May 1, 2018

"The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently provided President Trump’s lawyers a list of questions he wants answered in an interview."

"The New York Times obtained the list; here are the questions, along with the context and significance of each. The questions fall into categories based on four broad subjects..."

3 of the 4 categories center on 4 individuals: Michael Flynn, James Comey, and Jeff Sessions. The 4th category is "Campaign Coordination With Russia."

ADDED: I cannot imagine trying to answer questions about what was going on in my mind at all these precise points in the past. Do you have access to the contents of your mind like that? Even when an interaction is happening, I don't have a clear, precise view of my own motivations and intentions. Thinking about it immediately afterwords, I might puzzle about it, even when I'm under no pressure and it's only one incident. But I would never be able — even if I believed I deserved no criminal punishment — to sit down to a high-stakes questioning about many interactions that occurred over the course of many months and purport to tell the truth about what I was thinking on all those occasions. There would be no way not to lie. Continually.

AND:

252 comments:

1 – 200 of 252   Newer›   Newest»
Charlie said...

This will supply content for those nine person CNN panels for another 3 or 4 months. Yawn.

traditionalguy said...

But...but... Stormy Daniels.

jaydub said...

Were I Trump my response to the first question would be "sod off swampy." My answers to the rest of the questions would be "see answer one."

Curious George said...

I'm starting to wonder if the NYT didn't obtain but actually created the list.

If I was Trump I'd send Mueller a list of questions and tell him "You first, asshole"

rhhardin said...

I am uncurious, except that the released list itself is supposed to work against Trump, I'd assume.

rhhardin said...

Trump should release a list of questions for Mueller.

Have a list war.

etbass said...

Sounds like Mueller has given up on an interview with Trump but wants to stake a claim that he had substantive matters to discuss with the President. Trump ought to stiff arm him with executive privilege and let him wither on the vine.

Or maybe Mueller is baiting Trump to fire him for the leak and try to get Trump impeached.

n.n said...
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Amadeus 48 said...

Oh noes! Flynn, Comey and Sessions! Collusion! This is the end! Help! Help!

Boy, Trump should never have fired Sessions. And Comey! What a fine, upstanding, transparent patriot--it's just that people just keep misunderstanding him. Flynn--did he or didn't he lie? Some say yes, some say no.

During the campaign, Trump should never have made that joke about if the FBI can't find Hillary's missing emails, maybe the Russians can. That is the genesis of this whole fiasco.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I think the leak is from Guiliani. It looks like the list is designed to embarrass Mueller.

After almost 2 years of investigating Trump campaign and Russia this is all they have.

Time to wrap it up.

Amadeus 48 said...

I am with rhhardin. I want to have Trump's questions for Mueller.

n.n said...

After we back a coup in Mexico to address mass emigration from there and nations south of their border, any domestic and foreign parties that support the violation of American civil rights, any corporate interests that support dodo dynasties (e.g. Planned Parenthood, NOW) and other human rights violations in America, and any Mexican influence of elections in America including the NYT, will be subject to a special counsel investigation.

Sydney said...

Some of those questions seem inappropriate. For example, “What was your opinion of Mr. Comey during the transition?” This whole thing is wearing on me, but not in the way those who initiated would hope. I’m not growing disgusted with Trump, I’m growing more and more disgusted with our Congress and its handmaiden bureaucracies.

AJ Lynch said...

1- Why'd you fire Comey?
Answer: How can you even ask that questions? Haven't you seen any of his pitiful, horrible book interviews? The guy is a doofus and a mental mess.

2- Did you tell Comey to let Flynn go?
Answer: No, I said I hoped he'd could see clear to absolve Flynn- not an order not an order.

3- Why'd you threaten to fire Jeff Sessions?
Answer: Isn't it obvious my choice of him was a mistake. During my campaign, I promised to "Lock her up". Well, she's still running around isn't she?

4- Did your campaign coordinate with Russia?
Answer: No way no way- have you found any evidence of that? I didn't think so. Plus what have the Russians been known for? What do they do very well? Nothing right except making Vlad very wealthy - so why the hell would I think they could help my campaign? You must be nuts Bob.

Hagar said...

and quiet flows the Don - somewhat in excess of a "leak."

If genuine, are not most of these rather odd questions for a prosecutor to ask?
Is not "the Law" about what you did, or did not, do?
Since when is what fleeting thought that may or may not have passed through your mind on a past occasion a subject for criminal investigation?

Luke Lea said...

If I were Trump, my inclination would be to answer "None of your business" or "Executive Privilege." Better yet, don't take the questions.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Better yet, video has now leaked of Mueller himself asking the questions.

Humperdink said...

Trump's response: Dear Swamp Rat, "How did the NYT obtain the questions?"

David Begley said...

The questions are crazy.

How did they get leaked? Who leaked? For what purpose? Cui bono?

MikeR said...

I Am Not A Lawyer, but lawyer Althouse, isn't that a crazy list? So many questions about what he was thinking or why he did something.
Obviously no one should answer anything under oath; if you do they can claim you lied because (whatever) and that's a crime. Aside from that it's hard to see any crimes surfacing here.

Professional lady said...

I've suspected for a while that Mueller has been trying to bait Trump into firing him. Then, all hell would break loose and Mueller could portray himself as a martyr instead of someone who has been spinning his wheels for over a year. Either that or the NYT made up a bunch of questions designed to keep this charade alive.

Francisco D said...

David Begley asked ... "Cui bono?"

My guess is that Trump benefits more from the list (leaked or made up) because people are catching on that this Russian collusion hoax was intended to unseat an elected POTUS that the Deep State establishment abhorred.

Trump trolls these people (the Deep State/DNC/MSM complex) with his obnoxious NYC manner and brings out their malevolence for all to see.

Comey , Hillary, CNN, MSNBC and similar others have helped his cause with their pitiful posturing. The man does well in picking his enemies.

AJ Lynch said...

Ignorance is Bliss: that is a classic. Thanks for the laughs!

Bruce Hayden said...

"Were I Trump my response to the first question would be "sod off swampy." My answers to the rest of the questions would be "see answer one.""

A lot of the questions are none of his business.

If I were in Trump's position, I would request that those leaks be investigated. How the heck did WaPo find out about the Flynn call with the Russian Ambassador. Supposedly, it was swept up with the standard Title I FISA wiretap on the Ambassador's phone. But not only was Flynn's identity unmasked, the contents were disclosed to the MSM, the former may be a crime, and the latter almost assuredly a federal felony. All for a putative Logan Act violation? We have felonies being committed in order to investigate non-crimes, in order to embarrass the incoming Trump Administration, and Mueller ignores the felonies to come back to embarrassing Trump, in order to set the stage for Impeachment if the Dems retake the House in November.

Freeman Hunt said...

These questions make it sound like he hasn't been doing anything all this time and has nothing so far. "Did you do anything wrong here? What about here? Here?" By now, shouldn't he be able to point to specific wrongdoings and focus on them?

Rory said...

He keeps asking what Trump was thinking because he wants to prove intent. If he can prove that, then he can find a crime to go with it. The Clintons, and now Comey, thrive in the twilight of a lack of evidence of intent.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Who leaked this to the NYT?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Read this to understand why Hillary lost.
pssst - it had nothing to do with the Russians.

Mike Sylwester said...
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Etienne said...
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traditionalguy said...

If you haven't noticed yet, Mueller is running a sham investigation while the MSM, passionately believing their own propaganda about Watergate redux, falls for it everytime.

It will take as long as Trump wants it to take for Sessions and Horowitz to accumulate the evidence needed to convict the 24,000 indicted corrupt traitors still left. Mueller's game is actually investigating Obama/Soros/Clinton/and the top people at FBI and CIA who have been on the payroll of foreign governments.

Mike Sylwester said...
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Mike Sylwester said...

These questions were leaked by Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller himself.

Mueller is just as much of a leaker as James Clapper and "Crazy Comey the Leaker".

According to Andrew "The Lying Leaker" McCabe, the FBI leadership has authorized leakers, such as McCabe himself.

The system of authorized leakers did not begin when Comey was FBI Director. The system operated already when Mueller was the FBI Director.

When Mueller became the Special Counsel, one of his first tasks was to appoint the authorized leakers on his staff.

Of course, sometimes Mueller himself does the leaking. That's just like Clapper himself sometimes did the leaking.

AllenS said...

What Freeman Hunt said at 7:54 AM

Bruce Hayden said...

I did find the fact that the NYT got the email reference wrong illustrative. They asking about the DNC email that ended up on WikiLeaks. They, of course, called it a hack, when it obviously was an inside job. Nevertheless, Trump was talking about Crooked Hillary's illegal email server, where 30,000 emails of hers magically permanently disappeared, despite being under Congressional subpoena. He logically pointed out that since that server had been so insecure, that the Russians, four years earlier, when the server was still active and connected to the Internet, almost assuredly had hacked the server, and maybe they could be prevailed upon to provide them back to us.

It was a 4 way hit against Clinton and the Dems in one short Tweat. First that she was so arrogant that she would use the illegal server to conduct State Dept business. Second, that she would be so stupid that she would do so on an insecure server, knowing that numerous intelligence services around the world would be constantly trying to eavesdrop on or hack out head diplomat. Third, that she was so arrogant that she would per antsy delete the missing emails, despite them being under Congressional subpoena at the time. And finally, that the FBI and DoJ were so corrupt that they let her get away with it.

Of course, it is highly likely that most of those missing emails were discovered on the laptop shared by Carlos Danger and Clinton's closest aide, Huma Abedilen, only to be miraculously lost again when the laptop disappeared out of a locked car. The trusty FBI at work again.

