Even as the subpoena battle over the Mueller report continues to escalate, and now appears to be on track to come to a head this Tuesday, April 2nd, we just reached a key moment. It’s the moment where the person responsible for the attempted coverup, in this case Donald Trump’s handpicked Attorney General William Barr, has lost control of the narrative.
William Barr has spent the past five days trying to convince us that the amateurish and misleading four page document he released was somehow an honest summary of the Mueller report. The general public was supposed to believe Barr’s claims that Mueller found no evidence of collusion, and that Mueller took a pass on whether Trump committed obstruction. Of course no one outside of Trump’s base believed this at all. Now that Barr’s hand is being forced, he’s suddenly decided that his initial summary wasn’t actually a “summary.” No, really.
Barr sent a public letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler today, complaining that the media and the public have been “mischaracterizing my March 24, 2019 supplemental notification as a ‘summary.'” Yep, that’s right, now that Barr’s summary has fallen flat, he’s insisting it wasn’t a summary, and he wants a do-over. This is about to blow up in his face spectacularly.
You can’t say “Here’s my summary” and then after no one believes it’s legitimate, turn around and say “No wait, that wasn’t my summary, here’s my real summary.” Yet this is precisely what William Barr is attempting to do here. He’ll get eaten alive for this, by the media and the public. He’s lost control of the narrative, and he’s not getting it back. This will cause his next dishonest “summary” to be viewed even more skeptically than his first dishonest “summary.”
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report