2019-03-26 16:52:53 UTC
All we know at this point is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller
delivered his report on Russias interference in the 2016
presidential election to Attorney General William Barr on
Friday. What we dont know is how the attorney general will
handle the report.
Barr has several options. The fairest would be to immediately
turn the report over to President Trumps legal team and give
them a week to write a response. Barr could then issue both
reports simultaneously so that the American public could judge
the comparative merits of both sides of this adversarial process.
But there may well be pressures on the attorney general to send
the report to Congress thus making it public as soon as he
can vet it for possible national security omissions. If thats
what the attorney general does, then it is imperative that the
American public withhold conclusions about the report until the
Trump legal team has had the opportunity to respond in the court
of public opinion.
This is crucial because prosecutorial reports and Special
Counsel Mueller is a prosecutor are, by their very nature, one-
sided. Prosecutors only listen to inculpatory evidence rather
than including exculpatory evidence. They interview witnesses
against the subject, but not witnesses in favor of the subject.
That is why the Trump legal defense team needs to provide its
assessment of the Mueller investigation.
Americans are impatient. The Mueller investigation has gone on
since May 2017. So, there will be an impulse to arrive at
judgments, at least preliminary ones, without waiting for the
The Mueller report itself might give us some clues as to the
manner in which the investigation was conducted. How much
reliance was placed on bought or rented witness? That is,
defendants who were given the opportunity to cooperate with
prosecutors in order to reduce their sentences.
Great caution ought to be exercised in accepting evidence from
any such source, especially since they have not been cross-
examined or subject to other challenges. We may also learn about
whether there are any ongoing investigations by ordinary federal
prosecutors in New York, Washington or Virginia.
In addition, we may see a roadmap for further investigations by
It is unlikely that the president will be charged with
obstruction of justice for firing FBI Director James Comey,
especially since the person overseeing the Mueller
investigation, Rod Rosenstein, was centrally involved in that
decision, offering the memorandum that justified it.
Nor is it likely that the president or his campaign will be
charged with any sort of collusion since there is no such crime
in the criminal code. It is possible that we may see some
allegations of campaign law violations, but those are likely to
be rather technical and not rise to the level of an impeachable
So hold your breath and stay tuned, America. And please, dont
rush to judgment until you have not only read this report but
any response the Trump legal team may offer. You will hear more
from me once Ive had an opportunity to read the report and any