Author Topic: The Meuller Report  (Read 156456 times)

cherrypoptart

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #150 on: April 04, 2019, 01:04:30 PM »
Got off my tush, figuratively, and looked for myself. So it's this:

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/11/house-democrats-release-russian-troll-facebook-election-ads.html

So the Russians took out ads. So what? What is even illegal about that? Let's say Trump colluded with them and told them exactly which ads he preferred. They told him they were thinking about running some ads and asked him which ones he liked best and he told them this one, this one, this one, and oh this one is pretty funny. All the ones we saw that they ended up running. How would that even be illegal?

Maybe it's some sort of campaign finance violation where he is getting free political advertising paid for by a foreign government. But as far as I know there is no law against a foreign government taking out ads to say which American politician they prefer. Didn't Obama do more than that to meddle in the French and Israeli elections?

And that's not an attempt at whataboutism. My point is that people have the right to freedom of speech and to say which candidates they prefer and to take out ads if they want to. Nothing at all illegal about it.

Fenring

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #151 on: April 04, 2019, 02:22:44 PM »
I suspect the sort of collusion people think happened is unclear to most people, but probably the biggest fear was a conflict of interest between his real estate ventures with Russia (which he claimed didn't exist) and then owing them favors or otherwise taking stances that benefit them. It would indeed be troubling to know that a U.S. President is beholden to Russia on a personal level involving money.

As far as "interfering" with the election, I've always thought that was ridiculous. Yes, foreign governments are supposed to make all official actions...official. But the idea that this is really what happens is preposterous. Just look at the Biden thread regararding his own interactions with Ukraine and the whole idea that 'each government minds its own business' is fantasy; but even worse than fantasy, one where everyone else is a villain and everything you do is angelic.

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #152 on: April 04, 2019, 03:17:03 PM »
It's a violation of US election law if there was coordination, including the selection or preference for an ad. Just like with a PAC.

It's a matter of national defense if a country interferes with another country's elections, thus the sanctions when we found out. And yes, the US has done that before and been condemned for it. Typically people get kind of upset about that sort of thing, and countries generally react in some way. Talk about political interference, how about funding revolutionary groups?

TheDeamon

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #153 on: April 04, 2019, 05:02:38 PM »
Another thing I'm wondering about is if it was illegal for Russia to try to influence our election, is it also illegal for the American government to try to influence the elections in other countries? What is the statute that says one is illegal but the other is not?

The one that is codified into United States Code. No other law matters, well, unless the Democratic Party decides "international standards or norms" are more important for their favored issue. Obviously for this particular case, US Code is the only thing that matters.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 05:05:11 PM by TheDeamon »

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #154 on: April 04, 2019, 05:08:09 PM »
I think colluding with foreign governments to effect a change of leadership in the country is commonly known as treason.

cherrypoptart

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #155 on: April 04, 2019, 05:15:56 PM »
So Macron committed treason against France when he colluded with Obama to help him win against Le Pen?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/04/barack-obama-backs-macron-in-last-minute-election-intervention

TheDeamon

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #156 on: April 04, 2019, 05:22:04 PM »
So Macron committed treason against France when he colluded with Obama to help him win against Le Pen?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/04/barack-obama-backs-macron-in-last-minute-election-intervention

What about the Anti-Brexit people when they actively sought Obama's involvement in things there?

Seriati

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #157 on: April 04, 2019, 05:50:59 PM »
If it's treason or clearly collusion, why have we not arrested Hillary and her lawyers for hiring a British spy to obtain information from Russian intelligence operatives for the purpose of manipulating our election and launching a bogus counter intelligence operation to spy on a campaign during the election?

Just want to understand the "standard" in a world where the DNC has previously accepted contributions from operatives of the Chinese government, where the Clinton Foundation openly and notoriously accepted contributions from the governments of countries with decisions pending before the state department, where various European and Israeli leaders have expressed open endorsements of one candidate or the other.

Kind of like trying to understand why an individual is prevented from donated more than $2,700 to a political campaign but George Soros manages to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the same campaigns.

We don't have a fair set of rules here, we have a set of "gotchas" that are manipulatable by the elites.  The myth of Russian collusion is little more than a massive attempt at a fake gotcha, where everyone else is more guilty than the accused.

