Author Topic: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice  (Read 7580 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #75 on: April 19, 2019, 05:33:01 am »
the entire document needs to be released with no redacting.  Bring Barr up on charges for the stalling and pre-emptive editing.  Expose all the tax history of 45.

Some useful information, Hype. This ad was effective in expediting the redacted version of the Mueller Report so that number [read: 1.800.205.5162] may be expired.  Here's another 1.800.205.6118   ...and here's another number 1.800.205.0781


I was in South Florida last week to stand alongside the 7.8 million Americans demanding that Congress hold the acting-President accountable for his corruption and force this administration to release the full Mueller Report once and for all.

The simple truth is the American people paid for it, so we deserve to see it.

We want to know what drumphf is hiding, and why his loyalists are working so hard to keep the information secret.

Since October 20, 2017, I’ve been elevating the voices of the American people who believe that our future will be at risk if the acting-president’s lawlessness goes without consequence.

My organization — Need to Impeach — is a grassroots group devoted to empowering voters to take part in our democracy, and get their representatives to understand the case for impeaching the acting-president.

We’ve held town halls all over the country, meeting with people and hearing their concerns.

Through that work, we’ve gained nearly 8 million supporters, making us the fastest growing political movement in the country.

They joined us because they have seen this president commit impeachable offenses in full view of the public eye:

chiefly, obstructing justice, and governing by rampant corruption.

Things have only gotten worse since we started.

drumphf tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, twice.

He forced Jeff Sessions out as Attorney General and replaced him with a yes-man.

He has threatened everyone from his ex-attorney and personal fixer to disabled reporters, and he has dangled pardons for allies.

Members of the Special Counsel’s office are telling reporters that Attorney General William Barr may have misrepresented their findings.

All while drumphf’s hotels are teeming with lobbyists and foreign agents seeking to buy this country out from under us in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.

If we don’t uphold the law, then there are no laws.

It’s that simple.

Yet this appears to have barely made an impression on Capitol Hill.

In well over a year, Republicans held zero hearings on drumphf’s corruption.

Democrats have put on just one in four months, after making big promises on the campaign trail just last year to bring oversight to this administration.

Both sides seem happy to run out the clock.

Thankfully, as we’ve applied more and more pressure, Democrats have started to wake up.

The Judiciary Committee is threatening to subpoena the full Mueller report, and Richard Neal, the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, finally began demanding drumphf’s tax returns.

The House even voted unanimously — 420-0 — to release Mr. Mueller’s findings.

But we need more leadership out of Congress if we’re going to restore decency and the rule of law in our country.

And that starts with getting all the evidence in front of the American people — beginning with the full Mueller report.

We need to see and hear everything this president has done and make up our own minds.

This movement is growing, and the only thing Congress listens to more closely than big donors is voters.

The midterms last year proved as much, as Americans across the country filled out their ballots to send a rebuke to the acting-President.

Democrats won in Republican strongholds, and did so on the back of a 60 percent increase in turnout nationwide over the last midterm, and 23.5 percent in Florida alone.

We need House Democrats to actually use the power that voters awarded them last November.

That’s why we’re holding a town hall for the constituents of Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Ted Deutch.

Both of these South Florida representatives sit on the Judiciary Committee, which sends articles of impeachment to the House floor for a vote.

The committee chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, has the power to subpoena the full Mueller report.

If Reps. Mucarsel-Powell and Deutch know their constituents want action, they very well might lead that charge.

The people who came out to vote in 2018 — in particular young people, women, working people, and people of color — were hoping to elect representatives who would champion their interests.

They were looking for someone to start fighting against the corruption that has overtaken Washington, enriching very few at the expense of almost everyone else.



drumphf is only the most acute symptom of that corruption.


But if Democrats want to be those champions for the American people, they must start by taking him on directly.

Only after we restore faith in the rule of law can we begin to tackle other important issues—like improving our healthcare system, guaranteeing clean air and clean water, providing great public education to all, paying workers a living wage, and ensuring everyone has an equal vote.

That’s why our movement will march on.

We will not stop until we throw the most venal president in American history out of office.



And it all starts with letting Mueller’s investigation speak for itself — which is why we announced a multi-million ad campaign to pressure Barr to release the full Mueller report.

Our representatives must join us in this struggle for the truth, and act like it’s the most important fight of their political lives.

That’s what the people voted for. That’s what the people paid for.

And this is supposed to be a democracy of, by, and for the people, above and beyond anything else.







Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/fl-op-steyer-impeach-trump-20190416-story.html

Would You Like To See More?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntXTN1YloaU
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 11:44:04 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #76 on: April 19, 2019, 12:56:53 pm »
Friday, 19th April 2019
Mueller Did His Job.

Now It’s the Democrats’ Turn.
by Michelle Goldberg


In 2017, a brilliant visual effects expert created a video montage called “It’s Mueller Time!
Trump Administration Season Ending.” Set to crooning of the 1963 song “From Russia With Love,” it shows F.B.I. agents rounding up the central figures who brought us Donald Trump’s presidency, culminating in Trump himself being led away with hands behind his back.

I’ll admit to having watched this over and over again; it’s one of the most satisfying bits of wish fulfillment I’ve ever seen.

Wish fulfillment is all it was, though.

It’s a national disgrace that Trump sleeps in the White House instead of a federal prison cell, but it has been a while since I had any expectation that the special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings, many of which were finally released to the public on Thursday, could set things right.

Instead, I’d desperately hoped for something more modest:


clarity. A rough public consensus on what happened in the 2016 election and its aftermath, akin to the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John Kennedy, or the 9/11 Commission Report.

A set of facts that serious people could agree on, leaving conspiracy theories at least somewhat marginalized.
There are a lot of reasons Trump’s election remains a festering wound.

It was a horrifying shock to many of us and, given his decisive loss in the popular vote, an insult to democracy.

But there was also so much destabilizing weirdness surrounding it.

Trump’s relationship with President Vladimir Putin of Russia has long been suspect; as Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who was the House majority leader at the time, told colleagues in a secretly recorded 2016 conversation, “There’s two people I think Putin pays:

Rohrabacher and Trump.” (He was speaking of the slavishly pro-Putin former Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.)

Several weeks before Trump was inaugurated, America’s intelligence agencies reported that Russia had engaged in cyberoperations to help him win.

In the months that followed, there was one staggering revelation after another about secret conversations between Trump’s circle and various figures linked to Russian intelligence.

At the same time, the new administration unleashed on the public a degrading cacophony of lies, of the sort many of us associate with authoritarian countries like Russia.

The day after the new president was sworn in, Sean Spicer, Trump’s first press secretary, stood in the White House briefing room and insisted that the inauguration crowd had been unprecedented in size.

This was terrifying, despite the petty stupidity of the untruth, because Americans were not yet used to being told to believe government diktats over the clear evidence of their senses.

