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Attorney's file on Roger Stone, LaRouche and Russia influencing the 2016 presidential election


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3 minutes ago, Douglas Caddy said:

I hope that the Mueller Report will not cause thoughtful Americans to think about the Warren Commission Report as a precedent to what we are seeing today.

The reported conclusion of the Warren Report was that Oswald acted alone.  When you got into the 26 volumes of testimony conspiracy was clear.

Today a partisan Republican Attorney General concluded the Mueller Report indicated no crime was committed.

Will we draw the same conclusion from reading the report ourselves?

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2 minutes ago, Micah Mileto said:

If there will be no prosecutions, will this be considered a "conspiracy theory" now? 

It already is.  From multiple points of view.  There might be some truth in all of it but it's a deep subject with many suspects and interpretations of what the did/didn't do or say.

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1 hour ago, Ron Bulman said:

It already is.  From multiple points of view.  There might be some truth in all of it but it's a deep subject with many suspects and interpretations of what the did/didn't do or say.

In other words, the evidence for collusion isn't the nothing burger, the nothing burger is the hope for any prosecution.

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David Talbot wrote on Facebook today:

So now we know that Trump will not be removed from office in handcuffs. It will take an overwhelming majority of American voters to evict him from the White House. And that's how it should be. Trump might not be a traitor -- at least not in the strict legal sense. But he's still a crook of global proportions. In exonerating Trump on treason charges, Robert Mueller exposed many stinking pools of swampy corruption in both Trump Inc. and Trump Campaign 2016. A rogue's nest of Tr...ump associates has already been imprisoned or indicted based on Mueller's probe -- and more evidence of criminality has been referred to state and federal prosecutors by Mueller's office.

But as for Russia-gate, I always feared that Rachel Maddow and the MSNBC/CNN/Washington Post/NY Times media consortium was focused much too heavily on that story. In fact it became Maddow's overriding obsession for two years. Maybe now the liberal cable news channels will rethink outsourcing their programming to the Deep State -- i.e., the countless numbers of former CIA, NSA, DoD officials, national security think tank pundits, and Capitol Hill Intelligence Committee politicians who suck up all the cable news airtime. Trying mightily to stir up a new Cold War with Russia, these Deep State types succeeded in handing Trump a big political victory. He'll be crowing about how he beat the Deep State and its Democratic Party acolytes for the next two years.

Mueller's massive investigation shows once again that FBI types and other high justice officials are not suited to investigate criminal oligarchies like Trump's -- this type of corporate corruption is too embedded in the capitalist system for establishment law officers like Mueller to recognize it as criminal.

It will take crusading members of Congress to keep enlightening the American people about how a gangster like Trump amassed his fortune and power, and who colluded with him to take the White House. Trump's key conspirators were not in the Kremlin -- they are the captains of Wall Street, the energy industry, the weapons trade, the mobbed-up construction business, the casino and sex trafficking racket, etc. House Democrats -- and state law officials -- should keep turning over these rocks so we can see all the creepy-crawlers in Trump's world.

But in the end, Trump will have to be forced from the Oval Office the same way he crawled in -- on Election Day. We have to build an anti-Trump movement so powerful that it will withstand all the treachery and racism and corruption that is built into our electoral system. Then Trump will not only lose -- Democracy (not the Deep State) will win.

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6 minutes ago, Douglas Caddy said:

David Talbot wrote on Facebook today:

So now we know that Trump will not be removed from office in handcuffs. It will take an overwhelming majority of American voters to evict him from the White House. And that's how it should be. Trump might not be a traitor -- at least not in the strict legal sense. But he's still a crook of global proportions. In exonerating Trump on treason charges, Robert Mueller exposed many stinking pools of swampy corruption in both Trump Inc. and Trump Campaign 2016. A rogue's nest of Tr...ump associates has already been imprisoned or indicted based on Mueller's probe -- and more evidence of criminality has been referred to state and federal prosecutors by Mueller's office.

