As Bill Barr appears to be positioning himself – yet again – to whitewash the special counsel’s report ahead of its release on Thursday, Rachel Maddow has one question: Where is Robert Mueller?
In a tweet on Wednesday, the MSNBC host responded to the news that the attorney general plans to hold a press conference about the Mueller report without the special counsel team present and before anyone is allowed to see the 400-page document.
“Why?” Maddow asked. “Where’s Mueller?”
Per @RepJerryNadler , Barr tomorrow is planning to:
— hold his own press conference about Mueller,
— without Mueller there,
— well before anyone will be allowed access to even Barr’s redacted version of Mueller’s findings.
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) April 17, 2019
On her program on Wednesday, Maddow outlined the absurdity of holding a press conference on Mueller’s report on Thursday without having Mueller or his team present.
“Why would you not involve any of the people who did the work when it comes time to explain what their work was?” the MSNBC host asked. “I mean, this is not like a posthumous report. The dude’s around.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) April 18, 2019
[Barr] also took pains to explain that he was working hand in hand with Mueller, that members of Mueller’s team were themselves involved in whatever this post-submitting-the-report redaction process is that’s been going on in Barr’s office ever since Mueller’s report was completed and submitted. Well, if that is true, if Barr is not summarizing Mueller’s findings for him, if Mueller’s findings are going to be allowed to speak for themselves, if Mueller himself is absolutely right there leading this process right now of preparing his own findings for release to Congress and to the public, then you might expect Robert Mueller to be there tomorrow. When what they’re saying are his findings are going to be released at a big Justice Department press conference, but Mueller is apparently not invited. Nobody knows where Mueller is now nor where he is expected to be when William Barr gives his press conference about Mueller in the morning. CNN was first to report tonight that neither Mueller nor any member of Mueller’s team will be at that press conference about Mueller’s findings tomorrow – red flag. Why would you not involve any of the people who did the work when it comes time to explain what their work was? I mean, this is not like a posthumous report. Dude’s around.
Bill Barr is planning another whitewash
The most obvious explanation for why Robert Mueller is not invited to Bill Barr’s pre-release press conference on Thursday is that the attorney general is planning another whitewash of the special counsel’s findings.
If the event was intended to present the facts in an honest way to the American public, then Mueller would likely be there. It is, after all, Mueller’s two-year investigation that’s being summarized in the report.
But Barr knows he was not hired to serve the public or uphold the rule of law. He was brought on solely to protect Donald Trump.
Knowing how damaging the Mueller report could potentially be to the president, Barr’s PR stunt on Thursday is another attempt – following his four-page memo – to frame this dumpster fire in a positive way for Trump.
This, too, will fail, because Barr lost any shred of credibility he thought he had when he tried to pull a fast one on the American public last month. Not only didn’t the country buy it, but it only underscored how important it is that the full 400-page document is released.
Until Congress and the American people have access to Robert Mueller’s full report and even hear from Mueller himself, there is no reason for William Barr to be commenting on this subject.
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.