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #158 on: April 04, 2019, 06:12:07 PM »
I'm just stating a fact. I'm not declaring anyone innocent or guilty of it. Selling political favors, by the way, is not treason. It is corruption, could be bribery. Maybe there's an equivalence if he were an active agent of the UK, rather than a private citizen who used to work for a government. I hear you on the elites, yes, many of them may be much better at covering up and protecting themselves.

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #159 on: April 04, 2019, 06:15:34 PM »
BTW, from the Onion:

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“This report has found the president so overwhelmingly innocent that the average human mind, unable to grasp just how completely free from culpability he is, would lose its grip on reality and spiral into insanity,” said Huckabee-Sanders, who warned that the general public, upon reading the 300-page report, would be reduced to “gibbering idiots,” foaming at the mouth as they read the secret revelations that confirm President Trump is the single least-guilty individual in the history of mankind.

:D

D.W.

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #160 on: April 04, 2019, 07:13:32 PM »
We are here to protect you.  Please go stand by the stairs.

LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #161 on: April 05, 2019, 10:28:55 AM »
If it's treason or clearly collusion, why have we not arrested Hillary and her lawyers for hiring a British spy to obtain information from Russian intelligence operatives for the purpose of manipulating our election and launching a bogus counter intelligence operation to spy on a campaign during the election?

First the Clinton campaign didn't hire him.  They hired a lawyer who hired an op research firm, who employed him to finish research he had already done for Republicans.  Secondly hiring a foreign national isn't against the law.  There is only very narrow behavior that is illegal - they can't direct campaign actions (which is illegal behavior engaged in by most of the Republican campaigns when Cambridge Analytics British employees directly determined ad buys), they can't be volunteers, they can't donate, and I'm sure there are others.

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Trevor Potter, a campaign finance attorney who advised the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said that “it is permissible for campaigns to hire foreigners” as long as they are involved in lower-level activity in a campaign.

“It would be a problem for a U.S. super PAC — or any other domestic political actor — to have foreign nationals involved in running a political operation, including making decisions on strategy, targeting and expenditures for that political entity,” he said. “If foreigners were involved in the senior levels of decision-making for a political organization, that would be a violation of federal law.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/former-cambridge-analytica-workers-say-firm-sent-foreigners-to-advise-us-campaigns/2018/03/25/6a0d7d90-2fa2-11e8-911f-ca7f68bff0fc_story.html


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The complaints allege that several Cambridge Analytica employees, including Alexander Nix, the company’s CEO who was recently suspended, performed significant work that constituted being part of the “decision-making process” in campaigns during the 2014 and 2016 US election cycles.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/26/cambridge-analytica-trump-campaign-us-election-laws

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Just want to understand the "standard" in a world where the DNC has previously accepted contributions from operatives of the Chinese government

If there is any evidence they knew or had reason to think it was an illegal contribution I'd be interested.  Chung is an American citizen and was just another bundler.  I'm all for making bundling illegal.  What Chung did was illegal, but there is no evidence that the DNC participated in his illegal behavior or had knowledge he was doing it (or for that matter any way to know he was doing it).  The way bundling is legally done is to have a lot of donors who can legally donate - do so at the same time as a block - so that the politician knows that the bundler represents their interests and will provide favors to the designated group leader.  Bundling can also be done in an illegal manner by having someone who wants to donate a lot of money, funnel money to a bunch of individual donors and have them donate it.  Chung apparently received money from China and did the latter.

https://www.thoughtco.com/bundling-political-contributions-legal-and-illegal-3367621

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where the Clinton Foundation openly and notoriously accepted contributions from the governments of countries with decisions pending before the state department

Whether a non-profit can be considered a violation of the emoluments clause is an interesting discussion, I'm in favor of clarifying legislation that would make it so - but it isn't currently the case, nor was it while she was Secretary of State.

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where various European and Israeli leaders have expressed open endorsements of one candidate or the other.

I don't actually have a problem with this.  Nor do I see how it could possibly run a foul of any existing laws.

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Kind of like trying to understand why an individual is prevented from donated more than $2,700 to a political campaign but George Soros manages to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the same campaigns.

