Mueller offers sly impeachment bait

Robert Mueller's 11 A.M. statement to the media today stuck to what was in his report (which he said "speaks for itself") but selectively highlighted and sequenced points intended to damage President Trump, providing obvious bait for impeachment proceedings.  Here is one example (transcript):

[I]f we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.

 

It is not the job of prosecutors to state that a suspect "clearly did not commit a crime" — only to state whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute.

In discussing the second part of the report on obstruction, he repeated the point:

[I]f we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. 

Immediately, he followed with this:

The introduction to the volume two of our report explains that decision. It explains that under long-standing department policy a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.

This juxtaposition implies that the real thing they did "not make a determination" about was the policy against indicting.  That is sly to the point of misleading.  

No doubt, Democrats will be vociferously arguing that.

He was also sly in stating that he believes that A.G. Barr acted in "good faith" in releasing virtually all of the report, which implies that he and others disagree with Barr.

He provided a run-through of the key points on the report, most of it familiar to anyone who followed the news about it.

He also took the Olympian position that this would be the last thing he has to say, which is why he would not take questions.  He mentioned that if he is subpoenaed to testify to Congress, he will not say anything that was not in the report.  (Do people, including former public employees, get to reply to a question — especially a question related to their work for taxpayers — that they refuse to reply?)  This would foreclose any questions as to why he felt it was the job of a federal prosecutor to "exonerate" a person under investigation, instead of a simply black-white prosecute-or-not-prosecute decision, as is the customary procedure.

I see this as a defensive move, perhaps to protect his good friend James Comey, as well as protect his office's record in the face of disappointment by the Trump-haters that he provided no indictments.

Robert Mueller's 11 A.M. statement to the media today stuck to what was in his report (which he said "speaks for itself") but selectively highlighted and sequenced points intended to damage President Trump, providing obvious bait for impeachment proceedings.  Here is one example (transcript):

[I]f we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.


YouTube screen grab.

 

It is not the job of prosecutors to state that a suspect "clearly did not commit a crime" — only to state whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute.

In discussing the second part of the report on obstruction, he repeated the point:

[I]f we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. 

Immediately, he followed with this:

The introduction to the volume two of our report explains that decision. It explains that under long-standing department policy a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.

This juxtaposition implies that the real thing they did "not make a determination" about was the policy against indicting.  That is sly to the point of misleading.  

No doubt, Democrats will be vociferously arguing that.

He was also sly in stating that he believes that A.G. Barr acted in "good faith" in releasing virtually all of the report, which implies that he and others disagree with Barr.

He provided a run-through of the key points on the report, most of it familiar to anyone who followed the news about it.

He also took the Olympian position that this would be the last thing he has to say, which is why he would not take questions.  He mentioned that if he is subpoenaed to testify to Congress, he will not say anything that was not in the report.  (Do people, including former public employees, get to reply to a question — especially a question related to their work for taxpayers — that they refuse to reply?)  This would foreclose any questions as to why he felt it was the job of a federal prosecutor to "exonerate" a person under investigation, instead of a simply black-white prosecute-or-not-prosecute decision, as is the customary procedure.

I see this as a defensive move, perhaps to protect his good friend James Comey, as well as protect his office's record in the face of disappointment by the Trump-haters that he provided no indictments.