Last night, the Department of Justice and the office of the Special Counsel issued a joint statement to end the speculation about which one of them was lying in seemingly conflicting statements.
The first statement dealt with the issue of whether or not he would have found the President guilty were it not for the Justice Department guidance suggesting a sitting President not be found guilty.
This is the joint statement they issued:
BREAKING: A joint statement from the DOJ and the SC’s office says that Barr’s remark that Mueller repeatedly affirmed that he was *not* saying that Trump would have been charged with obstruction if he was not president, does *not* contradict what Mueller said today. pic.twitter.com/kyTwp3QOWn
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 29, 2019
This line is critical: “he was not saying that, but for the OLC opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice.” So, no, Mueller wasn’ saying that he would have found Trump guilty were it not for the OLC.
Mueller definitely gave the impression yesterday that the only reason he didn’t find the President guilty was because of the guidance.
That looks like a lie on Mueller’s part. His statement was written out, so it wasn’t an off the cuff comment. It’s also not what he said in his 448-page tome.
The joint statement is clear, they agree, Mueller was not saying “Trump would have been charged with obstruction if he was not president..”
There were witnesses to this meeting, including former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Then There Was the No Evidence — Insufficient Evidence Claim
The second part of the claim is also debunked with that statement.
This fiasco started when Robert Muller said in his statement Wednesday that there was insufficient evidence to charge the President with a crime while AG Bill Barr has said there was “no evidence.” Barr is now being painted as a liar who misrepresented the Mueller report out of the gate.
These are the contrasting statements:
THE AG DID NOT LIE ABOUT THE EVIDENCE
When Bill Barr said there was no evidence, he was thinking in terms of facts and the law, not circumstantial events conjured up by various political beings. The fact is there is no crime and there are no facts supporting criminal charges. That is all the Justice Department is concerned about, not flimsy information that adds up to nothing.
Mueller wants to convict Trump, had no directive to look at obstruction, and found no evidence to support a crime. The entire event should never. have occurred.
Despite this, Mueller’s last statement during the presser was, “If we had confidence the President did not clearly commit a crime, we would have said so.” That statement is a complete rejection of the presumption of innocence, a sacred right enshrined in our rule of law.
Barr doesn’t operate that way. If there isn’t evidence to justify criminal charges, then there is no evidence. He doesn’t convict people without evidence. He is about facts and Mueller is a political animal. Barr doesn’t offer opinions or conjecture.
Enabling the President?
Earlier today, during an exclusive interview with CBS, Bill Barr was asked about criticisms lodged against him as one who is “protecting and enabling the President.” Barr said that’s reflective of the partisan age we live in. People no longer look at the facts, just who said it, what side they’re on, and so on. It goes with the territory of being an attorney general in a “hyperpartisan period of time,” he said.
He finished up by saying the Justice Department is all about the “law and the facts” and the “substance.” That is how he is going to make his decisions. The rest is irrelevant.
He also said Robert Mueller could have reached a decision on obstruction of justice. Mueller was allotted $35 million and hundreds of investigators to do THAT.
It’s about the Constitution…
During a recent interview with Bill Hemmer, Barr again spoke of justice, fairness, protecting the presidency, and adhering to the Constitution. For him, it is only about justice and facts. It is not about how he feels.
During the most recent Senate Judiciary hearings, he again explained that he is concerned with facts, not his feelings.
Barr likely didn’t think firing Comey or tweeting while venting or venting to Don McGahn was obstruction, but rather he saw it as venting.
Mueller said during his crazy presser that he didn’t question Barr’s “good faith” in his decision to “make the entire report public all at once.” So much for Barr’s supposed obstruction.
Whether he meant to or not, and despite Nadler’s and Pelosi’s ramblings and rants, Mueller killed their case yesterday. And if anyone lied, it’s Mueller.