Mueller's perversion

Posted by LarryHeart 2 years, 4 months ago to Government
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According to Giuliani Mueller perverted justice by saying he could not exonerate the President. If the Sitting President can not be charged by the Justice Dept, then he cannot be exonerated by the justice Dept from a case that cannot be presented.
But... the Office of Legal Council guidance (e.g. not mandatory) of 2000 says a sitting president SHOULD NOT be charged. It does not say cannot and in fact a few months later Clinton was charged.

If there was any evidence of Obstruction Mueller would have made a case. You can bet on it. Since there wasn't he took this route to keep the pressure on the President without alienating the Democrats who will be his clients or in some way reward him.
This statement he made to day is geared to push impeachment and to keep himself from having to tell Congress when he knew the President was not guilty of collusion and other questions that would show that this "Investigation" was corrupt from the beginning and merely an attempt to unseat the President..
The result is that President Trump has goaded the swamp creatures and the deep state actors to show themselves to the Nation.

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  • Posted by $ Stormi 2 years, 4 months ago
    We cannot trust Mueller, as his ties with knowledge of the dossier, his ties with Russia, should have led to his recusing himself. He definitely is playing to the Dem party, as shown by his choices for his team. Mueller should be investigated about what he knew and when. He also needs to be outed for his meeting in Russia with Russian officials at Hillary's command, to get the uranium ore approved for the Uranium One deal to go through. Since the whole deal was filled with illegalities, he needs to be investigated for his part, and his connection to Hillary, who profited by the deal. They all were in selling weapons uranium to our supposed enemy, some of which may have found its way to Iran, which smacks of treason.
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  • Posted by $ Your_Name_Goes_Here 2 years, 4 months ago
    “It would be unfair to accuse someone of a crime when there could be no court resolution of the charge,” Mueller said. “We concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime.” And with that, Robert Mueller taints the President and invites the House of Representatives to move forward with their "remedy". George Orwell is spinning in his grave as we speak. Doublethink was what he called it, and that's precisely what we heard this morning.

    I was hopeful that Mueller would take this moment to chastise those who were attempting to use the work of his office as a political weapon, and to ask the country to move forward and begin to heal its divisions. But instead, he squandered this opportunity and revealed himself to be yet another political hack.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 4 months ago
      A person is innocent until proven guilty. Therefore the President needs no exoneration by Mule-er. That Mule-whore couldn't exonerate the President is nonsense. The president is ALREADY Exonerated unless proven guilty. Even if Indicted and impeached the president is innocent until PROVEN guilty.
      That exoneration statement is just New Speak for the Demo-craps to lie and desperately try to keep their enormous salary and benefits. What a waste of our money, labor, assets and life.
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      • Posted by evlwhtguy 2 years, 4 months ago
        The director of the FBI had no problem "Exonerating" Hillary Clinton 1 week before the election. It all depends on who you are and if the mass media loves you or not. If this was a democrat president the press would be going 24 X 7 that it was all BS.
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      • Posted by TheRealBill 2 years, 4 months ago
        The tempest over exoneration is even worse. In a legal setting exoneration has two specific meanings:

        1. to be cleared after having been (wrongfully) convicted.
        2. To remove and return a bail bond

        From that standpoint, it is true that the investigation could not, in a legal sense, exonerate Trump -- you can't exonerate a person who has not been convicted.

        But from a non-legal perspective ... well you can't there either if you accept "innocent until proven guilty". But in the general and colloquial sense that the media had "convicted" Trump, one could reasonably use a report that says it lacked sufficient evidence to say he did it as an exoneration.

        But you can not hold out a legal document as "not exonerating" someone who has not been convicted as evidence of guilt and be a rational and reasonable person.

        The document also contains a claim that had they found proof of no crime they'd have said so. But this is not in agreement with their actions as reported in Volume 1. Let us talk a moment about Sessions allegedly lying to them.

        Here is how they ended that one:
        Accordingly, the Office concluded that the evidence was insufficient to prove that Sessions was willfully untruthful in his answers and thus insufficient to obtain or sustain a conviction for perjury or false statements. Consistent with the Principles of Federal Prosecution, the Office therefore determined not to pursue charges against Sessions and informed his counsel of that decision in March 2018

        Did they "exonerate" Sessions? No. Did they conclude there was no crime? No. They concluded that "the evidence was insufficient to prove" a crime was committed. I've mostly kept my commentary so far to Volume 2 since that was the subject already being discussed. But one should read it to see how the team acted when they either had sufficient evidence, or lacked sufficient evidence against someone other than Trump. They are night and day.

        Even with Flynn, they assert that his "false statements" actually obstructed their investigation via impeding it. But they lacked sufficient evidence he was intentionally trying to obstruct the investigation. So they charged him with making false statements, but not obstruction.

        One might wonder why the difference in treatment exists. Why accept a non-corrupt explanation for one, but not another? Perhaps because in knowing they would allow themselves to prosecute Sessions they'd risk a not guilty verdict because there was a plausible explanation that was not corrupt. However, with regards to Trump, at least by the time the document was written, they knew they didn't have that risk. Since they were not going to charge him with a crime, they were not risking that legal reasonable doubt derailing the whole thing.

        The POTUS neither has, nor deserves, special protections from prosecution. In concordance with that, he or she does not deserve special treatment in regards to deciding that it is OK to ignore exculpatory evidence since you aren't going to charge him or her.
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  • Posted by 2 years, 3 months ago
    @TheRealBill - Excellent commentary. It is of great use to me but of no use to FredTheViking.

    From interactions with many people of a set idea that contradicts reality i have found that no argument will ever change their mind. They are not looking to learn. They are looking for agreement to bolster their subjective reality. If they don't get it they want an argument where they can solidify their unreality by repeating the propaganda that has been instilled in their brains. People hide away in fantasy all the time. As long as there is an underlying fear of changing their mind they will not pay attention to any facts.

