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Monday, March 25, 2019

Knowing

Woe!

Gloom!

Misery!

Ha ha! Losers!

This morning, I look at my social media feeds and I see…

On my Left, despair and bitter disappointment

To the Right, gloating and raucous glee

… and I wonder if we’re all living in same world.


I warned you this might happen.


I did.

I warned you.

I warned you that the universe doesn't care.

What you want has no bearing on what is.

Facts are not influenced by thoughts, prayers, or your silly god.

Truth is indifferent to human desire, or to human suffering, no matter how badly you might want something.

And so, here we are, bitterly disappointed yet again. Or joyously gleeful, depending your point of view.

But let me ask you something: In the cold, hard light of this Monday morning, what is it that you really know?

What do you really know?

What do you have to be disappointed about? Or to crow at? What? That Trump wasn’t magically proved a traitor and criminal? Is that it?

I warned you this might happen. That it wouldn’t be easy. That there wouldn’t be a unicorn. The world is more complicated than that.

I warned you: Robert Mueller is a professional.

Professionalism is what defines him. And that means Mueller would not be influenced by Trump's lies or his threats. But it also means neither would Mueller be influenced by what you wanted.

A professional's investigation goes where the facts, the data, and the evidence lead. Nowhere else.

And so it is just as insulting to expect that he would hand you what you wanted just because that’s what you wanted as it is for the President of the United States to call him a witch hunter. You see, unlike those various congressional inquiries we’ve seen all too much of in recent years, Mueller's investigation wasn't driven by what he wanted, whatever that might be, or by what you wanted, or by what Trump and his supporters wanted, but only by evidence.

And so, here we are.


But what is it that you really know, now, today?


What justification do you have for your despair or for your joy?

What is it that you really know?

I’ll tell you what I know.

I know that the Press hasn't seen the report.

I know that Congress hasn't see the report.

I know you and I haven't seen the report.

That’s what I know for certain.

We haven’t see the report.

We haven’t seen the facts.

We haven’t seen the evidence – and leaving aside the implied assumption that we are qualified to make a legal judgement on that evidence if and when we do, in fact, see this report.

That’s what I know.

That’s what you know.

That's the one thing you know for certain. That you haven't seen the report. You haven't seen the facts.

The pundits who are right now on your radio and on your TV, opining with absolute confidence, they haven't seen the report.

The endless panels of "experts" on every news channel, the roundtables of personalities, Diamond and Silk, Fox & Friends, and the women of The View, none of them have seen the report.

All of the so-called "experts" in politics, law, intelligence, international relations, and everything else who live on social media, on Facebook, and on Twitter, the trolls and the bots and the influencers, none of them have seen the report.

None of them.

They don’t know any more than you do – they’re just hoping you don’t notice.

So, what is it that you know now that you didn't yesterday?


Well, actually, you might know more than you realize you do.


See, you know Trump has seen the report.

You know the Attorney General has seen the report.

You can guess with reasonable accuracy that Trump's inner circle, they've seen the report.

But no one else.

And isn’t that interesting?

It's been three days.

It’s been three days and the report has not yet leaked from an administration that is about as watertight as a wiffle-ball.

Trump didn’t just hand over the report to Congress. Instead he sent William Barr to give a sanitized briefing, a book report approved by The White House, to congress.

And why is that?

More significantly, Trump lives on Twitter. For more than a year he’s daily tweeted in protest of this investigation. Screaming NO COLLUSSION! NO COLLUSION! WITCH HUNT! WITCH HUNT! like some demented parrot. A week back, with the report imminent, he raged the entire weekend, tweeting furiously and giving feverish interviews to anyone with with a microphone. And then, Friday … suddenly he went radio silent.

As soon as Mueller handed in the report, Trump dropped off the air.

He returned this morning, but now that he actually holds in his hand the final report he has become curiously subdued.

And that tells you something.

Trump began the day with, "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"

Complete and Total exoneration, he says.

Complete and total exoneration.

