Barr's Letter on Mueller Report: Donnie Can't Read

We knew Donald Trump wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but who knew he can't even read?

Trump claimed today Mueller's report on the Special Counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and obstruction of justice exonerates him. Attorney General Barr's four page letter contains this direct quote from Mueller's report: (link fixed)

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

Either Donnie can't read, or he didn't have the attention span to make it to page three of a four page letter. Take your pick.

[For those of you too young to remember the song, it's "Johnny Can't Read" which was released in 1982.]

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    I'll Go With Option #3 (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 09:53:04 AM EST
    Either Donnie can't read, or he didn't have the attention span to make it to page three of a four page letter. Take your pick.
    Or option #3, Donald Trump is a GD liar who knows exactly what is in the report.

    The Tr*mp campaign in my view is not exonerated (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 11:00:07 AM EST
    of collusion by this report. You are "exonerated" when you are found to be actually innocent, or when evidence used to convict you is later discovered to be invalid. You are not "exonerated" by a well-founded investigation that turns up insufficient evidence to convict you. The Mueller investigation was not of "collusion," let's remember, but rather of "Russian interference, or attempts to interfere, in the 2016 election." Which the investigators found, and indeed which they found was interference designed and intended to benefit the Tr*mp candidacy. They might or might not have found, in the course of the illegal-interference investigation, that the Tr*mp campaign conspired or colluded with the Russians in that effort. To be "exonerated" of collusion, it seems to me, the evidence would have to show, at the least, that the Tr*mp campaign actively rejected or rebuffed, rather than (perhaps passively) welcomed and embraced the efforts of a hostile foreign power to assist them. Or better yet that the campaign sought law enforcement assistance to thwart the illegal activity of which they were repeatedly made aware, even though it was designed to help them.

    Peter I expected better from you (1.67 / 3) (#15)
    by ragebot on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 11:06:21 AM EST
    Courts don't find peeps innocent, they only find them guilty or not guilty.

    In Trump's case he was not charged.  This does not mean he was guilty, not guilty, or innocent.

    It means Mueller did not feel he could prove in court Trump was guilty of anything.


    You are not responding to what I actually wrote (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 11:32:31 AM EST
    I said nothing about any court finding or anything else you said. I simply explained what "exonerated" means, and why I believe that Tr*mp is mistaken (if not lying) not only when he says he was "exonerated" of obstruction (which is literally the opposite of what Barr wrote) but also when he or his supporters say the report "exonerates" the Tr*mp campaign of collusion.

    Peter G. is an experienced trial attorney ... (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 01:50:33 PM EST
    ... of many years who has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, whereas you are -- who, exactly? He knows what he's talking about. Please stop now, before you embarrass yourself any further.

    Thanks, Donald, but for the record (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 02:26:35 PM EST
    I am an appellate attorney, not a trial attorney. And I have argued only one case before the Supreme Court. I was lead counsel for three cases (all in the mid-'90s), but agreed that my co-counsel would argue, for various reasons, on two of them. I do regularly file several briefs in the Supreme Court every year, however.  

    That's still one more SCOTUS case ... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 03:46:14 PM EST
    Peter G: "And I have argued only one case before the Supreme Court."

    ... than most of the rest of us have argued -- or ever will argue, for that matter. That makes you our resident expert on appellate law, particularly when compared to ragebat.



    By my count (5.00 / 6) (#56)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 07:34:09 PM EST
    We are three years, eight investigations and 11 hours of sworn testimony on live TV short of the standard for "exoneration" set by the GOP House in Hillary Clinton's case, which never turned up so much as a parking ticket.

    Surely we owe Mr. Trump the same courtesy in clearing his name that the GOP gave her.

    The 21st hearing about Benghazi... (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Jack E Lope on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 12:29:28 PM EST
    ...ignored that the previous 20 Congressional hearings about Benghazi had not produced anything indictable.

    I do take some joy in the stress that those who are both racist and Drumpf supporters are experiencing, now that Jesse Smollett is using Drumpf's re-definition of "exonerated".  

    (Venn Diagram not included)


    Hope (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 04, 2019 at 10:16:50 AM EST
    Jeralyn is well, just busy.

    Probably an (none / 0) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 05:42:13 AM EST
    interaction between Trump's attention span and his ability to read.   But neither Barr nor Mueller exhibit such disability.  

    Barr has done what he was hired to do---make the Republican crimes go away and shore up the party to live another day, a task he did so well thirty years ago for Daddy Bush.  Barr's job interview memo put it out there in full sight.  He is what he is.  No crimes but no exoneration.  Whatever that infers.  Sounds like what Comey did when presenting the results of the infamous email investigation--and, of course, Trump and supporters will unabashedly display the chutzpah of such unfairness.

    As a reader of my comments, I have held back canonization of Mueller. Unfortunately, I may have been right in so doing. True, Mueller has referred matters to other offices, but his punting to Barr who then determined "not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment"  was,itself, a bad decision. Conventional wisdom has applauded Mueller for his tight lips so as not to sink ships. But, Mueller acted as if he was the captain of the Titanic. He should have given progress reports and explained public and Court documents.  Now we have Barr doing that and Nadler and others trying to pick up the pieces and looking like acts of harassment.  In the same vein, impeachment is now reallly off the table, even though that process is a political one using different criteria.