This quickly became our new normal. Once Republicans realized the power they could amass by collaborating in Trumpian mendacity, most of them gleefully abandoned any sense of epistemological solidarity with their fellow Americans.

There’s a reason “gaslighting” has become one of the most overused terms of the Trump era.

And perhaps the biggest lie of all was that Mueller’s investigation, rather than the events that precipitated it, was the real scandal, an attempt to frame Trump rather than an effort to get to the bottom of an assault on our democracy.

It was probably naïve to think that Mueller could cut through such a thick web of falsity.

But if anyone could have, it would have been him, the embodiment of a set of old-fashioned virtues that still ostensibly command bipartisan respect.

Over the months of the investigation, he came to represent for many an ideal of manliness that rebuked Trump’s insecure machismo.


He was a war hero, Trump was a shirker.


He was a public servant, Trump a venal con man.


He was honest, Trump a liar.


America doesn’t have a Walter Cronkite anymore, a person whose word is trusted implicitly across the political spectrum.

Mueller was as close as we were going to get.

He and his team have now given us the clearest picture yet of the murky events surrounding Trump’s ascension.

“The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion,” they wrote.

The Trump campaign welcomed this interference, but, we now know, did not assist in it.

“Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Once in office, Trump sought to thwart the investigation into what Russia had done.


He believed — correctly, as it happens — that Russia’s actions cast doubt on the legitimacy of his victory.

The report says he may also have feared that what appears to be his advance notice of the WikiLeaks dumps of hacked Democratic emails and his campaign’s now infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian emissaries offering dirt on Hillary Clinton “could be seen as criminal activity by the President, his campaign, or his family.”

Further, although “the President publicly stated during and after the election that he had no connection to Russia,” his company was negotiating to build a Trump Tower Moscow throughout most of the campaign, a fact that could have hurt him politically if it got out.

Numerous commentators have said that the report reads like a road map for impeachment, and in a remotely functional country that’s what it would be.

Mueller makes it clear that because of the Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted,

“we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes.”

Instead, the evidence is laid out for congressional action, or even for prosecutors to indict after Trump leaves office.

The test for us now is how much evidence still matters.

Before the report came out, William Barr, Trump’s attorney general, created a fog of disinformation around it, blatantly misleading the public about what it contained.

Weeks before anyone else could read the report, he tried to close the door on obstruction, implying falsely that Mueller meant to leave the decision to him.

In a news conference Thursday, Barr repeatedly said that Mueller had found no “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Mueller, however, never examined the case through the lens of “collusion,” which isn’t a term in criminal law:
“In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of ‘collusion,’” the report says.

Barr claimed that “evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the President had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation.”

The report is overstuffed with evidence of corrupt motives.

But most people aren’t going to read the nearly 500-page report.

Republicans have already seized on Barr’s words — and on the lack of criminal charges in a document that was never going to contain criminal charges — to claim total vindication for Trump.

The president’s manifest disloyalty to the country in trying to halt an investigation into a foreign attack on an American election is, to the right, of no account.

Nor are the counterintelligence implications of Mueller’s findings, which aren’t part of the report.

In the eyes of the president’s supporters, his campaign did not participate in the criminal conspiracy that helped elect him, so no more needs to be said.

The reaction to the report shows that between the minority of Americans who support Trump and the majority who do not, there may no longer be even the possibility of a shared sense of reality or national purpose.

Even as exemplary a figure as Mueller cannot change that.

Compounding the problem, Republicans are willing to act unilaterally on their perception of reality, but Democrats are not.

As Hannah Arendt wrote in 1951, “Totalitarianism will not be satisfied to assert, in the face of contrary facts, that unemployment does not exist; it will abolish unemployment benefits as part of its propaganda.”

The same logic underlies Republican threats to actualize fantasies about an attempted deep-state coup by opening an investigation into the Mueller investigation’s origins.

Democrats, conversely, have facts on their side, but not conviction.

They are reluctant to begin an impeachment inquiry into Trump because majorities, in polls, don’t support it, and there is no Republican buy-in.

Whether or not this is politically wise, failing to impeach would be a grave abdication.

If you want people to believe that the misdeeds enumerated in the Mueller report are serious, you have to act like it.


To not even try to impeach Trump is to collaborate in the Trumpian fiction that he has done nothing impeachable.



And if Congress won’t take the lead in condemning the president’s lawlessness and demanding justice, one of the Democrats running for the presidential nomination should.


Mueller has given us the truth of what Trump has done, and in that sense the hokey faith the Resistance put in him was not misplaced.

But right now only a political fight can make that truth matter.
















Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/19/opinion/mueller-report-trump-barr-impeachment.html
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 07:52:19 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #77 on: April 19, 2019, 07:04:17 pm »
Friday, 19th April 2019
GOP leaders ignore 400 pages of evidence that Trump is a criminal
by Oliver Willis



Top Republican leaders in Congress ignored the details of Trump’s criminality and corruption outlined in the Mueller report, and instead mounted defenses of him and pushed for the country to effectively ignore Trump's actions.

Coming in at more than 400 pages, the Mueller report detailed the repeated interactions between Trump's presidential campaigns and Russians interfering in the election process with documented evidence.

The report also revealed the stomach-turning details of Trump's attempts to impede the investigation using his presidential power.

None of this apparently matters to Republican leaders.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the highest-ranking Republican official in the United States, was tight-lipped about the report.

McConnell's only public statement was a short press release thanking Attorney General William Barr for releasing the report to the public.

McConnell did not point out how Barr had widely deceived the nation in his presentation and did not bother to address Trump's actions.

"The nation is fortunate to have an experienced leader like Bill Barr in place," he noted.

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) did even worse.

Despite his role as Majority Whip in the Senate, he appeared to have no problems with the sitting president of the United States engaging in criminal acts.

Thune did not bother to issue a press release or even a tweet on the release of the Mueller report.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's sole public statement could have been written by Trump himself.

"Nothing we saw today changes the underlying results of the 22-month long Mueller investigation that ultimately found no collusion," he said.

McCarthy claimed Democrats concerned by the details of the report and Trump's assault on the rule of law were merely engaged in a search for "imaginary evidence."

"IT IS TIME TO MOVE ON," he pleaded in an all-caps tweet.

His second-in-command, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, parroted McCarthy and Trump in falsely claiming that the report had exonerated Trump of wrongdoing.

He said Democrats "ought to apologize" to America for raising concerns about Trump's work with a hostile foreign power.

Scalise also raised the specter of a congressional investigation based on right-wing conspiracy theories that insist there was no basis for the Trump investigation to begin with.

Even the Republican leaders tasked with holding up the rule of law had nothing of consequence to say about Trump’s actions.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is currently on a tour of Africa with Ivanka Trump.

He took a break from his travels to tell reporters he was "not interested" in hearing from special counsel Robert Mueller through congressional testimony (House Democrats have asked Mueller to speak).

Graham was otherwise silent on the report.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), the top-ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, insisted that "accusations of criminal obstruction are unfounded," despite the voluminous evidence to the contrary in the report.

