroneous, and we were warned of that reality plenty of times.

Unfortunately, tv pundits continue to follow Trump's lead in overfocusing on Barr's mention of 'no collusion,' when Mueller was not specifically charged with discovering whether there was collusion, since legal authorities have continually said that activity is not necessarily a crime. It is concrete evidence of obstruction of justice and conspiratorial behavior that Mueller was assigned to ferret out. There appears to exist lots of damning circumstantial evidence, but apparently it doesn't provide enough of a smoking gun legally to mount a full-blown case for obstruction of justice. Plus, we must wait to hopefully read Mueller's actual findings in his own words! Barr crafted a lot of convoluted legalese surrounding the aspect of motivation and intent, which is also hard to prove in a court of law without hard evidence. We know that Trump, Giuliani, Conway and crew are masters of obsfucation, distraction, distortion, lying through their teeth and spinning false narratives. And they've been getting away with it since forever.

The networks, including CNN, seem to be trying to chart a safe and neutral course in what they are saying, leaning too much on the side of declaring this as some kind of 'victory for Trump.' And Anderson Cooper even went so far as to suggest no finding of collusion is 'a good thing for the country.' That was never the point, and it was not the focus of the investigation either. Trump defiling and tainting the office of U.S. presidency will never be a good thing. And portraying the Mueller report (which they haven't even seen) in black and white terms of victory for Trump Repubs and defeat for Democrats is imbecilic. But that's what living under Trump rule does to otherwise intelligent people: renders many of us gobsmacked, bamboozled, confused, speechless, witless and stupefied. Only a few pundits with legal backgrounds have been able to stay on point and carefully offer some clarity and intelligent insights.
When Anderson declared victory for Trump, the interviewee strongly disagreed and explained why Anderson was wrong in drawing that conclusion.

Others were treating it as a political battle for the democrats, but no one was very confident in predicting victory for the Dems or the truth.
 

aftershocks

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When Anderson declared victory for Trump, the interviewee strongly disagreed and explained why Anderson was wrong in drawing that conclusion.
You mean some of the panelists disagreed. The guests were from a cross-spectrum of backgrounds and political affiliations, over the two hours of Anderson's nightly coverage. News shows repeated and rehashed a lot of stuff too to fill air time, trying to sound important and knowledgeable, because they don't have much of anything to go on anyway. And as usual, they kept showing clips of Trump's pompous, angry gloating. We exist in a celebrity president reality tv show world. At some level, the entertainment political news shows can't get enough of Trump circus, which they actually helped to enable during the 2016 campaign trail.


https://twitter.com/AnandWrites/status/1109251193161822209

https://twitter.com/kashanacauley/status/1109252413897220096

https://twitter.com/BeschlossDC/status/1109080042171232256
 
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Susan1

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Without reading all of the articles and comments that say we still don't know anything, from the back of my non-political, non-legal mind, random questions: why did all of these people lie for 22 months if there was nothing to lie about; why did so many people "cooperate" if there wasn't anything to cooperate about (interview me for 8 hours and I'll just keep saying trump is innocent); how can you prove a negative (what evidence pointed to NO obstruction?)
 

Reuven

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Mr. Barr was nominated by Trump and approved by the Republican-run Senate to protect Trump. Barr is doing that. Right now, everyone is basing what the Mueller report says by what the four page Barr letter says it says, which is worthless. (See opening sentence above) We and Congress need to see the full report and it’s underlying documentation. Full stop.
 

Vagabond

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Mueller may not be done yet:

Supreme Court won’t hear appeal from company resisting Mueller subpoena

The entity that is the subject of the cloaked legal battle — known in court papers simply as a “Corporation” from “Country A” — is a foreign financial institution that was issued a subpoena by a grand jury hearing evidence in the special counsel investigation.

Mueller turned in his report to Attorney General William Barr last week, and it is unclear if he or other prosecutors will pursue the information his subpoena sought. The grand jury remains empaneled.
Does the name of the corporation rhyme with Schmeutche Schmank? :unsure:
 

ballettmaus

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Mueller may not be done yet:
He probably passed that on to someone else. He passed on the Andrew Miller thing to the DC US Attorney.


Does the name of the corporation rhyme with Schmeutche Schmank? :unsure:
I believe the twitter-verse has ruled that out based on the length of the redaction. Deutsche Bank is also cooperating with NY and Congress so why would they continue to fight a subpoena?



