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arcadesonfire

Why not invoke executive privilege?? Trump tax return story

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Posted (edited)

Yesterday, the FAKE NEWS!! Washington Post revealed a legal opinion drafted by the Office of Chief Counsel for the IRS back in the Fall regarding the 1924 law that states that the IRS "shall furnish" tax records of any individual when requested by Congress. The law was an anti-corruption measure passed following the Teapot Dome scandal.

 

We know now that Mnuchin refuses to furnish Trump's tax returns by claiming that Congress is not serving a "legitimate" legislative purpose.

 

However, the legal opinion drafted by the office back in the fall--before Trump appointed a new lawyer to lead the office*--says that the IRS must follow the law and should not try to decipher Congress's ends. From the opinion:

 

"[T]he Secretary’s obligation to disclose return and return information would not be affected by the failure of a tax writing committee . . . to state a reason for the request... [the] only basis [for] the agency’s refusal to comply with a committee’s subpoena would be the invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...=.55f8744a1b4d

 

 

*That new fellow Trump appointed, Michael J. Desmond, had once briefly advised the Trump Organization. Trump knew him. Reporting says that Trump told McConnell that confirming Desmond should be a higher priority than confirming Barr (or confirming appointees to other cabinet seats currently filled by "acting" secretaries). Since stepping in, Desmond has opined that the IRS should NOT provide Trump's tax returns, which appears to be a direct violation of that 1924 law.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/04/u...smond-irs.html

 

So the IRS is using some highly questionable reasoning to wriggle out of the law, reasoning that was struck down by a judge this week in regards to Mazars handing over Trump's financial history, and before Trump's appointee got into the office, the IRS lawyers had drafted an opposite opinion.

 

My main question is: Why doesn't the president just invoke executive privilege? What is the danger in executive privilege? Trump supporters would totally support it. Most voters wouldn't know what it means, and they aren't following this story anyway. Perhaps only historians and political junkies would understand what's going on. But I'm kind of a political junky (on this forum every day yeknow), and I don't understand why "executive privilege" would be more troubling than these nonsensical legal opinions.

Edited by arcadesonfire

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It's getting really difficult to hide stuff these days. :)

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I have read several articles which refer to this as black letter law which I assume is some term of art, saying that the meaning is plainly written in the words.

 

in this case the word "shall".

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be a crying shame if it got leaked.

RUSSIA, IF YOU'RE LISTENING!

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The Supreme Court confirmed the legitimacy of this doctrine in United States v. Nixon in the context of a subpoena emanating from the judiciary' date='[b'] instead of emanating from Congress[/b].

 

Congress has legitimate oversight of the presidency. It appears his "Executive Privilege" is impotent against congressional subpoenas. Congress doesn't need a "legislative purpose" for this because they have other duties besides legislation.

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So maybe they're avoiding using executive privilege for everything because they saw Nixon fail in that, and hence Trump's lawyers are trying a more novel approach??

 

 

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If only Mueller had reviewed his tax returns for evidence of collusion and other wrongdoing we wouldn't be having this conversation.

 

Those tax returns must be given to Congress so they can examine them for whatever Mueller failed to find.

 

Do you think Trump will sign the bill approved by the House requiring future presidential candidates to provide their tax returns?

 

In-Peach now!

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Posted (edited)
If only Mueller had reviewed his tax returns for evidence of collusion and other wrongdoing we wouldn't be having this conversation.

 

Those tax returns must be given to Congress so they can examine them for whatever Mueller failed to find.

 

Do you think Trump will sign the bill approved by the House requiring future presidential candidates to provide their tax returns?

 

In-Peach now!

 

You may be somewhat correct that we might not need to have this conversation right now. However, four things:

 

1. The investigation by Mueller (which happened mostly during time when Republicans held both houses) was an investigation by the executive branch. As we have seen this past month, the executive branch has controlled the info from the investigation. Hence it is not the same as oversight by the independent legislative branch. If you learned about separation of powers as I did growing up, this would be apparent.

 

2. Mueller himself did not present any findings regarding tax returns or financial records. We don't know if he ever sought or looked at them. The investigations sent to district prosecutors may look into those; they might have already looked at them; we don't know. Regardless, those investigations by district prosecutors are still not the same as oversight by the legislative branch.

 

3. Even though Trump himself may not sign any such bills, that does not mean that another president in two years would not sign a bill drafted by the House right now, nor does it mean that the House would be prevented from an impeachment* investigation or vote.

 

4. As the judge stated this week, it is not the executive's or judicial branch's right to determine the purpose of the legislature's subpoenas.

 

*It's spelled "impeach." Why do you always spell it with an n?

 

And why do you think the Trump team is using their current line of defense rather than invoking executive privilege?

Edited by arcadesonfire

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If only Mueller had reviewed his tax returns for evidence of collusion and other wrongdoing we wouldn't be having this conversation.

 

Those tax returns must be given to Congress so they can examine them for whatever Mueller failed to find.

 

Do you think Trump will sign the bill approved by the House requiring future presidential candidates to provide their tax returns?

 

In-Peach now!

 

 

 

If only Republicans had held the House of Representatives in the midterms instead of losing 40 seats or whatever it was, Ds would not have committee chairmanships and subpoena powers.

 

ask for the Mueller report, Trump has gone back and forth calling it both a Witch Hunt and The Bible.

 

the attitude from the right towards the Mueller report seems more than a little bit schizophrenic.

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Posted (edited)
If only Mueller had reviewed his tax returns for evidence of collusion and other wrongdoing we wouldn't be having this conversation.

 

Those tax returns must be given to Congress so they can examine them for whatever Mueller failed to find.

 

Do you think Trump will sign the bill approved by the House requiring future presidential candidates to provide their tax returns?

 

In-Peach now!

 

Where is it written that Mueller pored over the Trump tax returns?

Oh! Nowhere!

 

And Ned chooses Option #1

  • in-peach
  • TDS
  • grassy knoll
  • mkay

Edited by RogueGnome

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Where is it written that Mueller poured [sic] over the Trump tax returns?

