Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 President Election: The Redacted Mueller Report

[redacted] confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions [redacted]

[redacted]

  • 19 [lawyers]
  • [approximately] 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff
  • [more than] 2,800 [subpoenas]
  • [nearly] 500 [search warrants]
  • [more than] 230 [orders for communication records]
  • [almost] 50 [pen register orders]
  • 13 [requests to foreign governments for evidence]
  • [approximately] 500 [witnesses]

[redacted]

[redacted] the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

[redacted]

[redacted] coordination [redacted] agreement–tacit or express–between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.

[redacted]

[redacted] thorough factual investigation [redacted]

[redacted]

difficult issues

[redacted]

[redacted] while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

[redacted]

[redacted] the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.

[redacted]

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114 replies
  1. flounder2 says:

    Section 17: Coordination and Conspiracy During Presidential Transition
    [Redacted on basis of Executive Privilege]

  2. Anwar says:

    It’s strange to me that the report’s title is “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election”, and that Barr’s memo explicitly said that the report is two parts, Russia and obstruction. Does that mean that everything the Special Counsel investigated outside of the core Russia matter, like Nader’s cooperation, the August 2016 Trump Tower meeting, possibly Mystery Appellant, etc., won’t be in the report at all?

    I keep coming back to this Erin Banco/The Daily Beast scoop re: “the Middle easy connection” that nobody has really been discussing since the report was turned in: https://www.thedailybeast.com/get-ready-for-muellers-phase-two-the-middle-east-connection

    We know some cases are being handed to USAOs but we have no visibility into this “Middle East” section of the Special Counsel investigation, and Barr’s memo almost seems to imply it’s not even in the report.

    • emptywheel says:

      We don’t know!
      Those things are probably dealt with in a referral discussion.
      Which would mean any discussion of the prosecutorial decisions on those issues won’t be in the report.

        • timbo says:

          Do either of you feel that Mueller would have gone back and looked at the discussion in the Congress as to the intent of the passage about a report? It seems to me that at the very least he may have sought an opinion on this from within the DoJ with regard to explicitly and implicitly what he should be including in such a report. Are there previous SCO reports that set precedence? If not then this would almost have to be done so as to create a report framework that would meet the requirements of the the SCO statute, correct?

          • bmaz says:

            There is nothing from Congress to analyze, the SCO exists from internal DOJ regulations promulgated only in the CFR. There are two significant prior uses, the Waco Incident, covered by John Danforth and the Plame Affair, covered by Pat Fitzgerald.

            • timbo says:

              Thanks. So the Special Counsel’s Office is a purely Executive Branch construct… that makes this all the more interesting… and confusing when it comes to the duty of the Special Counsel with regard to reporting anything to the Congress. In the end though, if it’s a government expenditure, then Congress gets the final review/say (we hope).

      • Democritus says:

        Thank you! I worry ME parts of the problem are incredibly underreported in mainstream media imo, though DB and woodruff seem to have done a good job to those of us out here who are not experts or perusing any primary source material. I mean in college I could have applied to get a clearance as part of the job I was working, but didn’t because I liked to party still and didn’t think that would have been appropriate. Even though I would have had NO exposure to any data, it was just an access issue. That is how serious I was taught, multigen mil family, to treat matters like that. God I was, am probably still am, so fucking naive.

        Did anyone see the cartoon is the economist, the issue I think with Modi on the cover, about the chains that keep nuclear war from breaking out loosening? That is another worry I have with the ongoing out of control corruption.

    • flounder2 says:

      My current Sisyphean lift is pointing out that everything we have currently seen only refers to the “Election”, including the name of the report. In the meantime, a bunch of the quid pro quo sort of activity, Flynn-Kislyak, Sessions-Kislyak, KT McFarland email from Maralago, etc. all manifest in the Presidential Transition. This makes me wonder if Barr imposed his *strong Executive* views on the tenor of the report to basically wall off any conspiracy charges that occur during the Transition period as not relevant?

      • viget says:

        How can he claim “unitary executive” powers during the transition period? Nor can he claim executive privilege for this time period.

        I WANT to believe that after Mueller uncovered evidence of quid pro quos during the transition period, that he had the FBI open up a separate investigation into those which continues today, and is being prosecuted by other offices (likley DDC, SDNY, maybe EDNY and EDVA?).

      • dwfreeman says:

        It should be noted that in the end the final set of questions that were approved by Trump’s lawyers for Mueller questioning all dealt with subject matter that only pertained to the election period.