    We tend to think that all we have to do is show them the facts and they will alter their judgement. It jest ain't so sayeth the farmer. You can plant a seed of doubt but it will not sprout unless they pay attention to it and let it grow. Anyone avoiding reality will not tend the seed and it will die if they even notice it in the first place. .

    This is all one needs to say: Mueller said in his report that the investigation found NO COLLUSION. No argument there.
    I know i saw this, just can'r find the clip with all the fake news that comes up first Mueller was asked if his investigation was obstructed in any way Mueller said NO. Boom no obstruction. Mueller was never obstructed. The only things said, just like all the fake news is "he might have, could have, if this would happen, If ,maybe, could be, possibly" and all the other weasel words .

    All the other arguments, stories and points in the report are nonsense that lawyers spout to confuse the jury which in this case is the American people. It is also the mark of a wholly corrupt bunch of Dems running with this confusion. Most Dems are lawyers, have you noticed? In court Lawyers are Liars. That's their Job. They do the same in the court of public opinion. All in the name of power not justice or the business of the people. Realize who you are dealing with. The swamp Lawyers are all Professional Liars and con artists.
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  • Posted by $ Stormi 2 years, 4 months ago
    Mueller's team never did what the investigation was supposed to do - look into Russian meddling in our election. Well, he overlooked Hillary's ties to the fake dossier. He overlookedHillary's ties to Russia via her selling uranium for weapons to our enemy Russia, and Meullers following her orders taking the samples to Russia and meeting with officials there. How do we know what deals were made about the election while there? She committed treason by letting the computers at her house carry classified info, and led to China having every e-mail on her system forwarded to them. How much of tht found its way to Russia as well? No, Mueller did a half-assed job with a focus only on Trump. That was not an investigation, but a tempest in a teapot to feed the Trump-derangement syndrome.How was the worry over Russia an issue, when our Obama sent people to change the elections in Israel, Canada, and other countries, at taxpayer expense, so less. How can that be excused?
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  • Posted by ycandrea 2 years, 4 months ago
    I hope a real investigation will nail Mueller to the wall. He needs to go to jail for all the harm he did to innocent people. Our Constitution is supposed to protect us from an oppressive government.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 years, 4 months ago
    The Democrats want the trappings and atmosphere of an impeachment without actually having to conduct such a hearing. Even after Mule-ears' pathetic, desperate last swipe at the President, Pelosi essentially said there's no there there to justify impeachment. Even pencil neck Schiff is now saying they don't have justification for impeachment, leaving Nadler alone in implying that he could call for an impeachment inquiry.

    There's trouble brewing in River City for the Democrats. They've made the mistake of letting impeachment fever run wild in their base, and the socialists among the new representatives are madly screeching to have the President run out of town, tarred and feathered. If they unleash all that fury, they run a risk that their own new moderates from Trump-leaning districts will have to vote against impeachment in hope of surviving the 2020 elections.

    A failed impeachment vote in the House will split the party between the radicals and the moderates, and guarantee the House flips back to Republican control in 2020. It's a fine mess they've gotten themselves into.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 2 years, 4 months ago
    The swamp rats and other creatures of the dark are now trapped in a cage with a tiger that they awoke a couple of years ago. May they squeak away as they are eaten! Squeak, squeak, squeak, you evil, duplicitous, devilish, selfish and insane creeps!
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  • Posted by evlwhtguy 2 years, 4 months ago
    Basically Muller publicly slandered the President. The swamp couldn't find anything and still cant get over the lost election so this is what they are reduced to. Spitting on the rule of law and slander.
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    • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 4 months ago
      +1 don't get me wrong.
      All the Jackass Party and Fake News have been 24/7 doing all that since the day The Donald and Melania came down that iconic escalator.
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      • Posted by evlwhtguy 2 years, 4 months ago
        There are a lot of RINOS in that swamp too!!!
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        • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 4 months ago
          Oh, yeah, overlooked those sorry slugs.
          Recall shortly before The Donald was elected, me dino heard Rush Limbaugh admit to being recently enlightened about the GOP and further state that some Republicans in Congress "would vote for Hillary to protect their fiefdoms."
          Do believe that was before Rush ever used the term, RINO
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 years, 4 months ago
    "Innocent until proven guilty" is not merely some quaint tradition left over from English common law. Its validity rests on the philosophical premise that a negative does not and need not be proven; that the burden of proof rests on the side that makes the politive statement that it is so.
    If a thing does not exist, it has no attributes,no characteristics, and no results; so it does not exist, but how can its non-existence ever be proved?--Therefore, the logical assumption is that it does not, and is not so; if someone wants to say that it does, and is so, it is his place to prove it, or shut up.
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  • Posted by term2 2 years, 4 months ago
    As far as I am concerned, you are guilty as charged, or you are not guilty. The whole use of the word "innocent" is not really useful, as NOT having done something is impossible to prove

    So if Stupid Mueller cant prove Trump did anything wrong after 40 million and 2 years, its time to just give that up. As to "obstruction", I am not so sure that I even agree that should be a a real crime. Isnt using the 5th amendment a form of obstruction? Whats the difference between taking the 5th and destroying your personal documents that could incrimminate you.

    Mueller and the dems just wanted to use the legal system to GET Trump. Just like the government is trying to GET Assange in any way they can.

