Ari Melber busted Donald Trump and attorney general William Barr on Monday for using the holiday weekend to distract from the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
As Jason Easley wrote earlier, the redacted version of the Mueller report is set to be released this Thursday – just before Good Friday, Passover and Easter.
According to the MSNBC host, Barr knows exactly what he’s doing by releasing the report when he is – because it’s something he’s done for a previous president.
“Burying controversial moves around the holidays is a go-to Washington move because it works,” Melber said. “It works even if you get called out for it, because while you’re getting called out for it, many people are understandably busy with the holiday so they hear less about you getting called out for it.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) April 16, 2019
Any one of those moves in isolation you might dismiss, just like you might dismiss this apparently obviously curious announcement that he’s going to drop the report on the eve of major holidays. Alone, you might dismiss that. You might give it benefit of the doubt. Take it all together, though, and the scrutiny intensifies, because burying controversial moves around the holidays is a go-to Washington move, because it works. It works even if you get called out for it, because while you’re getting called out for it, many people are understandably busy with the holiday so they hear less about you getting called out for it. That was the case when President Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio on a Friday night, heading into a hurricane, if you remember. And that was the case when President Bush pardoned six people for Iran-Contra on Christmas Eve in ’92. People knew what the move was, but that was the timing, because that stuff does work. Now that was ultimately President Bush’s call, a call that he was advised on by then-attorney general Bill Barr.
Bill Barr knows exactly what he’s doing
As Ari Melber pointed out on Monday, the attorney general knows exactly what he’s doing – because he’s done it before. In 1992, he advised then-President George H.W. Bush to hand out half a dozen pardons related to the Iran-Contra scandal.
The longer Barr holds this post under Donald Trump, the more he looks not like the nation’s top law enforcement officer, but the president’s most loyal political shield.
And it’s important to remember that the attorney general is making these extraordinary efforts to distract from the redacted version of the report. In other words, what’s being released on Thursday isn’t even the full thing.
If this is what Bill Barr is willing to do to keep public attention away from what is essentially his version of the Mueller report, just imagine how damaging the unredacted document must be.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.