In late March, Special Counsel Robert Mueller pushed newly handpicked Attorney General William Barr *twice* to release the summaries his investigative team prepared for the public, both before and after Barr misled the public about the team’s conclusions, according to a letter released Wednesday.
Not once, but twice.
On March 27, Mueller warned Barr that the summaries that were already prepared to be released shouldn’t have been delayed and the release of them as requested would be in accordance with the standard for public release of notifications to Congress (emphasis mine), “While we understand that the Department is reviewing the full report to determine what is appropriate for public release — a process that our Office is working with you to complete — that process need not delay release of the enclosed materials. Release at this time would alleviate the misunderstandings that have arisen and would answer congressional and public questions about the nature and outcome of our investigation. It would also accord with the standard for public release of notifications to Congress cited in your letter.”
On March 25th, Mueller wrote to Barr, “I am requesting that you provide these materials to Congress and authorize their public release at this time.”
The summaries were not released.
In fact, Barr told the public that Mueller had left it him to decide. That is a flat out lie.
Mueller also asked the DOJ to include their summaries *before* Barr released his own non-summary summary:
“As we stated in our meeting of March 5 and reiterated to the Department early in the afternoon of March 24, the introductions and executive summaries of our two-volume report accurately summarize this Office’s work and conclusions,” Mueller wrote in the March 27th letter.
It continues, “The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions. We communicated that concern to the Department on the morning of March 25.”
“I previously sent you a letter dated March 25, 2019, that enclosed the introduction and executive summary for each volume of the Special Counsel’s report marked with redactions to remove any information that potentially could be protected by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e); that concerned declination decisions; or that related to a charged case. We also had marked an additional two sentences for review and have now confirmed that these sentences can be released publicly.
“Accordingly, the enclosed documents are in a form that can be released to the public consistent with legal requirements and Department policies. I am requesting that you provide these materials to Congress and authorize their public release at this time.”
So William Barr, who was chosen for the job after President Trump inexplicably fired then Attorney General Jeff Sessions, not only refused to do as Mueller asked, but then lied to the Senate about whether or not Mueller supported his conclusion.
Flashback: April 10.
VAN HOLLEN: Did Bob Mueller support your conclusion?
BARR: I don't know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion. pic.twitter.com/vmwkmw3bcj
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 1, 2019
March 5th: Mueller team meets with Barr, tells Barr about the summaries that are prepared for public release.
March 24th: Mueller reiterates instructions to Barr. Barr ignores instructions, makes misleading announcement.
March 25th: Mueller communicated his concern regarding Barr’s false summary of Mueller’s work, sent letter with instructions to release the summaries that were redacted and already prepared for public viewing.
March 27th: The Mueller letter was sent to the DOJ expressing dissatisfaction/disagreement with Barr’s conclusion.
March 28: Letter is marked received.
April 10th: Barr claimed during Senate testimony he didn’t know if Mueller supported his conclusion.
Much to the horror of Bill Barr, Robert Mueller on Wednesday has agreed to testify on the Trump Russia probe for the House, at some point to be determined in May.
Barr needs to be impeached for obstruction of justice, lying to Congress, purposefully misleading the American people, and failing to uphold the law.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.