, 35 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
To recap, Mueller warned Barr FIVE TIMES in different ways that he misled the public by refusing to release Mueller’s fully baked executive summaries of the 448-pg report, substituting his own misleading 4-pg non-summary.

The only plausible explanation is purposeful deception.
Barr exploited a loophole in the Special Counsel regulations requiring the report to be delivered to the AG. With due respect to @neal_katyal, they were drafted presuming the AG would act in good faith, honoring his or her duties as the nation’s top law enforcement official.
Instead, Barr acted as 45’s personal defense attorney and/or PR flack from inception, deploying the flimsy, cherry-picking 4-pager to spin short-attention-span public & news cycle toward his false “no collusion” “TOTALLY EXONERATED” narratives. Calculated to mislead & obfuscate.
Mueller‘ s 3/27 letter to Barr that Rep. Amash quotes — his *second* letter — is enormously significant. “Going to paper” like this (vs. talking it out) is an extraordinary step, acknowledging a major disagreement needed to be formally documented for posterity.
These men were reportedly friends at one time, both conservative R’s. But Mueller was hired for a singularly sensitive, critical project, with impeccable credentials and a narrowly circumscribed remit. Legal experts quibble with some of his decisions but overwhelmingly support…
…the integrity of Mueller’s process, findings & presentation. So it was a kick in the teeth for him to write to Barr (in understated tone) that the 4-pager “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions” and made stakes clear.
“Context, nature, and substance.” What else is left? Form, style, tone? Mueller all but called Barr a liar (not for nothing) and warned, “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation”—objective of a 45 minion, not a steward of justice.
Mueller: “This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which [DOJ] appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”

That was the role for which Barr auditioned: Secretary of Undermining Mueller & Confusing the Public
Meetings, letters, calls urging Barr to publish the full, ready-for-prime-time executive summaries — yet he stonewalled for three weeks while the misleading “no collusion” and false “TOTALLY EXONERATED” messages marinated. Meanwhile, he told Congress he didn’t know what he knew.
Amash: ‘Barr absurdly replied: “No, I don’t…I suspect that they probably wanted more put out.” Yet Mueller had directly raised those concerns to Barr, and Barr says he “suspect[s]” they “probably” wanted more materials put out, as if Mueller hadn’t directly told him that.’
Barr is an expert in what I call lawyer-lies, where statements are calculated to be literally true but convey a false impression. (The gold standard is probably Clinton “there IS no improper personal relationship” where IS present-tense was true THEN, but there HAD BEEN one.)
Amash is commendably blunt: “Barr used further misrepresentations to help build the president’s false narrative that the investigation was unjustified.” He brings receipts, as they say. I won’t rehash them because he covers them well. ~> threadreaderapp.com/thread/1133410…
But I’d emphasize 3 core deceptions that are at the heart of current 45/GOP talking points & diversion strategy:

