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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:44 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:

Overall I thought the basic point of Mueller's statement today was to say to Congress: "we did our job, now you do yours."

That is what I got out of it. A reminder that they need to do the job they have (thus far) been ignoring given the (mis)direction of Barr.

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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 4:55 pm 
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The more I think about Mueller's decision (not to reach a conclusion on criminality), the more annoying I find it, especially given Voronwë's characterization above, that in reading the report it is obvious that they believed Trump committed crimes. Mueller explained that his decision not to make a determination on criminality was so that (paraphrasing) a cloud wouldn't hang over someone who couldn't try to clear themselves in court. But if they've made it so obvious in the report with a wink and a nod what they think, Mueller's reasoning on not determining criminality strikes a false note. Mueller saying he could not exonerate Trump (which is so contrary to our system of justice) is, imo, just as bad in effect as stating flat out that Trump committed crimes. I think Mueller's conduct has been mostly self-serving in pursuit of preserving his reputation for integrity, which is also why I think he wants to avoid testifying before Congress. I think this non-decision of Mueller's will go down as one of the most peculiar and unsatisfying decisions in the history of decisions.

Meanwhile, AG Barr has given an extensive interview to CBS news in which they cover the whole range of investigation-related topics. (This is a horrible transcript, there are parts that are unintelligible.) The first key point is that Barr believes that Mueller could have reached a determination on criminality regardless that a President can't be indicted. He doesn't fault Mueller for his decision, just has a different view.

Related to this is the differing view the two men have of the function of the Special Counsel. Barr says that the investigative powers of the Justice Department are for the very purpose of determining whether someone has committed a crime, not as a referral service to Congress. That is why, when Mueller declined to fulfill this function, Rosenstein and Barr felt they had to make the decision on criminality that Mueller had declined to make.

Another point they discussed extensively was the fact, which I think has largely been glossed over, that Barr had requested and was expecting that the Mueller team would flag the material that had to be redacted. Had they done this, the entire redacted report could have been released in a matter of days and there would have been no need for Barr to release the brief summary of the report's conclusions that proved so controversial. But because the Mueller team did not do as requested, Barr saw that it would be weeks before the report could be released, and given the rampant media speculation that was going on, that the President and his family were going to be indicted, he felt he had to release a statement quelling that speculation.

The interviewer commented on the fact that Barr had such a good reputation among both parties before he took the AG job, and how that has now been thoroughly trashed, which Barr put down to the hyper-partisan nature of American politics today. He said he does not regret taking the job even though it has cost him that reputation.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/william-barr-interview-full-transcript-cbs-this-morning-jan-crawford-exclusive-2019-05-31/

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:54 pm 
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This is the best analysis of Mueller's testimony that I have seen.

Robert Mueller and the Tyranny of ‘Optics’

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:05 am 
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The problem with that analysis is that it doesn't mention the fact that the reason the Democrats wanted the hearing and forced Mueller to appear was because they wanted some kind of dramatic optic moment behind which they could galvanize public support for impeachment. So while I agree that ever since the Kennedy v Nixon debate optics are overvalued, the Democrats walked into a trap they had set up themselves.

My feelings about the hearing were that it was a shame Democrats subpoenaed Mueller after he had made it plain he did not want to testify, that he considered the report his testimony and had resigned as Special Counsel. I think looking back they will cringe when they think they put him through that and left it as the final image for America to remember him by. They could just as well have held the hearing before an empty chair, delivered their outraged monologues and cited the relevant sections of the report without his assistance.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:10 am 
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Cerin wrote:
The problem with that analysis is that it doesn't mention the fact that the reason the Democrats wanted the hearing and forced Mueller to appear was because they wanted some kind of dramatic optic moment behind which they could galvanize public support for impeachment.


True enough. In my opinion, what they should have done is immediately started an impeachment proceeding as soon as it became clear that Mueller's report contained abundant evidence of criminal behavior by the president, particularly when Mueller himself all but invited them to do so in his statement in May. Then they could have been in a much better position to obtain the grand jury material that is likely to contain even more damning evidence and dared the administration to block the testimony of witnesses like McGahn, Hicks, Donaldson and many others in an actual impeachment proceeding. I think that would have been a much better strategy.



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:34 pm 
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I agree. I find it disturbing, to say the least, that the extent of Russian interference is being glossed over, ignored, whitewashed.. whatever you want to call it. I think Mueller was obviously extremely distressed by what he found. The seeming lack of alarm and inaction on this front is appalling and traitorous. If foreign governments are going to tip the scales in their favor or decide our elections, we cease to be a free country.

