By J. D. Heyes, NewsTarget
The real bombshell takeaway from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s self-serving press conference on Wednesday is that he just threw Attorney General William Barr, a long-time Justice Department colleague and friend, under the bus by insinuating he lied regarding POTUS Donald Trumpâ€™s â€œguiltâ€ in Russian collusion hoax.
And in doing so, Mueller chose his loyalty to the deep state over he loyalty to a lifelong friend.Â That’s how serious this “battle royale” between all the president’s men and the Deep StateÂ really is.
First, for context, a little history.
As noted byÂ The Atlantic, both Barr and Mueller served together at the Justice Department in the early 1990s in the administration of President George H. W. Bush (himself a former CIA director). Not only that, but as Barr told senators during his confirmation hearing in January, â€œthe two men have had a relationship for yearsâ€ â€” on personal, social, and family levels:
As Barr himselfÂ revealedÂ to lawmakers at his Senate confirmation hearing in January, the two men have had a relationship for years. Their families socialize together, their wives attend Bible study together, and the Muellers were guests at the weddings of Barrâ€™s daughters.
The Atlantic, reporting in April, even then set up for readers the coming ‘conflict’ between Barr, who is working with POTUS to restore integrity and faith in the justice system, and Mueller, who is very obvious just a deep state foot soldier trying to protect a corrupt system developed over decades that, most recently, circled its wagons around another member in good standing: Hillary Clinton:
But Barrâ€™s handling of Muellerâ€™s report has cast their relationship in a more adversarial light, and it will be tested further in the coming weeks as Democrats seek separate testimony from both men on the central decisions they made at the culmination of Muellerâ€™s two-year investigation of President Donald Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election.Â
Former close associates of Mueller see the attorney generalâ€™s characterization of his findingsâ€”which was generally more favorable to Trump than the report itselfâ€”as undercutting the special counsel, if not an outright betrayal. They were particularly put off by Barrâ€™sÂ performanceÂ at the press conference he held 90 minutes before releasing the report, which they similarly saw as overly deferential to Trump.
Mueller did not attend, and the attorney general said he didnâ€™t talk to Mueller about his decision to clear Trump of obstruction. â€œThatâ€™s not two friends collaborating collegially on a project,â€ said Frank Figliuzzi, a former counterintelligence chief at the FBI who briefed Mueller twice a day during their tenure together. â€œItâ€™s almost worse than undercutting Mueller. Itâ€™s saying Muellerâ€™s not even relevant in this.â€
Is it? Because according to Barr, Mueller violated Justice Department procedures six ways to Sunday, as well as his role as a prosecutor, by not only refusing to clear POTUS Trump but also by choosing to specificallyÂ not clear him and hand congressional Democrats what is essentially an impeachment recommendation.
Further, on Wednesday, decades of professional and personal relationships were cast aside after MuellerÂ called Barr a liar.
Recall that in March, Mueller and his team of hand-picked Democrat-and-Hillary-supporting lawyers released their report concluding two things: They did not find any evidence POTUS Trumpâ€™s 2016 campaign â€œcolludedâ€ with Russia; they could not find enough evidence that the president â€˜obstructed justice.â€™
During subsequent Senate testimony,Â Barr said he was â€œfrankly surprisedâ€ by Muellerâ€™s decisionÂ that he wouldnâ€™t be making a determination regarding the â€˜obstructionâ€™ charge during a March 5 meeting between Mueller’s office and the AG.Â
Nevertheless, Barr told senators heÂ specifically askedÂ if Muellerâ€™s decision not to make a determination had anything at all to do with longstanding Justice Department guidelines stating that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
â€œSpecial counsel Mueller stated three times to us in that meeting in response to our questioningÂ that he emphatically was not sayingÂ that but for the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) opinion, he would have found obstruction,â€ Barr said. â€œHe said that in the future, the facts of the case against a president might be such that a special counsel would recommend abandoning the OLC opinion,Â but this is not such a case.â€ (Emphasis added)
Barr further explained to senators that Muellerâ€™s position was at odds with standard Justice Department procedure for prosecutors, noting that â€œspecial counsel was appointed to carry out the investigative and prosecutorial functions of the department and do it as part of the Department of Justice.â€ (Emphasis added)
Prosecutors either make cases against suspects or they donâ€™t, in other words. There is never â€˜no determinationâ€™ one way or the other of alleged guilt (or non-guilt).Â Though prosecutors can’t indict a sitting president, per policy, then-Independent Counsel Ken Starr in the late 1990s nevertheless brought 11 charges against President Bill Clinton, which the House of Representatives then used as the basis for impeachment (including perjury, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering, and abuse of power.)
Actual charges based onÂ actual evidence. Mueller, meanwhile, has no such evidence because, as we know, the entire basis for his ‘investigation’ was a hoax narrative.
And so, on Wednesday, Mueller not only upended 230 yearsâ€™ worth of American jurisprudence, he did so by impugning his long-time friend and colleague.
â€œAs set forth in the report, after the investigation, if we had confidence that the president did not clearly commit a crime, we would have said so,â€ Mueller told reporters during an eight-minute press conference.Â
As noted byÂ CBS News:
The Justice Department policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president meant that â€œcharging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider,â€ Mueller said, adding that the Constitution requires a â€œprocess other than the criminal justice systemâ€ to address wrongdoing by a president.
â€œIt would be unfair to potentially accuse someone of a crimeâ€ knowing the issue could not be resolved in the courts, Mueller said.
MuellerÂ specificallyÂ told Barr the OLC policy hadÂ no roleÂ in his decision not to recommend charges against the president.
Now, suddenly, heâ€™s changed his mind?
Good thing Mueller was not sitting before a grand jury; he just committed perjury. And lost a great friend, most likely, in the process.
That Mueller could so easily cast aside a friendship decades in the making should prove to any serious observer of â€œSpygateâ€ that the deep state is real and it so fears POTUS Trump they will stop atÂ nothingÂ to keep him from exposing and destroying them.
A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.
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