Russia Is Dead, It Must Be Obstruction

While I think we’ve heard the last gasps of “RUSSIAN COLLUSION!”, I already see folks saying

“OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE! The Special Counsel didn’t say there was no obstruction of justice.

Here’s the definition of that crime.

obstruction of justice definition.png

And it is true. Mueller opted out entirely on the question of obstruction. Mueller left it up to the Department of Justice to make the decision. From the DOJ letter to the House and Senate, emphasis mine:

Obstruction of Justice.

… 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’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. …

After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is NOT sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.

… In cataloging 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.

My advice, my plea to the Democrats? We had the media unable to find collusion or obstruction. We said, “Where’s the evidence”? Then the House and the Senate Committee reports said no collusion, no obstruction. Abd all they way through, y’all said “Don’t speak too soon, wait for the Mueller Report” …

OK, so now we’ve done that. We waited. It has arrived. Nothing. No collusion. No obstruction of justice. No illegal actions of either the President, his campaign, or his family. No indictments. No Don Jr. being led away in handcuffs. Nothing. The FBI/DOJ crooks’ “insurance plan” of screaming “RUSSIA! RUSSIANS UNDER THE BED!” went nowhere. Nada. Zip.

So here’s my advice and my plea.

Please give it all up, end all of these investigations, abjure them root and branch, and get back to what we pay you for, which is attending to the business of actually fixing our myriad of real national problems …

And while free advice is worth every penny you pay for it, it’s my advice as well as my plea because more investigations won’t convince people to turn Democrat … but they certainly may convince some people to turn Republican.

Here’s the thing. Americans like fair play.

And we now know, from their own testimony and emails as well as heaps of other evidence, that the leaders of the Obama DOJ and FBI illegally conspired to LIE ABOUT CLAIMED COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA, in order to first prevent Trump from being elected, and then to get him thrown out of the White House. In the process, they have ruined reputations and forced lots of perfectly innocent people to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend themselves from squadrons of government liars lawyers.

And guess what?

Folks are angry about all of that …

And after all of this wasted time and money and falsely ruined reputations, further investigation will rightly be seen as just more of the same—more of using the limitless powers of the government to hound the President and his allies. And Americans know for a fact that that’s simply not fair. It won’t make people want to vote Democrat.

I probably shouldn’t say that. After all, why try to save my political opponents from self-immolation?

Why? Because I have lots of both family and people I’m proud to call friends that are Democrats, and because the two-party system works best when we have two strong, honest, parties who are striving to get the job done despite their differences …

My best to all, Democrats and Republicans alike, sinners, saints, savants, scoundrels, scholars and fools like me …

w.

PS—Coda stolen shamelessly from Twitter:

<blockquote>Did conservatives unfairly criticize Mueller? No—his report vindicates their concerns. Mueller cleared Trump in fact—no prosecution—but still tried to harm him politically by claiming to make no call about obstruction. Yet to recommend prosecution or not *is* the call.</blockquote>

Fact check: True

PPS—The five stages of election grief are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Can I be so bold as to invite all my Democratic friends to let go of the first two, where they’ve spent the last two years, and move forwards to Bargaining? We’ve got to start working together …

AG Letter To House And Senate

 

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24 thoughts on “Russia Is Dead, It Must Be Obstruction

  1. One again well said. Unfortunately based on family and friends of the opposite political persuasion, the likelihood of them moving toward any other stages is, at this time, not on the horizon. Sigh…

    Too much invested in the idea that Trump is a totally bad person, and by extension incapable of being a good president.

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    • He might be a totally bad person, but Hillary lost anyway. Horrified Progressives immediately started an obstructionist campaign. What a bunch of real democrats! What a reaction to a lost election! May their baseball team never lose – or there would be blood in streets.

      I’ll summarize a Progressive soul in two words: Resist. Protect. (And may God help us).

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      • I think it was Fox News where I saw a survey of voters, where a large % of them would be disposed to vote for any candidates just on the basis that they might unseat Trump.
        So policies are no longer the critical issues for these voters, just support anyone who is not Trump.
        By this rationale, it’s fortunate AOC can’t nominate for 2020?

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  2. they “know” that he is guilty, they just can’t find something they can prove, so they view this as “it doesn’t say there was no evidence, just not enough to prove it” and keep going (I think it was Perez I say a videoof saying exactly this)

    Meanwhile, Clinton hired a British citizen to contact people in Russia to try and find dirt on Trump and they don’t see anything wrong with it.

    Bernie hires non-citizens (people for now protected by DACA) to work in his campaign, a clear violation of federal election law, and nothing happens.

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  3. Thanks, Wiilis,
    My hope’s are the same as yours that the past 2 years of endless investigations is finally over. However from listening to the statements today on the news, I am worried that there are people who want to continue investigating for ever as if Congressional committees can find evidence which 14 federal prosecutors were unable to find in 675 days.

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  4. How lovely it would be to return to the days when if a crime came to light they would try to find out whodunnit. Nowadays we know whodunnit, but we don’t know what the crime was, or where or when. But we do knhat person is a criminal, just haven’t worked out what yet.

    Of course half at least of the public are deep in emotion-based reasoning. Logic or principles never come into it.

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  5. Willis – since Mueller was incentivised to find some dirt about Trump, and after 2 years couldn’t find anything he could prove to a court, it looks like the allegations are groundless. As for obstructing justice, I’d expect anyone falsely accused to not be that cooperative in the investigation. “Sorry, can’t help you there, I didn’t do that anyway!”.

