• 15 Questions for Robert Mueller

    May 6, 2019

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America, Trump


     

    You know that movie with Bruce Willis and the kid who says “I see dead people?” In the end it turns out everyone is already dead. Now imagine there are people who don’t believe that. They insist the story ends some other way. Maybe there’s missing footage! Spoiler Alert: the Mueller Report ends with no collusion. No one is going to prosecute anyone for obstruction. That stuff is all dead. We all saw the same movie.

    Yet there seem to remain questions to be answered. And while it is doubtful the stoic Robert Mueller will ever write a tell-all book, or sit next to Seth and Trevor dishing, he may be called in front of Congress. Here’s some of what he should be asked.
     
    1) You charged no “collusion,” obstruction, or any other new crime. In simple words tell us why. If the answer is “The evidence did not support it,” please say “That one.”
     

    2) Your Report did not refer any of the crimes in the first question to Congress, the SDNY, or anywhere else. Again, tell us why. If the answer is “The evidence did not support it,” please say “That one again.”
     

    3) Despite you making no specific referrals to others for action, the Report states “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of the office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.” Why did you include such restating of a known fact instead of either a direct referral or nothing? Many people have read that line to mean you could not indict a sitting president and so you wanted to leave a clue to others, in Congress, to exercise some role. You could have spelled it all out — “this all is beyond my and the AG’s Constitutional roles and must/can only be resolved by Congress” would have worked. Why not?
     

    4) Many readers of the Report believe they see clues (one footnote looms as the grassy knoll of your work) the specific reason you did not indict Trump was because of DOJ/OLC guidance against indicting a sitting president. In other words, absent that specific guidance, would you have indicted the president? If so, why didn’t you say so unambiguously and trigger what would be the obvious next steps.
     

    5) When did you conclude there was no collusion/conspiracy/coordination between Trump and the Russians such that you would make no charges or indictments? You must have closed at least some of the subplots — Trump Tower meeting, Moscow Hotel project — months ago. Did you give any consideration to announcing key findings as they occurred? You were clearly aware inaccurate reporting continued, damaging to the public trust. You allowed that to happen. Why?
     

    6) But before you answer that question, please answer this one. You did make a rare pre-Report public statement saying Buzzfeed’s story claiming Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress was false. You restated that in the Report, where you also mentioned (Vol I, p 198) you privately told Jeff Sessions’ lawyer in March 2018 Sessions would not be charged. Since your work confirmed nearly all bombshell reporting on Russiagate was wrong (Cohen was not in Prague, nothing criminal happened in the Seychelles, etc), why was it only that single instance that caused you to speak out publicly? And as with Sessions, did you privately inform any others prior to the release of the Report they would not be charged? If only some but not all were informed, why was that? What standard did you apply to these decisions?
     

    7) A cardinal rule for prosecutors is not to publicize negative information that does not lead them to indict someone — “the decision does the talking.” James Comey was strongly criticized for doing this to Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Yet most of Volume II is just that, descriptions of actions by Trump which contain elements of obstruction but which you ultimately did not judge to rise to the level of criminal chargeability. Why did you include all that so prominently? Some say it was because you wanted to draw a “road map” for impeachment. Did you? Why didn’t you say that? You had no reason to speak in riddles.
     

    8) There is a lot of lying documented in the Report. But you seemed to only charge people early in this investigation with perjury (traps.) Was that aimed more at pressuring them to “flip” than justice per se? Is one of the reasons several of the people in the Report who lied did not get charged with perjury later in the investigation because by then you knew they had nothing to flip on?
     

    9) In regards to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, where derogatory information on Clinton was offered (but never given) you declined prosecution, citing in part questions (Vol I, p 186) over whether such information constituted the necessary “thing of value” that would have to exist, inter alia, to make its proffer a campaign finance violation. You don’t answer the question in the Report, but you do believe information could be a “thing of value” (the thing of value must exceed $2,000 for a misdemeanor, $25,000 for a felony.) What about the withholding of information? Could someone saying they would not offer information publicly be a “thing of value” and thus potentially part of a campaign law violation? Of course I’m talking about Stormy Daniels, who received money not to offer information. Would you make the claim silence itself, non-information, is a “thing” of value?
     

