Many people wondered when or even if, Robert Mueller was going to take a public stance on William Barr’s misleading four page summary, or if he essentially agreed with the summary — which didn’t seem possible. Now we don’t have to worry about that anymore. Mueller did complain to Barr, and contents of that letter were released today. Bottom line: “Mueller’s main worry was that the public was not getting an accurate understanding of the obstruction investigation,” officials said. Well, we certainly knew that. Washington Post:
“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote. “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
A day after the letter was sent, Barr and Mueller spoke by phone for about 15 minutes, according to law enforcement officials.
In that call, Mueller said he was concerned that news coverage of the obstruction investigation was misguided and creating public misunderstandings about the office’s work, according to Justice Department officials.
Now, as you recall, Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler got on this rather quickly. They wanted to get testimony from both Mueller and Barr and this was not immediately forthcoming, to understate the case. Now, as of the news about Mueller’s letter to Barr, there is going to be no further delay. Daily Beast:
Shortly after it was reported on Tuesday night that Mueller had written and called Barr to complain that he not fully represented his findings, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) sent out a statement demanding both appear before his committee and revealing that he had been stonewalled so far.
“The Attorney General has expressed some reluctance to appear before the House Judiciary Committee this Thursday,” Nadler said. “These reports make it that much more important for him to appear and answer our questions. The Department of Justice has also been reluctant to confirm a date for Special Counsel Mueller to testify.”
Mueller has never said he would not testify. This is not about reluctance on his part. This is about Barr. Nadler sent a letter to the DOJ right after the release of the Mueller report, requesting that Mueller appear for questioning no later than May 23. Now, Barr has gone on record saying that he wouldn’t object to Mueller testifying, but what else is he going to say? I think it behooves us more to see what Barr has done, and that is run to protect Trump first on all occasions. So, of course any delay in Mueller testifying is to Trump’s benefit.
In all events, it looks like it’s not a question of if, but when and the only concrete question seems to be whether the testimony would take place in public or behind closed doors. I don’t know about you, but I would pay good money to watch Adam Schiff question Robert Mueller about what actually went down with the Trump Russia Investigation. I can’t imagine a more fascinating exchange than on that topic, and between two legal and governmental minds like those two have. This could be epic.
But even if it takes place behind closed doors — fine — just as long as it takes place. I’ll wait to read the transcript.