Democrats Blowing on Embers With a Politicized Mueller

Robert Mueller appeared to have difficulty understanding and answering questions during his day-long hearings on Wednesday but snapped to attention to make political points, says Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Former Russiagate special counsel Robert Mueller’s appearance before the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday was an exercise by the Democrats of trying to extract statements that would keep Russiagate alive and an attempt by the Republicans to finish off the story once and for all.

Appearing to be feigning, or actually suffering early signs of senility, the nearly 75-year old Mueller disappointed both parties and the public. He declined to answer 198 questions, according to a count by NBC News. When he did answer he was often barely intelligible and mostly stuck to what was in his final report, though he often had to fumble through pages to find passages he could not recall, eating into committee members’ five-minute time limit.

Mueller especially refused to comment on the process of his investigation, such as who he did or did not interview, what countries his investigators visited and he even dodged discussing some relevant points of law. It was an abdication of his responsibility to U.S. taxpayers who footed his roughly $30-million, 22-month probe.

But when it came to making political statements, the former FBI director suddenly rediscovered his mental acuity. He went way beyond his report to say, without prosecutorial evidence, that he agreed with the assessment of then CIA Director Mike Pompeo that WikiLeaks is a “non-state, hostile intelligence agency.”

Mueller called “illegal” WikiLeak‘s obtaining the Podesta and DNC emails, an act of journalism. In the 2016 election, the Espionage Act would not apply as the DNC and Podesta emails were not classified. Nor has WikiLeaks been accused by anyone of stealing the emails. And yet the foremost law enforcement figure in the U.S. accused WikiLeaks of breaking the law merely for publishing.

Though Mueller’s report makes no mention of The Guardian’s tale that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort visited WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, when questioned on this, Mueller refused to refute the story, for which there isn’t a scrap of evidence. That was another purely political and not legal intervention from the lawman.

Russia, Russia, Russia

Mueller: Came to when he wanted to make a political point. (C-Span screenshot)

While Mueller concluded there was no evidence of a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign to throw the 2016 election, he has not let up on the most politicized part of his message: that Russia interfered “massively” in “our democracy” and is still doing it. There was no waffling from Mueller when it came to this question.

He bases this on his indictment of 12 GRU Russian military intelligence agents whom he alleges hacked the DNC emails and transmitted them to WikiLeaks. Mueller knows those agents will never be arrested and brought to a courtroom to have his charges tested. In that sense the indictment was less a legal than a political document.

Among the inaccuracies about Russiagate that were recycled at the hearing is that the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency spent $1.25 million in the United States to influence the election. That figure belonged to a unit that acted worldwide, not just in the U.S., according to Mueller’s indictment. In fact it only spent $100,000 on Facebook ads, half coming after the election, and as even Mueller pointed out, some were anti-Trump.

Cambridge Analytica, by contrast, had 5,000 data points on 240 million Americans, some of it bought from Facebook, that gave an enormous advantage for targeted ads to the Trump campaign, which says it put out 5.9 million Facebook ads based on this data. It paid at least $5.9 million to the company co-founded by Trump’s campaign strategist Steve Bannon. But we are supposed to believe that a comparatively paltry number of social media messages from the IRA threw the election.

IRA headquarters in St. Petersburg (Wikimedia Commons)

Mueller implied in his testimony that there was a link between the IRA and the Russian government despite an order from a judge for him to stop making that connection. In focusing again on Russia, no member of Congress from either party raised the content of the leaked emails.

For the Democrats especially, it is all about the source, who is irrelevant, since no one disputes the accuracy of the emails that exposed Hillary Clinton. (That the source of authentic documents is irrelevant is demonstrated by The Wall Street Journal and other major media using anonymous drop boxes pioneered by WikiLeaks.) Were a foreign power to spread disinformation about candidates in a U.S. election (something the candidates do to each other all the time) that would be sabotage. But the leaking and publication of the Clinton emails was information valuable to American voters. And WikiLeaks would have published Trump emails, but it never received any,  Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson told Consortium New‘s webcast CN Live!

No Power to Exonerate

With “collusion” off the table, the Democrats have been obsessed with Trump allegedly obstructing an investigation that found no underlying crime. That’s something like being arrested for resisting arrest when you’ve committed no other infraction.

In his morning testimony, Mueller amplified the misperception that the only reason he didn’t charge Trump with obstruction is because of a Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel policy that a sitting president can’t be indicted.

But then Mueller came back from a break in the  hearing to issue a “correction.” It was not true that he had concluded there’d been obstruction but was blocked by the OLC policy, he said. In fact he never concluded that there had been obstruction at all. “We didn’t make a decision about culpability,” Mueller said. “We didn’t go down that road.”

Instead of leaving it at that, Mueller said in his report and testimony that Trump was not “exonerated” of an obstruction charge. That led to blaring headlines Wednesday morning while the hearing was still going on. “Trump was not exonerated by my report, Robert Mueller tells Congress,” said the BBC. “Mueller Report Did Not Exonerate Trump, Mueller Says,” blared the HuffPost.

But in what may have been the most embarrassing moment for Mueller, Republican Congressman Michael Turner (R-OH) pointed out that a prosecutor does not have the power to exonerate anyone. A prosecutor  prosecutes.

Rep. Michael Turner

“Mr. Mueller, does the Attorney General have the power or authority to exonerate?” Turner asked the witness. “What I’m putting up here is the United States code. This is where the Attorney General gets his power. And the constitution … .

“Mr. Mueller, nowhere in these [documents] … is there a process or description on ‘exonerate.’ There’s no office of exoneration at the Attorney General’s office. … Mr. Mueller, would you agree with me that the Attorney General does not have the power to exonerate?”

“I’m going to pass on that,” Mueller replied.

“Why?” Turner asked.

“Because it embroils us in a legal discussion, and I’m not prepared to do a legal discussion in that arena,” Mueller said.

Pointing to a CNN headline that had just appeared, “MUELLER: TRUMP WAS NOT EXONERATED,” Turner said: “What you know is, that this can’t say, ‘Mueller exonerated Trump,’ because you don’t have the power or authority to exonerate Trump. You have no more power to declare him exonerated than you have the power to declare him Anderson Cooper.”

Turner said: “The statement about exoneration is misleading, and it’s meaningless. It colors this investigation— one word of out the entire portion of your report. And it’s a meaningless word that has no legal meaning, and it has colored your entire report.”

Who is a Spy for Whom?

Mueller also took a pass every time the Steele dossier was raised, which it first was by Rep. David Nunes (R-CA):

“Despite acknowledging dossier allegations as being salacious and unverified, former FBI Director James Comey briefed those allegations to President Obama and President-elect Trump. Those briefings conveniently leaked to the press, resulting in the publication of the dossier and launching thousands of false press stories based on the word of a foreign ex-spy, one who admitted he was desperate that Trump lose the election and who was eventually fired as an FBI source for leaking to the press.

 “And the entire investigation was open based not on Five Eyes intelligence, but on a tip from a foreign politician about a conversation involving Joseph Mifsud. He’s a Maltese diplomat who’s widely portrayed as a Russian agent, but seems to have for more connections with Western governments, including our own FBI and our own State Department, than with Russia.”

Mueller admitted that though Mifsud lied to the FBI he never charged him as he had others. When Nunes pointed out to Mueller that Konstantin Kilimnik, a Manafort business associate, whom Mueller’s report identifies as having ties to Russian intelligence, was actually a U.S. State Department asset, Mueller refused to comment saying he was “loath” to get into it.

This Schiff Has Sailed

The chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff (D-CA) used the word “lies” 19 times in his opening statement, which contained at least that many.

The central one was this:

“Your investigation determined that the Trump campaign, including Donald Trump himself, knew that a foreign power was intervening in our election and welcomed it, built Russian meddling into their strategy and used it.

Disloyalty to country. Those are strong words, but how else are we to describe a presidential campaign which did not inform the authorities of a foreign offer of dirt on their opponent, which did not publicly shun it or turn it away, but which instead invited it, encouraged it and made full use of it?”

Schiff reluctantly admitted that no Trump conspiracy with Russia was uncovered, but said the “crime” of disloyalty was even worse.

“Disloyalty to country violates the very oath of citizenship, our devotion to a core principle on which our nation was founded that we, the people and not some foreign power that wishes us ill, we decide who governs us,” said Schiff.

It was pure fantasy.

Mueller should have taken a pass on that one too.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

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145 comments for “Democrats Blowing on Embers With a Politicized Mueller

  1. SteveK9
    July 29, 2019 at 16:04

    It’s now referred to as the Weissman Report.

    Whatever you may think of Roger Stone, here is his description of his arrest at the hands of these people:

    “I’m 66 years old. I don’t own a firearm. I have no prior criminal record. My passport has expired. The special counsel’s office is well aware of the fact that I’m represented,” the longtime Republican operative and political provocateur told host George Stephanopoulos during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

    “They could simply have called my lawyers and I would have turned myself in,” Stone said. “It’s an expensive show of force to try to depict me as Public Enemy No. 1, the OG. It’s an attempt to poison the jury pool. These are Gestapo tactics.”

