Forty-eight hours. That’s how much longer Donald Trump and William Barr have left before their attempted coverup of the Mueller report completely unravels. That’s because House Democrats have handed Barr a Tuesday deadline to come clean about the coverup, and even as he’s tried to drag it out longer, they’ve remained clear that they’re not budging. So now what?
Barr will no doubt try something on Monday or Tuesday, in the hope of convincing House Democrats to wait longer. But at this point, don’t look for the Democrats to budge unless Barr suddenly caves on everything, which is unlikely. The Democrats have already publicly staked themselves to settling for nothing less than the full Mueller report, and they have overwhelming majority support on this from the general public, so they’ll fire off everything they have once Barr misses his Tuesday deadline.
We’ll see if the House Democrats start by subpoenaing the Mueller report, subpoenaing Mueller himself, subpoenaing Barr, or some combination of the three. Any path they choose will be challenged in court, so it’s a matter of choosing the most legally sound path, which is the most likely to result in a court victory.
One big thing to keep in mind: now that Barr has tried and failed to convince the public that there’s nothing in the Mueller report that they should care about, he’s already squirming in his seat. This week he sent a public letter to House Democrats, insisting that his summary wasn’t actually a “summary,” and whining about the fact that everyone is referring to it as a summary. Barr isn’t exactly coming off like a guy who’s confident in his legal position, or with how this is playing out in the court of public opinion.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report