Robert Mueller is the man with nothing to prove

Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee about his report on Russian election interference, in Washington on July 24. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee about his report on Russian election interference, in Washington on July 24. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

We had seen pictures of him waiting to board a plane, leaving a church service and getting into cars over the last two years. Some of us had read a speech or tuned in when he stood before a camera in late May to announce the end of his job as special counsel and, it appears, to bring into sharper focus the scope and limits of his office’s now-completed task: “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” But it wasn’t until Wednesday that most of us beheld the man at length, maintaining eye contact whether he was derided or praised, offering clarification when he could, permitting himself the occasional word of self-deprecation and tirelessly reminding his interlocutors that the revelations they want to highlight or deny are already laid out (or not) in black and white: “I refer you to the report.”

Robert Mueller seems to know that you can’t force-feed a moral realization. You can direct—or try to direct—another person’s attention to a text that draws on the testimony of credible witnesses, but you can’t compel interpretation. You can’t tell someone else what to make of it. In a genuinely free country, the question of what we do with what we know is on us. It can’t be deferred to someone else. In an age when the reigning news cycles are accelerated and largely consumed with reports of who said what about whom and how Democrats or Republicans or famous people are reacting to these reports, watching a thoughtful and unperturbed man with little or nothing to prove take it insistently slow is an education, a reminder of a path we are each free to take at any time. The heat of opinion is always with us, but we can also delay our judgment, decline to react and, if the context requires it, refuse to voice an opinion. Yesterday’s news cycle was a rare reminder of these ancient options.

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Robert Mueller seems to know that you can’t force-feed a moral realization. The question of what we do with what we know is on us.

One teachable moment occurred in Mr. Mueller’s responses to Representative Louie Gohmert. Mr. Mueller mostly gazed with a look of equanimity as Mr. Gohmert, voice cracking and face reddening, argued that Mr. Mueller had failed in his obligation to protect the investigation from the political bias of members of his team. With time running out and the gavel coming down on Mr. Gohlmert’s insistence that Mr. Mueller had perpetrated injustice, Mr. Mueller raised his hand and offered what could be understood as a conciliatory word: “I take your question.”

Mr. Gohmert had not asked him a question, and Mr. Mueller’s words only served to dramatize this fact. They also leave open a door for anyone wanting to walk through it: the possibility of further exchanges between morally serious adults who value conversation over accusation. “I take your question” is a courtroom version of a saying one can employ in classrooms and social media feeds: “Could you put your statement in the form of a question?” A question, after all, keeps a serious conversation going. An accusation shuts it down. If the United States itself is a long conversation—sometimes beautiful, sometimes catastrophic—about what human beings owe one another, we do well to commemorate these moments when one man’s animus is meaningfully addressed by another man’s calm.

We do well to commemorate these moments when one man’s animus is meaningfully addressed by another man’s calm.

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Civilization, after all, sometimes depends upon reading a sentence a second time to oneself slowly. Even though Mr. Mueller declined to read the words of the report aloud, lest anyone’s animus get unhelpfully aimed at his own person, the investigation that we the people paid for was given a hearing, and attentiveness to detail (citations, page numbers, endnotes) held sway in the American bandwidth for hours. The revolutionary act of literacy is not, generally speaking, televised, but this week was different.

We were reminded that credibility can’t be proven. It can only be recognized and agreed upon. Whom we credit and why is on us, and it is a larger issue than who is ahead in the polls.

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This realization can feel awfully fragile when people like NBC’s Chuck Todd speak of “optics,” and an event like Mr. Mueller’s testimony is weighed only in terms of what Democrats or Republicans are likely to do with it. Giving too much energy (or airtime) to this question sidesteps the fact that every American shares custody of every member of the Trump administration and bears responsibility for every policy this president puts into effect. To talk too much of optics is to lose “we, the people” as an actionable concept.

Every American shares custody of every member of the Trump administration and bears responsibility for every policy this president puts into effect.

On the question of the involvement of Vladimir Putin and his oligarch sponsors in the 2016 election (including the organizing of rallies on U.S. soil), another Republican congressman from Texas, Will Hurd, offered Mr. Mueller the opportunity to speak against the suggestion that the Russian government’s disinformation campaign ceased once Mr. Trump came to power. Mr. Mueller’s response was unambiguous: “It wasn’t a single attempt. They’re doing it as we sit here.