If you have any evidence of illegal behavior by Soros, would be interested.  As far as I know he has done nothing illegal and all of it is within the law.  I think it should be illegal but the Supreme Court has ruled otherwise.  Basically what Soros does is donate to groups that will run issue ads that aren't favorable to Republicans.  As long as there isn't coordination between campaigns and the issue groups it is legal.  Note however, that coordination is illegal - such as the coordination between the NRA and many Republican campaigns.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/01/nra-republicans-campaign-ads-senate-josh-hawley/

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We don't have a fair set of rules here, we have a set of "gotchas" that are manipulatable by the elites.  The myth of Russian collusion is little more than a massive attempt at a fake gotcha, where everyone else is more guilty than the accused.

This is such absurd reasoning.  The rules are clear to anyone running campaigns.  They know where the lines are and the lines are pretty bright.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 10:32:22 AM by LetterRip »

Crunch

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #162 on: April 06, 2019, 08:47:52 AM »
Papadapolous is talking. It’s becoming more and more clear that the FBI was running an operation to set him up so they could start the fake investigation. Check out Papadapolous on Twitter (painful to paste in here), he is putting it all together now that he can speak freely.

This whole thing was a intelligence operation by the DOJ and the FBI to create an “insurance policy” (as Strzol called it) to take down Trump in case he wins the election.

Lynch, Comey, Obama, and Hillary, along with their minions, need to be investigated now.

Crunch

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #163 on: April 18, 2019, 07:51:22 AM »
And here we go! Based on the attacks on Barr, I think the left is feeling less than optimistic about seeing the report. This will be a great circus.

D.W.

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #164 on: April 18, 2019, 09:23:01 AM »
It seems a stupid thing to worry about.  Sure it would be nice if some positions were above politics, but it will be out and spun every which way and dissected for soundbites before tomorrow morning.   ::)

P.S.  In a totally not collusion way, anyone listening out there should totally leak the un-redacted report... for the good of the country.  :P 




kidding!

Seriati

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #165 on: April 18, 2019, 09:53:20 AM »
Can we at least agree that the attacks on Barr are completely over the line?  Man's got a great record and served as the AG previously.

I mean honestly, leading Democrats, going on tv - last night - to claim that Barr is giving his press conference to "spin" the report.  Notwithstanding that the DOJ routinely has such press conferences, making the idea that this somehow unusual again effectively fake news.  And they pretty much said truly hateful things about his integrity, with absolutely no basis on which to hang it (and for those who claim it's the way that Trump acts that you hate, seems an odd "omission" that you aren't outraged by this).

Does anyone else see the explicit irony in going on national tv to "spin" a press conference the next day as "spin."  It's literally one of those cases, where a guilty person has to accuse another of the very crime they are guilty of, because it's the only way their mind works.

We stink as a people that these are the people we elect to lead us.

Wayward Son

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #166 on: April 18, 2019, 11:24:07 AM »
As the old Russian proverb says: "Trust, but verify."

Now we get to verify.  Including the sweeping statements Barr made this morning. :)

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Notwithstanding that the DOJ routinely has such press conferences...

Seriati, could you show a few examples of these press conferences?  I would do a Google search, but I can't think of criteria to use to find them. :(

LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #167 on: April 18, 2019, 11:28:18 AM »
Can we at least agree that the attacks on Barr are completely over the line?  Man's got a great record and served as the AG previously.

Actually he has suggested it is impossible for a President to commit the crime of obstruction of justice.  He has also said it is "impossible to commit obstruction of justice if there is no underlying crime" - also blatantly false which any experienced prosecutor knows.   Ergo he has a complete lack of credibility.

If he is willing to lie on those, I don't see why we shouldn't doubt he integrity and credibility on other aspects.

rightleft22

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #168 on: April 18, 2019, 11:37:28 AM »
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We stink as a people that these are the people we elect to lead us.

Amen!

I agree the attacks on Barr cross the line. History will be the final judge

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #169 on: April 18, 2019, 12:04:39 PM »
"This report totally supports whatever I believed before it was published!" - Everybody

LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #170 on: April 18, 2019, 12:08:43 PM »
Here is the report,

https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf

Haven't read it yet, just skimming it looking through the redactions.

I'm pleasantly surprised that the redactions are less than I expected from by brief skim, but more than I hoped.  I suppose we shall have to see if congress determines they were reasonable.

