A few preliminary thoughts about the Mueller Report vis-a-vis the Trump Crime Family and the 2020 election

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1) Mueller found no collusion, but does his report explain why a half dozen key Trump Crime Family members blatantly and in apparent coordination with each other lied about their contacts (which did happen) with Russian officials and agents?

This could be explained as follows.

For their part, Russia interfered with the election. This is known.

For their part, the Trump Crime Family attempted to coordinate with the Russians, but the Russians are not stupid. They regarded the Trump people as the Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Strait, and while Trump Jr, Flynn, Pence, and the rest of them, kept trying to open back channels and bend over backwards for the Russians, the Kremlin kept them at arms length. Why allow the idiots to get themselves arrested or impeached, thus becoming useless, rather than useful, idiots?

2) The special prosecutor a) chose to not move forward on obstruction but b) it was Barr and the Justice Department that determined that this is not worth pursuing. It is pretty clear that Trump committed obstruction, he is just going to get away with it. We have to see the report itself to consider this further.

3) Since so much of the left, the Democratic, the blue-wavist, momentum was (unwisely) tied up in this report, that is done now. Trump was polled as behind various Democrats in head-to-head comparisons, and his popularity and approval ratings were all down. The next head to head comparisons will likely show Trump as a possible 2020 winner, and his approval ratings will now go abruptly up. Had this report come out in this exact manner last October 1st, there would not have been as strong of a blue wave.

4) That slightly squishy zone, those who are Trump supporters but who we thought could be convinced to turn on him, will now harden and move fully into the Trump camp. This includes voters, the handful of Republican Senators that occassionally pretended to contemplate doing the right thing, and everyone in between. That particular political strategy for Democrats, not very important to begin with, is surely now zero gone.

5) We are probably left with only one option: To vote Trump out of office, and along with him, a bunch of Senators.

6) Now more than ever, infighting among Democrats is dooming our children, our planet, and ourselves.

This is an important perspective:


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31 thoughts on “A few preliminary thoughts about the Mueller Report vis-a-vis the Trump Crime Family and the 2020 election

  1. No that we can apparently conclude that the current inhabitant of the White House will not be dragged off to jail and may even win re-election I’m wondering what war we are going to foment in order to justify the funneling of even more money into the “defense” budget and who is to be the target for Trump’s Space Force? From what I’ve read recently, politicians are already starting to drool over the pork barrel possibilities of getting a USSF base or a big support contract within their home territories. (My guess is that no such bases or contracts will find their way into a blue state.)

  2. Hmm, Body Count Bush was the president of blood, greed and faith-based initiatives.

    Grease Ball Trump is the president of destroying democracy from within, which of course doesn’t exclude war. But he pretty much can keep doing what he’s doing with impunity. With war, he runs the risk of there being news stories that take the focus off of his narcissistic twitter scats and solipsistic wallowing.

  3. The summary of the Mueller report shows no surprises.

    No more indictments. Not indicting Trump for collusion. Not indicting Trump for obstruction.

    Firing Comey cannot be obstruction. Why? Because Comey wasn’t the one doing the investigation. Mueller was.

    Firing Mueller and stating at the time he was firing Mueller to stop the investigation would have been obstruction. But that didn’t happen.

    Firing Comey is fine – because there were many legitimate reasons to can him (not that Trump needs a reason – his cabinet officers are terminable at will – they serve at the pleasure of the President).

    Further investigation of obstruction will go nowhere (in my opinion).

    Next up – emoluments. That will go nowhere also (in my opinion).

    All the further investigations of Trump will just make him harder to beat next year. But I expect two more years of investigations. Each one weaker than the last.

    I anticipate a lot of democrats eating their own. Starting with the non-socialists eating the socialists.

    I also anticipate a lot of blame being cast Hillary’s way. After all – her October surprise Steele Dossier was what started this whole thing in the first place. That is where the allegation that Trump’s campaign was colluding with the Russians came from – which turns out not to be true. Cohen didn’t go to Prague. Nothing in the dossier has been shown to be true.

    Now that the democrats have failed in taking Trump down with the special prosecutor, and failed to deliver – I suspect the democrats running will start to blame Hillary for the mess they are now in. I guess we will see.

    Should be fun to watch.

    1. True. So what did firing Comey obstruct? Nothing. Trump would have had to fire Mueller to really obstruct – which he didn’t do. This is why there isn’t any evidence to indict for obstruction (in my opinion).

