During his Thursday morning press conference, Attorney General William Barr disclosed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller looked into “10 episodes” of potential obstruction by President Donald Trump.
Naturally, partisan media ran with the statement as evidence Barr protected Trump from being held accountable. Barr said during the press conference that he disagreed with Mueller on some of the obstruction claims.
"The president took no action that in fact deprived the special counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete the investigation,” Barr said.
The attorney general also explained that Trump’s alleged obstruction could also be seen as the actions of a man who thought he was falsely accused.
“In assessing the president’s actions discussed in the report it is important to bear in mind the context,” Barr explained. “There is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks.”
Remember that there “10 episodes” of potential collusion. Mueller appears to have been thorough in his investigation. Democrats and their media counterparts have been screaming “obstruction!” since it became clear no one was getting indicted for collusion, the main issue of the investigation. If Mueller hadn’t looked into every stupid claim (like journalists claiming a tweet from Trump amounted to obstruction), his report could be seen as valid.
Looking into something doesn’t mean a crime was definitely committed. Somehow anti-Trump reporters, pundits, and politicians forget this.
I guess they fall back on the “where there’s smoke there’s fire” trope, but that is not always the case. Sometimes there’s just smoke. Sometimes someone turned on a smoke machine.
This didn’t stop every major media outlet from running with the “10 episodes” of potential obstruction narrative. And because there were so many, that must mean Trump actually obstructed an investigation into a crime that didn’t exist.
MSNBC, Politico, Bloomberg, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and others all wrote headlines about the investigation into obstruction, with many making sure readers know that it was Attorney General William Barr who made the determination not to indict.
Expect many more partisan wordings to come out as reporters digest the Mueller report, looking for evidence that Trump is guilty but was saved by his attorney general pick.