While Mueller took nearly two years to investigate potential Russian collusion as well as obstruction of justice, Barr took less than 48 hours to conclude that there was no collusion and no obstruction of justice. That, apparently, and by Barr’s own summation, is not what Mueller concluded himself. In fact, Mueller stated that he could not indict the president on matters of obstruction of justice but he could also not exonerate the president, leaving it up to the Attorney General to make that conclusion.
The Orange Monster in the Oval Office made it clear during the entire time that Jeff Sessions was Attorney General that he was not happy that Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation, and that he wanted to find a replacement for Sessions as soon as he could do so without causing an uproar.
“Where’s my Roy Cohn?” our lawless president asked aloud, indicating strongly that he wanted a lackey and a stooge sitting in the Attorney General’s seat who would do the president’s bidding, never mind how unlawful or despicable the act might be. What mattered to the Orange Monster was never the rule of law but how best to protect his sorry fat ass.
Immediately after the GOP took a trouncing in the midterms, the OM appointed Stooge #1, one Matthew Whittaker as Acting Attorney General, even as he kicked Sessions to the curb. This served as a lesson to all that while the OM demands absolute loyalty from all he appoints, he does not give loyalty in return. Sessions, who made the mistake of being the first and only senator to support the OM, paid for it dearly through a year or more of public humiliation and then a quick public firing. For the OM, loyalty, like money, is a one-way street: All of it must be given him, but he gives nothing in return.
Then the OM found Stooge #2, the fully far-right Republican William Barr, who wrote a lengthy, unrequested report—seemingly as an audition for his Republican president--and sent it on to the OM, indicating his alt-right opinions, entirely unfounded in law, that a president can never be found guilty of obstructing justice and that, in fact, a president, at least a Republican one, is above the law.
The president had asked aloud, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” in the Oval Office. After I heard Barr’s dismissive conclusion read out on TV this afternoon, that there was no obstruction of justice, it became clear to me that the OM found his Roy Cohn in William Barr.
Today, William Barr showed himself to be the true Republican toady and whitewasher that Barr had advertised himself to be, and all that the OM and the GOP could ever hope for in their wildest dreams.
All the GOP, in fact, are crawling out from their hiding places under the rocks, and singing the president’s praises to high heaven: “No collusion! No obstruction. Long live our Dictator… uh, er, the President!”
But let’s get a grip.
Mueller’s report needs to be released in full. No matter what spin Barr and Rosenstein and the rest of the GOP put on Mueller’s report, the congress and the public needs to be able to read Mueller’s report in full. The public paid for this investigation to the tune of millions of tax dollars, and the full report MUST be released to the public. Additionally, Mueller must testify before congress in a televised hearing. If he refuses to do so, he must be subpoenaed. The Democratically-controlled House of Representatives must demand to see every last word of Mueller’s report, and all of the underlying evidence that Mueller uncovered. Indeed, it is up to all of the elected members of the House of Representatives—not a Republican today appointed by the OM—to determine whether the crimes of obstruction of justice and conspiracy were committed by this president, and whether or not they rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.
Congress should immediately contact Justice Amy Berman Jackson and request that they be given all of the Grand Jury records normally held in secret due to the overwhelming national interest in this case. And if necessary, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should demand that the entirety of Mueller’s report and all of its underlying evidence be read into the congressional record as part of a televised proceeding.
In one of his last acts during his first term as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush, William Barr stepped in to support President Bush in pardoning all those who were implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal, thus helping Bush himself escape investigation and possible indictment. Now, in his first consequential act in his second-time around as Attorney General, Barr has stepped in yet again to protect a Republican president from prosecution. Clearly, the toad has not only not changed his spots, but grown quite a few more.