‘Closing In’

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller (right) last night submitted his report on alleged collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Mr Mueller’s report did not recommend any further indictments in the two-year-long probe.

Meanwhile…

Oh.

Trump-Russia: Special counsel Robert Mueller delivers report (BBC)

Mainstream media, celebrities stunned as Mueller report filed with no new indictments planned (Fox News)

Tweets via Undercover Huber

Meanwhile…

Update:

Sunday evening.

Letter from US Attorney General William Barr to members of the US House of Representatives outlining the findings of the Mueller Report.

Mueller report summary sent to Congress – Live Updates (CNN)

108 thoughts on “‘Closing In’

  1. Nigel

    ‘No further indictments’ as vindication just about sums up the massive license and leeway granted to Trump. The investigation has established that he’s at the centre if a web of corruption. Does that matter? Apparently not. What matters is pwning the libs.

    1. Slightly Bemused

      “he investigation has established that he’s at the centre if a web of corruption. Does that matter?”

      As I understand it, and I admit I am not an expert, given he is the President, Special Counsel cannot indict him. At this stage evidence should be given to Congress who would then move to impeach. Only if impeached and removed from office could legal action be taken.

      This is why it will be interesting to see what is released by the Attorney General, either to the public or, most especially, to Congress.

      1. Johnny

        It’s justice department guidelines, Mueller according only part of his report available did not try. Nor were any avenues of inquiry blocked. This is the only ‘question’ defintely answered so far, rest is noise.

        ‘In addition to this notification, the Special Counsel regulations require that I provide you with “a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General” or acting Attorney General “concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(a)(3). There were no such instances during the Special Counsel’s investigation.‘

        https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/708-attorney-general-william-barr-letter-mueller/b7fd3a05ab618bad8544/optimized/full.pdf?smid=nytcore-ios-share#page=1

        1. Slightly Bemused

          Thanks for this. I knew I had read something, but could not remember what or where. I think it was this link, so appreciate both the post and the elaboration :)

          1. Johnn

            It’s a great point and has confused a lot of people,since when is overwhelming evidence of criminal acts the only metric to judge suitability for office ?
            A lot people including me,would much prefer no indictments no impeachment,but let him,his family and enablers be subjected to congressional oversight and investigation,for the next two years.Kicking him out office will only fire up his deranged,racist,white trash, ill educated and conspiracy theory nut jobs that continue support him.
            Since Mueller’s appointment in May 2017, Trump has tweeted the term “witch hunt” 178 times—an average of about once every four days-if he’s exonerated or hasn’t done anything wrong,why would he bother.
            Report will be ‘out’ in next day or two,he’s in Palm Beach golfing,has not issued any statement,but brought his legal and PR team.Most people are just over him and his circus,America (LA/NY) wants move on.

            “If we’re going to make progress, we need to declare our North Star, and our North Star is 100% renewable energy, it’s Medicare-for-All, it’s tuition-free public colleges, it’s investing in technology and renewable resources” -AOC
            – on her and many peoples vision for America.

            More people are employed installing solar panels that work in the entire coal industry-go figure !

      1. Nigel

        No. Does it matter in terms of how he is assessed and treated by eg, Broadsheet staff and readers?

          1. Nigel

            Bodger subscribes to a theory that he is about to arrest a large number of rich and powerful people who are a part of a massive pedophile ring. The flip side of this isif you think Trump is venal, corrupt, a disaster for the environment and working to enact extreme right wing policies, then you just obviously not want him to stop this evil pedophile ring.

          2. Nigel

            What smears? You or Bodger should each feel free to correct me on exactly what versions or aspects of Pizzagate and/or Q you (currently?) subscribe to. It would be most enlightening. It’s a murky area and you both tend to avoid specifics like the plague which could uncharitably be taken as an effort at retaining deniability as the details shift and change and we wouldn’t want to be uncharitable.

          3. Nigel

            Pizzagate and Q are smears now, huh? Will you deny Trump three times before the cock crows?

