A Brief Love Letter To Attorney General Bill Barr, In Advance Of The Mueller Report: F*CKING GIVE IT!
Now that we know that -- maybe -- special counsel Robert Mueller is going to send some version of a report to new Attorney General Bill Barr next week or in the coming weeks -- maybe -- the whole entire universe is talking about what that might look like and what sort of "summary" Barr might share with Congress, and how much of it we, the American public, will get to see. And we don't quite know for sure!
The other day we examined a range of possibilities regarding what might really be going on right now with the Mueller investigation: Mueller could be for real ALL FINISHED; he might have farmed the entire rest of the investigation out to different jurisdictions, in order to protect it; his old colleague Bill Barr might have literally just Saturday Night Massacred him behind the gym because that's what makes President Orange Shit Daddy happy; or maybe all this reporting is just like all the other reporting about all the Russia investigations being finished, and what we'll find out next week is PSYCH!
And if Mueller does deliver a report unto Barr next week, it could take on a variety of forms, too. It could be:
- A full and comprehensive story about everything that ever happened with Trump and Russia from beginning to end. But probably not, because the regulations say the report he submits to the AG should be "brief."
- A short list of who Mueller indicted and why, and any declinations explaining who he decided not to indict. We know how Bill Barr feels about telling America bad gossip about people who aren't getting indicted. Wouldn't want to ruin any of Donald Trump's friends and family's sterling reputations, would we?
- It could just be a .gif of Donald Trump with Vladimir Putin's hand up his ass that says "NO PUPPET, NO PUPPET, YOU'RE THE PUPPET." (This would probably be the most accurate report Mueller could submit.)
- Maybe if Mueller is being improperly pushed out, he's just gonna draw dicks on construction paper and send it to Barr, because fuck is this shit, Bill?
- Consider the possibility -- we are being serious again for a second -- that what Mueller delivers next week might just be his report on the Trump obstruction of justice part of this, though we now understand that, where the FBI is concerned, the obstruction case is the collusion case is the obstruction case is the collusion case, etc. It's all the same thing. But it could be a very president-focused document, about all the lies Trump told in the take-home test questions he and his legal team submitted to Mueller. Stuff like that.
- Former solicitor general Neal Katyal, who helped write the special counsel regulations, has a piece in the New York Times today on what a Mueller report might look like. He is a so-called "expert," so maybe he so-called "knows stuff." He thinks it's likely to be more like a road map for Congress and other prosecutors who aren't limited by Mueller's narrow mandate, people Donald Trump hasn't been attacking on Twitter every five seconds for almost two years now. In other words, he's saying that when God closes a Robert Mueller door, He's gonna rip the roof off the top of Donald Trump's entire motherfuckin' house so hard Trump's gonna pine for the old days when Mueller was just quietly and respectfully doing witch hunts. This would also have the benefit of turning Trump's obstructionist game of trying to destroy the investigations into him into the world's biggest game of whack-a-mole, and as we all know the president's hands are too tiny to play that sort of game.
Lots of possibilities! Regardless of what The Report looks like, the point that Bill Barr needs to take to the bank is GIVE IT.
In his testimony to Congress, Barr promised to Jesus -- with a lot of weasel words -- that he would "scrupulously" follow all the regulations governing the summary of the Mueller report he prepares for Congress, and that he would be as transparent about it as he possibly can. But as Greg Sargent lays out quite nicely in the Washington Post, there is absolutely nothing in the law or in the special counsel regulations that suggests Barr can't give us ALL OF IT, KATIE, unless he just doesn't want to for some reason, like maybe he wants to protect the criminal foreign agent asshole president who gave him the job. Indeed, this entire "lowering expectations" conversation we're having on the news right now is incredibly stupid, because literally the only way for this process to retain its legitimacy is GIVE IT. This moment in American history demands it.
Sargent explains how everybody has been looking at this all back asswards:
The emerging "savvy" consensus is that we shouldn't expect too much. As The Post reports here and here, Justice Department regulations don't require maximal disclosure, and Barr has been noncommittal, citing (in The Post's words) Justice Department "practices that insist on saying little or nothing about conduct that does not lead to criminal charges." [...]
In other words, tamp down your expectations, people, because DOJ regulations don't compel full disclosure and precedent leans against it.
But this concedes too much up front. The starting point for this whole argument should be that there is nothing that precludes robust public disclosure of Mueller's findings, and that, in a situation as unusual as this one, we are absolutely right to expect and insist on it.
Gotcha? There is nothing in the regulations or in the law that says Congress and, by extension, the American people, shouldn't be informed about ALL OF IT, except, of course, anything that would endanger national security if made public, ergo GIVE IT.
As Wonkette sees it, Barr has three reasonable choices in front of him:
1. GIVE IT.
2. FUCKING GODDAMN GIVE IT RIGHT NOW OH MY GOD.
In summary and in conclusion, Bill Barr, GIVE IT.
Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, but also do not go to jail, because you have an important job to do, and it is GIVE IT.
P.S. It's just going to leak anyway.
Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!
Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to keep the lights on, please. We appreciate you, most of the time.