With Attorney William Barr scheduled to appear Wednesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, an explosive Washington Post story on special counsel Robert Mueller expressing concerns to Barr that his summary of the final report did not capture the “context, nature, and substance” of the investigation’s findings could not be more timely.
A convenient leak by someone out to “maximize the embarrassment” ahead of Barr’s appearance Wednesday, and set up the questions from Democratic lawmakers on the panel, according to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Appearing Tuesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” Gingrich said, “The ‘Deep State’ and Washington has played these games for the whole history of the country, this is not something new.”
As BizPac Review reported Tuesday night, Mueller contacted Barr by letter and phone after the attorney general released his own summary of Mueller’s investigation — the special counsel reportedly wanted executive summaries from his office to be released to the public, but Barr felt it was more “productive” to released his own summary.
“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller reportedly said. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
Naturally, the anti-Trump media are misrepresenting the communications between the two, having now been gifted with fodder to discredit Barr’s handling of Mueller’s report — the attorney general concluded President Trump did not obstruct justice in the Russia investigation.
(Mueller’s team said in the report they declined to make a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” on the issue.)
Democrats are even talking about trying to impeach Barr — they have zero chance of pulling the feat off, making any such effort little more than a publicity ploy.
Just spoke with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who says “a lot of remedies need to be on the table” for congressional response to Barr’s conduct. He does *not* rule out possible impeachment proceedings. Calls Mueller letter “stunning” and a “game changer for [Barr’s] legacy.”
— Robert Costa (@costareports) May 1, 2019
Lost in the mix here is that Trump-haters are now zeroed in on a summary Barr sent to Congress when the actual report has since been released.
And given that Mueller made clear that he didn’t feel Barr’s summary was inaccurate, according to Fox News, which cited the Post and the Justice Department, it appears he is just not happy that Barr told the truth and it made him look bad.
But Gingrich made clear that Mueller could have voiced any disapproval when Barr released his summary, dismissing all the uproar as more media distortion.
“After all the noise you just shrug your shoulders and say, ‘so what?’ Mueller had every opportunity to come out the day that Barr released his letter,” Gingrich pointed out. “Mueller could have at any point decided to refute it and as I understand the actual key sentences, the distortion is by the news media. The distortion is not by Barr.”
“Think about this,” he added. “The media that Mueller is complaining about are the people who are now using Mueller’s complaint to further distort what is going on. You couldn’t make this up.”
The Post reported that Mueller told Barr over the phone he was concerned that media coverage of the collusion probe was misguided and creating public misunderstandings about his office’s work.
A common theme in the responses to the story is that Barr’s summary was “accurate.”
Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
So he wasn’t saying the letter was inaccurate, but was worried about media coverage and whether his narrative would dictate it. Story of the whole investigation. We can read the report … the rest is diva noise. https://t.co/FfAzgRAMRa
— Andy McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) May 1, 2019
Interesting situation. We have Barr's letter. We have Mueller report. Unless there's some huge, decisive stuff in the redactions (and early indication is there's not), we can judge for ourselves, can't we? Does it really matter what Barr, or Mueller, or Andrew Weissmann thinks?
— Byron York (@ByronYork) May 1, 2019
The number of people tweeting to #ImpeachBarr is actually hilarious.
None of these people actually read the @washingtonpost article.
The article literally says Mueller CONFIRMED that Barr told the truth in his letter. pic.twitter.com/3U9t6JSdRy
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) May 1, 2019
After 22 months of not giving a shit about the media running rampant w/ speculation, Mueller finally took a stand on the issue after Barr released his letter. https://t.co/FdS4x2Y6BU pic.twitter.com/kryQbNZodZ
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) May 1, 2019
Key sentence buried in The Washington Post's report: "When Barr pressed [Mueller] whether [Mueller] thought Barr’s letter was inaccurate, Mueller said he did not, but felt that the media coverage of the letter was misinterpreting the investigation, officials said." https://t.co/bz9oCxBdya
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 1, 2019
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