By Jon Dougherty
It appears that one good contradiction deserves another in the escalating back-and-forth between Attorney General William Barr and former special counsel Robert Mueller.
On Wednesday, Mueller — in a very odd and irregular press conference — said that if he and his team of Democrat-aligned lawyers and 50 FBI agents could have proved that POTUS Donald Trump never obstructed justice during their ‘Russian collusion’ witch hunt, they would have said as much in the report Mueller filed with the Justice Department following the probe.
Mind you, that’s the legal standard used in virtually every authoritarian country on the planet: Government thinks you are guilty so you are, and that’s the end of it, no proof necessary.
In America, however, our legal standard is innocent until proven guilty, something even Mueller acknowledged during his press conference…when he was talking about a dozen Russians he indicted during the probe (that he knows will never be sent to the U.S. to stand trial).
Mueller’s excuse for not filing charges against the president? Why, he can’t, according to him, because longstanding Justice Department policy states a sitting president cannot be indicted. And so, he couldn’t come to any conclusion on “obstruction” — even though Trump pointedly did not obstruct anything (since Mueller and his team were allowed to complete their probe without any interference — and a lot of cooperation — from the administration).
Never mind that, according to Barr, Mueller told him three times earlier this year in a meeting that the longstanding policy had nothing at all to do with his decision not to recommend charges.
Beyond that, Barr said Thursday during a visit to Alaska that indeed Mueller very well could have charged the president if the evidence supported it, proceeding to indictment notwithstanding.
“I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision” on whether the president had obstructed justice, he told CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford during an exclusive interview in Anchorage, Alaska, on Thursday.
“The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office, but he could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity,” Barr added. “But he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained and I am not going to, you know, argue about those reasons.”
In a letter to Congress after Mueller submitted his report at the end of March, Barr said he and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that the nearly two-year investigation did not contain sufficient evidence to establish Mr. Trump obstructed justice, CBS News reported further.
It should be noted that despite this longstanding Justice Department opinion, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr found 11 counts against then-President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s, to include obstruction of justice, perjury, and witness tampering.
He didn’t indict Clinton, either; he let the House do its duty, which it did: Clinton became the first president impeached since Andrew Johnson in the mid-1800s (neither were convicted by the Senate).
As such — and Barr makes this perfectly clear — if Mueller had truly found evidence supporting an obstruction of justice charge against POTUS Trump, he could have concluded that in his report and given the House a legitimate reason to begin impeachment proceedings.
As it stands, there isn’t one, even though Dems are clamoring for it now claiming that because Trump ‘wasn’t found innocent,’ he must then be guilty…of something.
Mueller is gone now, having retired formally from the Justice Department since his investigation is now complete. But we may not have heard the last of him, considering his role in helping to protect a deep state cabal that is still trying to depose a duly elected president.
As such, we expect Barr to continue pushing back against the narrative as only Barr can do — intellectually and matter-of-factly — as he continues to pursue the Spygate conspirators.
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