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President Donald Trump has had impure thoughts about special counsel Robert Mueller.

Rich Lowry mug

Rich Lowry

That much, we know. The New York Times reported last week that Trump asked White House counsel Don McGahn to fire the special counsel. When McGahn resisted, Trump backed off and left Mueller in place.

Talking their clients out of bad ideas — especially impulsive clients likely to blunder into gross mistakes — is what lawyers are supposed to do.

The Trump- Mueller episode is like the “Saturday Night Massacre” if Richard Nixon had merely thought about firing Archibald Cox, then got dissuaded by his advisers and, under advice of counsel, began cooperating with the Watergate special counsel.

Is it more meaningful that Trump wanted to fire Mueller, or that the special counsel’s work has continued apace for the past six months, with indictments, guilty pleas and extensive interviews of White House officials? Surely it is the latter, but Trump’s critics argue that his withdrawn directive establishes motive in a prospective obstruction-of-justice case.

What it establishes is what we already knew: Trump hates the investigation and everyone associated with it. He considers the FBI officials who have been central to the probe politically compromised hatchet men. He disdains his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for recusing himself from the matter, and has no use for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, either.

We don’t need an investigation to know any of this, because Trump advertises it all the time. What else is his Twitter feed for?

What we don’t know, at least with certainty, is what’s behind Trump’s animus? It’s one thing if he hatched a high-level conspiracy with the Russians during the election that he’s ham-handedly trying to cover up; it is another if he knows there was no such conspiracy and believes the investigation is, as he repeatedly says, “a witch hunt.”

This is why it makes no sense for Democrats and the press to blow right by collusion — compelling evidence of which has not yet emerged — to obsess with alleged obstruction instead. If there was no collusion, it is doubtful that Trump has the corrupt motive necessary to make an impeachable obstruction-of-justice case against him.

Absent collusion (or some other sinister secret), Trump is guilty of raging against an investigation that, at the end of the day, really is built on sand. In which case, it’d be better if Trump, secure in his ultimate vindication, lowered the temperature around the investigation. But the scorpion is going to sting the frog — especially if the frog is getting round-the-clock cable coverage.

One of the counts against Trump is that he told Lester Holt of NBC News that he fired FBI Director James Comey over the Russia investigation. This isn’t quite right. “I said, you know,” Trump explained to Holt, “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.” Then, he went on to say he was happy for the investigation to continue.

The thrust of the interview accords with Trump’s conversations with Comey. The FBI director repeatedly told the president that he himself wasn’t under investigation. Trump badgered Comey about getting this out. At the same time, Trump stipulated that he was fine with a probe of any “satellites” of his suspected of wrongdoing. The picture is of a president desperate to remove an unwarranted cloud around his presidency, rather than a president shuttering an investigation at all costs.

It is certainly true that Trump has not, if he ever will, made the transition from thinking like the owner of a family business to thinking like a president entrusted with the care of our institutions.

If Trump had his druthers, he’d probably appoint his personal fixer Michael Cohen his attorney general and run the Department of Justice like an arm of The Trump Organization. But there are all sorts of political and institutional constraints to acting on these impulses, including a White House counsel willing to say “No.”

Syndicated columnist Rich Lowry can be reached at comments.lowry@nationalreview.com.

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(24) comments

awol2009

SnowBlob has definitely lost her/his mind. A true product of fake news, Russian bots, so much so, maybe she/he should have a FISA warrant served to monitor the delusional anti-American propaganda posts.

Snow Cougar Mary Burke

@oldphoney

The dossier was NOT originally funded by Republicans. This talking point is a LIE.

I see a lot of useful idiots repeating the talking point that the dossier was originally funded by Republicans. This is a lie.

First off, there was never any connection between the RNC and Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS was originally hired by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by a Republican.

However, the dossier had nothing to do with this. The dossier was based ONLY on work that Fusion GPS did for the DNC and HRC.

From the Free Beacon: “All of the work that Fusion GPS provided to The Free Beacon was based on public sources, and none of the work product that The Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier,” they said. “The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele.”

