During a time of the year when March Madness usually describes college basketball, instead the nation is absorbing lies like five year-olds talking of magical bunnies casting incantations over rainbows.
On March 22, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and delivered a report to Attorney General William Barr.
Barr assumed office Feb. 14, 2019.
On June 8, 2018, acting as a “former official,” Barr sent to the Justice Department a memo that was highly critical of the Mueller investigation, and asserted that Trump was free to do what he wanted.
On March 24, working over the weekend, Barr read the Mueller report, consulted with staff, and drafted a four page memo to Congress. Barr quotes the Mueller report sparingly, including:
“The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.'”
Therefore, Barr did what he was hired to do, and wrote:
“After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
(Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has already announced his departure from office.)
There’s been no word if Barr forced a premature end to the investigation. Mueller’s staff still has pending prosecutions, and possible deals to be struck with defendants. There’s no official explanation how an investigation can conclude, while aspects continue.
The list of unanswered questions is longer than Barr’s memo.
Media repeatedly and wrongly report that the “Trump campaign did not conspire with Russia.” Period. The story is over. Move on.
The conclusion is a paraphrase of a paraphrase of a report that no one has read, and may never read in its full form.The report is clearly, without question, damaging to Trump, and by extension his supporters.
If the report exonerated the Trump campaign, it would be released. If the report was good news, it would be dropped over Washington like leaflets over a battlefield. Instead, Barr has agreed to release portions of the report at a future date, while the Republican Senate has blocked making the full report public.
Barr is reaching the final conclusion that he said nearly a year ago should be reached. No one in the Justice Department will take any action. By withholding information in the report, Barr ensures that neither Congress nor any other prosecutor in the United States can take action, either.
In a brilliantly cynical political move, Trump is calling for a full release of the report while the Attorney General refuses to release it. Trump can easily declassify every word of the report, but of course he won’t. Once again, Trump can say one thing and do something else with impunity, while media accommodate his obfuscation.
Besides, by the time the report is released, it won’t matter what’s redacted and what’s included, and it won’t matter what the actual findings are.
Barr’s memo serves a greater purpose towards assisting Trump, which has been Barr’s clear intent since before being appointed Attorney General.
The Trump administration is controlling the narrative.
After lies are repeated often enough and have been firmly accepted, including by reporters who should know better, facts won’t matter.
The longer the Trump Justice Department takes to release the report, the more firmly the lies will be repeated and codified, while the facts will grow more irrelevant.
“Why should Congress investigate Russian interference or the millions of dollars Trump makes from Russians,” people will say, “Mueller says there was no collusion.”
If the truth of the matter is ever revealed, it won’t matter, because the media, the Republican Senate, the GOP and a portion of the public just don’t care that the president of the United States has immoral, illegal, or irresponsible dealings with foreign nationals and Russian officials.
Facts don’t matter, when people are willing to believe lies.