So Much Stupid

Trump Maladministration

After the Flynn sentencing memo, it appears that there is no question Mueller has evidence that the Trump campaign was in illegal contact with Russia. See Mueller says Michael Flynn gave ‘first-hand’ details of Trump transition team contacts with Russians. In his court filing, Mueller said that Flynn’s “substantial assistance” earned him a light criminal sentence, which could include no jail time.

And what does Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, take from this? According to York, the light sentence recommendation is proof that Flynn really wasn’t guilty of all that much. The whole Mueller investigation is “fishy,” says York.

Byron York, who is too stupid to find shit in an outhouse.

But it gets better. The Fox News crew has decided that the court filing reveals Mueller’s got nothin’ on Trump because it doesn’t contain the word collusion. One wonders how these people manage to function without a team of body servants to be sure they are dressed and don’t walk into walls. Gregg Jarrett of Fox News went so far as to declare that Mueller “strikes out trying to nail Trump.”

Gregg Jarrett, who is too stupid to find his own ass, never mind the outhouse.

Back to the court filing — Greg Sargent writes,

The big takeaway from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s new sentencing memo for Michael Flynn is that it underscores how little we know about what Mueller has learned. It says President Trump’s former national security adviser has provided “substantial assistance” to Mueller, notes that he sat for 19 interviews and says he’s cooperating not just with the Russia probe but also with a separate criminal investigation that is not named.

But, by tantalizingly hinting at just how much help Flynn may have provided — and by sketching out the barest outline of the areas in which he offered this help — the memo also underscores the likelihood that Trump obstructed justice when he leaned on then-FBI Director James B. Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn.

Andrew Prokop writes at Vox that there are four big takeaways — One, Mueller is happy with Flynn’s cooperation. Two, Flynn is cooperating in three separate investigations, and we don’t yet know what those are.

Third, the cooperation Flynn provided to Mueller’s probe specifically appears to break down into two main areas. One focused on contacts between the Trump transition team and Russia, but we don’t know what the other one is yet.

Finally, the many redactions indicate that there’s still a whole lot going on behind the scenes that Mueller doesn’t yet want the public to know about.

In other words, the righties are crowing because they assume that anything Mueller doesn’t explicitly spell out in the court filing doesn’t exist. Did I mention the sentencing memo was heavily redacted?

Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare provide more details on the takeaways.

It seems that Flynn is cooperating in at least three ongoing investigations: a criminal investigation about which all details are redacted; Mueller’s investigation into “any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald J. Trump”; and at least one additional investigation about which all information is redacted.

As BuzzFeed News’s Chris Geidner noted, it appears likely from the length of the redaction bar that the first criminal investigation is not a matter being conducted by the special counsel’s office—though, of course, it’s impossible to know for certain.

We don’t know that any of this will lead to a direct connection between Trump and the Russians, but the obstruction case just got a lot stronger.  Back to Greg Sargent:

Mueller’s memo contains a section claiming Flynn provided “firsthand information” about “interactions” between the Trump “transition team and Russian government officials.” It’s not clear who this refers to other than Flynn, but the memo does say Flynn provided information on his own contacts with Russia, noting, significantly, that Flynn represented the “transition team” at the time. The memo then claims Flynn provided “useful information.” But much of it is redacted, suggesting Flynn has told Mueller a lot about this chain of events.

It seems like ancient history now, but Comey’s claim that Trump pressured him over Flynn is worth revisiting in light of these new revelations.

Before firing Comey, Trump leaned on Comey to drop his investigation into Flynn, you’ll remember.

Trump asked everyone but Comey to leave, and then repeatedly told Comey that Flynn “hadn’t done anything wrong” in his phone call to the Russian ambassador. …

… We have now learned that Flynn provided Mueller a great deal of information about this call and about the events surrounding it. This increases the likelihood that Trump leaned on Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn not because he thought Flynn was a “good guy” but because Trump knew Flynn had a lot to disclose on these matters. Which in turn provides a motive for Trump to try to derail the investigation into him, perhaps with “corrupt intent.”

This is speculation, but at least it’s informed and intelligent speculation.

