Tag Archives: collusion

Jared Kushner is 100 percent wrong! Imagine that!

Jared Kushner married well when he joined with Ivanka Trump all those years ago. Now the two of them are “senior advisers” to the president of the United States, Ivanka’s father, Donald J. Trump.

None of that, though, makes Jared Kushner an expert on anything to do with the federal government or with the tedious work of a special counsel.

Thus, when he says that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged “collusion” with Russians who hacked into our electoral system did more damage to the country than the Russian attack itself, he is pi**ing into the wind.

The young man doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Then again, maybe he does. Perhaps he is trying to avoid incurring the wrath of his father-in-law, who has this propensity for inflicting extreme hurt on those he feels are “disloyal” to him.

Kushner made the preposterous claim today, saying that all the Russians did was take a “couple of Facebook ads” in their effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Oh, no, Jared. They did a whole lot more than that.

They launched a systematic, calculated attack on our electoral system seeking to sow discord and to put Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, into the worst light possible.

Mueller concluded his investigation by saying that the Trump campaign did not conspire to collude with Russian goons. He also left the door wide open to further congressional inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice. Mueller climbed atop mountains of evidence and reached what I believe was a carefully considered conclusion.

Mueller’s narrative has been scathing in its characterization of the amorality, ineptness, deception and corruption of the Trump campaign.

To suggest, though, that the investigation has done more harm than the Russian attack on a fundamental element of our system of government is beyond absurd. Jared Kushner’s assertion is disgusting and reprehensible on its face.

I’ll stick with the description of Robert Mueller from Ty Cobb, one of the president’s former lawyers, who calls Mueller — a decorated combat Marine and former FBI director — an “American hero.”

Jared Kushner? He is nothing of the sort.

What about all those other important matters, Mr. POTUS?

I accepted long ago that Donald J. Trump prefers to communicate with Americans via Twitter. He does so frequently and too often inarticulately. His syntax is mangled. He can’t spell his way out of a wet paper bag.

But I get why he prefers that medium to talk to us. It’s unfiltered. Boy, howdy, is it ever unfiltered.

Here’s the question of the day. This individual is the president of the United States, someone with a heaping plate of issues, crises, challenges and opportunities to confront. Why in the name of good government does he spend so much Twitter energy commenting on the media, Robert Mueller, a phony “witch hunt,” or anything having to do with issues from which he claims to be “totally exonerated”?

He launches these tweet storms, attacking everyone under the big, bright sun. Where are the policy pronouncements about, let’s see — Earth Day, Social Security, national security, medical research, international terrorism, gun violence, church burnings in Louisiana (allegedly started by racists)?

You know, these issues are worth the president’s Twitter time. They’re more worth his time, energy and attention than the media and the bogus claims of “fake news,” not to mention Robert Mueller. I mean, c’mon, Trump says Mueller declared there was “no collusion, no obstruction.”

Yeah, I know. Those are highly debatable, but a president who declares extreme comfort in the moment shouldn’t be acting like someone who’s under extreme distress.

Donald Trump won’t stop using Twitter, so I won’t urge him to do so.

However, for the sake of being taken seriously, POTUS needs to redirect his social media attention to issues that matter.

Hero emerges from Russia matter . . . honest!

Donald Trump reportedly is seething this weekend, the one in which Christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s joyous triumph over death.

Why is the president so angry during this happy time? He reportedly is fuming over revelations that former White House counsel Don McGahn reportedly saved Trump from committing a “high crime and misdemeanor” by firing special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump wanted Mueller canned. He wanted McGahn to do it, or to get someone at the Justice Department to do it. McGahn balked. He didn’t follow through. Others did the same thing. McGahn, though, is the one who seems to have caught the president’s attention.

Thus, I believe we have a hero emerging from the Russia probe, the special counsel’s exhaustive look into the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russians who hacked into our electoral system.