        After Trump signed off Nov. 20, 2018 on the Mueller questions he answered, before heading off for his Florida resort for Thanksgiving, there was no more direct dealings between the SCO and Trump’s legal team.

        So, even if supporting comments from Trump himself were sought on obstruction in connection with the probe itself, the firing of Comey which led to the special counsel’s appointment (and which all the world heard Trump justify based on the “Russia thing” in a national interview with NBC anchor Lester Holt), that particular issue and any others related to collusion whether political or otherwise during transition and following inauguration were not addressed by Trump, according to his legal team.

        That sort of barrier may have a played a small role in Barr’s summary findings.

        And I also see it as a rather ironical finer point on the question of how DOJ actually treated Trump as a criminal target given the deference to the protections he inherited by an elected office the legitimacy of which were actually at the heart of the case.

        Trump didn’t win the popular vote. His election was illegitimately aided by a foreign adversarial power, everyone acknowledges, and his campaign never blocked the assistance or informed on it to federal authorities even after it was warned directly about that intelligence knowledge. And yet, Trump’s lawyers were able to assert legal protection status afforded a sitting president to avoid the normal criminal indictment process and narrow the scope of his limited testimony to a period in which his office shield of powers and authority don’t even apply.

        So, if you ensure that the scope of the investigation Trump’s actions should be viewed in terms of email server hack and distribution and propaganda through social media messaging alone which Russia planned on from 2014 to derail any US presidential campaign, especially one involving Putin’s arch opponent, Hillary Clinton, then it was pretty clear Trump could walk away from that investigation, pretty much unscathed. I mean if you are going to ignore what he did in plain sight to advocate Russian theft and distribution of free opposition research.

    • JamesJoyce says:

      Yes….

      This constitutes a bag job.

      Elites assume Americans are stupid…

      Dangling Dingleberris left to dry up on the vine?

      America just got the Dred SCOTT treatment.

      We can’t handle truth in the same way Americans can’t see reality.

      Trump
      is a fascist at his very core.

      The Good German actually sucked…

      Truth hurts…

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    That’s why we need a “whistleblower”
    Any ideas on who would be available for the task?

    • Mooser says:

      “Any ideas on who would be available for the task?”

      I hear there is a smart, aggressive, ruthless prosecutor, a real stand up guy, who might be available for the task, but I’ve forgotten his name already, and he has been stricken by throat paralysis.

      • Democritus says:

        Any ideas, ball park guesses, wild theories based on random supposition for any who also have IRL experience works too-

        How much longer is Mueller in payroll, or in other words when will he become a civilian again?

        • Mooser says:

          And thanks to his good buddy Barr, Mueller will go down in history as the passive-aggressive prosecutor.

    • P J Evans says:

      IIRC, the real CliffNote version would be at least 30 pages.
      Barr couldn’t even do that part well.

  4. Ruthie says:

    Wow. Laid out like that it’s so stark. It makes it hard to deny that there’s nothing of consequence within those hundreds of pages. In a similar vein, Josh Marshall wrote yesterday that a conservative estimate of what’s been released is .07% of the entire report. Your take is even more powerful.

  5. The Lorem Ipsum Conspiracy says:

    FWIW, this article would more strongly communicate your point if you were to make the [redacted] parts white text on solid black background that stretched from margin to margin because that would make it more closely resemble the redacted court filings we’ve seen come out of the Mueller investigation. Just sayin’ as a layout geek (see username).

  6. Report Counselor says:

    Marcy,
    Are there tea leaves that indicate that the way Mueller approached the Trump family as a whole was different than the rest of the campaign? It seems that their lack of aggressiveness towards not just Trump but Kushner and Trump Jr. as different than Manafort, Flynn, Cohen, etc. Is it possible that unless they found some direct evidence about the Trump family from the investigations into the other campaign members that they would only investigate very targeted and limited subject areas regarding the Trump family. That would explain the deference in not following up on the written questions from Trump, following quid pro quo possibilities or into their financial matters? I have a hard time thinking they came cross Manafort tax violations but not into similar issues with Trump, Trump Jr, and Kushner during their investigations. It will be interesting to see how the other SCO investigators felt about Muellers overall passive approach towards the Trump family (assuming the report shows this).