    “The idea that a 29-member SWAT team in full tactical gear with assault weapons would surround my house,“ Stone said Sunday, “17 vehicles in my front yard, including two armored vehicles, a helicopter overhead, amphibious vehicles in the back where my house backs on to a canal — that I would open the door looking down the barrel of assault weapons, that I would be frog-marched out front barefooted and handcuffed when they simply could have contacted me, I think people need to know about that.”

    And that is just one instance of prosecutorial misconduct. All of these investigators should be serving jail time themselves.

    • Skip Scott
      July 30, 2019 at 07:19

      Unfortunately this is the new reality for us here in the “Land of the Free”.

  2. boxerwar
    July 28, 2019 at 01:49

    Putrid and Crass Buffoonery from
    Joe Lauria. End – / – result will be as
    a dartboard overloaded with BullsEyes
    striking Trumps’ Pig Pink hind parts. …
    with full spectrum color of white paint. …

    ” don’t you know, that it’s true” – –
    THE WORLD IS A GHETTO … ?

  3. county kerry
    July 28, 2019 at 00:41

    Apparently , Mr. Schiff believes to be disloyal is a crime !

    One day honor may require that we be disloyal .

  4. mary caldwell
    July 28, 2019 at 00:25

    Apparently, Mr. Schiff thinks it a crime to be disloyal to the country.

    On the contrary there may come a time when honor requires that we stand and be disloyal .

    • county kerry
      July 28, 2019 at 16:39

      Ha seemingly , my ego and alter-ego are in battle ! ^^^

  5. dean 1000
    July 27, 2019 at 17:16

    The hearing was a circus but the clowns didn’t wear makeup.

    The only people who know whether Russia turned the election are the Trump voters.
    Not one Trump voter demanded a new ballot to vote for the candidate of his choice because he had been duped into voting for Trump.

    When a swamp creature like Mueller invokes “democracy” you know a big windy is coming. Apparently Mueller forgot he pledged allegiance to a republic when he was in school.

    • Charlene Richards
      July 28, 2019 at 18:06

      He also apparently forgot that he was under oath when he testified the other day.

      Of course it wouldn’t be the first time he lied to Congress.

      Don’t they EVER go after anyone for perjury before Congress?!

      • Jessejean
        July 29, 2019 at 13:00

        Excellent question!

      • July 29, 2019 at 15:57

        The rule of law is never applied to establishmentarians. They are lawless, operate completely outside the law. If the rule of law is applied to someone, it means that person is on the outs for whatever reason, out of favor.

  6. EdD
    July 27, 2019 at 07:42

    I don’t understand your use of the term “threw the election”. An election can only be thrown by the candidate who loses the election. If “the election was thrown”, it would have been thrown by the Clinton campaign, not by the actions of others outside either election campaign.

    In a boxing match, the loser can be said to have thrown the fight by allowing himself to be beaten. The referee or the spectators can’t throw the fight.

  7. July 27, 2019 at 01:43

    @ “As for who put Trump in office?… only the purposely obtuse believe it eas Russia.”

    Yes. As Jay Leno said, “if God had wanted us to vote He would have sent us candidates.”

    In my opinion, it’s the folks who installed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate who put Trump in office.

    • Clark M Shanahan
      July 27, 2019 at 09:50

      ” it’s the folks who installed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate who put Trump in office.”
      t’ain’t that the truth :-(

      Obama selling the control of the DNC over to Clinton Inc in September 2015 was totally criminal; an act of fraud.

  8. Zhu
    July 26, 2019 at 21:43

    Cratulus, it’s Deep State faction vs Deep State faction. Why? Power, moner, sex, like Genghis Khan’s wars.

  9. Zhu
    July 26, 2019 at 21:40

    Uf Dems werr rational, they’d looj at Trump’s finabces and taxes, which are sure to as dodgy as can be.

  10. Zhu
    July 26, 2019 at 21:36

    Russiagate relies on deep delusion and deep irrationak prejudices. It’s perhaos comparable to the Dreyfus Affair.

  11. Brad Smith
    July 26, 2019 at 14:42

    “Exoneration Law and Legal Definition. Exoneration refers to a court order that discharges a person from liability. In criminal context the term exonerate refers to a state where a person convicted of a crime is later proved to be innocent. … The term exoneration is also referred in the context of surety bail bonds.”

    Exoneration Law and Legal Definition | USLegal, Inc.

    You must first be convicted, then you may be exonerated. Conversely there is no need to be exonerated from a non-conviction. A non-conviction is simply “The state of innocence” which is what everyone is always assumed to be in.

    You literally can not be exonerated in any legal sense of the term, until after you have been convicted. That is simply a fact. It is 100% impossible to legally exonerate anyone until after they have been convicted.

    (Don’t any of these talking heads on TV or congress own a legal dictionary?)

    Trump who is not a lawyer used the term in it’s colloquial form. ie; I was exonerated in the eyes of the public. Mueller and everyone else is conflating the colloquial with the legal and you can’t tell me that this is done on accident or out of ignorance of the law.

    There is in fact a legal definition for Exoneration and even a process by which it takes place, so why doesn’t anyone actually use the legal definition or talk about what actually takes place when an exoneration happens? If they did it would certainly clear up any misunderstanding rather quickly, right?

    Sadly, the answer is simple; they choose to obfuscate instead of clearing this up. Conflating the legal with the colloquial allows them to keep many aspects of this hoax alive or at least to cover up what a complete failure it was. It keeps a cloud over Trump as well, etc. etc. so there is plenty of motive to keep people confused about this issue.

    So one more time; A legal exoneration is what happens when exculpatory evidence leads to the overturning of a conviction. There is no such thing as a legal exoneration in any criminal proceeding in America that takes place before a conviction.

    It is in fact a legal impossibility for Mueller to exonerate Trump and Mueller could have cleared this up by simply reading from any Law Dictionary.

    • Antiwar7
      July 26, 2019 at 19:34

      This should be in Joe’s article.

    • christina garcia
      July 26, 2019 at 22:27

      you are correct. unfortunately, many people want to break it down in very simple terms. Trump is still a grifter, criminal, pussy grabber, but , you know, he is no collusion. Actually, Trump is the most outstanding individual I have ever met in my life. Chicago December he came down some escalator in what was then marshall fields. he launched his cologne . I have never felt so much being in the presence of a star. I actually threw up. He was sickening then, as he is sickening now. My mom and I ran out of that store so fast. Look it up all you fact finders. DJT launch his cologone / perfume Chicago he did the escalator thing even back then

    • DW Bartoo
      July 27, 2019 at 09:11

      Excellent and critically necessary comment, Brad Smith.

      Thank you.

      DW

  12. Cratylus
    July 26, 2019 at 13:42

    P.S. Now that the dust has settled, one must ask why the Deep State wanted Trump gone. Why does the Establishment hate him so much? Certainly it is partly a question of “style” or proper upper middle class behavior. But Bush II was also “guilty” of that and did not inspire nearly the intensity of blind hatred that has targeted Trump from on high.
    Trump committed an unforgivable sin in suggesting we “get along with Russia.” That was to be the beginning of a different foreign policy. Those who cannot genuinely admit this that Trump was heading the US in a better direction at least in this one area are also extremely afflicted by TDS. And I notice that the malady continues to afflict many of those who have integrity to see through Russiagate. It is time to wake up to this fact and make the measure of Trump his actions which are different in different areas.

  13. Cratylus
    July 26, 2019 at 13:32

    Mueller did seem to be senile which leads one to the conclusion that he could not have been genuinely in charge of the investigation. So the Hillaryite lawyers surrounding him must have been manipulating him, or “operating” him to use an FBI term.
    But if one wished to ascribe extreme deviousness to Mueller and company, perhaps he was feigning senility to get off the hook when and if Barr uncovers the entire plot, for conspiracy there surely was given the giant two+ year fizzle this has turned out to be.
    Either way Barr has a big job on his hands.

    • Skip Scott
      July 29, 2019 at 07:59

      I don’t follow the MSM much, but this befuddlement of Mueller’s seems to me to be a new development. I am wondering if it is contrived. He may be looking down the road to having to testify in court, and realizes that it is time to start having difficulties in recall.

      He looked drugged to me.

    • July 29, 2019 at 16:01

      I wonder if there even was a highly structured investigation. It seemed like this entire concept of “Mueller Investigation” has been a political ploy to discipline Trump whenever Trump was straying off course. For example, Trump meets with Putin in Helsinki? OK, here’s a big revelation from the “Mueller Investigation.” Trump expresses reluctance to escalate in Syria? Bam! Here’s another “revelation” from the “Mueller Investigation.” Makes me wonder.

  14. Glennn
    July 26, 2019 at 12:16

    Russia interfered on a massive scale and is doing it again as we sit here! Just how massive? They spent $100,000 on clickbait ads from a company owned by a man who was in a photo with the evil mastermind! How evil? Well do the math. $43,000 to $46,000 of that was spent during the election and of those ads 8.4 percent were political. That’s $3,684 dollars. But the political ads were aimed in both directions so that’s roughly $1,932 spent “promoting” Trump. And now Mueller tells us the evil mastermind is at it again – as we sit here – probably spending even more this time. Let us know when he’s spent a full thousand dollars Bob and we’ll start loading the bombs. Oh, and we found all this out for around thirty million dollars.

