The Mueller report

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, April 19th, 2019 - 75 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, Donald Trump, making shit up, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

The redacted version of the Mueller report has now been released.

If there was any doubt Mueller’s opening statement is that the Russian Government interfered in the 2016 presidential election “in a sweeping and systematic fashion”.

And Trump and his supporters were involved up to their eye balls.

But did Trump commit any offences?

Attorney General William Barr initially said that Muller did not conclude that the president committed obstruction of justice, but the report also did not exonerate him.

That appears to the most beneficial spin that could be placed on Mueller’s report.  The New York Times summarised this aspect as follows:

The much-anticipated report laid out how a team of prosecutors working for Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, wrestled with whether the president’s actions added up to an indictable offense of obstruction of justice for a sitting president. They ultimately decided not to charge Mr. Trump, citing numerous legal and factual constraints, but pointedly declined to exonerate him.

“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,” Mr. Mueller’s investigators wrote. “Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment.”

And the Guardian summarises this finding as follows:

Mueller investigated 11 instances in which Trump may have sought to obstruct justice by either personally interfering with the Russia investigation or directing his aides to do so.

They included Trump’s request that then FBI director James Comey drop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn; Trump’s attempts to stop then attorney general Jeff Sessions’ recusal from overseeing the Russia investigation; his demand that the Russia investigation be limited to election meddling only; and Trump’s efforts behind the scenes to fire Mueller.

“The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful,” the report states, “but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”

In other words, Mueller ultimately did not definitively conclude that Trump obstructed justice, but it was not for a lack of trying.

Unsuccessful attempts to commit crimes can still be crimes.

The handling of the release is startling.  The White House is engaging in telling straight out lies to try and divert from a report that in normal times would mean the end of a presidency.  From the Guardian:

Mike Pence, vice-president and Christian, has issued a statement on the Mueller report. It’s a greatest hits of nonsense, containing the same lies as Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale’s statement earlier.

I’ve put the bits that are incorrect in bold:

Today’s release of the special counsel’s report confirms what the president and I have said since day one: there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and there was no obstruction of justice.

After two years of investigation, conducted with the full cooperation of this administration, that involved hundreds of witness interviews and millions of pages of documents, the American people can see for themselves: no collusion, no obstruction

Now that the special counsel investigation is completed, the American people have a right to know whether the initial investigation was in keeping with long-standing justice department standards — or even lawful at all. We must never allow our justice system to be exploited in pursuit of a political agenda.

While many Democrats will cling to discredited allegations, the American people can be confident President Trump and I will continue to focus where we always have, on advancing an agenda that’s making our nation stronger, safer, and more secure.

And everyone’s favourite Kellyanne Conway has an amazing take on what happened today.

The report has been described as a road map for impeachment.  Time will tell if it is used for this purpose.

Update:  The holes in Barr’s original report are becoming crevices.

75 comments on “The Mueller report”

  1. Andre 1

    The report changes nothing, particularly with respect to impeachment. Breaking “technical” laws and obstructing justice are only viewed as crimes when the other lot do it. When it’s ‘our guy’ that does it, it just how the game is played.

    From a pure numbers perspective, conviction needs 20 Repug senators to vote to impeach, and maybe a couple more in case there’s Dems like Joe Manchin that lose their nerve. Even if Mueller had turned up Kremlin records of secretly implanting a remote control during the Sherbert Pervert’s beauty pageant in Moscow, it still wouldn’t be enough to flip any Repug senators in the current hyperpartisan era.

    So then the Dems are left pondering whether it’s worth doing an impeachment in the House just to put vulnerable Repug senators on record protecting the rotting jack’o’lantern. But then the first obstacle is if Yertle McConnell thinks he can get away with simply blocking anything ever happening in the Senate, he do that. So those factors are probably why Hoyer (House Majority Leader) is already saying impeachment isn’t worthwhile, there’s an election in 18 months.

    • joe90 1.1

      And sure as eggs, the wavering over impeachment will transmutate into tRump did nothing wrong because he hasn’t been impeached. Cowardly fucks.

    • Paul Campbell 1.2

      Technically that’s wrong, in the US ‘impeachment’ is essentially the publishing of articles of prosecution, it requires a simple majority in the House to impeach someone (Clinton was impeached). Think of it as being “charged” in a normal court.