Except, if the report truly does exonerate Donald Trump, completely and totally -- and that is possible, however unlikely -- then the easiest way to prove it is to make the report public. Make the report public, seize the narrative, crush his opponent in one single stroke of schadenfreude. It would be the greatest moment of triumph in the history of politics. Trump, utterly vindicated, by the very man he’s daily vilified as his enemy. And don’t tell me sealed-indictments or classified information are stopping him. Because Trump has never demonstrated any concern for protection of either the legal system or classified information. This investigation, these accusations, this has been Trump’s obsession, the gadfly of all gadflies, the burr under his saddle and the pebble in his shoe, the festering carbuncle on his ass. I gave up counting how many times he’s tweeted about it, or angrily proclaimed his persecution in interviews, or furiously declared “Presidential Harassment” at one of his campaign rallies.

For more than a year we listened as Trump and his various mouthpieces have pushed paranoia and increasingly unhinged conspiracy theories.

And now, in his moment of triumph, when Trump and all of his supporters from Alex Jones to Sean Hannity have finally at long last been proven right, he’s suddenly what? Become reserved on Twitter? No desire to rub victory in the faces of “Chuck and Nancy,” Crooked Hillary, Crazy Joe, Da Nang Dick, CNN, The New York Times, Fake News, or even Alec Baldwin and Saturday Night Live? Really?

No press conference?

No tweetstorm?

Really?

If Mueller’s report really says what Trump claims it does, then he could own all the liberals, forever, by simply releasing it.

Instead, he’s quoting Fox News this morning and wishing us all a great day.


Of course, Trump could similarly prove many of the things he claims by making public his tax returns, transcripts, etc. He won’t do that, either. And probably for the same reason.


Folks, it was always likely Mueller would find no directly actionable evidence of Trump's personal collusion.

Guys like Trump don't get their own hands dirty.

Nixon had his plumbers and Reagan had Ollie North and unless Trump was incredibly stupid about it, proving his personal collusion with Russia was unlikely. Sure, he benefited from Russian interference in our Republic. Certainly Russia wanted Trump over Hillary Clinton. None of those things are in dispute, but that’s not collusion.

The bar for proving conspiracy and treason is very high, and for good reason.

But obstruction of justice, well that’s something else entirely.

Mueller had to walk a very fine line. We’re not just talking about indicting some idiot general here or some political hack or just any American – or some random coffee-getter. We’re not even talking about Donald Trump the man. No, we’re talking about the Office of the President of the United States of America.

And so the hill is very high, not just the legal and evidentiary requirements, but in this case the political threshold.

If Mueller’s report had dramatically accused the president directly of treason, it would be dismissed out of hand as a political hatchet job. Even if you believed it, Trump’s supporters never would. Trump might have been removed from office, or he might have become a martyr – and I remind you that he and his supporters have repeatedly threatened violence – but it would never be settled.

It was never Robert Mueller’s job to remove the president from office.

That’s our job.

And that is how you want it. That’s how our country is designed. That’s why the Founders wrote the Constitution the way they did.

Because if Trump – any president – is to be removed from office, then unless his crime was so egregious, so blatant, so utterly obvious to every American no matter their ideology, then a report, no matter the integrity and professionalism of the investigator, isn’t enough.

We are on the edge.

Our country is divided.

Danger is close and violence is at hand.

It wouldn’t take much of a spark to set off a conflagration – especially given that there are agencies hostile to our nation who are actively working to see that very thing happen, who would love nothing better than for Americans to begin killing Americans and for the United States to fall into civil war.

No. If Trump is to be removed from office, then the process must be out in the open, public, tried in a court of the people before the people and to such a degree that no reasonable person can argue with the results – or at the very least the argument, no matter how passionate, falls short of civil war and blood in the streets.

Mueller’s job was to gather evidence in confidence. No more. No less. It was never Robert Mueller’s job to remove the president from office and I warned you so.

That’s our job. That’s Congress’s job.

This morning, you have no reason for despair.

You have no reason for glee.


What do you know today that you didn’t know yesterday?


Well, you know the report has not been made public.

You know who’s seen it and who has not.

