Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

New Nadler letter presses Barr on reports he mischaracterized Mueller findings and failed to release summaries intended for easy public release.

Notably, Nadler also wants to see communications between the Special Counsel’s Office and Barr’s DOJ to see if Barr is accurately portraying those interactions.

NBC has now added some additional information: “Mueller team members say [the report] includes detailed accounts of Trump campaign contacts with Russia. While Mueller found no coordination or criminal conspiracy, the official said, some team members say his findings paint a picture of a campaign whose members were manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation. Some of that information may be classified, the official said, so it’s not clear whether it will be released in a few weeks when Barr makes public a redacted version of the Mueller report.”

We now have a three or four part chain of events that tells us what was frankly obvious ten days ago but most major media organizations were too cowardly to admit: the so-called “Barr Letter” was an effort to downplay and cover up the findings of the Mueller Special Counsel’s Office.

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I’ll leave this to a further discussion tomorrow. But the Post has now followed up on the Times story with more detail. Their sources say the authors of the Report specifically wrote section summaries that could be quickly or immediately made public. But here’s something to note. The Times story appears based largely on sources close to Barr. The Post story seems mainly based on sources close to the Special Counsel’s Office. More on this tomorrow.

Entirely unsurprisingly, it now turns out that Bill Barr seems to have significantly mischaracterized the Mueller Report in the quickie summary he released ten days ago. The Times has a story just out about complaints from members of Mueller’s team that Barr had “failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated.” But of course the Times itself was near the top of the list of news organizations who accepted Barr’s spin more or less at face value. It’s worth remembering the lede of the Times initial report on the Letter: “For President Trump, it may have been the best day of his tenure so far. The darkest, most ominous cloud hanging over his presidency was all but lifted on Sunday with the release of the special counsel’s conclusions.” And this new article seems based largely on sources around Barr.

There’s also this.

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Six GOP state legislators in Georgia are sponsoring a proposed law that would set up an “ethics board” for journalists in the state and exact civil penalties if journalists or news organizations failed to turn over photos, audio or video of recordings of interview subjects.

The law also appears to create a framework for investigating journalists and empowering litigants to sue journalists if they don’t hand over work copy from interviews.