This moment served as a reminder that we get the system we pay for and consent to. We are the oversight that we are looking for. The incarceration of Reality Winner, a U.S. intelligence specialist who leaked the material that brought to light the Russian hacking of a voting equipment vendor in Florida, is as much our responsibility as it is that of anyone holding or running for office. And the weaponized despair of our electorate is an issue that will concern anyone interested in loving the neighbors with whom we walk through grocery stores, sit in traffic or form lines to the voting booth.

Something of the gravity of the situation was captured in the words of Representative Elijah Cummings, the Democrat from Maryland, at the conclusion of the day. After recalling another congressman’s exchange with a woman who, like many Americans, has only begun to hear of the contents of the Mueller report, Mr. Cummings observed that this moment is not about liking or not liking a particular president, “It’s about loving democracy…. I’m begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on…. We have to guard this moment. This is our watch.”

Mr. Cummings also noted that the culture of greed, deceit and self-aggrandizement among those who seek to be entrusted with the public interest, a culture reflected in the Mueller report, is in danger of becoming the new normal. We become what we normalize, and we become what we abide. It is time to feel our own weight and our own responsibility in fostering the possibility of America for ourselves, others and future generations.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Lisa Weber
4 weeks 1 day ago

Thank you for an excellent commentary.

Carl Kuss
4 weeks 1 day ago

I would like to echo that word of thanks. In Bob Mueller we have a man of moral fiber who goes against the unfortunate Spirit of the Age. He is really the counter-pole not only of Trump, but of all the myriad Trump-Feeders, of Trumpian demagoguery, and anti-Trumpian demagoguery.

Carl Kuss
4 weeks 1 day ago

Removed.

Opting Out
3 weeks 5 days ago

Excellent analysis by Constitutional Scholar, Democrat and Law Professor, Jonathan Turley on the sham that Robert Mueller is, the contempt Mueller showed US Congress and the political fraud Mueller and the Democrats are. Turley is no friend nor admirer of Trump but equally as critical of the US House of Democrats

The Media Brushes Over Mueller Contradictions After “Blockbuster” Turns Into Bomb

Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the aftermath of the Mueller hearings. This week, the Democrats belatedly moved to get a court order to release Grand Jury material withheld in the Mueller Report. That material represents a tiny percentage of text and the request is months too late. I testified many weeks ago that, if the Democrats were really serious about impeachment, they would have filed soon after the report was issued. Every indication remains that the Democratic leadership is still running out the clock on impeachment while trying to convince voters that they really do want to impeach Donald Trump.

Democrats are now insisting that it was not Mueller but really McGahn that they expected to put away Trump. It would be a sequel to a colossal flop and they are not exactly moving with dispatch . . . as time ticks by.

Here is the column:

I once heard a story about Pia Zadora’s performance as the lead in “The Diary of Anne Frank.” The audience was eager for Zadora’s dreadful acting to conclude. In a closing scene, Nazis broke into the house, shouting “Where is Anne Frank?” The audience shouted back, “She’s in the attic!” just to try to end the play. The story is likely apocryphal but it illustrates that not all live performances are really better than the original books.

I had the same impulse watching more than six hours of former special counsel Robert Mueller offering monosyllabic responses as Democrats read his report to him. Democrats said this would be the “blockbuster movie” for those who “did not read the book” of the report. If so, it was the congressional version of the John Travolta movie bomb “Battlefield Earth” and, for Mueller, the prosecutorial version of “Dazed and Confused.”

The hearing was a disaster for anyone who was hoping for a kickstart to impeachment. Democrats could not produce even a single takeaway moment in six hours of hearings. Instead, Mueller came across more often as befuddled than bemused by the entire exercise. Calling the hearings a “disaster” for Democrats, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, a leading advocate for impeachment, declared, “Far from breathing life into his damning report, the tired Robert Mueller sucked the life out of it.”

