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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.


This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Lawrence's Last Word: Robert Mueller Exposes Sarah Sanders' Lies | The L...

Opinion | Impeach Donald Trump? - The New York Times





"April 21st, 2019  Chaeles Blow



President Trump at a White House event on Thursday.

Photo by: Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The Mueller report has been released, with redactions of course, and it is a damning document. Not only does it detail Russian efforts to attack our election to help the Trump campaign and the Trump campaign’s eager acceptance of that help, it paints a picture of Donald Trump as an unethical man with no regard for the rule of law.



In this report, we see a president who doesn’t deserve to be president. We see attempts over and over to obstruct justice, which in some cases succeed.



The question is: What are we going to do about it? Obstruction of justice is a crime. If Trump committed that crime, he’s a criminal. Are we simply going to allow a criminal to sit in the Oval Office and face no consequence? Are we simply going to let the next presidential election be the point at which Trump is punished or rewarded?



It is maddening to think that we are at such a pass. But, my mind is made up: I say impeach him.



I know all the arguments against.



First, even if the House voted to impeach Trump, the Senate would never vote to convict and remove him. This is the “failed impeachment” theory.



But, I say that there is no such thing as a failed impeachment. Impeachment exists separately from removal. Impeachment in the House is akin to an indictment, with the trial, which could convict and remove, taking place in the Senate. The Senate has never once voted to convict.



So, an impeachment vote in the House has, to this point, been the strongest rebuke America is willing to give a president. I can think of no president who has earned this rebuke more than the current one.



And, once a president is impeached, he is forever marked. It is a chastisement unto itself. It is the People’s House making a stand for its people.



Then there is the idea that an impeachment would be contentious and increase public support for Trump the way it did for Bill Clinton.



But I find the conflation of Clinton and Trump ill-reasoned on the issue of the public’s response in polling.



First, Clinton’s approval was subject to change in a way Trump’s is not. Clinton experienced a 40-point swing in his approval over his presidency, according to Gallup. Trump’s seems almost impervious to change, no matter the news.



People either love Trump or hate him. Impeachment will most likely not change that any more than Trump seeing fine people among Nazis or locking children in cages.



Furthermore, Clinton jumped 10 points, from 63 percent 73 percent, just after the House voted to impeach him. But, five month later, those gains had vanished and then some. His approval rating sank to 53 percent.



I’m tired of all the fear and trepidation.



Senate Republicans are worried about getting on the wrong side of the Republican base.



Mitt Romney wrote in a statement on Friday, “I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President.”



But, will that sickness give birth to action? No, if the last two years is our guide. This is the strongest statement among Republican senators, but it is as toothless as a baby’s mouth. This admonition is idle.



House Democrats, at least the leadership, are afraid of looking like they have a blood lust and inadvertently increasing Trump’s chances of re-election.



Folks, this is not the 1990s. Until 1996, CNN was the only cable news network. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram didn’t exist. Google wasn’t founded until 1998. Cellphones were in their infancy, and few people had them.



Furthermore, the massive — and growing — amount of campaign spending will drown out anything that happened months prior.



In 1996, Clinton raised $42 million for his re-election bid; in 2012, Obama raised a billion for his.



And finally, there was no President Trump in the 1990s producing a head-scratching number of headlines each day. Trump can’t ride a victory nor will he be crestfallen in defeat. There would likely be untold new outrages even after an impeachment.



As for me, I’m afraid of lawlessness and the horrible precedent it would set if Congress does nothing.



On Friday, Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote on Twitter that “the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.”



In another tweet she explained:



“To ignore a President’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways.”



I worry that inaction enshrines that idea that the American president is above America’s laws. I worry that silent acquiescence bends our democracy toward monarchy, or dictatorship.



As Thomas Paine wrote in 1776, “In America the law is king.” He continued: “For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”



Who will we let be king in this country, the president or the law?"