          1. Alice Balance

            Buckle Up Buttercup: Next stop the declassification of the Obama Admin’s FISA applications.

          2. Nigel

            Always weird how a studied neutrality in the face of obvious immorality is supposedly objectivity when talking about Trump.

          3. jusayinlike

            Always weird how conspiracy nutjobs bathe in their own cognitive dissonance and refuse to accept reality.

          4. Termagant

            Because what could be a truer expression of objectivity than a stance of “he might have done it and I don’t like him so he definitely did it”.

        1. Bodger

          Pee Pee, quite the opposite. I take people as I find them and act on good faith. Too nice, possibly, until I’m not.

          1. rotide

            And you find Donald Trump to be a good man?

            If his name was Dennis O Brien, you would never stop banging on about him

      1. Bodger

        Millie, please forget Trump for a moment. Look at all the fake news we have been fed about the Russian collusion (sometimes regurgitated on this site, often in witty rhyme) over the past two years. I scan the papers most nights and have waded through probably thousands of articles on this subject.

        1. Nigel

          Specifically what? Is it fake news that a Republican appointee appointed a lifelong Republican prosecutor to investigate whether a Republican president colluded with Russian efforts to interfere with the US election? Did that not happen? People’s opinion on his guilt isn’t fake news it’s just opinion. Meanwhile Trump.lies about everything and openly interferes with the investigation and you told me he would be arresting Pence for treason by the end of March. We don’t even know what the findings of the investigation are yet. People might be disappointed that there are mo more indictments by Mueller, but there have been indictments and criminal charges and prison sentences. Your mass arrests primised by an anonymous poster on a message board keep being deferred while the ‘autists’ read auguries in flights of planes. Fake news you say?

          1. deluded

            There’s always two sides.
            In this case I imagine the other side of the Trump story is even worse.

          2. jusayinlike

            You also imagine phoney Russia gate conspiracies like Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow..

        2. millie st murderlark

          Thanks for the reply Bodger. Much appreciated, considering my snarky comment in the first place.

  2. Catherine costelloe

    It seems copy & paste “walls are closing in ” on President Trump was fake news.

  3. f_lawless

    In order to look at this with clarity, you need to cast your mind back to the reason why the Mueller investigation was initiated in the first place. The public narrative (which we now can confirm was concocted) went as such: “Trump’s conspired with the Russian government to win the election”. The consequences of all this have been to:
    – divert public scrutiny from the the contents of the DNC emails, which exposed serious corruption at the heart of the Democratic party
    – start a new Cold War with Russia
    – increase US military budgets to record levels
    – further poison the US political atmosphere to McCarthyite levels where any anti-war voices are shouted down as “Putin assets”
    – embolden Trump and his support base now that he can declare himself vindicated
    – waste a whole lot of time, energy and public attention when it should have been focused on real issues

      1. f_lawless

        “32 indictments and plea deals” – zero of which were for conspiring with Russia. Time to wake up and smell the coffee.

        “Democratuc scandal that was all over the news”. It was all over the US news but aggressively spun in the context of “Russia hacked our elections”, not in the context of that there needs to be a criminal investigation into corruption within the upper echelons of the US political system (and not only the DNC- no doubt the same kind of corruption exists on the Republican side). Some weren’t swept along by the Russia narrative. Many were.

        You’re sounding increasingly like a deranged conspiracy theorist Nigel – if I understand correctly, it seems you’re implying the investigation was a just ruse by certain Republican party members and the President to cover up actual collusion with Russia? That Trump has supreme control over the various US intelligence agencies and has prevented them from releasing their incriminating evidence? When did the Democratic members on the bipartisan investigative committee realise it was all a ruse? How has Trump managed to keep them silent? We’re really through the looking glass here!

        PS- you don’t have to be “pro-Assad” to recognise fabricated interventionist narratives when you see them

        1. Nigel

          That was literally not what I was saying at all. I literally said none of what you say you ‘understand correctly.’ I was finding the idea that Republucans would launch an investigation in order to distract from a Democratic scandal that damaged their unity in a close election utterly risible. Nothing else. No other conspiracy was suggested or implied or invoked. But you whipped one up out of nothing and then attributed it to me. Never lecture anyone on falling for fabricated narratives ever again. Or clarity.

