Now that the House Judiciary Committee has voted to subpoena the Mueller report and expose what it really says, the committee is receiving a timely helping hand – from Robert Mueller’s own team. Or perhaps we should say former team, considering that Mueller and his team abruptly stopped their work and handed everything off last month for reasons that are still unclear. This means Mueller’s people have nothing to lose by leaking about what’s really in the report, and tonight they’ve begun doing just that.
Unnamed members of Mueller’s team have told associates – who have predictably turned around and relayed it to the New York Times, because that’s how these kinds of leaks work – that William Barr’s summary “failed to adequately portray” the findings of the Mueller investigation, which were “more troubling” for Donald Trump than Barr is letting on. If you’ve been paying attention, you already strongly suggested this, but it’s a very big deal that this is coming from Mueller’s own team, because they’re among the very few people who know exactly what’s in this report.
Barr claimed in his summary that Mueller’s team did not find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and that Mueller could not reach a conclusion on whether Trump’s actions rose to the level of criminal obstruction of justice. Now Mueller’s team is effectively telling us that one or both of these claims from Barr is inaccurate.
It would be one thing if Mueller’s team were leaking that, while Barr’s claims are accurate, the Mueller report is ugly for Trump. But that’s not what they’re telling us. They’re telling the NY Times that Barr’s claims are inaccurate. That’s huge. It comes at a perfect time for House Democrats, who are about to make the case in a court of law and in the court of public opinion that Barr should be compelled to turn over the entire report. Now the House Democrats can argue that Mueller’s own team is essentially accusing Barr of lying about what’s in the report.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report