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Opinion: The Mueller Report: Part I

By now you all know that the full (but redacted) Mueller report has been made available to the public. I am slogging through it now. It’s long. Four hundred and eighty eight pages long. And I’m only one guy. It’s gonna take me awhile to get through it all.

But I have read a decent amount of it. It’s broke down into two volumes.

Volume I details Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and "if the Trump Team conspired with the Russians."  

Volume II deals with the president's “actions towards the FBI investigation” and if any of said actions are "obstruction of justice."

So far - I have some thoughts.  

So, what does the Mueller report actually say about Russian interference and collusion?

A lot. Like, way more than I ever expected it to. From Mueller’s introduction to Volume I of the report:

“The Russian Government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion. Evidence of Russian government operations began to surface in mid-2016. In June, the DNC and its cyber response team publicly announced that Russian hackers had compromised its computer network. Release of hacked materials -hacks that public reporting soon attributed to the Russian government-began that same month …. Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos … (said) that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The information prompted the FBI on July 31st, 2016, to open an investigation into weather individuals associated with the Trump Campaign were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities.

That fall, two federal agencies jointly announced that the Russian government “directed recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including US political organizations,” and, “these thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.”

So, this all makes it very, very clear that Russia, a hostile foreign power, endlessly interfered in the US presidential election. That’s not even in debate.

The next part of the introduction talks about how Mueller was assigned, came on board in May of 2017 as Special Counsel and was authorized to investigate “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election,” including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign.

Okay. We all know this. And then the report clearly says this:

“As set forth in detail in this report, the Special Counsel’s investigation established that Russia interfered …. principally through two operations. First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working on the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents. The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign. Although the investigation established that the Russian 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.”

Hrmmm. The words “numerous links,” and “did not establish” don’t seem to fit together. Let me unpackage it all:

  1. The report says the Russians interfered. Like - a lot. Like - a huge amount. The Russians …
    1. committed cyber terrorism by stealing documents and materials from our government. Then, using that information, ran social media campaigns against Clinton. And because of the large amount of Trump / Russian business connections, the Russians -
    2. knew a Trump White House would be more sympathetic to the Russian cause and so they …
    3. contacted the Trump Campaign and said “We have a bunch of stolen information that will help you (Trump) win the election. Do you want it?”
  2. The Trump campaign went, “What?!? Heck yes we’ll take all your stolen goods in order to win the election!”
  3. And so the Trump Campaign met with Russian personnel in order to exchange stolen goods and documents.  
  4. But since there was no long term agreement between the two parties to interfere in the election, that means …

Mueller felt that the while the Russians instigated cyber terrorism and the Trump team accepted the stolen material there was technically “no collusion,” because both groups acted independently towards the same mutually beneficial goal.   

Okay. I understand. That’s fair. The Trump team never called up the Russians and said, “Can you steal a bunch of stuff in order to help us win the election?” In which case, for it to be collusion, then the Russians would have to respond with, “Of course! We’ll break into the US Government and steal a bunch of information that will help you win!” Because that specific agreement - tacit or express - did not seem to happen - then there was “no collusion.”

Which … is not exactly how Barr’s four page summary spun it. But, whatever. 

Also, I’m only about fifty pages into the report so far. 

More to come.  

Published in Politics

After everything we’ve seen, politically, since Donald Trump announced his campaign for President in 2015, is it unreasonable to believe, today, everything he has said about the Washington swamp?

 

In a word, no.

 

In fact, believing Trump and disbelieving pencil neck Adam Schiftless and his ilk is as reasonable as believing that baseball season started last week and the Stanley Cup playoffs start this week.

We have created a class of people in Washington, New York and other large Democrat controlled urban areas who simply do not care about what we, the people who actually own America, want. We didn’t intend to create this class of people—call them the Swamp class.

 

It happened because Americans are so in awe of our experiment in self-government, we have, over the last 200 years, forgotten that when you give people access to a vast treasury, many of them seem to want some of it for themselves.  In short, we trusted them but we didn’t verify their intentions.  It’s kind of like trusting that nice man who owns a casino in Las Vegas to play you with even odds.  Not going to happen.  Seriously.  How is it that people who have served in the House or Senate almost their entire professional lives, emerge from public service as multi millionaires?  How indeed, Harry Reid?

 

Ironically, it took a billionaire—who actually made his money in business—from, of all places New York City, to tell the public the truth.

 

We have a lot of great support, far more than you think,” said President Trump.  “But where we really have the support are the voters that pull that handle, or whatever the hell they are pulling, they are pulling it for us.  So, the Russia hoax proves more than ever that we need to finish exactly what we came here to do. Drain the swamp!  The Democrats have to now decide whether they will continue defrauding the public with ridiculous bullshit — partisan investigations, or whether they will apologize to the American people, and join us to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, bring down the cost of health care.

 

So, when these clowns get caught trying to manipulate the system to their advantage with their panties down around their ankles, why are they amazed that our pitchforks are out for them?

 

Donald Trump may be a little crude, but he’s certainly been effective.

 

Ask any member of the Washington Swamp class.  After they get done sputtering.

 

Their newest scam is to insinuate the Mueller Report is, somehow, flawed.  CBS is trumpeting a report that certain unknown members of Mueller’s team are “unhappy” with Attorney General Bill Barr’s summary of the report.

 

It’s not enough for them to have spent more than $25-million of our money to try and unelect a duly elected President they hate. Now, they need to trash their own work. Or, the Democrats do. (Maybe that’s one and the same.) Think about it. This Attorney General has spent an entire career building a sterling reputation.  He didn’t need this job.  Mueller is exactly the same.

 

Do you seriously think they would endeavor to ruin their reputations by involving themselves in a bizarre conspiracy to protect Donald Trump?

