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The Optics of Trump’s Flip-flop On Investigating Hillary Clinton

The Optics of Trump’s Flip-flop On Investigating Hillary Clinton

From “healing” Hillary to “going after” her

https://twitter.com/TheFix/status/678688616931921921

One of the mainstays of then-candidate Trump’s campaign rallies was the attendees’ “lock her up” chant, a reaction to his campaign promise to “jail crooked Hillary” Clinton.

In late November of last year, President Trump shocked many of his supporters by announcing that he would not pursue charges against Hillary Clinton.  Instead, he said he was focused on bringing the country together and helping Hillary “heal.”

The Guardian reported at the time:

The president-elect told the New York Times on Tuesday that it would be “divisive” to pursue criminal investigations into the former secretary of state over her use of a private email server or conflicts of interest involving her foundation. His conciliatory tone provoked a backlash from some conservatives.

“I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t,” Trump said, according to a tweet by Times journalist Mike Grynbaum. “She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways.”

Trump was then pressed on whether he had definitively ruled out a prosecution, Grynbaum reported. The president-elect replied: “It’s just not something that I feel very strongly about.”

. . . . In his conversation at the New York Times office, he rejected the idea that his supporters would be upset by his letting Clinton off the hook. “I don’t think they will be disappointed,” he said, according to a tweet by reporter Maggie Haberman. “I think I will explain it that we in many ways will save our country.”

That was then.  President Trump is now (once again) threatening Attorney General Jeff Sessions for failing to investigate and prosecute Hillary for a range of offenses.

The Business Insider reports:

President Donald Trump is implicitly jabbing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, publicly lamenting the fact that the Justice Department isn’t currently investigating 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

At multiple points this week, Trump has openly criticized the Justice Department and the US justice system, firing off tweets asking for an investigation of Clinton and complaining about his lack of ability to influence the process. The complaints come less than a week after special counsel Robert Mueller handed down indictments to former members of his campaign including its former chairman, Paul Manafort.

It’s a revival of a period from the summer when Trump made a number of attacks against Sessions for failing to carry out his duties in a way that satisfied the president.

Asked point blank in a Friday press gaggle whether he would fire Sessions if he does not start to investigate Clinton, Trump said, “I don’t know.”

“I’m really not involved with the Justice Department,” Trump said. “I’d like to let it run itself. But honestly they should be looking at the Democrats. … They should be looking at a lot of things and a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.”

. . . .  “The saddest thing is that because I’m the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department,” he said. “I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI.”

Trump made the remark after being told by the host that his listeners wanted to see the DOJ go after Clinton.

“I look at what’s happening with the Justice Department. Well, why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with her, the dossier?” Trump said, referring to the Democratic Party-funded dossier designed to find connections between Trump and Russia that has been both partially discredited and partially corroborated.

Investigating Hillary and prosecuting any and all crimes uncovered by said investigation seems like a no-brainer now just as it did last November.  But it was the president himself who said that he did not want to see Hillary “suffer” any further and who indicated that he would not pursue her alleged lawlessness.

Our nation of laws is slowly sinking into banana republic territory as Americans have come to understand that there is one set of laws for us and quite another for the politically-powerful and -connected.

Another feature of banana republics is the prosecution of one’s political enemies for political purposes.  Clearly there are plenty of Hillary-related issues that should be investigated and for which, if found to be in violation of the law, she should be prosecuted.  But it was the president who decided, for seemingly noble if puzzling reasons, against taking that path.

President Trump is now in the unenviable position of appearing to change his mind about pursuing the investigation and prosecution of Hillary’s alleged crimes at the exact time his administration finds itself in the beam of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s searchlight.  The president’s apparent about-face on this can be used by his own political opponents as confirmation of their existing belief that he is a totalitarian monster motivated by a tit-for-tat pettiness rather than by a belief in equal justice under the law.

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Comments

Lance de Boyle | November 4, 2017 at 3:39 pm

“The president’s apparent about-face on this can be used by his own political opponents as confirmation of their existing belief that he is a totalitarian monster motivated by a tit-for-tat pettiness rather than by a belief in equal justice under the law.”

True. They may react that way. But who cares? A totalitarian monster doesn’t engage in tit for tat. He helps enemies disappear.

    There is no flip flop. You signal being gracious and the Dems come after you hammer and tongs with Mueller? You hit back twice as hard, especially when new facts come out that show Crooked Hillary was more corrupt than we knew then.

      murkyv in reply to EBL. | November 4, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Can’t help but think that Hillary being such an incredibly sore loser and running around the world selling her Excuse Book and bashing Trump had something to do with his change of heart.