    Yes, we may yet have our suspicions validated that Trump is a crook, but the threat to democracy is all things Russian---and, too, what was the result of that counter-intelligence investigation that Trump is a Russian agent? As of today, this is a big win for Trump.  If Barr has distorted or misrepresented the report of the Special Counsel,  Mueller should speak out right away, and not need a subpoena.

    Not all is lost, however.  While it does not pass the smell test, it may insure electoral victory.

    it may insure electoral victory? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jmacWA on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 07:54:16 AM EST
    Let's hope so, but the GOP spin machine is running at 10000 RPM, so we will need to hope that at least some of the Media will speak plainly... not like this:

    1. Washington post: Mueller finds no conspiracy, attorney general says

    2. NYTimes: A Cloud Over Trump's Presidency Is Lifted

    These above the fold headlines do nothing but promote the line the GOP is trying to spin (IMHO)


    The (none / 0) (#62)
    by FlJoe on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 06:13:24 AM EST
    heads on CNN keep repeating "no collusion" on the air like a mantra, literally 4 or 5 times a minute at their peak last night. Misusing the word and misconstruing what Barr's scrap of paper actually said.

    After the years of confirmed reporting(much of it their own)on the shady dealings and the constant lies they instantly buy into the spin, despite having only seen the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Despite having every fkng reason in the world to be skeptical....enemy of the people indeed.


    The coverage on MSNBC (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 08:15:27 AM EST
    Has mostly been good.

    I (none / 0) (#81)
    by FlJoe on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 04:19:18 PM EST
    have been watching MSNBC a bit more, but even they throw around the C word way too much.

    Anytime anyone says something about tRump being cleared of collusion, that is fake news, full stop.

    It is literally impossible for Mueller to make a finding on something that does not exist in the law, and all these talking heads know it.

    It is really driving me crazy, the media chooses tRump's nonsensical talking point, rather than reasoned analysis.


    I (none / 0) (#5)
    by FlJoe on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 08:40:18 AM EST
    see it as a low bar high bar problem. Mueller set/had set for himself a very high bar, very understandable.

    tRump has set/had set for himself a very low bar, don't get indicted, which was almost a given because of DOJ policy.

    Reading between the lines of Barr's "press release" it's apparent that Mueller was tightly focused on the two main ops being run by the Russian government, the hacking and the bot-farm. Nobody ever thought that the trump camp was directly involved in the hacking and while there was plenty of speculation about coordination with the troll farm, the evidence was always sketchy.

    As to obstruction charges, it's obvious that Mueller had plenty of evidence that it occurred, possibly enough to charge anybody else except the president. Again because of those pesky guidelines Mueller was forced to punt allowing Barr to summarily declare no obstruction after very little deliberation (after showing his cards months ago on his bias).



    Let's get the full (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 07:31:26 AM EST
    report and all the evidence publicly released. Then we can all make our own conclusions.

    Reality check time (none / 0) (#13)
    by ragebot on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 11:01:30 AM EST
    One more time for those who cut class the day they taught law school.

    By most accounts 80%+ of the Mueller investigation was grand jury stuff which can not be released by law.  Not to mention sources and methods redactions.  While not all of executive privilege claims are legit some are and all would require court approval.

    Barr also has authority to withhold stuff for other reasons (not saying this might not be abused, but some of his redactions may be legit).

    Bottom line is there are good legal reasons a lot of the stuff will never be released.


    "Reality check" - heh (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 09:10:13 PM EST
    By most accounts 80%+ of the Mueller investigation was grand jury stuff which can not be released by law.

    A "reality"consisting of a completely fictitious "fact" that you just made up.  

    "Making $hit up 101" isn't actually a class in law school.


    Oh you must've just come (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 10:57:25 PM EST
    in late that day, unlike ragebot.

    Right-wingers (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 03:29:51 AM EST
    are not original thinkers.  Their profound thoughts and all information comes from FOX or someone like Rush.  Just like their leader, Individual One.

    Dude (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 11:24:00 AM EST
    I know you want to hide what is in the report. All you're doing is making the case that Barr is covering up for Trump. Release the report. We have a right to know what Russia was doing. You can always count on conservatives to spout the Kremlin line for sure.

    In principle, (none / 0) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 11:10:11 AM EST
    transparency makes all the sense in the world.  A normal world.   We might get some more of the report, redacted for national security.  You know,  need to protect sources and methods unless you are using Jared's phone.  

    I think we need to quit while we are behind.  This Mueller Report was not on the level.  It was to protect the Republicans, not the republic.  Sorry Mueller fans.  Manafort and Papadopoulos types were expedibles.  Soldiers in the cause.

    I doubt if there is a smoking gun lurking between the pages.  Besides Barr seems to believe that crimes done in public view weaken a case.  Keeping the Mueller Report locked up in Barr's filing cabinet opens them up to a cover-up.  Specific refutations will have to rely on Barr's little letter. And, releasing the report later will be to late.