Otherwise, Collins complained in tweets about coverage of the report and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler's ongoing attempts to hold Trump accountable.

Over the first two years of Trump's presidency, his Republican allies in Congress steadfastly refused to do their jobs and uncover his criminality and corruption.


Voters punished the party for that in the 2018 midterm elections and gave control of the House to Democrats.

Despite the rebuke from millions of voters, the responses from top Republican leaders show that nothing Trump does — even with hundreds of pages of evidence — will cause them to step away from the party line.


They have chosen loyalty and party over upholding the U.S. Constitution.















Would You Like To Know More?
https://shareblue.com/republican-leaders-ignore-mueller-report-evidence/

Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #78 on: April 20, 2019, 05:05:35 am »

Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election
Vol. I of II
Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III
Washington, D.C.
March 2019


TABLE OF CONTENTS - VOLUME I

INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME I ..................................................1

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TO VOLUME I..............................................2

I. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL'S INVESTIGATION....................................11

II. RUSSIAN "ACTIVE MEASURES" SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN........................14

A. Structure of the Internet Research Agency..............................15

B. Funding and Oversight from Concord & Prigozhin.........................16

C. The IRA Targets U.S. Elections.........................................19

1. The IRA Ramps Up U.S.Operations As Early As 2014.......................19

2. U.S. Operations Through IRA-Controlled Social Media Accounts...........22

3. U.S. Operations Through Facebook.......................................24

4. U.S. Operations Through Twitter........................................26

a. Individualized Accounts................................................26

b. IRA Botnet Activities..................................................28

5. U.S. Operations Involving Political Rallies............................29

6. Targeting & Recruitment of U.S. Persons................................31

7. Interactions & Contacts with the Drumphf Campaign......................33

a. Drumphf Campaign Promotion of IRA Political Materials..................33

b. Contact with Drumphf Campaign Officials in Connection to Rallies.......35

III. RUSSIAN HACKING & DUMPING OPERATIONS.................................36

A. GRU Hacking Directed at the Clinton Campaign...........................36

2. Intrusions into the DCCC & DNC Networks................................38

a. Initial Access.........................................................38

b. Implantation of Malware on DCCC & DCCC Networks.........................38

c. Theft of Documents from DNC & DCCC Networks............................40

B. Dissemination of the Hacked Materials..................................41

1. DCLeaks................................................................41

2. Guccifer 2.0...........................................................42

3. Use of WikiLeaks.......................................................44

a. WikiLeaks's Expressed Opposition Toward the Clinton Campaign...........44

b. WikiLeaks's First Contact with Guccifer 2.0 & DCLeaks..................45

c. The GRU's Transfer of Stolen Materials to Wikileaks....................45

d. WikiLeaks Statement Dissembling About the Source of Stolen Materials...48

C. Additional GRU Cyber Operations........................................49

1. Summer & Fall 2016 Operations targeting Democratic-Linked Victims......49

2. Intrusions Targeting the Administration of U.S. Elections..............50

D. Drumphf Campaign & the Dissemination of Hacked Materials...............51

1. [HOM]..................................................................51

a. Background.............................................................51

b. Contacts with the Campaign about WikiLeaks.............................52

c. [HOM]..................................................................54

d. WikiLeaks's October 7, 2016 Release of Stolen Podesta Emails...........58

e. Donald Trump Jr. Interaction with WikiLeaks............................59

2. Other Potential Campaign Interest in Riussian Hacked Materials.........61

a. Henry Oknyansky (a/k/a Henry Greenberg)................................61

b. Campaign Efforts to Obtain Deleted Clinton Emails......................62

IV. RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT LINKS TO & CONTACTS WITH THE DRUMPHF CAMPAIGN......66

A. Campaign Period (September 2015 - November 8, 2016)....................66

1. Trump Tower Moscow Project.............................................67

a. Trump Tower Moscow Venture with the Crocus Group (2013-2014)...........67

b. Communications with the I.C. Expert investment Company & Giorgi
Rtskhiladze (Summer & Fall 2015)..........................................70

c. Letter of Intent & Contacts to Russian Government (October 2015-
January 2016).............................................................70

i. Trump Signs the Letter of Intent on behalf of the Drumphf Organization.70

ii. post-LOI Contacts with Individuals in Russia..........................72

d. Discussions about Russia Travel by Michael Cohen or Candidate Drumphf
(December 2015 - June 2016)...............................................76

i. Sater's Overtures to Cohen to Travel to Russia.........................76

ii. Candidate Drumphf's Opportunities to Travel to Russia.................78

2. George Papadopoulos....................................................80

a. Origins of Campaign Work...............................................81

b. Initial Russia-Related Contacts........................................82

c. March 31 Foreign Policy Team Meeting...................................85

d. George Papadopoulos Learns that Russia Has "Dirt" in the Form of
Clinton Emails............................................................86

e. Russia-Related Communications With The Campaign........................89

f. Drumphf Campaign Knowledge of "Dirt"...................................93

g. Additional George Papadopoulos Contact.................................94

3. Carter Page.............................................................95

a. Background.............................................................96

b. Origins of & Early Campaign Work.......................................97

c. Carter Page's July 2016 Trip To Moscow.................................98

d. Later Campaign Work & Removal from the Campaign.......................102

4. Dimitri Simes & the Center for the National Interest..................103

a. CNI & Dimitri Simes Connect with the Drumphf Campaign.................103

b. National Interest Hosts a Foreign Policy Speech at the Mayflower
Hotel....................................................................105

5. June 9, 2016 Meeting at Trump Tower...................................110

a. Setting Up the June 9 Meeting.........................................110

i. Outreach to Donald Drumphf Jr.........................................110

ii. Awareness of the Meeting Within the Campaign.........................114

b. The Events of June 9, 2016............................................116

i. Arrangements for the Meeting..........................................116

ii. Conduct of the Meeting...............................................117

c. Post-June 9 Events....................................................120

6. Events at the Republican National Convention..........................123

a. Ambassador Kislyak's Encounters with Senator Sessions & J.D. Gordon
the Week of the RNC......................................................123

b. Change to Republican Party Platform...................................124

7. Post-Convention Contacts with Kislyak.................................127

a. Ambassador Kislyak invites J.D. Gordon to Breakfast at the
Ambassador's Residence...................................................127

b. Senator Sessions's September 2016 Meeting with Ambassador Kislyak.....127

8. Paul Manafort.........................................................129

a. Paul Manafort's Ties to Russia & Ukraine..............................131

i. Oleg Deripaska Consulting Work........................................131

ii. Political Consulting Work............................................132

iii. Konstantin Kilimnik.................................................132

b. Contacts during Paul Manafort's Time with the Drumphf Campaign........134

i. Paul Manafort Joins the Campaign......................................134

ii. Paul Manafort's Campaign-Period Contacts.............................135

iii. Paul Manafort's Two Campaign-Period Meetings with Konstantin
Kilimnik in the United States............................................138

c. Post-Resignation Activiites...........................................141

B. Post-Election & Transition-Period Contacts............................144

1. Immediate Post-Election Activity......................................144

a. Outreach from the Russian Government..................................145

b. High-Level Encouragement of Contacts through Alternative Channels.....146

2. Kirill Dmitriev's Post-Election Contacts With the Incoming
Administration...........................................................147

a. Background............................................................147

b. Kirill Dmitriev's Post-Election Contacts With the Incoming
Administration...........................................................149

c. Erik Prince & Kirill Dmitriev Meet in the Seychelles..................151

i. George Nader & Erik Prince Arrange Seychelles Meeting with
Dmitriev.................................................................151

ii. The Seychelles Meetings..............................................153

iii. Erik Prince's Meeting with Steve Bannon after the Seychelles Trip...155

d. Kirill Dmitriev's Post-Election Contact with Rick Gerson Regarding
U.S.-Russia Relations....................................................156

