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Day 820

Updated 4/19/2019 1:20 PM PDT

1/ The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the Justice Department for access to Robert Mueller's full report, including grand jury testimony and other material not made public. "My committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence consistent with past practice," Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement. He added that the redactions in Mueller's report "appear to be significant." Nadler gave the Justice Department a May 1st deadline to provide the report and "all documents obtained and investigative materials created by the Special Counsel's Office." Attorney General William Barr will testify to the House Judiciary Committee on May 2nd. (NPR / Bloomberg / NBC News / New York Times / Politico / The Guardian)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Kilimnik responds back and is saying he’s denying any involvement in helping with polling numbers and he’s certainly not a spy.

Before and after the August meeting, the report said, Manafort shared internal polling data with Kilimnik through Manafort deputy Rick Gates. Gates told prosecutors he sent Kilimnik the polling data via WhatsApp and then deleted the messages, according to Manafort’s instructions, Mueller said.

Gates told Mueller’s office that he believed Kilimnik was a spy, a description Manafort disputed.

Manafort expected Kilimnik to share the information with others in Ukraine and with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a onetime Manafort business partner, the report said.

Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, right, andhis deputy, Rick Gates, are seen on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 17, 2016. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

But Kilimnik said he did not pass along the data, which he described as “pretty much open info, not different in any way from what was discussed by the media or what one could find on RealClearPolitics or other websites followed by people interested in politics.”


Of course Kilimnik would deny everything: that’s what people under indictment do. My pet theory is that Kilimnik was not the boyish “aide,” “assistant,” or “associate” of Manafort and Gates as much as Putin’s Man on the Ground during the decade they spent promoting Yanokovych for president: he made sure Derapaska and Putin were getting their money’s worth; he may even have been in effect Manafort’s and Gates’ supervisor… .


There is an aspect of the GOP narrative on Mueller that’s driving me a little crazy: the idea that various people may have “saved” Trump by disobeying his orders.

First, they can’t have saved him from criminal indictment, because we know that Mueller was not prepared to indict under any circumstances per DOJ policy;

Second, obviously, Trump is not saved until and unless the House fails to act on what Mueller has gifted them.


The report suggests — though never explicitly states — that Congress, not the Justice Department, should assume the role of prosecutor when the person who may be prosecuted is the president.

Since Mueller ended his investigation last month, a central question facing the Justice Department has been why Mueller’s team did not reach a conclusion about whether the president obstructed justice. The issue was complicated, the report said, by two key factors — the fact that, under department practice, a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, and that a president has a great deal of constitutional authority to give orders to other government employees.


Mueller’s Signal on Obstruction: Congress Should Take On Trump

Robert Mueller filled his 448-page report with at least 10 instances where President Donald Trump tried to impede the special counsel’s investigation – yet he stopped short of concluding whether the president obstructed justice.

So Attorney General William Barr sought to make the decision for him: no obstruction, no crime.

Throughout his report, Mueller signals clearly that he thinks Congress should settle that question, not the attorney general. By spending months investigating incidents of obstruction despite concluding he couldn’t indict a sitting president, Mueller gave lawmakers a starting point.

And he made sure not to get in their way. At one point, Mueller said he wanted to be certain he didn’t take actions that would “preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct” – a hint that came complete with a footnote referring to impeachment.


Mueller’s Collusion Case Fell Apart When No Law Fit the Facts

the First Amendment […] protects publishers who disseminate truthful information, even if someone else obtains it illegally. That helped the Trump associates who communicated with WikiLeaks and others about the dissemination of emails stolen by Russians. Those contacts don’t constitute a crime, according to Mueller and Attorney General William Barr.

Such people could have been charged, the attorney general said, only if they had helped the Russian hackers steal tens of thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. And they didn’t.

That narrowly drawn legal judgment was one of a handful that led Mueller’s team to conclude that the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia didn’t warrant criminal charges. Among the others: Mueller’s prosecutors didn’t find violations of federal campaign finance law or of Americans acting as unregistered agents of Russia. They also couldn’t determine if the campaign dirt promised by Russians had financial value that might have amounted to an undeclared campaign contribution.


Obstruction involves intent, making it a difficult area of law

Mueller suggested that Mr. Trump’s interventions in the probe and efforts to conceal them betrayed a corrupt intent that may have crossed legal lines. At the same time, the special counsel didn’t find that justice had been flagrantly sabotaged.

The report’s ambiguities, along with constitutional questions about executive authority and concerns about disrupting the president’s ability to govern, swayed his decision against leveling criminal accusations.


Trump Says ‘Nobody Disobeys’ Him, Has No Impeachment Worries

President Donald Trump says that “nobody” disobeys his orders following the release of the Mueller report, which paints a deeply unflattering picture of his presidency.

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Trump has now TWICE messed up offering condolences to Sri Lanka for the terrorist attack there.

First he killed their population of 21.4M nearly 7 times over, and then he confused their president for their prime minister.

You just can’t make up this level of incompetence:

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Aside from McGahn, I think the narrative is more along the lines of the Republic being saved by a few people disobeying orders. McGahn most definitely stopped Trump committing clear and obvious obstruction.


If we can rely on Disobedience on behalf of the Republic, rather than Trump, maybe we don’t have so much to fear from four more years…KIDDING–of course we do… .

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