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Jeffrey Epstein Had a Painting of Bill Clinton In a Blue Dress For Some Reason

Westlake Legal Group 34_politics002-drew-angerer-edited-580.v1-620x414 Jeffrey Epstein Had a Painting of Bill Clinton In a Blue Dress For Some Reason weird sex trafficking report Politics Pedophile Island painting Jeffrey Epstein investigation Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story democrats Blue Dress Bill Clinton

A new report, including pictures, came out today exposing that Jeffrey Epstein had a painting of Bill Clinton on the wall of his New York mansion. That would be weird enough, but the painting also included the odd detail of the former President posing while wearing a blue dress. I guess this was a humorous throwback to the Monica Lewinsky saga?

Jeffrey Epstein had a bizarre portrait which appeared to be of Bill Clinton in a dress hanging in his Manhattan mansion, DailyMailTV can reveal.

The picture depicting the former president apparently lounging on a chair in the Oval Office, wearing red heels and posing suggestively in a blue dress redolent of Monica Lewinsky was in a room off the stairway of the Upper East Side townhouse.

The painting was secretly snapped inside the pedophile’s lavish $56 million home in October 2012, four years after Epstein completed his sweetheart deal for prostitution of a minor and seven years before he was accused of running a sex trafficking ring of underage girls.

Well, alrighty then. We can probably just close up shop on the internet for the day because this can’t be topped in its absurdity.

Bill Clinton had numerous connections to Epstein, including taking 27 flights on his “Lolita Express” private jet and being pegged as present on Epstein’s island, famous for its sex trafficking. The Daily Beast also exposed a rash of private meetings, including events at the White House during the 90s.

What all that adds up to is currently unknown but suspicions have been rightly raised. The news of this painting just adds another layer to their relationship. You’d think they were pretty close if Epstein had this joke painting hanging on his wall. We’ll have to see where the evidence actually takes us though.

In the meantime, if I never see Bill Clinton in a dress again, it’ll be too soon.

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The post Jeffrey Epstein Had a Painting of Bill Clinton In a Blue Dress For Some Reason appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-08-14-at-6.56.32-PM-300x149 Jeffrey Epstein Had a Painting of Bill Clinton In a Blue Dress For Some Reason weird sex trafficking report Politics Pedophile Island painting Jeffrey Epstein investigation Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story democrats Blue Dress Bill Clinton   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Nadler: I expect Mueller’s testimony on July 17 to have a “profound impact”

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The news that the Sphinx of Russiagate had finally agreed to testify broke last night as we wrapping up here for the day, although there’s not much to say beyond the headline. He’ll be there, however reluctantly, fielding questions from Jerry Nadler’s Judiciary Committee and Adam Schiff’s Intelligence Committee. (The latter will also have a closed session with him to discuss classified matters.) House Republicans may be more excited than Democrats are:

Still, some Democrats are already trying to temper expectations. Privately, some fear that Mueller’s much anticipated testimony won’t live up to the hype that has been built around him for months…

“I just think it’s more political theater,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (N.C.), a Trump ally who offered a warning: “Mr. Mueller better be prepared. I mean, there’s a lot more questions that Republicans have than Democrats.”

He added: “This is the Democrats trying to resurrect a Russia collusion narrative that the American people are tired of. And yet, Mr. Mueller has not been subject to cross examination. He will be now.”

Trump-friendly Democrat Alan Dershowitz also thinks it’s a mistake by Dems to bring Mueller in…

“He can’t refuse to answer questions about the FISA application,” Dershowitz said, referring to a request by the FBI to surveil a member of the 2016 Trump campaign under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

“Those are the kind of questions that I think Republicans will be very well prepared to ask. Those are the kind of questions which are currently under investigation by the inspector general whose report we are waiting for. But those are not in any way precluded. So I think that they will regret having called him.”

