Don’t fool yourself. This latest assault on Attorney General Barr is a coordinated hit job cooked up between the media, the special counsel, and their allies in Congress. And it has only one purpose, to stop or slow Barr’s inquiry into the gross abuses leading up to the effort to spy on the Trump campaign.
Shortly after arriving at the Department of Justice, Attorney General William Barr directed the Mueller team to prepare their report so the grand jury information that could not be disclosed could be readily identified and redacted in order to make the fastest possible release to the public. He did it again March 5, 2019, when the attorney general met with the special counsel to instruct him to prepare the report with an eye towards making the redactions as easy as possible. “I asked that they [the Mueller team] identify [grand jury] material.” When he received the report on March 22, it was clear that Mueller defied Barr’s request. “Unfortunately, it did not come in that form,” and Barr quickly realized that it would take “3 or 4 weeks” to untangle the mess Mueller made.
I explained exactly why Mueller defied Barr here: “By salting the report with grand jury information that required redaction, Mueller guarantees the president remains subject to the innuendo and suspicion that comes with unnecessary secrecy.” In other words, it was a dirty trick. Open your eyes, Mr. Attorney General, because they’re coming for you now.
“Leaky Bob” Mueller, who repeatedly has violated rules against using the newspaper as a courtroom, recently struck again leaking his March 27, 2019 letter to Attorney General Barr in which he objects to the attorney general’s failure to disclose to the public the introduction and executive summary of each volume of the special counsel’s report. Leaky Bob’s team has leaked, by one count more than 25 times, and that count needs to be updated to add several more leaks that have happened since the list was compiled.
This new leak tells us that after Barr sent Congress the letter providing the bottom-line conclusions of the report, Mueller redacted the report summaries and transmitted them to Barr on the 25th of March, the next day. Remember, this is something Barr asked Mueller to do beforehand. Instead, Mueller purposely created a dispute over how to characterize the report so he could undermine his boss with leaks to the media. It’s no coincidence that Mueller would write a letter urging Barr to release these summaries the day after Slate made this implausibly prescient guess, “Mueller surely wrote an executive summary of his findings for Barr, and it clearly would have been easier for Barr simply to give Congress and the public Mueller’s summary than to write this letter himself.” Mueller clearly was coordinating message with the press.
Allow me quickly to dispense with how ridiculous of an attempt this is to discredit Attorney General Barr before moving to the extremely damning view it gives us of Mueller’s actions. As noted by the attorney general, 98 percent of volume 2, the portion that deals with “obstruction” has been made available to the public. The report is “lightly redacted.” The media, currently in a froth over how Attorney General Barr summarized a report, can now simply read and summarize the report however they want. We can draw our own conclusions and, while Barr’s summary was totally factual and accurate, it failed to strike that initial public relations blow Mueller wanted to land against the president.
I thought we were still pretending that the Mueller political hit squad were not bunch of leaky lawyers who use sycophant media instead of courtrooms to trash their targets? I guess we’ve dropped that pretense and now Mueller is scolding Barr for not issuing a get-Trump-compliant press release.
Coordinating with their allies in the media and the Senate, Mueller has attempted to set-up the attorney general. Barr was asked whether he knew why Mueller’s team was upset with the attorney general’s summary. He said he did not know what their concerns were. That was a truthful statement. But Sen. Patrick Leahy has attempted to use Mueller’s leaked letter to argue that the attorney general lied to Congress when he said he didn’t know what was of concern to Mueller’s team. The attorney general gave a factual and able explanation for the ginned up discrepancy.
Mueller should not have leaked this letter. Essentially, Mueller argues that Barr should have used the summary to mount a public relations attack on the president. Mueller’s leaked letter cites 28 C.F.R. §609(c), a regulation that does not exist. This appears to be a sloppy typo with intended reference to 28 C.F.R. §600.9(c) which allows the attorney general (not the special counsel) to determine whether release of the special counsel’s report is in the public interest. The regulation further provides, “All other releases of information by any Department of Justice employee, including the Special Counsel and staff, concerning matters handled by Special Counsels shall be governed by the generally applicable Departmental guidelines concerning public comment with respect to any criminal investigation, and relevant law.”
Isn’t it interesting that the $35 million special counsel dream team can’t write a letter to the attorney general without bungling the only legal citation fig leafing an otherwise nakedly-partisan scold? Not when you remember these hacks bungled their one and only case in a courtroom leading to a confused but mostly anti-Trump jury returning a mistrial on more than half of the presented counts.
Was leaky Bob Mueller authorized to leak this letter to the Washington Post? Justice Department general regulation on confidentiality and media contact provides “DoJ personnel should presume that non-public, sensitive information obtained in connection with work is protected from disclosure…[and] disclosure of such information to anyone…is prohibited….”
Why would the public need to read about a dispute over how to preview a report we now have in its entirety? The reason is simple, to mount an attack on an attorney general who can’t seem to get with the deep state program. Barr is not a partisan hack. Hoax boosters were lulled into a sense of false hope by Barr’s close friendship with Mueller. Thus they might have hoped he would have looked the other way at the malfeasance that led to the Mueller probe in the first place-Clinton’s dirty dossier and the politically corrupt Justice Department officials who peddled it to throw the election to Clinton. Barr doesn’t seem to share the media’s view that “spying” on a political campaign is not a big deal so long as the spying is done with the consent of the partisan leadership of the DoJ.
What is Mueller’s endgame here? Impeachment? Don’t be ridiculous. An impeachment vote could be taken before dinnertime tonight. It requires a bare majority. But impeachment is not a conviction. The matter would then proceed to the Senate with no hope of conviction. The cooler heads among the media have correctly noted that impeaching President Trump would make him stronger.
To answer that question, go back and look at where the Mueller people were standing on the night that Donald Trump shocked the world by upsetting Hillary Clinton. Robert Mueller left a $3.4 million partner job with WilmerHale, the same law firm that had just won a lawsuit for the Clinton Foundation, keeping Clinton emails secret. The Mueller probe provided former Clinton Foundation attorney Jeannie Rhee with the opportunity once again to protect Clinton by making sure the word “Fusion” never appeared in the Mueller report and by steering the Papadopoulos prosecution to help obscure the role of the Clinton-financed dossier in the hoax. The end-game is to continue to protect the coup plotters and deep-state bad actors who have used surveillance of Americans in much the same way the Soviets used it in Eastern Germany.
Mueller was friends with fired FBI Director James Comey who should have been in trouble for leaking classified information. Mueller’s position on the probe gave him the ability to protect his friend while supposedly investigating the Trump/Russia hoax. Mueller even helped prepare Comey for his congressional testimony. The Carter Page FISA warrant abuse is actually a tiny tip of a giant iceberg of FISA abuse leading back to Comey’s bogus certification to the FISA court that promised the court that Americans were not being improperly spied upon. Mueller probe #2 Weissmann was literally standing in the Clinton election-night (supposed to be victory) party. The probe provided these people a unique platform for their revenge.
This is high stakes stuff. If the elites can continue using intelligence and law enforcement to interfere in American elections, they will eventually get good at it and we will lose our republic. The deep state allies are fighting like the “Unsullied” protecting the gates of Winterfell to cover for the bad actors still fumbling for their golden parachutes. Bottom line, the report, these new leaks, they’re just desperate attempts to delay the reckoning. The attorney general is now subject of a campaign of smear and intimidation and he must be protected so he can hold these villains to account.
That reckoning cannot come soon enough.
Photo credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call