Spin, Spin, Spin!
The famous Benny Goodman tune was "Sing, Sing, Sing" but one could be forgiven if the Spin tune title comes to mind along with the tune while reading Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne's furious and often laughable spin on what is obviously for him a very disappointing Mueller Report. His highly entertaining spin control took place on Sunday in "Six takeaways from Barr’s letter about Mueller’s probe":
Mueller is an honorable man. He is not a bomb thrower. He always defined his role narrowly. All of Trump’s attacks on Mueller (and he continued assailing the probe on Sunday night) distracted from the fact that Mueller was not nearly as aggressive as he might have been — for example, by subpoenaing the president.
Uh-oh! Do I detect a disturbance in the liberal hive with this newfound criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller?
And now Dionne broke out the latest liberal shtick to explain away the Mueller report by claiming it is really the Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein interpretation of that report that is out there:
...Barr says he and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein “have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” The Mueller probe spanned 675 days. It took Barr and Rosenstein just two days to let the president off the hook. How did they decide so quickly? The words “rush to judgement” come to mind. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said he would call Barr to testify. He must.
Time now to break out your dictionaries in order to find something in the report that was not actually there:
...on the issue of Russian collusion, there is an odd discrepancy between the language Barr uses and what he quotes the report as saying. Barr says: “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” He quotes Mueller as saying: "The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” The words “did not find” do not strike me as the same as “did not establish.” Perhaps I am parsing, but these are legal matters and that word “establish” raises interesting questions.
Yeah, E.J., you are definitely parsing while in full spin mode.
We have no idea right now if material will emerge over the coming months that will justify impeachment. Impeachment is, in any event, a last resort. In the meantime, everything we have learned about Trump from Mueller’s inquiry and from media reports suggests potential corruption, conflicts of interest and a leader who has surrounded himself with shady figures against whom Mueller secured either convictions, indictments or plea deals.
Translation: No Trump-Russia collusion, which was the purpose of the investigation, was found but Trump just has to be guilty of something.