The Many Lies and Prevarications of Bill Barr
Here’s the report. Use this thread to comment. (Here’s a searchable copy.)
Here’s a transcript of Bill Barr’s speech, once again spinning the Mueller Report. Effectively, what he did was pretend that “collusion” was the same thing as conspiracy, and having done so judge that the President didn’t obstruct justice because he was frustrated.
Repeats the sentence fragment without giving us the sentence
In Barr’s memo, he quoted a sentence fragment to claim that Mueller didn’t find any efforts to conspire with Russia. But then, as now, Barr only quoted part of the full sentence.
As you will see, the Special Counsel’s report states that his “investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
We don’t know what the first half of that sentence says, and it may well be damning.
Turns Trump campaign’s unknowing coordination into no collusion
In the paragraph on the IRA, Barr emphasizes that no Trump people knowingly coordinated with the IRA trolls.
But the Special Counsel found no evidence that any Americans – including anyone associated with the Trump campaign – conspired or coordinated with the Russian government or the IRA in carrying out this illegal scheme. Indeed, as the report states, “[t]he investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation.” Put another way, the Special Counsel found no “collusion” by any Americans in the IRA’s illegal activity.
We know that three Trump campaign officials unknowingly coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation. That’s not knowing collusion. But Barr overstates the Trump campaign innocence.
Turns no conspiring on the hack into no collusion
One of the most egregious instances of Barr’s word games comes when he turns the fact that Trump didn’t help hack the DNC into “no collusion.’
But again, the Special Counsel’s report did not find any evidence that members of the Trump campaign or anyone associated with the campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its hacking operations. In other words, there was no evidence of Trump campaign “collusion” with the Russian government’s hacking.
No one ever thought that Trump’s flunkies hacked the DNC. But Trump did encourage it. Which is collusion, according to some definitions of the goddamned meaningless term.
Clears Trump of “collusion” because Roger Stone’s “collusion” was legal
This passage, which talks about the publication of the WikiLeaks documents, engages in further word games.
The Special Counsel’s investigation also examined Russian efforts to publish stolen emails and documents on the internet. The Special Counsel found that, after the GRU disseminated some of the stolen materials through its own controlled entities, DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, the GRU transferred some of the stolen materials to Wikileaks for publication. Wikileaks then made a series of document dumps. The Special Counsel also investigated whether any member or affiliate of the Trump campaign encouraged or otherwise played a role in these dissemination efforts. Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy. Here too, the Special Counsel’s report did not find that any person associated with the Trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials.
Even Donald Trump “encouraged” the dissemination of the WikiLeaks documents. But the Stone indictment shows that he had some success at optimizing the release of the emails. Here, Barr shifts to emphasizing that the Trump campaign involvement in the dissemination was not illegal — effectively admitting that the Trump campaign “colluded,” but then saying because it wasn’t illegal collusion it’s no big deal.
Falsely claims that no Trump associate conspired with a Russian
Barr summarizes Mueller’s investigation into the links between Russians and Trump’s associates by claiming none of them engaged in a conspiracy to violate US law involving Russian linked persons.
Finally, the Special Counsel investigated a number of “links” or “contacts” between Trump Campaign officials and individuals connected with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. After reviewing those contacts, the Special Counsel did not find any conspiracy to violate U.S. law involving Russia-linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign.
This is outright false. Paul Manafort pled guilty to a conspiracy to money launder and violate FARA; Konstantin Kilimnik was involved in that. That conspiracy went through 2016. And Kilimnik was named a co-conspirator with Manafort on his 2018 witness tampering.
Leans on “collusion” as basis for his obstruction analysis
At the beginning of Barr’s discussion of obstruction of justice, he relies on “collusion,” not conspiracy.
After finding no underlying collusion with Russia, the Special Counsel’s report goes on to consider whether certain actions of the President could amount to obstruction of the Special Counsel’s investigation.
Admits some of Trump’s acts amount to obstruction
Barr says that he and Rosenstein disagreed that some of the instances of obstruction Mueller analyzed were obstruction.
Falsely claims that the House Judiciary Committee doesn’t have a constitutionally proper claim to grand jury information
Finally, then Barr pretends that by letting members of Congress access the report — save grand jury material — that is legally sufficient.
