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Discussion in 'General Chat' started by SEABEE, Dec 28, 2016.
You know what's even funnier? Waiting for the whole thing to be released only benefits the accused (assuming summary is indicative of the whole).
Well, I mean, the guy who said "no obstruction" was literally hired because he wrote a memo saying he would find exactly that
My feeling is that it is a GOOD thing that the president did not actively work with Russia to influence the campaign.
This needed to be investigated, did it not?
Don Jr released his communication with the Russian govt where they expressed their support
In Helsinki Trump rejected the intelligence communities findings (and still does) and said he believed Putin when he said he didn't do it
As far as "muh russia" goes, this does not say that Russia did not work to influence the election, the summary, released by Trump's appointed Attorney General, says they did not find evidence that the President actively worked with the Russians.
There's a huge spectrum from what media are reporting, to what the memo actually says (eg: it explicitly states it is not an exoneration), to what it implies about Mueller's summary itself. The media reporting on the Barr memo has been atrocious, though they have backpedaled since Sunday.
That is not what it says. Not even close. This goes back to what I've been saying about the media reporting on the memo being atrocious.
It literally says it.
This is becoming, "derp, it says no crime was found, herp! But he had to have committed it!"
It depends on the reason why it was investigated the way it was.
Sure, investigate the hacking, but don't immediately try to pin it on someone. Literally what I've been saying since the start.
If someone in your office gets raped, would you be ok with being investigated for 2 years just because you talked to the person?
What are the circumstances? Was I with the person last? Did I constantly try to railroad the investigation? Am I in the media saying "is rape even a crime"?
Then maybe the police would want to take a little look, and if I was objective, that doesn't seem unreasonable at all lol
Reading today that the Mueller report was 300 plus pages long, summed up in 4 pages within 48 hours. I wonder how much of it was prewritten
Barr wrote 19 pages on why the president could not have committed obstruction before he was appointed (why he was appointed in the first place)
It's stinky. I'd like to see the whole report. There's a reason it's being blocked by sycophants
One thing that I find fascinating:
The report, supposedly, doesn't even exonerate Trump from collusion. What the summary says, to the best of my interpretation, is that the Special Counsel "did not find enough evidence to push for a case of collusion". The reasons for not finding enough evidence are diverse.
1) Maybe Trump and associates are really innocent, never attempted to collude with Russians, and therefore there is no evidence to be found;
2) Maybe Mueller found evidence of collusion, but they are not beyond a reasonable doubt and not strong enough to start a legal process;
3) And, ultimately, maybe Mueller failed in finding evidence.
Only case 1 would be a full exoneration. Cases 2 and 3 do not imply that he is innocent, they simply imply that he's not guilty.
If you go back some pages, you'll find a message of mine from months ago where I say that a very possible outcome of this investigation would be one of not finding enough evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt. Alas, this appears to be the case.
But I really thought things would go the Al Capone route, that the Special Counsel would find evidence of other misdemeanours (number 1 thing I thought was financial crimes). While Barr's summary doesn't mention it, I wonder if the obstruction of justice happened because Trump wanted to stop investigations about his financial irregularities, among them misuse of campaign funds.
Anyway, the release of Barr's summary is extremely anti-climatic, and probably leaves us with more unanswered questions than before. Barr is ultimately Trump's appointee, and a guy that probably was selected because he stated in the past that he doesn't believe in the concept of obstruction and that prosecuting a sitting president requires extraordinary evidence. With that in mind, would I believe the interpretation that this guy is giving? Unlikely. I think the matter will only be put to rest when the report is released to the public, lawmakers and analysts (as much as they can legally release it).
Oh yeah, and I do expect ETB4U's very in-depth rebuttal to come in the form of a single line snarky sentence and an animated gif. You know, the way the best scholars do.
