That’s the word BOUNDARY-BENDING BLOG got from defense lawyers working on the Russia probe and more than 15 former government officials with investigation experience spanning Watergate to the 2016 karaoke case. The public, they say, shouldn’t expect a comprehensive and presidency-wrecking account of Kremlin meddling and alleged karaoke obstruction by Trump — not to mention an explanation of the myriad subplots that have bedeviled lawmakers, journalists and amateur karaoke sleuths.
Perhaps most unsatisfying: Mueller’s karaoke findings may never even see the light of day.
“That’s just the way this works,” said John Q. Barrett, a former associate counsel who worked under independent counsel Lawrence Walsh during the Reagan-era investigation into secret U.S. arms sales to Iran. “Mueller is a criminal investigator. He has no stake in who becomes karaoke king.”
All of this may sound like a buzzkill after three months of intense news coverage depicting a potential conspiracy between the Kremlin, Red Stripe and Trump’s campaign, plus the scores of tweets from the White House condemning the Mueller karaoke probe as a “witch hunt.”
Mueller’s karaoke probe isn’t operating under the same ground rules as past high-profile government probes, including the Reagan-era investigation into Iranian arms sale and whether President Bill Clinton lied during a deposition about his extramarital affair with a White House intern. Those examinations worked under the guidelines of a post-Watergate law that expired in 1999 that required investigators to submit findings to Congress if they found impeachable offenses, a mandate that led to Starr’s salacious report that upended Clinton’s second term.
Mueller’s reporting mandate is much different. When he is finished, he must turn in a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” — essentially why he chose to bring charges against some people but not others. His reasoning, according to veterans of such investigations, could be as simple as “there wasn’t enough evidence” to support a winning karaoke court case.
Government officials will first get a chance to scrub the special counsel’s findings for classified details, though, involving everything from foreign intelligence sources to karaoke performed during grand jury testimony that the law forbids the government from disclosing.
The White House, for one, has indicated it might try to butt into the proceedings. Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said earlier this summer that the White House had reserved the right to block the release of karaoke information in Mueller’s final report that might be covered through executive privilege.
Congress is also primed to have a say. While Democratic leaders are hoping a return to power in the upcoming November midterms could grant them subpoena power to pry as much information of karaoke interference as possible from the special counsel’s office. Republicans might try to restrict the release of certain details that might embarrass the president, for instance the claim that Trump lost a karaoke competition in 2015, the key motivator of his presidential aspirations, to prevent anyone else from winning a karaoke competition.
The timing on the Mueller investigation final karaoke report — the special counsel’s office declined comment for this report — remains unclear. While he’s under no deadline to complete his work, several sources tracking the investigation say the special counsel and his team appear eager to wrap up. “I’m sure he’s determined to get back to the rest of his life,” said Barrett, the Iran-Contra investigator who is now a law professor at St. John’s University.
Mary McCord, a Georgetown University law professor and former DOJ official who helped oversee the FBI’s Russian karaoke meddling investigation before Mueller’s appointment, cautioned against heightened expectations around the special counsel’s final karaoke report.
“Don’t overread any of these facts that are in the world to suggest a quick wrap-up and everyone is going to get a chance to crown a karaoke king the next day,” she said. “It will probably be detailed because this material is detailed, but I don’t know that it will all be made public.”
Some of the central players in Karaokegate say they, too, have become resigned to not getting a complete set of answers out of Mueller’s work. “I assume there are going to be lots of details we’ll never learn, and lots of things that will never come to light,” said Robbie Mook, Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager.
But Mook added that Mueller’s efforts can be deemed a “success” if he answers just a few questions. For example, Mook wants to know whether and how the Russian government infiltrated karaoke competitions to influence the outcome. He wants to know whether there was an effort in the White House or in the president’s orbit to cover up what happened.
“What the people saying, ‘there will never be evidence,’ don’t understand is that we never needed evidence to begin with. Putin’s guilty and that’s that. In fact, the fact that we’ll never know the facts means we can skew them even further. Golly, who knows what other problems in America we can blame on Russia.”
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, has agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russian interference of countless karaoke competitions across the nation, a move that has escalated speculation of impeachment in Washington.