Given the limited nature of the redactions, I believe that the publicly released report will allow every American to understand the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation. Nevertheless, in an effort to accommodate congressional requests, we will make available to a bipartisan group of leaders from several Congressional committees a version of the report with all redactions removed except those relating to grand-jury information. Thus, these members of Congress will be able to see all of the redacted material for themselves – with the limited exception of that which, by law, cannot be shared. [my emphasis]
The House Judiciary Committee has a constitutionally proper claim to that grand jury material to conduct an impeachment inquiry. Claiming that it cannot be shared legally is both historically and legally false.
But the truth is that Trump is subject to fits of uncontrollable anger. That is the warning.
No kidding…if we ever thought different, and we didn’t, DJT is a one man rage machine!
I wonder why the campaign finance violation – at the direction of Individual-1 – isn’t the underlying crime that would create an obstruction offense, even if the charges were not brought directly by the SCO.
Unless Russian involvement can be shown, the campaign finance violation and related conspiracy aren’t Trump-Russia — that’s why SDNY handled it.
Although, to OTD’s point, we also now have the EDVA (IIRC) investigation into the inaugural committee finances that appears to be missing a bunch of money. The law is actually clear that any foreign cash is a no-no in elections. Since the inaugural committee is a campaign function, that counts.
Barr whitewashed pretty severely, and his visit to the House committees will not go well. It’ll be interesting to see how his testimony / opinion will change when he’s under oath.
CNN provides the first clause:
“Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in the election interference activities,”
Which to my plain reading establishes a quid pro quo between Kaiser Quisling’s campaign and the Russian agents -> conspiracy? Or, at least “collusion” or collaboration.
One would think that AG Barr would be smart enough to ensure the first part of that passage would be buried under the redaction like he did back in 1989. He had to know every one of his quote declarations at the presser today would be immediately hunted down to get the context.
Just looking at the TOC for volume II and it reads like a roadmap for impeachment.
Looks like Marcy already came to that conclusion.
Not being a lawyer I need help. CNN just reported two things; first that Mueller could not reach a conclusion on obstruction and two that fourteen investigations were farmed out. How in heavens name does Mueller close down his investigations when he does not know the results of so many other investigations still outstanding? Or did Barr shut it down? I am frustrated.
In general, the investigations that were “spun off” were done so because the alleged crimes involved fell outside the mandate of the special prosecutor’s office. Doing so also conserved resources within Team Mueller and helped to ensure that investigations and prosecutions would continue even if/after the main investigation ended.
Stephen, I wondered about this as well (together 14M other things …). Thanks for elucidating.
Do you know which investigations were spun off?
I know of two: Cohen and Assange: And Assange had something to do with hacking and Russia. So how do you say no collusion or conspiracy without that one? And how many others?
Wendy Siegelman made a nice chart of the investigations — you can find it through her tweet here: https://mobile.twitter.com/WendySiegelman/status/1118932589836996612
Appendix D3 lists the cases and redacted ones and Mueller agreed to them.
That is not a particularly comforting list, in fact, not at all. But then I am not as read up on all of this. I just have a suspicious outlook.
Eh, I dunno about that. I think Assange was not “spun off by Mueller” but was, instead, ordered shipped from SDNY to EDVA by DOJ Main, not Mueller.
I’m creating a searchable pdf version now. It’s through page 291, but I have an important meeting at 11. So, if it doesn’t finish in the next few minutes I’ll post as soon as my meeting ends.
Lawfare linked a searchable version
Thanks for sharing that.
Did Barr somehow (and very conveniently) “forget” that the House Judiciary Committee has, historically, gotten grand jury information?
I have a suspicion that he has no intention of just giving that to them, whether they have the right to it or not, at which point, they will end up asking nicely, then they will say that AG Barr missed their deadline for submission, then they will ask a little less nicely, and then Lotso Bear will zig and zag with legalese and eventually, months later, the Dems will realize they will have to subpoena it, and by the time it gets to SCOTUS it will be 2021.
