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The Letter

The letter written by Barr is not the Mueller Report. It’s a selective summary and interpretation.

Barr was selected by Trump because he has a reputation of covering things up that make Republicans look bad, like he did with Iran Contra.

All this letter does is run out the clock. Trump gets to crow that he was exonerated (he wasn’t) and Democrats spend the next 20 months subpoenaing and beating their heads against a brick wall.

The truth will eventually come out. The SDNY, EDVA, NYAG, and DC courts will likely have the last words. The corruption investigations pile up. Michael Flynn still cooperates.

But we all knew when Barr was appointed that his job was to make this all go away for the Republicans. That’s his job, to cover it all up. If it wasn’t his job, he’d just release the full report with minor redactions.

He hasn’t. So we’ll just have to take his word for it.


64 Responses

  1. Well said. and well observed. As usual, what upsets me the most about these various things, is that they are spun so badly by the media, and of course the Republicans, that the real damage is to the public perception, which of course leads to how they vote.

    Barr wrote a piece a while ago, which said that no President can obstruct justice, by definition. I didn’t read it, but it sounds like some medieval argument about the infallibility of the Pope. Anyway, that meant, a priori, that he would never find obstruction of justice, no matter what evidence was before him. Now, why did Mueller leave to it him, then? Because that is the way it works, that the AG decides whether to prosecute? So that once Trump got his AG in, the game was essentially over, except for the details? I agree that the full Mueller report will almost surely be much more damaging to Trump. Many facts will be laid out showing what certainly looks like conspiracy and collusion, but which Mueller must have thought did not rise to criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt. As to obstruction, there is probably even more evidence, but Mueller wanted to lay it all out and then let Barr decide, even though that decision was preordained.

    So of course the Trump stooges get to run the show, and the media helps them out, willingly or stupidly. It seems clear to me, from the wording of Barr’s letter, that he was very definitely parsing and twisting language in the report for his own ends. That in itself is disgraceful, but we’re used to it by now. If the report actually had come out first, the reactions would have been much different. Did Neal Katyal write this procedure? If so, it is a bad one, because of course an AG is going to spin the SC report in favor of the President. This is why Trump was never that worried, because his lawyers told him that the AG would control the narrative. “Not exonerated” should actually be the major story here, but it’s not so far. Mueller’s full report will lay out all the suspicious and condemnatory actions taken. But we must see it. So far, Barr has put a biased filter on. it.

    All Trump and Republicans have ever wanted, was to be able to control the story that the people hear. That is what dictators do. The House should subpoena Barr, but he is tricky, and will deceive. Bring Mueller in. Bring in anyone who is central to this. Get and release the full report. In retrospect, I was probably deceived along with everyone else, in thinking that Mueller’s appointment was going to be able to pierce the fog of crimes and deceit. As long as Trump’s appointees get to have control of dissemination, there is apparently no governmental process that can break it. But the House can help, the district courts can help (although the stacked Supreme Court will protect the President above all else), and of course there is the vote. People should not give up, because that is what fascists count on. If our side votes in enough numbers, we win.

    • They all are going to be called in. Like you though I don’t expect any honesty from Barr. They are also getting a full copy of the report. Once they get that copy, we will start to hear what Barr did not want us to know.

  2. One brief compound question: Why did Trump say on national TV, “Russia, if you’re listening, if you can find Hillary’s emails (the press???) will greatly reward you?” And then say later that he has no idea if Russia hacked the Podesta mails, that it might have been China or a 400-pound man? And why did he ignore the IC assessment that it was Russia? I don’t know how narrowly “collusion” was defined, but if there were no connections, no tacit deals, why would Trump ask Russia to find Hillary’s emails? Did Mueller ignore this, and not write anything in his report about those matters? I doubt it.

  3. You’re straining at gnats and grasping at straws.


    You’re not getting a pony.

    And now, a word from the Big Orange Marshmallow Peanut:

    “After a long investigation, after so many people have been badly hurt, after not looking at the other side, where a lot of bad things happened, a lot of horrible things happened, a lot of very bad things happened for our country, it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia. The most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. There was no collusion with Russia. There was no obstruction and none whatsoever. And it was a complete and total exoneration. It’s a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest, it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this. Before I even got elected, it began, and it began illegally. And hopefully, somebody’s going to look at the other side. This was an illegal takedown that failed.”