Birkel said...

Answer I would provide Mueller:

Bob,
Wish in one hand and shit in the other. See which one fills up faster.

(Freeman Hunt: Anything to say about the Stephen Foster statue rwmoval?)

Chuck said...

Althouse said:
...Thinking about it immediately afterwords, I might puzzle about it, even when I'm under no pressure and it's only one incident. But I would never be able — even if I believed I deserved no criminal punishment — to sit down to a high-stakes questioning about many interactions that occurred over the course of many months and purport to tell the truth about what I was thinking on all those occasions. There would be no way not to lie.


Then don't answer. You have a Fifth Amendment right to not self-incriminate. Just don't answer, if you think the answers might incriminate yourself. Trump has that right, just as anybody else does. Although Trump has ridiculed people who do assert that privilege. I can't account for Trump's sarcastic comments about the Fifth Amendment.

But please, Althouse; don't try to sell anybody on the notion that these questions are somehow unfair. Trump has already commented on all of them, in one form or another. Trump seems to be aware that the whole investigation is a "witch hunt." Trump has commented on Sally Yates, and his reasons for firing Flynn, and ex-FBI Director James Comey. Trump is the one and only person who can speak to his own state of mind in connection with his own public statements. There is considerable documentary evidence that casts doubt on several of the narratives that Trump has tried to push through Tweets and his own statements in interviews. These questions are designed to make Trump answer clearly, in unambiguous language, as opposed to the vague pronouncements and threats in his Twitter account and his public assertions.

The bottom line, Althouse; in an FBI investigation, they take you both literally AND seriously.

Mike Sylwester said...

Amadeus 48 at 7:13 AM
During the campaign, Trump should never have made that joke about if the FBI can't find Hillary's missing emails, maybe the Russians can. That is the genesis of this whole fiasco.

That happened at the end of July 2016.

Before then, the accusation was only that Trump was being blackmailed by Russian Intelligence.

That blackmail accusation was not based on any facts at all. Rather, the Trump-haters who headed the Intelligence Community simply presumed that Trump was such a sleazy businessman doing such sleazy business with Russians that Russian Intelligence must have obtained blackmail material about him.

Eventually, surely, the Intelligence Community would be able to prove its blackmail presumption, the Trump-haters there believed. To this day, however, the evidence that Trump was being blackmailed is ZERO.

Christopher Steele was paid to concoct the blackmail evidence, because the Intelligence Community was not able to obtain any such evidence.

After Trump made his joke at the end of July, the accusation was changed along the lines that Trump was colluding with Russian Intelligence to steal and reveal the Democrats' e-mails.

And so, Steele henceforth was paid to concoct evidence along those new lines.

Steele got paid big money to concoct evidence that the Trump-haters in the Intelligence Community presumed to be true but needed to prove eventually to the public.

The only evidence is Christopher Steele's say-so that he was told so by insiders of Russian Intelligence.

Bay Area Guy said...

Where is Mueller's penetrating list of written questions to the 13 Russian trolls he already indicted?

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I guess successful prosecutors have to be dishonest enough to set perjury traps, and then stupid or ignorant enough to believe they have proved something important. I remember reading the Radosh and Milton book on the Rosenbergs in the 80s--before a lot of evidence emerged post-Cold War. They showed pretty convincing evidence that Julius Rosenberg was guilty as charged (whether his execution was an excessive penalty is another question). On Ethel they had their doubts, and they had discovered that when Julius and Ethel were on death row, FBI agents set up in a nearby cell, ready to conduct an interrogation if either Rosenberg decided to talk. For Julius one of the first questions was: "Did your wife have any knowledge of your activities?" Any knowledge? And you're frying her?

Bruce Hayden said...

Couple corrections/additions.

Should have been: "Third, that she was so arrogant that she would PERMANTLY delete the missing emails, despite them being under Congressional subpoena at the time."

And the Weiner/Abdelin laptop was discovered and lost several months after Trump's infamous Tweat about Crooked Hillary's emails.

jack hoysted said...

my response as a lawyer, even a retired one, is after all this time, all this angst, is this all you have got?

a bunch of questions no President need answer, i mean, what were you thinking when.....? answer, none of your fooking business.

this Mueller bloke was the one who didn't respond when advised of lots of terrorist types were training at flight schools pre 9/11, all too hard he said, when it wasn't at all.

conclusion, he was a dud then, and is a dud now.

Hagar said...

How in the world do you prove anything from what Trump now might say he thinks he remembers of what might have passed through his mind a year or two ago?
This is BS.

And all of us have actual criminal thoughts and impulses from time to time but manage to control them before we act on them. Only in communist countries has this been considered "wrongthink" and subject to criminal prosecution.
Western courts have insisted on evidence of actual criminal acts.

AJ Lynch said...

Chuck- after what we have learned in the last 18 months about the FBI, it's hard to believe it is a serious organization nor that it does competent investigations.

Hagar said...
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Left Bank of the Charles said...

The truthful answer to most of these questions would be, “I wasn’t thinking anything, I was talking out of my ass.”

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Why did MSNBC show up at a anti-Trump rally that was created by Russian trolls?

Birkel said...

There was no threat to fire Sessions. Leftists have got Republicans believing that nonsense.

Trump created the NECESSARY political distance between himself and the DOJ so that Sessions' appointees (Huber, et al ) could pursue IG Horowitz' recommendations without looking like extensions of the president.

Why is that so hard to appreciate?

Hagar said...

Dershowitz thinks Mueller is trying to get Trump talking loosely like he does, and then catch him contradicting himself about something, anything, and,"Aha!"

rich hahn said...

I'm surprised Trump didn't tell him to shove it!

It sounds like after over a year of investigation, Mueller has given up on finding anything and has resorted to "Trump, are you guilty?"

Mike Sylwester said...
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Mike Sylwester said...

The reason why the RussiaGate investigation is properly called a witch-hunt is that it is similar to the Salem witch-hunt in the 1600s.

Christopher Steele and Cody Shearer are like the few Salem girls who perceived Satanic activities that normal people could not perceive.

Russia is like Satan, meddling in decent society.

The overpaid loons who head our Intelligence Community are like the Puritan theologians who provided respected intellectual support for the tiny number of loony accusers.

Trump is like the odd, troublesome women in Salem who were accused of being witches.

The gullible, complacent citizens who tolerate and even credit the RussiaGate witch-hunt now are like the gullible, complacent citizens who tolerated and credited the witch-hunt in Salem in the 1600s.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Then don't answer. You have a Fifth Amendment right to not self-incriminate. Just don't answer, if you think the answers might incriminate yourself. Trump has that right, just as anybody else does..."

He also has Executive Privilege over answering many of those questions. He doesn't have to answer to any question about what he was thinking after he was sworn in as President. None, and no court is going to make him. None of Mueller's friggen business. Sure, I would love to find out why Obama shipped all those billions of dollars, including pallets of cash, to the Iranian mullahs, as do millions of other Americans, but no court is going to allow that question be asked him. Even though it was incredibly stupid. And did he lie through his teeth whe he assured the American people that they could keep their doctors and their premiums would decline by $2500 a year? Or was he, again, just incredibly stupid? Inquiring minds want to know - but very likely are never going to know.

Bruce Hayden said...

I should add to my previous point about asking Obama about his Cash for Mullahs program, that the big news yesterday was the massive intel dump by the Israelis that essentially showed that the Iranians had been lying through their teeth about their nuclear program, which painted Obama a fool for his deal with them.

Mike Sylwester said...

During the long career of Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller, did he ever fire anyone?

If so, Mueller should explain publicly what was going through his own mind when he fired that person.

Mueller should tell the public what proper thinking a boss should have when he fires a subordinate.

Based on Mueller's model of his own thinking when he fired people, the public will be able to judge Trump's thinking.

rehajm said...

All the watchya thinkin' stuff, like a jr high school girl/Jim Comey wrote the questions.

CWJ said...

Robert S. Mueller III

OMG, the world has been subjected to three of them!?! Some things are just too cruel.

Mike Sylwester said...

Bruce Hayden at 8:11 AM
Of course, it is highly likely that most of those missing emails were discovered on the laptop shared by Carlos Danger and Clinton's closest aide, Huma Abedilen, only to be miraculously lost again when the laptop disappeared out of a locked car. The trusty FBI at work again.

I think that the laptop that was stolen out of the car was Seth Rich's laptop.

Richard said...

The deep state, in the guise of Mueller, is the thought police.

Michael said...

He is not going to be compelled to answer an y of these idiotic questions so there will be no taking of the fifth. We have descended now to a point where Kafka would be embarrassed at the inane and transparent questions. Unimaginative at best. Better that Mueller should pose the questions in a form requiring yes or no answers. Then we would see the truth of this farce.

Birkel said...

I cannot understand why a person would want to be the uncritical supporter of Lavrentiy Beria.

But here fopdoodle extraordinaire Chuck is. And he plays the role well. What sort of stooge wants to be the guy cheering "show me the man and I will show you the crime"?

Sick Chuck. Sick!

Jupiter said...

Hagar said...

"And all of us have actual criminal thoughts and impulses from time to time but manage to control them before we act on them."

It's not getting any easier.

Michael K said...

Maybe Mueller is writing his own book.

The questions I saw are those that a historian might ask his subject.


Blogger Amadeus 48 said...
I am with rhhardin. I want to have Trump's questions for Mueller.


My first one would be "Let's talk about Whitey Bulger." How many innocent people went to prison to protect Bulger ?

Mike Sylwester said...

President Trump should agree to be questioned by Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller on the condition that the procedures will be the same as the procedures of the Salem Witch Trials.

