Russia Monitor: And The Curtain Rises On The Barr Cover-up


Do You Trust Barr?

Mueller’s team conducted the investigation.

Mueller’s team wrote the report including summaries.

Mueller’s responsibility is to report to Congress.

Barr interjected to offer a non-summary summary of the Mueller report feeding a Trump claim of ‘Exoneration!’

Barr fed Trump his second talking point by claiming there was “spying”.

Barr coordinated with White House lawyers while stonewalling Congress so that a Trump legal team ‘rebuttal’ will be released at the same time as Barr’s redacted version of the Mueller report.

Barr will hold a press conference, possibly before anyone has read his redacted edition.

Barr’s history leading to this moment in history includes hiding Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal and misleading Congress with a ‘cherry-picked’ summary of a Justice Department memo in 1989.

By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (4/18/19)

Dear Fellow Readers,

Let the fun begin!

Trump’s attorney general William Barr will be releasing his redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia report early today. Barr is quite the loyal front man.

Barr will release the report at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. He will then hold a press conference on a report that no one will have seen in advance. Trump says, “maybe I’ll do one after that” before he takes off for yet another three-day weekend at Mar A Lago.

Trump has advance knowledge of the contents of the purported 400-page report as the New York Times now confirms, “White House and Justice Department Officials Discussed Mueller Report Before Release”. That’s “numerous conversations with White House lawyers” which have “aided the president’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report and strategizes for the coming public war over its findings”.

For context, keep in mind the responsibility for Barr and Mueller was to report to Congress but Barr has stonewalled House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler to date. Policing obstruction of justice is the responsibility of Congress.

Barr has irresponsibly inserted himself between Mueller and Congress while coordinating with the White House.

How Many Pages Does A Rebuttal Need to Be If It’s ‘EXONERATION’?

Barr and DoJ conversations with White House lawyers answers one question as ABC News had reported “the White House is preparing an aggressive response to the release of special counsel Mueller’s report”. In our last edition we reported a Wall Street Journal comment from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani about a rebuttal “140 pages long, but lawyers want to whittle it down to about 50”. How was this possible if no one had seen the report?

There is some apparent good news – DoJ plans to make a limited number of Members of Congress and their staff” will have access to “a copy of the Special Counsel’s report without certain redactions 

Nadler is not waiting, he has said he “could act as soon as Friday to subpoena the full report, as well as “all of Mueller’s grand jury information and underlying evidence.””

And Federal District Judge Reggie Walton “suggested he may want to review the Justice Department’s redactions for himself once versions of it are made public” and “then subsequently give it to organizations that requested it under FOIA. The requests were made by BuzzFeed and the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Kudos to Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier of BuzzFeed, they have broken a number of key stories on Trump-Russia and are continuing for fight the good fight:  

“The release tomorrow of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is a capstone for the two-year investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and interference in the 2016 election by the Russian government.

“But the report won’t tell the full story. For one thing, Attorney General William Barr is expected to make broad redactions . Historically, federal government agencies have also used redactions to conceal politically embarrassing information.

“Meanwhile, the report isn’t expected to reveal the internal workings of Mueller’s team of FBI agents and attorneys — what witnesses they questioned, what evidence they gathered, how they arrived at certain decisions, what influence, if any, the Justice Department and the White House wielded.

“To answer those questions, BuzzFeed News has turned to a reliable tool: the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).”

The authors have filed a FOIA request for 17 items including the full report, the evidence gathered, the subpoenas and search warrants, the FBI interviews, internal Justice Department communications and much more.

There are times the media does not get enough credit; a tip of the hat to Leopold and Cormier.



We’re going to give credit to Jack Holmes writing for Esquire for his pre-release comments: Trump Is Already Proving How Foolish It Was To Trust The Barr Letter.

Exoneration? Should we trust Trump, should we trust Barr?

“Yet for some reason—even though the president and his administration lie constantlyhe fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions for failing to protect him from the probe, he hired the acting attorney general before Barr, Matthew Whitaker, because he saw the guy attacking the Russia investigation on television, and he openly admitted he’d installed Whitaker over the investigation—most people seemed to just accept William Barr’s word for it.

“… Anyone who took The Barr Letter at face value when it was released deserves every ounce of egg that may or may not be headed towards their faces. If you’ve watched Donald Trump and his minions for the last three years and still expect that they are telling the truth when they speak publicly, you’re something beyond Charlie Brown with the football.”

But not everyone is concerned; there is one person that gives Trump high marks: RUSSIA: WORLD NO LONGER TRUSTS U.S. TO LEAD, IT’S TIME OTHERS STEP IN TO STOP ‘BLACKMAIL AND PRESSURE’.

You might remember Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from his visit to the White House after Trump fired Comey; he was the Russian joking with the media about the firing. Now he offers thatpurely economically and financially, the United States can no longer—singlehandedly or with its closest allies—resolve all issues in the global economy and world affairs.

Lavrov offers, “the world is losing faith in the United States”. Putin got a good return on his investment.


Running out the clock

Today begins a new chapter in the fight to get the full Mueller report. ‘Fight’ looks like the operable word going forward: Trump Moves To Resist House Inquiries, Setting Up Fight Over Congressional Subpoena Powers.

Trump’s plan is to run out the clock and let the 2020 election decide.

“White House officials are already digging in their heels on a slew of requests related to Trump’s actions as president. The administration does not plan to turn over information being sought about how particular individuals received their security clearances, Trump’s meetings with foreign leaders and other topics that they plan to argue are subject to executive privilege, according to several aides familiar with internal discussions.”


Assume the worst from Trump and Barr

Regardless of what happens today, it is a big day, an historic day.

History says we should assume the worst from Trump and Barr. Did Trump collude? Did Trump obstruct? Did Trump break the law? Scan this list of Trump’s history with Russia and see how you feel.

Barr has irresponsibly inserted himself between Mueller and Congress while coordinating with the White House.

Even Kim Jong Un inserted himself in the process as North Korea just “announced that it test-fired a new tactical guided weapon on Wednesday that increased the “combat power” of the country’s military.

But for the final word as Barr’s version of the report is released, we’ll turn to a touch of much-needed to humor – why not?

For a final preview, The Independent is reporting on what they are calling the ‘Rudy Rebuttal’:

“At 2.54am on Tuesday, Rudy Giuliani texted Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn that the president’s “counter report” will come out at the same time as the redacted Mueller report and that it will be 34 or 35 pages. Originally, Rudy G had promised to deliver 140 pages of delicious, bodice-ripping, lib-owning content, but as this writer can tell you, there are only so many gifs, emojis and Venn diagrams you can put in a piece of writing before you start to look like you’re just trying to fill the pages.

“Speculation is wild about what will be in the Rudy Rebuttal but luckily for me, Julian Assange sent me an early copy on the condition that I publish it immediately (because that’s what you do when you’re totally not a cut-out of the Russian government at all.)

“Before I begin my deeply thoughtful and important summation, let me just tell you that Rudy’s report is part-polemic, part-autobiography and part-farmers’ almanac. To say every farmhouse, small bordello and underground parking garage should have a copy of the Rudy Rebuttal seems like a grave understatement…”