You know the whir your wash machine makes on its spin cycle? That’s what Trump is busy doing after the release of Attorney General William Barr’s summary of Special Counsel Mueller’s report.
Which is odd, because rather than releasing Mueller’s summary of his own report, Barr wrote and released his own summary.
I wonder why that is?
The Mueller Summary Must Be Damming
Presumably because Mueller’s summary contains information that Barr’s boss, Donald Trump, would rather the public not find out about.
Thus, take Barr’s summary with a huge grain of salt. He was, after all, hand picked by Trump to reach exactly the conclusion he reached, which is the vague “no collusion” statement.
Because Barr’s Tiptoes Around Some Obvious Facts
Even so, Barr’s summary is a little weird. For example, here’s what he has to say about Russian interference in the 2016 election:
“The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord….The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election.”
C’mon, Barr, no one’s ever honestly suspected that Trump or his staff was directly involved with either the IRA disinformation campaign or the Russian hacking operations.
And Barr’s statement doesn’t address the myriad of contacts from Trump world, such as: Manafort’s highly placed Russian friends, the Trump Tower meeting with Don Jr., George Papadopoulos’ Russian outreach, and the Moscow real estate deal that fell apart.
It’s difficult to believe Mueller didn’t address any of these items. So why doesn’t Barr mention them?
Mueller kicked the can down the road regarding whether Trump obstructed justice: “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
But of course, Trump took to Twitter to proclaim he had been exonerated.
Which is untrue, but his followers are unlikely to read the Barr summary. They’ll rely on the propaganda from Fox News and Breitbart, and swear by Barr’s conclusion rather than Mueller’s.
Already, I’m seeing everyday people on social media posting memes that we should be outraged that this so-called witch hunt was made up by Democrats and the media, and how dumb we are to have been mad at Trump.
As well, Barr makes no mention of the counterintelligence investigation that is concurrent with the criminal investigation into Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to openly obstruct justice on a regular basis as he has been doing for months.
That Sound You Hear Is A Big Backfire
I believe orchestrating this foregone conclusion with Barr’s assistance will actually backfire, and indeed there are already signs that it is since the chairmen of the House Judiciary, Intelligence, and Oversight Committees almost instantly issued a joint statement that reads in part:
“After reading the Attorney General’s four-page summary of the Special Counsel’s findings, we reiterate our call for the release of the Special Counsel’s full and complete report and all underlying documents. We also call for Attorney General Barr to come forward to testify before the House Judiciary Committee without delay. Far from the ‘total exoneration’ claimed by the President, the Mueller report expressly does not exonerate the President. Instead, it ‘sets out evidence on both sides of the question’ of obstruction—including the evidence that President Trump attempted to obstruct justice.
In other words, many of us are now even more eager to see Mueller’s report than we would have been without the obvious sleight of hand.
No doubt this is going to get ugly. But the most important thing to remember is that all of the American people deserve to get the full Mueller report, so we can make up our own minds.