      The process then continues into the Senate where a trial is held (with the representatives of the House prosecuting) – that does require a 2/3 majority (and would require 20 senators) to convict (Clinton was found innocent).

      If you’ll remember back to Nixon, he resigned before he was impeached (by the House), the House had a long series of ongoing investigations that publicly went around turning over rocks and finding ugly things, the House committees have subpoena powers (remember they went after the tapes Nixon had made of his meetings and got them) ….

      I expect that the Democrats willy use their control of the relevant House committees to start turning over the rocks that Mueller’s report has pointed them at, they’ll be able to pull Mueller himself, and members of his team, in to testify, they will be able to ask him what’s under those redactions

      • Andre 1.2.1

        If there’s a whole lot of stuff out there that would form the basis of criminal charges after Jan 20 2020, the practical effect might be increasing the pressure on Nixon-but-stupider-and-uglier to get a pardon before losing the protection of being the prez. I reckon the odds of a negotiated handover to Pence just went up.

        • Paul Campbell

          Yes that could be true – note that Mueller explicitly said that he did not file sealed charges against Trump (to be opened on his leaving office) which is something he could have done, instead he said that Congress should use the constitutionally mandated powers to impeach instead – that doesn’t preclude post-impeachment charges.

          There’s lots of parallels with Nixon’s behaviour around his special prosecutor (Archibald Cox) and the ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ when he tried to fire him (and instead the Attorney General resigned) – likely memories of the fallout from Nixon’s actions have kept Mueller in place despite Trump’s various attempts to shut down his investigation

          Remember that what got Nixon wasn’t really the original break-in, it was the subsequent cover-up – which is why obstruction is such a big issue here – you can be convicted of obstruction even if the thing you were obstructing the investigation of wasn’t illegal or even didn’t happen.

  2. A witch hunt at best.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      How about you reconcile the contents of the report with the White House description of it and explain how the White House is not lying.

      • Infused 2.1.1

        Give up. You lot look like crazy mofos

      • MickeyBoyle 2.1.2

        Some context to this misleading header that has been widely reported.

        Heres the rest of that paragraph as it appears in the report. 

        “The President returned to the consequences of the appointment and said ‘everyone tells me that once you get one of these independent councils it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”

        • Andre

          Yet the satsuma stubbyfingers got lucky and Mueller stuck to the straight and narrow of what he was originally asked to investigate. There weren’t massive fishing expeditions into totally unrelated matters, unlike other investigations into previous presidents.

          Hair Furore’s failure to accomplish anything of significance other than gutting tax revenues is totally down to his own laziness and incompetence.

    • Paul Campbell 2.2

      So you’re saying Trump is a witch … based on what evidence? does he float?

    • Andre 2.3

      Flushed out a whole coven. Even bagged a few of ’em.

    • North 2.4

      Well done with your cognitive dissonance Macann.  So clever……humph.

  3. A couple of good explainer threads on twitter:

  4. Andre 4

    Barr’s breathtaking willingness to blow off the obligations of his office and totally commit to just being the Grab’em’fuhrer’s bitch is one of the scariest aspects of this.

    Barr actually had a good reputation, but he’s apparently willing to throw that away to mislead right up to the point of personally risking criminal sanctions to protect the Mandarin Manchurian. I’m looking forward to examinations of the motives for that coming out over the next few years.

    If such a clumsy, incompetent and lazy fraud like Kim Jong Orange can cause that degree of overt corruption, what could he have done with actual skills and intelligence?

    • Macro 4.1

      Barr certainly doesn’t come out of this looking very good does he. Interesting that The Liar In Chief can’t find many to fill the gaps in his admin. Who wants to be associated with him? Kiss of death to a potential career.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        I note Peter Thiel is not on the list. I refer to the ‘NZ citizen’ who built a bolthole down Queenstown way. Is he still on Trump’s team or did he quietly disappear down a bolthole?

  5. marty mars 5

    From open Mike
    Yep – gonna be fun unraveling the lies.

    But her role in covering up Trump’s motivations for firing Comey were laid bare in the report, which cited how her statements at a press briefing days after the FBI’s firing were at odds with the facts. Sanders insisted at the briefing that Trump fired Comey at the justice department’s recommendation and repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that rank-and-file members of the FBI had lost confidence in Comey.

