The vain hope that Mueller will do it for us


To all of my fellow progressives lurking in the shadows.

We probably all agree (okay, not the trolls, but the rest of us) that Trump needs to be removed from office. None of us voted to make him president in the first place, because his politics was destructive and what could be discerned of his public policy positions was even worse. And since assuming office, he has added significant abuses of that office to what we knew pre-election, and has exceeded the worst pre-election fears on how he would handle the politics and the public policy of being president. At the very least, he’s a bum who clearly needs to be thrown out at the next election. Not much less clearly, he suffers from dementia that impairs his ability to fulfill the duties of his office, and he should be removed under provisions of the 25th Amendment. You could even make a good case that he has mishandled his office in ways that justify conviction on impeachment.

None of those positions on why Trump needs removal rest at all on what we know of Trump-Russia. And while the general reaction at this site to this latest plea deal with Flynn is that Mueller is closing in on Trump, and will soon have him dead to rights on something big, I think that a more reasonable view is that it actually limits the extent of what we can expect from Trump-Russia, and that limit falls far short of anything reasonably impeachable.

Flynn has pled guilty to lying to the FBI, which is exactly what the administration has said all along was one of the two reasons he was fired by Trump, lying to the FBI and lying to Pence. Lying to Pence is probably not a criminal offense. The point is that the administration claim is that they reacted to finding out that Flynn had lied by firing him. It’s a crime to lie to the FBI, something they agree is true, so they fired Flynn for lying to the FBI. Trump dissociated himself from Flynn’s lie rather forcefully, by firing him; so Trump can claim he wasn’t a party to that crime that Flynn has confessed to.

Yes, of course, Flynn must have lied to the FBI for some reason, he must have been covering up something. So, sure, there is the implication that he was covering up some crime that perhaps in some way implicates Trump. But of course people also lie to cover up things that are merely personally or politically embarrassing, not criminal. And even if what was being covered up was criminal, illegal actions come in all grades of severity, from speeding and entering the country illegally all the way up to murder.

The indictments of Manafort and Gates, and the plea deal with Papadopoulos, all suggest that what was being covered up was collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia prior to the election. And there is also this new element of contacts with Russia after the election but before Trump assumed office, that could amount to violations of the Logan Act, the 18th Century law that makes it a crime for private persons to negotiate with a foreign power in a matter in which that power is in dispute with the US.

So, the criminal activity we have outlined so far that Mueller is closing in on consists of collusion with Russia in the campaign, and violation of the Logan Act. Lord knows there’s lots more criminality that these two matters may be tangentially involved in, that an aggressive investigation seeking to remove this president from office might delve into, using these two initial areas of more easily provable crime as the means to get people to talk about the really good stuff. There’s Flynn’s various cloak and dagger adventures including at least kidnapping Gulen, and God knows what else. There’s Trump’s apparent career of money laundering for Russian mobsters, and God knows what else.

My point is that you really, really need the God knows what else level stuff to remove Trump by impeachment. The Logan Act and collusion stuff, even insofar as criminal, is speeding ticket criminal and entering the country illegally criminal, not murder criminal. Not even a D House and 2/3 majority D Senate is going to impeach and remove over collusion and the Logan Act. And Mueller cannot, at all, be presumed to be going any further than his mandate to investigate theTrump campaign collusion with Russia. He may surprise us, but don’t expect him to delve into the past 20 years of the Manhattan real estate market, or Flynn’s free lance spy business.

The Logan Act business is easier to dispose of. Only two people, in the 218 years it has been the law of the land, have ever been indicted under its provisions, and those were two private citizens who very clearly had no business entering into negotiations with foreign governments. And neither of those two cases even went to trial. The Trump campaign, in contrast, was late in the transition to taking over the presidency. Even if whatever they did was dead to rights illegal under the Logan Act, and Trump can be proven to have ordered those illegal activities, unless their violations of the act can be shown to have resulted in people being killed, none of them committed a crime for which they would ever be prosecuted, much less impeached or convicted.

Collusion with Russia during the campaign itself is a bigger and messier question. In general, the very fact that we call it “collusion” is a pretty good indicator that we don’t, at least yet, have any actual good stuff crime to talk about. Putin wanted Trump to win, that seems likely, close to certain. Putin used Russian state resources to launch a disinformation campaign designed to help Trump win, that also seems solid. The Trump campaign knew about at least some of what Putin was doing to help them win, that also seems solid. That Trump helped them do any of these things seems less certain. Did the Russians need those hopelessly incompetent amateurs in the Trump campaign to go about their work? Does that seem likely?

