Mueller Shoots Down GOP Claim About Limits On Probing Trump

Former special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday asserted his right to investigate President Trump without being able to charge him, shooting down a line used by Republican lawmakers and Attorney General Bill Barr.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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(channeling the great @ericgarland here)

“STFU, Junior. Did you even read the whole OLC opinion?”


I can’t. He sounds like a kid that got called down to the principal’s office. His testimony so far, “I refer you to language in the report,” hasn’t been too different from Reagan’s “I don’t recall.”

This is not a court case where the witness is not allowed to “talk back” or reframe a question to answer as he sees fit.

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So per Barr, ok to investigate the President, but you should stop once you find something?


I’d say sure, if that meant the OSC closed and automatically became an entity under Congress as they have jurisdiction over impeachment.


Chump did what?
I hadn’t heard this:
Nicole Lafond on the PrimeBlog:

“As part of a Wednesday morning Twitter tirade, Trump warned Mueller not to say under oath that he was not considered for the position. Mueller did. Republicans have used this apparently false presumption that Mueller was pining for the gig after Comey was fired as fodder for charges of Mueller’s alleged conflicts of interest.”

Chump is even OBSTRUCTING in the testimony about his OBSTRUCTION investigation?


It bugs me that Ds don’t do the basic work necessary.

Somebody should have looked up the ZILLIONS of Federal prosecutions conducted by the DoJ resulting in convictions of mayors (just to pick one executive office) for directing that false records be filed as obstruction of justice.

(Channelling Casey Stengel): Can’t anybody here play this game?

Like this:


True but hardly a smoking gun. It’s meta, and voters don’t care about meta, i.e. process. They just want to hear whether Trump committed criminal acts that would have led to his being indicted were he not president and if so whether the ONLY reason he wasn’t charged or more aggressively investigated was because of that OLC rule. That is THE question, and everything else is secondary.


Before Wednesday’s hearing, Barr made a similar point to GOP lawmakers, saying that Mueller should have steered away from probing Trump’s conduct once he realized that it may have been chargeable and that he was unable to reach a traditional prosecutorial judgment.

Wrap your brain around that. The Attorney General of the United States told Congress that the Special Counsel found something chargeable in the behavior of the President of the United States and that his response should have been to “steer away.” And how would he have reported this?


Well, Bill Barr is not acting as an AG, he is acting as one of Trump’s personal attorneys and has turned the entire DOJ into Trump’s personal law offices, just as Trump intended.

He is Trump’s new Roy Cohn.


Rep Jeffries, a Pelosi stalwart and impeachment skeptic, spent his time drawing out how Trump met the elements to be charged with obstruction. It’s what an impeachment article would look like. If I were Trump, I’d be worried about that.


Dems basic strategy is to quote the report and then have Mueller answer yes or no. The alternative is to have Mueller read key sentences.

The difference is that instead of the public hearing Mueller say what he found, we have the indicting words in the mouths of the members of Congress.


I was asked a trollish question in another thread just now that I refused to answer directly because it was a trollish question, and it was trollish because we both knew the answer to it and it was clearly asked to misdirect from my accusation that Dems were botching these hearings and that it was Pelosi’s fault. The question was what questions Dems should be asking Mueller. I answered this elsewhere, but to repeat, these are the only questions that really matter:

Did the president commit acts that were he not president he’d have been charged with?

If so, did these acts include conspiring with Russia to influence the election, and then willfully obstructing or attempting to obstruct investigations into such acts?

If so, was the reason that the president was not charged for these acts/crimes the OLC rule that prohibits a sitting president from being charged?

If so, was this the SOLE reason?

This is the whole enchilada and everything else is just supportive. Everyone here knows that these are the necessary questions to ask. I’m glad to see that the post-break questioning by Dems is getting more specific and aggressive and getting into these precise questions. Jeffries was especially good.


Well this bit is better than expected from my point of view.


Bob Mueller(R ) is not saving us.


When is the muthaf*cker getting impeached?


The Dems, in my opinion, need to think on their feet and respond/call out to some of the R’s ridicules questions.

Some folks need to calm down. This is devastating to Trump because each of the points Dems are making, and Mueller is confirming, are being read into the Congressional record. He is refusing to provide additional elements which would let them digress.

Every single one of these declarative statements/questions and every single Mueller response becomes a sound-bite.

Calm. Down.


Republicans are tough on crime? Really?

Looks to me like they run, hide, and pretend nothing happened.


Dems have to coalesce around a short, simple and effective message:

Trump committed multiple acts of conspiracy and obstruction and the ONLY reason he wasn’t charged with them or investigated more aggressively was because he’s the president and DoJ rules prohibit charging a sitting president with crimes even if he appears to have committed them.

Re-word it for stronger messaging but in essence this has got to be it.


Yes, they are trying to spin the OLC opinion into “investigating the President is illegal”. The House really should pass a law clearly stating that the DOJ can investigate and indict a President while in office.