You know Trump, a man with a record of pathological lies, is asking you to just take his word for it.

That’s what you know.

And, my friends, that’s a lot.


97 comments:

  1. Thank you. Highly appreciated.

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  2. Thank You MR Wright for always having perspective!!

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  3. I thought that the report went straight from Mueller to Barr; if Trump has seen it, it's because Barr shared it with him. It didn't go from Mueller to Trump to Barr.

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    1. There's no way Barr has read the whole report, much less Trump. Sucker is long. Barr hasn't had time enough, and Trump? Trump can't read more than one bullet-pointed page at a time.

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    2. Mueller had his conclusion reached 3 weeks before he gave the report to Barr. He told Barr there would be no evidence of collusion that he could conclude. I would assume Barr had every access to Mueller's report, as well as Rosenstein,& in turn gave it to Trump. So Trump knew exactly what was in that report like Mr Wright stated. I doubted Mueller would want to end his career with the stigma of the one who took down the president of the United States of America, even if he could prove criminal conduct with Russia & obstruction of justice!
      We all know that Russia is involved very heavily in our country's political process among other venues in our country like Facebook. Based upon Trump's interaction with Putin flagrantly shown on television in numerous events, I would have no reason to believe otherwise. But Trump is known for his slick tactics his entire life..doing unorthodox deals..and coming out untouched by it all.
      Like he said..he could shoot someone on 5th Ave and get away with it! That tells you this man's character & ways he's conducted his entire life. I'm sure his connections with Russia were conducted in a way that would imply that Trump wasn't the main character but had someone else do his work for him so he would go unscathed but still get the results he wanted.
      What concerns me the most about Mueller is that he didn't have a face to face questioning with Trump. Why didn't Mueller ask for that? I think that one thing may have changed the direction of Mueller in going further with the investigation. But that's done with & is in the past. The only way we can change our history is by changing our future by voting Trump out of office in 2020! Also electing officials in office that are working for our country & not for their party..if that's possible!!

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    3. Good luck finding a politician that isn't out for themselves or their party line.

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    4. That's why Lindsay Graham was at MAL with Trump that weekend. To provide cover.

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    5. As usual, you're spot on. Thank you.

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  4. Thank You! Well said... people need to read and take note. The coverage has reached the level of nausea inducing... patience is key, the report will become public in time; one way or the other, always does.

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  5. Spot on! Calming words from a very wise man. Thank YOU! I needed this.

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  6. I have lots of people angry about the letter that Barr sent to congress.
    I advised them to chill about it. Still today, they're still angry, and I'm just telling them, get it out of your system and go ahead and vent.
    I'm not upset. I'm curious. I want to read the Mueller report after it gets some redaction and I'm pretty sure that we as the public will get a chance to see it.
    I am going to continue to encourage and push on my House rep Scott Peters, and my senators Kamala Harris and Barbra Feinstein to continue investigations into this administration and into this president. I'm going to tell all of them, ignore what Nancy Pelosi said, impeachment is a possibility but isn't the goal. The goal is to be the check-and-balance against the executive branch. I don't want 45's administration to continue just doing whatever the hell they like, with no regard to the law, and I want my Congressional representation to do their fucking jobs.

    That's what I'm feeling today.
    I hope your Monday is going better than the crazy people wailing in distress or weeping with joy.

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  7. Beautifully done essay as usual. :) Hey, I saw in a recent post that you appreciated it if your readers could point out editorial/proofing issues, and I'm happy to help. Just found a handful here:

    I know that Congress hasn't see[n] the report. < -- add “n” in “seen”

    We haven’t see[n] the report. < -- add “n” in “seen”

    ...sanitized briefing, a book report approved by The White House, to [C]ongress. < -- cap Congress

    Screaming NO COLLU[S]ION! <--just one S needed

    ...tweeting furiously and giving feverish interviews to anyone [with] <-- just one “with” needed

    Complete and [t]otal exoneration, he says. <-- lowercase "t" here.

    You don't have to post this comment if you don't like, but do you prefer any proofing feedback to be delivered in a public comment like this one, or would you rather us email you at your jim@stonekettle email mentioned above? Up to you. :)

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    1. "... or would you rather we email you...."