The talking point that Republicans originally funded the dossier is a LIE. It is also an attempt to draw some equivalency between a private Republican citizen funding the Washington Free Beacon and the actual DNC and HRC campaign funding Fusion GPS themselves, and then trying to hide the fact that they funded them by using a law firm (Perkins Coie) to pay them and trying their best to withhold Fusion GPS bank records.

The two main points revealed by the memo are that 1) the dossier was the only reason FISA warrants were sought to begin with and 2) that material information regarding the Hillary/DNC origin of the dossier was repeatedly withheld from FISA judges. People are attempting to discredit the partisan nature of the dossier by pointing out that “Republicans originally funded the dossier” but this is a LIE intentionally crafted to distort, mislead and draw a false equivalency.

This also demonstrates that the only real Russia collusion was between Russia, the DNC and the HRC campaign, and that Republicans were not involved at all in the only real demonstrated collusion thus far: the creation of the Steele dossier.

[thumbup][tongue]

oldhomey

Well, Snow, you can rant and rave until the cows come home, but the fact is that the origins of "the dossier" began with Republican conservatives bankrolling opposition research to be done by Fusion GPS. It was a dossier in the making when those bankrolling it backed off because Trump was clearly trampling the GOP nomination field. Then Democrats started picking up the tab. Then Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele. It is established irrefutably that the FBI was drawn into investigating Russian efforts to sabotage the US electoral process not by the dossier, which it did not know existed, but by an Australian diplomat who heard one of Trump's advisor's boast that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary and were releasing it publicly. We won't know what portions of the dossier were used to obtain FISA warrants. The Trump administration doesn't want that to be known. Do you have information on that?

awol2009

The memo doesn't vindicate tRump in any way. Contrary to SnowBlob's copy and pasted attempt to convince othrrwise, it shows Trump's continued attempt to obstruct justice. The "memo" is just an incomplete list of facts, meant to dissuade attention from what really happened and discredit the FBI, as well as our Justice Dept. There is so much more, let Mueller do his job without frivolous, nothing burger "memos" to hide facts. Nunes is the Joe McCarthy of our times. What a joke. Americans are not as stupid as the GOP perceives them to be.

Snow Cougar Mary Burke

You are wrong. Here is what is to come:

- There will be 9 memos in total, only 4 will be publically released.

- Next memo on State Dept.

- Memo 5 is the big one; Obama received FISA updates in presidential daily briefings, then shared with Hillary as a candidate. Previously mentioned Obama selling access to intel meetings with billionaires like Soros, who were allowed to dictate policy.

- Trey Gowdy and other unknown group/person will be turned lose with the indictments.

- Obama weaponized judges, IRS, documentation.

- Hanging for sedition and treason (big fish like Obama get military tribunals).

- The gallows are already built. Club Gitmo can now hold 13,000 “visitors”.

- Sessions will soon unrecuse himself and terminate Mueller, indictments unsealed (currently over 13,600 sealed indictments).

- Many of the 13,600 sealed indictments are RICO cases against the swamp, judges, politicians even “mainstream media”. RICO has NO statute of limitations, so if you are connected from something you did 30 years ago, and they found it, then you go bye-bye.

- Up to life sentence for RICO.

- Fake Cancer-Brain McCain has big problems, reportedly has checked back into another “Hanoi Hilton”.

The STORM IS HERE and it will be glorious!

oldhomey

Good Lord! Snow HAS gone around the bend! A couple of days ago she was chortling that the release of this four-page memo was going to sink the Democrats forever. It comes out and, rather than sinking anything, seems to be floating off to vapid insignificance because of its featherweight foolishness. So she whips up this totally insane list of laughable scenarios, including the truly insane vision of gallows being readied for "13,600" people already under secret indictment, the hangings, for some reason, being scheduled not for the continental U.S., but in Guantanamo in Cuba. And she tops it off with this zinger: "The STORM IS HERE and it will be glorious!" If somebody on these posts actually knows this poor woman, it is truly no exaggeration that she needs to seek out treatment. Please.