    • harpie says:

      New today, from Joshua Geltzer and Ryan Goodman:
      *
      The Missing Piece of the Mueller Investigation Gaming out the counterintelligence part of Mueller’s probe
      https://www.justsecurity.org/63437/the-missing-piece-of-the-mueller-investigation/
      *
      [quote] […] Where are the counterintelligence findings? // Earlier this week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff commented on the question whether “the president or people around him [are] compromised in any way by a hostile foreign power,” and said that “doesn’t appear that was any part of Mueller’s report.” At least based on Barr’s four-page letter to Congress, Schiff appears correct. There is no clear mention in that letter of the counterintelligence aspect of Mueller’s work. And Schiff may have additional reasons, not yet public, to believe that the report presented by Mueller to Barr didn’t cover it. […] [end quote]

      • Report Counselor says:

        The longer it goes without any leak from anyone that has knowledge of the report that the summary is either misleading or inaccurate makes me hesitate that the substance of the Mueller report contains more than what we already know publicly.

        With many of these investigators rolled off and effectively complete you would think someone would have leaked to a reporter that the summary did not reflect all of their conclusions or if they expected Congress to evaluate the evidence. You would think after 2 years of working on a case, and someone tried to hide it away, someone on the team by now would be dropping some hints that the DOJ is covering up some damning information.

        I wouldn’t be surprised either way but just seems odd no one has anonymously leaked anything if there were shenanigans.

        • bmaz says:

          You mean the same team of professionals that for two years leaked absolutely nothing? Those people you would now suddenly expect to leak? Really?

          • Bay State Librul says:

            I know Peter Carr deserves some kind of award, but I can’t think of one, right off the bat

          • Report Counselor says:

            It’s unprofessional to leak something during the investigation that is improper and unproductive to your end goal. Its another to be a whistle blower if your seeing that your completed report is being misleadingly summarized, purposefully withholding key findings, or had explicit language for congress to evaluate (If thats the case). I would think that it would be professional either way for someone on the the SCO to say the summary is a fair representation or not considering the public good.

              • JAFive says:

                Why not? Carr did deny the Buzzfeed report. And it’s not like that was totally baseless or something. They appear to have responded to it because it mischaracterized conclusions drawn by the Special Counsel.

                Even a team that doesn’t leak has limits. Don’t you think that if Barr had literally fabricated the quotes someone would have spoken up? It’s one thing not to leak. It’s another thing entirely to let someone wholly mischaracterize or lie about your conclusions.

                Hard to say how far that goes exactly, but I think it’s fair to assume that everything Barr says in the letter has a plausible basis in the Mueller report — that there would be pushback if he advanced totally baseless claims. For example, I think it’s very safe to say that the partial sentence quoted on coordination did not begin with “It would be inaccurate to say that…”

                • P J Evans says:

                  Mueller’s job – and he’s not going to talk until a misleading version is handed to Congress or the media, and he gets requested to testify.

                  • Report Counselor says:

                    This is totally speculative but I believe that SCO wanted to avoided conflict if at all possible when it came to the Trump & family. I don’t know if this is a result of lack of hard evidence and/or over compensating due to Trumps attack of bias.

                    The fact that SCO didn’t foresee (or didn’t care) that leaving it up to Barr/Rosenstein to put together a summary of their findings, appears to be an indication of an aversion of conflict when they could have provided a public summary. They allowed Manafort in a joint defense agreement while we was a cooperating witness. They didn’t follow up on Trumps question where its improbable that he answered the questions fully or accurate.

                • RWood says:

                  Why not?

                  Simple. Because one party plays by the rules and the other doesn’t. It’s why they win. Nice guys finish last and all that.

                  If the situation were reversed there would be thumbdrives littering the parking lots of every newspaper on both coasts.

  7. BobInSEA says:

    I’m nauseous from the GOP spin and the way major media, including NYT and The Atlantic are generally letting it go unchallenged. Thank you for the work you’re doing! It’s incredibly important.

    I’ve been following your posts for a few months since I stumbled across your site, and find them consistently clarifying and enlightening.

    Donation made.

    • J R in WV says:

      The New York Times has backed fascist leaders, including “Mr. Hitler” and “Mr. Stalin” for nearly 100 years, since 1922. Strongly backed “Mr. Hitler” right up until Germany declared actual shooting war on the U.S.A. Along with Henry Ford I, Prescott Bush, IBM and many other business and political leaders.

      No one should be surprised that the NYT backs Mr. Trump now, they love a “strong leader” so much they will do whatever it takes to support them, even if that support perforce needs to be somewhat clandestine. Although their support of both Mr. Hitler and Mr. Stalin was fulsome and obvious!

