A Judge Revives The Mueller Investigation
A judge has ordered that a memo from the Justice Department regarding the Mueller investigation be released to the public. The memo concerns then-Attorney General William Barr who concluded that then-President Trump should not be prosecuted based on the investigation’s findings.
Here is how the story goes. In March 2019, the special counsel led by Robert Mueller turned in their report based on months of investigating whether President Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice in connection with the 2016 Presidential election. Then-AG Barr kept the report to himself and then released his own summary to the press with conclusions that the President was exonerated.
Only his summary was not accurate. According to one of the lead investigators, Andrew Weissman in his book “Where Law Ends:”
Mueller had decided it would be unfair to say that we found the president had committed a crime, as Trump would not be able to challenge our conclusion in court, at least until he left office. Thus our report laid out the proof of his criminal conduct in detail, but did not give our legal assessment of it—we never said outright that he’d committed a crime. Instead, we had left it to Congress to make its own assessment of our evidence, or to another prosecutor in the future, who would be free to indict the president once he’d left office.
Barr’s press summary, in Weissman’s words “contained so many deceptions, it was hard to take them all in. Some were delicately worded obfuscations. Some were unbridled lies.”
Mueller called for his entire report to be released to counter Barr’s summary but it took three weeks and by then, the press cycle had passed and public opinion declared the Mueller report a blip.
An ethics group has sued in federal court for the release of the documents related to Barr’s summary. Barr claimed that Justice Department lawyers had advised him on this matter and a judge ruled that the public will see exactly how. The Justice Department and Barr did not want this. It could be nothing but there could be evidence here that Barr sought to control the narrative of the investigation and prevent further congressional inquiry. We’ll gladly read that memo, sure!