    There are so many laws that it’s always possible to find some that a person has broken without knowing about it or even realising there may be a law about it. For Mueller, anyone connected with Trump was in the firing-line, so Papadopoulos got jail time because he wasn’t sure of whether he was in fact employed at the time since he’d received his contract somewhat after he started doing the job. I wouldn’t regard that as an intentional lie, myself, but simply a mistake. As such, it seems the failure of Mueller to nail more people than he did means that the majority of the Trump people were surprisingly squeaky-clean.

    The same can’t be said about the Steele dossier, the FISA applications, the Uranium One deals, or the surprisingly-large payments to the Clinton Foundation for little obvious payback. I’ve always wondered how it is that US senators get so rich in office when IIRC the yearly pay is only around $175k. As such, putting the same level of investigation on others as Mueller did to Trump should turn up quite a few more-juicy worms. Of course, it might also upset the political system in the USA with so many people getting jailed….

    It looks to me that the Democrats are not accepting defeat, and instead will keep on trying to bring down Trump. After all, there’s bound to be some law somewhere he’s broken, and all they have to do is find it. It seems to me that they’ll ignore their duty to their electors in this all-consuming pursuit of removing Trump and stopping any of his ideas from being carried out, and good government will not be the aim. It’s going to be a bit tricky having the policy of being simply “against Trump” when the traditional Democrat voters find themselves far better off because of Trump’s policies. Businesses doing well, and unemployment levels amongst Blacks and Hispanics at historic lows. They’re bound to ask themselves if they want to go back to the way things were, and a fair number will likely change their voting choices.

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  6. I added the following to the head post:

    Coda stolen shamelessly from Twitter:

    Did conservatives unfairly criticize Mueller? No—his report vindicates their concerns. Mueller cleared Trump in fact—no prosecution—but still tried to harm him politically by claiming to make no call about obstruction. Yet to recommend prosecution or not *is* the call.

    Fact check: True

    Best to all,

    w.

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  7. Just wondering .. Mr. Mueller is helping Attorney General Barr to decide which parts of the report can be made public. As a mere ex Special Counsel, does he have a security clearance to read his own report? 🙂

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    • Well, in South Africa, when I lost my security clearance, I theoretically wasn’t allowed to read the reports I was writing…

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  8. When your passionately held belief is found to be false, one’s initial response is to deny the falsehood as being false. The next reaction is to search for any reason why the contrary to your beliefs finding was wrong. The next step is to find self reassurance, usually from others, that you have been right all along in your beliefs.

    Similar to the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (from her book: Death and Dying) stages of the “grief reaction” (denial, anger, bargaining, etc.), then…

    Only years later, if at all, will there be acceptance: “I was wrong”. Then your journey through life can proceed again.

    Such is the case from the Mueller investigation report.

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  9. I like to think there are three parties: Dems, Reps, and the non-sheep – Independents. However, we rarely have much say. I always vote, but usually have to hold my nose voting for a R or D.

    Per Dems looking at obstruction of justice, Article V of the Constitution negates any stupid argument they may have.

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  10. Here’s a how-de-do. If we indict you. We will perish at the election, as upon inspection Mueller has found no felonious abomination. Yes, this is a how-de-do. If we try to indict you.
    (With apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado)

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  11. Eisenhower talked about the military-industrial complex, but had not clue about the forming media-political-financial-academic complex that we’re now confronted with. That is what I mean by the oligarchy: those who think they have the right to rule us by their membership in that elite. How dare we elect and outsider! It’s not money that defines this group (though many do manage to acquire it), it’s power and it extends from the highest to the lowest in their ranks.

    Whatever you think of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, her critiques of the oligarchy were as spot on as George Orwells. This quote from a character in Atlas Shrugged shows what the oligarchy wants to use to maintain control:

    “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kinds of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of lawbreakers—and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

    If the Democrats can’t find a crime then they just have to make one, while of course ignoring the crimes that the previous administration and their own candidate committed.

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    • What I would like to see, while the democrats in Congress are beginning the next phase of their witch hunt for a crime, are parallel Senate investigations into the very real crimes perpetrated by the previous administration. These could be who illegally unmasked US citizens, who used of piece of opposition research paid for by the Hillary campaign to initiate multiple FISA warrants, AG Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton when his wife is under investigation, why were neither the DNC nor the Hillary servers not seized by the FBI, what part did Comey, McCabe and their team play in an attempted coup of the US government, why did the Obama administration not stop the actual Russian attempts to hack the 2016 election and many, many more uninvestigated questions.

      It might also be appropriate to ask the media people who pushed the debunked collusion narrative to justify the claims that they made in their roles as journalists.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. If there was no collusion, nothing President Trump did could be an obstruction of justice. Obstruction comes from thwarting or attempting to thwart the discovery of a crime and/or the subsequent judicial process resulting from the crime. No crime, no obstruction.

    Perhaps my little pea brain isn’t twisted enough to figure it out, but how does one prevent someone else from discovering there is no crime?

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    • The same way Muller “investigates” by targeting an individual and searching till he finds something he can charge them with whether it’s true or not. Prime example: How Flynn was charged with lying when the FBI said he didn’t. He finally broke Flynn financially (and he’s done it before) so Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about a crime he was never charged with.

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  13. There was so much peripheral information revealed during the Mueller probe, that many Americans got a good hard look into the workings of power and justice in our Republic.
    Can things ever go back to the way they were? The Jussie Smollett fiasco suggests that some people think that it’s still business as usual.

    Willis, this is OT, but thought that you might find it interesting.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00857-9?source=science20.com

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