    10) You spend the entire first half of your report, Volume I, explaining it was some combination of “the Russians” who sought to manipulate our 2016 election via social media and the DNC email hacks. Though there is a lot of redacted material, at no point in the clear text is there information on whether the Russians actually did influence the election. Even trying was a crime, but given the importance of all this (some still claim the president is illegitimate) and for future elections, did you look into the actual effects of Russian meddling? If not, why not?
     

    11) Everything the Russians did, in Volume I, they did during the Obama administration. Did you investigate anyone in the Obama administration in regards to Russian meddling, what was done, what was missed, could it have been stopped, and how the response was formed? Given Trump’s actions toward Russia would follow on steps Obama took this seems relevant. Did you look? If not, why not?
     

    12) Some of the information you gathered against Michael Flynn was initially picked up inadvertently under existing surveillance of the Russian ambassador. As an American person, Flynn’s name would have been routinely masked in the reporting on those intercepts to protect his privacy. The number of people with access to those intercepts is small and list-controlled, and the number inside the Obama White House with the authority to unmask names, i.e., reveal it was Michael Flynn, not AmPerson1, is even smaller. Yet details were leaked to the press and ended Flynn’s career. Given the leak may have exposed U.S. intelligence methods, and given that it had to have been done at a very high level inside the Obama White House, and given that the leak directly violated Flynn’s Constitutional rights, did you investigate If not, why not?
     

    13) The NYT wrote “some of the most sensational claims in the [Steele] dossier appeared to be false, and others were impossible to prove. Mr. Mueller’s report contained over a dozen passing references to the document’s claims but no overall assessment of why so much did not check out.” Given the central role the Steele Dossier played in parts of your work, and certainly in the portion of the investigation which commenced as Crossfire Hurricane in summer 2016, why did you not include any overall assessment of why so much did not check out inside such a key document?
     

    14) Prosecutors do not issue certificates of exoneration, and have no obligation to “exonerate” people they consider for charges. The job is to charge or drop a case. That’s what constitutes exoneration in any practical sense. Yet you have as the final line in a report that does not charge anyone “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Can you explain why that line was included, and so prominently?
     

    15) Near the end of the Report you wrote “if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.” You argue elsewhere in the Report because Trump is a sitting president he cannot be indicted, so therefore it would be unjust to accuse him of something he could not go to court and defend himself over. But didn’t you do just that? Why did you leave the taint of guilt without giving Trump the means of defending himself in court? You must have understood such wording would be raw meat to Democrats, and would force Trump to defend himself not in a court with legal protections, but in a often hostile media. Was that your intention?
      

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    Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

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  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...

      1

      Peter, you have questions because seem to assume that Mueller is intelligent and forthright. He has never renounced his clueless stance regarding his support for and participation in the Viet Nam war which proves he is not intelligent nor forthright.

      05/6/19 9:11 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      You know that movie “Being There” where the black maid was the only one who understood that Chauncey Gardner soon- to be- the- next Presidunce was a total moron. Now cut to Our Presidunce who is contemplating war with Iran, Venezuela and the Kentuky(sic) Derby stewards. Yeah, soone we all will see dead people.

      05/6/19 12:57 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      We all saw the same movie? Actually some of US disagree, just like the 300 + former prosecutors who saw obstruction of justice.

      05/6/19 1:43 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      Coming soon, a sequel to “Being There”: “Biden There”.

      “It’s for sure a white man’s world in America. Look here: I raised that boy since he was the size of a piss-ant. And I’ll say right now, he never learned to read and write. No, sir. Had no brains at all. Was stuffed with rice pudding between th’ ears. Shortchanged by the Lord, and dumb as a jackass. Look at him now! Yes, sir, all you’ve gotta be is white in America, to get whatever you want. Gobbledy-gook!

      05/6/19 2:30 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      5

      2020 Spoiler Alert: Draft dodgers make great chicken hawks. Trump versus Biden: Phantom Bonespurs versus phantom childhood asthma.

