Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Report has been turned in to the Attorney General and the Attorney General has now made public to Congress the bare-bones conclusions on two central questions.
On Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election – The Special Counsel’s Report says, according to Attorney General Barr’s letter to Congress, that the Russians did, indeed, try to influence the election and in the process committed crimes, however : “”[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.
On Obstruction of Justice – The Special Counsel’s Report states, according to Attorney General Barr’s letter: “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
That means that Barr makes the decision on whether to prosecute Tump for Obstruction of Justice and on that, Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein concluded “that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
First, “hat’s off” as the old expression has it to Robert Mueller and his team. Any good prosecutor – and Mueller is one of the best – will not go forward with a criminal charge if he/she does not have rock solid evidence to convince a jury “beyond a reasonable doubt,” particularly in this case against this man.
Attorney General Barr told Congress “the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.”
Now, when we see, if we ever do, Mueller’s full report which will show us what evidence he had and how it was weighed any one of us is free to disagree with his decision not to take a yes or no position. It is important that we keep the pressure on Barr to release the entire Mueller report.
And in its own investigation of this matter, the House of Representatives has the ability to prefer an Article of Impeachment on Trump based on an Obstruction charge. However, regardless of the mountain of evidence testifying to his unfitness there is not enough support to remove Trump through the Impeachment process. His loyal, fanatical supporters could prevent it.
Second, another tip of the old hat to Attorney General Barr who points out in his letter that an Obstruction charge flows from an attempt to impede an investigation of a crime and in this case, says Barr, the Special Counsel concludes that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime relating to Russian election interference,” and while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction.”
Therefore, Barr says he and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein concluded “that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
I’ll leave it up to the lawyers to argue whether a public effort to shut down an investigation of the Russian activities which did constitute a crime is enough to charge Trump with Obstruction of Justice even though he was not a participant in the Russian effort.
But for now, Trump has slipped the noose of a criminal court charge. Trump and his merry band of greedy enablers will hail this as a victory and try to convince the world that the President is home free.
Ha! That’s like trying to convince a sailor who makes it through the first hurricane wall and into the eye that the storm is over
The Special Counsel farmed out other matters being investigated in other jurisdictions. And the Attorney general of New York is hard at work investigating subjects which could bring Trump to criminal court.
But, there is a more important Court that Trump is already squarely in – the Court of Public Opinion . And the jurors in this court will have the final say.
Lincoln was right, Trump cannot fool all of the people all of the time. In fact, every indication we have is that a large majority of Americans is appalled at what the election of 2016 wrought and will rise up at the ballot box to correct it.
We must work unceasingly to see that that happens.
Mueller punted, probably for good reasons.
Now the rest of us must kick this case through the goal posts.
And kick Donald J Trump out!