Late Friday Mueller Report news!
Happy Friday, everyone! As the kids say, the fecal matter has hit the fan!
Attorney General and Donald Trump consigliere William Barr seems to have had second thoughts about going down on the Trumptanic. This afternoon, he advised that he would have the Mueller Report ready for Congress and the public by mid-April or sooner.
Notice the “and the public”. This becomes a thing in just a minute.
In the letter, he advises Congress that he’ll be providing a redacted version of the report, leaving out information on grand jury testimony, intelligence methods, ongoing investigations, and information which may “damage reputations” of unindicted third parties.
Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is having none of this.
Now, back to “and the public”. To this eye, it seems that Barr is leaving himself wiggle room. In other words, he’ll provide an unredacted report to Congress, especially the Gang of Eight, while publishing a redacted version for the public.
This is better than where things stood on Sunday, but still not good enough. The nub for me is redacting information for “reputational damage”. One can assume that there are multiple people who played footsie with the Russians and their agents, but didn’t quite slide into criminality. The public needs to know who was willing to sell out their country for lucre and power. You don’t want your reputation damaged? Then don’t conspire with foreign adversaries.
Sunday was a gut punch. But it was meant to be. And Barr now realizes what an own goal that letter was, even going so far as to claim that it wasn’t meant to be a summary of the report. As a librarian tweeted:
Barr may be a lickspittle to power, but he’s also a seasoned veteran of DC power politics, and he knows a loser when he sees one. He should have stayed far away from this mess, but now it seems that the reputation Barr most wants to save is his own. We can’t trust any of these people to do the right thing out of moral impulse, but we can trust them to fall into doing the right thing out of sheer self-interest.
Happy Friday, everyone. Seems that Robert Mueller is far from gone.
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