Some of the items marked "HOM" (harm to ongoing matter) - seem like it will be easy for reporters to reverse engineer (the name length and the fact they are alphabetized should make the names easy to determine).
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 12:10:54 PM by LetterRip »

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #171 on: April 18, 2019, 12:18:43 PM »
I'm sure CNN will find something that fits the length of the blanks and their narrative.

LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #172 on: April 18, 2019, 12:51:45 PM »
Ah figured out what was going on.

It is two volumes, and both volumes are numbered from page 1.  So I was looking for the redactions mentioned in volume 1, on the page numbers of volume 2.

Looking at volume 2 - which is the investigation in to obstruction.  They state that

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Third, we considered whether to evaluate the conduct we investigated under the Justice Manual standards governing prosecution and declination decisions, but we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgement that the President committed crimes. [...] Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgement when no charges could be brought.

So - because in the DOJ's opinion - you can't charge a sitting President (only after they leave office), they refused to reach a judgement or evaluate the evidence.  Instead they can only 'investigate' and provide the findings of their investigation.

They similarly reason that they can't bring a sealed indictment against the President, because if they did - it might leak, and thus damage his reputation (since he can't be charged while President in their opinion) and that such a leak would 'impair his ability to govern'.

The DoJ's policy on this is utterly insane.

These are on pages 214is (of 448) for those interested, the inability to copy and paste is a huge pain.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 01:02:21 PM by LetterRip »

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #173 on: April 18, 2019, 01:18:06 PM »
Article with link to searchable PDF

Not really sure why DOJ released a printed (imaged) version, maybe they have an antiquated redaction process.

D.W.

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #174 on: April 18, 2019, 01:28:57 PM »
Images are less risky for just the reason you mention.  Why take a chance that some PDF editing or word processor feature translated over to the PDF making the text "under" the redaction searchable or able to have a layer turned off? 

TheDeamon

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #175 on: April 18, 2019, 01:41:50 PM »
Images are less risky for just the reason you mention.  Why take a chance that some PDF editing or word processor feature translated over to the PDF making the text "under" the redaction searchable or able to have a layer turned off?

Didn't the pentagon have pretty much exactly that happen with one of it's more high profile releases? The redactions turned out to be a "layer" in Adobe Acrobat, which the media quickly figured out how to remove.

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #176 on: April 18, 2019, 01:51:09 PM »
I'm sure that happened once. I've even heard of somebody just setting a background color to match the letters (but not removing the ascii from the file). It still doesn't explain why they didn't take the one extra step that others did to run through OCR again after doing a scan of a printout or whatever those images came from.

LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #177 on: April 18, 2019, 01:56:27 PM »
I think this is probably the most slam-dunk case of obstruction of justice you can have without a literal recording of the indivudal uttering the phrase "I am intending to obstruct justice".

It is a mockery of justice if you can't indict a sitting President for a crime.  If it would interfere with his ability to govern, that is part of why we have a VP.  That is such an utterly absurd policy.

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #178 on: April 18, 2019, 02:52:35 PM »
Never mind the fact that Mueller himself didn't think it was the slam-dunk you think it is.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller's lengthy report made public Thursday reviewed President Donald Trump's attempts to muddy the investigation, including efforts to tamper with witnesses, but decided not to charge him with obstruction because there was no underlying crime and many of the attempts were carried out in plain view.

So we don't want to paint a picture that the only reason Trump isn't indicted is because of the precedent to not indict a sitting president.

Crunch

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #179 on: April 18, 2019, 02:55:35 PM »
Can we at least agree that the attacks on Barr are completely over the line?  Man's got a great record and served as the AG previously.

Actually he has suggested it is impossible for a President to commit the crime of obstruction of justice.  He has also said it is "impossible to commit obstruction of justice if there is no underlying crime" - also blatantly false which any experienced prosecutor knows.   Ergo he has a complete lack of credibility.

If he is willing to lie on those, I don't see why we shouldn't doubt he integrity and credibility on other aspects.

What justice should be applied to someone if they've not committed a crime?

LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #180 on: April 18, 2019, 02:56:30 PM »
For the Trump Tower meeting - charges weren't brought because they can't prove beyond reasonable doubt that the meeting attendees knew in advance it was illegal.

