Special counsel Robert Mueller likely wrote his own conclusions and summary, according to one federal prosecutor. For some reason, however, Attorney General Bill Barr didn’t release it and opted for something like a White House “press release” instead.
In a Sunday analysis with MSNBC’s Ari Melber, former federal prosecutor John Flannery wondered why there are still so many unknowns about the Mueller report. His first example was that Americans don’t even know how many pages there are.
“We didn’t get an executive summary from the report,” she said. “We have what really looks like a press release that didn’t get ready in time for the Sunday talk shows. So, that could have a romp through a very his misleading document… And I bet you that knowing the way Mueller works, there was probably an executive summary, and there was probably a set of conclusions.”
Melber noted that Flannery is a “pretty good lawyer” and asked if the longer the report the “worse Barr might look for trying to pull this off by Sunday night?”
“Absolutely. And consider the fact that we have — you have pointed this out — you have these partial quotes,” Flannery continued. “Well, what if the quote on page three, ‘while this report does not conclude that the president did not commit a crime it also doesn’t exonerate him.’ He said ‘the report.’ He didn’t say ‘as to the question of the obstruction of justice.’ He said, ‘the report.’ The whole report doesn’t conclude he committed a crime.”
Melber got into the punctuation of the Barr letter that quotes the “best sentence” that does or does not exonerate Trump. He noted that the quote from Mueller began in the middle of a sentence in the Mueller report. He could tell because the word “the” began with a bracketed capital “t.”
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.”
“So, it is the one that you are going hear the most of,” Melber said.
“That it wasn’t the beginning of a sentence,” Flannery agreed. “Something preceded it. And they put the bracket there as the beginning with a capital T.”
Melber said that a lawyer might change the meaning of it by beginning the sentence in any manner of ways.
“A lot of the comments afterward — there is no evidence,” Flannery continued. “They never say that even in this P.R. construct. They say, ‘The investigation did not establish…’ OK, it did not establish this crime? Well, what was your standard? Was it beyond a reasonable doubt, which is not the standard for a grand jury or any investigation I ever ran when you begin it because the case continues and you get more evidence and people cooperate and people drop off. So, that is not the standard. Also did not establish according to what crime? When they issued these thousands of subpoenas, everyone probably, at least said, Section 371 which is a conspiracy charge. They don’t tell us what the charge is.”
He also concluded that Barr probably shouldn’t have gone near commenting about obstructions of justice.
“You make a judgment when somebody takes the stand you never heard before,” Flannery said. “Are they a truth teller or not and you operate on that premise when you question them. In this case, we know in the second part when they are talking about whether or not there is obstruction — that is a very funny paragraph there. And it is like Barr couldn’t restrain himself from spiking this thing when he shouldn’t have touched it at all as to whether or not there was any obstruction.”
Watch their full analysis below:
MSNBC conservative goes down in flames trying to separate Trump’s incompetence from his corruption
MSNBC conservative Noah Rothman met furious pushback when he dismissed poll numbers as insignificant showing a growing majority of Americans support the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The "Morning Joe" contributor argued that those numbers reflected the president's approval rating and would not exert any pressure on congressional Republicans, but instead place greater pressure on Democrats to make their case for impeachment.
"It's incumbent on Democrats to make this case," Rothman said. "Right now they are presenting a united front because it's still primary season. Once we get into the general (election campaign) there will be more pressure on them to explain their position, but it's incumbent on Democrats to make the case."
The Trump murder video is no joke: It’s an encouragement to ramp up the violence
Donald Trump is not a “friendly fascist.” Unlike Ronald Reagan, the prototype for that concept, Trump does not pretend to be harmless. He does not offer up fake smiles and a cheerful nature, or display empathy and human concern for others, feigned or otherwise.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Donald Trump is direct, obvious and public in his threats against democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. Trump and his movement are working to destroy America’s multiracial democracy through appeals to a mythic past that will “Make America Great Again.” In practice this means undoing all the social progress and democratic reforms of the last century or more and returning to a society where white people — rich white male Christians, in particular — are fully in control over all aspects of American society for all time.
Fox & Friends hosts deflated after legal analyst shoots down latest GOP impeachment talking point
The hosts of "Fox & Friends" on Thursday appeared disappointed when legal analyst Andrew Napolitano gave them unfortunate news about the White House's latest objections to House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
Specifically, Napolitano addressed the letter sent to Congress by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, which claimed that the executive branch did not have to comply with any subpoenas of documents until the House formally voted to open an impeachment inquiry.
"The Republicans changed the rules when John Boehner was the Speaker of the House allowing each individual committee to issue subpoenas without a House-wide vote," he explained. "So those subpoenas are valid, and those people who resist them, ignore them, who put them in a drawer, do so at your peril."