Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Low Expectations and a High Barr

When news of the Mueller report's being handed over the AG Bill Barr came out, I practiced a breathing exercise called "seething with anticipatory disappointment". In my mind, the investigation still seemed to have irons in the fire with reference to the continued cooperation of Rick Gates and other threads that didn't seem to be fully tied up. But the many hints that the investigation was closing, like the prosecutors who left the team and the end of inquiry with, say, Mike Flynn, indicated that maybe, this was as far as Robert Mueller could go, and that at any rate--we had no business expecting miracles. 

(I have no factual reason to believe it was specifically shut down, but have no faith that the DOJ couldn't have put pressure on to have it ended.)

AG Barr, before being appointed by President Trump, had already demonstrated his disdain for the probe, and was prejudiced. And knowing his history, why wouldn't a known cover-up artist on behalf of GOP presidents strike again? The only slight, saving grace was supposing that if Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein was still onboard, he would try to keep the process transparent. 

What has been released is a four page summary of Barr's words regarding the probe, not necessarily, it seems, a clear summation of Mueller (and his team's) hard work of 22 months. There is clearly spin and omissions here. The main takeaway seems to be that Mueller could not either prove or disprove obstruction of justice by Trump based on the evidence (and evidence surely does exist). But care seems to be made to frame everything so that the standard to determine culpability is extraordinarily high--a high Barr. 

The verbatim message from even the 4 page summary though is that Trump is not exonerated, which has somehow been taken to mean (on the right and in certain mainstream media circles) that he is fully exonerated. That doesn't seem to be the case--it should have been that Mueller deferred that decision to Congress upon their being briefed on his report. And they weren't , actually, as of when that "spinpression" was already being pushed out in the media. 

And no doubt, there is spin aplenty out here--Trump and certain of his campaign-related folks are saying they would like the full report released. And yet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would very much like this to not happen. It would appear. Maybe he's in earnest when he says it could happen whenever further study on it has taken place, but I'm kind of not buying it--because this is Mitch McConnell. Who as a virulent partisan blocked anything the Obama Administration wanted to do including warning about the Russian interference into our 2016 elections. And now has the damn swole neck to wonder why Obama wasn't tougher?

Yeah. Take that for what it's worth.

I want the whole report out to see what is what, because I have many questions, and a lot of the circumstantial things I see really do look like the Russian election interference op and the Trump campaign were sympatico to me, and I think already somewhat-informed people would prefer to be better-informed. If there is something exculpatory to the Trump Campaign in there, fuck it--I'd like to see that too! 

I just completely understand that the GOP is a fucking paranoid monster with many heads, and that the plan to try to spin the investigatory onus about on to Dems was already part of the "whataboutist" plan for some time. They would prefer to allege that oversight is the real coup d'├ętat and treason when mainstream Dems like Nancy Pelosi aren't really in Rep. Tlaib "Impeach the Motherfucker" mode. Even though some of the emoluments clause stuff, and the likely campaign finance violation stuff, surrounding Trump really should rise to the level of potential impeachment proceedings, being well under the heading of "high crimes and misdemeanors". 

That's not called a "coup"--that's called "due process". An innocent man wouldn't have so much to fear from simple transparency, right? 

But if conservatives would say "No" to that, it's ok--my expectations were already low. You are simply failing to come up to even my low bar of what rule of law aficionados should stand for. 

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