      That, and I wonder just how much he knew of the actual shennanigans she was involved with that were hidden by Obama and Comey at the time he backed away.

      But it still comes back to the reality that finding a jury to convict her of anything would be harder than finding a Republican anywhere in a DC jury pool

        Matt_SE in reply to murkyv. | November 5, 2017 at 11:21 am

        Just venue shop. Democrats do it all the time, and since this is a national election I’m sure they can find some harm done by Hillary anywhere in the U.S.

It was one thing to say that Clinton ought not to be pursued for her email transgressions, since the previous Justice Department gave out so many promises of immunity that there may have been no evidence left (although I think the mere existence of the private server is evidence enough, myself).

The Uranium One deal, pointed to in the “Clinton Cash” book and now supported by more evidence of criminal activity, is another matter.

Plus, Hillary gave a fairly decent concession speech when she finally got around to it. Now that she’s out actively trying to undermine the elected president, being “nice” looks pretty stupid.

No one forced the Democrats to “resist.” If they would have accepted the outcome, this would not have occurred.

Not to mention there are new revelations that make it derelict not to pursue.

Each side has enough of its own problems to fix that have little to do with Trump. For the country, however, all these investigations should end and attention paid to more pressing issues. Could live with that outcome.

    oldschooltwentysix, you wrote: “No one forced the Democrats to “resist.” If they would have accepted the outcome, this would not have occurred.”

    This is pretty much my point. If Trump had gone ahead and fulfilled his campaign promise regarding Hillary, that would be one thing, supportable on its merits.

    That he is now, after specifically stating he’d let her off the hook, going after her looks like (and is, if we’re being honest) a politically-motivated move that puts Trump in a very very bad light.

    I am not someone who thinks the rules should change when someone I support is in office. If Obama punishing his enemies and rewarding his friends was an affront to our laws and guiding principles, then so is this. If his doing so (even with the full weight of the IRS via targeting of Obama’s political enemies) was a pretty cool move, generally speaking, but not okay solely because it was Obama and not Trump, then we have a very serious problem.

    We move from, to borrow as an analogy, “I may not like what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” to “I may not like what you say, and if you’re on my side, I’ll defend to the death your right to say, but if you are not, I’ll see you investigated, charged,and prosecuted.” Not really a snappy maxim of which we, as a people, can be proud.

    The American experiment is premised on equal opportunity and equal justice, and these are premised on all men being created equal. If we budge from that, even to support someone we approve, we abandon the principles that have stood us in good stead for over two centuries.

      Don’t agree. He offered an olive branch and it was thrown back by those who were far more corrupt and abusive of power.

      When Trump said it back then, it was the email stuff. The revelations about the DNC, Uranium, Russia were blips. Brazile acted on her own.

      In context this is no flip, but a natural progression. Too much is made of perception, as if that is what matters. If the Dems and FBI and others were in cahoots, why not expose it. That is true corruption in government. On the other hand, if it all went away, perhaps more attention could be paid to fixing things. Wishful thinking.

      We don’t generally in this country prosecute our political enemies. It helped keep us from becoming a winner-take-all banana republic.

      However, Hillary’s in your face criminality and the continued dangerous and illegal attempts to overturn our election makes it imperative that this end. If she had remained silent about her own criminality, if she had simply committed her crimes and faded into the night she would have been allowed to. Now the swamp is fighting back and fighting illegal and dirty.

      I said Trump would win. I said he wasn’t the end of the swamp. He’s the peaceful solution. Keep pushing. Keep up the low level insurrection and the swamp will see what comes next. It’s The gods of the Copy Book Headings that are coming to count the crimes of the swamp and their enablers.

        Milhouse in reply to forksdad. | November 4, 2017 at 8:46 pm

        We don’t generally in this country prosecute our political enemies. It helped keep us from becoming a winner-take-all banana republic.

        We don’t prosecute our enemies for being our enemies. But criminals shouldn’t escape prosecution merely because they happen to be our political enemies. I don’t think that has ever been the American way. It’s just that in the past politicians tended not to break the law.

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | November 4, 2017 at 8:54 pm

          ” It’s just that in the past politicians tended not to break the law.”

          Is there a for sale sign on the Brooklyn Bridge?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | November 4, 2017 at 10:27 pm

          No, it’s a fact. Politicians tended not to be prosecuted by their successors, because there was nothing to prosecute them for. On those occasions when there was, I’m not aware of any reluctance by their successors’ administrations to bring charges.

          The problem, of course, is that we’ve got so many “process crimes” and “three felonies a day” crimes that don’t require mens rea. Makes it much easier to criminalize policy differences and weaponize the law. As Obama proved and Mueller is casting in stone.

