Barr's Presser and Release of Mueller Report

Update: Barr's remarks are here. The 448 page Mueller Report is here.

It's tempting to get excited about today's release of the Mueller report. Personally, I expect so many redactions, edits and topic deletions, I'm not excited at all.

The showrunner, Attorney General William Barr, will hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. ET. Once the report is released, you can most likely find it on the Special Counsel's website

Yesterday, prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia and Mueller's office laid out the plan for releasing the Mueller report in a filing in Roger Stone's criminal case (available here). They say there will be a separate version with fewer redactions for "some members of Congress" that will be made available at a secure location. [More...]

The reason given is to protect Roger Stone's right to a fair trial. [How considerate of them.] Why in Stone's case? He is currently the only Mueller-indicted defendant still facing trial.

But the end of Mueller's investigation and the release of the Mueller report may not be the end of legal jeopardy for Donald Trump and his associates. How do we know this? Because Mueller's prosecutors have been busily swapping places with AUSAs from the District of Columbia in Russia- related cases and they say so.

Over the last week, Mueller's prosecutors have withdrawn from several cases involving the Russia investigation, including Roger Stone's case, the allegedly associated election hacking case involving Russian nationals (U.S. v. Netyksho, 18-cr-215), and several cases brought by media groups seeking access to search warrants and other sealed documents in Mueller-related cases.

In their place, federal proseuctors Jonathan Kravis and Michael Marando (AUSAs in the District of Columbia) have been busy little beavers filing motions opposing release of sealed Mueller warrants and affidavits and other court sealed documents. Their filings repeatedly stress that while Mueller is done, he has referred several investigations to other DOJ offices and to "other entities" for investigation, and that those investigations are ongoing. Some sample quotes from multiple filings this week:

  • "On March 22, 2019, the Special Counsel notified the Attorney General that he had completed his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The Special Counsel, however, referred a number of matters to other offices in the Department of Justice. Those matters remain ongoing."
  • "Disclosure at this juncture could harm ongoing investigations, interfere in the upcoming Stone trial, and reveal persons within the scope of both closed and ongoing investigations who have not been charged."
  • "Movants seek to advance the public’s interest in understanding more about the Special Counsel’s investigation. That is an important and valuable function of the press. But that interest does not take precedence over the strong public interest in protecting ongoing investigations against the prejudice from premature disclosure, ensuring the fairness and integrity of criminal proceedings, and protecting uncharged persons from unjustified reputational harm."
  • "[A]lthough the Special Counsel has concluded his work, the Special Counsel referred a number of matters that are ongoing and are being handled by other offices and entities. Disclosure of the warrant materials threatens the harms that courts have catalogued in holding that the First Amendment provides no right of access to search warrant materials in ongoing investigations."
  • "In complex investigations, such as this one, where a single warrant may have relevance to interconnected lines of investigation, that test would fail to take into account tangible investigative harms from disclosure. An indictment does not end an overall investigation, for example, when a defendant is potentially involved in activities with other subjects or targets, and the warrant in question seeks evidence bearing on that joint activity, but the defendant has been charged only with a subset of his conduct under investigation. The probability of a continuing investigation post-indictment grows when the search targets are linked to other persons of interest by ties to a single organization, common associates, or coordinated activities. Disclosure of warrant materials could reveal sources, methods, factual and legal theories, and lines of investigation extending beyond the charged conduct."
  • The warrant materials sought by the movants could reveal “the nature, scope and direction” of government investigations. ....They describe investigative sources and methods, state what has been searched (and, by implication, not discovered), identify potential subjects of the investigation, and reveal factual and legal theories. The dates and volume of warrants also reveal the evolution and direction of investigative interests. Making this information public while an investigation is ongoing could pose a clear threat to the investigations’ integrity." (my emphasis)
  • "a compelling interest in protecting uncharged individuals from unjustified reputational harm also weighs against any right of access to search warrant materials. See Justice Manual § 1-7.400(B) (stating Department of Justice policy against commenting on an ongoing investigation “before charges are publicly filed”). As noted, the search warrant materials discuss conduct and legal theories that sweep more broadly than the charges against Stone described in the grand jury’s indictment. It would be unfair to release warrant materials that invade personal privacy interests or that “accuse persons of crime while affording them no forum in which to vindicate themselves,” cf. United States v. Briggs, 514 F.2d 794, 802 (5th Cir. 1975) (criticizing the practice of naming unindicted coconspirators)." (my emphasis)
  • "[F]or the reasons already discussed, the substantial risk of prejudice to ongoing investigations and the Stone proceedings militates against access. See, e.g., Sealed Search Warrants, 868 F.3d at 395 (“If the unsealing of pre-indictment warrant materials would threaten an ongoing investigation, the district court has discretion . . . to leave the materials under seal”)"[My emphasis]
  • "the warrant materials reflect significant investigative details and concern uncharged, third-parties. Segregation of that information [by redaction] would not be feasible."

