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WITHOUT THE SPIN, MUELLER’S PUBLIC STATEMENT CLEARS TRUMP

WITHOUT THE SPIN, MUELLER’S PUBLIC STATEMENT CLEARS TRUMP

The simple fact is that Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to charge or accuse President Trump of any wrong doing.

SPIN FIRST

Mueller’s key words from his May 29, 2019 public statement were,

And as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/05/29/mueller_if_we_had_confidence_the_president_clearly_did_not_commit_a_crime_we_would_have_said_so.html

There are two assertions here:

  1. If we were sure the president didn’t commit a crime, we would have told you.
  2. We did not determine the president committed a crime.

The convoluted wording alone should make us wonder about spin. Clearly Mueller did not have a legal case against the president (or he would have stated such), but spin allows him to make a political accusation; by suggestion.

  • We can’t say the president didn’t commit a crime; suggesting that maybe he did
  • We can’t say the president did commit a crime; suggesting that maybe he didn’t

All of this leaves a cloud of suspicion, but rightly viewed, Mueller is an agnostic rather than a true atheist.

  • Agnostic: I don’t know if there is a God or not; suggesting not enough proof or evidence either way
  • Atheist: I know there is no God; suggesting evidence and proof exists to show ‘no God’

By posturing himself as an agnostic, he leaves room for speculation on the part of all the rest of us. To bend Robert Frost’s words,

We dance in a ring and suppose,
Mueller sits in the middle and knows.

To Un-Spin this matter, we simply need to know if Mueller thinks he had a case to indict Trump if he were not the president. If that were so, his language would be something like, “While I know a sitting president can’t be indicted, I believe there is sufficient evidence to prove he committed a crime.” That would be provable and explosive if true. Indicting the president is one thing, accusing him of committing a crime is another.

Of course, he says nothing close to an accusation since he flatly states, “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

Mueller’s spin is to nuance the difference between these two statements:

  1. We determined a crime was not committed
  2. We did not determine a crime was committed

In either statement, there is nothing for the legal system to do. If there was no crime or if no conclusion is reached that there was a crime, it doesn’t matter legally; THERE IS NO CASE.

MUELLER’S PROBLEM

Mueller’s entire problem is one of INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE. He states this in the same public statement when he says,

[Volume One of the report] includes a discussion of the Trump campaign’s response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/05/29/mueller_if_we_had_confidence_the_president_clearly_did_not_commit_a_crime_we_would_have_said_so.html

In the legal world, insufficient evidence mean you don’t have a case, especially during a trial. When there is not enough evidence, then charges are dropped and the person under investigation is cleared and freed.

n. a finding (decision) by a trial judge or an appeals court that the 
prosecution in a criminal case or a plaintiff in a lawsuit has not proved the case because the attorney did not present enough 
convincing evidence. Insufficient evidence usually results in dismissal of the case after the prosecution or the plaintiff has 
completed his/her introduction of evidence or, if on appeal, reversal of the judgment by the trial court.
 

https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/insufficient+evidence

Of course, if a prosecutor concludes that there would be such a ruling or probability, then there would be no charges to begin with, which is what we commonly mean by not having a ‘prosecutable case’.

Mueller spins his position to leave room for ‘maybe’, but let’s face a couple of facts beyond the spin:

  1. Around 35 million dollars was spent trying to especially prove the president committed a crime
  2. Mueller did not find that the president committed a crime

Mueller actually clears the president with his report and statement. Congress, on the other hand, is not a legal system, but a political one. DANGER: SPIN AHEAD.

CNN’S CUOMO SPINS TRUMP’S WORDS ON ABORTION

We can call this one a spin-by-deletion or context error. Honestly, I don’t know if Chris Cuomo just made a mistake, is engaging weak journalism, or is up to something. In his video from Cuomo Primetime (“New Abortion Laws Aim to Provoke Roe v. Wade Protections” – May 7, 2019) he accuses President Trump of ‘fiction, BS, and ignorance’, charging him with misstating the law. Chris Cuomo is the one, however, who is doing the misstating. Here’s the Cuomo verbatim:

CUOMO: What you’re seeing is Republicans running with the fiction POTUS is pushing. It’s fear-mongering. It goes back to the campaign.

TRUMP (video clip): You can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day.

CUOMO: That’s just not true. That’s complete BS. So, whether he is ignorant or not on the issue doesn’t matter anymore as President of the United States.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/05/07/new-abortion-state-laws-cuomo-cpt-vpx.cnn

So far so bad for the President, except the video tape is both edited and out-of-context. Here’s the verbatim from the New York Times:

CONTEXT: October 20, 2016 debate moderated by Chris Wallace. The question concerned partial-birth abortions.

TRUMP’S ACTUAL WORDS: Well I think it’s terrible. If you go with what Hillary is saying. In the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother in the ninth month, on the final day.

https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000004721329/trump-and-clinton-on-abortion.html

First, this statement was made during the campaign and shows Trump attacking Clinton’s view (or his view of her view). Trump is clearly not stating this is the current law as Cuomo insists he thinks. Instead, Donald Trump is arguing what he believes will happen if Hillary’s view becomes accepted.

Second, this statement also has the words ‘of the mother’ removed. Why would CNN edit Mr. Trump’s words in mid-sentence? Speculation would suggest that it softens the rhetoric, making the issue sound less mother/daughter and more woman/body. Another option is the clip was edited to essentials because of time constraints. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t make Cuomo and his team look good.

Chris Cuomo may have been ignorant (didn’t realize the clip was an out-of-context and edited clip) or he may have been simply offering BS (his term), but in either event he’s wrong on this point. The spin is for the Pro-abortion/Pro-life debate. Cuomo is making a case for women’s rights (pro-abortion) and is using a false narrative (via a video clip) to invite people to think this President (and pro-life advocates) are so lame that they don’t even understand the laws and are willing participants in promoting false information. It’s a spin. Of course, the irony is that it is a part of his Facts First segment.

THE REMEDY
One should always insist upon two essential things before making a conclusion about another’s BS;

  1. Assume the person being quoted means something that makes sense to themselves, and then look for it.
  2. Gather the context of words, setting, and intended audience.

These two simple practices will steer you well, and they will allow you to see where spin-meister’s, entertainers, op-ed writers, and sometimes journalists, can go awry. CNN’s Chris Cuomo would have done better engaging these tools.

NOTE WELL: The ‘abortion issue’ isn’t going away and is, at its core, a conflict of values: The mother’s rights vs. the unborn daughter’s rights. Pro-abortion advocates are making the mother’s rights the issue, while pro-life advocates are making the unborn daughter’s rights the issue (an alternate framing would say the woman’s rights vs the fetus’s rights, but that’s another Spin-Check). THE QUESTION: At what point does the unborn daughter’s rights exceed the mother’s rights (if ever)? Wherever you land, please check the spin and keep the facts in play, especially within the context they’re quoted.

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