Opinion | Impeach Donald Trump? - The New York Times

Robert Mueller Report: Outline For Prosecution | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Rep. Ted Lieu: If Trump Obstructed Justice, Impeachment Should Be On The...

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Joy & Happiness

Opinion | Mr. Mueller’s Indictment - The New York Times





“We determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the president committed crimes,” the report explains, because “fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought.”



In other words, Mr. Mueller felt his hands were tied. Longstanding Justice Department policy prohibits the indictment of a sitting president, and it isn’t fair to make accusations without giving the president a legal forum in which to respond.



A bit further on, the 448-page report says, “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”



So what now? Although Mr. Mueller was unable to bring criminal charges against the president himself, his report lays a foundation for investigation by Congress, which has the authority and the responsibility to check the executive branch and hold the president accountable. “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the president's corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law,” the report states.



It is up to Congress to decide whether the behavior described in this report meets an acceptable standard for the country’s chief executive.



In order to adequately conduct such an investigation, Congress must have access to a fully uncensored version of the report and all its underlying materials. Congressional leaders are right to subpoena the full report, as the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Jerrold Nadler, said he would do on Thursday.



The public also has a right to hear Mr. Mueller testify before Congress at the earliest opportunity.



Descriptions in the public version of the report of the ways in which the president used, and abused, his powers challenge the dignity of the presidency and the free and fair function of the justice system. The special counsel investigated 11 incidents in which the president may have obstructed justice, the same offense facing Richard Nixon during Watergate and Bill Clinton during his impeachment.



The report notes that the president engaged in “public attacks on the investigation, nonpublic efforts to control it, and efforts in both public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation.” That the president’s norm-shattering behavior has become so flagrant and familiar doesn’t make it right.



Little wonder that Mr. Trump, when notified that a special counsel had been appointed to scrutinize his behavior, reportedly slumped in his chair and said: “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”



In addition to indicting, convicting or securing guilty pleas from 34 people, the special counsel’s office made 14 referrals for further investigation of potential criminal activity outside the purview of the investigation’s mandate. Twelve of those referrals remain secret.



The report is more definitive when it comes to the extensive interference by Russian spies and hackers in the 2016 election, a campaign of disruption it calls “sweeping and systematic.”



Mr. Mueller’s investigation found 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.” Mr. Mueller was not able in the end to establish definitive coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians.



At the same time, large sections of the report, apparently regarding dealings between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign, have been blacked out. Mr. Barr said Thursday that any such coordination between the website and the campaign wouldn’t be criminal. Congress and the American people deserve to know what happened nonetheless.



If the report — and the entire saga around the Russia investigation — has one through-line, it is the dishonesty at the heart of the Trump administration. The president told Mr. McGahn to lie to reporters about Mr. Trump’s attempt to fire the special prosecutor. The press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, made up from whole cloth the notion that “rank-and-file F.B.I. agents had lost confidence” in the ousted director, James Comey. Half a dozen people connected with the Mueller investigation have been formally charged with — or pleaded guilty to — lying to investigators.



Then on Thursday, just before the report was made public, the attorney general tarnished himself and undermined the integrity of his office by dissembling about what the report said.



By contrast, the special prosecutor’s report illustrates again and again that, despite Mr. Trump’s constant cries of “fake news,” the responsible news media’s reporting on the investigation was overwhelmingly accurate.



Mr. Mueller may have thought he couldn’t indict a president in the legal sense of the term, but he has delivered a devastating description of Mr. Trump’s attempts to abuse his powers and corrupt his aides. This report, even in its censored format, is an important step toward putting the truth of this presidency in the public record. But there’s still a long way to go before it can be said that justice has been done."





Opinion | Mr. Mueller’s Indictment - The New York Times

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Mueller report lays out ten counts of obstruction of justice committed by Trump but some people believe in a dual system of justice. The4y believe in King Trump the First. I am not one of them.