1) Focusing on yes-or-no “collusion” (which is not a crime) has the effect of narrowing the conversation to exclude a vast range of other misconduct/criminal acts…
…including not just obstruction of justice (Vol. II of Mueller report) but things like violation of campaign finance laws (hush money payments using campaign funds). Devious strategy is to conflate “no collusion” in public mind w/ “total exoneration for everything imaginable”
2) Amash sums up nicely: “Whether there’s enough evidence for a conviction of a specific crime which Mueller thought was appropriate to charge is a different and much higher standard than whether the people whom Mueller investigated had done anything worthy of investigation.”
Prosecutors only try cases they plan & expect to WIN. That means overwhelming evidence that they believe will convince a jury to find the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime(s) charged. Offenses like conspiracy are HARD to prove, even if the whole thing reeks…
…of collusion. Hence @RepAdamSchiff’s rightly famous diatribe about the rampant misconduct “I don’t think it’s OK.” Vol. I of the Mueller Report details 100+ pages of contact between Russians & people associated with the Trump campaign.
3) Attacking the investigators & investigation as somehow inappropriate because it didn’t result in criminal charges. This is circular logic gone totally insane. THE ENTIRE POINT OF AN INVESTIGATION IS TO DETERMINE WHETHER there were any criminal acts worth prosecuting. Duh.
That’s not to suggest everyone should just be investigated for anything. It’s why the concept of “predication” (grounds) exists. The common standard for predication is an articulable factual basis for the investigation that reasonably indicates that crime(s) were committed.
Predication for investigating *Russian interference* (NOT the Trump campaign itself, despite incessant efforts to claim victim status) was the infamous “Russia has dirt on Hillary” conversation Papadopolous had with Aussie intel, passed along to the FBI.
Against the backdrop of known Russian info ops trying to mess with the US election, it would’ve been dereliction of duty NOT to consider that kind of tip something requiring investigation, as people like former FBI General Counsel James Baker / Acting Dir. McCabe heave explained.
Whether person A or B or Z texted whatever to whomever whenever has zero to do with establishing predication for the initial FBI investigation into Russian interference — or expansion to focus on 45 himself *after* he fired Comey. All that hand-waving is pure, cynical diversion…
…to detract from the findings in the Mueller report itself, which speaks for itself. Who paid for the Steele dossier? Who cares? Jim Baker amusingly summed it up: “Look, we’re not stupid.” FBI gets tips constantly from every direction imaginable. A tip is a tip. They investigate
…to see if there’s any substance. Again, duh. This would be why “Investigation” is in the name of the bureau. Doesn’t matter if the document came from Steele or me or my grandma. But dumbest of all, the “oranges” of an investigation do nothing to detract from its findings.
The disinformation stretches back two years, to 45’s “Obama wiretapped Trump Tower” BS fabrication that Nunes & others then had to embarrass themselves trying to substantiate. Same tune now blared by Trump & surrogates except now he’s upped the stakes to “treason” “coup” etc.
The Interwebz are still crawling with conspiracy crap about Carter Page FISA warrants, Comey this, Strzok that, yadda yadda. 100% pure USDA Prime BS. All desperately trying to justify a dangerously illiberal “investigate the investigators” push. Vindictiveness: Sound familiar?
Unlike the original FBI investigation, no predication exists to investigate the investigators.
Unlike Obama, who had zero involvement & wanted to keep it that way, 45 asked his minion AG to investigate FBI/DOJ who were doing their duties & subject to a pending IG review anyway.
Read. The. Mueller. Report. Rep. @justinamash’s informed commentary indicates he did. Too busy? Read the executive summaries. Or listen to the 50-minute podcast version of them @lawfareblog.
Read the statement signed by ~1,000 former federal prosecutors. Most concise statement of 3 main grounds for indictment / impeachment I’ve seen ~> medium.com/@dojalumni/sta…
Check out @talkingfedspod.
@glennkirschner2: “Like a high crimes & misdemeanors jamboree when you read Vol II. It just it drives me, as a former career prosecutor, crazy. @Mimirocah1 & I could walk into court & prove multiple counts of obstruction of justice against POTUS now.”
‘OLC says "No, you can't because we're not going to let you." It's an ill- advised policy. And I hope we see some reforms moving forward. But there's so much criminal conduct, there's so much constitutional misconduct that I think satisfies the high crimes & misdemeanors burden…
‘…But we're just not paying attention to it because Bill Barr stepped out on Day One and said: "Nothing to see here, folks. I declare he's innocent and exonerated," and reality has forever been trying to play catch up.’ — @glennkirschner2
‘I mean for gosh sakes, he told Don McGahn, "Fire Special Counsel." And when McGahn said, "I'm not doing it," he said, “Then create a false document saying I never told you to do it." Really? Really?!’

My sentiments exactly.

Transcript ~> talkingfeds.com/transcripts/20…
“Full cooperation,” AG Barr style: “…the report says Mueller unsuccessfully sought an interview with the president for over a year.” (Via @justinamash again)

But my favorite excuse is the “perjury trap” concept: Can’t ask POTUS to talk to Mueller because he’s so prone to lying.
Well phrased by @benjaminwittes: "I don't think you get out of the obligation of interface with law enforcement by being such a pervasive liar that any interview would be assumed to be one in which you would likely perjure yourself."
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