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Mueller inadvertently confirms that William Barr did not misrepresent the special counsel's report

I n Robert Mueller's first and only public remarks regarding the special counsel investigating into Russian interference with the 2016 election, Mueller reiterated that the office declined to come to conclusion about whether President Trump committed any obstruction of justice offenses. "If we had the confidence that the President had not clearly committed to crime, we would have said so," Mueller announced. He once again pointed to inconclusive evidence as well as his assertion that was a sitting president with a crime was "prohibited" and "unconstitutional." None of this is explicitly new information, but that Mueller found it necessary to use his lone eight minutes of public speaking time out of the past three years is counting. It also further counters the charge that Attorney General William Barr misrepresented the outcome of the special counsel investigation. Outside of Mueller's specific request that uses the executive summaries and introductions from the report as the initial summary of the investigation to the public &#821 1; a move that was practically improbable and functionally impossible, given Barr's duty to decide after Mueller pointed the obstruction question – Mueller's statement today only further the accuracy of Barr's framing in his letter summarizing the principle conclusions of the Mueller report. Just wrote 48 hours after receiving the Mueller report, Barr wrote: The Special Counsel states that "while this report does not conclude that the President committed to crime, it also does not exonerate him." The Special Counsel's decision to describe the facts of his obstruction…

I n Robert Mueller’s first and only public remarks regarding the special counsel investigating into Russian interference with the 2016 election, Mueller reiterated that the office declined to come to conclusion about whether President Trump committed any obstruction of justice offenses.

“If we had the confidence that the President had not clearly committed to crime, we would have said so,” Mueller announced. He once again pointed to inconclusive evidence as well as his assertion that was a sitting president with a crime was “prohibited” and “unconstitutional.”

None of this is explicitly new information, but that Mueller found it necessary to use his lone eight minutes of public speaking time out of the past three years is counting. It also further counters the charge that Attorney General William Barr misrepresented the outcome of the special counsel investigation.

Outside of Mueller’s specific request that uses the executive summaries and introductions from the report as the initial summary of the investigation to the public &#821

1; a move that was practically improbable and functionally impossible, given Barr’s duty to decide after Mueller pointed the obstruction question – Mueller’s statement today only further the accuracy of Barr’s framing in his letter summarizing the principle conclusions of the Mueller report.

Just wrote 48 hours after receiving the Mueller report, Barr wrote:

The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed to crime, it also does not exonerate him.” The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime.



Apply the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.

Compare this to the Executive Summary of Volume II of the Mueller report:

Under applicable Supreme Court precedent, the Constitution does not categorically and permanently immunize a President of obstruction law through the use of his Article II powers. The separation-of-powers doctrine authorizes Congress to protect official proceedings, including those of courts and grand juries, from corrupt, obstructive acts regardless of their source.



Finally, we concluded that in the rare case, a criminal investigation of the President’s conduct was justified, inquiries to determine whether the President acted for a corrupt motive should not impermissibly chill his performance of his constitutionally assigned duties. The conclusion that Congress may apply is the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.

Even if Barr had subscribed to the exact same legal theories on obstruction and the criminal prosecution of a sitting president as Mueller does, his and Rosenstein’s decision not to prosecute falls squarely in line with Mueller’s. Perhaps Mueller wanted Barr to explain that Congress could still impose Trump as a form of checks and balances on Trump, but why would Barr need to say so? He did not exactly hide the evidence that would not have been clear the beyond-reasonable-doubt standard required to convict Trump or any of his associates.

Barr’s job is not to encourage Congress to use impeachment proceedings as a criminal trial. High crimes and misdemeanors are positive and political reading, not strictly legal. Mueller couldn’t have his cake (refuse to charge the president with a crime) and eat it too (fairly setting the stage for Congress to impeach Trump).

Even if Mueller’s read the law is accurate, Congress would have to reasonably believe that Trump committed some sort of political crime to the beginning of proceedings. Investigators are supposed to look for exculpatory evidence and then impregnate when there is no, even more so when it’s a politically charged body aiming for an underlying crime.

Barr’s letter may have been cursor, but it certainly wasn’t dishonest, and Mueller proved that on Wednesday. Function (f, b, e, v, n, t, s) {if (f. fbq) return; n = f.fbq = function () {n.callMethod?
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