      It looks how it looks, and there’s no helping that. Much more importantly for history will be whether any charges can be backed up in a court of law (hint: they can be).

      It is a major mistake to allow the left to use our consciences against us as a weapon. You either have a rule of law or you don’t. If that’s sometimes uncomfortable, so be it.

No more pictures. We all know what Hillary looks like.

I like banana on my cereal.

I’d like to know what Sessions is up to. What’s his workload like? Frantic twelve hour days, or leisurely sixes and two martini lunches? Is he stonewalling and bickering with Trump, while pursuing a conservative policy? No one in the know seems to really know what Sessions is doing. Heh.

Appoint a new attorney general. The press will continue to flame Trump no mater what he does. Make a recess appointment. Not like Obama didn’t do the same thing.

    murkyv in reply to Tiki. | November 4, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Republicans in Congress already denied him a chance for recess appointments once, over their summer break.

    Unfortunately, I do believe they intend to do this throughout his Presidency

      Milhouse in reply to murkyv. | November 4, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      1. Staying in session is now long-standing standard procedure, a tradition begun by Republicans. If you didn’t object to it then you have no right to object to it now just because you like the president.

      2. Adjourning the senate would require the house’s permission.

      3. More importantly, it would require a vote of the senate, which the Ds can filibuster.

        Matt_SE in reply to Milhouse. | November 5, 2017 at 11:48 am

        “1. Staying in session is now long-standing standard procedure, a tradition begun by Republicans. If you didn’t object to it then you have no right to object to it now just because you like the president.

        2. Adjourning the senate would require the house’s permission.

        3. More importantly, it would require a vote of the senate, which the Ds can filibuster.”

        Wrong on all accounts:

        1) From a political standpoint, staying in session is what you do to the OPPOSITE party’s president, not your own. The idea that the Senate is powerless in the face of its own recently-established precedent is absurd.

        2) NLRB v. Noel Canning decision states “For purposes of the Recess Appointment Clause, the Senate is in session when it says that it is if, under its own rules, it retains the capacity to transact business.”

        The Senate’s power to establish rules derives from Article One, Section 5 of the United States Constitution: “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings…”

        Therefore, the Senate doesn’t have to consult with the House to recess unless their rules say they do, in which case they can also just change their own rules. Leading to the next point:

        3) Changing the rules of the Senate requires only a MAJORITY vote. This is why the Democrats were able to change the cloture rules with regards to SCOTUS nominees (the so-called nuclear option). Remember that?

        You probably shouldn’t sit down for a while, after the SPANKING I just gave you.

          Milhouse in reply to Matt_SE. | November 5, 2017 at 8:34 pm

          2. The senate cannot adjourn for more than three days without the house’s permission. Not only did NLRB v. Noel Canning not say it could, it wouldn’t matter if it had said so, it would be wrong, because the supreme court cannot amend the constitution. Fortunately, the error in this case is yours, not the court’s; in addition to displaying your ignorance of the constitution you have misunderstood and misreported what the court said.

          3. Sure, they could get rid of the filibuster altogether. It would be a very foolish thing to do, and they would bitterly regret it the next time the Ds control the senate, just as the Ds now bitterly regret their foolishness in doing so for nominations, but they could do it. But without completely blowing up the filibuster, they cannot adjourn over the objection of 41 senators. It is foolishness itself to imagine they could blow it up just for adjournments.

          3a. The Ds didn’t blow it up for SCOTUS nominations. They did so for all nominations except SCOTUS, but that distinction was so transparently artificial that nobody expected it to last, and thus McConnell blew it up when they tried to block Gorsuch. They had openly said they would do so the first time it became convenient for them, so there was no point in holding off. With the legislative filibuster, though, they didn’t blow it up when they could have, even when it prevented them from passing 0bamacare properly (which is why it ended up such a mess), so there’s no reason to suppose they’ll do it the next time they can.

An understandable magnanimous stance to take after victory. However… what a difference a year can make. His gesture was met with a full assault to undermine his presidency and drive him from office, by impeachment or indictment. His reversal on pursuing Clinton will not matter his voters, it will be applauded.

I have no problem with the President changing his mind when a situation evolves. Some condemn that as “flip-flopping”, and perhaps it is. But anything else would be mere stubbornness, even pig-headedness.

And evolving, this situation certainly is.

The Democrats continue their disgraceful antics, and absolutely refuse to behave like participants in a relatively orderly Constitutional republic. Therefore the need to hit them continues to escalate.

And the evidence of Democratic crimes, both individual and institutional, continues to mount. Thus the practicality of hitting them continues to mount as well.