    If the dems want investigations, let them deal with the weaponization of the DOJ that THEY have done.
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  • Posted by 2 years, 4 months ago
    It's about time that the media picked up that the continuing Dem distortions, witch hunt and impeachment talk is the INSURANCE POLICY that Struck was talking about.
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  • Posted by 2 years, 4 months ago
    Distortion of language is the weapon of Politicians to misdirect and confuse the public.
    Contrary to Ken Starr, Mueller was a "special" prosecutor, not an "Independent" prosecutor. Therefore, Mueller is a subordinate of Barr. Mueller has no business making an independent statement. Especially one that seems to contradict his boss.
    As with the Cold War, the Russians once again WIN. Russian propaganda and money since the 60's created and/or inflated divisions in the country between the Rich and poor, men and women, religious and non, Democrat vs Republican to the point of losing friendship and communication. Media and Universities are further disseminating the Russian leftist propaganda. Who benefits? The Political parties and the deep state government. Divided we fall. Fall to whom? Political parties who control the government. The onluy solution is to control the government. How? Read this
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    • Posted by exceller 2 years, 4 months ago
      "Therefore, Mueller is a subordinate of Barr. Mueller has no business making an independent statement. Especially one that seems to contradict his boss. "

      It was done by Comey before regarding Lynch, and once there is a precedence the left incorporates it in their arsenal.

      Mueller fueled the left in Congress and I expect an increased hysteria for impeachment.

      Unless AG Barr puts an end to it.
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  • Posted by 25n56il4 2 years, 4 months ago
    Do you think perhaps he meant he didn't have the power to 'exonerate' the president and thought this statement would be cute?
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    • Posted by TheRealBill 2 years, 4 months ago
      He didn't have the power to exonerate the POTUS. Why? Because in the legal setting at hand that term means the reversal of an existing conviction now deemed to be in error. As the POTUS was not convicted, he could not be exonerated.
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  • -2
    Posted by $ FredTheViking 2 years, 4 months ago
    I understand the Mueller investigation was a "fishing" exercise much in the same way the Bill Clinton investigation was as well. Guess what? The investigation did find evidence for obstruction of justice and since the president cannot charge himself with a crime it lies with Congress to do so. I would argue it is appropriate for Congress to proceed with an impeachment inquiry and it would make sense to try him in the Senate. Now the president can have his day in the court of the Senate and attempt to explain his actions. In all likelihood, it will prove that politics will rule the day and the vote will be along party lines. The best outcome is for trump to be removed and the criminally charged.

    Now, what about the fact this process to hold the president accountable is flawed and has historically only be used for political reasons. I understand this why many you oppose Trump's impeachment. However, you need to understand there is no other way to keep the president accountable and the only reason why the Democrats won't move forward yet is because of the politics but this just not a good way of looking at this situation. Forget about the politics and your own political motivations for a second. Mueller, who is the chief investigator, just told told Congress needs to charge the president with a crime, he can't do it. Mueller maybe an asshole but it doesn't mean he is wrong. Congress job is to keep the president honest. The process maybe flawed but there is no alternative to holding the president to accountable. I would argue we should honor the process and hold the president accountable. Even if it is problematic. At the same time we should look to reform government in a way that president can be held accountable but without the politics. There might even need to be a change to the constitution.
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    • Posted by TheRealBill 2 years, 4 months ago
      Have you read the report, specifically Volume 2?

      I have. Volume 2 is primarily a lot of dodging of the issue it was to be about, Instead it is a lot of "here is wha we found, we aren't going to call it a crime, but look at all this stuff that could be construed to mean it".

      Mueller is wrong. Mueller claims he was unable to present evidence and claim Trump was guilty of Obstruction because he is a sitting President. Not true. I've also read the Starr Report. That'll be the equivalent document regarding POTUS Bill Clinton's investigation. Can you guess what was said in that one? It explicitly, an in no uncertain terms, did exactly what Mueller claimed he was prevented from doing.

      Lets start with Starr:

      "It is not the role of this Office to determine whether the President's actions warrant impeachment by the House and removal by the Senate; those judgments are, of course, constitutionally entrusted to the legislative branch. This Office is authorized, rather, to conduct criminal investigations and to seek criminal prosecutions for matters within its jurisdiction."

      Right away we see it is thus rather different. It makes a clear distinction between impeachment and criminal prosecution. Now lets skip ahead to the meaty parts:

      "Pursuant to Section 595(c) of Title 28, the Office of Independent Counsel (OIC) hereby submits substantial and credible information that President Clinton obstructed justice during the Jones v. Clinton sexual harassment lawsuit by lying under oath and concealing evidence of his relationship with a young White House intern and federal employee, Monica Lewinsky. After a federal criminal investigation of the President's actions began in January 1998, the President lied under oath to the grand jury and obstructed justice during the grand jury investigation. There also is substantial and credible information that the President's actions with respect to Monica Lewinsky constitute an abuse of authority inconsistent with the President's constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws."

      After reading that, do you have any doubt the investigation accused Clinton of an actual crime?

      Lets callout a singular sentence just for clarity:
      "After a federal criminal investigation of the President's actions began in January 1998, the President lied under oath to the grand jury and obstructed justice during the grand jury investigation."

      See, not only is it explicitly clear, is is also obstruction of justice (for those who thought it was only about a BJ).

      By the way, see the remaining counts here:

      Now, lets look at Mueller's report. Is it equally clear? No. Nor is it as concise. Why? Because it spends pages and pages talking about legislation and court decisions, and very little claims and statements of found fact. One thing you can bank on in legal documents: the wordier to they are the more the author is performing gymnastics to get them to say something without saying it openly.

      Consider this:
      "In analyzing the President's conduct towards Flynn, Manafort, ____,the following evidence is relevant to the elements of obstruction of justice:

      a. Obstructive act. The President's actions towards witnesses in the Special Counsel's investigation would qualify as obstructive if they had the natural tendency to prevent particular witnesses from testifying truthfully, or otherwise would have the probable effect of influencing, delaying, or preventing their testimony to law enforcement.

      With regard to Flynn, the President sent private and public messages to Flynn encouraging him to stay strong and conveying that the President still cared about him before he began to cooperate with the government. When Flynn's attorneys withdrew him from a joint defense agreement with the President, signaling that Flynn was potentially cooperating with the government, the President's personal counsel initially reminded Flynn's counsel ofthe President's warm feelings towards Flynn and said "that still remains." But when Flynn's counsel reiterated that Flynn could no longer share information under a joint defense agreement, the President's personal counsel stated that the decision would be interpreted as reflecting Flynn's hostility towards the President. That sequence of events could have had the potential to affect Flynn's decision to cooperate, as well as the extent of that cooperation. Because of privilege issues, however, we could not determine whether the President was personally involved in or knew about the specific message his counsel delivered to Flynn's counsel."