But as for Russia-gate, I always feared that Rachel Maddow and the MSNBC/CNN/Washington Post/NY Times media consortium was focused much too heavily on that story. In fact it became Maddow's overriding obsession for two years. Maybe now the liberal cable news channels will rethink outsourcing their programming to the Deep State -- i.e., the countless numbers of former CIA, NSA, DoD officials, national security think tank pundits, and Capitol Hill Intelligence Committee politicians who suck up all the cable news airtime. Trying mightily to stir up a new Cold War with Russia, these Deep State types succeeded in handing Trump a big political victory. He'll be crowing about how he beat the Deep State and its Democratic Party acolytes for the next two years.

Mueller's massive investigation shows once again that FBI types and other high justice officials are not suited to investigate criminal oligarchies like Trump's -- this type of corporate corruption is too embedded in the capitalist system for establishment law officers like Mueller to recognize it as criminal.

It will take crusading members of Congress to keep enlightening the American people about how a gangster like Trump amassed his fortune and power, and who colluded with him to take the White House. Trump's key conspirators were not in the Kremlin -- they are the captains of Wall Street, the energy industry, the weapons trade, the mobbed-up construction business, the casino and sex trafficking racket, etc. House Democrats -- and state law officials -- should keep turning over these rocks so we can see all the creepy-crawlers in Trump's world.

But in the end, Trump will have to be forced from the Oval Office the same way he crawled in -- on Election Day. We have to build an anti-Trump movement so powerful that it will withstand all the treachery and racism and corruption that is built into our electoral system. Then Trump will not only lose -- Democracy (not the Deep State) will win.

Dunno. I'm scratching a bald spot in my head trying to figure out if it's now fair game to request assistance from a foreign adversary to win an election in the U.S. Mueller's conclusion? Yup! No problem there!

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Posted today on Facebook. Author identified at end of article:

 

Trump's exoneration may rest entirely on Mueller’s caution and prudence, the very qualities that kept his investigation from turning into a witch hunt.

Attorney General William Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report vindicates, without reservation, President Donald Trump's insistence that there was no collusion with the Russians regarding the 2016 campaign.

Clearing the president and his campaign of a provable conspiracy is a matter of law. But as a matter of national security, Barr’s letter does not clear up very much about the relationship between the Trump inner circle and the Russians, or about the behavior of the president himself.

There is unambiguous good news for the president in Barr’s letter. Most important, it means that on the central question Mueller was asked to investigate, there is no evidence to link the Trump campaign to the Russian government. This is not the same thing as saying that people in the Trump campaign were not involved in shady dealings with bad people, but it lays to rest — and for this we should all be thankful — the possibility that the president of the United States knowingly cooperated with an enemy government in seeking election.

This, however, is an odd finding and one that is difficult to square with how many people are in legal trouble for lying about this very issue. If there was no canoodling with the Russians, why was there so much lying? How did Mueller manage to unravel what looks like a tangle of deceptions about Russia — and then reach a conclusion that there was no collusion with the Russians?

Without seeing the actual Mueller report, it seems at this point that there are three possibilities:

First, it may well be that Mueller only uncovered the usual swampy mess found under some of the slimiest rocks in Washington. It is not news that there are millions of dirty Russian dollars — billions, even — infesting an army of consultants, lobbyists and law firms in most of the world’s major capitals.

Expecting to cash in on a Trump loss

This would explain how a claque of grifters who were already feeding at the Russian trough latched on to Trump and then found themselves completely unprepared for life in the spotlight when Trump won. They expected Trump to lose, but they knew they could sell their proximity to a major campaign, and to senior figures in the GOP, to the Kremlin and other unsavory clients long after November 2016. (This would explain, for example, the otherwise baffling behavior of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was a walking Jenga pile of ethical conflicts that should have ruled him out for a White House job immediately.)