…whereas Trump-hostile libertarian Justin Amash does not:

I think Nadler’s more right than wrong in the clip below if if if he can get Mueller to walk through the details of the report in his answers. That’s all Democrats want out of this — a televised tutorial on the report’s contents from the man who wrote it, amid a media circus that guarantees millions of viewers. No one expects Mueller to say that he personally believes Trump committed obstruction of justice or that Bill Barr abdicated his duty as AG by not including Mueller’s own summaries in his initial letter to Congress about the report’s findings. He’s been clear that he’d rather not testify, warning Congress in his short press conference a few weeks ago that he wouldn’t discuss anything that’s not in the report itself. He’ll try hard not to make any news in his testimony. But that’s fine by Dems. Their chief concern about the report at this point is that many Americans still don’t know what’s in it. Most haven’t read it; all they may know about it is what they’ve heard on Fox or conservative talk radio. Their best bet to counter Trump’s message that he was totally exonerated is to have Mueller himself on TV affirming repeatedly, for hours on end, that he wasn’t exonerated on obstruction. We live in an age of video, not print. If you want your political message to penetrate, you need to put on a show. Just look who’s president!

But that “if if if” is key. What if Mueller claims some sort of privilege in refusing to walk through the obstruction material? What if he answers repeatedly, as Patterico suspects, that “That information is in the report” and refuses to elaborate? The Democrats’ show will be spoiled. Dems would be happy enough to have Mueller literally reading from the obstruction section of the report, just to have that information beamed into American homes and made available for Democratic 2020 attack ads. (I expect there’ll be a lot of requests for Mueller to read at the hearing.) But if he won’t signal some doubt as to Trump’s innocence, even if it’s just by reiterating the conclusions in the obstruction section, he’ll defeat the purpose of this pageant.

I think he’ll end up disappointing them. But he’ll disappoint Republicans too. The stagecraft of one House Republican after another angrily grandstanding about Mueller’s “team of Democrats” etc. won’t play well in contrast to Mueller’s just-the-facts mien. And I don’t know what Dershowitz is expecting him to admit as regards the original FISA application. Chances of an admission that the entire investigation was based on a lie trumped up by Team Hillary and eagerly pursued by a deep-state cabal of which Mueller was supposedly a key part seem … low. But GOPers probably don’t care much about that, for the same reason that Dems don’t much care if Mueller breaks new ground in his testimony. The opportunity presented here is simply to educate casual voters who might not have paid much attention to the Russia investigation until now. If Republicans can hit all of their lines of attack to discredit it — the Steele dossier, the FISA application, conflicts of interest, and so on — that’s information that the casual voter will have to weigh against Mueller’s refusal to exonerate Trump on obstruction.

The post Nadler: I expect Mueller’s testimony on July 17 to have a “profound impact” appeared first on Hot Air.

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Livestream: Famous liberal actors gather to … act out the Mueller report?

Westlake Legal Group rm-1 Livestream: Famous liberal actors gather to … act out the Mueller report? Trump The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in 10 Acts The Blog Robert Schenkkan report mueller Mark Hamill liberal Kevin Kline julia louis-dreyfus John Lithgow Jason Alexander hamill annette bening Alyssa Milano

To cleanse the palate, I … guess it’s worth watching Luke Skywalker ham it up as Corey Lewandowski or whoever? There’s nothing better to do on a slow news night.

Plus, hey: It has the official John Kerry seal of approval.

And Alyssa Milano!

The live cast, as it stands now, includes, Annette Bening, Kevin Kline, John Lithgow, Frederick Weller, Ben McKenzie, Michael Shannon, Noah Emmerich, Justin Long, Jason Alexander, Gina Gershon, Wilson Cruz, Joel Grey, Alyssa Milano, Kyra Sedgwick, Alfre Woodard, Piper Perabo, Zachary Quinto and Aidan Quinn, with additional participation by Sigourney Weaver, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mark Hamill.

That’s a weird mix of actors whom I’d pay to see — Kline, Lithgow, Weaver, the “Seinfeld” twins — and actors whom you couldn’t pay me to see. Like Alyssa Milano. The livesteam starts below at 9 p.m. ET. Exit question: Who plays Mueller? Gotta be Kline, right?

