Special Counsel Mueller sent Attorney General William Barr a letter in March saying that he was discontent with the way Barr had phrased his “summary” of the Special Counsel’s four hundred page investigation. It was revealed a few weeks ago.
It is no secret President Trump was not happy with Mueller’s Russia probe. He has called the Russia Probe a “witch hunt” at many events on many occasions. He also had a feud with former Alabama Senator and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the investigation when it started. Trump believed the media would take Session recusing himself from the investigation as a signal that Trump had colluded with the Russians in the 2016 election.
However, when Attorney General William Barr released what many considered a summary of the Special Counsel’s two year investigation, both Trump and his supporters took it as a victory. Barr had absolved President Trump of blame in his four page summary, stating that there was no collusion between the Russian Government and the Trump campaign.
As was revealed a few weeks ago, Special Counsel Mueller sent a letter to Attorney General Barr, which was later leaked, telling Barr that Mueller was unhappy with the wording of Barr’s “summary,” even though Barr later claimed that it was not a summary, but didn’t offer an explanation of what it actually was. Then, during Barr’s testimony in Congress, he claimed he had had no contact with Mueller’s team about how they felt about his summary of the investigation.
When Mueller’s report was released to the public, there was no verdict in the report, Mueller stating that there was not “substantial evidence” indicating that President Trump had colluded with the Russians or had obstructed justice. However, he also said that President Trump “repeatedly suggested obstructing justice,” and that he was only saved by his administration’s weariness at following the President’s orders.
Mueller’s report also showed that there was a disconnect between the Mueller team and the Attorney General’s office. Even before Mueller’s letter to Barr was leaked, it was obvious both Barr’s and his predecessor’s team hadn’t been on the same page with the Special Counsel’s team during the investigation. Although the disconnect between the two was slightly ominous, Mueller’s letter to Barr revealed a much deeper-lying issue.
By telling Congress that he hadn’t been informed of the Mueller team’s opinion on his summary of their report, Barr had effectively lied to Congress, like so many others in Trump’s administration. After appearing to his hearing before the Republican-majority Senate, where he was grilled by both sides for hours, he didn’t appear before the Democratic-majority the day after. Democrats, eager to prove a point, scolded and grilled the empty chair where Barr would’ve sat. One representative, Steve Cohen, brought a glass chicken and a bucket of KFC to symbolize the fact that Barr “chickened out” and didn’t go to the hearing.
After the hearing with the empty chair, Democrats told reporters that “nobody is above the law, even if you’re the Attorney General of the United States,” and that Barr should face the consequences for lying under oath before Congress.
Barr is just another Trump official who has lied under oath to Congress this year, which shows a trend throughout Trump’s presidency of administration officials lying under oath and resisting Congress. Although Barr has been held in contempt by Congress, it seems unlikely anything will happen to Barr or Trump, showing that, contrary to what it says in the constitution, you can be above the law, and Trump has found the formula to do just that.