Spin, spin, spin

https://pilotonline.com/news/government/politics/nation/article_0098774c-61ed-11e9-9b93-17955ed4ecd3.html

No Collusion, nothing that crossed the line on obstruction, but you’d never know it from the the press.

27 thoughts on “Spin, spin, spin

  1. RE: “No Collusion, nothing that crossed the line on obstruction, but you’d never know it from the the press.”_

    I agree. CNN has been most interesting to watch. Their analysis has been focused largely on what the report doesn’t say says.

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  2. Plenty crossed the line on obstruction.

    “”If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.” Mueller Report

    That is pretty plain: no exoneration for obstruction.

    “If we were talking about Mr. Trump, not President Trump, we’d be talking about an indictment for obstruction of justice.” Jessica Levinson, law professor, Loyola Law School

    What is protecting Trump is the difficulty or even the legal possibility of indicting a sitting president. That and, of course, his personal AG, Barr.

    There is no question that Trump benefitted from Russian interference and hacking. It appears that willful cooperation with IRA has not been proven. Though gleeful excitement was obvious as the results of the email hack became damaging to Clinton. That is a bit disturbing that a candidate running for president would be excited about election assistance from Russia.

    There are still plenty of investigations ongoing, including by Southern District of NY and Trump’s appointed prosecutor. And Roger Stone.

    Interestingly, the Mueller report did exonerate the investigation of Carter Page. And many of the “fake news” accusations about what went on in the White House.

    Personally I think the Democrats should focus on their immigration reform and healthcare. Let the other investigations run their course.

    IMHO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You, and Mueller, are reversing the burden of proof. President Trump doesn’t have to prove he didn’t obstruct the investigation, the prosecutor has to prove he did.

      It is clear that Trump was furious, but not because he had to hide evidence of a crime, there was no crime to hide. He was irate and vocally so, because the investigation was being used to undermine his ability to govern.

      https://nypost.com/2019/04/18/mueller-completely-dropped-the-ball-with-obstruction-punt/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your spin is not in line with the report.

        Here is just one example:

        Vol. II, Page 5-6: In early 2018, the press reported that the president had directed McGahn to have the special counsel removed in June 2017 and that McGahn had threatened to resign rather than carry out the order. The president reacted to the news stories by directing White House officials to tell McGahn to dispute the story and to create a record stating he had not been ordered to have the special counsel removed. McGahn told those officials that the media reports were accurate in stating that the president had directed McGahn to have the special counsel removed. The president then met with McGahn in the Oval Office and again pressured him to deny the reports. In the same meeting, the president also asked McGahn why he had told the special counsel about the president’s effort to remove the special counsel and why McGahn took notes of his conversation with the president. McGahn refused to back away from what he remembered happening and perceived the president to be testing his mettle.

        So Trump is trying to change the story of having the official WhiteHouse lawyer fire Mueller.

        But obstruction is also partly dependent upon state of mind.

        Vol. II, Page 13: Ultimately, while we believed that we had the authority and legal justification to issue a grand jury subpoena to obtain the President’s testimony, we chose not to do so. We made that decision in view of the substantial delay that such an investigative step would likely produce at a late stage in our investigation. We also assessed that based on the significant body of evidence we had already obtained of the President’s actions and his public and private statements describing or explaining those actions, we had sufficient evidence to understand relevant events and to make certain assessments without the President’s testimony.

        For that he needed Trump’s testimony which would be fought in court for maybe years.

        Your saying that there was no crime to hide. But Trump tried to hide it anyway. Why on God’s good green earth would anyone do something so unnecessary and so stupid?

        The report specifically did not exonerate obstruction. Barr did.

        Mueller laid out the evidence, it would not have been his job to prosecute.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. _RE: “That is pretty plain: no exoneration for obstruction.”

      Don’t misread the quotation you cite. It doesn’t say Trump is “not innocent.”

