Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (U.C. Berkeley). My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ My author website is here: www.terikanefield.com/ May. 29, 2019 4 min read

(Thread) Summary [and analysis] of Mueller’s May 29, 2019 speech.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ah7mneJ32A 

Quotations are Mueller’s. Basically he repeated and stressed the main points from the report.

I find it helpful to start with my own summary. So here goes.

1/ “Russian intelligence officers, who were part of the Russian military, launched a concerted attack on our political system. . .”

“. . . they used sophisticated cyber technique to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign.”

2/ They “stole private information” and designed the release and timing of that information to interfere in the 2016 election and to “damage a presidential candidate.”

At the same time this was happening, “a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation . . .

3/. . . with Russian citizens posing as Americans” to influence the 2016 election.

The indictments alleged and other activities in our report describe efforts to interfere in our political system.

4/ To learn the truth about Russian efforts to interfere in the election, it was “critical to obtain full and accurate information from every person we questioned.”

“Obstruction strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.”

5/ Volume I of the report details numerous instances of Russia’s efforts to interfere in the election and discusses “the Trump campaign’s response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.”

6/ [This doesn’t mean “no evidence,” it means “not enough to bring charges.]

Vol II describes “the results and analysis of our investigation into obstruction by the president.”

7/ “After that investigation if we had confidence that the president had not committed a crime, we would have said so.”

[Yes, this clearly contradicts the “total exoneration” claim.]

“We did not, however, make a determination of whether the president committed a crime.”

8/ [Yes, this contradicts what Barr said. See👇 Apparently the attachment came from someone in Mueller’s office—even though Mueller didn’t directly rebuke Barr.


OK, so why couldn’t Mueller make a determination of whether the president committed a crime?

9/ Because under "department policy, a president can not be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional . . .”

The special counsel is bound by DOJ policy, so “charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”

10/ Two of the underlying considerations of the DOJ policy are:

💠it's permissible to investigate a sitting president so a record can be made while memories are fresh and documents available; and
💠the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system . . .

11/ . . . before a sitting president can be accused of wrongdoing.

[This means Congress—not the executive branch—decides whether the president committed wrongdoing. See this explainer👇 ]

12/ Moreover (says Mueller) it would be unfair to potentially accuse someone of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the crime.

Mueller thus concluded that “we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime.”

13/ At one point, Mueller requested that the AG make certain portions of the report public; the AG instead decided to make the report itself “largely” available. Mueller does not question the A.G.’s good faith decision.

14/ Mueller doesn't want to testify any more. “The report contains my testimony.”

“Access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.”
[This means Congress can get the evidence through the courts without him.]

15/ “I want to thank the attorneys, the FBI agents, the analysts, and the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals who spent nearly two years with the Special Counsel’s office were of the highest integrity.”

16/ [This was a rebuke of Trump's "conflicted Mueller and his 18 angry Democrats" nonsense.]

Mueller reiterated his central findings—that there were “multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”

17/ End of summary of Mueller's speech.

Let’s examine Mueller's logic. He says if he could exonerate Trump of obstruction, he would. But he can't.

At the same time, he cannot conclude whether or not Trump did commit obstruction of justice.

18/ Then he explained that it would be “unfair” to accuse Trump without being able to conduct a court hearing.

In a weird roundabout hairsplitting way, Mueller said that Trump Obstructed Justice without actually saying it. [Well after all, he’s a lawyer.]

19/ That the Mueller report leads inexorably to the conclusion that Trump obstructed justice is no surprise to anyone who actually read the report. See:


My first thought was that this will make it harder for Trump & pals to spin the narrative . . .

20/ . . . and say Trump is exonerated. But then Trump tweeted this:

21/ And I responded to a bit of Brit Hume’s nonsense here:


Well, after all, Trump’s entire "legal defense" is to torpedo truth itself.

End/ (except answering questions)

A few people asked me this.

The DOJ doesn't "make" it unconstitutional, but because the Supreme Court hasn't taken a position on this, government officials are required to do what they believe is constitutional.

Make sense?

I've talked about the problems with indicting a sitting president. See 👇  https://terikanefield-blog.com/can-a-sitting-president-be-indicted-and-put-on-trial/ 


You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.



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