[POLITICS] If Trump is Innocent, he should prove it

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Supposedly the Mueller Report proves Trump is innocent. Then prove it. Show it. Release it!

But Trump appointed Attorney General William Barr, who previously admitted he believes the President is above the law, is refusing to release the Mueller Report.

Just like his tax returns, Trump refuses to actually prove his innocence. The man who DEMANDED Obama prove he is an American citizen. Anyways, here is Obama's birth certificate

https://www.slideshare.net/whitehouse/birth-certificatelongform

If it is not clear why this is relevant, it is because Obama PROVED he is American, he answered Trump's bullshit racist call to release evidence, and it required no investigation.

For a man who is supposedly innocent, he sure does all the guilty things.

Trump is a hypocrite, and a criminal.

Related to this, I stumbled across this article from Business Insider:

The White House will get the Mueller report before the public does in case it wants to make redactions, Barr says

The official explanation would probably be something along the lines of redacting any sensitive information that could compromise the security of the US. But, you know, it's Trump. His lawyers have already gone on record saying they'd want the full report to make corrections.

Chimpzy:
Related to this, I stumbled across this article from Business Insider:

The White House will get the Mueller report before the public does in case it wants to make redactions, Barr says

The official explanation would probably be something along the lines of redacting any sensitive information that could compromise the security of the US. But, you know, it's Trump. His lawyers have already gone on record saying they'd want the full report to make corrections.

Does that mean the only way for the public to see the unaltered report, is to leak it?

MrCalavera:
Does that mean the only way for the public to see the unaltered report, is to leak it?

Possibly, yes. Apparently Wikileaks is gathering funds to leak the Mueller Report. Although the cynic in me doesn't think that guarantees an unaltered version.

Chimpzy:

MrCalavera:
Does that mean the only way for the public to see the unaltered report, is to leak it?

Possibly, yes. Apparently Wikileaks is gathering funds to leak the Mueller Report. Although the cynic in me doesn't think that guarantees an unaltered version.

the problem will be Trump will just claim the report was edited and altered to make him look bad. If hes smart, he'd purposefully leak 4 or 5 different versions of the report to destroy any credibility the actual report has

Silentpony:

Chimpzy:

MrCalavera:
Does that mean the only way for the public to see the unaltered report, is to leak it?

Possibly, yes. Apparently Wikileaks is gathering funds to leak the Mueller Report. Although the cynic in me doesn't think that guarantees an unaltered version.

the problem will be Trump will just claim the report was edited and altered to make him look bad. If hes smart, he'd purposefully leak 4 or 5 different versions of the report to destroy any credibility the actual report has

Well, shouldn't we take Trump at his word though?

Ordinarily I'd say that "proving innocence" is really not how the justice system works, but in this particular case, I do see a lot of merit in the report being released.

To explain the thought process there a little bit for people on the fence: The only information we have about the report right now is Barr's characterization, and we've had more than a little reason to question Barr's impartiality on the subject for some time now.

Among other things, we have Barr being on record as perceiving the Mueller investigation as closer to as a political hit rather than a legitimate investigation, and insisting that the DoJ should really be investigating Uranium One (again) instead of any coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russian efforts to interfere with the election. So from the get-go, we have reason to believe that the report would have to pass a higher bar than standard for Barr to consider it valid. Then we have the fact that before nominating Barr as AG, Trump had approached him to bring him to be part of his legal team against the Mueller probe. And then there's his memo wherein he flat out stated not only his concerningly broad concept of presidential power and a flat out erroneous belief that Obstruction of Justice (the act of deliberately interfering with an investigative process) must be predicated on proving an underlying crime. Which is simply not true.