Trump’s refusal (call it “failure” if you prefer) to make draconian moves against Hillary and Crime, Inc. as soon as he took office was probably wise. A genuine dictator wannabe would have attacked immediately. His reluctance to go all Torquemada on them rubbishes the Liberal refrain that he’s some sort of impulsive child. To the contrary, he gave them plenty of room to act like responsible Americans. They failed to take it. The time when legal remedies become both practical and essential is rapidly approaching.

Of course another reason for delay is staffing. As people have been saying for centuries, “it’s hard to get good help these days.” The boss has to figure out who the spies and saboteurs and foot-draggers are before he can assign the serious jobs. I don’t know if Sessions is up to the job. I imagine that Trump knows a bit more about that than I do. I wouldn’t count on learning about it from tweets. Tweets are not serious sources of insight; they’re distractions for simple minds, such as those of the Press and other Liberals.

After a year of full-blown TDS from everybody on the left, from Hillary on down, I’d say Trump should go nuclear on them. They are so corrupt and there was so much criminality, perhaps out-right Treason, over the past eight years he should tear them down to the ground and prosecute everyone he can. Of course, doing so will expose a lot of scum on the right as well. So be it.

    rdmdawg in reply to Paul. | November 4, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Bureaucrats and politicians hold a special place in our society, entrusted with a grave responsibility of a significant amount of power over a great many people’s lives. They indeed should be held to a much higher standard when dealing with corruption and abuse of power issues. Also, penalties applied to this special class of people should be much too over more pedestrian crimes. I’m all for bringing back hanging or death by firing squad for them. Make them truly live in fear of their constituents, that’ll keep them straight and narrow.

Would it be possible to come up with an argument that would give standing to citizens in a class action civil suit on these clowns.

Bernie supporters, for example, have been worked over as a class by her schemes.

Americans have been put in danger as a class by selling out our uranium.

Donors to her foundation have been scammed.

Curious to know if you could go after her without the DOJ. Maybe States have standing….

    Milhouse in reply to Paul Bahlin. | November 4, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    “Our” uranium?! How was it ours?

    Also, they never sold anything.

      Daamn, son, I already debunked this “nothing sold” lie once.

      http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/358339-uranium-one-deal-led-to-some-exports-to-europe-memos-show

      “Yet NRC memos reviewed by The Hill show that it did approve the shipment of yellowcake uranium — the raw material used to make nuclear fuel and weapons — from the Russian-owned mines in the United States to Canada in 2012 through a third party. Later, the Obama administration approved some of that uranium going all the way to Europe, government documents show.

      NRC officials said they could not disclose the total amount of uranium that Uranium One exported because the information is proprietary. They did, however, say that the shipments only lasted from 2012 to 2014 and that they are unaware of any exports since then.

      NRC officials told The Hill that Uranium One exports flowed from Wyoming to Canada and on to Europe between 2012 and 2014, and the approval involved a process with multiple agencies.

      Rather than give Rosatom a direct export license — which would have raised red flags inside a Congress already suspicious of the deal — the NRC in 2012 authorized an amendment to an existing export license for a Paducah, Ky.-based trucking firm called RSB Logistics Services Inc. to simply add Uranium One to the list of clients whose uranium it could move to Canada.”

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | November 5, 2017 at 8:43 pm

        The claim was that “our uranium” was sold. This is deliberately phrased so that people will imagine that actual uranium, belonging to the US taxpayer, was sold off by the 0bama administration. And that is a damned lie. Not a single gram of “our uranium” changed hands, and Rosatom did not buy any uranium from anyone. The production of Uranium One’s Wyoming mines is theirs; it was never ours, we never had any right to it, it is their rightful property. Nobody sold it to them; they mined it from their mine, so it’s theirs. Our only right is to restrict what they can do with it, and to whom they can sell it, so long as the restrictions aren’t so harsh that we’ve effectively confiscated it.

Joe Di Genova or Judge Napolitano would make excellent special prosecutors to look into the DNC & Hillary.

regulus arcturus | November 4, 2017 at 5:32 pm

The problem with not going after Hillary and friends is that there is now so much evidence of criminality that the letting that slide would be a catastrophic precedent.

Trump likely did not know or understand the breadth and depth of Hillary’s criminality at the time he was making his campaign statements. Now that so much more new information has come to light that Hillary (and most of the Obama Administration) was engaged in multiple significant crimes, it is extremely difficult to argue that they should be allowed to walk.

The message appears to be that laws do not apply to Hillary, Democrats, and their friends.

