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Who Will See the Full Mueller Report?
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When Attorney General William Barr released his four-page assessment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 400-page report, I was disappointed at many of my colleagues who immediately jumped on board the “no collusion” and “no obstruction” and “presidential exoneration” bandwagons.

As I write, Barr and his team are scrutinizing the Mueller report for legally required redactions. These include grand jury testimony about people not indicted — referred to by lawyers as 6(e) materials — as well as evidence that is classified, pertains to ongoing investigations or the revelation of which might harm national security.

Mueller impaneled two grand juries, one in Washington, D.C., and the other in Arlington, Virginia. Together they indicted 37 people and entities for violating a variety of federal crimes. Most of those indicted are Russian agents in Russia who have been charged with computer hacking and related crimes in an effort to affect the 2016 presidential election. They will never be tried.

Some of the Americans indicted have pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents, such as retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos told me personally that even though he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, he did not in fact lie to them. Do the innocent ever plead guilty? Answer: Yes, they do.

This is a dirty little secret of the American justice system. Often, the cost of defending oneself is so burdensome that a guilty plea — if not disabling to one’s profession, such as law or medicine — offers a tolerable and far less expensive way out. In my years as a trial judge in New Jersey, I accepted more than 1,000 guilty pleas. I always asked if the defendant was truly guilty, and the defendants always replied affirmatively. But the guilt of those pleading guilty is often a legal fiction, practiced every day in courthouses around the United States.

Paul Manafort was convicted of financial crimes by a jury and also pleaded guilty to other financial crimes. Roger Stone was indicted for lying to Congress and is scheduled for trial in the fall. Dr. Jerome Corsi, who was interrogated extensively by Mueller’s FBI agents, was threatened with indictment, revealed the threat and was never indicted.

I recount this thumbnail history to remind readers that Mueller delved into many more areas than President Donald Trump’s behavior. Knowing federal prosecutors as I do, I am comfortable suggesting that more people were swept up into this investigation and were not charged with any crimes. Under the law, Barr and his team must be told of all this, but the public has no right to know who these folks are or what they discussed with the FBI.

ORDER IT NOW

Now back to Barr’s four-page assessment. The Department of Justice is in the business of investigating crimes and determining if it has sufficient, lawfully acquired evidence to prosecute and to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The DOJ is not in the business of exoneration. In fact, the word “exoneration” and the concept appear nowhere in the U.S. Code or the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. To offer, as Barr has in his letter, that Mueller exonerated Trump is to offer nonsense. Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, acknowledged as much publicly last weekend.

In his letter, Barr did not write that Mueller found no evidence of a conspiracy. Conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime, whether or not that crime is actually committed. This is what the media and the president have been calling collusion. “Collusion” also does not appear in the U.S. Code and does not describe criminal behavior. It was insinuated into our vocabulary by Trump’s television lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, after a successful but deceptive word game campaign.

As well, Barr did not write that Mueller found no evidence of obstruction of justice. Obstruction is not a crime that requires completion, only a serious attempt. If I tackle you on your way into a courthouse where you plan to testify against me, so as to impede your testimony, then I have committed obstruction, even if you subsequently give the intended testimony.

The reason for my criticism of the no collusion and no obstruction bandwagon riders is because we know that Mueller must have found some evidence of conspiracy and some evidence of obstruction — just not enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Barr tipped his hand to this when he wrote in his letter that the DOJ could not “establish” these crimes. That’s lawyer-speak for “could not prove them beyond a reasonable doubt.”

If Mueller had found no evidence whatsoever of conspiracy and obstruction, Barr would have said so in his letter. He didn’t. So, will we see whatever evidence Mueller did find?

We also know that, according to some on the Mueller team, the flavor of whatever Mueller found did not come through in Barr’s four-page letter, and some have voiced privately to the media their displeasure. This has caused the president to accuse Mueller’s team of unlawful leaking. That is not necessarily so.