    • Antiwar7
      July 26, 2019 at 19:32

      Brilliant.

  15. Truth
    July 26, 2019 at 12:10

    Mueller the deep stater, as Clinton Kerry Obama comey Rosenstein Podesta schumer Pelosi Feinstein,Romney,Dole,bush, families and all the rest since 1904 Rockefeller Plan for America was published,as prequel to Rhodes “new world order” 1898, are being revealed in the same media that they have used since American communist party creation of Hollywood. Of course it was only done during lowest viewing time of the month to minimize the majority of those who still stupidly watch tv and then vote based on it.

    Mueller knows he as a supposed attorney officer of the court was completely unprofesional in his words actions and mostly inactions towards obvious fraud and conspiracy of MI5 and the entire DNC. Which makes him an accessory during the facts. His statements against the unexplained “TRUMP CAMPAIGN” had no legal basis . Were only trigger words for the intentionally ignorant TV viewers.

  16. July 25, 2019 at 22:34

    think about it! with the myriad of problems we must contend with: growing social inequality, huge tax breaks for the rich, government deregulation of private business, a climate catastrophe, unending wars, nuclear annihilation spurred on especially by u.s. imperialism, the gutting of what little social safety net we have left and so on and so so on. and we are supposed to be outraged at supposed foreign interference with our supposed democratic process? please, this is total insanity!!!

  17. July 25, 2019 at 21:10

    Washington’s Blog, 13 Shocking Facts about Robert Mueller: https://washingtonsblog.com/2017/11/10-shocking-facts-special-prosecutor-robert-mueller.html

    • Skip Scott
      July 26, 2019 at 06:54

      Great link, Paul. Thanks. I’ve just forwarded it to some people.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 26, 2019 at 11:52

      Really important Paul Merrill, many thanks and the commentary is enlightening too…

  18. July 25, 2019 at 20:15

    A prosecutor cannot declare a person innocent. A prosecutor must prosecute by “proving” the person guilty, not by “proving” their innocence. Nor even by saying no evidence proves or suggests the person is innocent. That is not what prosecutors do. Why doesn’t everyone know this.

  19. July 25, 2019 at 18:29

    Of course, relatively speaking, it’s a nothing. Every knowledgeable person knows that we in the US orchestrated both the financing and the strategy of the 1996 Yeltsin campaign – a political rescue so efficiently carried out that our operatives bragged brazenly about it to Time Magazine, which made it the cover story for its July 14, 1996 edition (“Yanks to the Rescue”).

    The Lamestream Corporate media always underplayed the fact that Yeltsin ordered the execution of 1,100 demonstrators who protested the IMF backed “reforms”, and that Clinton approved of his deadly and heavy hand in implementing a neoliberal economic order. Clinton never threatened to suspend aid to the Russian Federation despite its numerous abuses of human rights.

    Also forgotten is that Yeltsin ordered the Russian Parliament (Duma) shelled before it could vote on Yeltsin’s economic “reforms”, which were implemented at the point of a gun. At various times between 1993 and 1997, it was Yeltsin who declared martial law, suspended the Duma, and declared himself possessed of dictatorial powers.

    How many Americans ever knew this? 20%? How many remember it today? Maybe 5%? That means there is no context for gauging Muellers’ testimony.

    But, it is, by MSNBC standards, Vladimir Putin who is Evil Incarnate. Has Maddow ever mentioned Yeltsin, a tyrant of the first order? No, because at GE, Comcast, and NBC, tyranny in the name of enforcing neoliberalism is perfectly acceptable.

    This post is a bit off topic, and is a bit relativistic, as I know we should be concerned if it is really true that Manafort was giving internal polling data to a Russian Federation person so that the IRA could better target swing states in our Midwest.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 26, 2019 at 08:26

      John Wolfe, your comment is not off topic at all, it’s crucial to further understanding of the totality of the Russia did it mentality, and That is well documented in a small but powerful book called “Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance” by F. William Engdahl which I will link.

      The American People have been propagandized so thoroughly that they can hardly recognize the truth any longer.

      Too, I will link an article in Off Guardian this morning that is worth mentioning if one wants to see Real Reporting On MH-17.

      https://www.amazon.com/Manifest-Destiny-Democracy-Cognitive-Dissonance/dp/3981723732

      And:

      https://off-guardian.org/2019/07/26/mh17-call-for-justice/

    • Litchfield
      July 26, 2019 at 12:40

      John: Thanks very much for this post!

      I didn’t know the facts that you relate.

  20. Frank
    July 25, 2019 at 16:36

    Your outfit is one of the few I’ve ever seen to emphasize the content of the emails as opposed to their alleged source. Nobody has ever challenged their accuracy. If Putin himself handed them to Assange, he did the voters a solid. I don’t see how the release of authentic documents relevant to the political chicanery of a candidate can constitute interference in an election.

  21. July 25, 2019 at 15:53

    @ “Mueller implied in his testimony that there was a link between the IRA and the Russian government despite an order from a judge for him to stop making that connection.”

    There may be some fireworks with that judge because of Mueller’s statements. He was expressly warned by the judge that she would consider a range of sanctions were there any repetition. On the other hand, as far as I could tell a few years ago when I had last researched the topic, federal judges are very reluctant to sanction federal attorneys. I could find only one published instance where that had occurred, and it was only a measly $500 penalty. (Rule 11 sanctions are supposed to compensate the other side for the expenses of opposing an unjustifiable position, as measured by the reasonable billing rate of the other side’s lawyers, although judges do have authority for departures.)

    Misbehavior by federal lawyers is exceedingly common, I suspect precisely because they are so seldom held to account for unprincipled behavior. That Mueller conducted such a shoddy investigation is no surprise to me.

  22. July 25, 2019 at 15:34

    Mueller most certainly did conclude that

    “Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts”

    Which is why they moved to OBSTRUCTION

    Aaron Maté?Verified account @aaronjmate
    The idea that Trump should be impeached for somehow obstructing an investigation that Mueller openly acknowledged a) was not obstructed & b) had no underlying crime is a joke. I hope Trump loses in 2020 — clinging to the Russiagate disaster in any way only hurts that prospect.
    Collins: “At any time in the investigation, was your investigation curtailed or stopped or hindered?”
    Mueller: “No.”
    https://www.washingtonpost…. …

    Aaron Maté?Verified account @aaronjmate
    “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” is a line we heard endlessly throughout the Russiagate saga. Those who said it didn’t realize that the smoke was coming from their Russiagate bong — and they need to put it down to put out the fire it created.“

    • July 25, 2019 at 16:09

      Sorry for the double post…..and I thought I was responding to someone?
      Something wrong with the site?

  23. boxerwar
    July 25, 2019 at 15:23

    Proverbs 17:11 — An evil man seeks only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

    HEADLINE: Homeland Security has curtailed anti-terrorism programs
    (LA Times – Front Page — 7-21-2019)

    These So-called anti terrorism programs were initiated by Bush Administration insiders /
    \ Bull-Krap Artists plucked out of Madison Ave / Sloganeer distorted Commercialism /

    (Which worked on Dumbfounded Americans) that EASILY bought into the (choreographed)
    \ Diabolical TERRORIST ATTACK on/in NEW YOUR \that was witnessed WORLD WIDE

    And Declared To Be A “TERRORIST ATTACK” upon the USA by one ARAB TERRORIST !!!
    [ you must not Believe The Hype —lest you fall into the Trap of easy Believe-ism]

    (like the majority of easily deceived (gullible) Americans… .)

    (unfinished… .)

    • boxerwar
      July 25, 2019 at 16:58

      https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-07-17/times-investigation-homeland-security-gutted-programs-aimed-at-stopping-wmd-terrorism

      How many of you here believe in that “patriotism” Bull Spit associated w/ 9/11 / SADDAM HUSEIN /USAMA BIN LADEN

      “LETS TAKE IRAQ’S OIL” – and – While We’re At It, START A BIG WAR INSIDE THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST THAT’LL CAUSE ARABS AND AFRICANS TO FLEE INTO EUROPE, UNSETTLING WHOLE TRANS CONTINENTAL NATIONS, INITIATING USURPATIONS OF FAMILIES AND NATIONALITIES AND GOVERNMENTAL CONTROLS OF NATIONAL BOUNDARIES…

      …WE SEE IT UP CLOSE ON OUR SOUTHERN BORDERS — WAVES OF HUMANITY FLEEING THE INJUSTICE OF POVERTY INFLICTED UPON A PEOPLE AND CAUSED BY THE ECONOMIC CONTROL INFLICTED UPON THEM BY USA COMMERCIAL POLICIES AND EDICTS.

      BLISSFUL IGNORANCE AND MADISON AVE COMMERCIALISM
      IS AS THE BANALITY of a BLINDLY DEPRAVED/NEFARIOUS/

      WILLFUL FALL INTO A SUBLIMINAL PERCEPTION OF REALITY

      THIS IS THE STATE OF ALL OF YOU TRUMP SUPPORTERS HERE
      HUXLEY’S BRAVE NEW WORLD (THE NEW BANALITY) IS HERE !!!

