|Here’s what Donald Trump and I have in common: Neither one of us will ever read a single word of the more than 400 pages included in the Mueller Report. |
Other than people who have to read it: Staff members of the House and Senate committees, researchers at the Republican National Committee, opposition research staffs of all the Democratic candidates for President and, of course, the full compliment of former U.S. Attorneys who have been hired by the three major cable nets to explain it all.
Donald Trump is not going to jail.
Hillary Clinton didn’t go to jail, either. More about that later.
… waiting while you decide whether or not to actually hit the SEND key with your response to that …
From the feverish reporting on Fox, CNN, and MSNBC it seems clear to me that the collusion/conspiracy issue was a non-starter for Mueller. Not that the Trump campaign didn’t act badly, stupidly, and unethically; but if bad, stupid, and unethical were chargeable offenses the House and Senate would have trouble raising a quorum.
A lot closer call, it seems, on the obstruction issue.
The theory that you can’t be charged with obstruction of justice without an underlying crime is simply wrong. Scooter Libby was convicted of obstruction for a crime (outing a CIA officer) that not only did he not commit, but that the special counsel had known who had done the deed well in advance of Libby’s alleged transgressions.
The other theory, that a sitting President can’t be indicted, is not a law, it is a Justice Department rule. Sort of like the “Exit Only” sign at the McDonald’s. If you come in that way, the worst that can happen is you share a cell with the Hamburgler while you eat your Big Mac.
Mueller did not let Trump off the hook on obstruction. Far from it. The end of the executive summary reads, “… 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. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.”
“Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Compare and contrast with former FBI Director James Comey’s remarks when discussing why the FBI decided not to bring charges in the Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified materials case, “All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.”
“To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”
In short, there was no way either Clinton or Trump were going to be charged with a crime short of an overt order or action that clearly led to a crime.
That is not to say the political class won’t spend the summer pointing chins and fingers at one another claiming one or both Clinton and Trump should have been charged, tried, convicted and sentenced.
The best part for the rest of us is, we get to text, Tweet, put on our Facebook page, and – what’s the verb for putting something on Instagram? – that in both the Trump obstruction case and the Clinton mishandling case the U.S. Department of Justice found that they did it, but they JUST MISSED sharing a cell with me and the Hamburgler.
No one who thought Trump (or Clinton) were guilty now thinks they are innocent and no one who thought they acted honorably now thinks they are guilty.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Mueller report and to the Comey statement.