Filings by proseuctors in a case brought by the Washington Post seeking unsealing of additional Manafort documents also emphasize:

  • The movant seeks unredacted versions of a number of filings and transcripts from United States v. Manafort, No. 17-cr-201-ABJ-1 (D.D.C.). That case has been transferred from the Special Counsel’s Office to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the attorneys who were principally responsible for that case are no longer handling the matter.
  • "On March 22, 2019, the Special Counsel notified the Attorney General that he had completed his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The Special Counsel, however, referred a number of matters to other offices in the Department of Justice. Those matters remain ongoing." (my emphasis)
  • The limited redactions in place are tailored to protect specific compelling interests — including ongoing investigations and the privacy rights of uncharged third parties. (my emphasis)

Two things you can take to the bank:

  • Trump will falsely claim exoneration on everything
  • His under-informed base will believe him

I won't be around to provide updates until late tomorrow afternoon, Mountain Time, so here's a place for you to update each other and provide your thoughts.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Read this while you wait (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 07:55:31 AM EST
    Barr's Playbook: He Misled Congress When Omitting Parts of Justice Dep't Memo in 1989

    On Friday the thirteenth October 1989, by happenstance the same day as the "Black Friday" market crash, news leaked of a legal memo authored by William Barr. He was then serving as head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). It is highly uncommon for any OLC memo to make headlines. This one did because it was issued in "unusual secrecy" and concluded that the FBI could forcibly abduct people in other countries without the consent of the foreign state. The headline also noted the implication of the legal opinion at that moment in time. It appeared to pave the way for abducting Panama's leader, Gen. Manuel Noriega.

    Members of Congress asked to see the full legal opinion. Barr refused, but said he would provide an account that "summarizes the principal conclusions." Sound familiar? In March 2019, when Attorney General Barr was handed Robert Mueller's final report, he wrote that he would "summarize the principal conclusions" of the special counsel's report for the public.

    When Barr withheld the full OLC opinion in 1989 and said to trust his summary of the principal conclusions, Yale law school professor Harold Koh wrote that Barr's position was "particularly egregious." Congress also had no appetite for Barr's stance, and eventually issued a subpoena to successfully wrench the full OLC opinion out of the Department.

    What's different from that struggle and the current struggle over the Mueller report is that we know how the one in 1989 eventually turned out.

    When the OLC opinion was finally made public long after Barr left office, it was clear that Barr's summary had failed to fully disclose the opinion's principal conclusions. It is better to think of Barr's summary as a redacted version of the full OLC opinion. That's because the "summary" took the form of 13 pages of written testimony. The document was replete with quotations from court cases, legal citations, and the language of the OLC opinion itself. Despite its highly detailed analysis, this 13-page version omitted some of the most consequential and incendiary conclusions from the actual opinion. And there was evidently no justifiable reason for having withheld those parts from Congress or the public.

    History might not repeat itself but it rhymes.  Barr's love letter to executive power was not the only reason he was chosen.

    He's done this before.

    A leopard doesn't (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 11:41:54 AM EST
    Change its spots.
    I do not think that Trump is smart enough to have thought to nominate Barr for Attorney General.  I'm thinking it was one of his advisors. Maybe Steven Miller.

    Interesting (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by FlJoe on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 09:17:50 AM EST
    part here
    Barr said he and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and oversaw most of his investigation, "disagreed with some of the special counsel's legal theories."
    I'm guessing all the theories that make tRump look guilty.
    "The president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency," Barr said, "propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks."
    Let's see tRump refused to answer any questions about obstruction but somehow Barr is able to determine his state of mind, what's up with that?

    Therefore, he said, that amounted to "evidence of noncorrupt motives," which he believes absolves the president from criminal wrongdoing.
    Shorter Barr, the President was pissed off so that is proof of his evidence, utter BS.

    I think that was pretty much a disaster (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 09:39:49 AM EST
    Even FOX.  Chris Wallace just said Barr sounded like the Presidents defense lawyer not the AG.

    I think this will be seem as a massive blunder.  Probably ordered by Trump.

    There must be some very bad things we are about to learn.


    One statement particularly (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 09:42:01 AM EST
    Barr snipply saying, `Mueller did this report for ME' with a fat finger on his chest.

    I'm pretty sure most people will not agree with that.

    It will live in infamy


    Fun (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by FlJoe on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 12:14:07 PM EST
    with control F

    Barr said the words "no evidence" multiple times in his whitewash.

    Mueller used it exactly once

    A statement that the investigation did not establish particular facts does not mean there was no evidence of those facts.

    Searchable report.

    I love the part about how (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 01:35:16 PM EST
    DJTJ wasn't charged because he was to stupid to break the law.  

    I have to remember that the next time I'm stopped for speeding.


    Small silver linings (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:17:03 PM EST
    QAnon Believers Crushed After Mueller Report Fails to Lead to Hillary Clinton's Arrest

    But when the Mueller report arrived on Thursday morning, it contained none of the bombshell, global pedophile cabal-destroying revelations QAnon fans had predicted. Instead, it detailed the a Russian campaign of electoral subterfuge that benefit Trump's election efforts along with repeated attempts by the president to impede investigations into his conduct.

