Mueller’s Testimony Tomorrow

What do we expect from Robert Mueller’s testimony in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees tomorrow? He’s already said he would not travel outside of the four corners of the Mueller report, and then, was directed by the Trump administration to not to travel outside of the four corners, which is a particularly crappy chess (checkers) move.

For the most part, we shouldn’t expect any more than that. We know that. So those of us whom have already read the report aren’t likely to glean any further insight or explanation as to why Trump is not already in the middle of an impeachment hearing, despite the obvious crimes that would be brought to trial were he not the “president.” And, even though we fully understand that impeachment is a political process and not a legal one, We are left to wonder which “high crimes” or “misdemeanors” must be committed in order to pass into that type of political scrutiny. Must Donny shoot someone on Fifth venue? Is that what it takes?

So what is this? Must we presume the intention of this “read out” or “movie version of the book” is designed to bolster the anemic numbers of registered voters that would prefer to start an impeachment proceeding or continue to investigate, all the way up to a barely lukewarm 50%?

That’s the best we could hope for, short of Mueller throwing out his predetermined boundaries, which he won’t.

Is the plan to slow roll from 50% into impeachment hearings and watch that shitty number melt away due to exhaustion? Do the democrats think starting an impeachment proceeding now, is going to yield building results as compared to when they should have started it, as soon as the report came out, with Mueller being the first fact witness?

Therefore, I think this is little more than just “putting it out there,” and “I’m not saying, I’m just saying,” because, short of a miracle, this is all there is from this very important information source, due to shitting planning. It’s not like there is any plan to immediately build on top of Mueller’s testimony.

The GOP numbers are not going to change a bit. Sure, the truth will be laid out in a live reading, so what? That shit has already been relegated to “not interested.” In fact, the numbers, as far as the GOP are concerned, are more likely to only get worse than 12% total, because the spin team is going to be replaying 24/7 the line of questioning about FISA warrants, Strzok-Page, Carter Page, the 12 angry democrats, and Robert Mueller’s goddamn golf membership. And some of the registered democrats and independents will remember the testimony fondly as they turn their attention to the 2020 election. End of story.

But a majority of the congresspeople need to be convinced in order to start an impeachment proceeding! The political leanings of congresspeople are directly informed by the likeliness of their continued employment. That is all. The only people that ever needed convincing was the electorate and that time has passed.

I had said, until such a time as money is taken out of politics, Nancy Pelosi was as good a speaker as the democrats were going to have for the 116th Congress. I continue to believe that. We have exactly the dysfunctional system we deserve.

We can hope that the GOP in their profound stupidity, will so rile up Mueller, that he decides to snap back and take some particularly pointed questions head on, but we know that isn’t going to happen. We do know for a fact that the GOP will, once again, not be interested in the inconvenient facts outlined in the Mueller report. Their interests will be solely: spin, obfuscation, misdirection, waxing poetic about the “money wasted” and misuse of congressional oversight, and the creation of new conspiracy theories for Hannity and Carlson to discuss for the next 6 months.

Mueller’s Report was Written for the House of Representatives

Attorney General William Barr’s brief report on “The Special Counsel’s report”:

“confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination…” is in parenthesis implying that either this paraphrasing of “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference…” was offered by Mueller as a subtitle of the complete report, or that it is implicit as an interchangeable title. Is the Mueller report entirely about prosecutions and declinations?

I think the art-of-phrasing was intended to have us infer as much even though the regulations concerning Special Counsel’s report do indeed state: “He or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel,” they do not state that the special counsel shall report exclusively these items. Further, the original Special Counsel regulations stated that the counsel shall report to the US House of Representatives: “any substantial and credible information … that may constitute grounds for an impeachment.”

It’s likely this statement, “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination…,” which is in lowercase, was cherry-picked out of the document as an improper label for the whole of the document, even if in substance the whole of the document could casually adhere to that heading. I feel confident that this document was written fully believing it would end up in the hands of the House one way or the other and therefore is a larger document than merely itemized prosecutions and declinations.

