‘WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?’
Judge Napolitano: Barr’s ‘Foolish Attempt’ to Sanitize Mueller Report Was ‘Dumb and Insulting’
‘It was misleading, it was disingenuous, it was even deceptive,’ the Fox News senior judicial analyst said.
In a FoxNews.com op-ed and subsequent video essay on the network’s streaming service Fox Nation, senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano shredded Attorney General William Barr for his “misleading” and “disingenuous” attempt to spin the conclusions of the Mueller report, adding that the attorney general was “deceptive” during his congressional testimony.
With the House Judiciary Committee voting Wednesday to recommend the House hold Barr in contempt for failing to turn in the full un-redacted Mueller report, Napolitano said Thursday that the attorney general is also under fire for deceiving Congress, notably for telling the House last month he was unaware of any criticisms from the Mueller team over his initial four-page summary of the report’s findings.
“But of course, Barr did know because Mueller told him in his letter of the complaints his office had about the four-page letter,” Napolitano said, adding Mueller “made a permanent record of his complaint about Barr's sanitized letter, and Barr hid that record from Congress.”
Claiming that Barr “dropped the ball again” by ignoring the Judiciary Committee’s subpoena for the un-redacted report, the Fox analyst said the attorney general should have sought a judge’s opinion on the “lawfulness of compliance” rather than giving the House an opportunity to hold him in contempt.
“What’s going on here?” Napolitano wondered. “It is clear that Barr's four-page letter, about which Mueller complained to Barr and some of Mueller's team complained to the media, was a foolish attempt to sanitize the Mueller report.”
The judge continued: “It was misleading, it was disingenuous, it was even deceptive. Also, because Barr could argue that all or nearly all of the Mueller report would soon become public, it was dumb and insulting.”
Napolitano went on to further criticize Barr for saying Trump had been exonerated on the charge of conspiracy, stating that the DOJ wasn’t “in the business of exonerating the people it investigates” and the Mueller report “revealed “127 communications between Russian agents and Trump campaign officials in a 16-month period.”
“That is hardly an exoneration,” he added.
The judge, meanwhile, said it was ironic that House Democrats now claim the attorney general violated the same obstruction of justice statutes that the special counsel found President Trump violated.
“This is a gravely serious charge against the attorney general of the United States,” he declared. "Attorney General Barr's prosecutors regularly prosecute defendants for doing what it appears the attorney general himself has done."
Interestingly, while Napolitano published the op-ed and video on Thursday morning, the judge—who has been pilloried by the president recently for saying he obstructed justice—was not asked to address any of this during his appearance on Fox & Friends or his subsequent hit on Fox Business Network’s Cavuto: Coast to Coast.