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stanleybmanly's avatar

On the first anniversary of the Mueller imvestigation, is there any substance to the witch hunt allegations?

Asked by stanleybmanly (22358points) May 11th, 2018 from iPhone

75 criminal indictments against 22 defendants (so far)

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20 Answers

seawulf575's avatar

And none of them having anything to do with the actual focus of his investigation. Yeah, I think there is substance there.

stanleybmanly's avatar

So these indictments don’t count? Should Trump pardon his aggrieved associates?

flutherother's avatar

No, it has already become clear that there was Russian interference in the last election. The issue is bigger than Trump.

kritiper's avatar

Reasonable cause seems to be the story of the day. When reasonable cause plays out, it will be over.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Although, I fully support it, yes. There is some substance there.
But, that is how investigations go. Think Al Capone. The RICO act, was brought about to take out bad people who were gaming the system.

They got Capone on tax charges, ultimately, and put away a terrible man.

That’s how our government has taken down the worst in our society, that have advantages that most people wouldn’t. It’s how things are done. It’s effective.

Call it what you want to. As long as there’s no ”witch,” there is no problem…. If Trump is as innocent, and all allegations are “fake news,” then he’s nothing to worry about…

It reminds me of conservatives supporting “stop and frisk” tactics. They always said, “if they have nothing to hide, they should cooperate.” Well. Guess what? Time for Trump’s people, and HIM, to cooperate. It’s just a conspiracy, right? Nothing to hide…

BTW. Years of searching for Obama’s “real” birth certificate (cough… Trump,) is a witch hunt!..

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly You asked if there was substance to the witch hunt allegations. You cited the indictments as proof it was doing something. But the investigation was supposed to find ties between Russia and President Trump in the area of election interference. None of the indictments you have cited so far have had anything to do with that. So it still looks like a witch hunt and the indictments make it look more so.
Now you want to know if I think Trump should pardon any of the players? No. I don’t like the presidential pardon at all. It has become a political toy for presidents to use. But it does exist. So in the interest of fairness and hypocrisy, pardon Flynn, Manafort, and Gates for the charges of lying to the FBI. There is precedence…Obama pardoned James Cartwright for the exact same charge.

Soubresaut's avatar

Meuller’s team is working quietly and professionally without leaks.

By contrast, witch hunts are typically public spectacles attempting to falsely smear individuals and ramp up fear about them in the public eye.

If there are witch hunts to be found, they certainly aren’t with the special counsel’s investigation.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 the thing that is apparent, particularly to those in a rush to shut down the investigation, is that the path toward resolving the question of Trump campaign collusion is lined chockablock with other crimes starring elite members of the Trump entourage. The striking coincidence of every one of these individuals being deeply involved with Russian oligarchs notorious for criminal enterpise, points toward the likelihood of either the biggest influence peddling scheme in the history of our country, the collusion Trump denies, or (more likely) a combination of both.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@seawulf575

Investigations, especially on a large scale, are almost never about suppose to find one thing and one thing only. They use one thing as a starting point and a number of other crimes can be uncovered in the process. They don’t ignore those because “welp, that’s not what we’re suppose to be looking for”. Remember: Watergate started as an investigation of a simple break-in.

seawulf575's avatar

@Soubresaut I think you might want to revisit your idea that there are no leaks. The Steele dossier was leaked, The initial filing of charges was leaked, information about Manafort found its way into the media, and the 49 questions Mueller had for Trump were published in the NYT, So you were saying about how witch hunts are public spectacles?

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly Or it points to absolutely nothing since the charges are for things a decade old, which is a proven fact and not conjecture or speculation.

seawulf575's avatar

@Darth_Algar Watergate started as a simple break-in. A crime. What was the crime committed that started the Mueller investigation? There wasn’t one…and that is huge. The were allegations from the Dems who lost the election and their proof was a Dossier they bought and paid for which was rife with inconsistencies and unverifiable data.
Additionally…the question was about whether or not this was a witch hunt. If it was an honest investigation into some potential wrongdoing in the last presidential election, it should have questioned the veracity of the dossier…it didn’t. It should have looked into why Hillary was working with foreign nationals to gather dirt on Trump…it didn’t. It should have stopped to revisit the data and actions of its primary investigator when he was found to have been adamant about doing whatever he could to keep Trump from winning and keeping the office…it didn’t. It should have looked into potential malfeasance by the FBI for not exposing the source of the dossier when they were using it as a basis fir FISA warrants…it didn’t. The list goes on of things it hasn’t looked at and should have…if it was an honest investigation. As you said…investigations can expand, What makes this a witch hunt is that all potential crimes that don’t have a vague tie back to Trump are ignored. So much for honesty, eh?

Soubresaut's avatar

@seawulf575—which of those is supposed to have come as leaks from sources within the special counsel’s office? The Buzzfeed publication of the Steel dossier predates the special counsel’s appointment. Filing of charges are matters of public record, are they not? Information about Manafort has come from sources outside of the special counsel’s office, or unfolded as a result of public actions taken by the investigation. The list of questions that the NY Times obtained was “read by the special counsel investigators to the president’s lawyers, who compiled them into a list. That document [the one put together by Trump’s lawyers] was provided to The Times by a person outside Mr. Trump’s legal team” (article)—in other words, not leaked by the special counsel’s office, either.

