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U.S. senators clash with Republican leader over protecting Mueller

43 Comments
By David Morgan and Richard Cowan

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Mueller is the most inept "investigator" in history. He has the full resources of 17 intelligence agencies at his disposal, a bottomless budget, has interviewed everyone down to the Trump Tower janitor and yet still can't build a smidgen of a case.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

I don't think he has the resources you state and it's a long road. It'll take another year to get close to conclusions.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

McConnell is untrustworthy.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Mueller is the most inept "investigator" in history. He has the full resources of 17 intelligence agencies at his disposal, a bottomless budget, has interviewed everyone down to the Trump Tower janitor and yet still can't build a smidgen of a case.

There is zero way you can know this. Keep flailing around grasping at straws if it helps you feel better.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

This should be interesting. With McConnell spouting his bipartisan gibberish I can't wait to see how he explains not bringing this to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

McConnell says:

he's never said he wants to shut it down,"

Trump tweeted on August 1st:

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now,"

McConnell has no moral integrity. Nor does Trump.

Trump last month:

"Matt Whitaker’s a great guy. I know Matt Whitaker."

Trump last week:

"I don't know Matt Whitaker,"

16 ( +16 / -0 )

This is so dumb, love the liberal hysteria, nothing is going to happen to Mueller at this stage of the game, but if the interim wants to cut funding he has the right to do so.

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

if the interim wants to cut funding he has the right to do so.

Sure. If he wants to wade into obstruction of justice territory and take his cult leader with him, be my guest.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If mueller is looking at Roger Stone and those other guys, he’s done. Just killing time waiting to get Trumps written answers. It’s embarrassing if this stretches into 2019, that would be 4 calendars years spent on this 2016/17/18/19

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

Sure. If he wants to wade into obstruction of justice territory and take his cult leader with him, be my guest.

Well, that might seem plausible, never overestimate the Democrats, they will surely try to get him on that and then nothing will happen, but if the Dems want to waste their time, by all means, wouldn't be the first....

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Dear Mitch,

If Trump doesn't want to shut down the investigation, then passing the legislation wouldn't cause any problems at all.

The only reason to oppose protecting Mueller from Trump/Whitaker is if you think both A) Trump/Whitaker may do something about the investigation and B) You want them to be able to do so (or at the very least you're too cowardly to explicitly oppose even the possibility of ending up on their bad side). I cannot understand why this protection measure is something worth opposing.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Stone would be a nice addition to the trophy case. Same with Don Jr.

It would be difficult for Trump to stop the investigation at this point unless he sees it as his only desperate choice. Let’s hope he gets there emotionally.

He's been unable to show any evidence of the “Mueller hit squad” allegations, just like he’s been unable to show any evidence of fraud in Florida’s elections, just like he’s been unable to show any evidence of millions of illegals voting, or tens of thousands on buses, or Obama wiretapping him, or...

We’re now less than 2 years away from the next election and 15 months from the first primary. Trump has accomplished nothing on policy but an unpopular establishment GOP tax cut. It’s just an endless run of distractions.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

If Trump doesn't want to shut down the investigation, then passing the legislation wouldn't cause any problems at all.

Well, he doesn't need to, it's been 18 months, so there is No need to pass any legislation which by the way the Senate McConnell already said, he would kick it off his desk. So at this point, we just need to let this thing play out completely.

Stone would be a nice addition to the trophy case. Same with Don Jr.

But if something happens and they were presumably locked up (if it even comes to that) and Trump pardons them, then what?

He's been unable to show any evidence of the “Mueller hit squad” allegations, just like he’s been unable to show any evidence of fraud in Florida’s elections

There has been a mountain of evidence, what on earth are you talking about, at the very least there is without a doubt gross negligence done by this woman throughout the last 18 years.

just like he’s been unable to show any evidence of millions of illegals voting, or tens of thousands on buses, or Obama wiretapping him, or...

California and NY and recently Florida have seen a spike in illegals voting in US elections, California it has been known for a long time this has been taking place, but now with the thankfully outgoing Jerry Brown, there might be hope that this madness will stop.

We’re now less than 2 years away from the next election and 15 months from the first primary. Trump has accomplished nothing on policy but an unpopular establishment GOP tax cut. It’s just an endless run of distractions.

Hmmm...that argument don't fly, so where are we now since the msm on TV won't do there job, let's look at the over 80 accomplishments of the President.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/year-one-list-81-major-trump-achievements-11-obama-legacy-items-repealed

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@bass4funk

Well, he doesn't need to

That still isn't a reason to vote against protecting Mueller's investigation from Trump's influence, let alone actively blocking such a vote in the first place. If you think it's not necessary, what harm does it do?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

That still isn't a reason to vote against protecting Mueller's investigation from Trump's influence, let alone actively blocking such a vote in the first place. If you think it's not necessary, what harm does it do?