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        1. RE: “Read it again. And the word ‘innocent’ is yours and not mine or Mueller’s.”

          I’m afraid the error is yours: It is illogical to infer any suggestion of guilt from the absence of exoneration.

          I wish you could appreciate how morally distressing the position you are defending really is.

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  3. Your viewpoint is noted.

    Perhaps because I find this president and the Republican Party since Newt Gingrich morally distressing-make that bankrupt- we will not see eye to eye.

    The Mueller Report gives me a modicum of comfort in its description of an inept president that can’t damage our nation too badly, though his efforts in that pursuit are noteworthy. Fortunately for Trump, his early associates had moral and legal acumen and kept him from obviously unlawful actions.

    We both know that no matter what the findings by the Special Counsel, Trump supporters would never relinquish faith in their chosen Messiah. Figuratively for some, but literally for many. Parsing the words in the report and looking for “I told you so” evidence will undoubtedly occupy the.blogs, media, and, unfortunately, both political parties for longer than necessary.

    Mueller noted that obstruction hinged on intent and without an interview with the president he could not make a determination as to whether his actions were from frustration or malice. To me that is akin to excusing a robber because he wanted to feed the homeless versus buying himself a big screen TV.

    I suppose that is morally distressing also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Mueller noted that obstruction hinged on intent and without an interview with the president he could not make a determination as to whether his actions were from frustration or malice.”

      Not exactly. He said that his team understood the relevant events well enough that they didn’t need to prolong the inquiry needlessly by insisting on an interview. This should tell you that Mueller already knew the answer to the question of Trump’s intent.

      Proving and documenting the answer would have only weakened the obstruction allegation. Saying they didn’t need to prove and document it accomplishes the same thing, without having to go the extra mile.

      In other words, “not guilty” means “not guilty.”

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  4. Point well taken.

    From the days of his dad cheating on taxes and bailing out his son over and over, to screwing vendors and investors, to payoffs for sex and fraud, to using celebrity status to sexually assault women, to using illegal immigrant labor at his own clubs and list goes on, the man is slippery as bacon grease on a tile floor.

    To his fans, this is obviously not only an asset but seemingly a virtue for president. And perhaps that is what America is all about.

    If he gets peace in the Middle East, Kim to ditch his nukes, China to drop all its barriers, affordable healthcare for all as promised, great roads, 3-5% growth as promised and cut the deficit/debt as also promised, then I suppose slipperiness might be a virtue.

    “America. The land of whatever you can get away with.”

    Cynical and sad? Sure, but questioning success no matter how achieved has never been the America way.

    That will be the legacy of this regime.

    IMHO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a core principle of Western Civilization in common law and an explicit principle of America’s founding. Why do you mock it?

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      1. I am not mocking that at all. And it has nothing to do with the report.

        Mueller’s job was to investigate and gather facts. Not to determine guilt or innocence.

        He did not find clear evidence on conspiracy with Russia. He said so.

        Obstruction or lack of it was not clear. He also said so. With no ambiguity.

        Then he turned the report over to the DOJ to let them handle it. A trial in a court or in Congress would, if it came to that, determine guilt or innocence. Or Barr could just decline to prosecute based on his interpretation. Then it is up to the House if they decide the evidence is strong enough to support obstruction and impeachment. Either way, Mueller was not the judge or jury.

        Why are you denying what the report said?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “Mueller’s job was to investigate and gather facts. Not to determine guilt or innocence.”

          False. Mueller’s job was to investigate and make prosecutorial judgements based on his findings.

          Prosecutorial judgement consists of answering the question: Can guilt be proved, or not?

          Mueller determined that he couldn’t prove guilt on either allegation.

          The idea that Mueller was engaged only in a fact-finding mission is just plain wrong.

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  5. The DOJ and Congress are the only ones that decide whether to prosecute or impeach.

    Mueller presented all his facts to the DOJ first for disposition.

    He determined that there was not enough evidence for conspiracy with Russia. That we agree on.

