By: Lisa M. Hayes – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
When you understand chronology, you will have a deeper understanding of where we are today.
JUNE 8, 2018: William Barr sends an unsolicited memo to the DOJ berating the Special Counsel investigation and asserting that a sitting President cannot obstruct justice.
NOV 7, 2018: Trump ousts Sessions
DEC 7, 2018: Nominates Barr
FEB 14, 2019: Barr confirmed
MAR 24, 2019: Barr dismisses Mueller report, says Trump is innocent of obstruction
And as you let that timeline settle in, you know about all you need to know about the Barr letter to Congress.
Now, you will hear a lot of gloating from the White House and the Republicans in the days and weeks to come. You will also hear the run-up to probably the most critical and potentially ugly legal battle in our democracy’s history as the Democrats demand the full report and the supporting evidence.
We will probably see both Barr and Mueller testify before Congress and it will be game-changing when we do. However, we’re not there yet. Really we aren’t anywhere except where we were always going to be.
We’ve known from the beginning that Mueller was highly unlikely to indict Trump for anything because albeit controversial, the DOJ policy is that you can’t indict a sitting President.
From the very beginning, we’ve always known this would fall in the lap of Congress and a variety of other courts to sort out and that’s exactly what’s happening today. The reason that’s happening is two-fold.
#1 The scope of Mueller’s work was very narrow. He was charged with investigating two things. He obviously uncovered a variety of other crimes in the process of his investigation. However, he cannot do anything with those. So, they’ve been farmed out to other courts. Most of it has gone to the Southern District of New York.
#2. William Barr is a ringer who got himself appointed to replace Jeff Sessions with a resume/memo he sent to the DOJ signaling he’d clear the President if it landed on his desk.
William Barr is not the final say in impeachment, further criminal charges, or anything else. The Barr letter is not the Mueller report – it’s an opinion.
Period. Full stop.
- Trump called on Russia to commit a crime & hack Hillary’s emails.
- Trump confessed to firing Comey because of the “Russia thing.”
- Trump sided with Putin over US Intelligence in Helsinki.
Barr’s 4-page letter does not change or erase any of that or any of the other hundreds of other seriously mind-numbing crimes committed behind closed doors and in plain sight. The courts and Congress will have to figure this shit out, and trust me, they are already on it.
Virginia Heffernan, who contributes to the Los Angeles Times, Wired Magazine, and MSNBC, tweeted yesterday that she received this information about the Mueller report from what she’s labeling a “good” source: “It’s really damaging to the president. I can’t answer any questions about it. But it’s bad.” The source then stated that the Barr summary “is NOT Mueller’s report,” adding that “the report is much worse than this.”
In the coming days, it’s almost certain, you’ll hear more leaks from people with insider information regarding damning information about the President in the Mueller report. In the coming weeks, we will probably get to see most if not all of the report, but getting there isn’t going to be easy.
At this point though, we know almost nothing about the Mueller Report. What we now have is William Barr’s opinion, and we’ve known what his opinion was since June 8, 2018. So, there are no surprises here at all.
There is a reason the mid-terms were so imperative. Without the newly minted Democratic Congress, there would be no checks and balances in the system at all. However, as of January, Trump can no longer run the board without supervision or accountability.
Barr’s letter was jarring, but frankly, it’s not much more than ceremonial.
So, repeat after me: The Barr letter is not the Mueller Report.
A good friend of mine gave me some advice this morning. I’ll share it with you. “Keep remembering that we could not have hand-picked a better speaker for this situation. Turn off the news for 48 hours. Play with your kid. Go bike riding. What’s going on now has no meaning. I am surprised that Barr did what he did. But we have options now we didn’t a few months ago.”
It’s hard to hear, “trust the process”, when the process seems so broken. However, it’s what we’ve got, and at this point, despite yesterday’s public relations ploy/cover letter, sent by the AG, there are a lot of reasons to think the system is working.
This is where things will get really bumpy.
However, for the last two years we’ve been in a holding pattern, and as of today, we are moving forward.
More by Lisa:
Lisa M. Hayes, Senior Editor of Confluence Daily.
Confluence Daily is the one place where everything comes together. The one-stop for daily news for women.