Let’s get this out of the way first: President Donald Trump didn’t actually say the words “red line.” In fact, he, his National Security Advisor, and his Secretary of State say so many different things that it can be hard to tell whether there are red lines, let alone where they are.
In August 2012, President Barack Obama explicitly laid down a red line to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria: Move chemical weapons around, and we will strike. A few days later, Assad brutally killed over a thousand people in Ghouta with sarin. Congress and allied nations were reluctant to back a military strike in response. But then Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered another response: Syria would join the Chemical Weapons Convention and give up its stock of chemical weapons and the means to make more. Read More
Much of this chapter is redacted under “Harm to Ongoing Matter,” (HOM) presumably referring to the court case against 13 employees of the Internet Research Agency (IRA). A few redactions are labeled “Personal Privacy” (PP) and “Investigative Technique,” (IT) and there seems no need to try to decipher them.
The unredacted part of the chapter is a story that has appeared in the news many times. I’ll outline it and provide a few juicy quotes. Read More
This section lays the basis for and scope of the investigation. It first cites Rod Rosenstein’s Appointment Order. (The report uses more capitalization than I usually do. It is helpful in pointing to specific documents.) The subjects of investigation are:
(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
The last covers “federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses.” It also covers similar crimes committed during the FBI’s investigation that was wrapped into the Special Counsel’s investigation. Read More
The Russian destroyer Udaloy I forced the USS Chancellorsville to maneuver to avoid collision in the Phillippine Sea today. They were sending a message – look at the guys sunbathing on the flight deck.
Robert Mueller has told us all to read his report. So I propose to summarize parts of it, highlight what seems to me to be important, and add in some background.
I will take it in relatively small sections, starting at the beginning and going through to the end. I am also posting at Balloon Juice, where there will be much more commentary.
I’ll try to do two posts a week or more – 400 pages will be a lot to get through.
I’m looking for the big picture rather than details of who was at which meeting on which day, but those details will sometimes reveal parts of the big picture, so there will be some of both. It’s also important to understand what Mueller says about how he and his team see their work.
I downloaded the Department of Justice’s version. The site takes some time to load, so it’s easier to have it on my computer. There are a number of versions available, and podcast readings of it as well.