February 17, 2018

"Is There an Obstruction Case against President Trump?"

If anyone can analyze the hell out of that question, it's Andrew McCarthy. Let me express my awe and thanks.

And let me point also to this column of his from a couple days ago, "What Did Comey Tell President Trump about the Steele Dossier?," which he links to in the new column with this mind-bending summary:
In a column on Thursday, I argued that the Obama administration saw the Russia probe as an opportunity to paralyze President Trump. As I noted in the column, the motivation for this could have been sinister or public-spirited — how you see it probably depends on what you think of Obama and Trump. President Trump’s political opponents would have seen the Russia probe as a chance to strangle his capacity to govern and pursue his agenda; some investigators who suspected that the disturbing allegations in the Steele dossier were true, even if they had not and probably could not be proved, may have harbored good-faith concern that Trump could be blackmailed by Russia.

Regardless of the motivation, the scheme to sustain the Russia investigation even after Obama left office and Trump was in a position to end it had three parts: (1) important information about the investigation needed to be withheld from the new president; (2) Trump had to be led to believe he was not under investigation (even though he was central to the investigation) so that he would not feel threatened by the investigation; and (3) Trump had to be admonished about respecting the independence of law-enforcement, to instill the fear that if he invoked his constitutional authority to shut down the investigation, he would be accused of obstruction.

This audacious strategy worked for four months, but it was done in by its core contradiction: It called for informing the president that he was not a suspect when he clearly was....
Keep reading.

159 comments:

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Mueller's investigation, which is the real threat to Trump, was avoidable by anyone with a basic understanding of the checks and balances inherent in our political system.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Andrew seems like the new Scott.

Does the traffic flow both ways? Or, is there no Althouse scratch back? Presumably (hopefully) there's a payoff for this.

Anywho, the original Andrew was (is) better at supplementing his obvious hackery w/ sincerity, and there was sometimes a wee bit of wisdom, though rarely.

IMHO.

Darrell said...

How many Althouse Lefties does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
How about an imaginary lightbulb?

Trumpit said...

@AReasonableMan, How could Trump have avoided this investigation? Please be specific.

anti-de Sitter space said...

BTW, does that OA (Sullivan) make as much dough as he did w/ the blogging?

Sure, he had staff to spread the blog load. But, if he's doing anywhere (net) as well now, it seems like he's got a lot better lifestyle: mostly hang on the DL and maxin' relaxin'.


I dunno.

cubanbob said...

The better question is how do you avoid not making a case for obstruction of justice against the Clinton's, Lynch, Comey, Yates, Rosenstein, Mueller and Obama among others?

Luke Lea said...

Here is a plausible scenario for how it all will play out in the end from over at Uncouth Reflections:
https://uncouthreflections.com/2018/02/17/wonton-speculation/

Bay Area Guy said...

As Dershowitz noted, Trump has the Constitutional authority to pardon Flynn, and prosecutors have tons of executive authority to exercise discretion on whether to prosecute a potential criminal, and ALL executive authority rests with the President (see US Constitution, Article 2). Ergo, there's nothing wrong with President Trump with exercising his discretion to suggest that the DOJ/FBI go light on Flynn and there's nothing wrong with firing Comey's lame ass either, who served at the pleasure of the President.

In the meantime, Free the Russian 13!

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

From the archives;
"Speaking to Steve Bannon on Tuesday, Trump blamed Jared Kushner for his role in decisions, specifically the firings of Mike Flynn and James Comey, that led to Mueller’s appointment, according to a source briefed on the call."

Sebastian said...

There was no justice to obstruct.

rcocean said...

Again, Heads need to roll over this insane nonsense.

We have a special Prosecutor being given a blank check to investigate the POTUS for an unknown crime. And who appointed the special prosecutor? The POTUS' own Deputy AG!
IOW, the Presidents own DoJ is trying to destroy him.

Trump needs to close down Mueller by June 2018 and then FIRE ROSENSTEIN.

rcocean said...

I've been saying it for over a year.

We didn't need Mueller to investigate Russia interference.

The DoJ/FBI were handling it.

Why Mueller? Why the blank check? Why?

rcocean said...

And we STILL Don't know what is in the Comey memos.

Despite some of them NOT Being classified.

Mike said...

Is “Keep reading” supposed to be a link?

Ann Althouse said...

"@AReasonableMan, How could Trump have avoided this investigation? Please be specific."

I think you can find the answer in the linked McCarthy column.

Trump had to hit the ground running even as the Obama administration, with all its expertise and control, was trying to screw him up. He had to operate at an astounding level of difficulty. Of course, he made some mistakes. McCarthy is great about explaining that. I highly recommend the article.

"Is “Keep reading” supposed to be a link?"

I don't re-do the link to something that's linked earlier in the post.

anti-de Sitter space said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madAsHell said...

Alex, I'll take "Headlines That End in a Question Mark" for a $1000.

Question marks in the headline are the hallmark of the straw man attack that follows.

Michael K said...

The FBI may have killed itself with this attempt at a coup. the first one worked but this is unravelling as the new questions about the Florida shooting suggest.

From a NSA recording made in the FBI Director's office.

Michael K said...

There was clearly a criminal case against Hillary and her staff, This has been ignored.

Ralph L said...

They must have thought that what Trump wanted to do would be good for the country and thus popular (and they were right). If they didn't, they'd have let him do it unobstructed.
Prosperity, profit, and American leadership are bad and evil.

Anti-American Assholes.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
Of course, he made some mistakes.


Like doing what everyone other than Jared Kushner (apparently) told him not to do.

Stephen Cooper said...

a few months ago, Ann, you noted that we do not want Supreme Court Justices to be geniuses.

Andrew McCarthy generally knows what he is talking about but he does not get the fact that it is very likely that everyone on the Mueller team is a hack.

Even if he gets it, he can't say that: his prestige is tied to respect for federal prosecutors. If they are all hacks he is probably a hack too (just saying)

Look at Mueller himself - he does not look very bright: there is a dull look around the eyes that is the tell-tale of someone who has never really understood the world since that day long ago when he got good grades as a young man (and he didn't, then, understand the world as much as his professors thought he did. You know that, I know that). Tall, and spends money on good suits, and showed up for work at easy jobs in the legal field for the last few decades, but what respect does he really deserve? The question remains unanswered.


my best guess is that, leaving the Dershowitzes of the world aside, the general idea that it is not just wrong but spectacularly wrong to try and steal back an election on the basis of legal theories that would have rendered every former President equally complicit had not occurred to the Trump haters. They are too justified in their righteousness and their belief that only they own the legal system, because they are good and they must triumph.

Like I said, Mueller is tall and buys expensive suits, but so do most of the powerbrokers in third world countries without the rule of law.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Michael K,

"There was clearly a criminal case against Hillary and her staff, This has been ignored."

Yep. The problem (in Comey/McCabe/Strzok's mind) was that Obama under a pseudonym, communicated to Hillary via her private server, most likely exchanging classified info, which technically would make Obama a criminal too, or, at least gum up any prosecution of Hillary.

Seeing Red said...