What harm does it do to bypass it?

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Mueller is the most inept "investigator" in history. He has the full resources of 17 intelligence agencies at his disposal, a bottomless budget, has interviewed everyone down to the Trump Tower janitor and yet still can't build a smidgen of a case.

And then there was reality in the world outside Russia (and a lot of the US)

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If Trump decides to interfere, then there can be great harm to the US and American democracy.

So why would you choose to leave that gap open when closing it does no harm? There is potential risk in blocking the measure and no risk in allowing it.

There is only risk on the side of stopping the investigation, so why would you actively vote against it unless you want to leave that possibility open?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If Trump decides to interfere, then there can be great harm to the US and American democracy.

"If" But he hasn't 18 months and Mueller is still looking....for what, heck if I know...

So why would you choose to leave that gap open when closing it does no harm? There is potential risk in blocking the measure and no risk in allowing it.

But there hasn't been, if nothing happened over 18 months, there is even less chance of that happening, Rosenstein is still there.

There is only risk on the side of stopping the investigation, so why would you actively vote against it unless you want to leave that possibility open?

At this point, I don't think that there is any risk, Democrat paranoia might be a different story though.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Flake conveniently waited until he was sure that the GOP had enough votes to pass legislation after he departs the Senate in January before making this self-serving, self-righteous move. He is the ultimate hypocrite. Great to see that his seat went to woman and a Democrat.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Trump still doesn’t have an excuse to end the investigation, at least nothing he will be able to prove. The question he is probably asking himself is if he can get away with it, even if it’s exposed as open corruption of the Presidency.

In that situation I know a few guys here who would go along with it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think Mitch McConnell is literally the biggest hypocrite in the Republican party at the moment, being proud of filibustering on all of Obama's pics, then saying Democrats have to work with Republicans on what Republicans want or it's "partisan politics". Plus the guy was totally called out and fact checked a Week or so ago in an interview and kept saying, "Well, I think I know better, and you're wrong," but was COMPLETELY and factually proven incorrect. Wow, was he mad and the three chins throbbing in anger.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think Mitch McConnell is literally the biggest hypocrite in the Republican party at the moment, being proud of filibustering on all of Obama's pics,

He should be, Harry Reid was equally ecstatic when he threw over 320 GOP legislative proposals into his drawer.

then saying Democrats have to work with Republicans on what Republicans want or it's "partisan politics".

As if the Democrats really want to sit down and work with the Republicans on anything, come on now? Congress is so dysfunctional and it’s not coming from one party either.

Plus the guy was totally called out and fact checked a Week or so ago in an interview and kept saying, "Well, I think I know better, and you're wrong," but was COMPLETELY and factually proven incorrect.

How so?

Wow, was he mad and the three chins throbbing in anger.

What?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Half the Dems in the Senate seem to be running for President. They need to spend the next 2 years making sure Trump gets nothing to sign that he can call a “win”.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Has Mueller found any collusion yet?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Has Mueller found any collusion yet?

The question is whether he has found any conclusive evidence of collusion yet.

Collusion appears to be highly probable.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This whole thing is just being used to distract from the election stealing and the supposed women and children from the supposedly fake caravan arriving as men and climbing over our border fence.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Why doesn’t Mueller’s “stolen election” mandate cover THIS election?

Judge says a ballot is still valid if the date of birth is wrong or missing all together. Huh? Well at least Avenatti didn’t show up with the lawyer caravan in Georgia yet. He was kinda delayed on the way.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"The question is whether he has found any conclusive evidence of collusion yet. Collusion appears to be highly probable."

But after a year and a half, Mueller can't find any conclusive evidence of collusion. How much longer will it take him to find some?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Just looks at all the Trumpsters here saying "Mueller hasn't accomplished anything"...don't they wish...

1) George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, was arrested in July 2017 and pleaded guilty last October to making false statements to the FBI. He got a 14-day sentence.

2) Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, was indicted on a total of 25 different counts by Mueller’s team, related mainly to his past work for Ukrainian politicians and his finances. He had two trials scheduled, and the first ended in a conviction on eight counts of financial crimes. To avert the second trial, Manafort struck a plea deal with Mueller in September 2018.

3) Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. But in February he agreed to a plea deal with Mueller’s team, pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge.

4) Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty last December to making false statements to the FBI.

5-20) 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign. The companies involved are the Internet Research Agency, often described as a “Russian troll farm,” and two other companies that helped finance it. The Russian nationals indicted include 12 of the agency’s employees and its alleged financier, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

21) Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and 6 months of home detention in October.

22) Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates and another unnamed person based in Ukraine. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and has completed his sentence.