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    2. SteveAnnie... ... I was just about to throw that 2nd stone, but was making sure it wasn't just my "Brit" sensibilities, etc., etc.

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    3. I was wondering in particular about the collussion - but I concluded that perhaps that was a direct quote from a drmpf tweet. And everything I've read on this blog is excellent - this one is beyond excellent (I can't think of a word). It is also very, very reassuring. Many thanks to Jim Wright.

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  8. Great essay...DJT will be forever lumped with OJ and Casey Anthony.

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    1. Are you kidding? Trump makes OJ look like a model citizen.

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  9. Thanks for your thoughts Jim. I decided long ago to wait to judge until I read the entire report for myself.

    I think what burns me most is watching this executive get away with so much out in the open, where it is repeatedly ignored.. day after day. Ad infinitum.

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  10. Nailed it, as usual. I'm just waiting for the underlying report to either be released by Congress or be leaked. There's not a chance in hell this thing doesn't become public one way or another.

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  11. All on point, Jim. And here's another thing I know this morning: that there is a lot more work to be done; that the SDNY and various Congressional investigative committees haven't (and won't) abruptly curl up into balls of futility and despair; and that all of us, going forward, have to proceed in a manner that is better suited to filtering out the noise and distractions.

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    1. The banking and insurance oversight groups are also investigating.

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  12. The press should refuse any and all overtures from the White House until Trump releases the report.

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    1. If Trump has the report the Russians will see it before the press does.

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  13. I like what Walter Shaub wrote:
    “I‘ve been fully exonerated by a report I won’t let you see, but here’s a short letter by a man I installed as AG because he wrote an odd memo about how I couldn’t have obstructed justice after I spent a year pressuring my first AG to violate a criminal conflict of interest law."

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  14. Interesting that in one of his tweets referenced, trump acknowledges that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Didn't he say he believed his pal vlad? trump will be done in by hubris in the next few months.

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    1. That's because 45* didn't write those tweets. Spelling, punctuation, and multisyllabic words are clues that some poor aide had to interpret his rantings into English.

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  15. Thanks, Jim. I needed that today.

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  16. William Barr is a serial cover-upper, so there's that.

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  17. Very well put, Jim. Thank you for reeling us all back to reality!

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  18. Thank you again for giving us a straight shot at the truth. It is time to flood our elected offices with intelligent, focused, ethical and civic minded individuals. Thank you for your passion to write what is sometimes unpopular but cogent.

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  19. Thank you Jim. The accusations have been proven completely false and the Steele dossier discredited. No can't say that I haven't read the report. Not enough evidence to prove conspiracy? No can't say that I haven't' read the report. Not enough evidence evidence to prove obstruction of justice? No, can't say that I haven't read the report. Until and unless the report is released and disseminated NO ONE knows what is in it. The only people who have read it are those with a vested interest in finding a positive outcome for the Trump administration. Having said that I have really exhausted any factual opinion I can offer.

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  20. Jim, another essay on point for the Henny-Pennys.

    some backseat wordsmithing:

    ". . . the spur under his saddle and the pebble in his shoe . . ." - maybe ". . . the burr under his saddle . . ."?

    ". . . not just the legal and evidence requirements . . ." - maybe ". . . and evidentiary requirements . . ."

    Keep up the good work.

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  21. Much appreciated and very calming. (Also, very much expected--I knew you weren't going to let the yowling and wailing and gnashing of teeth go unremarked.) Thanks, as always!

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  22. We also know that William Barr is acting like a lawyer who knows his client is guilty.

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  23. Thanks Jim. Much needed. Have you ever given a thought to appearing on Bill Maher's show? Spread the gospel.

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    1. I would love to see Jim on Bill Maher! DEFINITELY...

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  24. Where is Ellsberg when you need him.

