Robert Mueller’s perpetual refrain following the release of his highly anticipated report was that the report speaks for itself.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard a stack of paper utter a single word.
Even if Mueller’s report was somehow imbued with magical powers and could actually speak, no one would have heard it because it was gagged, redacted and locked in a sound-proofed room.
Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel overseeing an investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and related matters in May of 2017.
Throughout most of Mueller’s investigation, Rosenstein seemed to support the probe and defend it against attacks from Trump and his supporters.
Rosenstein however, routinely opined that then-President Trump would respect the law, something that Mr. Trump had never shown any inclination to do. None. Never.
Trump never exhibited one iota of respect for the law and spent all of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ tenure berating Sessions for legally – and appropriately – recusing himself from the Russia investigation.
It was in fact, Trump’s continued attempts to obstruct and interfere with the investigation that led to the appointment of a special counsel in the first place.
After squeezing Sessions out, Trump nominated William Barr as his replacement in December of 2018. During his confirmation hearings, Barr left no doubt that he was a liar and would continue to lie to protect Donald Trump.
Exactly what Trump held over Barr’s head may eventually come to light; hopefully, in my lifetime.
All of which should be enough to make anyone incredulous as to how Barr’s deputy, Rod Rosenstein could insist that he was confident that Barr would do the right thing.
History will remember Barr as one of – if not THE – most corrupt Attorneys General ever; as a man who acted more like a consigliere to a mafia boss than a U.S. Attorney General.
Before he had a chance to read Mueller’s 400-page report, Barr issued a 3-1/2 page summary of the report incorrectly stating that the report exonerated Trump of any wrongdoing.
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!
Atorney General William Barr stood behind an official podium and lied his ass off while his deputy, Rod Rosenstein stood silently behind him.
One would think that at this point, the man who spent two years investigating Russia’s interference in our elections and compiled a 400-page report outlining the serious offenses uncovered would have stepped forward to clarify what his report actually said.
Mueller remained silent, relying on an inanimate mound of paper to speak for itself and for him.
Two months after the release of his report, Mueller made a brief and very dry statement, the complete text of which you can read HERE.
While Mueller never challenged Barr’s account of his report, he made the following assertion, a cryptic message that was supposed to explain the impotence of the report: Charging the President with a crime was not an option we could consider.
For a man with Mueller’s impeccable record of bravery and leadership, it seemed like a cowardly exit.
Few people, if any read Mueller’s report. Republicans hid behind Barr’s exoneration and the country moved on, Trump still barking about the Russia hoax.
Had Mueller defended his report and made clear its findings, we might not be where we are today. There might not have been a January 6 insurrection and Brian Sicknick might still be alive.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit that I only read 175 pages of Mueller’s 400-page report. Perhaps I’m just not enough of a masochist to have read the whole thing.
Here’s my three main takeaways from what I read:
ONE: Russia launched a full scale attack on the United States to influence our 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump.
TWO: Donald Trump and his whole criminal entourage were up to their eyeballs in Russian agents and they all lied about it.
THREE: Donald Trump repeatedly tried to interfere in the investigation and attempted and/or obstructed justice in almost a dozen different instances.
With the Mueller Report marginalized and misrepresented, it was easy for Republicans to ignore the facts presented in Trump’s (first) impeachment trial and refuse to convict him. Only seven had the guts to vote to convict him in his second impeachment trial.
After surviving the Mueller investigation and two impeachment trials, Trump proved he was another Teflon Don. He was untouchable.
Then came the Big Lie, that somehow, the 2020 election was stolen from him. Somehow, Democrats rigged elections in Republican controlled states.
Never mind that election officials across the country, most of them Republicans, declared their elections accurate and free of any sort of voter fraud.
Never mind that Trump’s own Attorney General and Department of Homeland Security declared the election legitimate, free and fair and devoid of any widespread voter fraud or irregularities.
The Big Lie took hold and January 6 happened. Now that Big Lie is fueling Republican legislative attempts to restrict the right of the elderly, college students, low income and minority groups to vote.
If this is what you meant by your report speaking for itself, Mr. Mueller, no one seems to be listening.
Anyone with severe pandemic boredom can read the full text of the Mueller Report HERE.
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