A Brief Overview of The Mueller Report's Findings and What They Mean
By now, many of you have probably already waded through the Mueller Report, or read the relevant excerpts. Some of you — I’m not going to say the smarter ones, but definitely the smarter ones — are hanging out and waiting for someone else to tell you what it all means after all of the alarmism has passed.
Here’s the short version: There’s a lot of damning information in the Mueller Report. It basically suggests that:
1) Russia interfered in the election, that Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Minnesota were prime targets of Russia’s disinformation campaign;
2) That there were numerous contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign, and while the Trump campaign welcomed Russia’s help, accepted Russia’s help, and expected to benefit from Russia’s help, there is no hard evidence that the two entities actually coordinated directly, although even in that regard there are some gaps that Mueller could not fill in;
3) That nearly everyone associated with the campaign and the White House straight-up lied their asses off to the press (and thus, the American people) and have been doing so since the beginning, and in some cases lied under oath. In instances where perjury indictments haven’t been brought (such as against Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump, Jr.), it’s because Mueller could not prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt (with regards to Sessions, it was because his lies were carefully worded; with regards to Jr., it was because he was literally too dumb to commit perjury);
4) That Trump obstructed justice in a number of different ways involving Jeff Sessions, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, firing Comey, attempting to fire the Special Counsel, the Trump Tower Meeting, etc., and that in many instances, Trump’s staff refused to carry out obviously illegal actions. Mueller provided a clear roadmap for an obstruction charge, and the report was designed to allow Congress to make that decision.
I could go through and provide a lot of evidence from the report to back up the above conclusions. There’s a ton of it, much of it we already knew, only with more details. I will not, however, because I’m trying to keep this brief, because at the end of the day, as far as this is concerned politically, only one thing matters: How is Fox News characterizing this? Because if the Mueller report hasn’t persuaded Fox News to turn on Trump, Fox News’ viewers won’t turn on Trump, and therefore, the Republicans will not turn on Trump, and so impeachment proceedings would be moot because there aren’t enough Republicans to convict.
There’s your headline, folks. There’s a whole lot of “drama,” which is a Fox News euphemism for shadiness, lies, coverups, and corruption.
Granted, there’s certainly enough in the Report to keep the news media busy generating negative headlines for Trump for weeks, if not months. There’s also plenty here to justify Democrats conducting further investigations, asking Mueller to speak in front of Congress, issuing subpoenas, etc. This is not the end. Until Trump is out of office, there will be no end.
There are a few things, however, I would like to isolate. One is that there are still 12 criminal referrals outstanding, none of which we know about, which have been farmed out to other jurisdictions.
Second, is that Sarah Sanders admitted to the Special Counsel that she flat-out lied to the American press about a number of FBI agents approaching her and telling her that they were glad Comey was fired and that morale was low at the FBI. She admitted under oath that she lied. Not that she wasn’t before, but Sarah Sanders is a useless source of information. There is no point in ever having a press conference again.
Third, William Barr and the DOJ has lost all credibility. After trying repeatedly to dismiss the findings in the Mueller report as a bunch of nothing, Barr will never be considered an impartial, independent AG. It is decidedly not nothing. He’s a hatchet man with the entire goddamn Department of Justice at his disposal, so whomever we nominate for President better be clean as a goddamn whistle, because Trump finally found a guy he could sic on his political enemies.
Fourth, political coverage during the Trump years has been problematic, to say the least, at the NYTimes (and to a lesser extent, The Washington Post), but where it concerns the Russia probe and other Trump investigations, those two outlets (and Buzzfeed, to be honest) have been spot-on. The Mueller report basically confirms most of their reporting over the last couple of years. Can we trust the Times where it concerns presidential politics? Maybe not. But where it concerns investigations, I still have a lot of faith in their news department.
And that’s all I’m going to say about this for now. If you folks in the comments want to isolate any of the scores and scores of alarming incidents and lies, or drop a lot of tweets, please feel free. There’s plenty with which to work.
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