rgl7194 + politics   4124

Pelosi Says Trump Knows He Shouldn't Be President
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi didn't hold back during an interview with 60 Minutes regarding her opinions on the capabilities of President Donald Trump.
"I think that there's nobody in the country who knows better that he should not be president of the United States than Donald Trump," Pelosi said when asked to describe the president.
60 Minutes journalist Lesley Stahl then asked if Pelosi thought Trump was aware he should not be president.
"I think he does. Yeah," Pelosi said. "But I respect the office he holds and, uh, he's not-- worth the trouble of saying you're so horrible we can't work together. No, we need to work together."
Working together was a frequent call from Pelosi during the interview, including among members of her own party.
"You are contending with a group in Congress: Over here on the left flank are these self-described socialists, on the right, these moderates. And you yourself said that you're the only one who can unify everybody. And the question is can you?," Stahl asked.
"By and large, whatever orientation they came to Congress with, they know that we have to hold the center. That we have to be m- go down the mainstream," Pelosi said.
The congresswoman later shrugged off assertions that the Democratic party is fractured due to progressive voices like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a group that Pelosi said was "like five people."
trump  gov2.0  politics  congress  Dems  pelosi  interview  tv 
yesterday by rgl7194
The Mueller Report: More Disquieting Insights - WhoWhatWhy
It takes many hours to read the Mueller report, but the deeper you dig, the more arresting insights and intriguing plot twists you find.
One surprising insight: Many of the players in the Trump campaign appear to be apolitical. They don’t grasp for power; they seek what’s “good for business,” in the words of former campaign chair Paul Manafort.
Case in Point: Carter Page
Beginning on page 95, the report recounts the saga of Carter Page, candidate Trump’s foreign policy adviser. His story could have been written by Henry James, whose novels describe what happens when naïve Americans meet worldly strangers abroad. In Mueller’s account, Page is eager to make his fortune in the Russian energy business.
One of Page’s longtime contacts was Victor Podobnyy, a Russian intelligence officer. Podobnyy, in a recorded conversation with another Russian intelligence operative, said that “it was obvious he [Page] wants to earn lots of money.” Podobnyy said he fed Page lots of “empty promises” that he [Podobnyy] could help him make business deals in Russia, as a way to get useful information from him.
Page told Mueller’s investigators that he knew that some of his contacts were Russian intelligence agents, and admitted he gave “immaterial non-public information” to them, but made no apologies. “The more immaterial non-public information I give them, the better for this country.”
When he worked for the Trump campaign, Page met many officials in Russia, and sent emails bragging to Trump’s folks about all the contacts he was making and how valuable they would be.
Mueller’s team concluded that Page did not help Russians influence the election. But they also stated that they were limited in what they could find out. “Page’s activities in Russia — as described in his emails to the campaign — were not fully explained.”
When the media picked up on Page’s activities, and his advocacy of pro-Russia policies, the Trump campaign dropped him, two months before the November 2016 election.
Even then, Page sought a job with the new administration after the election. He was not hired.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Mueller report: Trump owes America contrition and plan to face Russia
A president who takes seriously his oath would be in shock to realize the astonishing level of penetration of his inner circle by agents of Russia.
The President of the United States, like all elected officials and public servants, swears to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies. But there is one responsibility the president must bear alone, and that is the obligation to act as the commander in chief, the guardian of our national security and the defender of our nation from malevolent foreign powers. The Mueller report makes clear that Donald Trump has failed miserably in this sacred obligation, and instead has traded his constitutional duty for his own safety.
Mueller’s conclusions lay to rest some — but not all — of the legal issues surrounding the Russian attempts to subvert our democratic processes. As the report notes, Mueller’s team could not find a specific agreement between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to cooperate in an operation against American institutions.
For this, we should be grateful, but that’s about as far as the good news goes.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Mueller's Report Could Hurt Trump and the GOP in 2020 - The Atlantic
The special counsel’s findings validate the concerns of anyone who feared how Donald Trump would wield presidential power.
Beyond all the revelations about Russian entanglements and possible obstruction of justice, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report crystallizes two cardinal rules about governance in Donald Trump’s Washington. One is that Trump will shatter any boundaries of law, morality, or custom in his exercise of presidential power. The second is that Republicans—not only in Congress, but now also in the executive branch—will not restrain any of his excesses. The same holds true for both unwritten rules: They constitute a defining gamble for the GOP in future elections.
Starting with Attorney General William Barr’s staggeringly misleading press conference Thursday about the report, and extending through the blithe dismissal from congressional Republicans of its revelations, the release was yet another demonstration that there may be literally nothing Trump can do that would cause Republicans to break from him. Mueller’s report cataloged dozens of behaviors from Trump and his advisers—from sharing internal campaign polling data and strategy with a suspected agent of a foreign power to repeatedly lying to the public to systematically seeking to thwart investigations—that would have inspired volcanic eruptions of outrage from congressional Republicans and the conservative-media infrastructure if perpetrated by a Democratic president.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Colbert Rips Apart Trump's Mueller Report Reaction | Time
Stephen Colbert has some questions about the Mueller Report. Mainly, he is questioning President Donald Trump’s quote in the report, released Thursday, which concludes this investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.
“We now know how Trump felt about Mueller’s investigation,” Colbert explained during his late night show monologue. “When Jeff Sessions told Trump special counsel had been appointed, Trump slumped back in his chair and said ‘Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m f–ked.” It’s quite a quote — and Colbert had a hot take: “I’m guessing that’s not how an innocent person reacts,” he suggested.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Mueller's report looks bad for Obama (opinion) - CNN
(CNN)The partisan warfare over the Mueller report will rage, but one thing cannot be denied: Former President Barack Obama looks just plain bad. On his watch, the Russians meddled in our democracy while his administration did nothing about it.
The Mueller report flatly states that Russia began interfering in American democracy in 2014. Over the next couple of years, the effort blossomed into a robust attempt to interfere in our 2016 presidential election. The Obama administration knew this was going on and yet did nothing. In 2016, Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice told her staff to "stand down" and "knock it off" as they drew up plans to "strike back" against the Russians, according to an account from Michael Isikoff and David Corn in their book "Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump".
Why did Obama go soft on Russia? My opinion is that it was because he was singularly focused on the nuclear deal with Iran. Obama wanted Putin in the deal, and to stand up to him on election interference would have, in Obama's estimation, upset that negotiation. This turned out to be a disastrous policy decision.
Obama's supporters claim he did stand up to Russia by deploying sanctions after the election to punish them for their actions. But, Obama, according to the Washington Post, "approved a modest package... with economic sanctions so narrowly targeted that even those who helped design them describe their impact as largely symbolic." In other words, a toothless response to a serious incursion.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  obama 
yesterday by rgl7194
What the Mueller Report Reveals About the Presidency - The Atlantic
Almost 50 years after Watergate, it’s still exceedingly difficult to hold a president accountable.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report contains numerous factual revelations and, even with the redactions, rounds out what was so far known about the president’s openness to a political alliance with Russia and his dedication to obstructing any inquiry into “collusion.” Weeks will pass before the full significance of these investigative findings can be assessed. In the meantime, the report is itself evidence: a clear indication that almost 50 years after Watergate, major barriers have now settled into place against presidential accountability for serious misconduct.
First, note the impact of the two Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinions immunizing the president from prosecution while in office. In a striking passage, Mueller suggests a reluctance to reach a final judgment about the president’s criminal liability if he cannot be indicted and tried—and therefore cannot defend himself.
These OLC opinions, each written in administrations of presidents who faced impeachment, have virtually no credibility. They do not purport to reflect anything like established or even clear law. It is perhaps somewhat unfair and overly simplistic to say that the premise of the opinions is that the president is too important to face accountability under the criminal-justice system. But it is neither entirely unfair nor wildly oversimplistic.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Opinion | Mueller Hints at a National-Security Nightmare - The New York Times
The missing piece of the report is a counterintelligence investigation that should set off alarm bells about our democracy and security.
The Mueller report isn’t actually close to a full account of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller. That’s not just because of the redactions. When he was hired, Mr. Mueller inherited supervision of an F.B.I. counterintelligence investigation. That is the missing piece of the Mueller report.
President Trump may claim “exoneration” on a narrowly defined criminal coordination charge. But a counterintelligence investigation can yield something even more important: an intelligence assessment of how likely it is that someone — in this case, the president — is acting, wittingly or unwittingly, under the influence of or in collaboration with a foreign power. Was Donald Trump a knowing or unknowing Russian asset, used in some capacity to undermine our democracy and national security?
The public Mueller report alone provides enough evidence to worry that America’s own national security interests may not be guiding American foreign policy.
