“With his four-page letter on Mueller’s report, Attorney General William Barr drives the obstruction-of-justice ball firmly into Congress’s court.”
So begins my comment on the Attorney General’s brief summary of the presumably much longer report submitted to him Friday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It appears as part of an expert legal roundup at Vox, compiled by journalist Sean Illing.
The comment proceeds to recount Barr’s quotation of Mueller: although the
“‘report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’”
Still, Barr wrote that he found insufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt of presidential obstruction of justice. That standard of proof is essential to conviction in criminal court – but not in impeachment proceedings, which, if launched, would begin in the House of Representatives and end in the Senate. For that reason, the ball is in Congress’s court. However, I wrote, the further finding of no coordination or conspiracy to aid Russian election interference may means Congress lets the ball lie there.
The full roundup is here. Also contributing were: Victoria Nourse, Georgetown Law; Jessica Levinson, Loyola Law; Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Stetson Law; Christopher Slobogin, Vanderbilt Law; Miriam Baer, Brooklyn Law; Keith Whittington, Princeton; Robert Weisberg, Stanford Law; Jimmy Gurulé, Notre Dame Law; Stephen Legomsky, Washington University Law; Frances Hill, Miami Law; Ilya Somin, George Mason Law; Jens David Ohlin, Cornell Law; Ric Simmons, Ohio State Law; and Peter Margulies, Roger Williams Law.