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Member since: Thu Jan 20, 2005, 09:46 PM
Number of posts: 54,770

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Mueller said 20+ times that there was no evidence trump or campaign conspired with Russians.

That was pretty much the end as far as indicting trump, with or without a formal rule on charging a sitting Prez.

Barr is a POS, but his letter of March 24, 2019 was reasonably factual.

Beginning top of page 2, Barr said:

Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

"The Special Counsel's report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel's investigation was whether any Americans – including individuals associated with the Trump campaign – joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”"

Whether we believe it or not, Mueller said over 20 times in his report that his investigation found NO EVIDENCE trump or his campaign conspired with Ruskies. A law student could have defended trump with those comments.

Beginning top of page 3, Barr said:

Obstruction of Justice.

"The report's second part addresses a number of actions by the President – most of which have been the subject of public reporting – that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion - one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Whether we like it or not, that is what Mueller's wimpy report said.

From that point, Barr essentially stated that since there was no evidence of an underlying crime, obstruction would have been difficult to prove. Mueller would have done us a favor if he had said, "Hell, how do we know what trump did, the MFer was covering his tracks at every turn." But, Mueller didn't say that.

Beginning bottom of Page 3:

"In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference," and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President's intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President's actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department's principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense."

Look, I despise trump. But I can't argue with Barr's assessment, although we [DUers] would have concluded differently.

I can't imagine any AG -- even one who despised trump -- would have tried to indict him after Mueller's wimpy report absolved him. I do think we would have had trump if Mueller had just added a report footnote to those 20+ times he absolved trump and his campaign. Mueller should have added something like "We couldn't find any evidence because the MFer obstructed justice."

Unfortunately, Mueller did not in his report, congressional testimony, or his news conference. So here we are.
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