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Monday, 25 March 2019

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The people voted for Brexit, which was not supposed to happen, and the political elites were displeased. The people voted for Trump, which was not supposed to happen, and the political elites were displeased.

The elites have shown themselves. They are revealed.

You may enjoy reading this opinion piece by Kevin McCullough about three areas in which this might have an impact on the 2020 election.

Actually, 3 million more people voted for Clinton than Trump. He drew an inside straight in the electoral college to win. And:

'The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
— William P. Barr, letter to Lindsey Graham, Dianne Feinstein, Doug Collins, and Jerrold Nadler, 24 Mar. 2019'

Put the cork back in the Champagne for now.

The inside the Beltway coup continues, it is just handed off to Congress with the back handed blessing of Mueller. The corrupt media will continue on along with the Democrats, the Swamp and elements in the counter intelligence agencies. When Trump labeled these people "enemies", he was more right than he knew.

The righteous shall banish Donald J. Trump to the urine-soaked Roosky hotel room from whence his deviance has squirted. Hallelujah!

Demands will soon be made of AG Barr, the DOJ head newly appointed by Trump, to recuse himself now that House Dems are in charge. He won't. The Dems will howl 'cover up' and get ready for the corrupt MSM to carry that phony narrative the same as they carried all the phony narratives for the entire 2 years of this "collusion" fraud. I wouldn't be surprised if CNN, already slithering out from under the journalistic malpractice they engaged in, will be the first with this new line of attack. The whoring NY Times and WAPO will, without missing a beat, pivot as if they had committed no Yellow Journalism at all and go right on debasing their profession and proving the "enemy of the people" label.

Senator Graham is on the right track with the promise of exposing the actual 'collusion' among the preciously mentioned players that got this entire non-crime hoax rolling.

"Previously" mentioned

Bob,

'The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

There's an anecdote I heard in a lecture one time concerning circumstantial evidence goes like this 'ordinarily our caselaw is thought to totally exclude stuff unless there's eyewitness testimony but I give you an example, say everybody in town sleeps through the night waking to find the ground's covered in snow - nobody saw it snow but the fact remains, it snowed.'

Now Bob let's consider the opposite, 'a bank opened at its regular nine am in the morning, regular business proceeded throughout the day and nothing out of the ordinary happened. Can we then say the bank was robbed and Donald Trump obstructed the investigation of the crime?'

I suppose Bob we could say that but the fact remains there was no crime to obstruct - All the Demsters posing right up to the next election isn't gonna amount to a hill of beans.

Now where the SDNY is concerned that's a whole 'nother ball of wax I'd agree but, if "precedent" is observed as campaign finance crimes have been resolved in the past ... for example:

https://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/obama-2008-campaign-fined-375000-085784

Since Obama's '08 campaign was a billion dollar operation and the Porno-Payout was beans compared to that ...

Actually Whitewall I think I'd left the original.

JK,

As you yourself pointed out, the FBI investigation into Trump is a counterintelligence investigation. It probably won't charge a specific crime. Barr's summary didn't mention it, and the idea 2 years' worth of work could be summarized in 4 pages is silly on its face.

The political considerations are another matter. Mueller, Rosenstein, Comey and Barr are all Republicans. This has been a Republican investigation into a Republican president. Trump and the Republicans are going to tap dance as fast as they can to make it look like 'angry Democrats' and the 'liberal media' and 'crooked FBI' are behind it all, and that Trump is totally exonerated. The Cult of Trump will believe it, but they are a minority of voters, and it's unlikely to convince anyone else. In fact, it will probably energize Democrats and the Left.

It's hilarious that Trump has moved on from having a Twitter war with a dead man to bringing up investigating the FBI and HRC. They're golden oldies, but talk about desperation!

Bob,

I'm not at all convinced "Mueller, Rosenstein, Comey and Barr [being] all Republicans" is anything whatsoever to do with the animus the administrative state holds for Trump. Recall the Republican primary contenders contempt for the guy both before and after he handed their asses to 'em and then had the temerity to kick Hillary's ass too?

Matter of fact I myself am still mad with McCain too, its just that I don't tweet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjUvfZj-Fm0

Bob, just wondering if the Yanks ever get around to having progressive politics to benefit the people. It seems that when a President gets elected the mob go after him and forget about social issues. I understand that there are white communities in the USA that do not have basic necessities. As for McCain he was shot down while bombing civilians just like the Luftwaffe did over Britain. A hero I think not.