Mueller defers to Congress on Trump obstruction judgment Was Robert Mueller’s decision not to make a judgment on obstruction his way of leaving it up to Congress to decide whether Donald Trump is guilty of this allegation? Joy Reid and her panel discuss the 10 episodes of potential obstruction of justice outlined- AM Joy on MSNBC



AM Joy on MSNBC

Opinion | The Mueller Report and the Danger Facing American Democracy - The New York Times





"A perceived victory for Russian interference poses a serious risk for the United States.



Wren McDonald

The report of the special counsel Robert Mueller leaves considerable space for partisan warfare over the role of President Trump and his political campaign in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. But one conclusion is categorical: “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.”



That may sound like old news. The Justice Department’s indictment of 13 Russians and three companies in February 2018 laid bare much of the sophisticated Russian campaign to blacken the American democratic process and support the Trump campaign, including the theft of American identities and creation of phony political organizations to fan division on immigration, religion or race. The extensive hacks of Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails and a host of other dirty tricks have likewise been exhaustively chronicled.



But Russia’s interference in the campaign was the core issue that Mr. Mueller was appointed to investigate, and if he stopped short of accusing the Trump campaign of overtly cooperating with the Russians — the report mercifully rejects speaking of “collusion,” a term that has no meaning in American law — he was unequivocal on Russia’s culpability: “First, the Office determined that Russia’s two principal interference operations in the 2016 U.S. presidential election — the social media campaign and the hacking-and-dumping operations — violated U.S. criminal law.”



The first part of the report, which describes these crimes, is worthy of a close read. Despite a thick patchwork of redactions, it details serious and dangerous actions against the United States that Mr. Trump, for all his endless tweeting and grousing about the special counsel’s investigation, has never overtly confronted, acknowledged, condemned or comprehended. Culpable or not, he must be made to understand that a foreign power that interferes in American elections is, in fact, trying to distort American foreign policy and national security.



The earliest interference described in the report was a social media campaign intended to fan social rifts in the United States, carried out by an outfit funded by an oligarch known as “Putin’s chef” for the feasts he catered. Called the Internet Research Agency, the unit actually sent agents to the United States to gather information at one point. What the unit called “information warfare” evolved by 2016 into an operation targeted at favoring Mr. Trump and disparaging Mrs. Clinton. This included posing as American people or grass-roots organizations such as the Tea Party, anti-immigration groups, Black Lives Matter and others to buy political ads or organize political rallies.



At the same time, the report said, the cyberwarfare arm of the Russian army’s intelligence service opened another front, hacking the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and releasing reams of damaging materials through the front groups DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, and later through WikiLeaks. The releases were carefully timed for impact — emails stolen from the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, for example, were released less than an hour after the “Access Hollywood” tape damaging to Mr. Trump came out.



All this activity, the report said, was accompanied by the well documented efforts to contact the Trump campaign through business connections, offers of assistance to the campaign, invitations for Mr. Trump to meet Mr. Putin and plans for improved American-Russian relations. Both sides saw potential gains, the report said — Russia in a Trump presidency, the campaign from the stolen information. The Times documented 140 contacts between Mr. Trump and his associates and Russian nationals and WikiLeaks or their intermediaries. But the Mueller investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”



That is the part Mr. Trump sees as vindication, though the activities of his chaotic campaign team that the report describes are — at best — na├»ve. It is obviously difficult for this president to acknowledge that he was aided in his election by Russia, and there is no way to gauge with any certainty how much impact the Russian activities actually had on voters.



But the real danger that the Mueller report reveals is not of a president who knowingly or unknowingly let a hostile power do dirty tricks on his behalf, but of a president who refuses to see that he has been used to damage American democracy and national security.



Since the publication of the report, Vladimir Putin and his government have been crowing that they, too, are now somehow vindicated, joining the White House in creating the illusion that the investigation was all about “collusion” rather than a condemnation of criminal Russian actions. If their hope in a Trump presidency was to restore relations between the United States and Russia, and to ease sanctions, the Russians certainly failed, especially given the added sanctions ordered by Congress over Moscow’s interference.



