Wednesday, May 1, 2019

It's Mueller Time, Con't

Attorney General Bill Barr is expected to testify today before House Democrats on his redactions and characterization that there was no funny business, and that Robert Mueller supported the conclusions in his letter last month.  But last night somebody in the DoJ hung him out to dry as it turns out Robert Mueller sent Bill Barr a letter very plainly saying that Barr's "summary" was bullshit, ans somebody leaked that letter to the Washington Post.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that a four-page memo to Congress describing the principal conclusions of the investigation into President Trump “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work, according to a copy of the letter reviewed Tuesday by The Washington Post.

The letter and a subsequent phone call between the two men reveal the degree to which the longtime colleagues and friends disagreed as they handled the legally and politically fraught task of investigating the president. Democrats in Congress are likely to scrutinize Mueller’s complaints to Barr as they contemplate the prospect of opening impeachment proceedings and mull how hard to press for Mueller himself to testify publicly.

At the time Mueller’s letter was sent to Barr on March 27, Barr had days prior announced that Mueller did not find a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials seeking to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In his memo to Congress, Barr also said that Mueller had not reached a conclusion about whether Trump had tried to obstruct justice, but that Barr reviewed the evidence and found it insufficient to support such a charge.

Days after Barr’s announcement, Mueller wrote the previously undisclosed private letter to the Justice Department, laying out his concerns in stark terms that shocked senior Justice Department officials, according to people familiar with the discussions.

“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”

Remember, Barr testified earlier this month to the Senate that he had no indication that Mueller disagreed with his summary.  Indeed, Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi and others made it a central tenet of their Trump exoneration argument that if Mueller had disagreed with Barr's summary, he would have said something about it.

Mueller did say something about it over a month ago.

The Justice Department covered that fact up.

And Bill Barr lied about it to Congress.

So why doesn't Mueller testify to this fact?  He can't.  He's still a Justice Department employee at this juncture, and the Trump regime is refusing to let him testify because of that.

House Democrats tell The Daily Beast they’ve been told Special Counsel Robert Mueller is willing to testify before them about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election but that the Department of Justice has been unwilling to set a date for it to happen.

The impasse comes as lawmakers have grown increasingly frustrated over Attorney General Bill Barr’s handling of the release of the Mueller probe and as other Trump World figures have declined to appear before congressional committees.

Shortly after it was reported on Tuesday night that Mueller had written and called Barr to complain that he not fully represented his findings, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) sent out a statement demanding both appear before his committee and revealing that he had been stonewalled so far.

“The Attorney General has expressed some reluctance to appear before the House Judiciary Committee this Thursday,” Nadler said. “These reports make it that much more important for him to appear and answer our questions. The Department of Justice has also been reluctant to confirm a date for Special Counsel Mueller to testify.”

Nadler had sent a letter to DOJ following the department’s release of the Mueller report asking that Mueller appear for questioning no later than May 23. Two sources familiar with the conversations said the Judiciary Committee has been in regular contact with DOJ about setting a date for that Mueller’s testimony and that those conversations were ongoing as of this week. Committee sources said that it was their impression that Mueller was willing to testify to discuss his findings though it was unclear whether that would take place in public or behind closed doors.

But the DOJ has, according to multiple sources, not agreed to a date, citing Mueller’s continued status as a department employee—since the Special Counsel serves under the attorney general.
A Department of Justice spokesperson did not return request for comment.

To recap, Bill Barr lied to Congress under oath.  That's a felony.  Mueller is being blocked from testifying on his own report.  That's obstruction of justice.  Barr should be facing impeachment.  This whole mess just got untenable for Trump.

Democrats have to act, and now.

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