Live Blog

Here is your live blog for the day.

Good Mueller Monday morning.

Here is what's on the president's agenda today:

  • The president meets with the prime minister of the State of Israel
  • President Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with the prime minister of the State of Israel
  • The president participates in a photo opportunity with the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions: the Washington Capitals

Here it is: Read Attorney General Barr's letter to Congress

It's official: no made-up crime of "collusion" with RUSSIA. Media hardest hit

After more than two years, 2800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, "more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses," we finally have the results from the holy Mueller report.

Mueller's witch hunters included: "19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff." G-d forbid, the government come after you with a team of resources like this. Could you survive it?

The Constitution is supposed to protect American citizens against government-backed fishing expeditions that investigate until they find a crime. Despite this forensic colonoscopy, the Mueller investigation cleared Trump and his associates of the constant, hyped-up RUSSIAN collusion charg the Democrats and the media have been barking about for years.

As the report states: "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

DONE. Put a fork in it. The RUSSIA conspiracy theory goes POOF.

Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Eric Swalwell, spooks John Brennan and Jim Clapper, Andrew McCabe and every other lying piece of garbage howling about RUSSIA should be banned from appearing on television. Why do the media continue to allow these liars on their shows and source their propaganda? Because the media is in on it.

Related:

5 key takeaways from Mueller report summary in Russia investigation

WOMP WOMP Mueller report is blow to U.S. Democrats' plans to probe Trump

Mueller handed off the obstruction charge to the Democrats...on purpose

On the issue of obstruction of justice, the much more likely issue to cause Trump some trouble since it requires a bit more of a judgment call, Mueller purposely punted to the Democrats' congressional circus for stage two of our national nightmare. This is not over and the continuation of the Trump sabotage can be found in the report's assertion that it was unable to determine one way or the other if Trump tried to obstruct justice. This was entirely by design.

But AG Barr was having none of this crap and stepped in so the derp staters in the DOJ can't leak out that Mueller didn't clear Trump on obstruction. But now they can say Trump's hand-picked AG made the call on obstruction. See how that works? Clever.

After reviewing the Special Counsel's final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.

I wonder what the Mueller witch hunters consider evidence of obstruction of justice?

Also, Barr made a very smart move to include the inexplicably protected and compromised Rosenstein in this conclusion. But here's the opening for the deranged media and Democrats to pounce: Mueller didn't absolve Trump of obstruction and Barr is a Trump appointee so his assessment can be doubted. Let's roll.

Related:

Barr Clears Trump of Obstruction After Mueller Demurs

All of a sudden: transparency matters

The Democrats and the media, but I repeat myself, are demanding the entire report be released to the public. This is so they can seize on random minutiae to obsess over and use for nefarious, ominous claims on their nightly political snuff shows. I hope that Barr makes sure to protect innocent folks caught up in this dragnet -- people who had their lives ruined. If the special counsel wants to interview you, you need to hire a lawyer and it can't be Better Call Saul. Specialized attorneys that can handle a sensitive matter like this cost tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars. All because a bunch of butthurt elitists couldn't accept the results of the election. There was never any pretense to start this investigation of Trump and the Trump campaign. Never.

I also want some transparency. Let's get those FISAs some fresh air, some 302 forms and the scope memo, and find out who was behind the unmaskings. Transparency, indeed.

But, but, but...

Chuck and Nancy came out against Barr's decision not to go after Trump for obstruction (his Twitter feed?) of justice.

They claimed Barr has a “public record of bias” against the special counsel’s probe, saying he’s “not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report.”

Republicans are never objective and Democrats always are, doncha know? Loretta Lynch's tarmac meeting? Eric Holder's executive privileges crap on Fast and Furious? But this is exactly as planned.

Fusion Ken weighs in:

Welcome to part two, along with the other matters sent along to the SDNY. The narrative whiplash has begun.

Related:

Pelosi, Schumer: Barr's Mueller summary 'raises as many questions as it answers'

Yes, do this. Dem Leaders Already Hinting at Possible Trump Impeachment After Summary of Mueller Report

Bonkers. Joy Reid on Mueller Report: It Feels Like the Seeds of a Cover-Up Are Here

Adam Schiff: Mueller should have interviewed Trump in probe

No Impeachment in View, but Democrats Push On With Investigations of Trump

Democrats want Attorney General Barr to testify before Congress on Mueller report

The mainstream media is beyond disgrace

There is almost no word that describes the degree to which the media has beclowned itself. Confidence in the media was always lacking among conservatives but Trump derangement in the legacy media newspapers and cable/TV is so out of control they might as well be considered an in-kind donation to the #resistance.