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On the facts here, the government would unlikely be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the June 9 meeting participants had general knowledge that their conduct was unlawful. The investigation has not developed evidence that the participants in the meeting were familiar with the foreign-contribution ban or the application of federal law to the relevant factual context. The government does not have strong evidence of surreptitious behavior or efforts at concealment at the time of the June 9 meeting. While the government has evidence of later efforts to prevent disclosure of the nature of the June 9 meeting that could circumstantially provide support fr a showing of scienter, see Volume II, Section II.G, infra, that concealment occurred more than a year later, involved individuals who did not attend the June 9 meeting, and may reflect an intention to avoid political consequences rather than any prior knowledge of illegality. Additionally, in light of the unresolved legal questions about whether giving "documents and information" of the sort offered here constitutes a campaign contribution, Trump Jr. could mount a factual defense that he did not believe his response to the offer and the June 9 meeting itself violated the law. Given his less direct involvement in arranging the June 9 meeting, Kushner could likely mount a similar defense. And, while Manafort is experienced with political campaigns, the Office has not developed evidence showing that he had relevant knowledge of these legal issues.

[...] And while value in a conspiracy may well be measured by what the participants expected to receive at the time of the agreement, see, e.g., United States v. Tombrello, 666 F.2d 485,489 (11th Cir. 1982), Goldstone's description of the offered material here was quite general. His suggestion of the information's value-i.e., that it would "incriminate Hillary" and "would be very useful to [Trump Jr.'s] father"-was nonspecific and may have been understood as being of uncertain worth or reliability, given Goldstone's lack of direct access to the original source. The uncertainty over what would be delivered could be reflected in Trump Jr.'s response ("if it's what you say I love it") (emphasis added).
Accordingly, taking into account the high burden to establish a culpable mental state in a campaign-finance prosecution and the difficulty in establishing the required valuation, the Office decided not to pursue criminal campaign-finance charges against Trump Jr. or other campaign officials fr the events culminating in the June 9 meeting.

So in this case - ignorance of the law is a defense.

Also thanks for the OCRed link - it has a lot of errors, but much better than typing it from hand.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 03:05:29 PM by LetterRip »

LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #181 on: April 18, 2019, 03:00:14 PM »
Never mind the fact that Mueller himself didn't think it was the slam-dunk you think it is.

He didn't offer an opinion.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller's lengthy report made public Thursday reviewed President Donald Trump's attempts to muddy the investigation, including efforts to tamper with witnesses, but decided not to charge him with obstruction because there was no underlying crime and many of the attempts were carried out in plain view.

Where is that quote from?  Definitely isn't in the report and I don't see anything implying that.

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So we don't want to paint a picture that the only reason Trump isn't indicted is because of the precedent to not indict a sitting president.

Please read the report, I think that is absolutely the take-away.

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #182 on: April 18, 2019, 03:14:24 PM »
Quote
The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred.

This works in the other direction too. Difficult issues. Not Slam-dunk. But I'm sure you can pull something else out to prove what you believe to be true.

The summary I provided is from NBC, you can generally track such things down by pasting the quote and searching it, but here's the article. NBC. I generally trust that it isn't "fake news" because it is not an opinion piece, it is a source that is definitely not Trump-leaning, and I am not willing to sift through 400 pages to find justification for what I already believed.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #183 on: April 18, 2019, 03:34:29 PM »
So in this case - ignorance of the law is a defense.

Also thanks for the OCRed link - it has a lot of errors, but much better than typing it from hand.

Hey, it worked for Hillary!

LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #184 on: April 18, 2019, 03:40:47 PM »

The summary I provided is from NBC,

Why not provide a link when you post a quote.

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I generally trust that it isn't "fake news" because it is not an opinion piece, it is a source that is definitely not Trump-leaning, and I am not willing to sift through 400 pages to find justification for what I already believed.

Well if you read further down your link where the actually quote from the report,

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Mueller's office says it weighed charging Trump with obstruction, but didn't in part because "we recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President's capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional process for addressing presidential misconduct."

Which is again inaccurate - Meuller explicitly stated he had no intention of a Prosecutorial finding and no intention of charging or indicting a sitting President as per the guidance of the OLC.

I'm not sure how they came up with the paragraph that you quoted, but it was not at all implied or stated in the report.

