March 12, 2018

"Mueller Weighs Putting Off Trump Obstruction Decision/Delay would let him wrap up less explosive parts of inquiry/Obstruction decision might undercut probe, one way or another."

Headline and subheadlines at Bloomberg this morning.

I'm a little skeptical of this presentation...
The revelation is a peek into Muller’s calculations as he proceeds with his many-headed probe, while pressure builds from the president’s advisers and other Republicans to show progress or wrap it up....
So who needs to be prodded to wrap it up, just the Republicans? But Mueller breaks the investigation in two because he's choosing to wrap up part of it, but strategically extends the other part on and on, to where? No "pressure build[ing]" about that?
But even if Trump testifies in the coming weeks, Mueller may make a strategic calculation to keep his findings on obstruction secret, according to the current and former U.S. officials, who discussed the strategy on condition of anonymity.
Isn't this leaking worse than any of the substance of what could be called obstruction?

I chose not to read the whole weird article, which is by Chris Strohm and Shannon Pettypiece, so I'll close by saying — and this is knocking me in the head after quoting Charles Dickens in the previous post — I love that name "Pettypiece." Perfect!

66 comments:

David Begley said...

The political consequence of Kate McKinnon's (er, Bob Muller's) decision is that the Dems can go into the midterms and say, "Vote for me. Trump colluded with Russia. Mueller is still investigating. Impeach Trump."

Mueller and his entire team are Dem tools. Tools.

Michael K said...

Mueller probably hopes to drag it out to help Democrats in the midterms but I'm not sure this will help them.

I guess it will stimulate their crazy base but that base is already so crazy that nothing more will help.

tim in vermont said...

Remember back in the days when Bloomberg was there to give the unvarnished truth to investors? Lately it seems like they have just gone into the varnish business. I had a financial advisor prospect going on about global warming and responsible investing. Couldn't answer any of my questions about the viability of long term planning based on government fiat regarding, for example, currently snow covered solar panel farms at high latitudes.

They are being fed propaganda.

Bay Area Guy said...

Release the IG Report! All FBI/DOJ folks who haven't been fired or "asked" to retire (Strzok,Page,Priestap,Ohr) are singing like birds to the IG.

Should be fun.

Sebastian said...

"Mueller breaks the investigation in two because he's choosing to wrap up part of it, but strategically extends the other part on and on, to where? No "pressure build[ing]" about that?" The whole point of the "investigation" was "pressure," ideally to pressure Trump out of office--now just to pressure for pressure's sake. As the collusion narrative collapsed, they had to fall back on "obstruction of justice." They'll milk it for all it's worth.

"Mueller may make a strategic calculation to keep his findings on obstruction secret" Ah, yes, prosecutorial blackmail, for the sake of the rule of law, don't you know.

"Isn't this leaking worse than any of the substance of what could be called obstruction?" No, ma'am. The leaking is done by the right people, the obstruction by the wrong people. And the right people never intend to break the law anyway--at worst, they are guilty of excessive carelessness.

rhhardin said...

Make deep state a separate agency, under the 9th circuit.

rhhardin said...

Having your probe undercut sounds bad.

Dude1394 said...

"Mueller and his entire team are Dem tools. Tools. "

Exactly correct.

So why exactly is it the responsibility of the republican congress to put some sort of limit on this guy and not sleepy jeffey sessions. What a disappointment he has been.

Jersey Fled said...

It seems like the Dem strategy is to keep Republican presidents perpetually under the investigation of a Special Prosecutor for their full term. That way they can investigate every last thing the President does. Plus keep the leak cycle going forever.

Let's face it. None of the indictments Mueller has brought so far have anything to do with Trump colluding with the Russians to influence the election. In almost a year now they haven't shown any real evidence that the Russians even hacked the DNC servers.

This thing should have been wrapped up weeks, if not months ago but for Ahab Meuller's obsession wit bringing down Trump.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

What justice did Trump obstruct? (oh right, he beat Hillary and that is the crime here.)
If Mueller is allowed his tax payer fraud to continue, how is Trump obstructing him?

William said...

