Having utterly failed to find evidence that Donald Trump or his team (or anyone else) colluded with Russia to throw the 2016 election to Hillary Clinton, his critics now focus on nailing the president for obstructing justice.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's report in Volume II went well beyond his mandate to investigate collusion. In addition, he transparently invited Congress to impeach and convict Trump for obstructing justice by trying to stifle the investigation into a crime (that incidentally never occurred). Volume II of the report is the hanging chad, as it were, that radical Democrats now are trying to use to drop the noose around Trump's head.
Never mind that if Mueller couldn't find how Trump's actions violated a host of specific obstruction laws, how is Congress supposed to persuade not just hyper-partisan Republicans but also fair-minded Congress people the Trump is guilty of the more stringent constitutional test: That Trump committed acts of "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." If committing perjury wasn't a serious enough felony to convict Clinton then...well. But that's another story.
Nevertheless, Volume II makes interesting reading. It does confirm that Trump is a blockhead and scumbag of the first order. It demonstrates that the impulsive, unschooled president is as much a danger to himself, as the he is to the nation. But if such subjective tests as ignorance, impulsiveness and other failings were legitimate reasons for removing presidents from office, then more than one would have been fired.
Volume II also shows how correct even Trump's supporters were when he took office in hoping that he would surround himself with intelligent, courageous and ethical aides. Without them Trump indeed could be deep in the legal swamp.
If level-headed Democrat leadership like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have their way, impeachment won't happen. They know, from the Clinton experience, that it will boomerang to smack them in the face. But they've got a bunch of stubborn, unreasonable tigers by the tails, and who knows where they will drag the leadership.
Additionally, Mueller's Volume II did more than fail to make the case. As Kimberley A. Strassel points out in her Wall Street Journal op-ed, "Mueller’s Report Speaks Volumes: What’s in the special counsel’s findings is almost as revealing as what’s left out." Her brilliant analysis spoke of Volume II thusly:
As for obstruction—Volume II—Attorney General Bill Barr noted Thursday that he disagreed with “some of the special counsel’s legal theories.” Maybe he had in mind Mr. Mueller’s proposition that he was entitled to pursue obstruction questions, even though that was not part of his initial mandate from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Or maybe it was Mr. Mueller’s long description of what a prosecution of the sitting president might look like—even though he acknowledged its legal impossibility. Or it could be Mr. Mueller’s theory that while “fairness” dictates that someone accused of crimes get a “speedy and public trial” to “clear his name,” Mr. Trump deserves no such courtesy with regard to the 200 pages of accusations Mr. Mueller lodges against him.
That was Mr. Mueller’s James Comey moment. Remember the July 2016 press conference in which the FBI director berated Hillary Clinton even as he didn’t bring charges? It was a firing offense. Here’s Mr. Mueller engaging in the same practice—only on a more inappropriate scale. At least this time the attorney general tried to clean up the mess by declaring he would not bring obstruction charges. Mr. Barr noted Thursday that we do not engage in grand-jury proceedings and probes with the purpose of generating innuendo.
That should end it, but it won't. The fight already has amped up over the integrity, impartiality and competence of Mueller and Attorney General Bill Barr. As for me, as I tried to plow through the 448-page report, it struck me that either the Mueller team was so meticulous and conscientious as to rule out any possible objection to his conclusion that no crime could be proven. Or that the Mueller and his was so picayune and biased that they tried to go to any length to hang Trump.
Such is the nature of today's discourse.
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