Don’t get me wrong. Even just that is clearly immoral and wrong. But was any of what Russia did illegal, and if so, was the campaign aware of this illegality, much less aided in the commission of any of the illegal things the Russians did? Perhaps the Russians hacked computer systems, and I assume that’s illegal. But what we know is that Wikileaks hacked material was discussed and put on offer, but it’s unclear how much that was really Russia’s to offer, or was not already available. Trump, as a not atypical evidence of his dementia, had the persisting belief that Clinton’s “30,000 deleted e-mails” could only have been deleted to hide evidence of some truly good stuff level criminality on her part, and it isn’t clear that he was much interested in hacked material once the Russians made it clear that they didn’t have any smoking guns in the material they had. You’re going to impeach a guy for looking into whether Clinton was a criminal, just not being very careful of how he got the evidence of criminality, but then backing away from the fishy evidence once it became clear that there was nothing there to indicate that someone guilty of really serious crimes was on her way to the presidency?

Who was hurt in Trump-Russia, at least so far as what we know now? Were votes stolen? Was anyone killed or injured? What property was stolen? Sure, you could blame the disinformation campaign for “stealing” the election. Even if you’re right and the disinformation campaign was what tipped it for Trump, we don’t impeach and convict for metaphorical crimes, however grave. Disinformation in a political campaign is as legal as church on Sunday. The very most the campaign could be legally on the hook for the Russian disinformation campaign would be if that was considered an illegal campaign contribution. Maybe the FEC needs to impose a fine. Big whoop.

As I said at the outset, Trump needs to be removed from office. But that need cries out from a thousand obvious and proven words and deeds of his far more loudly than it does from the whole mass of what he might have done in secret in Trump-Russia. He’s got dementia with behavioral disturbance, and his finger rests on the nuclear trigger. Imagine the worst that could come out of Trump-Russia, and it’s like arresting Hitler for jaywalking to say that he should be removed from office for Trump-Russia.

I’m not against arresting Hitler for jaywalking, or Capone for tax evasion, if that’s the best that you can do, because the important thing is to stop the ongoing damage a Hitler or a Capone or a Trump is doing. It just seems unlikely to me that Trump-Russia will result in removal. If Mueller’s investigation surprises me in how far he is willing to go, if he does go after the decades of money-laundering that for me is the only really good stuff mentioned so far, genuine impeachment-grade, criminality, I will not look that gift horse in the mouth. There would be the issue of selective prosecution, since it seems that in at least the high-end, real estate money-laundering has been winked at for decades, but I would say go for it and prosecute every one of those malefactors of great wealth most unselectively.

But Mueller impresses me as a very straight arrow, who will not go further than his mandate to investigate the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia. He is indicting speeding ticket and illegal entry level criminality because that’s straight arrow his mandate. You can interpret the indictments over low-grade criminality in little fish as the first steps in a careful legal siege of the big fish, but it seems to me most likely that he is just indicting as the investigation finds crimes in the people he investigate. There may be no grand plan to topple Trump. Trump may simply have not done anything very noteworthy, or very criminal, in Trump-Russia, however great and destructive his many actual metaphorical crimes in office, or his literal crimes before he ran for office.

There is a sense in which religion is the opiate of the masses, and revolution is the opiate of the intellectuals. Trump-Russia is an opiate to many of us. Imagining Trump taking a perp walk out of the WH is a fantasy quick fix for the very real and pressing problem of Trump remaining in office. Our side can’t start the 25th Amendment process, or the impeachment process, to get him out of office now. We have to wait until 2019 to have even the prospect of the power to remove him before his term ends, and we have to wait until 2020 to throw the bum out the standard issue way we have to remove presidents from office. The nation really needs a fix long before any of those standard issue means of removal, and Mueller seems to be the best prospect of timely deliverance.

But Mueller isn’t Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. He’s just seems to be among the last remnants of a species thought to be extinct — the honest Republican. Maybe he’ll do his job conscientiously and well, but it’s not his job to save America from itself. That’s our job. Keep the heat on the people who can remove early, the cabinet and the Congressional leadership, to do their clear duty under the 25th. If they don’t, use their collusion with the idiot and his very real and obvious, if metaphorical, crimes against our already great nation to throw those bums out next year. Even if we don’t get 2/3 of the Senate, and have to wait until 2020 for actual removal, losing either chamber defangs most of his ability to do further harm. We shouldn’t let ourselves be distracted from our real job by the vain hope that Mueller will do it for us.


Methinks you’ve been away too long- you are the troll.

That must be a brillant plan- indict people for stuff unrelated to ‘muh russia’ in the hopes of coercing testimony - even false testimony- for a political agenda. And it may work with a jury of covert progressives, but those capable of critical thinking would question their veracity given their compulsion.