Voicing displeasure is one thing — “wait for the full report to come out and decide for yourself if the Attorney General fairly characterized it” — revealing 6(e) materials is another. The former is protected free speech. The latter could be career-ending.

Where does all this leave us? In the hands of Bill Barr. The House Judiciary Committee wants to see the evidence, which Barr will argue the law requires him to keep secret. Yet, did the president waive his privacy rights when he called for the public revelation of the full Mueller report? A federal judge will soon answer that question, as well as this one: With respect to the president, which is the higher value — privacy or truth?

Copyright 2019 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, Russiagate 
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  1. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    Since November 2017, Mr. Napolitano has been propagandizing about Russiagate for the Establishment, especially its priestly (lawyer) class in the DOJ and FBI. Read critically in light of my and other comments, his dozens of columns are a case study in deceit through omission and an unsourced, ever shifting narrative.

    St. Mueller’s altar boy is whirling the thurible this week, filling the air with more smoke:

    * “These include grand jury testimony about people not indicted — referred to by lawyers as 6(e) materials — as well as evidence that is classified, pertains to ongoing investigations or the revelation of which might harm national security.” A lifetime pass for lying to the American people.

    * “Most of those indicted are Russian agents in Russia who have been charged with computer hacking and related crimes in an effort to affect the 2016 presidential election.” Think about why anyone would clunkily write the scary “Russian agents in Russia” instead of “Russians.” These are the same people who “Freedom Watcher” has said intruded into the “American marketplaces of ideas,” as though you need Uncle Sam to shield your eyes and ears with an iron curtain for the Internet.

    * “Knowing federal prosecutors as I do, I am comfortable suggesting that more people were swept up into this investigation and were not charged with any crimes. Under the law, Barr and his team must be told of all this, but the public has no right to know who these folks are or what they discussed with the FBI.” Another liar’s lifetime pass.

    * “To offer, as Barr has in his letter, that Mueller exonerated Trump is to offer nonsense. Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, acknowledged as much publicly last weekend.” As always, no quote, not even a link. Anyone who has read the Barr letter can see that it contains no such “offer.” To the contrary: “The Special Counsel states that [‘]while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.[‘]”

    * “… we know that Mueller must have found some evidence of conspiracy and some evidence of obstruction — just not enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” No, “we” don’t. This and the subsequent paragraph of the column are desperate mischaracterization, e.g., “If Mueller had found no evidence whatsoever of conspiracy and obstruction, Barr would have said so in his letter. He didn’t.” Again, read the Barr letter for yourself.

    * The end of the column shamelessly smears in advance Mr. Barr, while the unnamed “some on the Mueller team [who] have voiced privately to the media their displeasure” about the Barr letter were engaged in “protected free speech.” Gutless gossipmongering.

    This entire hullabaloo is probably more Red/Blue puppet show to keep the sheep bleating for BigGov to protect them from Boris and Natasha. But whatever your level of cynicism, Mr. Napolitano is not to be trusted.

  2. Webster:

    exonerate verb
    ex·​on·​er·​ate | \ ig-ˈzä-nə-ˌrāt
    , eg-\
    exonerated; exonerating
    Definition of exonerate

    transitive verb
    1 : to relieve of a responsibility, obligation, or hardship
    2 : to clear from accusation or blame

    There is such a word. And I would argue that Mueller “cleared Trump from accusation” specifically the accusation that Trump colluded with Russians to steal the election. I would be surprised if this is the ONLY word in the four page summery that appears “nowhere in the U.S. Code or the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.”

    “We also know that, according to some on the Mueller team, the flavor of whatever Mueller found did not come through in Barr’s four-page letter”
    My bold.