Obstruction of Justice is a procedural crime that is entirely distinct from the subject of investigation. Whether I lie to investigators to cover up criminal activity on my part or because I was trying to protect myself or an ally from embarrassing revelations (or a different crime entirely), that's still obstruction of justice. See for instance the conviction of Martha Stewart. She was originally charged with securities fraud, and even though those charges were dropped she was still convicted of four counts of obstruction of justice for lying to investigators out of fear of reputational harm. See also the case of Scooter Libby. He was brought to trial on five counts: One of Obstruction of Justice, two of making false statements to investigators, and two counts of perjury in his grand jury testimony. He was found guilty on four of the five counts (found not guilty on one of the two counts of making false statements). Again, he wasn't charged with an underlying crime, nor were the charges predicated on one. Hell, the impeachment of Bill Clinton was predicated entirely on perjury and obstruction of justice without charging him with an underlying crime.

The long and short of this is that we have ample reason to be suspicious of Barr's Obstruction of Justice conclusions and a decent amount of circumstantial evidence that gives us cause to question his characterization of the report in general, as his conduct up till now has veered closer to a defense attorney than an impartial Attorney General. So I'd certainly be interested to at least see a few additional legal professionals give their take on the report.

Saelune:

Silentpony:

Chimpzy:
Possibly, yes. Apparently Wikileaks is gathering funds to leak the Mueller Report. Although the cynic in me doesn't think that guarantees an unaltered version.

the problem will be Trump will just claim the report was edited and altered to make him look bad. If hes smart, he'd purposefully leak 4 or 5 different versions of the report to destroy any credibility the actual report has

Well, shouldn't we take Trump at his word though?

you're being obtuse and you know it. Theres a difference between taking Trump at his word, and Mueller at his word if the topic if the Trump investigation. I get you're salty Mueller didnt do what you wanted him to do, but that wasnt his job. His job was to investigate Trump and his conclusion is he didnt dind enough evidence. And in fact if that's what in his report, assuming Barr isnt lying, then thats it. That's what Mueller found.

I am a huge believer in government transparency generally. I think this sort of report should be published on basic principle, (except for anything that may endanger national security). I also think that the very principle of these sorts of investigations are fundamentally flawed when entities control investigation of themselves. There really needs to be observation or oversight from an independent, external body.

Transparency and good institutional procedure are for good governance, and to let people see government is clean and improve their trust in government.

Silentpony:

Saelune:

Silentpony:
the problem will be Trump will just claim the report was edited and altered to make him look bad. If hes smart, he'd purposefully leak 4 or 5 different versions of the report to destroy any credibility the actual report has

Well, shouldn't we take Trump at his word though?

you're being obtuse and you know it. Theres a difference between taking Trump at his word, and Mueller at his word if the topic if the Trump investigation. I get you're salty Mueller didnt do what you wanted him to do, but that wasnt his job. His job was to investigate Trump and his conclusion is he didnt dind enough evidence. And in fact if that's what in his report, assuming Barr isnt lying, then thats it. That's what Mueller found.

We don't know what Mueller's conclusion is. Trump appointed crony AG Barr says it doesn't. But he also released a paper saying he believes Trump is above the law and that he is a full-blooded Trump supporter.

My point is evidence is more important than any person's word, and the evidence is Trump and Barr are liars. And there is no evidence of Mueller being on the level, not really. I wont take anyone at their word, cause words mean less than actions.

Agema:
I am a huge believer in government transparency generally. I think this sort of report should be published on basic principle, (except for anything that may endanger national security). I also think that the very principle of these sorts of investigations are fundamentally flawed when entities control investigation of themselves. There really needs to be observation or oversight from an independent, external body.

Transparency and good institutional procedure are for good governance, and to let people see government is clean and improve their trust in government.

But we both know that this government is unclean and untrustworthy and utterly corrupt. And we need to stop hoping that the corrupt government will uncorrupt itself, because it literally is doing everything it can to further corrupt itself. Also I am realizing McConnel is a greater threat than Trump. Trump is cancer, McConnel is the weakening of the immune system that lets cancer happen.

Imagine if the founding fathers just waited for King George to stop being terrible?

