Rudy Giuliani isn't making much sense

On Thursday night, Trump legal team face Rudy Giuliani went on Sean Hannity's Fox News Channel show and said this:...

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 1:38 PM
Updated: Jun 15, 2018 1:38 PM

On Thursday night, Trump legal team face Rudy Giuliani went on Sean Hannity's Fox News Channel show and said this:

"[Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein and [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions have a chance to redeem themselves and that chance comes about tomorrow. It doesn't go beyond tomorrow. Tomorrow, [special counsel Robert] Mueller should be suspended and honest people should be brought in, impartial people to investigate these people like [FBI agent] Peter Strzok. Strzok should be in jail by the end of next week."

Whoa!

End the Mueller investigation! Jail an FBI agent, presumably without trial! (Hard to see how a trial could be conducted between today and Strzok being incarcerated next week.)

What has occasioned Giuliani, never one for understatement, to crash through even his own high standards for hyperbole, you ask? The 500-plus-page report from the Justice Department's Inspector General, which documents the actions -- and inaction -- of former FBI head James Comey and a number of his underlings during their 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

The report makes clear three basic things:

  1. Comey violated protocol repeatedly during the 2016 election, especially when it came to his decision to publicly announce that there wasn't a case to prosecute Clinton in July 2016 and his pronouncement just days before the election that more emails potentially pertaining to the probe had been found on Anthony Weiner's computer.
  2. No evidence of partisan or political bias was found as a motivator for Comey's protocol breaks
  3. Strzok, an agent involved in the Clinton investigation and the FBI's look into whether and how Russians were seeking to meddle in our elections, acted hugely inappropriately in a series of text messages with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was pursuing an affair. In response to a text from Page concerned about Trump winning, Strzok replied: "No. No he won't. We'll stop it."

Those three conclusions are facts -- or at least as close as we can hope to come to facts surrounding the FBI circa 2016.

What Giuliani is choosing to do with those facts is, well, a stretch.

Let's take Giuliani's call for Mueller to suspend his investigation first.

The argument from the former New York City mayor seems to be that Mueller is focused on all the wrong things. The current probe -- into Russian meddling as well as the possibility of obstruction and collusion -- is pointless, is a witch hunt, is already proven to be a hoax. Given that, Mueller should go investigate the real criminals -- Strzok, Page and Comey (among others).

Said Giuliani:

"We are way beyond Hillary Clinton. We now have an investigation that in the words of President Donald Trump from the very beginning has been a fix, a frame-up and a witch-hunt. It was led by Peter Strzok, who is disgraceful and even for the present director of the FBI to have him there tomorrow would be disgraceful. Every FBI agent should demand that that man be fired and tomorrow Mueller should suspend his investigation and he should go see Rod Rosenstein who created him and the Deputy Attorney General and Attorney General Sessions who should now step up big time to save his Department."

But, why would Mueller suspend an investigation that has nothing to do with the IG report on how the FBI handled the 2016 Clinton email server probe? Mueller is looking into the active measures Russia took to interfere in our election and the possibility people within the Trump campaign worked with them to do it. His investigation has zero to with Hillary Clinton's email server.

Also, there's no need for Mueller to suspend his investigation so that an investigation into Comey, Strozk, etc. could begin. This isn't a zero sum game. You can have two special counsels at one time! Investigating different things!

Now for Giuliani's call for Strzok to be imprisoned.

Giuliani never really goes into what crime Strzok should be charged -- and immediately convicted -- with, which makes it hard to determine if he is serious about this or just trying to score rhetorical points.

He makes a passing reference to Comey being at the "head of this RICO case." But, in order for this to be a RICO case -- which stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act -- there would need to be some sort of broad-scale corruption and bribery -- a vast conspiracy designed to bring down Trump.

Remember that the IG report expressly makes clear that he found no evidence that the FBI was influenced by partisan bias in its decision-making regarding the Clinton email server. (The report is more vague on Strzok, saying only that it is impossible to determine whether the sentiments voiced in his texts might have influenced his decision-making on which case -- Russia or Clinton -- to focus on during the election.)

It's worth noting here that an FBI agent having opinions is not a crime. Acting on those views to obstruct an investigation is. But, according to the IG report, that evidence simply doesn't exist.

What explains Giuliani's hyperbole then? He is doing what Trump wants -- pushing the goalposts back as far as possible, trying to set the field on which the debate over the IG report will play out.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
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