  4. Greg:

    I agree with all of that, with the following caveat for #1:

    It seems a number of Russians did seek to collaborate with the Trump campaign in some fashion. Among them would be Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-linked lawyer who met with Manafort, Kushner, and DT Jr. in Trump Tower in June 2016. Two other potential collaborators are Alexandr Torshin and Maria Butina.

    It’s not clear — to me, at least — what exactly these three hoped to gain and what they would have offered in exchange. But it seems clear they wanted something.

    1. Yes – the will Saletan article I pointed to says this about that (emphasis mine)

      The letter quotes a sentence from Mueller’s report. In that sentence, Mueller says his investigation didn’t prove that members of the Trump campaign “conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” The sentence specifies Russia’s government. It says nothing about coordination with other Russians. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, gave campaign polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian associate who has been linked to Russian intelligence. Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner met secretly in Trump Tower with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-connected lawyer. But neither Kilimnik nor Veselnitskaya is part of the Russian government. They seem to be excluded from Barr’s analysis.

      It is beyond foolish to believe anything coming out of Barr’s mouth short of a confession he’s concealing the truth – that I would believe. The full unadulterated report needs to be released and Mueller needs to confirm nothing has been reacted or changed. And this needs to be done well before the 2020 election.

    2. “It seems a number of Russians did seek to collaborate with the Trump campaign in some fashion. Among them would be Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-linked lawyer who met with Manafort, Kushner, and DT Jr. in Trump Tower in June 2016. ”

      Collaborate, or simply provide instructions? Remember the baseline: There was/is compromat. Collaboration was not necessary. Trump is Putin’s lap dog.

  5. Come on, Rick!

    Don’t expect an honest, independent, reasoned assessment of this from rickA — once you’ve thrown your support behind someone like trump and shown yourself willing to overlook policies that hurt his supporters, are made based on racist beliefs, and a president who is working harder to continue to profit off being president than work at being president, any semblance of decency you had is completely shot.

    1. Right – don’t listen to me – even though I got it right.

      Just listen to the people from within your bubble.

      Good idea.

      I will continue to provide my opinions and the reasons for them, and you can continue to ignore them. That is ok with me.

  6. Over on the bird feed Seth Abramson makes a good point (https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1110266463506567168)

    Seth Abramson
    @SethAbramson
    19m19 minutes ago

    4/ So let’s say Data-point #1 (Mueller’s case file) establishes 80% proof of a crime being committed; Data-point #2 (Mueller’s summary of prosecution and declination decisions) might simply say, “not enough to indict.” Barr’s letter (Data-point #3) can then *imply* “no evidence.”

  7. You never get anything right Rick unless by mistake. It has nothing to do with a “bubble” it has to do with character.

    1. “Right – don’t listen to me – even though I got it right.”

      No rickA, the very report you cite says Trump isn’t exonerated of everything. As I’ve said before, if I want a legal take on something I’ll look for a real lawyer, not you.

      And, as is proven repeatedly, you’ll continue to be happy with the racist, bigoted, anti-poor, anti-minority, anti-woman, comments from trump, because those things match your opinions. Same with the acceptance of nazis and white supremacists.

      The only thing you’ve proved is that you vile people cling to each other.

    2. dean:

      I gave you my opinion on why I didn’t see any evidence for collusion or obstruction, and Trump wasn’t indicted for collusion or obstruction. So my analysis was correct.

      I simply ignore the rest of your insults (as usual).

    3. I gave you my opinion on why I didn’t see any evidence for collusion or obstruction, and Trump wasn’t indicted for collusion or obstruction. So my analysis was correct.

      Not any, RickA? That’s a bit partial of you. There’s plenty of circumstantial evidence for both, just not enough for a criminal prosecution. But not to worry. As I just said to MikeN, there’s so much more legal jeopardy for Trump that Mueller will soon be the least of his worries.

      Like the Donald and MikeN, you shouldn’t break out the bunting too soon.

    4. BBD:

      We will see.

      I am happy to discuss any of the other issues you think will be a problem for Trump.

      Perhaps the Emoluments clause will be next up?

      I am looking forward to the various investigations and court cases.

      I find them interesting and entertaining.