 

Hopefully nowhere.

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Posted (edited)

 

You may be somewhat correct that we might not need to have this conversation right now. However, four things:

 

1. The investigation by Mueller (which happened mostly during time when Republicans held both houses) was an investigation by the executive branch. As we have seen this past month, the executive branch has controlled the info from the investigation. Hence it is not the same as oversight by the independent legislative branch. If you learned about separation of powers as I did growing up, this would be apparent.

 

The special counsel is independent regardless of what party controls congress. Remember this is why democrats where giddy when Rosenstein (a republican) appointed him.

 

Mueller himself did not present any findings regarding tax returns or financial records. We don't know if he ever sought or looked at them. The investigations sent to district prosecutors may look into those; they might have already looked at them; we don't know. Regardless' date=' those investigations by district prosecutors are still not the same as oversight by the legislative branch.[/quote']

 

Think about what you're saying. The first place Mueller apparently went with some of those he indicted were tax returns. Mueller would be woefully incompetent if he didn't review Trump's returns as one of the first things he looked into for evidence of a crime. I want my $40million back if he didn't do that right off the bat.

 

Why do you think Naddy-boy wants the "underlying evidence" so bad? Answer: It probably includes tax returns.

 

. Even though Trump himself may not sign any such bills' date=' that does not mean that another president in two years would not sign a bill drafted by the House right now, nor does it mean that the House would be prevented from an impeachment* investigation or vote.[/quote']

 

For democrats that seem so butthurt over Trump's tax returns, they sure seem disinterested in fixing the problem with legislation.

 

Maybe it's just Trump's tax returns they want so bad.

 

The real reason is they want to pick some element out of them that shows something they can leverage politically while knowing 99% of the public is too ignorant to really understand the complex nature of his returns, the applicable laws, and best accounting practices applied.

 

I'll say this much..if/when the courts decide Trump's tax returns are subject to subpoena, the democrat heads of the subpoenaing committees should be held criminally and civilly liable if those tax returns are "leaked" to the media.

 

4. As the judge stated this week' date=' it is not the executive's or judicial branch's right to determine the purpose of the legislature's subpoenas.[/quote']

 

That's one Obama appointed judge's opinion. Remember this cuts both ways. Would you want a republican congress randomly subpoenaing a democrat president's personal finances for purely political reasons?

 

Much more on this to come in the courts. :)

 

 

 

*It's spelled "impeach." Why do you always spell it with an n?

 

It's one of those great cosmic mysteries. You know...like black holes, dark matter, and gravity.

 

why do you think the Trump team is using their current line of defense rather than invoking executive privilege?

 

Who knows? I know this much, he never once cited any privilege when cooperating with Mueller for over 2 years.

 

It's kind of funny how the dems have themselves in a box on this. Saying he can't claim executive privilege..because ummmm he never claimed executive privilege....so he must be hiding something! :lol:

 

 

 

Edited by nedezero1

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This is so much fun! I can't wait 'till November of 2020.

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The special counsel is independent regardless of what party controls congress. Remember this is why democrats where giddy when Rosenstein (a republican) appointed him.

 

 

 

Think about what you're saying. The first place Mueller apparently went with some of those he indicted were tax returns. Mueller would be woefully incompetent if he didn't review Trump's returns as one of the first things he looked into for evidence of a crime. I want my $40million back if he didn't do that right off the bat.

 

Why do you think Naddy-boy wants the "underlying evidence" so bad? Answer: It probably includes tax returns.

 

 

 

For democrats that seem so butthurt over Trump's tax returns, they sure seem disinterested in fixing the problem with legislation.

 

Maybe it's just Trump's tax returns they want so bad.

 

The real reason is they want to pick some element out of them that shows something they can leverage politically while knowing 99% of the public is too ignorant to really understand the complex nature of his returns, the applicable laws, and best accounting practices applied.

 

I'll say this much..if/when the courts decide Trump's tax returns are subject to subpoena, the democrat heads of the subpoenaing committees should be held criminally and civilly liable if those tax returns are "leaked" to the media.

 

 

 

That's one Obama appointed judge's opinion. Remember this cuts both ways. Would you want a republican congress randomly subpoenaing a democrat president's personal finances for purely political reasons?

 

Much more on this to come in the courts. :)

 

 

 

 

 

It's one of those great cosmic mysteries. You know...like black holes, dark matter, and gravity.

 

 

 

Who knows? I know this much, he never once cited any privilege when cooperating with Mueller for over 2 years.

 

It's kind of funny how the dems have themselves in a box on this. Saying he can't claim executive privilege..because ummmm he never claimed executive privilege....so he must be hiding something! :lol:

 

 

 

I’ll give you a full response tomorrow. For right now, let me just ask: Do I recall correctly that you’ve said a few times that Mueller works for Barr and that what Barr says is the final word, superseding Mueller’s words??

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WGAF anyway? Trump could release his tax returns that showed he cheated and lied on his taxes and all his fans would turn a blind eye anyway and continue to make excuses for the pos-in-chief. He is a garbage human being.

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The state of New York is going to allow Congress access to Trump's state tax forms, should they decide to request them.

 

along with the actions this week by various courts upholding Congressional subpoenas it's beginning to look like the dam is starting to break on the cover up.

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WGAF anyway? Trump could release his tax returns that showed he cheated and lied on his taxes and all his fans would turn a blind eye anyway and continue to make excuses for the pos-in-chief. He is a garbage human being.

 

Why don’t you stop beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel Foo. Lol

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And why do you think the Trump team is using their current line of defense rather than invoking executive privilege?

 

Hey, back to the OP!

 

I speculate that Donald has been told by more than one lawyer that his executive priv thing won't hold up in court in the long run. Executive priv is his final backstop. The nuclear option.

