Thoughts & Essays

Re: Barr’s letter on the Mueller Report

Attorney General William Barr’s letter covering the principal conclusions of the Mueller Report is out. Read it here.

A few things to note:

  • This is not the actual “Mueller Report.” This is only Barr’s letter about it. Some news sources are announcing this news like it is the actual report. It is not.
  • According to Barr, Mueller finds that there was no Trump-Russia conspiracy. Please remember that we are dealing in the law right now, and the law is a very specific animal, especially in regards to crimes like the one being investigated. If it is true that Mueller found there was no evidence of conspiracy – and remember this is Barr saying this, and Barr is a guy Trump put in place to keep his fat out of the fire – it may be that Mueller just couldn’t prove conspiracy by legal standards.
  • Mueller did find that there was proof of Russia attempting to diddle the 2016 election, and prosecuted a whole bunch of people over that.
  • Mueller was also investigating whether Trump committed obstruction of justice, and to that point, Mueller did not present a conclusion. He instead presented his evidence and left it to the Attorney General, Barr, to come to a conclusion based on that evidence. Mueller specifically says, according to Barr, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

It’s also important to note that this is not over yet.

We pinned a lot of hopes on the Mueller investigation, but that was never going to be a silver bullet.

No one is coming to save us. We have to save ourselves. Vote in 2020.

A Few Things to Read

  1. Splinter News has a quick primer on the Mueller investigation, handy for folks who haven’t been paying complete attention to it. Read it.
  2. FiveThirtyEight has a few initial thoughts on Barr’s letter. Read.
  3. Vox has some questions that Barr’s letter didn’t answer. Read them.
  4. Lawfare has thoughts on the letter, too. Check them out here.
  5. And finally, Ken White, AKA @Popehat, AKA the Internet’s lawyer friend, has a few thoughts to offer on the letter. Read them here in the Atlantic.

Image: Robert Mueller, 2012. (Source and licensing.)