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Tag Archives: Russia investigation

Meuller Indicates He Doesn’t Want to Testify Before Congress

Russia investigation Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller Wednesday indicated he does not want to testify before Congress, announcing his resignation and saying his work is done.

“We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself, and the report is my testimony,” Mueller said of his report.

Congress will probably make him testify anyway, at least in private. But Mueller made it pretty clear they will not get anything useful from him.

And he said a lot of stuff we already know. That he believes charging Trump with a crime was not permitted under the Constitution, but that he didn’t rule out that Trump committed one either.

Trump Blows Up Meeting with Schumer and Pelosi

This is pretty funny.

President Trump dragged Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi down Pennsylvania Avenue for what was supposed to be an infrastructure meeting. Then he threw them out and held a press conference in the Rose Garden about how they are unjustly investigating him, and he’s not doing any infrastructure until they cut it out.

A brilliant PR stunt by the master.

According to the Washington Examiner:

President Trump canceled a scheduled meeting on infrastructure with Democrats on Wednesday, saying he was upset about claims he engaged in a coverup and Democrats’ use of “the I word” — meaning impeachment.

“Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up. I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump said, speaking in the Rose Garden about 25 minutes after the scheduled start of the meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Trump said he was particularly upset about Pelosi suggesting he engaged in a coverup during special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it. I would be really good at that. That’s what I do. But you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with,'” Trump said.

Trump to Prevent White House Aides from Testifying Before Congress

Not sure why President Trump gives interviews to the Washington Post, which is relentlessly biased against him. But, he does. I guess he knows it’s a good way to get his message directly to the Democrats who read it.

In an interview with several of the paper’s reporters, Trump made clear that he is not going to be sending his aides to talk to Congress about things they already told Robert Mueller.

I don’t know what he can do legally. Some argue that he has revoked his “executive privilege” right by allowing these people to talk to Mueller. Since they did, they therefore should be able to talk to anyone.

But I do know what Democrats are up to. They want to basically create live videotapes of the testimony given to Mueller and generate “moments” in which White House aides are forced to make statements harmful to Trump. And then they want to make political advertisements out of the footage.

According to the Post:

President Trump on Tuesday said he is opposed to current and former White House aides providing testimony to congressional panels in the wake of the special counsel report, intensifying a power struggle between his administration and House Democrats.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump said that complying with congressional requests was unnecessary after the White House cooperated with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference and the president’s own conduct in office.

“There is no reason to go any further, and especially in Congress where it’s very partisan — obviously very partisan,” Trump said.

Trump’s comments came as the White House made it clear that it plans to broadly defy requests for information from Capitol Hill, moving the two branches of government closer to a constitutional collision.

On Tuesday, two White House officials said the administration plans to fight a subpoena issued by the House Judiciary Committee for former White House counsel Donald McGahn by asserting executive privilege over his testimony.

Separately, the administration directed a former White House official not to comply with a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee, prompting the panel to move to hold him in contempt of Congress. And the Treasury Department defied a second demand from House Democrats to turn over six years of President Trump’s tax returns.

Taken together, the moves mark a dramatic escalation of tensions between the president and congressional Democrats — deepening a fight that may ultimately be resolved only by a protracted court battle.

What Did Obama Know and When Did He Know It?

Democrats don’t like this one bit. They and their allies in the media are suddenly recoiling from the notion of investigating someone. Because that someone is suddenly them, or their friends in the Obama administration.

And so they’ve become shrill, attacking Attorney General Barr as a hack whose gone from an honorable public servant to a lackey for President Trump.

And yet, what would Democrats do if the George W. Bush administration, with Dick Cheney lurking darkly in the background, decided to investigate the Obama campaign. And sent people to spy on the campaign, which is what happened to Trump. And requested dozens of “unmaskings” of Americans whose names the intel agencies were never supposed to reveal.

And it turned out THERE WAS NOTHING THERE.

Of course they’d be screaming bloody murder and demanding that Eric Holder get busy to uproot all the corruption of the previous regime.

Barr is doing what an attorney general should do. The Democrats are utter hypocrites. Do they not care about an administration investigating its political opposition.

Barr should follow this as far as it goes. It’s hard to believe Barack Obama did not approve such a contentious act as investigating a candidate for president. We need to know whether Obama knew and what information he had that led him to think such a probe was justifiable.

Trump Can Now Ride the Mueller Report Straight to Reelection

From a piece I have running Monday on the NBC News website:

The news that special counsel Robert Mueller found no proof that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia is much worse for Democrats than it appears. Because the vehicle for destroying President Donald Trump has crashed so spectacularly that Trump will reconstruct it into the campaign bus that will deliver him victoriously to the White House on his second Inauguration Day.

Trump’s opponents will try to characterize the report as a detail that can now be discarded as congressional committees and various local prosecutors race to produce damning information. But they’ve already bet on the wrong horse. The Mueller report will simply trample everything else, smashing and discrediting — whether justifiably or not — all other probes hurled Trump’s way.

Worse for Democrats, Trump, who tweets from the hip and produces all kinds of unreliable, errant missives, begins to look credible. “Witch hunt,” he regularly exclaims at dawn from the White House residence. Now, that formulation, drilled into voters’ heads, begins to look like a potentially apt description of the opponents Trump has said are trying to thwart his agenda and unfairly delegitimize his election.

Trump, lo and behold, was right. 

You can read the rest of the piece here.

Investigate the Police State

Kimberly Strassel, who alone has become worth the prices of a subscription to the Wall Street Journal — well, almost — has it exactly right as usual.