    Unlike Trump I don’t know Hillary personally, nor have I been, as Trump has been, in the Clintons’ social circle for decades, but even I know she’s corrupt to her core and oozes criminality from her very pores. If a deplorable like me can see that from my living room, don’t you think Trump–from the inner circle of Democrat and New York politics–should have been able to see it, too? Pleading his ignorance of her lawlessness after we all saw her and her hubby in action in the ’90’s and again when she was at State makes him look like a bumbling rube incapable of the most basic critical thinking. That’s not Trump. He knew. If he didn’t, he’s too stupid to walk and chew gum let alone be president.

      regulus arcturus in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | November 4, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      He did not know, nor did we, the full scope of Clinton Foundation crimes in the growing Uranium One scandal, Hillary’s conduct with the DNC, and her other scandals.

      It was a mistake for him to make the statement after the election, I agree.

      I suspect that Trump has seen the FISA court affidavit used to spy on Manafort (using the dossier), and probably more information related to additional Hillary and Obama criminality.

      Doing nothing here would be an extremely dangerous precedent to set.

        Did YOU know that the Uranium One deal stunk to high heaven back in 2015 when Kemberlee covered it for LI? I sure thought it stunk to high heaven.

        Trump called out the DNC-Hillary rigging of the Dem primaries back in 2016 (see my post above). He knew; we all knew because the wikileaks dump on this ended up costing Debbie Wasserman Schultz her DNC job. He knew that.

        Trump knew that Hillary lied and lied and lied some more about her multiple devices and rampant disregard for national security in having her maid print out documents and allowing them to end up on Weiner’s laptop. We know he knew this because he hammered it in both the primaries and the general election. He also knew, as we all did, that Hillary had set up a private server that was set up in some random guy’s bathroom. He also knew about Benghazi.

        This is something I was afraid of last year: Trump fans becoming somewhat illogical and unhinged in their support of and apologies for their candidate’s behavior. We saw this from the leftist Obots who explained away Obama’s keeping illegal wiretaps, droning civilians, and the zillion other things they hated when Bush did it but that they excused when Obama did (sometimes even expanding powers Bush had that they reviled . . . when it was Bush.)

        I will never, never ever, pretend that Trump is flawless, that he never makes mistakes, or deny that he’s said what he’s said and knows what he knows. Doing that makes him weaker, not stronger, because like the blind lemming Obots, we look like useless (even useful) idiots fawning at the feet of a naked emperor proclaiming the glory of his nonexistent robes and not like free and self-determining Americans standing tall and demanding the government we want.

          regulus arcturus in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | November 4, 2017 at 6:48 pm

          Yes, I knew that something was not right there, but again, we did not have the information that there was a concurrent FBI bribery case, nor that there was a key witness with a gag order.

          When you factor in all of the new information, it gets harder and harder to justify ignoring it.

          I think this may be Trump’s plan – let more and more evidence come to light until public opinion demands action.

          I hear you. I don’t really agree because it’s not in Trump’s nature to be cautious and to await and then weigh further information (he reacts, he leaps, he dives into things, often on the basis of shaky or disreputable sources, like he did with the Obama birther thing in the run-up to 2012), but that doesn’t matter because I see your point. 🙂

          I will never believe that Trump is the smartest guy in any room, though, or that he’s playing some Jedi- ninja multi-dimensional chess game. He’s not that deep; he’s actually incredibly shallow. He gushed over anyone and everyone who supported him, and as soon as they seemed to waiver, he stuck out his lip and pouted about how mean they were. In some ways, he’s a big, emotionally-stunted, severely-insecure kid seeking approval and validation from anyone and everyone. That he can tap into American sentiment as he did is remarkable, but it’s not genius, and it doesn’t make him our or our nation’s savior. He’s a pretty neurotic, self-involved guy who, after several tries dating back to the ’80’s, finally found the right message at the right time against the right Democrat candidate.

          I support many of his policies and campaign promises (including his initial promise to investigate and prosecute Hillary), but I do not buy into the truly bizarre idealistic, fantastical, all-knowing Trump who slays dragons and walks on water but is cagey enough not to let on (though his uber-super-bestest fans know “the real truth.”). Hmph.

          Trump’s diehard fans have created out of thin air, vague (mostly broken) promises, and wishful thinking some sort of super hero they imagine has the same goals they do. When each goal is, in turn, smashed and trod on by their hero, they excuse and rationalize it away. He’s ten steps ahead! He’s so patient and circumspect (!?) that he’s just waiting for more evidence before making a move. He’s supporting amnesty because that’s the only way to stop it. Or something.

      “He knew. If he didn’t, he’s too stupid to walk and chew gum let alone be president.”

