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Moose & Squirrel v Boris & Natasha: what's the deal with the rooskies and trumpland?

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It is of note, that according to Cohen, Trump would never specifically talk or ask anyone to talk to the Russians.  People would simply do it for him because that’s what needed to be done.


So given that revaluation, is it really a surprise that Muller didn’t uncover a conspiracy?

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McConnell's response about the remaining concern about Russian interference is the correct one. That, ultimately, collusion or no collusion, is what the Mueller report should be about.


As opposed to the Trump team's reaction to the assessments of Russian interference, shortly after the election:



Edited by hail2skins
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10 minutes ago, No Excuses said:

People seem to be conveniently forgetting that Trump is under investigation at SDNY still. 


Mueller needs to testify in a public hearing and the report needs to be released in full.

He can fire all of them now. Nothing to stop him

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Notes and points from the letter:


- First and foremost, Barr is an unreliable narrator, and that is putting it very charitably.  The whole initial reason he was catapulted as an AG option was that he wrote an op-ed attacking the OSC's investigation.  Combined with his involvement on Iran-Contra, and it is hard to suggest he is anything other than a fox in the hen house.


- That naturally suggests everything he says which has daylight to it must be questioned.


- Finally, before launching into the text, any time Barr refers to himself and DAG Rosenstein, we should not assume this was an evenly weighted decision.  Barr is DAG's boss.  The letter is signed by Barr alone.  We have no insight into DAG's thoughts/role, other than that he was in the room.  That means little.  Simply, we should not take Barr's mentioning of Rosenstein in decisions to mean that DAG agrees with Barr.


Now, onto the text;



"The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and
entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During
the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other of?ces
for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special
Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public."

I haven't seen much discussion on this, as it's been overshadowed, but this language strikes me as a "narrow point trying to be used widely."  This makes references to "the Special Counsel," which is a small entity which clearly was trying to refer out everything it could, so all the pronouncements of "does not recommend any further indictments" or "didn't obtain any other sealed indictments" are sufficiently narrow in nature so as to be functionally useless.


Simply, this paragraph does not shed any light on how extensive the remaining prosecutions will be.  Barr characterizes the referred matters as "several" and uses past tense.


That is a writing decision of Barr, and should be treated as such.



Russian Interference:


"The Special Counsel?s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with RuSsia in its efforts to in?uence the 2016 US. presidential election. As the report states: '[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.'"


So this is one of two money shot exonerations of Trump and the campaign.  This is not as broad as the media/Trump are saying.


Let us take the one line from the actual report: "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."


"Did not establish," is very important language.  Establish what, exactly?


What is the standard that needs to be met to establish?  Probable cause?  Beyond a reasonable doubt?


What this language leaves open, in a very real way, is that there may be evidence, and potentially even strong evidence of conspiracy/coordination, but that it didn't rise to whatever standard the OSC set for actual prosecution.


But then Barr begins to opine: "did not find," being the language that Barr uses.


Using "find" is a very important word choice here by Barr.  It suggests there was no "there" there.  That is not what the quoted OSC statement says.


We need to see the report to evaluate what evidence, if any there is.





Barr's letter and the stub quote from the report makes reference to the "Russian government."


For those not well acquainted with the Russian government, it is a somewhat nebulous entity that has many "non-governmental" entities under its thrall.


Wikileaks, oligarchs, companies, private individuals tied to Oligarchs, organized crime groups (Semion Mogilevich lives in Moscow for crying out loud) all are heavily tied to the Russian government, and operate as a satellite of it.


Is Oleg Deripaska considered part of the "Russian government?"


Is Konstantin Kilimnik?


What about Assange?  He is certainly an agent of foreign influence, but is he "Russian government?"


The specific reference to "Russian government" without ANY explanation of what kind of scope they give to the "Russian government" makes Barr's letter basically useless without knowing more.





Look at that Mueller stub quote again.


"In its election interference activities."


Which is to say a conspiracy related to ANYTHING OTHER THAN ELECTION INTERFERENCE would not be counted here, even if conducted with the Russian government.  (Admittedly, anything but election interference would be outside Mueller's mandate, but that of course leaves open a huge chasm of potential non-election interference conspiracy/coordination possibilities)





This one is easy.  Mueller punted to AG (specifically why is not fully said).  AG is a Trump thrall.  AG let Trump go.  This is not even remotely an exoneration.


Further, Barr ropes this whole notion of "underlying crime" into HIS decision (key here, HIS decision), taking the "lack" of a crime as helping to demonstrate Trump's intent, or lack thereof.


That is extremely flawed.


Indeed, that basically says, if you obstruct enough to prevent a crime from being found, then your intent is somehow less corrupt.  That's a ridiculous standard.


