GOP Justice Department Puts Spin On Mueller Report Findings

Well, it is no longer a slow lazy-type Sunday afternoon.   And for House Democrats it will become nothing short of weeks and months of all-out efforts to make sure laws were not broken regarding obstruction of justice, and that the public has all the information they need following a national security concern regarding a President of the United States.

We are now aware the investigation by Robert Mueller found that neither Donald Trump nor any of his aides conspired or coordinated with the Russian government’s 2016 election interference.  That was the statement of the summary findings made public by Attorney General William Barr.  Also it was written in the summary that Mueller’s team drew no conclusions about whether Trump illegally obstructed justice.

And that is where the law, intrigue, and a host of questions begin.

For Barr and the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, to arrive at any conclusions that no laws were broken regarding obstruction must not stand alone.  There is a whole report, along with volumes of documents and evidence, which must be made public. What we know is that the special counsel’s investigators lacked sufficient evidence to establish that Trump committed obstruction of justice, but we also know from Barr’s letter that Mueller’s team stopped short of exonerating Trump.

Barr and this White House have been allowed first access to the report, and information flowing from them now is the cherry-picking of information that make Trump look good.  Many have stated, as has this blog, that as the months of the investigation moved along the matter of obstruction was key.  The entire nation watched in real time as the words and actions of Trump demonstrated that he was indeed obstructing justice.  So to have Barr and the Justice Department put a spin on the report will not work.  There must be a complete release of the report to allow for the nation to read and dive into the findings.

We know Trump’s US National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and Trump’s election campaign manager Paul Manafort were willing, paid, surrogates of a foreign intelligence community.  These were not some low-paid flunkies who got coffee for the office staff.   How this grouping of criminals came to operate in the Trump orbit is highly concerning, and the truth needs to be made known to the citizenry.

It would be interesting if any information is in the report about Trump and his relationship with Russian President Putin.  If there’s nothing between Putin and Trump, why did Trump insist on one-on-one meetings with Putin that have been kept from the American people?

This blog has the word politics in its title, so it would be only fitting that I add a note concerning the thrust of what I do here.

Most of my readers recall there were no scandals from the “no drama” Obama White House that in any way can be compared with what we have needed to deal over the past two years.  Policy differences for sure with Obama, but there was a clean slate of men and women who took on the mantle of leadership.  I believe such a state of affairs is what American voters are longing for, again.  This report, the need for it, and the rap sheets of many in the Trump orbit are proof what the nation wants to shift away from.

But let me be clear once more about the headline of the day.  The complete report must be made public, as written and submitted by Mueller.  Anything short of that is absolutely not acceptable.

Lesson From The 1580’s Still Vital To 2019

Clouds and drizzle dominate in Madison as the ice still looks to be holding firm on the lake.  Ah, the weather of late March.  Especially when yesterday was clear blue skies and abundant sunshine.  But it is a great deal more warm and interesting within the pages of a book which I wish to only briefly comment on this afternoon.

One of my pet peeves over the decades has been the idea that movies in the nation are always ‘so political’ or ‘liberal leaning’.  The put-downs about Hollywood are as common, it seems, as those about congress.  Films are reflections of a time and place where added perspective allows for a larger truth to be gleamed.  That makes some nervous, hence the put-downs.

So it was, in a way, during the late 1580’s in England with theater.  Please do not tune out just yet.   The period is most lively and daring as Queen Elizabeth, following her excommunication from Rome, seeks economic prowess and military advantages as she continues dialogues with the Muslim world.  The Sultan And The Queen by Jerry Brotton has revealed a whole new chapter of history I was much unaware of, and in so doing has poked into related aspects of history which intrigue me.

Such as the way issues of a period are viewed, debated, laughed over, and either accepted of rejected.  In the time frame in which the book deals there was indeed much contradiction and lack of clear identification as to how a relationship with places like Morocco should be viewed.  Or how a sultan should be regarded.

While the book goes into the journals and historic record of the queen’s diplomatic moves the author has also settled down into the plays at the Rose written by youthful Christoper Marlowe or later with the likes of George Peele.  What was presented to the theater-loving public often provided no pronounced ‘moral’ outcome or allowed a character to emerge where the audience could easily identify.  The object was not to counsel Elizabeth in some moralizing way, or provide insight as a foreign policy analyst.  Many of the plays were staged, as in an eastern sultanate, so the one watching in London could view the story as if from above.  And in so doing they would walk away needing to draw their own conclusions and observations about the world, religion, power, and the human condition.

That is why writers, actors, and playhouses are so important.  Theater and film have long been a vital link to moving a person forward in how issues are perceived.

While reading today I came across the wood cut-out that Marlowe would have known about as he penned lines about the desire of the populace to trample down an enemy.  In Tamburlaine the public would have felt the verse from Psalms where God says sit on the right hand while your enemies are turned into a footstool.  Mixing those religious views into the issues of their time was an important step to take as the world they knew, even then, was getting smaller.

Pictured below is the cut-out where the pope is suppressed by King Henry VIII, a then contemporary satire on England’s break with Rome, showing the king sitting on his throne with the pope under his feet. Date: 1533.


As The Heat Builds In Washington And Radiates Nationwide

Lots of news to digest this weekend, so I want to toss out a few items as it will interest those keeping their eyes glued and ears pricked for updates on the Mueller Report.

Mueller’s office confirmed that U.S. attorneys in D.C. will take over the Roger Stone trial, the Russian troll case Concord vs. Mueller, as well as the Rick Gates’ sentencing. It is unclear who will take over the sentencing in the Michael Flynn case and the Andrew Miller subpoena fight.

The tweet that sums up a great deal of the national mood today……..comes from George Conway who has a special way of getting under the orange skin.

(@gtconway3d) at 8:41 a.m.: “Whatever happens this day or the next, or in this investigation or the next or the one after that, we should always remember this: We should expect far more from a president than merely that he not be a provably a criminal beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Meanwhile Senator Rubio this morning came out foursquare for releasing the Mueller report. “Absolutely. I want to see all of it”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler had this interesting observation on morning television, “If you aren’t indicting someone because you can’t as a matter of law, then you can’t hold the president accountable. The only institution that can is Congress, and you should not hide the evidence, because that converts it into a cover-up.”

Tick-tock, tick-tock…..