WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 2019 – In the latest edition of Yeomans Work, AFJ Senior Justice Fellow Bill Yeomans bluntly assesses Attorney General William Barr’s post-Mueller report statement that President Trump committed no obstruction of justice: Barr did exactly what Trump hired him to do. Writes Yeomans:
“Yesterday, Barr performed the function for which Trump selected him. Barr’s decision to override Mueller’s refusal to exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice in the Russia probe plunked a giant thumb on the scales of justice and gave Trump the political message he so desperately craved: no collusion and no obstruction – complete exoneration. As commentators lavished praise on our institutions for allowing the Mueller investigation to reach its conclusion, Barr reignited cynicism about the apolitical nature of law enforcement.”
Yeomans goes on to note that it is even more important now that Congress and the public get to see Mueller’s entire report, as well as the documents used to prepare it. According to Yeomans: “Regarding obstruction, Mueller obviously thought there was troubling evidence against the president. That should be Congress’s starting point, rather than Barr’s gratuitous overriding of Mueller. Congress will need the full report and essential supporting documents to acquit its constitutional obligation of determining whether to commence impeachment proceedings. It will also need to hear directly from Mueller and Barr.”
So what happens next? Yeomans asserts that Congress and the public must ramp up the pressure to share the report and supporting materials. And the White House should not stand in the way. Says Yeomans, “After all, according to Trump, he has been cleared. He should want the public to see the evidence.”
Yeomans Work focuses on the challenges to the justice system in the era of Trump. Bill Yeomans is available for media interviews. Contact Laurie Kinney, Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-464-7367.