Breathe in, Breathe out*. Don’t Panic

Putin Rides Again
(credit: The Art of Buddy McCue via Scissorhead B-4)

OK, I read Barr’s summary. Some thoughts follow

Look, let’s see how things look after we see the report itself.

  • Mueller’s conclusion is that his report DOES NOT EXONERATE Trump on obstruction. Mueller was unable to clear the President.
  • The report does not make a decision on obstruction. It’s the Attorney General that is making a decision on obstruction.
  • The report does say that there was Russian interference, and that the Russians did it with the goal of helping the Trump campaign.
  • The report also says that there are still on-going investigations, which means that not all the material can be made public yet.

It’s also worth noting that Michael Cohen has separately accused Trump in campaign finance violation. Those crimes are beyond the scope of Mueller’s investigation.

Some tweeds from Jerry Nadler that are very important:

And I think we need to recall that there is a difference between collusion and being compromised. I don’t have the exact number in front of me, but virtually ever person in the inner circle of the campaign had contacts with the Russians and for whatever reason did not report it. All of them are compromised, and it is only a matter of time before we find out if anyone has been doing favors for Vlad & Co (quid pro quo). We already know Flynn and Manafort did, and they are going to prison. There will be others.

This is far from a settled matter. I strongly suggest everyone sits tight and waits until Congress sees it and what investigations are continuing. Giving in to despair is surrendering before the battle itself.

UPDATE: Marcie Wheeler  has a very good post up.

*Fixed the damn typo

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15 Responses to Breathe in, Breathe out*. Don’t Panic

  1. 9thousandfeet says:

    We sat tight when Mitch stole the SCOTUS seat.
    We sat tight when Trump was elected, and except for a few fine folks at airports we sat tight when he started with the executive order Muslim ban thing.
    Then we sat tight, most of us, again after Charlottesville and again when he snuck off in a room alone with Vlad and again when he defended Crown Prince Bonesaw and again and again and again, and we’ve all lost count now of how many outrages it’s been and how much sitting tight we’ve been doing , and anyway we were all waiting for Mueller the Relentless Owl to kick ass and take names.
    Were we not?

    I feel the need to say that getting heartily sick of sitting tight—and thence descending into a stone cold fury at what is now the escalating obviousness of the futility of such a posture—is not giving in to despair.
    In many ways it’s quite the opposite. From where I’m sitting, and we’ve had this conversation a few times already, it’s sitting tight that’s starting exude a scent of despair, and beginning to smell increasingly strongly of resignation.
    And it’s a real short and easy hop across the line from resignation to unintentional complicity, is it not? And where exactly is that line anyway? Up ahead someplace, or is it in the rear view mirror already?
    Hell if I know.

    Anyway, to hell with this bullshit. The weather’s clearing, so we’re off to catch the spectacle of the Sandhill Crane migration for a few days. At least they know what the fuck they’re doing, and their brains are smaller than fucking walnuts for crissakes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • tengrain says:

      9K – Enjoy the birds. I hope that they are not jerks.

      Rgds,

      TG

      Like

    • milordcutter says:

      I left a comment on the emptywheel blog regarding the item you referenced. I have seen it quoted on several blogs this morning. It is poorly written. She wrote her final paragraph about the crime he obstructed. That makes no sense. He didn’t obstruct a crime. He obstructed investigations into the crime.

      Like

      • tengrain says:

        Milordcutter –

        From vanity fair:

        Barr essentially makes the argument that if there was no “underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” Trump couldn’t have obstructed justice. But that’s hardly a consensus opinion among federal prosecutors. “It is certainly possible to obstruct without being involved in an underlying crime,” Columbus told me. “The issue here is attempts to make it harder for law enforcement to find the facts, and that is a terrible thing regardless of what the underlying facts are . . . It does seem like Barr is kind of leaning forward to exonerate the president there.”

        I think that there is a lot of willful not looking at the smoke, if not not looking for the fire.

        Rgds,

        TG

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sir Nigel says:

    Breathe

    Like

  3. donnah says:

    When the initial report was released, I held my breath. I didn’t watch MSNBC or national news all weekend because I had a dread of what Barr would do with it. And now we know he did what he was hired to do. So I’m not going to dwell on it. I am tired of the buildup/letdown cycle and I’m tired of the infuriating rage I feel when the Republicans get away with these crimes.

    I will wait and hope something good comes along soon.

    Like

  4. 9thousandfeet says:

    On the optimistic side, Richard Wolffe has a somewhat cheerful analysis up on the Guardian. I’m not fully persuaded by a long shot, I think he’s underestimating the mileage that Trump et al will be able to get out of being “totally exonerated” (which he’s not, but he’s got away with bigger lies lots of times) especially with regard to pushing back against subpoenas and the like, but he does raise some not totally implausible arguments;

    Much like last year’s elections, the Mueller report has done Democrats a huge favor. Winning both the Senate and House would have set up a titanic clash between Congress and the White House, the kind of clash White Houses have often won in time for re-election.
    In the same way, a clear and damning Mueller report would have set up a titanic clash over impeachment: a process that would fail in this Republican-controlled Senate, no matter the evidence presented.
    There will be many Democrats disappointed Mueller did not scream “Guilty!” and that impeachment remains on hold. But party leadership, and election veterans, know short-term disappointment offers a long-running advantage.

    It means a year of more congressional revelations and a year of more indictments. It means the 2020 election can be forward-looking about Trump’s fitness for office, rather than backward-looking about the last election.

    It means more consideration of corruption and less talk of collusion.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Redhand says:

    TG I also want to say thanks for your post. And I echo Donnah’s sentiment that Barr “did what he was hired to do.”

    Like

  6. Dennis Cole says:

    TG – when I first read the title, before you fixed it, I automatically interpreted it as “(Take a) breath in; (Let a) breath out.” I used to be on the Grammar Police Force, but having spent quite some time on FB, and encountering mangled syntax, misspellings and other “faux pas,” I resigned the position, figuring life is just too short to point out other’s shortcomings.

    Now, inhale sloooowly……..hold it for a short bit, and then exhaaaaaaale. Ahhhh. All better now.

    Like

    • tengrain says:

      It started off as “Take a deep breath” and then I changed my mind. My titles are the worst!

      I got too used to the early days of putting the punchline in the headline and having the set-up in the body. It works really well with picture posts (like back in the DR days), but I hardly do those anymore.

      Rgds,

      TG

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dennis Cole says:

        I disagree – mostly your titles are quite clever, pithy and spot-on. I would also like to give you some kudos for doing such a fine job this past week on MBRU at Crooks & Liars. I left you a comment there, but if you didn’t see it, it’s almost the same as this one.

        Keep up the good work – Lard knows I couldn’t ever possibly perform at the levels you do, and you have my undying admiration and respect.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tengrain says:

        Aw, gosh, thanks!

        blush

        TG

        Like

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