Lots of eyes have been opened over the past two days in regards to Robert Mueller’s behavior.
Mueller’s recent behavior made it increasingly clear that the special counsel was more concerned with media perception and sliming Trump than the bottom line conclusions. This culminated in a “bombshell” letter that was leaked by Mueller (there’s no other logical possibility) purporting to show that he was upset with how AG Bill Barr had characterized the report.
In reality, it was actually just a whiny, made-for-media complaint that Barr hadn’t done the dirty work for the special counsel in the absence of Mueller not having the courage to recommend charges for Trump. Mueller wanted the report to come out piecemeal and serve as a roadmap for impeachment, and Barr wasn’t going to play his games.
Mueller getting upset about media perceptions when he knew the entire report was being prepared for release anyway tells you a lot about the mindset and true purpose of his “investigation.” A special counsel shouldn’t give two shakes about media perception.
This revelation has led some conservative voices who formerly defended Mueller to wake up and smell the stink in the air. Andrew McCarthy had a savage piece this morning about the entire ordeal. Another is Ben Shapiro, host of the “fastest growing conservative podcast in the nation.”
I actually really like Ben, and while I’ve sworn off almost all political commentary (including Fox News), I do listen to his show and enjoy it. It’s good to see him finally realize the truth of what Mueller is doing. Shapiro wrote:
Mueller’s team uncovered very little new damning material with regard to collusion, and in fact refused to issue any finding at all with regard to obstruction of justice. Barr probably didn’t release Mueller’s summary because Mueller’s summary likely didn’t contain a bottom line with regard to obstruction. Which means that the American public would have been left bewildered as to whether Trump was in fact guilty of prosecutable obstruction of justice.
That confusion was Mueller’s fault. (NOTE: This is coming from someone who has defended Mueller’s integrity for years, called on Trump consistently to stop attacking Mueller, and stated that if Trump fired Mueller, impeachment ought to be on the table.) Mueller had the full capacity to recommend prosecution on obstruction of justice. He had full authority to state that in his view, Trump had obstructed justice. But he didn’t. His 448 page report is a listing of ugly details about Trump’s internal administration behavior, but does not recommend obstruction charges — and indeed, doesn’t substantiate activity that could sustain a prosecution. Mueller knew that.
The highlighted part is the key. If Mueller really wanted to stick it to Trump, he should have manned up and made the decision that he felt the President obstructed justice. Instead, the special counsel’s office wanted to wage warfare via leaks and innuendo, setting the stage for a Democratic House to act.
That’s not what prosecutors are supposed to do. It’s improper and unethical on its face, no matter what you think of Trump personally.
So what Mueller actually wanted is what he eventually got with the release of the full report: he wanted the media and Democrats to hone in on a political case for impeachment, rather than the criminal bottom line. And he didn’t like that Barr did what the Attorney General is supposed to do: avoid smearing unprosecutable people for unspecified crimes. Barr instead issued a statement explaining that no prosecution would take place.
In the end, that’s what this boils down to. Mueller wanted his report to be released in such a way (i.e. via his “summary”) that it could be weaponized to maximum extent against the administration. Barr cut him off at the pass and did things the right way. So Mueller got pissy and wrote a letter.
I’ll point out that the letter was intentional so it could be leaked. A simple phone call to his “good friend” Bill Barr would have sufficed in this situation. Instead, just like James Comey, Mueller wanted to get it in writing so his henchmen could ambush Barr with it the day before his testimony.
It’s dirty pool, and it’s exactly why all the stuff about Mueller being a straight shooter and above reproach is nonsense. Mueller has a long history of questionable actions, and his latest behavior on this is just another line item on the list.