We're gonna have to boot Trump from office the old fashioned way—at the ballot box
Donald Trump might yet face impeachment by House Democrats, but given Attorney General William Barr’s partisan hatchet job on the Russia investigation, any chance of enough Senate Republicans joining Democrats in a vote to oust Trump is all but dead.
Since the conclusion of the special counsel’s probe into Russian election interference and links to the Trump campaign, Barr has sent two letters to Congress. The first 4-page effort came last Sunday, reading just vague enough on the Trump campaign’s coordination with Russia to allow Trump to declare Robert Mueller had found “no collusion.” At the same time, the letter was narrowly tailored enough on obstruction to declare that even though Mueller hadn’t exonerated Trump (in other words, obstructive evidence certainly existed), Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided to do so because they felt like it. Neither of the two assertions are provably true because Barr’s 4-page summary disclosed none of the evidence that either Mueller or WillRod weighed in coming to their decisions.
After burying his first letter on a day when reporters would have an impossible time fully vetting it and gathering responses, Barr did the same thing Friday afternoon with his second letter to Congress in which he disclosed what a joke his initial 4 pages were in the face of a report that numbers nearly 400 pages, “exclusive of tables and appendices.” Don’t let that number fool you—the tables and appendices, which surely include imperative information, just as surely increase that page count by a bunch.
Even so, Barr buried that 400-page number the first time around for a reason—it would have immediately rendered preposterous his 4-page effort to, as he wrote, “summarize the principal conclusions” of Mueller. In fact, in his second letter, Barr sounds aggrieved, citing “some media reports and other public statements mischaracterizing” his flimsy 4 pager as a “summary.” In effect, that’s the Attorney General saying, if only people hadn’t quoted me, their reports would have been more accurate. Remember that, because it may well prove true for the entirety of Barr’s first letter in which he advanced the notion that Trump & Co. didn’t behave improperly toward Russia and the evidence on Trump’s obstruction was meager.
Mercifully, whatever round of good headlines Trump got out of Barr’s public relations campaign, the public wants the Mueller report, not Barr’s “interpretation” of the Mueller report, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it. In the four polls released this week, two things became perfectly clear: most Americans don’t think Trump has been cleared of anything, and an overwhelming majority want the Mueller’s report made public. In fact, both CNN/SSRS and NPR/PBS/Marist found that 56 percent of respondents say Trump has not been exonerated of anything. Additionally, three separate polls found 75 percent or more of respondents want Mueller’s report made public, NPR/PBS, Q poll, CBS.