Scott and Andy McCarthy make short work of Robert Mueller’s leaked letter of complaint to William Barr. The key thing, as McCarthy says, is that Barr’s memo on the Mueller report is 100 percent accurate.
According to the Washington Post, when Barr and Mueller spoke, Barr challenged Mueller to identify inaccuracies. Mueller acknowledged that there are none.
The essence of Mueller’s moan is that “the summary letter the [DOJ] sent to Congress and released to the public. . .did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions.” But the letter did not purport to do so.
As Barr reportedly explained to Mueller, he did not undertake, in his four page memo, to summarize the voluminous report, Instead, he intended only to provide an account of its bottom line conclusions on the two issues Mueller explored — was there collusion with Russia and was there obstruction of justice. Again, Barr’s account of Mueller’s two conclusions is entirely accurate.
Mueller reportedly responded that media coverage of the obstruction investigation is misguided and has created public misunderstandings. To the extent that the media portrayed Barr’s memo as more than just an account of the special counsel’s bottom line conclusions, Mueller has a right to be unhappy. But his grievance is with the media, not the Attorney General.
Of course, Mueller didn’t write a letter to Barr to complain about the media. He wrote it to complain about Barr. But when Barr pressed him during the phone conversation, he reportedly backed down and fell back on a complaint about the media.
It’s hard to avoid the suspicion that Mueller’s moan was driven by members of his team of Democratic partisans and Trump haters. They must have been disappointed that Mueller did not conclude that President Trump committed obstruction of justice, and dismayed when Barr and Rod Rosenstein concluded that Trump did not commit this offense.
Media coverage of Barr’s memo rubbed salt in the wound. One imagines that members of Mueller’s team pushed him to write a letter of complaint to Barr — a letter that, reportedly, he couldn’t defend when the two men talked by phone.
I’m speculating here, of course. However, it requires little speculation to say that someone on Mueller’s team leaked the letter to the press.
What we have, then, is a rearguard action by Team Mueller to wage war on Trump and Barr. Mueller’s legitimate work ended with the submission of his report, but Team Mueller isn’t done.