The morning after takes on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the finalized Mueller report are a sight to behold.
Not a good sight, mind you. They range from the outrageous to the grotesque.
I’m noticing several distinct groups of thought.
In one group, mostly populated by Democrat lawmakers, there is the belief that Barr was compromised. He is a newly-seated Trump appointee, beholden to the president, and only where he is because of his past criticism of the probe.
Because of his position and loyalty to the president, he is twisting Mueller’s report to completely free up Trump from facing any sort of justice. They’re demanding to see the full report, and not just Barr’s interpretation. I’d say that’s fair and necessary.
A second group has chosen to break down Barr’s summary, pointing out that while the evidence wasn’t sufficient to bring a charge of conspiracy against the president or any of his inner circle, he was not completely innocent, either.
And that’s what Mueller found. It’s not that there was no conspiracy, no acts of colluding. It’s that what they had was not something that would make for a strong case in court. Those direct lines could not be drawn.
That’s basically the same finding with obstruction of justice. As Barr pointed out, Mueller did not exonerate Trump in attempting to impede the progress of the investigation. He simply took what he had and referred it to AG Barr to determine if it rose to the level of an offense that the Justice Department would be willing to take up.
“The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction,” William Barr wrote.
“Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’”
At least some sources are reporting that Mueller may be a little miffed that he spent two years of his life on a report that the Justice Department would mutate for political purposes.
A source with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Daily Beast that it was their interpretation that ‘Mueller was making a case to Congress, who (unlike DOJ, in Mueller’s view) is empowered to weigh the lawfulness of a president’s conduct,’” the Beast wrote.
Interestingly enough, everybody seems to forget that the president’s own lawyer, Rudy Giuliani copped to “collusion” on national television, by saying that he’d never claimed NO ONE in Trump’s circle had committed collusion.
This was following news of former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort passing off polling data to Russians.
Then there is the shadow question: If Trump was innocent, why did he act like a man in a panic?
The theory is that there are people close to him – family – who are not innocent.
Of course, there is another group of fence-straddlers, who sought to appear impartial during the ordeal, but now have jumped all in with Team Trump, all but claiming they knew he was innocent, the whole time.
It’s laughable to see, actually.
A fourth, monstrous group of partisan troglodytes are willing to burn down the entire republic, in service to Trump, at this point.
GOP lawmakers and MAGA devotees are screeching for the heads of anyone involved in the investigation to be placed on spikes along the White House gates.
Maybe not quite that – yet.
It was a lawful investigation. Given Russia’s actions and Donald Trump’s reactions, it would have been a dereliction of duty NOT to investigate.
The idea that we use investigations, or even the threat of investigations as retaliation for a lawful act on behalf of the well-being of our nation is chilling. How can we maintain a country with that sort of revenge-centered governance?
We cannot. And while the thuggish trolls rage against Mueller, John McCain, or anyone involved in the process, the facts still remain that we have a president who has shown an alarming amount of subservient deference to the former KGB agent leading Russia’s government.
In a bizarre twist, while Trumpian bootlickers, like Mark Levin are calling Robert Mueller a “coward,” Donald Trump, himself, has done a complete turnabout in his opinion on Mueller, telling reporters on Monday that Mueller had acted “honorably.”
Of course, none of this is the end. Congress still wants to see the full report, and while they’re working on that, the Southern District of New York will be doing their thing, full speed ahead.