I already had a long list of potential Russiagate material set aside from yesterday when the announcement came the Special Counsel Mueller had handed in his report to Attorney General Barr, making much of it moot. That's the good thing. The bad thing was that it touched off a massive discharge of new articles, trying to find meaning, in what appears to be a formal end to the investigation, without much clue as to what the report actually contains. Let's start with a negative, from Byron York, WaEx, Five things that didn't happen in the Mueller investigation:
1. Mueller did not indict Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, or other people whose purported legal jeopardy was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year.Paul Mirengoff at Power Line, Report: Mueller not recommending any more indictments
2. Mueller did not charge anyone in the Trump campaign or circle with conspiring with Russia to fix the 2016 election, as was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year.
3. Mueller did not subpoena the president, as was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year.
4. The president did not fire Mueller, as was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year.
5. The president did not interfere with the Mueller investigation, as was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year. In his letter to Congress, Barr noted the requirement that he notify lawmakers if top Justice Department officials ever interfered with the Mueller investigation. "There were no such instances," Barr wrote.
Fox News reports that Mueller has not recommended any new indictments. Thus, President Trump will not be indicted based on the Mueller report.Ace, Politico: Democrats Prepare Themselves for a "Dud" Mueller Report; Expect There to Be No More Indictments "Remember, when evaluating your preferred pundits, which ones flagged this as a baseless conspiracy theory early and which have been breathlessly pushing it as the Rosetta Stone of impeachment." Katie Pavlich, Democrats on Capitol Hill: The Mueller Report Will Likely Be a Dud, You Know
What we don’t know is why. Is it because Mueller has concluded that the U.S. president can’t be indicted while in office? Is it because Mueller has concluded that Trump did not do anything wrong, either by way of “colluding” with Russia or interfering with the administration of justice? Or is it because Mueller has concluded, James Comey style, that Trump did collude and/or interfere but that his conduct doesn’t rise to the level of a crime?
I hope we’ll find out which of these conclusions Mueller reached. I think the public has the right to know, especially given all the time, money, and drama associated with Mueller’s investigation.
Rachel Maddow Crying?
Here it is pic.twitter.com/sHE5VY9fwT— T Mills (@agentrevolt) March 23, 2019
RCP: Tucker Carlson: There Must Be "Consequences" For Those Claiming Russian Collusion if Mueller Report Shows None, Tucker Carlson: The Media Figures Who Pushed This Soon-to-be-Disproved Sham Collusion Conspiracy Theory Should be "Punished" - Mollie Hemingway on Tucker Now
This is from last night. It applies with even more force today.Stacy McCain: ‘Russia! Russia! Russia!’
Now, by "punished," he does not mean "indicted," as he clarifies. He means "publicly shamed" and "forced to apologize."
I normally wouldn't even agree with that... except I remember the left demanding "accountability" from pundits who made erroneous claims and false predictions about the Iraq War. And there was a lot of that in the media.
So: Should conspiracy theorists pushing a falsehood that undermines trust in the US democratic system be similarly required to come to a reckoning?
Answer: No. They control the message, and that means they control the questions that may be asked, and the criticisms that may be lodged.
You don't have to respond to a question or criticism you've suppressed so much that the half of the country you depend on for support never even hears of it.
Carlson also asks, rhetorically: If people on the right had claimed, without evidence, that Barack Obama was colluding with Iran for three years, would they be allowed on any media platform?
He says that's rhetorical. They wouldn't be -- unless they offered a groveling apology to King Barky the Wonderdog.
Definitely watch the opening of last night's show.