      So, all that to say "There is no clear and compelling evidence to say he did this".

      But wait, it gets even more vague. I'll try to keep the wordiness down while preserving the excerpt:

      "The President's public statements during the Manafort trial, including during jury deliberations, also had the potential to influence the trial jury. On the second day of trial, for example, the President called the prosecution a "terrible situation" and a "hoax" that "continues to stain our country" and referred to Manafort as a "Reagan/Dole darling" who was "serving solitary confinement" even though he was "convicted of nothing." Those statements were widely picked up by the press.

      "While jurors were instructed not to watch or read news stories about the case and
      are presumed to follow those instructions, the President's statements during the trial generated substantial media coverage that could have reached jurors if they happened to see the statements or learned about them from others. And the President' s statements during jury deliberations that Manafort "happens to be a very good person" and that "it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort" had the potential to influence jurors who learned of the statements, which the President made just as jurors were considering whether to convict or acquit Manafort.

      Seriously. I decided to leave it all there so you can get the full pound of feathers. You're clearly to take away that maybe, if Jurors whom, you assume follow their directions and are otherwise good enough to be on the jury they are already on might have heard it, it could potentially have influenced them, hence obstruction.

      The report wants you to believe that Trump saying nice things about Manafort in public is obstruction of justice, but of course they don't actually say it is.

      "Nexus to an official proceeding. The President's actions towards Flynn, Manafort, - - appear to have been connected to pending or anticipated official proceedings involving each individual."

      Translation: "again, we don't have any supporting evidence, but ... boogah boogah"

      "Intent. Evidence concerning the President's intent related to Flynn as a potential witness is inconclusive. As previously noted, because of privilege issues we do not have evidence establishing whether the President knew about or was involved in his counsel's communications with Flynn's counsel stating that Flynn's decision to withdraw from the joint defense agreement and cooperate with the government would be viewed as reflecting "hostility" towards the President. And regardless of what the President' s personal counsel communicated, the President continued to express sympathy for Flynn after he pleaded guilty pursuant to a cooperation agreement, stating that Flynn had "led a very strong life" and the President "fe[lt] very badly" about what had happened to him."

      Translation: well, they did outright say "we don't have any evidence" didn't they. But to throw you off they followed up with "oh and he said nice things about someone in public so ... look shiny!"

      This is important. They said they had no evidence on intent or knowledge. None. Yet they then proceed directly to:

      "Evidence concerning the President's conduct towards Manafort indicates that the President intended to encourage Manafort to not cooperate with the government. Before Manafort was convicted, the President repeatedly stated that Manafort had been treated unfairly. One day after Manafort was convicted on eight felony charges and potentially faced a lengthy prison term, the President said that Manafort was "a brave man" for refusing to "break" and that "flipping" "almost ought to be outlawed." At the same time, although the President had privately told aides he did not like Manafort, he publicly called Manafort "a good man" and said he had a "wonderful family."

      Would that be the evidence they just admitted they didn't have? What is the supporting evidence for the claim about the aides? In the Starr Report, when they made a claim like that they backed it up with direct quotes and attribution. We do not see that here, do we? It makes a reasonable person wonder why, doesn't it?

      By now you can see the pattern. A lot of hand waving and nothing substantial. Despite his protestations of not being allowed, it didn't seem to prevent the office that investigated Bill Clinton's obstruction of justice charges from being explicitly and succinctly made with direct quotes, dates, attributions and details.

      Mueller's report on obstruction is wordier, with less actual details and finding of fact. Remember that general rule about legal documents and wordiness?

      In fact, the next section talks about Cohen. It is several pages of "Cohen said things about an activity that is not illegal" and "the press said this and that". Then it goes into this, see if it sounds familiar:

      "In analyzing the President's conduct related to Cohen, the following evidence is relevant to the elements ofobstruction ofjustice.
      a. Obstructive act. We gathered evidence ofthe President's conduct related to Cohen on two issues: (i) whether the President or others aided or participated in Cohen's false statements to Congress, and (ii) whether the President took actions that would have the natural tendency to prevent Cohen from providing truthful information to the government.
      i. First, with regard to Cohen's false statements to Congress, while there is evidence, described below, that the President knew Cohen provided false testimony to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project, the evidence available to us does not establish that the President directed or aided Cohen' s false testimony."

      Translation: "We just wasted your time because, again, we don't have any evidence whatsoever that Trump was actually involved in any of this."

      It then goes on to say:
      "But Cohen said that he and the President did not explicitly discuss whether Cohen's testimony about the Trump Tower Moscow project would be or was false, and the President did not direct him to provide false testimony. Cohen also said he did not tell the President about the specifics of his planned testimony. "

      Translation: "So not only do we not have any evidence Trump was involved, our source for these claims explicitly said he wasn't".

      Seriously? So, what, you may wonder does this have to do with Trump at all, then? What justice was being obstructed? The investigation into Cohen was about COhen's activities, not Trump's. See, they have this section in each non-claim on what it is supposed to be obstructing. In this case:

      "b. Nexus to an official proceeding. The President's relevant "conduct towards Cohen occurred when the President knew the Special Counsel's Office, Congress, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York were investigating Cohen's conduct. The President acknowledged through his public statements and tweets that Cohen potentially could cooperate with the government investigations.
      See, there? They were investigation Cohen's conduct. Do they allege Trump tried to stop the investigation? No. Do they allege he tried to hypothetically sway easily manipulated jurors by making public statements? No. Their entire claim here is about them talking about Cohen.

      So lets get to the next part, the lack of evidence.

