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On Thursday, the Department of Justice was in full damage-control mode trying to defend their whitewashed summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Trump alleged criminal activity.

“Given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the attorney general decided to release the report’s bottom-line findings and his conclusions immediately — without attempting to summarize the report — with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redaction process,” Kerri Kupec, a Justice Department spokesperson said in a statement.

But this makes no sense, as Barr did not need to summarize the Mueller report. Mueller’s team did that for him.

According to recent press reports, Mueller’s team created summaries designed to be released to the public by the attorney general for just this purpose. On official even said that the beginning of each section of the report was written so that it could be easily released with limited redactions.

But Barr ignored those summaries and decided to provide a four-page letter to Congress that one member of the Oversight Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), described as “purged and sanitized of any facts and details.”

Barr’s summary was such a glowing report of Trump that one member of Mueller’s team told the New York Times that the full report is “more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated.”

As these allegations from Mueller’s team surfaced, the DOJ immediately began spinning their own tale, even if their version of events does not comport to reality.

Thursday’s statement by the Department of Justice is the second attempt by Trump’s team to explain their actions since Mueller concluded his investigation. In late March, Barr sent a letter to Congress defending his summary of the Mueller report, which he whined at the time should not be called a “summary” because it was not “an exhaustive recounting” of Mueller’s report and only summarized its “principal conclusions.”

In other words, Barr’s team ignored summaries from Mueller’s team, opting instead to put together their own summary, which would not actually summarize the report. Makes sense!

Raskin described Barr’s initial letter as “an elaborate public relations ploy.” But the confusing and nonsensical defenses have done nothing to quell public interest in the Mueller report. In fact, an overwhelming majority of Americans want congressional hearings about the report, and most people still think Trump is a criminal despite Barr’s biased letter.

The DOJ’s desperate attempts to explain their actions are not sitting well with Congress either. On Thursday afternoon, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Barr demanding an immediate release of the summaries of the Mueller report mentioned in press reports.

“Releasing these summaries — without delay — would begin to allow the American people to judge the facts for themselves,” Nadler said.

In the meantime, the Trump administration’s attempts to defend Barr’s Mueller report whitewashing aren’t adding up and have only served to make him and the Trump administration look even worse.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

IMAGE: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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