This would be the second quotation from the Mueller report. If in fact this report is intended for the House, then there is a rift between the phrase that Barr attributes to the statement, “…did not find..,” and Mueller’s actual statement, “…did not establish.” To “establish” within Mueller’s mandate would mean to be capable of “proving beyond a reasonable doubt.” He is using this word for Congress, pointing to facts that wrongdoing exist, just not in a case Muller could justify. To “not find” implies the matter was already figuratively adjudicated. Realizing there is an issue beyond the court system in the word, “establish,” implies the underlying behavior is meant for a nonjudicial review. The House would not be leading a criminal prosecution. This leads me to believe this document was crafted for Congress.

“…but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment,” followed by the third actual quote from Mueller’s report, “…while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” In the following paragraph AG Barr inserts the opinion that clearly Mueller intended for Barr to decide on the matter if Trump committed obstruction of justice. We’ve already come to the understanding that Mueller himself believes it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, so why would he ask Barr to come to the same conclusion? No.

Mueller offered positions of guilt and innocence so that it may be determined if Trump’s actions are unbecoming of a president, not to conclude he should or shouldn’t be tried for obstruction. Mueller opted to not make a traditional judgment, not with the intent of leaving it to someone else to make a traditional judgment. Duh. This is meant for the House to examine.

It is clear that AG Barr has a very limited view of what information is pertinent for the public’s understanding, or more likely, what he wants us to understand. Barr has reduced this to that which only could possibly directly affect Donald Trump’s legal standing and inserted the ultimate decision that there is no case to be made against Donald Trump either by Mueller’s own words or the “just” decision that Barr himself has made. End of case, as far as Barr is concerned.

Barr goes on to describe how he shall eventually create a report suitable for public consumption after much redacting. He makes no mention of Congress and how a unredacted version could and should be submitted to a House committee…where it belongs.

No my friends, this report is meant for one of the committees in the House of Representatives. It needs to arrive in it’s whole state; complete in both style and content. Not only is it meant for the House, it is written in the words of Robert Mueller speaking to the House.

April 10, 2018

We had learned in January of 2018, that Trump had considered firing Bob Mueller by directing White House attorney McGahn to pressure the DOJ into carrying out this action.  Today, the NY Times reports that Trump, again in December, wanted to close down the investigation in response to Mueller’s subpoenas for banking information from Deutsche Bank.

As you’ll recall in the middle of December, various Congresspeople were concerned Trump would do just that during Christmas recess due to information they were gathering from probably the same people that are leaking this information today.  I don’t think it’s any coincidence that these people are publicly leaking this information today.  Don McGahn again?  Probably.

The Trump administration has made it quite clear that, as far as they are concerned, they have the right to end this investigation and Trump has hinted that he has the desire to do so.

There are currently two pieces of legislation already in existence that could be passed to protect the Mueller investigation.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s1735

Already written up and ready for a vote.

Why on earth is the GOP insisting on doing nothing?  Why?  What could be the harm in taking a vote?

  1. They don’t want to be an active party to preemptive legislation that would be an affront to the cult members.
  2. They see little difference to their re-election odds whether in the midst of the turmoil of a constitutional crisis or the ongoing pressure of the Mueller investigation.
  3.  A constitutional crisis is actually preferable to the slow grind of the Mueller investigation in that they believe all pressure will be off of them as previously tacitly approving participants in the Trump insanity.
  4. Derailing the Mueller investigation will push back any re-establishment of the investigation until sometime after the midterms.
  5. They honestly believe, all along, it’s just Donny talking smack.
  6. They wouldn’t mind letting Donny get himself in a jam and then react by drawing up articles of impeachment.  (Very unlikely.)

Protect the Mueller Investigation.

UPDATE: Republican Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware and Cory Booker of New Jersey plan to introduce legislation Wednesday that would give any special counsel a 10-day window in which he or she could seek expedited judicial review of a firing, according to two people familiar with the legislation.

So the idea is, if Mueller is fired, he could appeal to the courts for a review of the grounds on which he was fired.  Although this is an interesting approach, and seems to me, really reasonable as it should satisfy all sides, it is very unlikely that such legislation will pass through the House where all of the rabid Trumpites reside.  That is, if McConnell even allows this to get on the floor of the Senate for a vote, which definitely isn’t a sure thing. I appreciate Tills and Graham’s efforts though.  Good on you guys.   Unfortunately this may also have the unintended consequence of hurrying Trump long.