The beginning of the report is what I was quoting from - where the explicitly lay out that the will not be making a Prosecutorial finding and the reasoning for it.  The paragraph you quoted stated that the Mueller "decided not to charge him with obstruction because there was no underlying crime and many of the attempts were carried out in plain view," is 100% false.  (Perhaps they confused Barr's statement with Mueller?)

Ah, they appear to be misreading this paragraph, discussing some of the features that differ from a typical obstruction of justice investivation.

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Several features of the conduct we investigated distinguish it from typical obstruction-of-justice cases. First, the investigation concerned the President, and some of his actions, such as firing the FBI director, involved facially lawful acts within his Article II authority, which raises constitutional issues discussed below. At the same time, the President's position as the head of the Executive Branch provided him with unique and powerful means of influencing official proceedings, subordinate officers, and potential witnesses-all of which is relevant to a potential obstruction-of-justice analysis. Second, unlike cases in which a subject engages in obstruction of justice to cover up a crime, the evidence we obtained did not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference. Although the obstruction statutes do not require proof of such a crime, the absence of that evidence affects the analysis of the President's intent and requires consideration of other possible motives for his conduct. Third, many of the President's acts directed at witnesses, including discouragement of cooperation with the government and suggestions of possible future pardons, took place in public view. That circumstance is unusual, but no principle of law excludes public acts from the reach of the obstruction laws. If the likely effect of public acts is to influence witnesses or alter their testimony, the harm to the justice system's integrity is the same
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 03:48:10 PM by LetterRip »

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #185 on: April 18, 2019, 03:46:30 PM »
Quote
Mueller's office says it weighed charging Trump with obstruction, but didn't in part because "we recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President's capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional process for addressing presidential misconduct."

Doesn't "in part" imply "not entirely because of"?

Quote
Why not provide a link when you post a quote.

I usually do. Lately I've gotten the feeling that nobody is clicking on them or reading them, and if somebody really wants to know they can slice a sentence out and google it.

scifibum

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #186 on: April 18, 2019, 03:50:19 PM »
Barr definitely put his own spin on the report with his initial statements on the "principal conclusions".

It's accurate to say that Mueller declined to accuse the President of obstruction of justice, but he goes out of his way to explain that he did not think he should do so even if the evidence warrants it. He offers:

1) OLC guidance against indicting sitting President
2) Sealed indictment might leak
3) Might interfere with Congress's ability to hold the President accountable

#3 is pretty key, and I think Barr's response to this question this morning is significantly misleading:

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Reporter: "Did the special counsel indicate that he wanted you to make the decision or that it should be left for Congress? And also, how do you respond to criticism you're receiving from congressional Democrats that you're acting more as an attorney for the president rather than as the chief law enforcement officer?"

Barr: "Well, special counsel Mueller did not indicate that his purpose was to leave the decision to Congress. I hope that was not his view, since we don't convene grand juries and conduct criminal investigations for that purpose. He did not -- I didn't talk to him directly about the fact that we were making the decision, but I am told that his reaction to that was that it was my prerogative as attorney general to make that decision."

Clearly the reporter doesn't mean that Congress should decide whether DOJ indicts the President. The question was whether Mueller intended for Congress to determine whether and how to hold the President accountable for obstruction of justice. There's evidence in the report that Mueller thinks that's the preferable alternative given the constraints he listed out.

All that being said, no, there's no slam dunk. Nobody in the Senate is going to suddenly want to convict after impeachment based on this report. Mostly it's stuff we already knew.

Crunch

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #187 on: April 18, 2019, 03:54:46 PM »
Quote
"the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims."

The left calls that obstruction. WTF? Full cooperation, provided access to everything and everyone involved with the direction they testify freely, and no claims of executive privilege.

How does this behavior obstruct the investigation?

LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #188 on: April 18, 2019, 03:58:09 PM »
Quote
Mueller's office says it weighed charging Trump with obstruction, but didn't in part because "we recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President's capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional process for addressing presidential misconduct."

Doesn't "in part" imply "not entirely because of"?

See my edit - I pointed out that they were (again) making inaccurate statements.  Mueller never intended to make a Prosecutorial finding and thus charges as per OLC.