But of course, it did not matter. No minds were changed. Furthermore, Democrats did not seem to care that Mueller was in open contempt of Congress by simply refusing to answer questions whenever it suited him. Indeed, that proved to be most questions. The media coverage predictably ignored the fact that Mueller continually contradicted himself on what he would and would not answer. Instead, his curt refusals to answer legitimate questions were immediately described as evidence of his “reticence” and “discipline.” In fact, Mueller never even bothered to cite a legal basis to back up most of his refusals to answer questions.

He was allowed to discuss the underlying law as well as key decisions on the preparation of the report. All of these areas had been discussed by Attorney General William Barr and were neither privileged nor classified. So why did he not answer these questions? The answer is as simple as it is obvious. He did not want to because he often had no answer. Moreover, he knew the Democrats were not going to insist on detailed answers.

For example, Mueller refused to discuss whether Barr and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told him to submit his report with grand jury material identified, to allow for a rapid public release of the report. Indeed, that subject has already been discussed, and Mueller was clearly able to discuss it. However, he refused and no one bothered to point out that the attorney general had already established that this information could be discussed publicly. The fact is that it was Mueller who delayed the release of the report by ignoring the instructions of his superiors.

Likewise, Mueller clearly could have discussed, as did Barr, his legal interpretation of two memos from the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel that he claimed prevented him from reaching a conclusion on criminal obstruction. This is a purely legal question. Mueller answered questions about the Office of Legal Counsel when it suited him and then refused when it did not. He started the second hearing before the House Intelligence Committee by withdrawing part of his earlier testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the two memos.

Mueller is simply wrong in his interpretation of the memos insisting that you cannot indict a sitting president means that you cannot reach any conclusions in a report on his criminal conduct. His two superiors made clear that his interpretation was wrong when they reached a conclusion on obstruction. Nothing in the memos restricted Mueller from reaching conclusions on criminal conduct, as his superiors made clear to him. Yet, Mueller avoided all of that by repeating his “I will not answer that” mantra.

Democrats were left repeating the same mantra that “no one is above the law” and demanding to know why no one has taken action. It was a bizarre objection from a committee that has the authority to impeach President Trump. It was like a cop screaming, “Someone needs to arrest that guy!” Mueller continued with flagrantly conflicted answers. He refused to answer questions about his prosecution but went into detail about his decisions on other issues like not subpoenaing Trump. He did the same in refusing to discuss allegations in his own federal court filings but had no trouble holding forth on how WikiLeaks is a foreign intelligence operation or how answers from Trump were incomplete.

On the latter question, Mueller even discussed other ways of describing the lack of cooperation from Trump after refusing to explain ambiguous lines in other parts of his report. Then he returned to his mantra and said things like “I do not want to wade into those waters.” Committee members shrugged it off, as if that is a new form of aquatic government privilege.

In the end, Mueller testified in the same imperious fashion as his press conference two months ago when he declared, “I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner.” His declining to answer questions left the House committees in a glaring contradiction. When Barr testified substantively for hours without limitations, Democrats attacked him as uncooperative. But when Mueller demanded time limits and continually refused to answer nonprivileged questions that he clearly could answer, Democrats virtually cooed that he was only being reticent.

Yet, Mueller did not seem up to the task of answering questions even when asked the name of the president who appointed him as a United States attorney. When he did answer a question clearly, he stumbled. In the first hearing, he agreed with Representative Ted Lieu of California that “the reason that you did not indict the president” is because of the Office of Legal Counsel opinion “that you cannot indict a sitting president” and then had to start out the second hearing by taking back that answer.

Given his resistance to testifying and his request to have his chief of staff with him, the hearings successfully magnified the lingering questions over his supervision of the investigation. It all was a testament to how a bad movie can ruin a good book. Film critic Joel Siegel once reviewed “The Bonfire of the Vanities” by saying, “This is a failure of epic proportions. You have got to be a genius to make a movie this bad.” If the Democrats wanted to dampen calls for impeachment, they could not have produced a better cinematic suppressant. Call it “The Day Impeachment Died.”
https://jonathanturley.org/2019/07/28/the-media-brushes-over-mueller-contradictions-after-blockbuster-turns-into-bomb

J Cosgrove
4 weeks 1 day ago

Truth? Moral? I’m not sure Mueller represented either. The author said nothing in this rambling article. The editors of America just exonerated Trump by publishing this. Thank you. The amazing thing is 37% believe the investigation was fair. How can it be this high?

