Fresh Meat

My Take

Here is my take on what should be referred to as:

I am going to try and be as neutral as possible here, and feel free to research what I am about to say.

I. The Barr Summary.

Nobody can consider what AG William Barr released on Sunday to be anything more than a summary.  It is not “The Mueller Report” in any way, shape or form.  It is the highlights with no substance:

Russia interfered in the 2016 elections.

and

“No collusion, no obstruction charges”.

 

A lot of people are freaking out over all of this news.  I am not.  In fact, it is pretty much what I’ve been expecting all along.  I’ve been trying to point this out from the very beginning, but everyone here quickly makes your assumptions about what I am saying without really actually paying attention to what I saying.  All I ask right now is for you to read this whole thing through before you jump to your conclusions.

Democrats in Congress are demanding that they get to see the actual report authored by Robert Mueller.  The Attorney General has indicated that he will try to release as much as he legally can.  He is going to have a small problem because of legal precedent is against him trying to prevent parts of the report from going to Congress.  That, and the Special Counsel rules of the DOJ mandate that such a report be made un-redacted to Congress.

Until that happens, then there is going to be this huge gulf in what was announced and what is actually true.  It WILL be released — un-redacted — to Congress, whether voluntarily or through subpoena.  So if you are still celebrating the news, don’t be surprised if your news ends up being dampened somewhat when some actual facts come out from the report itself.

One of the partial quotes of Robert Mueller in Barr’s summary said,

“while this report does not conclude that I the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Barr was quoting PART of a sentence.  It does not explain the reasons why Mueller decided not to reach the conclusion on obstruction.  When we read the report, we will know what his reasoning was for declination.  We’ve also learned that Mueller had notified Barr three weeks ago that he wasn’t going to make a conclusion on “obstruction”.  There is a reason for this, and I will explain in a minute.

Conclusions are only part of the story.  We need the reasons why these decisions were made.  It’s the details that are important here, and in order to tell you why, I have to use some historical references.

In our relatively recent history, we have had three special prosecutors / counsels.  Four, if you consider the two that Nixon had.

Leon Jaworski for Nixon, Kenneth Starr for Clinton, and now Robert Mueller for Trump.

All three wrote ‘reports’ at the end of their investigations.  All three have one thing in common:

They each chose to pass on making a decision on whether the sitting president obstructed justice.

Instead, they left that up to CONGRESS to decide, because the Office of Legal Counsel in the DOJ has a policy memo that a sitting US president cannot be indictedUpdated in October, 2000.   (Fun Fact: This memo was written to justify the removal of Vice President Agnew, not protect President Nixon)

Nixon resigned before he could be impeached, but Congress used the grand jury information from Leon Jawarski’s report (now known as The Watergate Roadmap) as a basis for bringing several charges of obstruction in the Articles of Impeachment that was pending on the floor of the House.

Kenneth Starr also left the question of obstruction to Congress, who in turned used the grand jury material gathered in that investigation in order to bring obstruction charges against Clinton during his impeachment and trial.  As we know, he was eventually acquitted in the trial in the Senate.

If you don’t believe me, go look it up yourself.  All three reports from three separate investigations on three separate presidents, all ended up exactly the same when it came to the matter of obstruction.

They chose not to reach a conclusion.  They submitted all of the evidence, but punted the decision to CONGRESS.

Not William Barr.  It was never his decision to make, according to the Office of Legal Counsel.  Which is the exact reason that Barr ‘chose’ not to charge the president.  He legally can’t.  Let’s also not forget how Barr got his current job:  he wrote an unsolicited opinion that it is “impossible” for a sitting president to obstruct justice.

And this is something that I have been TRYING to point out here for a while now.  When it comes to trying to indict a sitting president in federal court, they WON’T, based on the original 1973 DOJ memo and the subsequent version from 2000.

Robert Mueller, William Barr, and Rod Rosenstein are following the existing law that a sitting president can’t be indicted, and it is why Bill Clinton was never indicted, much to your chagrin.

But they CAN be held accountable through the political process, meaning that Congress can impeach them, for “high crimes and misdemeanors”.  (Also, you CAN indict  a president once they leave office, provided the statute of limitations hasn’t run out)

What has happened in the past, Congress ends up with the final report, complete with the grand jury materials and all the FBI “302” interview forms.  The White House might try to fight it, but there is so much case law out there that it is pretty much a slam dunk that Congress gets the material.