          1. f_lawless

            I’ve said it to you before, and I’ll try again for what it’s worth, but you need to stop trying to view it all through a partisan lens. What the Wikileaks release did was to expose some of the machinations the US Deep State uses to subvert public will and maintain the status quo. No doubt there’s a similar system within the power hierarchy of the GOP. It’s an inevitable consequence when there’s so much money and power at stake. So this was one of the reasons why the narrative of the external bogeyman (Russia/Putin) being the real “threat to our democracy” was spun – focus public attention outwardly rather than on internal corruption.

            On top of that, at the time of his election, Trump was viewed as a serious potential threat to the deep state and their globalist aspirations – him calling into question the validity of NATO, claiming that previous/ongoing military campaigns had been a serious mistake, calling for friendlier ties with Russia, cancelling of NAFTA etc.

            Ramping up the threat of Russia has also been part of the US’ geopolitical strategy to justify record military spending to fund perpetual wars and maintain US hegemony.

            So it was in all that context the investigation into Trump-Russia was initiated. The resulting pressure put on Trump by the Russiagate hysteria has been to bend him into shape by and large, so to speak

    1. Nigel

      Oh my God. A Republican AG appointed a Republucan prosecutor to investigate a Republican president to distract from a Democratuc scandal that was all over the news and helped split the Democratic vote in an election with razor margins? You typed this notion with a straight face?

      Is it Mccarthyite when anti-war pro-Assad people call anti-Assad people bloodthirsty mperialist warmongers?

      1. jusayinlike

        Stop being hysterical and wipe your mouth.

        Digressing with the inclusion of Assad, desperation.

  4. rotide

    It never ceases to amaze me how conspiracy fans will completely dismiss obvious conspiracies in plain view in favour of connecting the dots to fantastical, impossible to prove theories.

    1. jusayinlike

      so obvious he found no collusion after 2 years?

      it never ceases to amaze me how conspiracy nutjobs refuse to accept when they are wrong..

      1. Nigel

        Unlike yourself we don’t have the ability to divine the truth from close analysis of the number of rivets on the presidential helicopter Trump licks, we have to wait for if or when the report is made public before we can actually say what is in the report. It’s a whole hysterical conspiracy nutcase thing you wouldn’t understand

          1. gerry

            “Collusion” is not an indictable offence and has no legal definition. The Mueller report will not use that language and will not say there was no collusion. Poor you.

          2. f_lawless

            Gerry you’re making a petty point about semantics. “Collusion” has become shorthand by the media for “Criminal collusion” – ie “Conspiracy” which is an indictable offence. I agree that asking “did Trump collude with the Russians?” instead of “did Trump conspire with the Russians?” is just adding to the fog around what the purpose of the investigation is – but that’s just part of the game being played out here to confuse public perception, IMO.

            @Braindeadsrus
            The article doesn’t explicitly say “Mueller found no collusion” but this quote is as close as it gets:
            “the news from the Justice Department (is) that Mueller hasn’t recommended any more criminal indictments.”
            Those following the case would know already that none of the criminal indictments so far have been for collusion (a.k.a.’conspiracy’ in legal terms)

  5. Johnn

    ‘WASHINGTON — The findings of the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, will remain confidential for at least another day, a senior Justice Department official said on Saturday, as Attorney General William P. Barr continued to pore over the document to determine what to make public.’
    NYT et al just now.