Mueller has a lot to apologize for. It was an excellent move of the president not to fire Mueller.who was an embarrassment in front of the country. The real question is why was this article that said nothing published here?

Michael Bindner
4 weeks 1 day ago

Turn off Fox News. Trump is a Russian agent who thinks Putin works for him.

Monica Storozuk
4 weeks 1 day ago

If even 20% of the findings of the Mueller report are true (and the report is meticulously documented and supported) it is a startling statement of the corruption of the current government.

J Cosgrove
4 weeks 1 day ago

Name any of these findings. The author said absolutely nothing. This is the biggest hoax in the history of the country. Mueller did not indict one person associated with Trump for anything to do with Russia or obstruction of justice.

Monica Storozuk
4 weeks 1 day ago

The biggest hoax in the history of the country? Mueller indicted Trump's former national security advisor Mike Flynn, campaign official Rick Gates, Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his campaign chairman Paul Manafort. These are among 34 individuals indicted by Mueller.
Manafort and Gates are facing 12 counts, including conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy against the United States, being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements and other charges.
Wasn't Trump going to drain the swamp?

sheila gray
4 weeks 1 day ago

I completely agree with you, Monica.

J Cosgrove
4 weeks ago

Thank you. You just validated my comment and exonerated Trump. None of these things have anything to do with Trump and did not have anything to do with Russia conspiracy or the election. And if you look closely at Flynn there is nothing there. They threatened to indict his son on nonsense if he didn’t agree to admit he lied. I have no idea what sources you are using but you should read more objective ones. If you did you would not have made your comments.

Monica Storozuk
4 weeks ago

Please recommend your idea of an objective source of news.

J Cosgrove
3 weeks 6 days ago

I am not sure there is an objective source of news. I once gave you a list. One of the best is the Wall Street Journal. What you need to do is compare some of the opinion sources close to the middle on the chart I gave you to see what they are saying. There are several commentators I have grown to trust over the years as fair and who want to be honest and are not particularly pro Trump but definitely not anti-Trump. They will get to the truth.

Jim Lein
4 weeks ago

How do we have a leader with many of his staff now in prison for things they did for him, and yet many like you see him as blameless. This is too mob-like, where many underlings go to prison before the boss of bosses does--if he ever does.
The administration was especially mob-like with Anthony Scaramucci on the team for ten days in July 2017. "The Mooch" seemed to be from central casting, slickly groomed, nattily attired and casually dropping F bombs.
So where are we now? Do we really want a boss instead of a president?

J Cosgrove
4 weeks ago

many of his staff now in prison for things they did for him

Who? Not Manafort or Gates or Cohen. They were indicted for things that had nothing to do with Trump. Thank you for exonerating Trump. You should also apologize for your ethnic slur.

Carl Kuss
4 weeks ago

His decision to stick by his report, and not to debase himself by throwing red meat to political interests is a moral and truly patriotic decision. When the nation's political system is under attack by foreign powers who want to damage it an independent counsel plays into the hand of the aggressor when he takes sides in the party question. He was asked to investigate in the first place the Russian interference in the election; that is what he did. I think it is safe to say that the Russians supported Trump because they felt that Trump's election would bring political chaos and turmoil to the United States and that would strengthen Russia's hand on the world stage. Mueller wisely chose not to play politics. The Democrats are upset with him because he brought no (new) smoking guns with him; the Republican's are upset with him because he did not refrain from questioning Trump's honesty. There is a delicate question: if this type of investigation CANNOT render indictments what can it and must it do? What is its purpose, with respect to the involvement of the President and his men in the Russian interference? And then in the question of obstruction. If no indictment can be made, it seems that there must nevertheless be room for questioning Presidential ethics, and it is in the space of this questioning that the grounds for impeachment ("high crimes and misdemeanors") might be found. Trump is right in saying that there can be no obstruction if there is nothing to obstruct; but Mueller by saying that his report does not exonerate Trump from obstruction, is also saying that there was or might be some Presidential misbehavior whose investigation Trump was obstructing: not simply the law, because the President is in some way above the law, but some form of Presidential misbehavior. And frankly there is much evidence of such misbehavior.