 

Because Donald is now saying he can't work with Dems as long as he's under investigation, he's basically brought his presidency to a halt. The investigations are not going to stop, so this is pretty much it for the guy. Personally I don't care if he gets charged with a crime or impeached or whatever. Trump has been a non-stop disaster for the country and if he is now in a stalemate, that's fine with me. We're going to have to deal with the next year and a half and then we can get back to having sane adults in place in the government.

 

Zip

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This is so much fun! I can't wait 'till November of 2020.

 

You can tell a lot about a person by what they think is funny.

 

Zip

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I’ll give you a full response tomorrow. For right now, let me just ask: Do I recall correctly that you’ve said a few times that Mueller works for Barr and that what Barr says is the final word, superseding Mueller’s words??

 

Yes. After he's done and reports, which is what happened.

 

Mueller gives his report to the AG because that's who appointed him. After that, it's in the AG's hands to interpret, take action on, or disseminate as appropriate.

 

Are you suggesting Mueller was influenced by Barr in his investigation? :)

 

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Hey, back to the OP!

 

I speculate that Donald has been told by more than one lawyer that his executive priv thing won't hold up in court in the long run. Executive priv is his final backstop. The nuclear option.

 

Because Donald is now saying he can't work with Dems as long as he's under investigation, he's basically brought his presidency to a halt. The investigations are not going to stop, so this is pretty much it for the guy. Personally I don't care if he gets charged with a crime or impeached or whatever. Trump has been a non-stop disaster for the country and if he is now in a stalemate, that's fine with me. We're going to have to deal with the next year and a half and then we can get back to having sane adults in place in the government.

 

Zip

 

Trump's whole schtick revolves around playing the victim. That he will grind the government to a halt and blame the Dems for it? Par for the course.

 

And the 32% will be cheering him along the entire way. The Fox News bubble he lives in will validate everything he says and does.

 

His gambit is he believes it will be enough to carry him to re-election.

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Yes. After he's done and reports, which is what happened.

 

Mueller gives his report to the AG because that's who appointed him. After that, it's in the AG's hands to interpret, take action on, or disseminate as appropriate.

 

Are you suggesting Mueller was influenced by Barr in his investigation? :)

 

I'm not saying that Mueller was influenced during his investigation. Instead, you and I both agree that the dissemination of Mueller's findings is controlled by Barr. Barr controlled what people first heard about the report, and most people haven't bothered to read the report. I wonder if you, like others, did not read a substantial portion of Mueller's report and instead just trusted trusted Barr's four-page statement. Barr controlled the redactions in the report (and two judges have now ordered that redactions regarding Stone and Manafort be removed). Barr has been allowed to speak publicly, whereas Mueller has not, and Trump was able to order a witness not to speak this week.

 

Given the amount of control Trump and Barr have had, and given that they are both members of the executive branch, it is clear that the special counsel was NOT independent of the executive branch. Investigation by Congress IS independent of the executive branch; it is a separate power. Hence I made my comment about separation of powers. Mueller was not a separate power; Congress is.

 

You agree that Mueller was not independent of presidential appointee Barr. Thus I don't understand how you would state that the special counsel is independent. While Mueller was independent of a political party, he was not independent of the executive branch. The separation of powers in the constitution provides the House the power to impeach (not to convict, but to do all of the work that could lead to conviction in the Senate). The founders did not say that impeachment must be done in a bipartisan or non-partisan manner. Investigation by the non-partisan special counsel and investigation by the House serve two different purposes.

 

As for Obama's appointed judges: Barr too is a presidential appointment. These appointments by different presidents serve as checks on each other. The framers knew that different presidents would appoint different judges and that the lifetime judges would likely serve as checks on the power of presidents from a different party. If you are OK with Trump's judicial appointments serving as a check on Democrats in congress, then it would make sense to be OK with Obama's appointments serving as a check on Republicans.

 

As for whether or not Mueller saw Trump's tax returns: We have no idea. Since Mueller is subject to the executive branch and did not have exactly the same subpoena power as the separate legislative branch, Mueller may have been denied access to Trump's financial records. Whereas the legislative branch, being separate from the executive, can appeal to the judicial branch, someone within the executive branch must follow orders (as you yourself have described) and thus doesn't have the same right to appeal to the judicial branch. OR it is possible that Mueller saw all of Trump's financial records and saw absolutely no problems, OR it is possible that he saw issues that were suspicious but were not related to whether Trump conspired with Russia in 2016, in which case those suspicions may have been sent to the SDNY. We simply don't know. (Though, today's news that the SDNY is indicting a Chicago banker for bribing Manafort in 2016 was one of the cases Mueller referred out to other prosecutors.)

 

Anywho, it should be clear that Mueller was not independent from Trump. It should be really obvious that the investigative powers and independence of the special counsel are different from those of the legislative branch. Therefore, the new Democrat House is NOT conducting a straight-up re-do of Mueller's work.

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Yes. After he's done and reports, which is what happened.

 

Mueller gives his report to the AG because that's who appointed him. After that, it's in the AG's hands to interpret, take action on, or disseminate as appropriate.

 

Are you suggesting Mueller was influenced by Barr in his investigation? :)

 

Another reply:

 

The FBI opened an investigation into Benghazi shortly after the attack. Republicans in Congress investigated the attack and Clinton's response as well. These were two slightly different investigations (as are Mueller's and the House Dems' investigations) about the same overall topic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investigation_into_the_2012_Benghazi_attack

 

Similarly, the FBI investigated Clinton's email server issue, and Congress investigated it as well. Once again, these were two different investigations from two different branches of the government, each with different powers and overseers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton_email_controversy

 

Did you complain about the series of investigations by different branches then?

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I'm not saying that Mueller was influenced during his investigation. Instead, you and I both agree that the dissemination of Mueller's findings is controlled by Barr. Barr controlled what people first heard about the report, and most people haven't bothered to read the report. I wonder if you, like others, did not read a substantial portion of Mueller's report and instead just trusted trusted Barr's four-page statement. Barr controlled the redactions in the report (and two judges have now ordered that redactions regarding Stone and Manafort be removed). Barr has been allowed to speak publicly, whereas Mueller has not, and Trump was able to order a witness not to speak this week.

