Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Fully And In Plain View


CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday evening

said Democrats need to look at the political reality of launching impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

“It’s an unknown, alright,” said the host of “Cuomo Prime Time” on Tuesday. “And there is a real risk of making the bully in this so far, this president, look like a victim if you overreach in the name of oversight, like he keeps saying.”

Cuomo also suggested special counsel Robert Mueller should testify before Congress about his report into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible Trump campaign collusion.

“If you get Mr. Mueller on the stand and he says what he found, how he found it, and why he explained it the way he did, the path forward from there will be clear,” Cuomo said.

That would be great, as would the 2020 Lexus with a red bow awaiting you in your driveway on Christmas morning. And about as likely. On Tuesday morning The Washington Post had reported

Robert S. Mueller III and House Democrats have been unable to reach an agreement on how much of the special counsel’s expected congressional testimony would be public, and how much would take place in private, according to people familiar with the matter.

The special counsel’s office, along with senior Justice Department officials, has been quietly negotiating with the House Judiciary Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), has been eager to have Mueller testify as soon as possible.

Later that day, Glen Kirschner, who served under Robert Mueller in the US Attorney's office, told (at 3:02 of video below) MSNBC's Ari Melber

Bob Mueller could take the principled position "look, folks, it's all there, 448 pages of it. And look at the way he concluded, Ari, Volume 2. Could it be any more transparent or any more powerful and frankly if I could just read it briefly.

This is how Bob ended Volume 2, which was chock full of obstruction of justice by the President. He said "the protection of the criminal justice system from corrupt acts by any person, including the President, accords with the fundamental principle of our government that no person in this country is so high that he is above the law. Period.

I could see Mueller taking the principled position that folks, it's all there and to have regurgitate what I've put in writing or testify to hearsay about what the witnesses said that led me to this conclusion is not what you need. What you need is the witnesses.





Please regurgitate. Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) has stated that he believes most members of Congress have not read the SpecialCounsel's report, and it's unlikely more than two or three percent of the American people have done so.

The Special Counsel's office wrote “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. We are unable to reach such a judgment.” But the President's false claim of "a complete and total exoneration" has been read by far more Americans than Mueller's strong inference(s) that Trump committed obstruction of justice.

And not only read, but more importantly, seen. The President is seen- transparently, powerfully, and completely dishonestly- maintaining that he has been cleared by the investigation. He put his face to the argument.

That is what is missing as long as Mueller does not testify completely, with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  He could do so without  repercussion. He is 74 years old and sufficiently economically secure to retire and if choosing not to do so, could write his ticket at any one of hundreds (thousands?) of law firms across the country.

This invulnerability to retaliation is not as clear in the case of Hope Hicks, Annie Donaldson, Felix Sater, or any of the other witnesses whom Glenn Kirschner presumably would like to testify.  Nor does any of them have the credibility or stature of the former US Attorney, FBI director, and decorated Marine from the Vietnam War.

Robert Mueller has one more responsibility to his country. Having put his foot into the water, he needs to put a face to the report and tell under oath, in public, all he knows. Although it now appears very unlikely, he must say, as Cuomo states, "what he found, how he found it, and why he explained it the way he did." If he does anything else, he damages the constitutional principle of checks and balance between the executive and legislative branches of government, the rule of law, and the integrity of the criminal justice system Glen Kirschner believes Mueller is dedicated to.




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