    • Lolololololol!!!
      You’re a whip kisser, Niles. Let’s wait for the full report before we believe the unhinged ramblings of a pathological liar who spent last weekend sweating it out when he *innocently* thought that Mueller was going to throw the book at him.

      “If we have truth, [it] cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not truth, it ought to be harmed.”
      J. Reuben Clark, some Mormon dude.

      He’s still in trouble and will be until the report is made public.

      • The modern fascists just won the Battle of the Java Sea, and think they’ve won the war.

      • Why don’t the Democrats just leak the report like they do everything else? Just wait long enough they will.

    • If he even read Barr’s letter which he apparently did not all Barr said was he couldn’t prove that Trump colluded with the Russian bots which he was never accused of doing. Barr mentioned nothing about the meeting at Trump tower with Russian intelligence. This always happens. The GOP starts throwing crap out there and then when the facts start coming out the GOP ends up eating their own crap. You would think Republicans would learn by now.

      • Sounds like Attorney General Barr should be charged with Obstructing Justice. Seems like…..totally obvious!

    • Orange marshmallow, a circus peanut, that most obnoxious of candies. What a perfect description!

  4. Wow you hit the nail on the head better than anyone has on this, RD!

  5. Why would anybody think that Barr would leave his law job, to suddenly step in as AG again? Because he just loved doing it? No, because he wanted to go there to do a specific thing, which was to selectively parse and then bury the Mueller report. This was obvious from his testimony before the Senate, but of course Republicans always vote for one of theirs, so the questioning from Democrats never accomplishes anything.

    Anyone who thinks that any of these Trump appointees are inherently decent people who will do the right thing, is foolish; and that includes me, at times, as I occasionally think that someone will, but they do not. The entire report must be disseminated, just like the Starr report, which was about nothing important. Of course, even if it ever is, all the public relations damage has already been done. That’s one thing to observe: that the Republicans are always ahead of stories, mostly because they’ve been tipped off. And then they get together and figure out the best spin, and then give it to the media which disseminates it. It is just awful to watch how the media misunderstands and misreads both documents and import, and how it always benefits the Far Right. Democrats either aren’t as good at the strategy; or more likely, they actually care about the truth, not just winning. The Trump team said that they are not requesting a copy of the report. Why should they, when a false summary written by one of their cohorts, will stand in for it?

    One final point: Mueller did not request Barr to decide on obstruction. Barr wrote that since Mueller did not absolutely find criminal culpability, but did not exonerate, it then fell to him to decide. That is not the law, nor the procedure. Congress is supposed to decide. But some of the media are so awful at their job, or maybe their job is to shill for Republicans, that they actually said that Mueller requested Barr to make the decision. Maybe being a journalist, particularly a TV journalist, should require courses in journalism, ethics, and law. All of this, for Trump and his acolytes, is about winning the public relations battle, because that is where the votes are. The rest of it, they can stonewall, or stop with their appointed loyalists.

    • The bad stuff is going to start leaking to the press next week when the house gets a copy of the report. Probably reporters are going to get a copy of the report. So the GOP can celebrate stupidly for a day because you know it never lasts. They will end up stepping in it before long. The facts are always going to win out though it may take longer to get there. A few weeks of stories about how Trump’s campaign met with Russian intelligence are gonna undo all this.

      • Ga6thDem, I always appreciate reading your comments, which are almost always on the positive side. I always worry about how much of the media seem in cahoots with Trump, or that first impressions by the public, which the Republicans try to create, are hard to undo. But I hope you are right that the upcoming stories will be more positive for our side. The other side does not care about nuance, and looks at it like a sports event where the referee decided in their favor, and the score cannot be changed.

        • “The other side” will not read the report, they will believe trump’s tweets, believe Fox news, eat GOP lies with a spoon and, i suspect, will embrace their fear, hatred, misogyny, racism, homophobia and Islamaphobia in a death grip. Their truth is not our truth. They hate us and they want us humiliated, defeated and powerless.

          • The feeling is mutual. I definitely want to see them humiliated, defeated, and powerless.

          • Cats, this is a depressing but accurate observation. In addition to the other characteristics you note, they also see it as akin to some kind of sports tribalism, where your team must do anything to win, and if the other side loses, it is glorious. It is not coincidental that the largest swath of the these people come from the football frenzied South. It is tribalistic for them, that is why they are so eager to write about “liberal tears.” No matter how badly off the country is, or how little money the oligarchs let them have, as long as the “libs” are unhappy, they are gratified.