Furthermore, Mueller should have to dress like a 17th Century magistrate and should have to use the words "Thee" and "Thou" instead of "You".

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Chuck said...

Then don't answer. You have a Fifth Amendment right to not self-incriminate. Just don't answer, if you think the answers might incriminate yourself.

You miss the Professor's clearly made point. It is not that Trump did something illegal and therefore can't answer honestly without incriminating himself. It is that nobody would remember what they were thinking at all those various times. The only honest answer to many of those questions is I don't remember. Which will of course be portrayed by Trump's various dishonest opponents as evasion and an attempt to cover up crimes.

Mark Jones said...

"My thoughts, feelings, and opinions about anyone are irrelevant. Did I *do* anything you can point to and accuse me of violating a law? No? I didn't think so."

Christy said...

Trap.

Hagar said...

Congress, as a political body, may be entitled to ask what is on the President's mind for clarification, if he is asking them to pass some legislation and, if so, what should be the purpose of it and exactly what would he like to see it contain.

The special counsel, as an agent for the Justice Dept., should be restricted to ask what, if anything, did the President do.

Mike Sylwester said...

I have become interested in Q (aka Q Anon), who is a mysterious person who writes enigmatic messages on 8chan. I think that Q is Eric Trump, who writes these messages with his father's input and approval.

On his Twitter page, Eric Trump posted an aerial photograph of a golf course, showing the rising sun, which looks like the letter Q.

This Twitter post is shown on the website Praying Medic, on this video, from 13:30 to 14:15.

As I understand some of Eric Trump's Q messages, the RussiaGate situation includes the following developments.

On the day before Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller accepted Rod Rosenstein's appointment to become the Special Counsel, Mueller and Trump had a long conversation. Later, Trump joked to journalists that he had been interviewing Mueller for a nomination to the position of FBI Director. However, Mueller already had served as FBI Director for 12 years and so could not return to that position.

What Trump really talked about with Mueller on that day was that Mueller, in his new position as Special Counsel, would be compelled to allow a very secret investigation of the communications and activities of his Special Counsel staff.

That staff had been selected by the Resistance members in DOJ/FBI and so had been filled with Resistance members -- for example, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page -- who surely would leak to journalists. Trump would assign a super-secret team to investigate all the staff's communications, and Mueller would allow Trump to do so.

This super-secret investigating team was headed by Michael Flynn. According to Trump's plan, Mueller eventually would indict Flynn for perjury, and Flynn would plead guilty, but this all would be a deceptive act to conceal Flynn's real activities.

By studying the communications of the Resistance members on the Special Counsel staff, Flynn's team learned how Resistance members communicate secretly with each other. For example, they collaboratively edit e-mails that never are sent. As another example, they communicate through Internet games.

The Resistance members who have been identified by Flynn's investigation are not only on the Special Counsel staff -- they are in other government positions and in the private sphere.

Some such Resistance communications have even discussed assassinating President Trump.

During the Special Counsel's existence, Trump has publicly criticized Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein and the witch-hunt itself, but these complaints are deceptive acts. Sessions and Rosenstein know about the super-secret investigation, and Trump appreciates that the Special Counsel's activities have provided valuable intelligence about the Resistance. Trump never has criticized Mueller.

Flynn's investigation of the Resistance is coming to an end, and soon Mueller will indict many Resistance members.

Erik Trump has become increasingly nonchalant about concealing his Q alter ego. He even posts clues on his Twitter page, such as the photograph of the Q-shaped sun over the golf course.

Now, however, it's too late for the Resistance to cover their tracks. The necessary evidence of the Resistance's communications and activities has been collected. The growing realization that Eric Trump is Q will panic the Resistance members and cause them to make even more self-incriminating mistakes.

-----

The DOJ Inspector General's discovery of Strzok's and Page's communications happened separately from Flynn's investigation.

-----

Here is a video titled Q Anon Made Simple.

EDH said...

Trump should answer his inquisitor thusly: "unfortunately, Director Mueller, I didn't not immediately write a bunch of phoney "contemporaneous memos" to preserve the narrative I was building like your buddy, Jim Comey."

grackle said...

It was obvious from the start to me that the Special Counsel’s purpose was to depose Trump in any manner possible. The bogus premise (Russian collusion by the Trump campaign) was a strong clue. The problem for Mueller in that direction is that all the public evidence points toward Hillary, the Obama administration, the DNC and the anti-Trump Deep State as the actual colluders.

Mueller embedding George Papadopoulos in the Trump post-election Whitehouse for the purpose of trying to urge and entrap members of Trump’s staff into colluding with Russia was a failure. No one was interested in Papadopoulos’s ideas, which is not surprising since the man was merely a volunteer gopher delegated to filling the coffee machines and making sure donuts were available in the break rooms.

Perjury traps are one technique employed but are somewhat ineffective since Trump can and I believe will pardon those that are unfairly ruined by the witch-hunt. That presidential ability must somewhat curb the temptation of those wrongfully caught up in the witch-hunt to invent evidence against Trump in order to stay out of jail.

The fall-back-go-to modus operandi, a deluge of leaks (of which the Special Counsel is a veritable Niagara), has also been rather weak, mostly missing their mark.

The Special Counsel, with the eager assistance of the MSM and the eGOP in Congress, set out to depose Trump or at least ruin his credibility as a POTUS. The trouble is that unlike previous victims this particular target has found an effective way of striking back: The presidential tweets - which NeverTrumpers everywhere condemn and devoutly wish he would stop. Their incessant whining about Trump’s tweets proves the effectiveness of the tweets.

Trump is slowly but surely destroying Mueller’s credibility.

Big Mike said...

Q: What was going through your mind when you fired James Comey?

A: I was thinking that I had met a lot of crap weasels during my time developing properties in New York City, but here in front of me was the slimiest crap weasel I had ever met. Or if not the slimiest, then surely among the bottom-most four or five. How could anyone be so lacking in the ability to judge character as to propose this dog turd for janitor, much less head if the FBI?

Oso Negro said...

@Chuck - Efraim Zimbalist Jr is dead. The real FBI in 2018 doesn't seem a fraction as serious.

buwaya said...

I'm with Althouse.
If asked such questions myself, about a state of mind a year or more past, the only truthful answer would be "I don't remember". The lie would be to pretend to answer with substance, filtered by a year of hindsight.

Yancey Ward said...

It is a odd selection of questions- almost none of the sort, "What actions did you take?" Pretty much all address a state of mind, and all seem to be directed at an obstruction argument.

Trump won't answer these questions, and doesn't even have to invoke the 5th amendment in order to refuse to answer them- though I can see Chuck is eagerly stroking himself in the asinine belief that Trump might invoke the 5th.

Who leaked this list? Considering how inept and conniving the list makes Mueller and his team look, I wouldn't be surprised to learn this leak came from the Trump legal team. I would be tempted to leak this list if I were Trump.

Mike Sylvester,

While I would like to believe all of that is occurring, I don't think any of it is grounded in truth. I think Mueller was brought to the White House by Rosenstein in the hopes that Trump would appoint Mueller to replace Comey while asking Congress for another waiver to allow it, and Trump said no to the plan. Rosenstein only then decided to make Mueller the Special Counsel. I thought at the time that Mueller was probably a straight shooter as described, but the accumulated evidence to date suggests that I was wrong and that Mueller is just part of the attempted coup.

mockturtle said...

I cannot imagine trying to answer questions about what was going on in my mind at all these precise points in the past. Do you have access to the contents of your mind like that?

No, but Comey would. He lives entirely in his own mind. It's events going on around him that he can't access.

Original Mike said...

”I cannot imagine trying to answer questions about what was going on in my mind at all these precise points in the past. Do you have access to the contents of your mind like that?”

Seems to me “I don’t recall” is an appropriate and honest response to a lot of them.

John Pickering said...

Ann is surely being disingenuous here. Of course she knows the difference being telling a lie, telling the truth, and not remembering. She also knows the penalties for lying to federal investigators. On the other hand, as we know, Ann writes things down every day, and she'd be able to remember what she was thinking on a given day by referring to what she wrote. And if she didn't remember, she would tell the truth and say she didn't remember, or if she did remember but realize her answer might incriminate her, she could assert her right not to self-incriminate. That's what normal law-abiding people do. Ann's saying that she would lie continually doesn't make sense -- she's not fundamentally dishonest, the way the President is. Those of Ann's readers who believe the Mueller probe will result in its bringing down itself as well as Comey, Lynch and Hillary will probably have more outrage to deal with rather shortly. They don't realize who is leaking here, because they don't read the newspapers like Ann does.

Hagar said...

Trump is slowly but surely destroying Mueller’s credibility.

Trump isn't, but Mueller is certainly making a job of it!

Two-eyed Jack said...

I think the problem with the questions is more profound than simply the inability to remember accurately, but the problem in thinking of a unitary "mind" with contents that can be explained as some sort of logical sequence. If you watch any of James Comey's interviews you will see him struggle to explain what was in his mind at various times and he constantly fills gaps with vague suppositions. Therapists use questions like these as openings for clients to get insight into the interplay of conscious and unconscious motivations. Answering questions about decisions under threat of perjury is unproductive and inappropriate. The best answer, under the circumstances, would probably be "What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?"

Michael said...

Trump should simply state: This is an obvious perjury trap. No one could answer such a list of questions truthfully and consistently in a hostile interrogation. I decline to meet with Mr. Mueller, and if subpoenaed I will assert my rights under the 5th Amendment. If Mueller has something let him show it, and if not - begone! You have sat long enough for any good you have been doing.

