GRANULAR ANALYSIS OF AG WILLIAM BARR LETTER TO CONGRESS - Criminal referrals and grand juries?
To begin, it didn't matter what this letter said - the Left has an agenda and that agenda can be viewed as a semi-rigid structure into which all other pieces will fit; no matter whether they fit naturally or by some forced or contrived process, they WILL fit. In other words, don't expect these Leftist lunatics to abandon their political desires simply because the facts don't align and moreover, certainly don't expect them to abandon if the facts support Mr. Trump and what he's been saying the past two-plus years. They went 0-3 with the House, the Senate and Mueller and although they may shift gears, their destination remains the same and we should expect the lunacy and unhinged approach to continue.
Even Senator Ted Cruz, TX-R weighed-in on the matter with precisely same position. Here's a previous related discussion from yesterday: https://www.statecraftdiscerned.com/2019/03/senator-cruz-agrees-democrats-are-full.html
Now that we know in general terms that the president did not collude with the Russians - something we've all known all along - and that there is no direct evidence of obstruction of justice, let's analyze precisely what AG Barr presented to Congress.
To begin, neither Congress nor the American people have a right to see what is in Mueller's report. Statutorily, only the AG is entitled to the report's contents whereby he would offer his summary findings on it and here's why.
For example, let's say your neighbor reported you to the police with a baseless and unsubstantiated claim because he's a raging Liberal, you're a staunch Conservative and he's acting like the lunatic he is. We'll use domestic abuse as the crime reported since agencies are under mandates to investigate such occurrences if they are reported.
So, the police arrive, conduct their investigation and document evidence and findings but obviously, they find no criminality on your part. For the sake of argument, though, they did document personal and private information about you, your spouse, your living arrangements, your family, your relationship and whole host of otherwise sensitive information. Now, if you were arrested, charged and subsequently tried, that relevant evidence would likely make its way into the record and be available to the public in some capacity (see discovery.) That's how the system works. Conversely, if the investigation determines that you're innocent, all that information is protected, kept confidential and the authorities have an obligation to do so. THAT'S ALSO HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS. Here are four previous discussions on such matters; one of them being the prediction of a milquetoast Mueller report, which will become more relevant in point 6 below:
Previous discussion on Barr: https://gab.com/Statecraft_Discerned/posts/SGUxU1hnelZhVThpVmdSTDdyUXBsUT09
Similar view from CTH: https://gab.com/Statecraft_Discerned/posts/dVJDRktVdG1MVDdDWHhEdEpBdDhoZz09
Previous discussion on releasing contents of Mueller report: https://gab.com/Statecraft_Discerned/posts/R1hnM0FhT1lCYjBQVmdUR09XWFlVZz09
Subsequent previous discussion on releasing contents of Mueller report: https://gab.com/Statecraft_Discerned/posts/eG5KVkt1M0NPcVRjZGE1S0ZxMUF3Zz09
With an understanding of how the report's findings can and can't be used, let's analyze the letter in granular detail:
1. To begin, what AG Barr is obligated to do is present prosecution or declination decisions or, in other words, state his rationale for pursuing indictments and charges v. not and then; no matter which decision is made, support it with the Mueller's evidentiary findings. In this case, we know that no further indictments are forthcoming and therefore the president has no exposure to legal jeopardy for election interference or obstruction of justice.
2. Note, Mr. Barr's effort to review Mr. Mueller's findings is ongoing but in his letter, he confidently provides his summary findings in advance of weightier evidence. That tells us a few things - Barr has no reluctance to do this, the evidence supports this decision and therefore, no matter the undisclosed details of Mueller's report, they are not sufficient in meeting the threshold for prosecution and that presumably will not change.
3. Barr explicitly revisits the original mandate for his appointment, "...Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations."
4. Mueller's team was unencumbered in its approach to investigating the original mandate or any tangentially related crimes as suggested by evidence, just as the Democrats had demanded. Consider that Mueller's team's thoroughness, as Mueller described in his report, was comprised of a team of 19 lawyers (with known Democratic affiliations and many of whom donated to Clinton's campaign), 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, other professional staff, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, 230 orders for communication records, 50 orders authorizing the use of pen registers, 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence and 500 witness interviews. How can the Left say there was a stone left unturned; especially with this being the third of three fruitless investigations?
5. "During the course of his investigation the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action." This line is interesting and likely indicates that criminal referrals were made by Mueller. To whom were they referred? Huber? Other offices? What was the criminal basis and who are the subjects of said referrals? Are they potentially Democrats and will the eventual publication of the entirety of the Mueller report, if it were to happen, be tantamount to the Left calling for the release of evidentiary findings that would result in proof of their own criminality? That is a distinct possibility but there is no way to know at the moment.
6. Mueller's report is comprised of two parts: a) description of the Special Counsel's investigation into Russian election interference including Russia's computer computer hacking operations to gather and disseminate information to influence the election and b) whether the president engaged in obstruction of justice. As it relates to A, Mueller's report found that no Americans; related to Trump's campaign or otherwise, wittingly conspired with Russians to influence the election. It should be noted that there were Russian-related contacts by Trump campaign officials and administration personnel but that those meetings are presumably the subject of ongoing investigations and originated from the efforts of political enemies. Mueller does; however, apparently triple down on the notion that the Russians hacked the DNC despite that objective analysis empirically demonstrates that the DNC's emails were transferred internally to third-party with an external hard drive (Seth Rich?)