 

Given the amount of control Trump and Barr have had, and given that they are both members of the executive branch, it is clear that the special counsel was NOT independent of the executive branch. Investigation by Congress IS independent of the executive branch; it is a separate power. Hence I made my comment about separation of powers. Mueller was not a separate power; Congress is.

 

You agree that Mueller was not independent of presidential appointee Barr. Thus I don't understand how you would state that the special counsel is independent. While Mueller was independent of a political party, he was not independent of the executive branch. The separation of powers in the constitution provides the House the power to impeach (not to convict, but to do all of the work that could lead to conviction in the Senate). The founders did not say that impeachment must be done in a bipartisan or non-partisan manner. Investigation by the non-partisan special counsel and investigation by the House serve two different purposes.

 

As for Obama's appointed judges: Barr too is a presidential appointment. These appointments by different presidents serve as checks on each other. The framers knew that different presidents would appoint different judges and that the lifetime judges would likely serve as checks on the power of presidents from a different party. If you are OK with Trump's judicial appointments serving as a check on Democrats in congress, then it would make sense to be OK with Obama's appointments serving as a check on Republicans.

 

As for whether or not Mueller saw Trump's tax returns: We have no idea. Since Mueller is subject to the executive branch and did not have exactly the same subpoena power as the separate legislative branch, Mueller may have been denied access to Trump's financial records. Whereas the legislative branch, being separate from the executive, can appeal to the judicial branch, someone within the executive branch must follow orders (as you yourself have described) and thus doesn't have the same right to appeal to the judicial branch. OR it is possible that Mueller saw all of Trump's financial records and saw absolutely no problems, OR it is possible that he saw issues that were suspicious but were not related to whether Trump conspired with Russia in 2016, in which case those suspicions may have been sent to the SDNY. We simply don't know. (Though, today's news that the SDNY is indicting a Chicago banker for bribing Manafort in 2016 was one of the cases Mueller referred out to other prosecutors.)

 

Anywho, it should be clear that Mueller was not independent from Trump. It should be really obvious that the investigative powers and independence of the special counsel are different from those of the legislative branch. Therefore, the new Democrat House is NOT conducting a straight-up re-do of Mueller's work.

 

Boy you live in another world...

 

Mueller was more than independent from Trump et al as is the charter of a special counsel. Otherwise, Rosenstien could've just directed the FBI to investigate who would've been under the influence of Trump.

 

For 2 1/2 years democrats salivated at the prospect of Mueller investigating the president. To suggest now that the Mueller's actual report didn't turn out the way the dems wanted because Mueller was a Trump shill is not just nutty...it's TDS in its purest form.

 

The whole meltdown over Barr's summary is especially entertaining since it was 100% accurate. AND the entire report was made available just 3 weeks after anyway. Like someone said...it's like complaining about the movie trailer 3 weeks after the whole movie is out.

 

Mueller indicted at least 2 people over their tax returns so it's obvious they had access to IRS files is it not?

 

Go ahead and pin your hopes on SDNY, although I caution you that you can only disappoint yourself so many times before depression sets in. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another reply:

 

The FBI opened an investigation into Benghazi shortly after the attack. Republicans in Congress investigated the attack and Clinton's response as well. These were two slightly different investigations (as are Mueller's and the House Dems' investigations) about the same overall topic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investigation_into_the_2012_Benghazi_attack

 

Similarly, the FBI investigated Clinton's email server issue, and Congress investigated it as well. Once again, these were two different investigations from two different branches of the government, each with different powers and overseers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton_email_controversy

 

Did you complain about the series of investigations by different branches then?

 

And now we an independent attorney looking into how the Trump collusion fantasy began. :) Don't forget that.:wave:

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Hey, back to the OP!

 

I speculate that Donald has been told by more than one lawyer that his executive priv thing won't hold up in court in the long run. Executive priv is his final backstop. The nuclear option.

 

Because Donald is now saying he can't work with Dems as long as he's under investigation, he's basically brought his presidency to a halt. The investigations are not going to stop, so this is pretty much it for the guy. Personally I don't care if he gets charged with a crime or impeached or whatever. Trump has been a non-stop disaster for the country and if he is now in a stalemate, that's fine with me. We're going to have to deal with the next year and a half and then we can get back to having sane adults in place in the government.

 

Zip

 

That makes sense. It was curious to see that the IRS draft opinion in the OP said executive privilege would be the only option, but you're right that Trump may have heard differently--or that he is saving it for later (a nuclear option).

 

As for him halting his own presidency, yep, it does seem idiotic. Though, I suspect that it will turn out like the government shutdown. He may "call his own bluff" and get back to signing bills. On the other hand though, with two different parties holding the two different chambers of Congress, the legislative branch may be at a stalemate itself.

 

I would really like to see Democrats campaign on the fact that they have passed bills in the House, that they have drafted legislative proposals for the president, and explain the specifics to the voters. Otherwise, voters will just hear non-stop that Democrats have done nothing but investigate; that is a lie, but it is a convincing lie to a lot of people.

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Posted (edited)

 

Boy you live in another world...

 

Mueller was more than independent from Trump et al as is the charter of a special counsel. Otherwise, Rosenstien could've just directed the FBI to investigate who would've been under the influence of Trump.

 

For 2 1/2 years democrats salivated at the prospect of Mueller investigating the president. To suggest now that the Mueller's actual report didn't turn out the way the dems wanted because Mueller was a Trump shill is not just nutty...it's TDS in its purest form.

 

The whole meltdown over Barr's summary is especially entertaining since it was 100% accurate. AND the entire report was made available just 3 weeks after anyway. Like someone said...it's like complaining about the movie trailer 3 weeks after the whole movie is out.

 

Mueller indicted at least 2 people over their tax returns so it's obvious they had access to IRS files is it not?