Bob,

You need to listen to at least the first fifteen minutes.

https://www.nationalreview.com/podcasts/the-mccarthy-report/episode-39-arrival/

"...that old physics law....". I believe that was Newton's third law of motion. Also known as the law of unintended consequences.

Back in the day, I worked and socialised with lots of Americans, military and civil. One of the things about them was that they respected their country, their flag, and their president. Even when they had elected a dork like Carter. Bob and his friends have done their best to destroy all that. And of course, they have never considered that what goes round, comes round.

JK & Glesga & backofanenvelope,

It's true that some of Trump's most ferocious critics are Republicans. In fact, maybe most of them. They're mostly party establishment types facing the real possibility of their party going the way of the Whigs. They put themselves on that track once they decided to base everything about themselves on shiny PR paid for by financially elite clients beginning in the 1980's. Their base eventually turning on them was predictable.

People can make up their own minds about John McCain. He carried out his missions in Vietnam. It's hard to deny he suffered and survived.

The people of the US do try to improve social conditions, but no one put it better than your Winston Churchill: "Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted." The US is generally very conservative. We don't want to do anything hasty and mess up a good thing. On top of that we are very diverse, and there are disagreements similar to those between you and the continent that are currently gumming up your works.

We still generally respect our country. That's why a lot of us aren't happy about having a ridiculous, big-mouthed, crude, self-indulgent, ignorant lunkhead representing us.

Bob,

"People can make up their own minds about John McCain."

https://duffandnonsense.typepad.com/duff_nonsense/2018/09/the-sunday-rumble-2918.html?cid=6a00d8341c5caf53ef022ad36814d6200c#comment-6a00d8341c5caf53ef022ad36814d6200c

&

https://duffandnonsense.typepad.com/duff_nonsense/2018/01/dont-mention-the-war.html?cid=6a00d8341c5caf53ef01b8d2d734a7970c#comment-6a00d8341c5caf53ef01b8d2d734a7970c

good grief.
Bob, methinks thou art a general offence, and every man should beat thee. More of your conversation would infect my brain.

JK,

I was answering Glesga's "As for McCain he was shot down while bombing civilians just like the Luftwaffe did over Britain. A hero I think not."

There was little glory to be had in Vietnam. The war was a huge mistake by the "best and the brightest", like McNamara, who apparently had no clue about the history of Vietnam or Vietnamese communism and made it a habit to lie to the American public.

Bob, just to be sure, I honor the guy's sacrifice right up to 1986 when he gained the federal public trough dining with the likes of Charles Keating.

JK,

Actually all that was kind of beside the point, which is that Trump had been carrying on a Twitter war with him 6 months after he died.

missred, I am so terribly sorry.

Bob,

"A war" you say?

Even figuratively you'd agree that's kind of a stretch?

But then I suppose you'll come back accusing me of obstructing the combatants ... which I suppose, in this context makes me treasonous as well. Probably guilty of a Logan Act provision or two too.

But then again I guess that's really all "the point" folks such as yourself need in our national conversation. Too bad Bob your hopes pinned on your variety of faith hasn't paid dividends so far:

https://boingboing.net/2018/12/10/robert-mueller-devotional-cand.html

Bob, I believe McCain was in Kiev during the earlier troubles in Ukraine promoting the overthrow of the elected president. Can any elected official in the world feel safe unless given US approval?

Jimmy,

Yeah McCain was in Kiev at the time (Bob probably wasn't in "a position" where he'd even been interested in such things) So too was Victoria Nuland up to her tits in Ukrainian electoral shenanigans - You may may not be aware too that that's where the first US public's inklings of the US government's email specifically (2010's Cablegate) and computers' security vulnerabilities were made obvious to anyone with half a brain - And yet the Obama administration made zero effort to make government communications systems less susceptible to adversarys' mischief which, as we've witnessed, led to the circus elephant shitpile the media, nonetheless, blames on Trump.

Glesga & JK,

I'm shocked, shocked!, that the US interferes with other countries' elections. It's not something that other countries should do here, either. Since I've never been in the military, I'm not qualified to comment on McCain's status as a hero.

The Mueller devotional candles made me laugh. Really.