The fatal mistake of this group, from Paul Manafort on down, is that they underestimated Trump’s chances of winning and overestimated Trump’s intelligence. They never expected that Trump would do something as stupid as firing FBI Director James Comey while — according to a document read to The New York Times — bragging to the Russian ambassador that he did it to stop any further investigations. When Mueller began his work, they panicked, lied about things they didn’t need to lie about, and then nature took its course.

The second possibility is that Barr is carefully parsing Mueller here, noting — at least to the eyes of a layperson rather than a lawyer — that Mueller could not legally establish that members of the Trump campaign "or anyone associated with it" reached out and made a deal with people they knew to be representatives of the Russian government.

Bread crumbs from WikiLeaks to Moscow

Barr’s letter is carefully worded on these points, with terms like “knowingly,” “associate” and “government” potentially doing a lot of work. If Roger Stone, for example, communicated with Julian Assange about Hillary Clinton’s emails, does this pass the test of “campaign associates” “knowingly” working with “the Russian government”? For a lawyer, perhaps not, since Stone was not officially associated with the campaign, and Assange is not part of the Russian government.

For anyone following the bread crumbs from WikiLeaks to Moscow (as Barr’s letter itself notes) and from Stone back to the Trump family, it’s an easier call. What a lawyer can prove, however, and what a counterintelligence analyst might believe with a high degree of certainty are not the same thing.

The main problem with both of these theories is that they cannot explain very much about how Trump and his coterie acted right from the start of this entire matter. If there was no collusion, why did the president panic and fire Comey, and thus proliferate his own troubles beyond all measure? Why did the people around him lie at will, almost as a reflex? Why were senior Republicans, such as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, determined to undermine any investigations into the Russia matter if they were so certain that a fair inquiry by a man like Mueller would clear Trump?

This raises a third possibility. If senior figures in the Trump campaign knew they had done things that were unethical or illegal, they may have assumed that Mueller had more evidence, or that he was willing to prosecute them on the evidence he had. They might have then made a decision to lie pre-emptively, believing that Mueller had already bridged the gap between what the FBI suspected when it opened its investigation of the president after the Comey firing, and what could be proven in a court of law.

Mueller avoided a witch hunt

Until Congress sees the full report, we will not know Mueller’s reasoning. But if this is the case, and Mueller refused to pursue charges for which he did not have an ironclad case, then the president’s exoneration ironically rests entirely on Mueller’s caution and prudence — in other words, on the very qualities that prevented a swift and fruitful investigation from turning into a witch hunt.

Finally, it is important to note that this summary of the Mueller report only answers a very specific question about the election of 2016. It tells us nothing about the president’s longstanding relationship with the Kremlin, including his attempts to hide a pending deal in Moscow during the election, nor about his bizarre admiration of, and deference to, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Robert Mueller has done his country a great service. He has cleared a president on an important charge against him and damaged the Russian intelligence services in the process by exposing their efforts to influence our elections. He has jailed people for serious crimes. But he cannot answer questions that he was not asked, and those questions remain.

Tom Nichols is a national security professor at the Naval War College, a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors and author of "The Death of Expertise." The views expressed here are solely his own. Follow him on Twitter: @RadioFreeTom

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This was posted today on Facebook by Stand With Mueller:

Special counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his report on the Russia investigation, and Republicans are gloating. They claim a four-page letter from Attorney General William Barr, purporting to summarize the report, exonerates President Donald Trump. They’re wrong. The letter says the Justice Department won’t prosecute Trump, but it reaches that conclusion by tailoring legal standards to protect the president. Here’s a list of Barr’s weasel words and what they’re hiding.

“The Russian government.” The letter quotes a sentence from Mueller’s report. In that sentence, Mueller says his investigation didn’t prove that members of the Trump campaign “conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” The sentence specifies Russia’s government. It says nothing about coordination with other Russians. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, gave campaign polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian associate who has been linked to Russian intelligence. Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner met secretly in Trump Tower with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-connected lawyer. But neither Kilimnik nor Veselnitskaya is part of the Russian government. They seem to be excluded from Barr’s analysis.

