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  1. #16

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Abramson Part 7

    95/ Mueller tells Neguse (D) he won't say if Trump Jr. ever invoked the Fifth Amendment.

    96/ Neguse (D) does a great job establishing that Trump directed the false statements made by his family and team regarding the June 9, 2016 meeting with known Kremlin agents at his house (Trump Tower).

    97/ Johnson (R) is now monologing on how much Trump cooperated with the Trump-Russia investigation. Everything Johnson is saying is untrue.

    98/ By volume, the largest number of lies told by any Republican questioner is Johnson (R). That's an ignominious title.

    99/ Fifteen minutes of questioning left in *this* session, per Nadler (D). The intelligence committee comes next, in about an hour.

    100/ The final Judiciary Democrats are now asking questions in slightly abbreviated segments. We're not likely to see too much come from this (the current questioner, Stanton, is just running through Mueller's sterling record of public service at the pleasure of GOP presidents).

    BREAK/ Taking a break before the intel hearing in 40 minutes. Will note a) Stanton (D) said he sees "substantial evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors" and thinks Congress must act, b) Dean (D) establishes Mueller *may* have made an indictment decision if Barr had told him to.

    NOTE/ One thing that will go without comment about today's hearing is Mueller—more than any witness you'll ever see before Congress—was able to decline to answer any question for any reason. There was no time to *insist* on answers nor—really—did anyone try to do so at any point.


    Democrats: B+.
    Adequately laid out a mountain of obstruction evidence neither the GOP nor Mueller rebutted.

    Republicans: C-.
    Republicans didn't contest the evidence—they just angrily attacked the messengers and raised irrelevant topics.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  2. #17

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Brandi Buchman

    Rep Jackson Lee tells reporters: Ask yourself if any other president dangled pardons, attempted to change narrative about the invstgn etc, would this be accepted? The strategy of Qs by Dems today was to solicit the truth. No altering or editing. Gave him his words and he said yes

    Garry Kasparov

    The Mueller hearing is a show and all of the Reps are grandstanding. But the Democrats are doing it to impress voters while all the Republicans are only trying to impress Trump. That’s a huge difference, democracy vs autocracy.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  3. #18

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Neal Katyal
    Excellent questioning (finally) by
    . He took the individual items on p97 of the Report and showed how it all lays out a full and complete crime. This may sound complicated, with 3 elements and the like, but everyone needs to understand what just happened.

    Mueller just ended by saying he didn't necessarily subscribe to what Lieu "was saying." But there is no explanation at all of how or where Lieu's analysis was questionable. And indeed the Report lays out the case, in its own words.

    The basic thing page 97 outlines is obstruction of justice b/c Trump tried to get Sessions to unrecuse&end Mueller investigation of Trump. There are 3 elementsbstructive act, criminal intent+ nexus to an official proceeding.
    effectively got Mueller to say each of 3 met

    This is exactly the analysis that led more than 1000 federal prosecutors to say the Report lays out indictable crimes against Trump. This is not a small deal.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  4. #19

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Greg Sargent

    Our discourse is broken.

    Some of the best minds in journalism are only looking at optics of Mueller's struggles, but not at optics of Repubs raging at Mueller for refusing to clear Trump.

    Others are pretending not to understand news value of having things stated on live TV.

    Chuck Todd
    On substance, Democrats got what they wanted: that Mueller didn't charge Pres. Trump because of the OLC guidance, that he could be indicted after he leaves office, among other things. But on optics, this was a disaster. #MuellerHearings
    Say What?

    Ugh. Let’s watch Chuck pivot to optics when the facts prove our POTUS is a criminal. Reminds me of when you criticized Hillary for being “too prepared.” Hey

    - #FireChuckTodd
    Greg Sargent

    Chuck is right. The optics of Republicans raging and screaming at Mueller for failing to clear the Republican president of criminality absolutely was a disaster.

    (Not sure how that stray "but" crept into his sentence, though.)

    The other trick we're seeing is to claim a "clear narrative" didn't emerge.

    Oh, please. People will understand perfectly well what we learned:

    Trump committed obstruction of justice

    Mueller couldn't indict because regs precluded it

    Mueller very publicly declined to clear him
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  5. #20

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    A preview of the Intel hearing:

    John Sipher
    I'm amazed the Republicans are hanging so much on whether Carter Page was fairly investigated when following a personal briefing by the FBI that he was a target of the Russian espionage establishment, he traveled to Moscow.