I think Flynn won’t need a pardon. The FBI messed up.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

From the archives:

"Trump dismissed Comey by way of a termination letter in which he stated that he was acting on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In the following days, he gave numerous explanations of the dismissal that contradicted his staff and also belied the initial impression that Sessions and Rosenstein had influenced his decision. Trump publicly stated that he had already decided to fire Comey; it later emerged that he had written his own early draft of the termination letter, and had solicited the Rosenstein memo the day before citing it. He also stated that dismissing Comey relieved unnecessary pressure on his ability to engage and negotiate with Russia, due to Comey's "grandstanding and politicizing" the investigation."

anti-de Sitter space said...

"Like doing what everyone other than Jared Kushner (apparently) told him not to do."

don't forget hitting the ground running by spending the first half of every work day watching TV and doing his do (aka Executive Time.) And, there's all the days off, too.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/08/03/by-end-of-august-trump-will-have-spent-three-times-as-many-days-at-leisure-as-obama/?utm_term=.5cb053cf59a4


Althouse is funny.

anti-de Sitter space said...

That sneaky Kenyan-BHO-Deep-State has kept DJT from appointing folks to run the government.

Zach said...

You know, firing Comey was the best move Trump made in his entire first year. It was shocking at the time, but in retrospect, he was hopelessly compromised by the wiretaps. Trump was right to conclude that if the man wouldn't repeat his private assurances in a public forum he had to go.

Zach said...

I've often thought that Trump has indifferent political skills, but crazy people skills. He made the right call on Comey very early on.

Humperdink said...

disARM quoted: ""Trump dismissed Comey by way of a termination letter in which he stated that he was acting on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In the following days, he gave numerous explanations of the dismissal that contradicted his staff and also belied the initial impression that Sessions and Rosenstein had influenced his decision. Trump publicly stated that he had already decided to fire Comey; it later emerged that he had written his own early draft of the termination letter, and had solicited the Rosenstein memo the day before citing it. He also stated that dismissing Comey relieved unnecessary pressure on his ability to engage and negotiate with Russia, due to Comey's "grandstanding and politicizing" the investigation."

Just guessing that Trump was mildly *cough* upset that Comey lied to him, telling him he was not under investigation, when in fact he was. Comey is a worm. And in trouble.

Bruce Hayden said...

Great minds think alike. McCarthy agrees with me that Obstruction of Justice would be extremely hard to proseute, when it comes to Presid not Trump, absent some sort of underlying crime, since both firing Comey and telling him not to prosecute (which Trump did not do) are Executive functions belonging exclusively to the President under the first clause of Article II. But McCarthy brought up something else - that the Mueller probe is officially a counterintelligence investigation, and not a criminal one, which makes firing Mueller and his merry band of Deep State operatives even less likely to be obstruction of justice, since there are no underlying crimes to obstruct justice for, and counterintelligence is even more central to his Executive power AND is part of his duty to protect the Constitution (by making the country safe).

John Pickering said...

Despite her protests, Ann's not ready to offer an analysis and refers us to Andrew McCarthy, of whom she is in awe. Let's have a look:

Andrew begins and ends his column with a call for the Office of Legal Counsel, an arm of the Justice Department, to resolve the issue:

Let’s get to the bottom of this. If there are real grounds for accusing the president of criminal misconduct, he and the American people should know what they are. If there are no such grounds, the Justice Department should make it known that President Trump is not the subject of a criminal investigation.

Does Ann agree? In fact there is a criminal and counter-intelligence investigation going on, and 13 Russians as well as several Trump associates have been charged with or pleaded guilty to crimes. McCarthy's point stands: Americans need to know about the president did, and we are in the process of finding out. And if the Justice Department finds that Trump isn't guilty, we should be told that. Trouble is, the investigation isn't over. When it's over, we'll know what Mueller has found out. In the meantime, McCarthy is asking for another layer of Justice Department oversight.

Fine. Let the probe go on. OK, Ann?

Here's why McCarthy says Trump fired Comey:

The president’s true rationale for the dismissal was the dichotomy between the director’s public and private posturing; the point was not to halt a counterintelligence probe of Russian election-meddling, which continued apace.

In another context one can imagine Ann jumping on this in disbelief: Comey was fired for a dichotomy?! Is that a thing? McCarthy is saying that it's not nice to fool the president, because he's kinda slow in the uptake.

McCarthy, of whom Ann is in awe, gets back to this issue a little later:

In fact, it is a basis that would have been less controversial had the president been forthright about it, rather than disingenuously relying on Rosenstein’s memo (which based the justification for removal on the director’s public statements about the Clinton emails case).

Here McCarthy just plain calls President Trump a liar. He knows his readers already assume that Trump doesn't tell the truth when it doesn't serve his interests. That's OK with McCarthy and I guess Ann.

It's worth noting this one, which Ann cites:

Some investigators who suspected that the disturbing allegations in the Steele dossier were true, even if they had not and probably could not be proved, may have harbored good-faith concern that Trump could be blackmailed by Russia.

Regardless of the motivation,

Exactly. Here's Ann and her intellectual lodestone, Andrew McCarthy, contemplating the distinct "good-faith" possibility that Trump is the victim of a blackmail scheme that has left him something ranging from the dupe to the stooge to the witting agent of the Russian:

Regardless.













McCarthy, asking whether the

.

buwaya said...

They are sneaky, or appear to be. But the reasons are quite prosaic.

One is that the Senate has been confirming nominations very slowly, more so in some areas than others.

Another is that qualified nominees are hard to find, as there is a fear of being blackballed ex-government service. This is much like the case of the long list of would-be Trump inauguration performers, who were scared off taking the gig.

If you come in to overthrow the leadership class, it fights back as a class.

Leland said...

At this point, I think there is a case for obstruction of justice in regards to Hillary's mishandling of classified documents. She was only let go by prosecutorial discretion, after Obama suggested to Chris Wallace that she should be let go. I think Trump should direct the DoJ to prosecute her. It is his discretion now. I'd love to see her use the defense of "no criminal intent", since that isn't a requirement of the statute.

Politically, the best time to do this is after the 2018 election. The trick is to keep the Mueller investigation going that long, such that it annoys the population and continues to build Trump's approval rating (as it has). If the prosecution of Hillary begins before the election, it may cause sympathy for her and Democrats. There's no statute of limitations, so Trump can wait to pounce.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

anti-de Sitter space said...
don't forget hitting the ground running


During the Republican primaries Trump put on a good show and I thought it was conceivable that he might be less bad than Clinton, despite what I knew of his prior behavior, as a regular Howard Stern listener and consumer of NY tabloids. Then the debates with Clinton happened. He clearly didn't know much of anything. I thought that those debates would kill his candidacy. I was wrong, but the broader problem, that he simply doesn't know much about our political system or respect it enough to find out came back to bite him in the ass almost as soon as he became president. Hubris leading to something. Too early to tell if it will be tragedy or comedy, though I favor the latter possibility.

anti-de Sitter space said...

"is part of his duty to protect the Constitution (by making the country safe [from Russians meddling with the way we elect the folks who run our government]).

And, if he doesn't do this. Who cares? Russians influencing how we choose our government isn't so bad, according to y'all. An individual American can't give more than $2,700 to a particular candidate. But, the Russians are free to lie, cheat and steal (email) to support DJT. Ничего



Logic.

Bruce Hayden said...

