Friday, March 22, 2019

What Has Mueller Really Done? Think.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has a lot to show for his two-year investigation. He's indicted some 37 individuals. Of those within his reach, most charged have pleaded guilty. Others have been convicted at trial. The remainder await trial.

The local gang have mainly been indicted for lying to investigators. Manafort added witness tampering to his caseload. There have also been indictments for tax evasion and other commercial crimes that surfaced through the investigations.

Two issues are conspicuous by their absence - obstruction of justice and Russian interference with the 2016 elections. There are a number of obvious offences there but they've never resulted in charges, at least not that we know.

Why has Mueller indicted no one for either of those issues? Not even one indictment. Why?

Part of the art of criminal law is identifying what's missing. For example the Crown may develop a theory of the crime and then it's up to defence counsel to scour all the discovery evidence and look not just at what has been produced but what has not, stuff that should be evident if the Crown's theory was valid. Prosecutors do the very same thing when it comes to dismantling alibis or other exculpatory evidence. In this way each side seeks to cast doubt on the other's case and, with the Crown bearing the onus of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that's a powerful weapon.

What's missing in Mueller's case, the part that has already been aired in public? Pretty much everything dealing with obstruction or Russian interference in the 2016 election. Do you think he overlooked that, the very essence of his appointment?  The absence of that is hardly proof of its absence. That would be preposterous especially given Mueller and his team's stature. These are the 'Pros from Dover.'

Mueller spent two years doing more than sleuthing out amateurs like Papadopoulos, and middle-grade scoundrels such as Cohen, Manafort and Flynn. Most of those who pleaded guilty sang like canaries. Others, who escaped indictment, like David Pecker and Allen Weisselberg, also sang like canaries. Lesser characters who were grilled emerged saying that Team Mueller knew more about them than they did themselves.

So think. Think like a lawyer. Put this all together and what do you come up with?

Mueller was commissioned to investigate and report. He was not ordered to indict and prosecute.  When he did indict what was his purpose? That's obvious. He was doing what American prosecutors do in RICO cases. He was using the prospect of jail time, years in the Greybar Hotel, to loosen tongues. He wanted evidence going to the two foundational issues of his investigation, Russian meddling in the election and obstruction of justice.

Now, once again, think like a lawyer. Why do you think we've heard nothing about either of those matters?


Brian Dundas said...

Very cryptic post, Mound, at least to this non-lawyer who is not particularly bright on such matters.

I would guess you're suggesting that his report purports only to lay out the evidence on obstruction, and collusion and, by some political (not legal) design, leaves it at that for the system and the country to figure out in the court of public opinion? Is that what you're getting at?
If so, to take it further,the previous indictments were necessary only for leveraging further information to fulfill the mandate of his investigation... in other words, not really concerned with the rule of law at all, merely writing the novel for all the political hack literary theorists to pour over and spin on.
As I said, I'm a dope on these things, but I, silly me, I always assumed that a prosecutor actually prosecutes.

Karl Kolchak said...

Simple: The was NO collusion--just as many of us leftists said way back in November 2016 when it became obvious that Hillary was using Russian collusion as an excuse for why she lost to the worst major party nominee in American history.
I have to admit--I laughed my rear end off when I heard the news--not because I have any use for Trump but because I have come to truly despise the Democratic Party.

Anonymous said...

There are two Meuller investigations, the criminal investigation into fraud,

And the classified investigation into espionage.

And of course, there will be people talking shit in the Media, from the first word, until the report is made public, ( and commentors like Karl),

And every single one of them, you can note their names down as bullshit artists, as the report is still not public. They are all just maturbating in public.

John B. said...

We’ve heard nothing about the election meddling and obstruction because there have been no indictments on those issues. If there had been indictments, the evidence supporting them would have been subject to disclosure. In that case, we might have heard something rather than nothing, and the targets would have heard it all. If such evidence has been found and reported it will be disclosed if included in whatever portion of the report is released to the public, or when and if indictments should be issued. The indicted would be made aware of the evidence and I presume the court would decide what would be disclosed to the public. As you said, Mueller’s job was to investigate and report and that’s what he’s done.

That’s in the opinion of the lunch room lawyers down at the Etch Test.

the salamander said...