      "Intent. In analyzing the President's intent in his actions towards Cohen as a potential witness, there is evidence that could support the inference that the President intended to discourage Cohen from cooperating with the government because Cohen's information would shed adverse light on the President's campaign-period conduct and statements."

      If you want to know why Mueller didn't charge the POTUS, there is your answer. At best they have unremarked evidence that could, maybe, perhaps, support an inference that maybe he didn't want Cohen to talk about Cohen's behavior. That wouldn't wash in a court of law. Rather than being "beyond a reasonable doubt", that is almost the opposite as it is brimming with doubt.

      Now lets wrap up this tawdry listing with their conclusions.

      "In this investigation, the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference. But the evidence does point to a range ofother possible personal motives animating the President's conduct. These include concerns that continued investigation would call into question the legitimacy of his election and potential uncertainty about whether certain events-such as advance notice of WikiLeaks's release of hacked information or the June 9, 2016 meeting between senior campaign officials and Russians- could be seen as criminal activity by the President, his campaign, or his family."

      Wherein is there any obstruction of justice in that? There isn't any. It then lists bunch of things that sound bad then concludes them with this:

      "Consistent with that pattern, the evidence we obtained would not support potential obstruction charges against the President's aides and associates beyond those already filed."

      Again, why did they not file charges? They said so: they didn't have evidence to support doing so.

      Everything else said about why, such as "we can't do it to a sitting POTUS" is utter bunk. They begrudgingly admitted in their own report they didn't have evidence that warranted charges. This is then followed by page after useless page of what is basically a pissing match about what constitutes obstruction of justice. I say useless because they already said they didn't have evidence of it in the case of Trump.

      Ask yourself this: why is it that the Starr report authors did not feel the need to justify and describe what obstruction of justice was, but Mueller's team did? Why is it that the Starr report said "He did this, that, and that and it is obstruction (or perjury)", but Mueller's team instead go on and on, all but copy-pasting bits within sections, yet say they don't have any evidence Trump did anything actually illegal?

      One could be forgiven for concluding they desperately wanted to charge him, but knew they couldn't. But then again, I don't have any evidence of intent there, now do I?
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      • Posted by mccannon01 2 years, 4 months ago
        Extremely well thought out and presented post, TheRealBill. THANK YOU for taking the time to put this all together. Your advice that verbosity in this document is a smoke screen to obscure the real facts (or lack of them) is well illustrated. It's even worse than reading a software license agreement when one downloads a new app.
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        • Posted by exceller 2 years, 3 months ago
          Thank you for your thoughtful and intelligent posts on this subject.

          I enjoyed reading them.

          If they achieved the goal that misguided people consider the reality of them, they were well worth taking the effort to post them..

          Thanks again.
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      • -2
        Posted by $ FredTheViking 2 years, 4 months ago
        Robert Mueller is operating under a different set of laws than Ken Star was. Also, Ken Star is not Robert Mueller. Robert Mueller states clearly in his report he constitutionally restricted from making a decision to prosecute as you have admitted. Robert present evidence of the president obstruction of Justice. You have determined there is no crime in spite of large sections of the report being black out. Based on what I have seen a crime of obstruction was likely committed and should be brought to court. The only way to do that is to have Congress remove Trump from office. Again, I am Not saying he is guilty but he should be tried in a court of law.
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        • Posted by TheRealBill 2 years, 4 months ago
          Really, what changed in the constitution since the 1990s, Fred?

          Obviously, nothing did. Even further, the reference to the way the Starr reports is structured and written isn't about the laws, but the presentation of claims. In one report they are clear, unequivocal, and supporting evidence is made concurrently. In Mueller statements about people tweeting and retweet, press interviews, and unattributed non-quotes, with later statements saying they lacked evidence to make a charge. This is why ultimately the bit about alleged unconstitutionality is a smoke screen: if you don't have sufficient evidence to bring a charge of a a criminal act, it does not matter if you're allowed to or not.

          Further, Mueller's team had more actual powers available to them as a "counterintelligence investigation" than Starr's did.

          "Robert present evidence of the president obstruction of Justice."

          I'll take that as an answer to the question of whether or not you, personally, have read the report as "no I have not", since in every situation it says they did not have the evidence to support a charge. If you want to actually answer in the affirmative, I am sure you can point to exactly where it says "we have evidence he did X and that constitutes obstruction of justice". Or rather, that you can not.

          Indeed, I'll even give you the listing of their "key issues and events" to make it easier for you:

          1. The Campaign's response to reports about Russian support for Trump.
          2. Conduct involving FBI Director Comey and Michael Flynn.
          3. The President's reaction to the continuing Russia investigation.
          4. The President's termination of Comey
          5. The appointment of a Special Counsel and efforts to remove him.
          6. Efforts to curtail the Special Counsel's investigation.
          7. Efforts to prevent public disclosure of evidence
          8. Further efforts to have the Attorney General take control ofthe investigation.
          9. Efforts to have McGahn deny that the President had ordered him to have the Special Counsel removed.
          10. Conduct towards Flynn, Manafort
          11. Conduct involving Michael Cohen

          So, on which of those does the report say it has sufficient evidence to support a charge? surely, if you read it and they wrote it, you can do that, correct?

          In fact, not only does it not do that, it actually argues against some of the claims, if you read the whole thing. For example, on the subject of granting pardons, there are numerous paragraphs devoted to writing about how Trump was repeatedly asked by the press if he would pardon individuals -- specifically ones who had not been convicted at the time -- and how Trump either did not respond or did not confirm he would. It even quotes him in at least one case as saying there was nothing to pardon and that there was no conviction for him to pardon.

          Despite the pages of text surrounding that, it makes no actual claim that this constitutes a corruptly obstructive act. The reader is left with the assumption that since they wrote about it, it must be. However, when you read the pages of pissing contest over court cases and legal disagreements, you find that they use the offer of a pardon before a conviction as a possibly corrupt act - something that at great lengths they illustrate was something Trump did not do. Now put those together, will you?

