YEP, TRUMP'S F*CKED. Mueller Report Liveblog, LAST PART!
FINALLY, the part we've all been waiting for, where we find that Robert Mueller DID NOT exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice, that he DID NOT intend for Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein to exonerate Trump, and he flat up DID give Congress a literal roadmap for Trump's impeachment. Is Trump fucked, like he said when he found out Mueller had been appointed? Yes. Oh yeah, also Bill Barr is a lying full-of-shit fuckshow, like that is literally what it will say next to his name in the history books.
Let's jump in!
2:26: We are going to mostly focus here on things we hadn't heard before, because after all it is Friday afternoon and it is Holy Weekend and we have a life (those last two things are not related, SORRY, JESUS), but we need you to know that Bob Mueller exposes Bill Barr as a fuckup liar in the first two pages of this section, as he explains why he actually did not make a prosecutorial decision on obstruction of justice.
Basically, he accepts the DoJ's opinion that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. HOWEVER, he's just gonna lay out all this evidence, knowing that you can do OTHER things to sitting presidents, and that NON-SITTING PRESIDENTS, like, you know, when Fuckmouth leaves office, can absolutely be indicted. It's almost like he's handing the keys to the rest of the American system and saying, "He's yours!"
Remember how Barr said in his press conference yesterday that he disagrees with Mueller's theories on obstruction, and that he just really understood how Trump was feeling "frustrated" about the investigation, therefore NO OBSTRUCTION? Yeah, fuck Bill Barr. There is zero reason to regard anything he says with respect ever again. Did we say fuck him? Fuck him.
2:27: In this first section of the introduction, Mueller explains why this not a traditional prosecutorial decision, partially because if you can't indict a sitting president, the sitting president cannot defend themselves against that indictment in a court of law.
In this second section, Mueller is JUST SAYING that you sure as fuck can prosecute a president the very second he leaves office. Oh, and it's cool to investigate them criminally while they're in office. He is just saying.
Mueller goes on to explain that they specifically decided against making a decision, because they felt that was improper. By accusing Trump of crimes instead of just laying out all the evidence (200 FUCKING PAGES OF IT) and letting America and Congress come to their own conclusions (that Trump is a criminal), Mueller would have been doing a very unfair witch hunt that wouldn't have afforded Trump the opportunity to clear his name.
You realize Mueller didn't have to write it like this, don't you? He didn't have to do all this JUST SAYING. And he sure didn't mean for Bill Barr to decide the question for him, that fucking maggot.
2:34: Finally, in his intro, Mueller states for the record that he sure woulda loved it if he could have cleared Trump on all these crimes, but alas, that is just not what THE FOLLOWING FUCKING 200 PAGES OF EVIDENCE show.
"Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."
Hear that, Bill Barr? DOES NOT EXONERATE.
2:53: Mueller explains in the intro that he looked at several areas:
1. Trump and Co.'s behavior toward the ongoing Russian election inteference during the campaign, including their constant denials that Russia was doing it, plus RUSSIA IF YOU'RE LISTENING. Trump's ongoing lies about his contacts with Russia. His continued inability to be honest about how Russia was the one what did the attack.
2. His attempts to grab James Comey by the pussy, secure Comey's loyalty, get Comey to stop investigating Flynn, plus his conduct around Flynn's firing. "I hope you can see clear to letting this go." There's Trump again, with his Mob Daddy code language, giving orders with a wink and a nudge!
3. His reactions to the disclosure of the Trump Russia investigation and his treatment of Jeff Sessions when Sessions recused, plus him trying to get his intel chiefs to publicly say NO RUSSIA NO RUSSIA YOU ARE THE RUSSIA.
4. The Comey firing, which he admitted on live TV he did to end the Russia investigation.
5. His reaction to the appointment of Mueller, including demanding Jeff Sessions's resignation, and his order to then-White House counsel Don McGahn to demand Mueller's firing. McGahn decided he'd rather resign and told Trump to fuck off.
