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If Mueller doesn’t find collusion …

by Greg Krehbiel on 29 January 2018

… my prediction is that there will be a blood bath at Justice and the FBI shortly thereafter. Here’s why.

Note: It doesn’t matter if any of this is true. It only matters if Trump and enough of his base believes it!

Obama had eight years to staff the upper echelons of Justice and the FBI with his people. If he tried to politicize them — which a lot of people on the right believe — there would be a strong pro-Obama / anti-Trump cabal at the top.

Trump can’t clean house right now because of the on-going investigation. It would seem like he was interfering.

But as soon as it’s over …. Watch out. “You’re fired.”

2018-01-29  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 29

  1. Craig
    29 January 2018 @ 9:34 am

    You’re right that Trump can’t clean house while the investigation is on-going. Which is why Trump’s opponents will try to keep the investigation going on as long as they can. I think the investigation is needed, but it needs to be time-boxed. Not only do we need to resolve this cloud hanging over the President (did he do something wrong or not) but if we are truly as concerned about our elections as we claim we are, we have another one coming up in 10 months. All we have found re: Russian activity in our last election is they stole Podesta’s emails (b/c he was careless with his password) and they bought some social media ads and ran some Twitter bots. If this is all there is, not very sophisticated on their part and very telling on the part of anti-Trumpers.

  2. smitemouth
    29 January 2018 @ 10:13 am

    Interesting … William, are you reading this? I hear “conservatives” who say we shouldn’t give a timeline for when we disengage from a war or other conflict and criticized Obama for doing so, well, these same people are saying we should have a timeline for investigating Trump instead of waiting for all the evidence or lack of to pan out

  3. Craig
    29 January 2018 @ 10:16 am

    1. It’s nice to have our dose of false analogy out of the way for the week.

    2. As far as time-boxing investigations, we all learned that this is a good thing from the Democrats.

    Cheers!
    Craig

  4. Craig
    29 January 2018 @ 11:12 am

    And here we go again…. The anti-Trumpers will keep this going until (1) Trump serves out his term or (2) Trump is impeached and convicted.

    http://www.newsweek.com/trump-russia-documents-new-793517?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true

  5. Scott Wicker
    29 January 2018 @ 1:17 pm

    These special counsel investigations show how screwed up our legal system is.

    I used to enjoy Ken Starr’s investigation against Bill Clinton, because I hated Clinton so bad. Then I came to realize what a waste of time and money these things are, and how they are just chasing down rabbit-trails, while ignoring real issues like the gargantuan US debt and the over-reach of federal government.

  6. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    29 January 2018 @ 1:20 pm

    Yes, there are so many things that could be investigated.

    Just yesterday I heard a piece on the radio about problems in our criminal justice system. If I heard it right, the majority of people in prison aren’t serving time. They’re waiting on their day in court.

    That doesn’t seem right.

    And nobody pays attention to the violence done against inmates.

    And why do we have so many non-violent people locked up?

    And why can cops lie to you, but you can’t lie to the cops?

    There are lots and lots of things that should be investigated.

  7. William
    29 January 2018 @ 1:53 pm

    QUOTE: I hear “conservatives” who say we shouldn’t give a timeline for when we disengage from a war or other conflict and criticized Obama for doing so, well, these same people are saying we should have a timeline for investigating Trump instead of waiting for all the evidence or lack of to pan out.

    @sm, I’m wondering if that’s really “conservatives” or the alt-right? I guess these days, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference. I admit that Crowhill was right when he stated…“People should admit their own ignorance, of course. But it’s far more important that they admit their own bias.”

    That said, I don’t recall there being quite the sentiment for timelines when it came to the Starr, Benghazi and Clinton email investigations. Hmm…I wonder if there will be a timeline for Uranium One, if that one starts up again? Also interesting is this notion of cleaning house at the FBI. J Edgar Hoover had nearly 40 years to build a collalition and history has had very interesting things to say about that. Yet, there didn’t seem to be this focus from “some” until now. Was FBI corruption and the “deep state” the invention of the Obama administration? Based on the perspective of some, you’d think the FBI and other American institutions were paragons of purity prior to the past 9 years.

    So, citizens are now suppose to trust that Trump will restore virtue and fidelity to this deeply corrupt organization in an unbiased and objective manner? It’s stunning how some put so much confidence in the judgment of a man that has consistently demonstrated that he’s untruthful and biased. This is the man who was the purveyor of the birther lie. As well, made a serious unsubstantiated accusation of wire tapping against his predecessor (and other things too numerous to cite). So, this is the paragon of objectivity and honesty who will save the FBI? You can’t make this stuff up…waaay better than any episode of a House of Cards!