Yes, I know. There’s a side of me that might wish that the president’s foolhardy order had been carried out. Canning the special counsel would have ignited a political wildfire that well could have removed Trump from the presidency by now.

That it didn’t is a testament to McGahn’s maturity and smarts as a lawyer. It also is a testament to just how ghastly the president’s instincts are on matters involving the law, the Constitution, governance, public service.

The Dipsh** in Chief doesn’t have a clue about what he’s doing.

Perhaps that is why he’s angry with McGahn. Mueller’s report has revealed the former White House legal eagle to be way smarter than his former boss . . . which, if you think about it isn’t saying all that much.

Moreover, Trump’s anger seems terribly misplaced. Think of it: The president contends that Mueller’s probe has granted him “total exoneration. No collusion, no obstruction!” Why, then, does someone who’s been “exonerated” feel the need to fume publicly via Twitter about an investigation that, according to Trump, has gone nowhere, nor will it go anywhere.

Actually, though, Mueller didn’t exonerate the president of obstructing justice. The collusion matter is off the table. Obstruction remains a live option for Congress to ponder, which is what Mueller has said categorically.

This leads me to believe that Trump knows the score. He well might be frightened at what might be thrown at him from atop Capitol Hill. Fright does have a way of producing anger. At least that’s been what I’ve witnessed over many years of life on this good Earth.

More questions remain. Good luck, Congress, as you start looking for answers to this obstruction of justice matter.

Happy Easter, Mr. President.

AG releases a stunning report on POTUS

I am feeling the overwhelming need to give kudos to Attorney General William Barr.

Many Americans worried that when he said he would release a “redacted” version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Donald Trump’s campaign activities in 2016 regarding the Russian attack on our electoral system that he would try to shield the president.

There was some concern expressed, including by me, that Barr might be running too much interference for the president who appointed him to lead the Justice Department.

Based on the reaction to what Barr has released, I now believe many of those fears were misplaced.

Indeed, I’ve seen reports today about a “seething” Donald Trump who is taking aim at former White House counsel Don McGahn. Why? Because the Mueller report reveals that McGahn — as well as others within the administration — declined to follow Trump’s orders to fire Mueller while he was in the middle of his exhaustive investigation into alleged collusion with Russian hackers.

I am acutely aware that Barr could not possibly have redacted too much information from Mueller’s report without risking a serious reprisal from Mueller and his legal team. They know what is fair game and what should be kept secret.

Still, the public reaction, the media debate and the anger that Trump is exhibiting at what the nation and the world now know of his deception and dissembling lead me to believe Attorney General Barr has done what he pledged to do.

That he would be as transparent in the release of the Mueller findings as the law would allow him to be.

Collusion is gone; obstruction of justice remains

Here is what I believe we can discern from Robert Mueller’s findings about Donald Trump’s conduct during the 2016 presidential campaign and its immediate aftermath.

The president didn’t collude or conspire to collude with Russians who wanted him to win that election. That allegation is now gone, giving Trump some ammo to fire at critics who are obsessed with he calls the “collusion delusion.”

However, obstruction of justice remains an open question. Mueller didn’t clear Trump of obstructing justice, despite what the president keeps saying. An obstruction of justice investigation, the way I see it, remains on the front burner — and it’s going to get real hot to the touch.

Therein likely lies the newest source of conflict between the Republican president and his Democratic foes in Congress.

Democratic House committee chairmen and women are likely to subpoena Mueller and Attorney General William Barr to ask them point blank about many matters relating to obstruction of justice. That’s their prerogative.

Democratic senators will seek to do the same thing, but they have this obstacle facing them known as partisan loyalty to the president among GOP senators who still control the flow of business in the upper legislative chamber.

I placed my faith in Mueller to do a thorough job of investigating this Russia matter. I believe he fulfilled his duty. I vowed to accept his findings, no matter where they came down. He has revealed them and I still accept them.

Moreover, I also accept the idea that Mueller appears to believe that obstruction of justice remains a live option for Congress to handle.

