William Barr speaks

I was tied up all day yesterday attending the trial of Mohamed Noor. This morning I tracked down the FOX News video of Attorney General Barr’s press conference on the release of the Mueller report (full video below). Perhaps not surprisingly, it doesn’t quite conform to what I heard about it in the news on the radio coming home. I thought that readers who were also otherwise engaged yesterday might appreciate the opportunity see it with their own eyes.

Standing behind Barr during the press conference are Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Edward O’Callaghan, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. O’Callaghan joined the Department of Justice earlier this month as a principal associate deputy attorney general. Barr takes a few questions beginning at about about 17:00. Glenn Reynolds rightly finds Barr to be “The adult in the room.” The implicit contrast in Glenn’s headline is with the Democrats in Congress and the media.

Kim Strassel has a terrific column on the Mueller report in her weekly Wall Street Journal column this morning. Kim writes: “What the report shows is that he endured a special-counsel probe that was relentlessly, at times farcically, obsessed with taking him out. What stands out is just how diligently and creatively the special counsel’s legal minds worked to implicate someone in Trump World on something Russia- or obstruction-of-justice-related. And how—even with all its overweening power and aggressive tactics—it still struck out.”

Who brought us this abomination deriving from the biggest scandal in American political history? That question is left to another day.

The New York Times has posted a transcript of Barr’s remarks. Politico has posted a transcript as well.

Quotable quote 1: “So th[is] is the bottom line. After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the Special Counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes.”

Quotable quote 2: “[A]s the Special Counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks. Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. And at the same time, the President took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. Apart from whether the acts were obstructive, this evidence of non-corrupt motives weighs heavily against any allegation that the President had a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation.”

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