The spin machine is in full gear today. Instead of simply releasing Mueller’s summary of the Mueller report, Attorney General William Barr has decided to release his own epitome. I can’t think of any good reason for doing this aside from the opportunities that Mueller’s own epitome contains some conclusions that Barr and his boss would just as soon not contact the public ear. 1 Apropos of my cautioning yesterday , then, you should consider Barr’s summary to be the rosiest possible reading of the Mueller report.
But even made on its own terms, the Barr summary is a little peculiar. Here’s what he has to say about Russian interference in the 2016 poll :~ ATAGEND
The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 ballot. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency( IRA ), to attend disinformation and social media functionings in the United States designed to sow social discord….The second component involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer spoofing procedures designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election.
That’s it? But I don’t think anyone has ever gravely suspected that Trump( or his organization) was directly involved with the IRA disinformation campaign or the Russian hacking activities. The suspicions of coordination was primarily revolved around more personal contacts: Manafort’s friends in high places; the Trump Tower meeting with Don Jr. and others; the Carter Page weirdness; the Moscow real estate deal that get south; and so forth. It’s possible, of course, that Mueller concluded in his report that none of this amounted to deceit in any criminal smell, but surely he at the least addressed this nonsense? So why doesn’t Barr mention it?
On the topic of impedimentum of justice, Mueller punted.” While such reports does not is felt that the President committed a crime ,” he says,” it also does not exonerate him .” Needless to say, this did not stop Trump from tweeting his take on” does not absolve “:
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@ realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019
As customary, this is a lie aimed at his adherents, who will not read the Barr summary and will instead rely on shops like Fox News and Breitbart for their information. I think we can safely is believed that the republican media will discount Mueller’s words and will instead help Barr’s conclusion that there was no impediment. Nonetheless, since Barr was hired precisely to come to this conclusion no matter what, it’s hard to take it very seriously.
Anyway, I am now more eager than ever to visualize the Mueller report. I never thought that Trump was directly connected with Russian hacking, so Mueller’s opinion on that front doesn’t surprise me. Nonetheless, if even Barr’s summary was forced to tiptoe so conspicuously around Mueller’s agreements, I think we can assume that the Mueller report itself is at least reasonably damning. Let’s see it.
1It’ s true that the Mueller report possibly needs to be redacted now there are still, but surely the report’s summary could be used redacted pretty quickly?
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