      There was no famine in “the Ukraine” when Mr. Stalin shipped the entire harvest out of Ukraine, leaving nothing for the Ukrainians to eat over the winter. None. Just ask the NYT Moscow Bureau Chief, Walter Duranty who served in that position for 14 years from 1922 til 1936, and apparently was wholly owned by the Soviet State for most of that period.

      Like Mr. Trump!

  8. Spiny says:

    At this point, maybe if they even mark the sections that have been removed might be the best case scenario. At least that way we we would know what’s missing. Could Barr write a completely new report that “summarizes” Mueller’s findings in a misleading way? You would think he wouldn’t be so brazen, but I’m not sure there is much I would put past him given his initial “summary”.

  9. cfost says:

    This post frames the issue perfectly. So often we get into the weeds because, when so much info is omitted, our imagination wants to fill in the gaps.
    To wit:
    What does Barr mean by “Trump Campaign” and “Russian government,” for example. Do his definitions match Mueller’s and Rosenstein’s? Why is Barr so loose with his references to “Russia[n]?”
    Bmaz pointed me to Marc Elias’ assertion that Barr didn’t even use “coordinate” correctly, according to Public Law 107-155, sec214(c), March 27, 2002. Why no pushback on Barr for that?
    What was the scope of the PREEXISTING Comey investigation mentioned by Rosenstein in his Appointment Order? “[A]thorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony….”
    Communication is difficult during an information war.

  10. Michael Graham says:

    Somewhat OT but does anyone else find it awfully convenient that Felix Sater’s appearance before a House committee this week was postponed due to a lawsuit filed against him related to the Trump Tower Moscow deal?

  11. Turlough Conway says:

    The unprecedented and historic indictments concerning Russian interference and Americans indicted as a result of that investigation were not under the “Russian Interference” headline and were in fact massively played down.

    Barr did not give 30 something indictments the legal weight they deserved but kept them submerged and in the introduction to add to the illusion that there was nada re “collusion” (conspiracy) and allow Trump to spin it as total vindication.

  12. oldpaint says:

    Adam Schiff’s face-to-face response to the Republicans’ call for his resignation gives me hope that there are sensible people with the strength and the standing to see this through. I’m especially glad he brought up one point that even the D.C. media seem to have forgotten in the dust storm of Trump’s chaos: “You might think it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law sought to establish a secret back channel of communication with the Russians through a Russian diplomatic facility.”

    With all that we know — that one tends to stand out in my mind — how can so many luminaries of the media be jumping on the bandwagon now to chide me, and others who think as I do, about our “Russian hysteria?”

    If I were a religious man, I would be praying frequently for Adam Schiff’s good health. You go, “Pencil Neck.”

    • Hops says:

      I went to Schiff’s page on ActBlue and donated to his campaign. Also took up following him on Twitter. Sending a message I’m behind him. Going to do the same with Cummings and Nadler.

      • coral says:

        I did same–donating to Schiff. That’s all I can bring myself to do at this point. Will follow your lead on Cummings and Nadler.

        I cannot begin to describe the horror with which I view the last two years. The Bush II years were awful–Iraq, torture, Katrina, financial crisis. But the sheer overt, even boastful criminality and mental instability of Trump and his entire circle, leaves me in a state of shocked dismay. Mueller was the only thing I felt might lead to some semblance of justice. Thank god for people like Schiff. A true hero. And Marcy, too.

    • William Bennett says:

      > how can so many luminaries of the media be jumping on the bandwagon

      Reminds me of how they relentlessly challenged the W administration with skeptical, probing questions in the run-up to the Iraq invasion. Remember that?

      Neither do I.

      • oldpaint says:

        They should know when they are being used, but they get caught up in being part of the power structure. They write for each other, and for those who are using them. Plus, in the case of W and Iraq, the cable teevee folks wanted a war to cover.

        • P J Evans says:

          With W and Iraq, the war was sold to the cable-TV people (and the rest of the media). A lot of us never bought it, including some of the media people. We could see how it was being pushed with no evidence for the claims they were making.

          • oldpaint says:

            Sorry, I don’t mean to paint everyone with the same brush, but it did seem to be a pretty easy sell to some. I think I recall cable news had pro-war theme music and graphics in use while the debate was still going on. I could be misremembering.

            • P J Evans says:

              I’m sure some of them – Fox, most likely – were eager for it. And at the reporter level, some probably wanted “reported war from field” on their resumes.

