Robert Mueller Has One Last Thing To Say About Bill Barr's Lies. A WEIRD THING.
Not long after Robert Mueller finished calmly and gravely exposing Attorney General Bill Barr as a liar and gently suggested Congress should probably go impeach and remove Donald Trump from office real quick, a funny thing happened. Mueller's office released another statement. That's right, it's closing time, and suddenly they're chatty as fuck!
It was sort of an addendum, intended to serve as what would have been Robert Mueller's answer to a question a reporter asked Bill Barr, way back when Barr did that bullshit lie presser before he released the actual (though redacted) Mueller Report. The question was about the Office of Legal Counsel opinion that says presidents can't be indicted. So, the handout quotes what Barr says, and then adds what Mueller would have said if he had been there, we guess.
Here, let NBC reporter Julia Ainsley try to explain you it:
Very weird. @JuliaEAinsley confirms here that this document did come from the Office of Special Counsel. But she se… https://t.co/IcZSaEOEIZ— Josh Marshall (@Josh Marshall)1559154347.0
MSNBC host Ari Melber shares the full handout on Twitter:
They ... kind of don't contradict each other, but at the same time ... they kind of do?
In the handout, quoting Barr's earlier presser, Barr says when he met with Mueller on March 5, they "specifically asked" if Mueller would want to indict, if it weren't for the OLC opinion. "And he made it very clear several times that that was not his position." It continues:
He was not saying that but for the OLC opinion, he would have found a crime. He made it clear that he had not made the determination that there was a crime.
So Barr, in that presser, was clearly trying to weeweejizz into the record the false story that Mueller had several rationales for why Trump shouldn't be indicted, and Barr probably hoped you'd believe most of those rationales were that Trump was just so bigly and obviously innocent, he couldn't possibly! After all, Mueller "made it clear that he had not made the determination that there was a crime." Go to the opposite of jail, Donald Trump!
But in this response, Mueller's office -- or somebody from Mueller's office, there is some weirdness around the formatting of this document and how it got transmitted to reporters -- quotes what he said in this morning's press conference:
That was the Justice Department policy and those were the principles under which we operated. From them we concluded that we would not reach a determination -- one way or the other -- about whether the President committed a crime. That is the office's final position and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the President.
Mueller's point seems to be that all these questions about multiple rationales for whether to Love or to List the president are academic and irrelevant, because due to the existence of the OLC memo, they didn't even attempt to answer those questions in the first place!
Which, again ... is not technically all that different from what Barr said, except for when you take it in context with everything else Barr said that day, part of which was TOTAL EXONERATION BECAUSE BILL BARR SAID SO! Also, when you consider exactly how Barr framed his language, which seemed intended to insinuate that Mueller had assessed Trump's sins and found them washed by the blood of Jesus, his statement just reeks of lies.
If you take all this together with what Mueller wrote in his report (which is also quoted in the handout above), and what he said this morning, when he gently suggested that nobody in the DOJ -- including Bill Barr -- can make that sort of determination in the first place, as that is Congress's job, and Mueller's emphasis on how if they had been able to declare Trump innocent based on the evidence, they'd have been happy to, but they couldn't, because SO MUCH FUCKING EVIDENCE ...
The key line that will be played over and over. Robert Mueller: "As set forth in the report, after that investigat… https://t.co/LRIzQoTNrM— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1559142918.0
This is a weird handout, that is our conclusion. And Bill Barr is a particularly forked-tongued kind of liar, that is our other conclusion.
Here, have a video from Fox News of Bret Baier reacting to the Mueller presser this morning and sharing a lightbulb moment with Fox viewers about how pretty much everything Mueller said is just about the opposite of all the lies Bill Barr has told about Mueller's work, which would lead most casual observers to conclude Barr is full of lies:
Bret Baier on Fox after Mueller's newser: "This was not, as the president says time and time again, no collusion, n… https://t.co/tG2ym3kZdl— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1559159417.0
OK, well this has been a weird news day, and everything is free to go to hell now, goodbye, OPEN THREAD!
Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!
Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. If you love Wonkette, SUPPORT WONKETTE.