OKAY, I WROTE THIS FOR USA TODAY right after the Barr press conference, but they don’t want to run it because it doesn’t incorporate the Mueller Report. Since I don’t have time to read and digest the report this afternoon (I’m teaching two 2-hour classes back to back), I’m just posting it here. Enjoy!
Bill Barr’s press conference regarding the Mueller Report release was notable for both style and substance.
Style - Age - Media - Hysteria - Twitter-pols
On style, he reminded us that in an age of shrieking media hysteria and out-of-control twitter-pols, there is still a place for stolid, stodgy, rule-following bureaucrats. Standing at the lectern with his lieutenants behind him, he calmly and carefully explained what was in the report, what had been redacted and why, and what the applicable laws and rules were. He didn’t play to the media, or to the social media. In tone and manner he was, well, boring.
It was refreshing.
Substance - Years - Investigation - Thousands - Subpoenas
On substance, he made clear that, after two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and endless media speculation, the “Russian collusion” story was, as some of us had noted all along, a story about nothing. No member of Trump’s campaign — and in fact, no American anywhere — colluded with the Russians to influence the campaign.
In Barr’s words: “As the Special Counsel’s report makes clear, the Russian government sought to interfere in our election. But thanks to the Special Counsel’s thorough investigation, we now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign – or the knowing assistance of any other Americans for that matter. That is something that all Americans can and should be grateful to have confirmed. “
Claims - Obstruction - Hold - Water - President
Nor do fallback claims of “obstruction” hold water: “In assessing the President’s actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear...
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