As to Mr. Pickering above, he is simply assuming the conclusion ("fundamentally dishonest, the way the President is.")

Richard said...

Trump should answer Mueller's questions in the manner of Marcel Proust.

No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory—this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.

William said...

It is my perception that Mueller is more interested in finding proof of Trump's guilt than in finding out the truth. It is also my perception that a lot of people share my perception......Mueller's first task was to convince people that he was a disinterested seeker of the truth regarding the allegations against Trump. He has failed in that task.

mccullough said...

Mueller has nothing. Time to go back to representing the NFL. Players still beating the shot out of their girlfriends, fiancées, and wives. Got to keep churning out $10 million “internal investigation” reports that exonerate Goodell and his staff.

Tom Brady didn’t turn over his cell phone to you douchebags investigating “Delategate,” which this Russian Collusion investigation is the optical equivalent of.

Go home, Sideshow Bob. Trump is president and you are an NFL hack lawyer who cost the US taxpayers $5.5 million in a payout to the “Antrax Killer,” another one of his fuckups.

Only in DC do guys like Mueller and Comey get called Men of Integrity. They have none, and neither do the people who say they have integrity.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

John Pickering said...

Ann's saying that she would lie continually doesn't make sense -- she's not fundamentally dishonest, the way the President is.

Read more carefully. What the professor said was

But I would never be able...to sit down to a high-stakes questioning...and purport to tell the truth about what I was thinking on all those occasions. There would be no way not to lie.

There would be no way not to lie and purport to tell the truth about what she was thinking.

Trump could avoid lying by not answering the questions. Which would be treated as obstruction by his opponents. He could justify not answering questions by stating that he does not remember. Which would be treated as lying by his opponents.

Unknown said...

There would be no way not to lie. Continually.

That's the Kafka trap. If one is being honest and is asked the same questions over a period of time, the story will drift. No one has a perfect memory. Perjury! The only way to have a consistent story over time is to rehearse it and some parts will be fictional/lies simply to fill in the details. Perjury!

narayanan said...

speech acts, performance acts (not speech but 1A protected)

progressives want to weaken 1A - "prohibited think" acts of non-progressvies


Mueller wants to go to USSC to enact progressive agenda.

Sebastian said...

"I cannot imagine trying to answer questions about what was going on in my mind at all these precise points in the past. Do you have access to the contents of your mind like that? Even when an interaction is happening, I don't have a clear, precise view of my own motivations and intentions."

Now, now, there you go again, analyzing things like an honest person

"But I would never be able — even if I believed I deserved no criminal punishment — to sit down to a high-stakes questioning about many interactions that occurred over the course of many months and purport to tell the truth about what I was thinking on all those occasions. There would be no way not to lie. Continually."

Tough. I guess you are not interested in playing Bob's little game. But he'll happily trap you, or someone like you. Yeah, yeah, you can remain silent etc. etc. (but check with Mike Flynn on that).

The rule of law in these US of A.

Michael K said...

The growing realization that Eric Trump is Q will panic the Resistance members and cause them to make even more self-incriminating mistakes.

Interesting speculation. Has there ever been a politician this secretive and conspiratorial that didn't fuck it up ?

L Beria would love this. Tom Clancy's CIA could probably do it but not the real clowns that run our Intel.

Paul said...

Bet Trump just answers, 'Beats me' as for what was going on in his mind.

He needs to do a Hillary... 'not to my knowledge', 'I don't recall'...

Ask stupid questions... give them vague answers! After all, does Mueller expect Trump to be some kind of human tape recorder?

Mike said...

President Trump should agree to be questioned by Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller on the condition that the procedures will be the same as the procedures of the Salem Witch Trials.

I prefer Sharyl Atkinsson's proposal to give Trump the Hillary treatment:

- No notes
- Not under oath
- Write an exoneration letter beforehand
- Allow Flynn and Manafort to sit in as Trump's legal counsel
- Issue immunity to Trump's family members before any sit-down

Yeah that would be fair.

Rance Fasoldt said...

Lying President - why bring Obama into this?

Balfegor said...

I don't know why everyone is so het up about the list (on both sides). I don't think it tells us anything meaningful about the direction of the investigation. I mean, even if the investigation were headed nowhere, towards no findings at all with respect to the President, Mueller kind of has to ask these questions, doesn't he? How would it look if he said "we're investigating cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia" and he never even asked the question (assuming the President gives him the opportunity)? He has to cover his bases even if those questions are not likely to produce any useful information.

Sure there's risk to the President, if he chooses to ramble on off-the-cuff. He seems like he'd be a very difficult witness to prep. But frankly, a lot of salesman types and CEO types are difficult witnesses to prep because they're used to dialogue in a particular mode, and the mode of these kinds of interviews -- the way language and phrasing is picked apart -- is highly artificial. The usual advice is think about the question carefully without saying anything, then to answer the question as briefly and economically as possible, and then to shut up and wait politely for the next question. If the witness is being too reticent, to the point of seeming actively unhelpful, you can tell him during a break to be a little more expansive. That advice is about 180 degrees the opposite of Trump's favoured approach.

Humperdink said...

Not sure if it was mentioned up-thread, but the correct answer to all questions is as follows:

"I don't recall."

It was highly successful for a former SOS who could not walk a straight line, sober or drunk.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...
Who leaked this to the NYT?


If you have to ask this question you haven't been paying much attention over the last two years.

Francisco D said...

Paul said ... "He needs to do a Hillary... 'not to my knowledge', 'I don't recall'..."

I took a few Continuing Education Forensics classes for psychologists in my career.

Each and every presenter (lawyers, psychologists and lawyer psychologists) gve the same advice about testifying and giving depositions.

Three answers should be used 99% of the time:

1. Yes;

2. No and;

3. I don't know.

It was impressed on me not to give any extensive answers to lawyers because their job is to manipulate words and meanings.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

So Hillary & her pals break the law/take illegal actions but the FBI determines (before interviewing anyone, of course) that she didn't have bad intent so they don't think charges are appropriate. That despite the fact that intent isn't an element of the actual law in question. Sure, ok.

So Trump & his pals didn't break any law and acted within his power as the President in firing the terrible Comey but they're supposed to be guilty of the crime of obstruction of justice because the intent of their legal actions was bad/illegal. Sure, ok.

The majesty of the rule of law. Gotta love it.

johnhenry100 said...

Now, according to Mueller, there is no list of questions. It was someone in the WH that made up the questions based on conversations with Mueller's office.

Not only that, but the questions, according to Mueller, were not even written by a lawyer. He can tell by the grammar.

This is just bizarre.

My suspicion is that Mueller's team leaked the questions and he is now regretting it.

Or, perhaps, the WH did make up the questions then leaked them to the Times to make it appear that they came from Mueller's office. Is the NY Times that stupid? (Yes, for something juicy like this. Too good to check!)

It reminds me of a Roger Stone claim, or hint, that he was behind the leaked memo to Dan Rather. That Rather was correct with the fake but accurate. Stone intimates that he released the memo in the way he did to make it seem fake.

The intimation was in the doco "Get me Roger Stone". On NetFlix, I think. Or Amazon Prime. OTOH, it is Roger Stone. He may just be saying this to muddy pools, that damn sort of thing.

Did he really? I don't think he is saying. Do I care? Not really, I love to see Dan Rather still sputtering.

John Henry

John Henry

Bay Area Guy said...

I have been asked by attorney Jay Sekulow to assist in Trump's preparation of the Mueller interview. Here was my first draft:

1. What did you know about phone calls that Mr. Flynn made with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, in late December 2016?

I knew that Kislyak could kiss my ass.


2. What was your reaction to news reports on Jan. 12, 2017, and Feb. 8-9, 2017?

More fake news

3. What did you know about Sally Yates’s meetings about Mr. Flynn?

Who the fuck is Sally Yates?

4. How was the decision made to fire Mr. Flynn on Feb. 13, 2017?

I thought about it and then I did it.

5. After the resignations, what efforts were made to reach out to Mr. Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?

I dunno, this is all legal hocus-pocus

6. What was your opinion of Mr. Comey during the transition?

What is my opinion? How the fuck can you ask me that? He hit 3 fuckin' home runs!

7. What did you think about Mr. Comey’s intelligence briefing on Jan. 6, 2017, about Russian election interference?

I thought it sucked.


8. What was your reaction to Mr. Comey’s briefing that day about other intelligence matters?

That it sucked too.

AJ Lynch said...

Hoodlum Doodlum:

Good point - bet no one at the FBI ever asked Hillary wtf was she thinking in setting up her private server.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...The bottom line, Althouse; in an FBI investigation, they take you both literally AND seriously.

Is that what they do in an investigation, Chuck?
I thought what they did was preemptively offer immunity to everyone possibly involved--that's what they did for Hillary's associates, right?
I thought what they did was ask questions to without putting anyone under oath and without recording the interview at all--that's what they did for Hillary Herself, right?
I thought what they did was allow a subject/target of the investigation to claim hear part of the case against her on the premise that she was the attorney of another subject of the investigation (contrary to actual documented FBI protocol)--that's what they did for Hillary & Cheryl Mills, right?
It thought what they did was turn over physical evidence to subjects of an investigation so those subjects could permanently destroy that evidence even though it was under subpoena by other parties--that's what they did for Hillary and her pals, right?

But yeah, no, keep telling me about how serious & professional & by the book the FBI is, Chuck. Keep telling me to ignore the actual documented behavior of Comey & Strzok & Page & McCabe and all the rest.
Trust the FBI, says Chuck. Who are we to doubt him?!

Achilles said...

Pathetic showing by the leftists today.