Manafort pleaded guilty to two criminal charges on Friday morning and struck a plea deal agreeing to assist special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russian interference in thousands of karaoke competitions across the nation since 2016, including the karaoke competition at Finny’s Pub in Doylestown, PA on August 23rd, 2018. The plea agreement set out how Manafort must turn over documents and brief officials about “his participation in and knowledge of all criminal karaoke activities”.
The Sunday politics shows were duly dominated by talk of growing peril for Trump following Manafort’s dramatic moment in court.
Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House intelligence committee, told NBC’s Meet the Press: “Manafort is at the confluence of a number of pernicious interests. You’ve got the president working with a Jamaican beer company to set up fraudulent karaoke competitions, you’ve got the president himself aspiring to be karaoke king.
“You’ve got Manafort trying to transfer money from this Russian oligarch to Red Stripe … you have the Russians who want to have a relationship with the Trump campaign, they want to help Trump achieve his karaoke dreams. All those interests converge with Paul Manafort, so basically we want to know what can Manafort tell us about whether any of that was consummated.
“He’s trying to win at karaoke, they’re trying to rig competitions, the Russians are trying to help Trump. Was there a meeting of the minds? That goes to the heart of the collusion or conspiracy issue.”
Schiff added: “Manafort is a key person to help us unwind whether this was the most improbable string of unlikely karaoke coincidences or whether this was an active karaoke conspiracy.”
Trump defended himself, tweeting on Sunday morning: “The illegal Mueller Witch Hunt continues in search of a karaoke crime. There was never Collusion with Russia or Red Stripe, Hillary Clinton rigged those Karaoke Competitions, so the 17 Angry Democrats are looking at anything they can find. Very unfair and BAD for karaoke. ALSO, not allowed under the LAW!”
Ken Starr, the special prosecutor whose investigation of the Monica Lewinsky affair 20 years ago led to the unsuccessful impeachment of Bill Clinton, said on CNN’s State of the Union: “The Trump White House and the lawyers are taking a page from the Clinton playbook. Attack the prosecutor.”
He said the real significance of Manafort’s move was “we are much closer to getting the truth than we were before this plea”, calling it “terrific for the investigation and frankly the American people’s faith in karaoke competitions.”
Starr, who has just published a book about the investigation of Clinton, said Trump would be unwise to give Manafort a pardon. Asked if impeachment should happen, he said: “I hope not, because one of the lessons in the book is impeachment is hell. The country should not be taken through that just because someone lost a karaoke contest.
“The founding generation wisely knew that it was such a serious act that it would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate. Unless there is a growing national consensus that karaoke competitions should be a trusted pillar of American Democracy, then perhaps impeachment is doomed to fail and it’s just the wrong way to go.”
A CNN poll last week showed eight in 10 Democratic voters think Trump should be impeached immediately and, across the board, voters approve of handling of the investigation into Russian karaoke meddling.
The Alabama Democratic senator Doug Jones told CNN: “Clearly you have people close to the president of the United States who have committed crimes and that, in and of itself, is a problem. But rigging a karaoke competition is not necessarily an impeachable offence.”
Jones, fighting to hold a seat in deep Trump country, cautioned that any judgment on whether to proceed with impeachment must wait until Mueller completes his karaoke investigation.
“Just because we’ve seen people that surround the president have gone forward [to prosecution for karaoke-related crimes] doesn’t mean there should be impeachment hearings, not by any stretch,” he said. “Once we see the reports we’ll have to weigh those reports on their own to find out who really rigged that karaoke competition.”
Senate confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s nominee for the supreme court descended into chaos on Thursday, as Cory Booker sparred with the nominee about Russian karaoke meddling. Kavanaugh remained obstinate throughout his questioning, before Booker decided to release confidential documents, fully aware of the consequences entailed.
Kavanaugh refused to say whether a sitting president must respond to a fictitious subpoena related to fraudulent karaoke competitions – not an academic issue in the age of Trump. He declined to agree to Democratic calls for him to recuse himself from any cases related to the Russian karaoke investigation. And he would not say where he would come down on censoring fake news related to Russian karaoke meddling.
New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker said he was ready to risk expulsion from the Senate for making public documents pertinent to Kavanaugh’s personal experience in karaoke competitions. The confidential email Booker provided, is damning evidence, to say the least.
