Phew! I did it. And now you, my readers, can say that you actually know someone who read the Mueller Report. From cover to cover. Including a number of footnotes.
What inspired me? It’s not that I thought I would learn many new tidbits. It’s that I thought for those of us who write and speak, original texts have much value. And it does.
Was it painful? Less that I expected. After all, 450 pages of legalese can be a trial for anyone. But throw in large amounts of boilerplate prose in both the beginning and the end, add a glossary, consider the newsworthiness and the pain is minimized. (Last year I read the 35-page Steele Dossier). The Mueller Report is structured into two major volumes followed by one much shorter but captivating Q & A with President Trump.
Volume I was the Russian Collusion. The Mueller team paid excruciating attention to detail. Every time a Trump campaign person communicated with any Russian a giant magnifying glass came out.
One could argue that Jeff Sessions shouldn’t be in the same room as the Russian Ambassador or that Donald Trump, Jr. should never let any Russian into a Trump Tower meeting. Or that planning to build a Trump Moscow hotel while running for president is not the best optics. But one can’t argue that we were watching the launching of the Manchurian Candidate. When you step back the idea seems silly from the get go. The Mueller team realized this so early that they stopped the fourth 3-month renewal application for another Carter Page FISA Warrant. (I wish they would have told everyone).
Volume II was about Obstruction, specifically President Trump’s actions that might be viewed as attempts to derail the whole Mueller project.
Some of us might suggest that if the Russian Collusion narrative was falling apart Mueller would have informed President Trump at the time (say, over a year ago) and relieve the serious frustration President Trump was feeling and exhibiting. Not so. President Trump is left to twist in the wind and the Independent Prosecutor concludes that the issue of Obstruction is neither Yes nor No, knowingly giving the Democrats a weapon to go after the President with. In the report, actions that Democrats might consider Obstruction were shot down by Mueller’s argument that if nothing derailed the investigation then Obstruction didn’t occur, regardless of intent. The cited quote for this argument came from Presidential Advisor Steve Bannon who told President Trump: “You can fire Comey but you can’t fire the FBI.” For those of us on the Right, know that the Dossier is nonexistent in the Muller Report. In other words, while President Trump thought he was the victim of a “witch hunt” based on the poisoned fruit of a poisoned tree, the Mueller team kept plowing forward.
I shared the President’s frustration before and during my reading of the Mueller Report.
Something just wasn’t right. And then, there it was.
At Kindle location 10543, or 78% of the way through, I found my “Aha” moment.
The section is entitled: “The presumed innocence and independence of the uncompromised prosecutors.” Paragraph 3b of that section states, in obvious boilerplate language: “There is also no reason to believe that investigations, let alone prosecutions, would occur except in highly unusual circumstances when a credible factual basis exists to believe that obstruction occurred. Prosecutorial action presumes an assumption of regularity: Absent clear evidence to the contrary, courts presume that [prosecutors] have properly discharged their official duties.” Section 3b continues: “[This] would provide even greater protection to the President…given…that such matters will be subject to thorough and careful review at the most senior levels of the Department of Justice.”
There it is. There’s nothing for anyone to worry about because the prosecutors and the Justice Department senior managers have the President’s back. Really? Does that include Rosenstein, a Carter Page FISA Warrant signer, or Eric Holder, the originator of the Trump Campaign surveillance, or Loretta Lynch, Bill Clinton’s tarmac buddy. Or the Strzok/Page investigation team, creators of the “insurance policy”? And how about the Mueller Team? Virtually every lawyer on that team voted for Hillary. Not one “came out” as a Trump supporter. And Weissman, Mueller’s lead prosecutor, spent Election night 2016 at Hillary’s “Victory” party. Indeed, by the time the Mueller Report was released, a sizable chunk of the electorate felt that President Trump was dealing with a stacked deck. Not a single Mueller insider was arguing the President’s case.
Here we are two months after the release of the Mueller Report. Nothing has changed. The Democrats keep shouting the “I” word (for Impeachment) and the Republicans have countered with their own “I” word (for Investigations). We’re going to have an election in November, 2020. And as Sonny and Cher once sang: “The beat goes on.”
Sid Dinerstein is a former chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. He founded JBS Associates, a 600-person financial service company, and currently combines politics and business with Niger Innis in Inclusive Elections LLC, a firm that brings urban electorate voters to the GOP. He is the author of "Adults Only: For Those Who Love Their Country More Than Their Party." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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