Looks like even they have internalized that the game is over.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

johnhenry100 said...

Not only that, but the questions, according to Mueller, were not even written by a lawyer. He can tell by the grammar.

The New York Times claims to have "obtained the list" of questions. However, their article says the questions "are not quoted verbatim". Why would you not quote them verbatim? That makes no sense if you actually obtained the list

It looks to me like they did not obtain the list of questions sent to Trump. Someone on Mueller's team had the list of topics to be asked of Trump, but as an early draft, before the exact questions had been written in lawyer-speak. They leaked that to the NYTs. That would explain the lack of verbatim quotes, while still including many questions with precise dates ( which probably could not have been done if someone was leaking just based on their memory of something they had seen. )

If so, the leak must have come from Mueller's team, not Trump's.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Whoever was behind these leaks should be jailed, immediately. And their whores scattered to the four corners of the earth.

Chuck said...

You miss the Professor's clearly made point. It is not that Trump did something illegal and therefore can't answer honestly without incriminating himself. It is that nobody would remember what they were thinking at all those various times. The only honest answer to many of those questions is I don't remember. Which will of course be portrayed by Trump's various dishonest opponents as evasion and an attempt to cover up crimes.


I reject that point by the professor. I prep people for depositions every month. It is perfectly okay to say, "I don't remember" if that is the truth. It may be a good defensive pasture to say that you don't remember something if there is mere doubt about it.

But it is lying, to say that you don't remember something when in fact you do. Trump is quite welcome to say, "I don't remember," if that is true. Or he can cite the Fifth, or Executive Privilege. But these questions are all about things on which Trump has expressed some concern, view, or opinion.

If indeed the story is true (I sure don't know about that), and if Trump is getting written questions in advance of any answers and/or testimony, Trump has the time and the liberty to consult records, talk with counsel and otherwise be clear about what he knows, what he doesn't know, what he remembers, what he doesn't remember, and whether any of his recollection(s) are refreshed by the review of any documents.

It's considerable deference; and given that Trump is the president, I think it is perfectly acceptable deference, although Trump doesn't often act like a president.

Chuck said...

I see all of the comments presuming that the Mueller team leaked the questions.

Why that presumption?

The questions were leaked, in an unclear form (Notes of questions? Recollections of questions from a discussion of them?), AFTER the Mueller team discussed them with Trump lawyers. I don't see why the presumption is on Mueller as the leaker. I am not aware of any leaks that are attributable to the Muller team. There are dozens and dozens of White House leaks. This leak seems to have occurred very shortly after Trump lawyers were notified.

Mike Sylwester said...

Michael K at 11:07 AM
Tom Clancy's CIA could probably do it but not the real clowns that run our Intel.

Q's name for the CIA is "The Clowns".

Inga said...

3 ways Trump can answer without lying.

1. I don’t remember.
2. I plead the fifth.
3. The truth.

“Those of Ann's readers who believe the Mueller probe will result in its bringing down itself as well as Comey, Lynch and Hillary will probably have more outrage to deal with rather shortly.”

So true.

“They don't realize who is leaking here, because they don't read the newspapers like Ann does.”

Most likely the leak came from the Trump team. Reading right wing rags, they probably didn’t read anything that would indicate that.

Inga said...

“Whoever was behind these leaks should be jailed, immediately. And their whores scattered to the four corners of the earth.”

LOL!

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Looks like even they have internalized that the game is over.”

Delusional.

“Those of Ann's readers who believe the Mueller probe will result in its bringing down itself as well as Comey, Lynch and Hillary will probably have more outrage to deal with rather shortly.”

It’s fascinating to see the level to which some commenters go in internalizing the many conspiracy theories spinning around this Trump Russia scandal. What is dangerous about this is when they eventually realize that what they believed is bogus, they will lose their marbles a little bit in some cases, in others a lot. Then there are those that will never believe the truth, the sad cases.

FIDO said...

Wasn't there an amendment about self incrimination?

Because if we are playing this game, expect your next Democrat president to get ZERO done. Absolutely nothing done.

Democrats, stop being so frigging stupid!

Sammy Finkelman said...

I think Mueller is really looking for what the answer is NOT but he asks what WAS.

Granted.

But some of these questions are virtually impossible to answer.

Maybe a biographer, after weeks and months of interviews, could get at an answer.

Sammy Finkelman said...

The only honest answer to many of those questions is I don't remember.

Well, I don't remember exactly.

Balfegor said...

Re: Chuck:

The questions were leaked, in an unclear form (Notes of questions? Recollections of questions from a discussion of them?), AFTER the Mueller team discussed them with Trump lawyers. I don't see why the presumption is on Mueller as the leaker. I am not aware of any leaks that are attributable to the Muller team.

There have been a lot of anonymous leaks from people "familiar with the investigation" or "with knowledge of [X]" (the instance that comes most readily to mind is the erroneous reports about the Deutsche Bank subpoena last year), but if those are from the Mueller team, they're from more junior members who don't actually have visibility into the management and direction of the investigation. Mueller really has managed to run a pretty tight ship. It's a little confusing, because there has been a lot of leaking, but that's probably coming from the Congressional investigation, not Mueller.

Also, every time I read Mueller, I think of this. Entirely off topic, but und Muscatnuss, Herr Mueller! is on endless repeat in my brain every time I read a story about this investigation.

buwaya said...

" many conspiracy theories "

Every conspiracy theory has to be assumed to be correct to some degree.
That is only prudent given what has become known after 4/2015.
Or if one has some grasp of history.

It is rather naive to dismiss conspiracy theories.

Leland said...

I just read the article at The Hill, in which they quote a former Mueller assistant, now CNN employee, that says the grammar "proves" the leak is from Trump's team.

Now let all that sink in.

Chuck said...

I don't know who leaked the list of questions to the Times. But here is what the Times says:

“What efforts were made to reach out to Mr. Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?” Mr. Mueller planned to ask, according to questions read by the special counsel investigators to the president’s lawyers, who compiled them into a list. That document was provided to The Times by a person outside Mr. Trump’s legal team.


So the Trump lawyers spoke to Mueller's team. They talked about questions that Mueller's team would like to ask. It was all in part of a negotiation as to whether Trump would be interviewed. In the course of the discussion, the Trump lawyers "compiled a list." And that document was provided to the Times, "by a person outside Mr. Trump's legal team."

As I say; I don't know. But it sounds like White House political staff. Not Trump lawyers. Maybe a deliberate leak by Trump himself. Again, I don't know. Does anybody say that they know it was a Mueller leak?

Michael K said...

"the many conspiracy theories spinning around this Trump Russia scandal."

Most of the remaining ones are in your head, but go ahead and obsess.

Beldar said...

Mueller would have zero reason to leak this list of questions. For him and everyone on his team, there's nothing but downside.

By sharp contrast, for Team Trump, there's an obvious strategic upside:

This list establishes in the public consciousness a "baseline" for what Mueller is presently contemplating including as subject matters in the interview. If some of those subject matters seem remote from the subject of Russian interference in the 2016 election, or (even more likely), if Mueller adds additional topics or stumbles upon them in an interview with Trump, then the leaked list lays the PR foundation for Trump's later possible decision to end negotiations, refuse further cooperation, and make Mueller do things the hard way — through a grand jury subpoena whose satisfaction would surely go to the SCOTUS, where Trump will lose badly, probably unanimously. That will be ugly, but it buys the POTUS more months in office and would at least get him past the 2018 midterms.

This strikes me as a Giuliani move, exactly the kind of canny media battlespace manipulation he's good at.

The subsequent tweets from Trump condemning the links are typical, and typically rank and hypocritical, lies from the POTUS, aka leaker in chief.

Beldar said...

Trump, a consummate troll and media manipulator for decades, has figured out how to wage asymmetrical war against his perceived opponents like Mueller, simultaneously using the tactics he condemns them for using, when in fact they're playing by the rules and he's constantly breaking them. It's a symptom of the deep moral unfitness of this POTUS, and among his most useful tools in directing and controlling his cult minions.

Michael K said...

Beldar brings plenty of TDS.

The "questions" make no sense as an interrogatory.

If someone was writing a history ten years from now, they would make better sense.

Unknown said...

No such crime as "collusion" can be found in the criminal statutes. It is pure witch hunt hysteria.
As to the other questions, they are trying to make a crime out of something not criminal by implying that Trump had bad motives, and we are going to impeach you for your motives Mr trump. We can't just accept that Trump fired comey because he didn't like him or trust him, it has to be some shadowy conspiracy within Trump's mind...yeah that's it!

Beldar said...

Further circumstantial evidence for why this leak makes sense coming from the Trump camp, but not from Mueller: Keep in mind that Mueller has all the high cards when it comes to compelling Trump's appearance to answer face-to-face questions on the record:

Trump's worst-case scenario in this fight is that he'll have to appear in person at the U.S. Courthouse in Washington, where he'll leave his lawyer in the hallway outside the grand jury room, in which he will be sworn in and asked questions by prosecutors in front of the grand jurors for as many days, and on whatever topics, that the prosecutors choose. Mueller can issue that grand jury subpoena without any need for a judge or magistrate's approval, and with no need to show probable cause (in contrast to the procedures for getting a search warrant). Trump can try to have it quashed, but for essentially the same reasons that Nixon lost the tapes case and Clinton lost the Paula Jones case, Trump will surely lose at every step along the way, up to and including at the SCOTUS, so Trump's alternatives buy him nothing but time.

Mueller's only downside, given this, is that he'll be delayed. That's not much downside.

