White House Lawyers: What CAN'T They Do!
After a long week of covering Trump's saggy, orange ass, Attorney General Bill Barr mixed it up and spent the weekend ... covering Trump's decrepit, treasonous ass. Because it's always redaction-thirty with AG Rug Sweeper in the house! Robert Mueller produced pre-redacted summaries of his findings for immediate release to Congress, but Bill Barr has decided not to hand them over because REASONS. So DC is in a holding pattern waiting for Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to finish up their Sharpie party -- "I'm landing the plane right now," Barr told the Senate last week. Which is a very normal way for lawyers to talk, and not at all indicative of a man with a hero complex diving in to save the president from his own justice-obstructing fuckery grenade.
As we wait, Jonathan Swan at Axios reports that the president is totally chill about the likely release of the Mueller report. To which we say, Hello, we have seen Trump's Twitter, and "blasé" is not the word that comes to mind. While everyone in America was watching "Game of Thrones" last night, the leader of the free world was whining into the void about Nancy Pelosi and NO COLLUSION. Giuliani and the rest of Trump's personal lawyers are similarly relaxed, desperately working to pare their 140-page rebuttal memo down to 50 pages. As one does when one is totally exonerated by said memo, of course.
So what's got Trumpland's panties in a bunch? Might it have something to do with former White House Counsel Don McGahn and his big mouth? Tell us, ABC's Jonathan Karl!
KARL: Yes, yes. The good news is already out there, broad conclusion, no finding of conspiracy between the campaign and the Russians on the hack or on the interfering in the elections.
But there is significant concerns about what will be in here, new information on the obstruction justice question, on what the president was doing regarding some of the big questions, was he trying to – how much – how far did he go down the line of trying to fire Mueller or talk about firing Mueller, situations surrounding the Comey firing. And what worries them most is what Don McGahn told the Special Counsel . It was –
STEPHANOPOULOS: Former White House Counsel.
KARL: Former White House Counsel Don McGahn has visibility on all of this. It was reported earlier that he spent 30 hours before the Special Counsel. George, I'm told that significantly more than 30 hours, and here's the astounding thing. After all of that time before the Special Counsel, nobody on the president's legal team debriefed McGahn about what he was asked by the Special Counsel or what he told the Special Counsel. So the bottom line is they really don't know
LOL, remember that funny time in 2017 when Trump was represented by two aging walruses who thought their client was actually innocent, so they practiced a legal strategy of radical transparency and just gave Robert Mueller everything? We know all about it, from that time Ty Cobb and John Dowd shouted about it at lunch five feet from a well-known New York Times reporter.
We were so innocent then!
Superfans will remember that before Cobb and Dowd were pushed out on an ice floe, they dispatched Don McGahn to go get nekkid with Robert Mueller's investigators, figuratively speaking if not literally. And instead of at least trying to invoke executive privilege, he blabbed about the silly time when Trump, Prince Jared and White Nationalist Stephen Miller wrote a memo firing Comey explicitly because of The Rusher Thing. And about the time when Trump ordered McGahn to fire Mueller. And about the time when Trump told McGahn to fire Jeff Sessions so he could get his own Roy Cohn in there. And God only knows what else! Which is why Steve Bannon came up with that amazing Hot Tub Time Machine Executive Privilege Defense, to claw back everything Chatty Cathy had said by claiming the White House hadn't waived executive privilege for communications between government employees and the Special Counsel's office, because Mueller himself is part of the executive branch.
Bill Barr has thus far assured the Senate that Trump will not be invoking executive privilege as to any part of the special counsel's report. But that guy's squirrelly AF, so we're taking that as a likely indication that he did the White House a solid by redacting it all anyway to "protect the reputation of uncharged parties." Which is not going to fly with Congressmen Nadler and Schiff, since the Justice Department's position has always been that a sitting president can't be charged.
So strap in kids, this week's going to be ugly. Just like every single other hell week in this unending nightmare ...
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.