My point it, every single thing happening here since the day the investigation was announced, was figuring out how you keep a Republican presidency. Stalling is a fantastic tactic. Look, we got played by Barr. EOH has showed with much detail here what his history was, and no one wanted to believe it, or just were too ignorant and lazy to figure out who he really is. He’s a fixer. And he is fixing again. But it’s not about Trump, in particular, it’s about Republican power, and how when you hold the presidency, you can realign what you really want, and that is the law, the DOJ, the courts, the judges. Because, then, when you have your minions back in full power in congress eventually, there is no limit to what can be done, because if it ever has to go to the courts, you’ve already packed them.
We didn’t get played by Barr. Those of us paying attention KNEW up front that the fix was in from Barr. .long ago.. but.. due to the bad players complicit in this debacle, there’s nothing we could, nor can do about it. The Dem committee’s need to get some COJONES and subpoena them.
Sorry, I should be more precise. The American people got played by him, because of our inept Congress. We here obviously knew and were highly suspect of his motives.
Can’t go through it now – besides greater minds than mine here already are. But, curious if the summaries the “disgruntled agents” let out are to be seen?
Oh the PR tour commences…Jay Sekulow is on MSNBC. He’s on the verge of barking back at Brian Williams who is persuaded the redacted report is incriminating for Trump.
LOL he’s got to read his response to Nichole Wallace’s question about Don McGahn.
Frank Figluizzi pushed back at Barr’s lie that “Special Counsel did not find any conspiracy to violate U.S. law involving Russia-linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign” pointing to page 140 of the report in which Manafort’s meeting with Kilimnik is addressed including Gates’ collection of polling data for that meeting.
Will have to catch up later, but here’s a quick observation:
You cannot have capitalism, not even crony capitalism, without a functioning legal system. Barr and Sekulow are in the process of breaking a whole lot of valuable rice bowls by seeking to pervert justice.
We’ll see whether people simply roll over while their rice bowls and years of law school and legal practice are being demolished. Interesting times, indeed.
One other item from the presser was Barr’s claim that Kaiser Quisling was beset by leaks from the investigation. However, we all know here that Mueller’s office did not leak, and the ones that made it to the press all came from the Palace. Another example of convenient “forgetting”…
One of Trump’s lawyers who quit sometime ago said he had an inside line to Mueller’s office that gave him a heads up on some of the stories in the press was way off base.
“Trump’s lawyers” is not a phrase that inspires confidence that the source of the information is telling the truth. Ghouliani, Sekulow, Dowd, Cobb, Cohen and McGahn were all Trump’s Lawyers at one time or another and all have truthiness problems.
In the footnote at Vol.II p.175, Mueller references an OLC memo about extending the term of the FBI director–Robert S. Mueller.
One can learn more from rereading Waiting for Godot than reading into the plain and legal meanings of words of “the report” however correct and hope-starved.
In their own televised and broadcast and electronically communicated words, criminals like Donald Trump and his family knowingly and willfully acted (and conspired with to join them) to break and undermine American laws to “win” a hacked election. They courted and sought out hacking help. They lied about Russian business dealings, and money laundering, etc. They continue to break laws ad nauseam by flouting laws in shell corporation scheme of moving parts – each coordinating moves out of legal bounds per jurisdictions.
Don’t believe your lying eyes. It’s 1984.
Mueller didn’t want to “overplay” any hand while knowing Trump was doing this with McConnell and Nunes at every juncture. Is placing hope in SDNY well founded? I think not.
America was never a place, it was just an idea. Before us all laws have been nullified for the rich vulgarity of an unstable idiot – who has proven time and again to be Putin’s “useful idiot”.
We see that certain rich white men write blank checks for “eccentric” behavior that would land anyone else in prison.
Martha Stewart did her time. Clinton WAS impeached for lying about a blowjob.
I don’t belong in your idea and this place has no space for me. Paris is Burning like Rio.
It’s WWIII and I will not feign ignorance or accept your poorly imagined strategies.
I see the future and you’re failing. Yes YOU on my phone. YOU insulting me. Yes YOU shaming me.
Before God YOU are failing.
Capitalism is the Beast!
SCO: “[Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump president and worked to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts] the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.””
“Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump president and worked to secure that outcome”
This is an old Soviet / Eastern bloc intelligence tactic. Back who most closely aligns with you and smear the others. Read THE KGB AND SOVIET DISINFORMATION ‐ AN INSIDER’S VIEW by LADISLAV BITTMAN or Terrorism by Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa and Prof. Ronald J Rychlak
I wonder if Mueller had simply released the report — with no Barr spin — the lede might have been “Mueller outlines evidence for impeachment for obstruction.”