“This memo suggests Flynn has provided a great deal of information about Russian contacts with members of Trump’s team,” Randall D. Eliason, who teaches white-collar crime at George Washington University Law School, told me. “The more Flynn knew about those contacts, the more motive the president would have had to try to keep that information under wraps by getting the Flynn investigation shut down.”

See also Why the Flynn Sentencing Memo Could Be Bad News for Jared Kushner.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Tom_b  •  Dec 5, 2018 @5:09 pm

    Is Jarrett really wearing that tie?

    Yeah: Good 5hit; low, low sentence.

  2. Tom_b  •  Dec 5, 2018 @5:17 pm

    Ooh— the last link has an Erik Prince tie-in; I SO want to see that carnivorous reptile doing hard time. A death merchant; a horrible, horrible human being.

  3. uncledad  •  Dec 5, 2018 @5:24 pm

    FAUX is just parroting whatever the WH comms director Bill Shine tells them to say, their optimism is ill informed. That being said I have always thought this whole thing ends in one big nothing. Republicans have been white collar criminals for the last 30 years, they steal elections, start illegal wars, evade taxes, launder money, collude with the enemy no one ever goes to jail. The biggest election hack and enemy colluder of all is the Patron Saint of the GOP, Saint Ronnie! I don't see why this case will be any different. I'm hoping Mueller's report shows evidence of something that will damage Trump and Pence politically but I'm not counting on anyone actually being held to account, by our “justice” system.

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 5, 2018 @5:42 pm

    I don't necessarily think it's Mueller's intent to inflict ancient China's tortures, "The Death of a Thousand Cut's," or "The Water Torture" upon tRUMP.

    By redacting large parts of this court document, his main goal is to not give away what he already has, or has planned, to tRUMP, Kushner, Stone, and the rest of these corrupt and greedy rats (my apologies to rats for associating them with this gang of criminals and traitors).

    But with or without intent, this slow drip, drip, drip of disclosures must be driving the already none too sane tRUMP, insane! 

    Ditto, the rest of tRUMP's traitorous crew.

    While I'll personally enjoy this drip, drip, dripping, it can also be very dangerous.

    Who knows what this cornered rat, tRUMP, could/would do?

  5. doug  •  Dec 5, 2018 @8:33 pm

    Everyone is frustrated by the large blocks of black ink in the report. It gives no clue to content, but it was written to the judge to justify the conclusion that Flynn should get a light sentence. The judge did read what we didn't see and the judge agreed the content should be withheld as it would affect ongoing investigation(s). More than one – three, according to most evaluations.

    What can we guess based on Flynn's job, his associations, and the testimony to Congress that we know about, relative to facts that have emerged over the last year. IMO, the conclusion is that Kushner may be in a world of wombat poop. He was also working on backchannel communications w/ the Russian ambassador. (Like Flynn & Sessions) We know that the Moscow deal negotiations went on for six months longer than Trump claimed, and we know that the two negotiators in that deal, Cohen and Felix Sater are cooperating fully. If they were privy to what the Kremlin wanted in exchange for Trump Tower Moscow, we have quid pro quo. And Treason.

    The other name that comes up is Roger Stone. He has NOT been interviewed by Mueller and is generally viewed as a target. IMO, Stone is someone Mueller wants to send away to prison, not squeeze for information. Stone knows about the Moscow-Wikileaks connection and he knows if/how much the stolen DNC info was leaked in coordination with the campaign. If Mueller has the goods on Stone ( a good bet) the "collusion" aspect is seismic.

    Don Jr. is the other person Mueller might indict. He seems to have committed perjury in testimony to Congress. If Mueller has the proof of that, I hope Mueller does squeeze Junior to see if he is enough of a snake to turn on his father to save his own skin. I am not sure Trump will issue pardons much as he likes to tease the witnesses with the hint of pardons.  IMO, Trump thinks the offer of a pardon isn't tampering unless Trump issues a pardon. 