3. Ambassador Kislyak's Meeting with Jared Kushner & Michael Flynn in
Drumphf Tower Following the Election.....................................159

4. Jared Kushner's Meeting with Segey Gorkov.............................161

5. Petr Aven's Outreach Efforts to the Transition Team...................163

6. Carter Page Contact with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich......166

7. Contacts With & Through Michael T. Flynn..............................167

a. United Nations Vote on Israeli Settlements............................167

b. U.S. Sanctions Against Russia.........................................168

V. PROSECUTION & DECLINATION DECISIONS...................................174

A. Russian "Active Measures" Social Media Campaign.......................174

B. Russian Hacking & Dumping Operations..................................175

1. Section 1030 Computer-Intrusion Conspiracy............................175

a. Background............................................................175

b. Charging Decision As to[HARM TO ONGOING MATTER].......................176

2. Potential Section 1030 Violation[Personal Privacy]....................179

C. Russian Government Outreach & Contacts................................180

1. Potential Coordination: Conspiracy & Collusion........................180

2. Potential Coordination: Foreign Agent Statues (FARA & 18 U.S.C.#951)..181

a. Governing Law.........................................................181

b. Application...........................................................182

3. Campaign Finance......................................................183

a. Overview Of Governing law.............................................184

b. Application to June 9 Drumphf Tower Meeting...........................185

i. Thing-of-Value Element................................................186

ii. Willfulness..........................................................187

iii. Difficulties in Valuing Promised Information........................188

c. Application to WikiLeaks[HOM].........................................188

i. Questions Over [HOM]..................................................189

ii. Willfulness..........................................................190

iii. Constitutional Considerations.......................................190

iv. Analysis[HOM]........................................................190

4. False Statements & Obstruction of the Investigation...................191

a. Overview Of Governing Law.............................................191

b. Application to Certain Individuals....................................192

i. George Papadopoulos...................................................192

ii. [Personal Privacy]...................................................194

iii. Michael Flynn.......................................................194

iv. Michael Cohen........................................................195

v. [HOM].................................................................196

vi. Jeff Sessions........................................................197

vii. Others Interviewed During the Investigation.........................197
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 04:01:24 pm by Battle »

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #79 on: April 20, 2019, 11:48:52 am »




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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #80 on: April 20, 2019, 02:10:06 pm »
Saturday, 20th April 2019
The Mueller Report Demands an Impeachment Inquiry
by Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic


Here is, as Bill Barr might call it, “the bottom line”:

The Mueller Report describes, in excruciating detail and with relatively few redactions, a candidate and a campaign aware of the existence of a plot by a hostile foreign government to criminally interfere in the U.S. election for the purpose of supporting that candidate’s side.

It describes a candidate and a campaign who welcomed the efforts and delighted in the assistance.


It describes a candidate and a campaign who brazenly and serially lied to the American people about the existence of the foreign conspiracy and their contacts with it.


And yet, it does not find evidence to support a charge of criminal conspiracy, which requires not just a shared purpose but a meeting of the minds.

Here is the other bottom line:

The Mueller Report describes a president who, on numerous occasions, engaged in conduct calculated to hinder a federal investigation.

It finds ample evidence that at least a portion of that conduct met all of the statutory elements of criminal obstruction of justice.

In some of the instances in which all of the statutory elements of obstruction are met, the report finds no persuasive constitutional or factual defenses.

And yet, it declines to render a judgment on whether the president has committed a crime.

Now, the House must decide what to do with these facts.

If it wants to actually confront the substance of the report, it will introduce a resolution to begin an impeachment inquiry.

So far, House members haven’t shown much appetite to do so.

Republicans seem prepared to just put this unpleasantness behind them—at least those who aren’t launching crusades to “investigate the investigators.”

On the Democratic side, there is a clear reticence in the  leadership to initiate impeachment proceedings that might politically backfire.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer even suggested shortly after the report came out that his party should instead focus on the 2020 election, though he later walked those statements back.

There are a few exceptions—for example, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said she’d sign onto a previously introduced impeachment resolution.

And on the other side of the Hill, 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren declared that members of Congress should “do their constitutional duty” in initiating impeachment proceedings.

But by and large the response has been muted.

The problem with this approach is that, under the current system, the options for checking a president who abuses his power to the degree that Trump has are functionally impeachment proceedings or nothing.

There are many factors here, but the main culprit is the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)’s 2000 memo against the indictment of a sitting president — which itself builds on a 1973 OLC memo, drafted during Watergate, which reached the same conclusion.

The 2000 memo played a key role in shaping Mueller’s decision not to reach a traditional prosecutorial judgment on the issue of presidential obstruction of justice.

But while it was reasonable for the special counsel’s office to consider itself bound by OLC’s reasoning, it produces a baffling end result:

Mueller is barred, as he understands it, from reaching the point in his analysis at which he would make a call as to prosecution or declination of obstruction.

Indeed, he will not even say explicitly whether he believes that the president has committed crimes.


He is clear, however, that if he could exonerate Trump on the basis of the available evidence, he would do so.

And he isn’t doing so.


This means that, by Mueller’s read, it is only possible for an investigation to exonerate the president consistent with the OLC memo—he cannot be charged and uncharged crimes must remain unspoken.

Mueller’s solution is to pass the question to Congress.

He isn’t especially subtle in doing so.

He notes that “a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would … potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct,” then flags in a footnote the Constitution’s clauses on impeachment and the OLC opinion’s discussion of the “relationship between impeachment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.”

In other words, he is saying that while he is not permitted to determine if the president committed a crime, Congress can judge the president’s conduct itself.

The relevant section of the OLC memo reasons that “the constitutionally specified impeachment process ensures that the immunity would not place the President ‘above the law.’”

This is worth dwelling on:

the Office of Legal Counsel found that ruling out presidential liability for criminal conduct was not a threat to the rule of law because of the availability of impeachment as a remedy.

