Poll: Attorney General William Barr didn't fool anyone with his cover up except Republicans (Daily Kos link) Nearly 6 in 10 Americans still think Donald Trump obstructed justice, according to a newly released AP-NORC poll. Despite Attorney General William Barr's four-page cover up and Trump's weeks-long "total exoneration" tour, fully 58 percent of the nation thinks Trump interfered with the Russia investigation, while 40 percent do not believe that.
Among Republicans, 10 percent more now say Trump is free of wrongdoing (65 this month vs. 55 percent last month) than before Barr issued his report; and 10 percent fewer Republicans say Trump did something unethical, 27 percent, down from 37 percent pre-report.
- 61 percent say the Justice Department has shared too little of Mueller’s report with the public, which suggests that Barr's ploy mostly backfired among everyone but Republicans; 55 percent also say more of the Mueller report should be shared with Congress.
- 53 percent want Congress to continue investigating (45 percent do not).
Trump's job approval rating is 39 percent approve vs. 60 percent disapprove in the poll, nearly unchanged since before the report. Importantly, that means that on the eve of at least some of Mueller’s report finally being released, Trump got no real bump from the Barr report—that's a bad sign for Trump.
The president could hardly have been better served if he had written Barr’s statement himself. Notable in the statement was a significant departure from the carefully parsed conclusion in his March 24 letter summarizing the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller. Then, Barr quoted the report: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Thursday, Barr went further, saying, “There was no evidence of Trump campaign ‘collusion’ with the Russian government’s hacking.”
Barr also went to great lengths to defend the president’s furious fulminations against Mueller and his obvious attempts to influence testimony by those connected with him and his campaign. Though “the president was frustrated and angry” at the investigation, Barr averred, in the end he “fully cooperated” with the probe.
One thing we’ve learned in the past two years is how hard it is to take a job in this administration without behaving like a Trump lackey. Thursday, Barr had a chance to demonstrate rigorous impartiality and independence. Instead, he ensured that like so many others, he will leave his office with his reputation seriously damaged.