What the Barr letter REALLY says

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What the Barr letter REALLY says

March 25, 2019

Dear Foundation Members and Friends of the Foundation,

            What is being said is not true:

           I awoke this morning to a barrage of television reporters, headlines, and Donald Trump saying that Attorney General Barr’s letter to Congress’ Judiciary Committees says that Robert Mueller’s report concluded that there was no “collusion” between Trump and Russia.  Hogwash!  The word “collusion” is not mentioned in General Barr’s letter!  See for yourself.  Above is a transcript of General Barr’s letter.  And, Donald Trump himself is blaring that he’s been “exonerated.  Again, hogwash!  While General Barr’s letter has very few quotations from Director Mueller’s report, it does have this one – the report “does not exonerate” Donald Trump.

            Collusion is not even mentioned in General Barr’s letter:

            Director Mueller was indeed charged with finding if there was “collusion;” but, that’s a tall order for a prosecutor who seeks to find crimes.  “Collusion” is not a crime.  According to General Barr’s letter, “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”  “Conspiracy” is a crime;* and “coordination” and its derivative words are often used to describe conspiracy and its accompanying activity.**

            “Collusion” is a much broader word, that is not restrained by the necessary elements of “conspiracy.”  “Collusion” means “Cooperation in Fraud.”***  Collusion may include conspiracy; it may not.  Collusion may be an impeachable offense, if it is in effect an arrow aimed at the heart of our democracy.****

                House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff explained last Sunday (03/24/19) on ABC’s This week.  “There’s a difference between . . . collusion and whether the special counsel concludes that he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt the criminal charge of conspiracy.”

            So, the proclamations that the letter says that there was no collusion just aren’t true.

            The Mueller report explicitly says that the report “does not exonerate” Donald Trump:

            Also, Donald Trump has a new mantra, “Exoneration.”  But, General Barr’s letter explicitly says relative to obstruction of justice, “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it does not exonerate him.”’*****  General Barr’s letter says – without citation to any law or any material facts – that in his and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s opinion, the evidence developed in the Mueller report isn’t sufficient to support a criminal obstruction charge. 

            So, the breathless words of Donald Trump that say that he’s been exonerated are just plain lies.  General Barr’s letter says to the contrary.  It says that Director Mueller’s report, “does not exonerate” Donald Trump.:

            General Barr’s letter says that Director Mueller’s report only covered two topics

            I only had time this morning to try to correct the hogwash that’s polluting today’s air.  General Barr’s letter says that Director Mueller’s report only covers two thing, Russian election interference and obstruction.  Please don’t forget the impeachable offenses****** of things like giving away State secrets, mental instability, kidnapping children from their parents’ arms, declaring an “emergency” because poor and scared Central Americans are seeking asylum, supporting white nationalism, trying to keep Muslims from coming to America, etc. etc., etc.

            Thank you. 

Dan Jacobson

Chair

*  “A general outline of the elements of a criminal conspiracy has been well stated in 15A, C.J.S. to be: (1) An object to be accomplished. (2) A plan or scheme embodying means to accomplish that object. (3) An agreement or understanding between two or more of the defendants whereby they become definitely committed to cooperate for the accomplishment of the object by the means embodied in the agreement, or by any effectual means.”  (United States v. Bostic 480 Fed.2d 965 (1973.)

**See for instance United States v. Allen 2019 U.S. DIST. LEXIS 6974, 28-29.

***Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary, 259 (1968).

****See Hamilton, The Federalist Papers # 65.

*****Italics added.

******See Hamilton, The Federalist Papers # 65.

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