Attorney General Barr appeared before lawmakers this morning in what was meant to be a budget request inquiry. It was, but other topics were covered as well, including the subject of interest to most Americans: Barr’s handling of the Mueller report.
The 400+ page Mueller report came with it’s own summary, but Bill Barr wrote his own, a 3 1/2 page letter containing fragments of Bob Mueller’s sentences, interspersed within Barr’s words.
Today Barr said he “tried to use as much of the the special counsel‘s language as he could.”
Barr claims he offered (not personally), to “allow Bob to review” his judgement of the report, but Mr Mueller declined. Asked whether he asked Mueller to assist him in writing it, he said no, he did not.
When asked, Barr did not deny having allowed the Trump White House to review his “judgement report.”
This was a preview of what we can expect when the Judiciary Committee formally question’s Barr in the coming weeks regarding that subject.
AG Barr is currently at work redacting the Mueller report. He says it will be ready for congress next week.
Barr answered many questions in the following way:
“We can’t have that conversation without the report.”
Ironic since he alone withholds the report.
When asked what criteria he is using to determine what to redact, he explained his creation: a list of 4 reasons that cover every possible scenario, giving him free reign to hand over a report that has been blacked out from cover to cover.
1. 6(e)- provision to protect information under Grand Jury investigation.
With this, “information under Grand Jury investigation” could include any subject in Robert Mueller’s report that is in line with Grand Jury testimony.
Representative Ed Case pointed out that Barr could request permission from the Grand Jury to release certain information under two provisions:
- Rule 6(e) itself would permit sharing Grand Jury information with Congress.
- The second does not require approval at all.
Barr argued: “Until someone shows me a provision in 6(e) that permits its release, Congress doesn’t get 6(e)” grand jury material.”
Congressman Case asked Barr more directly if he would seek permission from the Chief Judge of the DC Federal Court to disclose to Congress the Grand Jury information in Mueller’s report.
Barr said no. He will not attempt to seek permission.
Back to Barr’s list:
2. Any information that is part of an ongoing investigation will be redacted. This is also open to interpretation. Investigations continue at state and federal levels.
3. Some other bullshit reason.
4. “For reputational protection” of any person who the report does not charge with a crime.
This, in my opinion, is the all encompassing rule.
Robert Mueller did not charge Donald Trump, or anyone in his family with a crime in this report, he left that decision up to Congress.
Special Counsel Mueller’s report provided information meant for congress, the AG, and all other applicable branches of law enforcement. It is information they need to determine whether or not to charge anyone investigated, if they deem it reasonable, or even whether or not to begin impeachment proceedings.
As such, under Barr’s invented rule 4, anything related to Donald Trump can be redacted. We can safely presume, based on Barr’s words, he will redact all pertinent information.
He has given himself unlimited discretion with regards to the report. He will not willingly share the un-redacted report with anyone.
When Republicans questioned Barr, they used their time as an opportunity to spread misinformation.
R/AL Aderholt: “Now that the president has been exonerated of collusion based on the results of an investigation started due to a salacious and unsubstantiated Steel report…”
Hold on. What?
R/GA Tom Graves- has the same play book:
“We’ve established there is no collusion and no obstruction. After 2 full years and countless subpoenas, etc… it’s time to close the book and move on.”
We have established no such thing.
Barr did not correct either congressman.
Not with regards to the fact that Mueller’s investigation did not begin as a result of the Steel report a report that has been completely SUBSTANTIATED (with the exception, of the “pee pee tape” which may turn up at some point), but it began due to Trump’s campaign aid George Papadapoulos’ drunken barroom blathering, and not with regards to the report’s findings.
Barr’s summary quotes Mueller: “does not exonerate the president”.
Again, the unavoidable phrase Barr included in his summary was “does not exonerate the president.” Republicans are deaf to those words.
Barr refused to answer as to whether or not he shared the Mueller report with the Trump’s White House.
Incidentally, Barr does not intend to give congress an unredacted copy.
Barr is exactly the person we expected, another complicit enabler, obstructing justice in the most consequential crime spree in US history.
Trump has selectively placed his corrupt sycophants in every level of government for his protection.
This is a coverup.
Attorney General Barr Testifies on President’s 2020 Justice Department Budget Request