William Barr’s Wonderful Letter

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What if Bill Barr’s notification letter summarizing the Mueller Report was not terrible news for America, but actually was brilliant, glorious and exciting?

Here is page 2 of Barr’s letter. Now here is why I think it is actually wonderful.

  1. “During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action.”

That line confirms our report of yesterday – Mueller handed off prosecutions to main Justice divisions as he went along.

2. “The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public.”

That is entirely compatible with dozens of sealed indictments sitting at the branches of main Justice, sealed indictments obtained as Mueller went along, referring out his cases.

Next, in a section which describes how Mueller defines collusion with Russia, we have these sentences.

3. “The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans — including individuals associated with the Trump campaign — joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Now, here is where I think the letter actually gets brilliant. AG Barr points out that any American joining in the Russian conspiracies would be committing a federal crime. And what do people who have committed crimes have the right to?

Why, fair trials – and due process. You see, I believe that this means Mueller’s report will lay out the evidence he has found, or some of it, and then state that he has referred the criminal matters for trial.

Barr’s letter carefully states that “the Special Counsel’s office did not find”…. and Mueller uses the even more careful words “The investigation did not establish…”

“Establish” is a nice legal word. It means, in this context, “prove definitively”. And of course Mueller could not in fact “establish” this – he could not “find” this – because that is the job of a jury!

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How could Mueller say Donald J Trump Jr committed treason when the man hasn’t even seen the inside of a courtroom? In fact, were Mueller to say anything of the sort, the defense could claim their trials were prejudiced! Mueller’s conclusions before a trial would be a functional grant of immunity!

4. “As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.”

Again, all that is happening here is Barr is telling Americans what categories of crimes the probe is going charge these domestic traitors with. The Special Counsel indicted Russians who will never see an American courtroom, to serve his overall investigation; note the “did not find that any U.S. person” – because a U.S. person, (such as this reporter) is entitled to a fair trial. It is not for Mueller to “find” they conspired before a jury of their peers does the same.

5. “The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons associated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for the purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

If you are reading the tea leaves the way I am, this is the paragraph you love most of all. From here we lack the generic “US persons” that might describe somebody outside the Trump campaign, like Cassandra Fairbanks. This paragraph on hacking is limited in it’s “did not find” to the Trump campaign and associates. If I am correct, that means that Mueller will allege, but will not “find”, the actual Trump campaign helped Russia hack the DNC and worked with Wikileaks.

Then there is the boring bit on obstruction, which I will leave to others to analyze and debate. Sometimes it is good that a journalist should be somewhat of an ornery person. Tonight, on March 24th, I write this blog knowing that the entire American press corps takes a different view. And it is certainly possible – it is statistically probable – that they are right. But grammatically, they are not right.

In fact, the report neither found, nor declared. any such thing
Mueller Report didn’t say that

“Report declares Trump didn’t coordinate” “Mueller finds no conspiracy” “Mueller report says no collusion” – all of those characterizations are flat wrong. What the letter says is a negative, not a positive. Mueller’s report does not find a crime of collusion, does not establish Trump campaign personnel joining with Russians; Mueller did not find that Trump’s campaign staff helped Russia and Wikileaks hack. At the risk of sound like your second grade English teacher, “did not establish conspiracy” is not the same as “established there was no conspiracy”; “did not find collusion” is not the same as “found no collusion”.

Am I parsing words? No. I’m not. Because “found no collusion” means Mueller declared the President innocent. “Did not find collusion” means, in my opinion, that Bob Mueller is likely to deliver a report like an Exocet missile, a report that reads like an indictment – and an indictment is not a conviction. At the same time, the prosecutions sent out to main US attorney’s offices will start to be revealed. Because, as Tom Cruise says of Jack Nicholson at the end of “A Few Good Men” – “The witness has rights”.

And the much reviled Bill Barr, along with Rod Rosenstein, drafted a letter that, over and over, emphasized that Mueller had not found, established, or proved, guilt. Because to say otherwise would be to prejudice the trials of the loathsome batch of traitors who are laughing tonight, as I write this piece, but whom, I hope and expect, will be crying tomorrow – or on one tomorrow in the very near future.

Update: an eagle-eyed reader spots an important footnote that confirms that the report contains Grand Jury material that needs redacting:

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43 comments

  1. Hi Louise:

    The letter is carefully written to technically tell the truth, while enabling Team Treason to spin it their way, as they’re doing.

