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Comey writes: "If I were a member of Congress with five minutes to question Robert Mueller, I would ask short questions drawn from the report's executive summaries."

Former FBI director James Comey. (photo: Getty)
Former FBI director James Comey. (photo: Getty)

What I Would Ask Robert Mueller

By James Comey, Lawfare

21 July 19


f I were a member of Congress with five minutes to question Robert Mueller, I would ask short questions drawn from the report’s executive summaries.

Volume One: Russia

Did you find that there were a series of contacts between the Trump campaign and individuals with ties to the Russian government? (p. 5)

In particular, did you find that a Trump foreign policy adviser learned that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails? (pp. 5-6)

Did you find that the Trump foreign policy adviser said the Trump campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton? (p. 6)

Did you find that senior members of the Trump campaign met with Russian representatives at Trump Tower after being told in an email that the meeting was part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump? (p. 6)

Did you find that, despite the fact that candidate Trump said he had "nothing to do with Russia," his organization had been pursuing a major Moscow project into the middle of the election year and that candidate Trump was regularly updated on developments? (vol 1, p. 5: vol 2, p. 19)

Did the Trump campaign report any of its Russian contacts to the FBI?

Not even the indications from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton?

Volume Two: Obstruction

Did you reach a judgment as to whether the president had committed obstruction of justice crimes?

Did you find substantial evidence that the president had committed obstruction of justice crimes?

For example, did you find that the president directed the White House counsel to call the acting attorney general and tell him the special counsel must be removed? (p. 4)

Did you find that the White House counsel decided he would rather resign than carry out that order? (p. 4)

Did you find that the president later directed the White House counsel to say he had not been ordered to have the special counsel removed? (p. 6)

Did you find that the president wanted the White House counsel to write a false memo saying he had not been ordered to have the special counsel removed? (p. 6)

Did you find that the White House counsel refused to do that because it was not true? (p. 6)

Did you find that the president repeatedly asked a private citizen—his former campaign manager—to deliver a message to the attorney general to restrict the special counsel to investigating only future campaign interference? (p. 5)

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+47 # ChrisCurrie 2019-07-21 14:00
How about: "Approximately how many federal crimes do you think Donald Trump could be convicted of if the Democrats take over control of the Presidency and both houses of Congress?
+19 # susanlno 2019-07-21 14:15
Probably none, considering that they're refusing to take any action against him now.
0 # Robbee 2019-07-21 15:49
Quoting ChrisCurrie 2019-07-21 14:00:
How about: "Approximately how many federal crimes do you think Donald Trump could be convicted of if the Democrats take over control of...both houses of Congress?

- not to put too fine a point on it, but congress has nothing to do with whether or not the NEXT prez, if any, appoints an AG who directs justice department lawyers to investigate alleged crime in the prior exec branch and, if needed, to indict crime

* note that barak never promised to investigate war criminals bush or cheney, and did not

the technical problem with asking short true or false questions, as comey proposes, of a crafty, reticent witness such as mueller, is that m will probably just say "yes" to each, 2) it will take far less than 5 minutes to answer these 15 questions 3) leading testimony like this is extremely dull and 4) when the next dem inquires further, m will truly say that he already answered the question!

maybe c is a dull lawyer?

or maybe m asked c to propose dull questions?

lets see if dem house members are stupid enough to ask yes or no questions?

better question! -

"Did you find that there were a series of contacts between the Trump campaign and individuals with ties to the Russian government?" and "If so, of these, which ones, if any, concerned you?"


on obstruction dems can ask m the same type of questions
0 # Robbee 2019-07-21 16:06
What I Would Ask Robert Mueller
By James Comey, Lawfare
21 July 19

in prez campaign context, what is the big take-away from mueller’s testimony THIS WEEK with respect to dem debates NEXT week?


to fail to ask this question of all candidates, including mr presumptive, biden, along with a why? or why not? would be neglect of moderator!

this is an extraordinary, absolute, abject dumps of an america, where such a question MUST be asked in a party’s debate of candidates for prez! - but that’s really where we are! in the dumps! here in america!
-3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-22 09:04
CC -- do you know the book, "Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent."

The authors claim that Federal prosecutors could charge just about anyone with about three felonies a day. This is more true for people who run a business.

