Since the March 24 release of a four-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's report, attorney general Bill Barr has served as president Trump’s crisis PR manager. And not a very good one.
The AG released that infamous memo after a mere two-day peek at the more than 400-page Mueller report, a work-product from 19 lawyers and 40 FBI agents who interviewed more than 5,000 witnesses. He must be a fast reader.
Though Mueller’s team wrote their own summaries of each section of the report, Barr decided to put his own spin on the report, which allowed the Tweeter-in-Chief to make non-stop claims of “No Collusion, Total Exoneration.”
Of course, Barr wasn’t exactly an impartial judge when it came to the Mueller probe. After all, he made an unsolicited pitch for Jeff Sessions’ old job via a June 8 memo to the Justice Dept. that blasted Mueller’s investigation as “fatally misconceived.”
And lo and behold, he got the gig.
Ever the good PR guy Barr gave an advance copy of the redacted Mueller report to his client and today he followed the same script used in the four-page memo scam.
Nobody asked Barr for a Mueller probe summary; nobody begged him to hold a press conference just before the release of the redacted report. What exactly were the journalists, who hadn’t read the report, supposed to ask him?
The problem with Barr is that he just can’t get out of the limelight, which goes against every rule of crisis management.
He said Mueller’s evidence “is not sufficient to establish” that Trump obstructed justice.
And the ultimate spin: Mueller found “substantial evidence that the president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents.”
Oh really, hasn’t the president been crusading against Mueller and the “18 angry Democrats” for the past months?
Despite Barr acting more like a Whirlpool washing machine stuck in spin cycle, reality bites.
Mueller’s report has more than 180 pages detailing evidence that Trump obstructed justice. Since current Justice Dept. guidelines prohibit indictment of a sitting president, Mueller helpfully noted, “Congress has authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.”
Great idea. It's up to the House Judiciary Committee, which is led by Trump’s old nemesis, “Fat Jerry” Nadler, to pick up the ball that Mueller put into play. No spin from Barr is going to deter bulldog Nadler from seeking justice.
Trump, who was a fan of former Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly, can certainly appreciate Nadler’s “No Spin Zone.” After all, Bill-O used to get huge ratings before he was taken down by his own misconduct.