Saelune:

Silentpony:

Saelune:
Well, shouldn't we take Trump at his word though?

you're being obtuse and you know it. Theres a difference between taking Trump at his word, and Mueller at his word if the topic if the Trump investigation. I get you're salty Mueller didnt do what you wanted him to do, but that wasnt his job. His job was to investigate Trump and his conclusion is he didnt dind enough evidence. And in fact if that's what in his report, assuming Barr isnt lying, then thats it. That's what Mueller found.

We don't know what Mueller's conclusion is. Trump appointed crony AG Barr says it doesn't. But he also released a paper saying he believes Trump is above the law and that he is a full-blooded Trump supporter.

My point is evidence is more important than any person's word, and the evidence is Trump and Barr are liars. And there is no evidence of Mueller being on the level, not really. I wont take anyone at their word, cause words mean less than actions.

i get that and I agree. Evidence is the most important thing and the full report should be released, unredacted. And if Barr is lying about the content, he should be charged.
All I'm saying if Mueller didnt find enough, that's the report. Which is not to say Trump is innocent, merely Mueller didnt find enough evidence

Silentpony:

Saelune:

Silentpony:
you're being obtuse and you know it. Theres a difference between taking Trump at his word, and Mueller at his word if the topic if the Trump investigation. I get you're salty Mueller didnt do what you wanted him to do, but that wasnt his job. His job was to investigate Trump and his conclusion is he didnt dind enough evidence. And in fact if that's what in his report, assuming Barr isnt lying, then thats it. That's what Mueller found.

We don't know what Mueller's conclusion is. Trump appointed crony AG Barr says it doesn't. But he also released a paper saying he believes Trump is above the law and that he is a full-blooded Trump supporter.

My point is evidence is more important than any person's word, and the evidence is Trump and Barr are liars. And there is no evidence of Mueller being on the level, not really. I wont take anyone at their word, cause words mean less than actions.

i get that and I agree. Evidence is the most important thing and the full report should be released, unredacted. And if Barr is lying about the content, he should be charged.
All I'm saying if Mueller didnt find enough, that's the report. Which is not to say Trump is innocent, merely Mueller didnt find enough evidence

I will believe it when I see it.

Asita:

The long and short of this is that we have ample reason to be suspicious of Barr's Obstruction of Justice conclusions and a decent amount of circumstantial evidence that gives us cause to question his characterization of the report in general, as his conduct up till now has veered closer to a defense attorney than an impartial Attorney General. So I'd certainly be interested to at least see a few additional legal professionals give their take on the report.

You're right that you can commit perjury and obstruction without an underlying crime, and you're right that it's reasonable to suspect a Trump appointee to not be completely honest regarding crimes Trump may have committed, but I don't think you have ample reason to be suspicious of Barr's conclusions if you don't have a good reason to think Trump obstructed justice. I don't think there was any point where Trump didn't cooperate honestly with the Mueller investigation, there's just been consistent speculation that he was doing so and was ordering people to lie to hide collusion with Russia, but if the collusion didn't happen, those theories don't even make sense anymore. Forget for a moment the years of narrative laid out for us and just look at the current situation: Trump was investigated for 2 years and had a big chunk of his campaign staff arrested before being exonerated of the core claim the investigation was about, and the lingering question is supposed to be obstruction of justice? He let the investigation freely run its course about a crime he didn't commit. Clinton and Libby got taken down for trying to hide things because they were trying to hide things. They did the things worth hiding. They're not gonna indict Trump for trying to hide a crime he wasn't trying to hide because it didn't happen.

tstorm823:

Asita:

The long and short of this is that we have ample reason to be suspicious of Barr's Obstruction of Justice conclusions and a decent amount of circumstantial evidence that gives us cause to question his characterization of the report in general, as his conduct up till now has veered closer to a defense attorney than an impartial Attorney General. So I'd certainly be interested to at least see a few additional legal professionals give their take on the report.