      • July 25, 2019 at 19:44

        uh Hillary Clinton stood with Bush and lied the world into war
        Hillary and Obama brought slavery back to Libya and ISIS and the largest refugee crisis since WW2 to Syria….
        Dont forget genocide in Yemen…..

        Hillary also supported disastrous free trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA and {TPP that brought back slavery} that harm workers on both sides of the borders

        Hillary also toppled a democratically elected president in Honduras with Death Squads and Obama killed 40,000 innocent t people with Sanctions in Venezuela

        They are fleeing Hillary and Obama’s Terror spree……..and cheer on worse WW3 with Russia

        Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War

        https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/01/03/reporter-quits-nbc-citing-networks-support-for-endless-war/

        On Venezuela, Tucker Airs Anti-Trump Ideas While Maddow Wants John Bolton To Be More Hawkish

        https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/05/05/on-venezuela-tucker-airs-anti-trump-ideas-while-maddow-wants-john-bolton-to-be-more-hawkish/

      • boxerwar
        July 25, 2019 at 22:12

        c.. Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes, Emma Peele, Without a Doubt – and I absolutely adore your “Avengers” pseudonym !

        Hillary’s disgusting crimes, however, seem to me to be an attempt to ingratiate herself (and the Democrats) with the Ultra Hawkish Bush Era Republicans.
        Who can ever forgive & forget her ghoulish pronouncement, “We came, we saw, He died!!”
        (in reference to the ghoulishly brutal public murder of Libya’s Qaddafi. {Qaddafi’s “Green Book” was a well imagined Socio-Economic plan for for the economic liberation of Africa from the economic and cultural strictures of US, European Absolutist Brutal Dominion.} — As it was, Libya, under Qaddafi, was a liberal, socialist society with free education, free health care for all citizens, and a nation with it’s own currency , free from US/EURO manipulation and control.

        — This Is Why We Killed Him. —
        This is US Command and Control World-Wide POLICY ! ! ! —
        — Anglo-Saxon Command and Control of the Whole Wide World and all it’s resources Owned and Militarily Controlled by European Bankers

        —- EUROPEAN Bankers, Rothschild Criminal Banker WarMongers/ Wall Street and American Military Power —

        These are They which Evilly Rule the World and Disparage or Murder (annihilate) All Others at their pleasure, and Trump is an evil antagonist with the personage of a King Leopold.

        Please find “KING LEOPOLD’S GHOST’ By Adam Hochschild

      • matt
        July 25, 2019 at 21:08

        What I love about Consortium is that there are smart people here from all political persuasions who happen to think out of the partisan box… We can dislike some of Trumps polices, yet still be truthful about the Russia narrative (unlike the mainstream media)

  24. July 25, 2019 at 15:10

    I think it is a profound error to view Russiagate as Democrats v. Republicans. It is Washington insiders versus outsiders, establishment versus non-establishment, Washington bureaucracy against the rest of the country, Deep State versus the will of the voters. The same kind of sham investigation would be occurring if it had been outsider Sanders winning in 2016 as opposed to outsider Trump.

  25. Drew Hunkins
    July 25, 2019 at 15:01

    PCR just posted a piece over at his site in which he declares that Russiagate is now over. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/07/25/repub

    I hate to say it, but corporate Democrats along with those who Maddow has totally brainwashed are still true believers in the entire lie. You cannot get through to these people, they will not come to terms with the fact that they’ve been hoodwinked and bamboozled for the last three years. They read it in WaPo and the NYTimes and heard it on NPR so it’s gospel.

    For the next 40 years these people will be writing essays, books and giving talks about how the evil Russians interfered in our democracy [sic] to elect their preferred president. It’s maddening and perhaps beyond hope.

    • Rob
      July 25, 2019 at 17:18

      To your point, the NYT is warning that Russia will interfere AGAIN in the next election. They take it as a given that they interfered in the last one, and so do many, if not most, of their readers, notwithstanding the absence of evidence. This is a full-on, non-stop propaganda effort. Facts will not get in the way.

      • anon4d2
        July 25, 2019 at 20:37

        So we need evidence that Russia
        1. Is interfering on both sides of every controversy;
        2. Is representing the majority of the US better than the incumbents; or
        3. Is plotting with Holland to take over the universe with UFOs and occult powers;
        But perhaps it is better to concentrate on the influence of Israel, which is fact.

      • Drew Hunkins
        July 26, 2019 at 10:24

        “This is a full-on, non-stop propaganda effort. Facts will not get in the way.”

        Exactly!

  26. July 25, 2019 at 14:54

    shut um down quite consuming.

  27. Dennis Rice
    July 25, 2019 at 14:36

    “While Mueller concluded there was no evidence of a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign.”

    Muller did not “conclude” that.

    • July 25, 2019 at 15:08

      He most certainly did

      “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation did not find evidence that President Donald Trump or members of his campaign conspired with Russia’s efforts to sway the 2016 election”

      Thats why your “conspiracy theory” moved the goal post to OBSTRUCTION…..

      Aaron Maté?Verified account @aaronjmate

      The idea that Trump should be impeached for somehow obstructing an investigation that Mueller openly acknowledged a) was not obstructed & b) had no underlying crime is a joke. I hope Trump loses in 2020 — clinging to the Russiagate disaster in any way only hurts that prospect.

      Collins: “At any time in the investigation, was your investigation curtailed or stopped or hindered?”

      Mueller: “No.”

      https://www.washingtonpost…. …

      Aaron Maté?Verified account @aaronjmate

      “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” is a line we heard endlessly throughout the Russiagate saga. Those who said it didn’t realize that the smoke was coming from their Russiagate bong — and they need to put it down to put out the fire it created.”

  28. Me Myself
    July 25, 2019 at 13:31

    Robert Mueller can easily be seen as carrying democrats hopes and dreams just like a good Mueller.
    Why does it matter where truth of damning information about our government officials comes from ( rhetorical ).
    I appreciate knowing it.
    Watching what appears to be a modern day Coup d’état in this country is more than just disappointing not surprising though.
    No focus from congress on what was clearly demonstrated in the evidence provided by publishing’s of undisputed truth by (Chelsea Manning .Julian Assange and Others)

    I thought it would be interesting living in the Middle Ages, once upon a time, Its not as fun as thought it might.

  29. July 25, 2019 at 12:15

    In the eighth-from-the-bottom paragraph Adam Schiff is shown as being “(R-CA)” when it should be (D-CA).

    • Ash
      July 27, 2019 at 20:37

      What’s the difference?

      • Skip Scott
        July 29, 2019 at 08:02

        Not much, nowadays.

  30. Sam F
    July 25, 2019 at 12:14

    This is an excellent article indeed; my compliments to Joe Lauria.
    Most lawyers are extremely dishonorable: even judges rely on them for lies.

  31. Taras77
    July 25, 2019 at 12:07

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/wp-content/uploads/democrats-mueller.jpg

    I think I can manage to spell Schadenfreude; what an absolute train wreck. Unfortunately, trump’s gloating will be ever present thru 2020 elections.

    Jeez, dimos, get a plan, forget his stupid tweets.

  32. Jeff Harrison
    July 25, 2019 at 11:20

    Pravda. Both a Russian word that has no direct English translation but means ultimate truth and the name of the world’s most mendacious newspaper back in the cold war days. What, precisely, is pravda in this situation? On the one hand you have the Democrats foaming at the mouth (over on The Nation, John Nichols is loudly proclaiming that they’ve got the goods to impeach Thump.) and the Republicans are dismissive. In my view, pravda comes down to one incredibly incompetent woman – Hillary Rodham Clinton, Three Names. Also, in my view, Thump, like Obama before him and Shrub before him, has committed impeachable offenses it’s just that none of them have anything to do with Russia or election interference. Open your eyes a little wider and see the nepotism, the double dealing in the deep state, the ruling by decree instead of by consensus, etc.

  33. Linda Doucett
    July 25, 2019 at 11:17

    Yes, we can all agree that Trump is not fit. That fact does not legitimize the other actors in this farce. The destruction of the Republic bagan a long time ago and will not end until the global playing field has been leveled. As for who put Trump in office?… only the purposely obtuse believe it eas Russia. Every move Trump has made in office has been to appease his Zionist masters.

    • Sam F
      July 25, 2019 at 20:42

      There is an interesting lead, that the Republic cannot be restored “until the global playing field has been leveled.” Curious what modes or means of leveling you may have considered?

    • July 26, 2019 at 19:17

      @ “As for who put Trump in office?… only the purposely obtuse believe it eas Russia.”

      Yes. As Jay Leno said, “if God had wanted us to vote He would have sent us candidates.”

      In my opinion, it’s the folks who installed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate who put Trump in office.

  34. Drew Hunkins
    July 25, 2019 at 11:16

    Nadler’s an embarrassment.
    Brennan’s an embarrassment.
    Schiff’s an embarrassment.

    • July 25, 2019 at 15:10

      Brennan is a criminal….who lied and tortured and mass murdered people

      • Drew Hunkins
        July 25, 2019 at 15:44

        Very true.