The post Livestream: Famous liberal actors gather to … act out the Mueller report? appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group rm-1-300x153 Livestream: Famous liberal actors gather to … act out the Mueller report? Trump The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in 10 Acts The Blog Robert Schenkkan report mueller Mark Hamill liberal Kevin Kline julia louis-dreyfus John Lithgow Jason Alexander hamill annette bening Alyssa Milano   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Matt Gaetz to John Dean: Let’s face it, you’re here as a prop because Democrats can’t impeach Trump

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An enjoyable exchange between one lawyer who was disbarred and another who might be. (But almost certainly won’t be.)

Gaetz is right that Dean is being used here as a prop, a point I made myself earlier. He’s also right about Dean’s “cottage industry” of attacking Republican politicians with a heavy emphasis on Nixon comparisons. He wrote three books during the Bush era, one called “Worse Than Watergate” about Dubya’s presidency, one entitled “Conservatives Without Conscience” about the failed leadership of the Republican coalition, and then the capper, “Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches.” Many cable-news talking heads have defined “niches” but Dean’s is unusually clear and narrow: He’s the ghost of Republican scandals past (as Gaetz almost refers to him here) who pops up from time to time to assure liberals that, whoever the GOP villain du jour happens to be, he’s worse than Nixon.

Gaetz thinks Dean does this for money. Maybe, although I think it’s mostly for status. Surely Dean doesn’t need a stipend from CNN after years as an investment banker and successful author tailoring his work to Democrats who like to be told that it’s the other party that’s to blame for all of America’s problems. It must be psychologically seductive for Dean to be seen as a sort of moral tutor by one half of the country after he was disgraced by Watergate. His “every Republican is Nixon” shtick is a way to reclaim the high ground while constantly reminding people of his claim to fame. He’s never really discarded his famous role as witness against a corrupt Republican president when you think about it; he renews it every time a new Republican is sworn in, and instead of giving his testimony to the Judiciary Committee, he gives it to Anderson Cooper.

Until today, when he was back at the site that made him famous.

Here’s the exchange followed by Trump making his own very Trumpy comments about Dean. The most cutting thing Dean said to Gaetz, by the way, was “I appreciate you were not born at the time that this all happened,” a backhanded way of accusing Gaetz of ignorance by dint of youth. That line drew some audible murmuring from the crowd, as you’ll see below, but if you watch the version of the clip that was uploaded to YouTube by Gaetz’s own staff, it’s not in there. I don’t know why Gaetz’s staff would edit his clips for time, given that the full exchange with Dean ran for only a minute or so longer than Gaetz’s edited version does. Did they redact that line out simply because it embarrassed the congressman?

The post Matt Gaetz to John Dean: Let’s face it, you’re here as a prop because Democrats can’t impeach Trump appeared first on Hot Air.

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Hillary: There’s a classic pattern to fascism and we’re seeing some of it play out right now

Westlake Legal Group hc Hillary: There’s a classic pattern to fascism and we’re seeing some of it play out right now Trump The Blog socialism report obstruction mueller madeleine albright Justice Hillary Clinton Fascism 2020

Via Breitbart and RCP, I haven’t adjusted yet to the fact that the narrative of the 2020 election, per the attack lines from each side, will be Fascism vs. Socialism.

That’s always the *subtext* of elections, particularly presidential ones. But this time it’ll be the text. No euphemisms. We may even have an avowed socialist at the top of the Democratic ballot, for cripes sake.

According to a new poll from Axios, the ladies have made their choice:

A Harris poll for “Axios on HBO” finds that socialism is gaining popularity: 4 in 10 Americans say they would prefer living in a socialist country over a capitalist one.

Why it matters: Socialism is losing its Soviet-era stigma, especially among women. Popular Democratic socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders are bringing new life and meaning to the term.

55% of women between 18 and 54 would prefer to live in a socialist country than a capitalist country

“We’ve seen this pattern of behavior where women are turning out in higher numbers as voters and as candidates than we’ve ever seen. They’re getting elected in higher numbers than before. They’re pushing the conversation in different ways,” Axios’ Alexi McCammond noted on “Axios on HBO.”

