Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s redacted Report was released to the public April 18, 2019. Now, May 29,2019, six weeks later—42 days of silence later—Mueller has finally given a statement to the press in which he basically said his report speaks for itself and he will give no further comments or testimony, even to Congress.
During the six-week period between the public release of the redacted report and Mueller’s statement, some of the important things that have happened and some of the questions that have arisen include the following. Mueller has completely ignored these issues during the six-week gap and in his statement now:
• The report has been redacted. We still don’t know who made what redactions and for what purpose.
• Mueller’s report contained special summaries to be made available to the press but these summaries have been “disappeared”—in the same way that political dissidents in Latin America have been disappeared so often, the word has become a verb: “to disappear.” Attorney General Barr disappeared these summaries without public complaint or outcry by Mueller.
• Barr said the Report “exonerated” President Trump as to both collusion with Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election and as to obstruction relating to Mueller’s investigation. We have heard that Mueller wrote what Barr called a “snitty” letter to Barr regarding Barr’s characterizations and “disappearances” but we still don’t know the extent of Barr’s interference.
• Mueller knows full well the importance of the timing of public statements. As he said in today’s statement, the WikiLeaks releases were “designed and timed” to interfere with the election. Yet he has allowed 42 days to go by without any comment. And even his comment now—which he says will be his only and last comment—completely fails to address the ways in which Bar has manipulated and characterized Mueller’s report in the court of public opinion.
• In fact, Mueller’s statement states that he, Mueller, did not want the full Report released publicly: only “certain portions.” He says Barr preferred to make the “entire report” public “all at once,” although Mueller in the same breath says Barr made the Report “largely public” (that is, NOT the “entire report” made public). So Mueller wants us to believe: 1) Mueller (not Barr) wanted the report NOT TO BE PUBLIC excepting certain unspecified portions; 2) BARR not Mueller is the hero in that BARR wanted the “entire report” released all at once; 3) but somehow (mysteriously) the Report was only made “largely public.” Mueller slips up in stating that he does not question Barr’s good faith in “that decision.” Thus Mueller admits “that decision” of what to redact from the public was in fact Barr’s decision.
• But Mueller does not tell us what, exactly, Barr has withheld from us, the public. Among other things: what did Mueller’s summaries for the public contain and how do those summaries jibe with Barr’s comments? Mueller is silent on this issue.
• Mueller does not tell us the details of his complaints about Barr’s statements and why he is not now willing to clarify those details.
Finally, Mueller does not answer the question on everyone’s mind: if Donald Trump were not the sitting president (and, thus, in Mueller’s view, exempt from indictment) would he be subject to indictment for obstruction of justice? Nor does he explain why members of Trump’s inner circle were not indicted: the Trump adult children, Lewandowski, Hicks, and the many others who have been discovered by dedicated journalists. We assume he found insufficient evidence but he does not explain the issues and the evidence he did consider. Mueller gives us nothing like the details made public in Leon Jaworski’s Watergate Report.
So, in the end, whether intentionally or not, Mueller is just another Trump sycophant, letting Trump and Barr manipulate the story they way they want to, letting Barr have six free weeks to shape public opinion before Mueller even speaking for himself, and even then not addressing the real issues of concern.
On top of that, he now says he will not answer any of the numerous questions Congress has been waiting to ask him. What can we call that except being Trump’s “tool.” Bob Dylan said, “let us not speak falsely now,” the hour is getting late. Maybe Mueller is not speaking falsely at this late hour but he definitely not speaking the complete truth. He is just another cog in the cover-up, no matter how he paints it.