So now we know, having pored through the Mueller Report. There was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians. None. Not a shred of the “damning evidence” of collusion that Adam Schiff (D-CA) alleged was “more than circumstantial.” According to Schiff, the scandal he and the Democrats were counting on was “beyond Watergate.” Except that it wasn’t. Trump’s conspiracy with the Russians was to be the centerpiece of the Democrats 2020 campaign to recapture the White House. And it was all a fantasy…or worse.
So, now the Democrats’ conspiracy-centered strategy has quickly morphed into an obstruction-centered strategy. This too will fail. With unemployment at a 50-year low, and minority employment at an all-time high, retirement and pension funds pregnant with asset growth because of the strongest stock market in history, the Democrats are floundering badly and Joe Biden’s “Make America Moral Again” (MAMA for short, we guess) won’t register with many voters.
But what about obstruction of justice?
It won’t fly. The issue isn’t whether a case could be made that President Trump meandered into the thicket of obstruction during his hissy fits with White House Counsel Don McGahn. It sure looks like he may have. The Mueller report is quite damning regarding the President’s behavior and temper tantrums over the investigation, although it stops short of calling that behavior obstruction. The issue, however, is whether it can be seen as reasonable prosecutorial discretion by Attorney General William Barr not to bring such a case against President Trump. And we’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that the American electorate will give Barr a pass on his decision not to charge the President with obstruction of justice. After all, the two-year conspiracy inquisition against President Trump turned up nothing. Yes, nothing.
He did not lobby McGahn to have Rod Rosenstein dump Mueller and end the investigation. He demanded that McGahn make the case that Mueller be replaced with another Special Prosecutor to continue the investigation. In any event, McGahn wouldn’t do it, so the deed was never done. Ultimately, the issue really isn’t whether Trump’s fulminating can be construed as obstruction. We think it can. The issue, however, is whether, all things considered, it was reasonable for the Attorney General to decide that it was not a case worth bringing. We think that’s reasonable too. And, most importantly, we think the American people are sick and tired of the entire time-consuming, expensive and divisive Russian conspiracy sideshow. It’s over.
So, the Democrats have pivoted to a grand Trump obstruction strategy. They have pilloried Attorney General Barr for releasing a synopsis of the bottom-line findings of the Mueller Report three weeks before the full report was available. Special Counsel Mueller didn’t like Barr’s synopsis of the bottom-line findings either. Not because it was inaccurate, he said, but because it didn’t capture the full flavor of his investigation and resulted in confusing news coverage. Fair enough. But for goodness sake, Barr has released the entire Mueller Report to the public with relatively few redactions—something he was not obligated to do. Nothing has been kept from the public other than a handful of presumably necessary redactions.
The Democrats are now catatonic over Barr’s big lie, which, in our opinion, turns out to be a political tempest in a spotlighted teapot. Barr testified, when answering a question, that he did not know why Mueller’s investigators were upset with his synopsis. His rationale? He spoke directly with Mueller who, he said, found nothing inaccurate in his synopsis, so he didn’t focus on whatever Mueller’s staff was complaining about. Well, perhaps a bit artful, but certainly not worth the screams for his head. He’s been called a stooge, a shill, a disgrace. We think he is none of those things. Partisan? Perhaps. But we can’t find that he’s a Trump shill, twisting and bending the facts to suit the boss. Even Barr made it clear that the Mueller report did not exonerate the President of the only inferred allegation to remain from the Mueller investigation, that of obstruction. He made a prosecutorial judgment. The public will conclude, we believe, that it was a reasonable judgment.
Keeping the Mueller investigation at the top of their agenda, which the Democrats seem desperate to do, is, we think, a huge miscalculation. The public will focus on Mueller’s total exoneration of President Trump on the Russian conspiracy farce, and not obsess over Barr’s decision not to pursue obstruction charges over Trump’s clumsy effort to have Mueller replaced with another Special Prosecutor. The Democrats seriously risk making President Trump the sympathetic character in this whole affair.
Besides, the nation has other, bigger, fish to fry. We’ve got huge foreign affairs issues that need attention like our ever-fracturing relationships with old allies, and those damn missiles Kim Jong Un is firing again, and a crumbling infrastructure, and millions of American families that are freaking out over a well-founded fear that we have no health-care agenda in America. We have no immigration policy that’s worth a damn either, and hate crimes are escalating, and violence in society is increasing. Black churches are being burned down again, worshippers are being gunned down in synagogues, federal debt is soaring and so is the country’s deficit. And this is the America that we’re told is being made great again.
The Democrats and Republicans have to start addressing these issues and stop with the Mueller bickering. It’s over.
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Another artful distillation, Hal.
Thank you, Hal. An exceptionally well written essay.
TOP FLIGHT ANALYSIS OF THE MUELLER REPORT CONTRETEMPS AND MOST LOGICAL CONCLUSION. KUDOS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR ANOTHER INSIGHTFUL LOOK AT THE WASHINGTON CAROUSEL!!!
Fabulous article. Many thanks
As have stated previously further pressing this issue only
serves the current POTUS as most of America believes there never was any collusion by the Trump campaign. Further the
angst felt over the election and the continuing distraction only
serves the current occupant of the White House.
If the Democrats cannot come up with a decent candidate they
will spend the next four years bemoaning their certain fate.
There is not a demo announced candidate or one in the wings who is capable whether mentally or philosophically who is capable of leading our country in this perilous time. How fortunate we are to have trump. Maybe he can pull us out of the mess inflicted on us by the previous lightweight leaderships. So much needs to be done and fancy soft soap speeches by traditional smooth talking do nothing politicians will bury us even deeper. Example-Biden doesn’t think China is a real competition to us. Is Biden an idiot, stupid or as trump calls him-just sleepy joe. I call Biden dangerous to our existence.
Our congress has no idea of what to focus on. It seems that they love sitting in hearings trying to tear down people instead of working on the real issues in this country. Move on and get a life!