    Replying to
    His email to the campaign about outreach from the Russian gov is so damning and it never gets mentioned
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  6. #21

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    READ: Adam Schiff’s Devastating Indictment Of Trump’s ‘Disloyalty To Country’

    House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivered opening remarks before former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony at the panel.

    Below are Schiff’s prepared remarks.

    At the outset and on behalf of my colleagues, I want to thank you, Special Counsel Mueller, for a lifetime of service to the country.

    Your report, for those who have taken the time to study it, is methodical and it is devastating, for it tells the story of a foreign adversary’s sweeping and systematic intervention in a close U.S. presidential election.

    That should be enough to deserve the attention of every American, as you well point out. But your report tells another story as well. For the story of the 2016 presidential election is also a story about disloyalty to country, about greed, and about lies.

    Your investigation determined that the Trump campaign – including Trump himself – knew that a foreign power was intervening in our election and welcomed it, built Russian meddling into their strategy, and used it.

    Disloyalty to country. Those are strong words, but how else are we to describe a presidential campaign which did not inform the authorities of a foreign offer of dirt on their opponent, which did not publicly shun it, or turn it away, but which instead invited it, encouraged it, and made full use of it?

    That disloyalty may not have been criminal. Constrained by uncooperative witnesses, the destruction of documents and the use of encrypted communications, your team was not able to establish each of the elements of the crime of conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt, so not a provable crime, in any event. But, I think, maybe, something worse. A crime is the violation of a law written by Congress. But disloyalty to country violates the very obligation of citizenship, our devotion to a core principle on which our nation was founded, that we, the people, not some foreign power that wishes us ill, we decide, who shall govern, us.

    This also a story about money, about greed and corruption, about the leadership of a campaign willing to compromise the nation’s interest not only to win, but to make money at the same time.

    About a campaign chairman indebted to pro-Russian interests who tried to use his position to clear his debts and make millions. About a national security advisor using his position to make money from still other foreign interests. And about a candidate trying to make more money than all of them, through a real estate project that to him, was worth a fortune, hundreds of millions of dollars, and the realization of a lifelong ambition – a Trump Tower in the heart of Moscow. A candidate who, in fact, viewed his whole campaign as the greatest infomercial in history.

    Donald Trump and his senior staff were not alone in their desire to use the election to make money. For Russia, too, there was a powerful financial motive. Putin wanted relief from U.S. economic sanctions imposed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and over human rights violations. The secret Trump Tower meeting between the Russians and senior campaign officials was about sanctions. The secret conversations between Flynn and the Russian ambassador were about sanctions. Trump and his team wanted more money for themselves, and the Russians wanted more money for themselves, and for their oligarchs.

    But the story doesn’t end here either. For your report also tells a story about lies. Lots of lies.

    Lies about a gleaming tower in Moscow and lies about talks with the Kremlin. Lies about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, and lies about efforts to fire you, Mr. Mueller, and lies to cover it up. Lies about secret negotiations with the Russians over sanctions and lies about Wikileaks. Lies about polling data and lies about hush money payments. Lies about meetings in the Seychelles to set up secret back channels, and lies about a secret meeting in New York Trump Tower. Lies to the FBI, lies to your staff, and lies to our Committee.

    And lies to obstruct an investigation into the most serious attack on our democracy by a foreign power in our history.

    That is where your report ends, Mr. Mueller, with a scheme to cover up, obstruct and deceive every bit as systematic and pervasive as the Russian disinformation campaign itself, but far more pernicious since this rot came from within.

    Even now, after 448 pages in two volumes, the deception continues. The President and his acolytes say your report found no collusion, though your report explicitly declined to address that question, since collusion can involve both criminal and non-criminal conduct.

    Your report laid out multiple offers of Russian help to the Trump campaign, the campaign’s acceptance of that help, and overt acts in furtherance of Russian help. To most Americans, that is the very definition of collusion, whether it is a crime or not.

    They say your report found no evidence of obstruction, though you outline numerous actions by the President intended to obstruct the investigation.

    They say the President has been fully exonerated, though you specifically declare you could not exonerate him.

    In fact, they say your whole investigation was nothing more than a witch hunt, that the Russians didn’t interfere in our election, that it’s all a terrible hoax. The real crime, they say, is not that the Russians intervened to help Donald Trump, but that the FBI had the temerity to investigate it when they did.