    Sanders acknowledged to the special counsel’s office that her assertion “was not founded on anything”.

    • Wensleydale 5.1

      Sanders finally admits to “just making shit up”. Good for her. I’m sure Jesus is beaming with pride at her wholesome, Christian endeavours.

  6. Andre 6

    Earlier I noticed a little tidbit where someone (think it was Barr) said that although the Drumpf campaign made use of illegally obtained information, it was all hunky-dory because they didn’t participate in illegally obtaining that information. No doubt Assange’s lawyers are carefully studying and archiving that.

    Must see if I can find it again.

    • francesca 6.1

      The ICJ has been using Wikileaks diplomatic cables already, and coming to decisions informed by those leaks

      Once published on the Wikileaks website documents are in the public domain

    • Andre 6.2

      Barr’s exact words Assange’s lawyers might be bookmarking:

      Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy. Here too, the Special Counsel’s report did not find that any person associated with the Trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials.

      • francesca 6.2.1

        I think they’re going to have a hard time proving that Assange helped Manning hack.He tried and failed to crack a password that would cover Mannings tracks, not give the ability to get in to sites Manning had no clearance for.
        So Mueller found that Wikileaks and Trump weren’t in league.
        And I looked in vain for verification that Manafort had visited Assange in the Embassy, as claimed by Luke Harding and the Guardian .
        A claim they stubbornly stood by when challenged
        Not a dickie bird , and still no retraction
        And all those damning meetings with Kisylak in 2016?
        Mueller says they were “brief,public and non substantive”
        The media and people like Brennan have been throwing sticks for the panting public that turn out to be feints for yonks
        Dogs fall for it every time

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Still nothing more than competing interpretations. Winning a propaganda war usually requires a basis in reality, from which impartial observers can ascertain the validity of opposing perceptions. Such is the psychology that normally underlies the centre ground of politics.

    So the huffing & puffing won’t blow the house down. Centrists expect a capitalist turned politician to ignore rules when possible: that’s been the prevalent culture as long as anyone can remember. If ethical conduct were the norm, the rules of democracy would enforce it, right? Leftists doing moral outrage against Trump are becoming tedious. They would more usefully serve the body politic by explaining why all leftist governments keep carefully avoiding the task of legislating such rules.

  8. joe90 8

    The kids are alright.

  9. Macro 9

    The Mueller report may possibly be the most-read document in the country at this point, but it’s not doing so hot on Goodreads.

    From the one review: “The previous owner used a black highlighter on all the interesting bits and the main character has no redeeming qualities.

  10. xanthe 10

    If you were faced with a bullshit and baseless investigation , would you not obstruct it?

    so now having found that there was no case to answer they want to get him for obstructing !!

    • Macro 10.1

      Good God! Read the bloody report!
      tldr? Here is a brief explainer for you:

      The first half of the report, on the broad “collusion” question, doesn’t exonerate Trump for the simple reason that it doesn’t come to a conclusion at all on “collusion.” To Mueller’s mind, the term is not precise enough, nor does it fall within the ambit of what was essentially a criminal investigation. Instead, it concludes that there is insufficient evidence that Trump was involved in a criminal conspiracy with Russia or that his campaign coordinated on election interference — a narrow finding rather than the complete exoneration Trump wanted.

      The report also contains some damning new information about Trump campaign links to Russia. We learned, for example, that two Trump campaign officials, campaign manager Paul Manafort and Manafort’s deputy Rick Gates, were regularly providing polling information to a Russian national whom Gates believed to be a “spy.”

      Overall, the report documents a series of bungled and abortive attempts to create ties between Trump and Russia, a situation in which the two sides worked to reach out to each other without ever developing a formal arrangement to coordinate.

      It’s not “no collusion,” in short. And as rough as that finding is for Trump, the obstruction section is considerably worse.

      The Mueller team examines 10 situations where Trump arguably obstructed justice, ranging from the firing of FBI Director James Comey to the attempted firing of Mueller to publicly praising Manafort for not “flipping.” Unlike in the collusion section, where Mueller asserts he has insufficient evidence to charge a crime*, the special counsel declines to conclude one way or another — partly because he feels it isn’t legal for him to recommend indictment of the president.