The idea of "obstruction", of which the Mueller report suggested Mr. Trump was not "exonerated", is incoherent.

An American president cannot "obstruct justice" in a counterintelligence investigation, because such an investigation is not a judicial proceeding arising from a crime. It is, rather, an Executive Branch intelligence-gathering operation, whose only purpose is to provide information about foreign activity to the Chief Executive. It exists, and persists, only at his pleasure.

Obstruction of justice is only possible in the context of a criminal investigation, which this never was, as nobody ever identified any crime for which such an investigation would have been launched.

So Mr. Trump was "not exonerated" for a crime -- obstruction of justice -- that could not have been committed in the first place.

Meanwhile, a prosecutor's job is only to recommend charges, or not. For Mr. Mueller to say "not exonerated" in this context is therefore nothing but reprehensible political agitation.

Meanwhile, Andrew McCarthy points out: Mueller probably knew for a year or more that there was no "collusion" here. Why did he not make that clear much earlier? Why did he allow this enormously destructive media charade to continue for so long, when he could, and should, have put it to rest as soon as he could?

"Why did he allow this enormously destructive media charade to continue for so long, when he could, and should, have put it to rest as soon as he could?"

Good question, Malcolm, but at least the lynch mob can't claim that it was a rush job!

Malcolm Pollack,

Mueller was Director of the FBI, but his investigation as Special Counsel is separate from the FBI's. It originated in the DoJ, has prosecutorial authority, and has indicted 34 people and 3 corporations. 6 Trump associates have already pleaded guilty. The most notable is Paul Manafort, who was sentenced to jail for 7.5 years.

"Collusion" is not formally a crime. The actual charge would be "conspiracy" or something related. When Trump squawks "no collusion" it's just an attempt to redefine the investigation and distract the public.

Oh Bob,

"Mueller ... Special Counsel ... originated in the DoJ ..."

Doesn't Indiana have C-Span Bob?

Bob,

None of the indictments presented have had anything to do with conspiracy, or anything else relating to the Trump campaign.

The creation of independent special counsels is very rare, and requires a) that there be a specific crime to be investigated (i.e, the Watergate break-in), and b) that the DOJ cannot, for some reason (e.g., conflicts of interest), handle the matter by normal channels.

It is not uncommon for both counterintelligence and criminal investigations to spin off indictments, but if this was not a counterintelligence investigation, then there ought to have been some evidence right from the beginning that an actual, specific crime had occurred -- otherwise why commission a special prosecutor at all?

What, in your opinion, was the evidence that there had ever been any crime in the first place?

Furthermore: if special counsels are only required in extraordinary circumstances where a compromised DOJ cannot make prosecutorial decisions on its own, then what the hell was Mueller doing punting the call back to the DOJ with that wishy-washy "not exonerated" remark? Why have a special counsel at all, if that's going to be the result?

He wanted it both ways: after 22 months, countless subpoenas, $25 million dollars spent, and even some daybreak SWAT-team raids on the elderly, he had absolutely no basis for legal action on either collusion or obstruction -- but rather than retiring in dignified and professional silence, he still wanted to taint this presidency with something. But all he could manage, it seems, was a cheap and cattish innuendo.

Bob,

Just a wee bit more on the historicity of the SC's statutory provisions.

Following Watergate the Congress tweaked the legislation controlling.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_in_Government_Act

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/counsel/office/history.html

In 1999 when the then current authorization was set to expire, Congress tweaked the statutes again.

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2016-title28-vol2/pdf/CFR-2016-title28-vol2-part600.pdf

Its complicated Bob but, it's necessary to have a grasp on the controlling statute for the appointment of a SC post July 1999.

Your welcome. (Just a preemption Bob 'cause after you read all that I don't expect any "Why thank you JK.")

It's really not that complicated:

"When the special counsel was appointed by Rod Rosenstein in May 2017, the special counsel took over an existing counterintelligence investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into what proved to be Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and numerous secretive links between Trump associates and Russian officials.[42] According to reports, Australian officials informed American officials that in May 2016, a Trump presidential campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, told the Australian High Commissioner to Britain, Alexander Downer, that Russian officials were in possession of politically damaging information relating to Hillary Clinton, the rival presidential candidate to Trump. Since the FBI, in response to this information, opened an investigation into the links between Trump associates and Russian officials on July 31, 2016, the meeting between Papadopoulos and Downer is considered to be the 'spark' that led to the Mueller investigation."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Counsel_investigation_(2017%E2%80%932019)#Original_claim_of_Russian_election_involvement

Rosenstein is an assistant AG. He initiated the document because Jeff Sessions had recused himself.

