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The Atlantic: 10 Key points in Mueller Report – Trump’s claims of total exoneration revealed as baseless

20/04/2019

The Atlantic identifies 10 key points in the Mueller Report. Whatever happens, the published report establishes some key points”

  • Trump’s claims of total exoneration are a lie
  • Barr’s partisanship has been clearly exposed, compounded by his press conference when he released the report
  • The dysfunction in the White House has been exposed
  • Trump’s lack of ethics and lies are fully exposed

Attorney General William Barr released Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on Thursday. Though some of the findings have been redacted, the report will give the public a clearer sense of what the special counsel found—and whether Barr’s short summary, made public in late March, was accurate.

The report covers the special counsel’s investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, and details 10 episodes that Mueller’s team examined as part of its inquiry into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice. Four types of information are redacted in the report, according to Barr: grand-jury material, and details that could jeopardize intelligence sources and methods, ongoing cases, and the privacy of “peripheral third parties.”

The Atlantic suggests these areas in the report are key

1. The special counsel’s office explains why it didn’t bring criminal charges related to collusion, and details how some of the individuals it investigated or interviewed lied or deleted communications.

While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges.

Barr’s Narrative of Victimhood

Then this critical point

2. In a section related to episodes involving the president and possible obstruction of justice, Mueller’s team explains how it “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgement.” But the special counsel’s team also said it was unable to definitively conclude that Trump did not commit obstruction of justice.

Apart from OLC’s constitutional view, we recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President’s capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct … The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

To Adam this suggests that the investigation thought Trump should,if he was not President be prosecuted .

3. On the question of whether the Trump Tower meeting among Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer amounted to collusion, 

On the facts here, the government would unlikely be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the June 9 meeting participants had general knowledge that their conduct was unlawful.

One might conclude here that the Special Counsel thought that the law had been broken,but that a jury might not convict.

See also

Shadi Hamid: The fundamental legitimacy of Donald Trump

4. The Mueller team details Trump’s reaction when he found out that a special counsel had been appointed.

The President slumped back in his chair and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.”

This is the reaction of a totally innocent man!

5. Trump tried to persuade former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “unrecuse” himself from the special counsel’s investigation.

President Trump reacted negatively to the Special Counsel’s appointment. He told advisors that it was the end of his presidency, sought to have Attorney General Jefferson (Jeff) Sessions unrecuse from the Russia investigation and to have the Special Counsel removed, and engaged in efforts to curtail the Special Counsel’s investigation and prevent the disclosure of evidence to it, including through public and private contacts with potential witnesses.

Read: Robert Mueller’s written summaries of his Russia report

OK so the legal test may not be met,but it sure looks like and smells like obstruction.

6. In June 2017, Trump told then–White House counsel Don McGahn to direct the acting attorney general to remove Mueller as special counsel.

McGahn ignored the request

Why was this not intent of obstruction?

Furthermore, it is just one of several instances where WH staff ignore the President’s instructions. Apart from the fact that some staff will not breach the law, it suggests that some have liitle respect of this President.

7. A few months before this episode, Trump called McGahn into his office and said he wished Roy Cohn, a longtime associate of his, were his lawyer:

On March 3, 2017 the day after Sessions’s recusal, McGahn was called into the Oval Office. Other advisors were there, including Priebus and Bannon. The President opened the conversation by saying, “I don’t have a lawyer.” The President expressed anger at McGahn about the recusal and brought up Roy Cohn, stating that he wished Cohn was his attorney … The President wanted McGahn to talk to Sessions about the recusal, but McGahn told the President that DOJ ethics officials had weighed in on Sessions’s decision to recuse. The President then brought up former Attorneys General Robert Kennedy and Eric Holder and said that they had protected their presidents … Bannon recalled that the President was as mad as Bannon had ever seen him and that he screamed at McGahn about how weak Sessions was

In Barr he seems to have found his new Roy Cohn. Barr’s partisan conduct not just over Mueller, but in other areas as well indicates that Barr acts more like a personal lwayer for Trump than as the USA’s most senior law officer.

8. Mueller’s team details how Trump answered written questions on “certain Russia-related topics,” but did not agree to provide written answers on questions about obstruction of justice or events during his presidential transition. The team explains why it chose not to subpoena him.

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

To Adam this suggests obstruction and furthermore that Mueller was laying out the landscape for further action by Congress.

9. After press reports in March 2017 suggested Trump was under FBI investigation, the president was “beside himself,” according to notes from the White House counsel’s office. The report says:

The President called McGahn repeatedly that day to ask him to intervene with the Department of Justice, and, according to the notes, the President was “getting hotter and hotter, get rid?” Officials in the White House Counsel’s Office became so concerned that the President would fire [James] Comey that they began drafting a memorandum that examined whether the President needed cause to terminate the FBI director.

Another example of how Trump has sought to interfere in legal matters.

10. Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller wrote the letter from Trump in which he fired Comey. The special counsel explains how an early draft of the letter came to be:

Read: Stephen Miller, Trump’s right-hand troll

Why is Adam not surprised to read this. Miller it seems is one of those who seeks to do Trump’s bidding

Mueller’s Report is in many ways a damming indictment of Trump and his team. It paints a picture of a petty tyrant, obsessed with himself, with no regard for the law nor for his oath of office – further it clearly reveals a dysfunctional White House.

Mueller, it appears to Adam sought to lay out a roadmap for Congress to exercise it’s constitutional function of oversight of the Executive.

A major issue facing both Democrats and Republicans is will they perform their constitutional role, or will they abrogate it, as they have so many times in past decades – thus indirectly permitting Trump to trample the political fabric of the USA.

Sadly, Adam thinks that yet again the Senate and House will huff and puff, but fail to blow Trump down.

 

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