The redacted version of the Mueller Report has been released. What we have isn’t everything, and it’s possible, though the American public paid for the report we will never see an unredacted version released. What do we have is a trove of information worth reading and discussing.
Within the report there are four categories of information that Barr himself decided to redact and release. The types of information he decided to redact are grand jury information, classified information, information related to ongoing investigations, and information that would infringe on the privacy of others. It’s common to redact grand jury information and perhaps that’s why there is little mention of Manafort handing over confidential polling information over to foreign parties.
There are some startling revelations, including the FBI recognizing that Russia meddled in our 2016 elections. According to a recent poll, 60% of Americans believe Russia meddled in the 2016 election. In this poll, eighty-five percent of democrats and fifty-three percent of Independents agreed while only 46% of Republicans believe it. This is a fact and while most agree our elections aren’t secure some won’t admit Russia influenced the 2016 election. The FBI recognized that at least one county in Florida may have been hacked by Russia. We must secure our democracy.
[“With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice. “]
Several times in the report, Mueller hints that he would prefer not to prosecute. There is a clear desire to see Congress investigate obstruction charges, but with the Senate full of loyalists to the President there is likely no value to Impeachment.
Trump wasn’t able to recall things very well. Over thirty times he could not recall during, or could not remember, or have an “independent recollection” of information called for by the questions in the report. This is the man that in October 2017 said in an interview that he has “one of the great memories of all time.” Other answers he gave were incomplete or imprecise. The investigators told Trump’s counsel the written responses “demonstrate in the inadequacy of the written format.” They asked him again for a person to person interview with a limited scope and he declined and that was the end of attempts to question the President..
The special counsel found evidence of other crimes. They made 14 referrals to appropriate law enforcement authorities. Unfortunately, twelve of those remain secret for now. One damning sentence in the report, “But the evidence does indicate that thorough FBI investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the President personally that the President could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns.” Cohen and Craig are the two unredacted referrals, so it’s likely someone like Trump Jr. or Kushner could be among those still facing outside charges.
[“Oh my god, I’m so f*cked. How could you let this happen, Jeff? You were supposed to protect me. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me!”]
Trump’s response to the Sessions recusal was memeworthy. Full of expletives and obviously showing his intent in placing Sessions in the role of Attorney General. “Oh my god,” he said. “This is the end of my Presidency!” More shocking is the fact that Trump expected Sessions to shield him from this debacle.
[“Third, the investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference. The Office charged some of those lies as violations of the federal false statements statute.”]
There can be no more question that some sort of obfuscation was taking place as the report states that Trump’s associates lied to Congress and the Special Counsel and that this “materially impaired” the Russia investigation. They appear to have lied to cover up their tracks and succeeded. Some associates destroyed evidence to avoid prosecution. This is why we cannot trust Barrs claims of no obstruction.
[“On July 27 2016, Unit 26165 targeted email accounts connected to candidate Clinton’s personal office . Earlier that day, candidate Trump made public statements that included the following: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” 183 The “30,000 emails” were apparently a reference to emails described in media accounts as having been stored on a personal server that candidate Clinton had used while serving as Secretary of State.”]
While Trump was a candidate he made a famous call out to Russia for Hillary’s missing 30,000 emails. Literally within five hours of making that statement they went to work. They targeted her personal office and sent malicious links targeting 15 email accounts. These emails were not public and they found no evidence showing the Russian hacking groups had attempted to hack her emails prior.
[“WikiLeaks, and particularly its founder Julian Assange, privately expressed opposition to candidate Clinton well before the first release of stolen documents. In November 2015, Assange wrote to other members and associates of WikiLeaks that “[w]e believe it would be much better for GOP to win … Dems+Media+liberals woudl [sic] then form a block to reign in their worst qualities. . . . With Hillary in charge, GOP will be pushing for her worst qualities., dems+media+neoliberals will be mute . … She’s a bright, well connected, sadisitic sociopath.]
We also need to re-evaluate the hero status of the so called journalist Julian Assange. Once neutral, it’s clear through communications he was not in the 2016 election. He became a partisan for Trump. He said some very regrettable things and still chose the side of the oppressors. Clearly Assange had an agenda and hedged his bets on Trump. Even worse, he knew the source of his information was Russian and he allowed the death of Seth Rich to spiral into a terrible conspiracy. It fed into things like Pizzagate and helped create phenomenon that gave legitimacy to groups like Qanon.
There seems to be evidence of conspiracy, clear obstruction, and even a few pieces of collusion with a foreign government. What Barr has done is cashed the check that was written when he was hired. He’s a PR agent more than an Attorney General and needs to resign. Mueller made several clear hints at what he thought was appropriate, yet Barr chose to put loyalty to a norm-breaking President above his duty to the American people. The unredacted version needs to be sent to all members of Congress with all the evidence gathered and an investigation needs to be started immediately.
If you would like to read a searchable version of the redacted version of the Mueller report click here.