As always with polls about socialism, the big caveat is that different people define the term in different ways. Fewer than half in this poll (48 percent) defined a socialist political system as one in which “workers own and control their places of employment,” the traditional understanding. More than three-quarters, conversely, say that a socialist political system means universal health care. I think the general understanding now, after eight years of complementary left-wing and right-wing messaging during the Obama era, is something like “much greater government influence over private industry, especially when it comes to guaranteeing basic needs like health care and education.” No one, or practically no one, is demanding that workers own the means of production.

Although if we elect Bernie and AOC’s star continues to rise, who knows? Their policy ambitions aren’t modest. There’s a “classic pattern” to socialism too.

Is this going to be Hillary’s role in next year’s campaign, by the way — sporadically popping up on the trail here and there, and on television, to call the president a fascist? The nominee will want to put that message out there but maybe not with this messenger. She’s too unpopular, and dark insinuations about Trump and his fans veer way too close to the “deplorables” comment that may have cost her the election in 2016. Put a mic in Clinton’s hand and start her chattering about Trump’s appeal and there’s no telling where the conversation might go. She’s insulted red-staters more than once, remember.

The post Hillary: There’s a classic pattern to fascism and we’re seeing some of it play out right now appeared first on Hot Air.

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Bill Barr: I personally feel Mueller could have reached a decision on obstruction

Westlake Legal Group bb-1 Bill Barr: I personally feel Mueller could have reached a decision on obstruction Trump The Blog russiagate Russia report obstruction mueller barr

Yeah, it’s hard to argue. If/when Mueller finally testifies, someone should ask him what he would have done if he’d been AG and the special counsel had punted on whether the president had committed obstruction of justice or not. Would he have forced himself to decide the question, as Barr and Rod Rosenstein did, or would he have left the issue unresolved? Barr testified weeks ago that he felt obliged to reach a conclusion for the simple reason that the Justice Department can’t just throw up its hands and say “We don’t know” after a long criminal investigation. Either charges will be filed or they won’t be. Normally it’s the prosecutor, not the AG, who makes that call but someone has to make it. Mueller dropped the ball.

I think he was worried about forcing Congress’s hand on impeachment. If Mueller had accused Trump of a crime, House Democrats would have had to act. Removal by the Senate would have been unlikely given the dearth of evidence on the underlying crime, conspiracy with Russia, which means Trump would have continued in office supervising a Justice Department that was … on record as believing he was a criminal and was presumably prepared to indict him as soon as his presidency ended. Potentially he would have had to run the country *and* conduct a national reelection campaign as an accused but unindicted felon; meanwhile Democrats and Republicans would reap the electoral consequences of the impeachment process Mueller had foisted upon them. Imagine if Mueller’s accusation led to Trump losing his reelection bid, getting indicted — and then being acquitted at trial. He would have been tossed out of office over an allegation that turned out to have no merit but which he wasn’t able to defeat sooner due to the DOJ’s policy preventing indictments of sitting presidents.

Barr apparently would have risked all of that by letting Mueller accuse Trump. Mueller preferred to eschew any accusations and instead simply show Congress the evidence he had on obstruction. Let them decide what to do with it.

It’s an absurd situation, made more absurd by the fact that Mueller felt obliged to produce a lengthy report detailing the obstruction evidence against Trump before deciding it’d be unfair to accuse him of anything. What do we do about situations like this in the future? On the one hand, people have got to know whether their president is a crook, which is why Barr and Mueller decided to release the report in the first place. This isn’t any ol’ criminal defendant in any ol’ criminal case. Trump’s accountable to the public by dint of his office. Voters deserve to know what he’s done. But on the other hand, if the DOJ can’t say — formally or informally — whether it believes the president is a crook or not for fear of impugning him without the benefit of a trial then what’s the point of releasing the findings of the investigation? Share it confidentially with Congress so that they can make a call on impeachment and then stick it in a drawer somewhere inside the DOJ and let future prosecutors decide what to do with the evidence once the president’s out of office and eligible for indictment again.