            Trump, the hotel-owning son of an anti-semitic, racist New York multimillionaire, stands at a podium with his red hat, and they think he is one of them, loves football and NASCAR. But he has utter contempt for them, says, “I like stupid people,” and grifts them for the suckers they are. He tells them that they are winning, when actually they are being sucked out of all their money, health care, air and water. I am really in favor of the people in blue states finding ways to cut off as much funding as possible for those people, even if it sounds unkind. We here in California are subsidizing all of these people, as the system is now set up to take money from blue states and give it to red states. It is a real tragedy to discover that America is full of ignorant people, who glory in their ignorance. and whose perverted religious principles give them license to excuse every action that they or their dictator make.

          • You are projecting your own hate on others and that should scare you.

          • Boris the only ones going around massacring people these days are magats. But you know that already because you’ve come here to try to deflect your crimes onto others.

  6. Never forget the source of the Rethuglicans’ unjust power.

  7. Let’s hope that more of the truth comes out and more Trumpers end up in the pokey.

    So far… I see Mitch McConnell’s hand in this coverup which has been just effective enough for Republican purposes. Left to his own devices Trump would have followed through on his hotheaded threats to fire Rosenstein and get his own AG to fire Mueller, in a Saturday Night Massacre redux. A fight that no one really wanted to see.

    It’s well known that Republican senators told Trump to let Mueller be. By appointing Barr and letting Mueller do his work and nail some scalps, Trump and his allies can claim that process was correctly followed, the rule of law upheld. Even though we here know better.

    Trump never would have figured this out on his own.

    • Foxes are running the hen house and have been for decades. This won’t end until the chickens are gone and the hen house is filled with more foxes. Have no idea where the foxes will then get their eggs…

  8. Is Trump willing to address the part of the report that unequivocally states Russia agressively interfered in our election? Hmmmm.


  9. It’s bad enough to have to go through all the awful things that Trump and the Republicans are doing to the country. What makes it worse is the realization that the media is either absolutely incompetent, or is deliberately trying to help them. And to quote the title of a comic strip that used to be in the Sunday papers when I was little, “they’ll do it every time.” First, we have not seen one full sentence that Mueller wrote. Every little snippet that Barr quoted, was bracketed. And of course we have not seen the full report. But the media simply took what Barr said as gospel. And then, even worse, they could not even correctly interpret the words he used. The media said “no collusion.” The brief snippets did not say that. Even Barr did not say that. He said, “did not establish…” Which means “sufficient for an indictment and prosecution.” So there could be all sorts of evidence about Trump and his people talking to Russians, but not enough in Mueller’s mind to prove a criminal case. Also, Mueller decided that his task was to investigate direct collusion between Trump and the Russian government. Are the oligarchs considered the government? Probably not. Is Wikileaks, an obvious Russian asset, considered the government? No. Kilimnik? No. So we have no idea what Mueller actually found in this regard. And the media, so good at yelling questions at Hillary, or grilling her again and again on emails (see: Matt Lauer), just shrugged about this.

    As to obstruction, it seems abundantly clear that Mueller was saying that because of the law on indicting a President, he was going to lay out the findings and arguments, and leave it to Congress. Mueller did not leave it to Barr. Barr said, “So it is left to the Attorney General.” Not by Mueller! Barr arrogated it to himself. The media misses this entirely. The clueless Ken Dilanian, actually chief Washington reporter for MSNBC, says, “That IS surprising, why would Mueller give it to Barr to decide?” Because he didn’t! Barr is tricky enough, and of course he has other attorneys on his staff to help him. So they perused the report, and parsed it carefully, to create the impressions they chose. That is appalling that Barr is so willing to serve Trump rather than justice. But the media is supposed to delve into these things, at least read the words given to them, and try to understand what they do not say. But either they are too dumb to do so, or they don’t want to. And how do we have any chance at a democracy, if the media has purposely or stupidly become lapdogs for the autocrats?

    Also, remember that Matt Schlapp wrote a few weeks ago that with Barr’s appointment, “Mueller will be gone soon.” With the Supreme Court refusing to hear the appeal from the “mystery company” whose records were trying to subpoena; with the recent extension of the grand jury, does that look like Mueller was done? Did Barr just force him to end this, saying that he would fire him otherwise? Is this at least a viable question that the media should bring up, instead of writing and speaking bogus headlines such as, “Mueller finds no collusion with Russia?” I don’t think that the print journalists of 80 years ago, at least the actual reporters and editors, would practice this kind of abysmal journalism. I don’t want them to draw conclusions, I want them to tell the facts accurately. And they are not doing it, which is why I can’t even turn on the TV to try to stomach it today. Maybe I’ll tape Nicolle Wallace, who is smart and professional enough to bring in top attorneys to point out such things.