23) Konstantin Kilimnik: This longtime business associate of Manafort and Gates, who’s currently based in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with attempting to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses in Manafort’s pending case this year.

24-35) 12 Russian GRU officers: These officers of Russia’s military intelligence service were charged with crimes related to the hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails in 2016.

Finally, there are two other people Mueller initially investigated, but then handed over to others in the Justice Department to handle. Both eventually agreed to plea deals.

Michael Cohen: Trump’s former lawyer pleaded guilty to 8 counts — tax and bank charges, related to his finances and taxi business, and campaign finance violations, related to hush money payments to women who alleged affairs with Donald Trump.

Sam Patten: This Republican operative and lobbyist pleaded guilty to not registering as a foreign agent with his work for Ukrainian political bigwigs, and agreed to cooperate with the government.

And that's just so far - look for Roger Stone and Don Jr in he dock next...and many more. That's results...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I think the position for Trump fans is, “If it’s not collusion then it doesn’t count.”

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Look! A conservative that actually cares about the rule of law:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-senators-defy-republican-leader-mueller-protections-164738017.html

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ok, Flake will be gone in January and not a moment to soon. The only only politician that can’t even get 20% in his own State. Let’s see how long he can hold out in the last few weeks of his political career and then we can move forward.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

"I think the position for Trump fans is, “If it’s not collusion then it doesn’t count.”

Mueller was tasked with finding collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. After a year and a half he has nothing.

The Dems are stealing elections... but let's talk Russia! lol

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

We've been over Mueller's mandate. You guys were taught specifically about what he is allowed to investigate, including statements directly from the DOJ.

Someone else has duped you into believing something different. We have tried our best to put you back on the right track but we can't help you if you simply don't want to believe things you don't like.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Mueller's investigation does not have a blank cheque and unlimited staff - it is still budgeted:

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/may/23/donald-trump/mueller-probe-costing-20-million-donald-trump-says/

The Mueller investigation is being funded through mandatory spending, which essentially means it is set up to be free of executive branch influence. However, Justice Department officials do have a degree of oversight to make sure that money isn’t wasted, as with any other department office.

The special counsel’s office is officially budgeted for $10.4 million in direct costs for fiscal year 2018 (running from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018), and the Trump administration has earmarked another $10.4 million in its budget request for fiscal year 2019 (running from Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019).

From October through March, Mueller, who has a team of 17 lawyers, spent $2.7 million on personnel costs, the new documents show.

But the lion’s share of the $10 million racked up in the latest expense report was attributed to the Department of Justice’s $5.5 million component expenses. The department noted that it was not required to track or report this spending, and said it would have incurred these costs anyway “irrespective of” the special counsel’s investigation.

By comparison, Lawrence E. Walsh, the prosecutor who investigated Reagan administration officials in the Iran-contra affair, spent $47.4 million during his eight-year investigation. Former independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr spent more than $52 million investigating President Bill Clinton, and the five independent counsels appointed to look into various Clinton-related matters during the 1990s spent more than $100 million. (All dollar figures not adjusted for inflation.)

The Mueller investigation is actually small compared to past investigations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We've been over Mueller's mandate. You guys were taught specifically about what he is allowed to investigate, including statements directly from the DOJ.

Beg your pardon...What we were taught? Lol

Someone else has duped you into believing something different. We have tried our best to put you back on the right track but we can't help you if you simply don't want to believe things you don't like.

Yeah, well when Whitaker defunds this witch hunt, we can all put these shenanigans aside.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It's been a year and a half... the Russia excuse is getting boring. They should mix it up, blame it on alien mind control beams or something.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yeah, well when Whitaker defunds this witch hunt, we can all put these shenanigans aside.

Well there goes your "no need to protect the investigation" agrument.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Narcissus J. Trumpnocchio just stated the Special Prosecutor’s inquiry on Russian meddling in the 2016 election is a “Disgrace to Nation”. Donald J. Trump, short term occupant of the White House in Washington, DC, is a disgrace to humankind.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

1) Whitaker is massively conflicted, so his appointment will be anulled.

2) Senate confirmation is required, which Whitaker DOES NOT HAVE.

Even more CHAOS and TURMOIL.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Beg your pardon...What we were taught? Lol

The post was painfully clear that you were taught about Mueller's mandate. There is nothing we can do if you don't want to learn. ROFL! Kuddos! Har! Oh my . . .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Imagine if the Democrats had tried to shut down the investigation into Clinton?

There Republicans would have been out, guns blazing, and there would have been civil war.

Yet they give Trump a pass. Pathetic hyper-partisan hypocrisy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Imagine if the Democrats had tried to shut down the investigation into Clinton?

*investigations

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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