As it relates to B - obstruction of justice - we'll address that in point 7 below. Let's continue.
Mueller's report identifies two main areas of Russian election interference: a) Internet-based efforts to conduct disinformation and social media operations to sow political discord and influence the election stateside and b) hacking operations to gather and disseminate information to influence the election.
Surprisingly, Barr's letter cites Mueller's evidence in claiming, "The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks." Where is the evidence for that? WikiLeaks has denied this allegation from the onset and Kim Dotcom, among others, has routinely disputed the official account of how that information was stolen: https://twitter.com/kimdotcom/status/1019109492678488070?lang=en
RELEVANT ANALYSIS - the information in point 6 that is directly related to Russian election interference demonstrates something that was predicted by us and by CTH and for which previous discussions have been linked above. Namely, that Mueller's report is milquetoast and doesn't settle anything. Look at where we are - the Right is claiming victory and the Left is full-bore ahead. Nothing has really changed. To the point, with A, Mueller is throwing the Right a bone - your president is innocent. With B, Mueller is throwing the left a bone - your DNC email scandal (Seth Rich murder?) has been thrown cover. Both parties win here, as predicted. This is not the last we'll see of this.
7. The milquetoast quality of Mueller's report whereby both parties had a bone thrown to them continues to escalate with Mueller's findings germane to obstruction of justice. Recall, the president could have fired James Comey because he didn't like the color of his suit on a Tuesday. That's how it works - "they" serve at the will of the president - period. That said, the obstruction angle is a messy one. Although the president reserves the legitimate authority to fire Comey or anyone else and for ANY reason, if his actions are construed as interfering in an investigation that has him as the subject, a case for obstruction can be made. The issue becomes cloudier when the basis of the criminal case for which the president is accused of obstructing justice is rooted in fraud in lies. In this instance, both parties have a veneer of legitimacy. The president knows that the basis is fraudulent and potentially criminal and he would therefore be remiss in not firing Comey while the at the same time, the Democrats can point to the political construct that the created out of thin air ('Russiagate'/'Spygate') and leverage the president into inaction by claiming, "Obstruction!" That's exactly what we've seen to this point as the president chose wisely to allow the process to play-out. Mueller chose to let this stand pat.
So what did Mueller do? Nothing. He left it all as status quo with this line, "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."
RELEVANT ANALYSIS - Mueller was intentionally milquetoast here - he generally suggested that the president is innocent of obstruction of justice charges while he conveniently, for the Left anyways, provided enough justification for the Democrats to move forward with an entire spectrum of investigations into the president, his business and his family. Again, both parties receive a bone and nothing changes.
Essentially, when it came to evaluating the totality of the evidence for obstruction of justice charges against the president, Mueller punted and reverted the decision back to Barr. This is critical and it speaks to the intentional milquetoast report that apparently was designed to serve both parties. Namely, it presents an opportunity for the Left to disavow Mueller's findings; even though Mueller's team proceeded unencumbered and per the demand of the Left, and claim that Barr is unfit to make this decision because he's not an impartial party and he does have a vested interest. That argument is already being made - just ask Nancy Pelosi: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/03/schumer-pelosi-say-bill-barr-not-a-neutral-observer-of-robert-mueller-demand-doj-release-full-report-and-underlying-documents/
Consider this line critical to the position of the Left and their intentions to move forward with targeting the president, "Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense." How and why is this critical to the Left? Although Mueller states that there is no sufficient evidence for prosecution, he has presented an indication of insufficient evidence of obstruction-related crimes nonetheless. Democrats will seize on this and logically claim that this evidence is in fact sufficient and that the president did commit obstruction-related crimes but that Barr's partiality prevents him from seeing this clearly. Therefore, the Left will claim that the investigations must continue, which was determined long before Barr's letter we ever written. In fact, expect to see "cover-up" thrown around as a common theme.
8. As it relates to the declination decision on obstruction of justice, Mueller essentially indicates that although insufficient evidence exists regarding potential obstruction, there is no evidence of the crime for which the obstruction allegation originates (conspiratorial Russian election interference.) Therefore, the president can't obstruct an investigation into a crime which never happened. Mueller would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a) the president conspired with the Russians to interfere with the election, which he irrefutably said did not happen and b) there is a direct nexus between those actions and any of his actions perceived to be related to potential obstruction. That was impossible to do because neither existed. In summary, if you can't have A then you can have B.
9. Barr then wades into legalese by citing relevant statutes pertaining to protecting investigative findings that may be subject to a grand jury. That leaves room for interpretation and questions. Is there a grand jury? Is there more than one grand jury? Who/what are the subjects for any grand juries. Is AG Barr being preemptive related to the Left's accusation that he is not impartial? Is Barr referring aspects of the Mueller report to a grand jury to allow it to decide whether the president should be indicted for obstruction of justice? That could be a sage move as grand juries historically render a result satisfactory to the prosecutor. Did Mueller refer other matters (other subjects - think Democrats) to a grand jury or grand juries?
Unfortunately, the grand jury language creates more questions than answers.
10. Barr concludes by indicating that the further grinding of the wheels of justice is in order. It all appears to be taking the shape of grand juries and likely criminal referrals to other offices. Those details are likely to emerge as leaks or otherwise as we move forward.
In short, Barr's letter appears to mark the end of one political effort and potentially the beginning of another, which the Left may find unpleasant. Time will tell.
Source/Barr's letter: https://www.scribd.com/document/402973466/AG-William-Barr-Letter-to-Congress-on-Mueller-Investigation