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Sunday, May 19, 2019

He tried to get them to shut down the counterintelligence investigation too

by digby

There's so much in the Mueller report that people don't realize. Even if you've read it, there are things that just pass you by until someone else brings it up.

Karoli Kuns at C&L caught this exchange between Chris Hayes and Marcy Wheeler:

HAYES: Marcy, you had called attention to this Lewandowski moment in the report which has not gotten a lot of attention. According to Lewandowski, Trump asked him to bring a note telling Jeff Sessions to give a speech that would say the following. This is while they are investigating what they know is a breach, this hack by a foreign adversary. "Now a group of people want to subvert the Constitution of the United States. I am going to meet with a special prosecutor to explain this is very unfair and let them move forward with election meddling for future elections so that nothing can happen in future elections. This is an attempt to shut down the whole thing."

Remember what Trump has said about email and other communications -- don't use them. Instead send notes or speak in person. But Trump was angry with Sessions, so he decided to use an intermediary to get his message across.

And as Marcy explains, it's even worse than Hayes described.

WHEELER: Not just to shut down the investigation into Trump, but also an attempt to shut down the investigation into the Russian hacking. No one gets this. NO one gets that in the summer of 2017 at the same time that Trump had just met for the first time with Vladimir Putin in this crazy meeting in the G-20, he went to Lewandowski and dictated to him in the report and made him write it down and he said, '[Trump] never dictated anything to me before.'

He makes him write it down and in that paper, he said go tell Sessions to shut down the investigation into the Russians who hacked us in 2016. He can investigate what's going to happen in 2018 and 2020, but not in 2016. That's crazy. No one knows that Trump tried to shut down the entire investigation, not just his side, but the Russian side as well.

These things did not happen because Lewandowski didn't carry out the order. He passed it off to someone else who also didn't carry it out. But as Lawfare Managing Editor Quinta Jurecic explains, "An attempt at obstruction is the same thing as obstruction."

Anyone who reads the entire Mueller report (I'm on my second pass through it now) can only conclude that Trump is extremely compromised and impeachment hearings should begin immediately. Now that the "bipartisan" threshold has been crossed, thanks to Justin Amash, it's time for Democrats to exercise their full Article I powers.

But sure. Let's just flail around whining and bitching without using every tool in the arsenal to lay out the case for the nation and the world. That will surely send the message that the rule of law is still operative.

The president has tried to stop any investigation into the Russia interference and sabotage, not just his own involvement. And now his hand-picked henchman, William Bar, is trying to stop whatever investigation is happening into current interference and sabotage. (That's the message being sent to every member of the intelligence community and law enforcement who even thinks of taking a close look at it.)

That's traitorous behavior. Leaving it up to the voters to slog through a 400-page report and sort through the noise of the cacophonous media to figure that out is an abdication of duty by the elected officials in Washington.