Russia is already gearing up for 2020 https://www.thedailybeast.com/mueller-report-has-moscow-in-ecstasy-opening-the-way-for-more-putin-plots?source=twitter&via=Desktop


A source close to Mueller said that they believe Mueller was laying out a case for Congress. If Mueller is as smart as everyone claims he is, shouldn't he have known that this was going to happen? Or is he so blind in his patriotism that he did not believe it would happen? https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumpworld-gloats-about-mueller-the-fat-lady-has-sung
 

Vash01

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Putin must be so happy! Trump didn’t get caught despite Russia’s successful efforts to get him elected as POTUS. Now 2020 would be piece of cake. No matter what Trump and Putin do, they will never get caught. The Russian interference in our democracy will continue.
 
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ballettmaus

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It does not really matter what Mueller said. We will the see the filtered and manipulated version by Barr. That’s what he did in the letter today. How many people will read or listen to the actual report by Mueller? They will see the Barr version and shrug. I have already seen Trump bragging at least 10 times this evening alone. Mueller’s words will be drowned out.
Yes, we will but that's why it's important to remember that. Until we see more than four partial quotes (or 64 words, as someone on twitter kindly determined) of the Mueller report, we can't forget that we don't know yet what's in the Mueller report and that all that we have seen so far are Barr's conclusions. One of them was a foregone conclusion - obstruction - and the other was a longshot to begin with because Mueller was looking on the criminal side of things, not the counterintelligence side.

Mueller also didn't say that there was no collusion. He said that Trump and Co didn't conspire or coordinate and they weren't involved in an underlying crime regarding Russian interference. "Conspire" and "coordinate" are the crimes, collusion does not have to be a crime. It's possible that Trump and Co didn't collude but so far, we only know for sure that they didn't conspire and/or coordinate.


Putin must be so happy! Trump didn’t get caught despite Russia’s successful efforts to get him elected as POTUS. Now 2020 would be piece of cake. No matter what what Trump and Putin do, they will never get caught. The Russian interference in our democracy will continue.
I'm hoping that the IC is a bit more vigilant, at least. :shuffle:
 

Vagabond

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aftershocks

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It's possible that Trump and Co didn't collude but so far, we only know for sure that they didn't conspire and/or coordinate.
The confusion is that collusion is defined as,"secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially in order to cheat or deceive others." But that's the layman definition.

The legal definition of collusion slightly differs. Per Black's Law Dictionary, collusion is "a deceitful agreement or compact between two or more persons, for the one party to bring an action against the other for some evil purpose, as to defraud a third party..." OTOH, conspiracy under the law is described as "a combination or confederacy between two or more persons formed for the purposes of committing, by their joint efforts, some unlawful or criminal act..." So, as it pertains to the law, collusion can exist without criminal conspiracy. But criminal conspiracy can not exist without some sort of collusion.

And I got that explanation from this article:
https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a56338/trump-collusion-conspiracy/

It's a shame that news outlets have never (AFAIK) accurately explained this baffling distinction.

So my understanding is that people are not jailed for colluding unless they have been convicted of participating in a criminal conspiracy.
 

Vash01

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The confusion is that collusion is defined as,"secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially in order to cheat or deceive others." But that's the layman definition.

The legal definition of collusion slightly differs. Per Black's Law Dictionary, collusion is "a deceitful agreement or compact between two or more persons, for the one party to bring an action against the other for some evil purpose, as to defraud a third party..." OTOH, conspiracy under the law is described as "a combination or confederacy between two or more persons formed for the purposes of committing, by their joint efforts, some unlawful or criminal act..." So, as it pertains to the law, collusion can exist without criminal conspiracy. But criminal conspiracy can not exist without some sort of collusion.

And I got that explanation from this article:
https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a56338/trump-collusion-conspiracy/

It's a shame that news outlets have never (AFAIK) accurately explained this baffling distinction.

So my understanding is that people are not jailed for colluding unless they have been convicted of participating in a criminal conspiracy.
I have seen msnbc analysts explaining (more than once in the first 24 hours) that -

Collusion is not a crime. It is not a legal term.
Conspiracy is a crime but based on Barr’s letter, Mueller could not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt (legal definition) that Trump’s campaign had conspired with Russia in the 2016 elections. However, he did find that Russia had interfered in our election in 2016.

We still don’t know what Mueller found. Nobody has seen even one complete sentence in his report, according to Lawrence O’Donnell last night.