    The Barr/Trump narrative also puts all the other jurisdictions, the House committees and the media on the defensive: “Mueller said case closed, why are you beating this dead horse?”

    Sorry, Barr is not a white hat. He’s an operative with a mission to protect the President, and more importantly, the GOP. Just as he did under GHWB. He’s a scorpion and it’s his nature.

  2. So…no. Clarification issued: no more indictments coming, from any branch.

    Just curious: what would it take for you to admit the stuff you’ve been pushing for years never happened?

    1. No such clarification has been issued. A clarification that more indictments could certainly be coming was issued, however, when we were told the Grand Jury is ‘continuing robustly’ and, as I report, that ‘ongoing matters’ related to Trump Russia must be protected by redactions.

      Patribotics 1, you 0. 🙂

  3. I hold out hope that you are right, but the corruption in this country runs deep. Thank you for your investigations and insight. State sponsored organized crime is powerful.

    I will not be surprised however, if Trump and Barr find a way to end all the other investigations and threaten jurors and state prosecutors.

  4. What if Mueller purposely sandbagged the report, having already assisted a few state district AGs to continue investigating with sealed indictments in hand? Perhaps in order to get the evidence needed, the target needs to feel safe. Mueller didn’t work long hours for two years to hand off a nothing burger and hope Trump’s appointee will refer the entire report to Congress. Nope, cagey as a fox, I remain confident in Mueller and whatever he has done to load the traitor tots n daddy into the barrel.

  5. Thank you very much for the incredible work you have been doing. I think this is the most in depth and earliest reporting I’ve seen.

    I have been encouraging friends to look at your work as it’s proven correct and then maybe later the big channels pick it up.

    Thank you for your work and I’m in Colorado if you are ever in the area.

    Janelle Gross Ortiz

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  6. Why I think you are wrong:

    1. Mueller sent several matters to other offices, mostly for not registering as a foreign agent. Flynn and Gates can still be involved in those.
    2. There are no sealed indictments regarding this case. The public knows about all of them regarding this case. The other investigations mostly involve not registering as a foreign agent
    3. SC did not find any or enough evidence of a federal crime. No pending trials. No one arrested.
    4. Mueller will not allege anything. The investigation began because of allegations that people conspired with Russians. after investigating those allegations, he did not find any or enough evidence of a federal crime.

    There will be no forthcoming bombshells, maybe a lot of morally questionable behavior. None of which affect the final verdict of the initial allegation. The AG will not mislead the public, nor will the SC allow him to. Remember when Buzzfeed came out with it’s obstruction allegations; the SC made a rare public comment. Its fairly straightforward despite many people wanting it to be different and “reading tea leaves”

    There maybe evidence of collusion, but that does not mean it was illegal. There maybe evidence that Trump’s campaign knew what was going on, we don’t know. What we know is that there was no or not enough evidence of a federal crime.

    No one has been arrested. The investigation has come to an end. The full report will come out to the public per the AG. and elements of the report maybe held back for legal and AG policy reasons; not because of ill intent.

    1. But Mueller didn’t say that Buzzfeed was wrong either. What he did say was that some of what Buzzfeed wrote wasn’t “exactly correct”. No more, no less. Mueller wrote this report because Barr and his boss Trump forced Mueller to end the matter, so they thought. Grand jury is still ongoing, (as are other cases) Trump wanted to stop the investigation from the moment Comey told him about the Steele dossier. Since then Trump has fired every investigator, prosecutor, FBI, CIA chief involved in finding out what the Trump family and associates did during the election campaign, transition, and his term in WH. We have seen obstruction in plain sight. Ask yourself why Trump would do that if he were indeed innocent of any wrongdoing?
      As far as sealed indictments and the ongoing investigation, I understand that Mueller is continuing as are other federal/state prosecutors. There is a “there there” otherwise Trump would simply let it happen.

      1. Hello Mary,

        Thank you for the comment; but one correction, that is not at all what Mueller said. OSC didn’t say Buzzfeed was not “exactly correct” they delivered a stinging rebuke. “Not accurate” was the phrase, and here is the full quote:

        “”BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller’s office, in a statement.

        Citation for you from CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/18/politics/mueller-statement-buzzfeed/index.html

        I agree with the rest of your comment! If Trump could shut it down, he would. The next piece is on Barr’s white or black hat status and how much it will matter. Out tomorrow morning.

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