      05/6/19 2:36 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      Make that 450 + prosecutors…but who is counting?

      05/6/19 8:38 PM | Comment Link

    • J.L.Seagull said...

      7

      Peter, a personal note for you.

      I am currently sitting in the basement of the Harvard Bookstore, where the used books are kept, looking at the Middle East section. This is where all the used books they see fit to purchase about the Middle East are kept.

      80% of the books in this section are about jihad. You can come here to get Bernard Lewis trash, or V. S. Naipaul’s screed, or more recent Islamophobic literature. 10% are about Israel, and there are a couple on Lawrence of Arabia.

      All these books pose the existence of Arabs as a problem. People read these books because they need to know what trouble the Mideast is causing America and Israel, and what a troublesome people there are.

      Then there are a few exceptions: Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, William Dalrymple, Kirk W. Johnson, and yourself. Your book commands $9 used, which puts it on par with some of the Folio Society editions.

      Your book stands out, for what it’s worth.

      05/7/19 6:25 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      Make that 636.

      “Why did you leave the taint of guilt without giving Trump the means of defending himself in court?”

      Patience, Peter. Me thinks Demented will be very busy some day defending himself in court.

      05/8/19 4:41 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      9

      Are you only living in hopes of seeing Trump’s legal comeuppance. That is a pathetic way to live Bauer.

      05/8/19 6:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      Make that 800 + prosecutors.

      05/8/19 10:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      The coverup is always worse than the blowjob

      Yeah, Sleazy Willie lied about a blowjob, but did he force an intern to give lip service to a coverup? On several occasions, Sleazy Trump directed his White House counsel, Don McGahn, to fire Mueller. He also asked McGahn to falsely create a conflict of interest involving Mueller as a pretext for firing him. When news reports of these efforts became public, Trump made “repeated efforts to have McGahn deny the story.”  Indeed, he even told McGahn to write a letter falsely denying that Trump had directed Mueller’s termination.

      As Mueller asserted: “Substantial evidence indicates that in repeatedly urging McGahn to dispute that he was ordered to have the special counsel terminated, the president acted for the purpose of influencing McGahn’s account in order to deflect or prevent scrutiny of the president’s conduct toward the investigation.”

      Faced with a Storm of his own making, Trumpie resorted to his old behavior by having his whores debase themselves and blow him.

      05/8/19 11:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      12

      Trumpie sees the Walking Dead as a comedy

      With an assist from one of his fans, Demented Trump turned the idea of shooting migrants and asylum seekers who try to cross the southern border into a punchline during his campaign speech on Wednesday evening in Panama City Beach, Florida.

      Referring to border agents who deal with undocumented border crossers, Trump brought up the possibility of using deadly force, but quickly ruled out the idea, saying he “would never do that.”

      “And don’t forget — we don’t let them and we can’t let them use weapons. We can’t,” Trump said. “Other countries do. We can’t. I would never do that. But how do you stop these people? You can’t. There’s—”

      Before Trump could finish his thought, a woman in the audience yelled out. While it was unclear exactly what she said during television coverage of the event, numerous eyewitnesses reported she said, “Shoot them!”

      Trump apparently found the suggestion amusing. He gestured at the person who yelled and said, “That’s only in the Panhandle, you can get away with that statement. Only in the Panhandle!”

      And In the rest of the Dead Red States.

      05/9/19 10:17 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      13

      Here is another question:Are all old rich White guys fucking racists?

      Signs of the Chicago Sun Times

      “Christians and Jews can have a mutual respect for each other to create a civil society. As you know, Islam cannot do that. Therefore we cannot ever let Islam become a large part of our society. Muslims are naturally my (our) enemy due to their deep antagonism and bias against non-Muslims.’’ —Tom old white guy racist Ricketts

      If it turns out that a Chicago Cubs fan did indeed mean to flash a white-power sign to a Chicago TV audience on Tuesday, I wonder if Tom Ricketts will come to the man’s defense once he gets to know him.”

      Maybe Presidunce will too.

      05/9/19 1:27 PM | Comment Link

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