I’m breaking good blogging protocol. Here’s the entire article from the Pod Save [Whatevs] guys. It’s really good, and excerpting it doesn’t work, and as it is an email, there is no link to a web page.
|IMPEACH THE MOTHERFUCKER|
|The redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report is filled with stunning details about scores of contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials and agents, many of which occurred long after the Trump campaign learned the Russian government was actively, criminally sabotaging the election to help Donald Trump become president.
It is also filled with even more stunning information about Trump’s efforts to end, limit, or compromise the Russia investigation—most of which were unsuccessful, but some of which worked.
And, perhaps most importantly for Trump’s legal future, it reveals that Mueller made 14 criminal referrals to other prosecutors, 12 of which remain undisclosed.
The first part of the report recounts Russia’s criminal attack on the 2016 election; the Trump campaign’s awareness of Russia’s involvement; its simultaneous effort to mislead the public about Russia’s involvement; and the myriad, corrupt interactions between Trump associates and Russians offering to help the Trump campaign.
Mueller notes that “the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.” But notwithstanding Trump’s and Barr’s insistence that Mueller found “NO COLLUSION!” Mueller found tons of it. Most notably, he very nearly charged Donald Trump, Jr., and considered charges against others, for agreeing to accept dirt on Hillary Clinton from agents representing Russia in its efforts to help Trump win the election. Mueller declined to prosecute only because he didn’t believe he could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Don Jr. knew he was breaking the law, and that the value of the dirt on Clinton exceeded the legal threshold for campaign-finance felonies. The Too Dumb to Jail loophole. (Ed: we made that up.)
The obstruction section of the report recounts many episodes that occurred in public, and others that have been reported in the news media. But it contains granular details that we did not know, including Trump’s repeated orders to subordinates to lie and falsify evidence and even to prohibit Mueller from investigating any past elections—including the 2016 election. Mueller writes that the president’s efforts were “mostly unsuccessful,” which is to say that some succeeded, and that his associates’ lies to Congress and to the Justice Department “materially impaired the investigation.” The obstruction worked.
Because Justice Department rules prohibit Mueller from indicting Trump for this conduct, the report is plainly drafted as a factual record for Congress, should it decide to impeach Trump, and a future Justice Department, should it decide to indict Trump after he leaves office.
Mueller declined to accuse Trump of criminal obstruction in part because it could “potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct”—impeachment—and because the president “does not have immunity after he leaves office.” Hear that Attorney General Kamala MayorPete Klobuchar O’Rourke?!
That language makes it clearer than it already was that Attorney General William Barr has spent nearly a month lying about the report’s contents and usurping Congress’s constitutional powers to protect the president. He even excused Trump’s obstructive conduct on the grounds that Trump only did it because he was “frustrated and angered” by the investigation, which seems like a pretty big loophole for crime suspects.
Many Democrats have rightly called upon Barr to resign. But after years of asking the public to wait for Mueller’s report, Democrats lack a clear message about what the report means, and what should happen now, because they remain terrified of doing what’s right—launching an impeachment proceeding.
They could say, “The president and his cronies desperately wanted Putin’s help in the election and then they committed crime after crime to cover it up.”
They could say, “The president has spent two years shouting No Collusion. This report makes clear once and for all that he was lying.”
They could say, “Donald Trump lied to the public, lied to the special counsel, and trashed our institutions of justice to protect himself and his wealth, in violation of his oath of office.”
They won’t say these things, because the truth invites the obvious question: Why shouldn’t Trump be impeached? Instead, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer said “going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point.” If Democrats follow Hoyer’s lead, they will abdicate a basic constitutional obligation, and reinforce Trump’s belief that he is above the law. And if this report makes anything clear, it’s that, should Trump get away with all this, he won’t be chastened—to the contrary, the scale of his criminal ambitions will widen, and the country will be in even greater danger.
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