The call-outs to Congress are Mueller setting himself up to look like an owl and say “I could not indict a sitting president, so laid out the evidence for Congress to decide what to do about it…”
Then Barr happened.
Why is Barr acting as a mouth piece and human shield for Trump? What did it take to lure him out and step into the spotlight? Im more inclined to believe he’s doing this for the Republican party at large.
Because right now.. while everyone is reading this report. Our country is having it’s back broken by the slimy members of team Trump. Trump is the black hole that sucks all the light from the room, allowing thieves to rip the plumbing out of the walls.
[FYI, comment edited to remove links and off topic content. Please post a comment in the previous open thread with that material and I will watch for it in the moderation bin. Thanks. /~Rayne]
Both Barr’s daughter and son-in-law have jobs in the administration. You do the math.
This, from page 290, shows Trump’s reaction to learning that Mueller had been appointed and needs to be spread as far and wide as possible:
Can you say: Guilty Knowledge. Gosh, with so many statements like that….
Knowing who was in the White House, who was running the DoJ, and having to fight the OLC, too, I believe Mueller chose the right course: Tee up the investigation for Congress.
Conviction in the Senate is not as critical as documenting the investigation in a 9/11 like way. It would serve as the basis for a Senate trial, a post-presidency criminal trial, for reform legislation, and for public knowledge of what we have allowed Trump to do. We can’t move past him until we know a lot more about why it’s necessary and important.
Even as a fall back, Mueller has provided enough reasons for a thorough congressional investigation aimed at reform legislation: substantially greater disclosures; specific prohibitions on nepotism, conflicts of interest and self-dealing; campaign and annual financial disclosures; inaugural committee financial disclosures; annual physical and mental health exams; and so on. Trump adds to the list every day he is in office.
“Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived that it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected that it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not” etc. Page 5.
Mueller comes right out and says he didn’t just avoid indicting Trump — he stayed away from asking questions that would lead to indictment:
IANAL, but I don’t think this paragraph means what you think it means. I think it simply means SCO decided not “…to evaluate the conduct we investigated under the Justice Manual standards governing prosecution and declination decisions”, i.e., SCO would report the conduct, but leave the determination of what to do about it to Congress.
Barr manifests the institutionalist principles of a wholly-screws-owned trustee in a federal pen.
a snow job in search of a cold day in hell.
Still in the executive summary for the most part…
As has been discussed on this site in the past, the decision (regarding conspiracy) was based on (1) whether a crime appeared to have been committed and (2) whether the evidence was sufficient to secure a conviction. Interestingly, there is also (3) whether “prosecution elsewhere or through non-criminal alternatives” could address the issue. This last being, in the present case, a pretty clear reference to impeachment & conviction by Congress.
Despite multiple contacts between campaign-affiliated persons and Russian agents, “The evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges.” This is in part attributed to lies told to Congress and the investigators by people such as Flynn, Manafort, Papadapoulos, and Cohen. “These lies materially impaired the investigation” (page 9). Some of those being investigated or interviewed also “deleted relevant communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention” (page 10). “Given these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the Report” (also page 10).
Somebody correct me if I’m wrong:
Republicans demand an investigation into the origins of the probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the election. We are told that all of these investigations are underway.
Democrats and the general public want to know what investigations spun off of the original investigation, and we are not allowed to know about these. In fact, as we get closer to 2020, the excuse will be that we can’t be informed because it’s too close to an election.
Did I get that right?
Here is a searchable version: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1F0X8xo-vMtql5mDiKvGuj9rDaJ_rwp7q/view?usp=sharing although now I see the law fare link.
Thanks for sharing that. It’s possible some links will be swamped sharing today, good to have more.
I should note to readers that I don’t ordinarily let Google Drive links through without more caution. Proceed with care.
bmaz will vouch for me ;-)
Indeed I will and do!
The burglars stole the jewels. The pawnshop expected to profit from the jewels and, indeed, received them. The pawnshop’s owner was too stupid to understand that receiving jewels from burglars might be illegal. So, just an unusual kind of business transaction not illegal enough to prosecute.
