As willing as Attorney General William P. Barr has been to throw his body and the whole Justice Department in front of Donald Trump to protect him from investigation and/or prosecution for crimes he may have committed. A point has been found beyond which he at least initially will not go.
Threatened with a Contempt charge by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Barr relented and has started giving the House Judiciary Committee at least some of the information they were entitled to. But he has previously refused to produce, even after receiving a subpoena.
The information being handed over initially includes the underlying data from the Mueller Report including FBI reports (302s) and transcripts from witnesses that voluntarily gave interviews to Mueller’s team. In anticipation of and in preparation for further resistance from Barr. The subcommittee moved forward to give Chairman Jerry Nadler, permission to go to the Grand Jury to seek the release of material contained in the Mueller Report obtained by the Grand Jury.
The thing we should learn from Barr now turning over information is that he does have concerns about his legacy. Despite his apparent belief if almost unlimited power of the President. He is willing to go just so far in defying Congressional subpoenas and Federal Judges. I won’t go as far as to claim he has a soul. But while he had recently been thought to be willing to do anything for Trump. When it came to being held in contempt. He won’t do that. Apologies to Meat Loaf.
The dam has burst and the previously non-leaking Mueller investigative team has started making their displeasure known with William Barr’s 4-page summary of their 22-month investigation into the President and his campaign. In leaks to the New York Times and Washington Post, they reveal that there is information highly negative towards the President and that each section had its own summary, designed to be released to the public. While Attorney General Barr in effect cleared President Trump of Obstruction of Justice, even while noting the report explicitly did not draw that conclusion. New reports find the evidence of Obstruction not reported by Barr to be “alarming and significant.”
There are two types of information at dispute as to whether it can be released. Grand Jury information which could be released upon approval of a Federal Judge as was done in Watergate. Also, information that would compromise sources and methods, types of information routinely provided to Congress which has the clearance to see such material. Barr has added another criterion which appears to be excluding information that might prove embarrassing to third-parties not under indictment.
William Barr has now discovered what others with distinguished careers of service to the Country have discovered. Once you tie your fate to Trump. Your personal integrity will be sacrificed. Already in his record was recommending the pardons for everyone associated with Iran-Contra, he also wrote a memo he submitted to the Trump White House, declaring a President cannot commit Obstruction of Justice. He apparently injected himself into a process Mueller intended to be decided by Congress and the American people, to prove himself right. Military Generals, distinguished businessmen, career diplomats, have attempted to serve their Country by joining Trump and found that required serving one too many masters. In his confirmation hearings, Barr indicated he was at the end of his career and had no need to kowtow to Trump. Apparently, he failed to remember that when attempting to clear him with his version of the Mueller Report.
At this point, with the credibility of Barr’s version highly suspect. Nothing else will do except the full release of the Mueller Report including all supporting information to Congress, and a complete as possible release to the American public of the report they paid for.