But if the main intent was to intensify the rifts in American society, Russia backed a winner in Mr. Trump.



A perceived victory for Russian interference poses a serious danger to the United States. Already, several American agencies are working, in partnership with the tech industry, to prevent election interference going forward. But the Kremlin is not the only hostile government mucking around in America’s cyberspace — China and North Korea are two others honing their cyber-arsenals, and they, too, could be tempted to manipulate partisan strife for their ends.



That is something neither Republicans nor Democrats should allow. The two parties may not agree on Mr. Trump’s culpability, but they have already found a measure of common ground with the sanctions they have imposed on Russia over its interference in the campaign. Now they could justify the considerable time and expense of the special counsel investigation, and at the same time demonstrate that the fissure in American politics is not terminal, by jointly making clear to Russia and other hostile forces that the democratic process, in the United States and its allies, is strictly off limits to foreign clandestine manipulation, and that anyone who tries will pay a heavy price."



Opinion | The Mueller Report and the Danger Facing American Democracy - The New York Times

Friday, April 19, 2019

We Must Impeach Trump!

Special counsel's report says investigators struggled with whether Trump committed crime of obstruction - The Washington Post

"By Devlin Barrett, www.washingtonpost.comView OriginalApril 18th, 2019

The report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III lays out in alarming detail abundant evidence against President Trump, finding 10 “episodes” of potential obstruction of justice but ultimately concluding it was not Mueller’s role to determine whether the commander in chief broke the law.



Submitted to Congress on Thursday, the 448-page document alternates between jarring scenes of presidential scheming and dense legal analysis, and it marks the onset of a new phase of the Trump administration in which congressional Democrats must decide what, if anything, to do with Mueller’s evidence. The report suggests — though never explicitly states — that Congress, not the Justice Department, should assume the role of prosecutor when the person who may be prosecuted is the president.



“The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law,” Mueller’s team wrote.



Trump once feared Mueller could destroy his presidency, but the special counsel may instead define it. By releasing a thick catalogue of misconduct and mendacity that, if not criminal, is deeply unflattering, Mueller’s report may mean long-term political problems for a president seeking reelection next year.



Still, Trump’s electoral base has not been swayed by such stories in the past, and he has already claimed victory on the investigation’s bottom line: no conspiracy with Russia, no obstruction of justice.



Since Mueller ended his investigation last month, a central question facing the Justice Department has been why Mueller’s team did not reach a conclusion about whether the president obstructed justice. The issue was complicated, the report said, by two key factors — the fact that, under department practice, a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, and that a president has a great deal of constitutional authority to give orders to other government employees.



Trump submitted written answers to investigators. The special counsel’s office considered them “inadequate” but did not press for an interview with him because doing so would cause a “substantial delay,” the report says.



The report said investigators felt they had “sufficient evidence to understand relevant events and to make certain assessments without the President’s testimony.”



Trump’s legal team declared Mueller’s report “a total victory” for the president. It “underscores what we have argued from the very beginning — there was no collusion — there was no obstruction,” they said.



In their statement, Trump’s lawyers also attacked former leaders at the FBI for opening “a biased, political attack against the President — turning one of our foundational legal standards on its head.”



Trump said little publicly about the report’s release. At an event Thursday, he indicated he was having a “good day,” and adding that “this should never happen to another president again, this hoax.” Ahead of the report’s release, the president lobbed a familiar attack on the investigation. “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” he tweeted. “The Greatest Political Hoax of all time! Crimes were committed by Crooked, Dirty Cops and DNC/The Democrats.”



If Mueller’s report was a victory for the president, it was an ugly one. Investigators paint a portrait of a president who believes the Justice Department and the FBI should answer to his orders, even when it comes to criminal investigations.