Snow Cougar Mary Burke

Right now at last update there are 13,605 sealed Federal indictments since last October. How significant is this? In a full year in 2009 there were only 1,077 in total.

CLICK HERE: Documentation of 13,605 sealed indictments

You don’t seem to understand the significance of President Trump’s two executive orders. Did you not watch his MAJOR announcement of the second executive order he signed right before he disclosed it during the SOTU speech?

CLICK HERE: Executive Order - Trump declares national emergency on 12-20-2018

CLICK HERE: Executive Order - Trump authorized military tribunals, disclosed during SOTU speech on 1-30-2018

12 judges have now been seated for military tribunals for 43 individuals. 12 is the magic number to impose the death penalty. Club Gitmo has been expanded to hold 13,000 individuals.

Denial is not a river in Egypt.


[thumbup][cool]

Snow Cougar Mary Burke

16 Bombshells from the Nunes Memo
1.)The so-called Russian Dossier, the creation of Fusion GPS and former British spy Christopher Steele, is a political document — namely, opposition research, created for the Democrat National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

2.)Using what it knew was opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign, in October of 2016, the FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to install a wiretap to spy on Hillary Clinton’s opponent — the Trump campaign, specifically Carter Page. This spying would last for a year.

3.)It should be noted that the FISA court was set up to stop foreign terrorists. The fact that the FBI and DOJ would use this court to not only wiretap an American but to wiretap a presidential campaign belies belief. Why Obama’s FBI and DOJ used this court as opposed to a normal court is obvious. As you will see below, a normal court probably would have denied the wiretap.

4.) Worse still, in the summer of 2016, Obama’s DOJ had already opened a counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. The fact that nothing from that months-old partisan investigation was used to obtain the Page wiretap is revealing.

5.)According to the Nunes memo, an “essential” part of the FISA wiretap application was the Steele dossier, which again is a partisan political document created for the Clinton campaign.

6.)So essential was this partisan dossier, Andrew McCabe, the disgraced former-Deputy Director of the FBI, admitted in December that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” without the dossier.

7.)Not only did the FBI knowingly use a document from a partisan campaign to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the competing campaign, the FBI knew the dossier was mostly “salacious and unverified.” We know this because disgraced former-FBI Director James Comey told us so in June of 2017.

8.)According to the Nunes memo, “Steele told [former FBI official Bruce] Ohr, he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.'”

9.)Ohr, who was part of the FBI’s anti-Trump Russian investigation, was not only friendly with Steele, Ohr’s own wife worked with Steele at Fusion GPS doing opposition research (the dossier) against Trump for the Clinton campaign.

10.)Despite a) knowing the dossier was opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign b) knowing the dossier was “salacious and unverified” c) knowing Steele was desperate to destroy Trump d) the breathtaking conflict of interest in having an investigator’s own wife working on the dossier, the FBI still went to the FISA court to obtain permission to spy on Hillary Clinton’s opponent.

11.)In order to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, all of the conflicts of interest above were withheld from the FISA court — an indefensible (and possibly illegal) lie of omission.

12.)Even worse, in order to legitimize a warrant request based on a piece of partisan opposition research they knew was “salacious and unverified,” the FBI and DOJ used a media report to bolster the findings in the phony dossier. The FBI and DOJ told the court that the media report was independent verification of the dossier. But this was not true, and, according to the Nunes memo, the FBI and DOJ knew this was not true. The truth is that the phony dossier was the source of this media report.

13.)Also hidden from the FISA court was the fact that the FBI obtained Steele as a source but had to fire him in October of 2016 when, in a bid to use his phony dossier to derail the Trump campaign, he leaked his information to the far-left Mother Jones.