  8. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    29 January 2018 @ 2:05 pm

    I don’t know who it is that you’re accusing of being in favor of a never-ending Starr investigation but wanting to put a time limit on the Mueller investigation. But do you think the government — or some agency or department or function of government — should be able to investigate somebody, with a virtually unlimited budget — for as long as they deem fit?

    And SM, I see absolutely no relationship between this an declaring a timeline in an armed conflict.

  9. William
    29 January 2018 @ 4:59 pm

    QUOTE: I don’t know who it is that you’re accusing of being in favor of a never-ending Starr investigation but wanting to put a time limit on the Mueller investigation.

    As the expression goes…“a hit dog will holler”.

    QUOTE: But do you think the government — or some agency or department or function of government — should be able to investigate somebody, with a virtually unlimited budget — for as long as they deem fit?

    You should ask that question of those who felt it appropriate for the government to spend 70 million in the 1990’s/early 2000s (according to the GAO) in a number of Clinton-related investigations that lasted multiple years. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2002/03/29/gao-clinton-probes-cost-70-million.html. Fast forward, add seven congressional Benghazi probes with an approximate cost of 6.8 million over approximately 4 years. For grins and giggles, throw in the FBI’s spending over 20 million on the Clinton email investigation (not inclusive of the Justice and State Department costs–according to American Thinker).

    Comparatively, the Mueller investigation has been in effect under a year and has spent approximately 7 million (per figures released in Dec. 2017). Interestingly enough, those who approved of massive spending and time investment on previous investigations, in the pursuit of justice, now seem to be bemoaning such actions. Can you imagine that??? What happened to…truth, justice and the American way…at all costs???

  10. Craig
    29 January 2018 @ 6:37 pm

    QUOTE: So, citizens are now suppose to trust that Trump will restore virtue and fidelity to this deeply corrupt organization in an unbiased and objective manner?

    It is not a mutually exclusive position to believe the Special Counsel concept is either a bad idea on its face or should be time-boxed AND to believe that Trump is a callous and intemperant man. He is, however, the duly-elected President, and it is not in the interest of the nation to have perpetual investigations clouding any Administration. I thought we’d learned that lesson through the years of the Independent Counsel law, but apparently we did not. If we suspect a president of wrong-doing, by all means an investigation should be conducted. But it should probably be by means of congressional inquiry (since Congress holds the impeachment/removal power) or an independent commission (as Dershowitz has advocated).

    QUOTE: You should ask that question of those who felt it appropriate for the government to spend 70 million in the 1990’s/early 2000s (according to the GAO) in a number of Clinton-related investigations that lasted multiple years.

    I’m not sure you’ll find such people among Crowhill readers. I might be wrong on that count, but I’m sure not one.

  11. Robin R.
    29 January 2018 @ 9:04 pm

    In order to put a time-limit on the current investigation, there would have to be a bipartisan agreement regarding what that limit should be. And then question arises: Shouldn’t there be some kind of rule for this kind of thing which will inevitably arise again and again? So there should be a bipartisan agreement on a rule or set of rules. I just don’t see all this happening given the current state of affairs.

  12. William
    29 January 2018 @ 9:07 pm

    QUOTE: It is not a mutually exclusive position to believe the Special Counsel concept is either a bad idea on its face or should be time-boxed AND to believe that Trump is a callous and intemperant man.

    Indeed it isn’t. Yet, my point was different. The audience that was most supportive of this in the past, now seems to have a “different” view of things relative to Mueller’s investigation. Yet, if special counsels are a bad idea, as you suggest, it seems some within that group wouldn’t agree. Recently, there were calls to Jeff Sessions to appoint additional special counsels to address the Clinton email scandal, Uranium One, and FBI and DOJ bias. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/16/swamp-diary-robert-mueller-216110

    So, let’s see…when it comes to Trump (for this group), special counsels are not such a good thing. They are costly, time consuming and need to be limited. Yet, when it comes to the Clintons (for this group), they’ve approved of investing “years” and mega-millions in the past. As well, are interested in employing additional special counsels under the rubic of getting the answers the American people deserve. Now, THAT’S truly “interesting”! I wonder…if Sessions had granted the new counsel(s) if they would have been time and/or budget bound? The world may never know…but I have my suspicions. 😉

    QUOTE: If we suspect a president of wrong-doing, by all means an investigation should be conducted. But it should probably be by means of congressional inquiry (since Congress holds the impeachment/removal power) or an independent commission (as Dershowitz has advocated).

