The Cover-Up Is Happening In Plain Sight

It's pretty clear that when special counsel Robert Mueller deliberately chose not to make a conclusion on obstruction of justice crimes committed by Donald Trump, his purpose in doing so was to lay out all the evidence and give it to Congress to make that decision, judging that under current DoJ policy, the question of a sitting president committing crimes ("high crimes and misdemeanors," as they call it) was the purview of Congress. Instead, Attorney General Bill Barr decided after reading Mueller's findings in the bathtub the other night to go ahead and clear Trump of all accusations of wrongdoing, because that is exactly what he was hired to do. That's right, the attorney general of the United States of America has given his seal of approval to a president firing an FBI director in order to obstruct an investigation into himself (and confessing on TV!); and wooing potential witnesses against him with presidential pardons (which Barr told Senator Amy Klobuchar actually would be obstruction, but shhhhhh, let's not think too hard on it); and getting rid of your old attorney general because that guy refuses to be your personal Roy Cohn at Justice; and trying to fire the special counsel leading the investigation into you multiple times ... Jesus, when was Trump not obstructing justice?

All of that -- Barr's clean bill of health -- is the beginning of the attempted cover-up that's happening right now, right in front of our faces.

House Democrats have informed the DoJ that they expect the full Mueller report to be released by April 2, which is, ahem, See You Next Tuesday. But yesterday, the message went out that it would take "weeks, not months" to get a "version" of it ready for Congress and the people, which is definitely not the due date Congress gave them, and certainly not what we would call timely. And pardon us for a second, but did we ask for a "version" of it, or did we say GIVE US THE FUCKING REPORT? Oh, and Lindsey Graham also said Bill Barr told him the report has to go to the White House, so they can invent vacuous bullshit claims of executive privilege.

Great, Rudy Giuliani gets to take Wite-Out and cover up all the crimes. Cool. Remember how he famously said they wanted an opportunity to "correct" the report before it goes out? Well he gets to now!

Lindsey Graham said that yesterday morning, so maybe they are going to let the White House mark the report up with a red pen and delete all the obvious collusion that didn't rise to the level of a conspiracy according to Mueller's interpretation of US law -- but nonetheless makes Trump look like a veritable Russian intelligence asset. But by last night, Graham was saying on Fox News that actually Trump is cool with the report being released (because exonerated!), and that it will not go to the White House for "corrections." A DOJ official also told reporters they don't plan to send the report to the White House before it's released to the public. Buuuuuuut we're still hearing whispers out there about "executive privilege."

In other words, who the fuck knows! Just keep your eye out for fuckery.

Of course, there are certain things they have to do to the report to make it ready for public consumption, such as cross out all the grand jury testimony, which is secret under the law. (However, during Watergate, they found some workarounds for that, because it was judged to be in the public interest. We'd argue that this rises to the level of Watergate, and then having risen to that level, blows right past it.) Also, they'd have to redact anything that relates to ongoing criminal investigations -- you know, in case the Trump White House has forgotten how many of those Mueller kicked to other jurisdictions,that we currently know about.

But what we're particularly curious about is the counter-intelligence part of the investigation, which the FBI is reportedly prepared to brief the Gang of Eight on. You know, the parts about whether Trump and his associates are compromised, and if Trump is literally an agent of the Russian Federation, witting or unwitting. (We've brought this up a time or two before, and Natasha Bertrand has a good summary of all the aspects of that that mysteriously didn't make it into Bill Barr's cover-up letter.)

The point is, there is a fuckton of this report that America needs to see, regardless of whatever objections might come from Barr or the yapping dog at 1600 Pennsylvania. And if they try anything, then people should take to the fucking streets, because they're going to try to cover it up any way they possibly can. Hell, with Bill Barr's actions so far, the man might as well take all his clothes off (please don't) and stand in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue flailing his arms and shouting "I AM DOING A COVER-UP!"

Watch this space, as Rachel Maddow would say on her evening television program!

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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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