    But worst of all, worse than all the lies and the greed, is the disloyalty to country, for that too, continues. When asked, if the Russians intervene again, will you take their help, Mr. President? Why not, was the essence of his answer. Everyone does it.

    No, Mr. President, they don’t. Not in the America envisioned by Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton. Not for those who believe in the idea that Lincoln labored until his dying day to preserve, the idea animating our great national experiment, so unique then, so precious still — that our government is chosen by our people, through our franchise, and not by some hostile foreign power.

    This is what is at stake. Our next election, and the one after that, for generations to come. Our democracy.

    This is why your work matters, Mr. Mueller. This is why our investigation matters. To bring these dangers to light.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  7. #22

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Back to Seth Abramson:

    Seth Abramson
    Replying to
    INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE INTRODUCTION/ The intelligence committee hearing, focusing on Volume 1 of the Mueller Report, is about to start. The topics at issue are substantially more grave and substantially more complex than what we heard this morning (already *very* grave material).

    101/ Schiff begins the intelligence committee hearing by accusing the Trump campaign of disloyalty to the United States—an observation that is *inarguable* if you have read Volume 1 of the Mueller Report.

    102/ Schiff rightly says there "may" not be a crime in Vol. 1—"may" because the fact is, *we don't know yet*. There are 14 ongoing investigations, multiple counterintelligence investigations, and many crimes (notably, bribery and aiding/abetting) Mueller opted not to investigate.

    103/ This opening statement by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is *devastating*—and it may be the most clear thing we've heard from anyone today, either in government or media. It's well worth watching later on if you aren't watching it live now.

    104/ Rep. Adam Schiff (D) rightly (and methodically) notes all the things I wrote yesterday for NEWSWEEK (NB: Schiff follows this feed):

    105/ Now Devin Nunes (R-CA) is speaking. He calls this "the last gasp of the Russian collusion delusion." Nunes is a deranged person—to be frank. There's no other way to put it. The things he says are either false, unhinged, or made-up, thoroughly discredited conspiracy theories.

    106/ Devin Nunes's opening statement could have been written by Trump's lawyers, and for all we know it was—given that Nunes previously worked for Trump and previously colluded secretly with Trump and his legal team (feel free to Google the many major-media reports on this)

    107/ Nunes and the GOP have been *repeatedly told* that Mueller *didn't* address the question of "collusion." They know collusion is a non-legal term and that there is evidence of collusive conduct in Mueller's report and they insist on lying about this—I guess because Trump has.

    108/ There is no credible attorney or legal analyst in America whose view of Mueller's findings mirror (or even distantly echo) those of Devin Nunes.

    His conspiracy theories are grotesque and have been thoroughly discredited.

    109/ Schiff (D) is wisely moving this hearing at a *far* slower pace than Judiciary. He's speaking slowly, clearly, and cleanly. It makes all the difference.

    110/ Nunes objects to Mueller's aide being sworn in. Trump was very angry about this, so probably Nunes is doing Trump's work in objecting.

    111/ Mueller is now discussing the counterintelligence implications of his work. He says he focused on criminal activity and *not* counterintelligence conclusions. That info was *passed to the FBI* (counterintelligence division) and we *haven't heard anything of any of that yet*.

    112/ Mueller says Congress must speak to the FBI (not him) on the counterintelligence-relevant evidence he found and any conclusions US counterintelligence has drawn. Mueller says the FBI was embedded in his team to review his case file and that his office briefed them regularly.

    113/ Mueller is now *withdrawing* the statement he previously made earlier to Ted Lieu (D-CA). I expected he would do this.

    114/ Mueller agrees that the Trump campaign "welcomed" Russian aid.

    115/ Mueller says that Trump aides were trying to make money from foreign nationals during the campaign—behavior that was not disclosed at the time.

    116/ Mueller agrees that many Trump-connected witnesses lied to federal law enforcement.

    117/ Mueller says Trump's claim that his investigation was a "witch hunt" is "false."

    118/ Mueller admits that Trump had "business dealings" in Russia during the campaign. These dealings were never revealed to voters.

    119/ Mueller agrees that the Trump campaign built a "communications campaign" around stolen Russian documents and then "lied to cover it up."

