To exonerate. Absolve. Acquit. Vindicate. Forgive. Pardon. No matter what the synonyms, Trump was not exonerated as he claims. “Complete and Total EXONERATION,” Trump crowed after receiving the news that Special Counsel Mueller had turned over his report to Attorney General William Barr. No Trump was NOT exonerated. As Elie Honig, CNN’s legal expert, noted: “Barr reports that Mueller found insufficient evidence to charge a federal crime, but not necessarily that Mueller found no evidence whatsoever.” In fact, according to Mueller himself, “While [his] report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him” [of criminal behavior]. That quote was included in the summary of Mueller’s findings as reported in Barr’s four-page letter to congressional committee leaders. The letter was released to the public and published in various print and online sources
Millions of us want to read/hear more than a summary of what Mueller actually wrote in his report, which is long and detailed with evidence. Reportedly, Barr could release the entire report immediately, but no one knows when the American public will get to see it. Barr may deliberately delay release or make only certain parts of Mueller’s report public.
I, for one, am a bit suspicious of the AG. During his confirmation hearings before a congressional judicial committee Democrats declared that Barr should recuse himself from overseeing Mueller’s investigation. The reason? In a memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Barr had expressed skepticism about Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice. Barr refused to recuse. That refusal makes me wonder whether he will be objective in his release of Mueller’s report or whether he will try to protect Trump in his selections of material he makes public. We’ll see—maybe.