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Mueller, Cohen, and Much Ado About Nothing

Updated on August 26, 2018
Ken Burgess profile image

I grew up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and currently reside in Florida.

The more things change the more they stay the same. Seems like only a couple decades ago that Bill Clinton (then President) had a special prosecutor, Robert B. Fiske investigate the legality of the Whitewater transactions the Clinton's were involved in.

I don't recall the outcome of the Whitewater charges, only that they seemed to fall back to irrelevancy while the investigation of what exactly occurred between Monica Lewinsky and President Clinton in the Oval Office became the lead story, and led to his eventual Impeachment.

So here we are, with another special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, appointed to look into the very serious charges of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

And after two years of this investigation, we are treated with yet again, another form of a man's unfaithful dalliance with another woman, albeit this one was not in the Oval Office with a young intern. But rather a lawyer who supposedly paid off two women of dubious backgrounds to be quiet about their affairs with a billionaire.

Of course, one has to wonder, what any of this has to do with Russian collusion. Or does that even matter?

Mr. Mueller's initial charge was to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, pretty cut and dried as to what he was to focus on.

So... which was it?

Mueller's investigation has wandered far from Russian interference and is now trying to find cause for an obstruction of justice charge or some other clever angle (similar to how they got Bill Clinton for "depends on what is 'is'" type of shenanigans).

Supposedly the President urging then FBI Director James Comey (of the infamous 'there is no evidence here that a prosecutor would use' in regards to Hillary Clinton's server/email/foreign-funds/DNC-misuse-of-funds/etc.) to "go easy" on former national security adviser Mike Flynn, and his subsequent firing of Comey, and his public criticism of Mueller, and AG Jeff Sessions, and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, and lets face it anyone else that gets in his crosshairs, constitutes obstruction of justice according to some.

Despite the less than proper etiquette used by Trump, these episodes all involve the president's ability to exercise his constitutional powers as chief executive, including the power to appoint and remove high-level executive-branch officials, to supervise the performance of their duties and to determine law enforcement (the alphabet agencies) priorities.

So in essence, Mueller isn't going to get anywhere with that.

Mueller also has nothing but a false (now publicly known to be fraudulent) 'dossier' that they used to investigate into the Trump campaign, in regards to the Russian collusion, and a handful of disgruntled FBI agents who have been proven to have bias against Trump and who potentially acted against Trump prior to the election, and post election.

So that's not really going to go anywhere for Mueller either, best he can hope for is to limit the damage already done, and hope future investigations don't uncover any more agents behaving badly.

So what is Mueller left with?

Cohen... but that isn't going to go anywhere either. What distinguishes this from the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal is the fact that the sitting president then appeared before a grand jury, and they focused on allegations of perjury and obstruction from Clinton's personal relationship with a White House intern.

And here is the key, independent counsel Kenneth Starr subpoenaed the president but withdrew the subpoena when Clinton agreed to appear voluntarily.

Mueller could try that, but President Trump authorized White House counsel Don McGahn to answer all of Mueller's questions regarding every alleged obstructive action. McGahn spent 30 hours describing the substance of his conversations with Trump and offering that in his assessment the President's actions were lawful.

In addition Mueller was given access to over a million relevant documents that were requested, as well as access to everyone around the President, the special counsel came up with no material facts to support collusion charges or obstruction.

Executive privilege is designed to protect a sitting president from such 'witch-hunts', they relate entirely to a constitutionally proscribed obstruction inquiry that would violate the separation of powers.

So long as President Trump does not volunteer to appear before Mueller, or a grand jury, or a New-York based federal prosecutor in regards to Cohen's guilty plea, they will not be able to get him on some triviality that "depends on what the definition of is 'is'" was Bill Clinton's undoing.

There is nothing for which they can Impeach the President, unless he volunteers such by appearing in person and allowing whatever he says under oath to be used against him.

© 2018 Ken Burgess

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    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      5 months ago

      Ken

      I agree.

      And, now the democrats are using Comey like statements for the opposite effect of trying to find some crime of Trump. After 4 congressional investigation, and the Mueller investigation, and the year long spying on Trump no evidence was found. Now they want to say they didn't have enough evidence for obstruction by the president. After all that was investigated, if they haven't found it by now, they never will and remember this is Mueller's report. Should his comments on what he didn't find become more than wish? He went into the investigated with conflicts of interest because Trump rejected him for his old job of director at the FBI.

      I hope that we see every word, and every punctuation of his report made public. Anything less makes the report the same as being redacted.