You can nitpick that the FBI investigation just moved to DoJ and wasn't actually separate, but the origin is clear and has been since the beginning. Not that Trump supporters haven't tried to obscure it with allegations it began with the Steele dossier and so on.

Thank you anyway, JK.

Bob,

Just to be sure, at the point of an SC being handed a counterintelligence operation that counterintelligence operation becomes a criminal investigation - [US] criminal investigations must be predicated on a US LEA's established foundation of factual evidence.

"According to reports" doesn't, no matter the 'maverickyness' of the alleging Senator, no matter which Media Massage Parlor purporting, no matter the attractiveness of the masseuse, pass Constitutional muster.

Even though Bob you've not, as previously you did, begun a comment with "All I'll say" I'll take this opportunity to end;

You can have the last word Bob. Again.

JK,

We actually agree. Mueller's work was a continuation of an FBI investigation. However, in my non-lawyerly way of seeing things having the investigation under a new authority and with different means made it separate. I'll concede to your technical points.

There have also been hints that the NSA and CIA have their own investigations going. Any insight to that?

Dammit Bob.

Neither the NSA or CIA "do investigations" (at least the sort any court aside from a FISC can touch). Agencies spy - Bureaus investigate.

JK,

Thank you very much for your hair-splitting non-answer. Next you'll be telling me what the definition of "is" is.

Bob, that whole thing was a setup. Papadapoulos, a 29-year-old naif, was merely repeating, to FBI informant and Clinton playmate Alexander Downer, something that he'd only been fed just a few days earlier by the shady Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic with a murky web of connections, who has now disappeared. That "something" was merely that the Russians had some sort of dirt on the Clinton campaign (who, meanwhile, were busy ginning up that unverifiable Steele dossier -- which was, of course, simply a claim that the Russians had dirt on the Trump campaign). Some "crime".

Anyway, according to Mueller himself, the "collusion" case is over, gone: there was never anything there (which Mueller must have known for a long time now).

And the point stands: a special prosecutor's job is simply to recommend charges, if there are any, because for some unusual reason or other the Department of Justice can't take on the job in the normal way. That's it. If there are no charges to recommend, then the SP is supposed to follow Wittgenstein's dictum: "Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must be silent."

At the end of a 22-month, $25-million investigation that convulsed the nation, for Robert Mueller to say "not exonerated" -- which just kicks the can back to the DOJ, and is obviously calculated to leave a tantalizing lack of closure -- is dereliction.

Malcolm Pollack,

You can believe whatever you like. However, Mueller's investigation cost less than Iran-Contra, Whitewater, and Benghazi. Trump has been lying, cheating, stealing, and breaking the law all his life, which is well-documented. Don't be surprised if more shoes drop.

Bob,

Trump has been lying, cheating, stealing, and breaking the law all his life...

...in stark contrast to, say, Hillary Clinton and her husband, whose commitment to honesty, fidelity, transparency, and fair play are the stuff of legend.

Don't be surprised if more shoes drop.

Actually, I will be surprised, given that none have dropped so far.

Let me ask you this: if Robert Mueller, despite his unlimited resources, access, and vaunted mastery of the dark prosecutorial arts, was unable to find any dangling footwear, collusion- or obstruction-wise -- then what, if anything, would it take to convince you that there actually was no collusion or obstruction? Or is this simply a matter of faith with you, as it seems to be with so many others on your side of this great divide?

Is it just that hopes and beliefs so dearly held are simply too precious to abandon?

For you Bob,

https://iadolpholiverbush.com/2019/03/27/the-great-2010-internet-tradition-of-hitler-in-the-bunker-continues/

JK,

Ya know, according to the internets, if you have to bring up Hitler you lose. It's still funny, though.

Malcolm Pollack,

You're trying to change the subject without addressing Trump's history. You're also assuming Barr's four page summary is the last word.

Bob,

You're trying to change the subject...