I urge all members of both congressional chambers to tread lightly and with extreme care as they walk through this explosive minefield. It looks to me as though the special counsel has handed them a live grenade shrouded in a potential “high crime and misdemeanor.”

Impeachment is a loser . . . at least for the time being

Elizabeth Warren needs to shake the rocks out of her noggin.

The Massachusetts senator and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination thinks the House of Representatives needs to commence impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump now.

Don’t wait, she said. Do it now. Immediately if not sooner.

Warren is aghast at the dishonesty, duplicity, deception and dissembling that special counsel Robert Mueller revealed in the Trump administration. It all starts rotting at the top, according to Warren.

So, let’s get on with it, she said.

Wait a minute. I know Sen. Warren is aware of this, but impeaching a president carries a huge political gamble. Is she really saying that she believes the Senate would convict Donald Trump of unspecified “high crimes and misdemeanors” if the House actually were to impeach him? Let’s get real.

I, too, am flabbergasted by what Mueller has revealed in his 448-page report. He didn’t find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian election hackers in 2016. He also declined to clear Trump of obstructing justice, saying Congress has the authority to act. Some of the language Mueller used in that report is scathing in its tone.

Let us face a hard reality, though, shall we?

The House can impeach with a simple majority. No sweat, given that Democrats now hold a comfortable majority in that chamber. But then the bar gets a whole lot higher in the Senate, which needs a two-thirds majority to convict the president of any impeachable offense. Republicans still hold a majority in the 100-seat Senate. Does anyone seriously believe that enough Republicans will abandon the president and join Democrats in convicting him? Pardon me while I laugh out loud.

House Democratic elders, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, understand the reality of impeaching this president. The House could approve articles of impeachment, but the current Senate isn’t going to finish the job.

The political recourse rests at the ballot box. It’s that simple. To send the president packing, Democrats have to nominate a candidate who can make the case that the nation deserves far better than it has gotten, according to Robert Mueller’s finding.

American voters will take care of the rest.

‘No obstruction’? Not true, Mr. President

Robert Mueller’s report on “collusion” and “obstruction of justice” says the following: ” . . . 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.”

Donald Trump has declared, therefore, that the special counsel has determined “there was no collusion, no obstruction” of justice.

Yep. He said that. He also is mistaken.

Attorney General William Barr, though, agrees with the president, which I suppose isn’t surprising, given that Trump nominated him to the post.

The obstruction of justice door remains wide open, based on what I understand Mueller has determined.

It is true — and I accept his findings — that he didn’t have enough evidence to proceed with a complaint against the president or his 2016 campaign team.

Although . . .

Mueller does chronicle several instances where Trump sought to remove key individuals from investigative posts. One of them happened to Mueller himself. Go figure.

Trump fired FBI director James Comey because of “the Russia thing.” Then he bragged about getting rid of him during that infamous Oval Office meeting with Russian officials. He sought to get Justice Department officials to fire Mueller; they wouldn’t do it. Then-White House counsel Don McGahn also declined to carry out the order.

So there isn’t a case that can be prosecuted under the law, Mueller states. He doesn’t exonerate the president. He doesn’t clear him of obstruction. My reading of what he concluded simply is that he didn’t have enough solid evidence to file a formal complaint.

Ahh, but he does leave the door open for Congress to act as it sees fit.

I’m going to let the president crow about the “no collusion” matter. He won that fight. Mueller and his team have concluded that Trump and his campaign did not knowingly cooperate with Russians who hacked into our electoral system and dug up dirt on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

However, the obstruction matter is alive and kicking.

It ain’t over, Mr. President. Not by a long shot!

Mueller delivered the goods, just not enough of them

I believe it is clear: Special counsel Robert Mueller did not “clear” Donald Trump of obstruction of justice. There is no “total victory” for the president.

