President Donald Trump gloated and played the victim in response to Attorney General William Barr’s brief summary of the Mueller report on Sunday.
After two years of investigation and a lot of evidence and witness testimony that should have resulted in a good case against Trump, it appears Mueller dropped the ball on conspiracy and left it completely up to Barr whether or not Trump is charged with obstruction of justice.
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In the wake of Congress receiving the summary, Trump stepped in front of the cameras to play the victim.
“It’s a shame that our country had to go through this,” he whined. “To be honest it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this. This was an illegal takedown that failed.”
He soon took to Twitter to claim complete vindication.
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019
Except that the Mueller report explicitly says that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
In addition, Trump’s Justice Department “determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment.”
In other words, the fix is in and Mueller cowardly ducked answering whether Trump obstructed justice, leaving it up to Trump’s crony to make that determination, a determination that was predictable from the moment Trump nominated Barr.
Democratic leaders were not amused by Barr’s summary, so House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) released a joint statement demanding the release of the full report, reminding everyone that Barr has been biased against the Mueller probe from the start.
“Attorney General Barr’s letter raises as many questions as it answers. The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay. Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report.
And most obviously, for the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr. Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility.
Congress requires the full report and the underlying documents so that the Committees can proceed with their independent work, including oversight and legislating to address any issues the Mueller report may raise. The American people have a right to know.”
The fact that Mueller’s report “does not exonerate” Trump requires a hell of a lot more information and context than Barr released, and one has to wonder if Barr pressured Mueller in any way. But one thing is clear, Trump is lying about the Mueller report, and that should make everyone concerned that Barr is lying about it, too.
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