Mueller’s Letter to Barr

Prior to the release of the redacted Mueller report, when Barr’s con-job summary was setting the Beltway press narrative of NO COLLUSION COMPLETE EXONERATION, I figured if Mueller objected to a PR blitz that misrepresented his report, he’d say so. Turns out he did:

The Mueller report and now this letter make clear Mueller was trying to get the truth to the public.

Is it too late? Barr is being by turns coddled and grilled on the Hill right now, depending on who’s doing the questioning, but is anyone still paying attention?

The political ramifications for Trump are secondary here. It’s an ongoing national security issue.






75 replies
  1. 1
    germy says:

    As I said below, Barr is such a smooth mutherfucker… he keeps throwing their questions back at them, like a slippery eel.

    There is no Right Arrow on the previous thread, indicating this new thread is up.

  2. 2
    germy says:

    Barr acts like a man confident that Mueller will never say an unapproved word in public again.— Schooley (@Rschooley) May 1, 2019

  3. 3

    @germy:
    How did that work out for him last time?

  4. 4
    MattF says:

    I confess I’m a teensy bit surprised about Barr. He just doesn’t have that ‘funny uncle’ aura so common among the Trumpies. Live and learn.

  5. 5
    Booger says:

    Lying comes as naturally as breathing to these bastards.

  6. 6

    Two words: John Mitchell

  7. 7

    “Be patient. Sometimes it takes a little while to find out how Trump stepped on his dick this time.” is turning out a high success rate.

  8. 8
    Leto says:

    We need Mueller to appear before Congress. Both in a private and public session. Barr lies like he breaths. Getting ready for lunch, then for my outpatient PT. I’ll catch the highlights wrt Booker/Klobuchar/Harris’ questioning.

  9. 9
    Humdog says:

    So, this letter looks like it could only have been leaked from inside Justice, with the receipt writing on it. Who?

  10. 10
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Booger: Yep. It’s a perfected art form for Republicans and the base eats it up. Trump will not be Nixoned.

  11. 11
    germy says:

    @MattF:

    I’m a teensy bit surprised about Barr. He just doesn’t have that ‘funny uncle’ aura so common among the Trumpies.

    Like Stephen Moore?

    .@StephenMoore explains his 2016 joke about Donald Trump moving into the White House and kicking “a black family out of public housing.” Moore says, “That is a joke I always made,” adding he didn’t mean it “like a black person” lived there. “I shouldn’t have said it,” he says. pic.twitter.com/9EO9JzBgtW— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) April 30, 2019

  12. 12
    japa21 says:

    @Humdog: I was thinking the same thing. There are a lot of career folks at Justice that take their jobs seriously, unlike Barr. Would be funny if it were Rosenstein. Expressing his real feelings as opposed to what he wrote in his letter. Ha! I kid.

  13. 13
    J R in WV says:

    @Leto:

    “Getting ready for lunch, then for my outpatient PT. ”

    Saw you’re scheduled for a bunch of 90 minute sessions – hang in there, that’s a long time to be in the hands of the PT guys. I never did more than about 45 minutes in all the times I did PT, except for the times I spent half an hour or more being heated to loosen things up before the stretching started.

    Best of luck with it… they really have figured out how to help us out a lot.

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Maybe, and your point in the last thread about Mueller doing his job by the book was a good one. But what if a delay in getting to the truth significantly narrows the scope of possible consequences? Barr must’ve known this would eventually come out, but he figured a delay would blunt its impact, and he could be right. I don’t know what to do about that, but it sure is frustrating.

  15. 15
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @MattF: He helped obfuscate Iran-contra. He’s an old Reagan-Bush-era pro at this.

