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

 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
Total Posts:  92
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30 May 2019 16:03
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 30 May 2019 03:28 PM

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.

I think this graphs a reasonable sensibility, however I would hold there is a large divergence here.

Namely, the standards for obstruction are markedly different if one is Trump versus Clinton, with a great deal of deep-state buy-in to treating them differently.

We are living in effect under two different rules of law.  In Clinton’s case, intent was added to the legal definition of “gross negligence” to let her off, while as in Trump’s, a reading of obstruction statutes that could well have been applied to other presidents (say, Obama when he biased the HRC email investigation by weighing in on the result the same way as Trump’s weighings-in have featured in Mueller’s report).

Look at the disparate ways Cheryl Mills, HRC’s lawyer, was treated versus Michael Cohen, who was separated and put in a tourniquet.

Deleting 33,000 emails under subpoena is literally far closer to obstruction than anything Mueller cites, yet the MSM in this country goes on hysterically about how Mueller’s proof of Trump’s criminality is a fait accompli.  Indeed we’ve seen two years of deep state leaks to paint Trump as Putin’s pawn, with a media that could find no source anonymous enough to trash Trump—often resulting in highly flawed reporting and embarrassing walk-backs.  (Sharyl Atkisson and Glenn Greenwald have independently documented this journalistic collapse.)

Mueller’s construal of applying obstruction statutes to a sitting president for exercising his Article II oversight of a DOJ and FBI as corrupt as the ones Trump inherited ridiculously begs the question.

If the shoe were on the other foot and Obama had just come in, learning that McCain had paid for opposition research during the 2008 campaign that was turned over to George W. Bush’s FBI and CIA to spy on Obama’s campaign—the squeal of having uncovered high treason would be deafening from our MSM figures like Jeffrey Toobin.  We wouldn’t be able to sleep at nights, the “Watergate II” sagas would have been so overwritten.

So I think while your analysis sounds balanced you miss the geologically-wide double-standard in how: a) our media; b) our high intel treat the application of the “rule of law”, depending on whether a reformer with a (D) versus a reformer with an (R) obtains high office.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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30 May 2019 21:02
 
John V. Linton - 30 May 2019 04:03 PM

If the shoe were on the other foot and Obama had just come in, learning that McCain had paid for opposition research during the 2008 campaign that was turned over to George W. Bush’s FBI and CIA to spy on Obama’s campaign—the squeal of having uncovered high treason would be deafening from our MSM figures like Jeffrey Toobin.  We wouldn’t be able to sleep at nights, the “Watergate II” sagas would have been so overwritten.

No argument here. But, by that same token, the RSM would have been downplaying it, just as the LSM (AKA, the “MSM”) is doing now. And the presumed investigation into whatever Obama was being accused of would be hailed by the Reds and the RSM, while being downplayed by the Blues and the LSM. When it comes to double standards and hypocrisy, both parties excel.

(I no longer buy the claim that there is a “Main Stream Media” anymore. There’s a Left Stream Media and a Right Stream Media.)

I understand favoring one party over the other for their allegiance to your favorite issues. But don’t let that skew your judgment when it comes to seeing both for what they are: two completely self-interested organizations whose primary goal is to stay in power by whatever means necessary.

Here’s an article about Mueller you might enjoy: The Real Bob Mueller, by retired FBI special agent Coleen Rowley.

 
 
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