From Barr’s letter- about obstruction-Mueller wrote that Trump did not commit a crime but he is not exonerated either. The actual report could explain this much better. I am thinking that it may list the wrong doings, but apparently conspiracy with Russia is off the table, for now.

Rachel Maddow listed 15 questions but most of them could be answered by one question/answer-

What is in the Mueller report? (Not the cliff notes version published by Barr to get favorable headlines for Trump).
 
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ballettmaus

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Mueller's Grand Jury is still active https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/27/mueller-grand-jury-1238861



Op-Ed from January on counterintelligence investigtions and that the methods are not designed to investigate a President https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/01/13/fbi-cant-neutralize-security-threat-if-president-is-threat/?utm_term=.2069f88f21d2



More on counterintelligence and that that is what we're currently missing https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/03/barrs-summary-omits-key-aspect-muellers-report/585703/

Frank Figliuzzi, a former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, said he “never envisioned” that Mueller would bring a conspiracy charge—and that focusing on the absence of criminal indictments for conspiracy is unproductive. “If all we do is apply criminal standards to investigative findings, we are missing the point,” Figliuzzi told me. He noted that the vast majority of counterintelligence cases never result in criminal prosecution.
I think the last sentence explain why Carter Page wasn't indicted. I've been wondering about that for quite some time.
 

Susan1

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off topic ... "Frank Figliuzzi, a former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, "
I just copied that since I couldn't quote from inside the quote, but that reminded me the first time I saw him with the background behind him, I said that looks like the mountains in Tucson. And it was! I haven't been there since the 80's. All the mountains ranges were so distinctive, after a couple days I said you could drop me in the middle of town and spin me around and I could tell you which were which, and which direction to go to my relatives' house out in the desert.

edited - I changed my picture for awhile (had to take a picture of a picture, I can't hold it straight and hit the button!)- view from my relatives' front door, Rincon mountains in the background.
 
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Vash01

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Democrats are such wimps! They frustrate me. They can’t agree on whether to subpoena Mueller. They Have to, otherwise the truth will never come out. They are willing to question Barr but how can they trust Barr to tell the truth, given his history? Their internal fights are weakening them. Why can’t they be tough and get all the information using whatever means?

Comey was interviewed on NBC. He said he was very surprised by what has been published by Barr. He said- imagine if Obama had made a deal with Iran in exchange for dirt on his opponent, and said the FBI should not investigate it, wouldn’t it be called obstruction?

I am not sympathetic toward Comey because he cost Hillary the election, but what he says makes sense.

Nearly all experts on msnbc agree that Barr went out of his way to publish the 4 page report. There is no way he could have read it in two days. It is substantial (700 pages). In the past Starr had published all the material after the Clinton investigation.

Now he is telling the democrats to wait for weeks to see the report. He may consult with the WH what parts can be made public. They may use executive privilege.

We are truly doomed and so is the hard work of Mueller and his team.
 

Susan1

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Nearly all experts on msnbc agree that Barr went out of his way to publish the 4 page report. There is no way he could have read it in two days. It is substantial (700 pages).
Somebody somewhere (you know me) yesterday said he stopped reading when he got to the parts that trump wouldn't like.
And they are calling it a book report on a book he didn't read.
 

Vash01

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Trump is going after Adam Schiff, asking him to resign as committee chair. He called him a liar (what a joke!). If Schiff is forced to resign, he should run for the office of POTUS. I will vote for him.

Because of Barr’s letter Trump feels empowered and even more vindictive than usual.

He is even interfering with the Smollett case, trying to pressure the justice department.

He is going to rally his base in Michigan this evening, claiming that he has Won, and he and some republicans even calling the Mueller investigation illegal. He even used the word Treasonous.

How much worse is this going to get? I may have to stop watching TV.

We must fight this. Just can’t put up with this madness. Democrats Must win the 2020 election for the WH. They have to set aside their differences and unite against this enemy of the country.

What democrats can do is use their numbers. Register more and GOTV. No choice. Everyone must do that.

Unfortunately I am not going to the meeting of the party tonight in central Phoenix. Got too much on my plate. Could go to future meetings though.
 

Vash01

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It is not surprising that Barr is hiding the report from the public and the Congress, in an effort to protect Trump.

Can Barr be impeached? We cannot afford to have the highest post in the justice department held by a partisan political person.
 

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