What Mueller Wrote about Obstruction
Josh Marshall explains it very well here. Mueller definitely did not write that he did not find proof without reasonable doubt that the President is a criminal.
I want to explain it in a way which is not so good, in fact bad, basically malicious, too petty to be evil.
Mueller clearly wrote that he accepted DOJ policy that he could not ask a grand jury to indict Trump *while Trump is President*
He added that he would not write that he would have sought an indictment except for that policy, because it would be unfair to accuse Trump yet not have a trial where Trump could present a defence, confront accusers and subpoena witnesses.
This means he clearly wrote that no matter how strong the evidence, a priori he had decided neither to seek an indictment nor to write that he would have done so except for the policy of not indicting serving presidents.
But Mueller didn’t stop there. He wrote that he wouldn’t write that Trump is clearly guilty of obstruction of justice. Then he noted that there are things he could, in principle, write which happen to be inconsistent with the assertion that Trump is clearly guilty. Finally he noted that he can’t honestly write any of them.
So he wrote to this effect “I won’t say that there is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the President is a criminal. I won’t say anything which contradicts the assertion (which I won’t make) that there is proof beyond doubt that the President is a crminal, because all such statements are false. All statements which contradict the assertion that there is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the President is a criminal are inconsistent with the available evidence. I stress again that I have not written that there is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the President is a criminal. Wink Wink. Nudge.”
Trump better hope that a majority of people can’t handle simple logic. I think he does hope that. I think he is right to hope that. But Mueller really made it very clear that he believes he has found proof beyond reasonable doubt that the President is a criminal and also he isn’t going to write that he found proof beyond reasonable doubt that the President is a criminal.
I’m not a prosecutor and I can write that the Mueller report clearly contains proof beyond reasonable doubt that the President is a criminal.
But Mueller didn’t (quite) write that.
“Proof” is a thing in mathematics.
“Evidence” is a thing is law..
“Every leap without evidence is immoral”.
Hillary was clearly a criminal, there was plenty of evidence and two criminal statutes.
In some legal systems the standard is absolute proof of guilt. In this country the standard is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt means that you can provide a reason for your doubt and not just that you don’t have a feeling the defendant isn’t guilty. If you can articulate and defend a reason for your doubt, then you as a juror can vote not guilty.
But all of this is irrelevant because we’re not talking about a trial. All that’s required to bring an indictment is evidence sufficient to support a grand jury finding of possible guilt. That’s a very weak threshold. But this too is irrelevant because DOJ policy would not even allow a sitting president to be indicted. So Mueller had two options: make an outright pronouncement of innocence or create a subtle and tangled finding that squared the circle and told everyone that Trump was probably guilty of obstruction but DOJ policy won’t allow a clear statement to that effect. So we got the unclear statement and an invitation for Congress to consider impeachment, which is the constitutional equivalent of an indictment.
Trump directed his subordinates to lie to investigators. If you or I did that we would have been indicted in a heartbeat. The ONLY reason Trump was not indicted is because the OLC rules prohibit the indictment of a sitting president. Full stop.
BTW, I hope the Democrats find a way to not impeach Trump. A candidate Pence is much more of an electoral threat than a badly wounded candidate Trump.
Ilsm has been babbling on what is something really simple.
Trump obstructed justice in so many ways. This reports documents 11 such situations. Case closed.
Why would he do that – many reasons but the clarion bell is he did not want voters to know that his team was working with Putin’s team to rig the 2016 election. That is clear. I guess we can argue with C word is appropriate but no one can dispute the facts.
Which is why Putin has ordered troll ilsm to babble gibberish.
2slug devotes a lot of effort to knocking down the intellectual garbage from Trump toadie ILSM. I’m not criticizing his tireless efforts as I want to note his simple single sentence that says it all!
‘Trump directed his subordinates to lie to investigators.’
ILSM is one of Trumps subordinates. Case closed!
I do not know of any evidence that Hillary Clinton has committed a crime. If I had to come up with one I would mention Castle Grande.
