American Exceptionalism

Barr.jpeg

“And as the [Mueller] [R]eport acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that [ ] President [Trump] was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks. Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with [ ] Special Counsel[] [Mueller’s] investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims…”

Attorney General William Barr, press conference before releasing heavily redacted Mueller Report.

 

A federal judge, US District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton — no doubt (if you believe in such things) a secret Communist appointed to a lifetime seat by George W. Bush (the last bit is a matter of public record, Dubya did appoint him, as his father and Reagan had previously) — stated the obvious in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ruling, that Barr presented an intentionally misleading picture of the findings of Mueller’s investigation and that his redactions were not to be trusted without verifying their legal necessity.  

Walton wrote in his March 5 ruling that Barr’s actions “cause the Court to seriously question whether Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump despite certain findings in the redacted version of the Mueller Report to the contrary.”

He ruled that the unredacted Mueller report must be released to him for FOIA review because he does not believe Barr’s redactions, and ongoing refusal to turn over evidence related to the investigation, were necessarily done in good faith. 

Walton’s legal analysis begins:

The Court has grave concerns about the objectivity of the process that preceded the public release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and its impacts on the Department’s subsequent justifications that its redactions of the Mueller Report are authorized by the FOIA. For the reasons set forth below, the Court shares the plaintiffs’ concern that the Department “dubious[ly] handl[ed] [ ] the public release of the Mueller Report.” EPIC’s Mem. at 40; see also id. (“Attorney General[] [Barr’s] attempts to spin the findings and conclusions of the [Mueller] Report have been challenged publicly by the author of the [Mueller] Report. [ ] Attorney[] General[] [Barr’s] characterization of the [Mueller] [R]eport has also been contradicted directly by the content of the [Mueller] Report.”); Leopold Pls.’ Mem. at 9 (“[T]here have been serious and specific accusations by other government officials about improprieties in the [Department’s] handling and characterization of the [Mueller] Report[.]”).

Barr’s “summary” of Mueller’s report contained legalistic gems like this, cited by Judge Walton in his decision:

“But as noted above, [ ] Special Counsel [Mueller] did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

Which leaves unexplained, of course, the many indictments and several convictions relating to this cooperation, or coordination, or collusion, between the Trump campaign and Russian agents. 

Also, unexplained by Barr, why Mueller found it necessary to open a second investigation into why he was only able to gather “insufficient evidence” of an actual “criminal conspiracy.”  He investigated, and reported on a shady pattern of actions that look very much like obstruction of justice by Trump and which kicked into high gear once Mueller was appointed to investigate the Trump-Putin connection.   Mueller explicitly did not exonerate Trump for obstruction of justice.

Judge Walton quotes Barr’s version of Mueller’s findings with respect to Trump’s impressively consistent pattern of obstruction of justice:

According to Attorney General Barr, “the [Mueller] [R]eport identifies no actions that, in [his] judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent[.]” Id., Ex. 5 (March 24, 2019 Letter) at 3. 

Judge Walton also references the lying Barr’s almost year-old claim (as further evidence of Barr’s lack of candor and credibility)

As my [March 24, 2019] letter made clear, my notification to Congress and the pubic provided, pending release of the [Mueller] [R]eport, a summary of its “principal conclusions”—that is, its bottom line. . . . Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own. I do not believe it would be in the public’s interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in serial or piecemeal fashion.   [1]

Walton:

The speed by which Attorney General Barr released to the public the summary of Special Counsel Mueller’s principal conclusions, coupled with the fact that Attorney General Barr failed to provide a thorough representation of the findings set forth in the Mueller Report, causes the Court to question whether Attorney General Barr’s intent was to create a one-sided narrative about the Mueller Report—a narrative that is clearly in some respects substantively at odds with the redacted version of the Mueller Report.

Read the judge’s ruling HERE.

My hat is off to this man of principle who notes that the Freedom of Information Act of 1966 was passed “to pierce the veil of administrative secrecy and to open agency action to the light of public scrutiny,”

God bless America, y’all.

[1]  This shit, cited by Judge Walton, is perhaps Barr’s master turd in the Mueller investigation cover-up, this quotes one of Barr’s most infamous instances of bullshit:

[i]n assessing the President[] [Trump’s] actions discussed in the [Mueller] [R]eport, it is important to bear in mind the context. President Trump faced an unprecedented situation. As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as [p]resident, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President[] [Trump’s] personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion. And as the [Mueller] [R]eport acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that [ ] President [Trump] was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks. Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with [ ] Special Counsel[] [Mueller’s] investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. And at the same time, [ ] President [Trump] took no act that in fact deprived [ ] Special Counsel [Mueller] of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. Apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that [ ] President [Trump] had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s