@ARM - so what? Trump had an absolute Article II right and power to fire Comey for whatever reason he wanted to. Could have fired him because he is taller than Trump. Didn’t matter. And, it can’t be Obstruction of Justice because there was no underlying crime - it was a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal one, and the only thing that Mueller was able to get convictions for were process crimes. Again, no crimes means no possibility of Obstruction of Justice (ignoring, for a moment, Trump’s Article II Executive power to fire).

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Bruce Hayden said...
Trump had an absolute Article II right and power to fire Comey for whatever reason he wanted to.


This is correct, but we have a lot of rights that are best left unpursued, which is where the role of convention, checks and balances comes in. Trump doesn't respect the system, he sees himself as above the system. That's a good attitude for an entrepreneur, it works less well when running a government that can only function adequately if everyone accepts limits on their own individual actions. Of course there will be pushback. A more subtle mind would have factored this into the equation.

BamaBadgOR said...

Sally Yates' conduct needs to be investigated.

Drago said...

adss: "Russians influencing how we choose our government isn't so bad, according to y'all. An individual American can't give more than $2,700 to a particular candidate. But, the Russians are free to lie, cheat and steal (email) to support DJT."

LOL

The lefties now demand that we pretend it wasnt Obambi, lynch, holder, comey, brennan and clapper in charge in 2016.

And they did.....nothing.








anti-de Sitter space said...

Now I understand Nixon's problem. He shoulda had the Russians break into the D's Watergate files. And, the Russians should have been advertising and doing PR for him. And, Nixon could have had folks who worked for the Russians as part of his staff. And, the Russians could have had folks in conversation w/ Nixon people.

Then, there would be no problem for Nixon.

anti-de Sitter space said...

"And they did.....nothing."

They spent plenty of time providing fodder to the press re the HRC investigation(s).



Drago said...

Has Pickering declared himself a lifelong republican yet?

anti-de Sitter space said...

But, kept quiet re publicity re DJT and his staff and Russia investigations.


But, that = deep state.



Ha.

Unknown said...

Clearly mueller has now layed the groundwork for an obstruction case. Trump obstructed so mueller could only make these 13 Russian indictment. Mueller jeopardized all credibility with this 13 Russian indictment because it so weak so absurd that it must be a mere predicate for something much bigger.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Also, the deep state hindered DJT's hitting the ground running by making him take off half of every working day. And, they made him have three times as much off time as BHO, hence limiting DJT's ability to hit the ground running.


Deep State!

anti-de Sitter space said...

And, the cucks, too.

Deep State and Cucks!!

Hyphenated American said...

If I were Trump, I would immediately proclaim that NYT is a foreign agent, funded by a shadowy Mexican billionaire, and it must be prosecuted for interfering with our elections.

Moreover, he should give fbi exactly 2 weeks to prepare a report on which enviromental groups and Hollywood celebrities were funded by foreign governments.

anti-de Sitter space said...

There is strong dissonance when y'all see that what you believe is what the Russians told you to believe during the election.

The classic chicken and egg question. Which came first?

traditionalguy said...

Waging war on the President of the United States is the definition of Treason.

Trump will have to arrest them all and try them on Treason Charges in Military Tribunals. The only question left is when he will give the Order.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Hyphenated American said...

“He shoulda had the Russians break into the D's Watergate files. And, the Russians should have been advertising and doing PR for him. “

Pentagon papers, and soviet funding of left-wing groups.
Do you want to redebate these issues?

anti-de Sitter space said...

See:

"If I were Trump, I would immediately proclaim that NYT is a foreign agent, funded by a shadowy Mexican billionaire, and it must be prosecuted for interfering with our elections.

Moreover, he should give fbi exactly 2 weeks to prepare a report on which environmental groups and Hollywood celebrities were funded by foreign governments."

Did y'all decide on your own to throw away our government and trade it in for an autocracy? Or, did the Russians telling you to do this result in your complicity?

Chicken or egg?

Drago said...

anti-de Sitter space: "But, kept quiet re publicity re DJT and his staff and Russia investigations."

When colluding with putins pals to generate a fake dossier in order to weaponize US intelligence agencies and law enforcement for the purposes of spying on a domestic political opponent and then spreading that information glibally amongst your partsan allies in govt and the media, its generally a goid idea not to go public with that.

Which is why the left and the media have lied and hudden every single rekevant aspect of this assault on our values.

The lefties spent over a year lying about hillary and the dnc funding putins pals lies, and about everything else.

Talk about "flexibility"...





Hyphenated American said...

If Comey lied to the president, he committed obstruction of justice and a crime of lying to the head of the executive power.

anti-de Sitter space said...

And see, also:

"Trump will have to arrest them all and try them on Treason Charges in Military Tribunals. The only question left is when he will give the Order.

Not that there is anything wrong with that."

Where did this anti-America's governing documents ideas come from?

Chicken or egg?




P.S. These two quotes are not from my sock puppets. I was prepared to roll out one or two. But, no need now.

EDH said...

For the record, it's be clarifying to know whether Clinton had compiled a Bernie Sanders-Russian dossier earlier during the primaries, just in case it was needed.

Hyphenated American said...

“Did y'all decide on your own to throw away our government and trade it in for an autocracy? Or, did the Russians telling you to do this result in your complicity?“

These are the rules liberals said we must follow.
If an enviromental group is funded by Russia or Saudi Arabia, it must be indicted.
If a liberal producer gets funded by the government if China, he must be indicted.
If the NYT funded by foreign government meddles with our elections, its leaders must be indicted.

This is what liberals asked for, right?

Hyphenated American said...

“Where did this anti-America's governing documents ideas come from? ”

Mueller and the media told us what the rules of the game are.
It’s time to use those rules against them.

anti-de Sitter space said...

BTW, speaking of military tribunals, I'm guessing Trad Guy hasn't read the latest from Gitmo.

buwaya said...

Russians (and Arabs and Euros) certainly were interfering with economic development in the US by financing environmental movements to oppose fracking and shut down coal and force global warming policies. This is well documented. Some was passed through Caribbean cutouts, but much of it was like the massive open payoff to Al Gore by Qatar.

As it happens, US oil and gas production are the big strategic hammers the US has acquired in recent years. And the greatest threat to Russia. No thanks to the Obama administration.

In some countries there is a crime of "economic sabotage".

buwaya said...

The EPA personnel who are quitting ("in disgust") are, perhaps, doing so prudentially. I wonder what a probe of collusion with foreign powers will turn up there.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Here is your panacea (or, if not that, at least it's a psychologically comforting talking point) Trad Guy:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/us/politics/guantanamo-cole.html

Drago said...

I think its healthy that adss and gang are quite open that they are completely cool with obambi letting the russians do whatever they want for 8 years while weaponizing the federal govt against
domestic political opponents.

That kind of clarity is helpful.

I mean, who among us wasnt moved by the clear affection obama showed to medvedev by touching his knee and lovingly promising imcreased flexibility for Putin after the election?

It might as well have been a Lifetime movie!

I would think that handing iver 20% of our Uranium as well as Syria to the Russians and Iran would have been sufficient proof of obamas loyalty to Vlad.

Alas.

Ann Althouse said...

What’s up with all the extra space in comments?

I consider that a deleting offense.

Please stop. I am warning you all.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
oppose fracking


Let's examine the data. Hmmm.

Almost all of the increase occurs between 2008 and 2016. Hmmm.