          Even further, consider this from that same section:
          "As an initial matter, the term "corruptly" sets a demanding standard. It requires a concrete showing that a person acted with an intent to obtain an " improper advantage for [him]self or someone else, inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others.""

          Again, they repeatedly say they have no evidence of that intent, and often no evidence he was even aware of the actions - regardless of whether they were a crime or not.

          For example, there are several pages of text about the imposition of sanction against Russia in December of 2016 and a few members of the incoming administration's takeover team reaching out to Russian officials to get them to not "escalate" in their retaliation. Leaving aside whether or not that action was legal (which the report does not take up), the text makes it clear that they have no evidence Trump new, and indeed the evidence they provide indicates he not only did he not know, when the administration found out about the false statements made surrounding the event they got rid of the person.

          Ultimately, the main issue at hand that we should all be concerned with regardless of what we think of Trump (or don't think) is this one:

          "Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

          What is wrong with this? It presumes guilt. A prosecutorial investigation formed for the express purpose of looking for crimes bears the responsibility of providing evidence of crimes, not clearing the accused's name. It was not Mueller's job to prove Trump innocent, or "not guilty", it was not their job to prove a crime did not happen. It was to investigate if there was one and take action on that.

          This is not only moving the goal posts, it is making them out of red herrings. Consider that position in a court of law. "You honor, the prosecution can't conclusively prove the defendant did not commit the crimes of which she is accused, so we want her punished."

          Think very intently on that. Now, assuming you have, add this into your thinking: obstruction of justice is not limited to government officials. Indeed, most often it is not levied against them but against private citizens. Why does that matter? Mueller's report tries to plant the implication that Trump's tweets reach a wide audience, thus may be -- if accompanied by a desire to corruptly affect the outcome -- qualify as OoJ. Between that being a very broad brush and converting failing to find sufficient evidence into failing to prove innocence, that is very dangerous territory to tread.

          Again, lets go back to what the OSC was to do, in their own words:

          The May 17, 2017 Appointment Order and the Special Counsel regulations provide this Office with jurisdiction to investigate "federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel's investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses." 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a). Because of that description of our jurisdiction, we sought evidence for our obstruction-of-justice investigation with the elements of obstruction offenses in mind.

          Notice what they are to be looking for: evidence of crimes. They didn't find it. And what was the impetus? Comey's firing. As the report clearly states, the obstruction investigation was added after Comey was fired, and that Trump had a legitimate, non-corrupt reason to do so. Indeed, they knew it at the time.

          Not only that, but arguably their biggest allegation around that was the discussion of Flynn with Comey. Yet, for those who read it, the report actually says it wasn't obstruction:

          As described above, the evidence does not establish that the President asked or directed intelligence agency leaders to stop or interfere with the FBI's Russia investigation- and the President affirmatively told Comey that if "some satellite" was involved in Russian election interference "it would be good to find that out."

          Other evidence indicates that the President was concerned about the impact ofthe Russia investigation on his ability to govern. The President complained that the perception that he was under investigation was hurting his ability to conduct foreign relations, particularly with Russia.

          That is important because as the report also indicates, actions that the POTUS takes to advance his official duties can not be construed as corrupt - something required for OoJ. Whether they intended it or not, this section establishes a just-cause for the firing of Comey.

          This basis is, indeed, upheld in their section on the firing of Comey. They do play fast and loose with using the term "Russia investigation", but when you actually read it they repeatedly point out that for POTUS, the term "Russia investigation" and specifically the allegation of collusion between him and the Russian government to get elected. Note that not only did the report conclude this did not happen, they cite repeatedly - with attributed quotes - that Trump's anger was over Comey letting that perception persist, and that it was interfering with Trump's duties and responsibilities. It is one of the few things the report makes abundantly clear.

          The several pages of Trump vs. Comey being about the false perception of Trump being a Russian stooge are what is known as "exculpatory evidence" - and speak directly to intent. As the report says, because there was no underlying crime for the POTUS to cover up, they have to consider other possible reasons - reasons that are not necessarily corrupt. Indeed, the presence of non-corrupt reasons means musing about possible corrupt ones is a non sequitur. Especially when you spend pages on pages documenting the just intent.

          Now, there is a section where you can argue they claim there is evidence of a corrupt intent, but you'll also need to refer to their section defining obstruction and how despite a corrupted intent, it doesn't make the act obstruction. If you've read it, you'll know what that is and can bring it up. Indeed, that is also a defining tendency of the report: they will state that an act does not qualify as obstruction, then say that evidence supports an inference of intent. However, by the definition in the report, that an act itself does not constitute an obstruction, intent is irrelevant.

          Which is where, if one goes with the narrative that Mueller and team wanted to get rid of Trump, then the inclusion of statement specifying you need three specific items to be true to complete an obstruction, then if any one of them is false, you've bit yourself. It also bites someone who tries to claim it was obstruction.

          Overall, however, it reads to me like a political document. Maybe they want to nail Trump but know they don't have sufficient evidence. Or maybe they just want to "please everyone" and avoid being called out by either party as clearly showing bias. Both are reasonable inferences. That said, I think anyone with a functional reasoning mechanism and knowledge of recent history will know the latter is an impossible task.
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          • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 2 years, 4 months ago
            I agree with almost everything you say, however Ken Starr was operating under different laws. He was appointed by a three judge panel as an "Independent Counsel" under the Ethics in Government act. The Independent Counsel was explicitly overseen by congress and reported to them. That law expired in 1999. Mueller was appointed as a "Special Counsel" by officers of the Justice Department. He reported to the Attorney General. It was up to the Attorney General what, if any, of his report to share.

            So, it was more appropriate for Starr to address items specifically to congress since he reported to them.
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            • Posted by TheRealBill 2 years, 4 months ago
              Sure, but that is not a question in this case as I made no argument about to whom the report was addressed as a fact. Going into that makes it worse for the Mueller.

