As I’ve posted on a few occasions, the Democrat strategy, now that the Mueller investigation has reached the same conclusion sane people reached in December 2016, is to convince their base and CNN watchers that the actual REAL real report shows collusion and obstruction of justice. They are doing that by demanding something they probably aren’t going to get, which is the Mueller report with all the actual documentary evidence, and then using the redacted material as evidence of the good stuff being hidden.
To make this plausible, they have to take a GOPe guy and Washington fixture like William Barr and they have to turn him into a super villain. This is how they are going about it. The story is from Politico and headlined The Barr-Shaped Cloud Over the Justice Department, the subtitle is The attorney general has made a total hash of the Mueller report, undermining the very department he runs. The author is Matthew Miller who worked as spokesman for the criminally corrupt Eric Holder.
Instead, Barr’s handling of the conclusion of the 22-month long investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election has thrust a new cloud over the Justice Department and his leadership, one that has grown darker with the reports that some members of the special counsel’s team believe he has mischaracterized their findings and needlessly inserted himself into the process to make his own determination as to whether the president obstructed justice.
Barr is now in open warfare with the special counsel’s office, with his spokesperson releasing a statement Thursday that seemed to push back on the contention, leaked to the New York Times and Washington Post, that he could have released a summary written by the special counsel’s office rather than his own version of events. That statement came after Barr’s peculiar assertion last week that his initial four-page letter was not a summary of the special counsel’s conclusions, even though it was his own initial letter that said he was “summariz[ing] the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.”
Actuallly, this is not only not true, this is a damned lie.
Neither of the mischievous stories he refers to mentions any conflict between the special counsel’s office (which has sort of ceased to exist) and Barr. Rather it is whinging by Weissmann about how the Barr summary wasn’t the same as the summaries prepared by members of the special counsel’s office. Those, we’re assured, were much tougher on Trump. I’ve no doubt of that. Mueller’s main deputy was a guy who specialized in destroying lives and careers of innocent people. I’m sure that things could be spun in a way that would be very damaging and which might be impossible to refute given, as my colleague bonchie posted, the special counsel’s office had literally classified every page of the report.
Barr has also moved the goal posts on what categories of information would be redacted from the report, adding two new ones to the list he announced on March 24, while refusing so far to ask a court for permission to release grand jury material, as the Justice Department did at the conclusion of two previous investigations into presidential misconduct.
This is simply dishonest in the extreme. Mueller is not the same kind of counsel as the Nixon and Clinton independent counsels. He is a temp employee of Department of Justice. Grand jury material is only releasable if the House is undertaking an impeachment investigation. They aren’t. So they aren’t going to get it.
Barr simply could have told Congress that he had received the report and would make a version available when he had completed his review and made appropriate redactions. He could have released Mueller’s principal findings, as he initially said he would do, without adding his own conclusion on obstruction of justice. Or he could have released one of the multiple summaries prepared by Mueller’s team while review of the full report continued. As a U.S. official briefed on the matter told the Post, “the front matter from each section could have been released immediately — or very quickly. It was done in a way that minimum redactions, if any, would have been necessary, and the work would have spoken for itself.”
Barr instead chose the one path that could call his behavior into question, while negating the entire reason for appointing a special counsel in the first place: to ensure that the taint of politics is removed from the Justice Department’s decision-making. That choice would be odd for any attorney general. It makes even less sense for one whose impartiality was questioned from the outset, given that he was chosen for the job after he wrote an unsolicited memo questioning some of the very foundations of the special counsel’s investigation.
Funny how all of this circles back to the same point, that is, the demand that Barr accept the summary written by the Weissmann lead investigators as his own.
What Miller is really upset about is that Barr is a canny operator and didn’t meekly go along with the plan by Weissmann and his crew to turn a report that exonerated Trump and his campaign of any collusion with Russians into a tendentious rehash of things the Weissmann-led team didn’t like about the way they were treated.
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