  16. 16
    Eural Joiner says:

    OT but a huuuuge turnout today at the State House in Columbia – thousands of teachers from across the state standing up for real education reforms 😁

  17. 17
    SFAW says:

    “Mr. Barr: if I recall correctly, you swore an Oath of Office earlier this year, yes? And in that Oath, you swore to support and defend the Constitution, correct? Now, my copy of that Oath may have been redacted by your office, but nowhere in that Oath do I see anything resembling a pledge of fealty to the President, or Mr. Trump, or the Oval Office occupant. Do you have an unredacted version — one which includes wording to that effect? No? OK, well then, can you please explain to the Committee why you continue to operate as if you are Mr. Trump’s personal attorney? And why you continue to operate as if you’re trying to shield him from legitimate inquiries into his apparent law-breaking? And, please note that I am not yet accepting the current Republican claim that a President cannot be indicted. And, please remember that you are under oath.”

    Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

  18. 18
    plato says:

    The rot that started with tricky dick festers into a more malignant cancer on body politics.

  19. 19
    Jay C says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I think a major part of any impact this hearing will have will depend on how the media report it: and so far, the Republican strategy (which I saw reasonably predicted online this morning) of trying to deflect Barr’s testimony into the realms of BS over “FBI bias” and “Hillary’s emails” (SRSLY? STILL???) seems to be falling pretty flat. GOP deflectionism has rarely been more blatant, but I think that this time, they’re not going to get their way. It’s likely that the evening-news ledes are going to be more of “Barr contradicts himself over Mueller Report” (i.e. a polite way to say “Barr lies to Congress”) rather than the “Barr faults Obama re Russian meddling” line they want so desperately to promulgate.

  20. 20
    SFAW says:

    @japa21:

    that take their jobs seriously, unlike Barr.

    He takes his job extremely seriously. It’s just that what HE thinks is his job description, and what YOU (and other rational, patriotic Americans) think it is, are somewhat different.

  21. 21
    Skepticat says:

    There no longer seem to be any consequences at all for the most incredibly egregious behavior. We’ve fallen into the rabbit hole, and I am disheartened and frustrated beyond endurance.

  22. 22
    balconesfault says:

    Barr is in some ways more dangerous than Trump … because he wields the power of the Justice Department to target enemies … and he’s already signaled that he will do so.

    If there’s a place to start impeachment proceedings … it’s with him.

  23. 23
    SFAW says:

    @Jay C:

    It’s likely that the evening-news ledes are going to be more of “Barr contradicts himself over Mueller Report” (i.e. a polite way to say “Barr lies to Congress”) rather than the “Barr faults Obama re Russian meddling” they wanted to promulgate.

    I really hope you’re right, but given the laziness and fear in the MSM, I am not extremely optimistic.

  24. 24

    @Betty Cracker:

    Barr must’ve known this would eventually come out, but he figured a delay would blunt its impact, and he could be right.

    I’m not sure he must have known that. You rarely lose betting on stupidity in a Trump hire, even if he seems smarter than most. Delay, delay, delay is probably a good tactic for them, but I’m confident that they’ll fuck it up. Their ability to do so is astonishing. Still, reason and experience both tell me that no matter how often they shoot themselves instead of their target, the bullet hits someone else in the process. Tortured metaphor, but yeah, we’re not going to get anywhere near perfect resolutions.

  25. 25
    Skepticat says:

    @SFAW: AND we can dream that being under oath makes an iota of difference to these people. But let’s not hold our breath.

  26. 26
    gene108 says:

    @plato:

    Nixon’s mistake was getting caught. Republicans have been perfecting ways to abuse the Presidency without consequences ever since. They have become very good at it, after nearly 50 years of practice

  27. 27
    japa21 says:

    @SFAW: After I hit post I almost went back and added that. I am waiting for one of the Democrats to say something like” Mr. Barr, I want to congratulate you on the great job you are doing (pause) As Mr. Trump’s personal attorney. Now I would like to talk to you about your performance as AG.”

    Like you, I can dream.

  28. 28
    SFAW says:

    @Skepticat:

    AND we can dream that being under oath makes an iota of difference to these people.

    I know. I threw it in there for a soundbite opportunity for the Dems. (Some) people my age remember Perry Mason reminding witnesses that they are under oath, and it might mean something to hear that said aloud to the person who (theoretically) is the chief law enforcement agent/office in the country.

