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Opinions & Editorials Discuss Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling. at the General Forum; Bloomberg Attorney General William Barr has produced an exceptionally brief summary of what is undoubtedly a lengthy report from special ...

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Old 03-24-2019, 09:52 PM
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Default Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling.

Bloomberg

Attorney General William Barr has produced an exceptionally brief summary of what is undoubtedly a lengthy report from special counsel Robert Mueller. For an issue of this magnitude – involving potentially serious misconduct by a successful presidential campaign and a sitting president – it is best to insist on a principle of neutrality, and to evaluate the summary not in political terms, but as a matter of fact and law.

The central point of the Mueller investigation was to determine whether the Donald Trump campaign knowingly conspired or coordinated with Russian conspiracies to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller’s conclusion is straightforward: He did not find evidence of any such conspiracy or coordination, notwithstanding repeated Russian efforts to assist the Trump campaign.

Russia’s Internet Research Agency conducted disinformation and social media operations in the U.S. to sow discord and to interfere with the election. Russia also conducted computer-hacking operations to gather and spread disinformation, again to interfere with the election. In both cases, the special counsel did not find a conspiracy or knowing coordination with any official in the Trump campaign.

The much trickier issue involves obstruction of justice. On that count, the special counsel declined to reach a legal conclusion. In a sentence that will be much quoted, he said that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

What does that mean? Mueller and his team evidently found the issue difficult and decided to lay out evidence on both sides of the question. They were not clear that the president committed a crime – but they also weren’t clear that he didn’t. They left the ultimate judgment to the attorney general himself.

In a way, that was responsible and prudent, especially if the legal issue was genuinely difficult. But it is not exactly ideal. Against the unique backdrop of the last year, the recently confirmed attorney general is not in the best position to make an independent decision about whether his boss committed a crime.

Placed in that position, Barr made his decision, apparently at warp speed. In what may be the most interesting part of his letter, he concluded that Mueller’s evidence is not sufficient to establish obstruction of justice.

Barr did not invoke constitutional principles, which can be read to insulate the president from prosecution in a case of this kind. Instead he noted that to prove obstruction of justice, it is necessary to establish “corrupt intent,” and to do so beyond a reasonable doubt.

Barr emphasized the absence of evidence that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference. As he noted, that isn’t enough to resolve the obstruction question -- but he found it relevant to the president’s intent. Barr concluded that under his department’s principles governing charging decisions, Mueller’s report did not identify any actions, on the part of the president, that would establish the technical elements of obstruction of justice (beyond a reasonable doubt).

Let’s step back a bit – both from the details and from the question whether the White House “won” or “lost.” Here are the four central points in order of importance:

First, Mueller’s report apparently gives a lot of detail about Russia’s interference with the 2016 election. Such interference is not tolerable. It happened. It must not be allowed to happen again.

Second, Mueller found no knowing conspiracy or coordination between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. Every American has reason to be relieved by that finding, no matter for whom they voted, and even if they remain suspicious of some of Trump’s statements and actions with respect to Russia.

Third, Mueller and his team seem to have been badly torn on the obstruction question. They were unwilling to conclude that the president of the United States did not commit that crime. Every American has reason to be shaken by that, no matter for whom they voted.

Fourth, Barr’s resolution of the obstruction issue is awkward. He appears to have reached his conclusion essentially immediately -- on a tough question on which Mueller and his team evidently struggled for a long time.