14.) Although the FBI and DOJ were willing participants in pushing a “salacious and unverified” narrative against a presidential candidate (primarily through media leaks), this was all hidden from congressional investigators. To begin with, for months, while under oath, Comey said he did not know where the dossier came from — meaning from the Clinton campaign. The Wall Street Journal explains: We also know the FBI wasn’t straight with Congress, as it hid most of these facts from investigators in a briefing on the dossier in January 2017. The FBI did not tell Congress about Mr. Steele’s connection to the Clinton campaign, and the House had to issue subpoenas for Fusion bank records to discover the truth. Nor did the FBI tell investigators that it continued receiving information from Mr. Steele and Fusion even after it had terminated him. The memo says the bureau’s intermediary was Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, whose wife, incredibly, worked for Fusion.

15.)All of this dishonesty occurred under Comey, the man our media now hold up as a living saint, a man so desperate to destroy Trump, he not only oversaw those committing the above abuses, he leaked classified information to the news media in order to see a Special Prosecutor appointed against Trump, which his pal, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, immediately did.

16.) Much of the “salacious and unverified” material in the dossier came from the Russians. In other words, those disgusting dossier lies about Trump’s personal behavior came from Russian operatives. So there is no question that it was the Clinton campaign, Democrats, Steele, the FBI, and DOJ who colluded with the Russians to rig a presidential election.

Yes, there was collusion with the Russians, and those in our government currently investigating Trump in the hopes of overturning a presidential election are the colluders.


[thumbup][love]

oldhomey

1.)The so-called Russian Dossier, the creation of Fusion GPS and former British spy Christopher Steele, is a political document — namely, opposition research, created for the Democrat National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
THE FIRST PEOPLE TO INITIATE THE "STEELE" INVESTIGATION WERE CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS WHO HIRED HIM TO DO OPPOSITION RESEARCH ON TRUMP, TRYING TO STOP HIM FROM GETTING THE GOP 2016 NOMINATION. AFTER HE GOT THE NOMINATION, DEMS PAID FOR THE OPPOSITION RESEARCH TO CONTINUE. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE IN POLITICS.
2.)Using what it knew was opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign, in October of 2016, the FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to install a wiretap to spy on Hillary Clinton’s opponent — the Trump campaign, specifically Carter Page. This spying would last for a year.
CARTER PAGE HAD BEEN UNDER SURVEILLANCE FOR HIS TIES TO RUSSIANS YEARS BEFORE THIS INVESTIGATION BEGAN.
3.)It should be noted that the FISA court was set up to stop foreign terrorists. The fact that the FBI and DOJ would use this court to not only wiretap an American but to wiretap a presidential campaign belies belief. Why Obama’s FBI and DOJ used this court as opposed to a normal court is obvious. As you will see below, a normal court probably would have denied the wiretap. THERE WAS AMPLE EVIDENCE THAT THE RUSSIANS WERE BUSILY TRYING TO INTERFERE WITH OUR ELECTION, WHICH BY ANYBODY'S STANDARD WOULD BE AN ATTACK ON US AS A NATION AND OUR INSTITUTIONS. ARE YOU TELLING US THE FBI SHOULD NOT HAVE INVESTIGATED?


4.) Worse still, in the summer of 2016, Obama’s DOJ had already opened a counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. The fact that nothing from that months-old partisan investigation was used to obtain the Page wiretap is revealing.

5.)According to the Nunes memo, an “essential” part of the FISA wiretap application was the Steele dossier, which again is a partisan political document created for the Clinton campaign.

6.)So essential was this partisan dossier, Andrew McCabe, the disgraced former-Deputy Director of the FBI, admitted in December that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” without the dossier.

7.)Not only did the FBI knowingly use a document from a partisan campaign to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the competing campaign, the FBI knew the dossier was mostly “salacious and unverified.” We know this because disgraced former-FBI Director James Comey told us so in June of 2017.

8.)According to the Nunes memo, “Steele told [former FBI official Bruce] Ohr, he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.'”

9.)Ohr, who was part of the FBI’s anti-Trump Russian investigation, was not only friendly with Steele, Ohr’s own wife worked with Steele at Fusion GPS doing opposition research (the dossier) against Trump for the Clinton campaign.

