Impeach William Barr if he doesn’t release the Mueller report
Barr can’t be Trump’s new Michael Cohen
United States Attorney General William Barr is acting as though he has a choice about releasing the Mueller report. He doesn’t. Unless Barr wants to live in infamy as a disgraced enabler of the mad and corrupt president, He needs to fulfill his constitutional duty and release the report in its entirety. If he fails to do so, he should be impeached.
In the Department of Justice Order that initiated the investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stated that the purpose of special counsel investigation was to “ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.”
The question of Russian interference in the 2016 election affects all citizens. This scope amplifies the meaning of Part 600 – General Powers of the Special Counsel, Code of Federal Regulations. The Special Counsel must deliver a confidential report to the U.S. Attorney General. At that point, “The Attorney General may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest, to the extent that release would comply with applicable legal restrictions” 600.9 – Notification and reports by the Attorney General.
It couldn’t be more obvious. The integrity of our democratic republic is the critical subject of inquiry and, given the overriding importance of that subject, the public interest must be served.
Why would we think Bill Barr would withhold the report …
… because he told us so in his confirmation hearing.
Barr tried to come off as calm and thoughtful when answering questions. Despite his demeanor, he offered everything we need to know about his intentions. He accepted the notion that a sitting president cannot be indicted in a criminal case. There is no such restriction on presidential indictments in the Constitution. That doesn’t bother Barr. He bases his opinion on a 1973 Nixon Department of Justice memo that somehow rationalized this position. Barr also informed us that if confirmed, he would not report on anything other than indictments.
Professor Alan J. Lichtman of American University summarized the ugly truth behind Barr’s position in the confirmation hearings:
“Here is the Catch-22. Barr won’t authorize an indictment of the president, but he is opposed to commenting on investigations absent indictments.” Spectator USA 01/16/2019
Without hesitation or a scintilla of embarrassment, Barr gave the public a clear message – I decide what gets released and unless there’s an indictment, nothing gets published. He left out the need for full transparency based on the defined mission of the Special Counsels effort: “to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election” and “determine” the obvious that “the release of these reports would be in the public interest.”
Impeaching a Cabinet Member
Cabinet members may be impeached on the same grounds as the president and vice president. The three broad categories of impeachable offenses are: “(1) improperly exceeding or abusing the powers of the office; (2) behavior incompatible with the function and purpose of the office; and (3) misusing the office for an improper purpose or personal gain” Congressional Research Service 10/29/2015.
The House of Representative brings charges in the form of articles of impeachment. The House debates and votes on the articles. If a simple majority of representatives vote for impeachment, the articles go to the Senate for trial. The executive branch official (e.g., Attorney General) is immediately removed from office if two-thirds of Senators casting votes favor the resolution,
The only cabinet member to ever be impeached was the Grant administration’s war secretary William Belknap. The House of Representatives passed the impeachment articles unanimously, but the Senate failed to reach a majority for conviction.
Barr’s handling of the report today, 3/24, shows precisely why the prospect of impeachment must move to the front of the line. The letter he summary of findings he sent to Congress said nothing about the task of the investigation, the role of Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
Barr is a bad apple – Trump’s new Michael Cohen.
Barr campaigned for the job based on a ridiculous premise. In an unsolicited 19 page brief, he attached Robert Mueller’s theory of obstruction of justice. Was there a basis for this critique? Of course not. Mueller’s team was leak proof on every aspect of the investigation including a theory of obstruction of justice.
After Barr’s nomination, the media told us that he is an “institutionalist.” Since this word isn’t found in either the Oxford Dictionary and the derivative in Miriam Webster in inapplicable, we’re at a loss to know what this means. It seemed like a compliment of some sort to relieve our worries that Trump’s jihad against anything related to the Mueller investigation would not interfere with transparency and openness regarding Mueller’s findings.
After all, we were told, Barr was the Attorney General for former president George H.W. Bush and legal professional of some repute.
The media failed to mention that, as Attorney General Barr was the fixer who buried the findings of the Iran Contra investigation and initiated the pardons for critical figures involved. Barr was to H.W. Bush as Michael Cohen was to Trump.
The media failed to emphasize that Barr had written an unsolicited 20-page critique of the Muller investigation’s theory of obstruction of justice, quite a feat given that there were no public records or leaks from the investigation that could provide a basis for Barr’s critique. Barr was auditioning for Trump, and he got the job.
It’s all about Russian influence in the election, not legal inside baseball nonsense
The media continues in its failure to recognize the purpose of the Mueller investigation, Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election. Instead, the talking heads are drowning in an ocean of legalistic theories at the expense of the public interest. Did they fail to read Rosenstein’s letter outlining the purpose of the Mueller investigation? Did they forget what they read? Or, are they as utterly useless today as they were during the 2016 campaign when Trump got a free pass on just about everything.
If Barr fails to produce the full report to the public, he is “improperly exceeding or abusing the powers of the office” and should be subject to impeachment.