In reality the environmental movement greatly prefers gas to coal, the main alternative for electricity generation.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
What’s up with all the extra space in comments?


It was Drago.

anti-de Sitter space said...

It was Beloved Commenter Drago.

Oops, my bad. We don't have that here.

bolivar di griz said...

The gitmo whitewash is interesting like fusion, the levick group created an echo chamber to exonerate every detainee apriori, funded from monies in the gulf states, it was deborah burlingame who uncovered this a much more obvious version of foreign interference in our national security.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

BCARM: This is correct, but we have a lot of rights that are best left unpursued, which is where the role of convention, checks and balances comes in. Trump doesn't respect the system, he sees himself as above the system.

To repeat BH's question, so what?

Impiety toward the system and conventions (or rather, your subjective perception thereof) isn't a crime in this country. (Your invoking "checks and balances" here is just a lot of hand waving.) You can't claim that Mueller's investigation isn't corrupt while at the same time admitting that, well, yeah, it's not based on actual criminal behavior, but on his stupidly ruffling the feathers of established players.

Which is fine and dandy, I guess, when you don't like the guy. Which, btw, is pretty much the essence of banana republic corruption.

Mac McConnell said...

Comey served at the pleasure of the President. President Trump has the right to fire Comey because he finds Comey's after shave repulsive. The Constitution full stop.

If Trump was the Fascist the Left believes Trump to be most of the management of the FBI, intelligent officials and WH staff under Obama would be hanging from light post. Obama would be living in exile, probably Kenya. ;-)

Ambrose said...

No

Bay Area Guy said...

Free the Russian 13!

Commie internet trolls have rights, too!

buwaya said...

Tech and money overcame government ARM.
Hard to stand in the way of that, but they tried, oh they tried. Right up to the last minute, and ongoing.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...
You can't claim that Mueller's investigation isn't corrupt while at the same time admitting that, well, yeah, it's not based on actual criminal behavior, but on his stupidly ruffling the feathers of established players.


But, as you know, it is deeper than this. The FBI was investigating something that touched on a core property of the system, clean elections. For Trump not to recognize that he needed to leave well enough alone was political malpractice. He won the election, but just barely, so this was going to be a difficult subject, yet all he had to do was wait out Comey's investigation. Instead he acted like a guilty man. And the cucks were happy to put him in a box.

LIke you, I doubt that Trump is guilty of collusion, but his actions suggest that he believes that he is guilty of something. Maybe it was just the bimbos, maybe it is business related. I guess we will find out eventually.

The FBI is the one institution in Washington that is dominated by Republicans. It takes a special kind of stupid for a Republican president to get on the wrong side of the FBI.

The Godfather said...

Doesn't anyone know how this game is played? The Special Counsel has just issued an indictment that tells us that the Russians have been trying to cause disruption and dissension in our political system, first by supporting Sanders against Clinton, and then by supporting Trump against Clinton, so that when Clinton was elected President she would be weakened and ineffectual. And then when, shockingly to the Russians as to many of us Americans, Trump won, the Russians sponsored not-my-President demonstrations against Trump, to weaken him as President and make him less effective. And now, even after the Russian plan has been exposed to the world, the Russians' efforts to undermine the effectiveness of the American Government are being assisted by the NYTimes, WaPo, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and so far as I can tell the entire Democratic Party. Do you remember the phrase "useful idiots"?

The Godfather said...

I've said this several times on different comment threads, and I'm going on the record with it again.

Trump should call Mueller into the Oval Office to provide the President with a complete report on the Russian interference in our political processes. Trump should then state publicly that this is a national security matter to be addressed by our intelligence agencies and not in public. Mueller should be ordered to turn over everything he has on Russian activities to the appropriate intelligence agencies. Trump should direct Rosenstein to review whatever else Mueller has under investigation and determine whether there is sufficient evidence of criminal activities by Americans regarding the 2016 election to warrant continuation of a special counsel investigation. If there is such evidence, then Rosenstein should set a deadline for a final report from the Special Counsel. If not, Rosenstein should discharge the Special Counsel with the thanks of the American people.

Mark said...

"Is There an Obstruction Case against President Trump?"
If anyone can analyze the hell out of that question, it's Andrew McCarthy.


It doesn't need analysis, either as a matter of criminal law or constitutional "high crimes and misdemeanors." The president has plenary, unreviewable authority to remove inferior officers such as FBI director. Period. End of analysis.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I get the impression that the anti-Trump commenters here are not motivated by respect for the rule of law, but by hatred of Trump. This kind of animus is exactly the kind of thing the judicial system is supposed to defeat. You can't have one set of laws for people you like and another set of laws for people you don't like.
I imagine many weeks of frustration lie ahead for the anti-Trump commenters.

WK said...

@Steven Cooper
Like I said, Mueller is tall and buys expensive suits, but so do most of the powerbrokers in third world countries without the rule of law.
http://dilbert.com/strip/1992-08-27

Mark said...

I get the impression that the anti-Trump commenters here are not motivated by respect for the rule of law, but by hatred of Trump.

Nor do they have any respect for reason. And it is folly for people to try to reason with them.

What is so frustrating is to see so many people here who keep trying to with the only consequence being to fill up the comment section with hundreds of inane discussion-killing back and forth.

Drago said...

ARM: "The FBI is the one institution in Washington that is dominated by Republicans."

LOL

The texts demonstrate cinclusively your increasing absurdity.

Who ya gonna believe? The FBI-ers actual words, or ARM?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Mueller is a slime bag and a hack.

Big Mike said...

You can't have one set of laws for people you like and another set of laws for people you don't like.

ARM and Toothless beg to differ.

Sebastian said...

"the Russians' efforts to undermine the effectiveness of the American Government are being assisted by the NYTimes, WaPo, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and so far as I can tell the entire Democratic Party. Do you remember the phrase "useful idiots"?"

Progs never cared about "the Russians." They only cared about defeating their domestic opposition. In 2012, Russia served to ridicule Romney. In 2016, Russia came in handy as a pretext to spy on and stop Trump. After the election, Russia served as a handy excuse for Hill. Then it became an excuse to keep going after Trump. And now Mueller has fund that the Russians sowed discord, discord I tell you! Of course, progs like nothing better than discord, but if they can use discord to stir up some more discord to hurt Trump, they'll take it. Domestic politics and lust for power override everything.

They are insane, but they are not idiots. They are beyond useful to Russia: they willingly and deliberately undermine the core institutions of the United States, without any prompting from abroad. What else could Russia possibly want them to do?

Big Mike said...

The FBI was investigating something that touched on a core property of the system, clean elections.

Let me know when they get to Chicago.

And Wisconsin’s John Doe prosecutions.

And Lois Lehrner. Oh, that’s right. They planned to work with her, not investigate her.

wildswan said...

Basically, the Russia investigation is discrediting the Deep State and The Swamp. Hidden power structures whose time has gone by are being exposed as staffed by incompetent idiots. That is one of the signs of an out of touch group - that it simply cannot see that it is important to be competent. This incompetence is very hard on the people being "investigated." The thing is over but The Swamp is too stupid to know it. So the process grinds on. But every day exposes more Swamp idiocy to more people.