    I thing we're in the end game when those three are indicted. Mueller may wait until Manifort is sentenced to (effectively) life behind bars so that Don Jr and Jared have a chance to think about the risk – like the long clickity ride to the summit of a roller coaster when you have time to reconsider if you wanted to get on this ride – before Mueller drops charges on them. Depending on what Mueller has on those two, Mueller may play them against each other – one of you can get what Flynn got but the other will get what Manifort got depending on who talks first.

    It's just my opinion but Mueller may have Trump on a quid pro quo deal with the Kremlin. Trump's ambition of Trump Tower Moscow was the hook the Kremlin offered in exchange for eliminating the sanctions Obama placed AND working to undo the Magniski Act. For either to happen, Trump had to get elected and Trump worked with the Kremlin to coordinate their aid.  I want a Trump family member to deliver testimony backed by evidence of the full extent of the crime.

    Et Tu, Junior?

  6. uncledad  •  Dec 5, 2018 @10:25 pm
  7. Swami  •  Dec 5, 2018 @11:16 pm

    doug  …I kinda think that Mueller is only interested in getting to the truth of what transpired between the Trump campaign and the Russians. And in what efforts Trump made to obstruct justice, I don't think he's got the same desires as you and me, and many,many others in wanting to see Trump and his attendant criminals get what they really deserve in the way of punishment.

     And if he does,in his heart of hearts, wants to seek vengeance for the enumerable crimes committed against the United States he won't let it show. If it were up to me to dish out punishments befitting the offenses committed by specific individuals, and barring the constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishments. I think Jared Kushner would be viewing the outside world from inside the Iron Maiden. Donny Jr. would be expressing his regrets about nothing burgers through the nostrils of the brazen bull. And Trump…instead of sitting on top of the world, he'd be sitting atop of a Judas cradle.

  8. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 6, 2018 @1:08 am

    Doug, 

    That was as good an analysis as I've read or watched in the past two days!

  9. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 6, 2018 @2:01 am

    One thing to remember:

    Mueller doled out evidence to district and state courts in NY and VA, and maybe other federal and state courts that I can't remember.  Since tRUMP's descent down The Dump Tower's steps to announce his run, there's been so much shit daily – if not hourly – that it's tough to remember everything – at least for me!

    Why did he do that?

    There probably was too much stuff for him and his team to handle effectively. 

    And also, for them to investigate the things that were outside the scope of the parameters he was given.

    Also, to protect the investigation by spreading info around to district and state courts to continue it, in case something happened to his.

    Another reason is that those courts can charge the people tRUMP may pardon – which before, usually required people to go through their trial(s), admit their crime(s), and offer contrition.  tRUMP wants to offer pardons BEFORE trial so that people don't give evidence of his crimes at their trials.  But he can ONLY pardon them on a federal level.  While this takes the districts out of the game, the state courts are free to do "their own thing!". That is NOT "double jeopardy," since  there would be no federal trial.  As well, they can do further investigations on their own.

    The states can also act as a safety net, in case things fall through.

    And lastly – at least for me, since it's late – TAXES.  If someone cheated the IRS, then they surely did the same on their state taxes.

    Even Inspector Closeau would have some success in cases against tRUMP and his stooges.

    And Mueller, is no Clouseau!

    PS:  Sadly, Swami is probably right and Mueller probably  won't hit all of the g-spots we liberal "Real Americans" wish he would.  But even hitting only one will satisfy  a lot of us.

    Nighty-night!

     

     

  10. doug  •  Dec 6, 2018 @10:47 am

    IF (and I said "if") there is treason, it is transactional. Trump 'sold' his authority as president to Russia in exchange for a trophy building in Moscow with his name on it. Or tried.

    The US Senate put the brakes on a White House reversal of all things anti-Russia. Trump was going full blast for the Kremlin. There's no lack of evidence of intent, even if Trump wasn't allowed to deliver.

    There is no Trump Tower in Moscow. That deal was suspended on the day the Russian role in the DNC hacking was announced. Is there a plan to renew the deal the day Trump leaves office? I don't know but Mueller might. 

    Trump doesn't use email because he doesn't want to leave a trail. That means Trump has to communicate by phone, which will be monitored by the CIA if your call is placed to anyone overseas. So Trump has to communicate (and we're talking about planning treason) in person or through intermediaries. In-person meetings might be as incriminating as an email – there's no evidence Trump met the ambassador from Moscow that everyone in his team seemed to know.

