Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President's conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.
Outside of my personal opinion, it is very clear that this is will continue to be fought on purely political grounds. Damned be the laws and proper legislative procedures. Even the presentation of the document this morning was hyper politicized by both parties while the document does a noble attempt at neutrality.
Mueller and his team attempting to be neutral, in this case, plays into Trump and the GOPs side and thus the outcome becomes partisan, despite the intention.
> At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.
So if it looks like he didn't commit obstruction of justice, they would have said that. They can't prove a negative, but if there hadn't been any evidence, they would have been willing to make a judgement that Trump was innocent. But they did find evidence, so they're unwilling to say he's not guilty of obstruction.
Its really weird, I wonder what on earth Muller and Co. were thinking here. I almost suspect they reneged on making a choice because they knew that Barr would fuck with things.
Edit: finally fully downloaded the PDF from justice.gov's servers. The files are identical.
Tons of releases of special counsel final reports?
I don't think so.
1. Grand Jury -- Everyone's 5th Amendment Right states that you CANNOT be accused of a crime without a Grand Jury okaying the indictment. Ex: Muller suspected "John Doe" was involved. They looked into the matter, and then "John Doe" wasn't involved. Although a bunch of information on "John Doe" was collected, they need to be kept secret because he's innocent (as per 5th Amendment Rights). Otherwise, the internet hate-machine will hound an innocent man just for being named in the report.
2. Personal Privacy -- 4th Amendment Rights to all citizens. More or less an extension of the concept from #1.
3. Sources and Methods -- Basically, some information could have gotten only through top-secret methodologies. By revealing the information, the opponent (ie: Russia) would learn how we spied on them. So the information would have to be kept secret if we wanna keep our spy-game vs Russia up.
4. Ongoing investigations -- There are cases that have spawned from this report. Those cases are still ongoing, so releasing any information early would harm those cases. This is likely Wikileaks / Julian Assange issues, maybe Roger Stone. We'll get that information later for sure, but releasing it now would be harmful.
They're not allowed to tell us any top-secret information, but you can usually tell if something is getting hidden from the public based on their reactions. If something is getting hidden, expect Ron Wyden (or other Democrats on those Committees) to make a big, vague, stink about the matter.
In effect, the existence of those top-secret committees ensures that the redactions are fair. Unlike most committees, the law states that Democrats AND Republicans must be as close to 50/50 split on those committees as possible, due to their great importance in matters such as these.
> In effect, the existence of those top-secret committees ensures that the redactions are fair.
No, it doesn't in general, and it most obviously doesn't on matters like the Mueller Report where redactions aren't even notionally due to classification and where those conmittees don't get the unredacted versions.
But for now, I should note that Volume II of the report has very, very few redactions.
This is important because Volume I seems to implicitly exonerate Trump (at least, Muller doesn't seem to think there's anything here).
Volume II however, Obstruction of Justice, seems to be the issue that Congress should look into. Since Volume II (Obstruction of Justice) is mostly available to the public / non-secret, I'm feeling pretty confident that Congress has what it needs to act (or decide to not act). There are a few "HOM" (harm to ongoing matter) redactions, but the evidence is laid out pretty cleanly.
What could cause such a dramatic and sudden drop, especially for a link that seems politically neutral (just sharing the report, no editorializing), and most of the comments seem to be about the redaction process...?
If we can't sit down and have a civil discussion on a legal proceeding with impact at the highest levels of our government, we have bigger issues.
This isn't some trivial wardrobe malfunction political soap opera. This is the culmination of an investigation into one of the most destructively divisive Administrations in modern history. This has the potential to absolutely undermine the faith of a large swath of the American people in their government's ability to conduct business on their behalf without being absurdly vulnerable to outside interference.
This goes so far beyond merely being a partisan shot at Trump. Everyone should read this. Everyone should take a day to really sit down and absorb all the details in this report and ask themselves if there is any room in how they believe their country should operate for these findings to be considered a sign of the "healthy" operation of the system.
