By Jon Dougherty
As an armed insurrection takes place in Venezuela to depose an authoritarian socialist leader who has literally destroyed his country’s economy and future, a soft coup continues thousands of miles to the north in the United States against a duly elected president who has brought wealth, prosperity, and economy opportunity to his people.
If you needed any additional evidence that the deep state coup attempt to depose POTUS Donald Trump was ongoing, all you needed to see were the blaring headlines Wednesday morning from who else but the fake news Washington Post, insinuating in a “bombshell” story that special counsel Robert Mueller did not agree with Attorney General William Barr’s conclusions about the “Russian collusion” investigation.
But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth, and the Post even admits as much.
The portion that Democrats and their perpetually unhinged base will focus on centers on the beginning of the story which, conveniently, was published just hours before Barr is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about — what else? — the Mueller report and his conclusions.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that a four-page memo to Congress describing the principal conclusions of the investigation into President Trump “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work, according to a copy of the letter reviewed Tuesday by The Washington Post.
The letter and a subsequent phone call between the two men reveal the degree to which the longtime colleagues and friends disagreed as they handled the legally and politically fraught task of investigating the president. Democrats in Congress are likely to scrutinize Mueller’s complaints to Barr as they contemplate the prospect of opening impeachment proceedings and mull how hard to press for Mueller himself to testify publicly.
At the time Mueller’s letter was sent to Barr on March 27, Barr had days prior announced that Mueller did not find a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials seeking to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In his memo to Congress, Barr also said that Mueller had not reached a conclusion about whether Trump had tried to obstruct justice, but that Barr reviewed the evidence and found it insufficient to support such a charge.
Days after Barr’s announcement, Mueller wrote the previously undisclosed private letter to the Justice Department, laying out his concerns in stark terms that shocked senior Justice Department officials, according to people familiar with the discussions.
“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.”
Mueller made a “key” request as well: “That Barr release the 448-page report’s introductions and executive summaries, and it made initial suggested redactions for doing so, according to Justice Department officials,” the Post reported.
The paper also said that Justice Department officials were “taken aback” by Mueller’s letter, and the Post was keen to mention that Barr has already told Congress “that Mueller declined the opportunity to review his four-page memo to lawmakers that distilled the essence of the special counsel’s findings.”
Well, that’s it, then, right? The jig’s up. Mueller has broken with decades of tradition to come out publicly and ‘correct the record’ that POTUS Trump is a guilty scumbag and Barr’s just hiding it, just like Democrats and the president’s political enemies said…right?
Wrong. A deeper read into the Post story reveals that, once again, there is no there there:
A day after Mueller sent his letter to Barr, the two men spoke by phone for about 15 minutes, according to law enforcement officials.
In that call, Mueller said he was concerned that media coverage of the obstruction investigation was misguided and creating public misunderstandings about the office’s work, according to Justice Department officials. Mueller did not express similar concerns about the public discussion of the investigation of Russia’s election interference, the officials said. Barr has testified previously he did not know whether Mueller supported his conclusion on obstruction.
When Barr pressed Mueller on whether he thought Barr’s memo to Congress was inaccurate, Mueller said he did not but felt that the media coverage of it was misinterpreting the investigation, officials said.
In their call, Barr also took issue with Mueller calling his memo a “summary,” saying he had never intended to summarize the voluminous report, but instead provide an account of its top conclusions, officials said.
Justice Department officials said that, in some ways, the phone conversation was more cordial than the letter that preceded it, but that the two men did express some differences of opinion about how to proceed. …
Throughout the conversation, Mueller’s main worry was that the public was not getting an accurate understanding of the obstruction investigation, officials said.
A Justice Department official, unnamed, provided additional details to the Post.
“After the Attorney General received Special Counsel Mueller’s letter, he called him to discuss it,” a Justice Department spokeswoman told the paper Tuesday evening. “In a cordial and professional conversation, the Special Counsel emphasized that nothing in the Attorney General’s March 24 letter was inaccurate or misleading.
“But, he expressed frustration over the lack of context and the resulting media coverage regarding the Special Counsel’s obstruction analysis. They then discussed whether additional context from the report would be helpful and could be quickly released,” the spokeswoman continued.
“However, the Attorney General ultimately determined that it would not be productive to release the report in piecemeal fashion. The Attorney General and the Special Counsel agreed to get the full report out with necessary redactions as expeditiously as possible,” she added.
“The next day, the Attorney General sent a letter to Congress reiterating that his March 24 letter was not intended to be a summary of the report, but instead only stated the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions, and volunteered to testify before both Senate and House Judiciary Committees on May 1 and 2.”
So, what do we actually know?
— Mueller did not disagree with Barr’s conclusions.
— Mueller said he was ‘concerned’ about ‘media reports’ regarding the ‘obstruction of justice’ portion of his probe but not the reporting regarding his finding that POTUS Trump never colluded with Russia (because that has always been a fabricated narrative of the deep state Mueller serves).
— Mueller said he was concerned about ‘lack of context’ but the Post report doesn’t explain what Mueller’s concerns are really about — that the media mischaracterized his findings or that the media (we’re assuming Mueller doesn’t read us but instead follows the Post, the New York Times, CNN, etc.) intentionally took his findings out of context to perpetuate a narrative that the president is guilty of something.
— This is key: “When Barr pressed Mueller on whether he thought Barr’s memo to Congress was inaccurate, Mueller said he did not…”
— So is this: “…the Special Counsel emphasized that nothing in the Attorney General’s March 24 letter was inaccurate or misleading.”
— The fact that Justice Department officials were “taken aback” by Mueller’s letter strongly suggests that Mueller is acting out of character — which strongly suggests he has a motive other than being an honest broker of the facts, which are: This president has done nothing illegal or untoward and nothing that warrants impeachment.
And yet, the Democrats will use this strategically-timed Post report as Exhibit A for the upcoming Impeachment Show they plan for sometime next summer, as the 2020 presidential election approaches.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10