10.)Despite a) knowing the dossier was opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign b) knowing the dossier was “salacious and unverified” c) knowing Steele was desperate to destroy Trump d) the breathtaking conflict of interest in having an investigator’s own wife working on the dossier, the FBI still went to the FISA court to obtain permission to spy on Hillary Clinton’s opponent.

11.)In order to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, all of the conflicts of interest above were withheld from the FISA court — an indefensible (and possibly illegal) lie of omission.

12.)Even worse, in order to legitimize a warrant request based on a piece of partisan opposition research they knew was “salacious and unverified,” the FBI and DOJ used a media report to bolster the findings in the phony dossier. The FBI and DOJ told the court that the media report was independent verification of the dossier. But this was not true, and, according to the Nunes memo, the FBI and DOJ knew this was not true. The truth is that the phony dossier was the source of this media report.

13.)Also hidden from the FISA court was the fact that the FBI obtained Steele as a source but had to fire him in October of 2016 when, in a bid to use his phony dossier to derail the Trump campaign, he leaked his information to the far-left Mother Jones.

14.) Although the FBI and DOJ were willing participants in pushing a “salacious and unverified” narrative against a presidential candidate (primarily through media leaks), this was all hidden from congressional investigators. To begin with, for months, while under oath, Comey said he did not know where the dossier came from — meaning from the Clinton campaign. The Wall Street Journal explains: We also know the FBI wasn’t straight with Congress, as it hid most of these facts from investigators in a briefing on the dossier in January 2017. The FBI did not tell Congress about Mr. Steele’s connection to the Clinton campaign, and the House had to issue subpoenas for Fusion bank records to discover the truth. Nor did the FBI tell investigators that it continued receiving information from Mr. Steele and Fusion even after it had terminated him. The memo says the bureau’s intermediary was Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, whose wife, incredibly, worked for Fusion.

15.)All of this dishonesty occurred under Comey, the man our media now hold up as a living saint, a man so desperate to destroy Trump, he not only oversaw those committing the above abuses, he leaked classified information to the news media in order to see a Special Prosecutor appointed against Trump, which his pal, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, immediately did.

16.) Much of the “salacious and unverified” material in the dossier came from the Russians. In other words, those disgusting dossier lies about Trump’s personal behavior came from Russian operatives. So there is no question that it was the Clinton campaign, Democrats, Steele, the FBI, and DOJ who colluded with the Russians to rig a presidential election.

Yes, there was collusion with the Russians, and those in our government currently investigating Trump in the hopes of overturning a presidential election are the colluders.


oldhomey

Sorry, I was going to go through point by point to answer Snow, but somehow the system here let me get to point four and no further on the cut and paste version I put into the comment post box. Rather than going point by point, let me simply make the additional points to discredit hers. Yes, the first FISA applications for permission to surveil Page were made when Obama was in office. The subsequent ones were made and granted under Trump's administration. The Russian interference investigation did NOT start because of the Steele dossier. It started before Steele had a dossier, after an Australian diplomat alerted federal authorities that the Russians were gathering dirt on Clinton to release during her campaign, a clear interference by a foreign power with our election system. The FBI was explicit from the get-go that the Steele dossier was paid for and created for purpose of political opposition research. I would advise Snow to get real, but a subsequent post by her on this string clearly shows she apparently has gone around the bend and is not mentally capable of that. And that is not hyperbole or exaggeration.

awol2009

Snowblob.....still putting lipstick on her pig. No matter what shade you use, honey, it is STILL the same old stinky swine.

Snow Cougar Mary Burke

This memo is only 10% of what is going to be exposed. The Democrat party may no longer exist when this is over, just ask Seth Rich - ooops, he was murdered.

Hint: Hillary really got around 57 million popular votes (she was not supposed to lose). Debbie Wasserman Schulz-Awan brothers? Pizza-gate/human trafficking? Uranium 1?

