Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Punter, Not A Quarterback

A former candidate for the US House of Representatives from Wisconsin, David Yankovich:

But he did not spell it out- and Mueller has chosen not to translate for the American people the Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election. In his statement Wednesday, delivered live from the Department of Justice, on Wednesday, he stated

The indictment (i.e., of Russian intelligence officers) alleges that they used sophisticated cyber-techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.

Sorry, no. Mueller could, and should, have made it clear, as in: "the releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage one presidential candidate, Mrs. Clinton, and to aid the other major candidate, Mr. Trump."

The Special Counsel remarked

And as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.

That certainly implies that the President committed a crime. However, if that were Mueller's intent, the Special Counsel could have (accurately) added "instead, we laid out the instances which suggest obstruction of evidence may have occurred."

Disingenuously, Mueller stated that Volume 2 of his report

explains that under long-standing department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited.

It is, presumably, the opinion of Mueller and Attorney General Barr that charging a President with a federal crime is unconstitutional. But notwithstanding Mueller's assertion, it is by no means clear, and no court has ruled on the matter. The memoranda were prepared, first in 1973 during the Nixon impeachment battle, then in 2000 on the heels of the Clinton impeachment, by the Office of Legal Counsel, all of whose deputies are politically appointed. Moreover, according to one former OLC deputy and current Circuit Court Judge, the DOJ is not "presumptively bound"by OLC opinions

And Robert Mueller made it clear Wednesday that he does not intend, even if he appears before a Congressional committee, to put any meat on the bones of a statement which does little more than summarize his report. He is the quarterback who has said "I called the play but if you want me to help you execute it, you're out of your mind."

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