      • Tedder
        July 29, 2019 at 14:00

        Stephen F Cohen (and probably others) suggests that Brennan was the source for Russiagate.

  35. JDD
    July 25, 2019 at 10:40

    The bumbling, stumbling testimony by a supposedly top prosecutor was an embarrassment to any unbiased observor. The fact that Mueller was ignorant of the basic facts of his own report, even stating that he was unfamiliar with Fusion GPS, makes clear that the investigation and report bearing his name was actualy the work product of the Trump-hating fanatics of his handpicked legal team, led by Andrew Weissman. That the investigation and its product was never anything but a witch hunt, as the president has stated, was clear from the series of lies, ommissions and frameups which characterized the entire investition, which Mueller could not substantiate or even simply articulate. However, the irreparable damage done to the president’s promise of cooperation with Russia was in no small part due to the cowardice showed by Republican acceptance of the big lie of “sweeping and systematic Russian interference” on which they doubled down in yesterday’s drama. The actual collusion, which was between British intelligence and the Clinton Campaign/ Obama administration, to frame Trump as a Russian agent-of-influence and to overturn the results of the 2016 election, was not exposed and the opportunity missed to to further the process of dismantling that treasonous apparatus, often erroneously referred to as “the deep state.”

  36. LJ
    July 25, 2019 at 10:38

    Quite a few people couldn’t help but notice that the country was shifting into a dis-informational mode several years ago. So much for the Information Age, the Internet and hand held ( communication ) devices to increase awareness. It was noticed by some folks even here at CN that tendencies had come ito play that were reminiscent of Orwell’s dystopian yet fictional accounts in the novel 1984. This entire Russiagate episode could just as easily have come from 1984’s Ministry of Information as our own Intelligence Services and might have been just as boring if it had . Meanwhile us , prols, just go with the flow and don’t really care. Are things that much different than they have ever been? I rem,ember the Waterdate hearings and the Iran-Contra Hearings, Ken Starr’s Investigation. I’m a little to young to remember the Warren Commission or Senator Joe McCarthy and the Red Scare but I do remember the 9/11 Commission and WMGs in Iraq.. I remember wrote a paper on Propaganda films in WW II. Is this episode really all that different?

    • July 26, 2019 at 19:11

      @ “Quite a few people couldn’t help but notice that the country was shifting into a dis-informational mode several years ago. So much for the Information Age, the Internet and hand held ( communication ) devices to increase awareness. ”

      You address a topic I’ve pondered long and hard. Although I can cite scant evidence, I can’t help but wonder: Are we instead only noticing — because of the far wider availability of information via the Internet — a disinformation phenomenon that is perhaps centuries old if not still older?

      Huxley’s Brave New World was published in 1931, Orwell’s 1984 in 1949. Dickens’ Bleakhouse was serialized in 1852-53. All can be fairly said to deal with a perception that those who control government are dishonest and corrupt, based on then-current norms. E.g., Dickens noted in the preface of his first edition that his fictional Jarndyce and Jarndyce largely paralleled the sadly real Thellusson v Woodford. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thellusson_v_Woodford Such precedents argue against the “disinformational mode” being of recent origin.

      I favor the notion that the Internet’s gift of vastly more accessible information and greater and less expensive communication is exposing more of corruption in government that continues an ancient trend, this web site being a sterling example.

  37. Eric32
    July 25, 2019 at 10:38

    The Russia interference hoax has been extremely successful.

    It has dangerously damaged US-Russian relations, and it has done the same to internal American politics.

    But it has successfully diverted attention and investigation of Hillary Clinton’s incompetence and corruption.

    There’s a pool of international and domestic corruption involving the phony Clinton foundation, paid “speeches”, “contributions”, money flowing to the Clintons that took them from being deep in debt, to having a net worth of a couple hundred million dollars.

    I think there is so much networked crime and mutual blackmail in the US government that nothing will ever be done about this.

  38. Joe Tedesky
    July 25, 2019 at 10:29

    Where there are many who wish and hope that the Epstein scandal will roll up Trump and everybody with him I must warn you to be careful of what you wish and hope for. It is starting to appear that this de Rothschild purveyor of underage girls may have had way more contact with certain Democrats than Epstein ever had with President I’m terrifically Red, White, & Orange.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-25/epstein-visited-clinton-white-house-multiple-times-1990s

    Here’s a hint Democrats start talking up progressive political issues and quit with these bogus attacks against Trump without sufficient evidence. Trump could be beat but he can’t lose to trivial or made up accusations which don’t exist. It’s long overdue to confront the many hard issues we struggle with and time for the Democrats to let go of this corporate conspired nonsense.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 25, 2019 at 21:36

      It is long overdue Joe. Thanks for the link.

      “In the media the Epstein story died almost immediately, submerged in the tale of Donald Trump telling several congresswomen to go back where they came from.” Philip Giraldi

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51970.htm

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 26, 2019 at 14:06

        Gregory your link is an excellent article for my comment to jump off from. I too think that collusion in US politics is far from just any curious Russians trying to flip an election. Actually the culprits to watch out for interfering into our so called democracy are the Saudi’s and the Israeli’s. In fact look no further than the Middle East if you don’t believe me. I mean who’s wars are Americans fighting anyway… certainly not any Russian wars but, a ton of support is given to both Israel and Saudi Arabian this field of destruction. The American public is being driven in car with hardly any brakes while the driver drives us in the dark to creepy unknown destinations…who needs headlights anyway?

      • Gregory Herr
        July 26, 2019 at 21:29

        Good to hear from you Joe. It’s such a sad state of affairs that our nation’s people are bamboozled to such an extent that the demonization of Russia and the canard of Russian state “interference” in our election gained widespread traction. But the government of Israel and their agents of “influence” can mount all manner of coercion and bribery (obvious and well documented) to the extent that nearly the entire representative structure of our “democracy” is affected. Our people turn a blind eye to the horrific injustices cast upon Palestinians while Congress, including Tulsi Gabbard, “condemns” non-violent First Amendment rights of boycott.

        I’ll leave a link to a discussion. Be sure to catch Rashida Tlaib’s stirring speech in Congress embedded in the video.

        https://youtu.be/37WmWwv83ZY

  39. Charming Carmen
    July 25, 2019 at 10:14

    Lauria gets economics wrong. But so do the majority of the public,and our corrupt politicians count on that fact, it’s how our corrupt government and mass media succeed in spreading misinformation and propaganda.
    The federal Taxpayers never pay for anything,not even the Mueller’s Russia gate smoke screen for the 2016 rigging\cheating of Bernie Sanders by HRC\DNC.
    Federal taxes are deleted upon receipt and never pay for anything!
    That is simply macroeconomic reality and operational monetary policy\federal finance. It’s how currency is deleted out of circulation.(Sectoral balances).
    But by all means,go ahead and push the divisive propaganda that only help the corrupt entities in power to push their artificial scarcity and needless Austerity agenda,which tricks “we the people” into settling for scraps and their own Austerity unquestionably.
    The federal government is Monetarily sovereign with a Free floating non convertible Fiat currency and can never go broke as long as there are real resources such as land, labor and raw materials.
    (There are NO SHORTAGES of resources)
    Congress has the power of the purse and is the sole currency issuer. It does NOT require revenue to operate.
    If folks could just grasp that simple macroeconomic reality,this fascist\neoliberalism would stop in it’s tracks and turn things around,removing most malignant politicians and corruption.

    • matt
      July 25, 2019 at 21:28

      That would unseat the plutocracy… I don’t think they want that. Isn’t it funny that we pay to print the money, then give it to the Fed to lend back into circulation. All things being equal, if the government were to take the interest payments on creation of money (vs the banks) there would be no need for income taxes.

  40. Charming Carmen
    July 25, 2019 at 09:47

    This would have been a good article except for the fact that the author doesn’t know or understand federal finance\operational Monetary Theory. But it’s forgivable,most folks don’t,and our corrupt government counts on that fact,and it’s how their able to continue and succeed with their damaging and cruel artificial scarcity and needless Austerity agenda.
    The federal government is Monetarily sovereign with a Free floating non convertible Fiat currency and can never go broke as long as there are real resources such as land, labor and raw materials(and there are NO)shortages.
    My point is, federal tax payers never foot the bill for anything, because federal taxes are deleted upon receipt and never pay for anything. It’s known as the “death of the dollar” in operational monetary policy\federal finance,and it’s how currency is deleted out of circulation.
    It is Congress that issues all currency for payments and expenditures once approved by appropriations.
    Congress is the sole currency issuer and has the power of the purse.
    The federal government does NOT require revenue to operate, currency is issued by crediting accounts on spreadsheets via keystrokes on a computer hence the term Fiat currency.

  41. July 25, 2019 at 09:22

    Such a bizarre spectacle this was. I never thought I’d see the day when the Republicans were actually making sense. Too bad no one brought up the nonsensical theory of the Internet Research Agency being responsible for Hillary’s embarrassing defeat. I guess they’re all red-baiters in the final analysis.