[scared]

oldhomey

Poor Joe McCarthy. When he flung around his false boasts about knowing the US State
Department and Army were rife with Communist operatives, he didn't have emoticons, like Snow does, to dress up his ridiculous lies. Your lies are dressed up with emoticons, Snow, but they don't make your lies true, just all the more ridiculous.

Jobaba

The idea of "no collusion means no obstruction" is child's reasoning. Changing the subject by a degree, our system was attacked by the Russians and not a single person is doing anything about it. The release of emails at just the right time, the Russian FB saga - all coincidence?

Snow Cougar Mary Burke

If you really want to know how Mueller's investigation is going then you should be paying attention to this: Robert Mueller requests postponement of General Mike Flynn sentencing…

Against a newly discovered likelihood the Robert Mueller investigation began under false pretenses; and against the backdrop that FBI surveillance and wiretaps were obtained through materially (intentionally) false representations to the FISA court; and against the backdrop the original FISA judge ‘was summarily recused’ from the case; and against increasing evidence that Gen Mike Flynn was set up by a terminally animus, and politically-motivated investigative rogue unit, operating within the FBI; …Special Counsel Robert Mueller now asks for postponement of sentencing.


kingman10

oh gawd here we go with snow job trying to bring up the "secret society" b.s. in the FBI. More misleading lies from the russian and koch boys troll. Funny snow job doesn't mention where it gets this new information on another conspiracy. I bet we could all take a guess though and be right.

Snow Cougar Mary Burke

You better have a change of diapers. Tomorrow is going to be a big day!

CLICK HERE FOR COURT DOCUMENT - Robert Mueller Requests Postponement of General Mike Flynn Sentencing

[thumbup][tongue]

kingman10

No thanks, no crazy website for me. Love the funny emoticons though.

oldhomey

That is quite a scenario that you paint, Snow. Here is another one, and it is likely much closer to the truth than yours. They postponed the sentencing because there are other issues they still want to take up with Flynn, and they can't move him on until they are done asking him questions. The rest of your speculation is the GOP snow job created specifically for the likes of you. They wrote it, and when the Dems on the committee said it is a case of cherry picking information out of context and writing the rebuttal, the GOP, in charge of the committee, voted the GOP report to come out, but squashed the Dem rebuttal. Why?

oldhomey

Snow? Out in the weeds again, with Buggs?

oldhomey

I guess it is a forgone conclusion. Snow is hiding in the weeds.

oldhomey

The obvious solution, Mr. Lowry, is to let the investigation run its course unimpeded. If the investigators and the Democrats end up with egg on their face, so be it. The Congressional investigations launched by the GOP on Hillary (how many were there?) ended up finding nothing, the GOP and their investigators ended up with egg on their face, but it didn't seem to hurt them in the following election.

However, Lowry concludes, "If Trump had his druthers, he'd probably appoint his personal fixer Michael Cohen his attorney general and run the Department of Justice like an arm of The Trump Organization. But there are all sorts of political and institutional constraints to acting on these impulses, including a White House counsel willing to say 'No.'"

Trump has never once, it appears, has been willing to accept "No" as a final answer, and therein lies the danger of having that creep in the White House. He is already setting into motion efforts to undermine the very institutions that Lowry says are in place to protect us from creeps like Trump, and there are millions of people -- Lowry included -- who, despite knowing what a creep Trump is, cheer him on. These are dangerous times, and it would be sheer idiocy to hamstring Mueller at this time.

Clarification

He is in deep debt to Russian mob-owned banks and they own him. Do you think a man who sets up a private company to hide paying $130K to a p-rn star isn't hiding other things?

kingman10

it has been reported that Trump believes and has said the he should be able to do whatever he wants with the justice department. It is his, not the country's, he should have sole control. Yes Lowry is right about one thing, Trump thinks the office he holds and all the other ones in his administration belong to him, he owns it. Wrong, those offices belong to all the people and those heading those administrative posts work for the office of the president, not the president himself. This is not a family run business. Big difference!

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