How far to go in accusing the president when you can’t go all the way by law is an impossible dilemma. And when you take half-measures, as Mueller did, you’re apt to confuse average Americans who get their news from sources inclined to tell them what they want to hear:

Cathy Garnaat, a Republican who supported Amash and the president said she was upset about Amash’s position but wanted to hear his reasoning. She said that she will definitely support Trump in 2020 but that Tuesday night was the first time she had heard that the Mueller report didn’t completely exonerate the president.

“I was surprised to hear there was anything negative in the Mueller report at all about President Trump. I hadn’t heard that before,” she said. “I’ve mainly listened to conservative news and I hadn’t heard anything negative about that report and President Trump has been exonerated.”

Punting on obstruction made it easy for Trump’s allies to spin the report as a total win for him. Accusing him of obstruction with the caveat that he can’t lawfully be indicted until he leaves office would have made it much harder. Mueller’s scrupulousness about refusing to accuse someone who’s not allowed to defend himself in court was an enormous political asset to Trump in the end.

The post Bill Barr: I personally feel Mueller could have reached a decision on obstruction appeared first on Hot Air.

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Comey: Trump’s “frustration” over the Russia probe doesn’t let him off the hook for obstruction

Westlake Legal Group comey-trumps-frustration-over-the-russia-probe-doesnt-let-him-off-the-hook-for-obstruction Comey: Trump’s “frustration” over the Russia probe doesn’t let him off the hook for obstruction Trump The Blog report obstruction mueller motive Justice intent frustration Federal Bureau of Investigation department corrupt comey CBS barr

Westlake Legal Group j Comey: Trump’s “frustration” over the Russia probe doesn’t let him off the hook for obstruction Trump The Blog report obstruction mueller motive Justice intent frustration Federal Bureau of Investigation department corrupt comey CBS barr

Yeah, Bill Barr’s argument on this point left me scratching my head last week and I’m still scratching it now. He told Dianne Feinstein during his latest Senate testimony that one reason he didn’t think Trump had obstructed justice is because obstruction under the law requires evidence of “corrupt intent.” If the president knew he was innocent of collusion, Barr reasoned, and sincerely felt persecuted for partisan political reasons then would it really have been “corrupt” for him to try to fire Bob Mueller and end the Russiagate probe? He was frustrated (and remains frustrated) that the investigation left him under a cloud politically for two years. He wasn’t trying to prevent Mueller from indicting him. Ending an inquiry which he had every reason to believe *wouldn’t* lead to him being accused of an underlying crime isn’t “corrupt.”

But if you take that logic seriously, it should mean that no one who’s falsely accused of a crime can be convicted of obstruction. If the local U.S. Attorney starts investigating you for terrorism and you know you’re innocent, why shouldn’t you plant fabricated evidence or lie under oath to steer him away from suspicion of you? You have every right to be frustrated that he’s interrupted your life and placed a cloud over you when you know you haven’t done anything wrong. Witch hunt!

Of course you can commit obstruction even if you’ve committed no other crime and even if you acted out of “frustration.” The obstruction statute is there to deter people from deliberately impeding or corrupting federal investigations whether or not they’re at risk of being charged. We want to know when the DOJ finishes up with a probe that the probe wasn’t rigged somehow by outside sources. What makes Barr’s defense of Trump extra strange is that, while Trump might have been confident from the start that he personally wouldn’t be indicted, he was in the dark about which members of his inner circle might be. His son was in criminal jeopardy for months; his pal Mike Flynn was in such deep trouble that Trump had a word with Comey about it. By limiting the question of “corrupt intent” to whether Trump was trying to protect *himself* from being indicted, Barr glossed over the president’s anxiety about the people around him.

He’d have been better off making the strong-form argument that Alan Dershowitz made about this: If the president has the power under the Constitution to end an investigation or fire Mueller, then by definition his actions can’t be obstruction regardless of whether his motive was corrupt. They’re lawful, period. That’s an unsatisfying explanation since it would mean that the president enjoys certain powers to impede an investigation in which either he or his close associates are implicated that the average citizen doesn’t enjoy, but, well, he does. Just like Congress has certain powers to remove the president from office that the average citizen doesn’t enjoy.

