Surprise, Surprise: Barr’s “Summary” Of The Mueller Report Is Watered Down

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

The headline says it all:

Yup. And we learn that the report was prepared “so that the front matter from each section could have been released immediately — or very quickly,” according to one DOJ official. “It was done in a way that minimum redactions, if any, would have been necessary, and the work would have spoken for itself.”

Mueller’s team assumed the information was going to be made available to the public, the official said, “and so they prepared their summaries to be shared in their own words — and not in the attorney general’s summary of their work, as turned out to be the case.”

On Wednesday night, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, questioned why Barr did not release the special counsel’s summary material.

“It’s been my assumption that a 400-page report has an executive summary already, and so of course it begged the question, ‘Why did Barr feel the need to release his own summary?’ ” he said on MSNBC. “Why didn’t he release a summary produced by Bob Mueller itself instead of trying to shape it through his own words?”

It is not yet clear if Mueller’s full investigative findings will be released publicly but I am sure most of it will be (except for legally required redactions), but the White House — playing the “straddle the fence” game — will try to stonewall that, while also saying that the report exonerates them.

NBC has a bit of a scoop here:

UPDATE: Uh-oh. Republicans in Congress are not falling in line…

UPDATE: Trump responds…


Well, AG Barr IS the Justice Department. So this is like the Barr issuing a statement defending Barr.

It’s already easy to take for granted, but I feel like had Democrats not taken the House, the Barr cover-up letter might have been the only thing we saw from the Mueller report for years.

And so…

Yes, it is becoming increasingly clear that Barr’s initial letter was not only a political miscalculation but places him directly in the oversight/investigatory crosshairs.

More from Marcy Wheeler:

It’s pretty clear that the reason Trump was uncharacteristically quiet on twitter the weekend the report was sent to Barr was that they were trying to figure out how they were going to do damage control. Apparently they settled on throwing Barr to the wolves, letting him issue the bullshit 4 page memo, and the use that to blow up and out the puke funnel to try to firm up the opinion that there is no there, there. They had some help from the typically idiotic press who, as usual, took the Republican’s word on things and uncritically blasted it out for a few days before doing what they always, which is make the story about themselves and spend the next few days deciding who the winners and losers in the media are. Another assist came from various useful idiots (see Michael Tracey, Matt Taibbi, and others), who have decided without seeing the report that there was nothing inappropriate going on with Russia and because of that, none of the other criminal shit matters, either. 


Despite all of that, it ain’t working. Polls show that only around the crazification factor thing that Trump is innocent, with around 70% saying either no or dunno. So, for those of you who are cynical as fuck, like me, and sick of going high, it is my personal opinion that the longer Barr drags this out, the worse it is for Barr, the worse it is for Trump, and the worse it is for Republicans. Additionally, while there may be a number of redactions done for legitimate national security reasons, it’s excellent fodder for “WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?” I spent a lot of time listening hearing Republicans say “If you haven’t done anything to hide” while they stomped all over our civil rights and privacy, and I watched them launch ridiculous investigations over Benghazi and stoke birther bullshit and spew nonsense about Hillary’s emails, so you know what, fuck it. Let’s beat them up and use what they are giving us.

So yes, I am dying to read the Mueller, but the cynic and political opportunist in me is to hope the Republicans keep self-owning themselves and drip it out in pieces and redact a ton of shit. Anything that hurts these guys is a win for the country. Period.

OMG, yes.