Daily Kos/ March 27, 2019/ Politics/ 0 comments

William Barr, nominee to be US Attorney General, arrives to testify during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, January 15, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
The Fixer

There is so much wrong with William Barr’s brief summary of the Mueller investigation’s final report, and this curious edit of Mueller’s actual words starkly stands out:

[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

That bracket around the letter T is glaring, and obviously indicates that the quoted text is only a part of a longer sentence. This is one of the key findings in the entire report, and one of the very few direct quotes Barr included in his brief summary, yet for some reason he chose to edit it. Why?

Of course, it’s possible that what was edited out is perfectly innocuous, and maybe a complete reading would be something like this:

Despite many slanderous and libelous allegations from treasonous critics of the greatest president in the history of the Universe, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

Or something less dramatic, but in a similar, and legitimately exculpatory, vein. But from everything we know about William Barr, from his long history of running interference on investigations of possible Republican crimes to his previous criticism of the Mueller investigation, that seems highly dubious.

The brackets also could have been used to edit out something like this:

“Despite a wealth of evidence proving crimes were committed and national security was deliberately compromised, the classified nature of the evidence precludes its being used in criminal proceedings, while the successful obstruction committed by Trump prevented us from otherwise accumulating usable evidence, and therefore the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Again, this is a much more dramatic rendering than is likely, but given what already is on the public record, something in that general vein does seem at least plausible. But we don’t know. We haven’t seen the report. Congress hasn’t seen the report. Everyone loudly declaiming that Trump has been vindicated has not seen the report.

What we do know is that the Barr summary of the Mueller report is wholly inadequate, and the way it was edited is highly suspect. Barr even edited one of the most critical of the very few quotes he cited from Mueller’s actual report. That’s a tell. Suspicion that there is much more damaging information in the actual report is not misplaced. And efforts by Mitch McConnell and other Republicans to prevent the full report’s release only add to those suspicions.

Share this Post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>
*
*