“In its election interference activities.” This phrase is included in the same excerpt. It reflects the structure of the investigation. Mueller started with a counterintelligence probe of two specific Russian government operations: the production of online propaganda to influence the 2016 U.S. election, and the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. These are the two operations Mueller targeted in his indictments of Russians last year. If Barr’s letter is accurate, Mueller seems to have decided to confine his examination of American complicity to those two operations. In fact, Barr’s letter specifically cites those operations as the contexts in which Mueller didn’t find conspiracy or coordination. Other contacts between Trump associates and Russians, such as Trump’s Moscow tower project and Michael Flynn’s secret talks about easing sanctions, have been set aside.

“Agreement—tacit or express.” A footnote in Barr’s letter says the special counsel defined coordination as “agreement—tacit or express—between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.” The letter doesn’t clarify whether this definition originally came from Mueller or from the Justice Department. This, too, limits the range of prosecutable collusion. We know, for example, that in June 2016, Donald Trump Jr. was told in an email that “the Crown prosecutor of Russia” had “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary … and would be very useful to your father.” The email said the offer was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. wrote back: “If it’s what you say I love it.” Apparently, by the standards asserted in the letter, this doesn’t count as even “tacit agreement … on election interference.”

“Rosenstein and I have concluded.” Barr’s letter mixes two different authors. On questions of conspiracy and coordination, Barr summarizes Mueller’s findings. But on the question of whether Trump obstructed justice, Barr draws his own conclusion: “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” That’s Barr’s opinion, not Mueller’s. As the letter concedes, Mueller “did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction.” That’s for the rest of us to decide.

“Absence of such evidence.” One reason to be suspicious of Barr’s conclusions is that in the course of the letter, he tweaks Mueller’s opinion to look more like his own. Mueller’s report, as excerpted by Barr, says “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” Barr quotes that line and then, in the same sentence, concludes that “the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction.” But the excerpt from Mueller’s report doesn’t refer to an absence of evidence. It refers to a presence of evidence, and it says this evidence isn’t enough to prove a crime. Throughout the investigation, this has been a standard Republican maneuver: misrepresenting an absence of proof as an absence of evidence. Barr’s use of this maneuver in his letter is a red flag that he’s writing partisan spin.

“Underlying crime.” When Barr concludes that Trump shouldn’t be charged with obstruction, he bases this on his prior decision not to charge Trump with conspiracy. Since “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” Barr argues, there was no “pending or contemplated proceeding” that Trump’s behavior could have obstructed. This argument has many problems, but let’s start with the simplest one: It bypasses examination of Trump’s obstructive acts. Barr simply defines whatever Trump did as nonobstructive, as long as an underlying conspiracy with Russia isn’t proved. If Trump asked then–FBI Director James Comey to drop his investigation of Flynn, that’s fine.

“Related to Russian election interference.” Barr’s requirement of “an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” as a predicate for prosecuting obstruction of justice, exempts Trump from obstruction charges even if Trump is shown to have committed crimes—as long as those crimes aren’t specifically connected to the Russian hacking and propaganda campaigns. Flynn, for example, conferred secretly with Russia’s ambassador about lifting sanctions, but not until weeks after the 2016 election. Even if this were proved to be a criminal conspiracy on Flynn’s part, Barr’s legal standard would insulate Trump from prosecution for anything he did to thwart the FBI’s investigation of Flynn.

“That the President was involved in.” In narrowing the permissible premises for an obstruction charge, Barr doesn’t just specify that the crime in question has to be related to the two Russian interference operations. He specifies that the crime has to involve Trump himself. This immunizes Trump against prosecution for anything he did to obstruct investigations, not only into Flynn, but also into the established crimes of Manafort and the alleged crimes of Roger Stone.

