‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 > 
 
   
 

#157- What does the Mueller Report Really Say?  A Conversation with Benjamin Wittes

 
mapadofu
 
Avatar
 
 
mapadofu
Total Posts:  706
Joined  20-07-2017
 
 
 
28 May 2019 18:45
Twissel
 
Avatar
 
 
Twissel
Total Posts:  2760
Joined  19-01-2015
 
 
 
28 May 2019 21:34
 

John, I have shown that you are wrong in claiming that the Steele Dossier was what caused the start of the Russia Probe - even a source you find unassailable (Nunes) says so.

And yet you are doubling-down on proven false information.


Aren’t you a little concerned that your sources might not be all that accurate?

[ Edited: 28 May 2019 21:48 by Twissel]
 
 
John V. Linton
 
Avatar
 
 
John V. Linton
Total Posts:  92
Joined  13-02-2017
 
 
 
29 May 2019 03:38
 
Twissel - 28 May 2019 09:34 PM

John, I have shown that you are wrong in claiming that the Steele Dossier was what caused the start of the Russia Probe - even a source you find unassailable (Nunes) says so.

And yet you are doubling-down on proven false information.


Aren’t you a little concerned that your sources might not be all that accurate?

I never claimed that Steele was the “start” of the Russian probe—just Steele being used for FISA warrants betrays a very high level of corruption at our agencies.  (I may have said Steele lies at the origins of Mueller just because Steele’s lies had so thoroughly helped to corrupt the public’s sense of things that many probably thought Mueller was justified.  But let’s not conflate the start of Mueller with the start of the Russian probe itself.)

The Russian probe I quite admit started earlier.  (Obama liked to spy on his political opponents quite a lot, you know?)  The point is the earlier predicates were just as thin as Steele—it was always a spying setup.  (Just as when they spied on senators who opposed the Iran deal, or certain journalists, etc…)

The issue is the corrupt spying in general, of which Steele is (like you say, later) only one part—but a big part—of the overall story.

 
Twissel
 
Avatar
 
 
Twissel
Total Posts:  2760
Joined  19-01-2015
 
 
 
29 May 2019 05:57
 

John, either deliberately or negligently, you conflate a lot of things.

We’ve just established that the start of the Russia probe had nothing to do with either Steele or Obama - if came from the Australian IC.
If you have any evidence that the Obama administration was investigating the Trump campaign before that, please post a link.

The origins of the Steele Dossier, as you must know, is a REPUBLICAN candidate asking for opposition research on Trump. When Trump was destined became the nominees, the Clinton campaign continued to finance said research.
This is normal and every major campaign does it, on either side of the spectrum.
the quality and accuracy of Opposition Research is determined by the investigators, not by who pays them: unless you want to make the claim that all private investigations are biased because people with an agenda pay for them, calling the Steele Dossier(s) fabrications requires more than just pointing to funding by HRC.

You are claiming that the Steele Dossier was used corruptly - but it isn’t the FBI that makes the decisions for FISA warrants, it’s judges. And we know from transcripts published by Nunes that the Judges were aware that the Steele research was funded by the Clinton campaign.
Are you saying that all the judges involved were corrupt?

And lastly: all of this is INVESTIGATION, not spying: we have a decision by the FBI to investigate, with a clear paper trail and authorizations. The FBI does these things all the time. Calling them “spying” is incredibly disrespectful to the Law Enforcement agents who work hard to keep everyone safe.

 
 
EN
 
Avatar
 
 
EN
Total Posts:  21593
Joined  11-03-2007
 
 
 
29 May 2019 10:12
Twissel
 
Avatar
 
 
Twissel
Total Posts:  2760
Joined  19-01-2015
 
 
 
29 May 2019 10:33
 

Mueller is underestimating his and overestimating Congress’ ability to deal with Trump.

I can mentally hear him say: “I’m too old for this shit!”

 
 
EN
 
Avatar
 
 
EN
Total Posts:  21593
Joined  11-03-2007
 
 
 
29 May 2019 10:51
 
Twissel - 29 May 2019 10:33 AM

Mueller is underestimating his and overestimating Congress’ ability to deal with Trump.

I can mentally hear him say: “I’m too old for this shit!”

But he did not “exonerate” Trump from obstruction.  Now we will see what happens.  Even if he had found Trump colluded, it was going to be up to Congress to act or not act.

