Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

So many side stories and rivulets to watch over the course of the day. But I note that The Washington Post already seems to be downplaying its scoop that the Report would only be “lightly redacted”. It’s still included in the current versions of their main story. But it appears to have been demoted from the headline and nowhere on the digital front page. Curious to see how that get from Barr’s aides will age over the course of the day. The Post especially seems to have leaned quite far out on the basis of news that almost certainly comes from Barr and his top aides.

As we wait for tomorrow’s follies, I thought it would be interesting to take a detour into the history of the words ‘redaction’ and ‘redact’. Today we know these words refer to those heavy-handed black bars which obscure portions of text in indictments, various court documents, government records and more. But this wasn’t always what these words meant. In fact, the meaning we’re now all buzzing about right now is quite new.

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We’ve now gotten more details about about what we’ve basically already known or should have known: the fix is in. The goal here is to max out every avenue to protect the President from the contents of the Report. Bill Barr and his friends at the White House clearly do not care what anyone outside of Trump world thinks at this point. They are not even bothering to keep up appearances at the margins. A good and increasingly relevant question for Bill Barr at this point would be at what point the statutory powers of the Attorney General can amount to obstruction of justice if exercised with corrupt intent.

Let’s go through what we’ve learned this afternoon.

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Over the last week I’ve been trying to make sense of what seems to be Democrats’ April funk. Some of this seems directly tied to the completion of the Mueller probe and subsequent refusal to share its findings. But as a number of TPM Reader emails I’ve shared in recent days have shown, it goes beyond that. Some of it is simple fatigue. It is difficult to remain engaged and be buffeted by daily outrages and erosions of the edifice of the state after 30 months. But one thing I’ve been particularly struck by – I think growing from each of these factors – is many people thinking Donald Trump is basically a lock or a strong favorite for reelection.

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As we await the release of Bill Barr’s redacted version of the Mueller Report I wanted to put together an overview of the important details we know about it or think we know with some reliability based on available reporting. Some of these points are basic and well-known (the approximate length for instance). But I think they’re worth collecting together in one place in advance of tomorrow’s release. We’ll be overrun by rapid takes from multiple directions. So it’s worth keeping these points in mind as a framework, a set of basic outlines, to understand it in.

An additional point, I understand that Barr may have another big thumb to put on the scales for tomorrow’s release. So don’t be surprised. Beyond that, we should see what happens tomorrow as Barr’s best effort to cover for Trump within the thinnest interpretation of the law.

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I’ve mentioned a few times Bill Barr’s history of trying to cover up Republican scandals and whip up Democratic ones. But until yesterday I didn’t know of this, yet another example of Barr’s corrupt history. It’s actually an earlier “summarizes the principal conclusions” memo as part of a different cover-up, back 30 years ago.

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March 26, 2019: “It was a complete and total exoneration. The Mueller report was great. It could not have been better.”

One more from this conversation before I set it aside for the morning. TPM Reader EF adds an important point or clarification, one I find myself in deep agreement with. Some people were demoralized after Mueller submitted his report. I don’t count myself in that group at all. I understand that feeling; I don’t share it. I never thought Mueller’s investigation would end Trump’s presidency. That’s only going to happen in an election.

I’m eager to see his team’s findings regardless of what they are because it is critical to find out what happened or as close as we can get to knowing. What frustrates me deeply is that we haven’t seen the Report. It’s a shocking level of coverup that I don’t think most people – certainly most of the press – have remotely grasped. Let me have EF explain …

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