Exit quotation: “Republicans need to breathe into a paper bag. If we had confronted the same facts with a different candidate, say a Democrat candidate, where one of their advisers was talking to a foreign adversary’s representative, about that adversary’s interference in our election, they would be screaming for the FBI to investigate and that’s all we did.”

The post Comey: Trump’s “frustration” over the Russia probe doesn’t let him off the hook for obstruction appeared first on Hot Air.

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Media Run with “Bombshell” That Mueller Criticized Barr’s Summary, But There’s a Problem

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Westlake Legal Group FakeNewsShirt-1 Media Run with “Bombshell” That Mueller Criticized Barr’s Summary, But There’s a Problem the washington post The New York Times Summary report Politics mueller MSNBC misleading media bias Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story barr

I’m not even sure why this matters given that the full report has been out for weeks now, but the media are never one to miss a gotcha and this is a juicy one. Or is it?

The Washington Post (and The New York Times) are running with this supposed “bombshell” story.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that a four-page memo to Congress describing the principal conclusions of the investigation into President Trump “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work, according to a copy of the letter reviewed Tuesday by The Washington Post.

As you keep reading you see that Mueller’s primary complaint is apparently a “lack of context” with the findings on obstruction specifically.

This is petty nonsense. The letter was a summary. It was never meant to include all the context nor could it possibly do so. That’s what the 400 page report, which was released as promised a few weeks later is for. Barr was stuck in an impossible position. If he didn’t release a summary, he’d have been accused of hiding the bottom line findings while he sanitizes the report. Instead he released the bottom line findings and then got accused of misrepresenting the report (spoiler: he didn’t and we’ll see that admitted in a second).

But there’s a problem with how the media are reporting this.

Buried in the Post report and absent from the headline is this pretty important line way down in the body.

“When Barr pressed him whether he thought Barr’s letter was inaccurate, Mueller said he did not, but felt that the media coverage of the letter was misinterpreting the investigation, officials said.”

In other words, Barr pushed back on Mueller’s silly complaints and got him to admit that Barr hadn’t misrepresented anything. Then we see Mueller fold and say he’s actually just upset with the media for misrepresenting the findings.

Barr doesn’t play games and that’s why he’s so good at his job. Could you imagine Jeff Sessions ever standing up to Mueller like that and calling him on his nonsense? Of course you couldn’t because he’d never do so.

Meanwhile, the media talking heads on the left are reacting as expected.

That’s literally the opposite of what the Post report actually says, but MSNBC is gonna MSNBC.

Frankly, I’m kind of enjoying the freaking out at this point. These people are always in the process of losing their minds and it’s decent entertainment. Barr should continue to play hardball with Congress and tell the media to pound sand on their complaints.

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Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

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The post Media Run with “Bombshell” That Mueller Criticized Barr’s Summary, But There’s a Problem appeared first on RedState.

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Andrew Napolitano: Let’s face it, Trump obstructed justice

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I feel like that Supreme Court appointment for Judge Nap might not be happening.

Annnnd I’m thinking the frostiness from the White House towards Fox News lately is probably going to freeze over before it starts to thaw.

Note his emphasis here on ways in which Trump allegedly attempted to mislead investigators. There’s been bickering from the start among law nerds about whether Trump could commit obstruction by lawfully exercising a presidential power. He was entitled to fire Comey, but if his motive in firing him was to impede the investigation of “this Russia thing” then arguably he’s committed obstruction even though handing Comey his pink slip was perfectly legal. (And even though he didn’t succeed in thwarting the investigation.) What’s less arguable as an example of obstruction is attempting to mislead investigators — like, say, by getting K.T. McFarland to write a memo about Mike Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador stating facts which she had no knowledge of. Essentially that’s tampering with evidence. And as Napolitano notes, just because Flynn ultimately would have benefited rather than Trump doesn’t make it less of a crime. The point of criminalizing obstruction is to protect the integrity of DOJ investigations. You don’t want charging decisions being made on the basis of fabricated evidence, regardless of whether it was the defendant who fabricated it or a friend of his.