6. That time in June 2017 when Trump tried to get Corey Lewandowski to make Jeff Sessions rein Mueller in and publicly say the investigation was "very unfair," and another meeting a month later when Trump wanted to know if Lewandowski had done the thing. Lewandowski did not want to do the thing, decided Trump should fuck off, so Lewandowski asked Rick Dearborn to do the thing. Dearborn wouldn't do the thing.
Real quick here, we should note that a running theme of this is that Trump is constantly asking his aides to do things he's too chickenshit to do on his own, and that his aides very often tell him to fuck off. While it's good that they do, it's useful to note that ATTEMPTED OBSTRUCTION IS STILL OBSTRUCTION.
3:05: AND SO FORTH. There are Trump's constant lies in the public response to the Trump Tower meeting revelations; his continued attempts to obstruct the investigation by bullying Jeff Sessions about his recusal; that time he tried to get Don McGahn to deny press reports that he had tried to make McGahn fire Bob Mueller (that's a GOOD ONE); his conduct toward the prosecutions of Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen.
3:11: In laying out his reasoning for how to assess obstruction of justice committed by a president, especially in light of his Constitutional role, Mueller asserts that "Congress has authority to prohibit a President's corrupt use of his authority," even if conduct is found to be technically within the president's power. (i.e. firing an FBI director -- which is Trump's prerogative -- for corrupt purposes -- which is Trump's modus operandi in life)
This the first of several times Mueller will throw the ball to Congress, apropos of nothing, as if HE DIDN'T INTEND FOR BILL FUCKING BARR TO TRY TO INTERCEPT THE PASS AND RUN THE BALL HIMSELF.
3:16: Pages 8-11 summarize a lot of legal terms and analysis and case law, if you are into reading that sort of stuff. We're skipping it. On page 13, Mueller addresses the fact that he tried to get, but ultimately did not receive, an interview with Donald Trump, who is willing to say SO MUCH SHIT, but refuses to do so under oath, because he's a fucking liar. There's a curious grand jury redaction there:
Whatcha wanna bet that says "THE GRAND JURY TOLD US TO BRING THAT FUCKIN' LOSER OVER HERE WITH A CHERRY PICKER IF YOU HAVE TO"? Anyway, Mueller didn't. So Trump did a take-home test, but only on Russia stuff, and not on obstruction stuff.
We don't know exactly why Mueller wasn't willing to have the subpoena fight with Trump on this, but ... that's where we are. To be clear, in that graf you can see some of Mueller's reasoning -- that he already had the evidence he needed, etc. -- but if you really wanted to nail the world's biggest liar, send a grand jury subpoena sailing up his ass.
3:23: OK, on page 15, we get into the juicy shit, i.e. the stuff Mueller learned that Trump did. He's not making a judgment whether Trump committed obstruction, YOU ARE, and the answer is fuck yes he did. Also Congress is, or they'd fuckin' better be.
3:35: This shows up in Volume One also, obviously, but let's just remind everybody that TRUMP AND HIS PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT WIKILEAKS RELEASES BEFORE THEY HAPPENED. Mueller might not have been able to charge that as conspiracy, because Roger Stone was conspiring with Russia's cut-out as opposed to directly with Vladimir Putin's armpit, but these is the facts (pp. 17-18):
Sorry to keep harping on this, but it's so fucking important. Roger Stone was talking to the campaign about upcoming WikiLeaks releases. "Some witnesses" say Trump talked to Stone about it. Trump told Paul Manafort to stay in touch with Stone and keep him apprised. Manafort told Rick Gates to help with that. Gates was in the car with Trump on the way to the airport and when Trump got off the phone, he gleefully said more WikiLeaks was coming. THE CAMPAIGN PLANNED COMMS STRATEGY AROUND IT.
3:40: Page 18, RUSSIA IF YOU'RE LISTENING. And Russia was listening, because they tried to penetrate Hillary's office servers for the first time five hours later.
That is all.
3:43: Page 21, we are reminded that Mike Pence told the press after the release of the first WikILeaks Podesta emails that "nothing could be further from the truth," when asked if the Trump campaign was "in cahoots" with WikiLeaks. Apparently a lot of things could have been further from the truth, Mike! Did you know?
