Pastels or primaries? by @BloggersRUs
Pastels or primaries?
by Tom Sullivan
Justice Department and special counsel’s office attorneys expect this week to finalize color-coding their proposed redactions to the Mueller report before Attorney General William Barr issues that version to Congress.
“They’ve identified four categories of protected information and assigned different colors to each one to identify each cut or trim,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Their color choices are as secret as what’s behind them.
It’s a moment that will shape American politics and policy, as members of both parties pore over the pages for evidence that damns or vindicates the president. Barr has said he’ll blank out passages based on classified material, grand jury information and to avoid damaging “peripheral” figures who are private citizens, prompting House Democrats to authorize subpoenas for the full report and all the evidence behind it.
Barr told Congress the report is nearly 400 pages, “exclusive of tables and appendices.” Redactions there could be more significant than in the body of the work itself, as could be what is in the footnotes. (We’ve come not to expect a searchable PDF.)
The report’s contents, once revealed, could either dampen support for further investigations into the Donald Trump campaign’s ties to Russia or hang over the president’s reelection bid. While many of the ways Russia interfered in the 2016 election are well-publicized, others not yet public might be revealed. (See tables and appendices.)
Trump‘s advisers and attorney Rudy Giuliani are “polishing” a 140-page counter-narrative prepared to rebut any unfavorable Mueller findings. Knocking down evidence of obstruction of justice on Trump‘s part has received particular focus. Given their track record, if Trump and his lawyers bring their “A” game, there may be blustery threats to investigate “Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others!” and/or a major, shiny distraction. (Rep. Ilhan Omar should watch her back.) Their “B” game could be the legal equivalent of a raspberry delivered with the aid of talking heads at Fox News.
Maybe all of the above.
For those expecting to consume the report in detail, Politico provides a column of tips from Trump fans, Trump foes, plus attorneys and academics for how to read the report and what to read for. Several recommend two or more screens: one for the report and another (maybe two others) to follow Twitter comments from legal analysts as they appear. Point taken.
Update: Marcy Wheeler posts her own advice on how to read what is and is not in the report.