Already blog readers are asking if this isn't some kind of trap - the people at the top can't just be idiots. There has to be a deep clever plot. Well, in my opinion anyone who involved themselves with the Clinton's is in a range from idiot to clown. What happens to people near the Clintons? They go to jail or at best, like Anthony Weiner, their lives are merely ruined. And all the people at the top over the last few years became involved with the Clintons. And now they think they are doing something to Trump but that's typical of the blind incompetence near the Clintons. All the idiots and clowns are lining up to go off to personal ruin of different kinds without noticing that that is what is happening.

Crazy Jane said...

Let's act on current facts. We know the FBI has been collecting phone data on all of us and, particularly, anyone who put a who has put a foot wrong since 9/11.

If the FBI can spare the time, let's ask it to investigate how/if an American operative/agent acted after receiving a warning call about a screwed-up young man who was talking about being a school shooter.

Crazy Jane said...

Sorry.

Anyone who has put a foot wrong.

Ray said...

I was very impressed when Andrew McCarthy noted he was wrong on FISA Warrant basis.

He’s going an excellent job of explaining what’s going on with this investigation that is getting stranger and stranger. It’s gotten to the point where it seems to be helping Trump, and hurting the FBI and DOJ, and perhaps the state department soon.

Jay Elink said...

ARM pontificated:

"Trump doesn't respect the system, he sees himself as above the system."

****************************

Whereas, Comey, Strzok, McCabe, and the other co-conspirators all saw themselves so far above our electoral system so much, that they sought to secretly nullify a presidential election.

Snort!

Oh and btw : virtually all that growth in fracking occurred on private, not federal land. land beyond the left's power to thwart oil/gas exploration, drilling, and transportation.

After all, wasn't it the Raging Queen himself who said, "We can't drill our way to lower gas prices"? Why...yes, it was.

John Pickering said...

On Ann's remark about too much space in comments, if it was referring to me: sorry, my copy edit error.
Allow me to compliment Ann on her sense of humor and willingness to entertain opposing views. As an aside, I'd encourage her to get that book deal soonest.

Achilles said...

The democrats have been caught paying Foreign agents for a dossier they used to spy on Trump.

I wonder which FBI agent/divisions payed Christopher Steele?

There are a few dozen Russians who gave Hillary over $140 million dollars.

Half the congressional leadership used the Awan IT services and covered for them as they tried to escape to Pakistan.

There are millions of dreamers who happen to be foreigners illegally here.

I look forward to all of the indictments.

Oh that is right leftists don't actually believe a damn thing they say. I forgot while reading through these comments that they are all just disingenuous shitheads trying to make up new laws to overturn an election they didn't like the result of.

Well then. Looks like you all are aiding and supporting enemies of the United States.

That makes you traitors.

Birkel said...

Russian internet trolls: FBI investigation
Photo ID to vote: an undue burden
Proving you are a citizen to vote: racism, straight up

Leftist Collectivists are hard to grok.

bolivar di griz said...

Its like a game of twister, sans chiropractors.

Bob said...

Ann Althouse: "I highly recommend the article."

Yes, and I'm very glad I read both McCarthy articles.

I have not followed the details of the "Russia investigation" because there has been so much fluff flying about. So much speculation and whatnot. Everyone, both pro- and anti-Trump mulling over what Mueller is up to, what he will do next. It's like kids fussing about what they think Santa will bring them.

McCarthy puts a logical framework around the entire situation which is easy to understand.

The Vault Dweller said...

In the end, Trump needs to find a politically palatable solution for this whole mess. If there is evidence of misconduct on the part of Comey, Lorretta Lynch, and maybe even Obama but the evidence isn't particularly strong, he should think about doing something like holding a press conference describing the negative actions found, then issuing a pardon for those three for those actions saying the country needs to move forward. Avoids the mess of any sort of prosecution but still establishes in people's minds who the bad actors are.

bolivar di griz said...

Really to be magnanimous, how has that turned out in 25 years the dems stonewall and yell aquirrel, republicans take themselves off the board.

John Pickering said...

Great Scott, in what Vault does this Dweller exist, that she should suggest Trump hold a press conference, limn the negative actions, the bad actors, issue a pardon, move forward? Dweller, you might not have heard, but Trump doesn't face the press. He tweets. Possibly, he won't avoid the mess of any sort of prosecution.

DKWalser said...

LIke you, I doubt that Trump is guilty of collusion, but his actions suggest that he believes that he is guilty of something.

His actions are also consistent with someone who's been publicly accused of something he didn't do while having been privately assured that he's not under suspicion. McCarthy does a good job at laying out why Trump may have been extremely frustrated with Comey (and the entire situation).

John Pickering said...

McCarthy's point is that it's not nice to fool a president who is kinda slow and gets frustrated. Read the column, it's a call for greater Justice Department supervision.

McCarthy asserts Trump's right to fire Mueller and close the investigation. What he doesn't say, but suggests, is that Trump doesn't have the smarts, or the balls.

DKWalser said...

Two serious questions for our legal eagles:

1 - Now that Trump's campaign has been cleared of collusion with the Russian government, is there any reason why Sessions needs to remain recused from the investigation? IIRC, he recused himself because he was part of the campaign and the investigation was, in part, of the campaign's ties to Russia. Having concluded that there were not ties to Russia, shouldn't Sessions be able to resume his supervision of the investigation?

2 - If I followed McCarthy's theory of the Obama Administration's trap for Trump, it consisted of three parts: a) withhold key information about the investigation from Trump, b) lead Trump to falsely believe he was not under investigation, and 3) admonish Trump that he could not shut down the investigation or he would be obstructing justice. If Trump truly believed he wasn't under investigation, which appears to be the case, then doesn't that blow up any possible obstruction of justice case against him?

I know that some have suggested that Trump might have obstructed justice when he suggested Comey take it easy on Flynn, but the really serious problem was if Trump was taking actions to prevent Trump's own crimes from being brought to light. (See ARM's comments above about how Trump's actions make him appear "guilty of something.") Well, if Trump honestly didn't think anyone was investigating him -- because Comey had told him so repeatedly that was the case -- then how can we interpret anything that he did as an attempt to obstruct an investigation he didn't think was taking place? Perhaps, the Obama plan was to smart by half.

Unknown said...

What he doesn't say, but suggests, is that Trump doesn't have the smarts, or the balls.

Yes, that Trump is dumb and timid is certainly the way to bet.

In some universe, somewhere.

narciso said...

Because this is the game that comey, Mueller, Fitzgerald and goldsmith have been playing since 2003, starting with the plane game.

Yancey Ward said...

There isn't a chance Mueller will try an obstruction indictment, and the evidence for this are the indictments yesterday- the Russians weren't indicted for meddling in the US election- they were indicted for financial infractions. And the reason that Mueller didn't do this is that the very next question would have been why Steele and all those tied to him aren't being indicted, too. The same will apply to obstruction- if Trump is guilt of obstruction for asking leniency for Flynn, or firing Comey, then the very next question is going to be why not indict Lynch, Comey, and Obama for obstructing the investigation of the Clinton e-mail server- there you have a much clearer case of actual obstruction if you think Trump's actions might be obstruction.

Mueller understands all this- that much is clear after Friday, so I don't think he wil forget it any time soon.

Yancey Ward said...

DKWalser wrote:

"because Comey had told him so repeatedly that was the case -- then how can we interpret anything that he did as an attempt to obstruct an investigation he didn't think was taking place? Perhaps, the Obama plan was to smart by half."