For these same reasons, during the Plamegate investigation, Dubya's lawyers and the DoJ almost instantly reached agreement on a set of parameters in which Dubya would be interviewed, on the record from the White House, by FBI agents in lieu of obliging Patrick Fitzgerald to go the grand jury subpoena route. Dubya underwent the interview, as did everyone else from the WH whom Fitzgerald wanted to interview, including VP Cheney. Reason: Fitzgerald had the high cards.

And after Bubba had already lost in his attempt to avoid being deposed in the Paula Jones case, when it came time for Starr's team to take Clinton's deposition as part of their investigation, Bubba's lawyers negotiated a deal to substitute another video deposition for an appearance before the grand jury. Reason: Star had the high cards.

Mueller knows those precedents; he was at DoJ or FBI when they were set; he is already giving remarkable deference to the office of the POTUS if he's agreeing to let a lawyer be present for Trump, or for there to be any limitation whatsoever on the scope of questioning, or for there to be any time limit, or for the examination to be in interview form rather than sworn and on video. But there is zero chance -- not 0.00001%, but 0.0000000000% -- that Mueller closes an investigation on potential obstruction of justice without at least an on-record interview with the one person whose subjective mental intent (and possible "corrupt heart" leading him to obstruct justice) is the key fact in dispute.

Now Mueller has the high cards. Even if Trump decides to try to turn the table over, take his football and go home, fire Mueller, fire the rest of the DoJ, etc., Mueller still has the advantage: Trump's not playing in the Trump Taj Mahal, and the "House" who's responsible for running this particular poker tournament is the literal House of Representatives, along with the Senate.

So Trump, through advisers like Guiliani, will prepare the media battlespace, in case everything does blow up (most likely because Trump lights a new fuse). Leaking this list is part of that.

Birkel said...

Beldar, respectfully I write to you, "bull shit".

If Trump asserts Executive Privilege or his plan to answer every question with a Fifth Amendment assertion, Mueller will not be able to demand anything.

And that would be true for any potential criminal investigation and any subject so involved.

Clyde said...

Mueller, like Chappelle and Wolf in the post above, needs to be told to do something profane and anatomically impossible. And the horse the Deep State rode in on, too!

Michael said...

President Pence will be able to have a field day with these rules. Using the Mueller/Fitzgerald playbook with a different team against the Clinton mafia will be worth having to endure this mockery. As is said, be careful of what you wish for.

Birkel said...

Also, there is no potential charge for obstruction of justice. That nonsense is surreal coming from a seasoned attorney.

The obstruction talk is a political device. Mueller knows that.

Had Bush pardoned Libby he would NOT have been subject to an obstruction charge, obviously.

Beldar, that is embarrassing for you.

Inga said...

No such crime as "collusion" can be found in the criminal statutes.

Criminal conspiracy, sheesh.

Balfegor said...

Re: Birkel:

Had Bush pardoned Libby he would NOT have been subject to an obstruction charge, obviously.

If there's an obstruction charge at all, I think it would have to be premised on Trump suborning perjury in exchange for a promised pardon. That's a slight elaboration on the hypo with Bush II there. And if Bush II had offered a pardon in exchange for false testimony, I think there could have been an obstruction charge, conceivably.

Ken B said...

Chuck
Forget amendments for a moment. You run a huge investigation. Finally you prepare questions for the president. And you come up with “What was your opinion of James Comey during the transition?” That shows you have no specific instances, no particulars, relating to the ostensible purpose of your inquiry. You have nothing.

Chuck said...

Had Bush pardoned Libby he would NOT have been subject to an obstruction charge, obviously.

Because, by all accounts, Libby was not acting/concealing/lying to protect Bush or to derail any investigation of Bush.

If it had been an investigation of Bush, and if Libby had tried to derail that investigation, then it would have been a very different matter. That was not the case. But if it had been the case, it might well have forced you to provide a different answer.

I would have liked it, to see Bush pardon Libby. Along with a detailed, literate, scathing criticism of the investigation and trial. And a new statement under oath from Judy Miller.

Balfegor said...

Re: Inga:

Criminal conspiracy, sheesh.

Conspiracy isn't a freestanding crime in and of itself -- has to be a conspiracy to commit an actual crime, an offense of some sort against the US.

Ken B said...

“Does the smell of pee arouse you?”
That frankly is a better and more pertinent question than any I have seen from the list.

Chuck said...

Ken B said...
Chuck
Forget amendments for a moment. You run a huge investigation. Finally you prepare questions for the president. And you come up with “What was your opinion of James Comey during the transition?” That shows you have no specific instances, no particulars, relating to the ostensible purpose of your inquiry. You have nothing.


Ken I am gradually coming to the understanding that this "list of questions" isn't really a list of Mueller questions at all. Rather, it is a kind of an ersatz memo, of a discussion between the Trump lawyers and the Mueller lawyers.

Inga said...

“Conspiracy isn't a freestanding crime in and of itself -- has to be a conspiracy to commit an actual crime, an offense of some sort against the US.”

That’s why is said “criminal” conspiracy.

Michael said...

Inga

What crime did they conspire to commit?

Michael K said...

I still think somebody has to have some evidence of a crime before this goes any farther.

Trump hate is not enough.

McCarthy has pointed out, in spite of his distaste for Trump, that there was no justification for Mueller's witch hunt.

I know, Inga, I know.

Beldar, why don't you get Patterico to come over so we can see what white hot Trump hate looks like?

Inga said...

For example...

“The key charge in the case, which is called conspiracy to defraud the United States, is spelled out this way in the indictment:

Defendants, together with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of State in administering federal requirements for disclosure of foreign involvement in certain domestic activities.”

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-department-of-justice-thinks-that-collusion-is-a-crime

Michael K said...

it is a kind of an ersatz memo, of a discussion between the Trump lawyers and the Mueller lawyers.

Chuck, were you in the habit of asking witness or defendants a list of "What were you thinking ?" questions ?

I've been a witness, expert and percipient, maybe 100 times and can't recall such a question.

Birkel said...

Balfegor,
Certainly it would be inappropriate and potentially impeachable if the president were selling pardons or soliciting criminal behavior.

But what evidence is there that President Trump pardoned Marc Rich in exchange for millions of dollars?

Inga said...

“Chuck, were you in the habit of asking witness or defendants a list of "What were you thinking ?" questions ?”

It addresses intent which is a big part of proving obstruction of justice.

“Most questions focus on the key issue in any obstruction of justice case: proving state of mind. Mueller knows pretty much what happened regarding Flynn, Comey and Sessions. He wants to hear what the president himself was thinking. Many of the questions begin with “what did you think about” or “what was the purpose of” various meetings, actions, tweets and other things Mueller already knows took place.

This is an expected area of inquiry. Corrupt intent is the factor that can transform otherwise lawful actions into obstruction of justice, so the president’s state of mind is critical. Though prosecutors frequently prove intent through circumstantial evidence, hearing the president’s own version of events could be extremely valuable.“

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-muellers-proposed-questions-for-trump-tell-us/2018/05/01/1d1a1f40-4d64-11e8-af46-b1d6dc0d9bfe_story.html?utm_term=.0ba5da901f9b

Anonymous said...

My sense of the questions that I have read in the WSJ is that the bulk are open ended questions intended to obtain a confused response if any. Ann's point is well taken about one's state of mind when making a decision. Do we remember all the pros and cons? Unlikely. Do we remember the big points? Probably, but necessarily.

These are indeed "gotcha" questions and if I were Trump I would essentially tell Mueller to stick them where the sun don't shine. The list of questions shows why there should be no special prosecutors, ever. If the DOJ can't handle what ever it is, it is most likely to amorphous (political) for anyone.

Mt sense still is that there is a lot of concern on the part of the DOJ and FBI middle/upper management about what the DOJIG report is going to say and there is a lot of early disinformation being spread around in preparation for that.

Michael said...

"Corrupt intent is the factor that can transform otherwise lawful actions into obstruction of justice, so the president’s state of mind is critical."

Well there you have it. So it would be best to say you fired someone because you disliked them, distrusted them and thought they were unsuitable for the job. Period. And my state of mind? I was pissed that I had this dickhead on my payroll. Irritated at what a pompous ass he was. And I was considering adding more diversity to my staff.

John Henry said...

Blogger Beldar said...

This strikes me as a Giuliani move, exactly the kind of canny media battlespace manipulation he's good at.

The subsequent tweets from Trump condemning the links are typical, and typically rank and hypocritical, lies from the POTUS, aka leaker in chief.


I think you are presuming that Giuliani would have told President Trump if he had been the leaker.

If I were Giuliani and I was the leaker, I would not tell President Trump. Let him think it came from Mueller and go live tweeting condemnation.

Not honest on Giuliani's part, perhaps. But President Trump's reactions would be honest, based on what he saw in the NY Times.

John HEnry

Birkel said...

The FBI read intent into a statute under which Hillary was demonstrably guilty and under which no intent was necessary.

Now, intent is being treated as if intent, without the underlying criminal act, is punishable, criminally.

Royal ass Inga cheers undermining the rule of law. When all the trees are cut down, the Devil will turn 'round.

Inga said...

“These are indeed "gotcha" questions and if I were Trump I would essentially tell Mueller to stick them where the sun don't shine. The list of questions shows why there should be no special prosecutors, ever. If the DOJ can't handle what ever it is, it is most likely to amorphous (political) for anyone. “

And then he’ll get a subpoena to come testify in front of a grand jury. He’ll fight that and then the Supreme Court will rule that he has to submit.