  10. I was upset and confused last night with Ari Melber. He did a segment of his own take on the report and “lectured” the viewers that they should accept the finding of “no collusion”. Based on what? So this is a good example, William, of what you are talking about. Here he seems a little too willing to follow the Trump narrative. I was really surprised. I thought he was smart.

  11. I don’t want to go on and on with this, but it is so important, and so infuriating. I believe that Barr’s very brief report noted that several offers of help were made by Russia to Trump. Those are supposed to be immediately told to the FBI, but it was not done. Then Trump says, “Russia, if you’re listening.” Trump was told by IC that Russia was interfering in the campaign. He then said that it could be Russia, China, 400 lb. man. Later, as President, he met with Putin, and said that Putin denied it, and “why would it be Russia?” Where did all these Russian assets, Manafort, Page, Flynn, Epsheyn, get to such high positions in his circle? It has been reported that Russia knew about Tillerson’s appointment to State, before it was told to the media. Trump met with two Russian officials in the White House, and said that firing Comey gets rid of the Russian thing, and they laughed along with him.

    If you are constantly offered help by a foreign power, and you never report that; and you know they hacked mails (why else would you ask for more mails?), you are doing something, even if it somehow does not rise to some legal definition of conspiracy. And then, after you get in office, you of course do everything you can to repay Russia for their help, in terms of policy. That seems abundantly obvious, and there does not have to be anything in writing for that. It’s how the mob does it. They know who’s doing what for whom, and they repay it. So I cannot criticize Mueller’s findings, or the legal grounds, but of course we cannot see them. For the media to keep repeating, “Mueller found no evidence of collusion,” is both wrong and misleading. If Mueller is half the prosecutor he is purported to be, he found all sorts of evidence of working together and repaying favors. Anyone could, really. To think otherwise is to imagine a chain of incredible coincidences, and balls randomly pinging off one another as in a pinball game, with no purpose behind any of it.

  12. Suddenly, getting drunk and staying that way sounds like a plan.

    • Ah, Sue, but we cannot let them win that easily. It’s not good, and I did not sleep last night. But we still have the vote, or at least what currently passes for it, and elections are not that far away. Now, if we lose those, we might want to take a look at other locales, or at least a very long ocean voyage. For now, I think that the Democrats’ best approach is to start and continue an all-out demand to “Release the Full Mueller Report!” And say it every day. That will at least give us the power of the narrative. Playing nice never works in politics these days.

  13. William… you are not the only one who thinks the media is being played, or at least playing along with the GOP spin machine.

    From TPM

  14. Jmac, I cannot access that site, or I would have read the article. I am glad that they wrote it, though. Of course the media is being played, but that is what the media is supposed to realize and avoid. We all knew that Barr was going to summarize the report, and had the power to block its dissemination. We all knew that Barr believed that the whole investigation was bogus, and that a sitting president is never guilty of obstruction. The media had months to prepare for how Barr would frame the report. But they just credulously or insidiously jumped on what he said, as an accurate recapitulation, which it certainly was not.

    The fact that the Republicans control the media is probably the biggest obstacle to us ever getting the country back. If Hillary had been elected, and if there were even one shred of evidence showing that she had been approached one time by Russia or China or any power , Republicans would have immediately tried to impeach her,, and forced her to testify. They might have tried her for treason. And the media would have been all over it, wondering if drawing and quartering was prohibited by our Constitution.

    • Sorry about that… I forgot that that was a “prime” article on TPM which requires subscription, not all of them do.

      I think back to the Republican efforts to “brand” the media as liberal which to me start in the late 80’s and early 90’s and while at the time I thought it was stupid, it turned into one of the smartest moves of all times (for the GOP, not us). The media is so cowed by the GOP that they constantly now favor the GOP, and yet the GOP still complains. Oy.

    • The media is owned by McDucks, who don’t give a happy monkey fuck about this country, as long as they keep getting those Rethuglican tax cuts for McDucks.

      It’s probably that simple.

      • Well, they’re also interested in ad revenue and hence viewership numbers. Trump is “good TV”, which is how he got so much free coverage during the 2016 cycle. Heaven forbid we should get a competent Chief Executive – where’s the entertainment value in that?

        • OK, that too.

