The Mueller Report … What It Says

According to a summary of the Mueller Report from two former US Attorneys, Barbara McQuade and Joyce Vance, the Mueller Report states the following nine specific areas of interference.

There were five links listed between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government in the broad area of "Collusion."

  1. "a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged candidate Hillary Clinton."
  2. "a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations" against the Clinton campaign and then released stolen documents.

While there was  no established conspiracy between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians, Mueller made it clear that "that does not  mean there was no evidence of those facts." Bottom line, Mueller's report stated that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in "sweeping and systematic fashion." Am I the only person who feels this is a major deal? Should it be swept under a rug as "closed case?"

3. "the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome ..."

4. ... and "that the (Trump) campaign would benefit electorally from information stolen from and released through Russian efforts."

To find conspiracy, a prosecutor must establish beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of the crime: an agreement between at least two people, to commit a criminal offense and an overt act in furtherance of that agreement. One of the underlying criminal offenses that Mueller reviewed for conspiracy was campaign-finance violations.

5. Mueller found that Trump campaign members Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met with Russian nationals in Trump Tower in New York in June, 2016 for the purpose of receiving disparaging information about Clinton as part of "Russia and its  government's support for Mr. Trump."

Mueller 's team was not able to confirm that the information obtained was worth at least $25,000, which defines a campaign finance to be a felony as opposed to a civil violation of the law. In any event, it was clear that the Trump campaign officials welcomed foreign influence into our election, then covered it up. Other contacts with Russia were documented including sharing polling data about Midwestern states where Trump won upset victories, and other improper actions. None of these acts legally amounted to "conspiracy," yet all could be described as "collusion."

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In the area of "Obstruction," there were at least four areas by Trump in which all elements of the obstruction statue were satisfied.

  1. Attempting to fire Mueller
  2. Directing White House counsel Don McGahn to lie and create a false document about efforts to fire Mueller
  3. Attempting to limit the investigation to future elections
  4. (and) Attempting to prevent Manafort from cooperating with the government.

Mueller's  report stated "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." This has been cited widely as evidence of "no obstruction" but Mueller makes it clear that he cannot make a "traditional prosecution decision"about obstruction of justice because he was bound by the Department of Justice policy that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime. In his words, he undertook to "preserve the evidence when memories were fresh and documentary materials were available."

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National dialogues now seem to be going on to the next little bits of ironic and surprising news. Each day is a "breaking news" cyclone. I don't remember, in my seventy-seven years, of any American administration in such constant turbulence. The President campaigned on "Draining the Swamp" and we find ourselves with a great deal, if not the majority of his administration at the cabinet and deputy level now gone, some under criminal bases, others just "gone," and replaced with "acting"people who do not go through Congressional vetting and approval. A large number of ambassadors are gone and their subordinates or others are acting. The new normal is Presidency by Tweet, bypassing the usual press conduits. If nothing else, Trump has changed the office a great deal. He is benefiting from a fantastically buoyant economy, so credit the administration, the tax cut, and the head of steam he inherited since the catastrophic financial collapse of late 2008.

Enjoy life, it's the only one we will get.