The counterintelligence investigation is not necessarily complete, but from the glimpses we see in the Mueller report, it should set off very serious national security alarm bells.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  nytimes  op-ed 
yesterday by rgl7194
The Mueller Report: Further Proof That a Savior Isn’t Coming - WhoWhatWhy
According to Sarah Kendzior, the Mueller Report doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s been happening.
In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Kendzior, the no-holds-barred commentator, calls special counsel Robert Mueller incompetent. She sees the country as being in the grip of an international crime syndicate, engaged in money laundering, fraud, and racketeering, with the express goal of bringing American democracy to its knees.
Kendzior tells Jeff Schechtman of her frustration with what she sees as an absence of moral courage and an unwillingness to acknowledge the magnitude of the country’s problems.
She explains why she thinks impeachment is absolutely necessary and asks, “if Trump isn’t impeachable, who is?” She wants to see O.J. Simpson–style hearings, live on TV, and on a daily basis, to make people aware of the criminality that she sees all around.
In fact, she says, a lot of the corruption started long before Trump, who she doesn’t believe is ever going to leave office willingly.
She says that we have to stop believing that a savior is coming. From her perspective, most politicians seem to be hell-bent on letting America roll over and die.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  podcast  transcript 
yesterday by rgl7194
House Judiciary Chairman Nadler subpoenas full, unredacted Mueller report
The subpoena comes a day after a redacted version of the special counsel's report was made public.
WASHINGTON — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., on Friday subpoenaed the Justice Department for the full, unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report as well as the underlying evidence.
In a statement, Nadler said that the Justice Department must comply by May 1.
"I am open to working with the Department to reach a reasonable accommodation for access to these materials, however I cannot accept any proposal which leaves most of Congress in the dark, as they grapple with their duties of legislation, oversight and constitutional accountability," he said Friday.
The subpoena comes a day after Attorney General William Barr released a redacted version of the report to Congress and to the public, which details Trump's attempts to muddy the special counsel's probe, including efforts to tamper with witnesses, and the decision not to charge him with obstruction of justice in part because there was no underlying crime and many of the attempts were carried out in plain view.
The report also laid out numerous contacts between members of Trump’s presidential campaign and Russians, but said investigators found Trump’s team had not “conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  congress 
yesterday by rgl7194
Trump's Orders Are Routinely Disregarded by His Staff - The Atlantic
Trump keeps issuing orders, and staffers keep ignoring them because they’re illegal or unwise. It’s an unsustainable situation—but it shows no sign of abating.
It’s been another dizzying few days in Washington, starting with yet another border controversy, as President Donald Trump threatened to bus unauthorized immigrants to sanctuary cities, and ending with the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which turned out to be far more damning than advertised by Trump’s attorney general.
These two very different stories have more in common than meets the eye. In each case, there’s a central tension between the president and aides who refuse to execute orders from him that they believe are illegal or foolish. Mueller’s report is packed with incidents in which White House staff not only didn’t do things Trump said, but never had any intention of doing them. In the case of the border, Immigration and Customs Enforcement staff rebuffed Trump’s plan to bus migrants on legal grounds; meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan refused to turn away migrants seeking asylum, concluding that it was illegal. (Nielsen was sacked soon after, while McAleenan is now her acting replacement.)
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
House asks Robert Mueller to testify by May 23 | PBS NewsHour
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is asking special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his panel as soon as possible about his report on the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Chairman Jerrold Nadler released a three-sentence letter to Mueller requesting his appearance, minutes after Attorney General William Barr ended a news conference in which he described the special counsel’s report. The New York Democrat tweeted that Congress and the public need to hear directly from Mueller to “better understand his findings.”
Nadler wrote in his letter that he wants Mueller to testify by May 23 and asked for his “prompt attention” to the request.
Barr said at his news conference that he did not object to Mueller testifying.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  congress 
yesterday by rgl7194
Mueller report shows Ivanka was in on the Trump Tower meeting cover-up
The first daughter Ivanka Trump was in on the effort to cover up the meeting her husband, brother, and Paul Manafort had with a Kremlin-connected lawyer.
First daughter Ivanka Trump has long stayed above the fray of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
However, the Mueller report suggests that she was involved in the cover-up of the fateful Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, which was attended by Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner; her older brother, Donald Trump Jr.; and convicted former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
The evidence of Ivanka Trump's role begins on page 98 of the report, which details the moment when "senior administration officials" learned about emails setting up the Trump Tower meeting intended to get "dirt" on Hillary Clinton's campaign.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Poll: Most Americans don’t think Mueller report will clear Trump - POLITICO
Most Americans do not believe that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report exonerates President Donald Trump, according to a new survey from a Democratic firm.
The poll, by the Navigator research project, was conducted between April 1-7, after Attorney General William Barr publicly released his summary of the report on March 24. Navigator describes itself as a group of top Democratic pollsters and progressive leaders focused on the party’s messaging during the Trump era.
Barr wrote in his summary that Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Russia but that Mueller was inconclusive on whether Trump obstructed justice. Trump and his allies immediately heralded the summary as a total exoneration, but poll respondents indicated they don’t agree.
Only 30 percent of respondents accept the president’s interpretation that he was fully exonerated of wrongdoing. Meanwhile, 45 percent said they believe the Mueller report is inconclusive, and 18 percent said they don’t know enough to make a judgment.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Mueller report suggests Congress should judge whether Trump obstructed justice - Los Angeles Times
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, in his highly anticipated report, portrayed President Trump as a mercurial leader who repeatedly and frantically sought to undermine the federal investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign.
The only thing that seemed to thwart the president's whims, Mueller wrote, was that advisors ignored his orders. The Justice Department released a redacted version of the report on Thursday.
Trump's efforts to obstruct the investigation "were often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the President sought to use his official power outside of usual channels," Mueller wrote.
"The President's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests," he continued.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  latimes 
yesterday by rgl7194
Justice Department reportedly already tipped off Trump’s lawyers to Mueller report conclusions:
The Mueller report into Russian election meddling is scheduled to be released in all its redacted glory Thursday morning. It will be a lot of new information to quickly take in and assess for everyone involved. Everyone, that is, except for the Trump legal team, which, the New York Times reports, has already had multiple conversations with officials at the Department of Justice about the Mueller report’s conclusions. Wait, what? That’s right, the principle subject of the investigation, the president and his team, has already been briefed on the probe’s findings by the very department overseeing the inquiry, the Justice Department. Let’s not forget that congressional investigations into the president remain unresolved, making this very much an active legal matter.
Perhaps most important to Trump is the coming skirmish over public opinion and the shaping of public perception surrounding the findings. The tipping off of the president’s lawyers would certainly give Trump a leg up on crafting the narrative. The president now has the ability to get out ahead of what’s coming, much of which will likely be deeply unflattering to Trump irrespective of the conduct in question’s literal legality. If all of that seems a bit off to you, you’re obviously not the attorney general of the United States, or the president for that matter.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Where Is the Mueller Report? - The Atlantic
Before allowing the public and Congress to see it for themselves, the attorney general has called a Thursday-morning press conference.
The Justice Department said on Tuesday that it would release Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Thursday, but it didn’t say how. Finally, late on Wednesday, word emerged: Attorney General William Barr will deliver a press conference at 9:30 a.m., followed by the release of the report to Congress and then the public later in the morning.
No wonder DOJ waited so long to detail the rollout: Barr’s decision is baffling. Since Mueller completed his report, Barr has made a series of judgment calls—on whether there was evidence for an obstruction-of-justice charge, on producing a summary of Mueller’s principal conclusions, and on redacting the full report. Each of these was questioned, but was arguably defensible. But Barr’s decision to hold a press conference on the report, before either the public or Congress has even had a chance to see it, doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps Barr has good reasons that he is not sharing, but based on what’s publicly known, it’s easy to wonder whether he’s trying to spin the report to Donald Trump’s benefit.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Mueller report release: William Barr trashed the DOJ to try to save Trump.
On Thursday morning, Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to release a redacted version of the Mueller report to Congress and the public. Two days before that scheduled release, a federal judge issued a critical rebuke of Barr’s handling of the release of that report. “The attorney general has created an environment that has caused a significant part of the public … to be concerned about whether or not there is full transparency,” said U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, on Tuesday during a Mueller-related hearing.
The judge is right. Barr’s handling of the report has only served to sow public distrust of the Justice Department. As a former federal prosecutor, I would go further: The attorney general’s transparent efforts to protect President Donald Trump have done enormous damage to the department.
Here are just some of the ways that Barr has failed the public and the Justice Department he heads.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Mueller Report Is Bad News For Trump Ally And Blackwater Founder Erik Prince | HuffPost
The special counsel’s team suggested Prince, brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, lied to Congress, and it portrayed the mercenary as amateurish.
