Anonymous Mueller Allies Give Vague Hints That Maybe There Was More Obstruction, Possibly, Kinda

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Anonymous Mueller Allies Give Vague Hints That Maybe There Was More Obstruction, Possibly, Kinda

The utter lack of transparency in what you’re about to read is ridiculous and infuriating, but here we go: According to the New York Times, some of the investigators from Team Mueller aren’t happy with the four-page summary of the Mueller Report released by AG William Barr last week. It takes until the sixth paragraph, but the Times finally gets to the point:

The officials and others interviewed declined to flesh out why some of the special counsel’s investigators viewed their findings as potentially more damaging for the president than Mr. Barr explained, although the report is believed to examine Mr. Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation.

This is code for “it’s about the obstruction, not the collusion,” or “it’s the cover-up, not the crime.” The Washington Post states it a little more clearly:

Barr told lawmakers that he concluded the evidence was not sufficient to prove that the president obstructed justice.

But members of Mueller’s team have complained to close associates that the evidence they gathered on obstruction was alarming and significant.

“It was much more acute than Barr suggested,” said one person, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the subject’s sensitivity.

For a lot of Russiagaters, of course, this is being treated as a DRAMATIC REFUTATION of Barr’s summary, when in all likelihood it’s going to be the latest nothingburger and serve only as an agonizing extension of the salvation fever dream that the Mueller Report represents.

Here’s what probably happened:

1. Trump probably blundered his way into obstruction-adjacent actions because he’s A, dumb, and B, morally bankrupt.

2. When Barr said that Team Mueller couldn’t definitively prove obstruction, he was almost certainly telling the broad truth—because he probably wouldn’t have had the guts to say “no provable obstruction” if that wasn’t the case—while glossing over a whole lot of suspicious activity, and the absence of that suspicious activity in his summary—a summary that has entirely controlled the narrative—is what’s vexing the anonymous Mueller-ites.

3. Nothing is actually going to change here. Probably.

There’s one last point to be made here, and it’s the most important one: This could all have been avoided with a little transparency. Why on earth does a Trump ally get to control the flow of information, with no pushback from the people who actually investigated until a few anonymous trickles more than a week later? Why isn’t Mueller speaking? Why aren’t we seeing greater chunks of his report? If there is some kind of smoking gun, is it not completely unconscionable that we don’t know about it because our system lets the the guilty party break the news?

Barr will hide behind the need for confidentiality, but it appears very much that a 400-page report with some damaging information on the president—even if “damaging” isn’t damaging enough in many people’s eyes—is being hidden from public view because even after years of independent investigation, our system is sufficiently broken that political allies of the person being investigated control the flow of information, while the people who actually composed the report stay silent as the narrative is firmly established, and then meekly try to sow doubt with anonymous insinuation filtered through journalists.

This whole situation is trash.

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