September 18, 2019

The Beginning of the End of the Mueller Debate

“After 2,800 subpoenas, 500 executed search warrants, millions of pages of documents, and 500 witness interviews over a span of 22 months, the conclusions reached by special counsel Robert Mueller on Trump campaign collusion and obstruction of justice are unquestionable wins for President Trump. Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s exhaustive report is essentially a legalistic version of what the president has been tweeting and saying since the first day of the special counsel investigation: “No collusion. No obstruction!”

You could practically hear Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow’s delight when they called into CNN about an hour after Barr’s letter was released. The two lawyers put in countless late nights and weekends dealing with perhaps the most difficult client on the planet while at the same time battling Mueller’s team of hungry, aggressive prosecutors. Barr’s judgment that Trump did not commit an obstructionist offense and that the underlying investigatory thread, coordination with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, simply didn’t happen will be as much of a relief to Giuliani and Sekulow as it is to Trump.

Yet it would be the height of naivete to believe the book is closed. Democrats on Capitol Hill are not just going to take the attorney general’s conclusions and move on to new things. One key line in Barr’s letter, “While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” provides House Democrats with an opportunity to move Mueller’s investigation from the special counsel’s nondescript Washington, D.C., office building to the halls of Congress. You can bet your bottom dollar that Democrats will use their subpoena power if that’s what it takes to figure out why Barr made the prosecutorial decision he did and why he took only 48 hours before issuing his initial findings.”

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