    Webster again:

    flavor noun
    fla·​vor | \ ˈflā-vər
    \
    Definition of flavor

    (Entry 1 of 2)
    1a archaic : odor, fragrance
    b : the quality of something that affects the sense of taste
    c : the blend of taste and smell sensations evoked by a substance in the mouth the flavor of apples
    2 : a substance that flavors artificial flavors
    3a : characteristic or predominant quality the ethnic flavor of a neighborhood
    b : a distinctive appealing or enlivening quality Her performance adds flavor to the show.
    4a : variety sense 3a
    b : a property that distinguishes different types of elementary particles (such as quarks or neutrinos) also : any of the different types of particles that are distinguished by flavor
    5 : version sense 2 flavors of software
    6 : one that is in the center of public attention for a limited time —usually used in phrases like flavor of the month
    My bold.

    Perhaps 3a in this context?

    You tell me Judge. Does flavor appear in the U.S. Code or the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure in this context?

    “The reason for my criticism of the no collusion and no obstruction bandwagon riders is because we know that Mueller must have found some evidence of conspiracy and some evidence of obstruction — just not enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    So if Mueller had taken his case to court (and it was not thrown out) the verdict would have been not guilty. The verdict would not be sort of guilty. Nor would the verdict be innocent. It would be not guilty (because not proved). And we are innocent until proven guilty. Right Judge?

    Thank you for acknowledging that the New York Times is not entitled to an unredacted copy of the Mueller report.

  3. SteveK9 says:

    Why would anyone want to waste their time reading hundreds of pages of what was obvious garbage from day one?

  4. buckwheat says:

    Who in the hell wrote this nonsense? This back and forth bullshit sounds like it came straight from DNC headquarters. In all sincerity no real judge would spout such crap about being kinda sorta maybe quilty of something. “I always asked if the defendant was truly guilty”, I sat in one of your trials and you are full of shit, you never asked if the defendant was truly guilty. You sat there like the pompous asshole you are and didn’t say dick……..

  5. Paul Manafort was convicted of tax evasion, but many US corporations and other unimaginably rich individuals pay no tax—that is $0.00.

    And it’s legal, even though the USA is $21 trillion in debt and even though many self-employed contractors with modest income in this underemployed nation struggle to cover higher tax rates than employees pay and rent that has increased by 72% since 1995.

    They must come up with twice as high SS taxes—15.3%, not the 7.65% that employees pay—plus income tax that is unpredictable from year to year for low-earning, self-employed contractors with sporadic income streams. Many contractors have no second household income; dual-earner parents with their non-refundable child tax credits take most of the household-supporting jobs with benefits.

    The tax system is rigged in many ways at many different levels; it is rigged in favor of groups like middle-income dual-earner parents with two incomes to cover housing and other bills and “poor,” single, welfare-eligible parents with government-paid rent, free groceries and monthly cash assistance in addition to refundable child tax credits up to $6,431.

    Tax evasion is not legal for illegal alien womb producers, a group that is able to accept low pay due to their layered monthly welfare offerings for womb-productive sex for US-born kids, and, when they pay taxes, they get refundable child tax credits up to $6,431, just like many single-breadwinner moms.

    But many millions of illegals do not pay taxes, even though the SS-retirement fund is no longer running surpluses and even though one of the main bogus arguments of proponents of mass-scale, wage-undercutting immigration is the boon to the SS trust fund.

    That’s why I don’t care what’s in the Mueller Report.

    Many of us voted for Trump, believing that he would do something about mass immigration as promised, and what we wanted done was not an increase in legal immigration, with a mere 10% decrease in illegal alien welfare, in a country where 95 million US citizens are sidelined from the labor force and where the average, employed person works 35 hours per week, with half of “the employed” working even fewer hours.

    Trump gave a big tax cut to corporations, a big tax cut to wealthy heirs and another non-refundable child tax credit of $2,000 to dual-earner parents—in many cases dual-earner parents keeping two above-firing, household-supporting jobs with benefits under one roof while taking a lot of time off for kids.

    He gave a tax cut to many households where one parent works part time, undercutting many single, childless citizens who need a job with full-time hours and rent-covering wages. When so many moms are incentivized to accept low-wage part-time work, there is a dearth of rent-covering jobs for those with no spousal income and no pay for womb-productive sex from government, and married moms take most of the full-time jobs, too, while remaining above firing no matter how much time they take off for kids due to crony-mom hiring / retention / back-watching. Which is corrupt, regardless of womb output.