People have been itching for the Mueller investigation to be leaky, if for no other reason than to know what’s going on. But it hasn’t been, so they’ve had to find what information they can elsewhere. I do find it interesting, though, how in your list of what are supposed to be “leaks from the special counsel’s office” you never once cite where a particular piece of information came from. Is that because you already know they come from sources other than Mueller and his investigators? I also find it interesting how you focus on a single word in my post rather than the overall meaning. Remove the “without leaks” phrase if you like (unnecessary, but be my guest), it doesn’t change the main point, which stands, and will continue to stand.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@seawulf575 . You stated that the indictments, had nothing to do with Russian collusion. Weren’t 13 of the indictments given to Russians?

seawulf575's avatar

@Soubresaut your reasoning is flawed. the 49 questions that leaked to the NYT had to come from Muellers team. Look at what you have…Muellers team reads a list of 49 questions to Trump’s legal team. That means Muellers team has the list as well. Trumps legal team didn’t give the list to the NYT…you said so yourself. So where is the only other place it can come from? I know the liberal news outlets are trying desperately to say Muellers team doesn’t have leaks, but it is time to wake up and smell the coffee.

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Two things: First, I didn’t say “collusion”. Your word, not mine. I stated the original order was to find ties between the Russians and the Trump team in the area of election interference. Now, let’s review the 13 indictments. If you remember, it was put out that these Russians were making efforts to interfere in the election, but that no Americans were aware of their actions. That makes using them in arguments like these even worse…making the whole investigation a witch hunt. You, yourself, in the “court of public opinion” are trying to tie them to Trump. That was the point. And now those 13 Russians have stated they are not guilty of this and have asked for a speedy trial, a request that Mueller balked at and tried, unsuccessfully, to block.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Apologies @seawulf575 . I did not intend to misrepresent you.

I’m not trying to tie anything, to Trump. I’ll say it for the millionth time, “it’s Trump’s own rhetoric, and actions, that I judge him by.”

In addition, I find it quite relevant, that 13 people were indicted, when you said there was no connection to the Russian probe.

So. You were wrong. VERY wrong, in saying that none of the indictments were relevant to the Russia collusion case. Period.

seawulf575's avatar

Collusion implies someone was working with them. There had to be someone on the Russian side and someone colluding with them. The DoJ admitted that no Americans were knowingly working with these guys. With no one knowingly working with them, collusion cannot happen. Period. So these indictments are outside the original push for Muellers investigation since it specifically was pointed towards ties between Russia and the Trump team. But as you can see on these pages and from yourself, the court of public opinion ties them together. Hence…substance for calling it a witch hunt.

Soubresaut's avatar

I realize this is mincing hairs, and I probably should just leave it. I also realize that we’re not going to come to an agreement on the larger point. And I really do want to believe you’re honestly expressing what you believe to be true. But come on. You surely realize there’s more than one “other place” this document could have come from. A person “outside Mr. Trump’s legal team” doesn’t narrow the field very much. It doesn’t even eliminate Trump himself. (I’m not implying Trump leaked the list; I’m just making a point. I mean, heck, the source could even have been former members of the legal team—there’s been plenty of turnover.)

We know that the document was written by Trump’s lawyers, because the NY Times article says so, in so many words. For it to have been provided to the NY Times by Mueller’s team, Trump’s lawyers would have had to first provided a copy of it to Mueller’s team—something they have no reason to do, as it was their notes on information Mueller’s team was giving them. Given that, Mueller’s team makes less sense than most potential options of sources (unless you really want them to somehow be a bad guy in all of this). Most probable explanation? It’s a safe bet the lawyers’ list of question was shared with at least some of the people who work closely with Trump, and who are not a part of his legal team. Leaks have been an issue for the White House since Trump’s inauguration. One and one makes two.

I will leave it here: you’re still focusing on leaks (and a hypothetical concept of leaks at that), rather than looking at the scene as a whole. You seem to believe that if you can somehow prove that some information leaks from Mueller’s team (which, again, it still hasn’t,) that it somehow undermines the entirety of the investigation—never mind the fact that this investigation is rooted in the laws and systems of this country; never mind the fact that the only thing certain politicians’ tantrums over this investigation has done is continue to reveal its legitimate, legal basis; never mind the fact that Mueller himself has a stellar reputation he’s earned over the years working as a civil servant. You’re someone who has served and defended this country and its institutions. You’re really going to believe the spin of politicians over the hard, steady work of individuals who have dedicated their lives and careers to pursuing truth—and in so doing, also defending this country and its institutions?

Okay, I’m sure I’ve gone a little too grand, a little too wax-poetic. Oh well… Believe what you will.

seawulf575's avatar

Do you actually listen to yourself? It could have come from anywhere…but you completely exclude Muellers team. You say that the NYT says it came from someone on Trump’s team…but not in so many words. In other words, they really didn’t say it, they hinted at it. That is what I have been saying in so many posts for so long and no one with a liberal mindset will admit it…the MSM works with hints and allegations. But in your mind, their hints have the strength of fact. Do you realize how bad that is?

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