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone has a terrific piece. It's an excerpt from a new book that just hits a home run. Go read it.

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a “witch hunt.”

Stories have been coming out for some time now hinting Mueller’s final report might leave audiences “disappointed,” as if a President not being a foreign spy could somehow be bad news.

Openly using such language has, all along, been an indictment. Imagine how tone-deaf you’d have to be to not realize it makes you look bad, when news does not match audience expectations you raised. To be unaware of this is mind-boggling, the journalistic equivalent of walking outside without pants.

I'm not usually a Taibbi fan, but I need to give him credit for this insightful piece.

When will the apologies and accountability come?

How does Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn get his reputation back? Carter Page? George Papadopoulos? When will the people who started this aberration with their abuse of power face justice? The media celebrities who fomented public discord? The politicians who promised they had evidence of "collusion"? When?

Related:

Media Pummeled As Mueller Report Deals Death Blow To ‘Russian Collusion’ Narrative

Trump Jr.: 'Collusion truthers' need to be 'held accountable' after Mueller report

Google Downplays Searches for News of No New Indictments in Mueller Probe

Rep. Doug Collins on Mueller report summary: 'Where's the apology, Mr. Schiff?'

Troll level: EPIC

I am very concerned with the mental stability and quality of people who staff our intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Your daily WTF:

Diabetic inmate with HIV died after being left on cell floor for 21 hours without food or medicine, inquest reveals

Other morsels:

7 injured as Gaza rocket strikes home in central Israel

"Clueless" cast reunites nearly 25 years after film's release

Again? Kirsten Gillibrand kicks off presidential run

AIPAC speakers make thinly veiled jabs at Ilhan Omar in wake of comments deemed anti-Semitic

For the second time in a week, a Parkland student has died in an apparent suicide

Yikes, I eat avocados almost every day. Avocados recalled in 6 states over listeria concerns

Southern Poverty Law Center president resigns after a co-founder was fired

More than 1,000 Ebola cases reported in outbreak

Six LGBT moments cut from 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in China

And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!

It's almost impossible to believe that this tweet is only five days old.

Oh come ON.

This is a lame attempt at REPUBLICANS POUNCE, even for Politico.

Most of my family came here after the Civil War, so I should be on the hook for only one quarter the reparations of the full descendants of some slave-owners, yes?

More on the creepy porn lawyer's arrest in Manhattan and indictments in New York and Los Angeles, via the L.A. Times: 

Los Angeles attorney Michael Avenatti has been arrested and charged with financial crimes by federal law enforcement officials in separate cases in Los Angeles and New York, authorities said Monday.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles announced a morning news conference to discuss charges of bank and wire fraud against the 48-year-old attorney and foe of President Trump.

In Southern California, federal prosecutors accused Avenatti of misusing $1.6 million in funds earmarked for a client’s settlement to cover “expenses for his coffee business, Global Baristas US LLC, which operated Tully’s Coffee stores in California and Washington state, as well as for his own expenses,” the statement read.

Avenatti is separately accused of fraudulently obtaining more than $4 million in loans from a Mississippi bank in 2014 by submitting false tax returns that showed he had raked in millions in profits from 2011 to 2013, according to a criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles. In reality, Avenatti had not submitted a personal tax return with the Internal Revenue Service in any of those years, according to the filing.

Prosecutors in Manhattan also accused the attorney of “attempting to extract more than $20 million in payments from a publicly traded company by threatening to use his ability to garner publicity to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if his demands were not met,” according a statement from the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. The company in question was Nike, according to the complaint, which Avenatti has been sparring with in recent months.

Oh, and don't miss this part:

Avenatti approached Nike earlier this month regarding alleged evidence brought by an AAU basketball coach in California, claiming that Nike officials were paying the families of top high school basketball players, according to the complaint. Avenatti threatened to hold a news conference if Nike didn't pay the client and hire Avenatti to conduct an internal investigation of the company, court records show.

Hardest hit, MSNBCNN:

No doubt they'll have him back just as soon as he gets this little legal snafu sorted out.

 

Actually, CNN is having a very bad few years.

The last goalpost move that they have:

I am not really sure what satisfaction they think the full report will give them. At this point it just seems like so much foot-stomping. Oh, it's entertaining, but it will get old pretty quickly.

Should Christians support reparations?

My friend Sam Pauken has a great blog post on this topic. He argues that demanding reparations in the name of justice actually minimizes our view of God's ultimate justice. Read it here.