You're right that you can commit perjury and obstruction without an underlying crime, and you're right that it's reasonable to suspect a Trump appointee to not be completely honest regarding crimes Trump may have committed, but I don't think you have ample reason to be suspicious of Barr's conclusions if you don't have a good reason to think Trump obstructed justice. I don't think there was any point where Trump didn't cooperate honestly with the Mueller investigation, there's just been consistent speculation that he was doing so and was ordering people to lie to hide collusion with Russia, but if the collusion didn't happen, those theories don't even make sense anymore. Forget for a moment the years of narrative laid out for us and just look at the current situation: Trump was investigated for 2 years and had a big chunk of his campaign staff arrested before being exonerated of the core claim the investigation was about, and the lingering question is supposed to be obstruction of justice? He let the investigation freely run its course about a crime he didn't commit. Clinton and Libby got taken down for trying to hide things because they were trying to hide things. They did the things worth hiding. They're not gonna indict Trump for trying to hide a crime he wasn't trying to hide because it didn't happen.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5638848-June-2018-Barr-Memo-to-DOJ-Muellers-Obstruction.html This is why Barr is lying, this is why Barr is obstructing justice and why Trump is obstructing justice.

tstorm823:

You're right that you can commit perjury and obstruction without an underlying crime, and you're right that it's reasonable to suspect a Trump appointee to not be completely honest regarding crimes Trump may have committed, but I don't think you have ample reason to be suspicious of Barr's conclusions if you don't have a good reason to think Trump obstructed justice. I don't think there was any point where Trump didn't cooperate honestly with the Mueller investigation, there's just been consistent speculation that he was doing so and was ordering people to lie to hide collusion with Russia, but if the collusion didn't happen, those theories don't even make sense anymore.

Let me stop you right there. You remember the Trump Tower meeting? June 9, 2016? Donald Jr, Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner went to meet Natalia Veselnitskaya, whom they were led to believe was going to be representing the Russian government and offering "dirt on Clinton"? You might recall that Donald Jr. tried to pass it off as nothing more than a short introductory meeting, and which everyone claimed Donald Sr. to be ignorant of at the time? Trump's own lawyers have confirmed that he himself dictated his son's false testimony.

You remember James Comey? Trump asking him to "let go" of potential charges into Michael Flynn? How McCabe (who was Acting Director after Comey was fired) would later claim that Rosenstein was directed by Trump to write a memo to rationalize Comey's dismissal? That just a few days after Comey's dismissal Trump said that he was thinking of "the Russia thing" when he fired him, and that "When I decided [to fire Comey], I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story"? That Sanders publicly stated - again I quote - "We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity, and we think that we've actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen." That sources within the FBI claimed Comey was fired because "he refused to end the Russia investigation"? That White House officials had been asking "Can we ask [Comey] to shut down the investigation [of former national security adviser Flynn]? Are you able to assist in this matter?"

Remember that Trump phoned the Director of National Intelligence (Coats) Director of National Security (Rogers) and asked that the department to publicly state that there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia? That Trump is on record saying that he wouldn't have appointed Sessions if he'd known that Sessions was going to recuse himself from the investigation and how it was unfair to Trump that Sessions had done so? That in the months that followed we had repeated reports about Trump seeming hellbent on dismissing Sessions? That his former spokesman (Corallo) reportedly resigned because he believed that Trump was guilty of obstruction?

I mean hell, let's just take a step back and think about the claims by Trump's lawyers that the authority of the presidency meant that as a matter of course Trump could not be found guilty of Obstruction of Justice. That tactic alone should raise more than a few eyebrows, as it chooses not to dispute the accuracy of the accusation but rather claims that the accusation doesn't have any value.

Point being that we do have good reason to suspect Trump of Obstruction of Justice. Whatever his reason was, there's a lot of data that suggests that he was trying to undermine and prematurely end the investigation. And that would be a crime, regardless of his motives for it.