    There may (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 11:26:48 AM EST
    not be a smoking gun but even Barr says that the Kremlin offered help to Trump. He says Trump neither accepted or declined said help. There are a lot of things Barr has not mentioned like the Trump Tower meeting the Trump campaign had with a Russian intelligence officer. I keep getting back to the question why did they lie about meeting with Russian intelligence? I mean Trump even lied about building a Trump Tower in Russia and offering Putin the executive suite. So many questions with no answers. We need a search for answers.

    I wonder if there are (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 08:38:07 AM EST
    Any plans to apologize to Muller and his team for the months and years of sliming and lying attacks about them being "compromised angry democrats"

    Nah.  I really don't.

    what you smoking? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 09:20:16 AM EST
    Not. Going. To. Happen.

    Even Barr (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 09:24:43 AM EST
    had to admit that Putin wanted Trump to be president and that Putin aided and abetted Trump. Barr's line seems to be that Trump more or less was a useful idiot for Putin. Is the GOP proud of that fact? It would seem they are.

    He (none / 0) (#9)
    by FlJoe on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 10:36:33 AM EST
    also admits that there were  "multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist
    the Trump campaign." Barr seems to infer that those offers were not accepted yet the public record (including Junior's own words) indicate that those offers were never directly refused either.

    Again reading between the lines it seems at the very least that the campaign was aware of what Russia was up to and never tried to put a stop to it, much less try to notify the proper authorities about it.

    I think the Democrats need to drill down hard on this point.


    Pretty sure (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 10:39:09 AM EST
    They will.  Ms Lindsey not withstanding.

    Yes, exactly (none / 0) (#14)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 11:02:40 AM EST
    Problem for Trump detractors is (none / 0) (#11)
    by ragebot on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 10:55:48 AM EST
    the 'look at the shiny new object' can only be played for so long.  For way too long the theme was the Mueller report would bring down Trump.

    What ever one thinks of the Barr letter it was a win for Trump in terms of no legal problems.  By starting multiple investigations the dems run the risk of being viewed as 'the boy who cried wolf'.

    Facing the issue of the short attention span most folks have nowadays selling a shiny new object after the last one turned out to be a bust is a hard row to hoe.

    As Lt. Caffey said in "A Few Good Men" it doesn't matter what believe, it only matters what you can prove in court'.

    You apparently (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 11:33:45 AM EST
    have forgotten that Trump already has one pending indictment in SDNY for felony campaign violations. And he has been charged with charity fraud. So maybe you would like to forget about all that there's still a lot hanging out there with regards to Trump coming from SDNY and the NY AG that could drop any day now.

    I don't know how not cleared is a "win" for Trump but you'll apologize for him all day long. You know you can repeat a lie over and over but it doesn't make it into a fact.


    Speaking of shiny new things (none / 0) (#21)
    by ragebot on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 01:35:53 PM EST
    This is the same (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 02:19:15 PM EST
    thing Trump has been charged with from SDNY. This is what his friend David Pecker was doing for him. Dude, they are real charges against Trump despite the fact that you cannot handle the facts.

    PS I could care less about Avenatti.


    I now tend to think that Avenatti (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 03:20:48 PM EST
    will not be running for President .... (Seriously, I am very skeptical of the charges brought against him in NY. But the charges in LA sound credible and both worrisome and disappointing.)

    WSJ is reporting (none / 0) (#39)
    by ragebot on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:30:01 PM EST
    CNN Legal Analyst Mark Geragos Is Avenatti Co-Conspirator

    I have no idea what is happening in 2DNY but this is shaping up to be a heavy weight fight.


    I remember that song and a few others (none / 0) (#23)
    by McBain on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 02:19:10 PM EST
    from Don Henley's debut solo album...I Can't Stand Still. Dirty Laundry is my favorite track.  From Jeralyn's link...
    Henley was an obvious choice for hot rotation, since MTV saw themselves as having a Rock format and was desperate for established American acts (videos had been popular in Europe for a while, which is where most of their content came from). Logistics may have been a problem, since MTV was in New York and Henley was based in Los Angeles, but it still seems odd that he couldn't get more time than A Flock Of Seagulls or Haircut 100. Henley didn't even make a video for "Dirty Laundry"; his MTV breakthrough came in 1984 with this clip for "The Boys of Summer."

    I never really liked The Boys of Summer.  I preferred All She Wants To Do is Dance from Henley's second album.

    As for Trump, he's just doing what he does best... trolling his critics and firing up his base.  

    That Boys of Summer... (none / 0) (#28)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 03:26:34 PM EST
    ...was my, and many others, jam.  Adolescent summers captured in that song.  I never knew anyone could not like/love that song.

    Post Mueller (none / 0) (#57)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 07:51:59 PM EST
    will be interesting.

    Much less drama.  Trump will hate it.

    He will have less to fire up his base.  

    I think Trump may get boring.


    More likely, (none / 0) (#63)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 08:13:05 AM EST
    in my view, is more drama and more inciting his base.  He is already pretty cocky---there will be his calls to lock up his political enemies starting with Democratic legislators and unfriendly media figures.  HuckabeeS has warned that those who said Trump was a Russian agent may be guilty of treason.  And, she reminded all, treason brings the death penalty.

