Robert Mueller

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.)

5 Things To Read Today

5TtRT: SCotUS, Kellyanne Conway, Facebook, & New Zealand

We spent most of our weekend watching Queer Eye, which, if you haven’t heard, got rebooted with a new Fab Five on Netflix a year or so ago. If you need something to watch, I definitely recommend it. It’s relentlessly positive and uplifting. Also, it’ll make you want to take care of your skin, clean out your closets, and go shopping.

5 Things to Read Today

  1. Politico: 2020 Dems warm to expanding Supreme Court – This needs to happen. We need to take the SCotUS card out of the “politics wars” deck. And not just in the Supreme Court, either, but in all courts. Courts should always be as unbiased and non-partisan as possible.
  2. CNN: Kellyanne Conway’s husband is trying to tell the public Trump is mentally ill. She doesn’t agree – This thing with Kellyanne Conway and her husband has to be some kind of performance art or schtick or something, right?
  3. AP: Facebook says service hindered by lack of local news – Facebook destroys the news ecosystem, then complains that it can’t find enough news to put on its platform. 🙄
  4. NPR: New Zealand Prime Minister Promises Tighter Gun Laws – New Zealand has its first mass shooting in like 30 years and the next its all, “These guns gotta go.” Wish we could manage the same thing.
  5. Vox: The New Zealand shooter wrote a manifesto. An extremism expert explains what it means. – “It’s definitely clearly signaling that the author is a white supremacist, and anti-immigration and anti-Muslim. We can take that away and draw some insight from it. But when you get down to the particulars, there are a lot of statements in there mainly to try get news coverage, to get people to say dumb things on TV, or to repeat memes or jokes that white supremacists and white nationalists use online to get people to search for them and try to bring attention to that cause.”