Examining the ruling class of the United States is like reading a Cardassian mystery novel: all of them are guilty, the trick is in figuring out of what.

Asita:

Point being that we do have good reason to suspect Trump of Obstruction of Justice. Whatever his reason was, there's a lot of data hearsay that suggests that he was trying to undermine and prematurely end the investigation. And that would be a crime, regardless of his motives for it.

Fixed that for you. I have no doubt that Trump wanted the investigation over, but any suggestion you've seen that he tried to undermine or end the investigation is coming from the same places that said he conspired with Russia to steal the election. The investigation wasn't ended, it wasn't obstructed, it ran its course until the investigator was satisfied.

tstorm823:

Fixed that for you. I have no doubt that Trump wanted the investigation over, but any suggestion you've seen that he tried to undermine or end the investigation is coming from the same places that said he conspired with Russia to steal the election. The investigation wasn't ended, it wasn't obstructed, it ran its course until the investigator was satisfied.

Firstly, obstruction of justice includes attempts to undermine proper process, even if they did not succeed. With this in mind, there is evidence suggesting Trump's conduct may be problematic in free public access, without any need for conspiracy, e.g.:
1) firing key personnel relevant to the investigation
2) denigrating and threatening the jobs of key personnel involved in the investigation
3) Public musing about pardons (which could be viewed as encouraging witnesses to remain silent).

I have no comment on whether these reach the level of a crime, but ethically they stink. Let's face it, "it was not proven to be a crime" in this situation amounts to damning with faint praise.

Agema:

Firstly, obstruction of justice includes attempts to undermine proper process, even if they did not succeed. With this in mind, there is evidence suggesting Trump's conduct may be problematic in free public access, without any need for conspiracy, e.g.:
1) firing key personnel relevant to the investigation
2) denigrating and threatening the jobs of key personnel involved in the investigation
3) Public musing about pardons (which could be viewed as encouraging witnesses to remain silent).

I have no comment on whether these reach the level of a crime, but ethically they stink. Let's face it, "it was not proven to be a crime" in this situation amounts to damning with faint praise.

1) The key personnel relevant to the investigation weren't fired. People who suck were fired, and the investigation was better off without them. People with perceived pro-Trump bias were recusing themselves and the investigation was better off for that too.
2 & 3) Trump wasn't musing about firings and pardons out of nowhere. The 24 hour news cycle obsessed over the possibility of the President firing opposition and pardoning allies, and Trump said "yeah, sure, of course I have the power to do those things." Was it wise to answer those questions? Probably not. Can you claim there's a criminal motive in answering the questions being asked 4000 times a day? No way.

Chimpzy:

MrCalavera:
Does that mean the only way for the public to see the unaltered report, is to leak it?

Possibly, yes. Apparently Wikileaks is gathering funds to leak the Mueller Report. Although the cynic in me doesn't think that guarantees an unaltered version.

Considering the role that wikileaks played in getting trump elected, I am suspect of them getting this report.

tstorm823:

Asita:

Point being that we do have good reason to suspect Trump of Obstruction of Justice. Whatever his reason was, there's a lot of data hearsay that suggests that he was trying to undermine and prematurely end the investigation. And that would be a crime, regardless of his motives for it.

Fixed that for you. I have no doubt that Trump wanted the investigation over, but any suggestion you've seen that he tried to undermine or end the investigation is coming from the same places that said he conspired with Russia to steal the election. The investigation wasn't ended, it wasn't obstructed, it ran its course until the investigator was satisfied.