3:46: Now we move into the section of what had happened was, later in the transition and toward the inauguration. Here's a fun factoid on page 25, about that day during the transition when Obama levied sanctions against Russia and threw out all those spies, in retaliation for Russia fucking with our fucking democracy. President-Elect "It's All About Me" took that as a personal slight, and thought Obama was trying to delegitimize his election. Really.
Chickenshit sadass loser.
4:01: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE PEE TAPE.
Because you remember how James Comey briefed Trump toward the end of the transition and told him privately that the DODGY DOSSIER might come out and it said Trump was just WET with excitement at the Moscow Miss Universe pageant in 2013, because of all the pee hookers what had recently peed in his general direction? Well! That's prooooooobably not the first time Trump had heard about this. Let's go to the footnote on pages 27 and 28:
So on October 30, 2016, MICHAEL COHEN got a text from a Russian, Giorgi Rtskhiladze, who told him he "stopped flow" (LOL) of tapes from Russia. Rtskhiladze said rumor was people associated with the CROCUS GROUP had the tapes. CROCUS GROUP is the Agalarovs, Trump's longtime buddies who threw the pageant with him. (Kinda makes you see that music video Emin Agalarov did about the pee tape in a different light, don't it? A yellower light.) COHEN talked to TRUMP about it. RTSKHILADZE said he heard they were fake tapes, but he didn't tell COHEN that.
Uh huh. And that is the only mention of the pee tape in the entire dodgy dossier, we mean Mueller Report.
4:11: (pp. 32-33) Michael Flynn lied a lot about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Trump was pissed off. Flynn, of course, had originally told the truth to some people about it. But then he had to change his story, so he got his deputy KT McFarland to lie about it, and he lied to Mike Pence about it and he lied to Sean Spicer about it, and those guys lied on national TV.
And DoJ knew it. Then Flynn lied to the FBI about it. Womp womp.
4:16: Interesting footnote on page 32 suggests Trump was really kinda pissed with Flynn even during the transition. He actually maybe had kinda sorta listened to Barack Obama when Obama said "don't hire that guy." Also wasn't a fan of Flynn's judgment, or of the tweets Flynn's dumbass son sent all the time. HUH. Was our president learning? Maybe, but then he forgot.
4:20: Page 34, January 27, 2017, Trump has Comey over for dinner and tries to grab him by the pussy, we mean demands loyalty. Also seemed to be trying to make Comey beg to keep his job (FBI directors are appointed for 10-year terms).
4:25: Page 38, February 14, 2017, Trump has a Valumptimes Day lunch with Chris Christie (SNAX). We already knew the part about how Trump told Christie that the Russia thing was over, because he fired Flynn, and that Christie was like "LOL the fuck it is."
Did not know about the part where Trump asked Christie to call James Comey and grab him by the pussy:
"Tell him he's part of the team." That is mob-speak for "he's in the family." (With all the concomitant expecations!) Christie was like "absolutely THE FUCK I WILL" but he didn't say that, he just didn't do it.
(It's because Trump wanted to be able to make Comey stop investigating Flynn, and also Russia. He'll do it if he's ON THE TEAM, right?)
4:30: Page 40, later that same day, Valumptimes Day, Trump corners Comey alone in the Oval Office and asks him to "see your way clear to" stopping the investigation into Flynn. After that, Comey wrote it all down, told people about it, and had a meeting with Jeff Sessions asking him to please not leave him alone in a room with that man again.
4:36: Page 42, Trump presser, says he didn't tell Flynn to talk about sanctions with the Russian ambassador, BUT HE WOULD'VE BECAUSE THAT'S OK. We all remember that. Also offered that he had "nothing to do" with WikiLeaks. Mmhmm. Sounds like he did know about it beforehand, though!
A few days later, Trump tried to get KT McFarland to write a statement saying he hadn't told Flynn to talk about sanctions. She was not OK with that, because she didn't know if it was true or not. (He was in the process of firing her, but bribing her with the ambassadorship to Singapore if she would just write this letter real fast, ALLEGEDLY.) Everybody, including Reince Priebus and the White House counsel's office, decided please do not write that letter. That's right, FUCK OFF, Trump.