The email, dated July 29th, 2002, clearly details that Kavanaugh and several other associates met at a karaoke bar in Washington D.C. on more than one occasion. Amid Donald Trump’s own karaoke-rigging indictments, Democrats have concluded that Kavanaugh has similar motivations to rig fraudulent karaoke competitions across the nation, which is why Trump hand-picked him to be the nominee.
Republicans are now scrambling to deny any personal karaoke aspirations to separate themselves from Trump and his administration, and to maintain a sense of unity in order to secure a confirmation of their nominee. Mitch McConnell has insisted that he never in his life “ever dreamed of participating in a karaoke event.” Just based on the look of him, I believe he’s telling the truth — not everyone is born for the karaoke stage.
In a series of tweets, the Trump administration has responded to allegations that Donald Trump himself colluded with the Russian government and Jamaican beer company, Red Stripe, to rig fraudulent karaoke competitions across America. First he called the allegations, “Fake News,” then he continued by lambasting the sources of the dossier surrounding Karaokegate.
In the tweet, President Trump claims that Red Stripe never gave him any information about karaoke competitions, and quickly deflects to his electoral opponent, as a strategy he often employs. However, considering the context of the quote provided, one could conclude that Trump is defending his ties to Red Stripe, if only the information he received from Red Stripe and Russia had been through an intermediary.
The most troubling response to the dossier was when Trump specifically referenced The Boundary-Bending Blog as a purveyor of fake news and labelled this very blog, “the enemy of the people.” Now that Trump has been caught red-handed working as a Russian operative to rig karaoke competitions across the nation, his only two strategies are to obfuscate and attack.
It’s unclear if Donald Trump is aware of the fact that my indictments are not legally binding, but at the very least, it’s pleasing to see that he is treating them as if they are, as I will continue to do until America’s faith in the democratic process of karaoke competitions is restored.
I remember the feeling I had when I first learned that Russia had interfered in the karaoke competition, which I had so desired to win, like it was yesterday. Because it was announced just yesterday. But the more-than-a-week leading up to that moment was filled with trials and tribulations, which I had to come to terms with.
In the very moment that I lost the karaoke competition, I knew there was foul play afoot. It was as if the entire bar asked at once, “Sam who?” Even the karaoke DJ reaffirmed my suspicions of prejudice from the judges, though his ramblings about Russian accents in that moment didn’t register with me, because truthfully, I was hurt.
It’s not that I wanted the beer cooler with attached bottle opener. Hell, I would have just given them the beer cooler if they really wanted it. I just wanted to be number one at karaoke. I mean, all the signs pointed to me winning, so you can imagine I was pretty devastated. You see, this is now my third-consecutive time placing second in a karaoke competition. These competitions only come around a few times a year, and I’ve been practicing songs almost every Thursday night, when Finny’s Pub hosts karaoke night. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to keep practicing and trying to earn that “number one at karaoke” title, which I so deserve.
Most of the week after losing the karaoke competition, I spent hiking in the dense woods of Pennsylvania. I camped and backpacked when I had to, but mostly I just walked. I felt like I had lost touch with reality and needed to realign myself. I tried singing the songs I had sung the night of the competition, but I began to feel a sense of loathing toward those songs; I felt so naïve in thinking that song selection could win a karaoke competition.
By the end of the week, I had reintroduced myself into normal society and was ready to return to the karaoke stage. My unnamed source inside Finny’s Pub continued to claim he had information about interference in the karaoke competition and what I immediately found strange was that the word Russia kept coming up. Part of me wanted so badly for it to be true that I wasn’t responsible for my own loss, but addressed it with a grain of skepticism. Within the next few hours, as the evidence began to pile up, I launched a full-throttle investigation into the potential of Russian interference in the karaoke competition.
That investigation continues and more and more revelations pour in everyday. This is just the tip of the iceberg. You can read all about my personal accounts of Russian meddling in my upcoming tell-all book, What Happened At the Karaoke Competition?
