April 20, 2019

Blame Mueller, or yourselves, not Barr —
Word to Donut Twitter, Beltway stenos and The Resistance

I said it before, just a few days ago. Some of the reasons why Robert Mueller didn't bag bigger game than he did are the fault of nobody but the man in the special prosecutor's mirror.

He made choices on what he did, and did not do, and that's part of why where we're at. At the same time, to the delight of Donut Twitter and Just.Another.Politician.™,  it's clear that Battling Bob thought there actually was an attempt by Trump to get Russia to help him win the election, and by Russia to offer said help.

Really?

If Mueller truly believes that, he's as dumb as a mud fence. As I've also said before, Vladimir Putin is way too smart to believe that a weathervane like Donald Trump could be controlled.

But, that seems to be the case.

Update, May 27: Michael Wolff, in his new book, "Siege: Trump Under Fire," nails Mueller totally:
Robert Mueller, the stoic marine, had revealed himself over the course of the nearly two-year investigation to his colleagues and staff to be quite a Hamlet figure. Or, less dramatically, a cautious and indecisive bureaucrat.
And with that, back to the original piece.

An Atlantic piece has a number of reasons to blame Robert Mueller's investigation of alleged collusion in its 14-point summary. I'll briefly tackle each of the 14 and why they reflect badly on Mueller, or Donut Twitter/The Resistance.
  1. Some interviewees using encrypted devices? Federal judges have ordered Apple to unlock iPhones, or else the Eff Bee Eye has done workarounds.
  2. The "can't charge a president"? Gee, I remember the Paula Jones lawsuit against Slick Willie was allowed to go forward while he was Prez, including Jones' team deposing him. If Mueller refused to challenge the OLC "guidance," again, on him. A number of constitutional law scholars have said it's either overbroad or nugatory. It should be nugatory, given that actual impeachment trials ONLY involve removal from office and not actual criminal convictions or penalties. Mueller needed to, and didn't, learn from Jack Brooks, who knew the difference between impeachment and a criminal case.
  3. I don't think the Trump Tower/Don Jr. meeting was collusion. Here, Mueller was sniffing The Resistance's chemtrails all along.
  4. Trump's "I'm fucked' means nothing legally. Why Mueller has it in the report, I don't know.
  5. Sessions, for all his issues, did not unrecuse himself. We're getting close to wanting to criminalize the First Amendment, Atlantic.
  6. Ditto on Trump and Don McGahn.
  7. Ditto on Trump wishing for Roy Cohn as his lawyer.
  8. The late-stage delay "reason" (excuse) for not subpoenaing Trump? As I said on my first piece about the report's release, that never bothered Archibald Cox, Lawrence Walsh, or Ken Starr. And, the idea that you're operating under a different special counsel statute is irrelevant here. You weren't put on a clock. Both here and point 2, at Politico, Paul Rosenzweig says "Mueller flinched." I agree. AND! Rosenzweig served under Shrub Bush AND on Ken Starr's staff. (Alan Dershowitz also agrees, at the link.) And, re flinching and Point 3, Mueller also refused to subpoena Don Jr.
  9. Trump "beside himself" is of no more legal relevance than his "I'm fucked."
  10. Whoever was the particular person to start writing the draft of what would be Trump's letter to Comey is interesting but irrelevant legally.
  11. Direct Russian offers of assistance? Name them or it's not so. At a minimum, state that it's a reference to the Internet Research Agency 12 indictments, and at least hint that it goes beyond what's been publicly revealed there.
  12. Sarah Hucksterman Sanders' lies to the press? Again, legally irrelevant.
  13. The Papadopoulos rabbit trail is just that, IMO. 
  14. Cohen-Trump talks? Asked and answered already. Why does The Lanyard bring them up again?
This whole thing is silly.

Beltway stenos continue to try to absolve themselves from misinterpreting shit, including the idea of collusion. Mueller pulled half his punches, that much is clear, and apparently was brewing his own batch of collusion Kool-Aid to boot. And, Donut Twitter and The Resistance will continue to glom on to this Beltway steno shit and ignore everything I just said about the reality of Mueller.

More along these lines from Aaron Mate.

Once again, the bottom line:

What we really have, as I see it, is a lot of Donut Twitter wishing criminal law worked like civil law — preponderance of evidence instead of beyond a reasonable doubt. But, that AIN'T the way it works, quite fortunately.

Sadly, Mueller was a bit more out on that limb, it seems, than I would have thought.

Oh, and Marcy? Emptywheel? Since the investigation by Mueller is wrapped up, you're free to name your Evil Threatening Journalist you turned in to the Eff Bee Eye. You're free to name why you turned him in.

Update, May 1: According to Greenwald, the FBI itself did nothing but a pro forma investigation and pretty much treated her claim as a joke, and she's done a between the lines admission of that.

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