What I would love to see is any of the three indictees say to Mueller ‘fuck you!, more weight!’


Do you get paid for the number of posts or the number of words you post? But you are right, progressives tote Mueller around as their hero because you are having one thing in common: the ignorance of the Uranium One Deal as true collusion, while inventing charges to indict people of the Trump’s administration left and right. Next stop: Mike Pence indicted for using the wrong pronounce!!!


I think he is practicing for a big boffo pile of silly in Daily Klods. Millennials tend to believe anything they see on that site is truthful and well written.


Tommy, I have bad news for you…


Many people were disgusted with Obama but as Americans tolerated him until the end of his term.

Do you honestly think if your remove trump from office the very same people will quietly shrug their shoulders and say oh well?

Are you prepared for the aftermath?


Progressives don’t lurk in the shadows… they are either mouthing off, burning things or paying people to burn things…


No… This is what you WISH it was. Manifort and Gates have been charged with crimes totally unrelated to Trump… and Papadopoulo…They much find collusion in his lie.

Keep dreaming though…


What do you think the Manifort indictment is? Of course part of Muellers mandate contains and ‘other crimes’ category that broaden his ability to bring havoc to just about anyone who knows Trump or any of his associates… now or in the past.


Obstruction of Justice


Suggested by the discredited Comey.


Its a nice twist on a special prosecutor who was suppose to find collusion between Trump and Russia and all they can come up with is suggested improprieties that occurred after the election. Strange thing is, Trump as far as leaking Comey is concerned, didn’t try to obstruct anything… Comey said so under oath. The hatred of you people is so full of rancor. We always knew that it was never about ‘justice’… it was and still is about the nullification of the election that this President won. (Phsst… if you don’t like the rules change them)

Hey… did you see that thing were Democrats are arm waving over voter fraud in Alabama?.. Yeah, I want to review that california vote myself… likely we will find most of those 3 million votes to be fraudulent and living in Calia-forn-i-a.


Robert Mueller has the heart of a Las Vegas hooker and the guile of a New Orleans stripper. Not to push the metaphor too far, he’s skilled at showing a little skin in a cloud of satin and lace, but never quite comes across with what the customer is paying for.
Mr. Mueller, held up by his fellow Blackstones as a model of lawyerly rectitude, teased everyone last week that after testing his prowess to the limit, he had hooked a mighty tuna. His hallelujah chorus in the media celebrated the hundred-pound monster, but overnight it melted into a two-inch goldfish.
The special prosecutor might yet get the last laugh. He may yet land the promised tuna if there’s actually one out there in the briny deep. So far he’s coming up with nothing but net. The Associated Press, which has never been accused of giving Republicans a break, called the arrest “lots of smoke, but no smoking gun.” The “lots of smoke” looked as the new week began as merely a thin tuft of smoke, or more likely a wisp of fog.
The president’s sharpest detractors, agreed CNBC News, among the most fervent of those detractors, have so far been unable to find evidence that the Trump campaign coordinated with, or was even aware of, Russian efforts to swing the 2016 presidential election against Hillary Clinton.
The Democrats figure that since the tuna turned out to be a goldfish, it’s time to resurrect something dead from the recent past. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whose Senate seat has been getting a little warm, resurrected a notion discarded earlier that Mr. Trump obstructed justice by firing James Comey as director of the FBI. Mr. Comey is best buds with Robert Mueller, who has never given up trying to rehabilitate Mr. Comey from goat to grandee. Only last week Mr. Comey himself took a turn as Bible scholar, attempting to apply a verse from the Book of Amos (5:24) — “But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” — to Mr. Mueller’s search for a crime. A Bible verse in the hands of a novice can be like a child with a gun.
Alan Dershowitz thinks the idea that the president, by sacking Mr. Comey, obstructed justice is nonsense. Mr. Dershowitz, the distinguished law professor at Harvard, warned Mrs. Feinstein and Democrats who are trying to build a case that the president obstructed justice that they’re wasting their time.