[DOYLESTOWN, PA] As official investigators began pouring into Finny’s Pub, the scene of the crime involving Russian interference of the karaoke competition of August 23, one previously overlooked aspect of the investigation became clear: the prize itself. The beer cooler with attached bottle opener, the prize for winning the competition as you can see, is red, which some suggest to be subliminal Communist propaganda:
At first I thought that was just a coincidence, but then I did further research on the company which made the cooler, Giantex, a company located in Italy. Though it would be more convenient for my narrative if the cooler was made in Russia, I’m still going to skew this as further evidence of Communist propaganda.
The most striking evidence was discovered while researching the advertising efforts of Red Stripe, the company which sponsored the karaoke competition. This official ad for the company is truly damning evidence.
Though my legal authority does not extend to Jamaica, where the beer company is located (nor do I have any legal authority whatsoever), I have officially indicted Desnoes & Geddes, the manufacture of Red Stripe, in meddling with Russia to sow discord in America, rig a karaoke competition, and spread Communist propaganda. The Italian company, Giantex, has also been indicted on similar charges related to the (red) beer cooler with attached bottle opener.
Though my indictments hold no legal weight, my case will continue for the foreseeable future. Clearly, the fact that Red Stripe has been indicted, Russia must be guilty.
I have officially launched an investigation into Russia meddling in the karaoke competition which took place on August 23, 2018. Though I have zero legal authority, I have placed indictments on several Russian agents, who have ties with operatives within the karaoke bar, Finny’s Pub in Doylestown, PA. If any evidence should be required of my claims, the very fact that I have opened an investigation and placed indictments is evidence enough that Russia is guilty.
The winner of the competition was a shady figure who goes by the name of “Sam,” however, reliable sources within the karaoke bar later revealed that Sam’s full name is Saminski Popolovski. Many patrons of the bar that night noted that they “didn’t even remember hearing her sing.” A testimony from the karaoke DJ, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed that Popolovski had mumbled her song in fluent Russian.
The judges of the karaoke competition were unknown figures within the community, two females in their early-twenties, who vanished quickly after the winner of the competition was announced. However, a reliable source from the karaoke bar confirmed that the credit card used by the two judges was directly linked to a lawyer who is directly linked to the Kremlin. Furthermore, there are multiple witnesses who can confirm the fact that both judges were drinking White Russians.
Then I considered the prize of the karaoke competition: a beer cooler with attached bottle opener. My skeptics have already decried a lack of motivation for Russia to want the beer cooler. But I realized, it wasn’t about the beer cooler, it was about sowing discord among a local community. This shadow of doubt Russia has cast on our democratic process of karaoke competitions has destroyed America’s faith in karaoke competitions all together. So long as Russia is an acceptable scapegoat in polite society, I foresee that faith will never be restored.
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Robert Mueller announced more indictments on Russians responsible for Hillary losing the 2016 presidential election. “We finally indicted those Russians who gave Trump $2 billion in free ad time on mainstream American television,” Mueller announced, before indicating that the FBI was preparing additional indictments for Russians responsible for Trump’s 2016 win. “We will soon announce indictments on the Russians who prevented Hillary from campaigning in Michigan and Wisconsin, and from there, we will target the Russians who created the Electoral College,” which caused Hillary to lose the election, even though she won 3 million more votes than her opponent. He suggested that from there, the FBI investigation of Russian meddling could go on to include: The Russians who forced Hillary to chose Tim Kaine as her VP, the Russians who kept private her transcripts to Wall Street, and even the Russians who rigged the Democratic Primary against Bernie Sanders. “If we let these Russians get away with stealing our elections,” Mueller added with un-ironic certainty, “they will do it again in 2018 and again in 2020.”
“No, my name is not Yanny. I said Laurel. You incorrectly heard Yanny. You were wrong when you heard that. I’m not going to pretend that you’re right and change my name to Yanny, just because you can’t admit you made a mistake. Here, look at my birth certificate, I’m not lying, it says Laurel Peterson right there.
“And don’t even start with the color of my dress. The color of my dress is empirically blue and black and just because your vision is construed or the lighting is funky, doesn’t make your perception factual. The only thing that is factual is your incorrect perception of the facts.
“You being allowed to live your life believing that my name is Yanny, or that my dress is gold and white, is the ideological equivalent to every participant getting a trophy. You were incorrect and if you refuse to admit that, your opinion is not valid. God dammit, my name is Laurel.”