    120/ Devin Nunes is now running through some things irrelevant to today's hearing that he wishes Robert Mueller had investigated; in the bargain, he is also misrepresenting whether Mueller explained why Carter Page was invited to the New Economic School in Moscow in July 2016.

    121/ Not sure what to say about Devin Nunes's "questions." They're not questions, they're statements, and many of the statements are false or misleading. I don't want to repeat them here.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  8. #23

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Marcus Boston, Esq.

    Replying to @Teri_Kanefield
    I agree. I thought that they laid out the elements and the facts needed to support the elements. It wasn’t flashy, but much in the law is not flashy
    Teri Kanefield

    What? IRAC isn't flashy? (link:…
    IRAC = a method of legal analysis known to law students everywhere.
    Mueller did IRAC in the Report.
    House Dems did IRAC today.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  9. #24

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Natasha Bertrand

    Seeing a more forceful Mueller this time. He is testifying that Trump calling the investigation a witch hunt is false, and responding promptly & clearly to

    Josh Dawsey

    "Donald Trump," Mueller says, when asked by Rep. Jim Himes if the Russians sought to help Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  10. #25

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Jonathan Allen

    Nunes' theory appears to be that Democrats conspired with Russians to assist Donald Trump in securing an electoral victory so that they could later undermine Trump's presidency.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  11. #26

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Abramson Part 2 - Intelligence

    122/ Devin Nunes is saying he wants to know which politicians have been "compromised" by Russia and which have not been. Wow—Nunes and I agree on something.

    Of course, I'm talking about Trump and his team and Nunes is talking about—for some reason—the new British Prime Minister.

    123/ Nunes is spinning Papadopoulos's discredited conspiracy theory that Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud was an FBI asset, not a Russian one. This is a direct assault on the U.S. counterintelligence community, alleging a "deep state" conspiracy to stage a coup of the presidency.

    124/ Mueller says Russia's disinformation campaign was intended to aid Donald Trump.

    125/ Mueller tells Himes (D) that Russia's hacking and dumping operation was intended to benefit Donald Trump.

    126/ Mueller says Papadopoulos lied to the FBI about his Russian contacts rather than reporting them. And he appears to say that not reporting such contacts *can* be a crime.

    127/ Mueller telling Himes (D) that it *could* be a crime not to report foreign contacts during a presidential campaign is going to be a subject of discussion given that Trump says he is perfectly willing to do precisely that.

    128/ Ratcliffe is trying to clean up the Lieu-Mueller exchange, because the Republicans are terrified about it.

    129/ Mueller says he'll make no comment of any kind about Chris Steele.

    130/ Mueller underscores to Ratcliffe (R) that there *was* a pre-election election interference conspiracy—and he brought 24 indictments to that effect. The GOP keeps lazily saying "no conspiracy" when they mean "no [before-the-fact] conspiracy involving Trump, GRU, and the IRA."

    131/ (And of course all Mueller found on the latter score was that he could not establish, on the evidence he had, evidence "beyond a reasonable doubt" of a before-the-fact Trump-GRU or Trump-IRA conspiracy.)

    132/ Mueller says the Trump campaign was upset the Kremlin agents who came to Trump Tower in June 2016 did not give the campaign dirt on Clinton.

    133/ Mueller says the campaign never told the FBI of the Kremlin agents' offer to give dirt to the campaign.

    Keep in mind the evidence suggests the FBI asked Trump and Flynn directly in August 2016 to inform them if they had any evidence the Russians were trying to make contact.

    134/ Turner (R) is now performing some theater involving piling up statute books and books of case law on his desk, challenging whether an AG can "exonerate" someone.

    135/ Whoa—Turner (R) is saying that Barr *can't exonerate Trump*.

    Clearly Barr *tried* to exonerate him, so clearly Barr thinks he can.

    Mueller thereafter makes some news: he implies that he put in "does not exonerate" in case Barr *didn't realize* he *couldn't* make that call.

    136/ I think Turner (R) effed up here, because he's inadvertently underscored that if Mueller doesn't recommend charges on a given topic the DOJ has to *pass the issue to Congress* (if it involves the president's actions) rather than issuing *any* kind of exoneration statement.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  12. #27

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Jason Karsh

    I’d argue that Mueller’s exchange with
    about responsibility and not letting this problem linger was as close as you’re going to get to Muller flat out saying Congress should do it’s job and impeach Donald Trump. #MuellerHearings
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  13. #28

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Abramson Part 3 - Intelligence

    137/ Mueller says to Carson (D) that Trump's campaign manager shared internal polling information with Russian intelligence during the campaign.