“You cannot charge a president with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional power to fire Comey and his constitutional authority to tell the Justice Department who to investigate, who not to investigate. That’s what Thomas Jefferson did, that’s what Lincoln did, that’s what Roosevelt did. We have precedents that clearly establish that.”
The president’s tweets are making trouble for him again. Some Democrats, eager for something, anything, to hang their hats on, argue that Mr. Trump’s tweet on Sunday “suggested” that the president knew former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied to the FBI, and that implies obstruction of justice. Or it might only be that these Democrats inferred that that’s what the president did. They should study the difference. A desperate Democrat might infer a lot of fake stuff. To pursue a president for obstruction would ultimately require that “clearly illegal acts” would have to have been committed.
This is what some of Mr. Trump’s pursuers would call mere technicalities in the law. Destroying Donald Trump is of such transcendent purpose, the goal of every right-thinking American, that anything goes. Ask any never-Trumper. What does the Constitution have to do with it, anyway? Six and seven decades of drinking the poison that the Constitution is only “a living document,” subject to reinterpretation to fit any theory of the law, has done great damage.
The Flynn episode might be the needed tutorial in constitutional law. Lawyer and layman alike can learn something useful. Alan Dershowitz thinks Mr. Trump’s lawyers should learn something, too. Legally speaking, he says, Mr. Flynn was “up for sale,” and his “credibility is worthless” since he has been credibly accused of perjury.
“I think the administration is not aggressive enough with [Mr.] Mueller,” Mr. Dershowitz told Laura Ingraham of Fox News last week. “They should be in court challenging what he has been doing. He is going far beyond any possible scope of his investigation.”
The president’s lawyers could be challenging subpoenas, and who are called as witnesses. An investigation, whether called for or not, should be done with a semblance of fairness or it will invite a generation of vipers to do their evil work. If Donald Trump is half as bad as the Democrats say he is, Robert Mueller does not need a railroad to get to where he’s trying to go.


Trump is temporarily beyond the legal system. Trump can only be unseated by time or political means. The Russia investigation weakens Trump politically.

All the various problems with Trump are not additive, they are multiplicative. Poor performance, personal instability and unlawful and/or unpatriotic actions all feed into each other to destroy Trump’s political support.

Flipping Flynn was another milestone on our national journey to a post-Trump political order.


Be careful what you wish for.

Think Antifa was nasty and violent, be prepared for the aftermath of what you wish.

p.s. Paybacks are hell and will certainly applied to the next democon president.


Firing Comey was only obstruction of justice if Trump can be proven to have done it to hinder the course of justice. Trump had every right to fire Comey, who served at the pleasure of the president. He has the duty to exercise that power of his to protect people from overly zealous investigation and prosecution. Exercising that right is only criminal if corrupt intent in its exercise can be proved, that Trump could not have had any reason for the firing other than to let a criminal who had committed a crime so severe that it could not possibly have been an exercise in “deferred action” (if you will) for Comey to prioritize his pursuit of dangerous crime elsewhere than directing it at a person who had already been fired for his offenses. Trump has a duty to protect us all from the threat of overly zealous prosecution, such as I, and probably you, believe the DACA recipients are being subjected to.

You and I may well believe that Flynn did not deserve protection from overzealous prosecution, while the dreamers do. But we didn’t win the last election, so that is not a matter for us to decide, but it is in Trump’s discretion. You may believe as I do that it is incredibly foolish of our system to have the national police and prosecutors serve at the pleasure of the president. Many states and cities do not have police or DAs who work for the executive, and do not see any problems with that system. But that’s the system we have at the federal level, and that system makes it a presidential responsibility to make those determinations. Because firing an FBI director is such an uncontroversial part of Trump’s duties, and he has offered a reasonable explanation consistent with his duties to prevent unjust enforcement of the laws, proving corrupt intent would be almost impossible without a full confession from Trump, who is probably too demented for such an accounting to be appropriate anyway.


I will wait to see if flipped Flynn rats out anything earth-shaking that criminal mastermind Trump had plotted, before I grant his plea deal world-historical significance.


That of course was the whole purpose of paying millions for a bogus dossiers to get the narrative started…


Well, what overzealous prosecution? Flynn was only charged with a relatively minor thing, was that really worth firing the FBI director over? And we know very well why trump fired Comey. He told everyone what the reason was himself. Also, how is it overzealous to prosecute Flynn for lying to the FBI if that was (supposedly) the reason Trump fired Flynn from the WH?

I’m willing to bet my own money that a) Trump does not want to show his tax returns because they show very unethical and/or criminal behavior, and b) the reason why all the Trumpers are lying, lying, lying about contacts with Russia is because they’re hiding something which is much worse than having their lies exposed one by one.

The wider problem is that a society which elects someone like Trump (even if by -3m votes) is very, very sick, and getting rid of trump will not fix that.


We already have a history for Comey… The Democrats called him incompetent and so did the Republicans and you know as well as I do, that had Hillary won the election, Comey would still be out of a job… or perhaps continue to be a useful idiot as a shield to her dubious motives.

Comey already has a name and now he is an admitted leaker and if you want to hang your hat on his integrity, Comey already said under oath that Trump didn’t try to push him away from his investigations…

Comey is no longer credible… and neither is his best friend Robert Mueller…