The long-awaited report from the special counsel came before us today. Yes, Mueller concluded that Trump did not “collude” with Russians who attacked our electoral system. I accept those findings, given that I believe Mueller is a man of high integrity.

But what about this obstruction matter?

Mueller’s 448-page report tells us that Trump gasped when the special counsel was picked, declaring that his presidency is doomed. “I’m fu****,” Trump said, according to Mueller’s report.

Why would the president say such a thing if he had done not a single thing wrong?

Well, Mueller said he would have cleared Trump of obstruction had the president deserved to be cleared. He didn’t. He said Congress has the authority to take measures to ensure that a president’s “corrupt” won’t be allowed.

I agree with those who contend that the redacted report is more damaging than Attorney General William Barr let on. Indeed, there appears to be a growing gap between Mueller and Barr over whether there was at minimum an attempt at obstructing justice.

Mueller cites the refusal by several key Trump aides to carry out presidential orders to fire the special counsel, saving the president from his own impulses. Barr disagrees, saying there is no obstruction. Who do you believe? I’ll go with Mueller.

I likely won’t read the entire report. I intend to read enough of it to try to draw some more cogent conclusions.

I’m going to stand with congressional Democrats on this point, too: Robert Mueller needs to talk to Congress openly and candidly about what he found and how he arrived at his conclusions.

More to come.

Mueller report release will produce ‘Mother of Twitter Tirades’

OK, here’s what I believe will happen when Attorney General William Barr releases the redacted version of Robert Mueller’s report on whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians and/or obstructed justice.

Barr will have his press conference in the morning as the report of the special counsel becomes known. He’ll answer questions from reporters gathered in front of him. There likely will be some sparring between the AG and media representatives. Hey, it happens. Barr is used to it; this ain’t his first slugfest.

And then . . .

The president is going to launch The Mother of Twitter Tirades. Even if what we see in the redacted version of Mueller’s findings, we’re going to read a lot of tweets from Trump. He’ll blast the “witch hunt.” He’ll repeat the “no collusion” mantra until his fingers fall off.

However, if the redacted report reveals something else, such as evidence that needs even more congressional inquiry, then we’re he will blast away on that matter.

Whatever the nation learns from the redacted report is going to result in a tirade that likely will end all tirades from the president.

Until something else happens that sets him off.

Yes, this is how Donald John Trump, the president of the United States, intends to “make America great again.”

Hold on, folks. It won’t be pretty.

Hope battles fear as AG Barr preps to release report

A big day is on tap this week.

Thursday is when Attorney General William Barr is going to release what many of us hope is a healthy portion of what special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded about Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States.

It won’t be the full report. We aren’t going to see all of it. Barr is going to keep some of it secret.

I am facing a battle between my hope and my fear over what the AG is going to release.

Barr already has written that four-page summary of what Mueller concluded. The AG says Mueller found no “collusion” between Trump’s campaign and Russians who hacked into our electoral system; he also says Mueller reached no conclusion about obstruction of justice, but said Mueller didn’t have enough to file a criminal complaint.

Do you believe the AG’s version of what Mueller concluded?

I don’t either. Not entirely. That’s why I want to see the whole thing. It’s also why I believe we should demand to see all of it.

My hope would be that the AG would release as much of it as humanly possible, keeping national security secrets from public view. I get the reason to withhold that information.

Still, I believe it is imperative that the public — which paid for this 22-month-long investigation — would see the evidence that Mueller collected during that probe, that we would be allowed to determine for ourselves whether Mueller made the right call.

My fear presents another set of concerns. It revolves around how much Barr is going to redact, keep from our eyes. It also concerns me that Congress, particularly Democrats who control the House, are going to be so enraged that they will subpoena witnesses left and right to committee hearing rooms. My fear also nags me with the feeling that Barr is consciously withholding more than he should because he wants to shield the president from prying eyes, such as yours and mine.

Yep. Thursday is going to be a big day. I’m on pins and needles.