      I agree.
      Trump knew of the corruption generally (although probably not the details). But in politics you have to do what is politically possible, so Trump telegraphed an unspoken agreement to the Dems and GOPe: you will be allowed to go free if you go away.

      This is the same sort of deal insiders always give corrupt politicians, and for one reason: because they can make a lot of trouble on the way out otherwise.
      It’s exactly the same sort of thing that I’ve decried in respect to Haiti, or other banana republics.

      The difference this time is that they didn’t go away.
      Hillary probably CAN’T go away, because the family business is built on selling influence. She can’t afford to be out of power (and then there’s the overweening Clinton ambition and ego…). Obama is still here too, even if he’s unseen. He can’t go away because Trump is threatening to undo all of his bad work.

      And now there’s the extra evidence of criminality on top of the already-existing mountain. It serves as a pretext for prosecuting Hillary, like what should’ve happened from the beginning.

      If you’re complaining about Trump’s tardiness, I would say that even the Founders had to wait for someone else to dismantle slavery. Better late than never.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to regulus arcturus. | November 4, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Right not the societal precedent is that there is no law that can be depended upon.

    We are at the point where pretty much everyone will start concluding that justice, or even equity, can only be obtained by one’s own hands. Consider. In the last few decades, how many people who are connected politically [regardless of party], financially, by “class”, or celebrity have totally avoided charge for crimes blatantly committed solely because of those connections? Let alone conviction and punishment. Yet, let someone not so connected merely disagree with those connected, and they are fair game with the process being part of the punishment.

    Fiat justitia ruat cælum

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | November 4, 2017 at 6:39 pm

Uranium One: Previously Undiscovered FOIA Documents Could Be Game-Changer in Investigation…

“…. on August 28th, 2015, an FBI special agent sent a notification to preserve records to: •Nuclear Regulatory Commission; •The U.S. Dept. of Treasury; •Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI James Clapper); •The National Counter Terrorism Center; and the •U.S. Department of Energy (DoE)…… Each of these agencies was intricately involved in the 2010 approval of the Uranium One deal. Indeed, each of these specific agencies is involved in the CFIUS approval process for the purchase within the Uranium One deal. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State at the time.”

Paul In Sweden | November 4, 2017 at 6:46 pm

I think Trump wanted to be POTUS and let somebody else be the AG Bad Guy. I don’t think Trump knew Sessions would walk on egg shells and do his best not ruffle anyone’s feathers.

Trump is a New York Democrat who invited the Clintons to his wedding. He endorsed and send cash to both of them. While I cannot read minds I’m guessing that he had some sympathy for a fellow swamp creature.

But unlike the Clintons he doesn’t hate the USA and average Americans. He may himself be without ethics but he has appointed some very good people who are honest, such as Kelly and Gorsuch. Also I think Trump’s venality extends only to wanting money attention and fame. It does not extend to wishing harm on the United States as current Democrats do; Trump wants to USA to win and that is the metric on which we will measure. So far, he is actually doing pretty well.

*Pretty well by recent standards. Eisenhower, Nicon or Reagan he ain’t.

In fact, it was President-elect Trump, not the Department of Justice, who decided against an investigation of the Clintons. Two weeks after the election, Trump said, “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways, and I am not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious.”

At a post-election rally in December 2016, Trump stopped the crowd from chanting “lock her up.”

“That plays great before the election,” Trump said. “Now we don’t care, right?”

His “sad” over the Justice Department heeding his direction is pure cowardice.

You can begin the Stalinist shutupery now…

    healthguyfsu in reply to Ragspierre. | November 4, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Let me ask you this: do you want the Trump admin to pursue Hillary and Bill and their partners for their crimes or not?

      Ragspierre in reply to healthguyfsu. | November 4, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      Absolutely, always, and without stint. Holder, Lynch, Lerner, Koskinen, and the whole kit-and-caboodle.

      ANY responsible Republican would have.

      Let me ask you a question; reading what T-rump said at his post-election rally, do you allow that T-rump played his cultists for suckers? (I carefully delineate his cultists from “voters”, which I’ve always said are not the same.)

      “That plays great before the election,” Trump said. “Now we don’t care, right?”

      Right…??? Right…???

Come on, it’s perfectly obvious what happened. He never meant to “lock her up”. To him it was pure shtick, something he was putting over on the rubes. He was the Clintons’ friend, before he decided to run for president he cleared it with Bill, and he was sure that once the election was safely behind them they’d all be friends again. That’s why he instructed Justice not to investigate her.