  29. 29

    @gene108:

    Republicans have been perfecting ways to abuse the Presidency without consequences ever since. They have become very good at it, after nearly 50 years of practice

    They’ve only been perfecting one way: Have congress refuse to do anything about it. They’ve gotten quite good at that.

  30. 30
    Immanentize says:

    Just heard Barr has decided to not appear at the House hearing tomorrow

  31. 31
    Jay C says:

    @Immanentize:

    Just heard Barr has decided to not appear at the House hearing tomorrow

    And if I were Jerry Nadler, I’d make damn sure that a subpoena to compel him to appear would the first thing AG Barr sees as soon as he gets back to his office this afternoon…..

  32. 32
    germy says:

    The House Judiciary Committee has voted to allow staff to question A.G. Barr during tomorrow's hearing, raising the prospect Barr won't show up.
    "I don't know what he's afraid of," said House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler.https://t.co/KFGH0eFsiQ— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 1, 2019

  33. 33
    balconesfault says:

    @Immanentize: The only question now is how much time the Dems waste (a) subpoening Barr, and (b) referring Barr’s refusal to submit to the subpoena to the Justice Department, before they proceed to (c) file a civil lawsuit.

    I’d hope they accelerate the timeline, sending Barr a subpoena with a very short “show up by this date” window … and then referring the subpoena to Justice with a very short “reply with your intentions by this date” window.

  34. 34
    germy says:

    William Safire in New York Times, October 1992, about Attorney General Barr, whom he called “the Coverup-General”: pic.twitter.com/TUgnLSgPBe— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) May 1, 2019

  35. 35
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Trump’s base are like Flat Earthers – no evidence will persuade them until they decided to stop being a MAGA hat. The purpose of this stuff is to immunize everyone around them to their stupid..

  36. 36
    tokyokie says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Republicans have been perfecting ways to abuse the Presidency without consequences ever since. They have become very good at it, after nearly 50 years of practice

    They’ve only been perfecting one way: Have congress refuse to do anything about it. They’ve gotten quite good at that.

    Don’t forget stuffing the courts with soulless right-wing hacks.

  37. 37
    Gravenstone says:

    @Immanentize: This my shocked face …

    As I said yesterday, drag him there in chains.

  38. 38
    MCA1 says:

    @balconesfault: With a very public statement of “…or we will be initiating impeachment proceedings against Mr. Barr based on his flagrant contempt of Congress and his previous false statements to the Judiciary Committee by this date” added in, one would hope.

  39. 39
    misterpuff says:

    @gene108: The solution for that. Call Obama as a witness and have him testify to how the Russian investigation was covered up by The Traitors Turtle and Ryan. I’m sure O can handle the Repubs and the eyeballs on that hearing would be huge. Drive Trump nuts and expose the GOP for what they are.

  40. 40
    Neldob says:

    I think “National Security Issue Covered Up by Barr” might be a nice headline.

  41. 41
    plato says:

    I hope Mueller testifies before congress on live tv. That’s the only way the truth, at least a part of it anyway, will come out.

  42. 42

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Maybe there’s something inside those hats that gets into the brain.

  43. 43

    So here’s the thing. Barr’s “summary” letter may have been accepted by the media idiots, but it wasn’t accepted by the public at large. Despite the incessant spin of his letter as an exoneration, the public, outside Foxbots, wasn’t buying it. This was revealed in several polls shortly after his letter was released. So while our journalists is not learning, perhaps our voters is.

    Just a small bit of good news to recall amongst everything else going to hell.

  44. 44
    satby says:

    Can the House initiate impeachment proceedings against Barr for refusing to show up, based on what’s already been uncovered about his lying to Congress?

  45. 45
    plato says:

    @misterpuff: I think Obama has done his bit more than once for this feckless country.

