The Monday Memo: Barr’s Summary of Mueller Report

The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ― George Orwell

If you watched cable news Sunday afternoon, you saw some very different opinions when Attorney General William Barr released a summary of the Mueller report to key members of Congress.

Fox News was saying the summary was historical and basically cheering about it, while MSNBC was saying there needs to be a full release of the Mueller report and some of their people were almost crying. As for CNN, Wolf Blitzer took the helm and directed coverage that was pretty vanilla.

That’s cable news in 2019.

Those who lean to the right are cheering about Barr’s summary and saying that President Trump is exonerated. Those on the left are saying that the full report needs to be made public and that there will be more hearings in Congress and that Trump is not exonerated.

Reminder: Attorney General William Barr has read the Mueller report and probably nobody else besides he and Mueller know exactly what is in it. I don’t think we know how many pages the Mueller report contains.

A post I saw on social media showed that not all people are versed in government and politics:

The Mueller probe did exactly what it’s purpose was all along , to distract the American people from what the Clintons, the Obamas and the rest were doing to try and fix the election at the time.

Republicans really need to get over Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They won’t be running again and they won’t be going to prison.

There are so many dumbass things wrong with that post. Let’s discuss some facts:

  • Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein was nominated for that position by President Trump. (Source)
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein picked Robert Mueller to be the Special Counsel of the Russian probe. (Source)
  • Mueller is a registered Republican. (Source)

So, the Democrats had nothing to do with this two-year investigation. Trump’s person picked Mueller to head the investigation. Then Robert Mueller provides his findings to Attorney General William Barr, who was appointed by Trump.

I can’t blame the Democrats for wanting the full report released because it’s been in Republican hands and subject to Republican interpretation up until now. You can bet that if the tables were turned, the Republican right would be screaming for a full release.

I posted this on Facebook Sunday afternoon:

It’s all about winning the next election. As soon as you understand this about Republicans & Democrats, you will understand Washington, D.C., politics.

If you treat Barr’s summary as the gospel truth, it looks like Team Trump is the winner.

Here are some key points from Barr’s summary letter with my commentary following each point:

  • The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

This is the key point that Trump and his allies feel exonerates him. It only took an hour or two for the Trump campaign to send out a fundraising email saying:

After more than 2 YEARS, and $25 MILLION taxpayer dollars spent, the Mueller Report proves what I have been saying since Day One: NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION — COMPLETE EXONERATION.

  • The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks.

Didn’t Trump ask the Russians to find Hillary’s missing emails?

As for the President obstructing justice, Barr said in his summary:

  • The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. 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.

I think there are concerns about indicting a sitting President. I think it’s kind of chickenshit for Mueller not to make the call one way or the other. That is what he was hired to do.

  • The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

This is a positive for Democrats and anti-Trump people.

  • The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime.

Reminder – The Attorney General and Deputy AG work for and were appointed by Trump.

  • 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.

So these two Trump appointees have decided that their boss did not commit an obstruction-of-justice offense. Color me surprised! These two Trump appointees making this decision are why people don’t trust the government. Again, Mueller should have made this call.

At the end of his letter, Barr says this:

  • As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

Barr will need to release it. People will riot if he doesn’t. Barr should release as much of the report that he feels is legal and then let leaders in the House and Senate review the full report.

You can read the four-page summary from AG Barr HERE.

It’s also important to remember this:

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team indicted or got guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies during their lengthy investigation, which is now complete.
That group is composed of six former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Seven of these people (including five of the six former Trump advisers) have pleaded guilty.
If you also count investigations that Mueller originated but then referred elsewhere in the Justice Department, you can add a plea deal from one more person to the list. (Source)

You can read what Montana’s Congressional delegation thought about the summary by clicking HERE.

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6 thoughts on “The Monday Memo: Barr’s Summary of Mueller Report

  1. Trump didn’t commit obstruction? Who fired FBI Dir. Comey and why?

    Did you notice that Barr’s conclusion is an exact match to Comey’s conclusion about Hillary’s e-mails? I guess she should have used WhatApp like Jared and Ivanka to conduct gubmint business.

    Barr did what he was hired, and had the experience to do, absolve Republican criminals.

    “On December 24, 1992, nearing the end of his term in office after being defeated by Bill Clinton the previous month, George H. W. Bush pardoned[25] six administration officials, five of whom had been found guilty on charges relating to the Iran–Contra affair. Barr was consulted extensively regarding the pardons,[26] and especially advocated for the pardon of former Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, who had not yet come to trial.[27][28]”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Barr#U.S._Attorney_General_(1991%E2%80%931993)

    Also, remember how The Starr Report was rushed out in book form by the Republicans following their nothingburger Whitewater investigation?

    The next two years of competently done investigations by the House with Democrats in charge will be fun to watch.

    • Doug – good stuff. I want to see someone other than Republicans briefed on the full Mueller report. Then we can go from there. Thanks, JmB

  2. It was important to note that Mueller is a Republican, but also meaningful is that 13 or the 16 lawyers on his staff were Democrats…that is like having a Jew validate the authenticity of the “Shroud of Turin”, pretty hard to challenge their view…

    As I know you would know, how many of the indictments were campaign related crimes vs. previous crimes exposed by the investigation or related crimes such as lying about the facts in those investigations?

    • Barry – I doubt anything got out of the Special Counsel’s office without Mueller approving it, so how many Democrats he had working for him did not register with me. Mueller has the final say.

      I think you will remember that Trump said he would hire “the best and most serious people” and that his cabinet had “the highest IQ of any cabinet ever.” He lied about that, too. He had some dirty people working for him.

      Just imagine if yesterday Mueller waited to release info about all the indictments, instead of letting them trickle out like he did. It would have been DEFCON 1 at the White House.

      Thanks for your comments, as always.

      -JmB

  3. 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. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.
    From report. Looks like they didn’t get to question about sitting president because not enough evidence of obstruction.

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