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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 42772

Reported Deaths: 1542
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin13697791
Ramsey5313234
Dakota275396
Stearns253619
Anoka2458111
Nobles16946
Washington130641
Olmsted130220
Mower9872
Scott8994
Rice8928
Clay62038
Kandiyohi5951
Blue Earth5862
Wright5475
Carver5002
Todd4042
Sherburne3725
Lyon3512
Freeborn3140
Watonwan2720
Steele2501
Benton2423
St. Louis23816
Nicollet20712
Martin1755
Winona15015
Cottonwood1420
Goodhue1428
Le Sueur1361
Crow Wing11512
Otter Tail1151
Pine1150
Chisago1111
McLeod1030
Dodge990
Carlton940
Polk903
Unassigned8838
Pipestone864
Isanti830
Murray830
Chippewa811
Waseca800
Itasca7612
Douglas740
Morrison691
Becker680
Meeker661
Faribault610
Jackson580
Sibley572
Beltrami550
Pennington540
Brown492
Wabasha430
Mille Lacs412
Renville373
Fillmore360
Rock350
Swift351
Grant320
Houston320
Yellow Medicine310
Roseau280
Lincoln250
Redwood250
Koochiching221
Wilkin223
Norman210
Cass202
Big Stone180
Kanabec181
Wadena180
Aitkin160
Marshall160
Clearwater150
Mahnomen131
Pope130
Stevens110
Hubbard100
Lake90
Traverse70
Lac qui Parle50
Red Lake50
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35534

Reported Deaths: 754
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk7611185
Woodbury334944
Black Hawk253459
Buena Vista173811
Johnson14878
Dallas141531
Linn141083
Marshall110019
Scott109810
Dubuque100023
Story8778
Pottawattamie84113
Wapello71631
Muscatine69545
Crawford6813
Sioux5050
Tama48829
Webster4295
Wright3991
Louisa36713
Jasper35717
Plymouth3535
Warren3371
Cerro Gordo3291
Dickinson3073
Washington2559
Hamilton2041
Boone1751
Clay1511
Clarke1453
Clinton1391
Allamakee1384
Mahaska11917
Shelby1190
Carroll1171
Bremer1167
Franklin1130
Poweshiek1128
Pocahontas1091
Des Moines1022
Emmet970
Cedar961
Henry933
Hardin920
Cherokee851
Marion840
Floyd822
Guthrie814
Taylor810
Benton781
Monona780
Jones741
Butler702
Osceola690
Sac680
Jackson670
Buchanan651
Calhoun652
Iowa631
Jefferson630
Hancock621
Harrison620
Lyon610
Humboldt601
Fayette590
Delaware581
Madison562
Lee542
Mills530
Palo Alto530
Monroe527
Clayton503
Winneshiek500
Grundy470
Mitchell470
Winnebago440
Davis431
Kossuth430
Union430
Howard370
Lucas354
Unassigned350
Chickasaw310
Greene310
Cass300
Worth270
Appanoose243
Keokuk241
Ida230
Page220
Van Buren211
Audubon181
Adair170
Ringgold161
Montgomery152
Decatur130
Fremont110
Wayne110
Adams80
Rochester
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 69°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Albert Lea
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 70°
Austin
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 70°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Slight Risk of Severe Storms Tuesday as a Cold Front approaches
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Getting Back to School physicals during the Pandemic

Image

'Cradle 2 Career' hosting discussion about race

Image

Dave's Main 6:30 Weather 7-14

Image

Sean's 10pm Weather 7/13

Image

Albert Lea council considers Covid response

Image

Rochester Police Policy Conversation

Image

Training the area's best basketball stars

Image

Pandemic Positive: A decline in air pollution

Image

Sen. Smith Highlights Health Inequalities

Image

School district weighs back to school options

Community Events