Robert Mueller

Did Mueller predetermine not to say Trump committed a crime?

Featured image Earlier today, in commenting on the Mueller report, I wrote: Mueller says that “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.” By the same token, if Mueller had confidence that Trump clearly did commit obstruction of justice, he would also so state. It seems obvious that he lacked that confidence. This seems self-evident. »

Mueller on obstruction of justice: It’s complicated. [UPDATED]

Featured image Robert Mueller copped out when he declined to determine whether President Trump obstructed justice. He left it to the Attorney General to make that call, even though the rationale for having a special counsel was that Trump administration officials couldn’t be trusted to decide whether their boss committed crimes. The issuance of Mueller’s report does nothing to mitigate the cop-out. According to the report, the issue of obstruction of justice »

The Mueller Report: Early Returns

Featured image The Mueller Report has been delivered. Attorney General William Barr gave a press conference this morning, summarizing its contents. Democrats gnashed their teeth over the fact that Barr was able to “spin” the report some hours before everyone saw it. Now that they have read the report–at least in part–they are trying to keep “obstruction of justice” alive, as Mueller described ten actions by President Trump that could be construed »

The limits on what can be disclosed from Mueller’s report

Featured image Congressional Democrats keep demanding that the entire Mueller report be made available. They aren’t doing this in the interest of transparency and the public’s right to know. Democrats are still complaining that the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal yielded more than a statement of no prosecution. If Dems had gotten their way, we would know nothing more about what the Justice Department discovered or believed. The Democrats want full »

Ineffective Democrat subpoenas

Featured image A House panel voted yesterday to authorize subpoenas to obtain Robert Mueller’s full report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The vote was strictly along party lines. Democrats aren’t going to issue the subpoena yet. First, they will negotiate with the Justice Department. But Democrats are holding a losing hand. This subpoena, like all the others House Democrats are thinking about issuing, cannot, in all likelihood, be effectively enforced. »

Mueller and Trump, Part 2

Featured image Scott wrote last week about Byron York’s revealing podcast with John Dowd, who represented President Trump during a substantial portion of Trump’s dealings with special counsel Robert Mueller. Byron has now posted, on Ricochet, the second installment of his interview with Dowd. He writes about it here. An excerpt: In our earlier talk, Dowd stressed that the Trump White House fully cooperated with Mueller’s investigation, and that on more than »

Poll: Mueller report flips public opinion

Featured image Byron York calls attention to a Wall Street Journal poll that, since December of last year, has asked this question every month: Based on what you have seen, read, or heard about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, has it given you more doubts about Donald Trump’s presidency or not? In December, 50 percent of respondents said the investigation has given them more doubts about the Trump presidency. 44 percent said »

Important norms were shattered, but not by Trump

Featured image Peter Baker, the talented New York Times journalist, frets that Robert Mueller’s investigation has erased a line drawn after Watergate. Baker writes: After Watergate, it was unthinkable that a president would fire an F.B.I. director who was investigating him or his associates. Or force out an attorney general for failing to protect him from an investigation. Or dangle pardons before potential witnesses against him. But the end of the inquiry »

Why did Mueller punt on obstruction?

Featured image Andy McCarthy criticizes Robert Mueller’s for “abdicating” on the issue of obstruction of justice — that is, leaving it to Attorney General Barr to decide whether President Trump committed that criminal offense. I made the same point here. McCarthy highlights the fact that Mueller knew Barr would find no obstruction of justice by Trump. Mueller knew this from Barr’s commentary on the issue as a private citizen. Barr argued that »

Unanswered Prayers

Featured image Should we enjoy the misery of liberals who feel let down–not to say betrayed–by the Mueller fizzle? Of course we should! Here is some more delicious schadenfreude, via the Portland Monthly of December 2018: “The Hottest Gift This Holiday Season Is a Robert Mueller Devotional Candle.” With the sub-headline “Let us pray to our Patron Saint of Plea Deals.” What’s the hottest gift this holiday season? An L.O.L. Surprise doll? »

Obstruction of What?

Featured image As Paul has noted, Robert Mueller’s report declines to address whether various actions on the part of President Trump (most of which have been publicly reported, according to Attorney General Barr’s letter) constituted obstruction of justice. No doubt Democrats will try to seize on this omission, which apparently was the best Mueller could do on behalf of his Democratic Party patrons. That effort is, I think, destined for failure. First, »

Mueller’s cop-out

Featured image Scott has embedded Attorney General Barr’s summary of the Mueller report. The letter covers two issues: (1) Mueller’s conclusion regarding claims that President Trump conspired with Russia during the 2016 election campaign and (2) Mueller’s non-conclusion regarding claims that Trump obstructed justice. On the conspiracy issue, Mueller’s conclusion is a rout for Trump, as Steve says. According to Barr, Mueller reports that he employed 19 lawyers, aided by 40 FBI »

Trump Wins!

Featured image I am on vacation, hence the slow posting lately. But I can’t resist a moment of triumph. Drudge sums up the Mueller report: And President Trump takes a rather restrained victory lap: No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019 I think it has been a foregone conclusion for a while that Mueller would acknowledge there was no collusion, »

The Mueller investigation, five things that didn’t happen

Featured image Byron York identifies five things that didn’t happen during the course of Robert Mueller’s now-concluded investigation. Below, I list the five things Byron identified and provide my brief commentary: First, Mueller did not indict Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, or other people whose purported legal jeopardy was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year. Thus, Mueller found no criminality arising from that famous meeting Trump Jr. and »

[Fill in the blank], Trump White House in chaos

Featured image The Washington Post greets the Mueller report with its standard, all-purpose story about chaos at the Trump White House. The title of its paper edition article about the White House response to the Mueller is “Trump team didn’t have a plan of attack.” But the White House didn’t need one. Mueller has not called for the indictment of President Trump or any member of his family. And given the news »

End of the Mueller affair

Featured image Robert Mueller is closing up shop. He has delivered his report to Attorney General Barr. No more indictments will be secured by his office: CNN hardest hit. What have we learned? Paul comments cautiously here. I throw caution out the window to make these provisional observations and comments. Mueller has secured the indictment of 34 individuals (and three companies). A few of the individuals would have rolled merrily along but »

Report: Mueller not recommending any more indictments

Featured image As Steve notes, special counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his report to attorney general William Barr. This completes the Mueller investigation, though not its outgrowth in the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Fox News reports that Mueller has not recommended any new indictments. Thus, President Trump will not be indicted based on the Mueller report. What we don’t know is why. Is it »