              Starr had no prosecutorial powers. Nor did he operation under the auspices of a "counterintelligence investigation" - which is entirely different than a criminal one or even a political one.

              My commentary on the Starr report was in how it presented specific and uncertain assertions, succinctly stated they were a violation of law (obstruction and perjury to be precise), and what exact items supported the claim. There was no "if we squint one eye, close the other, whistle at the moon and dogs, we might be able to say Clinton might have obstructed justice but we don't have sufficient evidence to conclude it." As a non-prosecutorial document the Starr report could easily have been justified looking like the Mueller report. Indeed, I had expected the Starr report to be a mish-mash of vague inferences.

              Consider the first count of obstruction of justice in the Star report, visible at

              Notice the very clear, concise statement of stating the President obstructed justice, followed by explicit and direct attributed quotations from testimony supporting the assertion.

              This is where the Starr report matters: it is in the distinction between the textual behavior in the two reports. By contrast, Volume 2 of the Mueller report is as about as far from that as you can get. And yes, the context of the reports is different: Mueller had direct prosecutorial authority.

              In Starr's report to Congress it was "we think these crimes we explicitly accuse him of may constitute grounds for impeachment". Again, very explicit and open about it. Where is that in Mueller's report? Well, it is vague hints at it that, in my view, read more like him trying to toss a hot potato. While Starr did report to Congress and was officially doing an investigation for potential impeachment, Mueller was ostensibly not doing that, but pursing a counterintelligence and criminal investigation.

              In finding insufficient evidence to charge Trump, the report is now being claimed by Democrats, and to some extent by Mueller, as an impeachment investigation. Which would be a serious breach of its own as it would be Congress appropriating the powers of another branch under false pretenses. In short, it would confirm what Trump has been tweeting the whole time: that it wasn't an actual investigation.

              Finally, with Mueller not operating under purview of Congress, addressing items specifically to Congress would be inappropriate. At best they should be explicit on grounds of sufficient evidence or lack thereof on each accusation. At a minimum, assuming he truly intended to make no determination, they should be addressed to the head of the Department of Justice for them to make the call.

              And again, Ken Starr was operating under the same constitution, and the same lack of "presidential immunity" laws. Reports are today that Mueller repeatedly, in front of multiple witnesses insisted that he was emphatically not making a no-obstruction decision based on the DoJ policy. He was apparently asked point blank if that if it was not for that policy would he have found obstruction, to which Mueller allegedly insisted that was not the case -- absent the DoJ policy he still would not have found obstruction.
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        • Posted by TheRealBill 2 years, 4 months ago
          "Robert Mueller states clearly in his report he constitutionally restricted from making a decision to prosecute as you have admitted. "

          It wasn't an "admission", it was pointing out a claim. The doesn't make it true. But I want to call this argument out because it is fatally flawed. The constitution does not give any immunity from prosecution while in office. It is a claim that is made, nothing more. No court has upheld the argument either. In fact, we have historical evidence that the argument is not valid.

          Here is where the argument claims an immunity exists:

          The President, Vice President and civil officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

          Now, where does it say those people are immune from prosecution? Right, it does not do so. Note that it does not only say the POTUS, but also the VP. That is important because ... sitting VPs have been charged and indicted. IF the article above granted immunity while in office, it granted it to the VP as well. Yet VP Agnew didn't have this alleged immunity, and neither did Aaron Burr. Remember him? He shot and killed Alexander Hamilton. He was indicted in two states on that, while he continued to serve out his term - to include presiding over the impeachment of as SCOTUS Justice.

          Now some try to make arguments that the POTUS is somehow excluded. But that is not in the constitution. There is no text whatsoever in the article that says that only impeachment is allowed, and only for the POTUS, but that the VP can be indicted.

          In point of fact, Agnew's legal team made the argument that he could not be indicted as long as he was VP because according to the quoted article, the only route was via impeachment. The DoJ disagreed.

          There is no law, no constitutional provision granting a sitting "President, Vice President, and civil officers" protection from being legally charged with a crime while in office. For Mueller to claim he is legally forbidden to do so is not true. Indeed, he doesn't quite make that claim. He actually says that he doesn't because it is policy in the Department of Justice to not do so.

          Most accurately it states:
          The Office ofLegal Counsel (OLC) has issued an opinion finding that"the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions" in violation of "the constitutional separation of powers."

          One might wonder if that decision was made at the onset, or when they realized they didn't have sufficient evidence to reach a criminal prosecution, let alone a conviction.

          Indeed, despite the way it is often portrayed, an impeachment is not a criminal trial - the legislative branch has no authority to conduct criminal trials. Which means we can understand the article better when it says "Impeachment and Conviction". That they are separate things is important. An impeachment is not a conviction. That means there are two avenues listed. The Senate's power to punish is specifically limited to removal from office.

          We don't need to rewrite the constitution for this, we just need to read it.

          That said there is a procedural preference, however. A POTUS can pardon anything but impeachment - because impeachment is not a criminal conviction. So from a procedural perspective you would want to impeach first so he or she could not pardon themselves of the legal act prior to impeachment, limiting themselves to the removal of office as their only punishment. But that is not a constitutional restriction, nor is it a law that you must do it in that order.

          There is no law, nor constitutional provision, specifying that we must impeach before we charge with a crime. Anyone claiming otherwise is ignorant of, or lying about, it.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 4 months ago
      Fred. You have bought into the carefully crafted talking points that mislead half the country. I will repeat some of the points I made that you did not read.

      Fact: Mueller said no collusion in his report and no obstruction when questioned by the house.
      That's that case closed.

      Everything else is a smoke screen to cover up the Democrat "Insurance Policy".of attempted Coup, obstructing the President's duties.and Lying before the country. That to me is criminal, unethical and immoral. But Political parties don't care about that. Just power.

      This Dem "Fishing Expedition" resulted in no catch just a tangled fishing line. What they are still saying now is a tall tale about what they want people to think they caught..

