Sunday, March 24, 2019

English Translator Needed

Attorney General William Barr has sent to the chairperson and ranking member of the House and Senate Judiciary committees a letter summarizing Robert Mueller's report. Malcolm Nance, conceding error, gets down to brass tacks:
Oh, yes. The apparent cover up, or attempt thereof, has begun.with the money quote

The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

"The Russian government" herein presumably means the Russian government de jure- Vladimir Putin and other officials with a title- rather than de facto. Russian plutocrats, operating only with President Putin's approval and many of them closely connected with Putin, are not officially part of the "Russian government." David Cay Johnston notes

Aside from Nance, Johnston, and a few others, the response to this critical sentence has been pitiful, and telling. We expect President Trump, who tweeted "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!," to lie. Ditto Sarah Sanders, who added "The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”

In Sunday's 5:00 p.m. hour, CNN's  lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer and Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez concluded that the investigation established that the Trump campaign did not conspire with the Russian government in election interference.  This is from the network Trump most closely associates with "fake news" and attacked by the right as being anti-Trump.

Fooled also was NBC's justice correspondent, Ken Dilanian, who comments "Folks, this is a total legal exoneration of the president. Congress will want to know more, of course. But the topline: no conspiracy, no obstruction." Also fooled, almost unbelievably (in the actual meaning of the word) was the reliable Will Bunch, who responded to Dilanian with "except for the part that says he wasn't exonerated on obstruction."

Except that he wasn't exonerated even on collusion/conspiracy.

Assuming Barr's quote is accurate, Mueller did not conclude that the campaign did not coordinate with the Russian government. Mueller wrote that his people did not establish coordination. If Mueller were convinced, or the investigation had concluded, that the campaign did not conspire or coordinate he would have said so. Instead, he maintained that the Special Counsel's Office did not establish....

Of the many people who don't understand English, that "did not establish" does not mean "established that it didn't," are: a great, liberal/progressive journalist; at CNN, derided by hopelessly left-wing and "fake news":  a multi-millionaire news anchor taking down a multi-million dollar salary and a justice correspondent: and at NBC/MSNBC, another part of the alleged "liberal media," a justice correspondent.

The evening is young and there is plenty of time to reinforce what President Trump wants us to believe Mueller wrote rather than what he evidently did.  Surely there are many other men and women in journalism who do not understand the English language and hence serve as foils for Donald J. Trump. This does not bode well for America or its representative democracy.

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