      But if you read between the lines of the report, it looks like Mueller believes Trump either came damn close to committing obstruction or may have done so outright.

      * mainly because they were too f**king stupid.

      • francesca 10.1.1

        Here’s 7 examples where Mueller says there was no collusion

        1. “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

        2. “The investigation examined whether [contacts between Russia and Trump figures] involved or resulted in coordination or a conspiracy with the Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future. Based on the available information, the investigation did not establish such coordination.”

        3. “The investigation did not establish that [Carter] Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.”

        4. “The Office did not identify evidence in those [contacts between Russians and people around Trump after the GOP convention] of coordination between the Campaign and the Russian government.”

        5. “The Office did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort’s sharing polling data and Russia’s interference in the election … [and] the investigation did not establish that Manafort otherwise coordinated with the Russian government on its election-interference efforts.”

        6. “The investigation did not establish that these [contacts between Russians and people around Trump during the transition] reflected or constituted coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in its election interference activities.”

        7. “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons conspired or coordinated with the [Russian disinformation campaign].”

        • joe90

          Best include a link when citing a RWNJ.

          Otherwise, folk might think you’re cribbing.

          • mauī

            Get over yourself Joe28… right wingers can get it right from time to time, and a lot of them are far more honest on this than the mediocre left.

        • Macro

          If you think that you have said anything of consequence there, you are very much mistaken. A link to what ever it is you have quoted (probably RT or Briebart, if previous comments are any thing to go by) is necessary to reference where you obtain such outlandish claims. Most likely, sentences from the Report that have been taken out of context – as per “AG” Barr’s 4 page whitewash “memo”.

          • francesca

            Some more for you Macro
            Straight from the horse’s mouth:

            “The Office investigated several other events that have been publicly repot1ed to involve potential Russia-related contacts. For example, the investigation established that interactions between Russian Ambassador Kislyak and Trump Campaign officials both at the candidate’s April 2016 foreign policy speech in Washington, D.C., and during the week of the Republican National
            Convention were brief, public, and non-substantive. And the investigation did not establish that one Campaign official’s efforts to dilute a portion of the Republican Party platform on providing assistance to Ukraine were undertaken at the behest of candidate Trump or Russia. The investigation also did not establish that a meeting between Kislyak and Sessions in September 2016 at Sessions’s Senate office included any more than a passing mention of the presidential campaign.”

          • francesca

            I challenge you to find one quote by me from ” Breibart.”.Could you possibly mean Breitbart? Not one from there either
            And knowing so many shy like a frightened horse from RT, I would rarely quote from there (despite the UN happy to broadcast RT along with CNN and BBC at the UN for their diplomats)
            Greenwald is who I probably most quote from , also the Guardian.

            I know you long to dash me down , once and for all, but you’ll find the “outlandish “claims all in the report

        • cleangreen

          Thanks Francesca saves me spending time reading it.

          The whole thing was a Democratic Party fishing plan and a big waste of public money so if they keep pushing for more bogus claims they will help Trump get re-elected in  2020.

  11. Macro 11

    Dems plan Monday call on Mueller report: ‘Congress will not be silent’

    House Democrats will convene via conference call on Monday to discuss the next steps following the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s election interference and whether President Trump obstructed justice.

    In a letter to House Democrats Thursday night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told her caucus that they will talk about their strategy following the Passover and Easter holiday weekend, which will also offer lawmakers time to review the 448-page report in full.

    Pelosi said the conclusion offered by Attorney General William Barr in his four-page summary and press conference that Trump did not obstruct justice was “directly undercut” by Mueller’s report. Pelosi added that the version of the Mueller report provided by the Justice Department was “disrespectfully late and selectively redacted.”

    • Anne 11.1

      Pelosi added that the version of the Mueller report provided by the Justice Department was “disrespectfully late and selectively redacted.”

      That is an understatement!

      No. I haven’t read the report. Might try tomorrow. But I have scrolled through and the number and size of the redactions are beyond outrageous. There can only be one conclusion. The Trump-led bastards are withholding the truth so the truth must be damming.

      That, surely, is perverting the course of justice.