    Unhappy QAnon believers were left to grapple with the letdown. As the report's lack of QAnon proofs became clear, the Patriots' Soapbox livestream quickly moved on to other topics like human trafficking. The channel's viewers weren't fooled, though. The comment section quickly filled up with disappointed QAnon fans.

    "Trump is toast," said one poster who said he wouldn't vote in 2020 after the disappointment. "Lied to us to extend his re-election. Good luck Q peeps. I'm done here."

    Some thoughts here: (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:37:32 PM EST
    (1) Per page 170 of the report, it's pretty obvious that Special Counsel Robert Mueller intended his findings to serve as an impeachment referral to Congress. In that regard, it's outrageous that Attorney General William Barr instead intercepted the report and withheld its contents from Congress for four weeks, and only today released a redacted version which blacks out portions of one third of the report's 448 pages.

    (2) In his four-page summary to Congress last month, Mr. Barr further materially misstated and misrepresented the Special Counsel's findings when he stated categorically that "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." In fact, Mueller actually wrote the following (emphasis is mine):

    "Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

    (3) Mueller's report also makes clear that his office wasn't investigating whether or not collusion occurred, because collusion itself is not defined as a crime in federal law (again, emphasis is mine):

    "In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of 'collusion.' In so doing, the Office recognized that the word 'collud[e]' was used in communications with the Acting Attorney General confirming certain aspects of the investigation's scope and that the term has frequently been invoked in public reporting about the investigation. But collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. For those reasons, the Office's focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law. In connection with that analysis, we addressed the factual question whether members of the Trump Campaign 'coordinat[ed] -- a term that appears in the appointment order -- with Russian election interference activities. Like collusion, 'coordination' does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law. We understood coordination to require an agreement -- tacit or express -- between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference. That requires more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other's actions or interests. We applied the term coordination in that sense when stating in the report that the investigation did not establish that the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

    (4) While Mueller says the investigation "did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities[,]" he further stated the following, which Barr again conveniently omitted in his summary (and once again, emphasis is mine):

    "The report describes actions and events that the Special Counsel's Office found to be supported by the evidence collected in our investigation. In some instances, the report points out the absence of evidence or conflicts in the evidence about a particular fact or event. In other instances, when substantial, credible evidence enabled the Office to reach a conclusion with confidence, the report states that the investigation established that certain actions or events occurred. A statement that the investigation did not establish particular facts does not mean there was no evidence of those facts."

    (5) The Mueller report then provides about 100 pages of documentation regarding the multiple instances of contact and activities between members or representatives of the Trump campaign and Russian government officials and operatives, including the false claims to the contrary by Trump and his campaign.

    So for anyone who claims that this report says Trump didn't collude with Russia, they ought to actually read the report first, because Mueller found that there was in fact a demonstrably significant and starling simpatico relationship between the Trump campaign and the Russia government.

    To be perfectly frank, their simpatico relationship represents a profound moral betrayal of our nation and its values and principles. And that, I would offer, rises to the constitutional level of high crimes and misdemeanors required for impeachment and removal.


    One more big one IMO (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:47:10 PM EST
    Barr said specifically this morning that the OLC opinion about not indicting a president had nothing to do with Muellers decisions.

    The report specifically says exactly the opposite.


    Thanks for pointing that out. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:59:25 PM EST
    House Democrats clearly face a difficult decision about launching an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. But there's no question that by misusing the inherent powers of his office to mislead both Congress and the public on behalf of the White House, Attorney General William Barr has so thoroughly disgraced himself that he's instead made a very strong case for his own impeachment and removal.

    I think that's right (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 05:02:46 PM EST
    Time to go after Barr.   I really hope that some democrat in Barr's upcoming appearance in congress asks hm about the stinky incident described in the link in the first comment in this thread.

    Yes, no collusion, no collusion, (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:58:29 PM EST
    you're the collusion.  However, he appears to be the conspirator and coordinator.  And, as for (2)...did not establish that members of the Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian GOVERNMENT with regards to its election interference activities. (caps mine).  

    However, what about coordination or conspiracies with Russian individuals/oligarchs who are nothing without Putin.

    I think we do need to initiate impeachment inquires for Trump and, not a bad idea, to add Barr.

     Not sure what the framers would have had in mind for impeachment and removal from office prior to an election if not someone who puts personal benefits ahead of country and is a national security risk. More serious than an extra-marital affair-- they would surely agree.

     The 2020 election should be to get rid of accomplices--the Republicans.


