Opinion | Muftic: AG Bill Barr’s slick lawyer’s tricks on collusion will haunt him
Trump’s loyal Attorney General Bill Barr was very deceptive and fooling the American public when he screened the Mueller Report before it was released to the public, giving him a chance to spin his tale and trick the voters.
Now, the President has granted the same Bill Barr access to all classified findings of any US intelligence agency, the FBI and the CIA, and the power to declassify them if he wishes, as his newly appointed special counsel conducts an investigation of the investigators. So now we are supposed to believe the same AG Barr in the future who now has a proven track record of deception. Barr will now be able to screen any classified findings by any of our intelligence agencies, the CIA, and the FBI and then cherry pick which phrases that make his point, regardless of the context or the qualifiers and once again spin another tale.
Barr has lost his credibility. We have been down that road with his slick lawyer trick of claiming his client, the president, is exonerated of” collusion” which Mueller did not even investigate. Mueller exonerated Trump of conspiracy, which is quite a different thing, requiring much more convincing proof and, unlike collusion, is a crime named in the criminal statutes. Conspiracy and collusion are not the same. Conspiracy is the same as intentionally getting together, planning actively with Russians. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is required in convicting someone of a crime. Collusion is .just aiding and abetting and receiving information. without actively conspiring and planning. Collusion could still be an article of impeachment since the House can define what is meant by high crimes and misdemeanors. To be impeached, the president does not have to have been indicted or found guilty of a crime first.
Here is Mueller from the report:
“In evaluating whether evidence about the collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of “collusion.” In so doing, the Office recognized that the word “collud[e]”…has frequently been invoked in public reporting about the investigation. But collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. For those reasons, the Office’s focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law.”
Barr’s client, the President, has his own view of the investigators who investigated him. Barr will have a heck of a time trying to defend and spin Trump’s newest charge that those who investigated him committed treason or that the Mueller investigation was an illegitimate “coup”. Last week Trump accused those investigating him of committing “treason” against him and he called them out by name. Those are the words and thoughts worthy of the dictators Trump so admires. Treason laws are designed to protect his power and longevity in office, he thinks.
Trump has charged the FBI with engineering a coup against himself. As he claimed in his angry and defiant rant last week, the FBI was working against the “wrong person”. This is the same person who meets Putin in secret with whom he shares classified information, and whose campaign associates had over 200 contacts with Russians, eight of whom have been indicted and some in jail,. This is a person whose fondest dream before and while a candidate is to do the biggest business deal of his life in Russia. He believes he is the person to whom we pledge allegiance, not to the United States and the democracy, its laws, and national security interests.
Here is why Donald Trump’s bluster and threats against those on his enemy list will go nowhere. Treason has two elements in the Constitution and federal statutes. : 1.working against the interests of the United States 2.with a foreign power with which we are at war. .That definition does not include working against the interests of the president himself. We have not declared war against Russia, though we consider them our adversary working actively to undermine our democracy and to shape our foreign policy to suit their national interests which are contrary to ours.
Barr has appointed a special counsel to investigate the investigators to discover what led to the Mueller investigation. His challenges are many.in this new investigation. If claiming the Mueller report and investigation was a “coup”, a hoax, and an illegal witch hunt undertaken by FBI agents “out to get him” and not loyal to the president (other Trump attack lines), a federal appeals court in the Roger Stone trial already ruled that the special counsel’s appointment was legitimate. If there was smoke, fire was found. Russian interference in the 2016 election was laid out in vivid detail in the Mueller Report, resulting in numerous indictments of spies and GRU operatives. Five of Trump’s campaign associates and three others have already pleaded guilty, mostly for lies and cover-ups of Russian and foreign contacts (including national security advisor Lt.Gen. Mike Flynn), but also for witness tampering. and bank fraud ( Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort) and a Russian operative Maria Butina( for spying). Trump himself was conspirator person number one in another case of election finance violations which landed his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in prison for three years. For more, visit http://www.mufticforumblog.blogspot.com
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