The Department of Justice has released the full memo to then-Attorney General Bill Barr analyzing why Ex-President Trump (because he lost, you see) should not be charged with Obstruction of Justice. The DOJ fought but lost a FOIA suit brought by CREW (Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) seeking the disclosure. Quite why, is a little bit beyond me apart from maintaining bureaucratic consistency between administrations. This is some deep magic from the Before Times folks, try to remember when all we had was a blatantly corrupt President and not, well, *gestures at everything wildly”.
So, this memo essentially was created to rebuff everything that Mueller investigation had that could potentially charge Trump with anything. Mueller had concluded that there had been several incidents with strong evidence of obstruction by Trump, but Barr’s deputies argued in the memo that while Trump had attempted to “modify” the process of the investigation, he did not try to intentionally alter evidence.
On the subject of the Mueller Investigation in general. Since Mueller was unable to find sufficient evidence for collusion with Russia, the memo suggests that there was no underlying crime. It does not bring up that the investigation could have been obstructed or hindered by an administration unwilling to cooperate.
Concerning Trump’s attempts at dangling a pardon for Manafort. This was also something that could be considered obstruction by most reasonable people. The memo instead paints these efforts as Trump merely praising or condemning witnesses based on whether they cooperated with investigators. In other words, take everything Trump did at face value. Don’t look into it.
Per the firing of one James Comey:
“The President’s expression of “hope’ that Comey would ‘let this go’ did not clearly direct a particular action in the Flynn investigation, and Comey did not react at the time as though he had received a direct order from the President”
Ah, so I guess that’s just fine then?
On the subject of attempting to fire Mr. Mueller himself, the memo argues that because Trump backed down when Don McGahn refused to carry out the order, it’s difficult to say what Trump’s “state of mind” was. Oh yeah, when my boss says that he wants a guy fired and it doesn’t go through, the first place I go to is that I really have no idea *why* he might want him fired.
The memo reads like a defense lawyer’s brief. Here’s the thing, Trump got exactly what he wanted out of Bill Barr. Barr is The Cleaner. He cleans up the mess with a swear-to-god smile on his face. And honestly, it’s not like we haven’t known that. To see it spelled in black and white that he just had his deputies come up with reasonable-sounding objections to what the Mueller investigation did bring forward though, is pretty sad. It’s just so matter-of-fact. And he did that all for Trump and he still got thrown under the bus when things got too real. Trump uses and abuses to get what he wants. It’s absurd how many people bent over backwards for him and will continue to do so.
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