4:45: This section concludes with several pages (ending on page 48) of analyzing and restating the evidence, with regards to Trump's intent, "nexus to a proceeding" (as in, is it directly related to a proceeding that was ongoing, i.e. the investigation into Flynn, which Trump clearly connected with the investigation into Trump and Russia), and Trump's acts themselves. (Here's a good splainer at Law.com on how Mueller examined Trump's various obstruction offenses.)
Of course, Mueller does not reach a conclusion, but holy shit, he sure did not provide much evidence that might back up the idea that Trump didn't obstruct justice.
4:58: The next section is on whether Trump obstructed justice when he tried to get Jeff Sessions to un-recuse (HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE ROY COHN), and calling Comey and his intel leaders after the disclosure of the FBI Trump Russia investigation and demanding they publicly clear him, which did not happen.
Page 49, Don McGahn made A LOT OF CALLS encouraging Sessions not to recuse, but Sessions did recuse, because them's the rules, and Butterscotch follows the rules! That was March 2.
That very day (THAT VERY DAY) the White House counsel's office made notes to the effect of how nobody should be contacting Sessions about his recusal. One of those notes (p. 50) said, "No comms / Serious concern about obstruction." YA THINK?
March 3 (page 51) Trump pulls Don McGahn, Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon into the Oval. Whines that "I don't have a lawyer." (Because Sessions recused and Don McGahn won't do his dirty work!) Proceeds to bitch about how he wished Dead Roy Cohn was there to be his lawyer. Bitched at McGahn and asked him to call Sessions (nope). Bitched about how Bobby Kennedy and Eric Holder protected their presidents, why won't Jeff Sessions protect his? Was not happy about idea of "NO COMMS / SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT OBSTRUCTION" and said:
"You're telling me that Bobby and Jack didn't talk about investigations? Or Obama didn't tell Eric Holder who to investigate?"
Goddammit, Donald Trump, have you ever had a day in your life where you haven't been the stupidest person in EVERY room?
4:59: So that weekend, Sessions goes to Mar-a-Lago and Trump tries to get him to un-recuse. (WHY WERE YOU AT MAR-A-LAGO UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, JEFF, YOU IDIOT?)
5:02: Who snitched to the White House about the FBI's Russia investigation? VERY SERIOUS PERSON and HONEST BROKER (no he is not) Senator Richard Burr!
Burr's been Devin Nunes this entire time. He just isn't as stupid-looking.
A footnote from page 52 says Burr briefed the White House counsel's office after his secret Gang of Eight briefing on "4-5 targets" of the investigation, including Flynn, Manafort, Carter Page, HARM TO ONGOING MATTER, and "Greek guy," which, LOL, seems to be George Papadopoulos, we guess.
We are curious, though -- those notes are from March 2017. Is "harm to ongoing matter" Roger Stone? Because that indictment is public information. Who is "ongoing" that the DoJ needs to redact from a note from 2017? HMMMMM?
5:08: Page 54, apparently after Comey's testimony to Congress, Trump was so mad that Don McGahn made notes suggesting Trump was threatening to fire Comey. This made the White House Counsel's office rush to start researching whether Trump could fire Comey under the circumstances, just in case it happened. (NARRATOR: It happened.)
5:12: AND Trump spent the rest of March trying to get his intel leaders, especially DNI Dan Coats and then-NSA director Mike Rogers, to bitch about the Russia investigation and try to get them to help make Comey stop the FBI investigation and to make public statements that NO RUSSIA. All of this is obviously NO OBSTRUCTION! (pp. 55-56)
5:14: Here's an interesting thing we probably didn't get when Mike Rogers and Dan Coats testified together that Trump had never asked them to do anything improper, but that we get now. They didn't speak Trump's mob-speak yet. So you have many -- Comey, Michael Cohen -- who were familiar with the mob and familiar with how crime families work, who got it. Then you have those that didn't. We get it now.
5:16: LOLOL, page 57, Trump literally started his own intelligence briefings by telling his own intel chiefs "NO COLLUSION"!
5:21: Finally (for this section) how many times did Trump call Comey to beg him to publicly clear Trump of all Russian crimes? One million. How many times did Comey do that? NOPE. (pp. 58-59)
5:23: In Mueller's analysis of this timeline (which ends on page 61) he completely clears Trump of obstruction of justice, just kidding no he doesn't. Doesn't offer much in the president's favor, either!