  42. Joe Tedesky
    July 25, 2019 at 09:21

    With this latest Mueller congressional testimonial event the legacy of Hillary lives on. Now wait for the Republicans to unleash during this upcoming 2020 presidential election period their own version of Russian collusion. Only the GOP account will focus on how the DNC flipped on patriotism as they managed to initiate a media deep state coup to oust an electoral elected president. Be prepared to learn about the FISA court. If timing means anything then by the patience of the Republicans holding their cards until this current election cycle matures should prove a more meaningful cycle to introduce such underhanded thuggery of the DNC Politico to date. If none of this eventually changes the body politic of the Democratic Party then nothing will change this tired and hideous deceiver of the people.

    • Marko
      July 25, 2019 at 18:48

      Exactly , Joe. The 2020 narrative will be “Democrat-led Deep State Coup Attempt Now Revealed”. The Dems gift-wrapped the 2020 election cycle for the Repubs with Russiagate. The Mueller hearings were the rather tattered red bow on the package.

  43. Bif Webster
    July 25, 2019 at 09:07

    “That’s something like being arrested for resisting arrest when you’ve committed no other infraction.”

    Although I understand the premise, even if you didn’t commit a crime but was arrested, and you resisted upon that arrest, it could still be up to the judge to decide if you should be held liable for resisting.

    What I think it would have to come down to is, what did Trump know when he was obstructing the investigation. Did he already know they were throwing a coup? If so, he may have a case for having obstruction tossed. But he would have to have that corroborated by at least one other, if not two others. Otherwise, if he doesn’t have that corroboration, he can’t prove he was thinking that at the time.

    So the prosecution could say he obstructed in an investigation he thought could be legitimate.

    On the other side of this dirty story, there is more than enough strong circumstantial evidence, more than what Russiagate produced, to warrant an investigation into the impetus for the investigation. It seems like there were too many DNC operatives hanging around in the background, just off focus (As our corporate media either remained silent or smeared anyone who proposed anything other than the standard line of ‘collusion!’), who are now starting to come into focus.

    Peter Strzok and Lisa Page set off huge red flags, and it only got worse from there.

  44. July 25, 2019 at 08:47

    The truth is: Trump is a liar, but so is Mueller. Trump is a crook but so are the Clintons. Trump is bad for this country and the world but so was Obama. Russia didn’t hack the DNC, e-mails were leaked from within. Julian Assange is innocent and Chelsea Manning is a hero for providing Wikileaks the information exposing the horrors that are perpetrated by our Federal Government. The majority of the American public listens to the BS that the mainstream media spews.This country is NOT a democracy, it is NOT great, it does NOT spread good across the world – instead, it invades other countries, bombs innocents, lets children starve, kills immigrants, and destroys the only home we will ever have – EARTH. If you believe that Trump or any other public official cares about YOU, you are well beyond delusional..

    • July 25, 2019 at 09:29

      I’m with you except you have to distinguish between the federal government and the country. Also, within the federal government, you have to distinguish between the leadership and the line workers. The rot is in the leadership of the federal government, across the board. That’s not the same as saying “the country is bad.”

    • Barry
      July 25, 2019 at 10:03

      Well said.

    • July 25, 2019 at 10:24

      And O, ’tis true, ’tis true.

      Ours is a binary culture, always excluding choices three, four, five …

      L&B&L
      Love&Blessing&Laughter

    • Eddie
      July 25, 2019 at 10:45

      YES! Your statement concisely sums the US. The US is a rogue state. The government and its surveillance apparatus are co-opted by a tiny but sinister coven of obscenely rich psychopaths that control Wall Street, the war machine and all three branches the government.. The government is no longer legitimate as it no longer represents We the People.

    • Raymond Comeau
      July 25, 2019 at 11:12

      Excellent post.

    • ML
      July 25, 2019 at 11:21

      You said it all, Susan J. Leslie. Thanks for concisely speaking for many who feel as you do!

    • evelync
      July 25, 2019 at 11:24

      Thanks, Susan!

      It is unacceptable that we pay for and suffer the consequences of a bizarro foreign policy that is kept secret and hidden. And does not serve the best interests of the vast majority of people in this country and elsewhere. National Security is NOT an excuse to keep it secret and hidden when no one is kept accountable for it, there’s no public discussion of it and it produces horrific results.

      It is unacceptable that one of our “premier” institutions, the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, was bullied by Pompeo and Morell to withdraw the honorary title of visiting fellow from our courageous hero Chelsea Manning who sacrificed everything to tell us the truth of wrongdoing done in our name. It is unacceptable that I was told by one of the the JFK School colleagues that it’s a “national security issue”. Are they nuts?

      • Tim
        July 28, 2019 at 15:09

        > It is unacceptable that one of our “premier” institutions, the JFK School of Government at Harvard University,

        O come on! There are a good number of really meritocratic institutions around, but that is hardly one of them…

        > Are they nuts?

        No, just corrupt lackeys! (Though not as rolling in ill-gotten gains as their Business School colleagues)

    • michael canney
      July 25, 2019 at 12:23

      Wise words from someone who is obviously awake and paying attention.

    • Steve Naidamast
      July 25, 2019 at 14:38

      That is exactly what George Carlin once said… “They own you!”…

  45. Bob Van Noy
    July 25, 2019 at 08:32

    Joe Lauria, I’m so appreciative of the total focus Consortiumnews has given this story from, the very beginning with Robert Parry’s reporting. We have been able to follow the obfuscation in real time as we have witnessed the deep corruption within.

    I’m linking Aaron Matte’s Article in Off Guardian this morning because he has said that Robert Parry inspired him… Many Thanks!

    https://off-guardian.org/2019/07/25/crowdstrikeout-muellers-own-report-undercuts-its-core-russia-meddling-claims/

  46. July 25, 2019 at 07:54

    What struck me about the Mueller testimony was how animated and hyperbolic Mr. Mueller became when talking about Russian interference. My god, this guy is a cold warrior from the first Cold War. His attack on Assange filled with the same kind of animus. I must say the pictures you show of Mueller wasn’t the same ones I saw watching the hearings.

    Great reporters hide their politics. You do it very well.

    I was not clear as to why the activities of Cambridge Analytica was included, since I guess purchasing such information by office aspirants is common if they have the money.

    The point that Congressman Turner about exoneration was telling but I think those who opined what Mueller was trying to do were too kind to him.

    What also strikes me is why the matter of how the Clinton emails reached the public was not discussed, as if no one disagreed that the Russians did it. Nor was the question of why Mueller didn’t interview Assange, Murray, the VIPS or mention of that made by the Committee Republicans. They had their reasons, but what were they.

    I did not watch the entire hearing and could have missed it if they did.

  47. July 25, 2019 at 07:53

    It is so disappointing to read Joe Lauria’s attempted take down of Robert Mueller . . . Given all of Trump’s contact and “courting” of the Russians, how could there not be clear attempts to enlist Russian assistance before the 2016 election? Lauria’s thrashing of Mueller, Schiff and various issues of the Mueller Report completely miss what is most important:

    We are in the midst of the destruction of our Republic. And at least there is some vestige and effort within our government to protect what we have left, but of course this effort is not “perfect.” Yet at the moment it is all that we have to counteract the destruction and rampage taking place by Trump and his grifters.

    As a licensed clinical psychologist for nearly 40 years, I can state unequivocally that Donald Trump is mentally ill; he presents a grave, MAJOR threat to planetary civilization. To allow him to continue as president in any manner, shape, or form, is to risk the preservation of life (in all forms) as we know it.

    And if Joe Lauria and others cannot see that at this juncture, they need to have their heads examined . . . .

    • Bif Webster
      July 25, 2019 at 09:21

      Yeah, but the problem with your logic is, whenever a portion of the public and folks inside the law enforcement agencies decide something is bad for the nation, this means they could do the same thing in the future, and it may be someone you follow or like.

      Also, we have a Constitution. Or, we USED TO, anyway. But for the sake of this debate, let’s say we still have that. Okay, so, we can’t allow those law agencies to go rogue whenever they view something as a “threat.” And their version of threat is most likely different than the general public’s. You also eschew the notion that our nation wasn’t already screwed up. That our government hadn’t ALREADY been captured by the Titans of Industry. Like our government hasn’t, through advertisers, taken over our MOST of our media, and have been seeking ways to shut down free speech.

      We Occupied, or don’t you remember? Oh, right, if you believe the FBI, Occupy was a “Russian Plot.” IF you believe the FBI. But why would you? What’s the psychology on that one, teach. The FBI has lied to the American People over and over. Robert Mueller sheepishly looked into a camera and spoke into existence WMDs. Oh, and, if the DNC hadn’t rigged the primary process, and if they had promoted Bernie, we wouldn’t be sitting here writing all this stuff. Bernie, by July of election year, lead Trump by double digits (12% aggregate) while Hillary couldn’t break 5 percent, again aggregate.

      Yeah, Trump is a Dumpster Fire… so the DNC should be spending more time on realizing what they did wrong and get it correct the next time around so we can get this guy out of office. But if they throw another neoliberal out there, it’s four more years of the guy. The DNC never did an autopsy. They just keep on doubling down on shitty hand after shitty hand. How’s about governing a little? Yeah know, FOR THE PEOPLE?