Jim George

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2 Responses

  1. JK James George
    This post garnered several comments by direct email. They are listed unedited but with the senders' names coded: /// * From SW: Spent my July 4th reading it. Had to scan some of it. But GAWD...pretty obvious Individual 1 is guilty of obstruction on multiple counts, all documented. This will get lot uglier before things start getting better. /// * From HG: Thank you for the thoughtful analysis of the Mueller Report! The 2016 election was disrupted and our country is suffering from the ongoing turmoil. Sometimes I think we need election monitors like we have provided to other countries to verify the results. /// * From RK: I read it twice. I also read McQuade's and Vance's article. It's astonishing to me that Democrats, who partnered reliably with Republicans and Libertarians in expressing distaste for FBI and CIA abuses, now quote Mueller and Comey as if they were wise, objective and benign sources rather than longtime foes of civil liberty. Remember when members of all three groups joined to condemn the COINTELPRO investigations of Martin Luther King, Malcom X, and Fred Hampton? Remember the Kennedys vs Hoover? Remember the Church (D-ID) Committee? I regard the apparent marriage of convenience between the Democrats, Comey, and Mueller as tragic and misguided. /// The content-free statement, "that does not mean there was no evidence of those facts." is worthy of Joe McCarthy. That's not the only point of resemblance between the anti-Trump campaign and McCarthy's anticommunist campaign. /// Full disclosure: Trump fired Barb McQuade. Joyce Vance resigned effective midnight, Jan 19, 2017. Both are paid, fulminating Trump haters at MSNBC. On Wednesday of this week, Vance said of Trump: /// You know, it is so hard I think to avoid the comparison between Epstein and Trump. Of course, one is under indictment. The other is not. But they (sic) are similar and credible allegations of this kind of conduct. And somehow Epstein becomes a little bit of a marker for Trump here. And Trump's inability to fire Acosta in the face of the way he conducted this investigation is something that I think looked very personal to Trump. It's impossible to separate the two. /// Forgive me, but this sounds insane. To his great credit, the reliably progressive Jonathan Swan of Axios replied: "I think we should be clear, one of them is an industrial scale pedophile and sex trafficker, just a small distinction. BTW, Swan takes flak from his liberal colleagues for reporting only somewhat objectively on Trump's presidency. /// I'm more baffled and disappointed than angry about the Democrats' sudden affection for the FBI. I guess it's "The enemy of my enemy is my friend", but it's chilling to watch. It's sad to see Roosevelt's party doing this. /// I'll read a reply with attention and courtesy if you want to send one. I hope we don't get into a long exchange of ideas on Trump. Too sad and dismal. /// * From JJ: Passed this along to several friends. Good job, well done. /// * From FB: I really don't like friends of all political persuasions sending me emails regarding their political analyses, be they conservative or whatever. The times are too polarizing. Before Obama the media didn't fawn over or continually denigrate the President. Dubya was probably the first that was openly pilloried, and then Obama could do know wrong. Trump trumps them all for one-sided coverage. /// So by now I'm sick of hearing anything good or bad that is from a biased media. Your analysis of the Mueller report is patently biased IMHO. That's just my opinion. /// I am not pro-Trump, never was. But I was most definitely anti-Hillary and anything to do with the Clintons. An opinion that I don't broadcast unless prodded. /// With the current cast of Dems running for office, what choice do people like myself, who are in the middle, have? Vote for the party of AOC, Bernie and Elizabeth?... God help our country. I hate voting for the lesser of two evils. /// * From LD: Very clear and succinct. Thank you for this post. This is not the new normal in any sense of the word and no, you are not the only one who thinks the Russian interference is a VERY big deal. /// * From SD: I am disappointed (the least offensive word I can think of) with your political blogs. In my opinion, you are a good author, I have enjoyed reading your books, but, you are not a political reporter, pundit or sage. /// Your political blog words, thoughts, opinions and ideas are greatly repugnant to me and just plain wrong! /// * From GJ: You are entitled to your opinion because in our great county we have freedom of speech we also have something know as innocent until proven guilty. /// 1) Both the attorneys you sight in your email were Obama appointees and obviously as basis as Mueller and his democratic team. 2) The charges Mueller brought against Russian firms have been thrown out by a Federal Judge because of lack of credible evidence. 3) The Russians would have benefited from Hillary being in office, can you say Uranium 1? They did interfere in the election but on Hillary's behalf, can you say Steel dossier? 4) If Mueller had been able to prove any of the allegations, he would have happily, but he was not able to prove the allegations and the only goal was to cause distrust of Trump and to cripple and his administration. This been a distraction and a waste of taxpayer dollars. /// Please remove our email address from your mailing list, we do not wish to read your nonsense any longer. You may want to do some research into the facts and stop listening to CNN. /// * From
  2. JK James George
    From HD: I read it, liked it, and concur with your conclusions. Thank you for taking the time to read the whole thing and then to parse it into bite-size (digestible?) chunks. //

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