This, too, is not what Barr's memo said. I think we are all victims of a very successful campaign to teach people three falsehoods that allow what is a very limited summary, that should be read as damaging for Trump, to be treated as a victory lap:
The idea that 'collusion' is equivalent to the federal crime of 'Conspiracy'
The idea that a lack of an indictment or conviction means "no evidence" (a point you make, but also present, eg., in the nomination of Kavanaugh)
The only type of government investigation is a criminal investigation
What Barr's summary said was this:
The Special Counsel was not able to definitively show that the Trump Campaign was guilty of a criminal conspiracy with the Russian government, and the Internet Research Agency or Russian government hacking operations specifically
What Barr's summary didn't say was:
The Special Counsel found no evidence that the Trump campaign Conspired with the Russian state (as you state)
But, more importantly, what Barr's summary was completely silent on was:
The Special Counsel found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian state
The Special Counsel found no evidence that the Trump campaign Conspired with agents of the Russian state
The Special Counsel found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with agents of the Russian state
Indeed, the very thing Barr's summary "freed" Trump from was something basically nobody spent any time accusing Trump of, and certainly nobody thought would see legal action, for reasons that might be best summarized by Idris Elba in The Wire:
Barr's summary indicated that Mueller limited his investigation to Conspiracy between the Trump campaign and with the Russian state (as in Barr's first footnote, he defines 'coordination' in a way that is equivalent to Conspiracy) - the capital 'C' here meaning reference to the federal crime, rather than the lay-definition of the word. This is possibly the most surprising revelation of the whole summary, as many people (including Trump, it seemed) believed he was going to work from a broader definition of 'coordination', to be more in-line with 'collusion' as we all know it, and 'Russia' to be more in line with the realities of Russian foreign intervention than just the Russian state.
The mafia-like structure of Russian state interference - for instance, the fact that it uses mercenaries in Ukraine - is about an insulating layer of deniability for Putin. We all know Ukraine's 'freedom fighters' are Russian soldiers. Most grass-roots uprisings don't have access to rocket artillery or surface-to-air missiles that can down a modern jetliner. And so too is Russia's activities in the 2016 election. Wikileaks, for example, basically turned into a Russian propaganda vehicle. That behavior? Not the Russian state, and so not within the scope of Mueller's investigation, as he defined it, so he handed it off to other investigators. Paul Manafort selling polling data to Oleg Deripaska? Not officially the Russian state, and so handed off to other investigators. Maria Butina working the IRA and RNC personnel during the election? Not the Trump campaign, so handed off to other investigators. Was Roger Stone considered part of the Campaign? Unclear. And of course, we are well aware of other states that were working to influence this election in coordination with Russia - Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Erik Prince admitted to perjuring himself to congress on Al Jezeera about it. Did Mueller view that as within the scope of his work? Unlikely.
This gets into the types of investigations that there might be: criminal, counter-intelligence, and political. One criminal investigation has come to a close, but many more were referred to other parties, in New York, Virginia, and DC - at least 19 that are publicly acknowledged. Every bit of public information suggests the scope of criminal investigation has grown, not shrunk, since it began. Just not within the Special Counsel's office. Consider, for instance, Michael Flynn got a sweetheart deal because of all the cooperation he was doing with federal prosecutors. His sentencing, which has yet to occur, was delayed because he was continuing to help investigators - and the only purpose for the delay was to enable continuing cooperation. Mueller only wrote a memo that his cooperation was complete two weeks ago. And in how many cases, yet seen publicly, has one iota of testimony from Flynn been used as evidence? None. You don't give someone a sweetheart deal for cooperation if you don't plan to use the cooperation - but of course, there are more than a dozen federal criminal investigations into the broader question of collusion still open.
Counter-intelligence investigations continue until the threat is eliminated, and Russia is still openly interfering with our elections, by and through right-wing groups, so we know that hasn't ended.
But this brings us to political investigations. This is not the same as partisan investigations. What Barr's summary states is that, in essence, Mueller offered no conclusion on obstruction because it is fundamentally a political matter. That doesn't mean it wouldn't ordinarily be criminal, but we also know that the DOJ is of the opinion that the President cannot be indicted (and that the Supreme Court supports this view). Rather, Mueller suggested this ought to be a matter before Congress (which has already established, via Bill Clinton, that obstruction is an impeachable offense) to begin their political investigation. Barr mixes his own views with Mueller's here to say his view is that no obstruction occurred. Except Barr already came to that conclusion before he was appointed AG, Rosenstein (who he supposedly conferred with) is a witness to obstruction, so his view is irrelevant, and Barr's argumentation is asinine: that the lack of a crime, on its face, removes the possibility of corrupt intent. This is essentially equivalent to the statement that "obstruction is not a crime if it is successful". This is obviously not something that should be allowed to stand.
It is almost certain that the Special Counsel did find evidence of other crimes - felonies and misdemeanors - including financial crimes. But we now know that Mueller didn't view it as within the scope of his work and handed them off to other investigators. Its remarkable how effective the misinformation regarding this case has been, as even people who doubt the summary very much are still repeating the misinformation and talking points.
Set him to ignore and forget about it. I spent months trying to talk with him in good-faith. He showed he was not interested literally every single time.
Some of you may recall this as the thing we were calling "collusion" in the early pages of this thread, and you may also recognize it as something Barr's summary claims Mueller explicitly excluded from consideration in his investigation (rather handing it off to other jurisdictions), and as such, something still as valid today as it was then:
Well, there are a lot of things that the Mueller Report/Barr's memo do not state, I'm sure. The thing is, as far as I know, the scope of the investigation was quite narrow, its goal was to examine "the allegation that there were links or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government [efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election]".