I made this exact point before- since Comey told him he wasn't under investigation, firing Comey can't be construed as obstructing an investigation into Trump. The plan, and I think McCarthy was right about it in his essay about the Susan Rice e-mail, undermined itself in multiple ways. Seriously, Trump's exhibit #1 in an impeachment for obstruction is going to be Comey's written testimony from last June that Trump wasn't under investigation as told to the president himself- an admission I believe Comey was forced into by Trump's bluff that he might have recorded the conversations with Comey- I think otherwise Comey might well have tried to lie about that, too.

Bruce Hayden said...

ARM:
"But, as you know, it is deeper than this. The FBI was investigating something that touched on a core property of the system, clean elections. For Trump not to recognize that he needed to leave well enough alone was political malpractice. He won the election, but just barely, so this was going to be a difficult subject, yet all he had to do was wait out Comey's investigation. Instead he acted like a guilty man. And the cucks were happy to put him in a box."

Sorry. That was never the case. There was never credible evidence that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians to steal the election from Crooked Hillary (nor that they had committed any actual non-process crimes) and the FBI knew this from the start. Trump and Sessions knew this fairly early in his Administration, but it is only really coming out now what the FBI (and DoJ) knew, and, indeed, their involvement in helping to fabricate fake evidence.

And, to keep driving the point - the DoJ and FBI have limited resources. Large but still limited. We have a government that governs by the consent of the governed, pursuant to a multigenerational contract between Americans and their government, in the form of our Constitution. That contract, that Constitution, grants one person at a time the power to determine allocation of those resources, and that is the duly elected and inaugerated President. He can, and does, delegate that power to investigate and prosecute crimes to the FBI and DoJ. But it is his power, not theirs. No one, besides him, has the legal power to make that determination. If he wants the FBI to be investigating George Soros funding Antifa fascist thug violence, or illegal immigration, instead of Russian meddling in our election, it is his call, and his alone. The sole legal remedy to his overreach is impeachment.

And, yes, I realize that that means that Obama could legally tell his DoJ not to prosecute Crooked Hillary for her illegal email server. Which he essentially did do. Of course, that decision isn't binding on his successor, and if Trump and his AG want to allocate resources to pick up some of those Clinton examinations that were suppressed by Obama and his AG, that is their legal prerogative. Their choice.

Achilles said...

Funny thing is is this was pretty obviously a peace offering from both Rosenstein and Mueller. Flynn’s charges are going to be dropped summarily and manaforts charges will be dropped before someone asks Mueller why manafort was the only person in the Podesta lobbying firm that was arrested.

Everyone knows the indictments are a sham but the toolbag leftists will claim they have proof now the election was really stolen and try to slink away.

Rosenstein in particular is a slime.

FIDO said...

Trump doesn't respect the system, he sees himself as above the system. That's a good attitude for an entrepreneur, it works less well when running a government that can only function adequately if everyone accepts limits on their own individual actions. Of course there will be pushback. A more subtle mind would have factored this into the equation.


Hey 'subtle mind'. Tell me about Franken. And Motor Voter. And Gore v Bush

Remind me of those IRS hard drives and the Lynch Clinton meeting.

Your subtlety sir, is seriously self serving lay selective.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

BCABT: But, as you know, it is deeper than this. The FBI was investigating something that touched on a core property of the system, clean elections.

This is a very fine example (along with the rest of the comment @9:33) of the phenomenon of no-effort, transparent bullshit that I discussed yesterday. It's the laziness and stupidity of the response, rather than the bad faith and evasiveness, that's of interest here as a psychological phenomenon in a society transitioning from high- to low-trust.

Molly said...

" it is not just wrong but spectacularly wrong to try and steal back an election on the basis of legal theories that would have rendered every former President equally complicit " (Stephen Cooper, commenting above)

In my opinion this is a strong argument politically -- and if the Republicans can make it ("Does my opponent respect the result of the 2016 election?") they can win in fall of 18.

BudBrown said...

Who provided the $2.5 million a month?

Molly said...

I'm not sure if this is the right place to leave this comment, but I want to point out an article (by Bauer?? white house counsel under Obama) in Atlantic about the latest indictment. It is hard for this non-lawyer to understand his article, but I think he is saying: 1. People in the Trump campaign violated campaign laws (in spirit, at least); but 2. It is very hard to make a legal case against US citizens because the campaign laws require subjective interpretations; on the other hand 3. The laws against non-citizen participation in electoral activities are very clear, and it is also very clear that the Russians violated these laws; 4. So you might have thought Mueller would charge the Russians with violating campaign laws; but he didn't; and that's because 5. He wanted to charge them with a conspiracy to defraud (by not making required reports, or by making misleading reports, about electoral activities), and that conspiracy to defraud charge can be expanded to include US-Citizen members of the trump campaign -- charging them with co-conspiracy (you know what I mean) instead of directly charging them with campaign law violations (because of points 2).

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...
This is a very fine example

of failing to provide an argument to match the vitriol.

The low-trust society is being generated by all the nitwits watching MSNBC and FOX and buying into the BS they see there. Unfortunately we now have a president who does this.

Tom said...

The president can fire the FBI Director for any reason and the only checks in this power are Congress’ control of the purse and its impeachment powers. There’s also no law the president has to be factually honest when firing a senior official. If I were Trump, he’s what is say. “I fired Comey because I didn’t trust him. Every time I spoke with him, I sensed he was untrustworthy. Through a series of conversations, I was advised that a terminiation letter would should tie something specific - so the letter you have was drafted. Fine. It lists reasons I didn’t trust Comey - but not all of them. And, politicians make it seem less horrible all the time about these things - nobody is going to spend more time with their families... they got fired. But we try to at least be nice about it. But I fired him because I couldn’t have a liar as head of the FBI and everything he’s done, from leaking classified information to his fake news Tweets say I did the right thing - he’s a bad egg and had to go. Imagine if a president had the courage to do the same with Hoover?”


How can you argue with the the president on this? Heck, we wish one of the Hoover presidents had the balls to fire him. We now pretty much know that Trump’s instincts were right - Comey was hiding something. It’s turns out he was hiding an investigation of the president - but the president just shared his skills for detecting bullshit and he really doesn’t need more than this explanation.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Trump blames FBI for Florida school shooting

MayBee said...

Anybody who has read Comey's tweets since he lost his job can see he had no business being there in the first place.

MayBee said...

The fact that it was leaked to the press the minute Comey privately told Trump about the fake dossier was reason enough to fire Comey.

Lewis Wetzel said...

ARM seems to be behind the times.
FBI apologizes, says it failed to probe tip on school shooter Nikolas Cruz
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article200523359.html#storylink=cpy

PackerBronco said...

Blogger Lewis Wetzel said...
I get the impression that the anti-Trump commenters here are not motivated by respect for the rule of law, but by hatred of Trump. This kind of animus is exactly the kind of thing the judicial system is supposed to defeat.


Except when the judicial system rules against Trump based on their animus of him.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Not behind the times, commenting on Trump's stupidity. Why undermine the FBI? There is no upside for him. It's either childish petulance, paranoia or stupidity. I vote for all three.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Why undermine the FBI?"