J Cosgrove
4 weeks ago

If there were any evidence that Trump colluded or obstructed it would have involved other persons. Unless you think Trump is some master criminal. But there were no indictments. As for Putin wanting Trump president, Putin is not that stupid. Trump cost the Russian economy over a trillion dollars, money he knew Russia would have if Hillary was president but not if Trump was.

Mark M
3 weeks 6 days ago

Carl, padre, what no LC following your name anymore?
Please, update us all about who in the Legion supports the wife and family of your Order’s beloved criminal, drug using founder.
Where are Maciel’s lieutenants? You remember, his inner circle of lying, thieving, corrupt priests who covered for him during his decades of debauchery? Still living la loca vida? Great job.

Mark M
3 weeks 6 days ago

Carl, padre, what no LC following your name anymore?
Please, update us all regarding who is supporting the wife and family of your legion’s beloved criminal, drug using founder.
Where are Maciel’s lieutenants? You remember, his inner circle of lying, thieving, corrupt priests who covered for him for decades of debauchery? Still living la loca vida? Great job.

Carl Kuss
4 weeks ago

His decision to stick by his report, and not to debase himself by throwing red meat to political interests is a moral and truly patriotic decision. When the nation's political system is under attack by foreign powers who want to damage it an independent counsel plays into the hand of the aggressor when he takes sides in the party question. He was asked to investigate in the first place the Russian interference in the election; that is what he did. I think it is safe to say that the Russians supported Trump because they felt that Trump's election would bring political chaos and turmoil to the United States and that would strengthen Russia's hand on the world stage. Mueller wisely chose not to play politics. The Democrats are upset with him because he brought no (new) smoking guns with him; the Republican's are upset with him because he did not refrain from questioning Trump's honesty. There is a delicate question: if this type of investigation CANNOT render indictments what can it and must it do? What is its purpose, with respect to the involvement of the President and his men in the Russian interference? And then in the question of obstruction. If no indictment can be made, it seems that there must nevertheless be room for questioning Presidential ethics, and it is in the space of this questioning that the grounds for impeachment ("high crimes and misdemeanors") might be found. Trump is right in saying that there can be no obstruction if there is nothing to obstruct; but Mueller by saying that his report does not exonerate Trump from obstruction, is also saying that there was or might be some Presidential misbehavior whose investigation Trump was obstructing: not simply the law, because the President is in some way above the law, but some form of Presidential misbehavior. And frankly there is much evidence of such misbehavior.

rose-ellen caminer
4 weeks 1 day ago

So they are gong to make it a crime, if you are affiliated with any political campaign, to not run to the FBI for talking about politics with a foreigner? How do you know they are not a citizen?Are you legally required now if politically active ,to ask every person you talk to about politics ; are you a US citizen?Are you required to ask every person with an accent if they are a citizen before you talk politics with them?And they[we] call trump Xenophobe.
I did not know that freedom of speech and association only applied to US citizens among themselves.I see the threat to democracy not coming from Russian operatives posting propaganda online[ freedom of speech as far as i am concerned] but from such measures being taken that curtail our freedom of POLITICAL speech and association. Unless and until we are in a declared state of war with Russia[ every Russian is an enemy and any communication with them is communicating with the enemy; martial law] I just don't get how this can be happening. in a free country.

I side with Barr on this;I don't see how a policy of not indicting a sitting president, impeded the special prosecutor from saying whether there is evidence of a crime committed by the president or not. The special situation of a sitting president only means that it is up to the Congress to do what they will with a determination by a prosecutor. Unlike with Hillary being investigated by Comey, where he smears her publicly but does not indict, [ a travesty of justice] this investigation was a public one from the get go.It required a decision .The public required it and justice demanded it.That is a prosecutors job whether special or ordinary;to establish whether there is evidence that a crime has been committed, and or that there is evidence [sufficient to get a conviction] that a particular persons[s] committed a crime.[including the crime of obstruction of justice] To assert that because Trump can't be indicted while in office , revealing that one believes there is evidence he is guilty, would unjustly smear him , as he has no way to vindicate himself, WHILE saying there is evidence he did such crimes but wont call them crimes, is mere sophistry. It's ridiculous.He does not want to smear Trump by saying he believes he has evidence Trump committed a crime because without an indictment or impeachment Trump can't remove the cloud of suspicion over him, is true, but what Mueller has said is not even legalese; its just dropping the ball, even as he smeared[ accused ] him anyway.He could have said evidence shows he did commit a crime which he recommends Congress to address, and if they don't then they are dropping the ball . Or he could have said he recommends if Congress for whatever reason does not want to address, or impeach, he has a sealed indictment for when Trump leaves office.