The Trump administration’s informal foreign policy adviser Erik Prince, who is best known for founding a military contracting firm called Blackwater that massacred 14 Iraqis in 2007 and who is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, appears to have lied to Congress about conducting an unsophisticated effort to connect the White House and the Kremlin, according to the redacted report of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, released Thursday.
Mueller’s team interviewed Prince, former White House adviser Steve Bannon and George Nader, a convicted pedophile who works for the United Arab Emirates, a U.S. ally, and reviewed text messages, emails and other relevant data.
The report doesn’t explicitly say Prince lied under oath, which is in keeping with a so-called “queen for a day” immunity offered to those interviewed in the investigation. Mueller also did not indict Prince, as he did other associates of President Donald Trump. But the special counsel depicts his interactions with a well-connected Russian, Kirill Dmitriev, very differently from the way Prince did when he spoke with the House Intelligence Committee as part of its own inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
And along the way, Mueller drily notes how the American mercenary ― who pitches himself internationally as a mastermind who can maneuver terrain from Afghanistan to sub-Saharan Africa ― behaves in bush-league style.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Mueller had everything he needed to charge Trump with obstruction, but didn't - CNNPolitics
Washington (CNN)If Robert Mueller wanted to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction, he found all he needed to do it.
And he found it on multiple fronts. But he didn't make a decision on whether to bring the case.
Mueller's report Thursday walked through excruciating detail of evidence in the obstruction of justice investigation and legal analysis, hitting over and over again how prosecutors had enough to meet the legal threshold for a case against Trump.
The special counsel examined multiple incidents for potential obstruction. It showed how Trump's actions crossed the threshold for a case when Trump confronted former FBI Director James Comey to "let" national security adviser Michael Flynn go; when Trump fired Comey; when Trump directed his former White House counsel Don McGahn to shut down Mueller; and when Trump tweeted about his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort's charges as he headed to trial.
In each of these situations, Mueller found evidence that Trump took steps to harm an investigation, had the ability to harm an investigation and had a personal motivation to harm the investigation.
The decision not to charge Trump with a crime means the President and his allies can claim a clean victory following the nearly two-year probe, but the evidence Mueller gathered and that Congress can still investigate suggests that conclusions about the President's actions could still come.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
The Mueller Report Is Much Worse For Trump Than Barr Let On | WIRED
IF DONALD TRUMP isn’t guilty of obstruction of justice, who ever could be?
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report, made public Thursday in redacted form (on CD, natch), outlined over nearly half of those pages how the president reacted to and fumed over the Russia probe, seeking to undermine it, curtail it, and even fire the special counsel himself.
The first section of the Mueller report details Russia’s efforts to upend the 2016 presidential campaign, and scrutinizes the many interactions between Trump associates and Russia. But it’s in the second half, which provides a litany of instances in which Trump may have obstructed justice, that the real bombshells await.
‘I’m fucked’
According to the report, Trump reacted to Mueller’s appointment as special counsel in May 2017 as follows: “Oh my God, this is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”
And then, as Mueller lays out in sometimes lurid detail, in at least 10 episodes over the ensuing months Trump sought to block or stop that very investigation. He did so even as Mueller doggedly made public the “sweeping and systematic fashion” in which the Russian government attacked the 2016 presidential election, and brought serious criminal charges—and won guilty pleas—from a half-dozen of the president’s top campaign aides.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
yesterday by rgl7194
Mueller Leaves It to Congress to Decide Whether Trump Obstructed Justice – Mother Jones
The special counsel report is at odds with the attorney general’s contention that Congress shouldn’t make that call.
Special counsel Robert Mueller decided it would not be appropriate for him to determine whether President Donald Trump had committed the crime of obstructing justice through his actions that threatened to derail Mueller’s investigation. But Mueller specifically left open the possibility for Congress to make that determination—concluding in his report that Congress has the power to continue its own investigation and consider the facts laid out in his report.
“With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” the redacted report, released Thursday, states. 
The report continues: “The separation-of-powers doctrine authorizes Congress to protect official proceedings, including those of courts and grand juries, from corrupt, obstructive acts regardless of their source…The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.” 
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Sally Yates just honored Mueller and infuriated Trump with powerful Time Magazine profile
On the eve of the day when the American people will finally get their first look at the actual Mueller report — in a redacted form at least — former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates paid tribute to the man behind the two-year inquiry that preceded the report by authoring the biography of her former Justice Department colleague for Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2019.
Yates – who was a pivotal figure in the events that led to the appointment of the Special Counsel after her warning to the Trump administration that their newly installed National Security director could be compromised by Russian intelligence — celebrated her tribute to the stoic and determined public servant by tweeting it out for her numerous Twitter followers to see,
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller’s Report Doesn’t Exonerate Trump. But Does That Matter? | FiveThirtyEight
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election finally became public this morning, with an explanation for why he didn’t come to a conclusion about whether President Trump committed obstruction of justice that appeared to be in tension with Attorney General William Barr’s interpretation of the report. In a press conference before Mueller’s report was released, Barr offered an explanation for his decision not to prosecute the president on obstruction of justice charges, saying that he believes that regardless of whether Trump actually committed obstructive acts, he’s satisfied that the president had “non-corrupt motives.”
Mueller’s report, however, is darker and more ambiguous. Mueller’s team found “multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations.” And in many cases, Trump was kept out of further legal hot water by his staff’s unwillingness to carry out his directives, such as when his White House counsel refused to fire Mueller. Mueller pointedly wrote in the introduction to the section of the report dealing with obstruction that the report did not “exonerate” Trump. Mueller also wrote that he didn’t try to come to a conclusion about the president’s innocence or guilt because of a longstanding Justice Department policy that prevents a sitting president from being charged and put on trial — which he saw himself as bound by.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  538 
2 days ago by rgl7194
The Mueller Report: The First Hundred Pages - WhoWhatWhy
It is nearly as long and as chock-full of Russian names as any novel by Tolstoy. It is such good reading that it should not be left to the pundits to digest. Dive right in and you’ll almost immediately come up with intriguing tidbits.
First, there’s a “caveat emptor” message from the author:
On page 10 of the report: Mueller lists all the limitations of the investigation, including the lack of communications that would corroborate witness reports. Some of that evidence was “deleted,” or it was sent via encrypted communication, or through apps that don’t retain conversations. Some witnesses lived abroad, and others took the 5th.
Mueller concludes: “given these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report.”  
And throughout its pages, we come across interesting lines of investigation that Mueller did not pursue.
On page 50: The investigation identifies Russian operatives who successfully penetrated state boards of elections, managing to install malware on the Illinois voter-registration database, which contained information on a million voters. Russians also tried to hack into companies that made election software and hardware, such as voter registration software and electronic polling stations. But Mueller left others — state investigators, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI — to follow up.
On pages 59–60: Entertaining reading on Donald Trump Jr.’s efforts to reach out to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks even wrote back at one point: “It is great to see you and your dad talking about our publications.”
Beginning at page 67: The whole Trump Tower Project has the feel of a Trump “gang who couldn’t shoot straight” getting conned by a variety of Russian operatives. Cohen’s emails to one Russian never arrived because he had the wrong address.
On page 93: After recounting the funny-sad saga of George Papadopoulos, the investigators cannot determine whether Papadopoulos told the Trump campaign that Russia had the Clinton emails, even though the representatives of two foreign governments said that he had told them. Neither Papadopoulos nor any member of the Trump campaign could “recall” him reporting this significant fact.
We’ll be bringing you our insights from the rest of the report as we continue reading it.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  538 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Politics Podcast: The Fallout From The Mueller Report Has Just Begun | FiveThirtyEight
The U.S. Department of Justice released a redacted version of the full Mueller report Thursday. On this episode of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew reacts to special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings that the Trump campaign did not criminally conspire with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. The report came to no conclusion about the criminality of President Trump’s actions during the investigation.
Also, the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recording a live podcast in Houston on May 8. Find more information and tickets here.
You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN app or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.
The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast publishes Monday evenings, with additional episodes throughout the week. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  538  podcast 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Is The Mueller Report A BFD? | FiveThirtyEight
Welcome to a special, extra edition of FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
sarahf (Sarah Frostenson, politics editor): At long last, we have special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election. And compared with Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the report, which he sent to Congress last month, it paints a murkier picture of whether President Trump might have obstructed justice; for example, the report includes details of the president attempting to fire the special counsel.
Ultimately, though, Mueller’s team wrote that it did not have the confidence to clearly state that the president either did or did not obstruct justice and that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
So, tell me … now that we have the report, is it a BFD?
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  538 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Read the Mueller Report: Searchable Document - The New York Times
These findings, from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, detail his two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The document has been redacted by the Justice Department.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  nytimes  search 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: The Mueller Report
We’ve all been bombarded by news alerts on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel report today. I’ve spent most of my day reading it. I strongly suggest all of you do the same.