Trump and his family keep claiming that they're not guilty. What more evidence of obstruction do you need? That someone in his high position should attempt to influence the judicial process and taint the jury pool by making such outlandish clams is itself a scandal. A President with a greater sense of duty and honor would long ago have admitted his guilt and resigned.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

We need more swamp draining.

Karga said...

There is a concerted effort to damage Trump and it goes without saying everybody including in WH are working to stop Trump in achieving what he wants to achieve. I hope considering his age, he has nothing to loose, he fights back and buries them all.

Rae said...

Mueller is going to slow walk the investigation until just before the mid-terms, then close it with no charges, but releasing some embarrassing information.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

If Trump obstructed justice, why would Mueller "put off" charging him? Oh right, because Trump didn't obstruct justice and the "put off" is a political move by a political witch hunt.

John Tuffnell said...

"Mueller is going to slow walk the investigation until just before the mid-terms, then close it with no charges, but releasing some embarrassing information."

With a statement that certain actions were careless but no reasonable prosecutor would indict based on the facts.

traditionalguy said...

I suspect more delay is needed to complete the complex investigations that Mueller's team has been secretly conducting into the many facets of Clinton Foundation's 20+ years of criminal corruption and also to finalize the plea deals for Mueller and the other Fibbies who covered up of that corruption but now have flipped.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Pettypeice is funny. It's hacktastic(D).

Michael K said...

A President with a greater sense of duty and honor would long ago have admitted his guilt and resigned.

Hilarious. I assume that was parody and well done.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Let's face it. None of the indictments Mueller has brought so far have anything to do with Trump colluding with the Russians to influence the election. In almost a year now they haven't shown any real evidence that the Russians even hacked the DNC servers.”

I don’t think that they get it. “Obstruction” is essentially a process crime. Shutting down the substantive portion of the investigation, but continuing the tax obstruction part, is essentially says that they want to continue investigating Trump until they can invent some way to harm him. Untethering the Obstruction investigation from the substantive one untethers it from any modicum of legal justification. All that is left is legal “gotcha” played, at taxpayer expense, by Dem and Deep State operatives against the duly elected Presidency. Nothing more.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Remind us, oh glorious journolisters, how and why the entire Clinton Crime machine was given a pass over actual crimes.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Bay Area Guy,

No, don't release the IG report. Not yet. Release it around August/September.

As for Mueller, I've been saying for months that I think what he is doing is misdirection or distraction. I think there is a serious investigation going on of people associated with the last admin. Sessions said recently he appointed a special prosecutor in January or so. There is something going on with an investigation of the Clinton Foundation in Little Rock. More and more the stuff turned up by Mueller hurts Demmies.

There are, supposedly, hundreds of indictments ready to go for various misdeeds and so on.

In the meantime nobody is paying attention or doing pre-emptive damage control. What if Mueller is playing President Trump's hand for him? Wittingly or unwittingly.

Or maybe I am all wet on the above and it is just wishful thinking.

One thing that everybody seems to be coming around to, except possibly the I.N.G.A.s of the world is that Mueller has nothing and never will have anything on President Trump. Nor does he have much of anything on people associated with him.

John Henry

Nonapod said...

Part of me wants to parse this weird headline, read this article, and put it all into context. But another part of me is tired of reading tedious Democrat agitprop, speculation, and wishcasting under the guise of "news". What a pickle.

BamaBadgOR said...

The prime candidate for obstruction of justice should be Sally Yates.

PB said...

I thought leaks were a crime?

Lots of Obama administration folks should be in jail.

SteveR said...

What about collusion? Oh wait

Tommy Duncan said...

Sebastian said:

"The leaking is done by the right people, the obstruction by the wrong people. And the right people never intend to break the law anyway--at worst, they are guilty of excessive carelessness."

--Bears repeating.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

It's hilarious watching the commie left obsess over Putin and his strong arm tactics. The left would love to kill off political enemies with polonium.

But but but... we were tricked by Russian facebook bots. Nevermind the anti-Trump rallies ginned up by the same bots.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Another day with no posts about Trump lying. Chuck is not going to be happy!