    Media figures, similarly, seem to be put on notice.  That Coast Guard Officer who planned on killing Chris Hayes, Don Lemon and others, is a horrible example of the possible effect of Trump's words.  And, "just words" gives him deniability--who me?  No need to rid him of nettlesome reporters using the methods of the bone saw prince.  But, threats to lock opponents up is enough, at present, to satisfy the base in keeping with the Fifth Avenue effect.


    Just heard an interesting point made (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 03:11:28 PM EST
    Not sure I agree but interesting.

    Michael Schmidt says democrats are in a better position to force the release of the report because Mueller left the decision about obstruction to Barr.

    If Mueller, he says, had said he did not have the evidence to charge obstruction it would have carried more weight and left fewer open questions than leaving the decision to Barr who has famously prejudged the obstruction question.

    He left these question about what happened and why the democrats would be able to use to pry open the report.

    Frank Figuliz, who worked with Mueller,i then says he also thinks Muellers decision to not make a decision inexplicably.

    They both seem to think there is some multidimensional chess going on we do not yet see.

    They both suggest what Mueller really wanted was the release of the report and this might be how he makes sure it happens.


    I Really Hope Democrats... (none / 0) (#29)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 03:35:46 PM EST
    ...can move past this fairly quickly.  But comments like the above have me believing they will never get past it and will be wonder WFT just happened, again, come Nov 2020.

    D's need to focus on winning in a year and a half and stop giving a damn about Trump.  This was their chance and it came up short, time to move along.


    Yes yes (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 03:37:48 PM EST
    Nothing to see here.

    I went to a Kamala Harris (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:08:34 PM EST
    rally yesterday. She mentioned it one time and all she said was the full report needs to be released. She talked about 25 other things in her campaign speech. All the other people speaking reiterated the same message that you must vote in 2020.

    I saw an interview with Amy Klobuchar and she said basically the same thing.

    We can walk and chew gum at the same time. The investigations are going to be left up to the house who also can pass legislation while investigating Trump's crimes. The candidates can talk about issues. It seems like a well thought out three pronged strategy to me with everybody playing their part. We need answers to fix the problems. We can't just go blissfully on our way hoping Putin does not mess around with the 2020 presidential election. Facebook is still full of Russian propaganda.


    Aside from the republican talking point (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:20:56 PM EST
    About his w we all just need to "move on"

    I love the part about WTF happened.  Since we actually know thanks to Muller for one that what happened is Russia interceded in the election to help Trump.  Who, by the way, won.

    So why on EARTH would we care about any of this going into another election.

    We are so silly.


    Oh (none / 0) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:26:13 PM EST
    Who won by 70,000 votes spread over three states and lost the popular vote by 3,000,000.

    May I offer an edit on your post, Howdy? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:30:42 PM EST
    "Who, by the way, won" by a hair. In other words, any little thing -- like just enough impact from the Russian effort -- could have made the difference.

    Beat ya (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:35:14 PM EST
    And for the record (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:50:41 PM EST
    I am the one who has been saying for months, long before Nancy publicly agreed, to much consternation and gnashing of teeth locally, that investigations and impeachment was not the way to rid ourselves of Trump but we have to beat him in an election.

    While also saying it is the primary job of the house to dig up are reveal every filthy thing in Trump world

    Both things are possible.


    Always With the Shameless Self Promotion (none / 0) (#68)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 10:18:21 AM EST
    In this instance, circumstances have changed, mainly the report everyone expected to show that the Donald Trump worked with the Russian government to influence a US election, came up short.

    While I will get roasted for this, if people could step back and look at the situation without D colored lenses, they would realize this is a good thing.  The country is better off not having a President that worked with a foreign government to win an election.  Yes, I know the difference between not being able to prove and not doing it.

    I get it, we want Trump out, but the one thing we thought he did, there isn't enough evidence to convict/impeach, so it's time to move on and work on winning in 2020.  

    You were promoting impeachment wasn't the way before you knew the results of the investigation.  I was promoting holding anyone that broke the law, responsible for their actions.  The report was the deciding factor for me.


    Barr even (none / 0) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 02:39:39 PM EST
    had to admit that the Russians were helping Trump more or less saying that he was a useful idiot. Is that something that we should be okay with?

    Are We Locking up Useful Idiots... (none / 0) (#85)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 09:45:43 AM EST
    ...or firing them in 2019, what exactly are we doing, cause there are a lot of them ?

    What report? (none / 0) (#80)
    by vicndabx on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 03:51:44 PM EST
    A lot of time (none / 0) (#65)
    by CST on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 08:29:40 AM EST
    Between now and November 2020.

    You really don't think it's worth letting  the American people see the evidence?

    This isn't a campaign issue yet, it's still a public policy one, especially if it all shakes out in the next month or so.

    Seriously the report just came out,  no dems have seen it yet, and you already want everyone to move on?  Give it a bit more time.  There's plenty of time between now and November 2020 to talk about everything else.


    Yes, Please Use the 2016 Startegy... (none / 0) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 09:49:19 AM EST
    ...because we know how well it works.  Going after his behavior & character is definitely the way to beat Donald Trump.  

    I guess close counts with darts, hand grenades, and presidential elections, who knew, I think most people would prefer a win, but hey TL folks make a great point;  we almost won.  Which seems to lead to another infallible conclusion; we almost won, therefore we will win next time because... and I am guessing, Trump is badder human being than he was 4 years ago ?