I think you are saying the memo does not state certain things, because those were probably stuff that the Special Council did not investigate at all? Case in point, your message bellow:
This seems to be a symptom of a very broken system and of a very corrupt politician, and yet it doesn't look like a secret conspiracy to me. While Mueller did investigate if Russia interfered with the election (and established that it did), it would be news to me that the other point of the Special Council was to push for criminal accusations against a president that made foreign policy campaign promises that motivated Russia to interfere with the electoral process.
If a candidate says in a public forum, as a campaign promise that he will ease relations with Russia, and then Russia interferes with the election to help said candidate, that doesn't sound like the textbook definition of conspiracy/collusion to me. It sounds more like some form of crime (from Russia), like stupidity and bad policy (from Trump wanting to relief punishment against a state like Russia) and a general failure in the democratic system (when the people vote to power a guy who seems to be so ignorant of the threat of Russia).
And yet, that's what Barr wants the reader of his memo to believe.
Maybe one of the confusions about this is related to the definition of "evidence". There is plenty of evidence, many of each were showed in public forums, that Trump associates at least tried to conspire with Russia -- Don Jr's "I love it" Tower meeting with a Russian representative to get dirt on Hilary, for example. I think the critical thing is that evidence here needs to be bullet proof. The Trump Tower meeting can be easily be rebuked, I believe.
Barr mentions that Mueller failed to find evidence (and this most likely means good-quality evidence, and not that the failed to find any evidence at all) that Trump associates coordinated with Russian government agents, "even after multiple direct offers of help from those actors to Trump associates" (direct quote from Barr). The fact that Mueller failed to unearth strong evidence of Trump associates coordinating to get an electoral advantage, even when the Russians dangled the carrot in front of them, should be very conclusive for this discussion.
I mean, either Barr is outright lying, or there is no evidence (as in beyond-any-reasonable-doubt kind of evidence) that there was active coordination between Trump associates and Russian actors interfering with the electoral process. What did in fact happen was that candidate Trump went to the stage and said that he will relief sanctions on Russia, and then Russia went and helped him win the election. Doesn't leave a good taste in your mouth, and yet doesn't sound like a secret cabal conspiring behind people's backs. In fact, Trump was being quite transparent about it all.
I want make it clear that I'm not a Trump apologist. I think the guy is despicable, vulgar, outright corrupt, damaging to not only the US but also the rest of the world, and someone who has some deeply seated undemocratic values.
I do think you're right about misinformation and bad press reporting in this whole Mueller saga (this has vibes of Iraq WMD version 2.0). I think that one of the misconceptions is that the public and the media are treating the Mueller investigation as the ultimate and definitive solution for all the doubts surrounding the president. When in fact the investigation will just be another piece of the puzzle, that putting the jigsaw together will require a lot of subjective interpretation, and that the report might not even offer conclusive evidence at all.
You don't think Mueller would say he's lying?
When it turns out to be the same, what excuse will you use next?
You mean the part where I put a quote that proved his comment incorrect? Good God, you leftists are delusional.
More than that: I'm saying that people have no idea what "links or coordination" means. The working definition of the terms has been attacked as much as the evidence or the investigators, if not more, to the point where Trump and his supporters are taking a victory lap over being cleared of something next to nobody accused them of. This is evidenced by your response to the linked article:
First, and this is a total aside from my main point, why do conspiracies need to be secret? This is among the strangest thing about Trump and his defenses. If some of the things he says on stage, on television, were said in secret and leaked, they'd be scandals, and big ones. But because he says them in public, they not an issue.
But the main point is that this is exactly the type of collusive behavior that he's been accused of for the last two years. It is not, at all, whatsoever, a matter of Trump setting policy, and then Russia attempting to influence the election because of a friendly candidate. That would be, as you say, an idiot politician and a criminal adversary. Its a candidate setting policy in order to gain the support of a foreign nation, or in support of their activities. If you are aware that a foreign nation is committing crimes in order to swing an election (and after becoming the Republican nominee, Trump did, as he was receiving security briefs) and you then ask them publicly to continue (which we have video of), and modify your policy to be friendlier to them (which we are aware he did) after the fact, then that is very likely criminal, and a matter of coordination and collusion in the lay definitions of the term, and yes, probably a conspiracy (with the small 'c'). Crimes like aiding and abetting (which Mueller, it appears, viewed as outside the scope of his work) may likely apply - but it is not Conspiracy (with a capital 'C', the scope of Mueller's work, it appears).