    • Siobhan 11.2

      Pelosi is really on form these days isn’t she?.
      When its not the Mueller report its dissing the Progressives, the most actively popular branch of the Party, the group absolutely slaying it with donations from actual people, not corporations wealthy individuals…
      I said to them, anything you are about, I’ve got that sign in my basement 25 years ago,” Pelosi said..oh so smug.
      I wonder when she’ll actually attempt to come up with a reason for anyone to vote for the Democratic establishments candidate other than fear or contempt for the competition?

  12. Brigid 12

    The report does state at the outset that “The Russian Government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a sweeping and systematic fashion.”
    If true, given the US’s penchant for interference in the elections of most countries across the globe, it’s par for the course I would say.

    I haven’t finished reading the report yet; it’s 44bloody8 pages so I couldn’t say that Mueller does or does not prove the Russian government was involved in attempting to sway the population one way or another.

    However the result of the Mueller investigation is that there have been no indictments of any Americans for conspiring with Russia over the 2016 election.
    So there’s that.

    I’m also wondering how many of the above posters have read the report, or are you all relying on the tweet, article, or some such of your favourite media mouth to give weight to your previously held belief.

    • Macro 12.1

      As you will read in the report there is no actual crime of collusion, so Mueller looked into whether the Trump campaign purposefully worked with Russia to win the 2016 election. What he did find however was:

      Two Trump campaign officials — Paul Manafort and Rick Gates — provided polling information to a Russian oligarch Gates believed was a “spy” for the Kremlin

      Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, with Trump’s approval, tried to arrange meetings between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 
      Russia tried to hack Hillary Clinton’s office five hours after Trump called on Moscow to find her deleted emails

      The report makes it clear that:
      1) the Russian government tried to help Trump win;
      2) the Trump campaign was eager to benefit from hackings targeting Democrats; and
      3) Trump’s campaign advisers had a lot of troubling ties to Russia.

      While there is no smoking gun where a Trump confidant asks Russian operatives to hack Clinton’s emails — well, aside from the time Trump asked Putin to do so in public — or advises them on when to release them in the first stanza of the ongoing saga of a train wreck that is now the Trump “administration”.

      The really sad aspect of this part of the report is this:
      <b>The simple fact remains that Trump received help from the Russians, welcomed that help, and arguably rewarded Russia for that help. Furthermore, and, perhaps most damning, is the fact that knowing this was going on – neither he, nor his associates, did anything to report it, discourage, or stop it.</b>

      The first volume of the Report is the most heavily redacted and points to the fact that there are still investigations going on wrt to indictment of individuals connected with the Trump campaign, notably Stone and Flynn. It also removes sensitive information wrt to the ability of the US intelligence agencies ability to determine the extent of hacking and interference by foreign operators.

      However it is the second part of the Report that is in fact the most concerning.
      The second half of the Mueller report is about obstruction of justice. Here, the report establishes a pattern of behavior on the part of Trump himself. Trump fires people, threatens to fire people, tries to fire people, and repeatedly lies to the public and to his own staff in an effort to derail the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.

      Much of this has leaked out before, but seeing Trump’s actions recorded coolly, clearly, and chronologically gives the story unexpected force.
      There is the night, for instance, when Trump calls White House counsel Don McGahn and demands he order Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Robert Mueller. “McGahn did not carry out the direction,” Mueller writes, “deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre.”

      Trump then demands McGahn write a statement in which he says that Trump never ordered him to fire Mueller. McGahn refuses to lie to cover up the president’s request.

      There is the ongoing effort to force Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself,

      and the eventual request that then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus fire Sessions so he could be replaced by someone who would do more to protect Trump from the investigation. Priebus never carries out the order.

      Trump personally edits a press statement on behalf of his son Donald Trump Jr., in which he states that the infamous meeting at the Trump Tower was just about adoption policy, deleting a reference to the stated purpose of the meeting, which was to share dirt on Hillary Clinton.

      All in all, there are 10 separate episodes that Mueller examines as possible obstruction of justice. In the report, he makes the decision to leave the final judgment on this to Congress, rather than making a prosecutorial call himself.
      It is clear from the text, though, that Mueller believes the charges are serious. <b>“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,” he writes. “Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment.”</b>

      Why did he do it?
      Trump repeatedly sought to obstruct justice, but the insubordination of his staff prevented his efforts from having much effect. Trump acted with criminal intent but exculpatory incompetence.
      He perceived any investigation into Russia’s role in the election as an attack on him personally and a distraction from the work of the presidency.

