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Wow, this is some hilarious bullshit we're about to discuss right here! On Monday, we noted that Donald Trump, the unindicted criminal superstar of the Mueller Report, appears to be losing it over Robert Mueller's testimony, which starts bright and early tomorrow morning. (Will we be liveblogging it? What do you think?)

Today let's talk about the Department of Justice, because it appears it too has lost all its shit and doesn't know where to find it. Maybe Attorney General Bill Barr shouldn't have spent all those months running around and lying about the contents of the Mueller Report and obfuscating and being a poor man's Roy Cohn for Donald Trump, telling America (falsely) that Mueller's investigation found NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION, EVERYTHING BIGLY LEGAL AND BIGLY COOL!

It started with news on Monday afternoon in Politico that the DOJ had "communicated" to Mueller that he is not allowed to talk about anything outside the four corners of what's written in his report, which is funny, because Mueller has suggested that's what he intends to do anyway. Of course actually Mueller is now a private citizen now and DOJ can't tell him what to do, aside from "don't say classified information." Mueller also probably shouldn't spill his guts about ongoing criminal matters, but he's a damn career prosecutor and former FBI director, so we don't think any of that is a concern, now do we?

The original Politico report said DOJ had told Mueller that anything involving the evidence he gathered was "presumptively privileged." Now, thanks to Fox News (really!) we can see the actual letter sent to Mueller by Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer, and what did Bill Barr call the letter Mueller sent him about how Barr was misrepresenting the findings of Mueller's report? Oh, that's right, he told Congress it was SNITTY. We feel this letter is far more SNITTY than anything Mueller said to Bill Barr, who deserves all the SNITTY money can buy.


Let's run through it and translate it into Wonk-ese:

In the opening graf, we learn that Mueller requested this guidance 13 days ago, and is only just now receiving a response. We doubt he was expecting the reply to be this funny and weird and whiny and chickenshit, though.

Dear Mr. Mueller, YOU SAID you didn't want to testify, and YOU SAID if you did testify, you wouldn't say anything outside what you wrote in the report, YOU SAID. We are just reminding you that YOU SAID.

Weinsheimer tells Mueller that he shouldn't tell secrets about the redacted parts of his report, and then adds another thing for good measure:

"It is the Department's longstanding policy not to discuss the conduct of uncharged third-parties. Established Department policy also precludes any comment on the facts developed and legal conclusions by the Special Counsel's Office with respect to uncharged individuals, other than information contained within the portions of your report that have already been made public."

LOL, wonder who (Donald Trump) they mean by (Donald Trump) "uncharged third-parties" (Donald Trump). It is a mystery wrapped in a conundrum that appears to be a fully developed foreign intelligence asset of the Russian Federation! Also no saying bad words about Donald Trump Jr. (the one Mueller judged was too stupid to be indicted), and no saying how you came to decide not to charge him or his dad or anybody else you didn't charge, because THAT'S AGAINST THE RULES.

You know, the rules Robert Mueller doesn't actually have to follow.

In other words, Bill Barr is welcome to make up lies about what the Mueller Report says, because that is what he was hired to do, but Robert Mueller is not allowed to talk about his own fucking investigation. Gotcha you betcha for sure.

And finally, PRIVILEGE PRIVILEGE PRIVILEGE PRIVILEGE PRIVILEGEGHAZI!!11!!! Donald Trump has asserted executive privilege over all evidence that he committed crimes, and therefore Robert Mueller cannot talk about his evidence or his reasoning or his thinking or what he had for lunch that day or anything that might potentially make Rachel Maddow say bad things about Trump. It would be un-American!

Told you this letter was some bullshit. And WOW, they do not want Mueller to answer questions about whether he would have charged Donald Trump, if it wasn't for that dumb fucking used toilet paper memo that says you can't indict a sitting president.

As Neal Katyal argues in the New York Times, there are exactly three questions Robert Mueller needs to answer early and as often as possible:

First, did your report find there was no collusion?

Second, did your report find there was no obstruction?

Third, did your report give the president complete and total exoneration?

That's it. That's the ballgame.

We already know the answers are no, no, and no. We also know from Mueller's earlier public statement, and as it was written in his report, that if he could have exonerated Trump on obstruction of justice, he would have. Mueller made very clear that the reason he didn't is because he couldn't.

Now, do we think Mueller is going to flip this fucking nerd Weinsheimer off and say whatever he wants? Eh, that is not really his style. But we will note that Mueller is giving an opening statement he has not cleared with DoJ, and reportedly there won't be any DOJ lawyers in the room to tell Mueller he's not allowed to say his own name, so we'll see!

But let the record show that the Department of Justice is having a fucking cow over Mueller's testimony, like so much of a cow that Devin Nunes is probably running toward DOJ right now to see the cow they are having, because he likes cows, allegedly, and wants to see if the cow they are having is sexy.

Wednesday should be fun!

[Weinsheimer letter / New York Times]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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