32 thoughts on “By George, he’s got it!”

  1. here’s george’s op ed, some of which I don’t agree with and some (especially the very last line) I do:

    Very little was surprising about the conclusion of the special counsel’s investigation. For one thing, it wasn’t surprising that Robert S. Mueller III’s probe prompted great commotion — a federal investigation involving a sitting president is a momentous event, and concluding it, a historic moment. And most, but not all, of the details in the attorney general’s letter of “principal conclusions” were unsurprising as well.

     

    Let’s start with question of “collusion.” It was never precisely clear what that nonlegal concept meant. If it means what Mueller reasonably took it to mean — an “agreement,” “tacit or express,” with the Russians to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, or, in effect, a conspiracy with the Russians — then it was always virtually unimaginable that collusion, so defined, would ever be found. Russian agents didn’t need Americans to help them do what they were doing — hacking and posting disinformation. If anything, involving Americans, including some apparently blockish ones, could only have fouled up their plans. “Collusion” — or, rather, “no collusion” — was bound to become a straw man for President Trump and his supporters to knock down with glee.

    Yet that hardly means that the investigation (which, thanks to Paul Manafort’s largesse, actually turned a neat profit) was either a “witch hunt” or a waste of time. After all, it was a counterintelligence investigation as well as a criminal probe. A core objective — the overarching one, really — was to find out exactly what the Russians were doing. Another was to find out whether there were “links” between the Trump campaign and Russia’s activities. As matters turned out, and quite surprisingly, we now know from public sources that there were links aplenty. So who knows what we might learn on these subjects from Mueller’s still-unreleased report? As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday, “Russia’s ongoing efforts to interfere with our democracy are dangerous and disturbing.” He added that he would “welcome” the special counsel’s contributions toward understanding them.

    As for whether the president obstructed justice, that question was always dicey. No one should have been surprised that it raised, as Attorney General William P. Barr’s letter put it, quoting Mueller, “ ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.” On the law, Barr was probably not wrong to suggest, as he did as a private citizen, that there’s a difference under the statutes between a president destroying evidence or encouraging a witness to lie and a presidential directive saying, “Don’t waste your time investigating that.” But that doesn’t mean the latter can’t be an impeachable offense.

     

    On the facts, obstruction turns on what’s in a defendant’s mind — often a difficult thing to determine, and especially difficult with a mind as twisted as Trump’s. And complicating things even more, paradoxically, is the fact that some of Trump’s arguably obstructionist conduct took place in full public view — something that, with a normal person with normal moral inhibitions, would have indicated a lack of criminal intent. But in the head of Donald J. Trump, who knows?

    So it should have come as no surprise that the obstruction case was difficult, and inconclusive. But Barr’s letter revealed something unexpected about the obstruction issue: that Mueller said his “report does not conclude that the President committed a crime” but that “it also does not exonerate him.” The report does not exonerate the president? That’s a stunning thing for a prosecutor to say. Mueller didn’t have to say that. Indeed, making that very point, the president’s outside counsel, Rudolph W. Giuliani, called the statement a “cheap shot.”

    But Mueller isn’t prone to cheap shots; he plays by the rules, every step of the way. If his report doesn’t exonerate the president, there must be something pretty damning in it about him, even if it might not suffice to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. And in saying that the report “catalogu[ed] the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view,” Barr’s letter makes clear that the report also catalogues actions taken privately that shed light on possible obstruction, actions that the American people and Congress yet know nothing about.

     

    At the same time, and equally remarkably, Mueller, according to Barr, said he “ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment” regarding obstruction. Reading that statement together with the no-exoneration statement, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Mueller wrote his report to allow the American people and Congress to decide what to make of the facts. And that is what should — must — happen now.

     

    But whether the Mueller report ever sees the light of day, there is one charge that can be resolved now. Americans should expect far more from a president than merely that he not be provably a criminal. They should expect a president to comport himself in accordance with the high duties of his office. As all presidents must, Trump swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and to faithfully execute his office and the laws in accordance with the Constitution. That oath requires putting the national interests above his personal interests.

    Yet virtually from the moment he took office, in his response to the Russia investigation, Trump has done precisely the opposite: Relentlessly attacked an attorney general, Mueller, the Justice Department — including suggesting that his own deputy attorney general should go to jail. Lied, to the point that his own lawyers wouldn’t dare let him speak to Mueller, lest he commit a crime. Been more concerned about touting his supposedly historic election victory than confronting an attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power.

     

    If the charge were unfitness for office, the verdict would already be in: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

  2. pogo, thanks for alerting us last thread in such a colorful way [“Gawd dayum. Watching TDS. Truck Fump. Luck Faura. Suck Fean (good one), Tuck Fucker ( I really like that one)”] to this:

    Democrats demand to see Robert Mueller’s full report, while Trump and Fox News look to punish those who pushed the collusion narrative.

  3. At the very least, trump knew the Russians were trying to help him…  denied it… did nothing to stop them…  and is still denying and doing nothing to stop them from interfering with 2020.  It might not be a chargeable offense…  but the American people have a right to know this.

     

     

  4. Thank You trumpty dumpty for making healthcare and a repeal of Obamacare a center piece of your re-election campaign.  You got the upper hand for one day and then blew it the next day.  What a precious gift you are!

  5. My great hope regarding Mr Mueller’s report is that he has already surreptitiously furnished Ms Pelosi a copy which she can instantly compare with the product Barr gives her. If there are changes in the narrative, she will have the tools not only to emasculate Barr, but his boss as well. What a glorious occasion that will be.

