"Either this nation will kill racism, or racism will kill this nation." (S. Jonas, August, 2018)
Ah yes, The Mueller Report. I and many others have written much about it. It presented many significant findings by the Office of the Special Counsel headed by the former FBI Director, Robert Mueller, about various possibly criminal activities of the Trumpites both during the 2016 election campaign and then once ensconced in the White House. (And yes, conspiring with a foreign power to influence a U.S. election is a crime.) Of the former, it found 65-70 elements that amounted to collusion between the Trumpites and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election in Trump's favor. But, and it was a big BUT, they concluded that could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt (in court-room terms) that these actions, even when put together, amounted to a criminal conspiracy to commit same.
As for the other principal focus of their work, the President's obstruction of justice to the carrying out of the work of the Special Counsel, they found about 10 instances of the above, But since that danged opinion of the Dept. of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, that a sitting president cannot be indicted for anything, Mueller would not come down on one side or another, in his Report, about whether the reported and recorded obstruction amounted to a crime. Nevertheless, there was "lots of stuff" in the Special Counsel's Report that could have laid the wood, as it were, to Trump and his folks. In fact, as is well-known the Mueller Team obtained a number of criminal indictments and convictions of Trump-team members for various crimes, including perjury. (Ever wonder why Trump refused to be interviewed himself? Duh!) And so, even with its limitations in what could actually be done with the "obstruction stuff," there was a whole lot in there.
But then came Trump's Roy Cohn, unfortunately packaged as the Attorney General of the United States (real title: General Attorney for Trump, Trumpism, and the Trumpublicans©). As I have said previously, "Katy Barr the Door." In brief, Barr first mis-represented what was in the Report, then held up its release, and then when he did release it, it was a heavily redacted version (which, as I have previously noted, we shall never see the full version unless a Democrat happens to win in 2020). For the public, Barr managed to suck all the air out of the Mueller Balloon, which was exactly his intention. When the redacted version was released sometime later (and it did contain some amazing information), general public interest in what is really in it had waned, which was exactly his intention.
But nevertheless, the second volume, on obstruction of justice, does contain some potentially impeachable stuff. How do we know that? Well, even the redacted version shows that to be the case. And there was Director Mueller's appearance before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. It has generally been characterized by all sides as "undramatic." Yes, Director Mueller is a man of (very) few words. In my previous column on this subject, I presented selected questions from various Committee members and highlighted Director Mueller's VERY brief answers. In this column, I am going the other way round, presenting some of the key questions, highlighted, with the Director's answers in plain type, which, in comparison with the witness' responses in House Intelligence Committee's investigation of L'Affaire Ukrainya, reflect much better the complete lack of drama in his responses, as critical and revealing as they are in their content. It is those questions, rather than the Director's responses, that highlight what is in the Report.
The Hearings transcripts from which these excerpts was taken are, for the Judiciary Committee here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-of-robert-s-mueller-iiis-testimony-before-the-house-judiciary-committee/2019/07/24/7164abfe-ad96-11e9-a0c9-6d2d7818f3da_story.html , and for the Intelligence Committee here: https://hagerstownairport.org/2019/07/25/transcript-of-robert-s-mueller-iiis-testimony-before-the-house-intelligence-committee/ .
And so, first from the Judiciary Committee.
Chairman Jerrold Nadler:The president has repeatedly claimed that your report found there was no obstruction and that it completely and totally exonerated him, but that is not what your report said, is it?
Director Mueller: Correct. That is not what the report said.
NADLER: Now, reading from page 2 of Volume 2 of your report that's on the screen, you wrote, quote, "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, however, we are unable to reach that judgment," close quote. Now does that say there was no obstruction?
NADLER: So the report did not conclude that he did not commit obstruction of justice, is that correct [emphasis added]?
MUELLER: That is correct.
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