This ought to be good.
Courtesy of Axios:
White House lawyer Emmet Flood sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr on April 19 accusing special counsel Robert Mueller of playing politics with his claim that the report “does not exonerate” President Trump on obstruction of justice.
“Because they do not belong in our criminal justice vocabulary, the SCO’s inverted-proof standard and “exoneration” statements can be understood only as political statements, issuing from persons (prosecutors) who in our system of government are rightly expected never to be political in the performance of their duties. The inverted burden of proof knowingly embedded in the SCO’s conclusion shows that the Special Counsel and his staff failed in their duty to act as prosecutors and only as prosecutors.”
The letter goes on to criticize Mueller’s choice not to make a prosecutorial decision on obstruction, which Flood claims does not comply with the obligation imposed by the special counsel’s regulations to “explain the prosecution or declination decisions reached.”
Flood also addresses the claim by some Democrats that Mueller’s report was meant to be a “road map” for congressional action, including possible impeachment: “If that was in fact the SCO’s intention, it too serves as additional evidence of the SCO’s refusal to follow applicable law. … Under a constitution of separated powers, inferior Article II officers should not be in the business of creating “road maps” for the purpose of transmitting them to Article I committees.”
Trust me if the report stated that the evidence “did exonerate” Trump his lawyers would have no problem with the inclusion of that word.
Apparently, the White House did not appreciate the fact that the Muller report was so comprehensive, or that it pointed toward avenues for prosecution, “road maps” if you will.
This from the White House letter:
Far more detailed than the text of any known criminal indictment or declination memorandum, the Report is laden with factual information that has never been subjected to adversarial testing or independent analysis. ‘That inforrnation is accompanied by a series of inexplicably inconclusive observations (inexplicable. that is, coming from a prosecutor) concerning possible applications of law to fact. This species of public report has no basis in the relevant regulation and no precedent in the history of special independent counsel investigations.
Reading between the lines it seems as if the Trump White House attorneys are troubled that this whole thing is not over and that they cannot tell their client to calm the fuck down and stop tweeting like a lunatic because there are likely more investigations and criminal prosecutions coming his way.
To head that off at the pass the letter also claims that even though Trump let staffers talk to Robert Mueller he did not waive executive privilege:
The President therefore wants the following features of his decision to be known and
(1) His decision not to assert privilege is not a waiver of executive privilege for any other material or for any other purpose;
(2) His decision to permit disclosure of executive-privileged portions of the report does not waive any privileges or protections for the SC 0?s underlying investigative materials such as, for example, FBI Form 302 witness interview summaries and presumptively privileged documents made available to the SCO by the White House.
(3) His decision does not affect his ability as President to instruct his advisors to decline to appear before congressional committees to answer questions on these same subjects. It is one thing for a President to encourage complete cooperation and transparency in a criminal investigation conducted largely within the Executive Branch; it is something else entirely to allow his advisors to appear before Congress, a coordinate branch of government. and answer questions relating to their communications with the President and with each other.
Clearly, Trump plans to have his people stonewall Congressional Democrats at every turn.
So THAT’S why Bill Barr felt justified in skipping the congressional hearing today.
I have a feeling that this next week might almost be as entertaining as this last week.