Attorney General Bill Barr didn’t waste any time pronouncing Donald Trump innocent of obstruction of justice charges even though the Mueller report didn’t say Trump was innocent. In fact, some news reports say there is information in the report that shows Trump may have obstructed justice. But Mueller didn’t want to make that call. Mr. Mueller knew claiming Trump obstructed justice would create a political firestorm. And he also knew Barr would fight his claim because Mr. Barr believes a sitting president is above the law.
Several news reports commented on Bill Barr’s summary of the Mueller report. It was almost like he knew what was in the report before Mueller actually turned the report over. And that is exactly what happened. Mueller told Rod Rosenstein and Bill Barr Congress should decide if the legal information in his report is enough to pin obstruction charges on the president. So Barr took it upon himself to protect the president. Barr claimed Trump didn’t collude, and he didn’t obstruct.
The no collusion claim is another Barr trick, according to an article in Slate. In his summary, Barr states that Trump didn’t conspire or coordinate with the Russian government while Putin and his government henchmen interfered with the 2016 election. Trump may not have conspired with the Russian government, but his campaign officials did conspire and collude with other Russians who are not part of the Russian government.
Don Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer who had Kremlin connections during the famous 2016 Trump Tower meeting. And Paul Manafort gave Trump polling information to a Russian who also had connections in the Kremlin. Trump knew about and sanctioned those meetings, according to the New York Times.
Mueller had two missions when the investigation started two years ago. The first mission was to find out if the Trump campaign produced propaganda online that influenced the election. And his second mission was to find out if the Trump campaign took part in hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton. According to Barr’s summary, Mueller focused on those two missions and he found no proof that Trump colluded or obstructed justice.
That means the other interactions Trump officials had with Russians didn’t make the Barr summary. Jerry Nadler, the head of one of the congressional committees, believes Mueller’s report will show Trump did break the law and he did collude with Russian operatives. But since the Mueller mission was about the Hillary Clinton debacle and spreading Russian propaganda, Barr left those details out of his report. In other words, Barr has Trump’s back, and he’s ready to fight Congress to protect the truth from coming to the surface, according to the Slate article.