(Will Wilkinson is a New York Times contributing opinion writer and a columnist for Vox. Below is his estimation, published on Twitter and so open to complete reproduction, of the machinations of Trump and Barr, amplified by a complicit or cowed media, to discredit and mis-characterize the Mueller Report before it is inevitably made public or before Mueller testifies in Public. I agree completely with his opinion.)
“The crescendo of furious gaslighting following Barr’s propaganda summary suggests a plan was place to exploit the gap between the submission of the report and public revelation of what’s in it to de-legitimize Mueller’s actual findings and the ongoing investigations.
Trump cronies are incoherently claiming BOTH (a) that the report exonerates him AND (b) the investigation was so ethically compromised and politically biased nothing that came of it can be taken seriously and shouldn’t be made public.
Obviously can’t be both.
Trump’s “one weird trick”is the shameless public de-legitimization of anyone aligned against this interests. Once again, we’re seeing he’s the GOAT at this evil art. It’s what’s made him the Houdini of industrial-scale white-collar theft.
Our idiot media still isn’t capable of understanding how to not be co-opted by Trump’s reality-bending propaganda machine, and continues to get played like a burgled Stradivarius.
Barr’s cover-up gambit means Mueller will certainly be called to testify under oath in the House.
That’s why we’re getting the full-on blitz to mis-characterize his findings: to lock the media and public into a favorable narrative nowhere in evidence, before he actually speaks.
The Trump machine’s rush to ascertain adamantly conclusive interpretation of the investigation on nothing but a crony appointee’s spin on it, and then using this to discredit the larger attempt to uphold the rule of law and separation of powers is completely poisonous.
The media’s atrocious gullibility,which is letting this happen without serious resistance, is even more scandalous than the credulity that herded public opinion behind the invasion of Iraq. Because we already *know* this administration does nothing but lie.
This Trump campaign memo seeking to de-platform Democrats constitutionally duty-bound to check executive abuses of power, on the basis of claims consistent with Barr’s gloss on Mueller’s report, gives away the aim of the game: no rule of law,no oversight.”
The Trump campaign is sending this memo to TV producers: pic.twitter.com/yhr03LAI7N
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) March 25, 2019
(Full memo below , sorry I couldn’t make it bigger)
“The Trump machine is making a lot of political hay with necessary legal distinctions. Barr says Mueller didn’t establish conspiracy or coordination b/w the campaign &”the Russian government,” which doesn’t imply there wasn’t plenty with Russians hard to pin as agents of Putin.
He says Mueller didn’t establish that any Trump associate or U.S. citizen “knowingly coordinated”with the IRA to influence the election. Which doesn’t imply that Stone (not part of the campaign) didn’t coordinate with anonymous agents of the IRA, or with Assange (not American.)
Barr says Mueller supplies evidence of obstruction, then uses the fact that he doesn’t establish conspiracy to a certain legal standard (which doesn’t at all rule it out, in fact) to argue in a shady way that there was nothing to obstruct, so he let’s Trump off scot-free.
The Trump admin/campaign then uses its own opportunistic judgment as a fixed fact to leverage an attack on the legitimacy of Dem oversight officials in Congress. But Congress’s constitutional oversight authority is wholly independent of the executive’s findings about itself.
Trump has gone to pains to confuse people into accepting that the legitimacy of congressional oversight depends on a prior, narrow legal finding of criminality, which it has done everything it can to prevent.
Having done it successfully, it’s attacking the separation of powers.
But congressional power over the executive under the constitution is entirely political. If it decides as a body that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, that settles it.
Trump’s hand-picked AG (confirmed by a lapdog Senate, with a record of shielding presidents from scandal) telling us what the report says & sitting on it doesn’t settle anything. But spinning it like it does to prevent congressional oversight tell us a lot.
This is far from over.”
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