A former Watergate assistant special prosecutor believes Attorney General William Barr is part of an expansive cover-up designed to prevent congressional investigators from obtaining the full Russia report authored by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Appearing on MSNBC on Wednesday, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Nick Akerman told a panel that Barr leveled his bombshell accusation suggesting President Donald Trump was spied on by the FBI as part of the alleged stonewalling effort.
Quoting Barr’s recent testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, host Chris Jansing said, “Let’s remind people, this is not somebody–not someone political from inside the White House saying this–this is the attorney general of the United States. He said, ‘I do not view it as a problem endemic to the FBI, but it’s likely there was a failure at the top echelons.'”
To which Akerman replied with a marked tone of indignation:
Oh, this is just all part of the White House’s cover-up. In fact, the best evidence of that is that Barr refused to answer the question yesterday whether he spoke to the White House or to Trump about the report–the Mueller report. The reason that you see the White House changing course here is because Barr has told them what’s in that report. Somebody there has relayed to Trump what it is.
Law&Crime previously reported on the salience of Barr’s silence in response to the above-noted Mueller report question posed by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY).
“I’ve said what I’m going to say about the report today,” Barr told the Oversight Committee Democrat.
Barr’s refusal to answer, of course, predictably led to accusations like Akerman’s.
“This is all part of one big cover up and what we’re going to see is a redacted report with all kinds of colors that is going to look like the New York Subway system map,” the former Watergate prosecutor said. “I mean, that’s what we’re going to get in the next few days.”
Here, Akerman was apparently again referring to Barr’s Tuesday testimony wherein he noted that the version of the Mueller report that he plans to release would feature “color-coded” redactions accompanied by “explanatory notes.”
Akerman went on to explain how such redactions would likely prove unacceptable to congressional Democrats.
“[T]here is no way that [House Judiciary Committee Chair] Jerry Nadler is not going to go into court,” he predicted.”You’ve got three members of the D.C. Circuit [Court] who basically upheld what was done when we handed over that report in Watergate. And Nadler’s going to be able to do the exact same thing. He may need a resolution from the committee saying that we’ve got a preliminary investigation into whether or not there’s anything in that report that would justify impeachment.”
The storied attorney then elaborated a bit on his impeachment talk:
The standard is, as I was saying before, is different for impeachment. The Constitution does not say you have to find the president guilty of high crimes and treason beyond a reasonable doubt. It doesn’t give a standard. It’s what the Congress determines the facts are and whether or not it justifies impeachment.
[Image via MSNBC screengrab]