U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a news conference after a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday, July 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
If you believe what you read in the media, the Democrats are all up in arms demanding that the full Mueller report be released. Here is a sampling:
Democrats Demand Full Mueller Report, Lay Out Argument For Continued Investigations
The narrative they are trying to create is one of a Democrat party that is all in favor of transparency versus a Republican administration that is hiding the true results of Mueller’s investigation behind a short summary churned out by Trump’s “handpicked” (if you don’t believe that isn’t a calculated and focus-grouped word, you haven’t been paying attention) attorney general. This is just an exercise in narrative building.
In fact, if you scan those links you’ll see what they really want is for the report to be released to a handful of Congressional committees so they can tell the credulous believers in the Russia hoax what Barr is actually hiding. The report they want you to see is a heavily redacted volume that tells nothing.
There are a lot of reasons why the Democrats don’t want the full report released to the public. The central feature of the Mueller investigation has to be an examination of the veracity of the Steele dossier and how it ended up in official channels. However, from what we know that doesn’t seem to have happened. Via the Wall Street Journal, What Mueller Won’t Say:
Fifteen months ago I suggested a likely model for the Mueller report. It was the report that Robert Mueller, as a private lawyer, prepared for the National Football League focusing on the narrow question of whether the league office had seen or possessed a copy of a hotel surveillance video of player Ray Rice striking his girlfriend. Another investigator, retired federal judge Barbara Jones, took on the task of laying out the larger context of the league’s gross mishandling of the Rice case apart from the tiny, exculpating factoid that Mr. Mueller was assigned to document.
Though we’ve seen only a few words of the Mueller report, I’m going out on a limb to predict this is exactly what we’re going to get.
Look at the exact words of Attorney General William Barr: “The Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump . . . conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
How is it possible to investigate these “allegations” without holding the Steele dossier, the only real evidence ever offered by those accusing Mr. Trump, up to the light? Mr. Mueller, in investigating Mr. Trump’s associates, made ample use of his coercive powers, including the fact that it’s a crime to lie to the FBI. Did he use the same leverage to get to the bottom of the document that played a key role in originating his investigation? Who really wrote it? Were there any Russian sources at all?
Here’s betting the word “Steele” won’t even appear in Mr. Mueller’s report. He will have his reasons, but this will be the exact equivalent of his deliberately myopic NFL investigation.
Essentially, the speculation is that Mueller will avoid looking into how the allegations came about and instead focus on finding collusion by main force, hence the need for
19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
when a fraction of that could have unraveled the entire next of lies behind the allegations.
I’d contend that to be credible Mueller not only needs to address the use of Christopher Steele and his work product but he needs to explain why Carter Page, subject of at least three FISA warrants, was never even charged with a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. There needs to be some explanation for why Michael Steele, who had been cleared of wrongdoing, was suddenly charged with a felony based on exactly the same evidence. Mueller also needs to spell out the extent to which the FBI launched agents provocateur, like Stephen Halper and (seemingly) Joseph Mifsud and Andrew Downer, at the Trump campaign.
The Democrats have to know this and their fellow travelers know it as well and right now they are laying the predicate for the old “we really want it released but it wouldn’t be prudent” ploy.
Yesterday, a bunch of people from Lawfareblog.com were part of a panel discussion at Brookings Institute called The Mueller Report and the Barr Letter: What Happens Now? The main guy at the blog and in this panel discussion is Benjamin Wittes. Wittes is a crony of James Comey, a major purveyor of collusion-hoaxery, and who was famous on Twitter for announcing the revelations that were going to bring down the Evil Trump by prefacing then with BOOM!–“pfft!” is more like it. Here is some of my stuff on Wittes.
The significant part is here. This is Susan Hennessy, a raging collusion conspiracy theorist and Resistance memeber:
“We are risking walking down a road that I don’t think was a good one when the Republicans went down it.” pic.twitter.com/B1Z7x9jEhX
— Lawfare (@lawfareblog) March 28, 2019
This can’t be underestimated. These people who have worked hand-in-glove with Comey and his claque to spread the collusion hoax, to protect the FBI from scrutiny, and to damage the administration, understand better than most how the full report is a) not gong to shed any light on what was obviously a hoax, but b) will open the FBI up to all kinds of questions.
I think it is pretty obvious that President Trump knows this, too. In this interview, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham says that Trump is not only committed to releasing the report in the very near future and he’d not going to bother reviewing it first.
Right now the only voices against release are Mitch McConnell, who has twice blocked a Senate resolution that would have called on the administration to release the report, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who believes that the release of the report should be linked to a special counsel to investigate the involvement of the Obama administration in the hoax (see Brandon’s Rand Paul: No Mueller Report Release Until Info On Obama’s Involvement In 2016 Election Released). Were I cynical, I’d say that this is just bait to get the Democrats to make more extravagant claims in the belief the full report will not be released.
President Trump has nothing to lose by pushing this report out to the public. Anything that is not favorable to him will be more than offset by the (lack of) evidence in the report and the revelation of the blatant political hatchet job Mueller was carrying out.