        • I mostly agree with what you are saying but I have also seen them quit carrying his rallies and all as much as they did at one time. He must not be quite as good for the ratings that he once was. Probably too many people turning him off these days. The voters are just going to have to do it all themselves. Frankly I think after Trump voters are going to be craving competence and calm. Often voters do a correction during the next election.

  15. Compelling points made on Ari Melber show by Eric Holder and former prosecutor Gene Rossi. Mueller would never just “punt” on obstruction, and leave it up to Barr, who of course was never going to find it, because he does not believe it exists with regard to a President.. The language of both IC Leon Jaworski in Nixon case, and Starr in Clinton case was almost the same: the IC does not make a finding of guilt on obstruction, but lays out the facts, and leaves it up to Congress to decide on impeachment. The written template has been set out. I would bet substantial money that this is what Mueller wrote, that here are the facts, and now Congress must deal with them. Obviously, he found substantial evidence of obstruction, or he would have exonerated.

    But Barr jumped right over it, did not mention Congress, and simply declared “It is now left to the AG.” The stupid media acted as if Mueller left it to the AG. But of course he did not. He did the same thing which Jaworski and Starr did. Barr incredibly ignored this, said “I am the Decider,” and then threw out the case. This is what is going on here. The Executive Branch has arrogated all power to itself. The AG appointed by the President a month ago, decides that the President did not commit obstruction of justice. We don’t need a Constitution, if they are going to run the country like this. McConnnell blocked a vote on releasing the Mueller report. This was always the plan ,and it is pretty simple. The Democrats should have been fully ready for it, and the media should have written about it, not dutifully taken Barr at his word. And the person who should be testifying to Congress, is not Barr, who will obfuscate and dissemble, but Mueller. Is this country so weak that this coup to override the language of the Special Counsel report, is not front and center before the American people?

    • Barr is coming to testify but really it’s less than worthless. We’re not going to learn anything from him BUT Mueller coming to testify after him may make it possible for Barr to be charged with obstruction if what Mueller tells the committee is different from the letter Barr wrote. If Barr is attempting to cover for Trump then he is going to be found out and also be in trouble. It seems to me Barr has just been spinning right on the edge where he could get out of being charged with obstruction claiming there is some “gray area” or something. Whether or not Trump is charged with anything regarding conspiring with Russia we do now concretely know that Russia helped Trump in the election with hacking voter data bases and propaganda. According to Barr Trump was a more or less useful idiot for Putin. We shall see what Mueller says when he testifies.

      • That’s the only thing I hold out hope for. The whole thing has been so anti climactic. I have to believe Mueller expected Barr to do this and was 2 steps ahead and knew he would have to testify in front of congress. Does anyone know how long it’s going to take for Congress to subpoena them? Let’s get the ball rolling Nancy!

  16. If the criminal occupying the WH isn’t ousted before 2020 then say hello to 4 more years… he will likely cheat again. I’ll vote and support loudly whomever the dem nominee is (and I do mean Democrat er erm, Bernie) Just a fair warning that it may not turn out how we want. I hate to be spelling doom and gloom but it’s a possibility we have to prepare ourselves for.

  17. I know Mueller has been put on a pedestal for the full 2 years he investigated trump and his goons and I’m sure some here will think I am being too harsh on him,, but I lost my respect for Mueller’s judgment when he recommended no jail time for the treasonous Flynn. I never understand his reasoning for that and neither did the Judge overseeing Flynn’s case.

    Mueller had a responsibility to not leave the door wide open for “interpretation” in his final report. By not concluding definitively that there had been obstruction of justice, he pretty much gave trump a pass. If he had been definitive, Barr would not have had a loop hole giving him the legal right to say that there was no obstruction. In the legal world, it’s all about “interpretation” of the facts when you cannot put forth a definitive conclusion in an investigation. Lawyers always leave themselves wiggle room when interpreting the law. Convenient.

    Could someone please explain to me how mueller could not at least have concluded obstruction of justice with all of the actions taken by trump for the last 2 years publicly in his efforts to undermine and stop the investigation? They way it looks now, once you become president, you are immune to the rule of law and it’s next to impossible to conclude guilt of any wrongdoing. Convenient.

