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May 30, 2019

Did Robert Mueller Claim That If Not for the OLC Guidance Against Indicting a President, He Would Have Found That Trump Committed the Crime of Obstruction?

The left is pushing this idea -- as are the NeverTrumpers. (Including Brett Baier, former college frat-mate of Steve Hayes, and Chris Wallace, shrieking liberal hag.)

But is it true?

Why no, it's not true.

Which won't stop the Russia Truthers from claiming otherwise.

Charles Cooke is in a dispute with archliberal idiot (and ally of NeverTrump) Jonathan Chait.

[Chait suggests that] Mueller intended to send the message that he found clear evidence of obstruction but he was unable to say so because of the OLC rules.

Funnily enough, that had "crossed my mind." But also in my mind was what Bill Barr said pretty clearly during his Senate testimony (at 00:34:25):

Now, we first heard that the special counsel's decision not to decide the obstruction issue at the March 5th meeting when he came over to the department and we were frankly surprised that they were not going to reach a decision on obstruction. And we asked them a lot about the reasoning behind this and the basis for this. Special counsel Mueller stated three times to us in that meeting in response to our questioning that he emphatically was not saying that but for the OLP opinion he would have found obstruction. He said that in the future the facts of a case against a president might be such that a special counsel would recommend abandoning the OLC opinion but this is not such a case. We did not understand exactly why the special counsel was not reaching a decision.

This assertion was reiterated half an hour later, after Senator Grassley asked Barr for explicit confirmation of what Mueller had told him and his group (01:03:00):

Yes, he reiterated several times in the group meeting that he was not saying that but for the OLC opinion he would have found obstruction.

Chait, of course, immediately rushes to the claim that Barr is lying. (Anyone who disputes my a priori beliefs must be a liar -- and a blasphemer!)

Cooke answers that as well:

I’ll let Robert Mueller's office answer that question. Here’s a joint statement that it put out with the DOJ yesterday:

The Attorney General has previously stated that the Special Counsel repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying that, but for the OLC opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice. The Special Counsel's report and his statement today made clear that the office concluded it would not reach a determination -- one way or the other -- about whether the President committed a crime. There is no conflict between these statements.

So Mueller admits he did say this -- or he admits that Barr's statement is true, which, then, indirectly admits that he said his determination was not due to the OLC guidance.

Next?

Oh, and Barr says that Mueller could have reached a conclusion on obstruction, and that the rule did not prohibit him. He remains confused, as we all do, as to why Muller chose to [do Democrats a huge favor and try to find some excuse for impeachment].



And, Open Thread.

I've got a bunch of posts ready for tomorrow so I'll just have to do the big stories that come out overnight/tomorrow morning, and otherwise, I'll have an easy day.

Unfortunately, a lot of the posts I have ready to go are of the sillier, throw-away variety.

But, like I said, I'll also do the Real Stories that come up tomorrow.

Cranking out posts to take a half-day Friday is TIGHT!


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posted by Ace of Spades at 07:45 PM

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