    I am honestly confused and disappointed (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 06:50:22 PM EST
    at Mueller's team for writing that the only criminal law analog to "collusion" is the crime of "conspiracy," with its core definitional requirement of agreement. The Report concluded that they can't prove "collusion" because they can't prove an actual agreement between Russian actors and the Tr*mp campaign to work together for their mutual (unlawful) aims. But there are several forms of "aiding and abetting" another's person (or entity's) criminality (such as "counseling," that is, encouraging and urging) that can be established by the intent to aid without any agreement being formed. "Coordination" of a PAC with an campaign is an election law violation, for example, without any requirement for showing a conspiratorial agreement. RICO, for that matter (the crime of participating in conducting the affairs of an enterprise engaged in a pattern of serious criminal activity), is another example of cooperative crime that does not require proof of a criminal conspiracy.

    But then, maybe not purposely. In letting former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell off the hook for public corruption a few years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court creatively interpreted that law to require evidence of a specific quid pro quo exchange of favors. Perhaps that's why Bob Mueller defined "coordination" in his report to require proof of an agreement between the parties.

    Anyway, I'm just guessing. You're much more knowledgeable about the particulars of white collar corruption law than I am. All the same, though, I think it's all the more reason to get Mueller before the congressional committees to explain himself.



    And by the way, the report describes more than (none / 0) (#41)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 10:06:50 PM EST
    enough evidence -- circumstantial but overwhelming, particularly in its consistency -- of felonious obstruction of justice. Enough that if it were anyone else but the person occupying the office of President of the United States, a team of FBI agents would have been at his door at 6 a.m. to take him out in handcuffs. The case for impeachment on that ground is clear. The Democratic leadership is gutless.

    I'm not sure not stampeding to (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 08:22:36 AM EST
    Impeachment is gutless.  They are in a difficult and really unprecedented position

    We are 18 months from an election.  If they started it tomorrow there is no guarantee it would be finished in that time.  But what is guaranteed is that every bit of political oxygen would be sucked up right through the election.  Not a word of any progressive agenda ideas would get one minute of coverage.

    Second, republicans.  There is no single thing that would motivate the base more than impeachment.  I suspect its exactly what Trump wants.  Plus if the goal is to be rid of Trump.  Not only would that NOT do that because there is no universe where republicans would vote to remove him but it could easily be the one thing that could save him electorally.

    There is a third way between starting impeachment and ignoring the facts.

    The are perfectly capable and totally justified in firing the subpoena cannons and keeping all of this on page one right through the election.  I think this is not only what they probably will do it's what they should do.

    They have every right, even responsibility, to call every witness that testified for Mueller and forcing them to say on tv all the things they said to him.

    Give Nancy some credit.  I think she knows what she is doing.


    Imagine for a moment (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 08:31:25 AM EST
    That the absence of impeachment hearings allows the election to be covered.

    Imagine the Trump attack ads that could be taken straight from that report.  And against republicans in general

    Not to mention hearings where people say the stuff on camera.


    The Election will be covered (none / 0) (#45)
    by jmacWA on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 08:58:22 AM EST
    The key is whether or not it gets the GOP spin.  IF impeachment proceeds (which I think it should) the GOP will scream partisanship (pot <-> kettle), IF the impeachment does not proceed there will definitely be coverage of gutless democrats.  IMO we cannot win with the media we have today, they will bash the Democrats no matter what.

    They won't be called gutless (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 09:09:38 AM EST
    If they do what I described

    Plus, things could change.  Trump is already tweeting this morning about the "crazy Mueller report" using profanity spelled out on twitter.

    Enough of that behavior just might bring some republicans around.

    I say again, Nancy knows more about working this that you and me combined.  I trust her.


    One other thing (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 09:16:06 AM EST
    In the last 24 hours at least on this subject we have the media.  Even most of FOX.

    Will they try to needle the democrats into impeachment?  Of course they will.  It would be a media windfall.


    First banner on Chuck Terd (none / 0) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 03:58:35 PM EST

    Giddy breathless swooning (none / 0) (#60)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:01:06 PM EST
    Deep dive into the DESPERATE dilemma faced by democrats.

    We need to ignore these f#cks


    Nancy Pelosi: 'Congress will not be silent.' (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Apr 20, 2019 at 11:30:04 AM EST
    Should Trump be impeached, Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) will likely be the lead House managers in an ensuing Senate trial. To gain a conviction and thus a successful outcome, they will have to convince at least 20 GOP senators to cross the aisle and join their Democratic colleagues.

    To accomplish that, which one must admit at the outset will be a very tall order, Messrs. Nadler and Schiff will need to be seen by both those Republican senators and the American public as our Atticus Finch, and not as our Henry Hyde. Otherwise, the impeachment process will very quickly devolve into political kabuki, as what happened when the late Rep. Hyde (R-IL) ran the Bill Clinton Schittshow in 1998-99 as a crusading caricature, somewhat akin to Dudley Do-Right's nemesis Snidely Whiplash.

    Therefore, House Democrats and especially their leadership are going to have to be very deliberate and calculating as they site Trump in his crosshairs. And that will require them to further resist the urge to regularly play to their own political galleries, and instead conduct themselves in a disciplined, solemn and dignified manner that's wholly befitting of the impeachment process, which is a very serious undertaking.



