Sunday, February 24, 2019

Recoiling from Russiagate

Sundance at CTH on the timing of the Mueller report shenanigans: DOJ: No Mueller Report Next Week – Meanwhile Schiff and Nadler Demand Report Details….
The most likely sequencing of the Democrat scheme has always looked to be: (1) Michael Cohen testimony; then (2) The Mueller report.

Cohen is scheduled to testify to Elijah Cummings House oversight committee Wednesday February 27th (10:00am) next week. Today, predictably, the DOJ announces the Robert Mueller report will be *after* that testimony:
WASHINGTON DC – Special counsel Robert Mueller will not deliver his report to the Justice Department on Friday or next week, a Justice Department official told The Hill.
The news comes amid broad speculation that Mueller’s probe into Russia’s electoral interference is wrapping up, with several news outlets reporting Wednesday that newly confirmed Attorney General William Barr was preparing to receive Mueller’s final report as soon as next week. (read more)
Meanwhile, also anticipated, with Attorney General William Barr in place to receive and statutorily summarize the report from Robert Mueller, House democrats start posturing to impede AG Barr’s influence within the final report construct.
Is the Mueller report to Barr being delayed to help the Democrats with the Cohen testimony? Or are we just paranoid? Or in the view of Clearly Schiff lost faith in Mueller. In politics, both can be true. Hot Air reads the NYT so they can tell us what we already knew, Will The Mueller Report Be Made Public? It’s Largely Up To The New AG, and they're not very happy about it.

The AP tries to convince us that Court records reveal a Mueller report right in plain view, trying to pump up the importance of some process crimes, some tax evasion, and some Russians indicted who will never face trial. But as Jonathon Turley notes, We’re At Least “One Collusion Short” On Any Mueller Bombshell

Mueller’s team has managed to produce a significant number of indictments, but as Turley says, none of them relate to collusion by Trump’s campaign. The most substantive indictments were against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates on a case that the Department of Justice had developed in 2014 but put aside after the overthrow of Manafort’s clients in the pro-Russian regime in Ukraine. Mueller also indicted several Russian entities and individuals for their disruption operations, but those will never get prosecuted. Otherwise, as Smerconish notes, the rest of the indictments are all “process crimes” — lying to investigators, for the most part.
Mueller is really going after Paul Manafort, calling him a ‘hardened’ and ‘bold’ criminal, and literally throwing the book at him with an 800+ page sentencing "memo!".  One thing to keep in mind is that as a front line prosecutor, Rod Rosenstein tried, and failed to indict Manafort on the same kinds of offenses in 2014. Is he using the Special Counsel for a second bite of the apple? I don't doubt that Manafort is a tax cheat, and violated FARA (along with almost every other lobbyist in D.C.), but he wouldn't be in trouble had he not become associated with Trump.
Scott Adams tells an unpleasant truth:

Hot Air from the NYT again: Cohen Gave Prosecutors New Information On The Trump Family Business and boy are they happy about it. I hope they are equally happy when their lawyers are dragged before Congress and forced to testify about their businesses.

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