Now that Donald Trump’s handpicked Attorney General William Barr has issued a laughable mischaracterization of the Mueller report, and Team Trump is falsely claiming it’s been exonerated accordingly, House Democrats have an urgent need to do everything in their power to get their hands on the Mueller report immediately. In the meantime, Barr and Trump’s allies are already publicly discussing releasing the report – but something stinks here.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who in recent months has become an almost cartoonishly loyal Trump ally, and who was seen partying with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago this past weekend, is now telling NBC News that he spoke with William Barr today, and that Barr “will be working with Special Counsel Mueller to release a declassified version of the final report “sooner rather than later.” We assume that this is referring to the entire Mueller report, with the exception of any classified information. But this raises a number of questions.
First, why is Barr plotting this out with Lindsey Graham of all people? Graham is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but he has no more standing here than any the other Chairs of the other House and Senate committees with investigative power. Is Barr also having these conversations with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, or is Barr only plotting out the release of the Mueller report with Trump’s allies? If it’s the latter, then something is very wrong.
House Democrats will no doubt quickly move to use their subpoena power to obtain the Mueller report, or to bring Mueller himself in to publicly testify about what’s really in his report, or both. Now it appears they’ll also have to contend with whatever William Barr and Lindsey Graham are cooking up here. Barr’s “summary” of the Mueller report is so absurd on its face, he and the GOP can’t be trusted to release an accurate version of the report, either. For all we know, they could black out every other half-sentence, in the hope of changing its context entirely.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report