During a meeting in which the president complained about then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, Trump insisted that past attorneys general had been more obedient to their presidents, referring to President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert, as well as the Obama administration.



“You’re telling me that Bobby and Jack didn’t talk about investigations? Or Obama didn’t tell Eric Holder who to investigate?” Trump told senior White House staffers Stephen K. Bannon and Donald McGahn, according to the report.



“Bannon recalled that the President was as mad as Bannon had ever seen him and that he screamed at McGahn about how weak Sessions was,” the report said.



Repeatedly, it appears Trump may have been saved from more serious legal jeopardy because his own staffers refused to carry out orders they thought were problematic or potentially illegal.



For instance, in the early days of the administration, when the president was facing growing questions concerning then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s conversations about sanctions with a Russian ambassador, the president ordered another aide, K.T. McFarland, to write an email saying the president did not direct those conversations. She decided not to do so, unsure if that was true and fearing it might be improper.



“Some evidence suggests that the President knew about the existence and content of Flynn’s calls when they occurred, but the evidence is inconclusive and could not be relied upon to establish the President’s knowledge,’ ” the report said.



The report also recounts a remarkable moment in May 2017 when Sessions told Trump that Mueller had just been appointed special counsel. Trump slumped back in his chair, according to notes from Jody Hunt, Sessions’s then-chief of staff. “Oh my God, this is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked,” Trump said. The president further laid into Sessions for his recusal, saying Sessions had let him down.



“Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency,” Trump said, according to Hunt’s notes. “It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”



The special counsel’s report on possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russians to interfere in the 2016 election is extremely detailed with only modest redactions — painting a starkly different picture for Trump than Attorney General William P. Barr has offered, and revealing new details about interactions between Russians and Trump associates.



Mueller’s team wrote that though their investigation “did not establish that the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” that assertion was informed by the fact that coordination requires more than two parties “taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other’s actions or interests.”



And Mueller made it clear: Russia wanted to help the Trump campaign, and the Trump campaign was willing to take 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,” Mueller’s team wrote.



The report detailed a timeline of contacts between the Trump campaign and those with Russian ties — much of it already known, but some of it new.



For example, Mueller’s team asserted that in August 2016, Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the FBI has assessed as having ties to Russian intelligence, met with Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, “to deliver in person a peace plan for Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged to the Special Counsel’s Office was a ‘backdoor’ way for Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine.”



The special counsel wrote that both men believed the plan would require candidate Trump’s “assent to succeed (were he elected President).”



“They also discussed the status of the Trump Campaign and Manafort’s strategy for winning Democratic votes in Midwestern states,” the special counsel wrote. “Months before that meeting, Manafort had caused internal polling data to be shared with Kilimnik, and the sharing continued for some period of time after their August meeting.”



Mueller’s report suggests his obstruction of justice investigation was heavily informed by an opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that says a sitting president cannot be indicted — a conclusion Mueller’s team accepted.



“And apart from OLC’s constitutional view, we recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President’s capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct,” Mueller’s team wrote.



That decision, though, seemed to leave investigators in a strange spot. Mueller’s team wrote that they “determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes.” They seemed to shy from producing even an internal document that alleged the president had done something wrong — deciding, essentially, that they wouldn’t decide.



“Although a prosecutor’s internal report would not represent a formal public accusation akin to an indictment, the possibility of the report’s public disclosure and the absence of a neutral adjudicatory forum to review its findings counseled against determining ‘that the person’s conduct constitutes a federal offense.’ ”



Barr said during a news conference Thursday that Justice Department officials asked Mueller “about the OLC opinion and whether or not he was taking the position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the OLC opinion.”



“He made it very clear, several times, that he was not taking a position — he was not saying but for the OLC opinion he would have found a crime,” Barr said.



Mueller did not attend the news conference.



Barr addressed the media before releasing the report. He made repeated references to “collusion,” echoing language the president has stressed even though it is not a relevant legal term.