“Trump's worst-case scenario in this fight is that he'll have to appear in person at the U.S. Courthouse in Washington, where he'll leave his lawyer in the hallway outside the grand jury room, in which he will be sworn in and asked questions by prosecutors in front of the grand jurors for as many days, and on whatever topics, that the prosecutors choose. Mueller can issue that grand jury subpoena without any need for a judge or magistrate's approval, and with no need to show probable cause (in contrast to the procedures for getting a search warrant). Trump can try to have it quashed, but for essentially the same reasons that Nixon lost the tapes case and Clinton lost the Paula Jones case, Trump will surely lose at every step along the way, up to and including at the SCOTUS, so Trump's alternatives buy him nothing but time.”

Birkel said...

Does it constitute a leak if Trump's team gives documents to the press? Does the Trump team have any obligation yo keep these things private?

I am asking and really do NOT know what definition leak has.

John Henry said...

Inga,

What happens if a subpoena is issued and President Trump says "Nope. Not gonna do it"?

What was the line about "Justice Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it"?

Would we see a shootout between the SS and the Marshals? Calling Raylan Givins.

President Trump appoints marshals, can he fire them if they show up to haul him off?

John Henry

Beldar said...

@ Birkel (hi there!), who asked: "Does it constitute a leak if Trump's team gives documents to the press? Does the Trump team have any obligation to keep these things private?"

No one has suggested that there's anything classified in the document created by Trump's legal team based on something being read to them by Mueller's team. The underlying verbal communications being memorialized in the document aren't subject to any attorney-client privilege; to the extent that the document may contain marginalia or comments, or otherwise mental impressions from the Trump legal team's personnel, those might be subject to a claim of attorney work-product. Regardless, the right to insist on its confidentiality belongs, ultimately, to Trump, probably in dual capacities (personal and as POTUS), and he could indeed decide to waive those rights and breach confidentiality.

Unlike Jim Comey, I'd still call that a "leak," and I think most people would. It's not necessarily criminal (and probably isn't), and it's only culpable to the extent that leaking, while simultaneously decrying leaks and lying about their source, is objectionable. To many Trump supporters, it's not, because Dems leak and lie too. To me, it's emblematic of the moral rot at 1600 Pennsylvania, and the fact that other residents there have also been morally rotten doesn't excuse it for Trump. YMMV.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

I would have liked it, to see Bush pardon Libby. Along with a detailed, literate, scathing criticism of the investigation and trial. And a new statement under oath from Judy Miller.

Bush was a loser. He let the democrats play their games.

Trump is not a loser. He is properly turning the tables on the criminals. Trump is showing him how to do this right.

Achilles said...

Inga said...

"Corrupt intent is the factor that can transform otherwise lawful actions into obstruction of justice, so the president’s state of mind is critical."


Thank you for your honesty.

The Stalinist fuckheads have made their intent more clear.

They will find a crime. Period. Even if they have to use this truly convoluted bullshit to spin it up.

Please impeach Trump because his "intent" made his lawful actions obstruction of justice.

Do it.

Achilles said...

Beldar said...

Unlike Jim Comey, I'd still call that a "leak," and I think most people would.

Do you understand the fundamental difference between the leak of these questions and the Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Clapper leaks?

You present yourself as a lawyer. Just curious.

The fact the NYT's posted a story immediately with their talking points about why the questions were important leads me to believe this was someone in the Mueller team not understanding how stupid/treasonous these questions would look.

Beldar said...

@ Birkel: I acknowledge that there are smart people who have argued that Trump can't be guilty of obstruction of justice because he's the POTUS.

Nevertheless: I don't agree with them. Nor does history: The two modern examples of serious impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives, Nixon's and Clinton's, were based in substantial part on obstruction of justice charges. The Nixon articles of impeachment under deliberation in the House Judiciary Committee included, for instance, Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" at DoJ, and other interference in the DoJ's and FBI's investigation of Watergate, as an impeachable offense. The parallel to Comey's firing is obvious.

The key is intent. The same action — firing a law enforcement official — that may be perfectly within a POTUS' constitutional authority may also be an obstruction of justice if motivated by a corrupt heart. My guess is that Mueller's working his way toward writing a report which concludes that Trump's underlying motivation in firing Comey had little or nothing whatsoever to do with Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation (as criticized in Rosenstein's memo), and that Trump lied to the public in so pretending, but that Trump was reacting out of personal egotism, pique, and frustration at the restraints imposed upon him as head of the Executive Branch, under long-standing presidential and DoJ practices and rules, to ensure that those enforcing the Rule of Law are doing so without a presidential thumb on the scales. I doubt, however, that Mueller has uncovered, or will uncover, any smoking guns that would demonstrate the sort of "corrupt heart" required for an obstruction of justice charge based on the Comey firing. But I don't know what Comey may have that's not yet public, so I'm going to reserve judgment.

Beldar said...

@ Achilles: I am, and have been continuously since November 24, 1980, a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas. You can look it up on their website.

And I haven't asserted that every leak is the same. Leaks of classified information aren't just unethical and aren't just violations of Executive department rules, they're criminal, and at least some of the people you mention may well have committed criminal leaks. I haven't claimed leaking this list to the NYT is criminal; to the contrary, if done by Trump or his subordinates at his instruction, it's almost certainly legal, as I wrote above.

So other than insulting me, what's your point?

Balfegor said...

RE: Birkel:

But what evidence is there that President Trump pardoned Marc Rich in exchange for millions of dollars?

Haha. No, I'm not aware of any -- just lots of media speculation about pardons. But it's not a pointless line of questioning. I expect that Mueller's investigation is going to close down without actually trying to indict the President. I don't have any strong grounds for that belief, other than my conviction that if there were something truly explosive, it would have leaked somehow, either through junior staffers on Mueller's team, clerks working for whatever judge is overseeing, journalists luring jurors to breach grand jury confidentiality, or even just Trump's lawyers talking a little too loudly in a crowded restaurant.

The President's lawyers have apparently been told he is not a target at this point. I assume they're speaking in good faith, not trying to mislead the President or his counsel to lure them into an interview. And if that's the case, well, he is probably still a "subject" in DOJ parlance, so he's not out of danger. But they've been at this for almost a year now, continuing on an FBI investigation that stretches back into 2016, and they haven't developed enough evidence to say he's a target. In other words, here's what he's not:

A "target" is a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant.

In other words, they don't have "substantial evidence" linking Trump to the commission of a crime at this point. And here's what he is:

A "subject" of an investigation is a person whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury's investigation.

But that's trivially true -- the Comey firing is apparently within the scope of Mueller's investigation so, um, it would be hard to say Trump's conduct is not within the scope of the grand jury's investigation.

That's not to say there isn't more we're not seeing below the surface. There certainly could be! And Trump's counsel probably take little comfort from being a "subject" rather than a "target" since subjects turn into targets all the time (functionally, I tend to think of subjects as "people who could be prosecuted" rather than "people whose conduct just happens to be within the scope of the investigation"). But the publicly known information right now just doesn't seem to suggest that the President is in imminent danger of indictment.

Anyhow, Mueller needs to cover his bases, and if there's a possible charge out there, it's both reasonable and responsible of him to at least ask the questions. He's not only going to be second guessed by the President's supporters. If it's Fitzmas fizzle all over again, he's going to be the target of a lot of heated criticism from anti-Trump partisans too.

Beldar said...

By the way:

The special master just appointed by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood (a Reagan appointee) to assist in the determination of privilege claims arising out of the search warrants executed on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the Hon. Barbara S. Jones, is a retired federal judge who has been practicing at the Bracewell law firm.

Bracewell was previously "Bracewell & Giuliani." That's right, Trump's privilege claims will be resolved in substantial part by an ex-partner of Rudy's from 2013-2016.

So where are all of Trump's tweets about how he's being abused by people with flagrant conflicts of interest, mmm?

Matthew Sablan said...

Considering Comey and Flapper lied about leaking, why should we believe Mueller?

Birkel said...

Beldar,
You miss my point entirely. President Trump could be guilty of being a Space Alien wearing a Trump skin suit.

That is my point.

Now, I will need more than conjecture and self-serving, self-interested parties' assertions to believe any of that.

YMMV

Beldar said...

Our hostess wrote:

---begin quote---
I cannot imagine trying to answer questions about what was going on in my mind at all these precise points in the past. Do you have access to the contents of your mind like that? Even when an interaction is happening, I don't have a clear, precise view of my own motivations and intentions. Thinking about it immediately afterwords, I might puzzle about it, even when I'm under no pressure and it's only one incident. But I would never be able — even if I believed I deserved no criminal punishment — to sit down to a high-stakes questioning about many interactions that occurred over the course of many months and purport to tell the truth about what I was thinking on all those occasions. There would be no way not to lie. Continually.
---end quote---

I don't know whether Prof. Althouse has ever had occasion to be a witness in a contested case, but based on this paragraph, I'm guessing not. Good for her.

But for the last 38 years, I've represented on a daily basis people who are called upon under oath to do exactly the thing she insists would be impossible for her to do without continually lying. Some of them have been mere non-party witnesses, but many of them have been litigants with a great deal at risk.

Our job as lawyers representing such witnesses is to help them not feel overwhelmed, and to help them tell the truth as best they can, and to help them avoid errors, but having inevitably made errors, to correct them expeditiously and effectively, lest errors become lies.

If I were preparing you to be a witness, Prof. Althouse, we'd probably do some roleplaying Q&A, maybe on video so we could play it back and go over it together. That's not scripting your story, that's acquainting you with the shape of the playing field and its dynamics. I expect that you'd listen, that you'd do your best to understand and follow my advice, that you'd tell the truth to the best of your ability, that we'd fix any innocent mistakes, and that you'd end up feeling quite satisfied with the entire experience.