Yes, it’s effectively a book, and not a short one, but it is incredibly well written and structured. That’s not a surprise to me — we knew Mueller hired a team of excellent attorneys, and good lawyers are good writers. But the information density is very high — no summary or simple list of highlights can do it justice. It is 400+ pages not because it is padded with extraneous details or legal jargon, but because it contains 400+ pages of evidence and narrative. It reads almost like a novel.
And like any good novel, it begins with a bracing opening line:
The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  daring_fireball 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller discovered new ways Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 election - CNNPolitics
New York (CNN)While Washington debates how damaging the Mueller report is for President Donald Trump, there is no doubt about its verdict that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a "sweeping and systematic fashion."
The 448-page report provides new details on what was a coordinated and extensive Russian government effort to undermine the US electoral process.
Amongst the more striking revelations in the report are claims that Russian government hackers managed to compromise a Florida county's election systems and that Russia attempted to hack Hillary Clinton's campaign just five hours after Trump publicly appealed for her deleted emails.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller report: the case Trump obstructed justice, in one paragraph - Vox
This is one of the most important paragraphs in Mueller’s report.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Trump-Russia investigation does not reach a hard conclusion on whether President Donald Trump should be charged with obstruction of justice. But it’s certainly very suggestive about Trump’s actions and intent.
One paragraph in the report is especially pertinent here:
In this investigation, the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference. But the evidence does point to a range of other possible personal motives animating the President’s conduct. These include concerns that continued investigation would call into question the legitimacy of his election and potential uncertainty about whether certain events — such as advance notice of WikiLeaks’s release of hacked information or the June 9, 2016 meeting between senior campaign officials and Russians — could be seen as criminal activity by the President, his campaign, or his family.
In short, Mueller did not find evidence that Trump directly colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election — so he probably wasn’t obstructing justice to cover up a secret plot with the Russians.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
What's in the Mueller report? CNN breaks it down - CNN Video
After the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report, CNN analyzed the major takeaways and discussed what might happen next.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  video 
2 days ago by rgl7194
The Mueller Report Is an Invitation to Congress to Impeach Donald Trump - GQ
The special counsel didn't draw sweeping conclusions, but he gave lawmakers everything they need to hold the president accountable.
After three-plus weeks of feverish speculation about what, exactly, special counsel Robert Mueller uncovered during his two-year investigation of Donald Trump, attorney general William Barr at last released a redacted version of the Mueller report to the public on Thursday morning.
Until today, the only official word about what the Trump campaign may have known about Russian interference in the 2016 election—and what the president may have done to conceal this information after taking the oath of office—came from a bizarre, cagey, four-page letter in which Barr happily asserted that the report, which at that time only he had reviewed, cleared the president who appointed him of any and all wrongdoing. The report itself, however, reveals Barr's letter to be a transparent spin attempt at best, and a collection of brazen lies at worst. More importantly, it contains mountains of evidence that President Trump in fact obstructed justice, and it is a clear invitation to Congress to begin impeachment proceedings at its earliest convenience.
Although Barr acknowledged in his letter that the special counsel "did not draw a conclusion—one way or the other—as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction," he stated that after examining Mueller's findings, he had determined that they were "not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense." The attorney general was careful to add that his determination was "made without regard to, and is not based on" a Clinton-era policy authored by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which asserts that presidents cannot be subject to criminal prosecution while they are in office.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller report: Stephen Colbert and Hollywood have a field day with its findings - Los Angeles Times
As the public pored over the redacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation on Thursday, celebrities and politicians weighed in on what the report meant for President Trump.
The 448-page report — divided into sections on collusion and obstruction — did not conclude that the president committed a crime but detailed “multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations.”
It also confirmed that Russians interfered in the 2016 election.
The report’s rollout began Thursday morning with Atty. Gen. William P. Barr’s press conference, which critics, including 2020 presidential candidates, said focused on presenting Trump’s point of view rather than a balanced summary of the Mueller report’s findings.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  latimes  twitter 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Carl Bernstein: Mueller report is the 'most damning' document - CNN Video
Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein discusses the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's "sprawling account" of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  video 
2 days ago by rgl7194
27 times Trump can’t remember - POLITICO
More than two dozen times, Trump’s answers to Mueller included phrases “I can’t remember” or “I do not recall.”
Following the release of the redacted Mueller report, President Donald Trump’s lawyers provided the full transcript of Trump’s written answers to questions Mueller posed to the president during his investigation.
More than two dozen times, Trump’s answers included phrases like “I can’t remember” or “I do not recall.”
Trump’s lawyers took issue with Mueller’s questions, saying they invited “speculative answers” because they were be based on “brief interactions” that took place more than two years earlier during “an extraordinarily eventful and fast-paced presidential election campaign.” The lawyers said that the questions, many of them pertaining to alleged communications with foreign operatives, would be “burdensome” for any person to remember, let alone the president of the United States.
Following are the 27 things Trump couldn’t recall. The full letter, questions and answers can be found here.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller report ropes in Senate GOP - POLITICO
Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr apparently supplied the White House counsel’s office with information about the Russia probe.
The Senate GOP found itself ensnared in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report Thursday, with new revelations about Sen. Richard Burr's communications with the White House and details about a GOP aide’s quest to obtain Hillary Clinton‘s emails.
Though the vast majority of the report centered on Russian influence in the 2016 election and President Donald Trump’s apparent efforts to undercut Mueller’s probe, the report also offers a window into how the broad investigations have touched on individual senators and even a relatively unknown congressional staffer. It also shows how eager the White House was for insight into the series of federal probes that were launched early in Trump’s presidency.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Burr (R-N.C.), for instance, apparently supplied the White House counsel's office with information about FBI investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to the report. The report says that on March 9, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed congressional leaders and intelligence committee heads on the ongoing investigation into Russian interference. That briefing included "an identification of the principal U.S. subjects of the investigation."
Burr then corresponded with the White House a week later about the Russia probes, and the White House counsel's office, led by Don McGahn, "appears to have received information about the status of the FBI investigation," the special counsel report said.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
The stranger parts of the Mueller report you may have missed - BBC News
It's here - at long last the mammoth report into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election has arrived.
But while some have been wrestling with the grave political and constitutional questions the report raises the 448-page redacted document had lighter moments too. Here's the best of them.
Mueller disputed fees at a Trump golf course
In the days following the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate accusations of collusion with Russia, the president aired concerns to his inner circle, including then-Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, that there were conflicts of interest.
These included that Mr Mueller had interviewed for the FBI Director position shortly before his appointment and that he had worked for a law firm that represented people affiliated with the president.
However, the third and final concern was more bizarre as Mr Trump claimed that Mr Mueller had "disputed certain fees relating to his membership in a Trump golf course in northern Virginia".
Mr Bannon is said to have rejected all three claims, in particular calling the golf course dispute "ridiculous and petty".
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  bbc 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller report: winners and losers - Vox
Let’s do this.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on President Trump’s ties to Russia is out, after what felt like an eternity of waiting. Of course, the report is massive — 400 pages, roughly — and hard to get through quickly. So what do its findings ultimately mean for President Trump, his top aides, and all the other players in the long-running Russia saga?
Well, we here at Vox have been combing through the report to answer those questions. And there’s a lot in there, things that shed light on questions ranging from whether the president committed obstruction (quite possibly) to why Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting at Trump Tower wasn’t illegal (Junior is too ignorant, more or less) to whether the media bungled this entire story (no, surprisingly!).
So what follows is a kind of one-stop shop for understanding Mueller, through the lens of seven of the most important people and institutions that have been a part of the Trump Russia scandal — a guide to who comes out looking better, and who comes out looking a whole lot worse.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller report documents Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders lying to press - Vox
From Comey to Trump Tower, the report documents — without even trying — how easily Trump’s press secretaries lie for him.
Donald Trump lies all the time, and his administration officials often end up lying on this behalf.
We know this. We’ve known this since the day after his inauguration, when then-press secretary Sean Spicer gave an angry press conference insisting that Trump had record crowds to watch him get sworn in.
But it’s striking that the Mueller report — in which Spicer and his successor, Sarah Sanders, are peripheral figures at best — still manages to incidentally document at least seven instances of Trump’s press secretaries lying, four of them in the 24 hours after Trump summarily fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017.
These aren’t all the times that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report proves that Trump administration officials were lying, or even all the times it shows Sanders and Spicer were lying. It is limited to the cases in which the lie is noted in the report, as well as the truth it ended up obscuring.