    The great Alexandra Petri (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 05:14:29 PM EST
    reviews the Mueller Report as if for a high school English class.

    I'm reading (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 09:39:44 PM EST
    the report and it is making me sick. At least I'm finding out where all the lies came from about Hillary's email server.

    Phony outrage and hypocrisy (1.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Redbrow on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 11:01:24 AM EST
    Where was the outrage when Obama halted the Fast and Furious investigation by invoking executive privilege?

    Why didn't congress dems cry "obstruction" and demand impeachment?

    Where was the concern over Holder's blatant bias when he declared "I'm still the President's wing-man, so I'm there with my boy."?

    "Bu-bu-but, what about Obama?" (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:49:21 PM EST
    To which I reply, "Bu-bu-but, Bob Mueller wasn't investigating Obama."

    Adiós, muchacho.


    There is a very coordinated effort (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:53:20 PM EST
    To blame Obama.  I saw republicans doing it, or trying, on FOX.

    "The only person who knew about this so called interference was Obama"

    "But didn't Mitch McConnel prevent him from making a public statement?"

    "Homina homina homina ........"


    Obama is no longer president (4.43 / 7) (#12)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 12:27:10 PM EST
    It was in all the newspapers.

    Resorting (4.20 / 5) (#9)
    by FlJoe on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 11:16:25 AM EST
    to "what about-ism" I see.

    Thanks Jeralyn (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 06:21:49 AM EST
    I don't expect to learn much today either. However Barr stupidly having a press conference hours before the report is going to be released has really blown up in Barr's and the GOP's face.

    Rosenstein (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 08:42:20 AM EST
    Looks like he's there to save his pension.

    He (none / 0) (#4)
    by FlJoe on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 08:56:40 AM EST
    did have kind of a blank stare.

    Rod was (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:39:12 PM EST
    just making use of the time. He was modeling for   Madame Tussaud's wax museum.

    Attempts were made (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:48:33 PM EST
    To determine if he was blinking in Morse code

    As with Dr. Harold Bornstein's (none / 0) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 12:45:18 PM EST
    medical report that found all of Trump's laboratory values to be positive, so too, did Barr find the results of Mueller's investigation.

    However, the Barr Report, despite its redactions presents and describes substantial wrongdoing.

    House Democrats, when asked about impeachment deferred to the issuance of the Mueller Report.  Mueller, we now find, drops his serious findings at the feet of Congress. Can you say "hot potato?"

    Inn view of Mueller's intended destination for his team's work,  it is clear that he expected the full, unredacted report to be made available to Congress, or, at least, to the appropriate committees.

    However, it is curious in light of that expectation, that Mueller did not obtain authorization by Court order (Courts he had been working with) to disclose Grand Jury matters under Rule 6(e), as was done by Ken Starr, albeit under the Special Prosecutor statute, and, by a Republican.  Barr, announced that he would not do so, making it a task for Congress.

    Never-the-less, the American people and Congress, need not be bamboozled by the Barr and Trump's redactions.  They need only, at this point, focus on the unredacted components---there is plenty there to pursue, e.g., "If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would say so..however, we are unable to reach that judgment."  (due, in part, because witnesses did not cooperate or destroyed records and used encrypted communications).

    While impeachment may have been off the table, it appears to me, that that position is no longer tenable. At a minimum, an investigation for purposes of possible impeachment has planted its feet firmly under that table.

      And, it is imperative, in my view, that hearings be open; there may be a need for some aspects to be discussed in closed session, but there is enough to investigation based on the cover-up document and witnesses, including Mueller.

    It sure looks that way (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 01:24:00 PM EST
    Even if they don't call it impeachment it's pretty clear what is going to be happening for the next two years.

    But I understand there are legal advantages to making that operation official in that they have more power to get the supporting evidence and other things.

    It's my understanding that the rules are different for Mueller and Starr and that in this case it must be Barr who asks for the grand jury stuff to be unsealed Mueller can't do it.  Which Barr has said he will not do.

    See above paragraph.  The congress can I think and even more effectively if they say it's for an impeachment proceeding



    It is not clear (none / 0) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 02:44:42 PM EST
    from the regulations that the Special Counsel cannot seek authorization by Court order to disclose grand jury matters for purposes of his final report.  And, while constraints apply for public release, it is also not clear that such information could not have been made available to Congress.

     The problem, may be, as you suggest, that for Mueller to seek a Court order, he may have had to have approval of the Attorney General.  And, we know Barr's position, assuming the request came while Rod was still the overseer or reversed when Barr came along.

    The Mueller Report discusses the matter of potentially compromising tapes retrieved from a Russian that were obtained during Trump's Miss Universe Pageant.  The Steel Dossier was not far afield on very much.

    And, as for the "Oranges" of the investigation: "a foreign government informed the FBI about its May 2016 interaction with Papadopoulos..based on the foreign government reporting, the FBI oopened an investigation into potential coordination."


