March 29, 2019
By Robert Kuttner | Mar 29, 2019
Expect Trump To Be Back on the Defensive Soon. Some commentators contend that Mueller’s non-finding of criminal wrongdoing on Trump’s part paradoxically “did Democrats a favor.” In this view, the door is now closed on further investigations of Trump’s misdeeds, and Dems can now focus on the 2020 election, the surest way of removing Trump.
This theory is nonsense. Trump’s misuse of office has to be a major issue in 2020. And the aftermath of Mueller’s report is far from over.
Attorney General Bill Barr’s summary is a cover-up, pure and simple. It’s now up to key Congressional committees to get the details out, either via Mueller’s testimony or by doing their own investigative follow up, or by doing whatever else it takes to get the full report.
Despite the fact that Barr managed to charm some Democrats during his confirmation hearings, it was all to clear from his prior statements of executive power that he had been appointed for one reason—to protect Trump from Mueller’s findings.
Even if Trump’s flagrant footsie with Putin doesn’t rise to the level of criminal activity, it was a disgrace, and those details need to come out as well. It was good to see Nancy Pelosi take a hard line when she declared:
"No thank you Mr. Attorney General. We do not need your interpretation. Show us the report and we can draw our own conclusions. We don't need you interpreting for us. It was condescending, it was arrogant and wasn't the right thing to do. The sooner they can give us the information, the sooner we can make a judgment about it."
The idea that Dems need to choose between focusing on other election issues, or continue pursuing Trump’s misdeeds as president is preposterous. Trump will be back on the defensive soon.