[ Edited: 29 May 2019 10:53 by EN]
 
DEGENERATEON
 
Avatar
 
 
DEGENERATEON
Total Posts:  199
Joined  14-09-2017
 
 
 
29 May 2019 11:35
 

From the Mueller press conference:

Mueller said clearly “We could not clear the President of wrongdoing.  If we could, we would have said so.”
Mueller said clearly “We concluded that we would not reach a determination, one way or the other, about whether the president committed a crime.”

How do you square those two statements?

 
Twissel
 
Avatar
 
 
Twissel
Total Posts:  2760
Joined  19-01-2015
 
 
 
29 May 2019 11:40
 
DEGENERATEON - 29 May 2019 11:35 AM

From the Mueller press conference:

Mueller said clearly “We could not clear the President of wrongdoing.  If we could, we would have said so.”
Mueller said clearly “We concluded that we would not reach a determination, one way or the other, about whether the president committed a crime.”

How do you square those two statements?

I don’t know.
I guess the loophole is “we would not reach a determination”, since that would be up to a judge, not a prosecutor.
Mueller needs to be asked the question: “if there wasn’t the OLC decision, would you have charged Trump with a crime?”

 

 
 
DEGENERATEON
 
Avatar
 
 
DEGENERATEON
Total Posts:  199
Joined  14-09-2017
 
 
 
29 May 2019 11:52
 
Twissel - 29 May 2019 11:40 AM
DEGENERATEON - 29 May 2019 11:35 AM

From the Mueller press conference:

Mueller said clearly “We could not clear the President of wrongdoing.  If we could, we would have said so.”
Mueller said clearly “We concluded that we would not reach a determination, one way or the other, about whether the president committed a crime.”

How do you square those two statements?

I don’t know.
I guess the loophole is “we would not reach a determination”, since that would be up to a judge, not a prosecutor.
Mueller needs to be asked the question: “if there wasn’t the OLC decision, would you have charged Trump with a crime?”

He’ll never answer that question - but I think the answer is something like “I didn’t have to make that difficult decision because we followed the OLC interpretation.  I just presented evidence.”

Or in other words “we didn’t dig too deep into the legal opinions because they were difficult and it wouldn’t have made a difference - we had no intent to charge or exonerate”

[ Edited: 29 May 2019 12:03 by DEGENERATEON]
 
John V. Linton
 
Avatar
 
 
John V. Linton
Total Posts:  92
Joined  13-02-2017
 
 
 
29 May 2019 14:10
 

Old Time Theist: Sir, you are being either intentionally or else (to be polite) unwittingly facile here.

I shall take your Steele points precisely first, (returning later to address the Australia question, which will involve more depth in another post):

“The origins of the Steele Dossier, as you must know, is a REPUBLICAN candidate asking for opposition research on Trump. When Trump was destined became the nominees, the Clinton campaign continued to finance said research.  This is normal and every major campaign does it, on either side of the spectrum.”

a) Opposition research is normal; but b) opposition research handed over to the FBI to spy on one’s opponent is NOT normal.  Your first sentence is irrelevant insofar as the Republicans picked up Steele, then put it down, and were not the ones who HANDED IT OFF TO THE FBI TO SPY ON THEIR OPPONENT.

Please don’t conflate the normalcy of opposition research with coordinating with high intel to spy.  (We had better pray that never becomes “normal”.)

Here you attack a straw man:

“the quality and accuracy of Opposition Research is determined by the investigators, not by who pays them: unless you want to make the claim that all private investigations are biased because people with an agenda pay for them, calling the Steele Dossier(s) fabrications requires more than just pointing to funding by HRC.”

I never claimed the veracity of the dossier is shoddy because HRC funded it.  For that, we have the words of Comey himself (“salacious, unverified”) and the repeated words of Mueller “unverified”.

I have never claimed that all private investigations are without merit because partisans fund them; indeed on a larger scale I am making precisely the opposite argument for why Trump/Barr should look into the origins of all this: Because in a democratic republic we have an interest in whether spying against an opposing political campaign was legitimate (it does not appear to have been).  This question is meritorious even if Trump also stands to gain from there being found to be corruption.

You obfuscate here: “You are claiming that the Steele Dossier was used corruptly - but it isn’t the FBI that makes the decisions for FISA warrants, it’s judges. And we know from transcripts published by Nunes that the Judges were aware that the Steele research was funded by the Clinton campaign.  Are you saying that all the judges involved were corrupt?”

