As I explained in my post yesterday, news reports have a bad habit of missing the headline. In his 4 page letter summarizing the Mueller report Trump Attorney General William Barr admitted in writing that the Mueller report contains damaging information about “President” Trump. That’s a shocking admission which should have been the number one story, and yet it just blew right by the news channels.
And damned if it didn’t happen again just two weeks later, live in the halls of Congress.
Barr said right on the floor of the House of Representatives that he is going to delete any damaging information about Trump from the report. I haven’t heard anyone pick up on that. Granted, I don’t read every article that comes out, but a story that big should have been in every newspaper and on every channel. There should be no way for anyone to miss it.
You say Barr never said any such thing? He most certainly did. He just didn’t use the same words I used.
The session was a couple of hours so it’s easy to miss, which is what I’m sure Barr counted on. Barr was listing four categories of redacted information. The first three were grand jury testimony, ICE intelligence sources, and ongoing prosecutions. Okay, sounds cool. But then he slipped in one more. It comes at approximately the 22:40 mark in the video link:
We intend to redact information that implicates the privacy or reputational interests of peripheral players where there is a decision not to charge them.
Whoa, what’s that noise? Anybody hear those alarm bells going off? I sure do. Let’s just take a minute to analyze that little statement.
Implicates – meaning all it has to do is suggest something. Reputational interests- meaning all it has to do Is suggest something bad about a person. Peripheral players- what exactly is a peripheral player? Oh wait, that means where there is a decision not to charge them.
Now, exactly who does that describe? That’s a trick question, or at least it ought to be. If you didn’t realize from the first that Barr was talking about Donald Trump, then please go back to the institution you snuck out of, because it’s not safe for the rest of us to have you walking around.
If it’s still not clear what’s going on, then let me translate it for you:
We intend to redact (delete) information that implicates (maybe, kinda, sort of suggests something) the privacy (Privacy? You’re talking about a person who’s been in the whole nation’s face for the past few years) or reputational interests (Reputation? Oh, Lordy, you’re a couple of decades late for that. Not only has that ship sailed already, it’s gone all the way to the middle of the ocean and sunk to the bottom) of peripheral players (Peripheral player? Actually that one sounds about right) where there is a decision (made by yours truly, the honorable William Barr) not to charge them (and by them we mean one and only one person, Donald “Innocent as a New-born Babe” Trump.)
I don’t want to keep repeating myself, but I know there are some people reading this who need to hear it again.
Robert Mueller uncovered damaging information about Donald Trump. William Barr admitted it, and then said he wasn’t going to charge Trump with any crimes. Now Barr is going to hide that damaging information from everyone in the country because it’s not right to say bad things about a person who hasn’t been charged with any crimes.
Where were you when Hillary Clinton was in front of multiple Benghazi committees, Mr. Protector of the Innocent?
So there you are. Barr has officially promised to shield Trump from exposure. Will he actually go through with it? Or will he back down at the last minute and let something come out. Barr has to realize the risk he’s taking. He is the nation’s chief officer of justice, after all, and let’s assume he is not an idiot. If he gets too obvious with his redactions he could find himself the target of the next special counsel’s investigation, perhaps in only a few short years.
John Mitchell was also an Attorney General who protected his boss, Richard Nixon, and earned a jail sentence as his reward. Michael Cohen, the man who promised to take a bullet for Donald Trump, is in jail right now. If Barr isn’t careful he could be next in line. The smart thing would to show only some of the dirt, to only cover up the worst parts.
But then there’s another problem. Trump couldn’t care less about Barr’s future. He’s only worried about his own, and he expects a complete whitewash from his servant. If Barr lets even just a little of the bad news leak out he risks joining Jeff Sessions in the garbage bin.
That’s quite a dilemma for Justice Man. He could wind up getting it in both ends. I say good enough for him. He asked for this job and he asked for this boss. He gets no sympathy from me. He deserves none.
The ball’s in your court, leader of law enforcement for the entire nation.
I’m remembering a line spoken by Kevin Costner’s character, Charley Waite, in the movie Open Range:
Most time a man will tell you his bad intention if you listen, let yourself hear it.
You could use that line not just for this particular situation but for practically everything Trump and his followers say.
Are you listening, America? Will you let yourselves hear it?