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  25. "Danger is close and violence is at hand." That is exactly correct. Mueller did his job brilliantly and has passed it off and asked us to do ours. The Mueller report is not a sterile, neat, little package. There are tendrils extending into all of Trump & Company shenanigans. It ain't over yet. Patience and if that takes us to the next election and voting the bum out, that will be just fine too. Thank you, Jim Wright.

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  26. Yes, I was momentarily disappointed, but not surprised. Then I realized there's a lot going on at the SDNY, indictments under seal, redacted court records. I'm looking forward in the tentative hope that we'll see more, and Congress will do its job.

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    1. Indeed. The New York AG hasn't had his chance yet, and they're going for the same things that brought down Capone.

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  27. Well said. Most of the legal experts are saying the same thing you are. We need to read the report, not just a partisan summary from a man who wrote a 20 page essay about how Trump was not guilty of a cover up so he could be appointed to the job of Attorney General. I've been practicing law for almost as long as Barr has, and any decent attorney wants to read the facts and look at the evidence themselves and come to his or her own conclusion concerning what the document really says. Barr didn't check his political loyalties at the door when Trump appointed him to the job. We've still got a long way to go with this one. If anyone is interested in both liberal and conservative legal opinions on this issue, click onto the link below. The one thing they all agree on (save one) is that the report needs to be made public so everyone can read what MUELLER found.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/24/trump-mueller-legal-226111?fbclid=IwAR1LBS4u7xExSb_rTYdx9UNWAx4Xn5UkwunKc6ZRxfSgySVbq114fek9lOs

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  28. Until and unless we get to actually see the report, we will know nothing except that Mueller is finished with the investigation and we have to count on political creatures to make us right.

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  29. Thank you for your voice or reason. Articulation at it's best too.

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  30. What are the odds the report says something like "the President can't be indicted" (a statement of legal fact) but is being spun by Barr and Trump as "there is no evidence / not enough evidence to support an indictment" . The two have the same result (no indictment), but are very different facts.

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  31. Once again, Jim, we—and the nation—are in your debt. A lot of my friends are in despair, or worse. But, thank God [sorry about that!], we have your experience, strength and hope as a balance wheel. Like, I suspect, many of us, I already knew in my heart and brain everything you have said… but I needed to hear you say it to make it real. Thank you.

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  32. There needs to be realistic expectations of Mueller's work. 1-Campaign violations involving foreigners are limited to actual financial contributions and/or donations that have monetary value. Russian trolls posting misinformation and any aid Russia may have given Wikileaks in dumping information damaging to the Clinton campaign do not fit that requirement. 2- Mueller also wasn't tasked with finding tax violations - the IRS and in this case the State Of New York will be doing that and I expect to hear further indictment along those lines. 3- Finally, due to DOJ rules, a public release of the Mueller Report will not include any information about individual investigated but not formally charged. It also cannot include any information from grand jury testimonies without the approval of the presiding judges.

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  33. I doubt DJT has read it, since we know it's probably hundreds of pages and he doesn't read. But so far, this is the best take I have read. Even-handed and lacking the hysteria that seems to be pulsating out of social media. Thank you.

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  34. o be honest I listened to you from before and turned the tv and radio off. and when antiquing. I feel much better about my day because of it. That and I found some cool toys to boot.

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  35. I have been curious what Mueller's, or those of his team's, recourse would be if the report is misrepresented. I sort of suspect there is not a legal, professional one, though I admit I don't know.

    Also, Trump's seeming willingness to have it published. It made me wonder if the new attorney general has assured him nothing untoward would get out. Anything unhelpful is simply "a matter of national security" or something similar. And there is nothing that anyone can do. And Trump can just shrug and say he wants it published but his hands are tied.

    Trump and his nominees have a frightening amount of power right now, many seeming without the desire to do anything but abuse it.

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  36. You appear to be saying we shouldn't take the word of a group that couldn't tell the truth about Inauguration crowd size. I'm with you, 100%.

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  37. Good blog, Jim. However, I am a bit confused about one thing. I believe from what I'm reading in the news, that the only people to have seen the Mueller report itself (at least as of yesterday) were Barr and Rosenstein, with whom Barr consulted -- and Mueller, of course. My understanding is that neither Trump nor his lawyers have yet seen the actual Mueller report itself, unless that has happened since yesterday (Sunday, after Barr released his summary).

