The headline is based on the time I watched Tropic Thunder on TBS a few years ago.  When they got to the “never go full retard” line, the censor changed it to “full special”.  I thought you’d appreciate it.  Hey, I was proud of that one.  Shut up.

Anyway, I did a GoDuckGo search on the difference between a special prosecutor and a special counsel.  Now that I know (there isn’t really one), I’m sufficiently qualified to post about this new chapter in the story of the goddamingest of presidencies in the history of the Republic.

As you’ve no doubt heard, Trump’s Assistant Attorney General, Ron Rosenstein, has appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate all things related to the 2016 Election, Russia’s interference in the same, and anything else that happens to come up.

Many on the Right are upset about this.  Rosenstein is getting a lot of undeserved criticism for doing it.  They should save it for later.  Rosenstein had no choice.  Sessions had recused himself and Rosenstein was the one who drafted the recommendation to fire Comey.  Therefore, he was now a party to the whole thing, even though he had just joined the Administration and hadn’t participated in the campaign.

Thanks to Trump running his mouth and changing the story around about why Comey was fired combined with the fact that Democrats weren’t going to allow any FBI Director nominee get through Congress, the alternative was to let McCabe continue the investigation.  Well, that wouldn’t have been a good idea, considering his history.  Doing this at least allowed Rosenstein to pick who the Administration would be most comfortable assigning the investigation to and who the Democrats could screech the least about.  Mueller was a good choice.

Leave Rosenstein alone.  This is ultimately Trump’s fault and the decision to appoint a special counsel was probably made by Trump himself.  He boxed himself in, in any event.

One thing I’m curious to know is whether or not we can all agree that it’s for the best that Comey was fired.  Does anybody really believe that the there’s any conclusion he could have made in the investigation that would have satisfied even half of the public?  I don’t see it.  The guy’s credibility was shredded.

Mueller doesn’t have Comey’s baggage.  Whatever happens at the end will have legitimacy, whether one party or the other likes it or not.  More importantly, it will bring finality.

Last week, I observed that once Comey was fired, the appointment of a special counsel was necessary.  That doesn’t mean I favored it.  I was bowing to reality.  It just so happened that over the past week, absolutely everything that Trump did or had revealed that he did previously made it more unavoidable and hastier than it might otherwise have been.

If I were Trump, I wouldn’t have wanted this to happen.  But you get what you get.  If you don’t control yourself, you don’t get to control who’s running a major investigation about you either.

I hate to make any predictions about what we can expect now.  Once a special counsel/prosecutor/whatever gets turned loose, anything can happen.  They may uncover an entirely new scandal that dwarfs the initial cause for investigation (Ken Starr and Monica) or they may continue an investigation long past its need only to snare a low-level player for a crime that the investigation itself brought about (Patrick Fitzgerald and Scooter).

So what I’m going to predict is all of this:

  • There’s going to be no quick resolution to the question of whether or not Trump or the campaign colluded with Russia.  I’ll say that we won’t have any word on that one way or the other for the remainder of 2017 and maybe not even a year from now.
  • I don’t expect there to be any proof of collusion found, but it won’t matter because the Big Story will be about something else by the time it wraps up.
  • Mueller will do a better job of controlling leaks from the investigation than Comey was.
  • Mueller will not discover any of the original leakers or even seriously pursue them.  Would be nice if Sessions would get on that though.
  • Flynn will definitely be prosecuted for something.  When you think about how centered he is on this whole shitstorm, it’s unimaginable that he’d come out unscathed.  I can’t say for sure who else.  Wouldn’t be surprised if they get an obstruction charge out of Manafort or somebody we’ve never heard of.
  • Trump can now pick his own FBI Director and he’ll go with someone outrageous and partisan.  Trump might as well go the other direction and get someone who will unleash some payback within the Bureau.

 

Mueller is going to have the same FBI counterintelligence agents working the investigation who already were.  Comey had noted during his last testimony to Congress that if a special prosecutor were appointed, the FBI team would simply stop reporting to him and report to the special prosecutor instead.

This is why I’ve been arguing with some of you that Comey’s firing had no impact on the TrumpRussia investigation.  But, again, nobody was going to accept the findings of the investigation under those circumstances, were they?

In other words, I think the whole thing is going to go the same way and for the same amount of time it was if Comey hadn’t been fired.  With the exception of the leaking, of course.  The only difference is that Comey’s taint won’t be all over the outcome (eww, right).

Anyway, don’t hold me to all that too closely.  It’s time to buckle up because this ride is going to be wild.

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Flynn was being paid by the Turks. Wonder if he’ll have to give any of that money back…

Manafort was the creepy underside of the Trump campaign. Dirty deals were his specialty.

Mueller most likely won’t find anything impeachable on the Russian front. He seems to have been the right choice for the job so far.

mashav

RIP Chris Cornell

mashav

Also, Roger Ailes has died, apparently.

