Attorney General William Barr released his summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Sunday and the White House immediately tried to spin it as a total win for President Donald Trump.
In a letter to Congress, Barr wrote that Mueller “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” and “ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment” on whether the president obstructed justice.
“The Special Counsel, therefore, did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction.”
Barr noted, however, that although the report “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Despite all that, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders declared total victory for Trump:
“The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”
The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 24, 2019
George Conway, a conservative lawyer, outspoken Trump critic, and husband to one of Trump’s closest advisors, was not about to let Sanders get away with such a blatant distortion of the Attorney General’s words
“You misspelled ‘While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’ Pls fix. Thx.”
You misspelled “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Pls fix. Thx. https://t.co/hf8pldLmve
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) March 24, 2019
Sanders’ Twitter feed was inundated with similar comments from people wondering why she would lie about something so obvious. She knows we can read, right?
YOU ARE A LIAR AND HAVE TAKEN PART IN OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. YOUR STATEMENT IS DESPICABLE. YOU ALL DESERVE TO BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE. RELEASE THE REPORT!
— Democracy 4 All (@goodbye56789) March 25, 2019
Why are you lying? It specifically says that they did not make that decision, Barr did. Next up: Congressional oversight.
— Devin Nunes’ cow 🐮 (@DevinCow) March 24, 2019
I guess you’re just gonna ignore the part where it clearly states that it “does not exonerate him?“ One thing’s for sure, you never let facts get in the way of the lies you tell.
Doesn’t your Bible say something about liars burning with fire & brimstone?https://t.co/vjhzeOt8Ed
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) March 24, 2019
The Barr Summary literally says it “does not exonerate him”
— Jake Maccoby (@jdmaccoby) March 24, 2019
well that's a lie. Show us the report to see what he said about obstruction
— Sandi Bachom (@sandibachom) March 25, 2019
Barr’s report literally fucking said Trump wasn’t exonerated. Stop lying and your brother tortures dogs.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) March 24, 2019
Trump also decided on Sunday to twist Barr’s words.
“No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” the president tweeted shortly after Barr’s letter was made public.
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2019
But he did not get away with it.
Barr quite literally said that Trump was not exonerated.
"The Special Counsel states that 'while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also DOES NOT EXONERATE him.’” pic.twitter.com/sA1MSozRBL
— Ryan Hill (@RyanHillMI) March 25, 2019
Barr includes this quote from the Mueller report. “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also DOES NOT EXONERATE HIM.”
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 25, 2019
Hey #Trump… If you’re so innocent, how come you fought like an animal not to testify before #Mueller? Is it because you and your lawyers knew it’s impossible to prove obstruction without “intent”…and that without testifying it’s impossible to understand intent? Hmmm…
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) March 25, 2019
When the highlight of your presidency is that you did NOT get indicted for conspiring with the Russians you have already lost. #ReleaseTheFullMuellerReport
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) March 25, 2019
Right, no justification for investigations…
✅ Trump Tower “adoption” lie
✅ Trump Advisor Roger Stone Indicted
✅ Trump Chair Paul Manafort Convicted
✅ Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Pled Guilty
✅ Trump Aide Rick Gates Pled Guilty
✅ Trump NSA Advisor Michael Flynn Pled Guilty
— ♻️🇺🇸 Christopher Zullo (@ChrisJZullo) March 25, 2019
We deserve to see Mueller’s report. Trump said so himself last week. “Let it come out, let people see it,” Trump told reporters last Wednesday.
Awesome. Then surely there’s no harm in releasing the full report.
— Patrick Tillmann (@kingcutie) March 25, 2019
OK…great! So let us all see what's in the full report since there is total and complete exoneration.
— Former GOP Voting Blue (@former_gop) March 25, 2019
Then tell your buddy Barr to release the full and unredacted report and let all of America see for themselves.
— Dan Boland (@DanBoland4) March 25, 2019
At least people are going to prison for lying about something that never happened. 🤔
— GonzoModulo (@GonzoModulo) March 25, 2019
Democrats in the House of Representatives have vowed to get the full story to the American people. It is likely that Barr and Mueller will receive subpoenas to testify before Congress.
Consider too that the Mueller probe’s conclusion is far from the end of Trump’s legal woes. There are still 19 ongoing federal and state investigations into Trump, his businesses, his family, and his associates.