Michael K said...

"The prime candidate for obstruction of justice should be Sally Yates."

She might yet get caught with her decision to prosecute Flynn after the FBI said he didn't lie.

Maybe disbarred.

Achilles said...

Mueller is negotiating to stay out of jail.

Bob Boyd said...

Mueller's investigation IS obstruction of Justice.

Bay Area Guy said...

@John Henry,

"No, don't release the IG report. Not yet. Release it around August/September."

Well, we have to release something -- how about Release the bosoms of Storm Daniels!

"There are, supposedly, hundreds of indictments ready to go for various misdeeds and so on."

Yes, I think there is a "give and take," tug of war, between IG Horowitz + AG Sessions v Mueller. Kind of a mating dance.

Horowitz/Sessions are saying, "Look Mueller, we got Strzok, Page and Priestap singing about the bullshit Dossier, about the spying, and singing about the leaks. You need to wrap this up. You can indict all the Russian trolls you want, but you go too far, and we sink Comey, we sink McCabe, we sink anyone connected with the bullshit FISA application."

Mueller is saying, "Don't go too hard on the FBI, the institution I love. You can weed out a few isolated bad apples, but nothing else. If you go too hard, I indict Jared, I squeeze Flynn even more, and I haul Trump before a Grand Jury. And if the Dems are likely to win the House, I give them the "dirt" for impeachment."

So, I view the IG Report as the next volley against Mueller. The IG doesn't have subpoena power, it's supposed to be an internal review. But if it finds evidence of crimes, it makes its referral to the DOJ.

It will be interesting to see what resolution is reached between these 2 titanic forces, and who gets trotted out as the sacrificial lambs.



n.n said...

To show progress or monotonic change is easy. The JournoLists who participated in the cover-up of Obama spied, Clinton colluded, and the DNC denied the nomination to the Jew, can do that with the evening news. What will be difficult is to demonstrate productive fleecing of Americans and the left's persistence to force the abortion of a viable president in the sixth trimester since inauguration.

Francisco D said...

I believe that Mueller's job is to keep certain FBI and DOJ employees out of jail. They clearly abused the FISA process and will at the very least lose their law licenses.

If he finds dirt on Trump, he can negotiate a trade. I don't harass/persecute you any more; you don't put my buddies in jail.

Achilles said...

traditionalguy said...

I suspect more delay is needed to complete the complex investigations that Mueller's team has been secretly conducting into the many facets of Clinton Foundation's 20+ years of criminal corruption and also to finalize the plea deals for Mueller and the other Fibbies who covered up of that corruption but now have flipped.

It is possible that Mueller and some others have flipped. But this started as an honest attempt at a coup and it is just trying to stay out of jail. The IG report will come out fairly soon. Sessions outside prosecutor will start releasing information this summer. There will be many indictments.

It will be a long hot summer. Expect the democrats to turn to violence and outright succession trying to defend their inherently exploitative tendencies. We will see how many of the little people follow them.

Just like the last time they tried to secede.

Aunty Trump said...

What does Stormy Daniels have to say about this? Surely this whole Putin thing is psychosexual at root. The Daily Stormy, I mean the New York Times should get right on that!

tcrosse said...

Das Wandern ist des Muellers Lust - Ein guter Mueller geht gerne Wandern.

The Germans have a word for that, too.

Fabi said...

Mueller is also exposed in the Uranium One scandal. He doesn't have as much leverage as many think.

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Sylwester said...

Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller always has been a leaker.

When Mueller was the FBI Director, the FBI leaked to favored journalists -- most prominently to Nicholas Kristof -- that the FBI had identified Steven Hatfill as the anthrax poisoner. Mueller's FBI leaked that information about Hatfill in order to ...

* reassure the public that the FBI was succeeding in its investigation

* pressure Hatfill into self-incriminating actions.

That's how the FBI operated while Mueller was its Director.

Mueller taught his BFF "Crazy Comey the Leaker" how to leak.

Mueller never ever will indict Comey for leaking, even though Comey admitted in televised hearings before Congress that he was a leaker.