Barr also described how the nation’s top law enforcement officials wrestled with investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice. He and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein “disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories and felt that some of the episodes did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law” but that they accepted the special counsel’s “legal framework” as they analyzed the case, Barr said.



It was the first official acknowledgment of differing views inside the Justice Department about how to investigate the president.



Barr also spoke about the president’s state of mind as Trump responded to the unfolding investigation. “As the Special Counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks,” he said.



The Mueller report is considered so politically explosive that even the Justice Department’s rollout plan sparked a firestorm, with Democrats suggesting that the attorney general was trying to improperly color Mueller’s findings before the public could read them.



Prompted by a reporter, Barr responded to a call earlier Thursday from the top two Democrats in Congress to have Mueller appear before House and Senate committees. “I have no objection to Bob Mueller personally testifying,” the attorney general said.



In a letter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said they wanted testimony “as soon as possible” from Mueller. And after Barr’s news conference, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) released a letter to the special counsel seeking an appearance before his panel “no later than May 23.”



Congressional Democrats have vowed to fight to get the entire report, without redactions, as well as the underlying investigative documents Mueller gathered.



The report has been the subject of heated debate since Barr notified Congress last month that Mueller had completed his work.



Barr told lawmakers he needed time to redact sensitive information before it could be made public, including any grand jury material as well as details whose public release could harm ongoing investigations.



Barr also said he would review the document to redact information that would “potentially compromise sources and methods” in intelligence collection and anything that would “unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.”



That language suggests Barr wants to keep secret any derogatory information gathered by investigators about figures who ended up not being central to Mueller’s investigation.



Barr notified Congress after the report’s release that senior members of each party would get a chance to review a less-redacted version next week. The invitation was extended to the leaders of congressional committees and one staffer each. Democrats immediately panned the offer, though, calling it a “non-starter.”



Greg Miller, Spencer S. Hsu, Karoun Demirjian, Ellen Nakashima, Philip Rucker, John Wagner and Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report."



Special counsel's report says investigators struggled with whether Trump committed crime of obstruction - The Washington Post

