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Sat Feb 23, 2019, 06:04 PM

Americans Don't Need the Mueller Report to Judge Trump


Americans Don’t Need the Mueller Report to Judge Trump
The fevered speculation about when the special counsel will conclude his work overshadows how much the public already knows about the president and Russia.
David A. Graham
6:00 AM ET


Whether Trump formally committed the crime of obstruction of justice remains unlitigated, but he has fought relentlessly to undermine and block the Russia investigation, mostly recently in a tweet Friday morning saying, “The Witch Hunt, so bad for our Country, must end!” According to contemporaneous quotes from James Comey, Trump pressured the then–FBI director to drop an investigation into Flynn. He fired Comey after he declined to do so. He lambasted former Attorney General Jeff Sessions both publicly and privately for recusing himself from Russia-related matters and refusing to end the probe. He has threatened Mueller publicly and reportedly attempted to fire him. According to a recent Times story, Trump tried to have his handpicked U.S. attorney take over an investigation from the Southern District of New York. His cries of “witch hunt” have become so frequent that they barely penetrate the consciousness. By any plain-English definition, he has worked strenuously to obstruct a full accounting of his actions.

Taken together, these incidents paint a vivid and consistent portrait of a president who is chronically dishonest, does not respect the rule of law, is frantic to avoid being investigated, hires people without strong ethical bearings, and placed himself in a position to be compromised by Russia during the campaign. (This doesn’t even get into the chaos and mismanagement of his presidency, the many scandals of his Cabinet members, his boasting about sexual assault, his encouragement of attacks on the press, and any number of other offenses.)

Whether one believes that this merits impeachment, should simply guarantee that Trump is not reelected in 2020, or is entirely acceptable is largely a matter of personal taste and political allegiance. But if one is not already convinced that the president’s behavior is unacceptable, it would require an immense revelation to change one’s mind—if that’s even possible. Conversely, if one looks at these facts and believes they merit impeachment (or another sanction), then standing sentry for a nebulously timed, nebulously structured report hardly seems worth the effort.

One possible reason for the anticipation is the expectation that Mueller’s report will vindicate Trump—which the president is likely to claim no matter what it says. But as the preceding recitation of facts shows, it’s already far too late for vindication. Another reason for anticipation is the hope among Trump critics that a final smoking gun might emerge that will cause a substantial group of Republican members of Congress to break from Trump. There may well be bombshells in Mueller’s report, or in indictments between now and then; the special counsel has repeatedly shocked even close observers with new revelations and details. But the number of smoking guns already in plain sight make it hard to believe that a new one will have an effect on Trump’s GOP allies that the earlier ones haven’t.

Mueller’s report, or whatever version of it the public sees, will be an important document, whenever it emerges. But it needn’t, and probably won’t, radically change anything about the basic story. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, and you don’t need a special counsel’s report to know what kind of president Trump is.

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Reply Americans Don't Need the Mueller Report to Judge Trump (Original post)
babylonsister Feb 2019 OP
SWBTATTReg Feb 2019 #1
Mr. Ected Feb 2019 #2
lame54 Feb 2019 #3

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2019, 06:12 PM

1. Thanks for posting, babylonsister...

I think that if rump wasn't worried about Mueller's report, whenever it comes, as well as the other investigations going on, he wouldn't be screaming so much about 'witch hunts' and the like. Obviously he knows the truth of the matter and knows the wrong doing he's done, which is why he's moaning about these investigations so much (if he didn't do anything wrong, why is he bitching and moaning about it?).

What is that saying, that the guilty act 'guilty' and the innocent don't? I can't recall the saying but it sure sounds appropriate.

Take care, babylonsister

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2019, 06:25 PM

2. Innocent until proven guilty reigns supreme in the courtroom and in the media

But in the court of public opinion, you can throw that platitude out the window.

I think all of us have seen enough with our own two eyes to know that crimes have been committed in broad daylight. Yes, our standards and those employed in court are not necessarily synchronized; all the DU lawyers will remind us of that, and they're right.

However, this isn't one person or one isolated event. The entire Republican party is fraught with a conspiratorial deceit that emanates from somewhere far beyond party politics. They have been in cover-up mode since the primaries, if not before. The charade has continued for so long that the evidence piles up and informs every decision made by the GOP in general and Trump quite particularly.

The crowd from Foxlandia can take solace in the Ken Dilanians of the world, who see an 800 page, heavily redacted sentencing recommendation memo from the OSC and can only cull from it that it doesn't implicate Trump in the Russia conspiracy. Until that final and devastating reveal by Mueller is made public, the taunting from the right will continue, but that, too, is subterfuge and steeped in misguided optimism.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2019, 06:40 PM

3. Maybe - but the repug senate will need it in writing - and that may not be enough

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