It took Donald Trump all of 15 seconds to announce the Mueller report afforded him “Complete and Total EXONERATION!” after Attorney General William Barr released his little SparkNotes summary back in March. And yet, Trump now seems reluctant to let the man behind that report to tell Congress in person the complete and total extent of said exoneration. How curious! I wonder why that might be?
According to the New York Times (and Our Dumb Online President’s tweets), Trump no longer wants Mueller to testify in front of Congress, even though last week Trump said he was fine with it as long as it was cool with his buddy Barr. Now, Trump would like to be clear: WITCH HUNT OVER.
As shocking as it is for Trump to suddenly reverse himself on a position, in this case, as the New York Times points out, it mostly fucks over Barr. Last week, Barr—who testified in front of Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, but skipped out on Thursday’s session in front of the House—said he had no objection to Mueller testifying.
Now, he either has to go back on his word to please Trump—which won’t do much to rehab his current unconstitutional image as Trump’s stooge—or he has to keep to his word and risk angering Trump, and we all know what happens to people who piss off the President. Barr doesn’t have time for a lucrative book deal and press tour, dammit!
The House Judiciary Committee has invited Mueller to testify on May 15; the House Intelligence Committee has invited him to testify on an undisclosed date. So far, Mueller hasn’t confirmed either way, and the most we’ve heard from him is via a letter he reportedly wrote to Barr criticizing his four-page summary of Mueller’s 448-page report. In that letter, he claimed the summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,” and in a subsequent phone call, he reportedly urged Barr to release the full report.
Barr’s actions have prompted Democrats to accuse him of essentially acting as the President’s attorney, and not as the head of the Justice Department. He has until tomorrow to deliver Mueller’s entire (un-redacted) report to Congress, along with any evidence relating to the report, or he could be found in contempt of Congress. Certainly, no matter what he does, he’ll be found in contempt of the President, who tends to drop all his friends no matter how thoroughly they did the crimes for him.