Opinion | Mr. Mueller’s Indictment - The New York Times





"By The Editorial Board, www.nytimes.com April 18th, 2019

The special counsel’s report reveals a pattern of deceit and dysfunction. What comes next is up to Congress.
The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.
So much for “complete and total exoneration.”
To the contrary, it turns out that Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors and investigators found “substantial evidence” that President Trump broke federal law on numerous occasions by attempting to shut down or interfere with the nearly-two-year Russia investigation.
In addition to pointing to possible criminality, the report revealed a White House riddled with dysfunction and distrust, one in which Mr. Trump and his aides lie with contempt for one another and the public. Some of the president’s efforts to interfere with the investigation failed, the report concluded, only because “the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”
Put another way, Mr. Trump may survive, thanks to advisers who chose to refuse or simply ignore his demands to do what the former White House counsel Donald McGahn at one point referred to as “crazy shit.”
Mr. Trump — referred to repeatedly by aides as “the boss” — is shown as so attentive to covering his tracks that at one point he scolds Mr. McGahn for taking notes during a meeting. “I never had a lawyer who took notes,” Mr. Trump is quoted as saying. Mr. McGahn responded that he was a “real lawyer.”
With the public release of a redacted version of the special counsel’s report on Thursday, Americans also at last got a clear answer for a central question raised by the terse — and now clearly misleading — summary offered four weeks ago by Attorney General William Barr: Why did Mr. Mueller decide not to make a finding about whether President Trump obstructed justice?
“We determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the president committed crimes,” the report explains, because “fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought.”
In other words, Mr. Mueller felt his hands were tied. Longstanding Justice Department policy prohibits the indictment of a sitting president, and it isn’t fair to make accusations without giving the president a legal forum in which to respond.
A bit further on, the 448-page report says, “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”
So what now? Although Mr. Mueller was unable to bring criminal charges against the president himself, his report lays a foundation for investigation by Congress, which has the authority and the responsibility to check the executive branch and hold the president accountable. “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the president's corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law,” the report states.
It is up to Congress to decide whether the behavior described in this report meets an acceptable standard for the country’s chief executive.
In order to adequately conduct such an investigation, Congress must have access to a fully uncensored version of the report and all its underlying materials. Congressional leaders are right to subpoena the full report, as the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Jerrold Nadler, said he would do on Thursday.
The public also has a right to hear Mr. Mueller testify before Congress at the earliest opportunity.
Descriptions in the public version of the report of the ways in which the president used, and abused, his powers challenge the dignity of the presidency and the free and fair function of the justice system. The special counsel investigated 11 incidents in which the president may have obstructed justice, the same offense facing Richard Nixon during Watergate and Bill Clinton during his impeachment.
The report notes that the president engaged in “public attacks on the investigation, nonpublic efforts to control it, and efforts in both public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation.” That the president’s norm-shattering behavior has become so flagrant and familiar doesn’t make it right.
Little wonder that Mr. Trump, when notified that a special counsel had been appointed to scrutinize his behavior, reportedly slumped in his chair and said: “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”
In addition to indicting, convicting or securing guilty pleas from 34 people, the special counsel’s office made 14 referrals for further investigation of potential criminal activity outside the purview of the investigation’s mandate. Twelve of those referrals remain secret.
The report is more definitive when it comes to the extensive interference by Russian spies and hackers in the 2016 election, a campaign of disruption it calls “sweeping and systematic.”
Mr. Mueller’s investigation found 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.” Mr. Mueller was not able in the end to establish definitive coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
At the same time, large sections of the report, apparently regarding dealings between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign, have been blacked out. Mr. Barr said Thursday that any such coordination between the website and the campaign wouldn’t be criminal. Congress and the American people deserve to know what happened nonetheless.
If the report — and the entire saga around the Russia investigation — has one through-line, it is the dishonesty at the heart of the Trump administration. The president told Mr. McGahn to lie to reporters about Mr. Trump’s attempt to fire the special prosecutor. The press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, made up from whole cloth the notion that “rank-and-file F.B.I. agents had lost confidence” in the ousted director, James Comey. Half a dozen people connected with the Mueller investigation have been formally charged with — or pleaded guilty to — lying to investigators.
Then on Thursday, just before the report was made public, the attorney general tarnished himself and undermined the integrity of his office by dissembling about what the report said.
By contrast, the special prosecutor’s report illustrates again and again that, despite Mr. Trump’s constant cries of “fake news,” the responsible news media’s reporting on the investigation was overwhelmingly accurate.
Mr. Mueller may have thought he couldn’t indict a president in the legal sense of the term, but he has delivered a devastating description of Mr. Trump’s attempts to abuse his powers and corrupt his aides. This report, even in its censored format, is an important step toward putting the truth of this presidency in the public record. But there’s still a long way to go before it can be said that justice has been done."


Opinion | Mr. Mueller’s Indictment - The New York Times

Thursday, April 18, 2019

#ImpeachTrump Nancy Pelosi get behind Impeachment proceedings or step aside so we can get a real leader in the House of Representatives who is willing to do their Constitution mandated job.


James Clapper: Mueller report is devastating

Trump on Mueller's appointment: I'm F***ed

What the Mueller report says about that 'compromising tape'

Trump did conspire with Russians. Mueller expects Congress to impeach Trump. Attorney General Barr lied in his letter.


Mueller report examines '10 episodes' of potential obstruction by Trump | US news | The Guardian

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, listens as William Barr the attorney general, speaks during a press conference at the Department of Justice in Washington DC on 18 April.



Mueller report examines '10 episodes' of potential obstruction by Trump | US news | The Guardian