By Robert A. Vella
Despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to not take a stand on the obstruction of justice committed by President Trump against the Russia investigation, it was detailed in his official report. What has also become evident since the release of the still-redacted report is Attorney General William Barr’s determination to both present a false narrative of the report favorable to Trump and to impede Congress’ attempts to see the entire contents of the report. Barr is essentially obstructing congressional investigation of Trump’s obstruction of justice and is at imminent risk of being held in contempt of Congress.
And, Barr isn’t the only one obstructing the obstruction. Trump has forced a constitutional crisis by his blanket instruction to everyone called to testify on this matter urging them to refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas. Trump has also recently committed acts which are tantamount to witness tampering.
WASHINGTON — White House officials asked at least twice in the past month for the key witness against President Trump in the Mueller report, Donald F. McGahn II, to say publicly that he never believed the president obstructed justice, according to two people briefed on the requests.
Mr. Trump asked White House officials to make the request to Mr. McGahn, who was the president’s first White House counsel, one of the people said. Mr. McGahn declined. His reluctance angered the president, who believed that Mr. McGahn showed disloyalty by telling investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, about Mr. Trump’s attempts to maintain control over the Russia investigation.
The political battle over the Mueller report helps explain a curious move by the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, to subpoena Trump’s son for testimony which has angered his fellow Republicans. Burr, it turns out, was investigated by Robert Mueller.
A place you don’t want to be in Washington is in the pages of Mueller report. Aside from the obvious subjects of the special counsel’s report, there are a number of Senate Republicans who don’t come off looking so good.
And this week, allegations in the report that Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) fed the White House information about secret investigations is adding fuel to his critics as he tries to finish his own investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Burr is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating Russian interference alongside special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. This week, Burr’s committee subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. to force the president’s son to come back to testify to the committee. This show of force from a Republican-led committee was entirely dissonant with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) declaration days earlier that Trump and Russia was “case closed.”
Before the Mueller report, Burr’s subpoena might have seemed like a bipartisan move to seek the facts. But the subpoena is seen in a different light now that we know Mueller thinks Burr fed the White House information about the Russia probe.
In other news:
WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) – Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has approved the transfer of $1.5 billion to build more than 80 miles (130 km)of barriers on the border with Mexico, U.S. officials said on Friday, including taking about $600 million from an account meant for Afghan security forces.
The latest move was opposed by congressional Democrats, who also criticized a March transfer of $1 billion in military money to fund Republican President Donald Trump’s wall.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development acknowledged that a Trump administration plan to purge undocumented immigrants from public housing could displace more than 55,000 children who are all legal U.S. residents or citizens.
The proposed rule, published Friday in the Federal Register, would tighten regulations against undocumented immigrants accessing federally subsidized housing to “make certain our scarce public resources help those who are legally entitled to it,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said last month.
But the agency’s analysis of the rule’s regulatory impact concluded that half of current residents living in households potentially facing eviction and homelessness are children who are legally qualified for aid.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A federal judge on Friday struck down a Kentucky abortion law that would halt a common second-trimester procedure to end pregnancies. The state’s anti-abortion governor immediately vowed to appeal.
U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. ruled that the 2018 law would create a “substantial obstacle” to a woman’s right to an abortion, violating constitutionally protected privacy rights.