Bill Barr had a few brief, shining moments of credibility when he became the January 6 Committee’s star witness. He came right out and called Donald Trump’s claims of a stolen election “bullshit” and then went on to guffaw about the movie 2000 Mules. That was Barr the good guy. Barr the bad guy was revealed — once again — in an unredacted legal memo which the DOJ released Wednesday.

“For the reasons stated below, we conclude that the evidence described in Volume II of the Report is not, in our judgment, sufficient to support a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that the President violated the obstruction-of-justice statutes. In addition, we believe that certain of the conduct examined by the Special Counsel could not, as a matter of law, support an obstruction charge under the circumstances. Accordingly, were there no constitutional barrier, we would recommend, under the Principles of Federal Prosecution, that you decline to commence such a prosecution.”

The memo is long and you can read the entire thing by hitting the link in the first paragraph. A redacted version of the memo was released in 2019. Axios:

The big picture: The memo was the subject of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a governmental watchdog group.

  • The group argued the Justice Department wrongly withheld it from the public, who deserved to know the rationale for not charging Trump.

  • The Justice Department argued the memo should not be made public because it was used in internal deliberations over a prosecutorial decision.

  • A federal appeals court rejected the DOJ’s argument last week and ordered that it be made public.

  • In May 2021, a federal judge ordered the release of the memo, calling the DOJ’s argument “disingenuous.”

What they’re saying: “The memo supports the chilling conclusion that any president can interfere with any investigation if they believe it could damage them politically. It is clear why Barr did not want the public to see it,” CREW said in a statement Wednesday.

  • “The memo presents a breathtakingly generous view of the law and facts for Donald Trump,” the group added.

  • “It significantly twists the facts and the law to benefit Donald Trump and does not comport with a serious reading of the law of obstruction of justice or the facts as found by Special Counsel Mueller.”

  • “Among many other problems, it is premised on the fact that there was no underlying criminal conduct, which is not what Mueller found, and waves its hand at there being no exact precedent to compare it to.”

Just another hot August day in Washington.

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  1. The 800 pound gorilla in the room is being ignored here…..Mueller allowed Barr to distort his findings and said NOTHING…..why is that???

    • Much has been said about that as well. The kindest thing said about Mueller is that he felt that his job was to create the report and let others interpret it.

      • I agree with your “kindest interpretation” comment. Sadly there are a couple of harsh truths that became apparent when it came time for Mueller to appear before Congress although I think it retrospect it was evident in the press conference he gave when the report was done (but not released).

        Mueller had given a lifetime of service and frankly was pretty well used up by the time he retired. He wasn’t perfect, as his tenure at the FBI didn’t include him cleaning out the rot in the NYC Field Office. But overall he’d given more than his share and had earned being able to quietly live out his remaining years. He was like an athlete in a physically demanding sport like football or basketball that stayed on a little longer than they should have – and when retirement came quickly turned into regular folks that seemed fit & healthy enough but were beat up. With such athletes once they’ve put themselves up on the proverbial blocks they can never again be restored to their former peak operating condition.

        Such was (I believe) the case with Mueller. He was spent, and left it all behind to enjoy what was left of his life spending time with his wife, family and friends. Playing some golf to maintain some physical activity. But he withdrew from the grind and even the DC power social circuit.

        He had enough left in him to hire a damned good set of people to conduct his investigation and like a good jarhead leader he studiously applied a Corps leadership principle of knowing the people in his unit and deploying them in accordance with their capabilities. And making sure they were hard at work. However, while he dipped his toe in to goings on with different parts of the investigation he never (it’s now apparent) immersed himself in the details the way he once would have – and which we all assumed he was doing.

        He simply didn’t have it in him anymore.

        That’s why when he testified he would only read what was already written in the report. He simply was past his prime and didn’t have mastery of the material, and not all that much even of the broad strokes. In retrospect, his insistence before that day he would say nothing beyond what was written in the report was him laying down a marker he had to lay down because had he tried to do anything more he’d have looked far worse and so would the incredible work his team did.