Right, like a pawnshop’s owner would be that stupid. ~smh~
I cannot accept the hypothesis that Trump stumbled into this through a combination of greed, venality, and narcissism. I keep adding up what we see in the report, Trump’s repeated threats and lies, and the matters that we know about but are out of view, either because they’re redacted or under separate US Attorneys, and the only synthesis that makes sense is that this was a carefully calculated plan, right down to the rabbit holes designed to waste investigative time.
For the Bush Administration’s occupation of Iraq, there was a phrase that “the plan is chaos.” When people see chaos, they assume that those responsible are stupid. Real psychopaths are good at planning it that way.
Page C-2, in reference to the President’s written answers, the report states,
“Recognizing that the President would not be interviewed voluntarily, we considered whether to issue a subpoena for his testimony. We viewed the written answers to be inadequate. But at that point, out investigation had made significant progress and had produced substantial evidence for our report … [W]e determined that the substantial quantity of information we had obtained from other sources allowed us to draw relevant factual conclusions on intent and credibility…”
My issue with this is that is that the final conclusion on page 182 of volume 2 indicates that they were unable to reach a judgement in either direction on the matter of obstruction. I just don’t understand how you can both have enough evidence through other sources to not need to interview the president while simultaneously not have enough evidence to make a determination one way or another. If there wasn’t enough evidence to make a determination, I feel like that would indicate that they need to take a closer look at the intent and credibility of the subject.
Right, and if it turns out, that months later, after you have learned that the original answers, plus what you expected to get from other sources, dont create the 2+2=5 expected scenario, but instead, because of lying and obstruction by Manafort, et al, you end up at 2+2=3, well, the next logical thing to do would be to say, I think we need to get better answers than the written take home test, and go for the subpoena. And yet, they did not. So this adds more weight to the question of why they did not, and why they wrapped up when they did, when it turned out they made a mistake earlier in their expectations. It makes me think that someone (cough cough Barr) told them to wrap it up.
The final conclusion on page 182 of volume 2 does not say that, it says: “Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct… if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.” As I read this, they did reach a judgment in one direction, but decided not to make the judgment in the other direction.
Jake Tapper is still saying that Mueller “found no evidence” of a criminal conspiracy. Of course, Barr said the same thing this morning; granted, Barr went on to double down by conflating “collusion” with “criminal conspiracy.” I think Jake and his people need to read the first couple pages of Mueller’s report. To make it perfectly clear to all readers, Mueller states: “A statement that the investigation did not establish particular facts does not mean there was no evidence of those facts.”
Here are the weasel words that jumped out at me when I heard Barr speak them. He’s referring to the publication of “…Russian efforts to publish stolen emails and documents on the internet…”
“Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy. Here too, the Special Counsel’s report did not find that any person associated with the Trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials.”
What isn’t said is that the Trump campaign MAY have participated in the publication of the materials. But if they weren’t involved in the theft, then it wasn’t illegal, and so we can absolve them of any wrongdoing.
Ethics be damned.
But yet, these same asshats and liars would and will go after journalists for the same perceived actions…
this should be considered fencing stolen goods as opposed to freedom of the press. copied files are considered materials. publishing what is said in emails is different than uploading the actual files. the files are stolen goods. this should not be considered freedom of the press. hacking is one crime, copying them and uploading is another crime. additionally, as the creator the emails are automatically under copyright by the creator. and no, not all materials created by government employees are public domain.
Many thanks to Marcy and all for the links to the Mueller Report and the illuminating discussion. I’m about to start reading the PDF, with a searchable text version also.
That Mueller is following a “roadmap” approach on obstruction is very helpful to learn here. And Barr’s evident unawareness of _United States v. Nixon_ (1974) and also _Haldeman v. Sirica_ is quite unsurprising. An interesting question is whether an actual impeachment inquiry needs to be initiated in order to meet the “judicial proceeding” exception, or whether any inquiry by the House Judiciary Committee into matter related to the Mueller Report might be deemed “preliminary to” the potential “judicial proceeding” of impeachment.
Is there is any reason why Barr would especially want to withhold grand jury materials from the House Judiciary Committee rather than any other redacted category of material?
