In a pretty scathing analysis yesterday, Daily Beast reporter/Fordham Law professor Jed Shugerman identifies some of the long list of mistakes Mueller made in his report. This is extremely important “stuff” in the sense that it gives the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committee members key analytical points to question Mueller about at his hearings net week. This all is consistent with my own personal view that Mueller omitted a large number of issues, such as counter-intelligence and direct links with Russia, and that even his responses to Barr were so overly polite that they didn’t sufficiently convey the extent to which Mueller let Barr get away with his shenanigans.
As an example of this, I cite Mueller’s letter to Barr:
Mueller expressed frustration with the fact that Barr’s March 24 letter “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions.”
Did not fully capture the context? How about “Barr’s letter completely distorted the meaning and conclusions of the work?” Not polite enough? Is there a time when being overly polite is damaging to the country? This was one, I think. Anyway, the Beast analysis is here:
As noted in an Alternet summary of the Shugerman piece:
Here are the key errors Mueller made that are letting Trump get away with Russia collusion: law professor
Jed Shugerman, a Fordham University law professor and Mueller critic, argued in a column for The Daily Beast that the special counsel showed evidence but failed to state a conclusion that the Trump campaign criminally coordinated with Russia ahead of the 2016 election.
“Based on the facts he found, he should have identified Trump campaign felonies,” Shugerman wrote. “Mueller’s errors meant that, first, he failed to conclude that the Trump campaign criminally coordinated with Russia; second, he failed to indict campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates for felony campaign coordination.”
Shugerman argued that the third error Mueller made was failing to place 10 acts of Trump felony obstruction of justice in a compelling context with the other crimes, which caused those criminal actions by the president to fall flat with the public. “On top of these errors, the former special counsel said he deliberately wrote the report to be unclear because it would be unfair to make clear criminal accusations against a president,” Shugerman wrote.
This is extraordinarily important analysis in the context of the upcoming hearings, I think. The Dems need to have every reason in the world NOT to let Mueller get away with one-word responses that fail to put his report in a more meaningful contest, as he basically threatened to do in his press briefing. Dems should either be able to get Mueller to be more complete in describing his conclusions, or they should be able to explain to America what he had omitted. And, I am personally a big fan of NOT letting Mueller pretend to be an omnipotent entity when he is in the midst of a) hiding his most important conclusions, and b) letting Barr have him for lunch.
As Shugerman notes:
Members of Congress should lay out this timeline clearly on July 17, and ask tough questions of Mueller: Why did you ignore the law of campaign coordination, which was clearly established by Congress and the FEC, and thoroughly upheld in broad terms by the Supreme Court? Did your failure to identify the correct legal standard limit your investigation of Manafort, Gates, Stone, and Trump? If you knew of these rules, why did you fail to identify this coordination as illegal once you found it?
Good luck, Dems.