Ok, first of all, I'd ask you not to do that. If you want to dispute my characterization, that's one thing, but "fixed that for you" is needlessly condescending. Second, you invoke poorly. Trump attesting that he was thinking about "the Russia thing" when he fired Comey and Sanders suggesting that removing Comey would help the investigation come to its conclusion is not hearsay, that's circumstantial evidence, as is his repeated griping about how he wouldn't have appointed Sessions if he knew Sessions was going to recuse himself from the investigation. Trump's lawyers admitting that Trump himself was heavily involved in his son's false testimony about the Trump Tower meeting is not hearsay. McCabe's claim that Rosenstein was directed by Trump to pen up a memo he could use to justify Comey's firing is not hearsay, it's testimony. Coats and Rogers claiming that Trump had asked them to publicly state that there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia is not hearsay. That's, again, testimony.

Of what was cited, the claim you'd have the best chance of applying hearsay to would be the reason behind Corallo's resignation. The White House officials saying they overheard conversations asking about how to get Comey to shut down the investigation? Not hearsay. Borrowing from the Bar association for a moment, this is perhaps best demonstrated with their example scenarios:

To prove that H is having an affair with Secretary, W calls Colleague who testifies: "One afternoon, I walked into H's office and happened to see H's Google Chat with Secretary, in which H asked: 'Wasn't that the best sex we've ever had?'"
Is Colleague's testimony hearsay?

No.

First, the statements are not being offered to show that they had the best sex ever, but to show that H had an affair with Secretary. This is a party admission and is not hearsay. (FRE 801(d)(2)).

H offers a post he found on W's Facebook wall from Friend which said "I miss you and can't wait to 'see' you tomorrow."
Is the Facebook post hearsay?

No.

The statement in the Facebook post is relevant for the fact that it was said. H is not trying to prove the truth of the fact asserted, i.e., that Friend misses W. Rather, the fact that the statement was said is what makes it relevant.

So this would be admissible if there are no other impediments (e.g. authentication).

Based on the nature of your responses at this point, I feel obliged to remind you that the question at this juncture is not whether or not these prove beyond reasonable doubt that Trump obstructed or attempted to obstruct justice. The question is whether there is enough evidence to charge him.

Saelune:
Supposedly the Mueller Report proves Trump is innocent. Then prove it. Show it. Release it!

On the one hand "proving innocence" isn't generally at all how it works. In fact, there's no way the report proves he is innocent unless it has a massive amount of exculpatory evidence in it, the best it is likely to do is show a lack of ability to find he proof of guilt.

At the same time, I also have a preference for primary sources and a distrust for politically inflamed "interpretations of those sources.

Saelune:
Trump is a hypocrite, and a criminal.

Hypocrite? Yeah. Dishonest as all hell? Even more than the average politician. Criminal? That needs proof to back it. Proof that supposedly just isn't there in the Mueller report (and I can go no farther than "supposedly" until it gets released or leaked).

Schadrach:

Saelune:
Supposedly the Mueller Report proves Trump is innocent. Then prove it. Show it. Release it!

On the one hand "proving innocence" isn't generally at all how it works. In fact, there's no way the report proves he is innocent unless it has a massive amount of exculpatory evidence in it, the best it is likely to do is show a lack of ability to find he proof of guilt.

At the same time, I also have a preference for primary sources and a distrust for politically inflamed "interpretations of those sources.

Saelune:
Trump is a hypocrite, and a criminal.

Hypocrite? Yeah. Dishonest as all hell? Even more than the average politician. Criminal? That needs proof to back it. Proof that supposedly just isn't there in the Mueller report (and I can go no farther than "supposedly" until it gets released or leaked).

Trump was a criminal before becoming President.

Trump should also disprove UFO conspiracies whilst he's at it.

He could take a crack at the JFK thing too.

But, if I'm going to be honest, I think the president has better things to do than play Mythbusters.

The Lunatic:
Trump should also disprove UFO conspiracies whilst he's at it.

He could take a crack at the JFK thing too.

But, if I'm going to be honest, I think the president has better things to do than play Mythbusters.

He also has better things to do than play golf, but that hasn't stopped him.

Saelune:

The Lunatic:
Trump should also disprove UFO conspiracies whilst he's at it.