Here is the opening to the obstruction investigation report, which is explains their reasoning in not giving a prosecutorial finding nor issuing a sealed indictment

Quote
First, a traditional prosecution or declination decision entails a binary determination to initiate or decline a prosecution, but we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has issued an opinion finding that "the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions" in violation of "the constitutional separation of powers."1 Given the role of the Special Counsel as an attorney in the Department of Justice and the framework of the Special Counsel regulations, see 28 U.S.C. § 515; 28 C.F.R. § 600.7(a), this Office accepted OLC's legal conclusion for the purpose of exercising prosecutorial jurisdiction.And apart from OLC's constitutional view, we recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President's capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct.2

Second, while the OLC opinion concludes that a sitting President may not be prosecuted, it recognizes that a criminal investigation during the President's term is permissible.3 The OLC opinion also recognizes that a President does not have immunity after he leaves office.4 And if individuals other than the President committed an obstruction offense, they may be prosecuted at
this time. Given those considerations, the facts known to us, and the strong public interest in safeguarding the integrity of the criminal justice system, we conducted a thorough factual investigation in order to preserve the evidence when memories were fresh and documentary materials were available.

Third, we considered whether to evaluate the conduct we investigated under the Justice Manual standards governing prosecution and declination decisions, but we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes. The threshold step under the Justice Manual standards is to assess whether a person's conduct
"constitutes a federal offense." U.S. Dep't of Justice, Justice Manual§ 9-27.220 (2018) (Justice Manual). Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusation is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongly accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast, a prosecutor's judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator.5 The concerns about the fairness of such a determination would be heightened in the case of a sitting President, where a federal prosecutor's accusation of a crime, even in an internal report, could carry consequences that extend beyond the realm of criminal justice. OLC noted similar concerns about sealed indictments. Even if an indictment were sealed during the President's term, OLC reasoned, "it would be very difficult to preserve [an indictment's] secrecy," and if an indictment became public, "[t]he stigma and opprobrium" could imperil the President's ability to govern."6 Although a prosecutor's internal report would not represent a formal public accusation akin to an indictment, the possibility of the report's public disclosure and the absence of a neutral adjudicatory forum to review its findings counseled against potentially determining "that the person's conduct constitutes a federal offense." Justice Manual§ 9-27.220.

Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 04:05:06 PM by LetterRip »

LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #189 on: April 18, 2019, 04:02:23 PM »
scifibum,

I think it is a slam dunk in that the evidence is overwhelming.  The only way a prosecutor wouldn't win the case, is via a juror simply ignoring the evidence.

rightleft22

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #190 on: April 18, 2019, 04:19:20 PM »
Quote
I think it is a slam dunk in that the evidence is overwhelming.  The only way a prosecutor wouldn't win the case, is via a juror simply ignoring the evidence.

I agree however its not going to change anything. Arguing otherwise is only strengthening Trump.
I'm leaving it up to History to clear things up. (Just as it did for OJ and MJ) But even then those on the wrong side of history won't care much.

If everyone who really believes that these things matter votes accordingly then the madness will be over in two years. But I'm not optimistic that is going to happen.

scifibum

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #191 on: April 18, 2019, 04:22:36 PM »
Quote
"the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims."

The left calls that obstruction. WTF? Full cooperation, provided access to everything and everyone involved with the direction they testify freely, and no claims of executive privilege.

How does this behavior obstruct the investigation?

That is not a remotely accurate summary. Barr seems to be shilling there.

In the report Barr is releasing as he says this, it's documented that Trump tried to get McGahn to lie, he instructed Hicks and Trump Jr. to lie. He publicly condemned people cooperating with prosecutors and praised those who seemed to be withholding cooperation. 

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #192 on: April 18, 2019, 04:39:28 PM »
I'll give it one more try. Section unedited for full disclosure of their reasoning.

BBC breaks down its summary with supporting quotes.

Quote
No 'underlying crime'

On potential obstruction of justice, the Mueller report makes clear the inquiry is far from the "total exoneration" claimed by Mr Trump during a victory lap last month.

The document cites 10 instances that were investigated as potential obstruction by Mr Trump, most of them already known because, as the inquiry says, they largely "took place in public view".

The report ultimately concludes: "Unlike cases in which a subject engages in obstruction of justice to cover up a crime, the evidence we obtained did not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference."

It adds: "Obstruction of a criminal investigation is punishable even if the prosecution is ultimately unsuccessful or even if the investigation ultimately reveals no underlying crime."

But the report also pointedly notes:

"If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President 's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred."