Michael Bindner
4 weeks 1 day ago

Barr is the bright shiny object distracting Trump. Being President and a Russian agent and getting help from the boss are already illegal.

Opting Out
4 weeks 1 day ago

Michael Moore

@MMFlint
A frail old man, unable to remember things, stumbling, refusing to answer basic questions...I said it in 2017 and Mueller confirmed it today — All you pundits and moderates and lame Dems who told the public to put their faith in the esteemed Robert Mueller — just STFU from now on

37.4K
12:31 PM - Jul 24, 2019

karen oconnell
4 weeks 1 day ago

YOUR POLITICAL BIAS IS SHOWING '''BIG TIME.''' THIS 'angry bias' NULLIFIES ALL THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN IE it sounds like 'partisan crap' and as such has no value in audience seeking truth

J Cosgrove
4 weeks 1 day ago

He’s quoting an ultra liberal celebrity. Are your comments directed at Michael Moore?

J Jones
4 weeks 1 day ago

Yes he was quoting Michael Moore. I usually agree with Michael Moore. I disagree with him here. I saw a tired, older man who had written down what he had to say on the matter and declined to dance like a trained bear promised fresh salmon by half the committee and a whip by the other, and which was which would depend on the dance performance. Independence of thought is still an option, J and Jose.

J Cosgrove
4 weeks ago

Thank you for agreeing. With what Jose and I said and admitting you think like Michael Moore.

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 weeks 5 days ago

J. Jones
What you saw was a man who did not write the Mueller Report....a man who relied upon unaccredited authors and therefore fumbled to remember what they wrote.

It was the height of legal impropriety and a violation of Justice Department Rules to introduce the issue of “exoneration” into that Report. A Federal Prosecutor never “exonerates” anyone under any circumstance.
Mueller’s oral fumbling around this issue and his need to clarify the basis for no conclusion on the obstruction issue demonstrated a lawyer who knew he was treading in an area forbidden by Justice Department Rule and Standards....not to mention the most basic legal principles (Innocent until Proven Guilty)
I suggest you ask any Prosecutor if he has ever heard or seen a case where it was announced that he could not exonerate a potential defendant. The concept is utter legal nonsense. Harkening back to the headline of this article....Mueller does indeed have a lot to prove

Opting Out
4 weeks 1 day ago

Mr. Cummings also noted that the culture of greed, deceit and self-aggrandizement among those who seek to be entrusted with the public interest, a culture reflected in the Mueller report, is in danger of becoming the new normal

You are 2 decades late to condemn the Bill Clinton White House and now you have moral standing? Seriously? Trump is the response to corrupt, power craven, racist, homophobic Democrats especially Hillary. Trump is a continuation of the Clintons, same evil, different face. That both had support of Americans is in large part a reflection of the collapse of Catholic fervor in the US Bishops. Crying now about Trump but not Clinton is as morally bankrupt as both Trump and Hillary. America has been plunging for the abyss since forever. Where were you when it mattered? Roe v Wade is on you

J Jones
4 weeks 1 day ago

Jose, why aren't you glad that the blindfold appears to have been lifted? The Catholic fervor of the bishops has returned to Church: they are going after Roe v Wade with everything they have. They are also going after LGBT rights with everything they have.

