In an exclusive interview with “CBS This Morning,” said Robert Mueller and the Justice Department disagreed over the “legal analysis” in the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller said his investigation did not establish President Trump committed obstruction of justice, but also did not exonerate him. Barr said he believes Muelleras to whether the president obstructed justice.
BARR AND HIS TEAM DISAGREED WITH THEIR ANALYSIS OF OBSTRUCTION
The Attorney General explained it this way, a group of them examined the law and the facts and they “determined that both as a matter of law, many of the instances would not amount to obstruction.”
“As a matter of law?” the interviewer asked.
“As a matter of law. In other words, we didn’t agree with the legal analysis, a lot of the legal analysis in the report. It did not reflect the views of the department,” Barr said. “It was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers and so we applied what we thought was the right law.”
Weissman and Dreeban Are Likely Suspects
In other words, a lawyer or a couple of lawyers analyzed. It was probably Andrew Weissman who is famous for prosecutorial misconduct and thinks he can prosecute people for thought crimes. It could have been another Mueller guy, Michael Dreeban who argued for a ridiculously broad interpretation of obstruction of justice in the Arthur Anderson case.
That’s one of the cases Weissman is famous for — he put innocent people in prison and destroyed a good company, putting 85,000 out of work. Weissman did it with the stroke of a pen.
THE CONTROVERSIAL SUMMARY
The interviewer asked about the four-page summary that he has made him the subject of criticism.
“I was trying to state the bottom line,” Barr said, addressing that criticism. “And the bottom line was that Bob Mueller identified some episodes. He did not reach a conclusion. He provided both sides of the issue, and he – his conclusion was he wasn’t exonerating the president, but he wasn’t finding a crime either.”
The Word “Spying”
Barr also explained that the word “spying” is fine, but it has to be predicated and he is not comfortable with the answers he is getting.
on the Trump campaign did occur and took some criticism for using the word “spying” in particular.
“Yeah, I mean, I guess it has become a dirty word somehow. It hasn’t ever been for me. I think there is nothing wrong with spying, the question is always whether it is authorized by law,” Barr said.
Some former intelligence chiefs have said that President Trump has given spying a negative connotation with his repeated accusations that the Russia investigation was a witch hunt and a hoax. Critics say use of the word “spying” by Barr signaled his loyalty to Mr. Trump.
“You know, it is part of the craziness of the modern day that if a president uses a word then all of a sudden it becomes off bounds, it is a perfectly good English word, I will continue to use it,” Barr said.
The interviewer asked what evidence he has seen.
THINGS AREN’T JIVING
“Like many other people who are familiar with intelligence activities, I had a lot of questions about what was going on,” Barr said. “I assumed I’d get answers when I went in, and I have not gotten answers that are, well, satisfactory, and in fact, I probably have more questions, and that some of the facts that, that I’ve learned don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened.”
Asked what he means by that Barr said, “That’s all I really will say. Things are just not jiving.”
Barr said that he believes government interference into a U.S. election is just as dangerous as foreign interference, and that’s why he’s begun an investigation into the intelligence community’s actions in the run-up to the 2016 election.
He’s asked the president for the authority to declassify information that he thinks may be in the public interest.
“NOT JIVING?” SOME OFFICIALS OR FORMER OFFICIALS SHOULD BE TERRIFIED!
DOESN’T HE CARE ABOUT THE LEGACY
The interviewer Jan Crawford asked him about his legacy and he said, “I am at the end of my career.”
She asked again about the reputation he worked for his whole life.
Barr said, “Yeah, but everyone dies and I am not, you know, I don’t believe in the Homeric idea that you know, immortality comes by, you know, having odes sung about you over the centuries, you know?”
Crawford asked if he regretted taking the job and he said, “No.”
HE WILL STRAIGHTEN THE DOJ/FBI OUT
They likely don’t understand yet why he is doing what he is doing, but he did tell people a while back. He said he was going to straighten the department out.
He added, “I’d rather, in many ways, I’d rather be back to my old life but I think that I love the Department of Justice, I love the FBI, I think it’s important that we not, in this period of intense partisan feeling, destroy our institutions. I think one of the ironies today is that people are saying that it’s President Trump that’s shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that, it is hard, and I really haven’t seen a bill of particulars as to how that’s being done. From my perspective the idea of resisting a democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him and you know, really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president, that is where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring.”
He is “concerned about that.”