      Clinton investigation resulted in 13 charges of Guilty by an Independent prosecutor. Trump investigation was by a dependent Special council Democrat and Trump hating lawyers.which resulted in no guilty charges.

      There was no collusion. Calling it "Not finding evidence" still means not Guilty. It does not mean that more investigations must be done like Nadler insists nor a basis for impeachment.
      If the trump hating bunch in two and a half years found nothing then Nadler certainly won't. .

      As far as Obstruction.- Mueller and his Dem Script Writers invent a new category of Not Not Guilty. Couldn't exonerate. Exoneration is for trials not fact finders like Special prosecutors. The judicial system does not work like that,.
      The only "Evidence" touted was that Trump wanted Mueller fired. It didn't happen. Mueller even said in front of the house that at no time was his investigation obstructed. So no obstruction. Period

      There is no crime called thinking about obstructing. . Just as it is not a crime to think about rape or theft or even murder. The Democrats are the thought Police of George Orwell's nightmare scenario "1984".

      You might say well he told someone to fire Mueller. It is also not a crime to get angry and say "I want this guy dead".and certainly not a crime to say "I want this guy fired".

      The President can be held accountable and no laws need change. Mueller created a "straw Man" argument by saying he could not make any charges. The Law says "Should not" . Just like the Clinton investigation could and did bring charges of Guilty. So Mueller could have made charges. He had nothing so he is told to muddle the language so Nadler and Schiff can continue to spout lies and try again to subvert the 2016 election.

      Gore Counted Chads and Bush still won. Trump counts Bads and still wins.
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      • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 2 years, 4 months ago
        He didn't tell McGhan to fire Mueller. He said that Mueller had a conflict of interest and shouldn't be leading the investigation. He wanted McGhan to make the case to Rosenstein. In the report he never told McGhan to fire Mueller.

        And, McGhan, being the White House Counsel, had no authority to fire anyone in the Justice Department.
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        • Posted by TheRealBill 2 years, 4 months ago
          "And, McGhan, being the White House Counsel, had no authority to fire anyone in the Justice Department."

          Indeed, and this is actually critical to it not being a candidate for obstruction because it is not a natural and reasonable expectation that telling your own lawyer to call up a department and demand they fire someone will stop or impede the investigation.

          Even further, consider this from the report:

          "The President's repeated efforts to get McGahn to create a record denying that the President had directed him to remove the Special Counsel would qualify as an obstructive act if it had the natural tendency to constrain McGahn from testifying truthfully or to undermine his credibility as a potential witness ifhe testified consistently with his memory, rather than with what the record said.

          There is some evidence that at the time the New York Times and Washington Post stories were published in late January 2018, the President believed the stories were wrong and that he had never told McGahn to have Rosenstein remove the Special Counsel. The President correctly understood that McGahn had not told the President directly that he planned to resign. Tn addition, the President told Priebus and Porter that he had not sought to terminate the Special Counsel, and in the Oval Office meeting with McGahn, the President said, "I never said to fire Mueller. I never said 'fire."' That evidence could indicate that the President was not attempting to persuade McGahn to change his story but was instead offering his own-but different-recollection of the substance of his June 2017 conversations with McGahn and McGahn's reaction to them."

          Again, we see them admit there was a non-corrupt reason for the actions taken, which means by their own standards, it was not obstruction. When I started reading this section I actually thought they finally had him on something. But by the time I finished it and referenced their other commentary on criteria I realized they did not. To wit one portion on that one reads "To establish a nexus, it would be necessary to show that the President's actions would have the natural tendency to affect such a proceeding or that they would hinder, delay, or prevent the communication of information to investigators. Because McGahn had spoken to Special Counsel investigators before January 2018, the President could not have been seeking to influence his prior statements in those interviews."

          This gets to the core of their lack of ability to conclude crimes were committed. Anytime they appear to have the trifecta of an obstructive act combined with intent and a connection, one or more of them falls away on further reading of the report. They can sometimes infer an intent to obstruct, but the action taken doesn't qualify as one. Or they have an act that could qualify if taken with a corrupt intent, but then have to admit non-corrupt intent exists. In a court of law that is called "reasonable doubt". In a case of a blatant doubt, prosecutors will generally avoid prosecution precisely because that doubt will create a "not guilty" verdict.
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          • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 2 years, 4 months ago
            I did come away with the impression that McGhan was a Drama Queen who dearly wanted to be heroic Elliot Richardson standing against Richard Nixon. If he had been AG and Trump had explicitly ordered him to fire Mueller that might be true. But he was White House counsel and couldn't fire anyone -- except possibly underlings in the White House counsel's office.
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            • Posted by TheRealBill 2 years, 4 months ago
              I know very little about McGhan. So little I had to look up the listing in the report to see who and what he was. However, a key detail in that section was the contestation over his threatening to resign. They concluded he never did so. I got more that he was generally, let's say "cautious", about anything that would make him look bad. I could see that being a bit of a drama queen, and people who orbit high profile persons do often seem to exhibit an inflated sense of self-importance due to their proximity.
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      • -2
        Posted by $ FredTheViking 2 years, 4 months ago
        In the report, specifically states it is the long standing policy of the department of justice to not prosecute a standing president as it would undermine the constitutional authority of the president. The report further states it is Congress's job to impeach and try the president. The report makes this clear in the summary. Mueller said he had no authority to make prosecution decision against the president. Congress does. Ken Star was operating under a different set of laws, which ironically Democrats weakened, but that besides the point.
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        • Posted by exceller 2 years, 4 months ago
          Mueller stated before that the OLC restriction was not the basis of his report.

          You are stating flowery arguments here without having the facts.

          It would be a good idea to stick to facts. Or is it too hard for you?
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    • Posted by newron1018 2 years, 4 months ago
      Trump is aware and he is playing the cards very well. If he has his day in court and politics vote along party lines the Federal Government has lost and so have we. But the final outcome is persecution of the swamp and what are they hiding.
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