Why wasn’t the DNC/HRC funding stated in the warrant application itself—rather than a general footnote on page 15 mentioning a political enemy might have paid for it? 

Also, why weren’t Steele’s conflicts (his personal animus) as well as the department’s doubts about Steele brought to the FISA court’s attention in the warrant?

The FISA judges depend upon full and accurate reported information.  Instead they were treated to a fantastical brief based on a corrupt spy and lying spymasters, who chose to lie by omission about the single most salient fact about Steele—that Trump’s two-year, battle-to-the-death political opponent had paid for it.

It’s stunning you don’t consider this a problem.

*I welcome if you can show where these Nunes transcripts are that show the FISA judges were made aware of Clinton’s paying for Steele.  I have not to date heard anything of the kind, and would like very much to review them.  If you’re right there, I stand corrected (though not on their intent to deceive the court).

[ Edited: 29 May 2019 14:17 by John V. Linton]
 
John V. Linton
 
Avatar
 
 
John V. Linton
Total Posts:  92
Joined  13-02-2017
 
 
 
29 May 2019 14:14
 
DEGENERATEON - 29 May 2019 11:52 AM
Twissel - 29 May 2019 11:40 AM
DEGENERATEON - 29 May 2019 11:35 AM

From the Mueller press conference:

Mueller said clearly “We could not clear the President of wrongdoing.  If we could, we would have said so.”
Mueller said clearly “We concluded that we would not reach a determination, one way or the other, about whether the president committed a crime.”

How do you square those two statements?

I don’t know.
I guess the loophole is “we would not reach a determination”, since that would be up to a judge, not a prosecutor.
Mueller needs to be asked the question: “if there wasn’t the OLC decision, would you have charged Trump with a crime?”

He’ll never answer that question - but I think the answer is something like “I didn’t have to make that difficult decision because we followed the OLC interpretation.  I just presented evidence.”

Or in other words “we didn’t dig too deep into the legal opinions because they were difficult and it wouldn’t have made a difference - we had no intent to charge or exonerate”

Mueller is extraordinarily corrupt to leave this question hanging yet again in the air, giving his passive-aggressive press conference today.  He never had grounds to indict on his spurious legal theory of obstruction, which is incongruent with the tradition of the presidency in being able to superintend wayward executive actions/probes.

 
DEGENERATEON
 
Avatar
 
 
DEGENERATEON
Total Posts:  199
Joined  14-09-2017
 
 
 
29 May 2019 19:43
 

Why do you say he’s corrupt?  He followed the interpretation of the law and presented evidence.  He left it to congress to make the call.  He also acknowledged that any possible obstruction needs to be considered against the fact that there was no significant evidence of the underlying crime, and this could shed light on Trumps motivation. 
I’m interested in the Fisa warrant issue, but I feel that there’s just not much there.  We’ll see what happens, I just don’t see it as a conspiracy.

 
Twissel
 
Avatar
 
 
Twissel
Total Posts:  2760
Joined  19-01-2015
 
 
 
29 May 2019 20:25
 

John,
in your opinion, can anyone not pro-Trump be unbiased towards him?

Please give an example if possible

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
Avatar
 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
Total Posts:  6760
Joined  08-12-2006
 
 
 
30 May 2019 15:28
 

Neither of the narratives, either from the left (Mueller would have indicted the president for obstruction of justice; the only reason he didn’t is because he didn’t think he could indict a sitting president) or the right (Mueller could not find any compelling evidence of obstruction of justice, but because he’s an avowed “never-Trumper” he refused to admit it and instead blamed the rule against indicting a sitting president) tells the whole story. My guess is, the truth is probably somewhere in between. Mueller probably felt that the “key issues and events” cited in Volume II of the report were ambiguous enough to allow for some reasonable disagreement. And since he couldn’t indict a sitting president anyway, he chose to punt and let Congress decide.

Furthermore, it seems to me that the “key issues and events” must be considered in the context of the investigation’s legitimacy. For example, if the investigation was launched as a purely political witch hunt, then firing Comey, who according to that narrative was one of the chief conspirators, seems more justified than if it was launched for legitimate reasons. Again, the truth is probably somewhere in between, with the investigation being launched for reasons both political and legitimate.

In other words, there probably is no objectively correct answer to the question of whether justice was or wasn’t obstructed. So the drama goes on and on (and on), and we can all tune in again tomorrow (and the next day) for another episode of Political Theater.

 
 
‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 >