    • Wynne05, I feel the same way, although I suppose that intellectually one can understand it, though apparently like all the “good” DOJ people in this matter, Mueller was unwilling to go anywhere outside of a narrow focus, which plays right into the hands of evil. But I will say that there is a journalist named Virginia Heffernan, whom I did not know about, but after I looked her up, seems to be quite well respected. A very few minutes before Barr was to release whatever it was, she said that a very reliable source of hers had told her that the Mueller report was “very bad” (for Trump). She indicated later that she had faith in this source. I am inclined to believe that this is good information, and that the actual report is very damaging to Trump. Barr is a very bad person, whose career has been devoted to sweeping Republican crimes under the rug. His avuncular manner should not fool anyone. He is deliberately misleading about the report, and that is why Nunes wants to burn it, McConnnell blocked the Senate from voting for its release, and Graham wants Barr to testify, but not Mueller.

      Now, I don’t think that even Barr would completely lie about the findings. But something we all should have realized, is that the scope that Mueller was working under with regard to “conspiracy” was very narrow, only limited to direct conspiracy with the Russian government. It is abundantly clear that there was knowledge on the part of Trump and his people that the Russians were offering assistance. Barr put that in, because he thought it showed how noble the Trump people were not to accept it; but what it really shows is that they knew, they did not report it to the FBI, and then they gave their part of the unspoken quid pro quo, by changing the Ukraine plank, by obsequious deference to Putin, by denying that Russia hacked anything. The even went further, by asking Russia to find Hillary’s emails. I cannot believe that Mueller did not cover these things, and it is all in the report. We are not getting to see it, though, that was always the plan.

      The obstruction seems blatant. I don’t know if Mueller would not directly find obstruction, because that is ultimately a matter for courts to find, or the Congress. He is not a judge. He could only say that a strong case can be made. He does not believe that a President can be indicted. Last night, I saw the two different paragraphs written by Jaworski and Starr, both of which did not “find” anything, but laid it out, and then left it up to Congress. I’m pretty sure that this is what Mueller intended. It is a real shame, given the actual political realities, that Mueller didn’t actually make such a strong case for he obvious obstruction, that even Barr couldn’t hide it. But Barr is lying when he says, “there was evidence for and against,” because almost by definition, there is not evidence “against obstruction,” There is evidence for, and then the question of how overwhelming it is. If you are investigating whether someone robbed a bank, you don’t say that there is evidence both for and against whether he did; there is evidence for, or not. Mueller laid out a case for obstruction, and then like his predecessors in that position, left it to Congress. But Barr circumvented it.

      The problem, as you note, is that Mueller should have realized that what he did, was to give the Republicans not only a way out, but a chance to wreak revenge against his precious DOJ. Mueller is smarter than Comey, but he perhaps did the same thing, he would not do enough to stop Trump, so that Trump now not only gets to go around claiming complete exoneration, which is a lie, but now is emboldened to seek revenge on his enemies, in true fascist terms. This may lead to the destruction of DOJ as a viable entity, to be filled up with Trump loyalists, as in all dictatorships. The media, in its endless stupidity and apparent Republican bias, is allowing this, by mischaracterizing what is going on. Fascists do not need more than a sliver of opportunity to consolidate their power. Trump was not cleared, the actual report is probably very bad for him, but they’ve got the people in place to block it, to lie about it, and then to, in Nazi fashion, use the whole thing to try to purge their enemies. And so Mueller, who should have been the bulwark against this, seems to have failed us in that regard.

  18. William,

    Excellent points all. I believe that mueller failed us because he was willing to compromise the truth by hiding it from the American public in his findings, while hiding behind what everyone is claiming was a “narrow scope” from which he could conduct his investigation. IMO, this is just a lot of legal bullshit to give mueller an out. Sadly for those of us who want the truth, he willingly chose to take the easy way out and leave it up to the courts and Congress. Why? I hope history will judge mueller accordingly, that is if we still have a republic by then.

    It just goes to show yet again that old white guys in power always think they know what’s best for everyone else and feel it is their right to deprive the American people of the truth because we are just not sophisticated enough to handle it. What he could not accept (and only God knows why) is that the majority of the American people could “handle the truth”. HE WAS WRONG.

    Let’s face it, trumps cult will go ape shit crazy whether congress or the courts end up indicting trump, so why allow the nut case in the WH to reek havoc while we wait on congress/courts to step in a year or 2 down the road when mueller could have at least put a leash on him with an obstruction of justice conclusion in his report? Even if the courts and Congress do bring trump to justice at some point, it still doesn’t excuse the damage he will do between now and then. Surely mueller know the consequences of his punting the ball when he should have carried it all the way to the goal line and made a touchdown.

    What a coward mueller is.