    The only thing that has been made public, and that Trump has had the opportunity to see, is Barr's summary of Mueller's report. I do note that Barr quoted Mueller's report in saying that Mueller investigation did not get sufficient evidence to actionably charge Trump with obstruction of justice, but it also did NOT exonerate him of that charge. That's pretty damn important to note.

    As far as the question of a conspiracy between Trump and his campaign and Russia, for the purpose of swaying the election... When you think about it, Trump is not smart enough to be personally, deliberately, consciously of much help to Putin in that process, is he? He is certainly an asset without any real need to sign up with Putin per se -- which is undoubtedly why Putin wanted him elected. Well, that, and Putin's dislike of Hillary, and probably perception of her as far more of a threat to his objectives than Trump.

    But Mueller's findings have certainly revealed an ongoing pattern on the part of Trump and his campaign and associates, of contacts and dismaying, vile eagerness to benefit from Russia's efforts to attack our electoral process and the stability of our country. We the people and our representatives in government do not need a verdict of criminal conspiracy to find that far more than troubling, and to see the need to get people such as that out of power.

    WHile I would have liked it if Mueller had found sufficient actionable evidence to charge Trump with criminal obstruction of justice, or criminal conspiracy, I am very grateful (and quite impressed) for Mueller's consummate professionalism. (Such a contrast with Starr's determination to find SOMETHING on Clinton, no matter how long it took and how hard he had to dig!) THere is, after all, a difference between the kind of evidence a prosecutor needs to charge someone with a crime and expect it has a chance to stick in a court of law, and the kind of evidence that intelligence professionals need to reasonably know what has gone on, or that the people of this country and their representatives need to determine whether a President is corrupt, incompetent, dangerous, etc. (All of which Trump is.)

    I am grateful to Mueller. As far as Barr's actions go so far, I am waiting to see how quickly and fully he releases the Mueller report, and how well he cooperates with the many, many other investigations of Trump et al. that are going on.

    Thank you, Jim, for your post, and for your previous ones as well, for they are part of what has helped me to understand better this whole process.

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  38. Thank you for the reminder that the wheels of justice turn slowly.

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  39. Spot on analysis. I took your advice early on, and I’m glad I did. To watch my social media feeds or TV news is mind boggling.

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  40. I'm with you. I have long said that this report wasn't going to say what everyone (on the left) wanted it to say. But that the satellite investigations.... those were the ones to watch.....

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  41. Exactly, professionally said. What we do know is that there was enough to indict enough folks around the Trump campaign to lead a sane individual to know that there were a coordinated actions. But like Reagan, not enough evidence to pin the tail on the donkey.

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  42. Dude, you're good,
    We share time in different space, but I see you. You moved south when I moved north, but we occupy the same space. I only hope your energy will sustain you as we move through this irregular space. Peace.

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  43. Thanks again, for more well-reasoned, thoughtful insights.

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  44. Whelp, I have been in an altered state as well. But it's all good.
    Since Friday, and especially Sunday, I was able to be unpurturbed by anything all though this has kept me for over a year. Why, because it is March Madness. I know our representatives stayed in town for the same reason. And the playoffs are in Washington DC. Surely, as a former resident of DC, back before cable, computers, etc., we would rent limousines after work and go to hotels in Fredericksburg VA to see the ACC games. And a magical peace reigned. Back to DC same night, and I all the representatives got tickets for themselves, all the lawyers get them if they are partners. And me, back in the day, a measly engineer studying blueprints on the drive down, and snuggled up in the limo home, just like the players on the way back. No matter how contentious my task the next day. And, if I may, I suggest Trump privately publish the report, maybe by the National Enquirer ... because gentle farmers and ranchers are whizzes with finances and law and weather and I'd love to see them with special issues of the Enquirer laid out on top of the old pickle barrel at the feed store. They won't miss a thing in the report and Trump won't know what hit him as long as he gets the vig on the sale of the full reports. Am I thinking clearly. Hope so.

