Everybody who has actually read the Mueller Report knows that Attorney General William Barr lied to the country about its contents. Certainly, the report does not exonerate Trump of wrongdoing; to the contrary, it documents misbehaviors vastly worse than those for which Richard Nixon was removed from office. But: by pronouncing Trump cleared, and then withholding publication for a couple of weeks, Barr seized the public relations and news-cycle initiatives … and the country moved-on to marveling at new Trump indecencies.
What do you know? A federal judge has something he wants to say about that.
A federal judge in Washington sharply criticized Attorney General William P. Barr on Thursday for a “lack of candor,” questioning the truthfulness of the nation’s top law enforcement official in his handling of last year’s report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, overseeing a lawsuit brought by EPIC, a watchdog group, and BuzzFeed News, said he saw serious discrepancies between Barr’s public statements about Mueller’s findings and the public, partially redacted version of that report detailing the special counsel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
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In his 23-page opinion, Walton said he had “grave concerns about the objectivity of the process” that led up to the public release of the Mueller report. “The Court cannot reconcile certain public representations made by Attorney General Barr with the findings in the Mueller Report,” he wrote. “These circumstances generally, and Attorney General Barr’s lack of candor specifically, call into question Attorney General Barr’s credibility.”
It’s not every day that a federal judge calls the Attorney General a liar, and does it in public. As best I can recall, in fact, the last time that happened is when John Mitchell, Nixon’s Attorney General, was sent to prison.
We are seeing, right in front of our eyes, the genius of our Constitutional design fulfilled: The Senate has been cowed but the judiciary, with its lifetime appointments, still exhibits some backbone. Whether or not that’s enough to save the country from the corrupt pack of sleazy grifters so beloved by the Deplorable One-third remains to be seen, but at least the game isn’t already over.