(Jared Yates Sexton (born October 7, 1981) is an American author and political commentator from Linton, Indiana. He is an associate professor in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University. He has been a a regular contributor to The New Republic and The New York Times.)
All right. I just finished the Mueller Report. I'm going to combine the most shocking and important revelations in one thread. Long and short: there was collusion, there was obstruction, Donald Trump needs to be removed from office. Immediately.
Mueller found that Russia was actively interested in electing Trump president, as early as his announcement, if not earlier. Operations began just as Trump Campaign took off. Obvious the two are parallel organizations that occasionally worked together, had the same goals.
Multiple members of the Trump Campaign were approached by Russia. They were receptive sometimes, other times they just proceeded with knowledge that Russia was interfering on their behalf. They were not ignorant of the fact that Russia was interfering, not at all.
Trump and Cohen continued work on Trump Tower Moscow deal while actively misleading the public as to whether he had business in Russia. He knowingly lied to the American public while Cohen worked with people who seemingly thought the hotel and the election were intertwined.
Perhaps the most critical piece of information is that the Trump Campaign knew that the DNC emails were going to be released before they were. They had an active, multi-pronged plan in place to capitalize off the communications stolen by the Russian government.
Mueller found that Donald Trump, himself, knew that Wikileaks had the DNC emails before they were released and was in contact with campaign members and people outside of campaign and planned how to capitalize off their release.
Trump's call for Russia to find Clinton's emails was fruitful. Within hours they followed his call and worked to find them. Despite saying it was just a TV stunt, he repeated the call off-camera. It was collusion in real time and in the light of public. No other way to say it.
As for the Trump Tower meeting, Mueller believed that Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner committed crimes, but worried that courts would lose the thread on legal definition of the crime and wasn't sure what the $ value of Clinton dirt was and if it was enough.
Paul Manafort was especially lousy in the collusion front. He obviously had financial incentive and discussed battleground states with Russian individual, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, leading to suspicion that there were targeted efforts or interference.
Manafort discussing battleground states with Russia is really, really unsettling. There's a ton of new ground here to cover and who knows what it led to and what can be proven. You could make an argument that this is possible what turned the election.
In terms of obstruction, it is quite obvious that Mueller was communicating that there were SEVERAL instances of obstruction, SEVERAL instances of attempted obstruction, and that Congress should address the issue.
Trump actively wanted Mueller out of the investigation, said as much repeatedly. He wanted to fire him and worried that his appointment would be "the end" of his presidency.
Trump repeatedly told his subordinates to obstruct justice. He had them contact the principals, including Comey and Flynn, in order to take their temperature and communicate what Trump thought. It was a giant game of illegal telephone.
Trump repeatedly would call Comey, take his temperature, and try and get him to take it easy on Flynn. He had Reince Priebus contact Flynn, take his temperature, seemingly try and work him in order to keep his loyalty.
Multiple people in Trump's orbit declined to perform actions they thought were obstruction, including Chris Christie, who counseled Trump on how to not obstruct justice and watched him do it anyway.
After it was revealed that Mike Flynn had illicit contact with Russia, Trump shook his hand and told him he'd be taken care of. It seems as if the exchange was a promise that Trump would help him with the fallout.
Trump continually and actively addressed those in his orbit to either lie or coverup what they'd done wrong. He was constantly worried people would roll on him and constantly sought to get their stories straight in case of investigation.
In a bizarre situation, Trump said outloud that he wanted an Attorney General who would protect him. He said he believed the AG position wasn't independent. He wanted an individual who would "protect him" and wouldn't mind keeping him illegal informed of investigations.
Trump knew that false testimony had been provided, particularly in Cohen's case. He was aware of a crime being committed and allowed it.
Trump wanted to obstruct even more than he did, but the only thing keeping him from doing so was that those around him didn't want to be accessories to a crime. Don McGahn said he wanted him to do "crazy shit" and refused.
Now, the big, big, big takeaways. Mueller wrote this report in such a way as to send a message that the investigation was not the end all be all of this matter. It's obvious he was keenly aware that there was still much work to do in regards to both collusion and obstruction.
In collusion, Mueller repeatedly mentions that he was hindered by the Trump team either lying or else not providing information. He said they destroyed evidence and stonewalled him. That's why he couldn't establish the charge in totality.
In terms of obstruction, Mueller was clearly putting the matter in the hands of Congress. This is a full and explicit layout of impeachable, high crimes. He was not intending Barr to steamroll over this thing. Not at all.
What's more, Barr not only lied, it appears he actively obstructed justice by misrepresenting the report in his summary. This wasn't just a partisan structuring, it was an attempt to try and save Donald Trump and the administration.
What William Barr did here is beyond disgusting and beyond shameful. He should be removed from office and there should be ramifications. This is, to put it bluntly, a massive and indefensible act of cover-up a systematic and overwhelming crime.
The Trump Campaign and the Trump Organization are criminal enterprises. The only difference between them and the infamous "mob" is that their crimes are explicitly white collar and international in nature. They acted with an intention to commit crimes, over and over.
It's impossible to read this report and not notice how careful they were to skirt the line of collusion and obstruction. They were obviously aware of what they were doing and that this is even a matter of discussion is an indictment of our political and judicial system.
This last thing, I want to preface by saying I don't say this lightly. It makes me unbelievably sad and depressed that this has happened. But we have a criminal president and he must be removed. It has to happen.
From the moment Donald Trump announced his campaign he engaged in one unethical and criminal act after another. It's in black and white that he and the people around him are happy traitors who put their wealth and power above the country's well-being.
Trump and his cronies made a decision to put power and wealth above the country. They actively sought help in undermining our democratic process. They didn't report constant Russian contacts or offers to help. They're traitors. That's it. They're traitors.
We can sit here and parse out legal definitions, but I don't know how you get to anything else. We can talk about the word collusion or obstruction, but they actively sought help from a foreign adversary to interfere in the election of the Presidency of the United States.
The House of Representatives must vote to impeach Donald Trump. I don't care if it won't carry out in the Senate. It's what impeachment exists to do. It's their constitutional obligation to impeach him for high crimes.
Republicans have a duty to remove Donald Trump from office. They can hide behind partisanship all they want, but it's right here in the open that he's betrayed the company and broken the laws. They need to realize that duty is higher than party. And it needs to happen now.
We are in a crisis. We have to recognize that. Right now, we have a criminally compromised president. If he's allowed to get through this unscathed, we're never, ever going back. This is a four-alarm fire and we have to treat it as such.
There's no defending this. There's no spinning it. There's no rebuttal that can put this away. This is a massive and unbelievable crime on a scale before unseen. We need to get rid of the Trump Presidency before it destroys us, before it rots us from the inside out.