And we knew this.
Here it is: Back in March, after special counsel Robert Mueller dropped his final report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election into the hands of newly seated Attorney General William Barr, Barr rushed out a pathetically brief 4 page summary.
That was 4 pages gleaned from a report that was over 400 pages in length.
The gist of Barr’s “summary” was – No collusion, no obstruction. Move along.
He was good enough to point out that although Mueller’s report found nothing to nail Donald Trump with, it didn’t exonerate him, either.
It’s a confusing message, but for the MAGA faithful, and King Donnie the Orange, they took it exactly as Barr meant to convey: TOTAL EXONERATION!
Reports following that debacle were that some members of Mueller’s team were frustrated that the attorney general had made the decision to bypass the summaries they’d supplied for each section, opting rather to put his own spin on it, in a mere 4 pages.
Of course, once the [redacted] report was released to Congress, and the public in April, we saw that not only did Mueller not give Trump and his campaign team a clean bill of health, but a laundry list of extremely troubling behavior was noted, throughout.
While an argument could be made that Mueller bore some of the blame for Barr’s actions, by not clearly stating an opinion as to what should happen with the information within the report, Barr chose to likewise brush over the detail of Mueller leaving the door open for Congress to make that decision.
It’s almost as if Barr was working for the president, rather than the citizens of the United States.
Ok. It’s exactly as if Barr was working for the president, rather than the citizens of the United States. He’s Donald Trump’s new “fixer.” All he’s lacking is a porn star to pay off.
So let’s look at how Mr. Barr framed the report in a press conference given before even allowing Congress to look it over:
In a press conference before releasing the report, Barr emphasized he was committed to “ensuring the greatest possible degree of transparency” with respect to Mueller’s report. He also explained and defended his decision that Trump did not obstruct justice, emphasizing the “context” of the president’s actions and asserting that the White House was “fully” cooperative with the probe.
By “context,” he clarified Trump was upset, therefore, he made multiple attempts to obstruct a lawful investigation. We all know our feelings matter, when it comes to the law, or something.
“Apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the President had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation,” Barr told reporters on April 18.
The Democrat-led Congress, of course, has gone nuts over this, as has the public. Any who have read the report, then listened to William Barr’s spin recognize the disconnect.
This was two years of extensive work by Robert Mueller and his team. Other than hearing how some members were upset with Barr’s dismissal of their summaries, how do you think Mueller feels?
There have been multiple attempts to get him to chime in, but he has refused to speak.
A subpoena to appear before Congress is in his future, you can bet on it.
That being said, it’s not as if he’s been silent, either.
On Tuesday evening, news broke that the normally stoic professional, Mueller, did have something to say about Barr’s treatment of his team’s work.
According to a Justice Department spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec, Robert Mueller reached out to AG Barr, after his ridiculous 4 page summary in March.In a call to his old friend, Mueller reportedly expressed “frustration” with how Barr had woefully mischaracterized what was in the final report.
He pointed out the lack of context, as well as how the media covered Barr’s summary, basically pointing out that now a false narrative had been released to the public.
And is this going to be a case of “he said/he said”?
Mueller is too smart for that.
He also followed with a letter, detailing his concerns, creating documentation of his stance.
“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote in the letter on March 27, according to the Post. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
In it, Mueller reportedly requested that Barr release the introductions and executive summaries from his lengthy report on Russia’s election interference and made suggestions about how the sections could be redacted to conceal sensitive material.
“Release at this time would alleviate the misunderstandings that have arisen and would answer congressional and public questions about the nature and outcome of our investigation,” Mueller wrote, according to the Post.
He wanted that report out there. Of course, he understood that redactions were necessary. Some of the subjects covered within its pages relate to ongoing investigations. These are matters that were uncovered that fell just outside the purview of Mueller’s authority.
Much of what is going on now with the Southern District of New York is happening because of Robert Mueller.
Still, Barr is determined to stick by story. In his call with Mueller, as the Justice Department spokeswoman pointed out, nothing in the AG’s brief summary or press conference to the matter was proven wrong.
“But, he expressed frustration over the lack of context and the resulting media coverage regarding the Special Counsel’s obstruction analysis. They then discussed whether additional context from the report would be helpful and could be quickly released,” Kupec said.
“However, the Attorney General ultimately determined that it would not be productive to release the report in piecemeal fashion,” she said. “The Attorney General and the Special Counsel agreed to get the full report out with necessary redactions as expeditiously as possible.”
Previously, Barr addressed Congress about the report and claimed there was no line of dispute between what he had announced in his summary and Robert Mueller.
We now know he had that phone call and that letter before making this statement.
Was this a deliberate lie to protect Donald Trump?
It’s sketchy, that’s for sure.
The timing of the release of this news couldn’t come at a more uncomfortable time for William Barr. He will be sitting and fielding questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee today, and while we can expect Republicans on the committee to offer him a cold drink and foot rubs, the Democrats are not likely to be so generous, given what we now know about Barr’s actions.
Here’s the Mueller letter to Barr pic.twitter.com/VqUrluMJqe
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 1, 2019