  6. deluded

    https://www.google.ie/amp/s/www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/international/katie-taylor-closing-in-on-becoming-undisputed-lightweight-champion-1.3829621%3fmode=amp
    https://gg.co.uk/news/headlines/jonathan-burke-closing-in-on-riding-return
    https://www.google.ie/amp/s/amp.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/sport/soccer/james-mccarthy-closing-in-on-everton-return-893369.html
    https://www.google.ie/amp/s/amp.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/business/uk-oil-firm-closing-in-on-partners-for-irish-licences-818790.html
    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/feds-closing-in-on-the-church
    That last one is interesting.
    “…ample amounts of embezzlement, insurance fraud and so forth…”

  7. Johnny

    “Attorney General William Barr is expected to send the principal conclusions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report to Congress today, according to an unidentified person familiar with the matter“ – Bloomberg
    Widely reported that Barr will circulate a summary later today.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      and in response, Jerry Nadler had just tweeted:

      In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before
      @HouseJudiciary in the near future.

      barr did though manage to keep a straight face while cementing his position as trump stooge #1

        1. Bodger

          BREAKING:Rep. Devin Nunes says House Intel has evidence Clinton operatives & hi-level FBI & DOJ officials started Trump-Russia investigation in “late 2015/early 2016” &that House GOP will be making criminal referrals to AG Barr for officials who “perpetuated this hoax” for 3+ yrs

          Enjoy the show.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            devin ‘selfless warrior for integrity and justice’ nunes or devin ‘lickspittle’ nunes?

            who can say?

  8. rotide

    “”While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” Mr Mueller wrote in his report.”

    So, less innocent than Paddy Jackson in that regard.

  9. Dub Spot

    There needs to be an investigation into Russian influence in the Irish language in Kerry. Why wasn’t Conor Lenihan chosen? No, not really.

  10. Dub Spot

    Any chance of an investigation into U.S. interference in just about eveybody else’s elections in Central and South America?

    1. V for Frilly

      Ah now
      Lay’ve Bodger and the qads have their day
      Like; not only did they avoid relegation
      They got promoted
      And they’re still got a division final to play

      Carrying a few injuries alright
      But nothing a bitta’ve rub down won’t have sorted by the business end of the Campaign

  11. Provisional Chicken Fillet

    yer man greenwald seems to be glossing over the more than 30 people that have been concicted, charged, or plead guilty already….

    1. jerry

      yes cohen for paying stormy daniels, manafort for tax affairs in ukraine – others for lying to the FBI – none of it related to conspiracy or collusion

      the others are people in russia who will never be extradited – internet research agency … oh by the way what was in hillarys emails included stuff about rigging primaries, interfering with elections in palestine, hillary was directly involved in trying to influence the russian election and in destroying ukraine so you think the russians are going to lie down and take that ?

      there was no proof that russians hacked the DNC server or gave the emails to Wikileaks – the DNC never let the FBI near their server – the investigation by crowdstike was so flawed and they are another joke

  12. Listrade

    “Fire and Fury” was always the most accurate of this period. It had it’s problems as a book, but it was nailed on in how Wolff presented the main “controversial” episodes. The issue of collusion and interference should always have been viewed with Hanlon’s Razor “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    The telling term is “knowingly conspired”. Fire and Fury painted the picture of a bunch of dumb kids (Trump Jr and Kushner) trying to outdo each other to please Trump. They get word of Russians having some dodgy intel and set up a meeting. Post meeting the adults on the campaign have a heart attack as to how stupid they have been and help bury the meeting. First they all lied and said it never happened, then they said it did happen but it was about abortions, then they said the Russians did try to influence, but it never went any further and Trump wasn’t there.

    There was never any collusion because people on that campaign were too stupid to collude on tying shoe laces. The Russians attempted to influence, but the attempts failed because it was so overt. It is the cover up/obstruction surrounding the meeting/attempts that was always the only issue that could result in any action.

    Like Watergate it was the attempt to cover up the scandal. No conclusions drawn on obstruction. There are reasons why Muller can’t draw a conclusion, but has clearly left it open to congress to do so with it’s own investigations. It wasn’t the bugging of the DNC that killed Nixon, it was the cover up (plus he was stupid enough to record every conversation).

    They could never prove collusion as the Russians were never going to cooperate, so unless there was an email from Trump to Putin offering his services, you were never going to get an answer. But it was also far more likely that it was just stupidity arranging to meet at various points that were quickly nixed.

