Here We Go

Published: July 24, 2019

By Jim Lichtman
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Well, it’s the bottom of the ninth, two outs. Time to bring in the top gun!

For roughly five hours, all media will be consumed by the testimony of Robert Mueller sitting before two House committees.

Here’s what the president said yesterday about former federal prosecutor/FBI chief Robert Mueller and his report.

“There’s a lot of conflicts, he’s got. He wanted the job of the FBI director; he didn’t get it. And we had a business relationship where I said no, and I would say that he wasn’t happy.”

For the record, in June of 2018, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (who was appointed by the president), testified: “I am not aware of any disqualifying conflict of interest,” The Hill wrote, (June 6, 2018).

Further, there is no evidence… zero… that Robert Mueller asked the president that he be returned as FBI director, or any “business relationship” with the president.

“We had no collusion, no obstruction… no nothing,” the president said.

That too is false, (read my analysis: part 1; part 2).

Nonetheless, all these deceits told by a man who lies as easily as he breathes, are meaningless to the president’s supporters.

Even, racist tweets don’t matter.

“I know some people don’t like his tweets and they think he’s crass. I — that’s why I voted for him,” said retired businesswoman Mary Lou Kohlhofer.

Nancy Schneider even went so far as to echo the sentiment in President Trump’s tweets, saying, ‘If you think you have it better in your — where you came from or how they did things there, go back where you came from.’ ”

Listening to reactions like that makes me both angry and sad; sad that people can be so blinded by their own bias that they’re unwilling to recognize racism when they read it; angry at Congressional Republicans, whose responsibility it is to stand up for the rule of law and clearly racist language.

Before representatives begin questioning Mr. Mueller, former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal hits the nail on the head in an Op-Ed in The New York Times (July 23). He offers three questions that Mueller can answer with simple “yes” and “no” responses to help independents who have not read the report cut through all spin and hear the truth.

“Mr. Mueller,” Katyal states, “the president said your report found, in his words, ‘no collusion, no obstruction, complete and total exoneration.’

“First, did your report find there was no collusion?

“Second, did your report find there was no obstruction?

“Third, did your report give the president complete and total exoneration?

“That’s it. That’s the ballgame,” Katyal makes unambiguously clear. “It makes no difference if there are 20 questioners or two when Mr. Mueller appears before two House committees… The report itself is deeply damning to Mr. Trump, elevating him to the rare president who has been credibly documented as committing federal crimes while sitting in office.”

Let’s not forget what the president’s attorney general, William Barr, wrote in his summary of the Mueller Report:

I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”

“Not sufficient”?!?

Quoting the report: “The President told aides that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and suggested that the Special Counsel, therefore, could not serve. The President’s advisors told him the asserted conflicts were meritless and had already been considered by the Department of Justice.” [The report: page 4]

Nonetheless, “the President called McGahn at home and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre.” [Page 4]

“…the President’s personal counsel called McGahn’s attorney and said that the President wanted McGahn to put out a statement denying that he had been asked to fire the Special Counsel and that he had threatened to quit in protest. McGahn’s attorney spoke with McGahn about that request and then called the President’s personal counsel to relay that McGahn would not make a statement.” [Page 114]

What part of the word obstruction do you not understand, Mr. Barr?

“I have concluded…” Barr said in his summary.

“The conclusion that Congress,” the Report says, “may apply obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”

Congress, Mr. Barr, not the attorney general decides those issues.

Will Mueller’s testimony change the minds of any of the president’s supporters?

Doubtful. The president has so thoroughly inculcated them with the false narrative of a Deep State, distrust of the FBI and his own intelligence community, that anything, everything that comes from the Democrats is evil and that any whim that comes from his own gut, is righteous.

The result: the country suffers under a moral malignancy not too dissimilar from those of Senator Joseph McCarthy, Charles Coughlin, Huey Long and George Wallace.

The critical difference is, this conspiracy of lies and false governance comes from inside the White House.

Eventually, the president’s tenure will end, but what will be the ultimate cost to America?


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