    He also determined that the evidence on obstruction did not allow him to say whether there was or wasn’t.

    That we don’t agree on. And I don’t see the conflict. That is what Mueller clearly stated.

    He did not say that because he couldn’t determine if there was or wasn’t obstruction that Trump was innocent. He never said that at all.

    Or to put it another way using your line of thinking:

    Not enough evidence to prosecute for conspiracy.

    Can’t determine about obstruction. So he withheld judgement on that issue. As he wrote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Where does the presumption of innocence apply in your reasoning? Do you really believe it is morally acceptable to presume the president is not innocent when the prosecutor has made no charge, there has been no trial, and there is no conviction?

      The choice is straightforward. Either you support the presumption of innocence, or you don’t. You can’t avoid the choice by saying the question isn’t answered to your satisfaction at this time.

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  6. Are we in a court trial now? If so, then the president is innocent until prove guilty by a judge, a jury or the Senate in the case of impeachment.

    “The incidents were often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the President sought to use his official power outside of usual channels. These actions ranged from efforts to remove the Special Counsel and to reverse the effect of the Attorney General’s recusal; to the attempted use of official power to limit the scope of the investigation; to direct and indirect contacts with witnesses with the potential to influence their testimony. Viewing the acts collectively can help to illuminate their significance.” Mueller Report

    Pretty damning statement.

    “With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice. …

    “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”

    So the obstruction charge is strong enough for Congress to bring charges.

    The Report is hardly a vindication of presidential misconduct. Even in the conspiracy portion, Trump’s and his associates’ behavior was at best despicable and at worst un-American.

    His base is doing a victory dance because they would even if Trump shot someone on Fifth Avenue.

    But a reading of the report is a close second to that. It won’t lose him his supporters (maybe a few). Yet it sure casts a nasty stain on his presidency which, according to Mueller, would not be there but for Putin’s help. The part of offering up Ukraine as booty through Manafort was very shady indeed.

    Meanwhile, about healthcare, infrastructure, immigration, debt…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t get huffy.

        This is a blog for civil discussion and that means you can debate my points, challenge my facts and argue yours.

        But you can’t tell me my place or what I can say about the topic.

        Good, I am glad we agree.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Who’s getting huffy? It is literally not your place to assume the role of judge and jury with respect to the topic at hand. You seem to think that your opinions here deserve to be taken seriously, but since you show little appreciation for the rule of law or the presumption of innocence, you actually deserve to be called out for behaving irresponsibly.

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          1. Are you telling me to take a hike? Because you disagree with me.

            Stuff it. I’m gone from this charade. You and Don can diddle each other from now on.

            And please don’t hurt yourself when you fall off that high horse.

            Sorry Don, but Roberts has succeeded in creating a bubble for both of you.

            Appreciate your effort.

            Adios.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. The Mueller Report does expose some serious and successful tampering with an election.

    Mueller knew there had been no collusion PRIOR TO the 2018 Congressional election, but held that information back to help the Democrats take the House.

    And remember that the Inspector General’s report is coming soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are either making that up or have a cite.

    No one outside of the Mueller team knew anything. Plus being the ethical Republican with an impeccable reputation he would have held back so as not to influence the election either way.

    Face it, the spin by Barr and company is trying to hide the damning information about the Trump presidency.

    It did a tap dance with the Russians, but no kissy face. Probably due more to luck rather than any ethical considerations.

    Obstruction was left for others, like Congress as Mueller wrote, to decide. He did not give Trump a pass on that by any means.

    I say bring on the IG report. If crimes were committed we need to know no matter who you support.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Strzok wrote: “You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern that there’s no big there there.”

    That’s it?

    Well, shoot. That settles it. A year and a half before the election Mueller sat on that just get the Democrats the House.

    A gut sense, too.

    Trump would be proud.

    Nice try, but not much substance. Headline was impressive, however.

    Fake news for real this time.

    IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

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