I'm floored to be quite honest. There are fundamental issues and questions raised by the underlying facts outlined in this report I'm not sure anyone has ever dreamed of needing to be asked.
Please, read it, don't try to suppress it. For once in your life, accept and honor your civic responsibility to be informed.
I don't dispute the importance of the document, but surely the US is not in such a want of places to publish that HN must be appropriated in order to allow every citizen to read it. Therefore, I reserve my right to judge it inadequate for this site, and to flag it accordingly.
And I should tell you that despite your condescending plea, I actually follow this sordid affair better than most. I suggest you look for other sources of information, so that you aren't reduced for begging for every important news report to be included in HN.
I'll speak no more on the matter. I've clearly ruffled your feathers, which was far from my intent. I respectfully and vehemently disagree with your motivations for contributing to delay crucial conversations being held, yet nevertheless, wish you a good day.
You implied (from a reading of a mere 30 words), that I never in my life "accepted my civic responsibility to be informed."
If it wasn't intended, I can only commend your natural ability.
And yet, HN too often fails to be such a place when politics comes up. Ideally, we should be able to handle it here. If and when we can't, dumping the toxicity rather than wallowing in it is probably the correct response.
-- Half your country, somehow.
It is Congress's duty to prosecute the President through
impeachment proceedings. At best, Muller's report should be seen as a gathering of evidence for a potential impeachment process.
As such, it is very important for Congress to read over the details of this report, and decide if the level of Obstruction here rises to impeachment levels. (Remember: President Bill Clinton was impeached on Obstruction of Justice. It wasn't illegal to have sex with his intern, it was illegal for him to cover-up the fact).
In either case: there won't be any removal of Mr. Trump from office. Democrats control the house, but Republicans control the Senate. The impeachment of Nixon only really happened because Democrats controlled both sides. The House can technically impeach (just as Bill Clinton was technically impeached), but the (Republican controlled) Senate can just sit around and do nothing about it.
Still, its important for Congress to go through the process, even if its a foregone conclusion.
That theory is widely disputed.
> It is Congress's duty to prosecute the President through impeachment proceedings.
It is Congress’ duty and role to do that for all civil officers of the United States; this is not exclusive of criminal prosecution. Impeachment is a separate, not substitute, process which serves to protect the United States from the unique and special harms of wrongdoers in office.
> The impeachment of Nixon only really happened because Democrats controlled both sides.
The impeachment of Nixon did not, in fact, happen at all—Andrew Johnson and Clinton are the only Presidents to have been impeached—though both it and conviction likely would have (IIRC, whip counts in both houses were part of the reason for the resignation) had Nixon not resigned.
Fair point. But it was accepted by the Muller Report, and therefore Muller decided to not even TRY to prosecute Mr. Trump. (See the introduction of Volume II of the report).
Perhaps one day, the theory will be tested. But for now, Muller didn't even want to test that theory. He moved forward assuming it was true.
Incorrect, or at best misleading; the Mueller report only accepted that the Office of Special Counsel was, by the terms of it's creation, bound by a pre-existing DoJ (Office of Legal Counsel) determination to that effect; that is, Mueller was not permitted to prosecute due to the existence of the OLC determination and the terms of Mueller's appointment, irrespective of the correctness of the OLC opinion as to whether DoJ had the power to prosecute.
Perhaps my word "acceptance" was a poor choice. But I want to emphasize that Muller did not fight against that theory. Whether he was unable to, or whether he believed the theory is a separate issue. The important bit is that the Muller Report operated under the assumption that they couldn't indict a sitting President.
Considering that something like 10 pages of the report looks like its dedicated to the constitutional powers of Congress (Article I vs Article II issues), it seems like the report is basically saying "This is Congress's issue, not Muller's issue. But here's the evidence Muller found."
It's largely discussng the Constitutional power of Congress to criminalize the conduct, which relates to the DoJ ability to investigate and prosecute it (the current DoJ opinion, as communicated in the Mueller report, is that it can investigate and prosecute the conduct of obstruction when committed by the President, despite the fact that it cannot prosecute any crime while the accused is President, which would mean, were the DoJ to be convinced by it's investigation that the President has obstructed justice, it could prosecute him, but only after he left office.)
