I read the Meuller Report starting last Sunday. It took me 2 ½ days to complete (400 pages). Most of it is very readable, but there are 20 pages near the end that is law clerk research material where every 5th word is followed by a citation of some obscure precedent supporting the chain of thought. In any case, I got the gist of this voluminous legal document. The report is in two sections: The Russian Election Tampering and the Obstruction of Justice.
This part, called Volume 1, is also in two parts. The first part is the very successful effort by Russian Intelligence, in cahoots with various Russian oligarchs, to tilt the election to Trump (apparently Putin didn’t like Hillary). This was done by clever and extensive use of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stoke racial animosity and hatred of “liberals” (you know, the ones that brought you the five-day work week, Social Security, and Medicare). Using polling data supplied by Paul Manafort and Rick Gates (both convicted) and given to Konstantin Kilimnik (a Manafort employee thought by the FBI to be tied to Russian Intelligence), the Russians managed to flip 5 states where a mere 75,000 votes flipped the Electorial College to Trump. The investigation detail on the Russian effort is chilling to read, mainly because a quick solution to the problem is not obvious.
As an example, the Russians inserted into Facebook, a post that was widely shared (by some friends of mine too) claiming that Bernie Sanders was “cheated.” This is nonsense, Bernie Sanders was in every caucus and primary and was still outvoted by Hillary Clinton. Sadly, many Bernie voters stayed home, or voted for the Green Party candidate (Jill Stein) – which also helped tip the election to Trump.
The second part of Volume 1 is the effort to determine if anyone from the Trump campaign “conspired” with the Russians to rig the election. Meuller, in the first page of the report, explained that there is no legal term “collusion” in the law, but the proper legal term is “conspiracy.” He explained that he had to prove that both parties entered into an agreement to conspire and cooperate together. The event studied the most was the June 9th, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort, Jerod Kushner, and an entourage of Russians who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. It looks to me like Meuller tried mightily to get Manafort to flip and rat on Trump, but he refused and has been convicted and jailed (Pardon in five, four, three…). So while the silo of circumstantial evidence suggests that the Russians infiltrated the Trump campaign, President Trump got to skate away from danger here.
Obstruction of Justice
Volume 2 of the Meuller Report addresses “obstruction of Justice” by President Donald Trump and his White House staff. In this case, specifically about the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the pressure applied to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “unrecuse” himself and end the Meuller investigation. Meuller really pulled the President’s pants down on this one (and you don’t want to see that, according to Stormy Daniels).
Trump’s problem here is exacerbated by his hysterical tweets, which are repeated by Meuller constantly. Another problem is that Trump’s first lawyer (Ty Cobb) decided to cooperate with the investigation and make the White House staff available to the Meuller team. They sang like birds, and under oath too.
This fellow, White House Attorney Don McGahn, is also an honest man in a den of liars. He kept copious notes on what went on, something that Trump complained about. Unfortunately for Trump, McGahn told investigators that Trump repeatedly demanded that he fire Meuller and end the investigation, something that McGahn advised was illegal. Still, Trump persisted and McGahn refused to execute the order, stalling Trump whenever he asked. McGahn spilled it all to the Meuller team. He resigned his White House job last fall.
Since there’s a Justice Department regulation that a sitting President can’t be indicted, Meuller provided all the sorry details of the number of times Trump attempted to obstruct justice (not carried out by his staff) and essentially punted the ball to Congress. It looks like the Democrats will “investigate” this all the way to the next election. I don’t think they will impeach Trump; it might be better to needle him constantly.
Why am I so against Trump? This man is dangerous. The Meuller Report shows over and over that he won’t listen to advice from people with experience. He thinks that everything can be solved by his deal-making prowess. Why do you think Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (former President of Exon Oil) called Trump “a fucking moron” after a White House meeting. He said this because it’s true!
Just yesterday, Trump suggested that the United States will penalize with tariffs any country that buys oil from the Iranians (China, for example). The Iranians replied that they will close the Straits of Hormuz if we do this. Can the Iranians do this?
Of course, they can. The Strait of Hormuz is just 21 miles wide at it’s most narrow point and the Iranians have lots of cruise missiles (some Chinese and some home-grown). Twenty percent of the world’s oil goes through the Strait; a stoppage will cause a real economic shock to the entire world. Just sinking one tanker with a small boat attack or a cruise missile will cause insurance rates to skyrocket. Do we really want to fight the Iranians? This is one country that will fight back ferociously. Our army is tired after 12 years of continuous war. We can’t do this to our soldiers.
After reading the Meuller report, I fear for our country.