It’s time for an investigation into how and why the FBI, controlled by a Democratic president, unleashed an investigation that turn out to be without merit into the Republican candidate for president.

From her piece:

Attorney General William Barr has reported to Congress that special counsel Robert Mueller has cleared President Trump and his campaign team of claims of conspiring with Russia during the 2016 election. This is more than an exoneration. It’s a searing indictment of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as a reminder of the need to know the story behind the bureau’s corrosive investigation.

Mr. Mueller’s report likely doesn’t put it that way, but it’s the logical conclusion of his no-collusion finding. The FBI unleashed its powers on a candidate for the office of the U.S. presidency, an astonishing first. It did so on the incredible grounds that the campaign had conspired to aid a foreign government. And it used the most aggressive tools in its arsenal—surveillance of U.S. citizens, secret subpoenas of phone records and documents, even human informants.

The wreckage is everywhere. The nation has been engulfed in conspiracy theories for years. A presidency was hemmed in by the threat of a special counsel. Citizens have gone to jail not for conspiracy, but for after-the-fact interactions with Mr. Mueller’s team. Dozens more have spent enormous amounts of money and time defending their reputations.

None of this should ever have happened absent highly compelling evidence—from the start—of wrongdoing. Yet from what we know, the FBI operated on the basis of an overheard conversation of third-tier campaign aide George Papadopoulos, as well as a wild “dossier” financed by the rival presidential campaign. Mr. Mueller’s no-collusion finding amounts to a judgment that there never was any evidence. The Papadopoulos claim was thin, the dossier a fabrication.

Cohen Accidentally Cleared Trump of Campaign Finance Charges

In his testimony to the House, former attorney to President Trump Michael Cohen probably inadvertently cleared Trump of one of the “criminal” allegations against him with respect to his payoff of Stormy Daniels:

The idea is that Trump violated campaign finance laws because the payment was illegal because was effectively an unreported campaign donation.

But Cohen made quite clear that the donation was at least arguably done not to advance Trump’s campaign by keeping the affair quiet, but to keep the affair from the first lady.

As writer Marc Thiessen notes:

Well, if Trump didn’t care about winning, that undermines the case that the payments were a campaign finance violation. Indeed, Cohen offered evidence that Trump’s motivation was in fact keeping his affair from his wife. “He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it,” Cohen said. “Lying to the first lady is one of my biggest regrets. . . . She did not deserve that.” Paying hush money because he did not want his wife to find out he was having an affair with a porn star is sleazy, but it is not a crime.

Thiessen adds:

Cohen also cleared Trump of the charge that he had directed Cohen to lie to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project. Cohen declared that “I lied to Congress” and Trump “did not directly tell me to lie.” Cohen said he assumed Trump wanted him to lie, so he did what he thought Trump wanted. Sorry, that’s not evidence of a crime.

Cohen’s testimony gave Democrats lots of excuses to set out to sea for new fishing expeditions, now that the whole Russia collusion thing is falling apart. But Cohen did not do much direct damage Trump at all.

Trump in All-Out Campaign to Turn Public Against Democrats’ Probes

President Trump is in a battle for his presidency, and he’s waging the fight in the public arena.

The greatest consequence of Democratic control over the House has nothing to do with legislation. It has to do with trying to destroy the Trump presidency, which has been the Democrats’ goal since Election Day 2016.

Trump is well aware that this will involve endless investigations of everything from his businesses and tax returns to discovering how he manages to look like he has lots of hair.

The president has two defenses: His White House legal team, which he has already enhanced, and public opinion. If he can get the public to see overreach on the part of the Democrats, he might convince Nancy Pelosi to put the breaks on some of the probes.

We saw the commencement of the public square strategy during the State of the Union. Trump’s call for bipartisanship and his effort to portray himself as seeking love and cooperation was the sunny half of the strategy. “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” he said in the State of the Union.

The other half is bashing his opponents, Trump’s specialty. As we’ve seen, it can be quite effective. Thursday morning, two tweets targeted the man who will be one of his chief nemeses, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Wash.

It’s a plan. It might work. A lot of these Democrats have unappealing personalities and therefore make appealing targets.

And if the Mueller report lacks any evidence of Russia collusion and fails to make very serious allegations against the president, the idea that all of this is frivilous could take root.

Roger Stone Says He Won’t Testify Against Trump

Roger Stone, arrested today on charges filed by special prosecutor Robert Muller, told reporters after his arraignment that he will not testify against President Trump. And that, of course, is what all of this is about. Mueller doesn’t give a damn about Stone. What he wants is to flip him and get him to expose… Continue Reading

Jonathan Karl: We Have Seen No Evidence of Collusion

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, one of the fairest reporters in the mainstream media – recall how aggressively he went after Barack Obama spokesman Jay Carney – told the ladies of The View what they certainly didn’t want to hear: Robert Mueller may have come up empty on the allegation he was tasked to investigate. “On… Continue Reading

Dems to Start Collusion Probe “Right Away” if they Take the House, Castro Promises

No, not that Castro. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, a member of the Intelligence Committee, says Democrats will waste no time if they take the House getting started investigating whether the Trump campaign “colluded” with Russia. They may well go ahead, he admitted, even if special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is performing colonoscopies all over Washington,… Continue Reading

Senate Intel Chair: “No Hard Evidence” of Collusion

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr Wednesday indicated Wednesday that his panel, after seven years of investigation – or something – had come up with jack s#&% on collusion. “I can say as it relates to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation that we have no hard evidence of collusion, said Richard Burr, R-N.C. “Now, we’re… Continue Reading