To be guilty of obstruction, it would have to be established that Mr Trump had "corrupt intent" when he tried to undercut the investigation.

As the report makes clear, a president has wide constitutional latitude to act under his executive authority. And legal experts point out that Mr Trump could simply have argued he believed the investigation was a meritless waste of government resources.


LetterRip

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #193 on: April 18, 2019, 05:00:50 PM »
TheDrake,

are you willfully ignoring the 4 paragraphs that I quoted from the start of the the Mueller report where he explains why he will not provide a Prosecutorial finding?  There is no conclusion because he explicitly refused to make such a finding due to OLC policy that you can't charge a sitting President or even file a sealed indictment against a sitting President.  A Prosecutorial finding of innocence or exhoneration would be allowed by OLC policy.

TheDrake

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #194 on: April 18, 2019, 05:06:18 PM »
Yes, that was the summary. I am providing evidence that there are reasons why a prosecution might not be a slam dunk.

Are you willfully ignoring the fact that even if you sweep aside precedent and the indictment problem, that there is a defense that can be mounted successfully, specifically as stated?

TheDeamon

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #195 on: April 18, 2019, 05:55:39 PM »
I'll give it one more try. Section unedited for full disclosure of their reasoning.

BBC breaks down its summary with supporting quotes.

Quote
To be guilty of obstruction, it would have to be established that Mr Trump had "corrupt intent" when he tried to undercut the investigation.

As the report makes clear, a president has wide constitutional latitude to act under his executive authority. And legal experts point out that Mr Trump could simply have argued he believed the investigation was a meritless waste of government resources.

And that would be his defense, particularly as it relates to his "public behavior" given they failed to find sufficient evidence regarding the thing they actually were investigating.

As it is, thing that seems to be getting ignored is they seemed to be alluding to the possibility that IF they had pursued criminal obstruction charges against Trump, it would have potentially prevented Congress from pursuing impeachment proceedings, among a number of other constitutional issues.

Knowing their findings were likely to make it to Congress, it is reasonable for them to issue the report based on evidence available at the time, and let somebody else address the issue through Articles of Impeachment, or prosecution after Trump's term of office has concluded.

Crunch

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #196 on: April 18, 2019, 05:55:48 PM »
Quote
"the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims."

The left calls that obstruction. WTF? Full cooperation, provided access to everything and everyone involved with the direction they testify freely, and no claims of executive privilege.

How does this behavior obstruct the investigation?

That is not a remotely accurate summary. Barr seems to be shilling there.

In the report Barr is releasing as he says this, it's documented that Trump tried to get McGahn to lie, he instructed Hicks and Trump Jr. to lie. He publicly condemned people cooperating with prosecutors and praised those who seemed to be withholding cooperation.

Sure. Whatever you say.

Why do you think none of the 17 lawyers or 40 FBI agents or even Mueller himself, who have leaked heavily this whole time, are not contradicting Barr?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 06:05:48 PM by Crunch »

Crunch

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #197 on: April 18, 2019, 06:20:07 PM »
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If Trump had really wanted to obstruct the investigation, he could simply have terminated it. And Mueller acknowledges that the administration fully cooperated with the investigation in every way. So the “attempts to obstruct” come down to Trump expressing outrage at the fact that a baseless, partisan investigation was hampering his administration.

See that? Mueller acknowledges that the administration fully cooperated with the investigation in every way. The left calls this obstruction. It’s insane.

No collusion. No obstruction.

Wayward Son

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #198 on: April 18, 2019, 06:32:16 PM »
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Why do you think none of the 17 lawyers or 40 FBI agents or even Mueller himself, who have leaked heavily this whole time, are not contradicting Barr?

Be patient, Crunch.  Mueller hasn't appeared in front of Congress yet. :)

Crunch

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Re: The Meuller Report
« Reply #199 on: April 18, 2019, 07:14:23 PM »
Quote
Why do you think none of the 17 lawyers or 40 FBI agents or even Mueller himself, who have leaked heavily this whole time, are not contradicting Barr?

Be patient, Crunch.  Mueller hasn't appeared in front of Congress yet. :)

What do you think mueller withheld from the report that he will reveal to congress? Why did mueller withhold it?

Why do the dozens of other investigators remain silent if Barr has misrepresented them?