Mueller himself is a leaker, and so he sure won't indict Comey for leaking.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I have a contrary take. I think this article was put out by Trump's people. The obstruction is so rediculous. This is what the are supposedly investigating:

When it comes to the obstruction portion of the investigation, Mueller is said to be focused on three main episodes: Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey last May; the drafting of a misleading statement about the purpose of a June 2016 meeting between Don Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and a group of Russians at Trump Tower; and the disclosure that Trump considered firing Mueller last June.

Anyone knows all that is bullshit. I think Trump's people put this out on the hopes Mueller will push back with leaks of other issues they are investigating. I see it as an intelligence operation.

OR this article comes from the Dems in their continuing push to let the rabid base down gently.

Yancey Ward said...

Bay Area Guy wrote:

"The IG doesn't have subpoena power, it's supposed to be an internal review. But if it finds evidence of crimes, it makes its referral to the DOJ."

Technically true, but what is the likelihood that he and his work hasn't already been assigned to a DA and a grand jury by this moment in time? This is stuff that Sessions hasn't recused himself from.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Technically true, but what is the likelihood that he and his work hasn't already been assigned to a DA and a grand jury by this moment in time? This is stuff that Sessions hasn't recused himself from."

I think that this was confirmed by AG Sessions maybe a week ago - that there is a parallel, non-DC, criminal investigation going on right now, presumably working with the IG.

Drago said...

YW: "Technically true, but what is the likelihood that he and his work hasn't already been assigned to a DA and a grand jury by this moment in time?"

Sessions has already stated publicly that a Non-DC based DOJ prosecutor has been investigating ALL concerns raised by Nunes/Gowdy/Goodlatte and this is in parallel with the IG.

Which is no doubt why we find quotes from certain FBI/DOJ types showing up in certain memos issued by certain chairmen of certain congressional committees despite those same committees NOT having interviewed those certain FBI/DOJ types.

It also explains why the dems/LLR's have gone all in on the Stormy Daniels front.

It's all they have left.

Well, besides the usual "(insert republican name here) IS LITERALLY HITLER!" AND "#WarOnWomen!"

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Francisco D said...

If he finds dirt on Trump, he can negotiate a trade. I don't harass/persecute you any more; you don't put my buddies in jail.

Be the obstruction of justice you wish to see in the world.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

If you are familiar with the John Doe case in Wisconsin, you know there is zero chance this gets wrapped up before the midterms. In fact, I just assume the Dems will keep this going for Trump's entire first term, morphing into new charges/accusations as the old go unresolved. The goal is to maximize whatever political damage Dems can gain.

The other scenario would be for Trump to fire Mueller. Dems would love this. They can continue the narrative without needing any supporting evidence. MSM would have a massive field day bashing Trump. Mueller would obtain hero status as well as invites to the best DC parties. This is probably the option that Mueller would prefer.

Ending this now would only benefit Trump and Republicans. That's how you know it isn't going to happen.



The Drill SGT said...

When it comes to the obstruction portion of the investigation, Mueller is said to be focused on three main episodes: Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey last May; the drafting of a misleading statement about the purpose of a June 2016 meeting between Don Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and a group of Russians at Trump Tower; and the disclosure that Trump considered firing Mueller last June.

1. The head of the Executive branch obstructed Justice by firing an Executive Branch Employee?

2. To which Judge or LE Officer was this testimony given?

3. The head of the Executive branch obstructed Justice by NOT firing an Executive Branch Employee?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Suggested alternative headline" Muller Takes a Leak

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Mueller Leaks on Self

Kathryn51 said...

I read the article and I did not see one reference to "source(s) close to the investigation" which is shorthand for "someone on Mueller's team".

Mueller may make a strategic calculation to keep his findings on obstruction secret, according to the current and former U.S. officials, who discussed the strategy on condition of anonymity.

The "peek" inside the investigation is from inside-the-beltway prosecutors and/or former prosecutors ("U.S. officials")who are guessing Mueller's strategy based upon their prior experience with these sorts of probes.