.. its accepted that Mueller and his crack team will 'parcel out' completion & related evidence - grand juries, indictment, prosecution etc to others & various jurisdictions. The realization that they had such damning evidence must have msde Manafort, Cohen et at tremble & shake. So those criminals were cracked like nutshells and pushed aside for the real meat. Its commonly known that when going after organized crime, the street level thugs & dealers are seen as useful snitches, helpful to work up the chain of command

Trump is in vast trouble.. The Epstein case alone could put him in prison.. along with his current Secretary of Labor & a lawyer named Dershowitz. New York State is all over Trump's fuckery. Yes yes, there will be lawyers & more lawyers, endless trains of lawyers and prosecutions. Delays, appeals, obstruction ad infinitum. Hell, Bill Cosby fended off fact and justice for decades.. with money.

Trump (to me anyway..) represents disease. That's right.. DISEASE. Rot & accompanying stench. Gangrenous. He and the rest of his infected family, friends, associates, enablers, lackeys, donors & brain dead fans will do one of two things, going down the road. They will deny deny deny.. to their last breath or they will turn on him and his diehard deniers like rabid attack dogs. What can a pus sack like Mitch MConnell do? Deny or pretend he knows nothing about it? Paul Ryan? Roger Stone? Newt Gingrich? Of course they will create a 'middle course' - the Lie, Deny & Attack mode..

History will not be an ally to Trump.. no, history will humiliate Trump and all who played into his never ending grift. He's always been a disease vector.. but now.. look at how it will also ravage him forever.. and ensure the same for all who despoiled America with him

Could Trump some day be interred at Arlington ? Its to laugh.. He'll end up in a private crypt thst will be a maganet (not a typo) for pranksters and serious folks who will want to piss on his grave or bulldoze it.. and yes there will be violence there. In my view, it may actually be shocking how angry & distressed people are at this diseased example of the human race... and anyone who enabled or defended him. His 'brand' ?? His is a Criminal Brand.. Trump has transcended Richard Nixon.. gone where no President has gone before.. and he wants to take our Environment with him. Legacy ? What Legacy ? Legacy implies a gift .. ... not a grift

Anonymous said...

From NBC News:

"But the report's transmission does indicate that Mueller decided not to charge any member of the Trump campaign with conspiracy — or "collusion" — with the Russian election interference effort. After it was transmitted, a senior Justice Department official confirmed to NBC News that the special counsel is not recommending any additional indictments. And there are no sealed Mueller indictments."

So I have no idea what Mueller has done that seems so important that we are asked to think like a lawyer. Must be something beyond my ken. Perhaps you could elucidate. I see that NBC still calls it "the Russian election interference effort"! Is that "effort" a proven fact? Yes, Americans of either stripe will be at full throttle obfuscation on this one, as usual. No matter whether the report is partly declassified, kept secret or released in full, two to four weeks of punditry will reduce it to nothingness. Much like our BS here over JWR and duties of an AG versus Justice minister and this and that - who knows what the hell happened.

Ever since hillary cackled over Libya and death, I've had no time for her and her assumed right to be Prez, or the exceptional and indispensable nation BS of the PNAC variety she peddled. The neocon establishment has gathered Trump into its fold anyway, and various sanctions, sabre-rattling against foreign countries not toeing the US line has only gathered strength. Now they're after Germany to not use Russian natural gas, threatening as usual and going on about them not spending 2% of GDP to help protect us all from the Russian "menace". The Brits couldn't care less about the gerrymandering of the Leave Brexit campaigning, as you point out, and seem set to ruin themselves. Nothing much makes sense, and notably absent in all of this is any charitable thoughts about their fellow man from anyone. Thus the headlong flight into environmental disaster with nobody much giving a shit. The only constant is corporate greed and influence over governments.


Anonymous said...

Agree with sentiments aired by BM. Pissing on Trump's parade is vacuous.
Below, a nice summary of the current situation pilfered from the web.

"The failed American political system is what gave us a demagogue like Trump in the first place. People in areas of the country that were hurting were let down with the hope and change that didn't come through the Obama years and didn't vote or voted for the outsider. As much as we all like to blame Trump for everything, the problems didn't start in 2017 as much as the media enjoys pumping the narrative without analyzing the real causes of the disenchanted populace."

Anonymous said...