    "We can walk and chew gum at the same time", yes because impeaching a sitting president & running for the same office is no less difficult than walking or chewing or both.  How I wish D's could come up with a talking point that is actually effective.

    Moving on clarification; I mean stop calling for these grandiose gestures demanding to see the report.  Can we just get the report without making a public spectacle of it, review it, and have a single press release ?  And for the love of god, reel everyone in because what they wanted didn't happen, and clinging to scraps isn't doing to do anyone any favors.  

    Democrats offering a united front and having the ability to cope with and/or understand when the jaws of defeat just snatched the victory out from them would be a great 2020 campaign strategy.

    Obviously CST, most of these comments are not in response to yours.


    I think the Democrats (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 10:19:07 AM EST
    ... should use the 2008-2016 GOP strategy, which was to investigate investigate investigate. Keep everyone reminded that the Trump team is under "investigation."  A good place to start would be the four soldiers killed in Niger, who are just as dead as the people killed in BENGHAZEEEE!

    Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton has not been convicted of so much as an overdue library book, while the Trump team has been convicted of multiple felonies, all that "investigation" convinced enough morons that she was "crooked" to swing the election.

    How did you feel about chants of "Lock her up!" about a woman who has never been tried or convicted of anything?


    Not sure (none / 0) (#70)
    by ragebot on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 10:56:39 AM EST
    Niger is a place you wanna go.  There have been a large number of Christians killed by para military Islam fighters.  Certainly the killings number in the hundreds this year and probably in the thousands; something the MSM has under reported in some folks' eyes.

    Putting a bigger spot light on the area and fighting going on there may be decent journalism but also may lead to more military involvement by the US.


    It seems likely (none / 0) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 11:05:07 AM EST
    The senate will reopen investigations into Hillary.

    Ms Lindsey seems obsessed and he heads a powerful committee.

    The next two years are going to make the last two seem like the good ole days.


    The battle for health care resumes (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 12:22:13 PM EST
    It's not 2016 or 2020 (none / 0) (#67)
    by CST on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 10:04:11 AM EST
    This isn't about a campaign strategy it's about accountability.  I thought you were still mad Obama let Bush off the hook and now you want to brush everything under the rug?

    IMO,  walking and chewing gum is about doing the business of government while running for president.    One of those business things for the Dem house is oversight.  That's one reason why people elected Democrats to the house.  Candidates can and should try to stay out of it right now,  and for the most part they are.


    Interesting (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:17:15 PM EST
    thought for sure. Barr's summary is not going to cut it for most people. If he refuses to release the report he's going to make Trump look guilty.

    Only 87% of voters (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:21:56 PM EST
    Want the report made public.  

    Barr is not going to do this willingly. (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:27:28 PM EST
    There will be a fight.  

    Julia Ainsley and others (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:34:28 PM EST
    Are saying Barr did not want this decision.  That they learned a few weeks ago Mueller was not going to make a decision on  obstruction and we're not very happy about it.

    McConnel just blocked the senate from approving the unanimously passed House resolution about releasing the report.  Republicans have decided they do not want it released.

    "Burn the report" is trending in right wing social media.


    Yes (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 05:11:55 PM EST
    so the rumors that the report is really bad for Trump must be true. Barr is attempting to hide it along with McConnell.

    To your other comment Holder was on TV saying that he never got a referral without charging recommendations. So maybe it was intentional to make it so that the public gets to see the entire document. If he could only prove obstruction and recommended charging Trump with obstruction we would never see the rest of the info about the Russians helping Trump.


    I saw that (none / 0) (#45)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 05:30:54 PM EST
    Barr is not really inspiring confidence in the legal community is he.

    Letter just released from six committee chairs (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 05:35:54 PM EST
    Demanding the release of the full report by April 2

    Here we go.


    No he's (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 06:11:59 PM EST
    not and frankly why in the heck is he putting himself on the line for Trump? He could be charged with obstruction along with Rosenstein if the report does not back up what they are saying. Maybe they are depending on McConnell to cover for them. When 87% of the country wants the report to be released this has snowballed past anything the GOP can control at this point.

    I don't think Barr would do something (none / 0) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 06:18:22 PM EST
    He could be "charged" for.  Way to smart.  That said no doubt he would do anything he could get away with.  Which sadly being AG is a lot.

    The fight will be interesting.  I think I agree he doesn't especially want to be Trumps "Roy Cohn"


    Well, not that (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 06:31:35 PM EST
    he had much of a reputation in the first place but what little is left could be destroyed. Frankly working for Trump has become a career ending endeavor for so many people it's probably the end for him anyway.

    While hard (none / 0) (#60)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 03:23:05 AM EST
    for Mueller fans to fathom, I believe the answer to be a much simpler one.  But, it is nice to see old friends being old friends.

    Intelligence breifing (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 04:19:33 PM EST
    from the FBI in 30 to 60 days to the gang of 8 whether Trump is influenced by Russia link

    Wow (none / 0) (#47)
    by ragebot on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 05:56:58 PM EST
    I am shocked so many peeps here are under the delusion that grand jury stuff, sources and methods stuff, executive privilege stuff, and stuff Barr has the authority to legitimately redact can be released willy nilly.