In contrast, it is obvious that Trump has committed many crimes certainly including tax fraud and well ordinary fraud. There is no point in trying to reason with people who deny this.
I too hope he is not impeached and convicted as I fear President Pence and the possible re-election of Pence. But not much risk of that given the 53 Republican Senators any 34 of whom are enough to acquit in a Senate trial.
I would like a 60-40 so he’s still President vote in the Senate.
I was a federal civil servant in DoD, a manager.
The 30000 Dept of State office of the Secretary missing e-mails breach the federal records act a criminal statute. We received recurring training to keep us out of jail for denying the public access to records.
The other suspicious fact is the insecure servers which housed sensitive information. That is a violation of the National Security Act. I held a clearance since 1972, I know how to avoid felonies with handling sensitive information and we repeatedly trained that stuff.
AG Lynch decided to look the other way. Such neglect does not excuse any other offenders.
If Trump were never a “subject” what has the conspiracy theory of the past 30 months been about? Setting up an impeachment vote in the House?
Two posts! I am humbled. Not a shred of thinking.
It is all hackery and conspiracy theory against the president of the US.
‘Trump directed his subordinates to lie to investigators.’
Do you think that if there were any evidence of Trump subordinates lying to investigators there would have been one indictment for each.
The “case closed” is DOA, only a partisan hack would vote to impeach.
Why do you not post at Economists’ View?
Because I like him here and you can not make a mockery of it here. Neither can any one else. Your balderdash has no basis, no morals, etc, to fall back upon. They are lies perpetuated by those who seek party over country.
“Within approximately five hours of Trump’s statement, GRU officers targeted for the first time Clinton’s personal office. ”
The report shows that Russia coordinated with Trump even if he was unaware of it.
Even on coordination Mueller was in a Catch-22. “The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies. ” and OLC policy does not allow the president to be indicted.
Lou Dobbs Suggests Donald Trump Was Sent By God During Mueller Report Rant
“Which is why Putin has ordered troll ilsm to babble gibberish.”
This is a textbook case of neo-McCarthyism which is politically correct version of anti-Semitism.
Chickenhawks like you who never served in the military and still want nuclear war with Russia should be ashamed
You should apologize to ilsm immediately.
This forum is for intellectuals, not rabid Russophobic ***** like you.
And BTW my friend Russiagate show is not only about the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA (including but not limited to the loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite), but also about projection:
Do you understand that you implicate Obama administration in total and utter incompetence, if not pandering to the foreign intervention into the USA elections. The latter is called criminal negligence in legal speak.
So all our three letter agencies with their enormous budgets and staff including NSA which intercepts all incoming/outgoing communications (and probably most internal communications) can’t protect the USA elections from interference that they knew about ?
Or they assume that it was CIA “training exercise” imposing as Russian hackers?
It not clear why Russia need such a crude methods as, for example, hacking Podesta email via spearfishing (NSA has all the recodings in this case), as you can buy, say a couple of Google engineers for less then a million dollars (many Google engineers hate Google with its cult of performance reviews and know that they are getting much less then their Facebook counterparts, so this might well be not that difficult) and get all you want without extra noise.
Historically Soviet and, especially, East German intelligence were real experts in utilizing “humint”. With the crash of neoliberal ideology that probably is easier for Russians now then it was for Soviets or East Germans in 60th-80th.
For example, from my admittedly nonprofessional point of view, the most logical assumption about DNC hack is that it was a mixture of the internal leak (download of the files to the UCB drive) and Crowdstrike false flag operation (cover up operation which included implanting Russian (or Ukrainian) malware from Vault 7 to blame Russians.
And that Gussifer 2.0 was most probably a fake personality created specifically to increase credibility of this false flag operation (see for example http://g-2.space/ and https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/guccifer-2-clinton-foundation-hack-leak/ )
Likbez: Ilsm = Mary Rosh: John Lott. Now maybe he is a bit more as his dishonest gibberish is really off the charts!
I’m a chicken hawk? PLEASE!
