Rep. Steve Cohen: Trump and ‘Some Group’ Have ‘Pulled Off’ a ‘Charade’ in AG Barr’s Summary of Mueller Report
Democratic member of the House judiciary committee Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee spoke with former Obama administration official and current CNN anchor Jim Sciutto on Wednesday about his distrust of Attorney General William Barr‘s report on the Mueller report, and his belief that Republicans are trying to cover up evidence of collusion with Russia.
Sciutto, who was one of the three authors of the wrong CNN report that Michael Cohen would testify that Trump knew in advance about the Trump Tower meeting with Russians, was very receptive to the idea that despite the quotes from the Mueller report, and the Attorney General’s legal obligations, and the fact that there has been no objection from Robert Mueller saying Barr’s summary was inaccurate, that the report is false and there was collusion with Russia anyway.
“Well, I think this whole thing has been a charade,” Cohen began reasonably. “Bill Barr was appointed to give this type of analysis, quote, unquote, of the Mueller report. And it really discredits and is an undoing of what Jim Mueller, Bob Mueller has spent 22 months doing–”
Cohen suggested that Barr’s compulsory filing of a summary report to Congress is itself an act of covering up.
“For him to sum it up in a three-page report, and I think this is continuing–Republicans in the House voted to say it should be made public. Trump said he’d let them do it. I think he knew that McConnell wouldn’t let it go through the Senate,” he said.
He suggested the GOP at large is in a current conspiracy to cover up evidence of a previous conspiracy with Russia, to which Sciutto offered no objection.
“If there’s nothing in the report that will make people think there was obstruction of justice and/or conspiracy with some members of the Trump Administration, it should be allowed for the public to see it,” he continued. “The fact they don’t want the public to see it makes you think this is all a whitewash and charade.”
“As you note, we’re only seeing Bill Barr’s, the President Trump’s appointee’s interpretation of Mueller’s fuller, much fuller report here,” said Sciutto. “That said, we do know that Robert Mueller did not make a determination on whether the president committed obstruction of justice, presented information, evidence on both sides of that argument and specifically said he was not exonerating the president.”
Sciutto, who was an Obama appointee, asked: “I wonder, in your view, by not making that determination, punting it, in effect, to a man appointed by the president, if you think the special counsel failed in his duties by not making a recommendation?”
Cohen responded that he wasn’t sure what Mueller wanted or what he may have wanted Barr to do. He said that Mueller could have been expecting Barr to pass it congress without analysis, or he could have wanted Barr to offer a summary and determination in the way that he did.
Sciutto said the public’s appetite for the investigation is “wearing thin” and asked if there was any political momentum to continue pursuing it.
Cohen said he doesn’t think it’s done.
“I think it’s been an injustice, because I think this has been a charade pulled off by Trump and some group that helped get Bill Barr and do this, and I don’t think you can ever let charades that hurt democracy and take away the people’s opportunity through transparent government to see the product that they paid for succeed,” said Cohen. “So I think it’s important and I think politically it’s important to show that the Democrats have integrity, that members of Congress even some Republicans have integrity, and that they will let the people see what the work product is for 22 months of work and how it relates to the Russian interference in our election.”
As most other guests and anchors on CNN and MSNBC have done for the last few days, Cohen began listing all the suspicious things to date about Trump and Russia, which the Mueller investigation was investigating, and said too many Trump officials are liars and that Trump lied about the Trump Tower meeting, and that the American people need to see the report to find out if Trump and associates colluded with Russia, which the report says they did not.
Sciutto did not ask what Cohen meant by “Trump and some group that helped get Bill Barr” pulling off a charade, although while Cohen was saying Trump lied about the Trump Tower meeting, he Sciutto did interject with a “yeah.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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