5:31: Now we hit the Comey firing section, which is one of the meatiest (p. 61). You'll pardon us if we're about to start speedreading.
5:32: SYNOPSIS: He lied so much. He fired Comey on May 9, had Rod Rosenstein bullshit up a fake reason (mishandling of Hillary emails investigation) for the firing, he said in his firing letter that Comey told him THREE TIMES he wasn't under investigation (but Comey wouldn't say that publicly so FIRED), he told Lester Holt he fired Comey over Russia, he told the Russian ambassador in the Oval Office THE NEXT DAY that he got rid of that crazy ass Comey who was investigating Russia ...
NEED WE SAY MORE?
5:46: Page 62, Comey testified for the Senate May 3, 2017. Wouldn't say Trump wasn't under investigation. Don McGahn says Trump had been saying that'd be the last straw. Steve Bannon kept telling Trump that firing Comey wouldn't end the investigation. Trump bitched at Sessions some more after he found out Comey wouldn't SAY THE THING.
That weekend at Bedminster, Trump and Stephen Miller wrote the first letter, which Trump INSISTED start with the thing about him not being under investigation. Trump (because he is stupid) thought that would make clear Comey wasn't being fired over Russia, even though he totally was. Don McGahn saw that letter and said HOW ABSOLUTELY THE FUCK NOT! (Later notes from the WH counsel's office said that letter should "not see the light of day.") Trump told Rod Rosenstein to gussy something up and really wanted "the Russia stuff" (thrice you denied I was under investigation!) in there, but Rosenstein was like NAH.
Here's a funny: in notes from WH counsel staffer Annie Donaldson, she wrote "is this the beginning of the end?" She meant Trump's presidency, because of what a shitshow this Comey firing had turned into.
Anyway, the firing happened, but still Trump and VERY MANY PEOPLE in the White House were obsessed wtih the "thrice you said I wasn't under investigation!" thing, because they really thought that would make the obstruction of justice demon go away.
5:48: Of course, literally everyone with a brain knew the Comey firing was the dumbest fucking decision ever. Chris Christie told Trump to put Rod Rosenstein out to defend him, if he had really fired Comey over the reasons in Rosenstein's memo. Trump asked Rod to say firing Comey was HIS idea. Rod told Trump to fuck off and told other DoJ people that saying that would be a fib. Later that night Sean Spicer went ahead and lied and said it was all Rod's idea. (p. 70)
Anyway, the next day, May 10, Trump told the Russians in the Oval that the Russia thing was over now, because he fired Comey. Then he proceeded to leak classified information to the Russians. AS ONE DOES.
5:52: That same day, May 10, Trump lied and said "hundreds" of FBI people were calling crying and thanking him for firing the big bad wolf Comey. Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted to Mueller that she lied when she said she had gotten about a gabillion sexts from FBI agents to that effect. (She had heard from no one, as we all well knew. Fucking liar. She also blamed it all on Rod. Fucking liar. She told Mueller's office that saying she'd gotten one gabillion sexts was a "slip of the tongue." She meants "no sexts." She said when she said the FBI rank-and-file had lost confidence in Comey, it was just something she said "in the heat of the moment." Fucking liar.)
Meanwhile, Trump was really begging Andrew McCabe to let him come and talk to the FBI, which McCabe was NOT into, because the FBI was pissssssssed.
6:00: What follows, and ends on page 77, is Mueller's analysis. SPOILER, DOES NOT EXONERATE.
6:12: Good lord, we have so much left.
OK, appointment of Mueller May 2017. Topline facts: Trump was super pissed when he found out. Said "I'M FUCKED!" (Yep.) Tried to make Sessions resign, but ultimately did not accept resignation. Told his advisers that Mueller had "conflicts of interest" but they called him "A IDIOT." (Not actually the way they put it, probably.) (But the "conflicts" were so stupid. Something about Mueller worked at a law firm one time, something about Mueller asked a Trump club for a refund of membership dues because they weren't using the club very often. Also turns out it's not actually true that Mueller interviewed for the FBI director job. He was invited to talk to them about the FBI in general, but he didn't really try for the job. McGahn told Trump -- page 81 -- that fucking with Mueller like this might be perceived as obstruction of justice, GUESS WHAT HE WAS RIGHT.)
