Thursday, April 18, 2019

UPDATED: Shoddy Legal Analysis, Or ...?

Life's too short to read hundreds of pages of "we didn't find anything." However, one thing is fairly clear--when Bill Barr wrote his famous 19 page memo trashing the Special Counsel office's (i.e., Weissmann's) obstruction theory, he was basically spot on. Yes, Rod Rosenstein claimed Barr didn't know all the facts. Of course he didn't, but he saw where things were heading and he was basically right. Rosenstein might argue that he never would have allowed Mueller to claim obstruction for a perfectly legal act by the President, but if that were really the case why allow the charade to continue? And why subject the country to the continuing hoax?

Perhaps Rosenstein had real doubts about the Weissmann obstruction theory--any honest attorney would!--and that might explain the abusive unlimited time that was allowed to try to coerce Flynn and others into claiming something that somehow seemed like "collusion." Something, anything, to hang a hat on, even if that hat was only: We can't prove "collusion" so we're not charging it, but we still suspect it. And so we think Trump was obstructing. But as of February 14, 2019, they had still come up with nothing.

And that's the point at which Barr stepped into the picture and shut the little game down.

Will Chamberlain puts it nicely:

Will Chamberlain‏


This shoddy legal analysis kept the investigation going for 18 months Into acts that were clearly not criminal. The damage Weissmann and Mueller have done by entertaining this garbage is incalculable.
8:45 AM - 18 Apr 2019 from Washington, DC

Of course, the real question is: Was it "shoddy legal analysis" motivated by a willingness to to act outside the law to "get Trump"?

I'd love to have been privy to the conversations Barr had with Rosenstein and Mueller.

UPDATE 1: Sean Davis sees it that way, too, re "collusion":

Sean Davis

Verified account


The breathless tone of the collusion section of the report and the blatant omission of material facts pertaining to actual Russian collusion by the Clinton campaign makes clear that Mueller and his lawyers were desperate to find collusion by Trump. And yet they still found none.
9:08 AM - 18 Apr 2019

UPDATE 2: Here's my bottom line. If you read the report you'll drive yourself crazy because--if you know anything about the actual events--you're going to quickly realize that it's a tissue of misrepresentations. At best. People on Twitter are knocking themselves out even now pointing out one misrepresentation--whether by commission or omission--after another.

This is why Giuliani is coming out with his rebuttal report.

The fun will start there, and will continue when Mueller is dragged before the House by Nadler. A foolish move by Nadler, because the GOPers want nothing better than to get a chance to grill Mueller over his misrepresentations in court filings and failures to disclose exculpatory evidence. Not to mention his clear conflicts and his hiring of a radically biased staff.


  1. Nadler and his fellow Democrats seem to imagine that only Democrats will be able and eager to ask Robert Mueller questions.

  2. Glenn Greenwald

    CNN has 8 people talking about this & they all vehemently agree with one another on every last thing. This has been a major part of the problem from the start. All humans are more likely to err or worse if they are insulated from challenge or dissent. It's inherently corrupting:

    9:16 AM - Apr 18, 2019

  3. But Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

    Mueller spent 22 months and $34 million trying to provoke Trump into firing either him or Rosenstein. This was their best shot at inciting an impeachment with a plausible chance at success. Trump never tool the bait and now were left with a failed coup and a lot ad hoc rationalizing about how it was all kinda-sorta a legitimate but sloppy investigation. Oh, and by the way, it really was a coup all along, but don't tell anyone.

    1. Yeah, I'd say he made a laughing stock of himself.