    With spousal income to cover major bills, they are often able to undercut single earners with no spousal income and no womb-productivity-based welfare / tax-credit welfare in the labor market, which is full of office jobs and government jobs dominated by very discriminatory mothers—mothers who are not doing a good job in many cases, like many of the mom teachers in the mom-dominated public schools across the USA.

    There is no correlation between the fact that the primary & secondary public schools are overwhelmingly staffed with moms and the bad outcomes in many of those schools, even though that is the common denominator in many public primary & secondary schools: mom-dominated faculty and staff.

    As far as discrimination is concerned, the ends justify the means since mom teachers can be at home with their kids in the summers, like mom office workers in the many 98% mom-staffed government offices and corporate back offices can leave at 2:30 every day, likewise coming in late with no consequences due to the same school traffic that non parents sit in, plus all of their multiple, excused family vacations, PTO, pregnancy leave(s) and other overlooked absenteeism for kids.

    Dual-earner and single-earner parents get all of the tax breaks allotted to the lower and middle classes, whether they are married with a spousal income, retired with two SS retirement streams and two 401ks or pension streams per household or single moms with subsidized rent, free EBT groceries, monthly cash assistance, electricity assistance and up to $6,431 in refundable child tax credit cash, when they stay below the earned-income limits for welfare programs by working part time—not hard.

    Individuals who must live on one earned-only income stream during their working years and one stream of retirement income after 65 at the lower end and the middle get a kick in the head by the tax code in every way, but so do the few single earners with a high enough paycheck to save for retirement. They are restricted in what they can put into tax-free retirement accounts, unlike the dual-earner parents, in their above-firing family-friendly jobs, who are awash in retirement income from multiple streams after age 65.

    Even though the tax code is 100% unfair to many low or moderate-income individual citizens, especially the self-employed contractors, they still have to pay their taxes, even on gig jobs at $50 per pop, paying 15.3% SS tax on every $50, as the child-tax-credit-cashing parents pay only 7.65% in SS tax, while hogging all of the jobs with regular hours and benefits in excused-absenteeism gangs.

    They have to pay even though it means that they have zero left over after basic living expenses are paid—zero to save for retirement, like 52% of Americans over 55. They don’t have the extra money to spare, but they still have to pay their taxes. And even when they do, many of them live in fear that they won’t have a roof over their head, as they work in America’s brutal, scammy, low-wage, churn-gig labor market far into their elderly years.

    Pump out the right number of kids out of wedlock, irresponsibly, working part time, and you at least aren’t kicked in the head quite as hard by government during your sexing-it-up-and-birthing years, but not so much after the womb-productivity dries up, leaving the single moms in exactly the same boat as all of the many single, childless individuals at the low end of the labor market.

    But during those pay-per-birth years, a max of $6,431 in refundable child tax credit cash every year goes pretty far towards financing the Florida beach trip with a boyfriend, especially when your rent and groceries are covered by Uncle Sam. Even after handing the kids’ grandparents a little to serve as proof of a childcare expense, they still have a lot of child tax credit cash to spend on mom-pampering, as do all of those dual-earner parents, using their non-refundable child tax credits to finance their fifth, excused, yearly vacation for busy-working parents.

    Paul Manafort.

    Well, he’s a very rich man who was used as the scapegoat, going to jail while others at his same wealth level will continue to pay no taxes with no consequences, legally.

    And at low end, we will still have the relative winners and losers in the tax code, based almost entirely on lifestyle choices, like government rewarding womb-productive sex and not at all on hard work in many cases.

    It is so very surprising that 95 million “prime-aged” US citizens between 16 and 65 are out of America’s rigged labor market.

    ….so very, very surprising.

    • Agree: buckwheat
  6. MarkinLA says:

    Even though nobody ever actually smelt Trump farting in church, we can’t say with 100% certainty that Trump has never farted in church.

    This is the Mueller argument.

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