    Read that statement multiple times.

    138/ Mueller says Manafort expected to be paid in some fashion for sharing private campaign information with Russian intelligence during the campaign.

    Read that statement multiple times.

    139/ Mueller agrees that Trump's 2016 campaign manager was open to blackmail by the Kremlin during the campaign.

    Read that statement multiple times.

    140/ Mueller *can't and won't say* he found "no evidence" the Trump campaign was involved in the theft of Clinton emails. This is an old GOP trick: "did not establish [beyond a reasonable doubt]" is *not the same thing* as "no evidence."

    141/ So many semantic games today from Republicans. The GOP turns no "documentary" evidence Papadopoulos revealed Mifsud's claims (re: the Kremlin's theft of Clinton emails) into "no evidence"—those are two *wildly* different claims.

    142/ Mueller *explicitly refuses to say* there is no evidence Paul Manafort (Trump campaign) met with Julian Assange (WikiLeaks).

    143/ Mueller *disagreed* with the claim by a Republican that there's no evidence Manafort met with Assange. It was a big—and surprising—moment.

    144/ Radical Republicans are freaking out *way* more about the intel hearing than the judiciary hearing—as predicted. The reasons are partly clear today and will partly become clear in the coming months. Republicans know that if Trump goes down it will be for *betraying America*.

    145/ Mueller explicitly rejects Trump's claim that there was any Russian "hoax." He underscores that the Russian interference campaign was real and significant.

    146/ Trump can (and may well) be *impeached* for obstruction; if he is convicted and removed, it'll be for topics based in (but that go *well* beyond) what's being discussed right now.

    147/ Stewart (R) is now spinning a conspiracy theory about the special counsel's office allegedly leaking information to CNN regarding the Roger Stone raid. This conspiracy theory has already been debunked by CNN itself (they were already on-scene; there was no leak whatsoever).
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  14. #29

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Abramson Part 4 Intelligence

    148/ Quigley (D) notes that the DOJ view of not indicting a president could lead to a president being immune from prosecution even post-presidency *because* if he were to be re-elected it could outlast the statute of limitations on the crime he—here, Trump—committed: obstruction.

    149/ BREAKING NEWS: Mueller tells Quigley (D) that "problematic is an understatement" with respect to Trump's comments on WikiLeaks, as then-candidate Trump's comments gave a "boost" to "criminal activity."

    150/ They intelligence committee is about to take a break. But first, Crawford (R) is going to spin some conspiracy theories about Peter Strzok and misstate the Mueller Report for 5 minutes.

    151/ Sorry—as it turns out, Devin Nunes is going to be given a couple minutes pre-break (by his colleague) to spin some conspiracy theories and misstate the Mueller Report.

    152/ BREAKING NEWS: Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller Confirms That Events Involving the Trump Campaign and Israel Were "Outside His Ambit" and Confirms, Morever, That They Are Being Handled By FBI Counterintelligence

    (#153 is Seth promoting his new book)

    154/ As we're in break, I'll note one of the key questions we had before this meeting was whether committee members would get Mueller to give a sense of how *much* he gave to counterintelligence rather than putting it in his report—the Israel revelation is our first hint of that.

    155/ For Mueller to say (in effect) that *anything involving Israel* went to FBI counterintelligence would seem to confirm what I have been saying for a long, long time: that the same is true for the *mountain* of evidence (some Russia-related) involving Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

    156/ A very good rule of thumb in trying to understand what's happening: obstruction can and may lead to impeachment; *only* revelation of the counterintelligence evidence now being held by the FBI could lead (and indeed should lead) to Trump's conviction and removal from office.

    157/ This hearing is must-watch TV. No American of good faith could watch this and doubt that the Trump campaign betrayed America and did so with eyes wide open.

    158/ Worth noting (and I think Republicans of good faith would agree with this) is that *no one has laid a glove today on Mueller's credibility*. The GOP isn't even disputing *any* findings from the Mueller Report.

    Not a single one.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  15. #30

    Re: Mueller's Testimony

    Yamiche Alcindor

    Rep. Elise Marie Stefanik has been asking a series of questions on the Steele Dossier that Robert Mueller has said declined to answer saying it is outside of his purview. Stefanik just said she understands he won't be able to answer her questions but wants them on the record.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

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