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Wed Aug 1, 2018, 11:56 AM

Current Events

Perhaps the most valuable services that the media is providing the general public at this time is found in the interviews of individuals who rank as “expert witnesses” in the court of public opinion. One example is Malcolm Nance, who explains the workings of the intelligence community, as it relates to the Russian-Trump scandal. By listening to Mr. Nance, and reading his books, the public gains the knowledge needed to come to a proper understanding of current events.

Likewise, both CNN and MSNBC frequently feature retired federal prosecutors to explain how the legal system works. One of the most important among these is Paul Butler, who is currently a professor at Georgetown University's Law Center. His insights are as important to our understanding of the federal court system, as are Mr. Nance's to our grasp of his area of expertise.

In one of his July appearances on MSNBC, for but one example, Mr. Butler noted that the Department of Justice has a policy of not subpoenaing targets of investigations to testify before a grand jury. This policy, he explained, is distinct from the approach taken with subjects of investigations. With that in mind, we can view the status of some of the members of the Trump campaign, transition team, and administration in a more accurate light.

It may be of particular value in understanding the growing tensions between Mr. Mueller and Trump and his legal team. Publicly, of course, we have witnessed Rudy Giuliani's attempts to both confuse the public, and “get out ahead” of stories that the legal team believes are about to break. As tempting as it is to focus on Rudy, it is important to remember Malcolm X's saying, “Don't aim at the puppet, aim at the puppeteer.”

The serious discussions between Trump's legal team and the Mueller team do not involve Giuliani. He is merely a prop in the court of public opinion, and not a serious legal defense attorney. The nonsense he spouts is therefore best understood as a reaction to the pressure the actual team is experiencing in their communications with Mr. Mueller. Let's look at a current example.

In the past, the Trump team told the Mueller team that the president could not have been attempting to obstruct justice in his private conversations with Mr. Comey regarding “going easy” on General Flynn, because Trump was unaware the FBI was currently investigating Flynn. This week, we learn for certain what we all suspected – that two members of the White House staff had informed Trump that the FBI was investigating Flynn. And that a short time after being thus informed, Trump spoke with Mr. Comey. Thus, by definition, Trump was attempting to obstruct justice.

Keep in mind that Mr. Mueller is in possession of Trump's original letter for firing Mr. Comey, which is distinct from the letter that Mr. Rosenstein was tasked with producing the following day. Safe to say that Trump's rough draft did not focus on the anguish he felt for Mr. Comey's public comments on Hillary Clinton.

This explains exactly why Trump and Rudy are behaving the way they currently are. It is the only alternative that guilty people have, when prosecutors have as much overwhelming evidence as Mr. Mueller's team has.

Always listen carefully to Paul Butler.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Current Events (Original post)
H2O Man Aug 2018 OP
Timewas Aug 2018 #1
H2O Man Aug 2018 #2
Timewas Aug 2018 #3
H2O Man Aug 2018 #6
Timewas Aug 2018 #9
shraby Aug 2018 #4
H2O Man Aug 2018 #7
lame54 Aug 2018 #5
H2O Man Aug 2018 #8
Hekate Aug 2018 #10
Mc Mike Aug 2018 #11

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2018, 02:22 PM

1. Great

Thank you,makes it much easier to get a handle on things...Much appreciated

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Response to Timewas (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 1, 2018, 02:25 PM

2. Thank you!

I appreciate it. And I was hoping for a response, as I am going to send this OP/thread to Mr. Butler. I find him to be one of the most impressive resources for the public today.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 1, 2018, 02:29 PM

3. You state things

And lay them out in a manner that makes it much easier to get a grasp on what is transpiring, makes it easier to connect the dots and gives,at least me,a better understanding of how things are evolving.

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Response to Timewas (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2018, 02:47 PM

6. One of the things

that impressed me the most about the Senate's investigation of Watergate is found in their report: the authors note that they have the duty to educate the public on current affairs. Today, while the Senate's investigation of the Trump-Russian scandal is far superior to that of the House, they are limited in what information they can share with the public. Partly this is due to the on-going Mueller investigation, of course.

Reading DU:GD is always interesting, though there are times when I think that people aren't focusing on what is most important. There are far too many distractions in the media, although many of them are entertaining. But we have to keep our Eyes on the Prize, as the Civil Rights movement used to say. And there are a number of real experts, such as Paul Butler and Maya Wiley, who help steer us in the right direction, when they appear on CNN or MSNBC.

Though I do not confuse myself with being an expert, I have had the opportunity to work with, and learn from, a number of the real experts on federal courts and constitutional law. I do my best to bring some of my understanding of these things here. And I really do appreciate it when people here find it worth reading.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 2, 2018, 12:40 AM

9. What I see here

Is a constant barrage at times of some sort of attempt to rehash the 2016 stuff which distracts from the ongoing crisis....it is over and none of the rehash is material to today's problems and only reopens the wounds that caused a lot of the split during the primaries.. Accomplishes nothing more that hurtful recall. Time to get past that and get the mess we are in fixed.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2018, 02:41 PM

4. I really appreciate the MSNBC approach to the trump situation/scandal/crimes or whatever

one would call it. The bringing in of experts in law, criminal code, the workings of the FBI and CIA are invaluable in understanding what is going on and what to expect at all the twists and turns.

I store the tidbits and information away and it really helps, and thank you for reminding me how grateful we should be for their handling of the situation.

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Response to shraby (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 1, 2018, 06:50 PM

7. Right.

I like the people that host the various shows, especially in the evenings. Not all of the guests are wonderful, but I understand the benefits of having a republican every now and then. But, most of all, I enjoy the retired federal prosecutors. I think each one adds something of value.

I also enjoy the MSNBC-contributing reporters from other media sources. I'm especially impressed by the younger generation among these. While the media is imperfect, this younger group are capable of delivering important news.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2018, 02:44 PM

5. And then of course there is...

Rick Santorum
Not sure why they keep bringing him on to froth up my tv

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Response to lame54 (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 1, 2018, 06:51 PM

8. Comic relief?

I guess his contract still has some time on it. But he adds nothing of value.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2018, 01:24 AM

10. Thanks for this, H2O Man. I have grown to appreciate the regulars on MSNBC more all the time...

As I live in California, I don't see the early shows, but I try to get to see Katy Tur and we record Nicolle Wallace and Rachel Maddow in case we miss them. Their guests and panels (including Paul Butler) are almost uniformly interesting and informative. They are all performing a public service.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2018, 07:51 AM

11. Agreed. Love Malcolm Nance and Paul Butler.

Obstruction for sure.

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