Attorney General Bill Barr has just thrown now-former Special Counsel Robert Mueller under the bus, and did so in a far less elegant and far more disrespectful manner than the former FBI Director would ever have conceived.
Mueller served under four U.S. presidents – two Republicans, and two Democrats – as FBI Director. And then under President Donald Trump as Special Counsel, investigating President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday morning, his final day in office before resigning as Special Counsel, Mueller in a surprise news conference talked to the American people for just nine minutes, permanently changing the trajectory of the Republican Party’s gaslighting. And he did so merely by reading aloud portions of his 448-page report on the Russia investigation that has been public for weeks.
On Thursday, in an interview that had been pre-arranged, and advertised barely minutes before Mueller’s news conference began, Attorney General Bill Barr threw his longtime friend and co-worker under the bus.
The Special Counsel, regardless of DOJ policy making it – as Mueller told the nation – literally “unconstitutional” to indict and therefore to even state that the President of the United States may have committed crimes, told CBS News that Mueller should have “reached a conclusion.”
Reaching a conclusion, as Barr described it, would have violated DOJ policy, but that fact did not seem to concern the Attorney General.
“I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision,” Barr told CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford during an exclusive interview taped in Anchorage, Alaska Thursday.
“The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office, but he could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity,” Barr told Crawford. “But he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained and I am not going to, you know, argue about those reasons.”
Notice in the video Barr refers to the DOJ decades-old policy as an “opinion,” suggesting it is subject to interpretation. Legal experts disagree.
And those reasons are literally about what is and is not not just policy, but about what is and is not constitutional.
Barr also claimed that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “felt it was necessary” to make decision for Mueller – rather than telling Mueller that if he did not go further they would co-opt his two years of work and turn it into a gaslighting project to protect President Trump, which they then did.
NEW: Attorney General Barr tells @JanCBS he “personally felt” Special Counsel Robert Mueller “could’ve reached a decision” on obstruction of justice by President Trump.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) May 30, 2019
The full interview airs Friday morning.