Mueller defends Russia probe, says Stone remains a felon

dublinbay z6 (KS)

About time Mueller spoke up and defended his work. This staying above the fray may sound noble, but it is decidedly impractical for accomplishing much in this everyday world. Too many Trumpsters willing to take advantage of his silence.

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"Former special counsel Robert Mueller sharply defended his investigation into ties between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, writing in a newspaper opinion piece Saturday that the probe was of “paramount importance” and asserting that a Trump ally, Roger Stone, “remains a convicted felon, and rightly so" despite the president's decision to commute his prison sentence.

The op-ed in The Washington Post marked Mueller's first public statement on his investigation since his congressional appearance last July. It represented his firmest defense of the two-year probe whose results have come under attack and even been partially undone by the Trump administration, including the president's extraordinary move Friday evening to grant clemency to Stone just days before he was due to report to prison.

Mueller wrote that though he had intended for his team's work to speak for itself, he felt compelled to “respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office.

“The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so," Mueller wrote.

Mueller did not specify who was making the claims, but it appeared to be an obvious reference to Trump, who as recently as Saturday derided the investigation as this “whole political witch hunt and the Mueller scam.”

The mere publication of the op-ed was striking for a former FBI director who was exceedingly tight-lipped during the investigation, refusing to respond to attacks by the president or his allies or to make public appearances explaining or justifying his work. . . .

But that buttoned-up approach created a void for others, including at the Justice Department, to place their own stamp on his work. Even before the report was released Attorney General William Barr issued a four-page summary document that Mueller privately complained did not adequately capture the gravity of his team’s findings.

In the months since, Barr assigned a U.S. attorney to investigate the origins of the Russia probe, and the Justice Department moved to dismiss the criminal case against former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn even though Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition period. That request is the subject of an ongoing court dispute.

The op-ed chronicled the basis for the Stone prosecution, with Mueller recounting how Stone had not only tampered with a witness but also lied repeatedly about his efforts to gain inside information about Democratic emails that Russian intelligence operatives stole and provided to WikiLeaks, which published them in the run-up to the election.

Those efforts, including his discussions with Trump campaign associates about them, cut to the heart of Mueller’s mandate to determine whether anyone tied to the campaign coordinated with Russia in the hacking or disclosure of the stolen Democratic emails.

[. . .]

“We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities,” Mueller wrote. “The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.”

Stone was found guilty last fall of witness tampering, false statements and obstructing a congressional investigation into Russian election interference. He was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison and was due to surrender on Tuesday, until the president commuted his sentence.

[. . .]

He was one of six former Trump associates or advisers to be convicted in the Russia investigation. In total, the investigation produced charges against 34 individuals, including 25 Russians accused either of hacking into Democratic email accounts or engaging in a covert social media campaign to divide American public opinion ahead of the election."

https://news.yahoo.com/mueller-defends-russia-probe-says-224804208.html

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I think the American public is getting a bit tired of the Trump attempts to undermine anything and everything that does not reflect well on Trump.

Kate

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FinallyHome

I think the American public is getting a bit tired of the Trump attempts to undermine anything and everything that does not reflect well on Trump.

The American public is just tired of Trump period.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)


UPDATE:

"Amid Stone flap, Sen. Lindsey Graham to allow Mueller testimony

The Republican chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee said Sunday that he will accede to Democrats' request to call former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify, after Mueller offered a rare public defense of the Russia collusion probe he led.

[. . .]

Though the committee's Republican majority had previously said it was time to move on, [Sen. Lindsey] Graham said the Democrats' repeated requests for Mueller to appear would now be granted.

It was unclear what Graham's motivations were, or indeed whether Mueller -- who has maintained silence on the matter since testifying reluctantly and in measured terms before Congress last July -- would necessarily appear.

[. . .]

Democrats were outraged when Trump on Friday commuted the jail sentence of a friend and political ally, Roger Stone. . . .

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the commutation a case of "staggering corruption."

Only a few Republicans have spoken up against Trump's move.

A White House statement Friday about the Stone matter denounced the Mueller probe as part of a "witch hunt" by "overzealous prosecutors" looking into what Trump has often called the "Russia hoax."

[. . .]

The latest round of White House criticism apparently prompted Mueller to break his longtime silence.

[. . .]

"Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes," including lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks and with "individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers."

"He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so," Mueller wrote.

Prosecutors, he added, "acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false."

https://news.yahoo.com/amid-stone-flap-republican-senator-allow-mueller-testimony-192830457.html

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If we can hang in there for a couple more years, more info. will be forthcoming:"Andrew Weissmann, a top prosecutor for former special counsel Robert Mueller, is publishing a book about the two-year investigation."

https://news.yahoo.com/video/former-mueller-probe-prosecutor-publish-123302975.html

I, for one, would like to read it.

Kate

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

Lindsey is trying to appear even handed, he must be worried, sorry, too late.

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lurker111

Mueller lied to congress. comey, clapper, schiff, pelosi, nadler, chuckie...all of them.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Yeah definitely too late for graham.

About time the gop realize that trump doesn't have coattails but a millstone...but it's too late to matter for many of them. They hitched their wagon to a loser and now they're going to pay for it.


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ronminsouthga

About time Muller stand up and defend his report. Here it is before congress Watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFIoVAMSLX0

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lurker111

His report has been totally debunked. Based on nothing, and he refused to look at hillary's crimes.

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ronminsouthga

I agree lurker. If I had made a comment most of these people would not have watched it. They would have if it came from CNN, yahoo news and other main stream media.

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queenmargo

I think the American public is getting a bit tired of the Trump attempts to undermine anything and everything that does not reflect well on Trump.

Sorry Kate, BUT, I think the American public is getting a LOT tired of the LEFT attempts to undermine anything and everything that Trump does that does not reflect well with the left. True!

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adoptedbyhounds

"Even before the report was released Attorney General William Barr
issued a four-page summary document that Mueller privately complained
did not adequately capture the gravity of his team’s findings."

Who can tell us WHY AG Barr released the summary and not the report?

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bob_cville

Perhaps because the report showed Trump was guilty, and Barr being Trump's lapdog had to concoct a "summary" which mischaracterized the facts to protect Trump's rump.

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