 

Go ahead and pin your hopes on SDNY, although I caution you that you can only disappoint yourself so many times before depression sets in. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I never said Mueller was a "Trump shill." I'm saying that he and his report are not independent of the executive branch. Don't jump to extremes. Instead, recall your middle school education about separation of powers.

 

Via Barr, Trump has been able to say "complete exoneration" and "no obstruction," and people believe it. Do you believe that Mueller's report found no evidence of obstruction and/or that Mueller's report exonerated Trump on that front?

 

...How many pages of the report have you read?

Edited by arcadesonfire

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And now we an independent attorney looking into how the Trump collusion fantasy began. :) Don't forget that.:wave:

 

That's fine. Do you recall how often I've said, "investigate 'em, and if wrongdoing is found, fustigate 'em"??

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I'm not saying that Mueller was influenced during his investigation. Instead, you and I both agree that the dissemination of Mueller's findings is controlled by Barr. Barr controlled what people first heard about the report, and most people haven't bothered to read the report. I wonder if you, like others, did not read a substantial portion of Mueller's report and instead just trusted trusted Barr's four-page statement. Barr controlled the redactions in the report (and two judges have now ordered that redactions regarding Stone and Manafort be removed). Barr has been allowed to speak publicly, whereas Mueller has not, and Trump was able to order a witness not to speak this week.

 

Given the amount of control Trump and Barr have had, and given that they are both members of the executive branch, it is clear that the special counsel was NOT independent of the executive branch. Investigation by Congress IS independent of the executive branch; it is a separate power. Hence I made my comment about separation of powers. Mueller was not a separate power; Congress is.

 

You agree that Mueller was not independent of presidential appointee Barr. Thus I don't understand how you would state that the special counsel is independent. While Mueller was independent of a political party, he was not independent of the executive branch. The separation of powers in the constitution provides the House the power to impeach (not to convict, but to do all of the work that could lead to conviction in the Senate). The founders did not say that impeachment must be done in a bipartisan or non-partisan manner. Investigation by the non-partisan special counsel and investigation by the House serve two different purposes.

 

As for Obama's appointed judges: Barr too is a presidential appointment. These appointments by different presidents serve as checks on each other. The framers knew that different presidents would appoint different judges and that the lifetime judges would likely serve as checks on the power of presidents from a different party. If you are OK with Trump's judicial appointments serving as a check on Democrats in congress, then it would make sense to be OK with Obama's appointments serving as a check on Republicans.

 

As for whether or not Mueller saw Trump's tax returns: We have no idea. Since Mueller is subject to the executive branch and did not have exactly the same subpoena power as the separate legislative branch, Mueller may have been denied access to Trump's financial records. Whereas the legislative branch, being separate from the executive, can appeal to the judicial branch, someone within the executive branch must follow orders (as you yourself have described) and thus doesn't have the same right to appeal to the judicial branch. OR it is possible that Mueller saw all of Trump's financial records and saw absolutely no problems, OR it is possible that he saw issues that were suspicious but were not related to whether Trump conspired with Russia in 2016, in which case those suspicions may have been sent to the SDNY. We simply don't know. (Though, today's news that the SDNY is indicting a Chicago banker for bribing Manafort in 2016 was one of the cases Mueller referred out to other prosecutors.)

 

Anywho, it should be clear that Mueller was not independent from Trump. It should be really obvious that the investigative powers and independence of the special counsel are different from those of the legislative branch. Therefore, the new Democrat House is NOT conducting a straight-up re-do of Mueller's work.

 

Good post.

 

But it will no doubt fall onto deaf ears. They have all been armed with the talking points of "it's over!" and "wanting a re-do!" from the conservative media and they'll just cover their ears and close their eyes are scream it as loudly as they can.

 

which is what it is. The world will turn and the congress will do what they feel is best regardless of the howling from the rightees.

 

 

 

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Why not invoke executive privilege?

Perhaps because tax returns don't fit the two areas that executive privilege is intended for:

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-facts-behind-obamas-executive-privilege-claim#

 

Legal challenges have established two general categories of executive privilege: presidential communications and deliberative process.

 

The presidential communications privilege applies to communications involving the president or his staff that immediately pertain to the president's decision-making process. The idea, according to Mark Rozell, a professor at George Mason University, and author of a book on executive privilege, is that "the president should have the right to candid advice without fear of public disclosure."

 

Deliberative process involves a broader scope of executive branch activity: discussions involving White House staff or within other agencies on legal or policy decisions that don't necessarily involve the president or his immediate advisers. Again, the argument is that government officials need to feel like they can talk honestly.

 

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I never said Mueller was a "Trump shill." I'm saying that he and his report are not independent of the executive branch. Don't jump to extremes. Instead, recall your middle school education about separation of powers.

 

Via Barr, Trump has been able to say "complete exoneration" and "no obstruction," and people believe it. Do you believe that Mueller's report found no evidence of obstruction and/or that Mueller's report exonerated Trump on that front?

 

...How many pages of the report have you read?

 

Well via Schiff-stain et al, democrats have been able to say "proof of collusion"....and people (TDS sufferers) still believe it.

 

Mueller's report does exonerate Trump of "collusion" which was the whole premise to begin with. Absent the premise, the examples of possible obstruction noted were apparently weak enough that Mueller couldn't bring himself to submit sealed indictments to be opened after Trump is out of office.

 

Moving right along....

 

What democrats fail to realize is what they're setting themselves up for in the future when there's a dem president.

 

If republicans take back the house and there's a president Biden, are you good with them poring over Biden's (and his son's) personal financials looking for "things" in the interest of "oversight"?

 

TDS has long-term implications you know. ;)

 

 

 

 

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Yes. After he's done and reports, which is what happened.

 

Mueller gives his report to the AG because that's who appointed him. After that, it's in the AG's hands to interpret, take action on, or disseminate as appropriate.

 

Are you suggesting Mueller was influenced by Barr in his investigation? :)

IOW, you're okay with presidents covering up the results of special investigations through complicit AGs and Congresses? Got it.