-- It isn't undermining an organization to call it to account; well it is, but sometimes, organizations NEED to be checked. I'm not undermining the FBI or the local police saying they missed blazing neon warning signs. I'm not undermining the IRS for saying they corruptly targeted Obama's enemies. I'm not undermining Nixon by saying Watergate was wrong.

The FBI colossally screwed up.

Matthew Sablan said...

"You know, firing Comey was the best move Trump made in his entire first year. It was shocking at the time, but in retrospect, he was hopelessly compromised by the wiretaps."

-- I never thought it was wrong of Trump to fire Comey, maybe not his best move, but not wrong. But, the moment the very next day, Comey leaked classified documents, I was like: Oh, yeah. That was the right move. Who knows how much Comey had illegally leaked before having his access taken away.

Sam L. said...

The Dems are trying to obstruct Trump, but they're three steps behind and dropping back.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Some investigators who suspected that the disturbing allegations in the Steele dossier were true, even if they had not and probably could not be proved, may have harbored good-faith concern that Trump could be blackmailed by Russia."

-- That is the stupidest part of this investigation, unless there were also investigations into whether Obama harbored anti-American feelings due to his close association with Ayers and Wright that might be used to cause him to act against American interests by giving foreign agents and countries more flexibility after the election.

Matthew Sablan said...

"In fact, it is a basis that would have been less controversial had the president been forthright about it, rather than disingenuously relying on Rosenstein’s memo (which based the justification for removal on the director’s public statements about the Clinton emails case)."

-- Comey's dishonesty was mentioned as one of many reasons to fire him. It seems like, for whatever reason, people on the left or who dislike Trump, suddenly think there can only be one reason for something instead of multiple reasons, whenever it is convenient to ignore the obvious reasons (Trump can fire him if he wants to for no reason at all, but hey, let's pretend that some of his weaker reasons are the only reason, and since he gave us more than one reason, let's pretend he's changing his reason instead of listing multiple reasons!)

Matthew Sablan said...

"And, if he doesn't do this. Who cares? Russians influencing how we choose our government isn't so bad, according to y'all."

-- Trump got 13 indictments against Russian trolls; Obama gave Russia more flexibility and held off doing anything until Clinton lost. The failure of the government to stop Russian meddling is squarely in Obama's court, not Trump's.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Trump doesn't respect the system, he sees himself as above the system."

-- He does sometimes just tell people "I won," and that he has a pen and a phone.

Too bad there's a very recent precedent that allows him to do these things. Hell, very recently, we had a president fire an IG that was actively investigating his allies, instead of insisting he wasn't under investigation, and no one cared.

Precedents: It sucks when the shoe is on the other foot.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Now I understand Nixon's problem. He shoulda had the Russians break into the D's Watergate files. And, the Russians should have been advertising and doing PR for him. And, Nixon could have had folks who worked for the Russians as part of his staff."

-- You realize this parallel is closer to Clinton than Trump, right? The indictment clearly states no American willingly worked with these 13 Russian Trolls. But, Clinton did illegally conceal using her campaign money to hire a British foreign national to gather intelligence from Russian sources.

Matthew Sablan said...

"He won the election, but just barely, so this was going to be a difficult subject, yet all he had to do was wait out Comey's investigation. Instead he acted like a guilty man."

-- That's... that's the most totalitarian thing I've seen in awhile. "Since you acted guilty because the investigators lied to you and about you, you must be punished."

Bruce Hayden said...

Looking back, knowing what we know now, what Trump probably should have done after firing Comey, was to have him arrested after he (illegally) leaked their conversations to the press, instead of kinda giving in by letting DAG Rosenstein appoint Comey's predecessor at the FBI as a special prosecutor. But, of course, we didn't know yet how corrupt the top of the DoJ and FBI had become under Obama, Holder, and Lynch (plus, of course, Mueller and Comey). For one thing, DAG Yates had (illegally) put the DoJ National Security Division off limits to the IG, which, of course, the division that deals with FISA and counterintelligence, and which whitewashed Crooked Hillary's private email server usage, then worked with Fusion and Steele to get FISA warrants to spy on Trump's team. (I think that it was she who also authorized greatly expanding which agencies could see unmasked FISA information). Much of what we are learning about what was going on at the top of those agencies is probably coming from that belated IG investigation, filtered through three Congressional committees. The IG uploaded better than a million pages of documents to Congress not too long ago, and we can expect his report next month. Already we have seen a number of resignations and reassignments that are most likely a result of this investigation. The noose is tightening around the miscreants. But, of course, back when Comey was fired, the IG investigation was pretty new, and we just didn't know how bad it was there at the top of those two agencies.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Why undermine the FBI?"
Because it is a corrupt agency?

Matthew Sablan said...

"If there is evidence of misconduct on the part of Comey, Lorretta Lynch, and maybe even Obama but the evidence isn't particularly strong,"

-- The evidence on Comey is damning. He admitted to giving classified government documents he should not have had in his possession to a non-cleared person.

The evidence against Obama is damning. He communicated with Clinton on her secret server (all while telling the American people he knew nothing about it), using a pseudonym (making it clear he knew it was wrong.)

Lynch is a less clear cut case. But, if you wanted to prosecute Obama or Comey, you have the evidence at the FBI's fingertips.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Well, if Trump honestly didn't think anyone was investigating him -- because Comey had told him so repeatedly that was the case -- then how can we interpret anything that he did as an attempt to obstruct an investigation he didn't think was taking place? Perhaps, the Obama plan was to smart by half."

-- The point of the trap was to never let anyone BUT Trump think he wasn't under investigation. By only telling Trump this, everyone else believed he was under investigation, especially since the FBI leaked that he was and wouldn't say he wasn't. Basically, they were trying to gaslight Trump.

Matthew Sablan said...

"And, yes, I realize that that means that Obama could legally tell his DoJ not to prosecute Crooked Hillary for her illegal email server."

-- The best kind of corrupt order is the one you never have to give.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

The FBI suddenly became corrupt around the time of the last election? It is the same organization it has always been, rigid, authoritarian and Republican.

Bruce Hayden said...

Arresting Comey, instead of appointing Mueller, after Comey was fired, could have had two salutary effects. First, if the FBI Director could be arrested for leaking, then no one else in the govt would be safe doing that. A big statement that leaking was not to be tolerated. But maybe as importantly, it would have taken the focus off the (fake) Russian collaboration meme long enough that the appointment of Mueller as special prosecutor may have been avoided.

Matthew Sablan said...

"For one thing, DAG Yates had (illegally) put the DoJ National Security Division off limits to the IG, which, of course, the division that deals with FISA and counterintelligence, and which whitewashed Crooked Hillary's private email server usage, then worked with Fusion and Steele to get FISA warrants to spy on Trump's team."

-- Yates should be charged with obstruction then. Seriously, I understand Democrats never face consequences for unethical or illegal actions in office, but this is getting ridiculous, but cements one of the few plusses I saw to a Trump presidency vs a Clinton one. Trump's unethical or stupid actions will get called to account, and if he does anything illegal, will face consequences. Heck, even just saying stupid things has gotten several courts to check him more rigorously than they'd have ever checked Clinton -- let alone actually DOING anything illegal (that we know of.)

Lewis Wetzel said...

