House opens Obstruction of Justice Hearing, featuring convicted obstructor John Dean

In this stranger than fiction world we are witnessing awesome (in the original sense of inspiring awe) incursions into Fantasy and Science Fiction. Leaving man-made climate change aside (the potentially science fiction part aside), the obvious fantasies (plural) on the part of the hearing witnesses (save one) and many congress critters on each side of illusory aisle who claim that "Russia meddled in our election". As if the US of A doesn't meddle anywhere and everywhere. But let that topic empire alone briefly.

The colloquy lasted exactly 4 hours. Needless to say, I only watched the opening and halfway through for another 20 minutes.

Recurrent themes were focused on obstruction of justice (OOJ). Herr Müller spent the entirety of volume 2 of the "investigative report" trying to establish ten instances of possible OOJ.

The chief target during the portion ewhich I viewed centered around Trump's alleged instruction to Don McGahn, former WH counsel, to "get rid of" Müller. DJT supposedly tried to force McGahn to write a report that McGahn was not urged by the President to get rid of Müller. The story then goes that McGahn quit/was fired because he refused to do so. Shades of Elliot Richardson! This is where John Dean, convicted of felony OOJ, comes in.

It should surprise no one that Congress routinely calls as witnesses admitted perjurers to again testify (e.g., Brennan, Comey). First of all, all politicians are liars. Secondly, the House called upon convicted perjurer Michael Cohen to testify, during which testimony he lied at least seven times.

But, well, John Dean has experience in such matters, being a co-conspirator turned informant to Nixon. Not a fact witness. Nor were any of the other three law experts appearing. Two of the three were obvious anti-Trumpers, admittedly so. Vance and McQuaid, the two never Trumpers, had actually written publicly available anti-Trump screeds. I haven't read those, nor do I intend to do so.

Many troubling issues were discussed. I may not be mentioning some, since I, like many congress critters didn't read the source material (which in their case includes the actual Müller fantasy.

Acceptance of the Russia meddling narrative

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Despite traps, spying, insinuation, bribery (reduced sentences), extortion (further legal persecution prosecution by Herr Müller) representing assumptions as facts, and pure fiction, the "18 angry Dems" could not find evidence to prove any collusion (or conspiracy) between El Trumpo's campaign and the requisite evidence upon which to bring charges.

The indictment of 12 GRU officers, none of whom will ever be tried in the US, for allegedly hacking the DNC servers rests strictly upon the Crowd Strike determination that the Fancy Bear's cracked Debbie Whatshername Schultz's magic password ring (likely courtesy of Imran Awan, actually).
So Crowd Strike is a creation of Russian father and son who are vehemently anti-Putin, the Alperovich team.

Talk about evidence. No unbiased person has ever seen the data actually contained on the real DNC servers, which is now probably in the Chesapeake Bay.

By accepting the Russian hacking narrative, this raises the "hack" to a national security level. It is the function of that myth to enhance any wrong-doing perceivably committed by Trump et. al. Thus several of the "experts" (aka Dem partisan Russiagate believers) to insist that therefore such Trumpian behavior to actually require a less stringent standard of OOJ--despite their protestations to the contrary.

Because the "possible" consequences of OOJ were so potentially severe, the issue must be judged holding Trump to a higher standard of conduct than your ordinary obstructor, such as, perhaps, John Dean.

Legal basis for bringing OOJ charges

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Trust me, I'm not a lawyer.

Smile

How does one obstruct justice when no crime has been proven? Lacking the ability to engage upon legal obfuscation, the ability to charge obstruction into investigation of a non-crime is baffling. Perhaps some of our legally-gifted members will enlighten me.

Several scenarios tease my brain.

A. Shooting an already dead man with intent to murder that man. The intent is clear. But the actual damage is simply defiling a corpse. Is this a crime. If so, can the shooter be convicted for OOJ by lying about his commission of the act?

B. As a backseat passenger, the rider instructs the driver to run a red light but the driver does not do so. Is the passenger then a conspirator for an act which didn't occur? The driver declined the illegal activity (a la McGahn), so what infraction did the passenger commit?

Other examples surely can be imagined, as variations upon this theme: how can justice be obstructed when no crime occurred?

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SP's Mandate

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The Special Prosecutor's (SP) task is to find evidence of guilt or insufficient evidence of guilt. The purpose is not to exonerate the subject. The mandate is to find evidence or dismiss the pending charges. Müller pointedly punted on the OOJ aspect, fully knowing that by so doing, he would feed the impeachment frenzy of the Dems.