  6. flatus, minor point but doesn’t one have to have certain equipment in order to be emasculated?  those organs seem to be missing when it comes to trumpsters (well, maybe not kellyanne and sarah).   🙂

  7. excerpt from charlotte observer story “In Charlotte speech, Comey bashes Trump, hopes for ‘transparency’ on Mueller report”

    […] 

    In a talk that centered on abstract concepts of leadership and the future of the American republic, Comey, who was appointed deputy attorney general by President George W. Bush, also drew plenty of laughs. He recounted the time that he he cracked his head on a door jamb in the White House situation room and spent a meeting with Bush trying to keep blood from running down his face, and admitted that at 6-foot-8-inches, he’s “kind of a freak show.”

     

     

    And Comey recounted one of his final meetings with President Barack Obama, when it was decided Comey would have to brief then incoming-President Trump on a dossier the FBI had obtained which alleged Trump was filmed with prostitutes urinating in Moscow.

     

    “President Obama does not say a word,” said Comey. “He raises and lowers both eyebrows, just once. In that moment, I heard, ‘You poor bastard.’

     

    “I found it comforting and warm and kind of hilarious,” said Comey. “I walked out feeling a lot better.”

     

    [continues]

  8. I just did my Fed and SC income taxes. I used Tax Slayer as I have the last half dozen years. Very straight forward for my non-complex situation. Total time on the input was less than an hour. Three times that long for finding things that I had put in places for safe keeping.

  9. Gotta think a man like Mueller knew the shit from shine-ola and is way out ahead of the clodhoppers

  10. I think ole George is a pretty bright fella.  I agree with most of what he wrote.  And I just hope Mueller is keeping his powder dry and will lock, load and fire in the political investigation now that the legal one has concluded.

    And Alexandra Petri has a bittersweet column at WaPo.

    Would anyone like to buy an “It’s Mueller Time” custom beer stein? It is glass with red lettering, and it has been used to drink at least one toast to the FBI, as an institution.

    Also available: a Mueller pin, a devotional candle with Mueller’s image on it, a shirt depicting him as an enormous shark that says “LAWS” on it in the font like “JAWS” (implying that he would rise from the sea and seize Donald Trump’s presidency and it would not be safe for that presidency in the water for a very long time), a set of matching Mueller acrylic earrings, another different Mueller devotional candle where he was dressed in a more formal robe, a “The Special Counsel’s Office DECLINED TO COMMENT” t-shirt, a plush item depicting Mueller as Superman, a third different Mueller devotional candle depicting him as a vengeful saint, a sweatshirt with “Mueller Is Coming” a la “Game of Thrones,” and a red hat with white lettering that reads “MUELLER KNOWS EVERYTHING.” I wore it once, but people who only saw me from a distance were confused and looked hostile, so I did not wear it again.
    * * *
    I just feel like, you know, I own too many things. And in retrospect, I should maybe not have gotten that upper-back tattoo of Robert Mueller’s face as a stained-glass window. But I think I can probably turn it into something. A shark maybe. Or the logo of the SDNY.

    I’ve got an “It’s Mueller Time pin if anyone needs it to complete their collection.

  11. brexit is propelled by two really bad ideas. The less erroneous of the two is that Britain can fill non-British needs better, more quickly, and more cheaply. The really bizarre and childish one, especially for a nation whose economy has been trade based for 300 years, is that Britain doesn’t need anyone else.

    At least trump’s wall won’t gut our economy.

  12. No special olympics support from the US gov — Betsy the moron needs her tax cut

  13. We know they don’t care what we say about them because they 1: Never see it. And 2:;would think it funny if they did see it

  14. Given the fact that I have a niece and nephew who both participated in Special Olympics, I was very interested to hear my sister’s take on the Betsy DeVos de-funding of Special Olympics. Of course, my sister is a conservative, but I thought this might hit close to home. She talked to a friend of hers today who was extremely confident that the private sector would make up for any cuts to the Special Olympics by the government. This friend of my sister’s also was supposed to meet with Betsy DeVos tonight. While many others that my sister is friends with were outraged by the funding cuts announcement, my sister seemed to agree with Betsy. Which surprised me. My question in this state of politics we are in is “If someone I hate does something that I don’t like, do I get out the torches and pitchforks? But, if someone I like does the same thing, do I look at it from their point of view and realize that they are probably right and move on?”

  15. Brexit was a bad idea – still is. I really don’t know what May’s role in the initial vote was but regardless, absent a redo she’s stuck with it. What’s a poor prime minister to do, choose between the devil and the deep blue sea?  Tough choice.

  16. Corey, when AmfuckingWay steps up and fully funds SO – AND DOES NOT TAKE A GODDAMN TAX DEDUCTION FOR IT – I may give DeVoss a pass of sorts. Until that happens, fuck her.

  17. Should be watching TDS but AXS has Clapton with Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II and JJ Cale (RIP) all on stage, all at one time. What’s a poor South’un boy who loves Blues to do? Watch AXS. (What a fucking stoopid question – rhetorical in fact). Gaw dayum. I think I’ve passed and ended up in heaven- the blues/rock version.

  18. a.Well, if’twere Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and Auburn Hare . . . . then, mebbe.

    b.I can’t believe all these unpluglikkklans believing that the ‘investigation is over.’

    They’re sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo stoooooooooooopido.

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