If the Mueller report is a testimony to just how big the difference is between “unequivocally a crime” and “an okay thing to do” — and arguably it is — having your press people lie routinely and without apparent regret about important things is a pretty representative motif. No one would argue that what Spicer or Sanders are documented doing here is criminally chargeable, but it’s still bad for democracy.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller Report Lays Out Trump’s Attempts to Curtail Inquiry - WSJ
Special counsel doesn’t establish campaign links to Moscow were part of a criminal conspiracy
WASHINGTON—Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report outlined efforts by President Trump to curtail or shut down his investigation, but it also made clear why the special counsel didn’t pursue charges of obstruction of justice and why contacts with Russians by the Trump campaign didn’t amount to a criminal conspiracy.
The 448-page report, released Thursday with portions redacted, follows a nearly two-year investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and ties to Mr. Trump’s campaign. Mr. Mueller, explaining in the report why he didn’t pursue a charge of obstruction against the president, cited in part Justice Department guidance that a sitting president can’t be indicted.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Trump’s greatest sin wasn’t what we thought it was - The Washington Post
It has long been presumed that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation was based on an original sin: President Trump’s May 2017 decision to fire James B. Comey as director of the FBI.
But Mueller’s long-awaited report argues that an action of greater potential criminality on the president’s part was one that came a month later, on June 17.
On that Saturday, Trump twice telephoned his then-White House counsel Donald McGahn from Camp David and told McGahn to get rid of Mueller himself.
Though one of the qualifications required of those who work for this president is a high tolerance for his impulsive and questionable behavior, the White House counsel was shocked when Trump told him, “Mueller has to go.”
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
The Mueller Report Is 448 Pages Long. You Need to Know These 7 Key Things. - The New York Times
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, produced a report of more than 400 pages that painted a deeply unflattering picture of President Trump but stopped short of accusing him of criminal wrongdoing. Here are seven takeaways.
1. Trump did try to sabotage the investigation. His staff defied him.
When Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Mr. Trump that a special counsel had been appointed in May 2017, Mr. Trump grew angry: “I’m fucked,” he said, believing his presidency was ruined. He told Mr. Sessions, “This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
Mr. Trump began trying to get rid of Mr. Mueller, only to be thwarted by his staff. In instance after instance, his staff acted as a bulwark against Mr. Trump’s most destructive impulses. In June 2017, the president instructed Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, to remove Mr. Mueller, but Mr. McGahn resisted. Rather than carry out the president’s order, he decided he would rather resign.
Two days later, Mr. Trump asked another trusted adviser, Corey Lewandowski, to tell Mr. Sessions to end the investigation. Mr. Lewandowski did not want to, so he punted to a colleague, Rick Dearborn. He, too, “was uncomfortable with the task and did not follow through.”
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  nytimes 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller’s report paints a damning portrait of Trump’s presidency - The Washington Post
The Trump presidency long has been an exercise in normalizing extraordinary behavior, with President Trump repeatedly stretching the limits of what is considered appropriate conduct by the nation’s chief executive. The report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III puts into high relief the degree to which Trump has violated the norms.
The principal focus of the special counsel’s investigation was on questions of criminality. But there is more than the issue of what rises to the level of criminal conspiracy or criminal obstruction when judging a president and his administration. These are questions that go to the heart of what is acceptable or normal or advisable in a democracy. On that basis, the Mueller report provides a damning portrait of the president and those around him for actions taken during the 2016 campaign and while in office.
The 448-page document is replete with evidence of repeated lying by public officials and others (some of whom have been charged for that conduct), of the president urging advisers not to tell the truth, of the president seeking to shut down the investigation, of a Trump campaign hoping to benefit politically from Russian hacking and leaks of information damaging to its opponent, of a White House in chaos and operating under abnormal rules.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Trump claimed he couldn’t ‘remember’ at least 30 times when answering Mueller team’s questions – ThinkProgress
The attorney general said Thursday morning the White House cooperated fully. Trump didn't, says the SCO.
The special counsel’s report on election meddling found President Donald Trump provided insufficient answers to their written questions and refused to sit for an interview with investigators, effectively refusing to fully cooperate with the investigation.
Attorney General William Barr, just minutes before the report was released, falsely told reporters that the White House had “fully cooperated” with the investigation.
It took the special counsel “more than a year” to obtain written answers from the president, according to the report. Those answers would be sworn testimony subject to perjury charges if the president answered questions falsely.
Investigators found the president’s answers insufficient in several ways. They wrote in the report that the White House stated on more than 30 occasions that he “does not ‘recall’ or ‘remember’ or have an ‘independent recollection’ of information called for by the questions.”
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
William Barr’s been accused of a presidential cover-up before – VICE News
The attorney general has spent much of his career protecting presidents. Will the Mueller report be any different?
WASHINGTON — Weeks before former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s criminal trial over his role in the 1980’s Iran-Contra scandal, then-Attorney General William Barr dropped a bomb on the prosecution.
“People in the Iran-Contra affair have been treated very unfairly,” Barr told USA Today in December 1992, blasting the charges as illegitimate. “People in this Iran-Contra matter have been prosecuted for the kind of conduct that would not have been considered criminal or prosecutable by the Justice Department.”
Weinberger faced charges of lying to Congress, brought by a special prosecutor, then known as an “independent counsel,” who accused him of withholding 1,700 pages of notes about high-level meetings that allegedly held “evidence of a conspiracy.”
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Trump Jr. just tried to take a Mueller report victory lap and got humiliated by people who actually read it
Trump’s Attorney General William Barr finally released Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report today, and the administration is claiming it as a victory (which they were doing before it was even released) despite the fact that it contains incredibly damning information about the president, including ten instances where Mueller probed whether or not Trump attempted to obstruct justice.
The fact that Barr, the president’s handpicked hack, chose not to pursue obstruction charges should surprise absolutely no one familiar with how deeply corrupt Republican politics have become. This morning, before the report was made public, Barr gave an embarrassingly sycophantic press conference in which he went out of his way to shield his boss from criticism. Already, critics are predicting that he will go down as one of the worst attorneys general in American history.
Add your name to demand Senate Republicans allow a vote on the bipartisan bill to make Mueller's report public. We deserve the truth!
The president’s namesake buffoon of a son is ecstatic, presumably because he lacks the attention span or basic literacy to understand what a deeply unflattering portrait of him the report paints. In reality, it’s possible that he could still face criminal proceedings, perhaps for breaking anti-hacking laws.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  twitter 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller Report on Trump's Written Answers, No Interview - Bloomberg
President avoided having to testify in person to Mueller team
Special counsel determined court fight would take too long
President Donald Trump escaped a subpoena forcing him to testify -- despite offering only written answers that the special counsel determined to be “inadequate” -- because Robert Mueller’s office was wary of the “substantial delay” from a legal battle.
Mueller’s decision to forgo a court fight to compel the president’s testimony may be one of Trump’s biggest victories during the probe and came despite the president frustrating investigators by saying more than two dozen times in his written responses that he did not recall or remember critical events during and after his presidential campaign.
[Related: ‘Oh My God...I’m F---ed’: Trump Called Mueller Appointment the ‘End of My Presidency’]
“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,” according to the special counsel’s report released by the Justice Department on Thursday.
“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.”
That includes Trump saying he didn’t recall knowing about the now-famous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower when top members of his campaign met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer to discuss possible dirt on Democrat Hillary Clinton.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Dems blast Barr’s ‘campaign press conference’ for Trump - POLITICO
House and Senate Democrats reacted with fury to Attorney General William Barr’s rollout of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Thursday, accusing him of acting more like the personal attorney for President Donald Trump than the nation’s top law enforcement officer.
In a 22-minute press conference, Barr repeatedly defended Trump, using talking points that Democrats said could have been written by the White House.
“There was in fact no collusion,” Barr said a press conference ahead of the release of the 400-page report — a move that had already prompted fierce backlash among Democrats on Capitol Hill. Barr repeated the “no collusion” line three more times, as well as stating Mueller “did not find any conspiracy to violate U.S. law involving Russia-linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign.”
Democrats reacted with shock and rage, questioning why the attorney general would even hold the event hours before the report was released to Congress and the public.
“Now that President @realDonaldTrump's campaign press conference is over: It's time for Congress and the American public to see the #MuellerReport,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
A key part of the Mueller Report just opened the door for legally punishing Trump on obstruction of justice
This morning, the nation finally got its hands on a copy — albeit a heavily and obviously strategically redacted one — of Special Counsel Mueller’s report on President Trump and his campaign’s alleged effort to collude with agents of the Russian Federation.
Trump-appointed Attorney General William Barr tried his best to muddy the waters this morning by holding a press conference in which he repeated over and over that there was “no collusion” and made the bizarre argument that somehow the president had to be innocent because he was emotionally distressed by the investigation.