He and I were the same age…that always creeps me out when that happens. His past taking its toll?

mashav

He just played here last night. Lots of friends were at the show (we went to see TFF and H&O, instead,) some got backstage and he seemed fine, but rumour here says it was suicide.

mashav

Back on topic,
A. From what I’ve read this was not Trump’s idea, in fact he only got 30 minutes warning.
B. There’s a non-trivial chance that Trump fires Muller before this is over. Since the independent prosecutor law expired, he has the legal authority to do so and we all know how well thought out all of his decisions are. I wonder what you guys will say, if this happens. Would you still find a way to rationalize?

santino

Very sad about Chris Cornell, didn’t see that one coming.

(we went to see TFF and H&O, instead,)

Awesome! How was the show? My very first concert was Hall & Oates waaaaay back in fourth grade.

mashav

Great show, much better match between the two bands than I expected. But you could definitely tell the two groups of fans apart. TFF did a cover of Creep and H&O did ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’ 🙂 It was a bittersweet night because it’s probably everyone’s last show ever at the old Red Wings arena. The sound was great for TFF, but a really bad mix for H&O, could not hear the keyboards, at all. Not sure if that’s some quirk of the two headline band approach, or just because Joe Luis always has bad sound, much as we… Read more »

mashav

He just tweeted his views on this. It’s a witch hunt and why didn’t they have a ‘special councel’ for Obama. Keep up on your talking points…

Thrill

I woke the same as any day you know I
Should have stayed in bed

Thrill

That is more consistent with him not knowing in advance, yes.

Mostly in agreement here. I think Flynn goes down. Maybe one or two others. But the Trump investigation eventually turns up little implicating him directly. Mueller’s a good choice. The Democrats will kvetch but he has enough credibility that they won’t be able to make too much hay of it.

Thrill

Mueller has had an illustrious career serving presidents in both parties. He is held in high regard throughout the Justice Department and FBI, Mueller is highly respected among everyone really.

So naturally Trump should start attacking his character at every opportunity as soon as possible. Because of course.

Ron Rosenstein, has appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate all things related to the 2016 Election, Russia’s interference in the same, and anything else that happens to come up.

Actually, because there was so mush sturm and drang around exactly who or what was being investigated, let’s be specific. He’s taking over the Comey investigation – specifically including:

Any links and/or coordination between the Russian Government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump
Any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation
Any other matters within the scope of 28 CFR 600.4

So, yeah, he’s investigating Trump.

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Actually trump can fire mueller. Nothing in our constitution can stop him from doing that. It would be wildly unpopular and would involve trump needing to publicly repeal rosenstein’s authority to do so himself but transparency is the only thing that was put in place to temper the special powers of the president from doing so.

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

https://twitter.com/elizabeth_joh/status/865036018839306240

Yep. He can fire mueller. Take that “what do we have to lose?” crowd.

Thrill

Accurate. He’ll also be investigating Comey’s firing too, I’m sure.

mashav

So, Flynn is refusing the subpoena (yes, I know, like Hillary’s server guy and the IRS lady,) Trump still talks to him and wants to hire him back ‘as soon as he is cleared.’ (This is the guys who decided against an ISIS offensive because Turkey was opposed to the plan *and* Turkey was paying him a retainer at the time…)
Meanwhile, Trump is about to give a speech on Islam written by Stephen Miller.
I wish I could enjoy this more, but the sense of impending doom is getting in the way.

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Trump can simply repeal rosenstein’s authority to hire/fire special counsel and place it in his hands, then he can fire him.

The only real limitation in his co stitutional authority to do this is transparency and publicity, two things trump could not give fucks about.

https://twitter.com/elizabeth_joh/status/865036018839306240

mashav

My left wing sources say that’s what Trump wants, to make it up to Flynn for firing him.

Thrill

Read that Twitter conversation. The source said Trump’d have to first repeal the law. Congress has to do it. They won’t.

Thrill

My advice to Trump would be that if you love something, let it go.

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Also, I disabled comments for this post because I know that a couple of you are smartasses.

Mah nigga.

mashav

Hey, you know what’s more fun than a Stephen Miller speech about Islam delivered by Trump?
https://apnews.com/86aade76332c4a48866504edbe9a126e

mashav

That’s not how I read it. The deep state stopped Obama from compromising with Russia on Syria. I am not aware of what he is referring to, will read up. But I don’t think that’s driven by a dislike of Russia. The deep state is clearly motivated by a desire for war in the Middle East ay least as much as dislike of Russia. I don’t disagree that they are trying to take Trump down, I just don’t like your narrative of lovable ole’ Donny trying to make friends with Vladdie and the mean kids won’t let them play together.… Read more »

mashav

Take a step back. I am with you in favoring a more isolationist policy in Syria, I think we should get the hell out. Under Trump we have more boots on the ground and bombing. This is not the deep state sneaking troops in, it was authorized by the President. Telling Russia about an Israeli spy in Syria does nothing to defeat ISIS. It, in fact, hurts that effort. Which brings us to the only thing that leaking to Russia actually accomplishes – being better friends with Russia. You assume that Trump is driven by some friendly impulse and just… Read more »

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