So here’s where we are with Mueller’s report after today’s letter from Attorney General….
(Spoiler alert: It’s not even halftime in the match even though Trump’s folks will declare Game Over.)
1. A key starting point: Attorney General William Barr is putting best possible spin on this for Trump — he’s technically neutral but was put in post to give Donald Trump some cover.
2. On collusion/conspiracy: in his letter, Barr narrowly defined this as agreement between Trump campaign and Russia to interfere in 2016 election.
But that was never the issue. It was whether Trump campaign *knew of* Russian interference and, if so, at what point and at what level.
We await Mueller’s findings on that wider issue.
3. On obstruction of justice: Barr presented this as a balance with Mueller presenting case for either side. Then Attorney General said that, in his conclusion, there is not enough for criminal prosecution.
But Mueller’s team, at the least, have presented evidence of obstruction.
We await the findings.
4. So key question remains: will findings be made public? Or, at the least, will legislators begin to give us an idea of them?
In short, we’re pretty much at same point as we were on Friday — only with Attorney General trying to tilt the political game towards Trump.
5. Meanwhile: there are a dozen criminal investigations/cases at Federal and State level going beyond Trump-Russia to Trump’s behavior (Stormy Daniels), the Trump Organization, the Trump Foundation, the Trump inaugural committee, and Trump’s advisors such as Roger Stone.
6. In conjunction with timing — we’re now in 2020 election territory — this probably takes impeachment off table for good. But Democrats will continue hearings and the fight over the report’s release comes to the fore.
All of that will become part of the 2020 battle — in the end, politics not law (or justice) triumphs here.
7. We await the findings.