- by New Deal democrat
This past week I nearly became apoplectic about he malfeasance of much of the press and the punditry reporting of Barr’s 6 paragraph substantive “summary” (3 paragraphs each as to “collusion” and “obstruction of justice”) of Mueller’s roughly 300 page report.
As an initial matter, because Mueller’s grand jury is continuing to meet, and there are still subpoenas and witnesses outstanding, it is incorrect to say that “the investigation” has concluded. clearly “the investigation” is ongoing. What *has* concluded is Mueller’s involvement as special counsel, now that an Attorney General has taken over who did not have to recuse himself. Keep that basic point in mind.
But that’s not what got me livid. Much has already been covered by others. But it is one important, even fundamental, aspect of Barr’s executive summary on which I wanted to focus.
Start with the fact that Barr is a very good attorney. He is going to choose his words, and what he cites and what he omits with great care. Now, this is the *totality* of the language from the actual Mueller report that Barr quotes as to collusion:
“[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Barr repeats this formulation virtually verbatim twice more in his letter. Here’s the second time:
Aside from the fact that none of these people has read the actual Mueller report, the simple fact is they are all incorrect as to what Barr stated as well.
And that probably tells you why Barr, who putting it most charitably, as Trump’s attorney general was going to “tell the truth with the best foot forward,” pounded this quote 3 times in his three paragraph discussion of the collusion issue: because he wanted people who aren’t versed in parsing attorney language to jump to the exact conclusion they reached: the “no finding” of collusion became a “finding of no collusion.”
There is no such “finding of no collusion” in evidence. This is spin, plain and simple. It needs to be corrected.