But then this is why Trump is so hot to have the DOJ probe the origins of Russiagate despite the fact that the report cleared him on collusion and Bill Barr cleared him on obstruction. His grand answer to the claim that he tried to corrupt the investigation is that it was corrupted from the start by the other party. Obama’s administration obstructed justice by launching this thing in the first place, he’ll say. Even if that turns out not to be true, a long investigation that keeps Democrats on defense will serve his purposes. He’s going to try to run out the clock until Election Day on various House subpoenas and he’ll try to run it out on the Real Obstruction Of Justice until then too.

The post Andrew Napolitano: Let’s face it, Trump obstructed justice appeared first on Hot Air.

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Hillary: Anyone else would have been indicted for obstruction if they did what Trump did

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Ironic, since others have made the same point about her mishandling of classified information — even in court, as part of their legal defense to the same charge. The most famous example, Kristian Saucier, received a pardon from Trump because of it.

I’m surprised to find Hillary adding to the pressure here on Pelosi and the House leadership to impeach. Right, granted, she hates Trump, but Pelosi has sound strategic reasons for not wanting to initiate a process that can only lead to failure in the Republican Senate and turnout fuel for Republican voters. The way you kick Trump out of office is to keep Russiagate at a simmer, not a boil, hot enough so that it damages Trump next fall but not so hot that Trump’s base is agitated by it. That’s what Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff et al. are trying to do by launching a thousand investigations but downplaying the prospects of impeachment. Now here’s Hillary nudging them to go nuclear. Her electoral instincts are foolproof.

In all honesty, I read the key part of Mueller’s report on obstruction the same way she did. I wouldn’t say it “very directly” referred the matter to Congress, as she does, but indirectly? Sure.

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Before the report was issued it seemed like Mueller would come to one of two possible conclusions, that probable cause does or doesn’t exist based on the evidence to believe that Trump obstructed justice. Actually indicting Trump seemed out of the question due to DOJ policy that sitting president can’t be indicted, but surely Mueller could state his considered judgment that an indictment should issue under circumstances like these. That would be Congress’s cue to take the baton and begin impeachment proceedings. And Mueller didn’t do that. Total exoneration!

But no, what he’s telling us in the above passage is that, for reasons of basic fairness, the DOJ policy preventing indictment of the president also precludes Mueller from stating his opinion if he believed obstruction occurred. If he were to accuse Trump of that, it would leave the president with no legal avenue to answer the charge: Since there’s no indictment, there’s no trial and thus no opportunity for Trump to mount a defense. A sealed indictment wouldn’t work either since it would doubtless leak, casting a shadow over Trump’s presidency with, again, no chance to clear his name until he was out of office, years in the future. Imagine if Mueller indicted Trump under seal, the indictment was exposed, the resulting political damage led to Trump losing the election, and then Trump was acquitted in court. Mueller’s accusation would have changed the course of American history — in a case which, it turned out, couldn’t even support a conviction. Grossly unfair.

The only thing for him to do was to lay out the evidence he’d gathered and scrupulously withhold his opinion on Trump’s guilt … except to say that his silence shouldn’t be interpreted as exoneration. His position, essentially, is that it’d be unfair to the accused to say that probable cause exists but unfair to the facts to say it doesn’t not exist, wink wink. That does sound like an impeachment referral to Congress rather than a punt to Bill Barr to decide the question. After all, if Mueller thought it was appropriate for the attorney general to declare that Trump didn’t obstruct justice, he could have and presumably would have said it in the report himself. He didn’t, and made a point of saying that he wasn’t doing that.

But Barr did choose to decide the question and that’s had an impact by souring the public on impeachment (ironically to the relief of House Democrats). It’d be fascinating if Mueller were called to testify before the House and confirmed that his convoluted finding on obstruction was aimed at having Congress decide the matter rather than Barr, but it’s hard to imagine that. A by-the-book character like Mueller will probably take the view that Barr is in charge and he’s merely a subordinate. If Barr thought the right thing to do was to issue a verdict on obstruction by the president instead of leaving it to Congress then that’s within his discretion as AG, case closed.

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