Change the subject? How so? Is there more to say about the launching of the special prosecutor's inquiry? Let's review:

Either it was a counterintelligence operation, in which case its only purpose would have been to report to the president on foreign shenanigans, or it was launched to investigate some particular crime -- which would either have been a conspiracy to collude with the Russians to subvert the election, or a crime of obstruction of justice in the firing of James Comey.

No charges were recommended on any of these things. That should be the end of it. But no:

You're also assuming Barr's four page summary is the last word.

Regarding Mr. Barr's assertion that there were no charges recommended by Mr. Mueller: why yes, I do think his word is sufficient. Is it your opinion that Mueller actually did recommend charges in his report, and that Mr. Barr is lying about it? You seem to think so. That's quite a charge.

I think it far more likely that there was no collusion conspiracy, and no coherent theory of obstruction; that Mr. Mueller's report acknowledges this; and that Mr. Barr is not lying about what the report contains. (I've run all this by my friend Mr. Ockham, who has some expertise in this sort of thing, and he agrees.)

As you kindly said to me, though, you may believe whatever you like. It's a free country, for now at least.

Finally, what would you have liked me to "address" about Mr. Trump's "history"? That he is a boorish and ruthless businessman, vulgar and unlettered, with a poorly restrained libido and a penchant for juvenile braggodocio and rodomontade? That's all true, and all conspicuously on display throughout his long and tawdry career. So what?

Yeah Bob I see you're addressing Malcolm but,

"You're trying to change the subject without addressing Trump's history."

History huh? Trump's history you're suggesting we get back to?

Wasn't he a registered and campaign supporting Democrat for far longer than he's been a Republican? I mean I seem to be remembering his speaking at that Alfred Smith dinner a couple years back and mentioning something along those lines ... I suppose we could inquire of Malcolm as Malcolm's included that "conspicuously on display" bit?


JK,

What Malcolm is attempting is called "whataboutism". You are attempting the same. So what if Trump was a Democrat? Does that mean he's a Democrat now or that Democrats are responsible for him?

I was thinking more along the lines of, say, Trump University. In 2018 he lost a fraud suit and paid $25 million. During the same year he was forced to dissolve his foundation under threat of criminal referral. We could go back to his tax cheating, rent fraud, redlining and criminal connections in NY in the 1970's. And his father's before then.

You're calling shit on 'whataboutism' Bob?

That's rich.

But then at least you've illumined us with your surname.

Kettle. Bob Kettle.

Pleased to finally make your acquaintance Mr. Kettle. You can call me Mr. Pot.

By the way Mr. Kettle, there's a former Arkie fellow I met a time or two who, probably on account of his once being some kinda big dog in government got hisself a $4.1 million dollar annual salary serving with a little outfit by the name of Laureate International Universities - Anyway as I recall his name was Kettle too - you any kin?

Nope. Not black neither.

Clever Mr. Kettle but as he weren't neither, really, stands to reason.

Say hello to Ma'n Pa fer me.

Bob,

What Malcolm is attempting is called "whataboutism".

Seriously, sir? I'd expected better from you.

Yes, I did, briefly, engage in "whataboutism" (or, in snobbier terms, tu quoque), when I mentioned Hillary Clinton and her husband -- who, had things gone differently in 2016, would be the current occupants of the White House. Those two are easily Mr. Trump's equal by any possible measure of mendacity, unscrupulousness, venality, ruthlessness, vindictiveness, and bad character generally, and I'd thought that was worth keeping in mind. But I'll grant you that to charge me with a moment of "whataboutism" is a fair cop.

None of the rest of what I've said about the Mueller investigation, though, in this lengthening thread has had any whiff of "whataboutism" whatsoever. To drop all the rest of it to focus on that passing swipe at the Clintons is no sort of argument at all; it is just ducking and weaving.

It seems to me we are not likely to make further progress here: clearly we see all of this (and, I imagine, much more besides), in fundamentally incommensurable ways. (Our nation's disease, in microcosm.)

I suppose we'll just have to see how things play out. Thank you for your time.

Malcolm Pollack,

"Is it your opinion that Mueller actually did recommend charges in his report, and that Mr. Barr is lying about it? You seem to think so. That's quite a charge."

No. If I'd wanted to type something like that, I would have. Besides changing the subject, you're misrepresenting my statements. However, I agree we'll just have to see how things play out.

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