The New York Times broke a story last night, which was quickly matched by the Washington Post, about how -- surprise of all surprises! -- the Mueller team is not pleased with how Attorney General Bill Barr has handled his job as the guardian and (still) sole interlocutor between their work, Congress, and the American people. Guess that's what happens when a political appointee who's been on the job for a whole month pisses all over a two year investigation that ain't got shit to do with him and engages in the world's most obvious cover-up.

We begin with the Times:

At stake in the dispute — the first evidence of tension between Mr. Barr and the special counsel's office — is who shapes the public's initial understanding of one of the most consequential government investigations in American history. Some members of Mr. Mueller's team are concerned that, because Mr. Barr created the first narrative of the special counsel's findings, Americans' views will have hardened before the investigation's conclusions become public.

YOU THINK? If we had put two years of our expertise into an investigation, only to have a political hack attorney general reduce it to five words ("NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION, DERP!") that don't actually represent our findings, especially in an investigation into one of the biggest scandals in modern political history, we'd be pissed too!

It's been ridiculous watching Bill Barr explain that he just needs WEEKS to delete things with Wite-Out in order to present a report that misleads the American people and exonerates the crime boss who hired him (not the way he phrased it), but you'll be shocked to know Mueller and his team wrote "multiple summaries" of their work, summaries that, as the Post explains, were literally composed in such a way that Barr could have just copy/pasted them, so that we could be hearing from them in their own words, rather than from Cover-Up Charlie over here.

Where the Times and the Post sound a little bit different on the details is that the Times suggests Mueller's people never explicitly said, "Bill Barr, these are the executive summaries. Use these instead of making dookie smells on paper that spell I LOVE TRUMP and releasing them." But the Post seems to say that's exactly what they wanted, and that they "assumed" that's what would happen in a sane and rational world:

"There was immediate displeasure from the team when they saw how the attorney general had characterized their work instead," according one U.S. official briefed on the matter.

Summaries were prepared for different sections of the report, with a view that they could made public, the official said.

The report was prepared "so that the front matter from each section could have been released immediately — or very quickly," the official said. "It was done in a way that minimum redactions, if any, would have been necessary, and the work would have spoken for itself."

Mueller's team assumed the information was going to be made available to the public, the official said, "and so they prepared their summaries to be shared in their own words — and not in the attorney general's summary of their work, as turned out to be the case."

How maddening that Barr didn't just use those, instead of writing a little summary of his whitewashed interpretation of the report, and then a week later writing a mad letter saying DON'T SAY MY SUMMARY THAT I SAID WAS A SUMMARY WAS A SUMMARY! I DIDN'T CALL IT A SUMMARY, OH WAIT, GUESS I DID!

Unfortunately, the Times reports that in Bill Barr's estimable estimation, the summaries -- including Mueller's -- were full of Don't Ask Don't Tell information he just couldn't possibly release, like grand jury information (there's a judge for that), classified information (Congress can still see that), and derogatory words about people who weren't charged (fuck Donald Trump Junior's nonexistent "reputation"). On that note, don't pick up anything heavy before you read this next passage, because you will surely hurl it through the window:

Mr. Barr was also wary of departing from Justice Department practice not to disclose derogatory details in closing an investigation, according to two government officials familiar with Mr. Barr's thinking. They pointed to the decision by James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, to harshly criticize Hillary Clinton in 2016 while announcing that he was recommending no charges in the inquiry into her email practices. [...]

Mr. Barr and his advisers expressed concern that if they included derogatory information about Mr. Trump while clearing him, they would face a storm of criticism like what Mr. Comey endured in the Clinton investigation.

FUCK YOU. "Because the FBI boned the goat and helped Trump win the election by spreading absolute bullshit about Hillary Clinton while deciding not to indict her, we must now HELP TRUMP SOME MORE by refusing to provide the American people with transparency about an investigation that goes to the very heart of our democracy." FUCK YOU!

Barr is also reportedly very upset that Mueller chose not to decide the issue of criminal obstruction, which meant Congress could do its job Barr was forced I tell you FORCED to decide the issue on his own:

Mr. Barr and other Justice Department officials believe the special counsel's investigators fell short of their task by declining to decide whether Mr. Trump illegally obstructed the inquiry, according to the two government officials. After Mr. Mueller made no judgment on the obstruction matter, Mr. Barr stepped in to declare that he himself had cleared Mr. Trump of wrongdoing.

Barr was also reportedly real worried that if he said more than "NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION, FAAAAAAAAAAART!" then he would be "wading into political territory," per the Times reporting, to which Wonkette also replies FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU, FUCKING GIVE US THE REPORT RIGHT THE FUCK NOW, YOU TWO-BIT LOSER CRIMINALS!

Both the Times and the Post say the investigators are most pissed off about Barr's whitewashing of the the obstruction of justice portion of the investigation,the one he chose to adjudicate for himself based on his 15 minutes of reading the Mueller report in the bathtub. One of the Post's sources says there's evidence for criminal obstruction that's "much more acute than Barr suggested," and that there's stuff in there that happened behind the scenes and hasn't been reported so far. (You know, on top of Trump firing Comey and trying to fire Mueller and bullying Jeff Sessions in public and behind closed doors and all the tweets about WITCH HUNT! and so on and so forth.) We're not entirely surprised by this, because Barr didn't take it upon himself to try to adjudicate the conspiracy angle. As to that -- and as to the NO COLLUSION part? Well, Barr didn't actually say NO COLLUSION, and we're guessing Mueller's investigators have a lot more to tell us on that front, but it's likely to be a story about Trump people doing a bunch of vile and un-Christian things with Russians that nevertheless don't rise to the level of "criminal," or that Mueller assessed he couldn't prove beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Tell us what this all means, sane person Rudy Giuliani:

In an interview Wednesday night with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Giuliani said the reports prove the special counsel's office was biased.

"They are a bunch of sneaky, unethical leakers," he said. "And they are rabid Democrats who hate the president of United States."

Giuliani added, "I am absolutely confident that the report will bear out the conclusions. The conclusions: no obstruction, no Russian collusion of any kind. It will bear that out."

Great, we'd love to read it, you slimy lying fucking bastard! Oh wait, except for how Trump and the Republicans really don't want us to read it, for some reason.

Neither the Times nor the Post was very specific beyond what we've told you about what exactly is bothering Mueller's investigators, but it's ALL COMING OUT, so we're sure we'll find out soon. You know, unless Barr just wants to go ahead and TAKE THE FUCKING REPORT TO CONGRESS, UNREDACTED, AND DROP IT ON JERRY NADLER'S DESK, just like he's supposed to do. If he doesn't, we have never been more certain in our lives that the entire fucking thing is going to leak.


[ New York Times / Washington Post]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing 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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