By all accounts the Mueller family and Barr family areclose. Mueller’s wife, Ann Cabell Standish, and Christine Barr attend Sunday School together. Robert Mueller attended the weddings of two of William Barr’s daughters. “Bob” and “Bill” have been good friends, sometimes co-workers for over thirty years. During his confirmation hearings, William Barr said he told President Trump, “the two families were good friends and would be good friends when this was all over.” It’s beginning to look like there may be a bit of a strain in the long-term relationship. The “good friends” are headed for a confrontation where only one’s reputation will be left standing.
Robert Mueller was selected as the Special Counsel for the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election and whether there was any collusion within the Trump Campaign. He spent 22 months, indicted 13 Russian nationals, 12 Russian Intelligence Officers, garnered multiple guilty pleadings, obtained guilty verdicts against Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, and has charges pending against Trump Associate Roger Stone and others. Mueller recently gave his report to the newly confirmed Attorney General Bob Barr, who inserted himself into the process, writing a 19-page memo to the FBI suggesting a President cannot be guilty of Obstruction of Justice.
After receiving Mueller’s report, Barr took two days and issued a Summary (which he later denied was a summary although he himself called it one) indicating there was no collusion and the President had not been found to have obstructed justice. In one of the few partial quotes, Barr included from the actual report. Mueller made clear his report, “does not exonerate the President.” Barr’s version… does so!
In Testimony before a House Committee today, Barr said he will not release an unredacted version of the Mueller Report to Congress. He will not ask the Judge overseeing the Mueller Grand Jury release any Grand Jury information. He also suggested if Mueller had done his job, making a prosecutorial recommendation on the Obstruction of Justice issue, he Barr, wouldn’t have had to.
Breaking with their almost two years of silence. Members of the Mueller team have begun leaking, basically calling bullshit on the Barr version claiming the President is off the hook and did no wrong. It’s expected Mueller will be called to testify before Congress and explain not only what was in his report, but whether or not he agrees with his good buddy William Barr. We can anticipate Barr will continue to defend his actions, justifying himself by continuing to blame Mueller.
Barr was asked if he’d consulted Mueller while drafting his 4-page summary of the Mueller Report and he said he had not. He indicated he did offer to show it to Mueller before its release but Mueller declined. That can be translated to.
Barr: “Please look at the summary I’ve written Bob? I ‘d like your concurrence it’s an accurate reflection.”
Mueller: “How many pages are there?”
Mueller: “I’ll pass.”
Barr: “Without your acceptance, it will look like I’m covering something up?”
Barr: “As long as we’ve been friends, you should know me better than that?”
Mueller: “Like Iran-Contra?”
I would love to be a fly on the wall in the next Sunday School class and see if Ann and Christine hug when they meet. Technically, Robert Mueller is still the Special Counsel and reports to his boss William Barr the Attorney General. I don’t expect a lot of hijinks and back-slapping are going on in the staff meetings. While we await the inevitable testimony, compelled by subpoenas. Friendships are about to be tested. Reputations possibly destroyed? We will see!