  46. 46
    tokyokie says:

    @Immanentize:

    Just heard Barr has decided to not appear at the House hearing tomorrow

    I remember when HRC spent the entire day answering questions from House Republicans about bengaziBengaziBENGAZI. Nice to know that our current AG has less courage than a girl! Or maybe it’s just of matter of HRC knowing she hadn’t committed a crime and Barr knowing he has committed lots of them.

  47. 47

    @satby: There’s already enough evidence for any unbiased jury to convict him on perjury alone. Unfortunately, there will probably never be enough evidence to convict him in the Senate, but I still don’t oppose impeaching him since it gives him less time to pursue evil shit like trying to repeal the ACA through the court system.

    @germy: Huh. Safire had occasional stopped clock moments. Though for all I know, he meant that as a compliment.

  48. 48
    Wyatt Derp says:

    Barr is the most corrupt AG we have had since Matt Whittaker.

  49. 49
    James E Powell says:

    @SFAW:

    I really hope you’re right, but given the laziness and fear in the MSM, I am not extremely optimistic.

    You left out complicity. I think that is a bigger factor than the other two. The press/media love Trump and they want to keep him.

  50. 50
    cmorenc says:

    @germy:

    As I said below, Barr is such a smooth mutherfucker… he keeps throwing their questions back at them, like a slippery eel.

    This is exactly the trick law professors use to keep their students off-balance in class. Re-frame a statement or scenario and throw it right back at the student, while expelling clouds of ink like a squid to make it difficult for the student to verbally strike back in accurate fashion.

  51. 51

    @(((CassandraLeo))): …judging from this, I’m guessing Safire just didn’t like Barr. Everyone has standards, I guess, even former Nixon speechwriters.

  52. 52
    Burnspbesq says:

    @germy:

    I’ll bet Jerry knows EXACTLY what Barr is afraid of.

  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    @plato: I’m looking forward to PBO’s eventual memoir and what he has to say about how that meeting with McConnell and Ryan went down. He made the same assumption most of us made — that the country wasn’t dumb enough to elect Trump, even with an assist from Putin and GOP voter suppression. My guess is he has plenty of regrets on that score.

  54. 54
    balconesfault says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Media framing still drives me crazy.

    This am, on MSNBC no less, the capitol reporter stated something like “while the report showed that there was no wrongdoing with respect to collusion …”

    NO! The damn report showed TONS of wrongdoing.

    That the Mueller team decided that the wrongdoing didn’t trip any wires that would make the collusion a prosecutable offense is a different issue. The report drips with derision for the decisions that various members of the Trump team made when colluding with Russia.

  55. 55
    Mr Gravity says:

    @balconesfault: If only congress would do it’s duty and impeach Barr for LYING.

    What sort of a message might that send to, well, everyone.

    Everyone.

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    It sounds nuts because it’s such a sadly low bar, but it is nice to read a professional public servant who tried to do a really good job. Maybe Mueller, and this situation, is the best we could get given the complete collapse of all the other “institutions” outside the US House, where the jury is still out :)

    The letter does give me some comfort, so Mueller was right.

    He tried. It’ll probably take more than one person, though :)

  57. 57
    NotMax says:

    Wanted to be sure to drop in to say Happy Lei Day to y’all. Now off to make coffee.

  58. 58
    balconesfault says:

    @Mr Gravity: Exactly.

    Sure, the Senate probably wouldn’t vote to remove.

    But Barr needs to have the Scarlet “I” attached to his name for posterity’s sake.

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    @SFAW:
    Cops have been getting away with murder for a long time, what’s a little lying among friends far higher up the food chain?

  60. 60
    plato says:

    @Betty Cracker: I too look forward to his memoir. Not sure it will be a kiss and tell kinda book though. Given who he is and always has been.

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @tokyokie:
    Bingo!

  62. 62
    SFAW says:

    @NotMax:

    Wanted to be sure to drop in to say Happy Lei Day to y’all.

    In honor of your obvious (and presumably intended) setup line: It’s nice to have a good lei now and then. Or is it good to have a nice lei?

  63. 63
    gene108 says:

    @misterpuff:

    I think for 8 years people expected Obama to be Superman and solve things with his magic green lantern ring.

