Tags: mueller | report | trump

Shrinking the Mueller Report

Shrinking the Mueller Report
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) looks on at the U.S. Capitol before joining Senate Republicans for their weekly policy luncheon March 26, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Thursday, 28 March 2019 02:54 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Now that we’ve all had a few days to digest what we’ve learned about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the great “Trump-Russia” investigation of 2017-2019 — that his work is done; that he’s not charging any American with any crime in connection with Russians’ attempts to interfere in our 2016 election; and that he punted a decision whether to charge the President with obstruction of justice to Attorney General Barr, who quickly and easily determined that Mueller’s findings don’t support that charge either — and now that we’ve also had a few days to listen to the crestfallen left, instead of eating crow, crowing about what the Mueller Report doesn’t mean, here are a few thoughts which I haven’t heard elsewhere about what it does mean.

First, we need to keep in mind that Mueller wasn’t exactly a modern-day incarnation of ancient Rome’s Cincinnatus, drafted (or so the legend goes) out of retirement, reluctantly but dutifully assuming power only so long as absolutely necessary to save his nation, saving it, then returning to his farm in a mere matter of days.

A close associate of disgraced former FBI Director James Comey, who’d been fired by President Trump just prior, Mueller undertook his Special Counsel appointment with a zeal that seemed increasingly to be rooted largely in something other than patriotism. He assembled a team of almost exclusively left-leaning lawyers; he used his appointment as a “general warrant” to look into any and every aspect of the president’s associates’ lives, no matter how stale and/or irrelevant; then, he threatened to use any misdeeds he found to ruin those people’s lives if they didn’t cough up something incriminating about the President (which I think, as I’ve written here previously, set a dangerous precedent for our democracy, facilitating future attempts by partisan prosecutors to de-legitimize duly-elected presidents of both parties). Mueller held onto his power for almost two years, spending an average of 45,000-60,000 of our tax dollars each and every day of those years, running up a staggering final tab estimated to be between $30,000,000 and $40,000,000, and still, no “collusion”-related crime (I’ve come to hate the word “collusion” — the left uses it ad-nauseum because it sounds nefarious when really, there’s not even any such crime), and no “obstruction”-related crime.

Second, having found no chargeable crime related to the ostensible reasons for his appointment, Mueller refused to come right out and say so. Instead of making the determination himself that there was no basis for charging the President with obstruction of justice, he deferred that determination to the Attorney General, implying that it was a close — potentially Constitutional-crisis-creating — call.

Apparently it wasn’t, given how quickly and easily Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — not a Trump loyalist by any stretch of the imagination — subsequently made it (which is particularly understandable given that such a charge would require, among other tall orders, proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Comey’s firing was born of an intent to interfere with an investigation of a crime — it’s not easy to prove beyond a reasonable doubt what was in another person’s mind when multiple plausible possibilities exist). Not only that, but Mueller also gratuitously went out of his way to make clear that a declination to prosecute doesn’t equate to an exoneration, which could have served no reasonably-imaginable purpose other than to give the left fodder with which to keep baseless allegations and investigations alive. If a prosecutor declines to prosecute a person, then that person’s presumption of innocence isn’t even challenged, let alone overcome, in a court of law, meaning the person retains the presumption of innocence indefinitely thereafter, which, in that sense, does operate as a sort of “negative” exoneration. But prosecutors generally aren’t in the business of “affirmative” exoneration (of proving people innocent) — prosecutors generally are just in the business of prosecuting people whom they honestly believe they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt are guilty, and Mueller apparently couldn’t (make that “wouldn’t”) bring himself to admit that he was simply out of business.

[As an aside, while I’m on the topic of spiteful prosecutors, I have a theory that the Chicago prosecutor who dismissed all charges against actor Jussie Smollett this week is a Trump “resister” who did it out of spite, thinking she’d be clever and show the nation that a prosecutor’s declination to prosecute someone doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a mountain of evidence against the person. If I’m right, nice try, but for the reasons I’ve explained, when the person is President Trump and the prosecutor is Bob Mueller, yes, it necessarily means there isn’t a mountain of evidence. But I digress.]

Third, I still haven’t seen anything which convinces me that the Russian government necessarily preferred President Trump over Hillary Clinton. As I’ve written here previously, it never has made much sense to me that the Russian government allegedly preferred a relatively unpredictable, relatively hawkish President Trump to a relatively predictable, relatively dovish President Clinton. It makes much more sense to me that the Russian government simply wanted to see if it could sow chaos and division within the American electorate, and perhaps, best of all, create a basis for supporters of the loser to try to de-legitimize, distract, and weaken the winner with endless allegations of “collusion” with Russians, endless investigations of nonexistent crimes… . If so, then the Russians’ success, with a relatively sloppy effort largely employing free or low-cost social media posts, should frighten and embarrass all Americans regardless of party/candidate affiliation.

Fourth and finally, even if we never see the entirety of the Mueller report, at this point, I think we can all rest assured that there’s no basis for believing that our President committed any crime to become and/or to remain President. As partisan as Mueller’s office was, as well-funded as it was, as well-armed as it was with prosecutorial leverage over close associates of the President, and as many crimes as it investigated and prosecuted for which there was never even any apparent probable cause to investigate, if that office could’ve found a basis for charging the President with anything, I think Mueller would’ve done so.

Brian Russell wanted to learn how people could live together as peacefully and prosperously as possible, so he studied what makes us tick (and got a Ph.D. in clinical psychology), how public policy keeps us in line (and got a law degree), and what motivates us to do our best (and got an M.B.A.). Then, he put theory to the test, practicing both psychology and law, starting his own small businesses, consulting with business leaders and lawmakers, and traveling the world comparing what does and doesn’t work in 40 societies. Now, he shares his expertise in people, public policy, and productivity on national television and radio, in his book, "Stop Moaning, Start Owning: How Entitlement Is Ruining America and How Personal Responsibility Can Fix It," and here on Newsmax. Learn more at DrBrianRussell.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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BrianRussell
A close associate of disgraced former FBI Director James Comey, who’d been fired by President Trump just prior, Mueller undertook his Special Counsel appointment with a zeal that seemed increasingly to be rooted largely in something other than patriotism.
mueller, report, trump
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2019-54-28
Thursday, 28 March 2019 02:54 PM
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