That is definitely an issue; that Republicans are treating anything short of 'guilty' as 'no evidence', which is, of course, false:
However, another critical issue, which I discussed at length in my previous post, but I believe was committed here, was the difference between conspiracy and Conspiracy. "Conspiracy", capitalized, is a federal crime with a specific definition. It is an agreement in furtherance of a crime. That all the parties would be happy for a crime to continue is not sufficient. The agreement is critical. But that doesn't mean there wasn't a conspiracy - a lay term, which has been conflated with the crime, which is a secret act of usurpation - often an illegal one, but that crime is not always Conspiracy. And, moreover, it appears that Mueller was tasked with determining Conspiracy with the Russian state - not agents of the Russian state - which, due to the way Putin operates, was always going to be near impossible. Whereas Conspiracy with, say, Oleg Deripaska might be reasonably provable. Or between Roger Stone and Wikileaks.
At no point does any part of Barr's memo say this and you should not repeat it.
Explicitly, Barr said that Mueller did not find that a crime had been committed. Recall, OJ Simpson was found not-guilty at a Beyond Reasonable Doubt standard, but was still found with civil liability for his murder (the preponderance of evidence, 50% surety) - this is the distinction we're making at this point. Not "any evidence". That is a nonsense idea that shouldn't even be entertained in passing.
That is also not what Barr says. He says with the Russian government. Agents of Russia were outside the scope of the investigation. This goes back to Putin's methodology for mafia-like organization to establish deniability.
I disagree with this conclusion in the strongest terms. Because, critically, you fail to make the same distinction as above: Mueller found that the Trump campaign didn't coordinate (under a definition functionally equivalent to Conspiracy) with the Russian Government even though Russian affiliated individuals offered assistance. Do you notice how those two entities are not the same party? Even if assistance was exchanged, after an explicit agreement, if the affiliated individuals could not be liked to the government, no Conspiracy, as so defined, occurred. Take heed of how empty that statement actually was - and then consider a lawyer with four decades of experience wrote that, under an international spotlight, knowing full well how thoroughly people would pick it apart.
This is what I'm getting at! The memo doesn't even discuss that as a topic. The memo discusses Trump and the Russian government. A government which insulates itself from its agents as an explicit tactic of plausible deniability. Barr discusses one, without lying, and you've assumed the other under the assumption Barr meant them too.
I might agree with that, if that were the order of events (or the events). But Trump - after learning of illegal operations by the Russian state - asked them to continue it publicly, and made his policy more Russia-friendly. That is a critical order of operations. That makes a very, very big difference. (And also, mind, what he's been accused of this whole time).
That's all fine, but be careful that you aren't repeating Trump's talking points that Barr and his memo don't say and don't support.
Lol it's funny because I linked the quote that proved him wrong. It's also funny because he types a lot without actually proving anything. More hypothetical BS. I'd hate for him to do research for me. Seems like the kind that will do the work to find the solution he wants, not the correct one. And, lmao at 'finding no evidence doesn't exonerate him'. By that logic, everyone here who isn't me fucks underaged boys. I don't have proof it happened, but it doesn't exonerate you. Sorry, you're all pedophiles. Also, by that logic, God is real.
You are completely misunderstanding the logic. The example you gave is not how it would have played out, and it's not even appropriate for the case being discussed.
In no serious country that has a fair and strong judicial system would someone be investigated for pedophilia out of the blue, with no prior motivator for such investigation to take place. People don't start investigations for no reason and then make blanket declarations such as "based on no evidence at all we can't tell if you guys are pedophiles, therefore the doubt that did not exist in the first place remains". Either you are just being deliberately ridiculous or you are totally out of your depth here.
Trump is being investigated because there are some serious allegations and evidence that were present before the investigations started. The nature of the enquire is that either they find enough evidence to support the accusation, or they don't find enough evidence, which can be a scenario that happens for various reasons. The quest is designed to try and establish if he's guilty; the process, however, is not designed to prove if someone is innocent. It doesn't work like that. That's why they call it "not guilty" instead of "innocent".
Sure thing, pedophile. That's why they call it, "innocent until proven guilty," fascist.
I wasn't going to ignore him because I thought your assessment of him was wrong. But I think you're spot on. It's impressive how he goes out of his way and makes an effort to not actually debate.
My poor naive summer child, ideally that'd be how politics works but it does not. The truth is that it does happen...alot.
We like to pretend western democracies are exempt from corruption, but we're all human.
its simply both, and tribally motivated
This is exactly why he was selected, and I think the 3 of us seriously discussing can agree that his "summary" (he's backpedaled on calling it a summary) was worded specifically for political expedience.