He threw his longtime colleague and friend, William Barr, the current attorney general, right under a bus.
First, for context, a little history.
As noted by The Atlantic, both Barr and Mueller served together at the Justice Department in the early 1990s in the administration of President George H. W. Bush (himself a former CIA director). Not only that, but as Barr told senators during his confirmation hearing in January, “the two men have had a relationship for years” — on personal, social, and family levels.
But on Wednesday, decades of professional and personal relationships were cast aside after Mueller essentially called Barr a liar.
Recall that in March, Mueller and his team of hand-picked Democrat-and-Hillary-supporting lawyers released their report concluding two things: They did not find any evidence POTUS Trump’s 2016 campaign “colluded” with Russia; and they could not find enough evidence that the president ‘obstructed justice.’
During subsequent Senate testimony, Barr said he was “frankly surprised” by Mueller’s decision that he wouldn’t be making a determination regarding the ‘obstruction’ charge during a March 5 meeting.
Nevertheless, Barr told senators he specifically asked if Mueller’s decision not to make a determination had anything at all to do with longstanding Justice Department guidelines stating that a sitting president cannot be indicted. (Related: DiGenova: ‘Accountable government’ coming as ‘battle royale’ has broken out between AG Barr, deep state.)
“Special counsel Mueller stated three times to us in that meeting in response to our questioning that he emphatically was not saying that but for the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) opinion, he would have found obstruction,” Barr said. “He said that in the future, the facts of the case against a president might be such that a special counsel would recommend abandoning the OLC opinion, but this is not such a case.” (Emphasis added.)
Barr further explained to senators that Mueller’s position was at odds with standard Justice Department procedure for prosecutors, noting that “special counsel was appointed to carry out the investigative and prosecutorial functions of the department and do it as part of the Department of Justice.”
Prosecutors either make cases against suspects or they don’t, in other words. There is never ‘no determination’ one way or the other of alleged guilt (or non-guilt).
However, on Wednesday, Mueller not only upended 230 years’ worth of American jurisprudence, he did so by impugning his long-time friend and colleague.
“As set forth in the report, after the investigation, if we had confidence that the president did not clearly commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller told reporters during an eight-minute press conference.
As noted by CBS News:
The Justice Department policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president meant that "charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider," Mueller said, adding that the Constitution requires a "process other than the criminal justice system" to address wrongdoing by a president.
"It would be unfair to potentially accuse someone of a crime" knowing the issue could not be resolved in the courts, Mueller said.
Mueller specifically told Barr the OLC policy had no role in his decision not to recommend charges against the president. Now, suddenly, he’s changed his mind?
Good thing Mueller was not sitting before a grand jury; he just committed perjury. And lost a great friend, most likely, in the process.
That Mueller could so easily cast aside a friendship decades in the making should prove to any serious observer of “Spygate” that the deep state is real and it so fears POTUS Trump they will stop at nothing to get rid of him.