  13. The Old Redneck says:

    It sure seems like the idea is to slow walk release of the report while the “exoneration” narrative takes hold with the public. Then, when it finally is released, that narrative will be so entrenched that no one will care what the report really shows.

    • BobCon says:

      Polling so far says that strategy is a bust.

      The basic problem for Trump is that he has laid the BS on so thick for so long that the majority of the country doesn’t believe what he says.

      And that is before Mueller’s report is released. They had one shot to knock this down, and they missed. That’s before everything else outside of Mueller starts dropping as well.

      • punaise says:

        One can hope, but I don’t place as much faith in the “look, a squirrel!” MSM-addled public.

        • BobCon says:

          I think what the Trump side is planning on from now on is beating the drum on Mueller for the sake of his base. General exoneration is not happening. I think the media are surprised by this and don’t know why things are not following their script.

  14. JAFive says:

    This is slightly off topic, but I hope you’ll allow it as we’re now all speculating about what will be in the Mueller report. I find this puzzling and possibly important.

    Mueller has to explain his “prosecution or declination decisions.” Declination is getting all of the attention now, but what about prosecution? According to Barr, Mueller’s report has two sections. The second one is about obstruction of justice by the president. The first section “outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts.” That would plainly include the hacking, IRA, and Pinedo indictments. Papadopolous, Cohen, and Stone fit there pretty comfortably as well insofar as they were prosecuted for lying about facts that seem material to that topic. But what about the others?

    1) Where does Flynn fit? The Flynn prosecution is all about the transition, not the campaign. It would be very weird to put that in the first section as described by Barr. Flynn might fit into the second section. That would make sense if Mueller advances the theory that Trump was attempting to specifically obstruct the investigation into Flynn (if true this is important), but I don’t see Flynn fitting in section 2 otherwise.

    2) What about Manafort, Gates, van der Zwaan, and Kilimnik? It would be pretty odd to locate any of the charged conduct there in a section on Russian election interference in terms of what these people were actually prosecuted for. So is this material just jammed into that first section despite not really corresponding to what Barr describes as being in there?

  15. Democritus says:

    Narrative pushback from Brennan.

    From Newsweek, titled DONALD TRUMP DEFENDERS ARE FAILING TO ACCEPT REALITY OVER MUELLER’S REPORT, JOHN BRENNAN’S SPOKESMAN SAYS

    https://www.newsweek.com/trump-john-brennan-cia-mueller-report-accept-reality-1379611

    Short quote below:

    (Begin) “Let’s not forget that the special counsel’s investigation resulted in indictments against 34 people and three entities on nearly 200 separate criminal charges,” Brennan’s spokesman told Newsweek.

    “Five associates of the president have been convicted, and another is awaiting trial. Those who think nothing happened and who are now going after critics of the president aren’t accepting reality and they are just playing politics.” (End quote)

    We don’t know what the report says. The only people who do aren’t talking, or wrote a summary which seemly wholly inadequate to the very serious charges laid.

  16. Oldguy says:

    Since I am old and now a slow learner, I was hopeful someone with expertise could confirm my understanding of what could be in the Mueller Report but not the Barr Summary, and leave intact the truthfulness of assertions made in the Barr Summary by plausible example.

    Would the following two items be possible:

    1) “Having said publicly that he had no connection with Russia during the campaign while pursuing the Trump Tower project, the design of which included significant concessions to Vladimir Putin, through his personal lawyer for significant personal financial gain, President Trump created a significant risk of being compromised in its initial dealings with the Russian Government during transition and after inauguration due to fear of disclosure of the negotiations.”

    2) “While significant evidence of conspiracy to defraud the United States was found relative to Mr. Papadopoulos’ activities in connection to his role with the Trump campaign, the SCO determined that the possible value to be obtained from a standpoint of counterintelligence superseded the value to the United States in further developing the evidence that could have led to an indictment for this activity, and so the SCO entered into a an agreement for Mr. Papdopoulos to enter into a guilty plea of making false statements to the FBI in return for his cooperation in learning more of the nature of the Russian attempts to affect the election.”

    If they would not be possible, could someone explain to me why they would not, based on the contents of the Barr Summary. Thanks!

  17. Taxidermist says:

    [redacted] the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.

    Trump ordered me to write the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.

    Fixed it.

