Monday, April 22, 2019

Blumenthal vs Barr

The sound and fury over President Donald Trump’s now exploded "conspiracy" with Russian President Vladimir Putin to undermine the Trump/Clinton election in favor of Trump is abating following the publication of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s exhaustive 448 page report.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow reported last December, “Members of Trump’s team were extremely interested in and eager to accept any assistance that the Russians could provide.” The serpent coiled in that line is that the Trump team HAD colluded with the Russians.  Naturally, the mud throwers are perversely unrepentant. After a two year investigation, Mueller’s team “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign colluded or coordinated with the Russian government,” according to Mueller’s report.

In fact, the often touted suspicions of leading Democrat propagandists – first that Trump had “conspired” against the interests of the United States, a crime and a charge later lowered to “collusion” by those disappointed with the election results, U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal among them – turned out to be, Mueller said in language as plain as the ego te absolve of the confessional, a molehill blown into a mountain by Trump’s accusers.

Here is a colloquy that occurred between U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal and a reporter AFTER  Muller’s minimally redacted report had been released:

“Blumenthal: I want to review this document, again reaching no conclusion. But the American people deserve to see the full report.

“Reporter: And, in your mind, should Barr not be the attorney general, as far as you’re concerned? Should he be removed and replaced?

“Blumenthal: His credibility has been severely undermined, and his stature gravely diminished.”

Blumenthal, who for insufficient reasons opposed Trump’s nomination of Barr as US Attorney General, was largely responsible for the diminishment of Barr’s stature – prior to and after the release of the report. The Inspector Javert of “never-Trump” politics in Connecticut, Blumenthal was loathed to lay down his whip, even though his earlier depreciations of Barr have turned out to be unfounded.

Blumenthal told The Hill in February, “I will vote against his [Barr’s] nomination in committee on Thursday … The defining question for me was his declining to commit to release the Special Counsel’s report fully and completely. He chose not to make the commitment to release that report completely and directly to Congress and the American people.”

When Barr released a four page response to Mueller’s 448 page final report, falsely called a “summary,” Blumenthal and other partisan Democrats intimated that the response was intended to cloak damaging information on collusion in the pending report. That was not true. “Barr,” Andrew McCarthy wrote in a piece for National Review, “simply communicated Mueller’s bottom line [in his four page response] — yes, Russia meddled; no, Trump was not complicit in a criminal conspiracy; and hand-wringing on obstruction, leaving it to Barr to make the final call.”

In January, a Connecticut publication portrayed the heroic Blumenthal asking Barr, “Will you commit that you will explain to us any changes or deletions that you make to that special counsel report that’s submitted to you in whatever you present to us?” Barr “did not commit to explain to Congress ‘any deletions or change’ he made to Mueller’s report before it was released.”

It is important to understand that protocol does not permit  Barr to release court prohibited grand jury information or the names of those testifying before a grand jury who have not been charged with specific crimes, all of which must be rightfully deleted. Indeed, ruling on this very issue, “the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” McCarthy reported, found “that grand-jury materials must be kept secret unless they fall under an exception prescribed in Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e) — which does not have an exception for disclosure to Congress.” And, McCarthy noted somewhat acerbically, “Instead of bloviating, Democrats could simply have proposed an amendment to Rule 6(e) that would have permitted the disclosure, but that would have been an implicit concession that Barr was right. They need Barr to be perceived as not just wrong but corrupt. That’s the strategy.”

Spearheading the strategy was Blumenthal – even AFTER 1) Mueller’s report was released by Barr with minimal redactions, each one of which had been tagged with a note justifying the redaction, 2) matters that might be utilized by the Javerts of the Democrat Party to further inflame 2020 voters against Trump were not excised from the report, and 3) the report itself justifies Barr’s claim that Mueller’s team “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign colluded or coordinated with the Russian government.”

“To be granite and to doubt!” Victor Hugo says of the relentless Javert, determined to haul Jean Valjean back to prison on the slightest pretext. “To be the statue of Chastisement cast in one piece in the mold of the law, and suddenly to become aware of the fact that one cherishes beneath one's breast of bronze something absurd and disobedient which almost resembles a heart! … To relax one's grip,—what a terrible thing!”

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