        But it WAS quite enough to proceed with Obstruction of Justice charges. Multiple counts in fact. Barr made sure to fuck up that possibility.

        There is however something worse about all this. Remember how so many (including I’m ashamed to admit me) cheered and supported Rod Rosenstein? His fucking name should be CURSED in the halls of DOJ! It’s bad enough that he told Mueller the FBI would handle the counter-intel part and told the FBI Mueller was handling it to ensure NO ONE would take a serious, deep look into that stuff. No, he knew what the deal was with Mueller.

        Sure, Rosenstein knew Mueller knew good people who would jump at the chance to be part of the team. And that Mueller would turn them loose. (Hence the sabotage of the counter-intelligence part of the investigation) But I believe Rosenstein also knew that Mueller was well past his professional “expired date” and THAT is why he was picked. He knew an institutionalist like Mueller would avoid cameras and journalists like a vampire avoiding sunlight and holy water. He also knew that someone would wind up in the AG’s position that would bury whatever Mueller’s team came up with. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Rosenstein “worked” Barr to go for the job!

        However I think we know how Rosenstein, who we so many times assumed would be fired by Trump got to retire “honorably.” He was in on the fix from the start. And he picked Mueller for Mueller’s reputation BUT Rosenstein knew that Mueller was retired and gone. Only a shadow of THAT Rober Mueller would be on the case and when the inevitable time came for him to sit in front of Congressional Committees he’d give a washed out performance.

        I don’t blame Mueller so much for this (although I do wish he’d have summoned up one last bout of grunt jarhead fury and spoke what he had to have felt about the betrayal – on camera) but Rod Rosenstein should rot in hell if there is one. His name and reputation NEED to be and SHOULD be dragged through not mud but the sewer under Trump’s fake gold toilet!

        If I was ever to find myself in his presence what I’d have to say would scorch the ears of everyone around, which would hopefully be enough to keep me from doing what I’d REALLY want to do. (Punching people in their face is assault and gets you thrown in jail if they didn’t swing at you first!)

        • His job was to investigate, he didn’t go beyond the bounds set (a known thing with him), and he felt it was the job of Congress to do the impeaching and fix the laws. He couldn’t do anything about Barr (and the previous AGs).

          • Exactly. As I said he was an old-school institutionalist who could be relied upon to follow the norms he’d followed his entire life. However I have to think he was stunned when it finally slipped into the news that Rosenstein had played both ends against the middle to curtail any serious exploration of the Trump campaign’s coordination of their efforts with Russia. And yes, that acceptance of what was in effect a quite valuable “in-kind” campaign contribution from a foreign power or foreign individual can be subject to both civil and criminal proceedings. Frankly, if Rosenstein wasn’t Putin’s (U.S.) political investigative chess master then he was making every move Putin wanted made! (Trump too although this level of stuff was/is beyond Trump’s capacity) But in the end Mueller conducted himself exactly the way Rosenstein was sure he would no matter how angry he (Mueller) was at having gotten played. I just wish that for once in his life he’d have lost his cool and harkened back to his days as a Company Commander in Vietnam (and he was a damned good combat leader!) and “Gone Gunny” with an Old-Corps style tirade.

    • He did issue a “strongly worded letter.” Mueller is an old man who played by the old rules, allowing Billy Barr to set the narrative. Why didn’t our media wait for the report instead of accepting Barr’s spin?

  2. Come on. Give bullfrog barr a break. How can you act honorably & remain true to your oath to uphold the law when you don’t know what ‘suggestion’ means? Mueller acted like a dead marine, not one who’s on the inside & realizes the fucking president is a traitor. Up to me, he gets a dishonorable discharge along with Kelly & Flynn. There’s no use picking up a gun on foreign soil if you won’t fight to the death to stop a traitorous criminal president. No fucking excuses Marine. You of all people know the high standards set by the marines. You failed in your oath to defend the constitution from ALL enemies.


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