In his book “The Fellowship of the Ring,” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “The road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the road has gone, and I must follow, if I can, pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some larger way where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.”
This is the first book of Tolkien’s brilliant trilogy about the war for Middle Earth. Perhaps Tolkien’s quote describes last week’s news and goings on in Washington and national politics. The Mueller Report is still very much alive and well, and will ultimately dethrone President Donald Trump according to many national news outlets, Democrats and other #TrumpHaters.
On Sunday, March 24, news anchors, reporters, editors and commentators waited breathlessly for Attorney General William Barr to send his letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees summarizing, according to Barr’s letter itself, “the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.” In that letter, Barr quoted the report, “(The) investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Contrary to all the blather coming from CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and a host of Democratic demagogues, Barr’s letter neither summarized Mueller’s report nor claimed to have interpreted Mueller’s report. Please reread Barr’s comments again if you missed that point.
Missing that point herself, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “I have said and I’ll say again, no thank you, Mr. Attorney General. We do not need your interpretation. Show us the report and we can draw our own conclusions. We don’t need you interpreting for us.” She continued, “It was condescending. It was arrogant. And it wasn’t the right thing to do.”
Earlier in March, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) launched his own investigation “into the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates and members of his Administration.” Nadler’s committee served document requests to 81 agencies, entities and individuals believed to have information relevant to the investigation.
Later, after Barr had sent his letters to Congress and the public, Nadler demanded “the full and complete Mueller report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence.”
Barr described the extent of Mueller’s investigation this way: “In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence forensic accountants and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.”
Barr, working with Mueller and a team of lawyers and agents in the FBI and Department of Justice, have been examining the nearly 400-page report and supporting documents to redact anything federal law prohibits releasing before delivering the report and supporting documents to Congress and the public around the middle of April.
Meanwhile, #TrumpHaters continue to work to remove the president from the White House. Barr promised to release the report in a couple of weeks. “And whither then? I cannot say.”
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Mississippi. You may contact him at PJanMe2@gmail.com.