      Neither of these characterisations of his motives give much cause for jubilation.
      In the first, the intent to carry out a crime (even if you repeatedly fail) is still a crime.

      But the second is perhaps the most damning, 
      The most generous characterization of the second defence is that Trump was so blinded by his own pride and political incentives that he understood an attack on the country’s political system as an alliance with his campaign, and so rather than turning on Russia with fury, he turned on those who would reveal Russia’s role with fury.
      This is the thinking of a man who has never understood that the presidency is bigger than he is, that the role he now occupies requires a larger frame of reference than himself. The myopia this causes him comes up again and again. Notably, there is a section in the report where Trump is heard lamenting that he doesn’t have a more corrupt attorney general. “You’re telling me that Bobby and Jack didn’t talk about investigations?” he asked. “Or Obama didn’t tell Eric Holder who to investigate?” To Trump, the attorney general’s role is to protect the president, not to serve the law.
      The most generous read of the Mueller report’s findings does not clear Trump of wrongdoing. Instead, it argues that Trump betrayed the laws he swore to uphold because he thought doing so would protect his reputation, and that it was only the insubordination of his staff that restrained him from yet more egregious acts of criminality.  

  13. mauī 13

    Let me guess the findings of the report are based on the assumption Russia hacked with it’s 13 dwarfs and pokemon go lol.

    • Macro 13.1

      Well that wasn’t a very good guess was it!
      Epic Fail!

      • mauī 13.1.1

        I see your fail and raise you another,

  14. joe90 14

    tRump’s stooge released the redacted version in an unsearchable form.

    So here’s a searchable version.

  15. McFlock 15

    Lol nice bit of shade got picked up on twitter. p117 (find footnote 823), it’s 329/448 on the adobe page count though.

    Dolt45 is asking why the lawyer is taking notes, as he’d never had a lawyer take notes before. McGahn (the note-taking lawyer) responded to the fucking president of the USA that he took notes because he was a “real lawyer”.

  16. Nick J 16

    Fekking tedious fairytale,”dem Ruskies colluded with Trump”.

    End results….
    Trump’s going to win another election.
    Democrats have wasted two years finding and promoting a real challenger.
    The Deep State and allies are still wagging the dog.
    The Democrats are still as corrupt, and now Trump can send the DOJ after them.

    It’s all deck chairs on the Titanic, and it’s embarrassing to all parties especially the “Left”. I thought that they were supposed to eschew the whole capitalist plutocracy rather than take sides.

    • Gabby 16.1

      Just doin' their job nickyjicky. Can't have traitors in the big white house now can we.

  17. adam 17

    Well done handing trump 4 more years.

    The centre left are idiots, who fell down this stupid rabbit hole – rather than actually fight the real issues: war, environmental degradation, and continued economic thrift by the 1%.

    Sad, just really bloody sad.

    • The FBI and DoJ are “centre left” now? Just how far across the political spectrum does the left extend, in your view?

      • francesca 17.1.1

        They’re just the new heroes of the “centre left”

        • The Al1en

          So where are your champions of the ultra left, the unelectable left, where are they?

          All these the democrats are doing it wrong, labour is doing it wrong, where is your party to claim the throne?

          Reality is, there isn't one.

          You get behind a left of centre party and push for incremental change, change that engages the voting populace, or you're just talking shite on a website that changes nothing.

          You want an unelectable left wing party to succeed, I suggest you go fund one, and make it happen. Then we can talk. Until then you’re just pissing in the wind of no change.
          The ball is in your court.

          • adam

            I can't argue with your worldview The Al1en, as I find it revolting, disgusting and quite frankly the reason we are in this mess. 

            Parties, political parties can all bugger off. 

            I don't want liberalism in any guise. 

      • Nick J 17.1.2

        Gets onto and listen to the latest podcast where somebody has pointed out the obvious…that Left Right are single dimensional in a multidimensional world. He proposes a new axis, centrist (as in centralised power) and peripheral (localised distributed power). The point he makes is that it explains anomolies in the Left Right model.

        • Psycho Milt

          The idea that politics isn’t two-dimensional isn’t exactly new.  I’ve yet to see any credible theory that would put the FBI and DoJ down as centre left, though.

