On Sunday, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin published an editorial in The New Yorker, and in it he severely rebuked Attorney General William Barr.
According to Toobin, Barr is continuing to obstruct justice by helping Donald Trump conceal special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report from Congress and from the American people.
And he is doing it illegally, by making up rules that don’t exist.
In his scathing article, Toobin wrote: “Barr established four categories that were off limits for public disclosure. They are:
- ‘Material subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e) that by law cannot be made public’—that is, matters subject to grand-jury secrecy;
- classified information;
- matters relating to other pending investigations; and
- ‘information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.’”
Toobin said that all four of these categories Barr wants to conceal are questionable — and possibly even outright fabrications — with no legal justification or credibility.
Toobin began by pointing out that the law is not clear on what grand-jury information is secret — it could either mean grand-jury testimony, or anything at all that was discussed by the grand jury. In his public writings and statements so far, Barr has not been at all clear about which definition he will use.
On top that, Toobin disclosed the fact that even though SOME classified information must be redacted, intelligence agencies are overly zealous in what they want to have classified.
Another factor arguing against Barr’s approach is that there is no way to hold the attorney general accountable by verifying that what Barr redacts is actually relevant to other pending investigations. He can redact anything he wants without fear of being questioned, since the information to prove him wrong cannot be disclosed.
Perhaps the worst thing of all is that Barr has made up his own category of information that must be kept secret. He said he can’t reveal information that would “unduly infringe on … personal privacy and reputational interests.”
But there is no such law that would prohibit him from revealing this information! Barr is making it all up!
According to the top legal analyst, these four broad categories will allow Barr to redact huge sections of the Mueller report. And most of what he will keep secret is material that is important for the American public to know about.
“Taken together with Barr’s previous memo asserting President Donald Trump could not have obstructed justice, it paints a damning picture of Trump’s actions.”
“In all, Barr has taken every possible step to lessen the sting of the Mueller report—and, so far, to block it from view altogether.”
“The fix is in.”
Barr and Trump Will Fail in Their Attempted Coverup
Bill Barr may be attempting to fix things so the incriminating evidence that Bob Mueller discovered about Donald Trump never becomes public, but he will fail. In fact, it may make Trump‘s impeachment more likely.
The American people — and Democrats in Congress — will see the Mueller report as well as his underlying evidence. And when they do, it will become clear that not only did Donald Trump obstruct justice, but so did his hand-picked attorney general.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.