    There are suppose to be some well versed lawyers that hang out here.  Maybe Peter G or Jeralyn could weigh in on what it would take to release grand jury stuff and how common it is.  Same for sources and methods stuff, what it takes to release that.  Also how long it would take the courts to resolve any executive privilege claims Trump would make.  There is also the issue of not releasing information about people who were investigated and found to be completely in the clear; policy is to not smear their names.

    I get it that a lot of dems are still looking for something on Trump and are not happy that Mueller did not provide it.  But that does not mean it is time to ignore established law and throw caution to the wind.  It is going to take time for DOJ to go through the entire Mueller investigation and figure out what can, and what can not, be released.

    This has been a big win for Trump.  Sorting through things and looking for small tid bits to make Trump look bad makes peeps who do it look vindictive.  Maybe something may come of it, but not any time soon.  Speculating about what coulda, woulda, shoulda, happen may be fun but it seems like a waste of time to me.

    Bottom line is even a 1YL would agree grand jury stuff, sources and methods, legit executive privilege claims, and Barr's legit redacting will greatly limit what can be released; time to realize that and move on.

    There is plenty to release (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 06:05:08 PM EST
    Beyond GJ documents.  But on that subject here is a helpful link about released Grand Jury documents

    Not sure that is up the standards of a (none / 0) (#55)
    by ragebot on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 06:57:27 PM EST

    Yeah well (none / 0) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 11:41:16 AM EST
    The lawyers seem to be ignored no you

    Pfft (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 11:43:11 AM EST

    I'm what you get


    And btw (none / 0) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 06:08:17 PM EST
    Releasing it to the public and releasing it to congress is two different things.

    The republicans demanded and got thousands of documents about the FISA investigation.  


    Well, you Republicans (none / 0) (#51)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 06:13:56 PM EST
    set the rules up that everything can be released. You are going to have to live by your own rules now whether you like it or not. Too late to change now.  

    Dude (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2019 at 06:18:12 PM EST
    I'm glad to see you are proud that Putin helped Trump. The GOP has even embraced Putin more since this report came out. We now know that Trump is Putin's guy and Putin's candidate definitely. We don't know whether he is a Russian asset or not yet though. The counterintelligence investigation is going to tell us about that.

    If 87% of Americans want the report released and only Republicans want to hide the report then not many people would call that a "win" What it looks like is there are some very bad things in the report that the GOP does not want out there. You can say it is a win for Trump over and over and but that does not make it true. It's only a win in the since that so far he has not been indicted or impeached. That's a pretty low bar for something to be considered a "win".


    VVV (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 11:27:35 AM EST
    This is the White House strategy.


    Andrea Mitchell Greenspan is totally onboard.


    I refuse to link to it but you really should read the David (Bo Bo) Brooks column on the non release of the Mueller report.

    We've All Just Made Fools of Ourselves -- Again

    Heh... (none / 0) (#77)
    by jmacWA on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 03:04:59 PM EST
    Saw the VVV and all I could think of was

    Veni Vidi Vici

    Which when you think of it is something I am sure Trump will take credit for saying sometime in the near future


    kinda goes with (none / 0) (#78)
    by leap on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 03:07:56 PM EST
    Too bad (none / 0) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 26, 2019 at 03:12:28 PM EST
    they didn't do that much self examination over their 2016 election coverage.

    ... as the unfortunate victim of a wayward federal investigation, rather than the willing beneficiary of a Russian cyberattack upon our country's electoral and social media infrastructure. They certainly deserve points for chutzpah.

    And in that regard, God bless the House GOP's resident Crusader Rabbit, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who rose to the occasion today to make Trump's case by quoting Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.



    Very interesting (none / 0) (#83)
    by martin75 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 06:27:06 AM EST
    from the FBI in 30 to 60 days to the gang of 8 whether Trump is influenced by Russia

    Yes (none / 0) (#84)
    by FlJoe on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 09:12:21 AM EST
    and unlike the Mueller report, it is my understanding that there is very little constraints on what they can divulge. None of those pesky DOJ guidelines.

    Seems to me (none / 0) (#86)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 11:04:21 AM EST
    This borderline inexplicable lurch to a healthcare crisis is not out of the blue.

    Maybe it's this, maybe it's the actual details of Muellers report maybe both but he seems desperate to make us "look over here"


    Jusse (none / 0) (#87)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 11:14:53 AM EST
    Made to order.

    I (none / 0) (#88)
    by FlJoe on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 11:17:30 AM EST
    don't think it's any kind of tactical thinking. I ascribe it to his insanity.

    tRump perceives the failure to repeal the ACA as a personal defeat (arguably his biggest one yet), now that he has his perceived victory over Mueller he feels emboldened to seek revenge despite it making no political sense.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#89)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 11:33:34 AM EST
    But I begin to think Trumps insanity could be a distraction.  

    If you want to essentially discredit and dismantle democratic representative government what better way than to put the most stupid and incompetent people you can possibly find in every post of importance.

    This is happening.  Why, TBD.  But there is no doubt it's being done.