“Pending or contemplated proceeding.” Barr says none of Trump’s acts against Comey or other investigators can be prosecuted as obstruction of justice, since they lack “a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding.” For example (this is my example, not Barr’s), when Trump fired Comey, Trump wasn’t facing trial and wasn’t officially a target of the Russia investigation. By this standard, the president can bury an investigation as long as he does so before it gets to him. You can’t walk out on Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, because that’s assault with a deadly weapon. But if somebody gets shot on Fifth Avenue, and your friend lies to police about it, you can order the cops to drop their investigation of your friend.

“Each of which … beyond a reasonable doubt.” Barr says Mueller found “no actions that, in our judgment,” can simultaneously meet three tests: (1) “obstructive conduct,” (2) “corrupt intent,” and (3) “nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding.” The attorney general says prosecutors would have to prove “each” of these elements of the case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Even if some of Trump’s acts are both obstructive and corrupt, Barr won’t bring charges unless the “nexus to a … proceeding” can also be proved by the highest legal standard. In a case like this one, that’s an almost impossible threshold for prosecution.

When we get our hands on Mueller’s report—and ultimately, Mueller’s evidence—we’ll have a fuller picture of what he found. We know from Barr’s letter that in the report, Mueller “sets out evidence on both sides” of the obstruction question—and that Mueller says his report “does not exonerate” Trump. For now, all we have is the letter. And it doesn’t show that Trump is innocent of collusion or obstruction. It shows that collusion and obstruction were defined to exclude what he did.

 

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On 3/24/2019 at 1:10 PM, James DiEugenio said:

Where to begin with that article.  Its devastating.

Sure.  As long as you ignore Trump's own behavior as the driver of RussiaGate.

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Carter Page was offered a 19 per cent stake in a multi billion dollar company?

The Post sent a team of reporters to Prague, and they spent days on end and could find no trace of Cohen ever being there?

We knew that months ago when Cohen flipped and still denied the Prague story.

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Steele took stuff from an online posting?

This is so bad because now the Trump camp will be reinvigorated since his whole motto of Fake News has at least been partly shown to be  accurate.

So what?  Trump cries Fake News all the time.  By endorsing AG Barr's conclusions he's endorsing the Mueller Report itself, which will lay out a case for obstruction in great detail.

This is the calm before the storm.

When the Mueller Report is published entirely -- and it will be eventually -- Trump's supporters are gonna have a harder time crying Fake News.

 

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One of the most acute things he says is that Resistance turned into Russia Gate.

The Resistance flipped 40 seats in the House in a landslide last November. 

Not one of those Dems ran on RussiaGate.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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This is getting worse and worse.

Now Graham is going to call hearings on how Russia Gate got started.

He will then call hearings on why the HRC  Email investigation was dropped. 

In the House, the gassy Schiff is still not ready to lay off. Even when they are nailing him with his past pronouncements.

I guess now the MSM is going to go another year on the 2016 election.  Forget about the bad things this administration is doing at home and abroad.  

The whole Russia Gate thing was not comparable to WMD as Matt T says.  It was really comparable to Whitewater.  In that it was perceived as a way of bringing down a presidency and it failed.Trump is going to be bragging about this for weeks on end.  And wait until Graham starts up.  Good thing McCabe cashed in already.

 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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This is what I mean:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/post-mueller-trump-camp-tells-networks-to-employ-basic-journalistic-standards

And this website was one of the biggest promoters of Russia Gate.

But what about this:  https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/23/trump-big-oil-industry-influence-investigation-zinke-226106

 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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I've always thought his real vulnerability is money laundering. Russia using cutouts isn't exactly a huge surprise, if that's what happened.

Meanwhile Trump's DOJ moves to shutdown the ACA and slash SS and Medicare bennies...

Making America great again, one tyrd at a time.

Edited by Bob Ness
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