    Getting him to testify would be trying to get him to play hero once more.

    I don’t think it will bolster the position of the current crop of Democrats. For better or worse, through no fault of his own, Obama is a polarizing figure.

    It’d make for good theater, but would be bad politics.

    Also, I think those in Congress, who need to know, already know what McConnell did in not agreeing to Obama’s request for a joint statement on Russian interference.

    Also, too Republicans very much want to relitigate Obama’s presidency to take attention away from Trump. Bringing Obama back into the spotlight would just let Obama’s actions in 2016 dominate the news cycle, instead of focusing on Trump’s and Barr’s lies. And I doubt Team Obama gets a solid 💯 for handling Russian interference in 2016. I am sure they made mistakes, which Republicans will focus on obsessively.

  64. 64
    SFAW says:

    @balconesfault:

    But Barr needs to have the Scarlet “I” attached to his name for posterity’s sake.

    As a compromise solution, how about riveted or nailed to his forehead? Or his scrotum? Or both?

  65. 65
    SFAW says:

    @plato:

    this feckless country.

    Oh, I don’t know — this country has been fecked at least since 11/9/16.

  66. 66
    ruemara says:

    @balconesfault: Been saying that. Been saying that ignoring the support structures around Trump to demand impeachment of Trump is the level of strategy we mock when Jon Snow does it.

  67. 67
    TenguPhule says:

    Dearest Mr. President,

    The Justice Department made rapid progress in achieving the administration’s law enforcement priorities — namely, to use the law enforcement tools on literally any subject except for you. We have staffed the department and the U.S. attorneys’ offices with skilled and principled leaders, sometimes both, devoted to the values that make America great — in the sense that “making America great” means “getting you into office and keeping you there.”

    Alexandra Petri to the rescue.

  68. 68
    Matt says:

    Barr is a fine example of why everyone involved in Iran-Contra should still be rotting in Leavenworth for treason.

  69. 69
    balconesfault says:

    @ruemara: I think that’s Nancy’s plan, and why she keeps pushing back on the “Impeach Trump” rhetoric.

    A) Push a positive legislative agenda into the media, to undercut the claim that all Dems want to do is attack Trump
    B) Meet with Trump to propose an infrastructure package – this calls Trump’s hand on his refrain that he wants to push for infrastructure spending … and puts the ball into the GOP’s court when it shows they’re not going to be willing to DO ANYTHING to fund an infrastructure spending package.
    C) Let her committee chairs continue to beat up on the evil and/or incompetent SOBs who fill the top appointee positions in the Trump Administration.

  70. 70
    trollhattan says:

    Stuff they’re finally saying out loud.

    “Research on Iowa counties that swung from Obama to Trump indicates that GOP success was driven far more by sexism and racism than by economic anxiety,” the Pacific Standard reports.

    From the study: “Economic distress is not a significant factor in explaining the shift in Iowa voters from Democrat to Republican between 2008 and 2016. The election outcomes do not signify [a revolt] among working-class voters left behind by globalization.”

    Rather, in 2016, “the nativist narrative about ‘taking back America’ and anti-immigrant sentiment became stronger forces than economic issues.”

    Quelle surprise from the state that keeps sending us Steve King.

  71. 71
    Bill Arnold says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    Two words: John Mitchell

    Fuor words – John Mitchell, nineteen months.

  72. 72
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    Google the question, “did Barr lie to Crist” and the first item is an article in a Florida paper that pretty much answers “yes.”

  73. 73
    misterpuff says:

    @gene108: Point Taken.

  74. 74

    given how Barr accused Mueller’s letter to him as “snitty”, time to make #snitty a trend on twitter. brb.

  75. 75
    Tenar Arha says:

    Has anyone seen anything pointing & mocking the MSM who so obviously got played only a month or so ago? Because of all the reasons I’m angry about what’s happening with our government right now, the gullible suckers at the head of major media corporations make me the angriest, & I could use a good acidic takedown today.

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