  18. SICK says:

    Despite communications between Donald Trump Jr., a key member of the Trump campaign, and Julian Assange, the head of “Organization 1”, a media outlet used by the Russian government, which released emails stolen from the DNC and John Podesta (and which, along with another Russian agent, Guccifer 2, communicated with a key Trump advisor about the releases of stolen emails), designed to damage the Clinton campaign, [T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

  19. MattyG says:

    The Barr Letter strikes the old “over my dead body” pose. Assuming the debauched Putin party digs in, how long will it take Dems and other undiseased to push the Mueller Report through SCOTUS? Months? Years?

    • BobCon says:

      I would caution not to follow a script that hasn’t been written yet.

      This may be a situation where there are only a few damaging nuggets and careful redaction is all Trump needs.. But it may also be a situation where even partial release is a problem for Trump. We don’t know.

      This may be a case where Trump can tamp down demand for further releases by issuing a partial release. Or it may be one where significant redactions or complete stonewalling only increase suspicion. We don’t know.

      What is more, it is possible that Trump is able to bottle up all information regarding the cases, or it may be possible that the House is able to gain a lot from further investigations and testimony — or more may emerge from other prosecutors. We don’t know this either.

      What is the situation now is that Trump is pushing a narrative that the case is closed and there is no evidence. What happens if evidence does emerge from Mueller’s report, or other investigations, which contradicts Trump’s narrative? Again, we don’t know, but it is possible Trump looks worse than if he never took the “no collusion” vow.

      A fight before the Supremes may be irrelevant — events may overtake Barr’s work, for better or worse.

      • timbo says:

        It must already be working since there’s what appears to be plain evidence already in the public record for at minimum an obstruction charge and statements, both public and/or recorded, that certainly sound like direction of crimes to be committed during the campaign.

      • MattyG says:

        @BC; thoughtful reply. With luck events will unfold favorably for release of the full report to the relevant congressional parties with necessary clearance, without need for a SCOTUS appeal. Go Nadler.

  20. Jenny says:

    GOP disrespectful and appalling behavior. UGH!

    Barr had dinner with Graham before he spoke to Nadler. He said it was a “mistake.”
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-democrats-increasingly-troubled-barr-s-plan-mueller-report-n988586

    Rep Mullin (OK) in house committee meeting attacking the ACA told a Democrat Representative from NM to “you can shut up now.”
    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/03/shut-room-gasps-gop-congressman-flips-health-care-hearing/

  21. OldTulsaDude says:

    I am beginning to think Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare had it right when he wrote that the Mueller probe was first and foremost a counterintelligence investigation. Thought about in that way, it makes sense that Mueller would bring charges he happened to come across during that investigation but his primary duty wasn’t to look for criminal activity.

    It would also help explain Barr’s sleight-of-hand attempt to make everyone look “over there” at the criminal aspects and not here in the counterintelligence report that is filled with anti-American corruption.

    • timbo says:

      Yet look at all the criminality that was uncovered and convictions obtained through tangential information come upon… It seems that the Congress has much reason to call Mueller to testify either way.

  22. harpie says:

    Marcy, just now, 12:24 PM – 29 Mar 2019
    https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1111710723976118274
    *
    [quote] Bill Barr says his summary wasn’t a summary after all. [screenshot] [end quote]
    *
    She added:
    *
    [quote] If I’m not mistaken, @peterbakernyt spent several days trying to get DOJ to clarify what they meant by “summary.”
    Now Barr says he never promised us a rose garden. [end quote]
    *

  23. punaise says:

    CNN:

    Justice Dept. expects to release Mueller report to Congress by ‘mid-April, if not sooner’

    Barr wrote that he and Mueller were working to redact four types of information from the report: grand jury material, sensitive intelligence material, information that involves ongoing investigations, and “information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.”

    • pjb says:

      does this seem like another Barr fake-out? Why redact all grand jury material instead of seeking Court Order to release it? Also, what does “peripheral third parties” mean? Anyone not charged or the totally innocent?

      • bmaz says:

        Because that will be a long court application process and he wants to get what he can out now. The better question is will Barr fight the motion for release or join in?

        • Tony Cincy says:

          Pardon my obliquity. What motion for release? If I know my fellow Dems we will fall all over ourselves being fair minded while the Repubs fight for every square inch of advantage.

    • Diviz says:

      Notwithstanding the damage caused by allowing the prevailing narrative to solidify as it has currently, and presuming the report will eventually see the light of day with parts damaging to Trump unredacted (for the public), is there any value in having the administration and its supporters blather on for a few weeks accepting “The Mueller Report” [sic] on its face?