 

Do you seriously think that either of these two would allow their names to be used in some illicit scheme to tilt the results of this investigation? If you do, we have bigger problems than Adam Schiff.

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe here at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

Published in Opinion

Let’s start from the premise that Jerrold Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee is so full of crap that his eyes are brown.

He suffers from a case of political Diarrhea which will ultimately consume him and his cronies who absolutely hate the President and simply cannot help themselves—even in the light of Robert Mueller’s nothingburger which was handed to the Attorney General over the weekend.

That said, we hope he continues along the path he is setting out on—impeachment.  It will guarantee this President another term in office because the American public is simply not as stupid as Nadler and his fellow travelers think we are.

And then, there’s Senate Minority Leader, “Chuckie” Schumer, who thinks he’s way too important to lower himself to Nadler’s level.  In point of fact, he’s much lower—if that’s possible.

Both of these clowns stand before lecterns and calmly, professorially, lie to the public.  They sound a lot like Donald Sutherland’s college professor in the classic movie Animal House.  Why, you’d think they actually a) knew what they were talking about and, b) were telling the truth.

Truth be told, they’re Washington swamp hucksters who only want to make sure they hold on to whatever sliver of power they think they have and they see Donald Trump as the guy who can take them down by telling the American voter the truth.

They have a hard time believing a) that Trump could have been elected in the first place and b) that a good share of the voting public—possibly a majority—likes him and approves of the job he is doing.

And they think that by doing everything possible to undermine Trump they will, somehow, gain the hearts and minds of the voters and vanquish the Trump dragon. You know, kind of like how Lyndon Johnson won the hearts and minds of the Viet Nam’s citizens by bombing them into submission. Not.

The truth is that America is so much smarter than the brain trust of the Democrat party that Democrats are heading for an extraordinary beat down in 2020. Think Ronald Reagan in 1984.

It’s not that we love Donald Trump—although many of us do. It’s that Trump has this bad habit of actually standing up for what he believes and doing what he promises.  The Democrats aren’t scared that what the President proposes won’t work.  They’re scared that it WILL work.  That it IS working.

Yet the Democrats are shameless.  John Podesta—whose emails were almost as embarrassing as Hillary Clinton calling half of America ‘deplorable’—was on CBS screeching that the report was not an exoneration of the President.  Seriously?  The poor dear.  His emails were supposedly hacked.  He didn’t bother to mention that they were all written by his own hand and that he’s so crooked they couldn’t straighten him out with a crucifixion.

Somehow, the party of tolerance and free speech has become the party of Fascist thought.  The party which Jews endorsed has become the party of anti-Israel anti-Semitism. The Democrats are the best reason for Israel’s existence, because they have proven that, put into power, another Holocaust CAN happen again!

It’s as if Firesign Theatre and Monty Python have taken over the Democrat Party. Actually both of those early 70’s groups usually made more sense than the Democrats do these days.

Watching Democrats dance over what they still insist is the President’s political grave is like watching an alternate version of Saturday Night Live.

We’ll see how funny they think it is in November of 2020.

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subcribe here www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been repritined in full, with permission. 

Published in Opinion

Editor's note: Mueller investigators are coming forward to say that the report is far more damaging to the President than the AG (Barr) has let on. Which, is probably true. And that's why Congress should be able to read it.

 

Former special investigator Robert Mueller turned in his several hundred page report on Friday morning. I’m sure you’ve heard all about it - the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to interfere in the 16' Presidential election.  No one outside of the Attorney General (and maybe his office) has seen the full report and so far, only a four page summary has been sent to Congress. The only thing we “know” is from the four page summary, which quotes Mueller’s report as saying, “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election.”

Well, that’s kind of hard to misinterpret, you know? It sounds like the report is exonerating the President of all guilt. Right? And it might - for collusion. But the report also says, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Argh to prosecutor double speak!

As someone who once worked on a lot of legal depositions, I know prosecution speech when I hear it. It sounds as if Mueller is saying, “I don’t think that President Trump and team colluded with the Russians” but he’s also saying, “but Trump still might be guilty of obstruction of justice, I just didn’t find enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt in court to a jury.”

Prosecutors all over the world struggle with that exact issue. They might honestly believe a suspect is guilty of a crime and the suspect in fact - might actually be guilty.  But a prosecutor’s belief in the suspect’s guilt - doesn’t prove anything. A prosecutor needs evidence, and then they have to spend taxpayer money in order to prosecute in a court of law.

Fair enough.

What the report does NOT say is that President Trump and team are innocent of all crimes. What the report does NOT say is that the Russians did not interfer in the 2016 Presidential election.

Of course, conservatives are lining up to say the President is innocent of everything and the Mueller report proves it. And Democrats are lining up to say, “Well, maybe - but we need to read the full report because something is fishy here!” And, I do agree at the very least, Congress should receive the full report. I mean, you could convince me that the press and/or regular folks don’t NEED to see the full report (we might want to see it, though). I mean, there are plenty of state or federal secrets and/or sensitive materials that are probably buried within the Mueller Report and I would be okay if the DOJ was like, “No, the general public will not see the full report.”

But Congress? Um, what possible justification could you use to claim that Congress shouldn’t be able to see the full report? The entire legislative branch should be able to read the full report! Congress practically runs the country or at the very least, allows the country to function. They already have top secret clearance so there is no reason the report should be withheld from them. Also, they legislate laws and the report clearly has evidence of Russian interference in the 16’ election, which they might need to legislate laws to protect the U.S. elections from future interference. Withholding the full report from Congress is, frankly, a little suspicious. So give the full report to Congress. 

Not that anyone asks me. =)

Published in Politics