Tag Archives: Mueller report

Moral squalor smothers Trump administration

I am taking away a few impressions from the release of Robert Mueller’s findings into the Russia matter and whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign “colluded” with Russians.

I intend to share some of them here, briefly.

  • Trump did not collude with the Russians. His campaign didn’t conspire to collude with those who hacked into our electoral system. I am willing to take away some relief in Mueller’s findings on that matter.
  •  The president, though, is a moral leper. He is a lying, conniving, self-absorbed narcissist who was saved from his own politically imbecilic instincts by individuals who knew better than the “boss” on how to respond to the special counsel’s ongoing investigation.
  •  All of the individuals who saved Trump from committing a foolhardy act by firing Mueller are gone. They no longer work within the administration.
  •  Trump cannot be trusted to tell the truth about anything.
  •  Mueller’s report tells of how Trump responded to questions with his written answers by invoking the “I can’t recall,” “I can’t remember” or “I don’t know” response roughly 37 times. This is the same individual, Trump, who boasted during the campaign about having a steel-trap memory. He called it “the best memory,” yes?
  • There appears to be demonstrable evidence that Trump sought to obstruct justice by firing FBI director James Comey, by seeking the ouster of Mueller, by firing AG Jeff Sessions. Mueller chronicles instances of Trump doing all he could to call off the hounds on the hunt for the truth behind the Russian hacking.

Is any of this impeachable? Maybe it is. I do believe that an impeachment proceeding is a fool’s errand. House Democrats likely have the votes to impeach. The Senate is still run by Republicans. The Senate would put Trump on trial if the House impeaches him. There appears to be little stomach to convict the president; Republicans are too scared of Trump to cross that line.

I agree with GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah. I, too, am “sickened” by the moral depravity exhibited by the president.

The Mueller report only deepens my desire to see Trump removed from office. He is unfit at every level to hold the nation’s most exalted public office.

My preference at this moment is for the November 2020 election to perform that task.

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.

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.

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.

No collusion? OK, but let’s probe obstruction

I accept fully Donald Trump’s assertion that special counsel Robert Mueller has found “no collusion” between the president’s campaign and Russian government officials who hacked into our electoral system in 2016.

So let’s put that one away. It’s gone. Done. Finished . . . more than likely.

However,  we do not yet know squat about the other Big One: obstruction of justice.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr is going to release some version of Mueller’s findings to the public, perhaps in just a few days. The AG has told us already that Mueller has found no credible evidence that the president obstructed justice, but did not “exonerate” him.

Barr has Mueller’s full report locked away somewhere in the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building. He’s gone through it, or is going through it. He said he will release as much of it as allowed by law. I hope it’s much more than he intends to hide from us.

Somewhere in those nearly 400 pages will be information that will tell us how Mueller reached his conclusion. There also might be information that tells us that Donald Trump is an immoral, corrupt, lying individual who is unfit for the presidency . . . but that he didn’t commit any crimes, that he did not conspire to obstruct justice.

We need to see all that we are allowed to see. I am alarmed at the AG’s growing list of topics he intends to redact.

None of us needs to see classified information. Nor do we need to see direct grand jury testimony. The rest of it ought to be fair game.

Americans need to know whether the president is as corrupt and venal as many millions of us already believe him to be.

There remain many more hurdles for Trump to clear

Robert Mueller III’s submitting of a report to Attorney General William Barr signals the end of a long, national marathon.

The special counsel turned his findings over to Barr today. He’s done. Finished. He can go home now, put his feet up and relax.

I have been watching and listening to cable news broadcasters wonder about the report and whether it means that Donald Trump is home free.

I can answer that one. No! It doesn’t mean that at all!

The wait begins

We don’t know the contents of what Mueller has found. He said today there are no more indictments coming from his office; Mueller didn’t talk about what federal prosecutors in New York might do.

Mueller began this probe two years ago into whether the Donald Trump campaigned “colluded” with Russians who attacked our electoral system in 2016. Has he found collusion? It beats me, man. We’ll know eventually.

If the special counsel finds no criminal activity to prosecute, that doesn’t mean he didn’t find unethical behavior; it doesn’t preclude Mueller scolding the president for conduct that he might find reprehensible.

With no finding of criminality, does that end any talk of impeachment? Well . . . no. The impeaching of a president is a political act. There need not be criminal acts involved for the House of Representatives to impeach a president. The House came within a chip shot of impeaching President Nixon in 1974, but it did not have a criminal charge to hang on him; Nixon quit before the full House actually voted.

The question of impeachment will center on whether Mueller has found enough misbehavior to warrant such a drastic act. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to impeach the president. Why? She knows the Senate won’t convict him in a trial.

So, where do we stand?

AG Barr is believed to be preparing to decide in fairly short order whether to release the findings to Congress and then to Americans out here among us.

I hope he makes as much of it public as possible.

If the AG does the right thing, then we’ll know all we need to know.