In a surprising turn of events, the Washington Post has revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrote a letter to Attorney General William Barr several weeks ago complaining that the four-page memo he released on the Mueller Report “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the investigation.
In the letter, obtained by the Post, Mueller wrote:
“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions. There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
After the report was delivered in March and Bill Barr wrote his 4-page memo downplaying its bombshell conclusions, news leaked that Mueller’s team was unhappy with the Attorney General’s attempt to ‘gild the lily.’
Mueller’s team was as silent as a submarine on patrol for over 22 months of investigation, but another report has leaked since then indicating they do not see their report in the strangely distorted manner that AG Barr presented at his highly-misleading press conference before releasing the report.
Legal experts learned soon after the Mueller Report’s release on April 18th, that the report’s detailed summaries were largely unredacted. The Times reports that the DOJ confirmed the letter and three sources who knew of the communications did as well:
Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, wrote a letter in late March to Attorney General William P. Barr objecting to his early description of the Russia investigation’s conclusions that appeared to clear President Trump on possible obstruction of justice, according to the Justice Department and three people with direct knowledge of the communication between the two men.
House Judiciary Chairman Jarrod Nadler (D-NY) subpoenaed the fully unredacted report for his committee just a day after it was released. Since then, Politico reported that only two lawmakers have even seen the less-redacted report Barr offered to Congress; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) who are respectively the Senate Judiciary Chair and the Ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, have both seen it.
The reason for a special counsel regulation is for times when the president must be investigated and his own appointees – like AG Bill Barr – have conflicting interests or the appearance of conflict because of their political relationship with the target or subject of an investigation.
Barr violated at least the spirit of that regulation in releasing a conclusory memo.
That’s why House Democrats have been calling for Barr’s resignation over his handling of the Mueller Report.
Will a damning letter from the Special Counsel send him over the edge?
It remains to be seen.