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Here’s the approved GOP talking point for today.

Yes, it doesn’t matter what Trump and his party have done or how many votes they have trampled on, we are all supposed to STFU today.

Without seeing all of the evidence.

Without knowing if Trump and his droogs perpetrated a coup on the rest of us.

Without Trump ever being held accountable for anything he’s ever done wrong including any national security violations.

The GOP must think that non-Trump voters are all a bunch of Democrats, Independents, non-voting, crunchy granola, highly manipulable Facebook addicted middle aged white working class whipkissers who are easily confused and can’t tell when a president and his party are lying, covering up and screwing us over with nimble hobnailed boot efficiency.

Hey, most of us have had teenagers in our homes. We have heard it all.

Good luck with that.

By the way, I usually refrain from giving advice but since Barr’s presser is likely to be some version of the GOP talking point shown above, and that it will have about as much relevant content as an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, I’d just skip it altogether and wait for Preet Bharara’s debrief tonight on his Stay Tuned podcast.

Song du Jour:

13 Responses

  1. I must say that the concluding paragraph of the redacted report is, umm, interesting:

    IV. CONCLUSION Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’ s conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. At the same time, 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, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

    • If I’m reading this correctly (IANAL) what I think he’s saying is: “we’re not acting as prosecutors here. We’re investigators. And anyway, it’s justice department policy to not indict a sitting president. But if we were prosecuting this, we’d go about this differently in order to get an indictment. (Would that include interviewing the president? Subpoenaing him for an interview? I only ask) That’s not really our scope. Anyway, we’ve got plenty of evidence of wrongdoing so we can’t exonerate him either. I mean, if anyone was to ask us about the legal standards we would apply. Just sayin’”
      Is that roughly it?

      • That’s the way I read it.

        Our right-wing but never-Trumper friends at The Bulwark have thoughtfully uploaded a searchable PDF of the report:


        This is pretty damned far from the “exoneration” that the President claimed it was. There’s way too much to quote here – especially in the account of Mueller’s attempt to interview the President and his dissatisfaction with the response to his written questions, as well as his comments about possible obstruction.

        • Pages 156-181 are particularly enlightening wrt obstruction, BTW.

          • He also slaps Giuliani’s “legal reasoning” around a bit (Volume II, pp. 180-181):

            In sum, contrary to the position taken by the President’ s counsel, we concluded that, in light of the Supreme Court precedent governing separation-of-powers issues, we had a valid basis for investigating the conduct at issue in this report. In our view, the application of the obstruction statutes would not impermissibly burden the President’s performance of his Article II function to supervise prosecutorial conduct or to remove inferior law-enforcement officers. And the protection of the criminal justice system from corrupt acts by any person-including the President-accords with the fundamental principle of our government that “[n]o [person] in this country is so high that he is above the law.” United States v. Lee, I 06 U.S. 196, 220 (1882); see also Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. at 697; United States v. Nixon, supra.

            That’s gonna leave a mark, as they say.

          • Holy snot! Are you talking about the Gerson-Dmitriev-Kushner axis of evil where they tried to set up a back channel in the Seychelles? I’m reading the NPR PDF, so your page numbering might be different from mine. If that’s not a written agreement I don’t know what is.

  2. Somewhere around the Reagan Administration, Republicans started this this, “The American People want/feel/are saying,” as a marketing technique. The obvious goal is to continually attempt to speak for the American people,, as if they somehow had direct access to what they were thinking. They do it constantly now. It’s not only irritating, it is wearisome. They speak for themselves, only.

    I have not read the redacted report, but from the various reviews from respected attorneys and political figures, it is damning. Russia attempted to hack Hilary’s emails within 5 hours of Trump’s triggering speech requesting it. Kilimnik was given data on PA, MI, WI, and MN. Flynn was going to use Pete Smith to help these efforts, and Smith later very suspiciously committed suicide, writing a note saying, “no foul play.” Trump kept trying to obstruct justice, but various aides refused to carry some of it out. Trump refused to answer Mueller’s followup questions. This is so far beyond what Bill Clinton did, that it is in another universe. And Clinton was impeached by the partisan House.

    I have mixed feelings on going through impeachment now ,because the Senate will never convict. But I don’t see how the House can simply fail to carry out this constitutional responsibility, because the evidence, even in this redacted report, is horrifying for anyone who cares about this being a democracy. And to me, at least, it is clear that Hillary was cheated out of her rightful election, due to the interference of a foreign power, which was given access to polling data by the Trump campaign, which they then weaponized; the quid pro quo being various things such as eliminating the Magnitsky Act, Trump Tower in Moscow, and various other things which we see Trump saying and doing daily. And let’s always remember Trump’s otherwise bewildering refusal to accept the findings of multiple Intelligence agencies, that Russia interfered in the election, hacked the DNC emails, etc. That is such obvious evidence of guilt, to me, and the rest of what we are reading, vividly enhances all of it.

    • We can’t let anyone, Republican or Democrat, to get away with this.

      • RD:
        Can you elaborate more on:

        Gerson-Dmitriev-Kushner axis of evil

        I’m not familiar whit that at all.

        I also got the NPR pdf version

        • Page 156 towards the bottom. Hard to explain the relationships. Dmitriev is a Putin operative. Got an audience with a hedge fund manager. Hammered out an agreement about what Russia and a trump admin would agree to. Gave it to Kushner who filed it away. In other words, the administration used acquaintances to distance itself from conspiracy but it was still onboard with them. Go read it.

          • Thanks a bunch…

          • I believe the term of art amongst our friends in the “Deep State” is “a cut-out”. I’d say the use of a cut-out is evidence of criminal intent – why would you do that if you didn’t *know* you were in the wrong?

    • I prefer to trace that back to Nixon’s “Great Silent Majority”. One of the advantages of a silent majority is that you can attribute pretty much anything you want to them.

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