Note particularly that the power being discussed is irrelevant to impeachment, which does not require a criminal statute as a basis.
> "This is Congress's issue, not Muller's issue. But here's the evidence Muller found."
It's expressly laying out why the President’s legal team’s argument that it is not a DoJ issue for criminal investigation was wrong.
I don't recall any related prosecutions or indictments. So that's a pretty big difference. Several guilty pleas. Several ongoing investigations. A couple trials coming up...
I was aware enough of the news to follow Watergate. Trump's corruption looks to me to be worse than Watergate. Firing Comey and then telling McGhan to fire Mueller is a slow-motion Saturday Night Massacre by itself, and that's just scratching the surface. Nixon was never a national security threat except for being drunk off his ass.
Shrug, every day that goes by I wonder if the man isn't a good representative of the majority of my country and I just run in non-representative circles.
Being unable to, for example, convict someone of a robbery doesn't mean they didn't commit the robbery; it may just mean that the evidence was improperly collected by the police.
The media also blew this so out of proportion that I was more or less stunned by the fact that there wasn't an impeachment at the end.
Whatever you think of Trump if he really didn't collude then the media have some internal retrospecive to do, I think.
Can anybody give percentages of redactions for relevant sections and breakdowns for reasons ("Harm to Ongoing Matter", "Grand Jury", etc.)? I skimmed the report and saw a handful of pages completely blacked over, and I believe those revolve around Internet Research Funding and associations with the Trump campaign.
I'll wait until Congress receives the full, unredacted report and closed-door testimony from the Special Counsel and hear what Schiff et al. have to say before making a judgment, but ultimately the fact that the 2016 election came this close in the first place was a severe failing in and of itself.
The only safe way to handle document redaction is convert a PDF to a series of images. Let someone on the public side do all the work of converting it to text.
Of all the things one could choose to focus on... :)
Be glad there even is a digital copy. First indication was printout only, and according to rumors I just made up, “interpretative dance” was another option considered.
For example, the word "Sanders" appears on page 23, but this instance does not show up in searches.
Numerous convictions for top-level members of the campaign. Detailed operations of the Internet Research Agency, including the many US identities stolen and their work with Cambridge Analytica. Indictments against the "Russian Lawyer" from the Trump Tower meeting that imply she's a spy. Over $60M taken from pro-Russian sources leading up to the invasion of Crimea, that was laundered through NYC real estate.
Don't go into reading the report thinking you'll find something new in there that'll blow your mind. You've already had plenty of giant scandals sitting on a public government server for months.
Edit: It was tape recording, not paper. Not sure how I forgot that detail.
For this reason, lawsuits will immediately follow unless he provides spotless justifications for each redaction (behind closed doors).
Edit: can confirm it's identical to the NBC mirror (can't confirm the justice.gov one as haven't finished downloading it yet)
That contains both the original report and one I ran through ocrmypdf (version 6.1.2) from the Ubuntu 18.04 repo.
— psawaya https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19691575
Seems to be handling it.
But I think this is a decent exception as it's a report directly from the justice department, not some BS opinion article that could be written by a high schooler.
OTOH, the mods definitely see the guidelines as just that, not rules, and might agree that this is worth protecting.
At this writing, the post itself remains flagged.
Edit: Now it says "[flagged]" and is nowhere to be found.
It arguably doesn’t much matter in this case, where it’s hard not to hear about it in some way. In other cases, it strikes me as an abdication of responsibility.
Most recently, as but one example, when the tech community embarked on their ethics-in-astronomy harassment campaign against a female programmer: HN was one of the fora where this actually happened, but all submissions of stories on it, from reputable mainstream news sources, were quickly flagged into oblivion.
I know they aren't representative of most republicans in general, but r/The_Donald is definitely not upset right now.
HN is first and foremost community moderated: flagging it is action that affects ranking.
The official mods can negate or tweak community moderation effects, but there is no action from them necessary to give effect to flags.