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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: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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