Just win, baby.:rolleyes:

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Posted (edited)

 

Well via Schiff-stain et al, democrats have been able to say "proof of collusion"....and people (TDS sufferers) still believe it.

 

Mueller's report does exonerate Trump of "collusion" which was the whole premise to begin with. Absent the premise, the examples of possible obstruction noted were apparently weak enough that Mueller couldn't bring himself to submit sealed indictments to be opened after Trump is out of office.

 

Moving right along....

 

What democrats fail to realize is what they're setting themselves up for in the future when there's a dem president.

 

If republicans take back the house and there's a president Biden, are you good with them poring over Biden's (and his son's) personal financials looking for "things" in the interest of "oversight"?

 

TDS has long-term implications you know. ;)

 

 

 

 

Here are Mueller's orders:

Robert S. Mueller III is appointed t() serve as Specia] Counsel for the United States Department of Justice. (b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confinned by then-FBI Director James 8. Corney in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including: (i) any links and/or coordination bet ween the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and © (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).

Here is 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a):
(a)Original jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall be established by the Attorney General. The Special Counsel will be provided with a specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated. The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall also include the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel's investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses; and to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted.

Now, will you answer the question I posed?

 

Do you believe that Mueller's report found no evidence of obstruction and/or that Mueller's report exonerated Trump on that front?

Edited by arcadesonfire

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And now we an independent attorney looking into how the Trump collusion fantasy began. :) Don't forget that.:wave:

A man hand picked by an AG who is clearly key to Trump's cover-up. Yeah, that sounds like a really solid way to do it.:rolleyes2: The corruption grows deeper and deeper in the ever-expanding cesspool-that-used-to-be-a-swamp.

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-lawyers-welcome-report-third-probe-russia-investigation-n1005266

Two of President Donald Trump's personal attorneys welcomed a report Monday night that Attorney General William Barr had asked a U.S. attorney to look into the origins of the Russia investigation.

 

...Rudy Giuliani, one of the president's personal attorneys, told NBC News: "I believe Barr has selected an excellent person...

 

If Rudy likes him then something's wrong.

 

 

And may I remind everyone:

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have consistently defended the Russia investigation, which culminated in special counsel Robert Mueller's report in March. The report found "sweeping" and "systematic" Russian interference in the election and identified links between Trump campaign officials and figures associated with the Russian government.

The report said it didn't conclude that Trump committed a crime, but it said it "also does not exonerate him."

 

 

I don't yet think we've reached the bottom of this.

 

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Here are Mueller's orders:

Here is 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a):

Now, will you answer the question I posed?

 

Do you believe that Mueller's report found no evidence of obstruction and/or that Mueller's report exonerated Trump on that front?

 

I don't believe the report itself exonerates anything. (Yes I know I said it did on collusion). The interpretation of the report by the DOJ does exonerate Trump on both fronts and that's what the congressional pant-wetting tantrums are all about.

 

On both subjects, Mueller cites instances that were investigated for collusion and obstruction. Mueller declares he can't find evidence of collusion and still provides the instances that were investigated in the report. Ditto with obstruction with the difference being he says he can't make a decision either way. If Mueller could positively declare there was obstruction, he would've submitted sealed indictments to be opened after Trump left office. He didn't do that.

 

Now answer my question....

 

Are you good with a republican congress exercising its constitutionally mandated "oversight" and investigating Biden and his family...just to see if they can find anything?

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

I don't believe the report itself exonerates anything. (Yes I know I said it did on collusion). The interpretation of the report by the DOJ does exonerate Trump on both fronts and that's what the congressional pant-wetting tantrums are all about.

 

On both subjects, Mueller cites instances that were investigated for collusion and obstruction. Mueller declares he can't find evidence of collusion and still provides the instances that were investigated in the report. Ditto with obstruction with the difference being he says he can't make a decision either way. If Mueller could positively declare there was obstruction, he would've submitted sealed indictments to be opened after Trump left office. He didn't do that.

It appears obvious that you haven’t read the report, but I could be wrong. How much of it have you read? Did you read the first few pages and final conclusion of Volume II? Would you like me to quote them for you?

 

Now answer my question....

 

Are you good with a republican congress exercising its constitutionally mandated "oversight" and investigating Biden and his family...just to see if they can find anything?

 

 

 

If they have clues to suspicious activity, then I am fine with them investigating Biden and family. I might poke fun at it, but I won’t call it criminal or unconstitutional. I certainly would not support Biden obstructing it. Similarly, because I thought Clinton’s private server DID arouse suspicions, I supported investigation (and I thought DNC leadership was unbelievably stupid to push for her nomination for president).

 

This is good! We’re answering each other’s questions! I question your statement in bold above. Please answer whether you’ve read the sport and understand what it says about accusing or indicting the president.

 

Also, do you recognize that Congress is not under the overview of the AG and that therefore they are a separated power from the executive branch?

Edited by arcadesonfire

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Posted (edited)
[/b]It appears obvious that you haven’t read the report' date=' but I could be wrong. How much of it have you read? Did you read the first few pages and final conclusion of Volume II? Would you like me to quote them for you?[/quote']

 

I have the report saved as pdf and read it as needed depending on the topic I'm discussing.

 

I know it's like pron to some folks..with the pages stuck together and all that.

 

Here's what I know it doesn't say...it doesn't say that if it weren't for that pesky rule about indicting sitting presidents, we would've indicted. It doesn't say that anywhere although I understand how some people's brain make that translation in what they read.

 

Please feel free to quote any portion that says there would absolutely be an indictment.

 

Again...Mueller could've rendered a sealed indictment to be opened after Trump left office. He chose not to.

 

 

If they have clues to suspicious activity, then I am fine with them investigating Biden and family. I might poke fun at it, but I won’t call it criminal or unconstitutional. I certainly would not support Biden obstructing it. Similarly, because I thought Clinton’s private server DID arouse suspicions, I supported investigation (and I thought DNC leadership was unbelievably stupid to push for her nomination for president).