    Now, that’s a great idea! Yet, there’s one little, itty, bitty problem…there’s partisanship on steroids in Congress. A special counsel is NOT the “ideal” solution. Yet, it’s one that might engender more confidence in the outcome of an investigation of this nature.
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/even-the-biggest-scandals-cant-kill-party-loyalty/

    QUOTE: I’m not sure you’ll find such people among Crowhill readers. I might be wrong on that count, but I’m sure not one.

    Maybe not here, but there’s enough out there. After all, history has well documented that they were successful in funding Clinton investigations at tune of 70 million for multiple years. Now, they are back asking Sessions for another bite of the apple. A recent poll indicated 68% said they would like the “Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate the uranium deal with Russia.”

  13. RR
    29 January 2018 @ 9:45 pm

    While the media seems to go into a tizzy with every minor development in the Mueller investigation, I would wager that most Americans aren’t paying attention and honestly don’t care all that much. Unless Mueller finds evidence of illegal behavior on Trump’s part, and so far he hasn’t, there isn’t much reason for them to either.

    I don’t know how long Mueller’s investigation should go on until the plug is finally pulled. However, I would wager that the longer it goes without finding anything, the less and less people will care. It could end up as the left’s version of Benghazi.

  14. William
    29 January 2018 @ 11:11 pm

    QUOTE: I would wager that most Americans aren’t paying attention and honestly don’t care all that much.

    How much are you wagering?

    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-do-americans-feel-about-mueller-russia-investigation-fbi-2018-1

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/01/29/polls-show-no-one-cares-about-the-russia-investigation-white-house-press-secretary-said-thats-not-true/?utm_term=.1794be09b1d9

  15. Craig
    30 January 2018 @ 9:42 am

    QUOTE: Maybe not here, but there’s enough out there. After all, history has well documented that they were successful in funding Clinton investigations at tune of 70 million for multiple years. Now, they are back asking Sessions for another bite of the apple. A recent poll indicated 68% said they would like the “Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate the uranium deal with Russia.

    There are radical elements prone to conspiracy theories on both sides. For every example you being up from the far right, I could counter with one from the far left. For all of these, “what’s good for the goose” thinking might prevail, but it’s that thinking (on both sides) that has led to the current state of hyper-partisanship you rightly point out.

  16. William
    30 January 2018 @ 11:11 am

    QUOTE: There are radical elements prone to conspiracy theories on both sides.

    Agreed. Again, I’m making a different point. First, despite being radical, they’ve been effective in influencing governmental actions…to the tune of mega millions and years of investigations (and seeking more currently). Second, their actions have been inconsistent depending on the target of a given investigation. Therefore, it calls into question if their efforts are really about truth, justice and the rule of law (as often touted) or something else.

  17. RR
    30 January 2018 @ 9:49 pm

    William,

    The first link you cited gives a poll that finds 69% of Americans want Mueller to finish his investigation. That I can buy. I have a harder time believing the public anxiously awaits every development in the story the way the media seems to do, e.g. has the same level of concern that the media seems to have. But maybe I’m wrong. I can’t get the second link to open.

    Of course, in a sense, the media would love to have another Watergate type scandal on their hands as it would cause a lot more people to pay attention to them. That probably accounts for what seems from my perspective the numerous overwrought reports on this story that I seem to see or hear. From my perspective, it’s old news that Trump is a liar and a man of low character. But I just haven’t seen anything to do date that he has committed a criminal act or that supposed Russian interference in the 2016 election amounts to anything close to election rigging or some such.

  18. William
    31 January 2018 @ 12:37 am

    RR, you said… I would wager that most Americans aren’t paying attention and honestly don’t care all that much. Both links provided data that Americans do care. Actually, the second link gave sharp contrast to the sentiment expressed by WH press secretary Sarah Sanders…”no one cares”. I posted the link again…hopefully works this time.

    That said, obviously the media is going to follow this more meticulously because it’s “business” for them. No shock there. Yet, saying the public doesn’t anxiously await the development of the story is different than saying they “honestly don’t care all that much”.

