As we await the parsing and processing of the redacted Mueller report, out today, it’s impossible not to wonder why more indictments did not come before the initial, limited release of it after the special counsel turned it over to the Department of Justice. And while we do have theories about some of those would-be criminal charges that never were, we’re still left wondering about other activities by the Trump administration that were clearly improper and unethical right on their faces.
Although we do not feel comfortable asserting that Attorney General William Barr hasn’t covered up any actual indictments called for in the report — he has proven himself over and over to be merely acting as a conduit for the wishes of the President — we do think it’s extremely unlikely, given the character of Robert Mueller and the difficulty level of that kind of coverup.
But we have no reservations about stating that Barr plainly wants to imprint his own legal opinion on the Mueller report, given that he’s already discussed his “disagreement” with some of Mueller’s “legal theories” as the special counsel team looked into at least ten instances in the Trump administration that could have been considered obstruction of justice.
And Barr’s highly inappropriate press conference, inserting his own opinions into the public reception of the report in advance, did nothing to quell the possibility that there may be actual bombshells in the report, even in a redacted form.
What if, for example, Mueller was one of the many that subscribed to the idea that Mike Pence might be intertwined in Trump’s obstruction endeavors? Clearly, Mueller believed that there were plenty of situations that should at least be examined; nothing, then, could have prevented him from looking into allegations that Pence was in the room as Trump read aloud the first draft of a memo he wrote explaining his own justification for firing former FBI Director James Comey — that he fully intended to shut down the Russia investigation.
But if Pence was in the room and heard the President say it was over Russia, then his appearance the following day where he told reporters that Comey’s firing had nothing to do with Russia would, of course, be considered assistance in the President’s obstruction of justice.
We’ll have to wait and see how Congress proceeds with the redacted report, which AG has already indicated “may be” shown to lawmakers “in an appropriate setting.”
For now, however, no amount of Barr’s strange justifications and spinning of the facts changes anything in public opinion.
Featured image is a screen capture.