I hate to shatter your illusions, but it turns out that the authoritarian Iran-Contra fixer guy was not an honest broker:
A federal judge accused former Attorney General Bill of plotting to get a “jump” on the department’s “public relations” spin of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and then obscuring that scheme in later Freedom of Information Act litigation.
The swipes at Barr’s handling of the Mueller probe came in previously redacted portions of a May 3 opinion that ordered the release of an internal DOJ memo related to the Mueller report.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson unsealed the unredacted opinion Tuesday after the Biden administration agreed to a release of her opinion in full, even as it’s fighting in court to keep some parts of the internal DOJ memo private.
The litigation and Jackson’s description of the memo sheds light on how Barr sought to shape the public perception of Mueller’s probe, by releasing a letter to Congress “summarizing” Mueller’s report several weeks ahead of when it made the report itself public.
Jackson and another federal judge have said Barr’s summary didn’t square up with Mueller’s own explicit refusal in his report to clear the former president’s conduct.
The Biden administration should allow all of this memo to be released.
As Asha Rangappa observes, however, Barr’s gross misconduct shouldn’t hide the fact that Mueller failed massively at his job in a way that made Barr’s a lot easier:
2. In Vol. II, Mueller tries to split the baby: He says while the evidence does not exonerate Trump, he can’t formally say that the conduct amounted to obstruction bc that would amount to an “accusation.”— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) May 25, 2021
4. Barr saw this as an open vacuum, and took advantage. He said, ‘OK, well Mueller didn’t conclude whether the conducted amounted to obstruction, so I’ll do it.’ Then he concluded that Trump’s conduct *didn’t* amount to obstruction, and publicly cleared him— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) May 25, 2021
6. In other words, it is *not* inconsistent with DOJ policy to determine whether the conduct amounted to a crime, EVEN IF it is a given that you won’t prosecute bc of that policy— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) May 25, 2021
7. The big takeaway is that Mueller could have, and should have, come to a conclusion on obstruction. I.e., “We believe Trump’s conduct on counts X,Y,Z, rise to obstruction of justice, but that he cannot be prosecuted while in office.” Not doing that opened door for Barr debacle— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) May 25, 2021
It is hard to pinpoint what the most pathetic example of Glenn Greenwald shilling for Donald Trump from the ostensible left is — there are so many examples! — but it’s pretty hard to top “if Bill Barr said it, it’s gotta be true!”