Monday, March 25, 2019

Trump Knew What He Had In Barr

On Wednesday, two days before Robert Mueller gave Attorney General William Barr the report on collusion by Russia in the 2016 election cycle

President Donald Trump said he believes special counsel Robert Mueller’s report should be released to the public, even as he disparaged its very existence as “ridiculous.”

“Let it come out, let people see it,” Trump told reporters Wednesday. “Let’s see whether or not it’s legit"...

Trump said he was personally looking forward to reading the findings, even as he scorned the fact that Mueller was empowered to write the report in the first place.

“I just won one of the greatest elections of all time in the history of this country. ... And now I have somebody writing a report that never got a vote?” Trump said. “It’s called the Mueller report. So explain that because my voters don’t get it. And I don’t get it.”

Now that Barr has given his spin on the Special Counsel's report, Trump has stated of its release "It's up to the Attorney General. It wouldn't bother me at all."

But don't be fooled (and if you're reading this blog, you rarely are).  Mary Ann MacLeod Trump may have raised a crook, sexual predator, and coward, but she didn't raise a fool.  In 2017, as a private attorney and former Bush 43 Attorney General, Mueller staunchly defended President Trump's decision to fire FBI director William Comey. The following year, he wrote that the Special Counsel's inquiry into obstruction of justice was "fatally flawed" and

Mueller should not be able to demand that the President submit to an interrogation about alleged obstruction. If embraced by the Department, this theory would have potentially disastrous implications, not just for the Presidency, but for the Executive branch as a whole and the Department in particular.

Cagey Trump knew what he was getting in William Barr. Thus, when Trump says he would not be bothered by release of the Mueller report, he does so with a nod and a wink.

The President knows there can be so many redactions that the report is blacked out to near irrelevance.  So it was with the eventual release of the "28 pages," previously classified, of the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into alleged Saudi involvement in the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. The "pages" came out, but with more than 140 redactions and tens of thousands of documents still classified.

There is a reason 193 of the Republicans in the House of Representatives joined last week with their Democratic colleagues to call for release of the Special Counsel's report.  There is release, and there is release, and the likelihood that Trump's man at the Justice Department is going to allow the public to see all the evidence accumulated by Robert Mueller's team against Donald Trump's inner circle is minimal.

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