It was an obvious partisan stunt designed to protect the president and dictate the narrative before the report itself dropped, and once it did, it was clear why they felt the need to do so.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Here’s what we know about the cost of the Mueller investigation | PolitiFact
Special Counsel Robert Mueller ended his investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election without accusing President Donald Trump or his campaign of conspiring or coordinating with the Russian government.
Given the favorable outcome, Republicans renewed their attention on the cost of the investigation, which stretched on for nearly two years.

"The total reported cost of the Special Counsel’s investigation through September 2018 was $25,215,853.00," said a March 24 tweet from the Republican National Committee. "The Mueller investigation will go down in history as one of the widest ranging and most expensive Special Counsel investigations ever."
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, in a March 25 Fox News interview, claimed that the investigation "cost actually about $40 million."
What are the facts on the cost of the Mueller investigation? Here’s what we know, though there’s more data to come.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  factcheck 
2 days ago by rgl7194
The Mueller report: What you need to know | PolitiFact
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s highly anticipated report presents a sweeping narrative of Russia’s 2016 election interference and clears the Trump campaign of criminally conspiring with the Kremlin. It also details the president’s efforts to curtail the nearly two-year probe, though Mueller declined to say whether or not Trump’s conduct amounted to illegal obstruction.
The report reaffirms the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia favored Trump over Hillary Clinton, and notes that the Trump campaign believed it would benefit  on Election Day from Moscow's interference.
But Mueller found the Kremlin’s acts on Trump’s behalf and numerous contacts between the campaign and Russia didn't rise to the level of criminal conspiracy or coordination. These contacts comprise the report’s first volume, which is heavily redacted in some sections, mostly owing to its use of material that relates to cases still being pursued by other prosecutors.
In the report’s second volume, Mueller’s team documented 10 instances of Trump trying to impede the investigation or directing his staff to do so (including firing Mueller). Ultimately, Mueller chose not to say whether Trump did or did not obstruct justice.  
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  factcheck 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller Has Protected Trump and Hurt the Country - The Atlantic
The special counsel should have offered an opinion on whether Trump criminally obstructed justice.
There is much in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report to concern the American public. It recounts a tale of Russian electoral interference that everyone (save President Donald Trump) now recognizes as extensive. And it details a course of obstructive conduct by the president that borders on criminality.
Yet Mueller reached no conclusion about the president’s behavior, and that is an even greater concern. For in elevating the institution of the president above the rule of law, Mueller has done a disservice to the nation.
With almost the very first words of Volume II of his report—the section on obstruction of justice—Mueller tells us that he flinched. He says that, in the end, his office declined to “apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgement that the President committed crimes.”
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller report aims to squash WikiLeaks Seth Rich conspiracy theory | PolitiFact
The Mueller report might not end the debate over what President Donald Trump did, but it has scuttled one conspiracy theory involving a murdered Democratic party staffer and WikiLeaks.
Well into 2017, Fox News host Sean Hannity championed the hunt for details about 27-year-old Seth Rich, who was shot and killed near his home in Washington, D.C., not long before the first WikiLeaks dump of Democratic emails in July 2016. Rich had been working on voter access projects for the Democratic National Committee. The police believed he was the victim of a botched robbery.
Hannity and others thought Rich had been killed because, as the conspiracy theory goes, he was the true source — not Russia — of the DNC files that WikiLeaks shared with the world to damage Hillary Clinton.
At one point, Fox News aired, and then quickly retracted, a report that said the FBI had proof that Rich was WikiLeaks’ source. (We dug into the lawsuit that Fox News drew in the wake of that broadcast. The suit was unsuccessful.)
The special counsel’s report places WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange at the epicenter of those rumors about Rich.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  factcheck 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Read the redacted Mueller report | PolitiFact
Attorney General Bill Barr released a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report about Russian interference and the Trump campaign to Congress and the American people April 18, 2019. Read it below.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  PDF  factcheck 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller Report Text: Collusion, Obstruction Summaries - The Atlantic
The details the special counsel apparently found most important for the public to know
Attorney General William Barr released Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on Thursday. Contained therein were the summaries Mueller’s team prepared for the nearly 450-page-long document—presumably, the details he felt were most important for the public to know.
The report details Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and details 10 episodes the special counsel examined related to obstruction of justice. According to Barr, four types of information have been redacted, related to grand-jury material, the intelligence community’s sources and methods, ongoing cases, and the privacy of “peripheral third parties.”
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
In Context: Comparing Bill Barr’s summary of Mueller's findings to the publicly released report | PolitiFact
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr issued a four-page summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s key findings nearly a month before publicly releasing an estimated 400-page redacted version of Mueller’s report.
Barr’s March 24 summary outlined what he called Mueller’s "principal conclusions" on the investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, whether the Trump campaign conspired in those efforts and if President Donald Trump obstructed justice.
Barr’s summary included a few direct quotes from Mueller’s report that were enough to prompt Trump to claim "complete vindication," and for Democrats to demand a quick release of the full report.
Now that the report is public, here’s broader context surrounding the quotes that Barr included in his summary. Worth noting: The report said "a statement that the investigation did not establish particular facts does not mean there was no evidence of those facts." In other words, available evidence was not enough to make a conclusion, and Mueller is not claiming to have exhausted every possible line of investigation.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  factcheck 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller found 10 instances of potential obstruction, but Barr cleared Trump anyway – VICE News
Attorney General William Barr delivered a full-throated defense of President Donald Trump Thursday, using Trump’s own repeated claim — “no collusion” — to describe the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, even before the public or Congress has had a chance to see it.
He repeated that phrase several times, and described Trump’s “sincere frustration” with the 400-page report that Barr said he’ll release to congressional leaders at 11 a.m. Right after the press conference ended, the 72-year-old president tweeted an apparent “Game of Thrones” reference: an image with the same typeface as the show, along with “No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical left Democrats, game over.”
Barr said that while the report showed Russia worked extensively to influence the election, no American was involved in the effort. As to whether the president obstructed justice by firing the head of the FBI, James Comey, Barr said he concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to reach a determination, despite Mueller laying out 10 accounts of potential obstruction and supporting legal theories. Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, however, “disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories.”
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
The Mueller Report Is an Impeachment Referral - The Atlantic
The special counsel has concluded he can neither charge nor clear the president. Only Congress can now resolve the allegations against him.
The redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report released on Thursday runs 448 pages. But its most important implication can be summarized in a single sentence: There is sufficient evidence that President Donald Trump obstructed justice to merit impeachment hearings.
A basic principle lies at the heart of the American criminal-justice system: The accused is entitled to a fair defense and a chance to clear his name. Every American is entitled to this protection, from the humblest citizen all the way up to the chief executive. And that, Mueller explained in his report, is why criminal allegations against a sitting president should be considered by Congress and not the Justice Department. The Mueller report, in short, is an impeachment referral.
In his report, Mueller took pains to detail why he “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment” as to whether the president had broken the law by obstructing justice. He began by noting that he accepted the opinion of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)—which issues guidance for the executive branch on questions of law—that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
The Mueller Report Is Clear: Donald Trump Repeatedly Tried to Obstruct Justice | The New Yorker
Now we know why Attorney General William Barr went to such great lengths to spin the contents of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Although Mueller’s team didn’t establish that Trump or anybody connected to his campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russian trolls and hackers, the investigation dug up voluminous evidence that the President repeatedly tried to hamper, and even close down, the Russia investigation. The only partial mystery that remains is why Mueller backed away from concluding whether Trump’s efforts at obstruction amounted to a crime.
The body of the report provides new details about some interventions that we already knew about, including Trump’s request to the F.B.I. director, James Comey, to lay off Michael Flynn, the national-security adviser; his subsequent firing of Comey; and his attempt, in June, 2017, to get rid of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who, to Trump’s fury, had recused himself from the Russia investigation. We also learned that Trump called the White House counsel, Don McGahn, from Camp David to order him to fire Mueller, and that McGahn then called Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, and told him the President had asked him “to do crazy shit.”
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller Report: The Most Eye-Opening Parts - The Atlantic
A breakdown of the massive, 448-page document
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.”
Below, the must-read parts of Mueller’s 448-page report...
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Dropbox - Mueller Report
U.S. Department of Justice
AttofHe;' Work Pt'oettet // May Cottt:nin Mtttefinl Pfoteetee Utteel:' Fee. R. Criffl. P. 6(e)
Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The
2016 Presidential Election
Volume I of II
Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III
Submitted Pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c)
Washington, D.C.
March 2019
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  PDF  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Senators Aim to Help Students, Might Even Reduce Textbook Piracy Too - TorrentFreak
Textbooks are essential tools for students hoping to build a better life through education, but their sheer expense can be prohibitive. Taking on extra work is one option, going into debt is another. Piracy, of course, is extremely attractive too. However, if four US senators have their way, there could be more accessible options moving forward.
