In another blow to the official Trump administration statement on the Mueller report from Attorney General William Barr, who has been excoriated by everyone outside the President’s inner circle for characterizing it as near absolution for Trump in the pages of the report, investigative reporters from the Washington Post are confirming that prosecutors on Mueller’s team are furious that the administration has essentially lied about the content of their work.
After a report in the New York Times indicated that special counsel investigators were especially displeased with how AG Barr minimized the impact of their findings to the point of near-irrelevance, the Post spoke to members of the team who told them that the special counsel had found “alarming and significant” evidence against Mr. Trump of felony obstruction of justice.
In his own “summary,” AG Barr indicated that Mueller’s team had found zero evidence of collusion and that they had made no determination one way or the other on obstruction, instead leaving the task of parsing obstruction evidence himself — which he of course decided was not strong enough to pursue.
Both the Times and the Post reports described a report that was neatly divided into sections of findings, each summarized in their own right. Mueller and his team believed that with those summaries, the full report could be released immediately and with no redactions, but increasingly it seems as though that was never going to be an option for Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General, who has consistently treated this outcome similarly to the way he covered up results of findings in other historically major investigations into governmental misconduct.
Mueller’s team told reporters that evidence of obstruction “was much more acute than Barr suggested,” according to one of the Post sources. That idea speaks to the public sentiment that something must have been missing from Barr’s summary — since so much evidence of obstruction was and is public knowledge, and has been for some time. From video of the President lying to the public about his knowledge of the “hush money” payments to the two adult industry professionals with whom Trump had affairs to the fact that Trump told an NBC news anchor live on the air that he had specifically fired former FBI Director James Comey to prevent him from continuing his own Russia probe, there was never a shortage of incontrovertible evidence of obstruction.
That Barr indicated there was not was only the first clue that his summary was a cover-up at Trump’s request.
Featured image is an official White House photo.