In June (page 77), the news said Trump was personally under investigation for obstruction of justice. (We're reading the report right now! DOES NOT EXONERATE.) Dipshit lost it and called Don McGahn at home and ordered him to get Mueller fired. McGahn said fuck off, was willing to resign. Did not ultimately resign because Trump forgot, we guess.
6:23: The full quote (page 78): "Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'M FUCKED." Those are definitely the words of an innocent man, y'all.
Then he yelled at Jeff Sessions. "How can you let this happen, Jeff?" Told Sessions to resign. Afterward, Hope Hicks says Trump was in such a bad way, he hadn't ever been like that except for when the Grab 'Em By The Pussy tape came out. Now we're imagining Trump in a ball on the floor crying about grabbing 'em by the pussy.
The next morning, he tweeted "WITCH HUNT!"
Anyway, he didn't accept the resignation, ultimately. He went to Saudi Arabia, showed everybody the letter on the plane, but later when Reince Priebus asked for the letter back (they were worried Trump could use it as a "shock collar" to control DoJ), Trump lied and said it was back in the White House in the residence somewhere.
6:28: Huh, this is funny (pp. 82-83). Trump's buddy Christopher Ruddy (that rhymed) visited the White House on June 12, 2017, and Reince and Bannon told him Trump was thinking of firing Mueller for bullshit reasons. Ruddy asked can he talk about this to media? They said SURE RUDDY BUDDY!
This of course led to a media SHITSHOW, which we imagine is exactly what Reince and Bannon wanted. (And Ruddy Buddy for that matter.) Because they all knew how fucking stupid it would be, especially one month after the Comey firing.
Anyway, Trump was reportedly very upset AWWWWW. But his people had successfully controlled him. For a minute.
6:40: A few days later, June 15, the fake news media reports that Trump is under investigation for obstruction (p. 85). After going on a stupid tweetstorm and whining for two days, Trump calls Don McGahn and tells him to get Mueller fired, because of Mueller's "conflicts." McGahn was like "sure boss" and went right back to jerking off or washing the cat or whatever he was doing that day at home. McGahn said he did not want to be "Saturday Night Massacre Bork"! (He wanted to be like the other Bork, you know, the same exact guy who was suddenly cool in the 1980s, at least to Republicans.)
In fact, Trump tried to get McGahn to do this TWICE in the space of a couple days. Obviously McGahn wasn't going to do it, so he decided to resign. McGahn's deputy Annie Donaldson was also going to resign, even though he didn't tell her exactly what bad thing the president was trying to make him do. He only told Reince and Bannon that Trump was trying to make him do "crazy shit." Anyway, Reince and Bannon begged him to stay, he went back to work on Monday, and Trump just ... like ... didn't mention it again?
STABLE GENIUS BRAIN OUR PRESIDENT HAS.
Anyway, Mueller's analysis on this is IF THIS ISN'T OBSTRUCTION, THE I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK IS, just kidding, Mueller did not say that but we bet he thought it while he was laying out all this evidence.
HEY BILL BARR, DID YOU READ THIS PART?
7:05: OK kids, we have executive decided that we are going to pick this up on Monday. THREE DAYS OF LIVEBLOG? Yep! Because we're heading into a holiday weekend, and there is so much more to pick apart and analyze, and also this story needs to NOT DIE BY NEXT WEEK.
We know that Donald Trump is hoping that on this Good Friday, the story will be crucified, dead and buried by the holiday weekend, and you know what? Fuck him. It's going to rise again, not on the third day, but the day after that. Monday.
We would make a Passover analogy, but as a Protestant-affiliated person, we just don't have those up our sleeve like we have the Jesus references.
Anyway, PLEASE DONATE BELOW, WE ARE ABOUT 20,000 WORDS INTO LIVEBLOGGING THIS SHIT AND YOUR DONATIONS ARE HOW WE SURVIVE.
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