II. What happens now?

Okay, so Congress gets the material from the Special Counsel.  Do they go on to impeach Donald Trump?

NOPE.  Say what you will about Nancy Pelosi, but she would NEVER entertain the idea of impeachment, without a sure bipartisan support in both houses of Congress.  Sure, there will be the usual characters who will bellyache about the need to impeach — (Republicans have the same type of characters too, so don’t think this is exclusive to one side)

What the Dems in the House WILL do is exactly what Republicans did throughout the 2016 election:  endless investigations, and ‘oversight’.  Much of that material will be used to politically damage the president in the run-up to the 2020 election.  If the roles were reversed, and it was Clinton in the White House, you can bet your ass Republicans in Congress would be doing the same exact thing.

So we have THAT to look forward to…

III. An Observation.

I love historical comparisons.  I use them a lot.  Here’s an observation that I find interesting.  Remember this?  It was July 5, 2016 and James Comey was explaining why he wasn’t going to charge Hillary Clinton with a crime.

It’s fun to go back now and read the reactions from the Right when it was announced that while Hillary was … “careless” … nothing she did rose to the level where they were going to charge or indict her.  The HOWLS from the Right continued all the way through Trump firing Comey.  It was literally the excuse that was made as the justification for firing him.  It is still something most of you — and Trump especially — still grouse on about today.

The Right has still not quite gotten over it.

Fast forward to the present.  New target, different investigation, same end result.  People on one side expected charges, court, and prison for someone — and got nothing.  And now THEY are howling.

To badly quote Emperor Misha on July 19, 2016:  “Yawn”, but not for quite the same reason.  History and  official DOJ policy tells us that Trump was never going to be indicted by the Special Counsel, that the most likely scenario would be for the SCO to transmit the full report to Congress, and let them sort it out.  Anyone surprised about the outcome is ignorant of history.

IV.  The Part of the Summary nobody is talking about.

What was the purpose of this investigation to begin with?  No, it wasn’t the Steele Dossier (which we learn yesterday it was that shrinking violet, Lindsey, who talked McCain into turning it over to the FBI, and has since sat back while Trump shat all over McCain — but I digress).  The PRIMARY purpose of the investigation wasn’t to go after Trump, it was to determine — and to what extent — Russia interfered in the 2016 elections.  Secondary matters such as Paul Manafort’s activities and possible coordination or cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia came later, after James Comey was fired, and a special counsel was appointed to look at the entire picture.

So what was the MAIN thing in William Barr’s summary that almost everyone is ignoring?

The fact that the Special Counsel did find that Russia absolutely interfered in the 2016 elections.  Apparently the report details the entire story of what they did.

For me, THIS is the part of the report that most interests ME.  I couldn’t care less about Trump and his obstruction.  I never thought he colluded or cooperated with Russia, because I never thought he even wanted to win.  I think this was all a game for him to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, and this was the only way he could get the Kremlin’s attention.  It just so happened that the Kremlin had their own, separate motives involved — they didn’t want Hillary as president.

Here’s the part that people can’t seem to wrap their minds around:

We know Russia was involved in hacking political groups and using that information to manipulate voters through social media and the internet.  We also know that Russia made numerous documented attempts to make or stay in contact with several people in the orbit of the Trump Campaign.  We also know that Trump had been pursuing a project in Moscow throughout the 2016 campaign.  THESE ARE FACTS.

I want you to go back and read that last paragraph closely.  Nothing I said there spells ‘collusion’.  But come people will read it that way, because it is what they want to HEAR.

But it isn’t what I SAID.

  • Russia played fuck-fuck with the 2016 elections.
  • Russia tried to make or sustain contact with some Trump campaign officials over the 2016 election cycle
  • Trump was pursuing a construction project in Moscow, while simultaneously running for president.

These are SEPARATE events.  The only illegality involved here was the first bullet point.

And guess who got indicted for it.

Now, I realize that LC Bren will respond by saying these particular indictments are “worthless” and that nobody expects any of the indicted suspects to ever see the inside of a US courtroom.  And LC Bren would probably be correct, unless any of these individuals happen to step into a country with an extradition treaty with the US.

But that is probably not going to happen, so why bother with the indictments?

Because Robert Mueller decided to present his case by using what is known as a “Speaking Indictment“.  He uses indictments and plea agreements to tell the story of the crime(s), laid out in precise legal terms.  This is why I chose to eschew any and all news media reports about this entire investigation, and have solely relied on the court filings to follow this story.  I don’t need the Mueller Report to tell me what he found out — he’s already told us, in the court filings.  Go read the actual indictment and supporting affidavits.  It’s all there.