None of us outside the inner corridors of power really know what the second mandate (instruction) issued by Rod Rosenstein to Müller were. How broad--or narrow--was the scope made? Was Müller instructed NOT to investigate the Steele Dossier, which is only mentioned once or twice in the SP report?

Guilt or no proof of guilt determination is the SP's sole obligation. Of course supporting evidence for either decision should be supported by evidence, not innuendo or assumption. Müller, a Deep State criminal (involvement in U1, Whitey Bulger, BCCI, etc.), did his level best to smear Trump, by demanding a legal standard contrary to centuries of common and statue law: One is presumed innocent until found by evidence to be guilty. Of course, in Müller's uncalled for press conference, he stated in essence that for exoneration Trump must prove a negative, i.e., that he did not commit a crime.

The purpose, mentioned above, is clear: To encourage the Dem lemmings to impeach the Orange One. Of course, Barr cleared that one up in a follow-on press conference. For my part, it is incredible that the arrogant Dems are going to impeachment proceedings unless Nervous Nancy pulls Nadler's ears, warning him off such a disastrous course.

The Hearing as Theater

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The plot is old and well-known to all witnesses and viewers. We could practically sing along to the familiar refrains, despite several different interpretations of this whole Faerie Tale Theater. To his credit, Nadler actually seemed sane during the hearing.

The sole purpose of this effort was to fuel impeachment proceedings against Trump. Does anyone doubt that? To limit the Presidential Power to fire someone requires a constitutional Amendment, dutifully ratified by the several States.
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Consequences, intended and unintended

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If the whole SP process was designed to charge Trump with crimes after leaving, which cannot be done while in office, then this affair might serve a political purpose--get the Orange Man after 2020. Problem is, that won't happen. Trump will be re-elected. All the current Dem leaders will be boxed and buried (BnB).

The precedent were Trump to actually be tried on criminal counts is chilling. All future President's would need to be particularly scrupulous in their political/executive/administrative/financial affairs. Easily every living president except perhaps Jimmy Carter could be hauled into court for their crimes in office.

One example during the hearing occurred when one Republican obliquely listed Obama's failures to "significantly uphold the law". Though not mentioned by name, BHO's list of avoiding the law includes non-enforcement of drug laws (actually a good thing), selective prosecution, allowing IRS targeting of Conservative Groups, permitting Fast and Furious, etc.

Perhaps it is a good thing that our legislators aren't legislating as they always do more harm (to us serfs). The pre-occupation with anti-Trumpism precludes consideration of pressing issues such as tariffs, the southern border, Chinese meddling, geopolitical fracturing, etc.

This empire is in its last throes. The government is simply rearranging the deck chairs on the USS Gerald Ford before it sinks under its own weight.

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Pricknick's picture

shouldn't John Dean be enjoying what time he has with those he loves.
Perchance, nobody cares for him anyways and he has nothing better to do?
I tire.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

snoopydawg's picture

One of the reasons for the Mueller investigation. To make sure that everyone believes without a shadow of doubt that the Russians attacked this country and destroyed Herheinous' chance of being president.

By accepting the Russian hacking narrative, this raises the "hack" to a national security level.

Ahh but there's the rub. The DNC is not a government organization as gulfgal has pointed out. It is a private 501-C organization. So how did that Russian HACK threaten the country? Hmm?

Mueller's report did not show any evidence that Russia did in fact interfere with the election as I pointed out in my essay on this. And if anyone missed Jimmy's show on the Swan Mueller it's worth watching.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Alligator Ed's picture

Ahh but there's the rub. The DNC is not a government organization as gulfgal has pointed out. It is a private 501-C organization. So how did that Russian HACK threaten the country? Hmm?

Because that is the truth. The Establishment (political) is inexorably intertwined with the Establishment (commercial) in turn with the Establishment (economic). Harming the DNC in essence hurts all 3 spheres of the establishment. The Establishment is the Country.

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Pricknick's picture

@Alligator Ed

The Establishment is the Country.

Not mine.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

It's so difficult to find words to describe the stupidity of the entire Russiagate saga. You're courageous, Alligator Ed, to even watch the opening of the hearings.