I'm not suggesting Trump is innocent or not a criminal. I sure he could be charged with at least 3 crimes a day. But so could all of us. That's how federal prosecutors work and think of us.
-1 # chapdrum 2019-07-22 20:36
Likely answer: zero.
+1 # lfeuille 2019-07-22 23:10
None. Unless Pence goes first, he will pardon him. But even if he didn't he would sue claiming that the Justice Dept.rule against indicting a sitting president is the correct interpretation of the constitution. Considering the current makeup of the SC, he would probably win in the end.

But all is not lost. He committed numerous NY State crimes as well and the president can't issue pardons for state crimes.
+1 # revhen 2019-07-21 14:40
I would ask, "Since candidate Trump PUBLICLY asked Russia to break into candidate Clinton's and the Democratic campaign's e-mails, a felony (Isn't this called "suborning a felony?"), why was he cleared of criminal conspiracy?" As far as impeachment is concerned, why bother since the cowards in the Senate will not put Trump on trial?
0 # lfeuille 2019-07-22 23:15
It was a stupid joke and it was the state dept. emails he was talking about, not the DNC emails. They were never stolen. I think the FBI released some of them, but Wikileaks or any other foreign entity never did.
+3 # crispy 2019-07-21 16:03
How about: considering the answers the president gave to your questions (I don't know, I don't remember) why did you not subpoena him in person?
+6 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-07-21 16:15
Do you really think the Russians effected an election where 90 MILLION registered voters DID NOT vote? Do you think that the Democrats can't face the fact that "the most qualified candidate in history" lost to the "worst candidate in history"? Do you think the Democrats are willing to lose again with Joe Biden and yet continue to rake in the Corporate Cash? Is it all about "The Benjamins" after all?
+1 # davehaze 2019-07-22 18:17
PD Terrific point. Every person who didn't vote in 2016 told me that the Russians told them not to.

Before the Russians interfered they used to say they didn't vote because it made no difference because all politicians are corupt.

In every presidential election roughly half adults don't vote. 50 percent, and the two parties nearly split the other 50 percent so the winner squeeks by with 24 or less precent of American adults. One out of four people elect the president! And that doesn't factor in those who were prevented from voting including ex fellons, and the two million incarcerated people. And the slave owners electoral college which lets the vote-loser win. Electoral democracy at its finest.

Imagine how we would scream UNFAIR if Venezuela or Russia had this system.
-2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-21 18:00
I hope the congress does ask Mueller these questions. they were all answered in the Report but they were all answered wrongly. Mueller will either have to expose himself to the biased investigation of the report or answer truthfully and refute the report.

Take the first one for example -- people with ties to the Russian government. Mueller is under court order not to say anyone has connections to the Russian government. That point is at issue in court. So if he answers "yes" as the Report says, he will face criminal contempt. If he says "no" or "maybe" or "alleged," he will refute the Report.

Or the Trump Tower meeting. All of the people at the meeting had connections to Glen Simpson of FusionGPS, CIA, MI6. No one had any connection to the Russian government. No dirt on Hillary was offered and none was transmitted. The meeting was a sting operation.

Mueller is a prosecutor. As such, he can find anything he likes. Prosecutors often lie. They often file fake charges. Prosecution cases have to be cross examined. These questions are good starters for cross-examinati on. Mueller does not like to be cross-examined. Probably he will react with hostility.
0 # Caliban 2019-07-24 23:58
In the first morning sessions, RM seemed perfectly comfortable with citing his own Report as his answer to Committee questions -- meaning he believes his team produced a document that is well-researched , factual, and persuasive.

That is also how the Mueller Report looks to this reader and to many concerned citizens throughout the USA. So, I suggest -- based on the morning's RM testimony -- that Mueller's take on Russian interference in the 2016 elections will be the winner in the pubic eye even if Congress decides there is not enough hard evidence to build a successful case for impeachment.
+5 # Stilldreamin1 2019-07-21 18:10
Remember "We intend to look toward the future, not dwell on the past'? How did that blanket immunity for Junior's crimes work out for Obama? Don't consider the conconcted WMD a crime?
+4 # kcmwilson 2019-07-21 21:52
Why are there no notes re: Trumps meeting(s) with Putin?
+2 # davehaze 2019-07-21 22:27
Why did you not question Julian Assange over the DNC documents leaks even though he said he was willing to be questioned and show that it was not the Russians?

Why did you not demand that the FBI personally examine the hacked DNC computers but rely on a private security company with ties to the Democratic party?

Why did a US District Judge issue a gag order against you and William Barr after you violated court rules in the Russia clickbait inditement which is coming to trial? What rules did you violate?