All this terrible Russian hacking went on under the watch of Obama, Lynch, and Comey.
I suppose Obama's JD didn't notice because it was busy burying the exculpatory evidence in the Cliven Bundy case.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The FBI suddenly became corrupt around the time of the last election?"

-- The top echelons have been ridiculously political for decades, or do you not remember Hoover and others?

Lewis Wetzel said...

"The FBI suddenly became corrupt around the time of the last election?"
And you say that you are not behind the times. You're kind of funny, ARM.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I suppose Obama's JD didn't notice because it was busy burying the exculpatory evidence in the Cliven Bundy case."

-- Actually, the reason was Obama wanted to leave Clinton the ability to deal with the mess. Which is why I believe if she had won, like that film maker that got jailed over Benghazi and the attempts to silence film makers who made a movie critical of her near an election, she would have come down like a ton of bricks on a bunch of people, using this as her excuse to punish her enemies. Obama used the IRS; Clinton would've used the FBI.

Lewis Wetzel said...

" . . . rigid, authoritarian and Republican."
Mark Felt brought down Nixon. Say, ARM, do you think that you are a member of the "reality based community"?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Matthew Sablan said...
The top echelons have been ridiculously political for decades


Political is not corrupt. You people are claiming that it is corrupt and Comey should be in jail. This is delusional.

Bruce Hayden said...

@ARM - don't know why you keep insisting that the FBI is Republican. Sure, Mueller and Comey may have been registered as such, but it is clear from what has come out recently that much of, at least, the top, was not Republican. Contributions at FBI headquarters skewed heavily in Crooked Hillary's favor, over Trump, and some there were rabid partisans. Note, the wife of the #2 at the FBI (Dep Dir McCade) ran as a Democrat in VA during the Clinton email investigation (the Clintons having their longtime bagman, Gov McAuliffe give her $700k), and it was apparently in his office that the cabal met, and where the "insurance policy" (in case Crooked Hillary lost) was discussed, and much of the FBI side of the snooping on incoming President Trump was likely organized. Oh, another FBI Democrat is Dr K's daughter.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

"Mark Felt was convicted of having violated the civil rights of people thought to be associated with members of the Weather Underground, by ordering FBI agents to break into their homes and search the premises as part of an attempt to prevent bombings. He was ordered to pay a fine, but was pardoned by President Ronald Reagan during his appeal."

Matthew Sablan said...

"Political is not corrupt. You people are claiming that it is corrupt and Comey should be in jail. This is delusional."

-- It sure seems corrupt when Democrats commit perjury like Abedin and Mills, and nothing happens, while the FBI believed Flynn to be telling the truth or at least not to have intentionally misled them, and yet, here we are.

Also: Comey SHOULD be in jail. He stole classified documents from the government and leaked them to the press.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, it seems corrupt when Manafort gets indicted and his house raided for breaking the exact same laws that Mueller gave the Podesta group a warning over.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, if you don't want to look corrupt, don't have two of your agents talk about an insurance policy against the sitting president while also discussing how to make sure their communications don't get logged for FOIA reasons. And ESPECIALLY make sure they don't talk about it by comparing it with Clinton not having to follow the rules and not facing any real consequences.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

BCABM: The low-trust society is being generated by all the nitwits watching MSNBC and FOX and buying into the BS they see there. Unfortunately we now have a president who does this.

The rise of information "bubbles" is a symptom, not a cause, of the decline and fall of a high-trust society. (In a high-trust society the media still churns out bullshit, but it's consensus bullshit, not the extremely ham-handed us/them propaganda that replaces it. The us/them isn't created by the media; the fracture had to exist before it can be exploited.)

But this comment is another fine example of the phenomenon I was examining. The exemplar of the obtuse "free rider" still cluelessly appeals to the tropes and clichés pertinent to the vanished high-trust society, and has great difficulty in understanding that they're all just so much naked bullshit under the new dispensation. But he continues to wield them in cargo-cult fashion. They're jujus, and he doesn't understand the real cause of their failing power to persuade, manipulate, or intimidate.

This is a very fine example
of failing to provide an argument to match the vitriol.


This is correct in the sense that I'm hardly providing an "argument" here. Just some free-from Saturday night/Sunday morning meanderings on the nature of the sights to be seen as high-trust societies degenerate into the default shithole mode. In "John Pickering" mode, as a lark. Vitriol? Mon vieux, I am paying you the compliment of being willing to entertain the possibility that the transparent bullshit you post here has some source other than just dishonesty allied to stupidity.

Some people are so touchy.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"You people are claiming that it is corrupt and Comey should be in jail. This is delusional."
No, it is common sense.
Quite a few people in leadership positions at the FBI have been fired, retired, or demoted in the last year. Ever wonder why that is, ARM?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Angle-Dyne, the country certainly has fractured to some extent since the decline of the communists, who were an unusually useful tool to enforce conformity for agencies like the FBI. But the time from the end of the WWII to the early 60s was only a relatively brief period of extreme conformity and relative stability, which you apparently happened to like. Before that we had the Ludlow Massacre and the Columbine Mine massacre, extreme violence of corporations and the state against citizens. Compared to that time we are living in a relative paradise of social cohesion. These things go in cycles. I certainly don't want to go back to the red-baiting and nuclear terror that pervaded the 50s and 60s.


Matthew Sablan said...

I didn't want us to go back to the red-baiting either. Yet, here we are. Maybe some day Mueller will get his own Verona papers published.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Hyperbole is how you guys undermine your own arguments. Republican Comey got into a dispute with Republican Trump which two other Republicans Sessions and Rosenstein attempted to resolve by appointing Republican Mueller to investigate. This bears no relationship to the red-baiting of the 50s, except in the minds of hysterics.

Matthew Sablan said...

Adding the word "Republican" in front of Comey doesn't change the fact he illegally took documents from the FBI and illegally leaked them.

And, it does. Mueller is technically right, as McCarthy was. There are Communists/Russians working against America. But, just like McCarthy, Mueller greatly oversold his case.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

BCABM @10:22:

This is the boilerplate response to any and all critiques of liberal panglossianism, the boilerplate deflection from analysis of liberal chicanery and fuck-up-ery, hell, the boilerplate liberal eructation in response to just about anything requiring thoughtful re-evaluation - pretty much word for hackneyed word and immaterial no-shit-sherlockianism for immaterial no-shit-sherlockianism. (Social stability waxes and wanes? Do tell, Mr. Holmes.)

As I said, jujus.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

BCABT:

P.S. If you burn a black buzzard feather while typing the word "Republican", you will convince your interlocutors of the soundness and pertinence of your most pointless assertions.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

One thing I have not seen mentioned.

Is there any connection charged between the companies and individuals indicted and the Russian government?

Any evidence that Putin paid or directed this effort?

hombre said...

McCarthy's analyses, beginning with the Hillary whitewash, have been flawless. As I have said here, there and everywhere, he would make an outstanding AG.

I doubt McCarthy would go for it, but Chris Christie as his number two would be an exciting prospect and would chill the crooked Democrats to the bone.

Mike Sylwester said...

Matthew Sablan at 9:17 PM
The point of the trap was to never let anyone BUT Trump think he wasn't under investigation. By only telling Trump this, everyone else believed he was under investigation, especially since the FBI leaked that he was and wouldn't say he wasn't. Basically, they were trying to gaslight Trump.

Well put.