    Beyond Wilbur, Betsy, Ben, Ryan and Rick look no further than his choice to sit on the fed.  Stephen Moore

    I think it's suicidally dangerous to dismiss Trum and what he is doing as the pointless flailing it appears to be.

    Maybe it is.

    I do not think so.


    Appointing people (none / 0) (#90)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 11:40:59 AM EST
    Who have a stated goal of destroying or dismantling the agencies they are appointed to.  EPA, the Fed, the Department of Education .... I could go on.

    I Remember the Same Arguments... (none / 0) (#92)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 01:19:46 PM EST
    ...during GWB.  And that F'er started a damn war.  I remember his cabinet was a who's who of dipsh1ts and political hacks.  I remember all the AG's getting fired at it was the end of the damn world because Bush was stacking those positions with political hacks.  I remember people being indicted around him was setting records.  I remember them straight up refusing to go before Congress about the war/Plame. I remember then basically making torture legal, and doing it in Cuba.  I just remember the world feeling like it was going to S like it is now and we were able to recover pretty quickly from those dark days.

    What scares me is I don't see anyone that I feel like appeals to a very broad audience on the D side.  I know it's early, but this week just really has me down about the future, namely years 2-5.  Trump is riding a wave that feels like will roll over any of his bad deeds right into another win. Right now it feels like out only hope is that Trump actually manages to dismantle ACA.  And that isn't really good news.


    Well (none / 0) (#93)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 03:18:01 PM EST
    You never heard that from me about Ws administration.

    IMO there is a vast amount of difference between an administration with which I disagree about everything on their agenda and one that does not appear to have an agenda beyond f'ing up every possible thing beyond recoginition or retrieval.

    IMO if you see any comparison between that administration and this one you don't get it.  The Bush administration was a bunch of run of the mill institutional hacks doing exactly what they have always done in the modern age.  To the Trump administration they are the deep state.  To me they look like f'ing statesmen.  And I, and trust me the world, would sigh a sigh of great relief to go back to standard governmental incompetence and grift.

    At least that felt like we could come back from it.  At least the western world did not hate and fear us.  When they were not laughing their asses off.  And yeah I remember the Iraq war was not popular.  

    As far as the current democratic field, first I disagree completely.  I think we have the best crop of candidates in my lifetime.  Possible with the exception of Obama.

    There is plenty of time  and as you point out Trump is making there job easy.

    As long as there is an election.


    That said (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 03:42:03 PM EST
    I'm happy to agree that every republican and republican administration since at least Reagan made Trump possible.

    With their attacks on education to keep people stupid and superstitious.  With their enabling the worst impulses of the crazy religious right.  

    Trump is not a cause.  He is a symptom.  He is a result.  If there is any upside in the whole shi+show it's that they have destroyed themselves.

    Provided we survive Trump and get through 2020 without Marshall law the Republican Party will be a minority party for at least a generation.  


    True, But that is a Reflection of the Party (none / 0) (#97)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 10:11:25 AM EST
    I think we have the best crop of candidates in my lifetime.  Possible with the exception of Obama.

    I would add Bill Clinton to that list, and ahead of Obama.  But lets review who the competition is, HRC, John Kerry, Al Gore, and Michael Dukakis.  That is my voting life time, just guessing at yours, but will add Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter, George McGovern. and maybe Hubert Humphrey.

    Good to so/so candidates, but for the most part, not people that appealed outside of the party, obviously.

    Oddly, I can't remember if I voted in 1988.


    I was a massive supporter (none / 0) (#98)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 10:52:03 AM EST
    Of Bubba.  And his wife.  And yes, he was a very very good candidate.  But he was a disastrous president.  In just about every way.  Yes there was peace and prosperity but how much more could there have been if he had not given his enemies a club to beat him with.  And for what?

    I think there are multiple people this year who could not only be good candidates but good presidents.


    Yes, and (none / 0) (#95)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 04:40:07 PM EST
    the realization of that Trump's Wig Party going the way of the Whigs brought panic to the party elders---should they call a meeting or call a cab.  Upon due consideration and consultation with Never Trumpers, a meeting was held in the drawing room of Bohemian Grove.  It was unanimously agreed to tap good old Bill Barr, once again. By resolution, Barr was asked to do to the Russian/Trump election scandal as he had done to the Party's existential threat from Iran Contra.

    Barr , dependently and reliably satanic, signed up.  But, there was a problem this time around---he was not the Attorney General.   One of the boys put down his cigar and said, "Bill, this is easier than getting that inheritance tax through by selling it as a middle-class tax cut". "You write an audition memo telling Trump everything he wants to hear, we get someone over at Fox to read it to him, and-- your AG Barr, dear friend of Mueller.

    I love it (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Mar 27, 2019 at 04:43:45 PM EST
    When you are cynical

    So, Mueller's report is over 300 pages long. (none / 0) (#99)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 04:08:12 PM EST
    LINK. Given Attorney General Barr's cursory summary of that report, all the more reason to believe his findings are suspect, and to demand to see the report itself.

    I (5.00 / 3) (#101)
    by FlJoe on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 04:56:10 PM EST
    wish I was surprised how Bill "The President is above the law" Barr fooled most of the media with his joke of a summary.