    Lastly, the comparison of media and public interest is somewhat meaningless (in this context). Generally speaking, on most stories (especially sensational ones), the media is going to have more vested interest than the general public. Again, it’s their business to know and report. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean the public is not paying attention nor has any interest. Or, does the public have to wait with baited breath for every detail before it can considered to care about a given story?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/01/29/polls-show-no-one-cares-about-the-russia-investigation-white-house-press-secretary-said-thats-not-true/?utm_term=.9835c9f8a549

  19. Craig
    31 January 2018 @ 6:54 am

    The only election rigging we have uncovered from the Russians are Podesta’s emails (because he was sloppy with his password) and a bunch of social media ads and bots. If there is such urgency and alarm to ensure the Russians don’t interfere in our elections again, we sure aren’t doing much about it.

    Mueller’s investigation has criminal and counter-intelligence components. We need to time-box the investigation for the purposes of the latter if for no other reason. Or at least that portion of it. We have another election coming up!

  20. Craig
    31 January 2018 @ 6:55 am

    I’d also point out that the 9/11 Commission produced a very thorough, comprehensive report in, what? A little over a year. It IS possible..::

  21. William
    31 January 2018 @ 3:43 pm

    QUOTE: If there is such urgency and alarm to ensure the Russians don’t interfere in our elections again, we sure aren’t doing much about it.

    That’s an interesting statement, Craig. Why hasn’t a Republican controlled government done more? Well, Congress passed a Russian sanctions bill last year. Yet, it’s still not been implemented by the Trump administration. As well, we have yet to hear a rebuke, without equivocation, from Trump about Russian interference. As it pertains to Putin, we’ve not heard any criticism of him from Trump on this matter (this from a man that has no problem confronting even American allies). Yet, we’ve heard him compliment Putin and was gracious enough to invite Russians into the Oval Office and share sensitive (some say classified) information with them. Also, after allegedly confronting Putin about interference, Trump suggested creating a cyber security partnership with Russia. Now, that’s interesting!

    So, back to Congress. If Russian meddling is suppose to be a key focus for the Republican led congressional committees, to date, a fair number of Republicans have been more focused on issues such as unmasking and now FISA warrants. Seems there’s more interest in exposing alleged corruption in the FBI than preventing future Russian interference. Could you ever imagine a day when the purveyors of the “rule of law” mantra would be the ones actively attacking American institutions such as the FBI and DOJ (while soft-peddling an investigation of an attack on American democracy from a foreign adversary)?

    Oh well, I guess the wheels of progress turn slowly, eh?

  22. Craig
    31 January 2018 @ 4:26 pm

    Hey William, the 80’s are calling and they want their foreign policy back. 😛

    Maybe where there isn’t smoke, there isn’t fire. You can only look for something that isn’t really there for so long.

    We can both be as cute and glib as we want and take cheap potshots. But in the end, we’ll see what Mueller finds. That’s the only investigation anyone (who’s not a hyper partisan) is taking seriously. But the clock is ticking. The election is in November!

  23. William
    31 January 2018 @ 5:11 pm

    Hey Craig, as much fun as it could be to speculate, I try focus on what’s factual and actual. That said, it’s still interesting how tolerance, process and rhetoric surrounding investigations are sometimes inconsistent (depending on the target) within the same group. I thought the administration of justice was suppose to be blind…but it seems she may take a peek every now and again. 😉

    As for Mueller’s investigation, despite what’s determined, do you really think that’s going to be the final word on it? This and other high profile investigations tend to give us lots of political theater but the outcomes are typically left lacking. But, as you suggested…we shall see what happens.

  24. Craig
    31 January 2018 @ 5:18 pm

    Well, let’s not be naive. We both know that partisans in Congress and out will milk any “investigation” of the opposition president in power for all its worth. Part of that is by design since the House has the power of impeachment. But these are just that – congressional investigations. They have their place but everyone knows that they are, for the most part, political theatre. (And it’s part of Congress’s constitutional role.)

    That’s not what I am talking about when I suggest time-boxing this investigation. I mean the serious investigation Mueller is running that is both a criminal inquiry and a counter-intelligence operation. If that is still going on — I don’t know– 18 months from now let’s say — we have missed the boat for the 2018 mid-terms and that would be suspiciously starting to look like a witch hunt against the president (unless Mueller had brought real evidence forward of criminal wrong-doing on the part of the president).

    We are where we started, and we aren’t going to agree. I’ve made my point so I am moving on.

  25. William
    31 January 2018 @ 5:56 pm

    Craig, it seems we are making different points. We seem to both agree that, despite the Congress’s constitutional role, those investigations are primarily political theater. But that wasn’t my main point within this discussion…more of a sidebar.