Now he’s all upset because she’s not his friend any more, and wishes he’d done the right thing in the first place by ordering an investigation of her to identify which of her numerous felonies were (a) still within the statute of limitations, and (b) prosecutable outside DC. But he won’t admit that it was his mistake, so he’s dumping all over the people who did exactly what he told them. And the rubes are still lapping it up.

Occasional Thinker | November 5, 2017 at 12:30 am

A bit different train of thought and, as I don’t have legal training, insight from someone that does. For the scenario, Trump didn’t think the Clintons etc would turn on him as they have and he is now fearing personal punishment. IF he can push an investigation and have it come out Comey, McCabe, etc were in collusion (nice word there) with Obama and the Clintons prior to the election, would the immunities granted still be valid? Assuming that it was shown the DOJ and FBI were partners in crime with those receiving immunity? Regardless of what Trump is capable of, he has to have access to some competent legal minds, capable of subtle plots.

Nice guy or not, Trump was showing his political inexperience by letting Hillary off the hook early on. But as more and more revelations pour out the evidence against her begins to look like the stack of skulls in Pol Pot’s Killing Fields. For the sake of justice and for the good of the country it’s time to act even if Trumps timing and statements now make it difficult doing so.

Trump gave them an “out” he probably knew fully well that they’d not take. And that they’d double down, though more like “more rope to hang themselves” is what really has happened.

That in turn gave Trump his “out” for calling for the investigations.

All good.

Fuzzy Slippers: One of the mainstays of then-candidate Trump’s campaign rallies was the attendees’ “lock her up” chant, a reaction to his campaign promise to “jail crooked Hillary” Clinton.

EBL: You signal being gracious and the Dems come after you hammer and tongs with Mueller? You hit back twice as hard

It’s not the President’s job to make determinations on whether to pursue particular criminal cases, a decision which is supposed to be made based on the facts and the law by independent prosecutors. That Trump has changed his views willy-nilly for political reasons, then attempted to impose those views on the Justice Department, is an serious breach of ethics, and threatens to undermine confidence in the legal system.

    Matt_SE in reply to Zachriel. | November 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    1) Your amnesia regarding the Obama era is telling.
    2) I find your childlike naivite regarding how the FBI/DoJ operates to be disingenuous.

      Matt_SE: 1) Your amnesia regarding the Obama era is telling.

      Changing the subject of Trump’s clear interference in prosecutorial decisions isn’t an argument.

      Matt_SE: 2) I find your childlike naivite regarding how the FBI/DoJ operates to be disingenuous.

      Cynicism isn’t an argument.

    Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | November 5, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    It’s not the President’s job to make determinations on whether to pursue particular criminal cases, a decision which is supposed to be made based on the facts and the law by independent prosecutors.

    The constitution says otherwise. It would have been completely proper for him to ask the FBI why it was not pursuing Clinton, given her publicly known record of multiple felonies (most of which are no longer prosecutable, but which make it likely that there are others which are) and the odor of corruption surrounding her stint as SecState (which would be within the statute).

      Milhouse: It would have been completely proper for him to ask the FBI why …

      You are confusing what is proper and power. Let’s say the President tells the Attorney General to trump up some charges against his political opponents, then arrest them publicly. He certainly has the power; but do you think this is an abuse of that power?

      A similar example of an abuse of power is pardoning someone in order to obstruct justice. While the President has virtually unlimited power to pardon for federal crimes, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t abused that power, or used that power to commit a crime.

        Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | November 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm

        Sheesh. Nobody has the legal power to trump up charges against anyone. A lowly AUSA can’t do it, the AG can’t tell her to, and the president can’t tell him to. They can do it, nobody can stop them, but not lawfully; if they do they’re ultra vires.

        The president can, however, entirely lawfully and properly, instruct his AG, or any of his US Attorneys, to bring valid charges against someone, or to investigate someone who there is reason to believe has committed a crime. He can do this just as the AG can so instruct a USA, or a USA can instruct her AUSAs.

        In this case there is no possible doubt that Hillary Clinton has, over the course of decades, committed multiple serious felonies. No honest person can deny it. There is good reason to believe that some of these felonies were committed within the statute of limitations, and that some of them may be prosecutable outside DC, where she’s not guaranteed to be acquitted regardless of the charge or the evidence. So it would be entirely proper for the president to instruct his AG to start an investigation.

Sounds to me as if Trump trued to extend an olive branch to the democrats including Clinton in hopes of receiving one in return and letting his presidency get up and running. Democrats couldnt let it go and have repeated drummed up the unsubstantiated claims against him and campaign. It’s been a year. It is time to return the favor, go after Clinton and dems for a number of obvious crimes and or unethical campaigning.

    stl: Sounds to me as if Trump trued to extend an olive branch to the democrats including Clinton in hopes of receiving one in return and letting his presidency get up and running.

