Welp, there’s gonna be press conference on the redactions, folks.
President Trump says AG Barr will be giving a press conference tomorrow when the Mueller report is released and says he may also do a press conference, in radio interview with “WMAL Larry O’Connor Show”
— Jordyn Phelps (@JordynPhelps) April 17, 2019
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will reportedly join Attorney General William Barr at the press conference. In addition, the Justice Department hasn’t told reporters thus far whether the redacted Mueller report will be released by the time of the press conference, so reporters and the rest of the America may well be totally in the dark at the time of the presser.
So many questions.
1) Why not just release the redacted report without comment? Barr already gave his “summarization” several weeks ago, so we’re all acutely aware of his personal determinations.
2) Why will Rosenstein be there? He was implicated in the original obstruction investigation, in which he and Barr unilaterally declared Trump’s exoneration. So now Rosenstein is going to take part in spinning the redactions of the investigation. Huh.
3) Why not have Mueller do the press conference. Certainly if Barr asked him to, Mueller would have followed orders. And since Mueller actually conducted that two-year probe and wrote the report, he would have the most credibility of anyone involved to take queries about it.
4) Since Trump dropped this news in the first place, it stands to reason that he has a very good sense of what’s coming (i.e. he’s likely been thoroughly briefed on the report when Congress clearly hasn’t been).
From a communications standpoint, this is so clearly a hack job. As MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace pointed out, if you’re honestly trying to be transparent and instill trust in the redactions, you wouldn’t make ANY of the decisions they appear to be making. You’d give reporters proper time to digest the redactions before taking questions. You’d ask Mueller to do the presser instead of Barr, because Mueller has credibility and Barr is already a biased actor. Not to mention not including Rosenstein.
It’s really just another extraordinary venture in corrupting Mueller’s report and polarizing the country over it.