Trump has the firm backing of both Bibi and Putin. Both of those men have the firm knowledge of Trump's misdeeds.

Northern PoV said...

All the predictions of tRump's imminent demise have been proven wrong again and again.

No last minute deus-machina folks. Alas... it's

tRump 2020

Owen Gray said...

Mueller is a "special counsel" not a "special prosecutor" -- the term that used to be used for people like Leon Jaworski and Ken Starr. Mueller's job was to uncover evidence. If those he interviewed lied in an effort to bury that evidence, he indicted them. Only the recalcitrant -- like Manafort and Stone -- have gone to prosecution.

It will be the job of others -- from Virginia, D.C, New York and to Congress -- to use that evidence and decide whether or not to prosecute others.

The Mound of Sound said...

Comments I would ignore are those that claim this is somehow about Hillary. That is simply fatuous, the stuff of those who let their emotions rule their judgment.

Anonymous said...

Methinks that Mound let his emotions (@Hillary or Trump) rule his judgement.
The America started to unravel well before Hillary, or even Bill, "the cigar" aficionado.

the salamander said...

.. how easily commenters can 'pooh pooh' Robert Mueller and his team. Presuming only known gossip came from those already charged, pleading out or convicted? Trump in 2020 ?

How about this scenario ? A lifelong Republican stone cold poker player named Mueller shows his hand to quavering McConnell et al and ready for bear Pelosi et al plus FBI and the other respective privy agencies .. and suggests they play the hand and welcome to it ! What then ? Riddle me this Batman.. The more you take away from it the larger it grows, what is it ? A hole ..

Trump dug that hole his entire life. That's his backtrail.. a bigger and deeper hole. Maybe he'll slip into his dotage still believing his unforgiveable deceptions, fantasy, ethical emptiness and transient 'wealth' are 'winning' .. but from our view he's the damned.. and so is his family.. and all who enabled such a pitiful loser. I suspect McConnell & Pelosi et al will see this report - first in disbelief at the magnitude of overall depravity and all the facts related to the election manipulation & deception. Their next immediate thoughts may differ.. Pelosi may see Trump's head on a pike, in a manner of speaking. McConnell may shake and quake and consider how exposed he is in the legal winds.. and how escapable he is or is not.. of well deserved infamy. Next may come how to confront Trump 'in camera' with the facts.. and his only options. Bluff or Resign.. within the week. The report is likely a radioactive powderkeg... loaded with bomblets with short fuses .. sure it has a long fuse overall, but the fallout is mind blowing overall ..

Purple library guy said...

I will just very briefly once again state my opinion on this issue: The reason everything we've seen has to do with Trump and cronies being guilty of almost everything except Russian meddling an election is probably that he is guilty of almost everything except Russian meddling in an election.
Mueller went on a nice fishing expedition (not that I mind, more power to him) and the Trump pond was teeming with fish . . . just, not the particular one he's supposedly after.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon (Karl) it's spelled "judgment." And no, I couldn't care less about Hillary. I'm not the one living in the past.

The Mound of Sound said...

PLG, you're always entitled to your opinion. I've prosecuted cases and I disagree.

Northern PoV said...

From the astute GG:
"It's true "collusion" is not a legal term. But "conspiracy" is a legal term. There are many in prison for it. "Perjury" & "obstruction" are also legal terms. And if Trump, Jr., Jared or others "conspired" with the Russians on the hacks, Mueller had full power to indict them."

Anonymous said...

Collusion is likely ongoing, and if they sit on this for any length of time without WikiLeaks getting a hold of it, that makes people wonder why, if Assange is not in league with the Russians.

It sounds like the old movie plot where they appear to exonerate the bad guy who immediately visits the unindicted accomplices to celebrate. Or even admits all, thinking the double jeopardy rule will somehow protect them.

It also creates an uncomfortable situation for Trump with all the "but Hillary's emails" shrieking which will no doubt increase. I have never believed that Hillary's basement email server was set up by some student, and not set up by the NSA or other agency, as a honeypot for catching hackers. In fact it worked, they caught the Russians red handed. Trump would have to know this from security briefings. Does he really want Hillary to tell all about it? Is there any fake information that was planted there which he inadvertently revealed which he could only know if either he hacked the server or was told about it by the Russians who did?