Lou Dobbs? Oh yea – this:
If this site is for intellectuals, wtf are you doing here?
Anti-semitism? WTF is wrong with you?
I re-read Robert’s quote where Mueller calls the president a criminal and he goes round in round calling the president a criminal with multiple negatives it hurts.
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” is one (either the eighth or ninth; the designation varies between religions) of the Ten Commandments” from a wiki article
30 months of slanders and false witnessing, and this philosophy insists it should rule!
pgl if you had any thought process aside from ad hominem bring it.
Ilsm yes it hurts. But as you struggle though Mueller’s negatives and my not un-humorously exaggerated double negatives, remember that you are not the only one to suffer.
‘I think it is clear that Mueller felt that he could not write that Trump is demonstrably a criminal and yet he could not write an honest report hiding his certainty that Trump is demonstrably a criminal. This dilemma caused some tortured grammar, but before inflicting torture on the English language it tortured Robert Mueller.
The man looks tough with a granite jaw, but I don’t think it was easy for him to look at the evidence and (almost completely) resist the impulse to write that Donald Trump is a criminal.
I am several years younger than Robert Mueller, I am not as tall. I feel my years!
I have taken on “that one more job” that I should not have. I think Mueller is there.
That said, it is not the investigator nor the prosecutor’s role to make a judgement.
I observe a bit of embarrassment in not getting any indictment.
Mueller should retire..
ILSM it is not the investigator nor the prosecutor’s role to make a judgement
Actually, it is precisely the job of the prosecutor to make judgments. In the American legal system it’s called prosecutorial discretion.
As to Clinton and those 30,000 emails, keep in mind that all previous Secretaries of State did exactly the same thing. In fact, at the time virtually all high ranking State Dept executives had to buy their own unsecure mobile devices because the State Dept didn’t have them. That’s very different from the DoD policy. And you’re overstating the consequences of having those emails unsecured. For one thing, many of the so called “classified” emails were retroactively classified and were unclassified at the time she had them. For another thing, there was disagreement about the proper classification. The originating agency considered them unclassified. For a third thing, unknowingly storing SBU/FOUO on an unsecured machine is an administrative violation but not a crime. SBU and FOUO are administrative restrictions, not security classifications. Finally, inadvertent security breaches and “spillage” are fairly common. Sending someone to jail for those kinds of offenses is extremely rare. A reprimand or a few days lost pay is what happens 99.999% of the time unless there is evidence of extreme mens rea. And it’s especially rich for President Trump to get all whipped up about emails on unsecured servers given that Trump insists on using unsecured smart phones himself!!! Pot…meet kettle.
If you looked at Trump like you cover up for Clinton, Mueller would have retired in Jan 17.
Things have not changed since Bush, the emphasis on information assurance/security, in the NIST (NIST POM 800 series) which is federal not DoD has been out there since 2006. An IA expert can name his or her salary!
The boss sets the standards….. observation about state under Clinton accepted. She did get Qaddafi killed and attempt to blow up Yemen and Syria while keeping up Iraq and Afghanistan.
I presume you had a clearance in your Army jobs? I presume the Army is quite better than the AF in training about the protection of sensitive information?
I had quite a bit of contact with Army PM offices after my AF career!
How do you not know the NSA applies to Dept State and DoT, DoE DHS etc? As to every one does it……. that don’t fly.
The last detail I undertook on active duty involved investigating the leaks of sensitive information in a previously unclassified document that had enough hints to give away some pretty sensitive stuff.
The three star wanted someone’s head. Some competent official an oxymoron in the last administration should have had Clinton’s head.
As to Trump raising the e-mail crimes that is not what I talk about. What I talk about is the letter Comey sent out in Oct 16 it was because the troops in FBI were going to squawk.
This pot sees the consumer (accepting the wrong conclusion) risk of going along with the media presumptions about what Mueller meant or found is pretty high.
The producer (rejecting a good conclusion) risk for the anti Trump bloviators is approaching zero that their blither will be rejected.