 

This is good! We’re answering each other’s questions! I question your statement in bold above. Please answer whether you’ve read the sport and understand what it says about accusing or indicting the president.

 

We shall see. :)

 

' date=' do you recognize that Congress is not under the overview of the AG and that therefore they are a separated power from the executive branch?[/quote']

 

Sure and do you recognize congress is not a superior to the executive branch?

Edited by nedezero1

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And why do you think the Trump team is using their current line of defense rather than invoking executive privilege?

 

Because Trump is perpetually in "campaign mode" and even he knows he's going to need more than the 30 something percent that the maga crowd represent. So if he invokes executive privilege it will appear he's trying to cover something up. At least to anyone besides the maga brigade.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

I have the report saved as pdf and read it as needed depending on the topic I'm discussing.

 

I know it's like pron to some folks..with the pages stuck together and all that.

 

Here's what I know it doesn't say...it doesn't say that if it weren't for that pesky rule about indicting sitting presidents, we would've indicted. It doesn't say that anywhere although I understand how some people's brain make that translation in what they read.

 

 

No it doesn't. Because what it DOES say is that Mueller doesn't believe it would be fair to state him guilty of crimes in a venue for which he has no ability to defend himself. And that even a sealed indictment would be 'unfair'.

 

From the text:

 

Third, we considered whether to evaluate the conduct we investigated under the Justice Manual standards governing prosecution and declination decisions, but we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes. The threshold step under the Justice Manual standards is to assess whether a person's conduct "constitutes a federal offense." U.S. Dep't of Justice, Justice Manual§ 9-27.220 (2018) (Justice Manual). Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusation is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongly accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast, a prosecutor's judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator.5

 

 

 

 

The concerns about the fairness of such a determination would be heightened in the case of a sitting President, where a federal prosecutor's accusation of a crime, even in an internal report, could carry consequences that extend beyond the realm of criminal justice. OLC noted similar concerns about sealed indictments. Even if an indictment were sealed during the President's term, OLC reasoned, "it would be very difficult to preserve [an indictment's] secrecy," and if an indictment became public, "[t]he stigma and opprobrium" could imperil the President's ability to govern."6 Although a prosecutor's internal report would not represent a formal public accusation akin to an indictment, the possibility of the report's public disclosure and the absence of a neutral adjudicatory forum to review its findings counseled against potentially determining "that the person's conduct constitutes a federal offense." Justice Manual § 9-27.220.

 

 

 

 

If he didn't think the evidence presented was clear evidence that he was guilty of criminal wrongdoing, then there would have been no reason for him to go to all the time and trouble to explain why he wasn't specifically stating such.

 

Like he didn't do in Volume I.

 

Edited by Vito Corleone
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No it doesn't. Because what it DOES say is that Mueller doesn't believe it would be fair to state him guilty of crimes in a venue for which he has no ability to defend himself. And that even a sealed indictment would be 'unfair'.

 

From the text:

 

Third, we considered whether to evaluate the conduct we investigated under the Justice Manual standards governing prosecution and declination decisions, but we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes. The threshold step under the Justice Manual standards is to assess whether a person's conduct "constitutes a federal offense." U.S. Dep't of Justice, Justice Manual§ 9-27.220 (2018) (Justice Manual). Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusation is through a speedy and public trial, with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An individual who believes he was wrongly accused can use that process to seek to clear his name. In contrast, a prosecutor's judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought, affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator.5

 

 

 

 

The concerns about the fairness of such a determination would be heightened in the case of a sitting President, where a federal prosecutor's accusation of a crime, even in an internal report, could carry consequences that extend beyond the realm of criminal justice. OLC noted similar concerns about sealed indictments. Even if an indictment were sealed during the President's term, OLC reasoned, "it would be very difficult to preserve [an indictment's] secrecy," and if an indictment became public, "[t]he stigma and opprobrium" could imperil the President's ability to govern."6 Although a prosecutor's internal report would not represent a formal public accusation akin to an indictment, the possibility of the report's public disclosure and the absence of a neutral adjudicatory forum to review its findings counseled against potentially determining "that the person's conduct constitutes a federal offense." Justice Manual § 9-27.220.

 

 

 

 

If he didn't think the evidence presented was clear evidence that he was guilty of criminal wrongdoing, then there would have been no reason for him to go to all the time and trouble to explain why he wasn't specifically stating such.

 

Like he didn't do in Volume I.

 

And....the DOJ took the report. Looked at the evidence, looked at other elements of the situation (like no corrupt intent, no underlying crime, 2 years of cooperation with no executive privilege asserted, etc.) and determined no prosecutable obstruction existed.

 

The DOJs final assessment supercedes Mueller's report ...you know that right?

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Posted (edited)

 

And....the DOJ took the report. Looked at the evidence, looked at other elements of the situation (like no corrupt intent, no underlying crime, 2 years of cooperation with no executive privilege asserted, etc.) and determined no prosecutable obstruction existed.

 

The DOJs final assessment supercedes Mueller's report ...you know that right?

 

And since the DOJ is not independent of the executive branch, while the legislative IS independent (as you agree), a congressional investigation would have different powers and different limitations. Therefore, a Congressional investigation is not a re-do of the special counsel investigation. QED

Edited by arcadesonfire

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And....the DOJ took the report. Looked at the evidence, looked at other elements of the situation (like no corrupt intent, no underlying crime, 2 years of cooperation with no executive privilege asserted, etc.) and determined no prosecutable obstruction existed.

 

The DOJs final assessment supercedes Mueller's report ...you know that right?

 

Yes. But for anyone to try and argue that Mueller didn't see any prosecutable obstruction because he didn't recommend prosecution or issue a sealed indictment is to either be lying or not understand what he actually said in the report. So can we at least agree that your statements in this regard were incorrect and that you now understand what is in the report?