I tend to agree with Bay Area Guy - Mueller is now caught in a trap between the IG report, the ongoing (is it 26 or 27) leak investigations, the Arkansas DOJ office investigation of the Clinton Foundation and the "outside Washington" DOJ investigation into the FISA abuses.

Note the Bloomberg article does not make a single reference to any of those "matters" (to borrow from Ms. Lynch).

Rabel said...

Looking at the source citation in the Bloomberg story we get this: "according to the current and former U.S. officials, who discussed the strategy on condition of anonymity."

Normally we would see a reference that these sources were close to the investigation in some way or had insider information. Lacking that, I don't think this can be labeled as a leak, but simply as a couple of people without inside knowledge speculating to a pair of reporters who needed to meet a deadline.

Rabel said...

Kathryn51 beat me to the the punch.

Yancey Ward said...

As Drill Sgt points out- two of the areas of obstruction focus literally are the opposite of each other- it is obstruction to fire an executive branch official, and it is obstruction to not fire one. To resolve the conflict, it must be a crime to think a thought. What an Orwellian construct that one is.

bolivar di griz said...

The same crew of Carlos slims chimps behind the use nothingburger, are the ones who buy the latest magic beans from riyadh

cubanbob said...

Mueller will keep at it as long as possible and soon enough there will be a competing Special Prosecutor investigating Mueller's witnesses and certain Obama Administration people. It will be ugly and it will be sleazy but it won't be boring.

Kathryn51 said...

Rabel said...
Kathryn51 beat me to the the punch.

Just barely - probably because we both took the time to read the entire article.

GWash said...

You guys are genius'... i'll buy the next round of kool aid...

GWash said...

almost 4 years of unending congressional investigation of clinton and barely laid a glove on her... maybe there wasn't much there... on the other hand if the dems take control of HofReps. we could begin investigating some of the folks who are robbing us blind... where are trump's tax returns?... that would solve a lot of this thrashing...

Brian said...

Does Mueller indict a sitting president on obstruction? Does he want to establish that precedent? Or does he just present a report to the DOJ/Congress. "I could get an indictment but since it's the president that's up to your institutions not mine". What benefit does he get with an indictment? He can tie it up in the courts a lot longer I suppose, but I suspect that it would go to SCOTUS sooner rather than later.

If firing Comey was obstruction then what the heck is he waiting for? The longer he waits the more his case looks like politics and not justice. He fully feels that Trump is guilty of a felony, yet doesn't think it's serious enough to run up to Congress for impeachment to begin? While federal judicial appointments are being confirmed every day?

I think Mueller is in a time box. Yes, he can point to the cases of Manafort and Flynn and put them off a year or two, but the longer he extends any sort of action against the president makes his investigation weaker in the long run. Remember back in November when Flynn had flipped and was telling all right away? Guess those interviews are done with smoke signals or something they seem to be taking a long time.

Big Mike said...

Well, we have to release something -- how about Release the bosoms of Storm Daniels!

@BAG, I imagine that all fake boobs look pretty much alike.p

Michael K said...

almost 4 years of unending congressional investigation of clinton and barely laid a glove on her... maybe there wasn't much there..

What a comic ! Great job.

Mark said...

You know --

There is absolutely nothing to stop some prosecutor in Russia from indicting Mueller.

Drago said...

GWash: "almost 4 years of unending congressional investigation of clinton and barely laid a glove on her..."

Yeah, well the FBI/DOJ giving everyone immunity immediately, allowing the Clinton team members to not turn over evidence, lie under oath and destroy evidence under subpoena really improves one's odds of getting away with something.

I think IG Horowitz might have something to say about that....

Drago said...

In any event, its nice when the Trump/Russia collusion/ Golden Showerz Really Happened For Realz Guys show up to lecture everyone on "kool aid".

By the way GWash, when even the SNL whackjobs are trying to tell their own team something, perhaps you ought to listen.

Or don't.

Doesn't really matter.

Matthew Sablan said...

The fact Clinton's team got away with perjury just makes it weirder Mueller cares about Trump's people lying. I'm pretty sure since only Republicans get held to account in DC that voting for a Democrat is pretty much unimaginable for me now. Even if the other Option is someone even worse than Trump.