The Mueller report has been filed. And we have no idea what it says. We don’t yet know what is in the report, what the final conclusion will be, and what will come of all the investigations that came out of this.
So, I keep asking myself: why do I feel so disappointed? Is it the lack of Jr being taken out in handcuffs? It can’t be that because I didn’t really believe THAT would happen this quickly.
So why the bummed feeling? I think this is it: Mueller has felt like a grownup who I could trust to do the right thing. Knowing that he was there gave me a sense of security. I would see something awful and I would think: Mueller is on this. Mueller will see this. It’s different than “one of these many nameless and faceless organizations investing trump will see this.” That doesn’t make me feel as secure. Mueller was like a dad/hero/grownup figure and that was comforting.
But here is the thing: this isn’t a situation in which we get a hero. No one is coming to save us from Trump. Not Mueller. Not Beto. Not Obama. Not Bernie. Not Kamala. Not even my beloved Nancy D. Pelosi.
But that doesn’t matter. Because this time, we save ourselves. There is no hero in this story. There are millions of heros— stuffing envelopes, writing postcards, marching, donating, and giving our time and energy. WE are the grownups. WE are the heros. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And really, what matters is 2020 2020 2020 and then 2020.
Justice will come for these men in one form or another. I have no doubt about that. See the next section for more information about this.
What is important now is that we show the will of the people to bring this country back to our core values. We WILL do that with our hard work and dedication in 2020. Just like we did in 2018.
Today’s GNR is dedicated to our beloved OldHippieDude and his road to recovery. He’ll be back to us as soon as he is up to it. In the meantime, a box of rain will see you through.
Still a Lot of Justice To Come
So HUGE day yesterday with the report being submitted to Barr. Lots we still don’t know.
I know it was disappointing to learn that there are no more indictments to come from Mueller. And watching people on the far right celebrate is nauseating.
But please remember these investigations are continuing elsewhere too:
I either missed or had forgotten that Public Integrity was doing the Broidy probe. Think that means Mueller has spun pieces off or produced evidence/cooperators for five offices that we know of: SDNY, DC, EDVA, NSD, Crim. Tentacles everywhere. https://t.co/p9zgmPsH9z
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) March 18, 2019
Indictments (and information) may come from many of those places.
Richard Blumenthal to @MSNBC: "There are indictments in this president's future. They're coming. Whether they're after his presidency or during it."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 21, 2019
Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates — a central cooperating witness for special counsel Robert Mueller — has been advised by prosecutors not to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee’s broad investigation of President Donald Trump, his lawyer told lawmakers in a recent letter obtained Wednesday by POLITICO.
But Gates’ lawyer, Thomas Green, left open the possibility of assisting the panel “in the coming months.”
That means there are still threads being taken by areas close to Gates.
Interesting—note: Ahmad “will continue to represent the office.” Not the USAO in DC or EDVA, but the SCO. https://t.co/Eqa8f6Zg3M
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) March 19, 2019
and this puzzling but promising info:
Update from Miller's lawyer: "Several days ago the Special Counsel notified us that they are still interested in having Andrew Miller testify before the grand jury…It is not clear at this point whether any further request for testimony will come from the U.S. Attorney's office" https://t.co/azI9r3gIMZ
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) March 23, 2019
That really does not sound like an investigation that’s wrapping up. https://t.co/wg5GN7NTj5
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) March 22, 2019
That may not, however, be the end of the matter. Mueller’s grand jury in Washington, D.C., the legally independent body that issued the subpoenas, had its term extended in January for up to six months, just before its initial 18-month term was set to expire. Another part of the Justice Department, such as the department’s foreign influence unit or the prosecutors who take over Stone’s case, could seek to step in and begin working with the grand jury to obtain the witnesses’ testimony.
In addition, two former federal prosecutors agreed that the Justice Department would likely be loath to see recalcitrant witnesses come away with such an easy victory.
“I think some other unit within the Justice Department will likely see it through, either [the U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C.] or maybe DOJ national security,” said Harry Sandick, a former prosecutor with the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office. “It would set a bad precedent for Mueller to let witnesses defeat a subpoena through delay.”
“I think that somebody will carry on the litigation because the grand jury is still in session until June,” said Elizabeth de la Vega, a former organized crime prosecutor, agreeing.
And IF the report doesn’t contain damning info AND IF none of the other investigations that have come from this come to anything, we still have this → Democrats will direct FBI, White House counsel to preserve records shared with Mueller
The Democratic chairs of the six House committees investigating potential abuse of power by President Trump and his campaign’s business and alleged foreign ties will ask several executive branch agencies to preserve information they provided to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as he investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, according to congressional aides familiar with the plan.
The six House leaders and their Senate Democratic counterparts have signed a letter that will be sent to the Department of Justice, FBI and White House Counsel’s Office, among other agencies, shortly after Mueller submits his report to Attorney General William P. Barr, signaling the investigation’s conclusion.
So yah, this all feels a bit anticlimactic, but it isn’t over.
If there is evidence of what Democrats deem impeachable offenses, Pelosi and other House leaders will come under pressure to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.
If Mueller’s work is truly done, there are good reasons to conclude that Mueller has passed along, or will before exiting the building, a far more detailed report to Barr.
First, and crucially, Mueller’s core mission is defined as conducting a counterintelligence investigation that we know began in early 2017, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. That’s his first job; prosecuting the guilty comes second.
Any adequate report of Mueller’s investigation, therefore, should include far more than just who he decided to prosecute or not, as mentioned in the regulations.
Mueller’s deputy Andrew Weissmann provided a confirmation of this focus in a closed-door hearing in the Paul Manafort case. Weissmann told the judge that an August 2016 meeting between Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, and Russian operative Konstantin Kilimnik “goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the special counsel’s office is investigating.”