  8. The sad fact is that the worst POTUS in US history by far will probably win the election again in 2020 because large swathes of the US electorate – many in the working class – who are being literally shafted by his policies and those of his Party have brainwashed themselves into thinking that he is ‘one of them’. Trump is utterly repugnant, but the DNC scored an own goal by relentlessly chasing the wild Russian collusion goose. The DNC should be distancing itself from the right wing of the party and pursuing more progressive policies, but it seems that they are content with the US being a plutocracy; Trump and hos goons prefer a kleptocracy bordering on fascism. Trump has handed his foreign policy to the neocons and his domestic policy to the corporate lobbyists. What this will mean is a continuation in the shift of wealth from the 99.9% to the richest .1%, the continued dismantling of regulations leading to more environmental annihilation, entrenched poverty and militarism.

    This is RickA’s American dream. He can keep it.

    1. So the Democrats shouldn’t have tried to find out what relationship Trump and his minions had to the barrage of lies coming from foreigners pretending to be Americans that almost certainly had an effect on the election results. The Republicans weren’t interested so that would mean nobody would have investigated. Is that your idea of how a government should operate?

  9. Tyvor, the DNC lost the party the last election by anointing Clinton who ran a rotten campaign and whose policies would have comfortably put her into the Reagan administration. The progressive wing of the Democratic Party has been shunted increasingly to the margins since McGovern, and since the 1980s the Party has fully embraced the neoliberal doctrine. Clinton was as embedded in the corporate-banking elite culture as any politician in the US.

    The Russian-collusion angle was always a high risk that threatened to blow back in the face of the Democrats. Trump and his administration are vile, we all know that, and the POTUS has a closet full of skeletons and dirty laundry that are far more viable to investigate than the ‘Russians won the election’ angle. Of course they didn’t. Clinton’s lousy campaign and her militarism and plutocratic links did that. Her campaign aliented voters. Blaming the Russians was frankly ridiculous.

    The results of the Mueller report have given Trump and his wretched narcissistic personality disorder a huge boost leading into the next election. I expect his popularity to surge now that he has been cleared, despite the fact that, as I said, the policies embraced by him and the Republicans are shafting a significant portion of his electorate. Now he can speed up the destruction of the environment, the dismantling of government agencies tasked with protecting the poor and safeguarding nature, and can more brazenly see that wealth is concentrated among the ruling elite. The Democrats need urgently to take their Party to the left. The fact that they are marching almost in unison with the neocons on Venezuela, for example, is pathetic. Especially given their silence on the crushing of democracy in Brazil and Ecuador by the right wing forces in these countries (either by ensuring that Lula could not run for the Presidency in Brazil, or by promising during the election to continue with Correa’s left-progressive policies, as Moreno did in Ecuador, then implementing far right neoliberal policies when elected).

    I find the thought of another 5 years of this brainless moron leading the US depressing. The Democrats need to beat him at the ballot box. This is their task now.

    1. Yes, your original point was clear enough but my point was that if the Democrats had not demanded an investigation they would have been in my view abandoning their responsibility to the country. It is clear, at least to me, that the founding fathers took seriously the idea that Congress should act as a check on the President if the situation warrants it. I doubt not that there are still many Americans who value that idea.

      I also think that there is still some political mileage to be gotten from the issue of Russian involvement in our internal elections regardless of the lack so far of compelling evidence for any direct involvement by the current inhabitant of the White House. It is still a worrisome thing to have happened and the Trump administration and the GOP in general have done little if anything to keep it from happening again.

    2. Remember, the report is apparently clearing trump of collusion, but does not (as the clown himself and his dishonest minions are doing) clear him of everything: Barr himself, sending out what seems to be a pre-determined summary, says

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

      I don’t expect anything will come of it — we’ve seen that neither the republicans in power nor trump’s supporters have any concern for law or decency– witness the two primary presidential supporters who post here supporting all the racism, nazi-love, white-supremacist support, etc. the president tosses about – but it shouldn’t fade from public view.

      The liars will continue to say there was nothing here, continue to lie about “spies in the Trump campaign”, and go on about “investigating HRC” and others, but it’s just distraction. We know from the past there was no spy, and nothing to find in the Democratic camp, but their hope is that their cries will take eyes of Trump. If you’re asked why this shouldn’t be viewed as a witch hunt point to the high level Trump people who were indicted, and to the mountain of lies trump and others gave as answers to questions.

