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Two sentences in Mueller’s report show a ‘thorough FBI investigation’ might have implicated Trump in criminal conspiracy

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The massive report compiled by special counsel Robert Mueller has been out for more than two weeks, but its length and density resist easy analysis — and offer numerous details that require closer attention.

One section, from Mueller’s analysis of President Donald Trump’s reaction the public confirmation of the FBI’s Russia investigation, and his subsequent firing of then-FBI director James Comey, offers a strong suggestion that the special counsel believed he was investigating a possible criminal conspiracy.

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Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum flagged two sentences from that analysis, found on pages 76-77, saying they had not received enough attention given their apparent weight.

“As described in Volume I,” the report states, “the evidence uncovered in the investigation did not establish that the President or those close to him were involved in the charged Russian computer-hacking or active-measure conspiracies, or that the President otherwise had an unlawful relationship with any Russian official.”

“But the evidence does indicate that a thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns,” the report continues.

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This section of the analysis comes after Mueller’s investigators lay out evidence that Comey’s firing meets the three common elements in federal obstruction statutes — an obstructive act, a nexus between the obstructive act and an official proceeding, and a corrupt intent.

“The President had a motive to put the FBI’s Russia investigation behind him,” Mueller’s team concluded in that analysis. “The evidence does not establish that the termination of Corney was designed to cover up a conspiracy between the Trump Campaign and Russia.”

But, as the two sentences flagged by Frum point out, Mueller’s team believed that a thorough FBI investigation would have turned up, at minimum, personally or politically damaging evidence against the president, or, at worst, evidence implicating Trump in a criminal conspiracy.

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2020 Election

Is corporate media creating a misleading impression of voter sentiment? 91 percent of Nevada Dem voters said ‘no’

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We caution readers to be very careful in interpreting the Democratic primary election results so far for reasons cited below. We think the way our major news organizations are reporting the primary results can easily create a misleading impression of voter sentiment.

The analysis below should give you pause whether you think Sanders is, and should be, a shoo-in to beat Trump or you fear that a Sanders nomination will ensure a second Trump term and a romp by Republican Congressional candidates.

We ask ardent supporters and foes of Sanders, or any other candidate, to avoid a hot or presumptive reaction to what follows, a concern based on many responses to some of my caucus night tweets and Facebook posts in recent weeks.

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2020 Election

Donald Trump Jr rants ‘stupid’ CNN has done more damage to elections than the Russians

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President Donald Trump's eldest son complained that CNN was attempting to undermine democracy by reporting on Russian election interference.

The network, like other U.S. media outlets, has reported on efforts by the Kremlin to influence the 2020 election, just as U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement agree Russia did during the 2016 election.

Donald Trump Jr. -- who infamously accepted an invitation during his father's first campaign to hear dirt on Hillary Clinton from a Russian lawyer -- accused CNN of manipulating the election by reporting those Russian efforts.

"CNN is so stupid they don’t even understand the irony of how they’ve done more damage than any 'Russian operation' could ever have dreamed," Trump Jr tweeted, in response to a conservative blogger. "The media has done one hell of a job these past 4 years in attempting to deligitmize [sic] our election process."

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Trump has ‘never been more dangerous’ because he knows no one will stop his lawlessness: columnist

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President Donald Trump's poll numbers have risen since his acquittal by the United States Senate, and New York Magazine columnist Eric Levitz argues that this means he's "never been more dangerous."

In his column, Levitz points to reports that Trump is conducting a systematic purge of government officials whom he believes are "disloyal" to him as evidence that he has only been emboldened by getting let off the hook for both potential criminal obstruction of justice in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, and for his attempt to extort the Ukrainian government for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

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