The normal rule is that prosecutors are bound to keep grand jury proceedings secret. After they are concluded, however, many of the reasons for that drop away. There are also exceptions to the secrecy rules when it comes to disclosures to certain committees of Congress. Moreover, past special and independent counsels have simply asked the supervising court for permission to disclose grand jury materials and it has largely been granted – owing to the public interest in government transparency.
The reasons Barr might have to avoid permitted disclosure are many. Most of them relate to the material being harmful to Trump and the lies he’s told to avoid accountability. GJ testimony is under oath and relatively reliable. It elicits specific facts and their relationship. Facing that can be brutal to a habitual liar like Trump. Mueller’s investigation will have produced a ton of it.
One of Trump’s gambits – and a longtime GOP tactic – has been to claim, in effect, that there are no facts, only opinions, and that these can all differ. That gives wide permission to disbelieve inconvenient truths. I think it is one of the tactics developed by the tobacco industry in its defense of cancer litigation. It has since been adopted by global warming deniers, Big Ag and other industries, and is a standard tool of the corporate apology industry.
To add to that, Congress doesn’t get carte blanche to release anything and everything. The Trump side has been trying to make it seem like sharing grand jury info with Congress is the sme as making it public, but they are not. Congress has procedures in place to handle all kinds of secret material, and they are capable of keeping Mueller material secret too.
There is a risk that once info is shared with, say, the House Judiciary Committee, that some GOP member will leak in an effort to discredit the Democrats. But that’s a risk that I think is worth taking.
another searchable copy is at https://archive.org/details/report_201904
flippable pages and a downloadable text file as well.
Having demonstrated his outright capitulation to Trump today – and by extension, his willingness to insert himself in the 2020 re-election campaign – Barr must be called before Congress to testify re his actions and his recusal on the issues of immigration, healthcare and others that will shape not only the election but future legislation.
Thank you Marcy for your expertise, disciplined approach and considerable efforts toward unraveling this tangled web of lies, deceit and misdirection directed at the public.
Still on the executive summary, there’s gold just there (I haven’t had much time to peruse at length yet). For example, who is Kushner’s friend who met with Kirill Dmtriev after the infamous Seychelles meeting with Prince (and the Emiratis)?
Anyway, my favorite part about this report is the PDF is a scanned version of a printed report, but done at a just low enough DPI that you can’t see the infamous yellow dots. They’re there though!
I think it is time to starting considering the phrase “disbar Barr”
We need to be able to elect the Attorney General, directly. Several of the states do.
Kudos for the fourth estate and Marcy’s work.
Maxine Waters for Prez. Did you see her last night?
She is so refreshing
Barr is one helluva sleaze bag.
How do we protect the remaining 12 investigations.
Barr has a long range plan, no doubt
EOH @ 2:18
If it can’t be measured we have more than anybody . . . unless it’s bad. In which case we have less than anybody.
“[T]he President’s personal counsel requested and were given the opportunity to read a final version of the redacted report before it was publicly released. That request was consistent with the practice followed under the Ethics in Government Act, which permitted individuals named in a report prepared by an Independent Counsel the opportunity to read the report before publication.”
Am I correct in noting that the precedent Barr is citing here, for why he’d give the President and his legal team access to the report before both Congress and the public, is the same Independent Counsel statute he’s continually highlighted we’re no longer operating under? To cite the normative behaviors under that statute here, and then openly defy parallel norms — such as granting Congress access to the report in its unredacted entirety — seems legally incongruous, no?
A couple of unanswered questions and an observation.
1. Why was the Mueller investigation cut short? Certainly seems that it was. I haven’t read anything yet explaining that. Only speculation.
2. Why was Mueller unable to establish predicates for indictment? Or did he deliberately not go there laying it at the feet of Congress. It looked to me like Fitzmas II, at first, but now I am thinking Mueller is playing a very long and subtle hand.
3. Which leads to my observation: Pelosi’s interdiction of impeachment proceedings is very good politics. The report, even redacted, is much better (more damning) than I ever hoped it would be. Much better to have it percolating on the stove than to tee it up in the House and have the Senate whiff big time. At that point, Trump would be home free, and the atmosphere would be like it was for the first couple of days after the Barr anti-summary. Too horrible to contemplate. I want to see this cauldron bubbling over his orange head until election day, 2020.