Mueller didn’t need to haul those people into a court, Bren, he just needed them to tell the story through the indictment.

V.  Trump made this whole thing about HIM.

Trump won the 2016 election.  Whether it was a ‘fantastic’ victory,  “the biggest victory ever” is all in one man’s mind.  It was Trump’s ego that couldn’t stand the idea that things weren’t quite as ‘tremendous’ as his mind was telling him.

His ego wouldn’t allow him to accept that while he legally won the US election, which is an outstanding feat to begin with, regardless of the margin, he couldn’t accept the idea that Russia may have had a hand in his victory — with or without his knowledge.  He couldn’t accept the fact that there may be a HUGE national security issue that needed to be addressed — because it might make his victory look a bit tarnished.

So he’s denied the possibility of Russian interference ever since.  “I believe Putin because he told me so”.  Because of this, he has refused to believe anything his intelligence agencies are telling him, including his own hand-picked director.  He continues to double down on this, calling the idea of Russian interference as the original ‘fake news’ in his mind.  When it was discovered that his own National Security Adviser was an unregistered foreign agent, who lied to federal agents,  he tried to get the FBI to drop the case, and when Comey refused, he fired Comey.

THAT caused his hand-picked Deputy AG to take the investigation outside of the DOJ, by appointing Robert Mueller as a ‘special counsel’.  This, in turn, caused Trump to escalate his attacks on the process, and each time he did so, only increased his involvement in the investigation.

HAD Trump simply done what virtually every other administration had done in investigations like this — AND STAYED OUT OF IT — the story probably would have been over eighteen months ago.

But NO, Trump has been his own worse enemy in all of this, and I have to think that it was completely deliberate.

People like to describe Trump as a ‘businessman’ or a ‘real estate mogul’.  He’s neither.   As a ‘businessman’, he’s been an utter failure. As a ‘real estate mogul’, his only real claim to fame is the fact that he owns just one building.  The rest are all simply using his name that he has licensed.

No, Trump is an ENTERTAINER, and has been so for most of his adult life.  He HAS to be in the spotlight.  As much as he decries the media as being “the enemy”, he couldn’t survive one day without them.  He HAS to do something to keep in the news, whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, it doesn’t matter to him.

As long as he is in the news.  He uses his Twitter feed for the same purpose — to keep some sort of feud, outrage, or the feeling of being the “victim” in something.

VI. The Mueller investigation is over, BUT…

Those of us who pay attention to legal matters like this have known for a while that Mueller passed off several cases to other jurisdictions over the past two years.  Things that fell outside of his official mandate, but as a prosecutor could not ignore.  This is how Michael Cohen. et al ended up in the Southern District of New York.  There are a couple of cases in the DC court, a couple of pending cases in Virginia, and the New York State Attorney General and the New York City prosecutors are also working on some cases that were given to them by Robert Mueller.  I think I heard the other day that there are still nineteen other pending cases involving people who either orbit Donald Trump (such as his kids) or Donald Trump himself.

Depending on the outcomes of THOSE investigations, we may never hear about them again, because in most NORMAL federal investigations, they are done quietly, and out of the media viewpoint.  Most of the time you will not hear of a federal investigation until AFTER it has been completed and charges have been filed.  Normally, if an investigation ends without charges, nobody will ever hear about it.

As I mentioned above, Congress is going to do whatever Congress is going to do.  You can bet that Democrats in the House will continue to hold ‘oversight’ hearings — and they should.  It is their duty to be a check and balance against the Executive.  And yes, I am sure that these hearings will be political theater with the 2020 campaign in mind.  I only have to remind you of the hearings in 2016 as an example.

FINALLY I WILL END THIS

Whew!  I apologize for the length of this.  I have tried to keep my opinion out of this, because I wanted to simply explain all of this without a left/right angle.

I get accused all the time here of being this “lefty”.  I am sure that most of you assume that I want to see Trump impeached and/or removed from office and / or put in prison.

au contraire.

I have never wished for the impeachment or removal of a sitting president.  Not even Richard Nixon.  It would have to be something VERY serious in order to remove a sitting US president who was duly elected.  Not without at least the majority consensus of We, The People.

That is what the Ballot Box is for.  Every four years, We, The People, can decide whether we want to keep or remove our sitting president.  We removed Jimmy Carter, and we remove George HW Bush because the majority of people had had enough of them.

