A week ago, it looked like Attorney General William Barr was actually going to be able to hide the most damaging portions of the report compiled by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and allow President Donald Trump to maintain that he had been exonerated. Or, as Trump has said endless times since a redacted copy of the Mueller report was made public, there was “no collusion, no obstruction.”
But on Thursday, a federal judge threw one hell of a monkey wrench into the attorney general’s carefully scripted cover-up.
“U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington ordered the government also to provide a public transcript of a November 2017 voice mail involving Flynn. In that sensitive call, President Trump’s attorney left a message for Flynn’s attorney reminding him of the president’s fondness for Flynn at a time when Flynn was considering cooperating with federal investigators.
“The transcripts, which the judge ordered be posted on a court website by May 31, would reveal conversations at the center of two major avenues of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. So far they have been disclosed to the public only in fragments in court filings and the Mueller report.
Those “fragments” are about to become a flood of new evidence that could conclusively probe Trump and members of his legal team were actively engaged in a coordinated scheme to obstruct justice and keep the president’s contacts with Russia hidden.
Why does an person innocent of collusion or obstruction try to keep things hidden? Only a guilty man does that.
Enter William Barr, Trump’s handpicked fixer in the Department of Justice, withholding the most incriminating parts of the Mueller report and pretending that Mueller found some questionable behavior, but nothing illegal or impeachable.
That same judge said the new information must be made public by no later than May 31, and if Barr refuses, he is then in criminal contempt of court. The judge can have him jailed until he complies.
Thursday, May 16, 2019 may wind up being the turning point in the case against both Trump and Barr. And it may also be the day that serves as the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.
Nice try, Mr. Barr, but your plan to protect this lawless president is now officially shredded.