    This was always the case. When the investigation started, the more rational people were saying to forget collusion. Ironically, it was probably the White House that made it about collusion because that was the one area that would always come up clear.

    The detail in the report on obstruction is and always was the key to this investigation. For those who want to see the end of Trump, that was where the only tangible means sat.

    It may well still be an issue. The dems control Congress so there will be a hearing. Mueller had no jury all he has is statements, interviews and other aspects. He can’t draw a conclusion on that and has left it to congress. So if timed well, we will probably have lengthy congressional hearings on the obstruction aspect. How much was directed by Trump (probably very little directly as we’ve seen in some of the prosecutions, he’s smart enough to give a vague statement to people which they know has a very specific meaning, but out of context means very little). But like with Bill Clinton, Congress will probably find enough evidence to impeach, but the Senate (Republican) will rule against. However, this is all going to be played out leading up to the 2020 elections. It’s a gamble as to whether there is enough in the report to damage Republicans, or it is weak enough that it will galvanize support.

    Again: proof of Hanlon’s Razor, which is a lesson for everyone who has a penchant for any conspiracy theory.

    1. jerry

      @Listrade

      fire and fury, lol

      btw, Russians in Trump tower meeting was set up by the Steele “pee” dossier people to try to create the collusion they badly needed. Roger Stone said they had dirt on Hillary (not illegal) but in reality it was a Russian lawyer trying to push the Maginsky act which is about adoption, not abortion.

      They spied on Flynn who was doing his job, listened to his calls, when he couldnt remember every word they said he was lying. Papadoupolis was such a set up but he knew it was happening, he is not quiet about it and his book is coming out very soon.

      Using the fabricated dossier to spy on Trumps campaign was the Wategate moment – the spying, the coverup. They are coming for Obamas people soon – remember Lisa Page and Peter Strzok who were in charge of the FBI investigation into russian collusion – the ones who were setting up an insurance policy, the ones who were reporting directly to Obama – oh no

      1. Listrade

        Adoption, my own error and was too late to correct.

        However, I stated that Fire and Fury was probably the most accurate portrayal of that time. That’s not saying it is accurate. Just that in my opinion it was a more rational explanation. That’s all we have is opinions based on the various bits of information that is out there. I go for the idiots getting involved in something way over their heads, you go for the Deep State setting up and fabricating a whole conspiracy of collusion. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Whether it be occum’s or hanlon’s razors, it’s just my opinion. Either way neither of us bought the collusion thing.

        1. f_lawless

          “When the investigation started, the more rational people were saying to forget collusion. Ironically, it was probably the White House that made it about collusion because that was the one area that would always come up clear.

          The detail in the report on obstruction is and always was the key to this investigation.”

          As Jerry referred to, the Steele Dossier (paid for by the Clinton campaign), was used from the start as a road map by the FBI and Senate Intelligence Committee in their investigations. The same dodgy dossier which stated Russia was behind the DNC email leak. Quote: “The reason for using Wikileaks was ‘plausible deniablity’ and the operation had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of Trump and senior members of his campaign team”. This was always the core premise of the investigation. Trump colluded/conspired with Russia (who hacked the DNC) to help him win the election

          Why then, would you think it was probably the White House that made it about collusion?
          Saying that the key to the investigation was always about “obstruction” just sounds like more of the same:- moving the goalposts now that the Mueller investigation is complete and no indictments made for collusion(conspiracy) nor evidence to date presented that Russia hacked the DNC for that matter.

  13. class wario

    This was coming miles off and the wildly singular focus on the ‘Russia’ angle by the dems will be looked upon as a major tactical error in the future.

    The QAnon admin and the various right wingers in the comments being emboldened is never good though.

    1. deluded

      Yes I thought it was a poor tactical move at the beginning but what are your options when the voters you are trying to swing care deeply about the cost of access to education or healthcare, for instance, or think that equal rights has gone “too far”?
      What are the Dems offering the Enlightened Centrists?

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