But if impeachment is presumptively off the table in the face of facts as extreme as those the Mueller Report contains, then it’s reasonable to ask whether impeachment is truly available at all where members of the president’s party in the Senate comprise a sufficient number to block removal.

In other words, does the current situation prove that impeachment is not the capacity of one branch to check another but rather a crude measure of party votes?

If so, it would seem that the OLC’s reasoning falls apart—at least in practical, if not theoretical, terms.
Currently, there are bad incentives on both sides of the aisle.

Republicans don’t want to touch the matter because the president is a member of their party.

His agenda aligns with theirs on many issues, and they fear angering his base in a way that might imperil their own reelection.

Democrats, on the other hand, are worried that initiating impeachment proceedings will offer the president a rallying point for his base, and allow Republicans to paint them as fanatics out to get Trump at all costs.

Besides, the thinking goes, Democratic base voters want to discuss policy issues that impact their lives, not perseverate on the many president’s sins.

The problem is that impeachment isn’t a purely political matter — though certainly it is political in part.

It’s a constitutional expression of the separation of powers, of Congress’s ability to check a chief executive overrunning the bounds of his power.

It’s also, under the OLC memo, the only release valve in the constitutional structure for the urgent and mounting pressure of an executive who may have committed serious wrongdoing.

To say that the appropriate course is to simply wait for the next presidential election in 18 months, is to offer a judgment that — even in light of his conduct as described by Mueller — Trump is not truly unfit for the office.

It is to say he is no different from, say, Vice President Mike Pence, who would take his place, or any other Republican for that matter.

It is to say that what matters is winning elections, even if it risks further institutional harms.

There is a danger to this mode of thinking, which is that Democrats should tolerate the institutional harms that would come from not initiating a serious impeachment inquiry because what really matters is winning the 2020 election.

When you convince yourself that the best way to safeguard the republic is for your side to win, it gets tempting to tolerate all kinds of intolerable things.

It is the precise calculus many congressional Republicans have made in supporting Trump despite his degradations of his office.

The Constitution does not mandate that Congress initiate impeachment proceedings each time it is faced with an impeachable offense — but that doesn’t let Congress off the hook in carrying out its constitutional responsibilities, either.



Each member swears an oath to defend the Constitution and “well and faithfully” execute the duties of her office.

Though hard questions remain about whether President Trump should be impeached and whether the evidence would be sufficient for the Senate to convict him, these are not questions that need to be answered at this stage.

Congress’s responsibility at this point is to begin an impeachment inquiry as a means of finding an answer to them.

And Mueller has provided more than enough information to justify initiating an inquiry:

the report sets out evidence of possible criminal wrongdoing by the president during his time in office related to abuse of power, which is at the dead center of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” impeachment is designed to check.

Though most scholars agree that violating the law is not necessary for impeachment, Congress included allegations of such conduct in articles of impeachment against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton — all three times the legislature seriously contemplated impeaching the president.



In Nixon and Clinton’s case, the articles specifically concerned criminal behavior, including obstruction of justice.


What’s more, the Mueller report itself suggests a possible hook for impeachment in indicating that the “corrupt intent” necessary for an obstruction offense would also violate the president’s obligation to “faithfully execute” the laws under the Take Care Clause.

In the face of this evidence, for Congress to not even consider impeachment as a matter of serious inquiry is to declare that the legislature is not interested in its carrying out its institutional obligations as a coordinate branch of government.

The House judiciary committee would be charged with the responsibility of overseeing impeachment proceedings.

But so far, Chairman Jerry Nadler has focused his energy on issuing subpoenas to the Justice Department in order to obtain the full, unredacted report — requests that the Justice Department is now batting back, and which seem likely to lead to a protracted political fight between the department and Capitol Hill.

It’s all well and good for Congress to want to see an unredacted copy of the document Mueller put together.

At this point, though, the decision to focus energy over redactions risks distracting from the devastating material already on the table.

It’s another variation of Congress’s insistence on delaying any decision on impeachment until Mueller had issued his report — a way of kicking the can down the road and punting the hard decisions to a future date, this time to whenever the committee peels back the report’s remaining redactions.

But Congress cannot forestall the inevitable forever.

Eventually it will face the task the Constitution commits to the legislative branch, which is to render a judgment.

In the wake of Mueller revelations, to not act is to accept the president’s conduct as tolerable—be it for 18 more months or four more years.
















Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.lawfareblog.com/mueller-report-demands-impeachment-inquiry

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #81 on: April 21, 2019, 06:11:40 am »


4. drumphf most likely would not be president without the help of fox news.

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #82 on: April 22, 2019, 04:00:14 am »
The scorecard, so far...




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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #83 on: April 22, 2019, 07:10:33 pm »
Monday, 22nd April 2019
Democrats Must Move Fearlessly Toward Impeachment
by Eugene Robinson


The constitutional case for impeaching President Trump was best made two decades ago by one of his most servile enablers, Lindsey Graham, now the senior senator from South Carolina:

“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body [the Senate] determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role … because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

The political case for moving deliberately but fearlessly toward impeachment is even clearer:


If timorous Democrats do not seize and define this moment, Trump surely will.

What just happened is that special counsel Robert Mueller delivered a searing indictment of a president who has no idea what “honor” and “integrity” even mean — a president who lies almost pathologically, who orders subordinates to lie, who has no respect for the rule of law, who welcomed Russian meddling in the 2016 election, who clumsily tried to orchestrate a cover-up, who tried his best to impede a lawful Justice Department investigation and failed only to the extent that aides ignored his outrageous and improper orders.

What Trump claims just happened is a "witch hunt."

Anyone who thinks there is a chance that Trump will lick his wounds and move on has not been paying attention.


Having escaped criminal charges — because he is a sitting president — Trump will go on the offensive.


With the help of Attorney General William Barr, whose title really should be Minister of Spin, the president will push to investigate the investigators and sell the bogus counternarrative of an attempted "coup" by politically motivated elements of the "deep state."

Here is the important thing:


Trump will mount this attack no matter what Democrats do.


And strictly as a matter of practical politics, the best defense against Trump has to be a powerful offense.


I fail to see the benefit for Democrats, heading into the 2020 election, of being seen as such fraidy-cats that they shirk their constitutional duty.


Mueller's portrait of this president and his administration is devastating.


According to Lindsey Graham's "honor and integrity" standard — which he laid out in January 1999, when he was one of the House prosecutors in Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in the Senate — beginning the process of impeaching Trump is not a close call.

It is also important for Democrats to keep their eyes on the prize.


The election is the one guaranteed opportunity to throw Trump and his band of grifters out of the White House, and the big anti-Trump majority that was on display in last year's midterm must be maintained and, one hopes, expanded.

But that task will largely fall to the eventual Democratic nominee, whoever that turns out to be.

Presidential contenders should be free to position themselves however they see fit on the impeachment question.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has chosen to single herself out by leading the charge.