    • Ken Burgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken Burgess 

      10 months ago from Florida

      WTS, you are better with your evaluations and breakdowns of guitarists and guitars than I am with political assessments or government machinations... and you prove to be wiser as well, I am sure your musical and sports related endeavors bring you far more monetary reward than my musings about politics bring me.

      As Mario Van Peebles once said "Don't walk away mad, just walk away" sound advice to keep in mind when discussing anything politically related on 'social media'.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      10 months ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Nah. Paula is right. Or it just may be that Ken is just more even keeled than most. He has the ability to calmly state things where, in the same situation, my blood is boiling.

      I wish I were more like Ken.

      Maybe someday I'll be able to see something earthsihning so stupid it should offend everyone, and still be able to speak intelligently. Glad we've got Ken.

      Eh, nix all of that. Ken clearly has a better understanding of how the government procedures and such go. Just a cut above the rest, or two cuts.

    • Ken Burgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken Burgess 

      10 months ago from Florida

      Paula,

      That is some heavy duty praise, I am not sure anyone could prove worthy of it, least of all myself.

      I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to discuss and debate things at times with individuals whom possessed truly brilliant minds. I recognize my intellect is limited, I make do with what I have, and I am thankful that I have enough ability to at least recognize and comprehend the genius of others.

      In fact, I come to Hubpages and participate in discussions in hopes of learning, of having ideas challenged, I enjoy nothing better here than when GA completely shreds an argument I am making, or Credence questions a given position. ...well, I may not always like it, but being forced to clarify or re-evaluate my position puts it on firmer ground, or forces a necessary change.

      Thank you, most sincerely, for such a wonderful comment, I wish a warm, safe, and peaceful holidays to you and yours as well.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      10 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ken.....I always read your articles, despite not always leaving a comment. I'd like to take the time at this moment to document something.

      You are simply, "the smartest guy in the room." In everything you write, (articles & comments) it's so obvious you have an incredibly vast cache of knowledge, facts & wisdom. In addition, your impeccable manner of communication and use of common sense in your explanations, leaves no room for readers to be confused. I, for one, am duly impressed and appreciative. I want you to know how much I have learned from you and believe me, learning/continuing education is my greatest passion. I am an expert "listener" as well as an analyst, both qualities that leave my mind open to absorb as much knowledge as I can. Fortunately for me, I'm also quite good at filtering out the garbage.

      So....that's what I wanted to say. Please don't be too humble. You deserve this praise. Peace to you & yours. Enjoy the coming Holiday season. Paula

    • Ken Burgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken Burgess 

      10 months ago from Florida

      Sanxuary,

      Thanks for stopping by to reply.

      The Hillary E-mail scandal should have been treated as a severe crime, the type that falls between a felony and treason.

      It wasn't treated that way because she was the former SoS and at the time looked to be the future President.

      There was no way the U.S. Government could come out of it looking good, if they admitted she had allowed substantial amounts of above Top Secret information to be leaked to China, Russia, and others it would have only made her look like a Traitor to the Nation or totally incompetent and untrustworthy....

      Not exactly how you want to make a former SoS and future President look, especially when the alternative was Trump, who no one in Washington wanted as President.

      Anything Trump has done pales in comparison, its trivial, because he did it as a private citizen, and it didn't have any impact on national security or intel secrets.

      Considering the seriousness of the corruption that had been ongoing prior to Trump's arrival, it is no wonder that they tried to torpedo his election with a fabricated Russian conspiracy 'dossier'.

      Trump was no where near perfect, and as a private citizen who had never been in politics, he didn't need to be. So his dalliances and indescretions don't count for much.

      But when a SoS is off making private deals with Russians to enrich herself, and taking millions from the Saudis, and allowing Top Secret information to be 'hacked' by the entire world, that's heavy stuff.

      And at a different time in America's history, instead of it being swept under the rug, it would have gotten her a lethal injection.

    • profile image

      Sanxuary 

      10 months ago

      The Hillary E-mail scandal was a lot to do about nothing. This President has so many investigations that he displays his guilt daily in plain sight. Remember the days he claimed that he had nothing to hide and would be exonerated. Remember he is innocent and has nothing to hide and justice will pre-vail. If you believe he is innocent at this point nothing could possibly convince you of the truth or the facts. I am not bias on truth and even if the truth is not what I want I am only discouraged in the the individual who made the very poor decision. Still I except the facts and know there are better leaders who will do the right thing to improve our lives. Its to bad we spend so much energy on fighting to up-hold the system and trying to keep its integrity instead of solving problems.

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