Trump's reputation among lawyers before he entered politics, however, was that "He won't pay and he won't listen." I don't know if or how much he's paying personal lawyers not on Uncle Sam's teat to defend him, and he's had considerable turn-over already that's probably for other reasons. But there can be no doubt that he continues not to listen to his own lawyers' advice, as more than one of them has candidly and ruefully admitted in public.

He has more to fear than you do, in other words, regardless of whether either of you have anything to hide or any motivation to lie.

Matthew Sablan said...

There's no obstruction in firing Comey. The investigation continued. Obama fired an investigator and killed the investigation and that didn't rise to obstruction. The precedent was set years ago

Jim at said...

It’s fascinating to see the level to which some commenters go in internalizing the many conspiracy theories spinning around this Trump Russia scandal. What is dangerous about this is when they eventually realize that what they believed is bogus, they will lose their marbles a little bit in some cases, in others a lot. Then there are those that will never believe the truth, the sad cases. - Inga

I have never - in my wife - witnessed someone lacking so much self-awareness.
I mean, you have zero. As in Absolute Zero.

It goes beyond projection. It's insane.

Beldar said...

@ Achilles, again re your "you present yourself as a lawyer" wisecrack.

The sad truth is: I can't conceal it, even when I try. My mind was full of mush, and I left law school thinking like a lawyer, for better and sometimes for worse. See generally "The Paper Chase" by John Jay Osborn, Jr., and subsequent movie and TV series of the same name.

Beldar said...

@ Matthew Sablan:

Nixon fired, in quick series, Attorney General Elliot Richardson and then Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, because of their refusal to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Finally Solicitor General Robert Bork accepted Nixon's instruction and fired Cox, who was promptly replaced with Leon Jaworski, whose continued investigation resulted, eventually, in obstruction of justice charges against Nixon in the House Judiciary Committee's draft articles of impeachment, which Nixon resigned rather than fight, because he would have lost in both the House and the Senate and been removed from office, as confirmed to Nixon by Sen. Howard Baker (R-TN).

So yes, there is a precedent on point, and no, it isn't what you say it was.

Jim at said...

I have never - in my wife - witnessed someone lacking so much self-awareness.

Wow. Not even sure where that came from.
In my life.

My wife is very self-aware. And voted for Mike Rowe.

Inga said...

“My wife is very self-aware.”

I’m not so sure. She married you, didn’t she?

Michael said...

Beldar, were he my lawyer in any of the instances when I was deposed, would have advised me to answer truthfully and carefully and, importantly, would suggest I not subject myself to self-conjecture about past feelings or actions that I did not recall with a high degree of certainty. In other words it is not embarrassing or slippery to say I do not recall.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

So Beldar, do you think that Trump was right when he said in his recent Michigan rally, that it was the really the Democrats who were colluding with Russians and not the Trump campaign?

“The only collusion is the Democrats colluding with the Russians, the Democrats colluding with lots of other people."
Donald Trump

Birkel said...

Clinton paid Perkins Coie to hire Fusion GPS to pay Christopher Steele to launder Russian influence.

Why is Royal ass Inga confused at that?

Inga said...

“Clinton paid Perkins Coie to hire Fusion GPS to pay Christopher Steele to launder Russian influence.”

The Royal Conspiracy.

LOL.

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

Royal ass Inga,

There are receipts to prove the various relationships. When conspiracies will validate parking, people tend to believe them.

Inga said...

“There are receipts to prove the various relationships. When conspiracies will validate parking people tend to believe them.”

Well jumpin’ Jahosafat! Why isn’t Rosenstein indicting people left and right!?

Birkel said...

Royal ass Inga,

You might be surprised how long an actual investigation takes. I know the eight years of Obama - during which 600,000 documents discovered on Weiner's computer in precisely zero seconds - might have confused you regarding the investigative process.

And since history started new just this morning you might want to tattoo yourself clues for when you awaken. Invade the pattern holds.

Inga said...

“You might be surprised how long an actual investigation takes.”

Who is investigating the purported Democratic collusion with Russia?

Birkel said...

Royal ass Inga,

IG Horowitz is investigating malfeasance at FBI/DOJ. He has been investigating for several years. After Sally Yates (likely legally) obstructed the investigation of Horowitz into the "small group" access was granted to Horowitz after Trump's election.

Therefore, IG Horowitz has been investigating the "small group" including McCabe, Yates, Strozk, Page and many currently on the Mueller team for their illegal behavior. Unwinding that behavior takes a while and has resulted in half a dozen firings and many demotions. Those were not accidental.

And the investigation has been going 14 months, 8 months since Page/Strozk twxt messages were handed to investigators.

Did you know the small group had been using common E-mail accounts and using draft messages to communicate without detection? That is a favorite tactic of terrorists and it takes dedicated professionals months to unravel this sort of behavior.

This is known.

Birkel said...

Royal ass Inga,

Let me ask you this simple question:
From where did all the Strozk and Page text messages come? How were they gathered?

After tackling that, can you answer why Strozk and Page were both demoted but retained while the others were fired?

Give those questions some reflection.

Inga said...

In other words... NO ONE is investigating Democratic collusion with Russia. The IG isn’t investigating what you think he is, lol. No one except conspiracy theorists believes the Democrats colluded with Russians to make Trump look like he was colluding with the Russians. You folks are so far down the rabbit hole you’ll never find your way back out.

Birkel said...

Royal ass Inga,
Care to attempt answers?

Birkel said...

I am trying to type slowly so everybody can keep up.

One issue at a time.

Michael K said...


In other words... NO ONE is investigating Democratic collusion with Russia.


Th fix was in, Inga. That will come to an end. How do you think Bill and Hillary ended up with hundreds of millions ?

Clever writing ?

Michael K said...

"U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood (a Reagan appointee)"

Who conducted the wedding of George Soros.

Come on.

Birkel said...

I will take that pause as an admission.

Now let's move on to the Clinton Foundation investigation and Obama Justice Department corruption.

That investigation involves foreign payments to Clinton for official State Department actions. Those include payments from Russia.

Michael K said...

"This is an expected area of inquiry"

Inga, the law professor.

John Pickering said...

Some readers insist that they see no crime, that just because NSA chief Flynn and Campaign managers Manafort and Gates are Russian agents, and his lawyer and fixer is in the Russian mafia, and he got the whores to pee the bed while the Russians taped him, so what? Where's the crime? What the heck is the government so het up about?

The crime is espionage. The crime is betraying the secrets of your country to a hostile foreign power, which has gained control over your actions by means of blackmail.

The readers who think the US government is going to abandon the Trump investigation, which turns up crimes every day, and turn to probe the Clintons are severely under-informed.

Michael K said...

Pickering is an idiot but the world seems full of them these days.

Maybe you should apply to the WHCD for next year,

Birkel said...

John Pickering is an excellent Moby.

Well done, conservative provocateur.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

"In other words... NO ONE is investigating Democratic collusion with Russia."

Th fix was in, Inga. That will come to an end. How do you think Bill and Hillary ended up with hundreds of millions ?

Clever writing ?


Attention, TinFoil Hat Manufacturers:

A customer of yours in Arizona is receiving signals that tell him an act that for which there is no evidence of occurring in 2016 on the part of Hillary Clinton needs investigating.

Please re-program your settings. His head may soon go into overload.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

"This is an expected area of inquiry"

Inga, the law professor.


You know, they write books, too, Dummy.

You should try reading one, for once. Maybe start with The Federalist Papers.

Your comprehension of basic legal procedure is a joke. I find this is a common affliction among Republicans.

No wonder it takes Republican lawyers like Mueller and Comey and Rosenstein to actually go after their fellow Republicriminals. They must be embarrassed with how lawless and ignorant of the law so many of them are.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

No one except conspiracy theorists believes the Democrats colluded with Russians to make Trump look like he was colluding with the Russians.

It's the vaunted, "I know you are but what am I?" legal defense. Never before tried except in the case of Neener Neener vs. Petunia Poo Poo Face.

These Republicans are a regular bunch of Perry Masons. They seriously think the justice system should work like a never-ending, narcissistic tweet war. One where every question is answered with, "But you did it TOO, prosecutor! So Naaaaah!"

Birkel said...

I would love to read TTR write an original thought on The Federalist Papers.

That would be breathtaking.

Birkel said...

Hillary got $145 million from the Russians.

John Pickering said...

Vapid Michael K doesn't rate espionage a crime. There's a word in German for that.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

Hillary got $145 million from the Russians.

In exchange for what act against the United States law?

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

You have to forgive Michael Kennedy and Birkel Clavin. They got their American history and civics education from Trump U. and think that Marbury vs. Madison is a kind of candy bar.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

Mueller's charged 19 people so far in connection with the Trump investigation, four of whom have pled guilty and one of whom was sentenced. Not a bad record for an investigation that's barely a year old. But Birkel and the the Republicriminal crowd say shut it down and are afraid of what their potential ringleader behind it all, Trump, might reveal. Oh no!

Birkel said...

$145 million is far too little to move the famously ethical Clintons to action on behalf of the givers of $145 million.

But Trump is compromised by much less than $145 million.

Those two sentences taken together are deranged.

President Pee-Pee Tape said...

In the Constitution it says, "Thou shalt not investigate or charge a crime without simultaneously and without any evidence charging the accused's worst political enemy, too!"

It says it right in the constitution. Or at least in the constitution's Twitter feed.

Rule of men and vengeance, not law. That's how they think things should be.

Birkel said...

Those 13 Russians are in no legal danger. And 6 people have been charged with nothing related to Trump.

19 sounds like so many without context.

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