      That is, Trump supporters who would have had their “Mueller’s on a witch hunt” attitude reinforced by an immediate airing of damaging information instead lend some credence to Mueller’s work for a time–even lauding his efforts. After moving the needle towards the investigation’s credibly in this group, the damaging information is comparatively harder to reject outright as, “See? It was a witch hunt just like we told you.”

      I’m not convinced that hypocrisy and consistency are high on the priority list with this group, but if there are marginal members who are persuaded to lend credence to Mueller during this time, would there be a nonzero benefit there compared with immediate release? I’m not saying that this at all counteracts the negative effect of allowing the current narrative to become ossified, just that there may be some alleviating effect as well.

      JMFC, on proofreading the above, I realize I am doing some Olympics-level mental gymnastics here. [closes laptop and heads out for some self-care]

    • Tony Cincy says:

      Jerry, Loveya baby. ❤️ 💕.

      He needs to stand firm, and that’s where the motion to release will come from. Now I see.

      Meanwhile let’s please not fool ourselves into thinking that the report itself is going to provide Findings of Conviction of Impeachment written on vellum, with an order of ejectment from 1600 Pennsylvania the following morning. It won’t. It will be carefully crafted legal language and the last thing I can stand is another let down like I suffered this week. We need to lower our expectations.

      Charlie Brown=dem
      Lucy=Repug

      It never changes

    • harpie says:

      Also this:
      [quote] As I also informed him, rather than expend valuable time and resources trying to keep certain portions of this report from Congress, he should work with us to request a court order to release any and all grand jury information to the House Judiciary Committee—as has occurred in every similar investigation in the past. There is ample precedent for the Department of Justice sharing all of the information that the Attorney General proposes to redact to the appropriate congressional committees. Again, Congress must see the full report. [end quote]

  24. daisyb says:

    IANAL. I feel like I must be in a time warp because I am still struggling to understand ownership of the Mueller report. I get that the original SCO mandate specified how results of Mueller’s investigation would be conveyed. I’ve practically got it memorized. At the very least, I once believed that my elected reps would be allowed to see the whole report. And I thought too, that certain reps on specific cmtees or in specified positions of leadership would have access to the full report. Now Barr is saying two weeks for Congress to see even a redacted report. Does anyone in Congress get to see an unredacted version?

    I made the phone calls (and sent more in writing) as suggested in the “angry man/woman” EW post. My people are Ds.

    The organization “Trump is not above the law” is sponsoring a “release the report” DC protest, which I received notice of via move on (dot) org. What is the best way to be heard re FULL DISCLOSURE of the Mueller report? Do we just need to be patient? I can do that, but it feels like a cop-out. I am a little stunned that there is not more of an uproar over the witholding of the report. I guess I always thought that witholding the details of the report would be a breaking point. To my astonishment, it may not be.

    • bmaz says:

      This is absurd. Absent an order from Chief Judge Howell In DDC authorizing the release of the Rule 6e material, it HAS TO BE redacted. to you, to me, and to Nadler. Seriously, anybody who does not understand this is not worth having a conversation with.

      For now, Barr has to operate under that construct. That he will try to get out a redacted version ASAP is not controversial. Jeebus, come on.

  25. RWood says:

    What happened to Ken Starr and his people when they violated 6(e)? I know one of them is a supreme court justice, and the other is the Deputy Director of the FBI, but what about the others? How were they held accountable?

  26. daisyb says:

    Prior to posting, I did understand Federal Rule 6e. I have seen Barr’s 4 categories of necessary redactions as well.

    I used the term unredacted carelessly in my post, esp when I mixed discussion of release of the unredacted Mueller report to Congress with discussion of release of the report to the public.

    I am seeing robust and comprehensive discussions of rules and precedents currently being cited by Nadler and others in their calls for access to the unredacted report. Most of these discussions acknowledge the need for grand jury and “3rd party reputational interests” redactions. I see several in Congress – not just Dems -discussing eventual access to the “classified” portions of the Mueller report (Collins, R-Ga). I see the Gang of 8 is asking about the counter-intelligence investigation report. WAPO published a OpEd by Neal Kumar Katyal last week in which he said :

    “ . . . the mentions of “brief” and “confidential” in the regulations and accompanying commentary were just general guidelines . . . The text of the regulations never required the attorney general’s report to Congress to be short or nonpublic . . . that text expressly included a key provision saying ‘the Attorney General may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest,’ even if the public release may deviate from ordinary Justice Department protocols.” I mention these things because your comment led me to go back and review how I landed at not worthy of having a conversation with.