Others may choose to demur and focus instead on the kitchen-table issues, such as health care, that polls show voters care about.

But most Democratic members of Congress (believe it or not) are not running for president.


Their focus has to be on their constitutional duty — and nowhere in the Constitution does it say "never mind about presidential obstruction of justice or abuse of power if there's an election next year."

I have no intention of letting congressional Republicans off the hook.


They have constitutional responsibilities as well, though it's clear they will not fulfill them.


Imagine, for a moment, if the tables were turned — if a GOP majority were running the House and a Democratic president did half of what Trump did.


Do you think Republicans would hesitate for a New York minute?


Articles of impeachment would have been drawn up long ago and stern-faced senators, including Graham, would already be sitting in judgment.

The conventional wisdom is that Republicans made a political error by impeaching Clinton.


But they did win the presidency in 2000 and go on to dominate Congress for most of George W. Bush's tenure.


If impeachment was a mistake, it wasn't a very costly one.

Does it "play into Trump's hands" to speak of impeachment?


I think it plays into the president's hands to disappoint the Democratic base and come across as weak and frightened.


Voters who saw the need to hold Trump accountable decided to give Democrats some power — and now expect them to use it.

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #84 on: May 09, 2019, 06:19:34 pm »
Species 86067-054



According to Federal Bureau of Prisons


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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #85 on: May 13, 2019, 02:25:09 pm »
Monday, 13th May 2019
Democrats push law that would allow drumphf to be prosecuted

by Anthony Man


A trio of House Judiciary Committee Democrats, including South Florida's Ted Deutch, is pushing legislation to pause the statute of limitations while a president is in office.

The No President Is Above the Law Act is aimed at President Donald Trump.

Many Democrats -- and hundreds of former federal prosecutors -- believe Trump has committed crimes detailed in the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump is shielded from facing criminal charges by a controversial Justice Department policy preventing prosecution of a sitting president but not a former president.

One effect of the policy is that a president who avoids prosecution while in office could escape prosecution altogether because the statute of limitations would have run out by the time the president is out of office.
Most federal criminal offenses carry a five-year statute of limitations.

Under the legislation sponsored by Deutch, who represents Broward and Palm Beach counties; Jerry Nadler, the committee chairman from New York; and Eric Swalwell, a committee member from California, the statute of limitations would be paused for any federal offense committed by a sitting president -- regardless of whether it was committed before or during the president's term of office.

"No one should be able to escape responsibility for their crimes by hiding in the Oval Office," Deutch said in a statement.

"If the Justice Department maintains its policy giving presidents a break from the threat of criminal prosecution during their term, Congress should act to ensure that it doesn't ultimately prevent the pursuit of justice."


Nadler said the presidency "is not a get-out-of-jail-free card."

The legislation stands next to no chance of becoming law.

It would have to pass the Republican controlled Senate -- and then go to Trump to sign or veto.

Democrats don't have enough votes to override a veto.

Some constitutional scholars believe a president can be indicted while in office.

But the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has long said that a president can't be prosecuted while in office, but could be after the term ends. Mueller cited that policy as a reason Trump couldn't be charged.

More than 800 former federal prosecutors signed a letter stating that Trump's conduct described in the Mueller report would result in prosecution on "multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice" for anyone who isn't the president.

The Nadler-led committee has been at the forefront of Democrats' efforts to conduct oversight of the Trump administration.


Last week the committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt, a move White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called a "desperate ploy."







Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/democrats-push-law-that-would-allow-donald-trump-to-be-prosecuted/ar-AABiZ2q?ocid=spartanntp
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 04:36:55 pm by Battle »

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #86 on: May 13, 2019, 06:04:49 pm »
Monday, 13th May 2019
On the Eve of a Hearing, Trump Lawyers Tell Judge They Aren’t Happy About Fast-Tracked Subpoena Fight
by Matt Naham


President Donald Trump‘s attorneys had some thoughts for the Barack Obama-appointed federal judge who decided to quicken the pace of certain proceedings in the ongoing struggle between Team Trump and House Democrats.
"I'll Sue!"
If you were paying attention last Thursday afternoon, May 9, Judge Amit Mehta entered an order revealing that it was his plan to fast-track Trump’s attempt to stop finance firm Mazars USA from complying with a congressional subpoena from the House Oversight Committee.
"I'll Sue!"
Mehta said he was “notifying the parties that the court intends to advance Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction to trial on the merits” and consolidate issues into a hearing because the court “can discern no benefit from an additional round of legal arguments.”
"I'll Sue!"
Trump lawyers want no part of this streamlining and said so just before Tuesday, May 14.
"I'll Sue!"
That’s the date the judge set for the hearing.
"I'll Sue!"
“Last Thursday at 4:00 P.M., the Court notified the parties that the hearing on Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction would also be the final trial on the merits. Because the hearing is tomorrow, the Court’s consolidation will force Plaintiffs to try their case on only four days’ notice, with no discovery, with little opportunity to assemble evidence, before Defendants have filed a single pleading, with no idea which facts are actually in dispute, and without a round of briefing focused on the merits,” they began.
"I'll Sue!"
“While Plaintiffs understand the Court’s desire to decide this case efficiently, resolving it in this way—and on this schedule—will severely prejudice Plaintiffs. Put simply, proceeding in this fashion will deny Plaintiffs a full and fair opportunity to assemble a record and brief the merits of their constitutional claim.”
"I'll Sue!"
Trump lawyers added that they “respectfully oppose consolidation” because consolidation “on such short notice […] would undermine Plaintiffs’ constitutional due-process rights.”
"I'll Sue!"
“[T]he President of the United States, and the other Plaintiffs, respectfully ask this Court to limit tomorrow’s hearing to the motion for a preliminary injunction or, in the alternative, cancel tomorrow’s hearing and set a schedule for trial on the merits that would allow the record to be fully developed and the legal issues to be adequately briefed and argued,” they continued.
"I'll Sue!"
“Only by proceeding in one of these ways will the Court be able ‘fully to consider and to act on this matter’ from the ‘best available perspective, both as to underlying evidence and [its] appraisal thereof.'”
"I'll Sue!"
The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Mazars USA for Trump’s financial documents, including “Statements of Financial Condition.”
"I'll Sue!"
During a recent congressional hearing, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen stated that Trump would use these statements to exaggerate the value of his assets.
"I'll Sue!"
He would allegedly due so by inflating the number of residential units in properties and the number of floors in towers he owned.
"I'll Sue!"
Democrats are looking into this to see if any of these alleged misrepresentations were criminal in nature.
"I'll Sue!"
Trump had previously put Mazars USA “on notice,” saying that legal action could come if they complied with a subpoena.
"I'll Sue!"
Trump has alleged that the subpoena was issued “with the hope that it will turn up something that Democrats can use as a political tool against the President now and in the 2020 election.”

Trump lawyers called the subpoena a “weapon of choice” for House Democrats in their “all-out political war against President Donald J. Trump.”