    Again, it’s not the President’s prerogative to prosecute or not prosecute based on political considerations.

      Matt_SE in reply to Zachriel. | November 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Again, Obama and the IRS. Or for that matter, what about Obama’s FBI and Hillary’s non-indictment with Comey? Obama’s fingerprints were all over those.

      Mac45 in reply to Zachriel. | November 5, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      It is the President’ prerogative to decide WHEN he will pursue certain investigations and how many resources he will expend on that investigation. It is known as prioritization and it happens in every law enforcement agency in the world.

        Mac45: It is the President’ prerogative to decide WHEN he will pursue certain investigations and how many resources he will expend on that investigation.

        While the President does determine areas of concern, he is not supposed to interfere with the process with regards to individual cases, especially not due to political motivations. Such interference was one of the articles of impeachment against Nixon.

          Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | November 5, 2017 at 8:50 pm

          Which simply means the Democrats didn’t like it.

          Article 2 received significant Republican support in the Judiciary Committee; Democrats 21-0, Republicans 7-10. This was before the release of the secret tape recordings, which would have meant almost certain impeachment and conviction.

          Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | November 6, 2017 at 4:34 pm

          Irrelevant. As Ford said at the time, a high crime or misdemeanor is whatever the House says it is. It doesn’t have to be illegal, it doesn’t even have to be improper.

          Milhouse: As Ford said at the time, a high crime or misdemeanor is whatever the House says it is.

          And that power can be abused, as well.

          But you make the point. There is no constitutional system that can’t be undermined. American democracy is slowly being unraveled as power players discover chinks in the armor of the Constitution.

This should be at NRO or the Washington Free Beacon. Heh.

This is really quite simple:
Democrats implicitly threatened to tear the country apart if Hillary were indicted. After Trump refused to investigate her, they tore the country apart anyway.

If you’re going to be attacked anyway, you might as well do the right thing.

Trump essentially offered to ignore any of the Obama/Clinton scandals. In return he wanted to be left alone to pursue his MAGA economic agenda. This did not happen. So, when he was continually attacked and his family came under attack, he counter punched. That was the first time he criticized Sessions inactivity with regard to leaks and Clinton investigations. This did not stop the actions against him and his administration, so now he has renewed his call for Clinton investigations. This would include U1, which puts pressure on Mueller, Rosenstein, Obama, et al. The optics are unimportant to Trump, as he is not a career politician. And his priorities are economic reform now, drain the swamp later.

    Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | November 6, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Ah, the blind, unthinking, voluntary idiocy of the true cultist.

    Touching…

    In an un-American sort of way…

      You would actually have SOME credibility if you would stop the ad hominem attacks and substantively address the the points that you seem to be attacking. If you don’t wish to do that, then you can save yourself a lot of time by simply typing…DUH. It carries the same intellectual content as your longer posts.

        Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | November 7, 2017 at 8:15 am

        You’d gain some credibility of you’d just learn what the ad hominem fallacy is.

        You’ve been schooled on this before. Declaring that you are an enthralled cultist is not “ad hominem”. It’s accurate depiction. And it’s been demonstrated by you often here. It would be sad if it weren’t so disgusting.

Let’s look at this in a different light. What if Trump’s public statements about not prosecuting Hillary were because he was told he needed to get his nose out of the situation as President. That would explain his change of course and also why he is/has attacked Sessions about what has and has not been done in regards to Hillary.

    Ragspierre in reply to gmac124. | November 7, 2017 at 8:20 am

    No. It wouldn’t “explain” anything, because it would just be sad apologetics.

    “That plays great before the election,” Trump said. “Now we don’t care, right?”

      gmac124 in reply to Ragspierre. | November 7, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Rags you have zero objectivity when Trump is involved so I am not surprised by your view. However even though Trump was not my choice he has appeared to take advice in many areas and I believe this may be one of them. I can see Sessions giving him the advice to get out of the way publicly and Trump not having the restraint to stay out of the way.

      Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | November 7, 2017 at 10:22 am

      My “objectivity” has nothing to do with making T-rump say what he said.

      Der Donald did NOT say, “Hold on now… I have a great Attorney General appointee in Sen. Sessions, and he’ going to be the one who spearheads what we do going forth. But I CAN tell you that he has my fullest backing in investigating whatever needs to be investigated”.

      No. What he DID say is, “Now we don’t care. Right?”

      And he said it because the boob-baiting was successful, and he was done with it.

      Now, you can apologize for that all you want. It won’t change a flucking thing.

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