By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) During testimony to Congress on May 1, Attorney General William Barr made it clear, under oath and, thus, under penalty of perjury, that former special counsel Robert Mueller did not decline to charge POTUS Donald Trump with “obstruction of justice” because current DoJ rules prohibit charging a sitting president.
Rather, Mueller noted that there was simply no evidence to support such a charge — a finding that Barr would later agree with.
During his May 1 testimony, Barr said that in a conversation with Mueller in March, the former special counsel told him on three occasions that the Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime had no impact at all on Mueller’s decision not to charge POTUS with obstruction.
“We were frankly surprised that they were not going to reach a decision on obstruction and we asked them a lot about the reasoning behind this. Mueller stated three times to us in that meeting, in response to our questioning, that he emphatically was not saying that but for the OLC opinion he would have found obstruction,” Barr said.
Barr made a similar remark at the press conference he held prior to the public release of the redacted Mueller Report.
He told reporters, “We specifically asked him about the OLC opinion and whether or not he was taking a position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the OLC opinion. And he made it very clear several times that was not his position.”
But Wednesday morning, in testimony before a Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee, Mueller said just the opposite.
In response to a question from the very partisan Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), “The reason, again, that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president. Correct?”
“That is correct,” Mueller stated.
Most important moment of the Mueller testimony. @TedLieu: "The reason, again, that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president. Correct?"
Mueller: "That is correct." pic.twitter.com/ON9NdXbPhA
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) July 24, 2019
Both have given sworn statements. Both were giving testimony under oath and under penalty of perjury. Both have said verifiably different things.
So, we have a legal dilemma here if anyone wants to pursue it: One of these men is lying.
But who? A May 1 story from the Washington Post, which we reported, provides some context:
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.”
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.”
So — Barr’s lying, right?
Hardly. A deeper dive into the Post story, as usual, reveals the answer:
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.
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.”
It would be well within President Trump’s right to demand that Congress charge Mueller with perjury (because we know Democrats aren’t going to do that).
Given that Democrats aren’t going to charge Barr with perjury, either, because he’s the one obviously telling the truth, proves in and of itself that Mueller is the guilty one — and that the Donkey Party is wholly corrupt.
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