    • Charming Carmen
      July 25, 2019 at 09:58

      Hear,here??!

    • July 25, 2019 at 10:00

      By you? You seem to be a sufferer of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Your hatred of Trump has made you unable to think rationally or even see the forest for the trees.
      The destruction of our republic has been going on since well before Trump and Barack Obama was a major and willing participant.

    • Jeffrey Besnia
      July 25, 2019 at 10:22

      Apparently reading comprehension or critical thinking are not part of a clinical psychologists qualifications.

    • Skip Scott
      July 25, 2019 at 10:35

      There is no doubt that Trump has some serious mental problems, but I believe people who do not know how to differentiate evidence from propaganda has some mental problems as well. You have a classic case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Trump should be impeached, just like every other warmongering president before him. Yet as long as you have a smooth talking conman like Obama, who hides his evil with the assistance of the MSM lackeys, you seem to think all is fine with your world.

      The destruction of our republic began long before Trump, and will only be restored when our MIC and “Intelligence” agencies are brought to heel. It is disappointing that someone like you is licensed as a clinical psychologist. Physician heal thyself!

    • PlantTrees
      July 25, 2019 at 10:44

      Sir, with all respect due, you spent 40 years in a profession you may have had the credentials for but lack credibility. You can state ‘unequivocally’ that someone is insane without examining him? Furthermore, it is you who is suffering from delusion if you still believe the two-plus years worth of evidence-free BS that is RussiaGate. Your cognitive dissonance is more overpowering than any your patients ever experienced. Get help.

    • Chet Roman
      July 25, 2019 at 11:02

      I have no clinical psychological training or experience but, like the commenter, I can, from the comfort of my sofa, provide a definitive analysis of his comments and illness without meeting or talking to him: Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    • Linda Doucett
      July 25, 2019 at 11:15

      Yes, we can all agree that Trump is not fit. That fact does not legitimize the other actors in this farce. The destruction of the Republic bagan a long time ago and will not end until the global playing field has been leveled. As for who put Trump in office?… only the purposely obtuse believe it eas Russia. Every move Trump has made in office has been to appease his Zionist masters.

    • rosemerry
      July 25, 2019 at 11:32

      Your comment does not relate to the Russiagate lies at all. Susan J leslie’s comment her is much more to the point. The election system of the USA does not allow normal reasonable candidates to be elected-Trump is just the latest, but look at the emails/Podesta files to see how Obama was “democratically elected” and told who to appoint to his cabinet, and he is treated as a “good guy”.

    • Skip Scott
      July 25, 2019 at 11:45

      As a clinical psychologist, wrap your head around this article and comment on it.

      https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/how-to-inoculate-yourself-from-establishment-bullshit-ceb3a41da85

      • ML
        July 25, 2019 at 15:10

        Another terrific essay by Caitlin Johnstone, so thank you, Skip. The Hare Psychopathy scale would catch quite a few ex-presidents in its net with very high scores… Generally though, they just swim off after their presidencies, fatter, oilier, and more arrogant than ever. Obama is such a one, as are the Bushes and Clinton. “Socialized sociopaths” are a scary bunch.

    • ML
      July 25, 2019 at 11:48

      Peter, I feel the angst of which you write. Trump, in my opinion, has a personality disorder. (NPD in his case). As you know, a sizable percentage of people do. Dealing with these serious disorders has probably been a large part of your bread and butter over your long career. But if I may suggest something productive, please read the the full archive of Russiagate articles on this site, starting with the late, great Robert Parry’s excellent pieces he wrote in the year before his untimely death. Continue on and work through all of them by various independent journalists who are the true heroes in this continuing saga. Once you have finished all of them, if you haven’t already, watch the first two episodes of the new Consortium Radio show, which has appeared the last two Fridays and will again this Friday. Then just let it soak for a while in your brain files. I think you will likely begin to critically parse through the enormous amount of information and possibly draw a differently reasoned conclusion. I wish I believed that simply electing another donkey would rid us of the rot in our body politic, but alas, I have resigned myself to hoping for the best, while preparing for ever-worsening political chaos. Peace. As you know, it begins inside each of us.

    • anon
      July 25, 2019 at 12:04

      With no evidence or argument beyond “how could there not be clear attempts to enlist Russian assistance” why do you hope to persuade here? Do you not dare to visit Russia because with that same evidence your own kind would convict you of treason?

    • Gene Poole
      July 25, 2019 at 12:46

      Trump is mentally ill? Perhaps, Doctor. But none of his predecessors have that as an excuse for doing essentially exactly the same things – the only difference being the veneer of respectability… and our own willingness to ignore it all and keep watching TV.

    • Nick
      July 25, 2019 at 14:15

      I’m pretty sure psychologists are not supposed to diagnose from afar, and the people who destroyed the republic (Arthur Vandenberg and Harry Truman) are long dead. The empire is now destroying itself. The Russians aren’t forcing all the money to the top and classifying documents to keep American criminals from ever facing prosecution. It’s the Americans who are doing that. Maybe you should make an appointment with one of your colleagues.

    • July 25, 2019 at 15:58

      Thats how bad Hillary was…..if you cant see that we will have another Trump term

      What do you call a woman who stays with a man accused of multiple rapes and assault and flies on the Lolita express to rape island?

      What do you call this?

      Flashback 2011: Hillary Clinton Laughs About Killing Moammar Gaddafi

      Hate Trump all you want but if your alternative is this level of blatant sociopathy ?

      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/…/flashback_2011_hillary_clinton_laughs_about_killi…
      Video for gaddafi laugh hillary
      ?
      Jun 19, 2015
      “We came, we saw, he died,” she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi’s death by an aide in between …

    • curious
      July 25, 2019 at 20:43

      When I went to college around 40 years ago, or more, the ones studying psychology were the ones needing the most help. You seem to be proving me correct. If one has been practicing for 40 years, the college and training would backdate you to the 70s. Let’s see: Timothy Leary, B.F.Skinner, Albert Bandura, and Festinger was big on cognitive dissonance. But let’s not mention the drugs floating around in the 60s and 70s to help with your cognition.

      But really, as a professional, to develop a clinical diagnosis from reading tweets or watching a TV narcissist needing admiration is quite a stretch. Your diagnosis reminds me of the neurologist who was sure Terri Schiavo was not in a vegetative state since he was convinced he saw her head move in a video. Of course Dubya agreed.

      I am no fan of Trump, in fact the feeling is stronger than that of a “fan”, but I think it is more honorable to your profession, if that is what it is, if you were to make a diagnosis in person. But then HIPAA would not let you talk about it, so such a diagnosis is best left unsaid. If you have a strong opinion, that may be of more benefit.

      I don’t think Joe L was making a diagnosis, but reporting on the matter at hand, and he raised some good points as well.

      • Skip Scott
        July 27, 2019 at 17:02

        I noticed the same thing when I was in college. Most of the psych majors were in class trying to learn why they were nuts. Looks like Peter Janney never quite figured out his own diagnosis.

    • Tim
      July 28, 2019 at 15:21

      Mr. Janney,

      I am not a licensed clinical psychologist — but your comment clearly indicates to me that you are suffering from a most severe case of TDS!

  48. DW Bartoo
    July 25, 2019 at 07:09

    Adam Schiff is a Democrat.

    If memory serves …

    And nothing new was learned except that Mueller agrees with Pompeo, accusing WikiLeaks of being a “hostile foreign intelligence agency”. A truly cheap, but definitely “in character”, shot for Mueller, whose nasty history of convenient lies simply has been erased from public consciousness.

    DW

    • AnneR
      July 25, 2019 at 14:48

      DW – Indeed. But isn’t telling lies, causing trouble, spying on people (Americans, generally) as much the remit of the FBI as it is of the CIA?

      What I find astounding (why, one wonders because it is clear that most deep-dyed Dem party supporters are members of the bourgeoisie) is that those who prate on about being “progressive,” as holding the right anti-racist, pro-LGBTQ, green energy etc etc views – are in admiration of the FBI/CIA et al, *believe* to their marrow *what* the FBI in the shape of Mueller “tells them.” Have they forgotten, do they even know (the younger ones) what the FBI (first as the BI then the FBI) did to real socialist/communist party members and then the Civil Rights movement peoples?????

      • DW Bartoo
        July 25, 2019 at 18:51

        I agree with everything you say, AnneR.

        I was merely pointing out that the article erroneously listed Schiff as
        “(R – CA)”, which has now been rectified.

        Not only are lies of commission SOP, the lies of omission, including the actual information contained in the DNC emails, as you have previously stated, have been ignored. Why, even Bernie Sanders, during the farcical “election”, tried to divert attention away from the emails.