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  45. As always, well written and sourced, and with wisdom. Thank you.

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  46. I thought this was amusing, and seems in line with your post.

    https://www.truthdig.com/cartoons/no-collusion/

    Leroy

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  47. Excellent essay and oddly it made me feel better. Thank you for your observations and insights sir

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  48. I'm not surprised. Too many people have been hanging their hopes on the results of that investigation.

    1. We Don't even know how many pages it is. We don't know if there was a bunch more evidence pointing right at Trump, but nothing that could be called criminal. Until and if we have access to that, I'm not going to assume anything. Assuming things got us here.

    2. He's going to use this "total exoneration" BS every day, all day, until election day, and its going to work for him. I won't be making myself crazy arguing with those who were going to follow him over the cliff anyway.

    3. Bell is just a better Bork, his absurd letter means very little, but he'll likely get away with it.

    4. Lindsey Graham continues to carry water for Trump by insisting the FISA warrant on Carter Page was illegal and based on the Steele report, "which was garbage". That isn't remotely true, but the truth literally no longer matters in this political climate only a talent for spinning it in your favor.

    5. This is where my attention will be. I duspect the long game is to make this entire investigation a deliberate, coordinated attempt by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats to subvert the Constitution. They'll get their teeth into this narrative and it will roll on in the Senate until the election.

    We're under siege from the Russians and the far right, even the far left, for the forseeable future. The only way to overcome the war on truth and justice is to continue to make repairs to the structural damage done by the repeal of the Voting Rights Act. Watch Stacy Abrams, she's the leader on this issue.

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    1. You have some very interesting points. I couldn't figure out why Graham was blathering on and it was being televised live. Number 5 might explain that.

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  49. Dammit Jim. Here you go being all reasonable and logical when we want to throw a fit. Thank you for stopping me mid-hysteria to provide perspective. I knew that Mueller has been 3 steps ahead of the gang that couldn't shoot straight this whole time. Flynn and Gates are still singing. NY AG is digging deep on state charges. None of them may send DT to jail, but they can ruin him financially. I'm fine with that. Personally, I'm still rooting for the fast food to get him. At one of his rallies. In front of the MAGA so they can't yell fake. It's a nice dream so please don't disillusion me.

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  50. Excellent essay, and I am getting my money's worth from your viewpoint. An interesting possibility exists in the investigation of DJT by the NY state attorney general: New York state had a law, which I think is still in effect, that a criminal cannot keep the fruits of his crimes. If that is true, the state could then sue to capture the core of the Trump Organization on the grounds that the years of evading IRS taxes while transferring over $400 million to the Donald rendered the entire Trump Organization "fruit of the poisoned tree" in legal parlance. Now THAT would make a story.....

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  51. Trump has seen the report. Does anyone think that he is going to read any of it? How many pages? How many lines? Words? I didn't think so either....

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  52. So well done. Very calming, and entirely factual. What an editorial voice.

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  53. Nah. Barbra is her alter ego and much more crazy that Dianne. SHE'LL get it done!

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  54. We also have learned something else, but about ourselves, not Trump. We know that Trump's a criminal. We knew that before Mueller submitted his report. The details aren't known, and there may never be a trial, but we know.

    In one of my earliest comments here, I wrote that there was a time when activists sought and were granted justice from the highest court in the land. This is no longer possible. Our justice system, in this second Gilded Age as in the first, cannot cope with wealthy, powerful malefactors.

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  55. Facts are neither good nor bad. They should be calming because that is where the best decisions are made, in fact. You, sir, have laid out the facts. Your military training serves us well bringing us back to the ground and not wrapped in some emotional whirlwind. Our duty is to know the facts in and base our future actions and decisions on them. Thank you for making the facts known and their importance with a very compelling presentation. Your writing keeps me, us coming back for more. So, too, the facts.

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  56. Thank you for bringing some clarity to the noise of the world.

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  57. Schadenfreude returns again. Into its sweet arms I sink.