    • Fuck Comey & Mueller. They are stains on humanity. Can Russia or some techie leak the damn report already? Enough of this shit & the protecting of the insane man occupying the WH.

    • But her emailz !!! Must warn the public! Scary wommin alert!!! That orange sociopath who stole an election though? Meh let’s pass the reigns over to his appointed AG…

      Stacy Abrams said it best – it’s kinda like having your brother give a summary of your report card to your parents… I happen to think Nancy Pelosi is going to prove to be most competent when it comes to all of this I don’t think she’ll stop till the report is released.

    • It is possible that Rosenstein, who many of us thought was one of the heroes, was nothing of the sort. He is the one who agreed to write a blatantly false memo about the firing of Comey. He chose Mueller, but appeared to very much limit his scope. Maybe he knew that Mueller would never venture outside of it, and thus it would very difficult for him to indict, or even find criminality. When it looked as if Trump would fire Rosenstein, and then they were at some event, and Trump patted him on the arm, that was strange. He took him on his plane later. Trump fires all sorts of people, got rid of Comey, McCabe, and others. But he let Rosenstein stay. Maybe he knew that Rosenstein had this in hand, and that the report would never find him guilty. And Barr’s brief summary also had Rosenstein’s name on it. I thought that was to try to mute any criticism of Barr. But it may be that Rosenstein was always on Trump;s side. One hates to look at it in terms of party, but “12 Angry Democrats’ were in fact all Republicans. It may be that the very last of the Republican political heroes were found during Watergate.

      • That could be a plausible theory, in re: Rosenstein, but I have heard Rosenstein speak on several occasions and do not think he could be that duplicitous, although I tend to be naive. I do agree that Barr is evil and likely on some mission to bring the second coming or some such nonsense. Isn’t he in that Catholic sect, Opus Dei? Who knows? Obviously, this letter has emboldened the jerks and the effect will be very difficult to surmount, even with an unredacted memo release. We see so much in the broad daylight and nothing happens. They are banking on a country of bullies. Where’s Melania when you need her? Not.

        There must be some expanding repulsion to all of this, but we are traveling upstream against the illusion of a jolly, agreeable AG in sheep’s clothing and a populace which is more interested in the Voice. This is the way the country ends, not with a bang but a whimper.

        • I don’t mean to sound so nihilistic. We still need to push forward and push against any policies that are wrong. I am just a bit embattled at present.

          • Lililam, I do not blame you. The dystopian future could be what we indeed do see. There are many evil forces, and not a very informed populace. And the oligarchs have taken over most of the world, and they buy everything, including the means and media of communication.

            I do think that the Republicans made a very bad mistake today by making it apparent that they want to end ACA. That is so easy for Democrats to run against. I think it is a bridge too far, even for them, but maybe I am being too sanguine. A lot is going to depend on who our nominee is, the so-called voice of the Party. I’m not thrilled by what I see, but I hope I am impressed as the race continues.

            I don’t quite know how we wrest control back from the people who seem to run everything, now quite openly. And I don’t know if |Democrats can stick together and not squabble about degrees of political purity, or how close to socialism we can dare to go. It’s interesting; I feel more comfortable with old-school liberal Nancy Pelosi, who knows the procedures and the rules, and how to navigate legislation through. Ideas without the ability to effect them, will not fix much of anything. I do like some of the newer Democrats in the House; we need people with strong convictions, but who also know how to battle against the relentless Republicans, who spend virtually every waking hour trying to find ways to game or rig the system.

          • Right there with you, lililam. It is like a nightmare that won’t end but you keep struggling to wake up to see the light of day again.

  19. More depressing info: Barb McQuade said that she fears the Barr memo has tainted future jury pools, e.g, in the unlikely event the plan was to wait until dump was out of office to indict. My fantasy loving brain wonders if Mueller, being the brilliant legal mind and man of honor people claim him to be, will see what has happened to the DoJ and the impending doom looming over the country and blows the lid off this cover up. If he gets to testify to Congress.

    I also wonder how trump zombies are going to react to the prospect or reality of losing their ACA health insurance and some of their current medicare benefits with no super duper, cheap, high quality, long promised trump care to replace it? Will they finally realize that trump doesn’t give a rat’s ass about them?

