March 4: Mueller tells Barr he's not going to exonerate Trump, leaving it up to Congress
March 24: Barr releases a panicked summary usurping Congress' power, all while pretending transparency
April 4: Barr now scrambling as it becomes clear his March 24 memo is a coverup
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) April 4, 2019
While the dimmer bulbs in the media are slowly starting to figure out that maybe, just maybe, the Mueller Report didn’t exonerate Trump (I suppose the first clue was Mueller explicitly stating the report did not exonerate him, but hey- I’m not paid the big bucks like Maggie Haberman and company), the House is busy supboenaing the hell out of everyone and everything in sight. We will eventually get to see the Mueller report, I think, but it might be some time.
It’s pretty clear that the reason Trump was uncharacteristically quiet on twitter the weekend the report was sent to Barr was that they were trying to figure out how they were going to do damage control. Apparently they settled on throwing Barr to the wolves, letting him issue the bullshit 4 page memo, and the use that to blow up and out the puke funnel to try to firm up the opinion that there is no there, there. They had some help from the typically idiotic press who, as usual, took the Republican’s word on things and uncritically blasted it out for a few days before doing what they always, which is make the story about themselves and spend the next few days deciding who the winners and losers in the media are. Another assist came from various useful idiots (see Michael Tracey, Matt Taibbi, and others), who have decided without seeing the report that there was nothing inappropriate going on with Russia and because of that, none of the other criminal shit matters, either. I wish I was kidding:
like when they investigate the mob for money laundering and discover murder, extortion, blackmail and drug trafficking, they just drop it because the whole thing was based on false pretenses.
— Cake or Death (@Johngcole) April 4, 2019
If you want a brutal take down of these guys, you should definitely read Klion on Taibbi and Greenwald (whom I still like and respect even though I think he has been crazy about this whole Trump investigation and who is always worse on twitter than he is in his longer pieces- the price of being a contrarian with a temper, I suppose).
Despite all of that, it ain’t working. Polls show that only around the crazification factor thing that Trump is innocent, with around 70% saying either no or dunno. So, for those of you who are cynical as fuck, like me, and sick of going high, it is my personal opinion that the longer Barr drags this out, the worse it is for Barr, the worse it is for Trump, and the worse it is for Republicans. Additionally, while there may be a number of redactions done for legitimate national security reasons, it’s excellent fodder for “WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?” I spent a lot of time listening hearing Republicans say “If you haven’t done anything to hide” while they stomped all over our civil rights and privacy, and I watched them launch ridiculous investigations over Benghazi and stoke birther bullshit and spew nonsense about Hillary’s emails, so you know what, fuck it. Let’s beat them up and use what they are giving us.
So yes, I am dying to read the Mueller, but the cynic and political opportunist in me is to hope the Republicans keep self-owning themselves and drip it out in pieces and redact a ton of shit. Anything that hurts these guys is a win for the country. Period.