Lots of analysis on the revelations in Robert Mueller’s report (which, as many suspected, was extraordinarily misrepresented in Attorney General William Barr’s summary). We begin today’s roundup with this editorial from The New York Times:
So much for “complete and total exoneration.”
To the contrary, it turns out that Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors and investigators found “substantial evidence” that President Trump broke federal law on numerous occasions by attempting to shut down or interfere with the nearly-two-year Russia investigation.
In addition to pointing to possible criminality, the report revealed a White House riddled with dysfunction and distrust, one in which Mr. Trump and his aides lie with contempt for one another and the public.
And The Washington Post:
No matter his findings, we now learn, the special counsel was never going to declare Mr. Trump guilty. Mr. Mueller’s report stated that, from the very start, “we determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes.” That is because Justice Department guidelines bar prosecuting a sitting president, Mr. Mueller explained, and it would be unfair to charge someone who had no chance to win exoneration in court.
But Mr. Mueller did everything short of leveling an accusation. [...]
From here, the House Judiciary Committee must hear directly from Mr. Mueller. Lawmakers should insist on reading the entire report, including substantial sections that have been redacted from public view. Then they may face a difficult balancing act between the many valid reasons to regard impeachment as a last resort, and their responsibility to ensure that no one is above the law.
Here is Jason Sattler’s analysis at USA Today:
For weeks, Barr has been trying to sell us a Mueller report that simply does not exist.
The actual Mueller report, beneath all the redactions, details one of the most successful foreign disruptions of an American election in the history of the republic. It reveals a presidential campaign eager to suck up the benefits of this "sweeping and systematic" interference, and it unmasks a president who attempted to commit multiple crimes to cover the whole thing up.
But beyond all those revelations, this process has shown we are in an emergency unlike anything we've seen since Watergate. Barr has proven that he is determined to help Trump get away with some of the most unpatriotic and corrupt acts ever committed by a president.
The New York Times also says the administration cannot be trusted on the redactions and Congress deserves to see the full, unredacted report:
[T]he Trump administration — based on its pattern of dishonest conduct in office — simply cannot be trusted to be straight with the nation about what parts of the report need to remain concealed from public view. At the very least, Republicans and Democrats in Congress deserve and are right to demand to see the full and entirely unredacted evidence amassed by Mr. Mueller and his team, which runs to more than 400 pages (exclusive of tables and appendices).
Joan Walsh highlights how Barr protected the president, despite the evidence:
Trump finally has his Roy Cohn, in his new attorney general William Barr. If you were paying attention, you knew the fix was in when Trump picked Barr: The former attorney general had already shared with the White House a memo arguing that a president cannot obstruct justice, since his powers to hire, fire, and redeploy staff are infinite. In an earlier stint as AG, under George H.W. Bush, Barr pronounced himself “subordinate” to the president in a 1992 interview. In his confirmation hearings, he refused to recuse himself from the Mueller probe, given his earlier advice to Trump that he couldn’t obstruct justice, and he didn’t promise to release the full Mueller report to the public when he received it.
And more on Barr from John Nichols at The Nation:
Barr’s shameless performance at a Thursday-morning press conference anticipating the long-delayed release of the report from special counsel Robert Mueller on a two-year investigation into Trump, his aides, and allegations of Russian election interference confirmed the attorney general’s absolute abandonment of the DOJ’s mission.
Ryan Cooper says Barr thinks we’re all stupid:
But after seeing the whole redacted report, it is beyond obvious that Barr was conducting PR spin. As attorney general, Barr is serving as a dishonest propagandist to protect a corrupt president.
Russel Berman looks at the Democrats’ plan to summon Mueller:
The request could open up a new front in the battle between congressional Democrats and the Department of Justice, which swiftly assumed ownership of Mueller’s report after the special counsel handed it in nearly a month ago. An appearance by Mueller before Congress would mark the first words he has uttered in public in the two years since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed him to lead the probe into Russian interference and possible obstruction by the president. The special counsel was notably absent from Attorney General William Barr’s press conference on Thursday morning, ahead of the report’s release.
And on a final note, don’t forget about other players in the report. Matt Stieb at New York magazine takes a look at Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s roles:
Prior to the release of the Mueller report, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump managed to stay largely out of the conversation regarding alleged campaign collusion with Russia. But the redacted version of the report released Thursday contains 265 references to the president’s son-in-law and 15 to his most politically involved daughter.