 

But regarding Barr: Yes. Everyone knows Barr made the decision to not move forward. And that he is in the position of power to make that decision. That isn't the point of debate.

 

What IS up for discussion is both A) WHY he did that and B) what to do next.

 

A) The wording of the Mueller Report and the evidence laid out is pretty clear. SO clear that it makes Barr's motivations suspect. Many people believe he was being more political and working as an agent of the President rather than as an independent prosecutor. I'm going to guess you will argue otherwise, but surely you can step back and be objective enough to at least see WHY people would think so? Even if they are being partisan about it (and certainly that's at least part of their motivation) it's not like it's completely outrageous and from left field. It borders on stunning that ANY prosecutor would look at the evidence in the report and say, essentially, "nope...nothing to see here!".

 

B) Regardless of Barr's actions, the congress STILL has the right and ability to do what they want with the evidence presented in the report. Arguing they should do nothing because Barr didn't want to do anything is pretty silly. Especially in light of how much evidence is present in the report and the fact that Mueller not only didn't exonerate him, but laid it all out as clearly and plainly as anyone possibly could without actually issuing recommendations to indict or impeach.

 

I suppose he could have written "YOU MUST IMPEACH" in invisible ink on the final page?

 

 

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I suppose he could have written "YOU MUST IMPEACH" in invisible ink on the final page?

 

 

Pelosi doesn't want to impeach. I tend to think she's right. I am not a Trump supporter but I do not support impeachment. I think Mueller was brilliant. This is way too big a deal to be decided by one person or a political party. Trump's fate should be decided by the voters (assuming he runs again).

 

Having said that, I think Trump should be fair game for investigation. And I would feel the same way about a Dem president in a similar situation. And yes, I include Joe Biden's son in that as well.

 

How many investigations into HRC and now the Pubs don't want thier guy to be looked at? Nope.

 

Zip

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Pelosi doesn't want to impeach. I tend to think she's right. I am not a Trump supporter but I do not support impeachment. I think Mueller was brilliant. This is way too big a deal to be decided by one person or a political party. Trump's fate should be decided by the voters (assuming he runs again).

 

Having said that, I think Trump should be fair game for investigation. And I would feel the same way about a Dem president in a similar situation. And yes, I include Joe Biden's son in that as well.

 

How many investigations into HRC and now the Pubs don't want thier guy to be looked at? Nope.

 

Zip

 

I don't think they should impeach either. Trump wants them to because he knows he won't be removed from office and he wants to be able to play victim and then declare victory.

 

Pelosi is playing it right. They can do all the investigations without calling it "impeachment". And Trump's trying to play hardball by not cooperating at all and essentially shutting down the government. He's daring her to impeach him. We will see how far the courts let him get away with not cooperating and what the public thinks of him refusing to govern. Especially with things like sequestration and debt ceiling limits coming up.

 

 

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Pelosi doesn't want to impeach. I tend to think she's right. I am not a Trump supporter but I do not support impeachment. I think Mueller was brilliant. This is way too big a deal to be decided by one person or a political party. Trump's fate should be decided by the voters (assuming he runs again).

 

Having said that, I think Trump should be fair game for investigation. And I would feel the same way about a Dem president in a similar situation. And yes, I include Joe Biden's son in that as well.

 

How many investigations into HRC and now the Pubs don't want thier guy to be looked at? Nope.

 

Zip

 

Mueller played it by the book. And people should not get their hopes up too much for having him testify. I think he should and I think it will be good to get him on record stating many of the condemning things that are in the report, but he's not going to stand up and say "if not for the OLC rules, I would have indicted", he's not going to throw Barr under the bus and he's mostly going to say "I refer you to the report" over and over. Those thinking any of those thing will happen are going to be sorely disappointed.

 

But still, there are many things in the report that we need to hear him say in his own words and voice and have it on record.

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And since the DOJ is not independent of the executive branch, while the legislative IS independent (as you agree), a congressional investigation would have different powers and different limitations. Therefore, a Congressional investigation is not a re-do of the special counsel investigation. QED

 

Except the democrats in the congress said for 2 years they would wait until the Mueller report came out.

 

The Mueller report came out, they didn't like what it said, so now they're attempting a re-do. :)

 

IOW...a tantrum.

 

 

 

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Yes. But for anyone to try and argue that Mueller didn't see any prosecutable obstruction because he didn't recommend prosecution or issue a sealed indictment is to either be lying or not understand what he actually said in the report. So can we at least agree that your statements in this regard were incorrect and that you now understand what is in the report?

 

 

Now just ponder the bolded for a spell...:lol:

 

 

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Now just ponder the bolded for a spell...:lol:

 

 

Why? So you can confirm to me that you're either lying or don't understand what he actually said in the report?

 

Since what he actually said in the report has been laid out to you and you seemed to agree with it earlier, why are you going back to your silly circular argument now?

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Except the democrats in the congress said for 2 years they would wait until the Mueller report came out.

 

The Mueller report came out, they didn't like what it said, so now they're attempting a re-do. :)

 

IOW...a tantrum.

 

 

 

They liked what it said just fine. That's why they are using what was said in the report as a basis for their investigations going forward. :)

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I don't believe the report itself exonerates anything. (Yes I know I said it did on collusion). The interpretation of the report by the DOJ does exonerate Trump on both fronts and that's what the congressional pant-wetting tantrums are all about.

 

On both subjects, Mueller cites instances that were investigated for collusion and obstruction. Mueller declares he can't find evidence of collusion and still provides the instances that were investigated in the report. Ditto with obstruction with the difference being he says he can't make a decision either way. If Mueller could positively declare there was obstruction, he would've submitted sealed indictments to be opened after Trump left office. He didn't do that.

 

Now answer my question....

 

Are you good with a republican congress exercising its constitutionally mandated "oversight" and investigating Biden and his family...just to see if they can find anything?

 

 

 

bold ^

Yes, for sure, anyone who is going to be president, with all the powers and responsibilities that that entails, should be vetted, up, down, left and center.

 

 

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