Well, regarding the obstruction matter, if Mueller couldn’t indict the President, or even clearly state that in his professional opinion an indictable offense was committed, then what was the point of that part of his investigation?

I agree. What was the point? The only possible interpretation is that Mueller saw his job as an inquiry whose only logical end was as a referral to Congress. Which is exactly how he framed it in his public comments….and which is precisely what you damn him for. You are exposing the fundamental contradiction in your own argument that he is just some garden variety prosecutor who can only deliver a binary conclusion to indict or not. In reality, he is anything but — and Bill Barr knows that, despite his repeated lies to the contrary.

It wasn’t a national security matter. So your argument makes no sense whatsoever.

You won’t be surprised to find that I disagree in the strongest possible terms. Whether or not the President of the United States was (and is) being leveraged by hostile foreign powers, wittingly or otherwise, was most certainly a central aspect of the SCO investigation, and ought to be of the utmost interest to every American. And PS, even without seeing what was redacted from the Mueller report on national security grounds, the answer was a resounding “Yes, he is.” See the description of the vast amount of Russian money that has been flowing into Trump’s pockets for decades….and above all, the efforts to build a Trump Tower Moscow as late as summer 2016, including the outrageous offer of a bribe to Putin in the form of a $50M penthouse, even as Trump denied to high heaven that he had any business interests in Russia at all. That was all information that the Kremlin had and that Trump was trying to keep secret, which is the very definition of how blackmail by foreign intelligence agencies works.

The most plausible answer is that he came up empty on obstruction, having no confidence in his staff’s dubious legal theories,

Again, you are making a wild-ass leap of logic with no evidence to back it up. To me, the most plausible answer is that he found ample evidence of obstruction, which he detailed, and overtly indicated that he was leaving for Congress to act upon as it sees fit, having made it very clear that, in his view, that is the appropriate body to do so.

And my version has the advantage of being exactly what he said, as opposed to your unsubstantiated partisan speculation.

and so in his public statement tried to kneecap Trump a la Comey/Clinton.

You’ve made that claim three times now and it gets no more convincing through sheer repetition. If Mueller’s painstakingly cautious statement — one that was almost agonizingly generous to the POTUS — is your idea of “kneecapping,” you have no future in the Provisional IRA.

Nor am I impressed by your excuses on Mueller’s behalf regarding his foray into impeachment. He didn’t use the actual word? People were too clueless and stupid to understand what he was driving at? Please! His intent was clear? — ?and his statement was improper for a Justice Department prosecutor. Contrary to your claims Mueller had no special status such as to free him from Justice Department rules of conduct. In effect he politicized his investigation by mentioning impeachment.

Everything in your comments here is demonstrably false. Working backwards:

I say again: he did not utter the word “impeachment” in his public comments. Yet you condemn the man for something he didn’t even say, b/c “everyone knew what he was driving at”? What else didn’t he say that you would crucify him for? Kind of a no-win situation for Mr. Mueller, huh?

On those grounds, I object to you stumping for Trump becoming president-for-life. What? You didn’t say that? I guess not, but everyone can see what you’re driving at.

Secondly, per above, we have gone round and round over the fact that Mueller is NOT just some “Justice Dept prosecutor,” even though you and Bill Barr continue to bandy about that falsehood, since it serves your purposes. In fact, in investigating the POTUS, Mueller was anything but, and operated under rules that were the precise opposite of a normal prosecutor does in that he could not indict BY DEFINITION. I am tired of rebutting this dishonest portrayal to which you cling.

Lastly, it’s laughable that you claim Mueller overstepped his remit by making his public statement when many reputable legal scholars think he erred too far in the other direction with his rigorous adherence to the absolute letter of the law, not to mention famously tight lips. No reasonable person can plausibly accuse him of being the reckless loose cannon you portray. Mueller politicized the investigation? What a joke. The man did no such thing….in fact, he was almost absurdly meticulous in his discretion and impartiality and refusal to engage in media hijinks. He spoke only under duress, and even then very reluctantly and carefully, b/c of the way Trump and Barr were shamelessly misrepresenting his efforts and his report.

But speaking of politicization, what do you call what Donald Trump did for two years in attacking Mueller and the DOJ with his constant torrent of tweets crying “WITCHHUNT” and “angry Democrats,” and this non-existent beef over a country club membership, and all the other lies? Don’t make me laugh.

I get why the Resistance is OK with this: The end justifies the means, right? And turning federal prosecutors into political agents is part of the Left’s program for “fundamental reform of our democracy,” isn’t it? Because that’s how you “fight fascism,” true?

What an absolute crock. Defenders of Donald Trump, Bill Barr, and Mitch McConnell’s GOP, a group that has gone way beyond a Machiavellian “end justifies the means” mentality and into outright gangsterism, have no grounds to accuse the Democrats or anyone else of playing dirty. The idea that the DOJ is somehow a tool of the left is utterly absurd. If you truly see this entire two-year odyssey in those terms, Tom, perhaps our debate has reached its end.

Writer, filmmaker, and veteran — blogging at The King’s Necktie @TheKingsNecktie

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