If, in 2020 people feel they have had enough of Donald J. Trump, well, they will remove him.   It is as simple as that.

THAT SAID, it doesn’t mean we have to approve of the PIC.  Or even like him.  Or her.  It also doesn’t mean that the opposing Party isn’t going to act as a foil against the person or Party in power as a BALANCE or push-back.  It’s time-honored part of our political system.

I may or may not be back to answer this.  I have been dealing with some personal issues the past couple of months, and I am not always able to sit here like this.

 

 

My Schadenboner is bigger than the Emperor’s

On this auspicious occasion of the Mueller report being submitted, which, as we all know, meant what we said it did two years ago..Mueller aint got shit

I leave you with this

Two by Two, Hands of Blue

Overheard at security gate:

TSA employee #1: “So, when do you get off today?”
TSA employee #2, noticing 12-year-old walking towards gate: “In about 10 minutes, tops!”

Thatisall.

Things You WON’T Read About in the News

As Breitbart News alone reported among major news outlets, Fulani jihadists racked up a death toll of over 120 Christians over the past three weeks in central Nigeria, employing machetes and gunfire to slaughter men, women, and children, burning down over 140 houses, destroying property, and spreading terror.

The New York Times did not place this story on the front page; in fact, they did not cover it at all. Apparently, when assessing “all the news that’s fit to print,” the massacre of African Christians did not measure up. The same can be said for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Free Press, the LA Times, and every other major paper in the United States.

The news shows from the three major television channels did not mention the story, and nor did CNN or MSNBC.

If the brutal mass murder of 50 innocent Muslim men, women and children is newsworthy, and it most certainly IS, then one has to ask oneself why the brutal mass murder of more than 120 innocent Christian men, women and children ISN’T.

Is it because Christian lives don’t matter? Is it because the US media don’t expect any better from the “filthy wogs?” Is it because it’s not nearly as easy to use mass murder of Christians as a political tool?

Discuss.

His Imperial Majesty finds ALL brutal mass murders of men, women and children appalling and worthy of both coverage and condemnation.

Obviously, the Enemedia of the U.S. does not.

Thatisall.

More Kibble

That’s the Problem With Mobs…

Inevitably, their bloodlust reaches such a fever pitch that they start eating their own. Like Robert Francis O’Rourke (which is about as Waspy of a name as we ever heard, yet he’s the “Mexican” darling of the Prozi Party. We somehow don’t think that very many actual Hispanics are fooled), who apparently found himself in

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And So the Wheel Turns…

We can’t quite adequately describe how disgusted, appalled and furious we were to learn of the brutal massacre in Christchurch the other day, and that’s saying something for somebody like us. We don’t usually have trouble expressing our outrage, but this is one of those times. All we can do, inadequately, for what could be

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Here’s To You, Brother

Please take a moment to remember one of the coolest, smartest and snarkiest bastards to ever grace the pages of The Rott, LC EFA (aka Eric Faine). It’s been 6 years since he left us on these Ides of March. Cheers, mate. I will never forget your friendship.

But, We Expected Ponies, Dammit!

We’ve noticed a certain war-weariness in some quarters on the rational side of the political divide. Not like ours, we’re just sick of pissing into the wind, yet we can’t resist the urge to pull out our giant python on occasion for another whiff regardless. But we’re not done. This particular fight has only one

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The Obligatory “We’re Not Dead” Thread

Not really obligatory, as a matter of fact we’re both humbled and amazed that anybody still reads them, but we are, indeed, still here. If nothing else, then out of sheer Viking cussedness. But to prove that we’re not actually just posting archived footage from the days before our supposed demise, and to show that

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Yes, We’re Still Alive

And if nobody really wonders or cares, we blame all of that on ourselves. But we at least owe to to whomever still checks out this site to see if anything’s happening, and G-d bless you for it, we are truly not deserving of you, to let you know that we’re not dead. We, oh

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Older Chewing Bones

These are topics that are older and still have a little flavor left in them.

January 9th, 2019
Just Do It

Comments 4 Comments »



January 7th, 2019
Alien Probe Problems

Comments 6 Comments »



November 20th, 2018
Bash a Fash

Comments 19 Comments »



November 8th, 2018
Well That Was… Unexpected

Comments 29 Comments »



November 6th, 2018
Remember, Remember, the Sixth of November

Comments 15 Comments »



November 2nd, 2018
The Children’s Crusade

Comments 13 Comments »