That is politics!
“Do you understand that you implicate Obama administration”
They did screw up.
ILSM Clinton didn’t just dream up the idea of having a private server all on her own. The idea was recommended to her by Colin Powell and Condi Rice, because they also had private servers. And I do have family members who were ambassadorial rank in the State Dept during the Bush and Obama years and yes…having private devices were not only common, but it was recommended because State did not have enough to issue. And we’re not talking about classified information, we’re talking about SBU/FOUO. The rules for SBU/FOUO are different than they are for classified. And the fact that accidental spillage is common does fly when it comes to determining the extent to prosecute someone. There are gradations of guilt. They don’t send someone to 10 years in Leavenworth for unintentionally releasing HIPPA information. They don’t even sent comptroller types to prison for accidentally spending more than authorized. That’s not how the world works.
The Constitution prohibits ex post facto enforcement, so it cannot be a crime to have information that was unclassified at the time and only later be reclassified. You don’t get to retroactively prosecute someone for something that was not a crime at the time. Generals can get mad and want to fire people, but they can’t put them in jail for that.
Comey reacted to the FBI office in NY because he knew that the office was strongly pro-Trump. He was in a box. He probably made a mistake, but that doesn’t have anything to do with Clinton herself. He later concluded that she was careless but not criminal.
But I’ll tell you what. How about if Mueller recommends prosecuting both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. If you think Clinton is guilty of a horrendous crime, then surely Donald’s offences rise to at least that same level. Would that make you happy? They could both pose for a picture, with Donald in an orange jump suit and Hillary in a striped pant suit.
Wrong. The fact that they did not warn/brief Trump suggests that this was an a deliberate and pre-planned attempt to entrap him by initiating Russian contacts by FBI/CIA/MI6 moles
We have some cursory evidence of at least four attempts to link Trump to Russians supposedly conducted by intelligence services ( https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/russiagate/ ):
— Moscow Trump Tower set up (via FBI mole Felix Saters), https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/the-fbi-tried-and-failed-to-entrap-trump-by-larry-c-johnson.html
— DNC email setup (via CIA and FBI contractor Crowdstrike ) https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/test-it-yourself-the-2-second-rounding-fact-pattern-in-the-dnc-emails-by-william-binney-and-larry-jo.html
— Veselnitskaya Trump tower meeting set up (via MI6 mole Rob Goldstone). https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/httpstruepunditcomexclusive-six-u-s-agencies-conspired-to-illegally-wiretap-trump-british-intel-used-as-fr.html
— Papadopoulos set up ( via Josef Misfud (MI6) and Stefan Halper (CIA) ). At the time Halper probably was reporting to the current CIA director Gina Haspel who was at this time CIA station chief in GB. She is a Brennan protégé, of recent Skripals dead ducks hoax fame.
Surveillance was specifically established to collect compromising material on Trump and his associates with high level official in Obama administration (and probably Obama himself) playing coordinating role.
Colonel Lang’s blog is a good source of information on those issues with posts by former intelligence specialists.
And please note that I am not a Trump supporter. I resent him and his policies.
The e post facto bit don’t work on the National Security Act. The “elements” in the e mails were sensitive from the get go.
It is in the training! A combination of “elements unobserved is the grossest form of neglect!
Of course Hillary forgot getting her training. A great recommendation for any GS 3 job.
As to the alleged Trumpist SA’s in the FBI NY office if they were not right they would have been “handled”.
The blithering going on over Russia gate is going to either turn off independents or make the vote against the blithering on CNN and MSNBC.
I might get happy when Bernie beats Trump. Thank you for asking.
Until then I will be myself.
It is all political.
There are just too many crazy people polluting the internet. Ilsm is pathetc. Ban his ass.
So, “a deliberate and pre-planned attempt to entrap” is not a screw up. Hmm.
Randomworker – it appears ILSM is being paid by the word. Alas the payment is in Rubles which is a devaluing currency so this troll has to write a lot of intellectual garbage just to pay the rent!