The nothingburger controversy that’s wadding panties in the press today is a confidential letter from temp employee Robert Mueller to Attorney General Bill Barr sniveling that Mueller’s own oh-so-precious summaries were not released by Barr, but rather Barr and Rod Rosenstein and staff developed their own bottom line summary. (See Media Run with “Bombshell” That Mueller Criticized Barr’s Summary, But There’s a Problem and How Can You Be Outraged Over Mueller’s Letter To Barr When We Have Mueller’s Full Report?)
Here’s the Mueller letter, complaining about the Barr memo outlining the principal conclusions of Mueller investigation. I wonder why it leaked on the eve of Barr’s Senate testimony. pic.twitter.com/aJ8DS7niLD
— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 1, 2019
Indeed, one wonders how a letter dated March 27 just happened to make it to the Washington Post the evening before Barr’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. And even when Barr addressed the subject, the story still is still kept in a narrative ICU by the media (see Barr Clarifies What Was Said in That Phone Call With Mueller).
National Review’s Andy McCarthy unpacks what he sees driving this.
Parsed carefully (which you have to do with the special counsel’s Jesuitical work), Mueller is precisely not saying that Barr misrepresented his key findings. He is saying that he and the Clinton/Obama minions he recruited to staff the case wrote the report with a certain mood music in mind. To their chagrin, Barr gave us just the no-crime bottom line. Mueller would have preferred for us to feel all the ooze of un-presidential escapades he couldn’t indict but wouldn’t, from his lofty perch, “exonerate.”
The purportedly private letter to Barr, like Mueller’s purportedly confidential report, was patently meant for public consumption, and thus leaked to the Post late yesterday. The timing is transparently strategic: the leak drops a bomb as Barr was preparing for two days of what promises to be combative congressional hearings, starting this morning; it gives maximum media exposure to Mueller’s diva routine and its Democratic chorus, while the attorney general gets minimal time to respond to asinine cries of that he should be charged with perjury, held in contempt, and – of course – impeached.
Mueller was not effectively supervised. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein allowed him to get into the political narrative business – just as he allowed the special counsel to persist in the collusion investigation for over a year after it was clear that there was no collusion case.
Without supervision, Mueller’s staff continued weaving a tale rather than acknowledging that they had not found a crime. For example, the allegation against George Papadopoulos – namely, that he lied about the date of a meeting – could have been charged in a single paragraph. Instead, the charge is accompanied by Mueller’s 14-page “statement of the offense,” which is not a statement of the false-statement offense at all – it is a lot of huffing and puffing about almost-but-not-really collusion.
It is not a prosecutor’s job, under the pretext of “context,” to taint people by publicizing non-criminal conduct. If the investigative subject has committed no offense, the public is customarily told nothing. If a defendant is charged with a relatively minor offense, the indictment is supposed to reflect that.
You are supposed to see the crime for what it is, not view it through the prism of the prosecutor’s big ambitions. If all George Papadopoulos did was fib about when a meeting happened, the function of an indictment is to put him on notice of that charge; it is not to weave a heroic tale of how hard the prosecutor tried to find collusion with a hostile foreign power.
Mueller was annoyed because Barr’s report showed Mueller didn’t do the job he was retained to do, and omitted all the narrative-writing that Mueller preferred to do.
I think McCarthy is too kind and too generous by half.
Mueller knew from his first day on the job that there was no collusion. The evidence had been gone through by the FBI and the intelligence community for nearly seven months at that point. So Mueller’s investigation was a political hatchet job from Day One. His mission was to allow Andrew Weissmann to relieve the hard-on he had for Paul Manafort, to hurt Mike Flynn because he supported an agent who brought a sexual discrimination lawsuit against Andrew McCabe, and to shade every finding to make mundane actions by the Trump campaign look suspicious while studiously ignoring the now obvious soft coup attempt that got him his job.
Mueller is a freakin temp, he doesn’t get to decide what to do with a report he was contracted to write. He doesn’t get to tell the Attorney General how to explain the results to the nation. He shouldn’t get to leak confidential correspondence in order to try to embarrass Barr.
What Mueller wanted to do was control the narrative between the time Barr received the report and the time the redacted copy was released. He wanted to slime and insinuate guilt on the part of people whose only sin was beating Hillary Clinton in November 2016. Barr foiled that attempt and Mueller is torqued. Screw him and the white jackass he rode in on.