Opting Out
4 weeks ago

LGBT rights is dumb. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg wisely stated, Roe v Wade should not have been decided by SCOTUS. Same applies for LGBT. As a social worker you know that change must come from within each person. Abortion is evil as is criminalizing it. Women who feel they want abortions dont need them but they do need support. Too many lives are destroyed on the erroneous feeling that having an abortion will solve personal, culpable problems. Trump is an entertainer and a wh8re. He has profited off of gays within his industry. He needs them to staff his shows, hotels, theaters, restaurants, etc and he knows it. He isnt anti-gay any more than Hillary is pro-gay. People for these demagogues are expendable. Few politicians really care about people. They care about power just like most US Bishops. The answer is not Democrat or Republican. The answer is conversion of hearts. Until then my husband and I suffer no more, no less today as a gay married couple than 10 years ago. A civil union would have sufficed. The most suffering we experienced is that from fundamentalists and conservatives whom as you know have multiple marriages / divorces, multiple children from various fathers and who quote the Bible and the CCC while failing to be converted themselves in their hearts, as already mentioned. Trump, like the Republican Party, is a travesty but so is the DNC in spades. LGBT, immigrants, people of color are used as means to an ends by both parties. As to US Bishops having fervor, ask me in 20 years. I just wrote a letter to the Holy Father in Spanish and copied the Nuncio about our newly installed Bishop, a clericalist, straight from Washington DC, former assistant to McCarrick via Wuerl. Revolting. The US Church has a long way to go before being a Church as Pope Francis describes, one that accompanies the Faithful. “rebuild my Church” is long overdue.

Pax

karen oconnell
4 weeks 1 day ago

I FEEL THE SAME WAY ABOUT NANCY PELOSI. NEITHER SHE NOR MR. MUELLER HAS ANYTHING TO PROVE...NO SEARCHES FOR 'PERSONAL GLORY'' AS ARE SO OBVIOUS IN OUR PRESENT CONGRESS. I TRUST NANCY. AND I TRUST THAT MR. MUELLER ACTED RIGHTEOUSLY. PROBLEM IS THAT WE HAVE BECOME TONE DEAF BECAUSE OF ALL THE 'CLANGING OF SYMB-LETONS' THAT TAKE UP SO MUCH SPACE IN OUR LIVES.

Opting Out
4 weeks 1 day ago

Karen oconnell...tone deaf....?

U.S. Voting System So ‘Clunky’ It Is Insulated From Hacking, FBI Director Says
James Comey points to system’s dispersal over 50 states, no centralized computer system

The beauty of the American voting system is that it is dispersed among the 50 states, and it is clunky as heck,’’ Comey said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “A lot of people have found that challenging over the years, but the beauty of that is it’s not exactly a swift part of the internet of things, and so it is hard for an actor to reach our voting process.’’
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-voting-system-so-clunky-it-is-insulated-from-hacking-fbi-director-says-1473368396

J Jones
4 weeks 1 day ago

"Hacking the voting system" and "interfering in an election" are not the same thing. Attempting to hack could be one element of interference but interference could be and has been and is a more more expansive category (as anyone who knows the history of US interference in the elections of other nations is aware).

Joe Conover
4 weeks 1 day ago

The sorry ignorance of many of these comments sadly serves to prove Mr. Dark's point.

Robert Lewis
4 weeks 1 day ago

It certainly does!

Opting Out
4 weeks 1 day ago

Obama Ridicules Trump For Saying Election Could Be Unduly Influenced
I’ve never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place,” Obama said, in response to comments then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made. “No serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections.”

J Jones
4 weeks 1 day ago

A preemptive discrediting of one's potential and feared loss is not the same thing as confirming evidence. "Rig them" is not the same as "interfere with them".

Janie Diz
4 weeks 1 day ago

Agree totally with you!

Andrew Strada
4 weeks ago

Your casual assumption of intellectual and moral superiority (with no supporting evidence) proves my point.

Crystal Watson
4 weeks 1 day ago

Mueller's report and his testimony show that Russia meddled in our elections, that Trump fell all over himself trying to coordinate with Russia, that Trump then lied and tried to cover that up and to end the investigation into it. Trump should be in jail.

Stuart Meisenzahl
4 weeks 1 day ago

Crystal
I believe it was President Obama who was captured telling Medvedev “Tell Vladimir that I can be more flexible after my next election “ . I also believe that only the Hillary Campaign paid actual money to Russians for information to be used in the 2016 election.

Crystal Watson
4 weeks 1 day ago

You guys really are living in an alternate facts universe.