Why did you attempt to stop the Russian defendants from demanding to have a trial in the United States over clickbait allegations and ties to Donald Trump?

Why should we believe what you are saying about Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia when you were so wrong about weapons of mass destruction? Have you ever apologized for the Iraq war that you were partially responsible for?
-2 # johnescher 2019-07-22 07:07
The above posts by ChrisCurrie and susanIno have the sad effect of distracting from the solid imputations of criminal behavior as provided here by a truly legal mind.
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-22 09:02
"Did the Trump campaign report any of its Russian contacts to the FBI?"

This question is really offensive. It suggests that none of us has the right to meet with someone unless or until we notify the FBI for permission. We know for a fact that the FBI had all of the Trump campaign people and all of us under blanket surveillance so the FBI knows what we are doing and saying. Now Comey wants us to seek FBI permission as well?

Comey and Mueller profited from the Uranium One deal. Did they report this to the FBI? Christopher Steele was by his own report in contact with Russian intelligence agents. Did he report that to the FBI. Oh, I almost forget, he was working for the FBI.

Comey's question is just insulting to free people. We don't need a nanny state or the FBI Big Brother to watch over us all the time. I hope it is asked and I hope Mueller says NO, nothing was reported to the FBI. The FBI is far too corrupt to watch over US elections.

Did Hoover report to the FBI when Meyer Lansky got photos of him prancing around in a dress with his boyfriend, Clyde Tolson?

There are a lot of things that the FBI just has no business knowing about.
0 # Caliban 2019-07-24 16:19
Hoover's sexuality is irrelevant to today's FBI and the investigations it is charged to undertake now.

The FBI has a duty to uncover crime in US politics and government. Time to let it get on with the job.
-2 # chapdrum 2019-07-22 20:00
Why are we to care what Comey thinks?
-2 # chapdrum 2019-07-22 20:34
And Comey's questions are relevant in what way?
-1 # johnescher 2019-07-23 12:00
From RABBITS FOR FOOD by Binnie Kirshenbaum: "A quick Google search yields yards of postings of negativity: resentful, attention-seeki ng, withdrawn, lonely, and often voted most likely to fail."
0 # johnescher 2019-07-23 12:52
Why I must remain suspicious, in these discussion boards, of anything RR says:

Because I've experienced the exact same pretense and viewpoint from another man, in another website, over a period of more than two years.

Like RR, this man professes to be open-minded and "progressive" yet views the FBI-&-CIA (one phrase) as the embodiment of absolute evil worse even than Donald Trump.

In the view of these similar two men there is NOTHING that FBI-&-CIA ever did or does which is accurate or in any way positive or good.

I tend to agree with them that J. Edgar Hoover's pantyhose was not positive, that there are many murk-filled dealings and assassinations associated with the FBI-CIA entity that failed us utterly in not keeping us out of stupid wars.

On the other hand like Norman Mailer when writing a book I was amazed to find on a Virginia mountainside that CIA employees were neither Republican conservatives or Democratic open minds but both and quite often as human as other Americans.

And in grade school our Olney, Maryland teacher took us to the FBI to learn how fingerprints are taken, analyzed and stored. The FBI is extremely good at that and other things like that.
-1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-23 20:44
j.e., "yet views the FBI-&-CIA (one phrase) as the embodiment of absolute evil worse even than Donald Trump."

It is not that simple. The FBI and CIA are a lot like other huge institutions that are in fact committed to evil. These include the Pentagon, investment banks, many corporations, many think tanks, and so on. But many good people join these organizations believing they can do good things, since the well published mission of the organizations says they exist to do good things. Generally these people leave at some point very disillusioned.

I know many such people. Most are a-political. They are professionals. RSN often publishes John Kiriakou. He is former CIA and now knows the CIA is an evil organization, though he knows some good people who still work there.

It is important to understand who created these organizations and why. If you have researched the origins of the FBI or CIA you learn a very disturbing story. The origins of the FBI are even more secret than the origins of the CIA.

Both of these are part of the apparatus of oligarchy and imperialism. They are how oligarchy and imperialism are carried out. we can't have a world of peace and human equality as long as these exist. In a democratic and just society, they would be shut down.
+1 # johnescher 2019-07-24 06:06
Next questions: Should there be cops, checks, balances, investigations, impeachments, restraints on anybody at any level of power? Were the founders just good on the subject of elections but not impeachment? Is the cumbersomeness of democracy healthy or not?

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