Bob Mueller testifies in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees today, and even if he only says things that are already in the report he produced, he may surprise a lot of people.
We know folks on the right are often stuck in their little Fox News bubble, and so never end up hearing the stories that you and I hear. (Now we have our own bubble, too, but that’s not the point of this post.)
Just how “protected” some of them were about the contents of Mueller’s Report became clear when Justin Amash announced he was leaving the Republican party to become an Independent and then held a town hall where he discussed numerous issues including the damning Mueller Report. As reported by NBC, one of his constituents said that she “was surprised to hear there was anything negative in the Mueller report at all about President Trump. I hadn’t heard that before.”
Now, you might be flabbergasted as to how that is remotely possible. But I’ll tell you how. The first person who said anything to the press about what was in the Report immediately after Mueller released it, was Attorney General Bill Barr. You’ll recall that he released a 4-page letter (and then later held a short press conference) that essentially boiled the report down to 1) the president and his campaign didn’t collude with Russia, and 2) that the president did not commit any obstruction of justice.
That was the ONLY chunk of information anyone had about the Mueller Report for days because the Report wasn’t released for some time after that. So, what happened is that Fox News endlessly echoed the president’s take on Barr’s comments that he was “totally exonerated.” That’s all anyone on the right heard.
Outside of Fox News and conservative websites, TV and media were reduced to picking apart Barr’s words to figure out what he might be obscuring, as so much evidence from Mueller’s investigation had already spilled out into public view thanks to criminal charges, arrests, and even jail time for some of the people involved.
But the fact remained. Barr’s framing of the Mueller Report, i.e. that the president didn’t do anything wrong, was out in the public first and so there are many, many people who think that’s what is real and right. This article from The Atlantic, Bill Barr Already Won, emphasizes that point.
The hearing today is the best chance we have (in my opinion) to finally erase Barr’s framing and replace it with new framing. I hope you all watch the Mueller hearing today and/or push out the clips that are sure to come where Mueller explains what the president actually did. We need to flood the airwaves, just like Barr flooded it the first time out. This is hopefully a big enough deal that it will pierce the Fox News bubble.