UNDER FEDERAL LAW, Attorney General William Barr could have taken Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited Russiagate report, shoved it in a drawer, and sent the following letter to Capitol Hill:
Beyond that, Barr was obligated to do none of what he did on Thursday morning. He held a press conference at Justice Department headquarters, answered journalists’ questions, sent Congress a redacted copy of Mueller’s 448-page “Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election,” made a nearly un-redacted copy (minus only legally verboten grand-jury material) available for top congressional leaders to inspect, posted the document on DOJ’s public website, agreed to testify before the House and Senate on May 1 and 2, and freed Mueller to discuss his findings before Congress, as Democrats have demanded.
Democrats have suggested that Barr has something to hide. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer of New York stated Wednesday, “The American people deserve to hear the truth.” In fact, Barr’s behavior has been clearer than a Brooks Brothers’ storefront window.
The White House has been equally see-through. While President Donald J. Trump ground his molars through this 22-month legal root canal, he let his lawyers hand Mueller some 1.4 million pages of records and allowed administration and campaign personnel to be interrogated. Trump neither asserted executive privilege nor requested redactions in the report.
“The level of transparency, cooperation, production of documents, and waiver of privileges by the White House is stunning — as is the production of the barely-redacted Mueller report,” former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell told me. The author of Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice, added: “Obama invoked executive privilege to shut down any and every inquiry into obvious wrongdoing.”
Rather than an elaborate cover-up, Team Trump’s compliance undergirds this overarching conclusion: “Ultimately,” in Mueller’s words, “the investigation did not establish that the Campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities.”
Did President Trump commit obstruction of justice? Mueller made no such charges and left that decision to Barr. The AG, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, the Office of Legal Counsel, and other federal prosecutors concluded that, in Barr’s words, the evidence is “not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” Barr also determined that “the President took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses to complete his investigation.” Trump may have sworn like a New Yorker in the Oval Office, but he never blocked Mueller.
Of course, none of this satisfies Democrats. Nothing ever does.
First, they whined that Barr took too long to issue his summary of Mueller’s March 22 report.
When Barr’s brief emerged, Democrats complained that Mueller spent two years on his probe, but Barr devoted just two days to his four-page abstract.
Democrats then moaned that Barr redacted Mueller’s report too slowly, surely to conceal Trump’s decades of service to the KGB.
When Barr announced that he would release Mueller’s report on Thursday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo complained that this was the eve of Good Friday and Passover. Presumably Mueller’s paper would vanish amid a tsunami of chocolate bunnies and matzo. But had Barr waited until Monday, the Left would slam him for befouling the weekend of Judeo-Christian worship with Mueller anticipation.
Democrats accused Barr of running a cover-up. But when he announced plans for a pre-release news conference, House committee chairmen insisted that Barr cancel the presser. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer called this an “indefensible plan to spin the report.”
As President Trump’s foes abandon their thoroughly debunked “Russia! Russia! Russia!” fantasy, they now chant “Obstruction! Obstruction! Obstruction!” Nothing satisfies them, so long as President Trump breathes.
Democrats and their indentured servants in the Leftist media resemble a 787 filled with screaming infants. Alas, this jet won’t land until at least 2020.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.