Update, 7:58 p.m.: Judge Mehta has ordered that the hearing proceed on Tuesday “as scheduled.”

“During the hearing, the court will take up the objections to its Consolidation Order made in Plaintiffs’ Response to Order of the Court,” Mehta said in a minute order Monday evening, the court docket in the case shows.




















Would You Like To Know More?
https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/on-eve-of-hearing-trump-lawyers-tell-federal-judge-they-arent-happy-about-fast-tracked-subpoena-fight/

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #87 on: May 16, 2019, 06:57:06 pm »
Thursday, 16th May 2019
What Congress Should Ask Robert Mueller When He Testifies
by Joshua Geltzer, Ryan Goodman and Asha Rangappa


Robert Mueller’s time as special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and links to the Trump campaign was notable for many things, among those his silence.  Even as President Donald Trump talked and tweeted repeatedly about Mueller personally, the special counsel team, and their work, and even as the media covered Mueller’s every coming and going, Mueller let his work speak for itself.

That’s about to change.  While the date hasn’t been set yet, odds are that Mueller will testify soon on the Hill.  The three of us previously offered questions for Congress to pose to Attorney General William Barr when he testified before Congress.  We now suggest the questions below for Congress to ask Special Counsel Mueller as he breaks his silence and offers congressional testimony.  We offer these questions as an addition to the 60 questions posed by the 10 Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We believe there is very little overlap between the two lists, and we offer ours as a supplement.

Once again, we encourage readers to add to our list with questions of their own (by sending their suggestions to lte@justsecurity.org). We will add readers’ questions to the list with attribution, but let us know if you prefer anonymity.

I. Process

1. Before you submitted your report on March 22, 2019, did Attorney General William Barr or Rod Rosenstein inform you that they believed you had the authority or the responsibility to bring an indictment against the President if you concluded there was sufficient evidence to establish the President committed a crime? Did Mr. Barr or Mr. Rosenstein inform you that they believed you should indicate in your final report whether you would have brought an indictment of the President were it not for the Justice Department’s preexisting view that a sitting President cannot be indicted?

2. If you knew before you submitted your report on March 22, 2019 that, according to the Attorney General of the United States, you could and should indicate that a sitting President had acted criminally if you concluded that the President had indeed engaged in a crime, would you have included that determination in your report if you considered the evidence supported it?

3. Upon concluding your work and submitting your final report, did you anticipate the Attorney General reaching and publicly announcing a conclusion on whether the President had obstructed justice? Would you have recommended that the Attorney General do so?

4. Were you ever concerned that William Barr, Rod Rosenstein, or Matthew Whitaker were improperly sharing information about your ongoing investigation with the White House?

5. Your report states:

“On March 9, 2017, Comey briefed the ‘Gang of Eight’ congressional leaders about the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference, including an identification of the principal U.S. subjects of the investigation. … The week after Comey’s briefing, the White House Counsel’s Office was in contact with SSCI Chairman Senator Richard Burr about the Russia investigations and appears to have received information about the status of the FBI investigation."

Were you concerned that Sen. Burr improperly provided information to the White House about the status of the investigation? Did you raise these concerns with Sen. Burr or his staff?

6. On April 9, 2019, Rep. Charlie Crist asked Attorney General Barr the following question:

“Reports have emerged recently, General, that members of the special counsel’s team are frustrated at some level with the limited information included in your March 24th letter, that it does not adequately or accurately, necessarily, portray the report’s findings. Do you know what they’re referencing with that?"

Did Attorney General Barr have knowledge what those reports were referencing? In your view, did your letter of March 27, 2019, to the Attorney General provide him with knowledge of what those reports were referencing?

7. Your March 27, 2019, letter to Attorney General Barr referenced an earlier letter you had already sent to Mr. Barr on March 25, 2019. How many letters or communications in writing did you send to Attorney General Barr raising concerns about either his 4-page letter dated March 24, 2019 or his decision not to release the summaries your Office apparently prepared for public release? Why send those letters?

8. Attorney General Barr’s letter to Congress on March 22, 2019, stated that there were no instances in which the Attorney General or Acting Attorney General rejected any proposed action by you. Is that statement accurate? Were there instances in which you did not propose an action primarily or in part because you believed the Attorney General or Acting Attorney General would not approve it? Does that include instances in which you believed they would not have approved it for reasons other than the preexisting Justice Department view that a sitting president cannot be indicted?

9. Attorney General Barr said that he offered you the opportunity to review his March 24, 2019 letter to Congress and you declined. Is that accurate? If so, why did you decline?

10. What role, if any, did Matthew Whitaker or Rod Rosenstein play in the decision of your office to make a public statement about the Buzzfeed report that claimed the President directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress? Why did your office respond to this news report and not do so for many others? What are the material differences between what Cohen told Congress on February 27, 2019 about the President’s telling him to lie and what Buzzfeed reported?

11. Many commentators, including highly experienced former federal prosecutors, were surprised by the timing of your end of the investigation while relevant litigation was ongoing and significant actors such as Julian Assange and Roger Stone could still, at least conceivably, flip and cooperate with your investigation, thus potentially yielding new investigations and even prosecutions. Please explain fully your reasoning for bringing the investigation to a close when you did.




II. Counterintelligence analysis

12. Upon your appointment, did you review the case opening documentation for the counterintelligence investigation into Russian election interference, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane? Can you explain the basis for the opening of that investigation? Do you believe it was a properly predicated investigation?

13. Do you believe that Congress, including the Gang of Eight, has been adequately informed by your team and other parts of the intelligence community with respect to any counterintelligence assessments of Americans who may have been acting wittingly or unwittingly on behalf of the Russian government? Do you believe Congress, including the Gang of Eight, has been adequately informed by your team and other parts of the intelligence community with respect to other counterintelligence information that has come out of your and related investigations into Russian interference in the American political process and public and private institutions? If not, what have been the obstacles to Congress being adequately informed?

14. Did your office ever provide any assessment of the extent to which President Trump is acting—wittingly or unwittingly—to advance the interests of the Russian Government; if so, has that assessment been provided in some form to Congress (and, if so, to which Members)? If your office did not make that assessment, are you aware of the FBI or others in the government having produced such an assessment at any point, and do you know if that has been provided in some form to Congress? Are you aware of any consideration, in your office or elsewhere in the administration, of mitigation measures to address concerns of Russian influence (witting or unwitting) in the Trump White House? If so, what came of that consideration?

15. On March 20, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey stated in a public congressional hearing:

“I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government."

The May 17, 2017 Order establishing your mandate stated:

“The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017."

Your report, however, suggests that the counterintelligence investigation may have been conducted by other parts of the Justice Department. Given the public statements made by the FBI Director and given the Justice Department’s order, please explain publicly whether you maintained control over the counterintelligence investigation and your role and relationship to it since you assumed the position of Special Counsel.