          • Nick J

            Milt, Nobody is saying they are centre Left. What is suggested is that there is centralised power and decentralized power. So a Leftist and Rightist can both support big government and have common cause against those who want small government. On the USA both Dems and Reps are mainly centralist, but the supporters of Trump in the boondocks are very anti big government. There are no doubt a lot of Dems who also see it that way.

          • adam

            Sheesh Psycho Milt, desperate play much. Who said the FBI or Doj – oh wait you did to distract from idiocy of the the centre left. 

  18. Siobhan 18

    Still waiting on some coverage, even just a token mention for contexts sake,  of Israeli interference in the elections..

  19. Andre 19

    Rick Wilson is as readable as ever.

    That Mueller didn’t report a chargeable conspiracy is because a conspiracy requires intent, and in Trump world, intent fucked incompetence during a late night bender at the (now mercifully shuttered) Trump Taj Mahal.  The fact that they were too disorganized and stupid to shake hands on the deal may be the eighth known wonder of the world, a miracle on every axis.

    The Mueller Report blew up a cherished trope of the Trump Team’s Russia bingo card. They had hoped it would provide some evidence of the perfidious Deep State cabal supposedly arrayed against Trump, some fingerprints of the Soros/Clinton/Angry Democrats conspiracy to which Trump has devoted so much Twitter energy, including since the report’s release.

  20. Stuart Munro. 20

    There may yet be some kind of legal outcomes from this – it looks like the full report will be coming out –

  21. Andre 21

    Here's a somewhat more considered look at the Mueller report that's a bit of a contrast to most of the hot takes.

    Barely a paragraph later, Mueller clarifies something else that should embarass Barr. At his press conference Thursday, Barr repeatedly described the special counsel’s office as having found no evidence of Trump Campaign “collusion” with Russia. Mueller’s report introduction throws two wrenches into this account. First, Mueller makes clear that when the report concludes that “the investigation did not establish particular facts” this “does not mean there was no evidence of those facts.”


    Because the Mueller investigation was born out of a counterintelligence investigation, there has been an enduring impression that it had both criminal and counterintelligence elements. I have assumed this myself at times. How these two very different missions integrated within the Mueller probe has been much discussed. This section of the report answers this question, and the answer is actuall striking: The Mueller investigation was a criminal probe. Full stop.


    The Mueller report’s discussion of the Russian social media campaign is the section of the report that is most truly exonerating of Trump and his campaign—at least in the criminal sense. Yes, the Russians duped Trump campaign figures into promoting their material, but nobody appears to have deliberately done so. Mueller’s statement that the “investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly and intentionally coordinated with the [Internet Research Agency’s] interference operations” is a stronger statement than the “did not establish” language that Mueller uses to indicate that evidence is insufficient to prove something. Here he actually seems to be saying that the investigation did not produce evidence at all of knowing participation in the scheme.

    It's longish, but quite analytical and worth the read.

  22. joe90 22

    Past collusion and into conspiracy territory, here.





    Almost immediately following the 2016 election, Butina worked tirelessly to draft two 9 proposals for the Russian Official that she has since confirmed she hoped would be distributed to the Russian government or to any Russian businesspeople who may have been hurt by U.S. sanctions. In one of those proposals, sent to the Russian Official on November 10, 2016, she notedthat its goal would be to “use the existing personal groundwork” she and the Russian Official had laid “in establishing informal relationships in U.S. political circles . . . for the purpose of assessing, monitoring, forecasting, and developing the policies of the [Russian Federation] vis-a-vis” the U.S. government. Butina also noted:


    During the last 5 years, [Russian Official] and Butina have constantly worked on establishing unofficial contact, based on common views and a system of conservative values, with a number of key [Political Party 1] organizations in the US, including the executive level of [Political Party 1], its intellectual establishment and [Political Party 1] organizations.


    On the following day, November 11, the defendant provided the Russian Official with the name of an individual she claimed was being considered for Secretary of State. She asked the Russian Official to seek the input of the Russian government on the name she provided and told him, “our opinion will be taken into consideration” in the United States.



  23. Rae 23

    Trump is too much of a craven coward to do his on dirty work.

    He will be lucky to make it to the next presidential elections with his brain in one piece.

    Dementia will dull age and the inevitable for him, as he is probably too much of a coward to even face that with his mind intact (I know, I know).

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