William Barr is racing to deliver a report that blows up the impeachment inquiry—and everything else

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Attorney General William Barr says he is working to prepare Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report to be released to the public, with redactions.

Attorney General William Barr is racing to complete a new “report” before Thanksgiving. And if Barr’s very poor summary of the Mueller report threw Trump a lifeline by distorting the real findings of the special counsel investigation, this new report looks to be more like an atom bomb — designed to incinerate Washington by putting the whole Justice Department behind a conspiracy theory that rewrites history and declares open warfare on political opponents. And Republicans are already meeting with Barr to plan a “roll out” for this supposedly classified report to maximize its impact.

Barr appears to have taken the results of an inspector general report that was expected to end weeks ago, rolled it together with the investigation-into-the-investigation that he launched under the nominal control of prosecutor John Durham, and capped it all with the “findings” of a world tour that included attempts to get the Australian government, the Italian government, and the U.K. government to participate in attacks on U.S. intelligence agencies. What’s going to come out the other end could be a dud, but it could launch an effort to derail the impeachment process. And more.

Barr’s effort to create a comprehensive, all conspiracy theories combined, report effort seems to have delayed delivery of the long-expected findings from the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Republicans were generally thrilled by Horowitz’s earlier report in which he was critical of former FBI Director James Comey for his handling of some classified materials. That report not only had right-wing news outlets clamoring over potential charges against Comey but despite claims that the findings justified Republicans attacks on the entire Russia investigation, the actual complaints were minor and led to nothing.

That seems unlikely to be the case this time. As The Washington Post reports, Barr has subsumed Horowitz’s work because “the inspector general does not have the authority to declassify information” and Barr apparently intends to release information that dips into classified documents at both the FBI and CIA to tell his story of how the Russia investigation was unjustified from the start.

Barr is having advanced meetings—including one on Wednesday with Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham—so that talking points and presentations can be ready in advance of an official release.

Interestingly enough, Michael Horowitz does not appear to be attending the meetings on how to release information supposedly based on the material he assembled. But then, the investigation Barr is conducting has moved far beyond the sort of internal chastisement that might be delivered by Horowitz. The investigation he and Durham are conducting is now a criminal investigation, and is “pursuing potential crimes.”

But not crimes in the sense of hundreds of connections between the Trump White House and Russia. Or crimes in the sense of Trump’s obstruction of the Russia investigation. Certainly not crimes in the sense of Trump directly lying to investigators in the written answers he provided to the special counsel’s office.

Instead, Barr is directly attempting to put some proof behind the claims that Donald Trump was trying to extort out of Ukraine — that there was never any real contact between Russia and the Trump campaign, that the DNC servers were not in fact hacked by Russia, that Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud was a CIA plant put in place to lure George Papadopoulos, that Australian official Andrew Downer was an instrument of U.S. intelligence, that Ukrainian hackers conspired with Hillary Clinton to make it seem as if Russia stole data from the DNC and presented it to WikiLeaks when all the while it was a scheme to justify launching an investigation into the Trump campaign.

Barr and his associated have been racing to complete this report so that it can be dropped on the impeachment inquiry before the holidays. Major parts of the report apparently remain unwritten, but the fact that the publicity campaign is getting underway in advance of the report’s completion is not exactly a sign that this is going to be a contrite “nothing major found” report. And Barr has been at the center of forwarding Trump’s conspiracy theories and supporting attacks on the intelligence community. He’s already said “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. I think spying did occur, but the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that.”

The report coming back could declare no evidence to support Trump’s conspiracy theories and say that Barr found that “spying” to be “adequately predicated.” Don’t count on it. And don’t count on there not being indictments.

Barr did not shift to a criminal investigation because he doesn’t intend to arrest someone. There are going to be claims of serious wrongdoing. They are going to be aimed at not just making a distraction to derail the impeachment hearings, but to provide “evidence” that Trump’s requests for investigations by Ukraine were justified. The question is going to be whether they are merely awful and damaging to the nation, or absolutely incinerate the rule of law.

Next week, open hearings are set to begin in the House impeachment inquiry, and it seems very likely that actual articles of impeachment will be getting a vote before the end of the year. So far, the best defense that Republicans have dreamed up is claiming ignorance—not attending meetings, not reading transcripts, and openly declaring that they’re not about to start.

But when Barr speaks, they’re all going to be listening.

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8 Comments on "William Barr is racing to deliver a report that blows up the impeachment inquiry—and everything else"

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Lone Wolf
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Lone Wolf

Who is going to believe the liars when they lie???

Alfred Higgins
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Alfred Higgins

More hostage taking! Just like tRump’s first line negotiation bargaining chip.
Typical tRumpublican Party defense mode.

Angela Colasanti
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Angela Colasanti

They just gave up their ethics and morals. All for Trump. What losers. Let’s hope people see through their lies.

Gunther
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Gunther

Who cares what Barr does. The Democrats just need to forge ahead with what they have planned and take trump apart.

Rutokin
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Rutokin

Here we go again, bronco barnmuffin is out there looking under every cow patty in the pasture trying find a little toadstool of evidence that doesn’t exist. It’s a big polished up road apple to say hey look over here. I wonder if Italian road apples are shinier than ours? Just to throw another distraction at us. I guess we’ll find out that going smell when he serves up another steaming pile of nothing. Hey by the way I heard that devin moooneezz’s cow might have a good bit of information about that postage stamp pasture it grazes on

chris whitley
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chris whitley

I read thru this bulls##t and it’s out there on Pluto. It works if you can believe that all the main characters knew in 2014 what was going to happen in 2016. Hillary knee she was going to lose to trump but she was just trying to smear him. And some professors set up meeting between drunk George and Australian dude. This was planned in 2014 that these two guys would accidentally meet in some dam bar. Neither knew the other. Yes I could only read parts of it. It’s a conspiracy years in the making. Impossible!

DHG
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Few except the cult of Trump will believe anything this man says

Dick Panico
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Dick Panico

..If it continues to try to make
Trump immune to impeachment, it’s likely to lead to impeachment of Barr himself.
He outright lied to Congress , more than once .
. He’s probably aware, and do is his wife probably who’s probably asked him “what to hell were you thinking” , when you insinuated you’re self into Trump’s presidency .
..This latest book by so called “Anonymous “,
may really be a blockbuster tell all .
..We will see !