Bill Barr Buries Report That Exonerates Obama

Shane T. Mccoy via ZUMA

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In the pantheon of Republican pseudo-scandals, “unmasking” has always been one of the dumbest. National security officials routinely ask the intelligence community to “unmask” names that have been redacted in raw reports so they can get a better idea of who’s doing what to whom, and the Obama administration did this just like every other administration. Republicans, however, have insisted for years that Susan Rice and others used unmasking requests as cover for a campaign against Michael Flynn, and naturally they demanded an investigation. Just as naturally, Bill Barr gave them what they wanted.

Sadly for Republicans, the investigation turned up nothing. That’s not surprising, and neither is this:

Bash’s team was focused not just on unmasking, but also on whether Obama-era officials provided information to reporters, according to people familiar with the probe, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation. But the findings ultimately turned over to Barr fell short of what Trump and others might have hoped, and the attorney general’s office elected not to release them publicly, the people familiar with the matter said. The Washington Post was unable to review the full results of what Bash found.

The investigation basically exonerated the Obama team and probably would have hurt Donald Trump’s reelection, so Barr decided to keep it under wraps. This is how the Justice Department works these days: it’s a PR shop for Donald Trump, not an independent agency serving the best interests of the American public. Hopefully that will change in a few months.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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