Tucker Carlson makes an important point about the Mueller probe:
So let’s recall, for the record, what the Robert Mueller investigation is about, why we got a special counsel in the first place. The point wasn’t to discover whether the president fudged deductions on his tax returns thirty years ago. It wasn’t to find out whether he wanted to build another hotel in foreign country. From its first day, the Mueller investigation was justified by a single question: Did Donald Trump collude with the Russian government to steal the 2016 presidential election? Did the president betray his country? For close to three years, Democrats have told us that, yes, he did . . .Watch the video:
To this day, even the most basic questions about the Russia story remained unanswered. Meanwhile we’ve upended our entire foreign policy, we’ve put Americans in prison, all on the basis of charges nobody was willing to prove. “How do we know that, Congressman?” “Shut up. You’re a Russian agent.” The conspiracy hawks seemed totally impervious to shame or reason. You couldn’t debate them, because they wouldn’t engage. They just threw slurs. . . .
Once the Mueller report appears and it becomes incontrovertible that, whatever his faults, Donald Trump did not collude with the Russians, the many people who’ve persistently claimed on the basis of no evidence that he did collude with the Russians must be punished.
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air, Comey: I Hope Mueller Talks His Rear End Off, Ken Starr, Mueller Cannot Seek an Indictment. And He Must Remain Silent.
Just part of the Drudgegasm:
675 DAYS OF INVESTIGATION
PUBLIC STILL IN DARK
COUNTDOWN TO LEAKS
NO MORE INDICTMENTSAG may send Congress 'summary' of findings this weekend...
Full disclosure battle...
The invisible prosecutor who shook White House...
PAPER: Don't expect hysteria to end...
Other Investigations Loom...
Cable viewers digest through Hannity, Maddow...
But some non-Mueller material waded through the slime to the forefront. Fox News, Clinton, in newly revealed emails, discussed classified foreign policy matters, secretive 'private' comms channel with Israel
A newly unearthed batch of heavily redacted, classified emails from Hillary Clinton'spersonal email server revealed that the former secretary of state discussed establishing a "private, 100% off-the-record" back channel to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that one of her top aides warned her that she was in "danger" of being "savaged by Jewish organizations, in the Jewish press and among the phalanx of neoconservative media" as a result of political machinations by "Bibi and the Jewish leadership."Evidence that Russiagate went to the top of the Obama administration from Katie Pavlich, New Texts Show the Obama White House May Have Been Briefed About Spying on the Trump Campaign
The 756-page group of new documents, revealed Thursday as part of a transparency lawsuit by Judicial Watch, seemingly contradicted Clinton's insistence under oath in 2015that she had turned over all of her sensitive work-related emails to the State Department, and included a slew of classified communications on everything from foreign policy to State Department personnel matters.
The files came from a trove of 72,000 documents the FBI recovered and turned over to the State Department in 2017. The documents, representing a small proportion of the tens of thousands of emails still unaccounted for from Clinton's server, also underscored the apparently significant political threat that the Obama administration felt it faced at the hands of Israel.
Additionally, according to the email dump, Clinton chatted with former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair about classified foreign policy matters before she was sworn in, aided the application of at least one State Department applicant who was connected to her daughter, Chelsea, and apparently met with Putin-aligned Georgian oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili before he became prime minister on a staunchly pro-Russian platform -- and with reported help from a Russian interference operation.
Next, while Page and McCabe are refusing to clarify, it appears the Obama White House may have been directly briefed on the matter.
On Oct. 14, 2016, Page again wrote to McCabe, this time concerning a meeting with the White House.Neither Lisa Page nor McCabe responded to Fox News' inquiries as to whether the meeting was designed to brief the White House on the FISA application or some other matter.
“Just called," Page said to McCabe. "Apparently the DAG [Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates] now wants to be there, and WH wants DOJ to host. So we are setting that up now. ... We will very much need to get Cohen’s view before we meet with her. Better, have him weigh in with her before the meeting. We need to speak with one voice, if that is in fact the case.” ("Cohen" is likely then-Deputy CIA Director David Cohen.)
McCabe responded within the hour: "Thanks. I will reach out to David." On Oct. 19, Page wrote to McCabe that the "meeting with WH counsel is finally set up."
The Obama White House has denied knowing anything about surveillance or spying on the Trump campaign or any American citizen.