So Mueller found there was no collusion. So, on to obstruction. But Rosenstein and Sessions recommended removing Comey for very good reasons. So, on to telling McGahn to fire Mueller. If you think all the innuendo about collusion proclaimed by the media was true, then you could talk yourself into believing McGahn's story because surely Trump would want the investigation to stop. But if you were Trump and knew it was false, if you knew the media were being fed daily with false information and reporting it as true, you might have very good reasons to fire Mueller and his entire band of investigative leakers of false information. But if even broaching that subject is grounds for impeachment, then go for it, take your best shot, and make your case based on McGahn's story. But that's not what they're doing. They want to innuendo this crime, an alleged order to fire Mueller, into an offense akin to the destruction of our democracy, even though Mueller did complete his investigation, and even though Mueller found no collusion.

I'm hoping the American people are jaded enough, permanently, by the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN and the Democratic leadership in Congress such that they aren't even listening to them. I hope they've moved on to basketball, their own lives, and what's important.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@Linda Wood

I'm hoping the American people are jaded enough, permanently, by the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN and the Democratic leadership in Congress such that they aren't even listening to them. I hope they've moved on to basketball, their own lives, and what's important.

Outside the political bubble, the rest of Amerika doesn't give a damn about this Russiagate things, even though many of these gullible, uneducated citizens do vaguely believe in this Russian Faery Tale. Were here, at this site, and other similar ones, do care. We can guide the narrative for them. It's called cultivating the grass roots, throwing information about like ideological fertilizer to enhance guiding opinion.

In the end, it's all about the economy --and peace. I know I've written this comment a dozen times but, here it is again:
Trump wins in 2020 unless either the economy crashes or wars intensify.

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mimi's picture

written here, I find comfort in the fact that finally the author of this essay got the spelling of Mr. Mueller correctly. 'Herr Müller' it is, me grammar nazi likes the fact that not only is the spelling correct, but that underlying hint of the nationality as well.

I wait for Alligators book to come out... with correct spelling. Wink

I imagine to write a book about how to bite an alligator without being eaten by him. So far I just wrote the first line. 'Never bite an alligator'.

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Hmmmm? Given the current atmosphere of indignation that the precious Democracy was interfered with, from politicians and pundits, and lack of indignation when the US really did do it world wide, the only possible conclusion is that the US is stuck in an asymmetrical view of international relations, that is, it's OK when the US does it but not OK for anyone else to do it. Worse, it's OK to accuse anyone of hacking a US election without proof. Pretty much every major politician in the US talks about "US exceptionalism". Do they have any idea of how this plays in the rest of the world? It's a major embarrassment to any thinking person. I cringe when I hear this.

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

in the Congressional hearings outlining the problem:

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Alligator Ed's picture

@Linda Wood John Dean is a malignant piece of shit with no morality.

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@Alligator Ed
clip and come away thinking that john dean is the bad guy. gaetz is a far worse character.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

@UntimelyRippd

may be a far worse character, if you say so. I have close to zero knowledge of him. But in this exchange he skillfully shows how base and desperate the Democratic leadership is. Every time they have an opportunity to impeach Trump, they fold and then elaborate on an increasingly flagrant false narrative, which will be stupider and more enduring than impeachment, which they know they can't accomplish.

If they impeached him for torturing children in immigration prisons, allowing them to die from preventable disease, if they impeached him for arming the Saudi air force in order to target school buses, if they impeached him for threatening to overthrow the government of Venezuela, if they impeached him for sanctioning countries to the point of starvation, then I'd be with them. But they don't want to impeach him for any of these things. They want to appear to want to impeach him for wanting to fire Mueller. But they don't want to actually do it.

I know you didn't deserve this answer, but I can only applaud Gaetz for describing how awful the Democrats are.

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@Linda Wood
It's extensive and relevant.

It's nonetheless startling how differently we view that little contretemps. All I see there is a typical smug, smirking, thinks-he's-way-smarter-than-he-is right-wing douche nozzle using his lameass ironic spew of unjustified contempt to build an actual (HEY! THIS IS AN INSTRUCTIVE EXAMPLE KIDS! LEARN FROM IT!) ad hominem argument, rather than dealing with anything that Dean has to say about the matter at hand.

I'll also note that as far as I know, Dean is the only one of the miscreants involved in Watergate who has ever offered a sincere acknowledgement that what was done by all of them, himself included, was wrong. (I don't count any of Colson's holier-than-whatever Born Again BS as remotely sincere -- though I don't actually know whether his conversion ever did include any sort of mea culpa regarding Watergate.)

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

@UntimelyRippd

I don't know how to spell "toucher" in French or how to make an accent on my computer, but, great comment. I hear you and I agree.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@Linda Wood I don't know about Gaetz except he is a conservative Republican. I don't know if he is a hawk. But I do know that John Dean is a malignant piece of excrement--inviting him to testify is like inviting cockroach into your house.

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