Free access to information is a very hot topic, particularly in the academic field where many believe that putting studies behind a paywall is unethical.
This has led to the rise of ‘pirate’ sites like Sci-Hub, that aim to provide free access to information and education, for the betterment of the world.
But, when one considers how these sites operate, even this noble aim can prove controversial.
Much of the content offered by these types of platforms infringes copyright. That’s often publishing giants such as Elsevier, who in return have waged war on Sci-Hub in particular. Just this week, yet another blocking order against the site was handed down in France, with operator Alexandra Elbakyan pledging to continue as usual.
But what if there was another way to access academic content, studies, and textbooks without having to resort to piracy?
gov2.0  politics  congress  books  free  open  university  college 
4 days ago by rgl7194
AOC Isn't Using 'Verbal Blackface'—She's Code-Switching - The Atlantic
Her critics are misreading the linguistic reality of America’s big cities.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been accused of a lot, but the latest charge is especially piquant. Apparently, the new representative of some of the most multiethnic neighborhoods in the United States has engaged in “verbal blackface.”
The supposed offense occurred when she spoke to the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network last week and sprinkled some elements of Black English into her speech. “I’m proud to be a bartender. Ain’t nothing wrong with that,” she said, also stretching “wrong” out a bit and intoning in a way sometimes referred to as a “drawl,” but which is also part of the Black English tool kit.
John Cardillo of Newsmax tweeted, “In case you’re wondering, this is what blackface sounds like,” while Ryan Saavedra of The Daily Wire charged that Ocasio-Cortez, in this speech, “speaks in an accent that she never uses.” Lawrence Jones, a Fox News contributor and black American, shared a Twitter hashtag, #WedontTalkLikeThat.
The criticism of these sentences uttered by someone trying to connect with a black audience is evidence of an ignorance about the nature and use of one of the most interesting developments in America’s linguistic history—an endlessly fascinating dialect too often treated as a collection of mistakes, an albatross condemning unlucky people to failure, or some kind of performance. At a time when increasing numbers of serious public figures are going to be using Black English as an element in their oratorical palette, it’s high time we wised up on the likes of “Ain’t nothing wrong with that.”
language  AOC  gov2.0  politics  racism 
9 days ago by rgl7194
This is the week Congress stood up and said 'enough!' - CNNPolitics
(CNN)You could be excused if, at times over the past few years, you kind of, sort of forgot about Congress. Capitol Hill has been, with a few notable exceptions, shunted to the side over the first few years of the Trump administration, and the CEO president and his closest allies have expressed something between skepticism and utter disregard for the supposedly co-equal legislative branch.
Not this week! Over the past four days, Congress has been at the epicenter of a series of crucial fights -- not to mention embarrassing moments -- that have driven news cycles in a way that has become increasingly rare in Donald Trump's Washington.
Consider:
* Attorney General William Barr testified before House and Senate committees about the soon-to-be released Mueller report -- and how his office has handled it to date. He made news about its release (sometime in the next week), what it would look like (there will be significant redactions) and his belief that there was "spying" on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
* Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie (R) and former Secretary of State John Kerry clashed over climate change -- and Kerry's education credentials -- in a House hearing on how climate affects national defense. Here's their exchange...
gov2.0  politics  congress 
9 days ago by rgl7194
The attacks on Joe Biden will harm boys and girls alike: We all need decent, affectionate human touch - New York Daily News
Nobody should be touched in a way they don’t want to be, man or woman. But while sexual or aggressive touching is clear violation, a lot of everyday physical contact is just part of being human. Vilifying Joe Biden for literally reaching out to connect leads to labeling all spontaneous physical gestures of consolation, affection or support as wrong or “creepy” — and we should think about what that means.
It’s easy to set up a standard that every touch infringes on another’s inviolable space — which forces suppression of any instinctive gesture as possibly offensive. Are we now going to claim someone made us uncomfortable every time they touch our arm? Anyone who has taken a New York City subway at rush hour has had people waaaaay closer.
I don’t defend every way Biden ever touched anyone. Kissing a woman on the head and smelling her hair seems questionable.
But the criticism of Biden has become so broad and so strident, instead of protecting girls and women from unwanted touching, it blurs lines between affection and aggression. It scares boys and men away from genuine expressions of caring. Having to constantly monitor themselves so they aren’t impulsively kind or supportive can cause alienation from these emotions — a disconnection already at the root of a toxic masculinity problem that can manifest later in physical violence, devaluing women — as well as male depression and suicide.
gov2.0  politics  biden 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Joe Biden's Affectionate Warmth Is What Makes Him Great - The Atlantic
The former vice president isn’t like other Washington power brokers. That’s what makes him great.
“Is Joe Biden a bad man?” asks the headline of a Washington Post piece about his interactions with women. Anyone who has seen former Vice President Joseph Biden in private settings knows that his attention strays in un-Washingtonian ways. I sure do—but in my experience, that’s all to the good.
Decorum seemed far from Biden’s mind when he went off-schedule to stop by the Cabinet Room on June 10, 2013. He slung an arm around my husband, who was about to be nominated by President Barack Obama as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; he hugged my in-laws, whom he had never met; and then he homed in on my kindergartner. The vice president sat down and whispered to my anxious kid about the small Schleich knight he was clutching. My son relaxed, and slumped back into Biden’s lap. At that point, an aide interrupted to say that Biden was overdue for a meeting with Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi. Still, he refused to rush. He called over my daughter and his photographer for this photo...
Why am I telling another “Biden being Biden” story? Because I believe that the character of the person who occupies the Oval Office is of the utmost importance, and because I believe that Biden, far from a bad man, is an unusually good one.
gov2.0  politics  biden 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Here's Why You Should Stay Hopeful Right Now
I often tell them I stay hopeful for Anne Frank.
The Jewish teenager wrote these words in the early 1940s, while confined within the cramped upper rooms above an Amsterdam business, that became the entire world for three years of her far too brief life while her family hid from the Nazis:
It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.
Every time I read or I think of those words, I remember why I stay hopeful right now.
religion  politics  quotes 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Here's What's In Robert Mueller's Report, According To The Attorney General
Attorney General Bill Barr submitted a letter to Congress on Sunday summarizing the special counsel's "principal conclusions." Read it here.
WASHINGTON – Special counsel Robert Mueller found that neither the Trump campaign, nor anyone associated with it, "conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election," according to a letter that Attorney General Bill Barr sent to Congress on Sunday.
Barr also wrote that after reviewing the evidence compiled by Mueller, he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense."
Mueller himself did not reach a conclusion about whether President Donald Trump committed any obstruction offenses, instead presenting the facts his office had gathered and leaving the final call up to Barr. Barr said he and Rosenstein reached their conclusion after consulting with other DOJ officials and the Office of Legal Counsel.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Barr's Summary Omits a Key Aspect of Mueller's Report - The Atlantic
The special counsel’s most interesting findings about Trump and Russia might be in his report’s narrative description of key relationships.
On Sunday afternoon, Attorney General Bill Barr presented a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions that contained a few partial sentences from Mueller’s final report, one of which directly addressed the question of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” In a footnote, Barr explained that Mueller had defined “coordination” as an “agreement—tacit or express—between the Trump campaign and the Russian government on election interference.”
Mueller’s full report has not been made available to the public yet, so it’s not clear whether it sets forth everything the special counsel’s office learned over the course of its nearly two-year investigation—including findings about conduct that was perhaps objectionable but not criminal—or whether it is more tailored and explains only Mueller’s prosecution and declination decisions. But national-security and intelligence experts tell me that Mueller’s decision not to charge Trump or his campaign team with a conspiracy is far from dispositive, and that the underlying evidence the special counsel amassed over two years could prove as useful as a conspiracy charge to understanding the full scope of Russia’s election interference in 2016.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Here Are All the Mysteries the Mueller Report Can Answer
House Democrats are demanding to see the full Mueller report, rather than William Barr’s summary of it. Republicans have previously signaled support for disclosing it, but yesterday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a nonbinding resolution calling for the report to be made public, a move that may well signal the true Republican position. If House Democrats subpoena the report, the matter will likely wind up in court, taking months to resolve.
The likely Republican move from here on out will be to continue touting Barr’s summary of the report as the final word while quietly blocking a release of the full report. What questions would the report answer? There are four major categories.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Will the Mueller Report Be Made Public? 17 Answers to What May Come Next - The New York Times
Maggie Haberman, Michael Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti and more of our journalists explained what the submission of the full report means and what may come next.
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and his team have finished their long-anticipated report after investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 election and obstruction of justice by President Trump and his associates.
We asked readers what they wanted to know about the report and what may come next. We received more than 600 questions, and our journalists in Washington responded to a selection.
It’s quite simple: What will the public get to see, and when will that happen?
Ben Nieves, Portland, Ore.