  10. I pointed out here that Mueller told Trump he was not a target. I was told I didn’t understand the law. I pointed out ‘not a target’ is a formal DOJ term and means Mueller has no reason to believe Trump had committed a crime(under purview of his investigation). I was told that it was from months ago, and Mueller has learned more in the meantime.
    All the time there was this use of ‘working his way up the ladder’, Gates to Manafort, to Trump Jr, Kushner, and Trump Sr, and ‘tip of the iceberg’ we don’t know what Mueller knows.
    I pointed out that if Mueller were pursuing conspiracy charge against Trump, he would have had Manafort, Flynn, Papadopoulos pleas to conspiracy, instead they pled to lying, making them bad witnesses. I was told I didn’t understand how prosecutions work. Andrew McCarthy wrote in 2017 that Mueller was pursuing obstruction and an impeachment case, not collusion. You would not have been surprised by the results if you paid attention to more news sources.

    1. You didn’t even have to stretch and look at rightwingers in this case. Glenn Greenwald was saying it, and he claims MSNBC banned him because the Russia hoax made them so much money.

      Matt Taibbi published in Rolling Stone two years ago that journalists were committing malpractice in just reprinting anonymous sources with no factchecking.

    2. because the Russia hoax

      There is a world of difference between a hoax and not having enough evidence for a criminal prosecution, MikeN.

      Both you and dear Donald should bear this in mind as you crow. And there’s so very much more legal jeopardy for the Donald that Mueller is poor grounds indeed for a victory lap.

  11. It seems Barr has said the public can see the report after White House officials edit it.

    So — no valid information, just a bunch of inserted lies.

  12. Appearing on Fox Business Network’s Cavuto Coast to Coast Wednesday, Napolitano attempted to explain exactly where Schiff was coming from by getting inside his “head.”

    “We saw on Sunday a four-page summary of a 700-page report,” the Fox analyst said. “The 700-page report is a summary of two million pages of documents, of raw evidence.”

    PAST IS PROLOGUE
    The Mueller Report Could Be Like the Nixon Tapes
    David R. Lurie

    He continued: “In the 700-page summary of the two million pages of raw evidence, there is undoubtedly some evidence of a conspiracy and some evidence of obstruction of justice, just not enough evidence—I’m thinking the way I believe Congressman Schiff is thinking—according to Attorney General Barr, not enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard.”

    Napolitano went on to note that if “there were no evidence of conspiracy and no evidence of obstruction, the attorney general would have told us so,” adding that Barr didn’t, so “there is something there” that Democrats and Trump opponents want to see. And they’ll have a “field day” with it.

    Interesting (but will probably go nowhere). Not that Napolitano is any less partisan, or more honest, or less bigoted, etc., than rickA and mikeN, but interesting that he seemingly isn’t as whitewashed as they are. It’s also interesting to see (at least one lawyer, Napolitano) comment on this.

  13. I was listening to both AM950 (very progressive radio station) and AM1280 (very conservative radio station) on the way into work today.

    It is always interesting to compare and contrast the different world views of the bubbles each side are in.

    The progressive side was filled with conspiracy ideation related to the cover-up and the deletion of all the “good” evidence from the Mueller report. The radio hosts actually believe that Barr is editing the report – not to remove grand jury testimony as required by law – but to strip out the evidence of collusion. Obviously in their world view, this evidence has to exist and the fact that Barr summarized Mueller’s report to state there is no collusion with Russia on the part of the Trump campaign must be wrong and in fact nefarious.

    Of course – I see no evidence of this and if it was happening you can bet we will be seeing leaks galore from the progressive and liberal wings of the Justice department. All we know right now is that as much of the report as law permits will be published and they are taking out the stuff the law requires them to take out. Statements to the contrary are simply based on assumptions, motivated reasoning and conspiracy ideation – because there is simply no evidence to back up their paranoia.

    Meanwhile – over on 1280 they were taking about Jussie Smollett, and engaging in some conspiracy ideation related to the dropping of the charges. Since I am more in the conservative bubble than the progressive one, I have to admit that the dropping of the charges against Smollett strikes me as weird and unusual. So I hope we learn more about how that happened.

    Meanwhile – I very much doubt evidence of collusion is being stripped out of Mueller’s report – but I guess we will see. At a minimum – if that were to occur, I believe Mueller might mention that. But wait – maybe Muller is in on it! No – then there wouldn’t be any evidence of collusion to strip out of the report.

    Very entertaining!

  14. ” – I see no evidence of this”

    Since you see no evidence of Trump’s racism either there is no reason to believe anything you say about this bit.

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