    Ant that's my point. Trump had to make deals with the Russians through other people and the most sensitive, dangerous, treasonous conversations would have been through Trump's most trusted advisors. Flynn may have been one, but Kushner was another, Trump Jr. was another and Stone was Grima Wormtongue whispering in Trump's ear. That's why I think the trio of Don Jr., Kushner and Stone will come under fire from Mueller before Trump himself is accused.

  11. uncledad  •  Dec 6, 2018 @11:05 am

    I should amend my post:"Republicans have been white collar criminals for the last 30 years", More like 50+ years, I forgot how old I was!

  12. Swami  •  Dec 6, 2018 @1:24 pm

    I wonder if Jeff Sessions got his memory back after getting fucked over by Trump. They say traumatic events can have a profound impact on memory, usually it's the loss of memory, but there have been instances where an emotionally devastating event, such as getting publicly humiliated and belittled and then shit canned for doing what you're supposed to do, can jar repressed memories. Aside from that, it's possible that just being out from under the strain of Trump dominance might have allowed for the resurfacing of the memories that at one time he didn't recall.

  13. Swami  •  Dec 6, 2018 @1:24 pm

    I wonder if Jeff Sessions got his memory back after getting fucked over by Trump. They say traumatic events can have a profound impact on memory, usually it's the loss of memory, but there have been instances where an emotionally devastating event, such as getting publicly humiliated and belittled and then shit canned for doing what you're supposed to do, can jar repressed memories. Aside from that, it's possible that just being out from under the strain of Trump dominance might have allowed for the resurfacing of the memories that at one time he didn't recall.

  14. Swami  •  Dec 6, 2018 @1:28 pm

    I got snake eyes! Did I win anything? To bad I don't have the same luck while making electronic deposits with my online banking.

  15. doug  •  Dec 6, 2018 @6:19 pm

    Swami changes his SN to "Echo'.

  16. Dan  •  Dec 6, 2018 @6:32 pm

    The latest, direct from the RNC, is that they (Rs) WERE hacked during the campaign, and the other Rs (Putin & clan) are calling in favors to avoid putting the news to the public. What a bunch of maroons.

  17. Tom_b  •  Dec 6, 2018 @8:36 pm

    The Republicans may have done us a favor by not voiding Trump’s imbecilic tariffs:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/06/trump-may-be-first-president-since-carter-to-seek-reelection-in-recession.html

    Did even one of those dolts in the legislature ever take Econ 101? I mean, we know Trump never cracked a book; it would smack into the silver spoon in his mouth.

  18. Swami  •  Dec 7, 2018 @2:19 pm

    I think the big bag of shit in chief is having a rough day. I could be wrong, but I think the pressure of the Mueller investigation is getting to him. It's just not easy being the center of the universe

  19. uncledad  •  Dec 7, 2018 @3:24 pm

    Swami: " I think the big bag of shit in chief is having a rough day "

    Well yeah Mueller and the fact that his former secretary of state Rex Tillerson gave an on air interview basically confirming to the world that Trump is a complete imbecile who won't listen to one bit of advice from his cabinet or advisors. Also he and his chief of staff John "empty barrel" Kelly are no longer on speaking terms. Anyone with even half a brain could have predicted this child like moronic behavior, I knew he was an idiot way before he ever ran for office just based on the way he handled his feud with Rosie O'Donnell. I'll never, as long as I live, understand how someone could have voted for this f#cking idiot to be President?

  20. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Dec 7, 2018 @4:28 pm

    Hating to state the obvious, but the reason Fox says it exonerates Trump is simply so Fox viewers heard that it does. They would be stupid if they were trying to report and analyze the news competently, but their goal is simply to carry the news cycle – make the statement now, so people remember it, so they can call the truth "fake news".

    Fox is a big believer in "a good lie can travel the world while the truth is still getting up and putting on its socks," and they're in the business of finding those good lies. (I suppose they also report the truth  when it's convenient….)

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