Furthermore, the obstruction decision Barr makes here was made in a mere 48 hours.  That is absurd.  This is something Mueller, examining the evidence closely for months, did not make a decision either way on, presenting evidence in both directions to Barr, and Barr somehow can conclude in a mere 48 hours it's not obstruction?  Press X to doubt.




Finally, I want to make the point that evidence of conspiracy/coordination may yet exist, using Barr's own words on obstruction:

"In cataloguing the President?s actions, many of which took place in public View, the report identi?es no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department?s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of- justice offense."


Bolded and italicized the important part.


Barr refuses to prosecute obstruction because IN HIS VIEW, the evidence, which he acknowledges exists and according to Mueller is sufficient to be punted to DOJ, does not ESTABLISH, "beyond a reasonable doubt," an offense.


We should rope this back into the stub quote from the Mueller report: 

"[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."


KEY WORD              "ESTABLISH"


Again, the use of "establish" in both these places, combined with Barr's explanation of the standard of the department, "beyond a reasonable doubt," means we can interpret the Mueller stub quote as meaning that:

Mueller could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump/Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.


This suggests that it is possible, if not probable, that evidence DOES exist of conspiracy/coordination, but that it doesn't meet the NARROW and HIGH bar of "beyond a reasonable doubt" AND FURTHERMORE, related ONLY to the Russian government in its election interference activities.





In conclusion WE.  NEED.  THE.  REPORT.


Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

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30 minutes ago, Cooked Crack said:
When shady ass Barr came in we should have known what was up. He's a more credentialed Whitaker.



If he releases the report in full, what will you say?


Trump should want the report released.



The full report should be released, mueller should testify before Congress, and dems should then end the investigations they are doing in congress (unless the mueller question brings up issues) in that order.

Edited by CousinsCowgirl84
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I doubt the full report will be released anytime soon because there are a lot of things in it that probably need to remain secret. 

It will be tough to know how much is being held back because it's necessary to do so, and how much is being held back because it doesn't look good for Trump or Barr.

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1 hour ago, Momma There Goes That Man said:

The message is clear and has been for 40+ years. Corruption always wins.


There is no justice in this country. 

The only silver lining is that all those qanon idiots were wrong lol.  


Is it really corruptionthough? We elected this President, who gets to appoint an AG. We also elected this Senate that confirmed said AG.


Let's not forget who started this business in the first place. It was Trump. Trump's been randomly praising Putin for years. It never stopped, he still does it. Did this country need a Mueller report after Trump embarrassed us with that "very strong in his denial" nonsense? Trump's put Russia/Trump in the headlines. Just like Trump put the Stormy Daniels scandal in the headlines, just like Trump trots Michael Cohen out there to say whatever, just like Trump loves it when Fire and Fury books come out.


The message is no collusion because that's what Trump's been spewing for the least 2 years. His message. 


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If anything Congress should get to see the full report.  I understand if there are contents of it that shouldn't be made "public" but it is not acceptable, IMO, for Barr to just write up a summary of his own accord and say that is all congress can see.  If the Mueller report truly "exonerates" Trump of everything, then Barr keeping the full contents of the report from congress is just delaying everyone from moving on from this specific investigation and unnecessarily creating a new conflict out of it. 

Edited by NoCalMike
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Congress must see the report, but keep in mind that this will likely result in diverging views on what it entails and opposing narratives and probably won’t accomplish much on it’s own.

Edited by visionary
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On obstruction, it is very possible that Mueller chose not to indict the President on the basis on DOJ policy not to indict a sitting President, instead transferring the evidence to Barr.


Barr in turn, didn't not prosecute based on DOJ policy.


Rather, he himself could have set such an unrealistically high bar of evidence on obstruction that regardless of what Mueller found, it'd never get charged.


Which is to say it is possible that there absolutely was evidence of an obstruction crime beyond a reasonable doubt under normal prosecutorial standards, but that Barr raised his standards and then is using the fact that it doesn't meet his inappropriate standards as reason not to prosecute (instead of DOJ policy, which if he had to invoke that would create a huge controversy).

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An MSNBC contributor made the point that if OSC couldn't decide on obstruction, the appropriate course of action would have been to leave it an open question and allow Congress to evaluate the evidence and determine if it met the standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.


Barr made sure that didn't happen, by jumping in the way and saying "Trump isn't guilty."


Barr is trying to head off what will undoubtedly be a ****load of evidence of obstruction that, very likely, meets the standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors" (at least when compared to Clinton and his process crime of perjury).


By saying "I, AG Barr have determined there isn't a crime," he's basically interfering with the legislative branch's ability to investigate and impeach, as now, for certain, a decision to impeach will be yelled down as political, even if the evidence is, in actuality, overwhelming.


Barr has done this country dirty today.

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