AG Barr unilaterally exonerated Trump on obstruction, now Americans must see EVERY SHRED of evidence
Attorney General William Barr has now sent his four-page summary of the findings of Robert Mueller’s investigation, which reportedly included more than 2,800 subpoenas, almost 500 executed search warrants, 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, approximately 500 identified witnesses in, according to the Justice Department summary. Yet we only have four pages setting forth Barr’s determinations without any of the underlying evidence.
In doing so, Barr has pre-colored the debate around Mueller’s report while depriving Congress and the American people of any of the actual details regarding his determinations.
Perhaps the biggest and most glaring problem with Barr’s determinations thus far is the fact that he decided to unilaterally exonerate Trump of obstruction charges even though Mueller explicitly chose not to make a determination on that point. On obstruction, Barr writes, “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’” Barr then writes that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that the evidence developed was “not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” (By the way, one part of their conclusion is based on the fact that Mueller did not find “an underlying crime.” In other words, they are saying that since Mueller didn’t make a collusion charge, then there couldn’t be obstruction.)
Barr then concludes that since Mueller made no criminal determination on obstruction, he must make one.
“The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime,” Barr writes.
As former DOJ spokesperson Matthew Miller points out, what the heck does “leaves it to” even mean?
This “leaves it to the Attorney General” language is so strange in that it seems to imply Barr had to reach a conclusion, when in fact he didn’t. He could’ve just passed on Mueller’s findings, but decided to put his thumb on the scale after a 48 hour review of the facts. pic.twitter.com/sqXERtP5tq
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) March 24, 2019
As Miller writes, “I find it odd that Barr and Rosenstein decided to come to a conclusion on obstruction after Mueller and the prosecutorial team declined to. If it is a decision left to Congress, and Mueller wasn’t weighing in, why did they?”
Yeah, why did they?
More importantly, the mere fact that Barr chose to make his own determination public without disclosing any of the underlying evidence makes it imperative that the American people get full access to the evidence Barr used to make his determination. The American people MUST see the entirety of the evidence the special counsel delivered to the Department of Justice.