    My point was merely about consistency in the administration of justice. So, if the rules and rhetoric apply one way for some targets then those rules and rhetoric should apply the same for other targets. Otherwise, it brings into question the objectivity and validity of the process and outcomes. That said, it’s legitimate to raise inconsistencies in how historical and current investigations have been viewed/handled.

    As for Mueller’s investigation, I really don’t know what the outcomes are going to be. I don’t even know if it will be allowed to go to its natural conclusion. I get the sense it’s been handled, to date, more objectively than congressional ones. Yet, no matter what the outcomes, given the partisan nature of our government and country, it’s not likely all will be truly satisfied. There will always be some “speculation” that something wasn’t done right and some will attempt weaponize that. Case in point, the FBI determined what Hillary did was bad and careless but not criminal. Yet, to this very day, there’s still debate about that…”lock her up!”. The same is true of Benghazi…7 investigations later (with multiple millions and years invested), despite the “official” determination, it’s a bone of contention. I fear we’ve gotten to the point where Christ himself could deliver the outcomes and some would accuse him of being corrupt.

    Yet, I agree that we are where we started and that’s not going to change. So, it’s good that we are moving on. 😉

  26. RR
    31 January 2018 @ 10:37 pm

    William,

    The second link works this time. I guess I was wrong. Perhaps I mistook my own sentiments, as well as those of many of the people around me, for the views of the general public. Personally, I don’t find Mueller’s investigation all that interesting or worth following closely. Again, I have a very low view of Trump. But until Mueller finds solid evidence that Trump committed a crime, I have a hard time getting too excited about the whole thing.

  27. William
    1 February 2018 @ 12:49 am

    RR, no worries. For some it’s not a big issue. Yet, for a number it is of concern, given the potential implications. Candidly, I find all of it a mess and it’s unfortunately bringing out the worst in the government and people.

    That said, I find “some” aspects intriguing such as…first, there’s plenty of political theater to be had. This has become like watching a season of House of Cards (only scarier). Now, I’m vested in seeing it through to the “season finale” (despite not following it on a daily basis).

    Second, some Republicans lauded the initial selection of Mueller…saying things like he’s unbiased and the right man for the job. Now he’s considered unfit (the devil’s spawn) and needs to be fired (despite those responsible for evaluating his performance saying he’s doing what he should be doing).

    Third, this investigation seems to make some impatient and cost conscious. Seems time and money weren’t an issue when the investigation and targets were people they considered political opponents. As well, people on both sides have drawn conclusions and the investigation isn’t complete…so how do they “know” anything for certain? How do they “know” they’ve seen all that’s relevant to the case?

    Fourth, some case facts have been a bit intriguing. For instance, the initial story was there was “NO” Russian contact. Then we see Don Jr.’s emails where he agreed to meet with Russians and “loved it” (but lied about it prior to it being made public). As well, finding out Trump lied about helping to draft a misleading account concerning the Don Jr. story. Also, there were other Russian interactions and lies about them (e.g. Kushner attempting to set up a secret Russian back channel, Flynn lying about his undisclosed contacts). Also, Trump and the White House initially lied about the rationale for Comey’s firing (Trump later admitted on national TV it was the Russian investigation). So, before someone develops a severe case of apoplexy, let me be clear…none of this amounts to a crime (in and of itself) :-). Yet, the natural question that follows is…why so many lies if all is as Trump and company often claim? So, I hope the investigation can shed some light on that.

    Lastly, the implications of the investigation are serious. So, I find it interesting that those who were so concerned about “the rule of law”, in the Clinton investigations, consider this a mere trifle. If there’s no there there, then at least it can be said it was thoroughly investigated. Yet, if there is “some” there there…wouldn’t it be of benefit to understand what happened? Or, has partisan politics become more important than the truth, law and protecting American institutions?

    My bottom line…let it play out to its natural conclusion and let the chips fall where they may. After that, everyone needs to shut-up, let it go and move on! Of course, that won’t happen, but it’s a nice pipe dream. 😉

  28. smitemouth
    1 February 2018 @ 2:26 pm

    Putin and Russia are our friends and benefactors. Nazis are good people too. And, the FBI is bad. Reagan must be turning over in his grave.

  29. smitemouth
    1 February 2018 @ 2:27 pm

    Repugs redefine the axis of evil to be Comey and Mueller, wow.

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