That admission clearly is a reminder that Mueller’s focus has been on the possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia, a subject both far larger and fundamentally different from identifying criminal violations.
In his confirmation hearing, Barr pledged to provide transparency to the extent permitted by law. His letter Friday suggests that he will do so with respect to Mueller’s main prosecutorial decisions. The more important topic to which we will now move is the wealth of information Mueller developed in his counterintelligence investigation.
Barr sez will make principal decisions re prosecutions available to Congress then says will consult with Rosenstein and Mueller to determine what other info from report can be released. Implies report not simply description of indictments and declinations.
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) March 23, 2019
and don’t forget this:
Schiff to @MSNBC on 'no further indictments': "It doesn't mean, of course, that Main Justice, or the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney's office or the Eastern District or others may not bring indictments … It's entirely possible … there will be other indictments."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 22, 2019
And Trump himself has already been implicated in some of those crimes by federal prosecutors. https://t.co/pt8qntSUE1
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) March 22, 2019
Today is a historic, proud day for America. Despite numerous attempts by @realDonaldTrump to thwart the Special Counsel investigation, Robert Mueller & his team completed it. The fact that Mueller & Rod Rosenstein kept their jobs shows the strength of our democracy & institutions https://t.co/pZzJg9HIXg
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 22, 2019
Before we move on to the next section: Remember, you are the song that the morning brings.
Democrats are amazing
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Monday formally rolled out the party’s agenda for the next month, eyeing high-profile votes on the gender pay gap, net neutrality and domestic violence laws.
None of the bills — which have few GOP cosponsors — are expected to make it through the Republican-controlled Senate, at least without substantial revisions. But it’s an aggressive agenda to cap off Democrats’ first 100 days in the majority, as Hoyer laid out in a letter to members, obtained by POLITICO.
House Democrats are raising new concerns about what they say is recently revealed information from Jared Kushner’s attorney indicating that the senior White House aide has been relying on encrypted messaging service WhatsApp and his personal email account to conduct official business.
Cummings, who now leads the Oversight Committee, says in a new letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone that Lowell confirmed to the two lawmakers that Kushner “continues to use” WhatsApp to conduct White House business. Cummings also indicated that Lowell told them he was unsure whether Kushner had ever used WhatsApp to transmit classified information.
The top Democrats from House and Senate Intel Committees and House and Senate Judiciary Committees are asking the FBI to investigate Li Yang and her relationship with Trump after reports that she created a business that may be selling access to Trump.https://t.co/fkQkKjf2yA
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 18, 2019
Days after the massacre in New Zealand, lawmakers are looking for more information from federal agencies on what’s being done to confront the threat.
We’ve come a long way since our powerless first two years of this nightmare. Well the first days are the hardest days, don’t you worry any more, Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.
Good News for 2020
Voters who supported Barack Obama in 2012 and then Donald Trump in 2016 are sick of Trump, saying in a focus group here that they’re getting tired of his “lies” and the way he treats people.
Why it matters: Trump barely won Wisconsin, where he got roughly 22,000 more votes than Hillary Clinton, and these swing voters were decisive. If he’s losing them, it will be harder to win the state again with just his base supporters.
The “thank u, next” singer is turning her ongoing “Sweetener” tour into a voter-registration drive, partnering with the nonprofit organization HeadCount to get concertgoers to complete the paperwork that makes them eligible to cast ballots in the 2020 presidential race. The campaign, dubbed #thankunextgen (get it?), is already claiming success. “I see it. I like it. I VOTED. I got it,” read a sign at the organization’s booth, per a pic posted to Twitter. (That’s a play on Grande’s hit “7 Rings,” for the uninitiated.)
The campaign arm of House Democrats said it raised $11.6 million last month, more than in any previous February.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) said $4.6 million of that total came from grass-roots donors, including $3 million through online donations.
The average online donation during February was $18.
“Democrats across America aren’t wasting a second to protect and expand our new majority,” DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos (Ill.) said in a statement
And we WILL do all we can for 2020 because it costs a lot to win, and even more to lose.
Other Good News
The country is not divided by racial conflict, but by conflict over racial ideology. This is a crucial difference — and it is also grounds for optimism.
Liberal whites — not minorities — are setting the tone on these issues.
Since 2012, white liberals have moved considerably left on questions related to race, reflecting both a campus- and online-driven cultural awakening that has accelerated in response to Mr. Trump. On the American National Election Study’s scale measuring how respondents feel about a group — white liberals are warmer toward minorities than their own racial group.
The share of white liberals who say racial prejudice is the main reason blacks cannot get ahead has jumped substantially since 2014.
What this all shows is that America isn’t racially divided, it’s divided by racial ideology. And that’s a good thing for the country’s unity, because ideological differences, however lamentable, are less polarizing than racial conflict, in which whole communities mobilize against an enemy. A mix of races are found in each racial ideology, preventing tribe and creed from pushing in the same direction, which might lead to civil conflict. This raises the hope that American political elites can one day heal the country’s divisions.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ attempts to swiftly roll back major Obama-era policies at her agency are hitting a roadblock: federal courts.
Judges have rebuffed DeVos’ attempts to change Obama policies dealing with everything from student loan forgiveness to mandatory arbitration agreements to racial disparities in special education programs.
As a result, the Education Department is being forced to carry out Obama-era policies that the Trump administration had been fighting to stop — stymying DeVos’ efforts to quickly impose a conservative imprint on federal education policy over the past two years.
and finally: Ripple. I have my path. And you have your path. But here we are together, filling one another’s lives with our imperfect but beautiful songs as we all make our way through this great journey. If I knew the way, I would take you all home. As is, I can just share my song and hold yours close to my heart ❤️ ✊ ❤️
Proud, lucky, and blessed to be this with all of you
Happy weekend everyone!