He could take a crack at the JFK thing too.

But, if I'm going to be honest, I think the president has better things to do than play Mythbusters.

He also has better things to do than play golf, but that hasn't stopped him.

Surely the more time he spends playing golf the less time he has to fuck up the country. You should WANT him to be playing golf.

Here Comes Tomorrow:

Saelune:

The Lunatic:
Trump should also disprove UFO conspiracies whilst he's at it.

He could take a crack at the JFK thing too.

But, if I'm going to be honest, I think the president has better things to do than play Mythbusters.

He also has better things to do than play golf, but that hasn't stopped him.

Surely the more time he spends playing golf the less time he has to fuck up the country. You should WANT him to be playing golf.

I want a government that isn't absolute garbage. I want a President who is not a terrorist White Supremacist who murders children by locking them in cages after ripping them from their families.

I want Trump to be removed from office.

Barr is releasing it in April, with confidential stuff redacted.

Asita:

Ok, first of all, I'd ask you not to do that. If you want to dispute my characterization, that's one thing, but "fixed that for you" is needlessly condescending. Second, you invoke poorly. Trump attesting that he was thinking about "the Russia thing" when he fired Comey and Sanders suggesting that removing Comey would help the investigation come to its conclusion is not hearsay, that's circumstantial evidence, as is his repeated griping about how he wouldn't have appointed Sessions if he knew Sessions was going to recuse himself from the investigation. Trump's lawyers admitting that Trump himself was heavily involved in his son's false testimony about the Trump Tower meeting is not hearsay. McCabe's claim that Rosenstein was directed by Trump to pen up a memo he could use to justify Comey's firing is not hearsay, it's testimony. Coats and Rogers claiming that Trump had asked them to publicly state that there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia is not hearsay. That's, again, testimony.

Of what was cited, the claim you'd have the best chance of applying hearsay to would be the reason behind Corallo's resignation. The White House officials saying they overheard conversations asking about how to get Comey to shut down the investigation? Not hearsay.

Those things aren't hearsay, they also aren't things that suggest he was trying to undermine or end the investigation. The hearsay is all the stories we've gotten over the past 2 years claiming things like "Trump in private says he's gonna fire Mueller and pardon himself". Your list is just bad evidence for your claim.

1) He said he fired Comey while thinking about the Russia thing, now hear the whole context, because he thought the FBI was turning into a trash fire while Comey was grandstanding about an investigation into nothing. That's a totally reasonable statement. And it came like a week after Comey was asking for large sums of money to expand an investigation into nothing. That's not "I fired him to end the investigation." Remember, the investigation didn't end with Comey. That's "I fired him cause he's wasting FBI resources on a wild goose chase."

2) Of course he griped about Sessions recusing himself, it made Trump looked guilty. Sessions recusing itself looks like reason to believe Trump colluded with Russia. Now we know he didn't. Saying "I wouldn't have appointed him to that position if I knew he was gonna make me look like I'm guilty of being a Russian plant" is a completely reasonable thing. I haven't seen anything to lead me to believe that after Sessions was gone, Trump suddenly had hands-on power over the Russia investigation, so I don't know if the recusal had any impact on the actual process, it just looked super bad.

3) Testimony by Cohen doesn't count as evidence for anything.

4) I don't think Trump Jr actually lied about the Trump Tower meeting. He didn't give full information of what he thought the meeting was going to be, but he said they were lobbying about US-Russia adoptions and I believe that's what they were talking about. The "informant" instigated the meeting by offering dirt on Clinton, but that's not what they ended up talking about when it happened, and that's why the exchange ended there.

5) Asking your expert adviser to give you backup on firing Comey is reasonable. Would you prefer he fire him without that justification? You only think this looks bad because you're judging it on the basis that Comey didn't deserve to fired and Trump was makiong up excuses to try and end the investigation. But the investigation didn't end, and Rosenstein gave perfectly legitimate justifications. You're thinking Trumps asking a lackey to make things up, but he was asking a respected individual to lend him his expertise.