It all depends on Attorney General William Barr. He is now reading the report to see whether Mr. Mueller alleges that President Trump broke the law and to determine how much of the investigators’ findings should be made public.
Mr. Barr told Congress earlier this year that he wants to release as much as he can. On Friday, he told Congress he could provide lawmakers with an update on Mr. Mueller’s findings as soon as this weekend. But he could be limited in what he can tell Congress, as the special counsel’s report may contain classified information and evidence obtained by a grand jury.
— Michael S. Schmidt
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  nytimes 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Special counsel Robert Mueller ends investigation - CNNPolitics
After a 22-month investigation, charges against 37 defendants, seven guilty pleas and one conviction at trial, the Justice Department announced Friday that the special counsel's office has wrapped up its probe into Russian election interference, possible Trump campaign collusion with Moscow and obstruction of justice.
A senior Justice Department official told CNN there are no more indictments coming from special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller submitted a confidential report to Attorney General William Barr Friday detailing the decisions his team made to prosecute or not prosecute those who were investigated, Barr said in a letter to lawmakers.
Barr wrote that he "may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel's principal conclusions as soon as this weekend."
The expectation is that lawmakers will receive the principal conclusions, in writing, from Barr this weekend, according to a Justice Department official. That distillation from Barr will be made public.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller Report: Trump's Circle at Legal Risk Despite End of Probe - Bloomberg
U.S., Hill, state investigations amount to ‘legal minefield’
Lines of inquiry include donations to campaign, inauguration
Robert Mueller’s job may be done, but President Donald Trump still faces potential legal peril from many sides.
Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating the Trump Organization and his 2016 campaign for possible campaign finance violations. They’ve also issued subpoenas to Trump’s inaugural committee. The New York state attorney general is looking into the president’s charity. And his ex-fixer Michael Cohen told Congress that there are other active federal probes into the business that he couldn’t discuss.
At the same time, Democrats in Congress have started their own investigations, punctuated by a sweeping request for documents.
Although a Justice Department legal opinion states that it would be too disruptive to indict a sitting president, the continuing investigations could pose legal trouble for Trump after he leaves office -- and more immediately for the people and organizations close to the president.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller submits Trump-Russia investigation report but doesn’t recommend additional indictments - Los Angeles Times
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III turned in his long-anticipated report on the Russia investigation on Friday, but did not recommend any more indictments in the political and legal saga that has threatened President Trump’s tenure in the White House and is likely to cloud his legacy.
Mueller delivered a confidential report to Atty. Gen. William Barr, the Justice Department announced. A Barr spokeswoman described it as “comprehensive” but provided no other details.
The special counsel’s decision to wrap up the investigation without further criminal charges probably brings a measure of relief to the president and his inner circle after nearly two years under scrutiny by the former FBI director.
Mueller has charged 34 people, the most of any special prosecutor since Watergate. They include more than two dozen Russians and several of Trump’s top former aides, including his national security advisor and his campaign chairman.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  latimes 
14 days ago by rgl7194
The Senate Hearing on Drug Pricing: 7 Revealing Moments - The Atlantic
Even pharma executives recognize that drugs cost Americans too much.
When a lawmaker compares the way your company protects its profits to how Gollum protects his ring, you know it’s not going to be a fun four hours.
That is how Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon on Tuesday referred to the way the drugmaker AbbVie protects the exclusivity of its prize drug, Humira. The comment foreshadowed the way the Senate Finance Committee would grill seven pharmaceutical-company CEOs about a topic that has stirred bipartisan ire: Why, exactly, are drug prices so high?
To name just one example, the price of insulin, which was invented in the 1920s, doubled between 2012 and 2016. The price of the insulin drug Lantus rose 49 percent in 2014 alone. The struggle of patients to afford treatments such as EpiPens and hepatitis C medications has been well publicized.
The senators accused the executives of setting list prices arbitrarily and without regard to how they affect American consumers. As expected, the CEOs passed the buck to insurers and pharmacy-benefit managers—a kind of middleman that negotiates drug rates and collects rebates, which the drug companies say drives up prices.
But some key moments revealed how even pharmaceutical companies acknowledge that the current system is broken. The senators’ pointed yes-or-no questions laid bare the true pharmaceutical dysfunction that Americans currently put up with...
big_pharma  gov2.0  politics  congress  drugs  money 
14 days ago by rgl7194
New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern Looks to Unify Her Country - The Atlantic
She has sought to become the national healer, and the country is following her lead.
Less than a week after a gunman killed 50 people inside two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the eyes of the world have focused on the country’s leader as she has sought to unify her reeling country.  
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called for a global fight against racism, said that her government will examine what role social media played in the carnage, and on Thursday announced a ban on semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles, the kinds of arms the suspect used in the attack. As if following the lead of the prime minister, New Zealanders publicly consoled one another, will stand for two minutes of silence on Friday, and will broadcast the Islamic call to prayer across the nation.
gov2.0  ANZ  politics  guns  leadership  terrorism 
15 days ago by rgl7194
No, White Friend—You Weren't "Embarrassed" by Barack Obama
I remember the day after the Election, a friend of mine who happens to be white, remarked on social media that he “finally wasn’t embarrassed of America and our President.”
I sprained my eyes rolling them and they have never fully recovered.
Since then I’ve heard this sentiment echoed by more white folks than I can count, especially in recent months; supposed relief at once again having a leader who instills pride.
Since I don’t have the time to ask each of the individually, I’ll ask here:
So, you were embarrassed for the past 8 years, huh? 
Really?
What exactly were you embarrassed by?
Were you embarrassed by his lone and enduring twenty-five year marriage to a strong woman he’s never ceased to publicly praise, respect, or cherish?
Were you embarrassed by the way he lovingly and sweetly parented and protected his daughters?
Were you embarrassed by his Columbia University degree in Political Science or his graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School?
Maybe you were embarrassed by his white American and Black Kenyan parents, or the diversity he was raised in as normal?
Were you embarrassed by his eloquence, his quick wit, his easy humor, his seeming comfort meeting with both world leaders and street cleaners; by his bright smile or his sense of empathy or his steadiness—perhaps by his lack of personal scandals or verbal gaffes or impulsive tirades?
No. Of course you weren’t.
gov2.0  politics  religion  obama  racism  church 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Fact-checking Donald Trump's claim of no collusion, no obstruction from Mueller report | PolitiFact
President Donald Trump is claiming victory after his attorney general published a summary of the special counsel’s nearly two-year investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and whether the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow.
In a four-page letter to lawmakers, Attorney General William Barr summarized the key findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, which Trump said unequivocally cleared his name on allegations that have dogged him over his presidency.
According to Barr, the Mueller report does largely exonerate Trump on the collusion question — but it’s a stretch based on Barr’s letter to call it a "complete and total exoneration," as Trump did.
What Barr said about collusion is favorable for Trump. But Barr’s letter also says Trump was not exonerated on the question of obstruction in Mueller's report.
On collusion, Barr’s summary states that Mueller did not find criminal coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
Here, Barr quoted the Mueller report directly: "(T)he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
One important caveat is that it’s not clear from Barr’s letter what level of evidence Mueller’s office considered — for instance, the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard that’s applied to criminal prosecutions, or some lower bar.
Given the intense pressure for Mueller’s report to be released in its entirety, we may learn more about precisely what led Mueller to this conclusion.
But based on Barr’s summary about the collusion question, it’s fair for Trump to say Mueller exonerated him.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  report  factcheck 
24 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller report: The key takeaways from William Barr’s letter on Mueller’s findings - Vox
Mueller didn’t establish collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government, and punted on obstruction of justice.
The Mueller investigation is done — and according to a summary of the special counsel’s conclusions written by Attorney General Bill Barr and submitted to Congress on Sunday, Mueller did not affirmatively find either collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, or obstruction of justice on the part of President Donald Trump.
We don’t yet have Robert Mueller’s report to read it for ourselves. But Barr does quote the special counsel’s exact words on a few key points.
On the topic of collusion, Mueller writes, “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
That means Mueller did not find — or at least could not prove — that Russian government officials worked with the Trump campaign in their effort to help elect Trump president.
Second, on the topic of obstruction of justice, Mueller declined to issue a recommendation either for or against prosecution. “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Mueller wrote.
However, Barr and Rosenstein then add that they examined the obstruction evidence themselves, and decided that Trump’s conduct was not criminal. Mueller’s reluctance to make a judgment call on this issue, however, will likely spur demands from House Democrats to see the underlying evidence themselves.
Unless Barr’s summary of Mueller’s conclusions is highly incomplete or misleading, the report sounds like good news for Trump — and heralds the end of the investigation that has loomed larger over his presidency than any others.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  report 
24 days ago by rgl7194
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