  49. Kiwiantz
    July 25, 2019 at 06:53

    Mueller’s disasterous & bumbling Testimony made me feel sadness for this elderly man, for god sakes he’s 75 yrs old, the poor old bugger & I felt utter disgust & contempt for the Democratic Party who concocted this entire fake, fabricated falsehood called Russiagate?? This entire Testimony really displayed the lack of preparation by Mueller who seriously needed a hearing aid & struggled to clarify the very answers he had put down in his own report & the lunacy of the Democrats who tried to play on words to support a bogus collusion narrative to entrap Mueller & Trump? What was particularly damning was Republicans laser like focus on what the actual Legal laws are which Mueller seemed to show selective application of those laws & the differing Treatment meddled out to some people but no actions taken on the perpetrators of this phoney conspiracy such as Christopher Stelle, Comey & others! Especially damning was the fact that Mueller had no legal basis to state that Trump could or couldn’t be exonerated? Not even the Attorney General or the Courts has the authority to state this, so Mueller had no authority to use such a misleading term! Also damning was Mueller admitted in his Report that there was no collusion or Russian meddling & that on that basis you have to conclude Trump’s presumption of innocence, must be ascertained? Or to make a comparison with the OJ Simpson trial, if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit? Or with Trump, if the crime doesn’t fit you must acquit? Yet Mueller, for reasons unknown, would not clarify this acquit position of not clearing Trump of all charges of working with Russia or as some sort of Manchurian Candidate & Collusion using the non exonerate term which he had no authority to use that muddied the waters? The Republican questioning was ruthless & spot on & the Democrats waffling bunch of nonsense questions had me hitting the volume cut feature on the TV remote? What a absolute disaster for the Democrats Muellers last gasp testimony was & now the real investigation’s are going to begin on the Democratic Party & the Clintons involvement in fabricating this entire charade & the FBI’s role in the dodgy FISA warrant? The Truth is out there, & the real truth is going to be revealed? Russiagate is dead & buried but FBIgate or Clinton/Democratgate is only just beginning!

    • July 25, 2019 at 10:01

      Kiwiantz, you hurt my feelings, I’m 84. I did note he seemed to have the most problems with the Republican questions. Maybe he has selective senility.

      “Mueller’s disasterous & bumbling Testimony made me feel sadness for this elderly man, for god sakes he’s 75 yrs old, the poor old bugger & I felt utter disgust & contempt for the Democratic Party who concocted this entire fake, fabricated falsehood called Russiagate?? “

      • KiwiAntz
        July 25, 2019 at 14:19

        Herman, no offense to elderly folks but Mueller should never have been put in this position & it was obvious he was clearly dazed & confused & was a reluctant witness? I felt pity for him as a aged person who due to the depraved actions of Democrats, has been totally humiliated by Politicians!

      • July 25, 2019 at 15:18

        Right. It has nothing to do with age. Mueller was deliberately disingenuous, probably realizing deep down that this whole spectacle has been an absurd waste of time and resources.

      • KiwiAntz
        July 25, 2019 at 21:44

        Blessthebeasts, The Dems should be charged with Elder abuse against the bumbling Captain America (aka Mueller)? But having said that you are correct, Mueller got his just desserts & was disingenuous! Breitbart has a great article on this very subject by John Nolte on Mueller Not being Senile but was a Dirty Cop forced to take the Witness stand? Check it out? The Dems obstruction of justice tactic against Trump using entrapment techniques on Mueller showed he wasn’t totally senile just befuddled? Now Mueller’s reputation & the Dems is in utter tatters from this disastrous Testimony of Robert Mueller!

    • anon
      July 25, 2019 at 12:10

      Lawyers lie very professionally by pretending extreme disabilities when asked to notice that the evidence directly contradicts their sworn testimony. Then when their own team questions them, they profess obvious lies to be certainties. Mueller may be 75 but his capabilities wouldn’t change so suddenly if he were honest. There is no more dedicated liar than the average lawyer.

  50. Tim Jones
    July 25, 2019 at 06:47

    Yeah, Schiff certainly hopes someone will believe him. It is hard to imagine that he gets paid. Wasn’t he asked to step down from his position on Intel Committee? I think he’s spent a good part of his life lying. He’s obviously pathological with only the thinnest veneer of of goodness.

  51. incontinent reader
    July 25, 2019 at 05:22

    I wonder if Schiff’s comments as to disloyalty or dual loyalty are not pure fantasy as applied to many members of Congress (including Schiff), the Pentagon, Treasury & State Departments, and our CIA & NSA, when speaking of Israeli and British influence over our foreign and domestic policy. The irony is that Schiff may have opened a can of worms that could backfire.

  52. pmcall
    July 25, 2019 at 05:09

    Great reporting, Joe. Thank you.

  53. uncle tungsten
    July 25, 2019 at 03:21

    Mueller = lying scum.

  54. Allan P.-E. Tolentino
    July 25, 2019 at 02:34

    Mueller and his report are great props for political theater but sorry-looking shredded rags in a genuine justice investigation. For his atrocious performance in Congress, Mueller still can prove his dignity and honor by locking himself in his bedroom and undertaking the cleansing ritual of seppuku. But this is wishful thinking considering the thick hides and moral aberration of Deep State characters. A mass social revolution should clean the sewers.

  55. geeyp
    July 25, 2019 at 02:32

    Speier – “You are the greatest patriot in this room”. Jackie, Jackie….. I relished Mr. Turner from Ohio as he went after Mueller’s fakery.

    • geeyp
      July 25, 2019 at 04:21

      Welch says to Mueller : “You help me I’ll help you is the agreement”. I see. Nudge nudge, wink wink. Glad I saw it even though it’s another 2:56:49 of my life I’ll never have again.

    • Tim Jones
      July 25, 2019 at 06:51

      I’ll second that!

  56. nwwoods
    July 25, 2019 at 01:35

    Comedy highlight of the day was when Mueller was questioned about Fusion GPS and replied “I’m not familiar with that”.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 25, 2019 at 19:28

      Yeah, Mueller should have added “and if you believe that…”

      At 8:30 of the following video, the “comedy” (farce, tragedy, rolled into one) is on full view:

      https://youtu.be/WOQXOV0PHL4

      Peter Janney— you should catch this and listen to the next few minutes (particularly starting around 14:10) as Aaron Mate describes “coincidences” whereby “people with connections, not to Russia, but to the West, and to U.S. officials and Democrats who are engaged in suspicious contact with the Trump campaign…
      …[and] what Mueller omits is that the offer that Goldstone sent to Don Jr. was fake, and he was not acting on behalf of the Russian government…
      …There’s a disingenuous pattern of supposed damning Russian contacts, like this one, even though it’s not actually a Russian contact.”

      There’s much more, but Janney probably already has his ears plugged and his eyes shut.

      • Skip Scott
        July 26, 2019 at 07:10

        Gregory-

        I have seen Peter Janney’s posts on other articles relating to Trump. He is a hit-and-run troll with extreme TDS. I have never seen him respond to any rebuttals.

      • July 27, 2019 at 07:01

        You fools suffer gladly in your ignorance, not for a second understanding your myopic stupidity. Here is just one of many snapshots of who Donald Trump really is. If you cannot see the gravity of what is taking place now, and why it is so important to get rid of this despot, then you are incapable of seeing anything . . .

        https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/opinion/trump-nadia-murad-meeting.html

      • Gregory Herr
        July 27, 2019 at 14:11

        Mr. Janney—

        I’ll start with advising you to consider, and act upon, the suggestion posed to you by ML (7-25 11:48 above). Russiagate is a hoax perpetrated upon the American people by politicized intelligence agencies for the purpose of deflecting attention from systemic “rot in our body politic” (ML) and to to propagate a false vision of international realities and the role of the U.S. in international affairs.
        Your concerns about Trump and his Administration are valid. But those concerns are a wholly separate issue. I share a deep disdain for Trump as a personality and as an enabler of a great deal of bad policy, strategy, and pronouncement. But, as well, it should be understood that the Democratic Party—Obama, the Clintons, the Congressional “leadership”—are “enablers” of much of same policy and much of what you fear.
        What I allude to has been well spelled-out by many of the excellent posters of commentary on this website over the years. I won’t here rehash and I do not suffer this reality gladly. The dismantling of our Constitution and Republic (Bush & Obama accelerated), the evils of empire and the slaughter of innocents weighs heavy on my heart.

      • Gregory Herr
        July 27, 2019 at 15:51

        To be a bit more direct, the exposure of Russiagate as hoax is far and away not the same thing as giving Trump a pass or thinking we should be better represented as a people by our President. But “removal” from office should not be through deceitful unconstitutional means. I think he should be impeached for war crimes and adherence to NSA, FBI, and CIA crimes against Americans on American soil. But then Nancy and a whole lot of others would be implicated. And the problem with the 2020 ballot box means is that we will likely have not much better of a choice.

        Russiagate represents an illegal, nefarious means of “justifying” a dangerous new Cold War with Russia and a smokescreen to obscure Clintonian corruption. Excuse my myopic stupidity.

      • Skip Scott
        July 27, 2019 at 16:52

        You just don’t get it at all. You think we are defending Trump by noticing the extreme stupidity of RussiaGate. Your mind is stuck in a false dichotomy. I think it would be wonderful to “get rid of Trump”, but not under false pretenses to only have him replaced by another servant of empire. You are not a very deep thinker.

        Although I’m surprised that you bothered to respond at all, I also notice that you did not bother to refute the more detailed criticisms of your first comment.

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