16. In your report, you note that your office considered whether to charge Carter Page under the Foreign Agents Registration Act for being an unregistered agent of Russia, but did not believe you had sufficient evidence to prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt. You also indicate that Page was the subject of a FISA order, and that the FBI did meet the lower probable cause threshold for that order on four instances. Did you ever review the underlying materials for the FISA order? Would any of those materials have included the evidence you considered in deciding whether to charge Page criminally?

17. Are significant parts of the counterintelligence investigation, confirmed by then-FBI Director James Comey on March 20, 2017, still ongoing?

18. Over the entire course of your investigation, did you have unrestricted access to the FBI to direct the Bureau to pursue leads and other investigatory matters of interest? Did you have unrestricted access to the CIA to encourage similar efforts?

III. Obstruction

19. Volume 2 of your final report strongly indicates that, if President Trump engaged in criminal obstruction of justice, some of his personal lawyers were directly involved in those activities and could be criminally liable as well. What was your decision for not pursuing indictments of those lawyers for involvement in obstruction and witness tampering? Was your decision affected by the prospect of the President being included explicitly or implicitly as an unindicted co-conspirator?

20. Please describe your reasoning for including in your final report a comprehensive response to statutory and constitutional defenses to obstruction. It appears this reasoning would be relevant only in anticipation of an institution (such as Congress or future prosecutors) potentially pursuing criminal charges or other institutional actions (such as impeachment) against Mr. Trump during or after his presidency. Is that what you had in mind when including that response?

21. Your final report states:

“Although the events we investigated involved discrete acts …. it is important to view the President’s pattern of conduct as a whole. That pattern sheds light on the nature of the President’s acts and the inferences that can be drawn about his intent."

Does that mean that a proper way to read the report is to consider not only whether each of the instances of potential interference independently constitutes a potential crime of obstruction but also whether the overall set of multiple instances (including, perhaps, instances that on their own would not suffice) would help to establish a case of criminal obstruction?

22. Your final report divides the actions and motives of the President in the potential case of obstruction into “two phases”:

“[T]he actions we investigated can be divided into two phases, reflecting a possible shift in the President’s motives. The first phase covered the period from the President’s first interactions with Comey through the President’s firing of Comey. During that time, the President had been repeatedly told he was not personally under investigation. Soon after the firing of Comey and the appointment of the Special Counsel, however, the President became aware that his own conduct was being investigated in an obstruction-of-justice inquiry. At that point, the President engaged in a second phase of conduct, involving public attacks on the investigation, non-public efforts to control it, and efforts in both public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation” (Vol. II, p. 7).

Is it accurate to say that, in your view, the President’s actions in phase two—after he was aware that his own conduct was being investigated in an obstruction-of-justice inquiry—were motivated by a desire to interfere with investigation of his potential underlying crime of obstruction?

23. You indicate in your legal analysis for obstruction that even in the absence of an underlying crime, an erroneous belief that the underlying conduct was criminal, or even a desire to conceal embarrassing information from becoming public, could nevertheless constitute “corrupt” intent. Did any of the evidence you uncovered suggest that these kinds of motives may have been driving the President’s actions?

24. What is Congress’ constitutional basis for investigating obstruction of justice by the President, and how would such an investigation be consistent with the separation of powers?

IV. Conspiracy

25. Leading election law experts (including Bob Bauer, Rick Hasen, and Paul S. Ryan) have criticized how your final report describes existing campaign finance law and believe it improperly provides an opening for mischief in the future—for example, (a) by suggesting that the law is unclear on whether a foreign government’s providing essentially opposition research is “a thing of value” and (b) by suggesting “coordination” required an agreement between the Trump Campaign and the Russians to be criminal, despite the absence of such a requirement in federal campaign finance law. How do you respond to these criticisms?

26. Was the legal analysis for campaign finance law in your report a product solely of personnel in your Office or other parts of the Justice Department as well? If other parts of the Justice Department, what role did they play in informing the analysis or working on drafts of it?

27. Would it have been a crime for candidate Trump to promote Russian interests in shaping the Republican primaries and public discourse in the general election or in offering Putin relief from U.S. sanctions in exchange for a highly lucrative real estate deal in Moscow? Did you consider exploring those activities as a potential crime? If these are concerning but perhaps not criminal activities, would you recommend other forms of scrutiny so the public can better understand any such quid pro quo?

28. What is the burden of proof that the Justice Department must meet to prove criminal conspiracy, and how does the Justice Department approach this standard in terms of deciding whether to bring charges? Based on the evidence you uncovered in the course of investigating conspiracy, do you believe your evidence would be sufficient to meet a lower burden of proof, for example, the civil standard of “preponderance of the evidence”?

29. What are the most plausible explanations for Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort’s repeatedly sharing internal polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a person the FBI assesses to have ties to Russian intelligence?

30. Your investigation was not able to establish, according to criminal law standards, whether George Papadopoulos informed the Trump campaign about the Russian government having derogatory information on Clinton in the form of emails and indications from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to Clinton. Do you believe that it’s more likely than not that Papadopoulos did inform the campaign?

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #88 on: May 16, 2019, 07:02:47 pm »

V. Next Steps

31. Overall, what did you anticipate happening next when you submitted your final report? In particular, what did you think Congress would do with your findings regarding obstruction of justice, given the detailed nature of your findings and your view that it would be improper to opine on whether those findings constituted the commission of criminal activity by a sitting president?

32. Based on your investigation, what legislative reforms do you think may be needed to stop ongoing or future foreign government interference in U.S. elections? Would you recommend a federal requirement for campaigns to report any offer of assistance from a foreign government agent, with failure punishable as a crime? Would you recommend codifying a federal offense for knowingly trafficking in stolen property (perhaps specifically in the campaign context, or perhaps not), to include hacked emails and other electronic documents and communications? Would you recommend expansion of federal offenses for aiding and abetting violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act? Would you recommend changes or official clarifications of campaign finance law rules on foreign national contributions to political campaigns? Do you think Congress should look into the rules and enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and Lobbying Disclosure Act?

33. A provision of the Special Counsel regulations (28 CFR 600.4) provide for non-criminal remedies for wrongdoing discovered by the investigation. What, if any, such remedies did you consider might be appropriate? Did you make any recommendations to the Attorney General or Acting Attorney General under this provision?

34. If Congress wanted to determine for itself the strength of the case of obstruction or abuse of power, not necessarily according to criminal law standards of proof, who would be the most important potential witnesses for the public to hear from and for Congress to call on to testify?

35. What major investigative questions remain, and how would you recommend Congress playing a role in answering them?




Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.justsecurity.org/64137/what-congress-should-ask-robert-mueller-when-he-testifies/

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« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 07:06:18 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Mueller Probe Examining Whether Donald Trump Obstructed Justice
« Reply #89 on: May 29, 2019, 10:30:53 am »
Full transcript from Mueller's press conference this morning:









Would You Like To Know More?
www.justice.gov
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 10:33:42 am by Battle »