Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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5 fights after the publication of the Mueller report

This release will be a big deal – our first real glimpse of what the Russians were up to in 2016, how much (or little) the Trump campaign was playing, and whether President Donald Trump (or anyone in his circle) was trying to to stand in the way of the probe.

This is without a doubt on The End. But do not fool yourself: that's not the case the The End.

No matter what the Mueller report says – or how much of it we actually see from the editors – it will continue to be a source of massive clashes in our culture, with tentacles reaching beyond the political world (above) and Pennsylvania Avenue down), but also the legal one.

* The fight of the editorsIn a statement to a House Committee last week, Barr made it clear that he did not intend to present the full, pristine report to Congress. (He said he would be willing to talk to the chairmen of the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee about what is not included in the revised version.) Barr also said that there were four categories of edited information: 1) Grand Jury Material 2) Information 3) Information about ongoing tests and 4) Information that could harm "external third parties" in the investigation. The Democrats have already made it clear that they want to see the full report and have already approved a summons if Barr does not approve.
* The fight against obstaclesWe know from the Barr letter that "evidence" exists on both sides of the debate as to whether Trump or anyone associated with him intended to deliberately obstruct Müller's investigation of Russian interference. And the letter from Barr also quotes Mueller, who says: "Although this report does not conclude that the president has committed a crime, he does not relieve him." Barr decided not to prosecute Trump for disability, and Mueller made no recommendation, as Barr said last week before the congress. why did he do that? And why did not Müller make a recommendation for obstacles? Another: What evidence do we speak on both sides of the obstacle question?

* The Rebuttal fightTrump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been promising for months that the White House will present its own report to answer what Müller has put together. Giuliani told CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday evening that the White House is still awaiting the publication of a refutation report and that it will be released after the Mueller report is released. Is there even "there" in this refutation report? Or is it simply Trump's tweets with a few legal contributions thrown in there? Does it matter in the broader debate on the Müller report? Or is it simply dismissed as a garbage spinner and forgotten within a day or two?

* The Russia fightIf there were "no collusion" between the Trump campaign and the Russians – as Barr's summary of Mueller's report made clear – why the hell were so many Trump employees in contact with the Russians during the 2016 elections? (According to CNN reports, at least 16 Trump employees had contacts with Russians during the campaign or transition.) And why did so many of them (Michael Flynn) lie or remember (Jeff Sessions) about the depth and breadth of their interactions with Russians? Was that just the biggest coincidence in the world? This central issue is likely to be torn up and down Capitol Hill as Democrats try to advance Mueller's expected collusion in search of answers.

* The Steele dossier fight: The opposition's research document, compiled in many ways by former British spy Christopher Steele, is at the center of disagreement between the two parties over the entire investigation. The Democrats consider Steele the most important thing regarding Trump and find that former FBI director James Comey said under oath that the Justice Department could independently validate parts of the Steele dossier. On the other hand, the Republicans consider the Steele dossier to be a partisan funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee. They insist that the dossier is the reason that the FBI has launched an investigation into counterintelligence, which led primarily to the Müller Special Prosecutor. And that's a problem, because many Republicans think that many of the allegations of the dossier are untrue. These disagreements do not go anywhere because both sides are too strong to let go.



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