I feel the entire process was problematic. The lengthy report that was mischaracterized by the Attorney General to the public. That many of our elected representatives didn't read it, which is what lead to the public hearings.. so that people would pay attention to what Mueller reported. Something should have been done immediately, but due to apathy(?), distractions(?) the Democrats (Nancy Pelosi) knew there would not be enough support and (perhaps?) was waiting for a groundswell/watershed moment, but I believe that was a mistake.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:39 pm 
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I merged the posts about the Whistleblower complaint from this thread into the Impeachment thread so that all of the posts about this subject were together - VtF

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:47 am 
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There's another whistleblower complaint. This time involving inappropriate request/handling of Trump's taxes. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/ ... mp-1673427

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:19 pm 
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Aaaand there is officially a criminal investigation into the origins of the Mueller Report.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50178197

I'm confident the Republicans will conduct this investigation in a fair, open, and honest manner and allow the public full visibility into their process and findings - since these are ideals so very important to them.

Quote:
What don't we know?
So far, the justice department has not made clear what potential crime is under investigation.

It is also unclear why this investigation has started now, or what prompted it.

And given the department itself appointed Robert Mueller to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, this criminal probe means the department may be in essence investigating itself.


And would just like to highlight this as well:

Quote:
May 2017: US Deputy Attorney General appoints Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and any alleged coordination with the Trump campaign


The investigation was not an investigation *of Trump* - but of Russian interference, and whatever may be related to that. So we're criminally investigating why we were concerned about the security and integrity of our national election. That's terrifying.

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Last edited by elengil on Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:15 pm 
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I was actually just going to post about this in the Russian Investigation thread. I suppose we can leave it here, though my OCD says it probably should be in the other thread.

In any event, this does appear to be an effort to use the Justice Department as a political tool, which is pretty terrifying.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:17 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
I was actually just going to post about this in the Russian Investigation thread. I suppose we can leave it here, though my OCD says it probably should be in the other thread.

In any event, this does appear to be an effort to use the Justice Department as a political tool, which is pretty terrifying.


Go ahead and move it, I honestly forget what threads have been going sometimes and pick the wrong one from my memory. :rofl:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:58 pm 
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I couldn't decide whether to put this in the Impeachment thread or the Russian Investigation thread, since it directly relevant to both. So I am putting it in both.

House impeachment investigators can see Mueller grand jury materials, judge rules

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:02 pm 
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elengil wrote:
I'm confident the Republicans will conduct this investigation in a fair, open, and honest manner and allow the public full visibility into their process and findings - since these are ideals so very important to them.

This isn't a Congressional investigation; Republican lawmakers will have no say in how it is conducted.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump's America
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:07 pm 
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Cerin wrote:

This isn't a Congressional investigation; Republican lawmakers will have no say in how it is conducted.


The Republican DOJ will, though.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:21 pm 
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Mr. Trump lost yet another round in his ongoing effort to keep his tax returns under wraps. In the case in which the New York District Attorney subpoena his tax returns in their ongoing investigation of the payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDouglal in order to keep them from keeping Mr. Trump from becoming president by talking about their affairs with him, the Court of Appeal panel unanimously ruled that the tax returns must be turned over. In that case, unlike the recent case in which another panel ruled two to one that tax returns need to be turned over to the House Ways and Means committee, the two sides agreed to fast track rules, so Mr. Trump must now petition directly to the SCOTUS within 10 days for review, so he can't delay further by first asking the full Circuit to rehear the case. The Supreme Court could then take up the case in this term, meaning that a decision would come by the end of June in the middle of the election year, or it can punt it until the following term.

I hope they don't stub their collective toes in their anxiousness to punt!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:57 pm 
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Not that I believe it's likely to happen, but is there a chance SCOTUS could refuse to hear the case?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:51 am 
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Normally, I would say that it is the most likely that SCOTUS would deny the petition, since they deny the vast majority of petitions, but in this case I would be very surprised if they did.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:53 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Normally, I would say that it is the most likely that SCOTUS would deny the petition, since they deny the vast majority of petitions, but in this case I would be very surprised if they did.


Would that be a decision of the chief justice or a joint decision of all?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:29 am 
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It requires the agreement of at least 4 justices to grant a petition for certiorari.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:36 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
It requires the agreement of at least 4 justices to grant a petition for certiorari.

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So at least 4 have to agree to hear any given case?

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