    I've been hopping around cable news (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 03:38:38 PM EST
    Even on FOX this is not getting the typical white wash.  Republicans are, as far as I can tell, pretty much only on FOX.  But I just watched Neil Cavuto grill Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy pretty good.

    They are actually asking the right questions

    CNN (none / 0) (#18)
    by FlJoe on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 03:50:03 PM EST
    has been harsh on tRump and Barr..so far.

    Forget spin (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:04:41 PM EST
    Barr straight up lied.  And lied and lied.  Even FOX says so.

    I think that might blow back.


    But Mitch McConnell (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by CST on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 04:07:13 PM EST
    Said Barr is too old to risk his reputation by lying.  As if that's not how he built his reputation.

    It was a case of.. (none / 0) (#32)
    by desertswine on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 05:43:01 PM EST
    Bill the Shill trying to protect Dirty Donald.

    It's already (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 06:23:42 PM EST
    having major blow back from what I am seeing. First of all the GOP attacked the press for reporting the facts of Trump Russia based on the lies that Barr sent forward.

    I have not read (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 06:30:13 PM EST
    the report but have been reading the reports and they are deadly to Trump. Barr is probably a goner. How is someone who lied to protect Trump going to be credible as AG?

    We always wondered or at least I did how many other Republicans this was going to take down. WaPo is reporting that Burr (R-NC) was giving Trump FBI information. So there's one Republican so far. I'm still waiting for Lindsay to blow his stack.

    I definitely think an impeachment inquiry needs to be started.

    And the investigation in Bernie Sanders' campaign w/r/t the Russians is still ongoing. Perez needs to figure a way to get him out of the primary.

    Those 14 Referrals (none / 0) (#37)
    by RickyJim on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 08:14:42 PM EST
    I assume the financial crimes are among them.  Link.

    A lot of people (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 08:38:37 PM EST
    being investigated for crimes by the redactions.

    Not all (none / 0) (#40)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 18, 2019 at 09:48:10 PM EST
    are referrals.  Some are hand-offs.  Which makes me wonder if Barr put an end to the Special Counsel investigation.  

    Please Explain the Difference (none / 0) (#42)
    by RickyJim on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 07:48:43 AM EST
    RickyJim, (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 11:43:07 AM EST
    referral means that a case is turned-over to another office, such as the SDNY, to be initiated and developed for possible charges.   Mueller may have, for example, uncovered circumstances in the course of his investigation that are outside of the Special Counsel's charge, but warrant further pursuit by another office.

    By "hand-off" I meant the transfer of a case within the Special Counsel's charge to another office---the case having been started by Mueller but , for some reason, provided to another office before disposition for its furtherance.


    Thanks, But Axios List is Still Confusing (none / 0) (#51)
    by RickyJim on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 12:39:35 PM EST
    There are 11 transfers listed with 2 redactions which may refer to still sealed indictments.  There are 14 referrals listed with all but the Cohen and Craig cases redacted.  The reason the latter two cases are not listed under transfers is not clear.  I guess that the [REDACTED] after Craig's name was an error.

    Apparently Biden (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 09:27:29 AM EST
    Is definitely in.  He just building "anticipation"

    Like ketchup.

    Howdy (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 11:00:26 AM EST
    you've got to be loving the drubbing Sarah Sanders is getting all over social media and elsewhere.

    Off topic (no open thread) (none / 0) (#52)
    by CST on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 01:35:16 PM EST
    There's a Stop & Shop (grocery store) strike happening all over MA, RI and CT.   Long story short they're trying to cut benefits despite record profits, and employees are on strike.  Warren and Biden have already been spotted on the picket lines,  and today Pete Buttigieg made a trip to stand with the workers (no sign of Bernie yet, despite the fact that he's an actual New Englander).  It's been fairly successful so far,  at least in the harm to the business, in part because the Teamsters have joined in and are refusing to deliver items to stores as well.

    Impressed that Pete came down,  and that this is on his radar.  Not the first time Biden has shown up to support local strikes either. Warren  is great but as senator to be expected. Not so impressed with Bernie.

    That is impressive (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 02:23:53 PM EST
    for Pete. I am also surprised that he showed up but kudos to him for doing it. I'm sure Bernie will say he was "busy" just like he said about paying women less and his taxes.

    The strike will be over soon. (none / 0) (#59)
    by itscookin on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:00:52 PM EST
    It will be another week or so before the workers get their $100/week for full-time employees and $50 or so for part-timers from union funds. Until then, they're collecting nothing. At just about the same time, they'll lose access to their health insurance because they're on strike.

    The contract they're being offered has across the board raises for everyone, yearly bonuses for some. Anyone who is currently employed will continue to get time and a half for Sundays. New part-time hires will get the state mandated $1/hour premium where it applies. The chain will continue to pay 88% of health care premiums for single employees and 92% for families. (The federal government pays 72%.) No change in deductibles, but slightly higher prescription co-pays.  Employees will still have defined pension plans 100% funded by the company. All-in-all Stop and Shop treats its employees pretty well. Better than most grocery stores. They'll give an inch or two, but the profit margin for a grocery store is only 2%, and Stop and Shop is competing with a lot of non-union stores with lower price points.