    • Cats, I guess Barb was on Maddow? I will try to watch the repeat. It would be wonderful if somehow the narrative became the overreach of Barr. Barr is not stupid, so I wonder how close Mueller’s actual report was to his very short summary. Mueller still remains the hope, that he did not want his report to be read in that way, but he is such a conservative in terms of hewing to the rigid protocols, that I wonder if he would actually contest with Barr. Again, I cannot believe that all the obvious evidence, not to mention whatever else his team uncovered, could simply fizzle into “nothing much to see here, no one broke any laws or acted in a traitorous fashion.” I still hang hopes on Virginia Heffernan’s source, who she said “had direct knowledge of the report,” and who told her it is very bad, presumably meaning, for Trump.

      Like you, I would not want anyone to lose their health care, but I don’t know what would get through to these maga people, besides that. Maybe they don’t care, or think that some section of wall is worth all that? It is incredible, the extent to which the Far Right will never relent on anything. They tried to claim ACA was unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court found against them. They then voted about a hundred times to overturn it, but of course Obama vetoed it. Then they controlled both houses of Congress, and they still lost the vote. Now they are trying to claim that it is an illegal tax burden, when there is no tax. And still they will not stop. Unfortunately, on some matters, like the Supreme Court, they have battered so hard, and used every angle, that they have gotten their way.. It bemuses me when some Democratic candidates who mean well, seem to think that the parties can work together. The Republicans do not have any such goal,, they want what they want. What we truly need as a President, is a visionary, who can turn all the narratives around, and who is smart and capable enough to build a Democratic Party which is not based on one person, but which has an image and a direction which the general public can both understand and want to consistently vote for.

  20. We need a Daniel Ellsberg.

  21. Just a (relatively) brief update comment about the Mueller report, based on a few readings, and my own thoughts. I recommend the piece written yesterday by the estimable Natasha Bertrand of the Atlantic. It seems that what Mueller was investigating with regard to the “collusion” (bad word) matter, was whether there was enough evidence to rise to the level of an indictable criminal conspiracy on the part of Trump and the Russian government, specifically to interfere with the 2016 election. If everyone had known how narrow that was, most would not have expected a finding of criminal conspiracy sufficient to indict, particularly given the DOJ guidelines that a sitting President could not be indicted. However this narrow definition was come up with, it almost predetermined the Mueller finding. As I understand it, the conspiracy had to be with the Russian government, and only with regard to the election. And the Russian entities which were were indicted, cannot be extradited, so any of the evidence they had, was obviously unknown. And of course, all of this was anticipated by the Russians, who are good at hiding direct connections.

    Barr said, “did not establish.” That is much different than “did not find collusion,” which most of the inept media did not understand or care about. “Did not establish,” means “did not find enough evidence to establish a clear and convincing case of convictable criminality with regard to the narrow issue which Mueller limited himself to.” And guess what? If he had, he still would not have indicted, and would have left it to…presumably Congress, but not said in those direct terms, and so Barr would have done the same thing with that matter that he did with the obstruction.

    On obstruction, there is not “evidence on both sides,” as the inept media says. There is evidence of it, clearly. Maybe abundant evidence. The question is, enough to indict or not. There is not “evidence against it,” as that is an absurd concept. “There is evidence that he robbed the bank. but there is also evidence that he didn’t”??? It is likely that Mueller found substantial evidence, but in accordance with previous Special/Independent Prosecutors, he left it to Congress, since he would not indict a sitting President, and thus the matter was left to Congress and impeachment. Barr jumped in., and said that “it is left to the Attorney General.” Those were not Mueller’s words, almost certainly, they were Barr’s preemption of Congress. Once again, the media has failed us, by absolutely failing to comprehend the meaning of the exact words in Barr’s minimalist and skewed comments. And the damage of course is significant in terms of public perception.

  22. I would like to see Democrats running TV ads showing pictures of the people in the 1870, living in tenement slums, and the ultra-rich living in incredible mansions. Also, pictures from the film “Soylent Green,” with people living in their cars, and large trucks shoveling out crackers for them to eat, while they grabbed for them. And then a voiceover, saying that these are the worlds which the Republicans want to create. Because that is actually the only logical conclusion one can reach from their policies of getting rid of ACA, taking away fund from education and research, and giving all the money to the .01%. It was called social darwinism in the late 19th century. It still exists as the current Republican philosophy. Make it vivid, make in powerful, and we would win the elections. It has to be put together in a coherent way., rather than attacking Republican ideas in a piecemeal fashion. It just seems so obvious to me.

  23. The first thing Trump does, in reaction to his alleged vindication, is move to strip millions of Americans’ heathcare. MAGAnot.

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