    Note: that above the law sht only applies to repubs,of course.

    BTW: Schiff was great today

    I say this to the President, and his defenders in Congress:

    You may think it's okay how Trump and his associates interacted with Russians during the campaign.

    I don't.

    I think it's immoral. I think it's unethical. I think it's unpatriotic. And yes, I think it's corrupt.

    Schiff (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 05:50:55 PM EST
    was nothing short of awesome when he went after the GOP. Maybe they think colluding with Russia while not a crime is just fine and dandy. They sure seem to be running the Putin playbook.

    The sooner (none / 0) (#104)
    by KeysDan on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 07:56:57 PM EST
    Schiff holds public hearings the better.  A powerful hearing such as that of Michael. Cohen is needed to focus on the counter-terrorism threat of Trump.  

    Interesting (none / 0) (#100)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 04:49:24 PM EST
    They would come up with that 300 number the day after Napolitano on FOX says it's 700.

    Not that I take his word as gospel or anything but he has been consistently correct about this subject.  And he seemed to know quite a lot of other things about it.  Which is causing some questions.


    Supposedly (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 28, 2019 at 05:49:18 PM EST
    it's 300 pages without supporting documents. Maybe with everything it is 700 pages. So he may have been right about the 700. We shall just have to wait and see.

    We learn today (none / 0) (#105)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Mar 29, 2019 at 03:56:02 PM EST
    It's almost 400 minus the footnotes, or whatever they are called. Which it seems to me is exactly what we need to see.

    So Napolitano was probably right, 700 pages.  

    And FTR previous counsels have gone to a judge to get the grand jury stuff released.  Barr just specifically said he will not do that.

    We are going to court.


    Barr is also (none / 0) (#106)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 29, 2019 at 07:09:12 PM EST
    walking back his summary. I have seen speculation that Mueller may have threatened to go public. This is what happens when people get away with stuff. They think they can continue to do it forever.

    Oopsie (none / 0) (#107)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 03, 2019 at 06:52:32 PM EST
    Special counsel investigators believe AG mislead with his summary: Mueller report was more damaging than Barr claimed

    "Some of Robert S. Mueller III's investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations," the newspaper reported

    I just (none / 0) (#108)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 03, 2019 at 07:17:10 PM EST
    saw that on twitter. I wonder is there anything that can be done to Barr legally about his whitewash? I would think it would damage him professionally but I'm not sure it runs afoul of any laws.

    I would guess this is a (none / 0) (#109)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 03, 2019 at 07:21:21 PM EST
    Shot across the bow.

    Release the report or we will.  I think Barr will cover his own azz and it will be every man for himself.  

    He will release it and act like that was his plan all along.


    One of Obama's (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 03, 2019 at 08:13:47 PM EST
    former employees at DOJ said that the lawyers that worked for Mueller are leaving justice and that there is nothing that can stop them from talking.

    Barr may try to cover himself but he cannot take back that stupid summary he wrote. Good Lord these people are arrogant. Did they not know that Mueller could be called to testify if they tried to hide the report?

    If it's every man for himself I am going to love watching Lindsay have a meltdown.


    As I have said on (none / 0) (#111)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 04, 2019 at 10:09:03 AM EST
    previous occasions, Mueller is not a saint, but he is a Republican.  "Some" of Mueller's team are either surrogates for Mueller, or they are frustrated that Mueller, himself, has not spoken out to correct and "inaccuracies."  Neither reflects well on Mueller.

    Mueller did not hesitate to fire off the rare response to the Buzzfeed story that Michael Cohen was directed by Trump to lie to Congress (Buzzfeed continues to stand-by their reporting) as being "inaccurate".  But, somehow, Mueller can't bring himself to directly address any misinterpretations/misinformation propagated by
    Trump's Attorney General.  

    It may be that Mueller wants to give Barr every chance to get out his full version of the report, but he can see the political use Trump has made of it, and once that "no collusion, no collusion" is set, it becomes an uphill battle to correct.  

    Mueller, especially, since "some" of his team are speaking out, needs to make whatever factual corrections that may be needed, without waiting for a subpoena.


    As you said, (none / 0) (#113)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 04, 2019 at 12:59:01 PM EST
    KD, Mueller is a Republican.  And he is FBI.

    I've never really trusted the FBI since the J. Edgar Hoover days.  Not that I think that the current leadership is anything like J. Edgar.  But they're cops.  National cops, well-trained and well-educated cops, but cops nonetheless.  Most, I'm sure, are honest cops, but people do not tend to gravitate toward law enforcement if they are really liberal, let's face it.

    I think that Mueller is pretty much an honest cop, but still, he's a Republican and therefore on the conservative spectrum.


    Yes, Robert Mueller is a Republican (none / 0) (#114)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 04, 2019 at 05:16:49 PM EST
    But I for one really don't know what's going on here  behind the scenes. And when I really don't know, I hesitate to speculate, preferring instead to just depend upon and traffic in salacious gossip.


    I mean, for all I know, Mueller might be a closet sadist, the bureaucratic equivalent of a cat that's playing with her cornered prey, first letting him think he can escape before she finally tires of the game, and then kills and devours him.

    We live in interesting times.