The first and so far only Republican to support impeaching President Donald Trump in the wake of the final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, who this Tuesday took to Twitter to explicitly implicate Attorney General William Barr in the scandal that he’s been pointing to. In so doing, he again joins what are so far just Democratic colleagues in condemning the blatantly partisan way in which Barr has handled the Justice Department, ignoring and glossing over potential presidential misconduct right in front of the entire world.
The issues began when Barr issued a short letter summarizing the Mueller report while his team redacted parts of it before releasing the document to Congress and the public. That letter did not reveal that Mueller had found ample evidence to support an obstruction of justice case against the president but declined to bring one in light of standing Justice Department precedent against indicting a sitting president. Instead, Barr himself stepped in to personally declare Trump innocent of obstruction of justice after just a couple days.
‘Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented key aspects of Mueller’s report and decisions in the investigation, which has helped further the president’s false narrative about the investigation… He… selectively quotes Mueller in a way that makes it sound—falsely—as if Mueller’s decision stemmed from legal/factual issues specific to Trump’s actions.’
As Amash notes, that behavior from Barr has given the president the grounds to declare before the world that there’s now an official conclusion of no collusion with Russia and no obstruction of justice, despite both of those claims being false. Mueller found no criminally prosecutable conspiracy between the Trump team and Russia but noted numerous connections, and he investigated almost a dozen instances of possible presidential obstruction of justice and in most concluded that the relevant qualifications for a criminal charge were there.
Barr has consistently skipped around all of this. When in the days following his initial letter summarizing the Mueller report the special counsel himself asked Barr to release the executive summary material that Mueller’s own team had prepared, the attorney general refused.
He has lied to the point of claiming, Amash notes, that “Mueller “never sought” or “pushed” to get more from the president,” although right there for all to see, “the report says Mueller unsuccessfully sought an interview with the president for over a year” including after the president submitted written answers that the special counsel found inadequate.
Barr has not shown much concern about any of this. In that light, Amash shares:
‘Barr has so far successfully used his position to sell the president’s false narrative to the American people. This will continue if those who have read the report do not start pushing back on his misrepresentations and share the truth.’
House Democratic leaders as high-ranking as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) have dismissed Barr as a partisan hack, and the Judiciary Committee has even voted to hold him in contempt of Congress. Republican leaders have claimed Amash is just trying to get attention in joining them — but he doesn’t seem to care about their whining.
Check out Twitter’s response…
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