Barr’s public explanation was not only favorable to his boss; it was thin and brisk. Whether Barr was right or wrong, that’s troubling

~~~~~~~~~Cass Sunstein
American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling.

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Old 03-25-2019, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling.

Former Obama regulations czar Cass Sunstein wants you to know he is "troubled" by the AG's awkward summary report. He's back to his partisan nudging in an effort to salvage obstruction charges from the wreckage of the Russian collusion narrative.

While the focus is on AG Barr the role of Rod Rosenstein sitting at his side is conveniently overlooked by Resistance Democrats determined to destroy Trump no matter the facts. It was Rosenstein who appointed Mueller and gave him an apparent free hand after the feckless Jeff Sessions recused himself unnecessarily. It was Rosenstein who offered to wear a wire to the WH as part of a conspiracy by high ranking FBI and DOJ appointees to unseat the President using the 25th amendment. Rosenstein signed off on renewing the secret surveillance FISA warrant based on the unverified opposition research dossier prepared by the Clinton campaign. Rosenstein allowed himself to be compromised by Mueller's investigators by submitting to an interview performed by a team notorious for setting perjury traps. Yet in spite of all that Rosenstein stayed on at the DOJ and went along with the AG's decision declining to recommend charges for obstruction.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling.

The Mueller court lasted over two years. The FBI "investigation" started back in May of 2016. That's almost THREE years ago. Whilst everyone else got to watch March Madness, Barr had two days to read the report and execute a summary.

There was no "decision" to make here. One cannot be "exonerated" of a crime which never existed.

As for this,,,;
,,, Mueller and his team seem to have been badly torn on the obstruction question. They were unwilling to conclude that the president of the United States did not commit that crime. Every American has reason to be shaken by that, no matter for whom they voted."

Once the team realized they had noting on "collusion" it was <of course, agonizing for them that they could not prove and therefore determine, any Obstruction. They had so much hope and it was dashed by the pop of a soap bubble. After two years of trying to nail Trump on the basis of a falsehood, a lie, no one should be surprised that the Mueller "team" did not come honestly clean and admit it.

They didn't have to, so they just let it lay like a dangling participle, to tease and annoy..


So much for a conclusive $30 million investigation.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling.

From the OP:

Quote:
Mueller’s conclusion is straightforward: He did not find evidence of any such conspiracy or coordination
End of story. All the whining and complaining has gotten ridiculous. Trump won. The haters need to grow up and accept reality.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
There was no "decision" to make here. One cannot be "exonerated" of a crime which never existed.
That's the funny part...

1) Prosecutors DON'T exonerate people...They either prosecute or decline to prosecute...

2) This is pure "guilty until proven innocent"...Trump wasn't "exonerated", so SOMETHING must have been done wrong!!!!...
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
That's the funny part...

1) Prosecutors DON'T exonerate people...They either prosecute or decline to prosecute...

2) This is pure "guilty until proven innocent"...Trump wasn't "exonerated", so SOMETHING must have been done wrong!!!!...
I guess the headlines should read "Trump is Innocent after all"
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltwn View Post
Bloomberg

Attorney General William Barr has produced an exceptionally brief summary of what is undoubtedly a lengthy report from special counsel Robert Mueller. For an issue of this magnitude – involving potentially serious misconduct by a successful presidential campaign and a sitting president – it is best to insist on a principle of neutrality, and to evaluate the summary not in political terms, but as a matter of fact and law.

The central point of the Mueller investigation was to determine whether the Donald Trump campaign knowingly conspired or coordinated with Russian conspiracies to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller’s conclusion is straightforward: He did not find evidence of any such conspiracy or coordination, notwithstanding repeated Russian efforts to assist the Trump campaign.

Russia’s Internet Research Agency conducted disinformation and social media operations in the U.S. to sow discord and to interfere with the election. Russia also conducted computer-hacking operations to gather and spread disinformation, again to interfere with the election. In both cases, the special counsel did not find a conspiracy or knowing coordination with any official in the Trump campaign.

The much trickier issue involves obstruction of justice. On that count, the special counsel declined to reach a legal conclusion. In a sentence that will be much quoted, he said that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

What does that mean? Mueller and his team evidently found the issue difficult and decided to lay out evidence on both sides of the question. They were not clear that the president committed a crime – but they also weren’t clear that he didn’t. They left the ultimate judgment to the attorney general himself.

In a way, that was responsible and prudent, especially if the legal issue was genuinely difficult. But it is not exactly ideal. Against the unique backdrop of the last year, the recently confirmed attorney general is not in the best position to make an independent decision about whether his boss committed a crime.

Placed in that position, Barr made his decision, apparently at warp speed. In what may be the most interesting part of his letter, he concluded that Mueller’s evidence is not sufficient to establish obstruction of justice.

Barr did not invoke constitutional principles, which can be read to insulate the president from prosecution in a case of this kind. Instead he noted that to prove obstruction of justice, it is necessary to establish “corrupt intent,” and to do so beyond a reasonable doubt.

Barr emphasized the absence of evidence that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference. As he noted, that isn’t enough to resolve the obstruction question -- but he found it relevant to the president’s intent. Barr concluded that under his department’s principles governing charging decisions, Mueller’s report did not identify any actions, on the part of the president, that would establish the technical elements of obstruction of justice (beyond a reasonable doubt).

Let’s step back a bit – both from the details and from the question whether the White House “won” or “lost.” Here are the four central points in order of importance:

First, Mueller’s report apparently gives a lot of detail about Russia’s interference with the 2016 election. Such interference is not tolerable. It happened. It must not be allowed to happen again.

Second, Mueller found no knowing conspiracy or coordination between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. Every American has reason to be relieved by that finding, no matter for whom they voted, and even if they remain suspicious of some of Trump’s statements and actions with respect to Russia.

Third, Mueller and his team seem to have been badly torn on the obstruction question. They were unwilling to conclude that the president of the United States did not commit that crime. Every American has reason to be shaken by that, no matter for whom they voted.

Fourth, Barr’s resolution of the obstruction issue is awkward. He appears to have reached his conclusion essentially immediately -- on a tough question on which Mueller and his team evidently struggled for a long time.

Barr’s public explanation was not only favorable to his boss; it was thin and brisk. Whether Barr was right or wrong, that’s troubling

~~~~~~~~~Cass Sunstein
American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics
I still think the Democrats won big in this ordeal. For almost 3 years the focus has been on the innocent while the guilty go on their merry way.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
The Mueller court lasted over two years. The FBI "investigation" started back in May of 2016. That's almost THREE years ago. Whilst everyone else got to watch March Madness, Barr had two days to read the report and execute a summary.

There was no "decision" to make here. One cannot be "exonerated" of a crime which never existed.

As for this,,,;
,,, Mueller and his team seem to have been badly torn on the obstruction question. They were unwilling to conclude that the president of the United States did not commit that crime. Every American has reason to be shaken by that, no matter for whom they voted."

Once the team realized they had noting on "collusion" it was <of course, agonizing for them that they could not prove and therefore determine, any Obstruction. They had so much hope and it was dashed by the pop of a soap bubble. After two years of trying to nail Trump on the basis of a falsehood, a lie, no one should be surprised that the Mueller "team" did not come honestly clean and admit it.

They didn't have to, so they just let it lay like a dangling participle, to tease and annoy..


So much for a conclusive $30 million investigation.
what the hell is march madness, an extended leprechaun drink day?
and if it's not even a federal holiday, why should Barr mind working? He gets paid. By me. And Thee to do a job. He should still be there pouring over his notes.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Barr’s Quick Decision on Obstruction Was Awkward. And Troubling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
That's the funny part...

1) Prosecutors DON'T exonerate people...They either prosecute or decline to prosecute...

2) This is pure "guilty until proven innocent"...Trump wasn't "exonerated", so SOMETHING must have been done wrong!!!!...
no prosecutor ever exonerates people. they present evidence. the judge or jury decides justice.
trump's yes man isn't doing anything so it's up to the state of new york and maybe congress
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