    I turn to EW as a source for reliable information in an effort to be an informed citizen. Am I wrong in thinking that EW wants its readers to be better informed? That’s my reason for being here. I hope there is room to stumble.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      You have my vote. Lawyers have a mind set, by training and experience, to fake people out with fucking wild and crazy moves, and word play. They don’t write with a clear and distinctive voice (my opinion)
      “Live in hope, die in despair” — My mom was right
      “Unless I see the words (nail marks) in his report, and put my fingers on the facts, (where the answers are), and put my hand on the entire report, I will not believe.” BSL 20:24

      • Tom says:

        My experience with lawyers, BSL, has been different. At the social services agency where I used to work, the legal department was very keen on clear and simple communication and would conduct periodic training sessions to help staff learn to write affidavits and other court papers in an active voice with specific, detailed evidence supported by exhibits. Sorry your experience has been different, though I admit there are some bad lawyers out there as there are in any profession.

  27. harpie says:

    Thread about Executive Privilege / waiver discussion:
    *
    https://twitter.com/BoutrousTed/status/1111784925793906688
    5:19 PM – 29 Mar 2019
    *
    [quote] If the Mueller prosecutors obtained the information, then there has been a waiver of Executive Privilege, by definition. So any claims of Executive Privilege regarding Mueller’s report are frivolous.
    *
    The Trump team may argue that since Mueller and DOJ are part of the Executive Branch there has been no waiver but under that theory if Trump had done an interview with Mueller THAT would have been privileged. That can’t be right.
    *
    Revealing info to antagonist = waiver.
    *
    By the way, Rule 6(e)(3)(D) expressly allows Attorney General Barr to disclose grand jury material to federal intelligence officials like @AdamSchiff to assist them in performing their official duties to combat hostile activities by a foreign government.
    *
    This is not complicated.
    *
    If this theory, that Trump’s disclosures to Mueller are still protected by Executive Privilege, were correct, Nixon could have disclosed the Watergate tapes to Special Counsel Leon Jaworski but maintained secrecy over them.
    *
    That obviously didn’t happen — not by a long shot. [end quote]
    *

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Those crooks have studied Watergate and have devised a strategy.
      Republicans are mean, play hard ball and I hate everyone of them.
      Remember also that Nixon’s Attorney General was indicted for obstruction.
      That’s why, Barr should be indicted for obstruction, and aiding and abetting…..
      We had obstruction witnessed in slow motion.
      Now, we have a cover-up we are seeing in slow motion.
      Conclusion: We need a fucking whistleblower

    • bmaz says:

      Heh, where did you find that?? Ted is very good, and very much worth a follow. Also a very nice guy. Do note a caveat I made to David Gomez though:

      With the caveat that that would not make it public (see subsection i under that clause), but does mean it should be given to Schiff now for his duties as Chair of HPSCI.

      • harpie says:

        Well, I keep the twitter feeds [correct word?] of about 24 people whom I respect open in tabs whenever I’m on-line. Justin Hendrix retweeted the Boutrous thread this morning, and I read it there. And, since your feed is also open in my tabs [ :-) ], I then observed that you agreed with Ted about this. I’ve also read very good things by Ted in the past…but can only keep so many tabs open.
        Thanks for the new point/caveat.

        • bmaz says:

          Boutrous really is a good guy. And he does not tweet that much, so would not burden a feed. I, on the other hand, am all over the place on far too many subjects.

          • harpie says:

            1] If I open up any more tabs to track tweeters, I won’t be able to see the ( # ) notification of new tweets, AND
            2] “all over the place” is one of the reasons I’m keeping your tweeting exactly where it is! SO
            3] You’ll just have to clue me in when Ted tweets something interesting. OK?
            *

            • bmaz says:

              Deal. You do know that, if you have a twitter account, even a private one, you can make a “list” of only certain accounts you wish to follow, right? I would highly suggest doing this, because then there is one feed with only what you want to see, and it never takes up more than one tab.

              • Rayne says:

                Or use Tweetdeck which can display numerous feeds side-by-side under one browser tab assuming one is using a laptop/desktop.

            • harpie says:

              Thanks, bmaz and Rayne.
              I’ll think about those options.
              Even though it’s frustrating sometimes, I really do like having the opportunity to be informed, withOUT having the option of getting involved in the discussions.
              Thank you both and Marcy for allowing me to share here at Emptywheel, if I really feel like I have anything to say. :-)

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