    To compensate for the money the chain has lost, the company will replace some cashiers and baggers with self-checkouts and install robots to unload trucks and stock shelves. WalMart has been testing them, and they work out pretty well. They don't need benefits, and they don't go on strike.

    I'm one of their PeaPod home delivery customers, and I get regular updates from the store. Today they extended my delivery contract free of charge for 60 days to compensate me for the inconvenience. Their drivers are sweethearts, and I hope they aren't being hurt too badly by the strike. Elizabeth Warren brought Dunkin' Donuts for the strikers today.  


    All due respect (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by CST on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:09:04 PM EST
    When you give someone an hourly raise while also raising their health insurance costs and taking away overtime and pensions,  that's not a raise.

    I seriously doubt this will be over in a week,  but YMMV.  That said,  there are real downsides to it, especially for people on the islands with limited options.


    Well (none / 0) (#54)
    by FlJoe on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 03:31:20 PM EST
    the report seems to have given Romney a case of the Flakes
    "I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office in the land, including the president,"
    I assume his call for impeachment is due on the 12th of Never.

    Romney (none / 0) (#55)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 03:56:46 PM EST
    is troubled.  Illustrates the difficulty in getting Senate conviction of House articles of impeachment. Need 2/3 of senate to convict-- over 20 Republicans need to be as troubled as he is.

    He might be be so troubled (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 03:59:54 PM EST
    If he was faced with a vote

    Yeah (none / 0) (#61)
    by FlJoe on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:06:22 PM EST
    what's a little pervasive dishonesty among friends anyway.

    The good news for tRump is that Flakism only lasts for a week or so and it never interferes with voting  for the team.


    Speaking of presidential candidates (none / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:00:22 PM EST
    Guess who is first out the gate supporting impeachment hearings?  Oh right, it's the same person who is first out the gate on everything important - Warren.

    I'm sour it will get her (none / 0) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:12:20 PM EST
    A few cable news spots

    Ha (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:12:43 PM EST

    I saw that. (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:24:10 PM EST
    She made a very good argument on twitter about why Trump should be impeached. I get the political ramifications but darn if a presidential candidate colluding with a foreign enemy isn't a reason for removal what is?

    As if there was an argument (none / 0) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:27:47 PM EST
    Against Trump being impeached  

    Just to expand on that (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:36:16 PM EST
    Everyone knows why Trump should be impeached.  It's not like that some big complicated mystery.  The problem is doing it.  The question is should democrats blow every penny of political capital they have or will have, bandon every issue people care about, doing something that almost certainly would not change a single thing except possibly lose the house.

    The fact that a pretty much last place presidential candidate is so far pretty much the lone voice saying it should be done is not that surprising.


    Mueller tee'd it up (5.00 / 4) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 05:16:31 PM EST
    for the House.  I am beginning to worry that, he also might have set up for the Democrats.  Yes, Mueller provided a "road-map" for crafting Articles of Impeachment, but his charge was to "investigate any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Campaign of Trump and any matters that arose or may arise directly from that investigation."

    The Mueller Report, when all is said and done, kicked the ball over to the Congress, discharging his responsibility with "While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."  Couldn't he have elaborated?

     And, for Vol II, "if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would say so; however, we are unable to reach that judgment."

    In he case of Vol I., as Peter G points out, there might have been other avenues of the law for him to follow.  Or, in my view, at least, to state that there were links, which he describes in the report.

     And, couldn't he point out that it is common for conspiracies to be proved on the basis of circumstantial evidence or by implication. Russia and Trump were acting in response to each other to achieve a similar goal: to elect Trump. But, he needed an agreement, a quid pro quo. No contract-- getting rid of sanctions, or a Trump Tower Moscow, to  yield Trump over $300 million is not enough.

    As for Vol II, Mueller is more straight forward: " the president's efforts to influence the investigation were MOSTLY (caps mine) unsuccessful, but this is largely because the persons who surround the President declined to carry out of accede to his requests." (hat tip to McGhan)  

    Yes, mostly, how about the starter: firing Comey--he listened to all of them, Kushner, Vanky, Rosenstein (who wrote the letter that Comey deserved to go because he was mean to Hillary). And, of course, all those who surrounded Trump who lied, encrypted, or destroyed.

    Yes, Mueller followed DOJ/OLC policy not to indict, but, in my view, he had a responsibility to go further than to give an abstruse semi-conclusion.  How about something like: Trump should be indicted based on the evidence herein, but OLC policy does not permit that, and I am bound by it. Or something the public might understand.

     Yes, Trump would not have his day in Court to defend himself, but then, this is  not a typical situation.  Trump's resources give him a disproportional advantage.  And, he remains in office to do more criming and continue to be a danger to national security.