Based on the nature of your responses at this point, I feel obliged to remind you that the question at this juncture is not whether or not these prove beyond reasonable doubt that Trump obstructed or attempted to obstruct justice. The question is whether there is enough evidence to charge him.

I am by no means sold on that. Trump is a sleazebag, yes. But the whole investigation, he's consistently said he has the power to stop it, he wasn't going to stop it, and he would come out clean in the end. Well, all of those things have proven correct. To set the bar low, Donald Trump is the least guilty person they investigated.

Here Comes Tomorrow:

Saelune:

The Lunatic:
Trump should also disprove UFO conspiracies whilst he's at it.

He could take a crack at the JFK thing too.

But, if I'm going to be honest, I think the president has better things to do than play Mythbusters.

He also has better things to do than play golf, but that hasn't stopped him.

Surely the more time he spends playing golf the less time he has to fuck up the country. You should WANT him to be playing golf.

Considering his golfing trips are costing millions of tax payer dollars he really shouldn't be golfing

Saelune:

Here Comes Tomorrow:

Saelune:
He also has better things to do than play golf, but that hasn't stopped him.

Surely the more time he spends playing golf the less time he has to fuck up the country. You should WANT him to be playing golf.

I want a government that isn't absolute garbage. I want a President who is not a terrorist White Supremacist who murders children by locking them in cages after ripping them from their families.

I want Trump to be removed from office.

Well, I'm sorry, but a reality of living in a democracy is that the entire country can't just grind to a halt to cater to the whims of an individual.

The Lunatic:

Saelune:

Here Comes Tomorrow:

Surely the more time he spends playing golf the less time he has to fuck up the country. You should WANT him to be playing golf.

I want a government that isn't absolute garbage. I want a President who is not a terrorist White Supremacist who murders children by locking them in cages after ripping them from their families.

I want Trump to be removed from office.

Well, I'm sorry, but a reality of living in a democracy is that the entire country can't just grind to a halt to cater to the whims of an individual.

I know you're saying that on purpose because we both know you're describing Trump.

tstorm823:

1) The key personnel relevant to the investigation weren't fired. People who suck were fired, and the investigation was better off without them. People with perceived pro-Trump bias were recusing themselves and the investigation was better off for that too.

I'm pretty sure you'll find Trump himself is on record somewhere saying he fired Comey over the Russia thing. Of course, he says lots of shit - but it's still problematic he's said stuff like that. So accountability and transparency, please.

2 & 3) Trump wasn't musing about firings and pardons out of nowhere. The 24 hour news cycle obsessed over the possibility of the President firing opposition and pardoning allies, and Trump said "yeah, sure, of course I have the power to do those things." Was it wise to answer those questions? Probably not. Can you claim there's a criminal motive in answering the questions being asked 4000 times a day? No way.

Sure. These are all face value reasons why it's potentially okay. But as you sort of note, the problem is that it's at best it's unwise and potentially not okay. And this is again exactly what transparency and accountability is for.

And this is a lot of my problem with Trump, because this sort of shit is non-stop. Nepotism for family, friends and cronies. Refusing to clearly separate his business interests from governance. Non-stop poor choices of subordinates (all those constant firings and resignations). Abuse of process, such as dodgy national emergencies. Chaos and whimsy: announcing policy without consultation leaving state secretaries and their departments, party legislators clueless, these policies often rolled back.

Even if all technically legal, this is appalling governance and the ripest of breeding grounds for dysfunction and corruption which a lot of Americans seem to me to be disturbingly unconcerned about.

Agema:

Even if all technically legal, this is appalling governance and the ripest of breeding grounds for dysfunction and corruption which a lot of Americans seem to me to be disturbingly unconcerned about.

When people say what Trump did is not illegal.

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