Truly discouraging to know that we have an AG without one shred of integrity, who willfully lies and misleads. Trump finally got his Roy Cohn, bought and paid for.
The press conference was quite a display
His statements like flimsy lingerie
They reveal more than they hide
Laying bare his character inside
By promoting in advance his view
Its his reputation that has become see-thru
“I’ll be as transparent as I can.”
Has now taken the measure of the man.
William P Barr-tisan
For the life of me, I cannot fathom how the public continue to take seriously the “liberal”media handwringing and Democratic Party commiserating over the abject abuses of AG BillyBarr without demanding a full-throated acknowledgment of the Constitutional provision for his immediate impeachment and subsequent removal from office. Rachel Maddow came closest in a tangential allusion to to the need for Congessional action against Barr in her show last nite, but failed to take the issue “by the horn”. Why Is the spotlight not being trained on the necessity for legal action against a rogue chief law enforcement officer who has now acted true to form by repeatedly aiding and abetting a criminal president?
Here’s a fun game. Let’s compare Barr’s embarrassingly stupid remarks on obstruction yesterday morning with a passage from his June 2018 obstruction memo!
Barr’s remarks yesterday:
“In assessing the President’s actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context. President Trump faced an unprecedented situation. As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as President, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion. And as the Special Counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks.”
Barr’s “thought experiment” on p. 12 of the 2018 obstruction memo:
“In today’s world, Presidents are frequently accused of wrongdoing. Let us say that an outgoing administration — say, an incumbent U.S. Attorney — launches a “investigation” of an incoming President. The new President knows it is bogus, is being conducted by political opponents, and is damaging his ability to establish his new Administration and to address urgent matters on behalf of the Nation. It would neither be “corrupt” nor a crime for the new President to terminate the matter and leave any further investigation to Congress. There is no legal principle that would insulate the matter from the President’s supervisory authority and mandate that he passively submit while a bogus investigation runs its course.”
Did anyone else notice that there’s something wrong with the footnotes for redacted material? Maybe this is nothing, but it could be meaningful.
A substantial number of the footnotes for redacted sections are incorrectly numbered by dropping the leading digit. In all cases, there is enough white space preceding the second digit that the leading digit could definitely have fit there. See, for example, the footnote that should be numbered 13 on p. 16 of Volume 1, but is instead just numbered “3” with plenty of leading white space or the footnote that should be 17 on the same page.
Within Vol. 1, this also occurs in the footnotes that should be 21, 24, 25, 39, 47, 48, 54, 64, 69, 76, 77, 162, 210, 211, 213, 214, 219, 220, 223, 224, 227, 233, 243, 250, 498, 582, 720, 724, 746, 894, 932, 953, 954, 1000, 1002, 1029, 1049, 1062, 1067, 1202, 1026, 1278, and 1279. I have not found a single example of this for a footnote referring to an unredacted sentence, and this did not happen to every footnote corresponding to redacted material.
So something (maybe important, maybe not) occurred during the redaction process that caused the loss of those digits. Maybe this was totally trivial – like at a mechanical level, maybe the reactions first took the form of “whiting out”, which sometimes extended too far, and then the black bars were applied.
But I find it really weird. It could reflect a multi-stage redaction process in which some subsequent redactor removed material that was not meant to be removed. Really just throwing this out there, though, to see if anyone else has a theory.
Did you notice any consistencies or other patterns with regards to class(es) of redactions to which this error applies?
The initial burst of media suggested many things, one of which is a Congressional call for Mueller to testify. I have been wondering about that. I think he should be heard from if only as a matter of courtesy; however, I don’t expect him to say much under questioning. While he no longer has to look to Barr for permission to speak his mind, I would be surprised if he would step out-of-character. He surely knows his opinion is going to seen as that of Special Counsel even though he isn’t one anymore, and he specifically refrained from making official accusations against Trump in that role. He would also be reticent about influencing ongoing investigations in other jurisdictions. Was Leon Jaworski brought into Congress to testify about what he thought as a private citizen immediately after he delivered his report? Lawrence Walsh may have said something, I don’t recall–I just don’t recall ex-special counsels being very talkative or very specific in the immediate aftermath.