    The House will, I believe, follow-through with an impeachment investigation, and like a rose by any other name, still is an impeachment investigation.  In any event, the House has to investigate more, since there are so many loose ends.  It is as if, Barr cut Mueller off--an impression I get from what seems to be a change in tone and cryptic end. And, those hand-offs of investigations underway.


    Yes to pretty much everything you said (none / 0) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 05:31:55 PM EST
    It is a strange ending that I think no one, including Donald "I'm f'ed" Trump,  expected.

    If you want to give Mueller ever benefit of doubt, not saying I do, it could seem he felt he was treading on dangerous ground and wanted to try to stay out of politics.

    Which btw would be exactly why he was appointed.  To do those very things.

    It's frustrating.  That said.  I really do think the game has changed.  The board has been flipped and we are in a new world.  Democrats could not possibly wish for more obvious justification to do exactly what you say.  And I also think they will.  

    And as the other comment said I'm pretty sure there is more to come.  I don't think impeachment is or ever really was off the table.  But there is a process now of educating the public now that the other side of the argument is out and Trump is not the only one who can have an opinion about Mueller and his work.

    Mitt may be a flake but enough flakes and you got a blizzard.


    Also to be expected (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 05:45:31 PM EST
    When the house gets going Barr WILL announce an investigation into the investigation.  It's as certain as the sunrise.

    Even Better Reasons Coming Down the Pike (none / 0) (#68)
    by RickyJim on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:48:21 PM EST
    Tax evasion and money laundering.  Let him make a deal with Pence and we will be rid of him without a messy impeachment fuss.

    Very possibly (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 04:50:23 PM EST
    37 and southbound (none / 0) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 19, 2019 at 06:18:42 PM EST
    The poll, conducted Thursday afternoon to Friday morning, is the first national survey to measure the response from the American public after the U.S. Justice Department released Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 448-page report that recounted numerous occasions in which Trump may have interfered with the investigation.

    According to the poll, 37 percent of adults in the United States approved of Trump's performance in office, down from 40 percent in a similar poll conducted on April 15 and matching the lowest level of the year. That is also down from 43 percent in a poll conducted shortly after U.S. Attorney General William Barr circulated a summary of the report in March.

    The impeachment hysteria (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 20, 2019 at 10:08:33 AM EST
    Among the bobble heads is making me want to write angry letters to MSNBC.

    They are to their credit giving more or less equal time to people who are calling for a more strategic response but it's ridiculous.

    I've heard several time, including from Warren, that "if you could see into the future and you knew he would not be removed and democrats would lose the House, would you still do it?"

    Yes YES they shriek
    They are not adding that (I am rich, it doesn't matter to me who runs the government and I can afford to be WAYYYYY more moral that you")

    Maybe I will write an angry email.

    The entire (none / 0) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 20, 2019 at 11:09:32 AM EST
    report needs to sink in with the voters IMO before people start calling for impeachment.

    I just say start the investigative process. It may have to start with an impeachment inquiry simply to get the evidence.


    Exactly. Remember, Watergate hearings (5.00 / 4) (#81)
    by Towanda on Sun Apr 21, 2019 at 05:51:48 PM EST
    were not impeachment hearings. Nixon never had impeachment hearings.

    And public opinion was with Nixon through much of the Watergate hearings, until they finally shifted polling sufficiently to worry GOP leadership about the next elections.

    Most people will not read the Mueller Report, redacted or otherwise -- or filtered and skewed by right-wing sites.

    But put those witnesses on tv, saying what they said to Mueller and staff, and more of the public may be appalled.  Plus, the hearings could go well beyond Mueller's scope to include emoluments and other corruption under the Trump mob family.


    Yes, (none / 0) (#77)
    by KeysDan on Sat Apr 20, 2019 at 11:48:00 AM EST
    and open hearings.  As.has been said, we have the book, now we need to see the movie.

    Chairman Nadler's (none / 0) (#78)
    by KeysDan on Sat Apr 20, 2019 at 12:15:51 PM EST
    statements and actions will go a long way toward stanching the impeachment rush.  The clamor to do something may rest on the misperception that the Democrats are "gutless", a feeling instilled, perhaps, by Speaker Pelosi's earlier position ( ignoring her caveats), and ignoring the reality that House Chairs would not act without the Speaker.  If the goal is to genuinely exert pressure it is understandable given the outrages piled upon outrages even in the unredacted Mueller Report.  But the pressure is unnecessary--the House is removing ahead in a deliberative manner.  Nancy Pelosi is calling a meeting on the Democratic members on Easter Monday, and we can expect a careful, yet resolute statement.  Pelosi knows her caucus and she knows what she is doing.

    Impeachment hearings (none / 0) (#79)
    by CST on Sat Apr 20, 2019 at 02:16:52 PM EST
    Not the same as impeachment.

    Also, I think your political calculations on the house are just wrong. Inaction is just as dangerous if not more so.  There will be hearings,  that's all anyone is calling for at this point.

    Write your angry email,  I've already sent mine.


    Absolutely not (none / 0) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Apr 20, 2019 at 02:20:32 PM EST
    What "anyone is calling for"