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    1. That's not schadenfreude you're sinking into. It's a sticky roach-trap that Trump will, in good time, get stuck in as well.

      As many a wiser pundit, politician, attorney, and historian has noted, it ain't "The Russier Thing" that's gonna get Mob Boss Don; it's the money-laundering, tax evasion, emoluments violations, misuse of Foundation funds, and RICO crimes. That was Mueller's real trail of discovery.

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  59. All we have is a four page version of Mueller’s report twisted to serve the GOP agenda. Period. This isn’t even the cheat version of a book we read in high school and then flunked the exam because we hadn’t read the actual book. Our book report, like Barr’s report, was garbage. It isn’t even an abridged version of Mueller’s work. Until we see Mueller’s actual report and “his” conclusions we have nothing.

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  60. Barr just handed Trump a get out of jail free card. Any further investigations will look like an actual "witch hunt". Trump will call them partisan, political, criminal, even treasonous. And now Trump can obstruct all he wants, because Barr basically said he can. Trump can now obstruct or end any and all investigations, without consequence. Who's going to stop him? The "treasonous Democrats" in Congress?

    Good luck impeaching Trump now. This also almost assures Trump will win re-election, because now he can openly collude with Russia to influence the election and no one can stop him. Bye bye, American republic. It was fun while it lasted.

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  61. Thank you for this measured response to Barr's letter. We really don't know what Mueller's report reveals when it comes to this sleazy administration so we need to stop panicking and freaking out. Thankfully, Democrats control the House and can subpoena Barr and Mueller to testify in public hearings. They can also demand the release of Mueller's report.

    We have to keep the faith and hope that this country remains a democracy despite GOP attempts to change it into an authoritarian regime where King Trump cannot be criticized or scrutinzed.

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  62. Excellent post. I was just telling my son this the other day. My son was disappointed to the point of disillusionment. I told him, here's what you know -- Trump hasn't released the report. You have to ask yourself why. Mueller also did not clear Trump of obstruction of justice.

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  63. You're wrong, Jim. How is THIS not ABSOLUTE proof??? IT'S IN FUCKIN' BLACK AND WHITE!!! No.....they succeeded in getting in Mueller's head. And now, the two psychopaths have been given the all clear sign to totally go full tilt berserk. And they will.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMl36wCRZaY&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3EHWWjAcCHyJYPolS3PhGRJ4lmjPhYom24dgLsWForwtAhkJIrzeU47g4

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  64. I have a theory about the 24 hour no Tweets. His recent Tweets have been to incite violence. Jack finally put him in Twitter jail.

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  65. Well done, as always. I choose to remain hopeful.

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  66. Yes, this is a right view of how we must proceed. The Mueller Report has collected much evidence of ongoing contacts with the Russians, following Trump's own request to them to hack our election, and of systematic obstruction of justice by key Trump Campaign staff. The full Report must be made public asap. It does NOT exonerate Trump. We need not despair, we need to move forward with assembling and presenting the massive further evidence of Trump's and the Republicans' corruption and collusion with an enemy regime. To prosecute Trump and his cohorts. And we will.

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  67. As usual, Jim, you always bring sanity to the circus that is this administration and I am grateful for you. I will now picture Trump as a demented parrot. ��


    BTW, I'm sure you've been told already, but I think you probably meant there to be the word "be" before "a unicorn." I know you're somewhat of a stickler for little things like that.

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  68. You are exactly right Jim. The appropriate Congressional committees must see the entire report, without redaction. Then the public needs to see the entire report appropriately redacted for sources and methods and other sensitive information.

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  69. I admire you immensely for your clarity and your reasonableness. I await the full report. I don't need any report to tell me what kind of man Donald J. Trump is.

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  70. DrDorthy, thank you for sharing your perspective, it is the first thing I've read that I can take any comfort from. I am very emotional and your calm, clear analysis, has helped me come down from the ledge.

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  71. Also, long before the report was completed, Guiliani and gang were ready with their very long rebuttal. They were poised to hand that over and now they seem to be very silent about it.

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  72. Look around folks

    "The boiling frog is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly."

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