Stuart Meisenzahl
4 weeks 1 day ago

Crystal
Do you have a problem with the truth of Obama having made that flexible message to Putin; or that it has been admitted that the Hillary Campaign and the DNC paid Steele to obtain information from Russia? If yes , then google same in NYTimes where both are reluctantly reported.

Crystal Watson
4 weeks 1 day ago

- You said above that "Clinton paid money to actual Russians". That is not true. As for the Steele dossier, it was first paid for by a Republican website, The Washington Free Beacon, as opposition research against Trump in the Republican primary election. Once Trump won the primary, the website no longer wanted the information, and Fusion GPS later sold that information to the DNC and Hillary.
- About Obama ... he asked the outgoing Russian president for space on issues like missile defense until after he would win the election. So? How is that remotely like Trump conspiring with Russia to subvert our elections to get him into office?

Stuart Meisenzahl
4 weeks 1 day ago

Crystal
Please Ck the NYTimes...Steele has been deposed in England and admits he was hired to get information from the Russians about Trump and that some money went to those Russian contacts.....that money came from the DNC and the Hillary Campaign and was laundered through a law firm (as “legal representation”) to Glen Simpson. The information was largely developed and dispersed by Fusion GPS long after the Republican Primary. The NYTimes is even now suggesting that the content of thatSteele information was most likely Russian Misinformation meant to be funneled into the press as part of the disruption campaign.

Crystal you read into Obama’s “flexible statement” a reason not set forth by him....but more importantly the very purpose of that remark being Sotto Voce was so the public would not know that Obama intended to move in favor of Russian demands.

You also stand the facts on their head: Mueller found that Trump campaign had multiple contacts with various Russians but did NOT conspire with them resepecting the election.....in fact the Mueller recitation states that the Campaign turned down many attempts by theRussians to contact and influence individuals.

Bottom line: no Trump Campaign money ever made into a Russian pocket but Clinton and DNC money did.

Wait for the the Inspector General Report since Steele suddenly agreed to cooperate with that investigation as did a bunch of State Dept employees who were outed by compromising emails.

Crystal Watson
4 weeks ago

The Wikipedia page has all the relevant info, including stuff from the NYT story ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump%E2%80%93Russia_dossier
Clinton and the DNC did not know Steele had been hired by Fusion GPS. Yes, Clinton and the DNC paid the lawyer who paid Fusion GPS, but that is not money laundering. Certainly Clinton did not knowingly "pay Russians".

Mueller did not find evidence beyond a reasonable doubt for criminal conspiracy charges ... at least partly because, as Mueller stated in his report, numerous witness lied to him and destroyed evidence ... but he did find over 100 instances of coordination and cooperation between Trump and Russia for the purposes of helping Trump and hurting Hillary.

As for money ... I can't wait to see what Trump's taxes show, those taxes he's turning himself inside out to keep secret.

Stuart Meisenzahl
4 weeks ago

Crystal
You have made my point.... Wikipedia is hardly a source for any unbiased information on matters political. Take the time and the effort to read original reporting and forget the summaries of editors of Wikipedia whose credentials are entirely unknown to you.
Again await the Inspector Generals report and consider the fact that not a single person was indicted either for conspiracy or obstruction. By definition “conspiracy” ( whether respecting the election or obstruction) requires more than one person.
Be very careful of using the destruction of evidence as definitive proof of obstruction or conspiracy ....... I reference the Clinton email destruction facts which are far more egregious if only because that destruction took place after a subpoena requiring the preservation of all such materials had occurred.

Crystal Watson
3 weeks 6 days ago

Wikipedia is a very useful information aid because it cites sources for all of that information, including the story you mention from The New York Times.

Michael S
4 weeks 1 day ago

I believe that the so called Russian interference in the U.S. election(s) pales in comparison with the U.S. (also read CIA and NSA) interference with elections and governments throughout the world, most appreciably in Central and South America, Africa, and the Middle East. In other words, the Mueller investigation and the congressional sideshow are decidedly hypocritical. Nevertheless, I do come away with the impression that Mr. Mueller is a good, decent, and honest man. If we could only say that about all of the grandstanding politicians!

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