Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, Professor. May. 01, 2019 2 min read

Mueller's Report insisted it did *not* investigate collusion as such, yet Barr summarized the Report as having found "no collusion." We'll hear a lot about the Mueller-Barr tiff focusing on obstruction, but when Mueller testifies we'll hear much more on Vol. 1 disagreements, too.

1/ Barr's letter confirms he understands what the phrase "no evidence" means—and it's a phrase that he abandons altogether when discussing Trump-Russia "links," though he resorts there to the beyond a reasonable doubt standard and limits his statements to the crime of conspiracy.

2/ One of the easiest questions Barr's letter to the Senate lends itself to: "If Mueller found 'clear and convincing' evidence of a non-conspiracy crime like bribery during his probe, would you agree that would't be covered by this Report—and would need to be referred elsewhere?"

3/ Barr has made clear Mueller only looked at conspiracy, and only at the beyond a reasonable doubt standard of proof, so it'd be a *stunning* reversal of everything he has said publicly if he suddenly said that clear and convincing bribery evidence would have been in the Report.

4/ And yet, the moment Barr admits that clear and convincing evidence of bribery wouldn't be in the Report—clear and convincing evidence of bribery being enough to impeach a president—he is in that moment *confirming* that Congress must continue to investigate collusive activity.

5/ Barr's Senate letter continues to erroneously use the word "collusion" by implying it's co-extensive with "conspiracy" (or "coordination" as Mueller defined it, which *was* co-extensive with conspiracy). In fact, bribery is a crime undergirded by (in lay terms) collusive acts.

6/ It should not be difficult at all to get Barr to admit that his "no collusion" line was political rhetoric not connected to either the findings of the Mueller Report or the nature of any cases Mueller may have sent to other federal jurisdictions. And that needs to happen. Now.

7/ Moreover, Barr must acknowlege under oath that Congress *can and does* take national security into consideration when determining whether and how to exercise its oversight capabilities. So *any* national security redactions in the Report *impermissibly undermine* that mandate.

8/ Likewise, Barr must acknowledge under oath that the standard for a national security threat isn't beyond a reasonable doubt, and that therefore the criminal assessment Barr says Mueller made wouldn't establish whether America's president is an ongoing national security threat.

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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